Spellcasting and casting modifiers vs. power points

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#21 Postby R2Q2 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:19 am

Something like the old Mage rpg could be helpful. It used no PP rules, and the difficulty for casting was only how strong the spell was (the combination of the different Spheres) and violation of reality. Reducing a TN was done with a mystical essence called Quintessence. But normally there was no need of using many Quintessence points for casting combat useful effects, like a fireball, summoning a demon was another thing however. The problem the Mages had to deal with was Paradox, which was able to kill the Mage.

Okay this are my ideas for using magic without PP and rank requirements. For each 2 PP the power would normally use the magician suffers a -1 or -2 penalty, by using some spiritual life force, or whatever, the penalty can be reduced by an amount of points. So the classical bolt power would have a penalty of -1,-2,-3 or -2,-4,-6 just for casting the spell plus any sort of rank penalties. If the character has a higher rank he should get a bonus.
The only question is now how effective this spiritual energy can reduce casting penalties. Penalties can be higher if you want.

Regeneration this spiritual energy can be regenerated in different way. For example meditation (the slow way), or drawing out the life of the environment (the fast way) and the like. The more the character violates the spiritual net that connects all living things, the faster he gets back spiritual energy. Also a limitation of how much energy a magician can store should be limited.
This is a really dark method of performing magic, and new edges can be created to get something less dark. Maybe something like an order that existed a long time ago, in a galaxy far…

Backlash should be fatal by using this idea. Maybe the magician suffers 1d6 damage per point used to reduce the penalty. There are many possibilities. Even madness should be a possible option for failing or just casting a spell.

Mage was a game of balance after all.

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#22 Postby Banesfinger » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:43 pm

A quick thought on how to simulate a PP-less system (aka Warhammer):

Backlash: this usually happens when a wizard rolls a 1 on his Spellcasting die (regardless of his Wild Die).
Instead, the backlash happens whenever his Spellcasting die roll = the PP cost (or lower) of the spell.

E.g., A wizard casting Armor; a Spellcasting roll of 2 or less will result in a backlash.

(Keep in mind, for those spells with a PP cost of 4 or more, it is possible to succeed on casting the spell AND suffer a backlash).

Backlash result: use the spell failure table from Warhammer, or create a nifty spell fumble table of your own, or even keep the SW shaken result.

The only major change I would make to Power Edges would be: Power Points - instead of granting extra PPs, just half the backlash chance for each spell (min 1).

One small advantage of this system: you never have to keep track of PPs (for PCs or NPCs). SW nicely keeps Hitpoint tracking out of the system, and this would do the same for magic (PPs).

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