Jump to content
rsanford

Anyone else using freeform magic?

Recommended Posts

Anyone else using freeform magic in your Magic World game? If so what rules are you using? What GM challenges have cropped up?

As for me we use our own house rules The Second Way which is a take off of deep magic. My biggest challenge so far are the player's creative use of magic to solve problems in general and the availability of gate spells in particular. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My group has stuck with Deep Magic as written (for the most part).

My biggest obstacle as a Chronicler has been permanency. 

One of my players figured if he used Flesh and Alteration he could heal wounds. Fine. But then tried Spirit and Summon to cause a resurrection effect.

Now they have a Raise Dead machine so I nipped it and said it costs a permanent point of POW. That stung a little (as it should), but now he is wondering if he could enchant an item with a spell and sacrifice the POW to make it permanent. The other players have started referring to his character as "god". 

Have some work to do with this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I like the fact that wizards can provide healing though like you raising the dead cost a POW.

What I as GM have to get over is how frequently the party can escape traps by gating to safety. In one game the party was sentenced to life in prison and they escaped all the same day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a world populated by sorcerers it only makes sense to create items that radiate an anti magic zone. Or materials that suppress magic. 

This is an old problem with castles. What good is a fortification if a single mage can collapse it with a MP or two and a wave of his hand? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea that would make it easier. In my game magic wielding people outside demon summoning sorcerers can be counted on your toes and fingers. Right now my guys are getting away with murder using magic. I can't wait till they run into sorcerers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read, I think in The Magic Book, that temples can be protected by conditional spells that are triggered by certain actions. Such as if someone casts a spell at a door it fires a retribution spell at the caster. These spells must be refreshed by the priests every day. Can definitely see a king/prince/lord requiring or paying priests to do the same around a prison, the city gates, ect. Sorry. Not exactly on topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I see your point. I think I am going to let the sorcerers (demon summoners really) have access to Mongoose's Stormbringer Runemagic.  Then I can write a rune on a wall that prevents gates and such...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the magic systems I use is the Maelstrom magick system. It is elegant, freeform and subtle, and encourages strategic and situational thinking by the mage player. It is particularly good for low-magic settings. 

The Maelstrom magic system

 

There are no specific spells, just one generic Magic skill. Magic is situational and based on probability of an event occurring. When a mage wishes to cast a spell, the referee gives it a level of difficulty:

 

1. Probable. Things which might happen normally eg, a person tripping

2. Unlikely. Thing which could happen by accident but which are unlikely

3. Highly unlikely.

4. Wildly improbable. eg, crazy physical feats or strokes of incredible luck

5. Impossible in nature. eg, flying people, talking to dead men etc.

 

The mage rolls against his Magic skill - (10% x grade of spell) If he fails he can't remember the incantation and there is no effect. If he succeeds he makes a POW x5 roll for each grade of the spell. For each one that succeeds he loses 1D6 Magic Points; for each one that fails he loses 1 Magic Point. If all succeed the spell works.

 

That's the basics. This system works well in Hârn or any low-power or historical game for a number of reasons:

 

1. It is subtle. Did magic *really* happen or was it just a freak of nature/the will of the gods? Spell effects tend to be more 'natural-looking'.

2. It encourages tactical use of spells, and the same spells may vary in their difficulty depending on circumstances. A freak wave washing away your enemies would be Impossible (or at least Wildly Improbable) in the desert, but might be merely Unlikely on a rocky promontory by a stormy ocean.

 

You can vary the system by how expensive magic is to cast. There are also specialist mages who study a particular realm of influence (eg. fire magic) for whom the difficulty grade is reduced by one when casting spells related to their specialty. It is great little system which encourages cleverness, inventiveness and roleplaying (or at least tactics and positioning) from mage players.

 

* Actually it *is* being reprinted; there's a pdf available at Maelstrom - Arion Games | Maelstrom | RPGNow.com)

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2016 at 7:04 AM, rsanford said:

No I see your point. I think I am going to let the sorcerers (demon summoners really) have access to Mongoose's Stormbringer Runemagic.  Then I can write a rune on a wall that prevents gates and such...

I think a lot of rune magic involves a permanent investment of POW, which makes sense to me for any long-lasting effects. (In general I like the idea of sacrificing POW to maintain a long-lasting spell; the spell caster gets the POW back when the spell ceases and is also aware of the spell's end, via 'spooky action at a distance'). However it could be tricky persuading most sorcerers to part with their POW even temporarily to put protective runes on the average tower dungeon. Of course the common-ness of magic and the availability of POW gains in your campaign might assuage this. In my Nehwon campaign, magic is quite uncommon and sorcerers are feared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/7/2016 at 2:53 PM, tooley1chris said:

My group has stuck with Deep Magic as written (for the most part).

My biggest obstacle as a Chronicler has been permanency. 

One of my players figured if he used Flesh and Alteration he could heal wounds. Fine. But then tried Spirit and Summon to cause a resurrection effect.

Now they have a Raise Dead machine so I nipped it and said it costs a permanent point of POW. That stung a little (as it should), but now he is wondering if he could enchant an item with a spell and sacrifice the POW to make it permanent. The other players have started referring to his character as "god". 

Have some work to do with this...

Say something like, he can enchant the item and sacrifice the POW but every time it is used, it takes another point in order to properly bring the person back to life. If he complains, point out how he is trying to god mod the game and that you have to place limiters so that your story can survive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/17/2016 at 8:48 PM, Questbird said:

One of the magic systems I use is the Maelstrom magick system. It is elegant, freeform and subtle, and encourages strategic and situational thinking by the mage player. It is particularly good for low-magic settings. 

 

I remember this one from when I was doing research on HARN!  It is perfection for my Sorcery idea!  I even have that thread bookmarked and then completely forgot it existed!

Thank you

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...