The BRP SRD currently lacks a generic magic/psi/powers system for authors of BRP SRD-derived works to use. In this thread I will be looking at where to start in writing up a generic magic system, post some rough notes, and hopefully provide feedback from the community, particularly GMs/new game authors, as to what will be useful in such a system.
This "magic" system is intended to exist solely as a game-mechanical procedure (a la FATE), which may be re-skinned by authors (or players, I guess) using it in various different settings. To that end, I'll probably include a number of variants that allow later authors to cut-and-paste the version they most prefer. I won't be addressing any "magical theories" of why it operates in-setting; just the assumption that it's a system for representing abilities PCs and NPCs have to affect themselves, others, and the world around them that are not covered by the usual rules for normal physical and social interactions.
The SRD currently only has a few references to magic:
Power Points: Power points are equal to POW and are spent to use magic or other powers. When a character reaches 0 power points, they fall unconscious. All power points regenerate after one full day that includes a night’s rest.
Projection (DEX×2): If powers (magic, super, psychic, etc.) are used in a game, this is the ability to direct a powered attack at a target.
Knowledge (various) (05% or 01%): Familiarity with a specific branch of study. For characters from the modern or future eras, the base skill is 05%; for historical periods it’s 01%. Each type of Knowledge skill is a specialty. Specialties are numerous, and include Anthropology, Archaeology, Area (a region), Folklore, Group (an organization), History, Linguistics, Literature, Mythology, Occult, Politics, Streetwise, etc.
No other skills relating to magic are included, although a couple (like Martial Arts and Fly) might be important to remember for potential powers.
Drawing on Other SRDs
To streamline the system design process, it may be a good idea to look at and borrow (or, you know, copy and paste) elements from other extant open game content. Prime candidates for this are:
- 3e SRD (including spell seeds, incantations, and psionics)
- 5e SRD.
- Pathfinder Occult Magic
- The Psychic's Handbook (not available as an SRD, but released as OGC by Green Ronin)
I'd like to include the D6 System in this list but I'm having a hard time finding a "primary source" of Gibson releasing it as OGC.
I mention these first because they come from systems where many of the basic concepts (HP, skill rolls, rechargable-resource management) are similar to BRP. Things like the WaRP SRD are potentially useful, but are coming from a slightly different place design-wise.