Saturday, April 24, 2010

Replacing maps with areas

This is something I've been toying with for awhile, one thing I don't like about tactical level map combat is it forces characters into a certain place. In reality combat involves a lot of moving about and repositioning. I had been setting up various rules for being forces to shift 1 square/inch per defense roll made etc etc.

But I don't even like map combat. I am instead thinking about extending the "Tag" system used in weapons and armour to areas of combat.

Rather than worrying about exact positioning, players would be situated in an "Area", the area would have a few descriptors on it to give mechanical changes to those in that "area". A narrow walkway might have the caveat that any epic failures of an agility check means you fall over the edge. A burning building might have a check to see for fire damage (and potentially a check to see if things fall on you). Characters would then move about area to area to keep an abstract view of who is fighting "in the camp" and who is "in the woods".

This would also simplify area of effect spells, as rather than needing to worry about blast radius and such, it just has a chance of impacting you if you are in "that area". If a fireball goes off in the camp, and you are in the camp, there is a chance you get hit.

I am still working out the specifics, but I like the sound of it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A complete spell list: Text Excerpt from Piecemeal 1e

Well, work being work I'm strapped for time, so I'm phoning it and giving a complete text extract from Piecemeal, the complete Wizard's spell list. See below:

Mechanics
Casting spells, mechanically, involves several steps. A wizard announces the spell to be cast, selects a power level for the spell, pays any mana costs and then casts the spell in the place of a normal attack or other action. A wizard cannot cast a spell that has a difficulty greater than the wizard’s spellpower, or with a mana cost the wizard cannot afford to pay. A wizard’s spellpower is also modified by any agility check penalties the wizard is suffering from.
A wizard must also choose a power level for most spells. Increasing the spells power level will increase its difficulty, mana cost and overall change the scope of the spell.


Spell Components
Spell components are a largely undefined range of items that can be used in casting spells. Almost anything can work as a spell component to the right spell. It is up to the player to invent spell components and then work with the GM to figure out the benefits the component grants; it is an exercise in player creativity. Anything from the body parts of rare creatures (such as a dragons skull) to unplanned items that present themselves, such as standing next to a fire when casting fireball. The more rare and inventive an item’s description the more powerful it should be. A goblin skull and the skull of a goblin shaman decapitated with a silver blade under the full moon on a mountain peak will generate different levels of power even if they are the same item. Spell components can also include non-physical components such as songs or ritualized dance.
Spell components generally act in one or more of the following ways: lowering the difficulty or mana costs by a set amount, lowering the difficulty or mana cost per power level, or changing the rate at which power levels accrue.
A key concern with spell components is inventory management as all spell components must be kept separately. This means each type of component must be stored in a separate encumbrance ‘dot’. Contamination of components can be deadly. The final thing to remember is that components should never be mandatory, merely used as a bonus.


Mystical Failure
If a wizard is struck while casting a spell, or otherwise distracted, the spell’s difficulty is increased by the amount of the damage the wizard received. If a spell’s difficulty increases to the point it can no longer be cast, it fails. If it fails by 5 or more it causes a mystical disaster.
To resolve a mystical disaster, roll a d4. On a 1 the wizard is stunned for a number of rounds equal to the number of dice rolled, on a 2, the wizard takes an amount of damage equal to the total number of dice rolled, on a 3 the wizard accidentally summons a number of imps, sprites or other mystic creatures equal to the number of dice rolled and on a 4, the wizard rolls another die.


Learning and Memorizing Spells
To cast a spell a wizard must have it memorized. This takes about an hour per ‘memory slot’ a spell requires. For most spells, this is a single memory slot. A wizard can know any amount of spells, but the wizard can only have so many memorized at one point. This encourages wizards to have well stocked libraries. Any starting character who is able to cast spells begins the game with two spells.
A wizard must periodically brush up on any memorized spells or they will fade from memory, a wizard can forget one spell to memorize another spell at any time. The wizard can also spend a skill point to have the spell permanently memorized.
The spells listed in piecemeal are generic variants devoid of real flavour. These spells are to be used as templates and additional details added. For example the spell template ‘bolt’ lists that it deals a certain number of dice worth of damage. ‘Marvin’s Magnificent Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Kevorko’s Acid Blast’ would both be specific examples of that template. Lightning bolt would ignore metal armour and potentially start fires while acid blast might do repeating damage and could melt locks.


The Wizard's Grimoire


Please choose a spell from the drop down list.


Bind Enchantment


Difficulty: 4 per power level
Mana: 2 (cumulative) per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell allows a wizard to increase the length of a spell’s duration indefinitely. Until the spell is dispelled, the wizard may not regain any of the mana spent in the casting of this spell, it is locked into the binding spell. If the spell is dispelled, the wizard can regain the mana but will suffer a ‘mystical disaster’ immediately as the power comes rushing back. One way to remove the negative impacts of this spell is to combine it with a trigger spell; the trigger would specify a means to cancel the binding rather than activating it. This spell must have an equal or greater power level than the spell being bound.


Charm


Difficulty: 1(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 1(cumulative) per power level
Range: Sight/Audible
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell grants the caster +1 sway and presence against the target, providing they fail a saving throw. This spell will last for 10 (doubling) minutes per power level.


View Veil


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: Visual
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to detect magical auras and pierce the veil over the mundane world. The caster will see coloured outlines around any magical beings (including other wizards) items or spells. This makes the spell useful for detecting the invisible and incorporeal. The caster can also see the amount and types of magical energy in the area in the forms of foggy and coloured clouds. Creatures or items that currently lack mana or magical power will not be highlighted by this spell. This spell will last for 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Embiggen (Debigulate)


Difficulty: 4(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 5(cumulative) per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 0
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the target to grow (or shrink) by one size modifier per power level of the spell if they fail a saving throw. Thus a normal sized human could be increased to a size modifier of 2 or decreased to a size modifier of 1/2. Note that embiggen and debigulate are two different spells and knowing one does not guarantee the wizard knows how to cast the opposing spell. This spell will last for 1 minute per power level.


Blast


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 4 per power level
Range: Medium Missile Range
Speed: 2
Memory: 1 memory slot

Blast represents the myriad of spells that cause a deadly explosion. The caster will hurl an explosive ball at a target location, which will explode upon impact. Any caught in the blast radius will suffer one die of damage per power level of the spell; the damage die is normally a d6. The blast diameter is 10 feet per level of the spell. Saving throws are allowed as normal.


Bolt


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Long Missile Range
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

Bolt represents any of the many offensive spells that allow a wizard to target a lone individual with deadly force. The bolt will arc out automatically at the target and deal 1 die of damage per power level of the spell; the damage die is normally a d6. This spell either hits or it does not, and will not cause partial damage on a saving throw.


Cone


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: 5 feet per power level
Speed: 3
Memory: 1 memory slot

Cone represents any offensive spell that features a billowing array expanding outward from the caster such as fire breath, chain lightning or a blast of freezing air. The cone will have a diameter at any point equal to the distance from the caster. So 5 feet out from the caster, the cone will have a diameter of 5 feet. The spell will deal 1 die of damage per power level of the spell, reducing by 1 die for every five feet from the caster, until it reaches 0 dice. The damage die is usually a d6. Saving throws are allowed.


Damaging Touch


Difficulty: 1(cumulative) per power level.
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

Damaging touch is any spell where the caster’s unarmed attacks deal more damage, from draining life force to a flaming hand or shocking grasp. The wizard’s unarmed damage increases by 1 die size per power level of this spell, up to a maximum of a d12. If a caster wishes to upgrade to a d20 the caster must increase 4 additional power levels past a d12, and 5 additional power levels past a d20 to reach a d30. This spell will last for 1 round per power level of this spell.


Summon


Difficulty: 1d8 per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: 10 to the power of the spell's power level in meters
Speed: 1(doubling) round per power level
Memory: 3 memory slots

The spell allows the caster to summon a specific individual to his or her location. The caster must know the exact location of the target or they may summon the wrong individual. If the target has failed a saving throw to avoid being summoned, they may still make a magic check, modified by luck to see if they are summoned to the correct location. If they pass this check they are instead expelled somewhere in the caster’s region, no more than 5 miles or a quarter of the spell’s range (whichever is less) from the caster, stripped of anything not securely fastened to them (those items being strewn about the region as well). A priest on holy ground, or a character who has previously succeeded in a saving throw against this specific summon spell cannot be summoned by this spell unless they actively choose to allow it.


Channeling


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 0
Range: 10 meters per power level
Speed: 1 round per power level
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell is used to recharge the mana stores of the caster. The spell draws in magical energy from the world around the caster, depleting it until natural restoration for the area occurs. Thus if multiple wizards are using this spell, the first wizard may very well drain the area, leaving none for the other wizard. This spell allows the caster to siphon up to 3(cumulative) points of mana per power level of the spell. Different versions of this spell may be able to tap into different forms of energy.
As a side note,towers or standing architecture are often used as a spell component.


Trigger


Difficulty: +5
Mana: +5
Range: Touch
Speed: +1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell is used to set a condition for another spell to either activate or deactivate. Trigger is cast alongside the main spell; each version of this spell has its own trigger. A common version of this spell uses casting trigger independently of other spells as the activation. If you wanted a spell to be able to ‘toggle’ on and off, it would require casting two additional triggers with the main spell. Unless otherwise modified by a spell component a spell that is deactivated by a trigger still counts down its duration as normal, the effects are merely masked. A spell with no duration (such as a blast) cannot be toggled.


Teleport


Difficulty: 1d4 per power level
Mana: 5(cumulative) per power level
Range: 10(doubling) meters per power level
Speed: 2
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to move to a location known to them, along with any carried possessions or people (within encumbrance).


Glow


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 4
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the target to be outlined with a faint glow, illuminating up to 1(cumulative) foot per power level. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Mind Invasion


Difficulty: 6 per power level
Mana: 10 per power level
Range: touch
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to mentally interrogate the target of the spell. The caster can engage in social conflict with the target about a specific issue the caster wishes to see addressed. The target may not claim stubborn refusal for any requests for information, as this represents the caster physically ripping the memories from the target’s mind. While the caster must score influence as normal, any influence the target scores against the caster is treated as damage. The caster gains +1 presence per power level for this matter.


Blurred Form


Difficulty: 1(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell blurs the outline of the caster, giving the caster +1 to both hiding checks and dodge rolls per power level. This benefit will last for 1 minute per power level.


Polymorph


Difficulty: Variable
Mana: 3 per point of difficulty
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 5
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to transform the target into something else. Each version of this spell has a different difficulty and transforms the target into something different. The target maintains their intelligence when transformed, though that may degrade over time. This spell will last for one day normally, unless altered by spell components or made permanent.

Below are some sample difficulties:
Toad 10
Humanoid 5
Dragon 25


Message


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 3(cumulative) per power level
Range: 25(doubling) meters per power level
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

The caster can send an audible message to a recipient. The caster must know the recipient personally (and his exact location) to have a two-way communication. If the communication involves a visual image of the caster, double the spell’s power level. The spell will allow a message length of 1 minute per power level.


Scry


Difficulty: 5 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: 10(doubling) meters per power level
Speed: 1 hour
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to see an image of the target as they currently exist. The target must be known to the caster, as must their location. By doubling the difficulty, the caster can hear audible noise as well. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Obfuscation


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1(cumulative) per power level
Range: 5(cumulative)cubic feet per power level
Speed: 1
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell creates a billowing bank of thick fog, magical darkness, acrid smoke or other method of obfuscation depending on the specific version of the spell. This causes no breathing difficulties but blocks normal vision. Strong winds, bright lights or other appropriate actions can quickly dissipate the effects of this spell.


Illusion


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 4 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1 round per power level
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to create an illusion within a 5-foot radius per power level. The difficulty is multiplied by the number of senses utilized, and doubled again if interactivity is included. The spell has a duration of 5(doubling) minutes per power level. If someone disbelieves the illusion (specifying a reason why) they may make an awareness check modified by intelligence to see through the illusion.


Flash


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

The spell causes everyone within the range (centered on the caster) to be blinded by a flash of brilliant light for a d6 rounds. The wizard is unaffected.


Identify


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 7 per power level
Range: touch
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows a caster to understand what spells a person or item is impacted by. The caster may make an awareness check per power level to identify spells cast upon the target; each successful awareness check identifies one spell. The caster also knows the power level of each spell, up to the power level of this spell. So if a target was under the sway of a power level 5 charm and a level 3 glamour, a power level 4 identify spell would let the caster know the target is has a power level 3 glamour and a power level 4 or greater charm.


Flight


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell allows himself or someone else to fly for the spell’s duration. The caster flies at a rate of 1(cumulative) per power level. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) minute per power level. The difficulty and mana costs per power level are three times greater if the caster casts this spell upon someone else.


Shield


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell creates a shield made out of pure force that hovers in front of the caster blocking incoming blows. This shield has a combat modifier equal to the spell’s power level, and can block a number of blows equal to the spell’s power level each round. The wizard may focus on other tasks and may still make their own normal defense rolls during the spell's duration, which lasts 2(cumulative) rounds per power level.


Barrier


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 6 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell creates a wall or barrier with a size and shape of the caster’s choice. This barrier has a length of up to 5(cumulative) feet per power level and a height of up to 5 feet per power level. Depending on the exact version of this spell it will either be a solid or damaging barrier. A solid barrier (force field, briars, ice, etc) can absorb 10 points of damage per power level, with a DR of 1 per power level. A damaging barrier (fire, lightning, poison gas, etc) will do 1 die of damage (usually a d6) per power level of the spell if someone attempts to cross the barrier and 1 die of damage if they merely touch the barrier. The magical portion of the barrier has a duration of 5(cumulative) minutes per power level, after that point any materials conjured by the spell will remain. For example, an ice barrier would leave a large slab of ice behind that would melt normally while a poison gas barrier would leave a cloud of poison gas behind that would drift and settle normally.


Bubble of Protection


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the caster to be surrounded by an energy shield that absorbs incoming attacks. The shield can absorb 1 point of damage per power level before dissipating. The shield has a DR of 1 for every 3 power levels.


Armouring


Difficulty: 1(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 2
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell grants the caster a DR against physical attacks equal to the spell’s power level. Depending on the version of the spell can be through magical body paint, energy fields, hardening the wizard’s clothing or other methods. This spell will last for 5 minutes per power level.


Water Breathing


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to breathe water as if it were air. It also means (in most versions of the spell) that the caster breathes air as if it was water. This spell has a duration of 5(cumulative) minutes per power level.


Regeneration


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to heal injuries they suffer. The caster heals a number of body points (not luck) each round equal to the power level of this spell. Injuries suffered from fire, acid or from magic weapons will not heal with most versions of this spell (barring spell components). This spell has a duration of 1 round per power level.


Shriek


Difficulty: 8
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: Audible
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the caster to emit a devastating scream to all who could hear the caster if they spoke normally. Those affected may make a saving throw each round or be stuck grasping their ears in agony (checks to pass or fail are made each round). If the caster is struck the effect ends immediately, the caster can do nothing else besides shriek. This spell will last for 1 round per power level.


Leap


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1(cumulative) per power level
Range: 5 feet per power level
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to leap from standing the full range of the spell. An agility check, modified by luck, is required for a successful landing. Long leaps with unsuccessful landings may result in damage.


Night Vision


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: 1/4 normal vision
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to see in the dark up to a quarter of the distance they could see in optimal light. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Secure Portal


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 7
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to hold fast (as if locked or bolted) a door, gate, valve or similar device. The door can still be opened by normal means (such as kicking down the door). For every power level of this spell, a –1 penalty is applied to attempting to force down a door or similar device. For every 5 power levels an additional portal may be secured. This spell will last for 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Telekinesis


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: 1(cumulative) foot per power level
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to reach out and manipulate items with his mind. The caster can push, pull, grab and grapple but not strike directly. The caster has an effective ‘strength’ of 1 per power level. The spell has a duration of 1 round per power level, but the caster must maintain concentration to use this spell for more than one round. This spell can be used without a verbal component by increasing its difficulty by 1d4.


Simulacrum


Difficulty: 10 per power level
Mana: 12 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1 hour per power level
Memory: 8 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to turn in inanimate representation of a being into an obedient servant, such as statue or doll. The composition of the object to be turned into a simulacrum is limited by the version of the spell, ‘Stone Guardian’ may require a humanoid stone statue while ‘Void Knight’ may require a suit of armour and cloth and ‘Nightmare Fuel’ may require a stuffed animal. The animate object will have a ability scores determined by the version of the spell, ‘Stone Guardian’ may have a high strength and low agility while ‘Nightmare Fuel’ may be the opposite. The simulacrum can take 2(cumulative) points of damage per power level before the spell is dispelled and has no combat or stealth modifier. A simulacrum may be used as a receptacle for an imprison spell, in which case the simulacrum has the combat and stealth modifier of the imprisoned spirit. This spell may be cast upon larger or smaller items by multiplying the difficulty and mana costs by the size modifier. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) hour per power level.


Sleep


Difficulty: 5 per power level
Mana: 10 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes those within its radius to drift off for the duration (unless attacked). This spell has a radius of 1 meter per power level and a duration of 1 minute per power level. A target can only suffer from a single version of a sleep spell once per day, regardless of if they succeeded or failed a saving throw.


Spell Storage


Difficulty: +1 per power level
Mana: +1 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: +1 round per power level
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to store another spell into a physical item such as a potion, scroll, runic pendant or even a foodstuff. The exact nature of the storage medium is based on the version of the spell, 'Brew Potion' and 'Rune of Storage' would be two different spells, while really narrow and specialized versions of the spell would only allow the storage of an individual spells such as 'Brew Regeneration Potion'. The stored spell will be activated when the item is used (such as drinking a potion, disturbing or breaking a rune, reading a scroll) or when a trigger (see trigger spell) is activated. The spell will treat the activator as the 'caster' and the target. If someone drank a potion of water breathing it would affect him or her, likewise if they read a scroll of fireball the fireball would go off centered on the reader of the scroll. The spell stored in the physical item will weaken by 1 power level per week. This can be altered by spell components or by storing the item in a perfect location (such as a potion in an icehouse or a scroll in a desert.)


Glamour


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to change their appearance (as well as potentially the voice and smell depending on the version of the spell) to that of another individual in the eyes of a single target per power level. If the target is familiar with the individual the caster is impersonating they make an awareness check to see through the disguise, otherwise a saving throw is only allowed if the target suspects something. This spell lasts for 10(doubling) minutes per power level.


Warding


Difficulty: 5(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 10(cumulative) per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1(doubling) hour per power level
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell makes a personal sized piece of equipment into a magical item. The item gains a +1 magical bonus for each power level of the spell, beyond the first up to +5. For example, a power level 1 spell would grant a +0 bonus, while a power level 6 spell would grant a +5 bonus. This spell has a duration of 1(doubling) hour per power level.


Enhanced Capacity


Difficulty: * per power level
Mana: * per power level
Range: 1 sealable container or room
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to increase the holding capacity of a container. The * is the number of dots the container can normally hold. The spell increases capacity by * dots per power level. The spell has a duration of 10(doubling) minutes per power level, when the spell ends, any excess matter is either compacted or extruded through portals (lids, doors, etc), choosing the path of least resistance.


Weakness (Strength)


Difficulty: 2(cumulative) per power level
Mana: 3(cumulative) per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the target to gain or lose (depending on version of spell) 1 strength per power level. Note that these are two different spells that function very similar.


Silence


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 2
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell renders sound impossible within its radius, preventing most spells from being cast. This spell has a duration of 5 minutes per power level and a radius of 5 feet per power level.


Raise Undead


Difficulty: 4 per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: 1 meter(cumulative) per power level
Speed: 1 minute
Memory: 5 memory slots

This spell causes the caster to animate 1(cumulative) corpse or spirit (depending on version of the spell) within range per power level. Any heroes or villains in this radius who are raised may become free willed undead. Roll a d20 per hero or villain, if the roll is less than the characters level x the number of milestones passed, they become free willed. A caster can control 1(cumulative) undead creature per level per version of this spell memorized. If the caster dies all of his undead are destroyed, though free willed undead may be allowed a saving throw. Undead created in this manner suffer 1(cumulative) damage per round from direct sunlight.


Portal


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 3(cumulative) per power level
Range: 10(doubling) meters per power level
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to open a magical portal. Stepping into the portal will have you emerge from another portal within the spells range, thus it is required that at least two portals be cast. Each portal must be cast from the same version of the spell, and it is possible that one portal will have a range greater than its corresponding portal, making a trip one way. If more than one portal are in range the user of a portal will emerge from a random portal within range. If the version of the spell shows the other side of the portal (some do, some do not) the character may be able to try and ‘time’ a jump through the portal to find the desired location based on a saving throw. This spell has a duration of 1(doubling) minute per power level


Rune Lock


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1 round per power level
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to lock a door, window, chest or other device with magical runes. The door, window or chest can still be smashed as normal. Those with both the rogue power ‘engineering’ and the wizard power ‘counterspells’ may attempt to ‘pick’ the rune lock; the rune lock has a difficulty equal to this spell’s power level. The caster may unlock the rune lock at will, ending the spell. The spell has a normal duration of 1(cumulative) hour per power level.


Temporal Field


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 5 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 10
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to center a temporal distortion field around the target location, person or item (saving throws as normal). Depending on the version of the spell, this will either increase or decrease the flow of time within the radius. If time is increased, those within the radius experience time at a 1 + the spell’s power level: 1, if time is slowed it is instead a ratio of 1: 1 + the spell’s power level. Thus at power level 2, those in the field either take 3 rounds of actions or every round outside the field OR take 1 round of action for every three rounds outside the field. This spell has a radius of 1(cumulative) meter per power level and a duration (based on external time) of 1(cumulative) minute per power level.


Dispel Magic


Difficulty: 4 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to dispel a magical effect. If the caster knows the spell being cast, it is dispelled automatically. If the caster does not know the spell being cast this spell must have a greater power level than the spell being dispelled. To dispel a permanent spell this spell must have three times the power level.


Incorporeal Form


Difficulty: 3 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 10
Memory: 2 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to assume an incorporeal form. The type of form (ethereal, mist, hologram) is based upon the version of the spell. The wizard would have a movement rate of 1 for every 2 power levels and may be able to move through walls, or slip through cracks depending on the version of the spell. The wizard is immune to mundane physical attacks though may be injured through methods appropriate to the form (such as strong winds against a mist form). This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) round per power level, though the wizard may choose to end it at any time.


Binding Tethers


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 1
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to make a target rope, string, vine, chain, cable or similar item trip, coil, knot, entangle or the reverse thereof. The caster can issue one command per round instead of another action. Attack rolls may be required, the rope has a combat modifier equal to half the spell’s power level and a strength of 2 per power level. The spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) round per power level and affects up to 5 feet of rope(or similar) per power level.


Erase


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1 per power level
Range: 10 feet
Speed: 1
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell removes target non-magical text, images or symbols from existence. It can also remove any magical runes or sigils from a spell known by the caster. The spell can remove such text, images or symbols from a surface area of the spell’s power level in feet by the spell’s power level in feet. Thus a power level 5 spell could remove an area 5 feet by 5 feet of selected pictures, text and symbols.


Safety Fall


Difficulty: 2 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell allows the caster to fall at no more than 5 feet per round unless encumbered. If cast while falling, add 2d6 difficulty when casting. This spell has a duration of 1(cumulative) round per power level.


Fast Feet


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 1(cumulative) per power level
Range: Self
Speed: 5
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell causes the wizard’s base speed to be increased by 1(cumulative) per power level for 10(cumulative) minutes per power level. At sufficient speeds this may allow the caster to run over water or up walls.


Elemental Rune


Difficulty: 8
Mana: 10 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1 round per power level
Memory: 3 memory slots

This spell causes the inscribed item to be affected by one of the elements (specified by the version of the spell). A fire rune would cause a noticeable flame to spring forth (3-4 inches) causing an extra d4 damage, similar runes would exist for cold or lightning. An earth rune would cause the hardness of the inscribed item to be increased by 1. This spell has a duration of 30 minutes per power level.


Petrify


Difficulty: 7 per power level
Mana: 20 per power level
Range: Short Missile Range
Speed: 0
Memory: 4 memory slots

This spell allows the caster to either lock eyes with a target and turn them to stone, or turn the caster himself to stone (depending on the version of the spell). If the target fails their saving throw they are turned to stone for up to the spell’s duration of 1(cumulative) day per power level. In terms of luck point damage to avoid this spell after a failed saving throw, consider it as dealing 20 luck points of damage per power level.


Invisible


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 3 per power level
Range: touch
Speed: 1 round
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell turns the caster invisible for 1(cumulative) minute per power level, or until they suffer 1 point of damage (or equivalent) per power level. Equivalency includes being covered with a substance to make the caster visible such as water or paint. The difficulty and mana costs per power level are five times greater if the caster makes someone else go invisible instead of themselves.


Interference


Difficulty: 1 per power level
Mana: 2 per power level
Range: Medium Missile Range
Speed: 10
Memory: 1 memory slot

This spell makes it more difficult for other wizards to cast spells. The difficulty of all other spells in range is increased by 1 per power level. Any spell the caster knows a spell someone else is attempting to cast; the caster of that spell automatically suffers a mystical failure.


Cantrip


Difficulty: +0
Mana: +1
Range: N/A
Speed: +0
Memory: 0 memory slots

This spell creates a minor magical effect such as sparkles, wisps of vapour, soft coloured light or minor musical effects. This can be cast alongside another spell by increasing that spells difficulty by 1.


Imprison


Difficulty: 5 per power level
Mana: 10 per power level
Range: Touch
Speed: 1 round per power level
Memory: 4 memory slots

This spell locks a mystical or incorporeal creature (such as a ghost, demon, djinn or dryad) into an object. The object itself is always considered a spell component and not always a beneficial one. Living objects require a willing target (including a calm but unaware target). The being is trapped and powerless in the item until the spell expires or the object is broken or interfered with in some way (ie, opening a box or uncorking a bottle). Certain versions of this spell may allow the being to communicate. The spell has a duration of 1(doubling) hour per power level.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Order of the D30: Leading Questions Background Generator

A good method at pickup games, con-games or for when your last character was unexpectedly eaten by a grue and you need to roll up another one RIGHT NOW, is to have a series of leading questions.

I recommend rolling a d30 against the table below and answering the leading the question. I say its a leading question because it forces events and facts upon your character while forcing you to give a context of why.

Example: On a roll of 8 you must answer "What crime do they say you committed?", this forces the fact upon you that people say you committed a crime. A roll of 4 is "Who killed your teacher?", forcing the facts that you both had a teacher and that someone killed them.


Leading Questions Background Generator:

1- How did they die when you were supposed to be on watch?
2- Why can you never return home?
3- Why is the frontier the only place you can make a new life?
4- Who killed your teacher?
5- Why does your family disown you?
6- Why does your brother disown you?
7- Why does your sister disown you?
8- What crime do they say you committed?
9- Why do you despise your parents?
10- Why are you so unsettled by open water?
11- How did you get that scar on your face?
12- How did spending a month scavenging change you?
13- How do you feel knowing that someone died saving your life?
14- Why were you so terribly and nigh fatally bored with your lot in life before?
15- Who gave you that trinket?
16- Why do you feel the need to always keep a razor hidden on you?
17- How did it feel to finally stand victorious, if only barely, against your old rival?
18- Why did you kill the bandit?
19- Why didn't you kill the bandit?
20- How did jail change you?
21- Why did you enlist in the military?
22- Why did you run away from home as a child?
23- Why does your home town love you?
24- Why would your old job take you back in a second?
25- How does it feel to wake up and know you have saved dozens of lives?
26- Why are you welcome any time in the wealthy merchants home?
27- Does it bother you that they named a school after you?
28- What was your near-death experience like?
29- Why did you give all of that money back?
30- Roll twice more, answer both

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not to contradict myself - Piecemeal Update

New update put out: A few new sections (Advanced Social Conflict), also enabled the option to export chapters to text files and included an export to word documents into the file. The text files may not be the prettiest and may be out of context..but its there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Update: Crazy Busy

I'd like to use this moment to put out a brief word to my reader(s). A slight branch of recent overtime is seriously eating into my ability to do much of anything beyond work, eat and sleep. I hope to resume posting more regularily in the next week or two.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How I run undead: Mindless has it's limits

To continue with my previous post about how I run various types of monsters I thought I would continue with the undead, as I find they are also under utilized. Currently I find undead fall into two categories, mindless and low level or highly intelligent and high (or at least mid level). But if you've seen a lot of fantasy movies the undead can be low level and weak but also of average or slightly below intelligence (such as the last unicorn).

Now the mindless zombie swarm has its point, but I also don't feel like needing 50 types of undead that all look the same: like dead people.

So I have only two types of undead: corporeal and incorporeal. Any skeleton, zombie, lich, wight or death knight is a corporeal undead, with different class levels and levels of intelligence. The extra flesh on a zombie would simply count as padded armour, the dried skin on an undead bog person might count as leather. The real variation comes in terms of intelligence and motivation. A skeleton may be a mindless puppet to a necromancer, or might be fully intelligent.

When undead are created by magic they have a chance of coming back as free willed (potentially unbeknown to the caster). A d20 is rolled, if this is less than their level (in life) x the number of milestones they have passed, they become free willed. A level 0 character thus has 0% chance, a level 1 character comes back on a roll of 1, a level 5 on 5 or less, a level 6 character comes back on a 12 or less. An undead with levels will keep their intelligence, class and levels (including luck points).


Non corporeal undead (ghosts, wraiths, spectres, shades, banshees) all work much the same, there are some tweaks depending on the exact spells used to raise the dead as well, they may take damage in sunlight for example.

I like this because it allows the use of undead (including as mindless bad guys you don't have to feel bad about slaughtering), while keeping the option for puzzles, negotiations and deals with the undead. As with the video above, maybe they just want some wine to try and remember what it was like to be alive?