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Mixing RQ III and BRP magic systems


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This weekend my group decided to start a fantasy campaign again, as our long-running D&D Greyhawk adventure ended a while ago. I convinced them to try RQ III/BRP, and we chose the Iron Kingdoms setting where we had some pretty fun adventures in the past, using the True20 rules last time.

Now before we can start, I've got some work todo and would appreciate any help there. I don't think I'll have any problems with the steampunk side of things, as BRP already has rules for firearms and robots are robots, whether they're called 'steamjacks' or not...

But I'm still not sure about the magical choices. First, let's get some premises down:

* We've got several big faith systems and divine magic exists.

* There's an Earth Mother faith that seems more animistic.

* People can study to become wizards.

* Wild talents, aka.a Witches are feared among the populace.

* Minor wild talents exist that can channel magic for song (bards) or more martial endeavors ('gunmages')

Now I've basically got two issues. First, the witch/wizard dichotomy. This clearly stems from the different classes in 3rd edition D&D, but it's so nicely written into the background and especially our starting adventure that I definitely want to keep it -- even emphasize the difference if possible.

I thought of using Magic and Sorcery, one for the academics, one for the wizards. I'm not entirely sure how to distribute things. The more error-prone nature of Magic would seem appropriate for Witches/Sorcerers, but on the other hand it could represent a more studious approach that lets you truly 'get' magic whereas your hedge warlock has to resort to superstitious spells -- and maybe consort with demons and evil spirits.

The other issue is what I'll do with shamanism and divine magic. Both Magic and Sorcery somehow look like different versions of the RQ III systems, so I don't know how much things will clash. I could live without shamanism and just use Earth Mother divine magic for that kind of stuff. It's still pretty close to Sorcery after that and I'm not entirely sure about Initiates -- it will make things less deadly, but do I want divine magic that common.

I actually thought about using either Psychics or Superpowers for that, but both seem to require some major rewording not to disturb the flavor.

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If you are familiar with RQ3, you can also opt to use the MRQ SRD (the Luxury edition downloadable from this site is a good compendium, and it is free to use under the OGL). All three magic systems are usable although they require some tweak (see the MRQ Wiki for suggested corrections), and the enchanting system is one of the easiest and more playable I have ever found in a D100 system. Unfortunately, the rules for Shamanism are in the Cults of Glorantha vol. 2 book, which is NOT free. A shame because they are good and not too Gloranthan.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I think that I still have the MRQ 'Deluxe' book somewhere, but think I was quite disappointed with some of the changes. I just read the SRD entries about the magic systems and it's not that much better compared to RQ III. I still like BRP Magic/Sorcery better than the one in the SRD. Divine Magic one the other hand has some interesting concepts. I'm not so sure about the reduced POW. Wouldn't this result in divine practictioners being more susceptible if they're still laden with spells?

But still, I like the prayer rules and the reduced chance of success. Priests would simply be characters with a high Theology skill who don't have to pay, yet are expected to simply donate 90% of their normal earnings anyway.

I would have to group spells along the guidelines of RQ III, so that there isn't that much overlap. Then the animistic religions could just be a variant, yet some shamans could easily be sorcerers.

That would leave me with 3 magic systems:

* Magic - One skill per magic spell (well, spell category)

* Sorcery - 100% chance of success

* Divine Magic - One skill to rule 'em all.

I think I got the Bronze Grimoire for Elric!, so I think I've got enough spells and spell descriptions to make Divine spells and Sorcery spells different enough. I'm almost tempted to make Sorcery POW x 5, though...

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