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Author Topic: Workings of Magic  (Read 4675 times)
TheAuldGrump
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« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2010, 12:05:31 AM »

My own tastes in magic lean toward the Hermetic and Kabalistic - that magic is at its heart a scholarly pursuit, and flexible in its implementation. This does not fit well with the 'pick most of your spells when you create your character' magic system in Fantasy Craft, so I use something else instead.

For the record, my favorite spellcasting systems in RPGs are those in Ars Magica, Rune Quest 3rd Edition, and for D20 style games Elements of Magic. All are flexible, and can support a scholarly approach to magic.

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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2010, 10:29:20 AM »

Greek mythology is full of magic and mythical creatures.  In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus confronts a sorcerer on an island who turned men into pigs.

That's a woman, Kirki and she doesn't actually weave any spells in the traditional way but employs concoctions that transform.(which could easily be divine in origin as it was Hermes who gave Odysseus an antidote I recall)
But I am getting sidetracked with this...back to magic


For the record, my favorite spellcasting systems in RPGs are those in Ars Magica, Rune Quest 3rd Edition, and for D20 style games Elements of Magic. All are flexible, and can support a scholarly approach to magic.

The Auld Grump

Although I understand what you mean(I've been meaning to play Ars magica and runequest for years and never got the chance)
as its the way I view magic myself; I respectfully disagree that you cant use that in FC.
You may choose from the beginning and not create one on the fly combining elements(like in Mage for instance) but explaining the scholarly part could be done via role-playing,your setting,the characters background and not to mention that you could fit that aspect into how you gain spells each time
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« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2010, 12:05:38 PM »

My own tastes in magic lean toward the Hermetic and Kabalistic - that magic is at its heart a scholarly pursuit, and flexible in its implementation. This does not fit well with the 'pick most of your spells when you create your character' magic system in Fantasy Craft, so I use something else instead.

For the record, my favorite spellcasting systems in RPGs are those in Ars Magica, Rune Quest 3rd Edition, and for D20 style games Elements of Magic. All are flexible, and can support a scholarly approach to magic.

The Auld Grump

Are you talking about mechanics in which the players are able to create their own unique spells within certain boundries or are you talking about the players having to only be able to learn the spells they come across in their travels (for example if they found a magical tome that contained spells they've never seen)?
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« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2010, 12:39:33 PM »

I always found it interesting to have players find spells ... but then I also find it more interesting to have players map out the dungeon and only correcting them if they have Cartography or Mapmaking as a Profession
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« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2010, 02:12:16 PM »

I always found it interesting to have players find spells ... but then I also find it more interesting to have players map out the dungeon and only correcting them if they have Cartography or Mapmaking as a Profession
Same here..so it was a pleasant surprise to find that aspect in ES4-Oblivion where you need to read spell tomes and/or find someone to teach you
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« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »

With the advent of most living campaigns, the art of having the players draw the map was lost and making them figure how to get back out was forgotten.
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TheAuldGrump
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« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2010, 10:27:31 PM »

My own tastes in magic lean toward the Hermetic and Kabalistic - that magic is at its heart a scholarly pursuit, and flexible in its implementation. This does not fit well with the 'pick most of your spells when you create your character' magic system in Fantasy Craft, so I use something else instead.

For the record, my favorite spellcasting systems in RPGs are those in Ars Magica, Rune Quest 3rd Edition, and for D20 style games Elements of Magic. All are flexible, and can support a scholarly approach to magic.

The Auld Grump

Are you talking about mechanics in which the players are able to create their own unique spells within certain boundaries or are you talking about the players having to only be able to learn the spells they come across in their travels (for example if they found a magical tome that contained spells they've never seen)?
The former. I much prefer a spellcrafting system to a simple rote spell based one.

As for @stroval's 'you can do it through roleplaying', I call malarkey. If you know most of spells that you will ever know before the game even begins then it is not a matter of scholarship - you are not larnin', you already know the danged spells. (And one of the main reasons that I do not use the Crafty magic system in either FC or SC2.0.) It actually rates slightly below D&D's magic system in this regard. At least in D&D when a wizard finds a spell he can attempt to learn it. In FC if he finds a spell then the next time he increases his spellcasting he can pretend to learn it, or pretend to learn any fershluginner spell he feels like, even if he can't cast it, and may never be able to cast it.

Yuck.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that I can do a quick cob job on, and get them to work with FC or Spycraft. So while I do not like the system it does not irk me in the same fashion that the Forge system does. While it actually annoys me more than the Forge, the fix is much easier. So, I can roll with what I prefer, and move on from there, blithely ignoring the Crafty system. Elements of Magic is fairly close to what I want, and allows for improvisational spellcasting. The fit with the system is not perfect, but the fit with my preferences is much closer.

The Astral magic system that Morg has been working on is a better system than that of base FC in some ways, even though it is less flexible. It just holds together better, it has better verisimilitude. Not a matter of learning spells, but of learning to use innate abilities.

I have also ported the magic system from Call of Cthulhu D20 to Spycraft, it works surprisingly well, substituting Stress damage for San damage.

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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2010, 02:09:30 PM »

I agree that it's very nice that the Crafty system is not set up such that the game balances everything assuming you are using magic the way they have it.
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« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2010, 06:34:39 PM »

As for @stroval's 'you can do it through roleplaying', I call malarkey. If you know most of spells that you will ever know before the game even begins then it is not a matter of scholarship - you are not larnin', you already know the danged spells. (And one of the main reasons that I do not use the Crafty magic system in either FC or SC2.0.) It actually rates slightly below D&D's magic system in this regard. At least in D&D when a wizard finds a spell he can attempt to learn it. In FC if he finds a spell then the next time he increases his spellcasting he can pretend to learn it, or pretend to learn any fershluginner spell he feels like, even if he can't cast it, and may never be able to cast it.

Yuck.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that I can do a quick cob job on, and get them to work with FC or Spycraft. So while I do not like the system it does not irk me in the same fashion that the Forge system does. While it actually annoys me more than the Forge, the fix is much easier. So, I can roll with what I prefer, and move on from there, blithely ignoring the Crafty system. Elements of Magic is fairly close to what I want, and allows for improvisational spellcasting. The fit with the system is not perfect, but the fit with my preferences is much closer.

The Astral magic system that Morg has been working on is a better system than that of base FC in some ways, even though it is less flexible. It just holds together better, it has better verisimilitude. Not a matter of learning spells, but of learning to use innate abilities.

I have also ported the magic system from Call of Cthulhu D20 to Spycraft, it works surprisingly well, substituting Stress damage for San damage.

The Auld Grump

Hmm...
Well I still believe that you can affect how/when you gain spells (and the amount of them with which you start if you wish) and be able to have some form of training/research  in the meantime.
It's not spell-crafting as we all posted earlier but its still a nice system.

I haven't touched the Cthullu merchandise as I despise anything Lovecraft(each to his own)
but ''Elements of Magic" seem vaguely familiar
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« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2010, 06:45:43 PM »

A quick search regarding EOM revealed this as well:

http://www.reweaving.org/elements.html

'real' magic users that train people....
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TheAuldGrump
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2010, 10:58:19 PM »

I am passing fond of EoM - with Elements of Magic: Mythic Earth being the one that I am using for my Steamcraft game. Like Mage the magic is based around Traditions of magic - with various skills determined by which Traditions you are familiar with. I came up with several traditions to fit my setting, and ditched a few that annoyed me. Squirrelomancy and Animeism (not Animism - Animeism... magic based on Anime...) I thought that the game would be better without.

I have heard good things about EoM Revised, and have looked at it, but have not put it up on jacks to see how it looks underneath. The versions I am talking about are here. That site you linked to looked interesting, but.... Tongue

I also liked Bonewits's Authentic Thaumaturgy (now produced by Steve Jackson Games), though I don't think that I have ever met anybody who ever actually used it in a game.

I favor flexibility and flavor over simplicity, though the system in EoM:ME is not overly complex. It comes fairly close to what I want, and fits my preferences much better than base FC.

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« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2010, 02:41:41 AM »

Magic in my WiP setting is inspired in part by the magic in the anime Record of Lodoss War.  I think it fits the Fantasy Craft system very well.  They seem to command or ask magic to help them, explaining the use of Charisma as the attribute for spell save DCs. 

Magic is like a semi-intelligent, living force - hungry, instinctual, and fickle.  As a living force that permeates everything in the world, the spells-known mechanic can be explained.  Magic interacts with everyone in different ways (your particular spell selections) and those that can learn to harness magic more effectively untap more of their "spells-known".  It requires arduous study to discover how you can use magic or to try and bend it and change it, but you must also be forceful and persuasive.  I like this idea because it kind of dispels the idea of the wizard being a bookwormy geek!

-SoD
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« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2010, 08:40:44 AM »

Magic in my WiP setting is inspired in part by the magic in the anime Record of Lodoss War.

Btw, originally, RoLW was a transcript of D&D RPG sessions.
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« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2010, 10:09:12 PM »

I can see it!  I have watched the series through a few times and I always find myself splitting it into chunks (combats, RP, etc.).  I just watched the Legend of Crystania movie and OVA.  While the movie was ok, the OVA stunk!
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« Reply #44 on: May 10, 2010, 08:49:29 AM »

The idea of magic as intelligent is exactly one of the reason I developed "my strikes back after being controlled for centuries" idea.  When you have both "arcane" and "divine" magic as separate types it actually helps my conceptualizing if arcane has its own intelligent force.  Otherwise I end up with a lot of questions on who gets to control what and why and how.  (I mean if gods an control magic and grant power to their worshipers can mortals who control magic do the same?)

Though one idea I once had was that "arcane" magic was actually just divine magic granted by one god who preferred devotion to study and knowledge over devotion to him/her/it.  So instead of the usual way of lumping the divine (i.e. healer) casters into the arcane method that a lot of people tend to advocate you instead had the arcane method being a subset of the divine method.  (Which could totally be done in FantasyCraft with the Path of Magic.)

I also think it would be fun to have a world where spellcasting required intense physical action.  So all casters were also martial artists.  Yeah, very Last Airbender, but I like how it adds casters into the coreography of battle where traditional method make them just stand around.
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