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

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2
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3answers
2k views

Para-elements by mixing two Classical Elements [closed]

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
226 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
673 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
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
143 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
279 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
793 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
223 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
11answers
996 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
878 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
181 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
1k 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) ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Having a hard time understanding the cost of magic enhancements as listed

Can anyone help clear up the costs of magic items? I am looking at some magic items and the costs only say "+1 enhancement cost." For an example I will use the "Flaming" enhancement. Before an item ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
411 views

How to make a Dark Brotherhood-esque Job Request System in D&D 3.5 E6

The Goal In a E6 campaign I am playing in I want my character to start an assassins guild similar to The Dark Brotherhood from The Elder Scrolls games. The Problem/Question I am stuck on how to set ...
5
votes
3answers
329 views

How does a character become magical in the Dresden Files?

I'm trying to create a character. I've already worked out some of my character. My character is, at the moment, superstitious with that being pretty much the only personality trait. It has glamours ...
7
votes
2answers
726 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
517 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
492 views

“High on Magic” - how original is it? [closed]

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
247 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, ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Looking for a nice magic system to convert to FATE

I'm playing around a lot with the FATE system at the moment (particularly with Diaspora) and I'm now looking at how I might apply it to a fantasy setting. What I'm looking for is a nice magic system ...
8
votes
2answers
382 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
322 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
560 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
738 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
905 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
586 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
317 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Does casting a spell require a check to succeed?

If my character is a spell caster, and he is not wearing any armor, is there any chance to fail casting the spell? I'm wondering specifically about normal circumstances: There is nobody who can attack ...
7
votes
4answers
331 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
216 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
687 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
5answers
1k views

Reputed Magical Effects of Real-World 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
660 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
461 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
256 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Regarding resting and spell meditation for casters

My group recently started a game in D&D 3.5. Even though we are all rather familiar with the ruleset, there are certain details that we have trouble discerning from the official documentation, ...
36
votes
7answers
4k 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
3answers
392 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why take Linguistics if you can cast Comprehend Languages?

Given the nature of the spell Comprehend Languages in Pathfinder, is there any particular advantage to taking Linguistics for a character who can cast it? Especially given the chance of severe (or ...
8
votes
2answers
509 views

How can I make a magical photocopier?

One of my players wants a way to reproduce books quickly in an Ars Magica (5th edition) setting. What spells exist (preferably without using vis) to accomplish this goal?
11
votes
3answers
859 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
950 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
650 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? ...
14
votes
2answers
490 views

What happens to a character who breaks a Law of Magic and is about to hit 0 refresh as a result?

In DFRPG, you have the 7 laws of magic, which if you break you automatically have to add it as a power. Lets say we have a focused sourcerer who's used 6 of their 7 refresh, and they break one of the ...