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ID: 1845


May 8, 2008, 2:32 am

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Focus Based Magic System


Peldor scrambled for his staff. It has all his tactical spells anchored. He dived to the floor, trying to dodge the incoming dart spells. All he had was his ring (for energy enhancements) and his belt buckle (which carried his personal enhancements spells). Papers, smoke, and wood splinters flew everywhere. In the chaos, he saw it - his lab desk’s sextant. He stretched, just touching with the tips of his fingers. He rolled forward. A dart struck infront of him. Spitting dust out of his mouth and squinting against the flying debree, he made solid contact. He whispered the trigger, utilizing his ring to make it cost less mana. The green mystic glow unfolded. It formed a full serephamic sheild.  The hex bolts and darts were bouncing off it. Slowly he rose. He was able to take the three steps to reach his battle staff. Now, things would be different.

This is a system of magic. Actually, it is more a style of magic. Any magic system can be used with it, but they now follow slightly different rules.

1) All magic spells are anchored to items, a spell matrix is embedded to the item. These could be wands, staffs, rings, cloaks, nicknacks, gems, boots, any item appropriate. This is a moderately short process measured in hours or days.

1b) These are not magic items. They do not provide magical abilities. They allow someone who knows the keys to it to use the spell. Though there will be a minor penalty for lack of attunement to the item.

1c) Encumbrance and availablity becomes as issue. Do you have the right item for the effect you want to cast? Can you carry everything you want?

2) To anchor a spell in an item requires a mystical research task, time and personal effort.

2b) The more effects anchored in an item, the greater the difficulty to anchor more. Each item past the first is a negative MOD to die rolls. You will need to adapt it to your system, but a -3 mod for 1-20 scale roll for example.

2c) Type of objects will provide modifiers. Magical tools (Staves, Wands, Athames, Cups, Disks) give pluses. Metal objects are base. Jems, fewer slots more effect. Cloth lesser, unless there is a pattern woven in, minuses. Paper and temporary objects, pluses. 

3) Spells still require other ritual actions to cast (Time, Voice and Gesture), i.e. the casting of the spell.

3a) Additional rituals for the same spell can reduce certain requirements.

3b) Enough rituals and the item can be set to be triggered.

4) Magik items would need instruction books. If the item was usable by just anyone, what would stop people from just stealing your stuff besides your ire?  The fact they can’t use it without the right trigger words

To play this magik system would require

a)Some basic spell effects to be built up upon. Missile, Move Object, See Other place. All of these things would form the foundation of effects. 

b)A list for the cost of modifiers for basic spell effects.  Increasing or decreasing time by steps costs points for example.  Additional points required to be the second spell or third spell.  If these are not point systems cost modifiers, then they should impact level of effect OR modifier to spell casting rolls.

c)Enchanting skills per type. Some of them for power and some for metamagik (duration, etc)

d) A task system for generating effect points. Effect points are used to purchase spells. Base points would be based on the INT MOD or INT divided by 5

e) An effect point system allowing you to take a basic effect and tweak it up or down.  

g) Keeping track of downtime becomes important. There should be fatigue modifers if you spend all your time installing spells.

Designer Notes

Hero System, or similar point to effect systems, would be good for this kind of magic. It would even require less work, as this system of magic would just be a bunch of required modifiers. You could take the basic power effects, and list the modifications to make the base spells.  You will need to work on the modifiers to better fit the world view.  Gurps and Silloute Core would also be functional for this system.

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Comments ( 10 )
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November 30, 2005, 12:06
I haven't played hero, so I am unaware on how thier system is balanced. For a system to build up the costs of making an item with more spells attached, look into the Fibaconi sequence. For a poor explaination, it's basically the next number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two.

So start with 1, then 1 again (1+0=1), then 2 (1+1=2) then 3 (1+2=3) then 5, (2+3=5) and so on getting very expensive very quick. The sequence starts looking like this:

0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 ...

Since the lower levels are rather cheap, making things with a couple of nifty bits is easy, but trying to make something all encompasing is ridiculous.

Did you want more ideas for base spells or number systems?
November 30, 2005, 12:08
The cost system is fairly clear and direct. The fabronni sequence for modals 1,3,5,8,10. There is a hero system short listing on
tarock ashar
November 30, 2005, 12:09
Well As for number a) Some basic spell effects to be built up upon. Missile, Move Object, See Other place. All of these things would form the foundation of effects.

You could do a number of things. You could make two types of spell effects. The Spell effect it self (Missle, Fireball, REstore Health, Move object so on and so forth) and a Trigger Effect (speceific words, thoughts, guestures that would be needed to trigger it.) You coudl use this as a system for a foundation for the spell effects. The player learns how to anchor Fireball to a glove and puts the trigger as saying the word fireball.
Maybe offer the ability to increase the damage and range of the spell effect that they have.
I got to go now so I will write more later.
November 30, 2005, 12:10
Okay. That was a little hard to read. However, you could install any magic spell system into this system.

While this works better for endurance/ mana powered systems, you could do it with slots.
November 30, 2005, 12:11
My friend is considering a magic system somewhat like this one, only the magic is less like D&D magic, and more like Charms from Exalted.
Voted Mourngrymn
January 12, 2006, 12:46
I always love new innovative ways to view magic. I personally have strived hard to get a magic system working that I like. I have created three seperate ways to use magic in my system and was never really happy with any of them until the last one.

While this isn't perfect it is a great refreshment on the mundane. Possibly to be used by less intelligent races, shamans and tribal mentalities who don't have access or teachers to thehigher advance systems of magic.
Voted Chaosmark
August 26, 2007, 8:55
Interesting. This very much reminds me of the Dresden Files system of magic. (Shoutout: the DF roleplaying game is nearing completion) For those who are unfamiliar with the books, the main character is a wizard, and the way magic works is by force of will. However, if you have a large chunk of power, but little control, you need a focus to work your magic through. The focus 'focuses' your raw power into something usable. All in all, an interesting system that keeps you from needing to learn 500,000 different spells and modifiers for those spells.
Voted Cheka Man
August 26, 2007, 10:57
Only voted
Voted Kinslayer
May 7, 2008, 18:25
Only voted
May 8, 2008, 2:32
Updated: Tweaked the summary a little to make it more interesting to read.

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