I hadn’t planned a follow-up to the post on magical gestures so soon, but Stefan Poag blogged on essentially the same topic yesterday: What if a magic-user loses a finger? And in the comments, we discussed the related question: What if someone cuts out a magic-user’s tongue? Or what about the Silence spell?
Again, it’s a matter of your concept of how magic works. I imagine the magician conjuring up magical forces and linking them to a specific mnemonic phrase/gesture combo as a trigger. The gesture is sort of a safe-guard, so that if the magician accidentally says “abracadabra” during a conversation, no spell is actually cast because there’s also a gesture required.
Spells must be spoken and a gesture made to direct the power. If unable to speak, the magician can attempt to cast the spell silently, but this requires a concentration roll:
- 1d6 per spell level
- halve spell level if only partially incapacitated
- total <= Intelligence = success
- otherwise, magician stands there and grimaces.
Perhaps there should be an “extreme failure” result as well, but I’m trying to think of one that isn’t too gimmicky.
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