Powers that derive from elemental forces, deities, spirits, or other non-technological sources.

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45
votes
10answers
1k views

Medieval problems in a magical world

This is a bit of a broad question, but I will try to narrow it down to this: When GMing a medieval fantasy, and conflicts arise between the medieval times and the magical world (mostly D&D and ...
28
votes
9answers
4k 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
996 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
16answers
999 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
674 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, ...
18
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 ...
17
votes
8answers
486 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? ...
17
votes
7answers
514 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
538 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.
17
votes
1answer
364 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
660 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How to help my low-level spellcaster PCs feel more useful

My party right now consists of a pair of incredibly optimized characters (a half-orc fighter and a ranger/scout), one fairly well optimized character (a swashbuckler who's thinking about mutliclassing ...
14
votes
5answers
585 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
568 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", ...
13
votes
11answers
666 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
414 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
759 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
590 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
173 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
780 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?
11
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I increase resistance to drain?

My Aztec shaman character, Chimalli, is primarily a spirit summoner, using Willpower (5)+Charisma (7) to resist drain. He has one level of the Focused Concentration quality (+1). Is there any easy ...
10
votes
3answers
593 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
623 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?
10
votes
2answers
149 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?
10
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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
619 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
416 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
393 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
5answers
998 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
528 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
310 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?
8
votes
2answers
245 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
223 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
746 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
314 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
782 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) ...
7
votes
3answers
455 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
846 views

Comprehend Languages vs. Linguistics

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
258 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
223 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 ...