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

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7
votes
1answer
238 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
353 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
297 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
1k 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
502 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
692 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
793 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
557 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
294 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
311 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
211 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
643 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
597 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
883 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
412 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
162 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
612 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
442 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
803 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
386 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
846 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
628 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
3k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
728 views

Replicating Modern Technology using Magic-Punk

This is generally a system-agnostic question, as I'm trying to build a feel for my world, and I can add to it whatever rules I need to later. The world is a 1930s setting, very ...
6
votes
1answer
969 views

Shadowrun character creation, in what order do you reduce magic due to -wares?

In Shadowrun are there official rules as to when you would reduce your magic rating due to various -wares? Point in case, if you decide to purchase say bioware at the beginning of the process, before ...
7
votes
1answer
929 views

Why do magical traditions specify a spirit type for each spell category?

In the SR4 rulebooks, magical traditions have listings of which spirits a character of that tradition can summon. For example: The Aztec Tradition Concept: ... Combat: Guardian Detection: Fire ...
8
votes
2answers
344 views

Does ranged magic that requires line-of-sight also require line-of-effect?

This came up during a combat last week. The party had barricaded themselves behind double doors and the wizard was peering through the keyholes, dropping Scorching Bursts on anything foolish enough ...
9
votes
2answers
511 views

Resources containing practical, yet non-combat, non-adventuring D&D spells

Continuing the train of thoughts emerging from the discussion of this previous question (about magocracies and theocracies in DnD), I'd like to know if there are any good official or unofficial ...
8
votes
3answers
987 views

How quickly can fortifications be built in D&D 4e, magically and otherwise

My bad guys have holed themselves up for a couple months. Given little preexisting fortification, what resources are there for for building mechanical and magical defenses? Is there something ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the exact rolls and totals for a direct combat spell?

As a Shadowrun 4E GM, I have had a couple of arguments with players about exactly how the magic system works. Suppose a player goes to cast a spell like a Force 6 Powerbolt at an enemy. Exactly which ...