reworded magic system for fantasy(hellfrost/warham) or Jedi

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reworded magic system for fantasy(hellfrost/warham) or Jedi

#1 Postby wheatiess » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:01 pm

previous topic can be deleted was late for work and didnt take some of the useless parts out of the document before i pulled it across. so here is take two

This new system moves magic to suit settings where casters must pull their magic from another source such as the hell frost setting or war hammer where mages pull the winds of magic through their body in order to cast a desired spell. Tweaking certain parts also make it great for Jedi

Key to this system is that pulling too much energy in at once is bad for you and those around but can lead to impressive results. Basically it is a risk reward system

Rather than have a set amount of power points or pool of mana to use the caster will operate off a power track that is set to their power levels or casting skill.

Setting up your power track

The power track has a number of slots equal to their casting skill plus an area at the end for overflow

On this power track there are 3 areas of interest

Equilibrium point(E]:the natural level of power that casters will hover around
Threshold(T]:the maximum power they can hold before they start tempting fate
Overflow(overflow]: for holding more power points then is safe for the caster

The length of the track will be the casters casting skill so with a casting skill at D8 set down 8 slots and leave an area for overflow.

The Equilibrium point is half of your casting skill so with a skill of D8 it would be the forth slot

Thus your power track should look like this for a caster with skill D8 in casting
[1][2][3][E] [5][6][7][T] [overflow]

Generating power points

Now that your power track is assembled we must talk about how to use it.
The Equilibrium point and threshold point are key to the amount and ease of generating power points

Trend towards Equilibrium point

When below Equilibrium the caster will act like a sponge and pull power into himself automatically. To represent this whenever the caster is bellow their Equilibrium point at the start of their action the gain a free power point to add to the track. Thus the mage with D8 casting would gain a free point whenever he starts his actions with only 1,2 or 3 power points. If he starts his actions with 4 power points he does not gain the free one as he is at balance or Equilibrium.

This move to Equilibrium happens before the caster operates on his turn and will occur even if the caster is stunned. It is also important to note that this means most encounters will start with the caster at Equilibrium

Channelling more power

While the caster could indefinably cast single power point spells like bolt if they wanted to create anything bigger they will quickly go through their Equilibrium points.

Generating more power is handled with a new skill called channel that represents a casters ability to pull in and hold the raw magic source. Thus anyone with an arcane background must now have two skills to operate properly their casting skill and their channelling skill

The use of channel is an action just like any other and can have trappings such as hand movements, speaking, bloodletting and praying depending on the type of arcane background your caster has. This also means channelling can be multi actioned with casting the spell in the same turn if the caster is willing to take a -2 to both rolls.

Channelling is a basic roll of your channel skill die and wild die with the amount of successes and raise determining the amount of power points it grants
Thus a roll of
4 to 7 grants one power point
8 to 11 grants two power points
12 to 15 grants three power points

a critical fail of one on both die when channelling will result in power returning to Equilibrium or a basic fail if already below Equilibrium

channelling is very safe and as long as the power is used little harm will come to the caster trying to hold onto the power is a different matter

Controlling power above Equilibrium

Casters will trend towards Equilibrium wether below or above it. While they get free power when below Equilibrium the must actively hold onto any power above it. If a player starts a turn with more than their Equilibrium in power points they must make a control test. The control test uses the channel skill and is a simple target number 4 test with pass meaning no loss of power and failure meaning loss of one power point

A roll of natural one on the skill die will result in the player being shaken while they concentrate on trying to hold the power(wild die can still lead to success)
A critical failure of 1 or less on both dice will lead to the power violently leaving the casters body resulting in power being reset to Equilibrium and taking D6 damage per power point lost(much of which can be mitigated with edges and gear)

The issue arises when trying to hold onto power above the threshold level. For every point above the threshold the caster suffers a -1 to their control test. (Thus at 2 points above threshold the critical failure number becomes both dice at 3 or less when modifiers are applied).

This make is very dangerous for untrained casters to take in too much power and very easy for low level casters to accidently get to much power on a (un)lucky channel roll and fry themself

Rest of the magic system

Casting remains the same and while I am building a setting miscast chart it is not vital to this mechanic so I will leave it out


Start of turn
Are you below Equilibrium: if yes[gain one power point] if no
Are you at Equilibrium: if yes [nothing happens] if no
Are you above Equilibrium: if yes[roll a control test with modifiers if above threshold]

Control test uses channel skill die does not use actions
Critical failure: revert to Equilibrium take d6 damage per power point lost
1 on channel die: shaken
Fail: loss one power
Pass: nothing

During turn
Do you need more power points: then channel using channel skill does use action

Critical failure revert to equilibrium or count as fail if below equilibrium
4 to 7 grants one power point
8 to 11 grants two power points
12 to 15 grants three power points

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#2 Postby wheatiess » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:42 pm

channeling should be easy
mages should start with a book or a staff that grants a +1 to thier channel skill preist a holy item that does the same. rather than the more power points edge make it better channelling which also grants a +1 which can be taken once per rank

(if you roll to high when channeling you can realy screw yourself if you dont know a power that can vent it safley if you somehow got ten above threshold you are pretty much going to take around 14D6 damage

as for the high damge with a crit fail on a control test. certain edges and items should add to armour agianst the damage or ignore a certain number of points lost

for bright mages(fire mages in warhammer) or dark jedi(rage monkeys with light sticks) an edge that turns the overflow peanalty into a damage boost really makes them play with the risk of the system

casting powers with a high cost can become very hard and dangerous but it should be and there is no way the savage world basic system reflects this

does mean greater heal at 20 points would be almost impossible for any but the most maxxed out caster

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#3 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:31 pm

Why are you redefining game terms? Critical Failure is rolling 1 on a trait and wild die, not a total result of 1 or less. Calling a total of 1 a Critical Failure is going to be intensely confusing in play.

Overall, you never define the goals of this change. I have no idea if this will do what you want it to because you never say what you want.
I do know that it's a lot of effort to make magi a) take longer to cast, b) cast less powerful spells, c) risk blowing themselves up (d12 Spellcasting, overcharge 2, suffers 8d6 to himself and probably becomes Incapacitated - that's like being run over by stock car during a Nascar race). Generally, this would make arcane characters less appealing to play, and provide a mechanical justification for the setting to "burn the witch".
If Jedi were using this system, I would shoot them all. With artillery. They're simply too dangerous to be allowed into the world, just like the guy walking around the mall with four fragmentation grenades hanging from his jacket by the pins.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

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