Questions about the nature of magic in a game. Use [spells] for questions on specific spells or [spellcasting] for how magic spells are cast.

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6
votes
7answers
598 views

Are there any good alternatives to the Move Silently skill, preferably magic or spell based?

I want to create a spellcaster who specializes in stealth. I know that I can substitute spells like Invisibility for the Hide skill, and I can use either the Mindsight feat or the Tremorsense spell to ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Reduce/enlarge person's equipment acquired while enlarged?

The rules for enlarge and reduce person say "All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly [reduced or enlarged] by the spell." Does that happen once at the beginning of the spell for the ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Can a breath weapon's area be willingly reduced?

Does a breath weapon's area of effect always have to extend to its fullest size, or could you use it over a smaller area than your maximum if you so chose (e.g. breath weapon is 60 foot line, stop ...
11
votes
1answer
975 views

Can low level priests cast high level spells off scrolls?

I am a DM with a 2nd lvl priest. I want my priest to be able to cast a remove disease spell off of a scroll that he will find. Can he do this? Where is the rule?
5
votes
2answers
138 views

Tracking down an adept with facial sculpt

Is there any way for law enforcement to hunt down a wanted adept who can change his face at will? I have a player with a rather large bounty on his head, and a very powerful enemy (yeah, he made more ...
6
votes
1answer
355 views

Are Paradox effects optional or cumulative?

I've read Mage the Ascension rules like ten times, and still have problems with Paradox, specially in the Backlash. In revised edition, each time you gain Paradox, you roll the Paradox pool, and for ...
18
votes
2answers
637 views

Does GURPS Thaumatology require GURPS Magic?

If I picked up the sourcebook GURPS Thaumatology, would I need GURPS Magic? There seem to be a lot of negative reviews of 4th-edition GURPS Magic and nothing but rave reviews of Thaumatology.
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Can you touch up to six objects as a full round action when casting a touch spell?

You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. So states the PRD. But let's say you were to cast a spell that's designed to be cast on a touched ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Spell placement on a grid, and possibly the differences between “Effect” and “Area”

This question came up when the spells wall of fire and blade barrier were cast and we weren't sure how to handle it. Described below are the issues we had, but first the relevant portions of the ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Can a Magic User cast 'Illusion Disguise' on someone even though they don't agree with it

I am currently reading 'Gurps 4th Magic' and the spell 'Illusion Disguise' just says that you have to create a basic illusion and then use 'Illusion Disguise' to superimpose it. However it never ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Can the Create Water spell create “running water”?

In our current Pathfinder campaign, my party is (probably) dealing with a Vampire; one of the vampire weaknesses is to take damage in "running water". We have multiple Clerics and a Druid in the ...
30
votes
9answers
5k views

What should a GM do about players using magic in unforeseen game-breaking ways?

Firstly, a quick anecdote. In our most recent Pathfinder session our cleric jokingly mentioned he will soon be able to summon 1d3 dolphins. Another player then mentioned that some dolphins (orca) can ...
23
votes
8answers
1k views

Making magic “magical”

When I work with settings that contain magic, whether traditional fantasy or others, I always perceive something of a tension when trying to portray the magic between the following factors: Magic ...
5
votes
2answers
296 views

What's a good source for a fantasy common-magic setting?

I'm looking to create a new culture in my current campaign that lives in what I'll call a common-magic area (for whatever reason, in my case a McGuffin, there's heaps of magic), and I want to reflect ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Can alchemy be performed with magical items in a no-mana world?

I am currently reading through all the rules used for the Alchemy skill. It says (I quote from GURPS Magic, p. 210): It is a mechanical process, using the mana inherent in certain things. [...] ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Deeper darkness and dancing lights interaction

Hello I am relatively new to Pathfinder and I ran into an interaction that I don't quite know how it will resolve as a Drow with Darkvision. As a Drow with the feats, Drow Nobility and Improved Drow ...
17
votes
1answer
425 views

History of the Wish Spell

A friend of mine was wondering about the history of the wish spell in Dungeons and Dragons. It is his suspicion that the spell “only” exists because they needed something for genies to cast to work in ...
10
votes
1answer
373 views

Recommendations for game mechanics that emphasize reagent or component based spellcasting

I'm researching spell component systems for a 3.5e campaign. In 3.5e, spell components are an inconvenience at best and a waste of time at worst. I'd like to homebrew a solution drawing from mechanics ...
11
votes
2answers
274 views

How does the duration “concentration” work when using scrolls and power stones?

I'm playing a Pathfinder game as a Psion, and am considering making some power stones (effectively scrolls) of Control Light. Control Light, unlike Darkness, is a "Concentration" duration power. Does ...
20
votes
16answers
1k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

How can I take on a 'hybrid' form?

I want to make a character that can transform into a half-human, half-beast form at will (in the sense that he's in control of when he does it). Limitations in terms of uses per day are ok, but ...
4
votes
1answer
470 views

Disbelief, Interaction & Shadow Conjuration / Shades

What counts as interaction for the purposes of determining who gets a will save to disbelieve a shadow conjuration? Suppose I use shadow conjuration to summon a wolf, for instance. Does an enemy get ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens when Detect Magic is used upon something that is magically invisible?

Does a simple casting of Detect Magic reveal the presence of magical invisibility?
3
votes
2answers
239 views

Gestalt character with the same invocation from two classes

I have recently decided to run Rappan Athuk - Dungeon of Graves again, and due to the difficulty of the dungeon, I have decided to allow Gestalt Characters. One player applied with a ...
2
votes
3answers
873 views

Para-elements by mixing two Classical Elements

I am building a system in which the physics (and metaphysics) are based on a Western Classical Element system: the four basic elements of Fire, Wind, Water and Earth can intermingle with each other ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I implement freeform magic on a system? [closed]

i'd like to ask you if any of you has ever played an rpg where players we're entitled to make their own spells, and how it turned to be. Also, i'd like some answer to a problem concerning this topic ...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

How to counteract an Anti-Gravity Spell

In our game I am playing as Wizard of the White Council. One of our encounters included some Jade Court Vampires. I Conjured up a spell that left the big, baddest guy of the encounter up off the ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Ways to learn whether a magic user knows a certain spell

Is there a spell, feat, special ability, etc. in DnD3.x – or possibly Pathfinder – that would allow a character to learn whether a magic user knows a certain spell? Or is there a certain ...
12
votes
2answers
860 views

What would happen if you use Disjunction on a golem?

What would happen if a character were to cast a Mage's/Mordenkainen's Disjunction on an iron golem? Would it stop functioning because Disjunction has removed its magic? Or would its spell immunity ...
7
votes
2answers
342 views

Is glass transparent to Astral Perception?

In a Shadowrun 4e game I play in, an adept with the Astral Perception power wanted to sit in a bar and astrally spy on something behind the window. SR4A p.191 states : Non-magical and non-living ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

What purpose does keeping Vancian Spell-casting in Legend serve?

I've got to admit, I'm somewhat confused by the option to keep Vancian-style spell slots for the Shaman and Tactician casting tracks. Most tracks in Legend either provide abilities that are at-will or ...
5
votes
2answers
541 views

Can positive or negative energy be dissipated into surrounding plant life?

This came up specifically in a discussion of the Tome of Battle Shadow Sun Ninja prestige class. One of his first abilities is Touch of the Shadow Sun, which deals Negative Energy damage, then Touch ...
3
votes
2answers
799 views

How does the Magic Staff (from the Handbook) work?

The Magic Staff in the Weapons and Equipment chapter of the 4e handbook sounds like something I'd want as a Lv. 6 Wizard, but I'm unclear as to how exactly it's bonuses are applied and what to. Here's ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What alternatives are there for replacing the D&D memorize and forget magic rules

I'm starting a campaign and will be the DM. We are basing our system off the D&D 3rd ed. Most of us (players and myself) don't really like the rules surrounding Wizards / Sorcerers when they have ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

How can I balance magic in a setting that imposes penalties on its use?

I am starting an adventure in a custom setting that may end up as a campaign, depending on popularity. However, part of what makes the setting unique is that magic is illegal and severely punished by ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

Is there any obstacle to using a Mage Hand in water?

How does water affect Mage Hand? I know there are rules regarding disorientation with ray spells, and use of fire under water. But if a person wanted to, for example, grab some keys from a well, would ...
4
votes
3answers
523 views

What can I do with Spirit Magic?

I have a player who wants to take Spirit evocation, as an idea, but neither of us are sure practically on what sort of spells it would let him evoke. What does Spirit Magic let my player's character ...
6
votes
4answers
191 views

What systems contain Multiple Caster or Combined Casting rules? [closed]

In the process of creating a homebrew system, I have run into the problem of my players wanting to be able to combine their spellcasting prowess in a show of superiority and might ( and perhaps a bit ...
13
votes
11answers
802 views

How can non-magical healers be useful when magic healing is available?

In many roleplaying games the prerequisite to perform magic healing is knowledge, and during action it is mostly limited by magic capacity and sometimes time. Meanwhile the prerequisite to perform ...
11
votes
3answers
687 views

I want to build a castle, with magic!

Rather, one of my players, a Terram Magus, wants to be able to construct a castle or equivalent fortification without using creo magic in an Ars Magica 5th edition game. The rules for crafting with ...
7
votes
3answers
629 views

How useful would a house ruled immediate Counterspell ability in Pathfinder be?

I have been GMing for 10 years, and we are currently are using Pathfinder with little to no house rules. The only character that has ever used counterspell is when we made a prestige class up that ...
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Pathfinder Wall of Ice Anchoring Rules

Is it allowable to cast a "Wall of Ice" spell in its hemispherical configuration in mid-air, or upside-down? The description of the spell is very explicit about it being anchored when it's in the flat ...
8
votes
5answers
905 views

Rulesets to make magic more unpredictable and dangerous?

I am considering starting a Pathfinder game, however before I do this I would like to brew-up some house-rules on the use of magic for a "low-magic" setting (think Conan or A Song of Ice and Fire) ...
4
votes
4answers
430 views

“High on Magic” - how original is it?

I have written a RPG called "Chuť magie" - it's in Czech and it means literary "Taste of Magic", but I'd definitely call it "High on Magic" in English. I'm not planning to translate it to English ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How the heck does magical darkness work in Pathfinder?

I'm having a lot of trouble trying to divine the intent of the darkness spell in PF. It starts off easily enough: This spell causes an object to radiate darkness out to a 20-foot radius. This ...
16
votes
10answers
726 views

What would you pick as the “four elements” of mind? [closed]

Good evening! I hope this isn't too vague, this is my first post on RPG Exchange (I see some cool conversations here, I'm happy to be a part). While doodling about with a magic system I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
489 views

A system for tactical magic duels with low handling time?

I'm trying to cobble together a solely magic-based campaign that will have a really flexible system of magic. I've always been a fan of the D20 system, but it does have its limitations: for this ...
9
votes
6answers
455 views

Is there any system which lets me play an astrologer mage?

Is there any system which has a mage class/magic system dedicated to astrology so I could play a court astrologer using the planets and constellations to divine the future? I would like to mention ...
7
votes
1answer
223 views

Thaumaturgy power gathering

So if I have this right, when one of my characters is using a thaumaturgical ritual, lets say creating wards, then the ward strength and length are determined by how many shifts of power, in total, ...