... now with 35% more arrogance!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Clone Project: Fixing Magic

After posting the druidic build-a-spell list to go with the magic-user and cleric spell lists (and the spell statistics,) I started thinking about simplifying it in a couple ways. For one, there needs to be examples of how to determine if a spell creates a Stable or Dynamic State, or whether it's Passive Protection, or other basic categories. This should be worked out by the GM and possibly the player before using it in play, but the example spells should make this easier by including these details in the descriptions.

In fact, I'm thinking these details would be pretty much the entire description: the build-a-spell system will focus on spell names that describe simple events and transformations, combined with a list of spell categories and the modifiers that apply, like so:
  • Create Light (sensory) -- Level I dynamic non-combat, creation
  • Explode Fireball (ranged damage) -- Level III combat, attack
The GM looks up the keywords in parentheses when assigning a spell level, and looks up "dynamic non-combat" and "creation" in play to determine range and duration for Create Light.

The other simplification I'm thinking about is pruning the spell types (keywords) lists. I want to think purely in terms of limits: what spells a particular spell caster can't possibly do, and what spells they can only do after reaching a certain level. There's pretty much no need to list 1st level spell types at all, and some of the other types can be merged or generalized; for example, creation of matter and physical transformation seems to 4th level in general, otherworldly conjuration or communication is 5th, and large-scale physical changes are 6th level. So, all that needs to be noted are exceptions (magic-user can't cause instant death or cheat death (reincarnation spell) until 6th level.

I'll have to work on this some more to see if I can compress it further while making it more useful to the average gamer.

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