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Ebros magic system sneak peek


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On request, I thought I'd give an example of the EBROS magic system.

My own magic system for EBROS is totally made up of ritual magic. As I've always been against the kind of "flash-bang nonsense" (quote from Pendragon) that so often are displayed by characters in hack'n'slash-RPG's, I thought that a system that absolutely demands the magician to perform an elaborate ritual every time magic is to be used makes for more feeling when it actually works. It revolves around five basic "ritual types" of magic, or 5 basic ways of working any magic at all. The five main classes are:

1. The SENSUS ritual (where touching something is required).

2. The SIGNUM ritual (where some sort of inscription is required).

3. The NOMEN ritual (where some sort of uttered word or song* is required).

4. The GESTUS ritual (where some sort of gesture is required).


5. The RERUM ritual (where any kind of material object is required).

These 5 rituals are then cross-indexed by 36 known types of magic areas of knowledge on a special table I have, like this:

1. Constructive magic (used in building material things, not corpus magic)

2. Metal magic (one of the six elements of EBROS)

3. Mind-affecting magic

...and so forth ( I don't write them all up here, but it'll be on the website later).

But how does one lay a spell, then? Well, I thought like this: If you want to be reasonably sure the spell of a certain kind is going to work, then THAT magic type's required rituals have to be performed successfully and in time.

An example:

Dirwun the Druid wants to lay a protective layer of moss, grass and roots over himself while the enemy soldiers looks for him in the woods. They are closing in so he'd better lay the "Grass Quilt" spell pretty soon or they'll spot him. When laying Plant Magic, you use only two of the five rituals (as can be seen on a table not shown here); the Gestus and the Rerum ritual. The Gesture ritual to "weave" the roots and grass around him, and the Material ritual to get the actual roots and whatever to obey his movements. As Dirwun the Druid is quite the celebrity on Plant Magic, his percentage-skill in these two rituals have been used many times, and therefore are high. The player of Dirwun then roll two dice rolls, one for each ritual type. How much time, Magic Point-usage etc this spell takes can be found on spell-lists not shown here, either.

Should Dirwun fail in either of these two rolls, a 'backfire result' might happen. But as it's not a very dangerous spell to begin with, the backfire for this particular spell would be more of a nuisance than a danger to the character.

These and more ideas have sprung out of my mind over the years. There are also twelve Magic Schools not described here, grouping the 36 different magic types in sections of three within each school. But as magic knowledge on the Gantyon (player) continent is forbidden on the pain of death, these schools have all but been forgotten. So, playing a mage in my world is also being a digger/archeologist looking for old and forbidden stuff.

*= Like in an Enchantment (chanting = singing).

Erik Brickman.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

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That sounds really good. Are you going to release it under a CC licence so we can all use it and integrate it into games and projects?

Either OGL or CC would be great, and of course you can also sell a POD version on lulu!


Hello Tavern Guvnor (I like the title)!

Well, to be honest, I haven't even begun to think about it. My aim right now is to somehow post the whole material (complete or incomplete) on my website for my world/BRP clone-system EBROS. It'll literally take years I think, mainly because I work alone on this. But, I think it's ok for people to borrow from this work, hopefully not copying it raw.

This magic system of mine is wholly my own invention, but, as I myself have borrowed a lot from material for other parts that has/is been produced from Chaosium and others, why shouldn't everyone else? One little warning though: be sure to post your own copy of the copyright text for Chaosium and/or other companies.

The best thing would be to get people who's interested in this gathered on one forum specifically for this topic, like this one. Mainly because: I'm not done with all the work on EBROS. And, it has taken so many years for me to come this far. Therefore, all new ideas on developing this are welcome.

So, that's why I'm willing to share. I know it doesn't say so on my website, but, heck, better to share and develop than not, and stand still.

Erik Brickman.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

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