Sunday, January 2, 2011

Checking Magic

It's that time, going into the spell lists and making sure the actual spell list matches up to the text of spells, making sure the asterisks signifying reversibility are all consistent, that sort of boring stuff, plus making notes and changing things that were only ever there "just because," and not because they made sense.

For example, going through and standardizing "Permanent" durations (which can be dispelled) and Instantaneous durations (which don't go away but can't be dispelled).

Then throwing in little bits of mischief like making the Death spell Permanent but not Instantaneous just so players and Referees can mess with each other more in the game.

(bringing to mind one possible recipe for Lichdom: Cast Death on yourself. Your corpse must then be prepared in specific ways and then entombed in a specific manner. After being dead for a specific amount of time, long after the body has begun decomposing, the Death spell must be dispelled. If not done properly, lichdom is not achieved, but the revived mage instead is simply awakened to die in agonizing pain since all of his organs are rotted and useless. Good luck setting this one up, you mad, mad wizard you!)

I also changed around how Bless and Prayer work because in a game not about combat, it doesn't make any damn sense to make these things nothing but combat aids. Bless is now a first level spell (Resist Cold got moved to second level) and gives the subject "points" to "spend" on die rolls (pretty much anything other than damage), sorta how Karma worked in the old Marvel Super Heroes game. Makes it an actual useful thing with general applicability instead of a near-negligible combat boost - and yet another option to discourage Cure Light Wounds as the no-brainer first level choice.

Also, many of the duplicate spells between the two Cleric and M-U lists have been removed from one class or the other, focusing what each of them is magically for. For instance, the Cleric is now more strongly an anti-magic class. One classic complaint about the ol' Vancian magic system is its lack of fickleness and danger. Valid, in some ways, but introduce through spells more ways to mess with each others' magic, and, well, problem solved, shall we say. Nothing too major, but by planting the right scrolls for the players (and assigning the right spells for NPC spellcasters), Magic-Users get to sweat things that much more.


  1. You could just make all clerics lawful while you are at it. After all, they are working to bend all of reality to the will of their god/beliefs. Only that sort of certainty makes it possible to get cleric spells.

  2. I'm completely in love with this change to Bless. Will we have to wait for the release to get the details?

  3. Bless-I'm sure the players will still find a way to use this new version in combat. The new pool of points might cause a little confusion and slowdown, imo. Personally, I always thought Bless and Protection From Good/Evil should be the same damn thing...., with possibly a Sanctuary style effect, as well. Curse would naturally do the opposite.(More likelihood of/susceptibility to attacks.) My .02 Euros. :-)

    'Vancian' Magic-No such animal in D&D, just inspired by some elements of the stories. For which, I'm sure the average, casual player will be glad! A game enforcing this style of magic would be Metal indeed.

    Clerics Being Anti-Magic:
    It seems to be THEIR type of magic vs mages' magic from what I've seen. For ostensibly, the aim of their Gods, I'm sure.

    Glad to hear your working apace on LOTFP:GE!

  4. >>Bless-I'm sure the players will still find a way to use this new version in combat.

    Undoubtedly. I don't have a problem with Bless being used to Smite the Unbelievers, I just had a problem with that being pretty much its only function.

    I don't think the spells you mentioned should be the same thing at all. "May you succeed in your tasks due to divine favor," "Ward off evil," and "walk in peace," seem to be very distinct things to me.

  5. @JimLotFP-

    Blessing-I was equating the function of blessing you see in mythology, horror films/novels, certain games to D&D. Ya know monsters can't harm someone Blessed by a Deity. And the converse, that Curses really would suck if they attracted monsters/made it more likely that you'd suffer Bad Consequences, etc... Bless/Curse giving a +1/-1 to hit always seemed kinda weird to me.(Not to even go into Chant, Aid, Prayer, etc...) Mechanically, all the spells I mentioned are distinct, of course. Just putting the idea out there; I understand your rationale, of course.

    Good luck revising the set! It sounds like the shape of the game is changing a bit, very interesting...

  6. The "revisions" aren't that strong.

    System-wise, everything works the same as it did before. A few skills are consolidated, and a few spells are positioned a bit differently (with, really, a new "Bless" spell mechanically replacing the old "Bless" spell, while keeping the same general idea of the spell), but the process of play remains identical.

  7. Still waiting for Insect Shrine of Goblin Hill.

    Your masterpiece.

    Get on with it.

  8. Any idea where I might be able to pick up some of the rulebooks in the US? I haven't seen it anywhere, but it sounds fun.

  9. I like these tweaks, interesting fine tuning there - especially the change to Bless.