Questions about the nature of magic in a game. Use [spells] for questions on specific spells.

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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
247 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
179 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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
401 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
209 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
597 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
935 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
2k 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
131 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
226 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
614 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
205 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
855 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
738 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
698 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
164 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
992 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
457 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
753 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
529 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
471 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
235 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
314 views

Magic college default skill in GURPS

Is there a way in GURPS to create a mage with a default level of skill in a specific magical college? I'm imagining something like an earth wizard who can attempt any earth college spell at a -3 ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

Does temporal stasis freeze spell effects?

My question boils down to what qualifies as a condition in the spell temporal stasis, as emphasized below. You place the subject into a state of suspended animation. For the creature, time ceases ...
9
votes
3answers
968 views

What is thaumaturgy?

I keep getting conflicting reports on what exactly thaumaturgy is. Some sources say it's a form of divine spellcasting. Others say it's a form of summoning. Others still say it's a method of ...
6
votes
5answers
455 views

What are some mage-related abilities in a Sci-Fi setting?

One of my PC's wants to be a mage type character. I would be all for this, except that we are playing the Fallout Pen and Paper game, which doesn't really have any magic related techniques or attacks. ...
6
votes
4answers
646 views

What can be done to maintain balance in a magic system in which mages must construct their own spells?

I'd like to build a magic system in which every spell is a one-off. A spell is created to serve a particular purpose and is cast once. I'm thinking that the time and place of the casting would be ...
14
votes
3answers
693 views

Do magical beasts have a magical aura with regard to Detect Magic spell?

The description for Detect Magic doesn't explicitly cover this. Some monsters, like the Ankheg, are categorized as magical beast, but don't have any magical or spell-like abilities. If they are ...
3
votes
3answers
537 views

Can a custom spell's effect last after the caster's death?

As GM, I am having a now-deceased 30th-level wizard's spell last after his death. It is a spell to conceal an object in a Dimensional Pocket keyed to one of the right bloodline who knows the password. ...
5
votes
2answers
280 views

Alignment restrictions and Trap the Soul

Saw it mentioned in a thread (How do you make a vampire cleric stay dead?) and now I'm curious... Does binding a creature's soul into a gem in itself constitute an evil act? Trap the soul says ...
7
votes
4answers
301 views

Systems that have rules for covert magic (Occult type magic)

What games system out there have a good ruleset for a covert magic system. For the lack of a better word I use covert in meaning that magic isn't obvious. Not that the magicians would have to hide, ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Catching Spirits

Is there a way in Pathfinder to catch a spirit or bind it with your PC? (hopefully for the benefit of the PC) I am hoping it is possible to possess a scroll or magical charm or something as my ...
17
votes
7answers
623 views

Fantasy and magic in a primarily realistic setting

I'm running a game that's best described as "medieval fantasy," in the sense that we're actually trying to have the lives of people in the setting strongly resemble the historical Middle Ages. There ...
9
votes
3answers
554 views

What does it mean to “master” a path of magic?

In Anima: Beyond Fantasy, magic is divided up into paths, some of which are opposed to each other. The rules quite clearly state that it costs twice as much to advance along a path opposed to one ...
8
votes
4answers
793 views

Magical Effects of Herbs

For various reasons I want to go back to primary sources to develop a list of herb and their magic effects for various fantasy RPGs that I use to run my campaign, the Majestic Wilderlands. Does ...
4
votes
2answers
388 views

Castle Falkenstein: Is there a faster Magic system?

I love running games in the Castle Falkenstein diceless system. However, I find the CF magic system to be a little slow (to set up, run and play) for a high-fantasy campaign. Can anyone suggest ...
11
votes
2answers
160 views

Can you use a Power to do Suppressive Fire?

Can Powers be used for Suppressive Fire? For example, can you cast a Bolt Power to do Suppressive Fire on an area?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Creatively targeting summoning spells

Me and my party have a plan in our upcoming session, that will need some clarifications on how summoning spells can be used. Its all about creative targeting with the Summon Monster I spell, let me ...
6
votes
2answers
589 views

Can you use Shrink Item on a living creature?

Are you allowed to use the spell Shrink Item on a living creature?
5
votes
1answer
430 views

What point-buy systems of magic (like psionics in 3e D&D) are there? [closed]

The RPG I'm currently developing is a d20 model, skill driven rules system. The mechanics of spellcasting center around spell effects and point cost for stamina (a universal energy pool for all ...
12
votes
1answer
211 views

TDE / DSA - Koschbasalt / Blaubasalt vs Magic Traps

I hope there are even Das Schwarze Auge/The Dark Eye Players around here... Is it possible to neutralize magic traps (Traps created by applicatus or similar spells, not arcanovi) using Koschbasalt ...
18
votes
10answers
777 views

What RPGs treat magic as being common?

Some fantasy RPGs treat magic as arcane and thus rare, possibly subject to suspicion by the masses. Other games treat magic as somewhat more prevelant but not ubiquitous. At some point in this trend, ...
4
votes
3answers
380 views

What ways exist to re-introduce vancian magic to 4E D&D?

As much as I like the system in D&D 4E, I'm slightly nostalgic of Vancian magic. The idea of the mage having to re-memorise the spells each day. Obviously it came with the baggage of resting every ...
14
votes
3answers
764 views

How should one-word “commands” work in languages other than English?

In various versions of D&D, there's a cleric spell called "Command" where the cleric compels an enemy to obey a one-word command. Typical commands might be "sleep", "flee", "surrender", ...
18
votes
8answers
602 views

How do I create a sense of mystery about magic?

Magic in so many games is something mechanical and fully understood. Assuming I control the setting (and have a group of players willing to try new rules), how do I make magic something mysterious? ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Do metamagic feats increase a spell's casting time in Pathfinder?

In D&D 3.5, there was a rule that a spontaneous spellcaster had to spend extra time casting a spell if they chose to apply a metamagic feat. Is this also true in Pathfinder, or was this limitation ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What's a good defense against silence?

Well, a dungeon master keeps throwing characters who can silence spells at me. It's a pain in the butt when trying to fight as a group, as most of my friends and I are casters. We're dealing with ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I handle astral security?

When a shadowrunning team tries to break into a facility protected by magic, it seems to me as a GM like the team's biggest liability is getting past magical security. If a mundane B&E character ...