Spell List thought

I will start by saying I haven’t thought this through but it could be interesting.

There are two ideas that have come up this week and sort of clashed in my imagination. The first was about spell lists, spell failures and such inspired by Brian’s last article and the other was from Ken’s RMU setting thread. In that thread I said that a generic game should be able to be used with any fictional world/setting in its genre.

I have read a lot of fantasy fiction where the core idea of magic is that people either have it or not and magical instruction is more about control than learning spells.

The idea of learning spells and learning more powerful spells, to me, comes across as a very DnD thing.

So the idea I had was about turning spell lists, or just the first 20 levels upside down.

In my first thoughts I was only really thinking about magicians base lists and possibly a world in which magicians and clerics are about the only casters. So there is an implied setting here!

So I am think that the first level caster say with Earth Law as a list would only have Unearth, basically every time they try to cast a spell they vapourise a 100 cubic feet of earth.

It also takes a massive chunk of their power points, so this may be more suited to RMU than RMC if your first spell takes 20PP!

As a character levels up and gets more practiced with their list there spells get ever more controlled and subtle.

Fireballs would start with things like triad of fire but with a terrible OB and over time they would be able to control that to create a single fireball and eventually a single firebolt.

As I said, I have only thought about this as a twist for magicians, not sure it would work for illusionists or others but it was an interesting idea.

2 Replies to “Spell List thought”

  1. It is an interesting idea. I would point out that the Power Point system of RM is the “some people have magic and others don’t ” However, I agree the ubiquity of people of magic in the setting is a bit annoying, especially as it is linked to intelligence for Essence and Presence for mentalist abilities. So having a player say I want to be a wizard and then giving them a bulk of power points to use but no control until the skill is learnt seems a sensible option. I think if the spell “list” would have to go but the individual spell could be variations on the one skill with penalties applied based on the skill effect. I quite like the idea that the lower the level of the character the more power points are needed. Going beyond the RM system you could go down the penalty route, eating into life force or opening up some other dark forces.

  2. What if we do a similar thing I did with the channelling user’s prayers? Reverse the RR table for a success based on the spell level. If the player starts with 100 power points then the success level could be the power points needed. So at the equivalent level of caster and spell you can fire off two spell forms a day. Then if we built in a reserve that needed to be traded off against a future penalty it could make playing a magic user interesting.

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