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 Post subject: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:16 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:01 am
Posts: 19
Please!

Is there an arcane/divine split?
Can Mages wear armor?
Is their rule for rituals (great for the BBG) and/or item creation?

Magic systems make or break a fantasy game for me, so that is the 1st place go to in a new system. Well, right after the Character Sheet anyway. :D


Thanks in advance,
Dustin

PS: A character sheet preview would be awesome as well.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:57 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Dustin, first I'll reproduce part of an earlier post, just because it fits with your overall question. This should kickstart the conversation ;-)

The magic system is simple and fun to use, with combat related spells operating in the same way as melee attacks. Magic is no different in how ability is handled. Arcanum is the basic, restricted ability, meaning characters must train in the art before attempting any feat related to it. Basic knowledge in Arcanum allows knowledge of all magic in general, whatever the source.

Quote:
S: A character sheet preview would be awesome as well.


I hope to have that and a full Quickstart Guide ready soon.

Dustin R wrote:
Please! Is there an arcane/divine split? Can Mages wear armor? Is their rule for rituals (great for the BBG) and/or item creation?
Magic systems make or break a fantasy game for me, so that is the 1st place go to in a new system. Well, right after the Character Sheet anyway. :D


There is no single arcane/divine split. Specializations are in sources of magic power, and an arcanist can only cast spells created for the power sources he knows. One source of power is mystic study, including wizards
and alchemists. Another is "Supernatural Connection" and includes all summoning and channeling. This is the area that "divine" magic comes from, as the arcanists are always dealing with a higher, or extraplanar being, be it an angel or devil, spirits of the dead, or the gods themselves. The third source is "Primordial", including all of the magic of elementalists.

Arcanists (the general term for spellcasters) can specialize in more than one source of power, and can master several schools within a single source (like wizards within the mystic power source).

Any spell is made up of six components: the magic source (Specialization), the underlying magic effect (Effect), a specific school of magic (Mastery), the form or appearance of the effect (matter or energy), the range (single subject or area), and what the spell affects, whether a specific ability, defense pools, free will, physical form, and so on.

So...all spells in the game are based on twelve basic Effects: Augment, Conjure/Banish, Curse, Fortify, Harm, Influence, Obscure, Perceive, Protect, Restore, Travel, and Transmute. The method of spell casting depends on the power source, with certain very powerful spells perhaps requiring special rituals or items, but the GM decides in those situations. I'll stop there and allow you to ask more questions (plus I gotta go to bed! ).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:08 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:01 am
Posts: 19
Thanks for the info. The system sounds pretty flexible both on a personal (character) and global (world building) scale. I really like where this is headed!

My next question would be, is it more “expensive” to gain the Arcanum ability? I know you mention it was restricted ability that required training to gain access. Is this restricted ranking used to balance it with other abilities? Is every fighter going to be tempted to “splash” a little Arcanum into their concept? (I know this is a player issue rather than a system issue, but my Savage worlds/Shaintar game is starting to suffer from all the xxx/mage PCs) I am of course assuming that gaining a few ranks in Arcanum is worth a lot of effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “difficulties” of spells required higher ranks to be truly impressive and thus limiting the resources needed to specialize in other areas.

Anyway thanks again for the info. By the way, if the questions become too much I will happily take wait and see as an answer.

Dustin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Dustin R wrote:
Thanks for the info. The system sounds pretty flexible both on a personal (character) and global (world building) scale. I really like where this is headed!


Thanks! The magic system was very difficult to write, keep it powerful and streamlined with the rest of the rules. One thing I'm proud of it how one roll covers many things. For example, if an elmentalist casts a fireball (area effect), and his Arcanum is D6 and his Primoridal power source at D6, then he'll roll 2D6. The spell point cost for an area effect spell will me 12 (2x6), and the Potential-Harm the result of the roll. Adversaries may sometimes use their Dodge Defense Pools to mitigate the harm (active), or fall back to their Resilience (passive) before getting fried. If there were a difficulty check, the same roll that determines Potential-Harm is also used to overcome the challenge number. One roll of the dice.

Quote:
My next question would be, is it more “expensive” to gain the Arcanum ability? I know you mention it was restricted ability that required training to gain access. Is this restricted ranking used to balance it with other abilities?


It costs an extra 2 character points to buy into the skill, as with any restricted basic ability. That gets you a base rank of 1D4. One cannot cast spells without specializing in some source of power. Restricting abilities in ERP has more to do with rationalizing common knowledge than anything else. GMs may alter which skills are restricted and which are not.

Quote:
Is every fighter going to be tempted to “splash” a little Arcanum into their concept? (I know this is a player issue rather than a system issue, but my Savage worlds/Shaintar game is starting to suffer from all the xxx/mage PCs) I am of course assuming that gaining a few ranks in Arcanum is worth a lot of effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “difficulties” of spells required higher ranks to be truly impressive and thus limiting the resources needed to specialize in other areas.


I suppose there would be more magic-using fighter types running around than in some class-based systems, but it's difficult to be an effective generalist at 1st level. As heroes increase in level, the more powerful ones might dabble more. Still, a true "archmage" will want to focus his points in the various branches of the arcane from the very beginning.

Quote:
Anyway thanks again for the info. By the way, if the questions become too much I will happily take wait and see as an answer.


Thanks for asking. I try to answer without giving away too much. There is more to talk about still. Such a small book (96 pages), but with lots of permutations!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Posts: 19
It is mentioned in the Ad copy for ERP that there are rules for magic item creation. I was wondering what the flavor of items were. Do they give bonuses to skills/potential threat like weapons? Can they grant new "spells"? Increase die ranks? Just curious! Again, I can be patient if you prefer to wait.

Dustin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Dustin R wrote:
It is mentioned in the Ad copy for ERP that there are rules for magic item creation. I was wondering what the flavor of items were. Do they give bonuses to skills/potential threat like weapons? Can they grant new "spells"? Increase die ranks? Just curious! Again, I can be patient if you prefer to wait.

Dustin


Ah, yes, magic items. Indeed, we've got guidelines for that too. More than anything else in the game, and not unlike in other systems, magic items can really tilt the odds. So, in most cases, magic items have an energy pool. The wielder of a magic item can use it repeatedly, spending the energy point cost each round until it's completely depleted. The maximum number of energy points depends on the creator of the spell,
not the user of the item. Recharging an item is possible, but a magic user must do this before the item’s internal energy is spent, unless a something like a "permanency” spell was cast upon the item. Magic items created with permanent Effects do not become inert when their energy points are
exceeded. Rather, at that point such items draw upon the wielder’s life energy...

What magic items can do mirrors the twelve basic effects in the game. These effects, along with power source, define what is possible.
The effects include anything you mentioned. Granting new spells would act more like a scroll.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:56 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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So are scrolls "used up" after a single casting? How are magic items paid for? Does the crafter have to spend personal energy? XP?

Using an energy pool system for magic items sets up some cool permutations! Perhaps having hereditary items that run off of the energy of their wielders and then only if they are of the proper bloodline. Of course this could involve a villian kidnapping some innocent to sacrifice in order to power a recently uncovered relic of a bygone age. Maybe as an advantage a PC could start with the "sword of his ancestors."

Sorry for the rambling. Looking forward to this game!

Dustin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Dustin R wrote:
So are scrolls "used up" after a single casting? How are magic items paid for? Does the crafter have to spend personal energy? XP?


Actually, no. What I meant was that a magic item which "granted" a character a spell would work more like a scroll, in contrast to most magic items. Schools do not actually vanish in a puff of smoke after being read. The effectiveness of reading a spell from a scroll is diminished. I can imagine a magic item doubling as a "scroll", like a runic spell on a staff which can be read or learned by those specialized in the correct power source.

Quote:
Using an energy pool system for magic items sets up some cool permutations! Perhaps having hereditary items that run off of the energy of their wielders and then only if they are of the proper bloodline. Of course this could involve a villian kidnapping some innocent to sacrifice in order to power a recently uncovered relic of a bygone age. Maybe as an advantage a PC could start with the "sword of his ancestors."


That sounds excellent ;-)

Quote:
Sorry for the rambling. Looking forward to this game!


You're not rambling. I appreciate the questions.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:15 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:06 am
Posts: 7
Hello,

I've been lurking for a while but reading the multiple opponent thread inspired a question in me.

In the multiple oppenent thread, you noted that the goblin leader with 2D6 could split his 2D6 into two separate attacks. Can the same be done with magic?

Another question: are players meant to make spells on the fly or are there spell lists?


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:11 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
NiallNai wrote:
Hello,

I've been lurking for a while but reading the multiple opponent thread inspired a question in me.

In the multiple opponent thread, you noted that the goblin leader with 2D6 could split his 2D6 into two separate attacks. Can the same be done with magic?

Another question: are players meant to make spells on the fly or are there spell lists?


Yes, arcanists can split their ADC (ability-dice-chain, aka ability branch) for Harm Effect "bolt style" spells. For a common example, an Arcanist with ability in Arcanum D10 > Primoridal D8 > Elementalist D6 could cast 1 D10 bolt, 1 D8 bolt and 1 D6 bolt at different targets, or combine all three against a single target. Most spells have only a single form or appearance, so this spell could be lightning bolts or 5' diameter fireballs, etc.

It wouldn't hurt the system any to allow splitting up the dice for other spell Effects, but it may not be as effective. Most spells that affect a target in a harmful way must penetrate Resilience defense before the magic Effect takes hold.

When I developed the game I liked making spells on the fly. That's how I ran my NPCs. But my playtesters wanted spell lists and structure for the most part, so I added those layers of rules to accommodate. The point there is you could use the magic system as a "toolkit" very easily, and strip it down to the twelve basic spell Effects from which everything is built, rearranging to taste.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:25 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:07 am
Posts: 173
Have been reading up on all the posts here on this game and it looks real good! :D

Is there any loss on SP recovery if the character is wounded or is extremely tired (Up and moving for over 24 hours)? I would assume so but am just curious if the system has rules for it or if it was left up to the GM?

Thank you for any information.

P.S. Absolutely can't wait for the core book....

_________________
"I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things." Corwin to Dara, The Guns of Avalon

"...I was the lesser evil." --Bleys to Corwin, Nine Princes in Amber


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:58 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
StormPatriarch wrote:
Have been reading up on all the posts here on this game and it looks real good! :D

Is there any loss on SP recovery if the character is wounded or is extremely tired (Up and moving for over 24 hours)? I would assume so but am just curious if the system has rules for it or if it was left up to the GM?

Thank you for any information.

P.S. Absolutely can't wait for the core book....


No extra loss, because it takes a while to recover, short of magic anyway. Resilience recovers 10% per hour waking, or 20% per hour in sleep, while Toughness recovers at the slower rate of 1 or 2 points a day. The Healing ability can help a lot with that, under the right conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:22 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:07 am
Posts: 173
dancross wrote:
No extra loss, because it takes a while to recover, short of magic anyway. Resilience recovers 10% per hour waking, or 20% per hour in sleep, while Toughness recovers at the slower rate of 1 or 2 points a day. The Healing ability can help a lot with that, under the right conditions.


So there is a magic way to recover more SP than the standard?

_________________
"I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things." Corwin to Dara, The Guns of Avalon

"...I was the lesser evil." --Bleys to Corwin, Nine Princes in Amber


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:46 pm
Posts: 90
Is there any difference between Power Sources (specializations) and Schools (Mastery) when it comes to spell choice?

For example, could a Mystical Artificer create a "Heal" spell just as easily as a Supernatural Sorcerer?

As a side note: a salute to the flexibility of the system.

I am not a big fan of limiting spell casting, either through daily slots, or spell points. I prefer the ‘feel’ that magic is dangerous and to use it at your own peril. And ERP is so easily adaptable to that vision:

Remove Spell Points and Costs (you can cast any spell you know as often as you like). However, if you roll doubles (with 2 dice) or triples (with your 3rd mastery die) you end up having a catastrophic failure (determined effects by ‘doubles’ or ‘triples’ charts). Note that if you ‘ease back’ on the magic power and only use 1 die (Arcanum ability) you never have to worry about failure (but may not make the spell difficulty).
Dead Easy!

(This is similar to how the Warhammer FRP game handles magic).


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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Banesfinger wrote:
Is there any difference between Power Sources (specializations) and Schools (Mastery) when it comes to spell choice?

For example, could a Mystical Artificer create a "Heal" spell just as easily as a Supernatural Sorcerer?


Bump.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:28 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
StormPatriarch wrote:
dancross wrote:
No extra loss, because it takes a while to recover, short of magic anyway. Resilience recovers 10% per hour waking, or 20% per hour in sleep, while Toughness recovers at the slower rate of 1 or 2 points a day. The Healing ability can help a lot with that, under the right conditions.


So there is a magic way to recover more SP than the standard?


As per the written rules, yes and no. Arcanists can dip into their own Resiliance Defense Pool (one layer above Toughness) to cast spells. Therefore, a Restore Effect spell can increase an arcanists' ability to cast spells. But note, "Unfortunately, mages cannot heal themselves with Restore if they are out of spell-points. Any healing spell cast on oneself fails if the power of the spell exceeds the number of spell points available".

I never playtested the Restore Effect being used to replenish spellpoints, but it's an idea. Actually, the main spell point pool in ERP is kinda low encouraging a more dramatic use of Resiliance to cast spells (which is also why I add Arcanum ability tree MRVs to the Resiliance Defense Pool). A little bit of risk is fun.


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:48 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Banesfinger wrote:
Banesfinger wrote:
Is there any difference between Power Sources (specializations) and Schools (Mastery) when it comes to spell choice?

For example, could a Mystical Artificer create a "Heal" spell just as easily as a Supernatural Sorcerer?


Bump.


Hello!

An arcanist who specializes in a power source can cast any related spell. So a cleric type and a sorcerer type can both cast supernatural spells. The difference is that each spell is created for a particular school, like Sorcery or Theurgy. If a character has mastered one of those schools, he's able to add that third die-rank to the ability check (and that single roll also determines spell cost and effectiveness).

However, a mystical artificer is probably of the wizard school, using the Mystic power source, and so could not cast a heal spell based on the Supernatural power source. He could however simply study the supernatural power source, using character points to purchase a rank in that specialization of arcanum. How he goes about that could make for an interesting story (or the player could just gloss over the details, purchase the specialization rank and rationalize as he goes along)


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:53 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:07 am
Posts: 173
dancross wrote:
StormPatriarch wrote:
dancross wrote:
No extra loss, because it takes a while to recover, short of magic anyway. Resilience recovers 10% per hour waking, or 20% per hour in sleep, while Toughness recovers at the slower rate of 1 or 2 points a day. The Healing ability can help a lot with that, under the right conditions.


So there is a magic way to recover more SP than the standard?


As per the written rules, yes and no. Arcanists can dip into their own Resiliance Defense Pool (one layer above Toughness) to cast spells. Therefore, a Restore Effect spell can increase an arcanists' ability to cast spells. But note, "Unfortunately, mages cannot heal themselves with Restore if they are out of spell-points. Any healing spell cast on oneself fails if the power of the spell exceeds the number of spell points available".

I never playtested the Restore Effect being used to replenish spellpoints, but it's an idea. Actually, the main spell point pool in ERP is kinda low encouraging a more dramatic use of Resiliance to cast spells (which is also why I add Arcanum ability tree MRVs to the Resiliance Defense Pool). A little bit of risk is fun.


Thank you for the answer. :)

_________________
"I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things." Corwin to Dara, The Guns of Avalon

"...I was the lesser evil." --Bleys to Corwin, Nine Princes in Amber


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:38 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:46 pm
Posts: 90
dancross wrote:
Banesfinger wrote:
Is there any difference between Power Sources (specializations) and Schools (Mastery) when it comes to spell choice?

For example, could a Mystical Artificer create a "Heal" spell just as easily as a Supernatural Sorcerer?


An arcanist who specializes in a power source can cast any related spell.


Perhaps I did not word my question correctly... :(

When making-up or creating new spells, can they come from any power source? Could a player create, for example, an 'Invisibility' spell using the Mystic power source, just as easy as another player could create his own 'Invisibility' spell using the Supernatural, or Primordial or Psychogenic power sources?

In other words, are certain Spells/Effects (Augment, Curse, Fortify, Harm, etc) limited to certain power sources/Schools?


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 Post subject: Re: How about some details on the magic system...
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 528
Quote:
Perhaps I did not word my question correctly... :(

When making-up or creating new spells, can they come from any power source? Could a player create, for example, an 'Invisibility' spell using the Mystic power source, just as easy as another player could create his own 'Invisibility' spell using the Supernatural, or Primordial or Psychogenic power sources?

In other words, are certain Spells/Effects (Augment, Curse, Fortify, Harm, etc) limited to certain power sources/Schools


Yes, when creating new spells, it can be from any power source known to the creator. The Effects are not limited to Power Sources. Spells, however, are (with school allowing mastery rolls).


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