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Friday, May 21, 2010


I'm keeping an eye on FrDave's Blood of Prokopius blog as he attempts to create an effects-based, Champions-style spell construction system for D&D. For a couple reasons:
  • I can point to his final product as a possible spell system for my character class system, for those who don't have D&D books and don't want to use the OGL spell lists for Labyrinth Lord, S&W, or Microlite74;
  • I plan on doing something similar, and I'm glad someone else is doing some of the grunt work.
I've done something similar before: I adapted the TFT Wizard spell system (spells grouped by Int/Mind score needed to learn, powered by fatigue/spell points) to Microlite 20 by finding reference spells for various spell types and detailing how to improve or alter these base spells and calculate the minimum mental stat and point cost. I also did that replacement psionic system for D&D, which needs to be cleaned up, but you can see what I'm interested in doing: defining naming conventions for each class of spell and altering a small list of base spells to create a full list.

It's not exactly the same thing FrDave is working on, though. For one, I'm quite definitely focusing on this as a GM tool to create spell lists rather than a player tool to customize characters. Additionally, I don't think I'll use quite the same amount of spell variability as he's already building into his system: rather than specifying damage, I'd rather have (for example) a fixed damage base spell and a scaled damage base spell; scaled damage is equal to caster's HD, but must be at least 3rd level, while fixed damage does something like (half spell level) x 1d6, plus either:
  • + 1/spell level (ordinary); or,
  • - 1 (modified by additional effect)
The second option is for spells that tag characters with temporary labels or otherwise have additional effects beyond mere damage. Spells themselves can have labels -- in fact, should have at least one, the basic material or force of the spell. For example, a fire spell has bonus and penalties, as well as the normal behavior of fire; this makes it different from a frost spell, which might otherwise just be an ordinary damaging spell.

All of this has to wait a bit. Obviously, finishing Blanc is going to help me conceptualize what I want to do.

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