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Mark(at)

D&D-style Magic in QuestWorlds

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How would someone represent D&D style magic - with a large number of possible spells - in QuestWorlds?

Would spells/abilities be grouped by a style of magic, or just a list of keywords?

What do magic items look like ? 

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4 minutes ago, Mark(at) said:

How would someone represent D&D style magic - with a large number of possible spells - in QuestWorlds?

Would spells/abilities be grouped by a style of magic, or just a list of keywords?

What do magic items look like ? 

Possibly as a set of grimoires belonging to one of the techniques (Evocation, Necromancy etc.) and then the spells as break-out abilities from that.

For the rest, here's how I would use Nethack items in a Questworlds environment.

If you need to simulate the "fire and forget" nature of those spells (Gloranthan Rune Magic has the same, and doesn't bother), you could impose a cumulative penalty of -10 to the ability, which could be negated by preparing a certain number of spells from the book each morning. The level of the spell might be used as sort of a penalty on preparing those spells to simulate you have less spell slots for those powerful spells, again if you see fit to follow D&D that closely. You still want them to be cast at full mastery when it comes to contests with enemy magic.

Any magic item is an ability. A +n sword in D&D would be an ability to augment your attack ability with, and might be a stand-alone skill, or a breakout from your sword or combat ability. It might impose the additional ability to harm entities immune to ordinary damage, and armor to withstand enemy damage. The problem is how you use both in the same combat roll, if you make the entire combat a single roll. Maybe use the weapon bonus on a success, the armor bonus on a failure? Tricky.

Similar with rings and amulets. Some of these may have a chance to burn out on activation, e.g. on a fumble. More fragile ones on a failure, but still taking some weaker success.

One-use or charged items like potions, wands and scrolls may be used like ammunition to a basic skill "quaff potion", "activate wand" or "read scroll" to take effect in a largely unopposed situation (I'd use an "activate wand" ability for targeting said wand, when required). When you need to measure the item's effect against say the consequences of a spell or poison or whatever, each such item could be deemed a normal success by its maker to give it an ability ranking to do its stuff once. Your character rolls for the activation, then the activated item rolls with its maker's success against the resistance.

I have played in a game where such made items were rolled individually. In case of doubt, you can roll for the maker's success level at the time the player uses the item.

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Here is an approach I took, sorting spells into grimoires roughly grouped by theme and power level.

I actually have a lot of draft/notes for implementing a whole lot of D&D'isms like classes as keywords, distinct arcane vs divine magic styles, spells/day derived from ability ratings, advancement/resistance-progression framed in Low/Mid/High/Epic-Level terms, etc.

I even went all-in on making alignment something that interacts interestingly with play, Alignment ratings work similar to how community resource ratings do, and your behavior and experiences cause them to fluctuate over time. You can draw upon them for augments when acting in accordance with primordial forces with which you are aligned (especially for Divine casters), use them to resist Charm effects, Flaws, or temptations/manipulation that would make you act against your alignment, and so on. With Mastery-rated alignment, you start to be affected by detect___, protection from____, etc. spells,  and can hurt creatures that are immune to non-magical weapons. Alignment languages even get recast an intuitive understanding among those strongly enough alligned to the same primordial forces, usefull for expressing concepts and ideas relevant to the prordialstruggles of creation, but hard to express mundane ideas like "How much for the top-shelf brandy?".

I stopped working on this uppon discovering that QW would have its own license, which is not only incompatible with directly incorporating D&D spell lists etc., but might also prohibit the alignment ideas as being derivative of story elements from the Moorcock BRP games.  

If we ever get a clear and definative answer on what Chaosium/MDP means by "story element" in the context of their licenses, I might revisit. The spell lists, classes, etc. could concievably be scrubbed of things that would infringe on WizCo's IP, but it would take a lot of work and care to get right. In the meantime, what attention I have available to devote to QW is going to be directed towards less fraught propositions.

On a lighter note, @Newt's Yea Little Book of HeroQuest Dungeoneering has a lot of fun ideas in this vein as well. I hope he's able to re-release it at some point.

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