Friday, May 16, 2014

Fudge Playtest Report #4 (Magic) and the very alpha rules.

Monday I ran another playtest of the roleplaying game I am working on that is based on Fudge and Fate.

I talked about the adventure I ran.
As well as some rules on the Characters.
And the combat system

Today's post is on Magic.

I am on the third version of the magic system. The first version was a spell slot system similar to DnD. The second... well it just didn't work. The third is a mana based system that works as follows.

There are two classes of spells. Arcane and Divine. The spell lists derives directly from the d20SRD. I don't include all the d20 spells however. It basically the list from Swords and Wizardry with some additional spells that fits in with the flavor side of the system.

Arcane caster start with a Mana Pool equal to their Fortitude + 4. Caster regain mana at 1 point per minute. Each spell has a mana cost associated with it. Arcane spells are caster with the Thamautology skill. The caster needs a 1 or better to cast the spell. The level of the spell subtracts from the roll making higher level spells more difficult to cast. The degree of success impacts the spell in various ways. Most importantly in making resisting certain spells more difficult. After Monday's playtest the degree of success will add to the damage of the spell. If the mage rolls a critical failure (natural -4) he rolls 4dF+ the mana cost and consults the Disastrous Magical Results table. If the mage has exhausted his mana pool, he can still cast a spells but immediately rolls 4dF + the mana deficit and consults the Disastrous Magic Results table.

The spells that a individual mage can cast are the spells written in his spell book. However unlike D&D the caster doen't have to memorize the spell. The act of writing the spell into the spell book allows the mage to cast the spell. The mage can scribe spell of a level equal to or less than his Thamautology bonus. The spellbook also have to be available to the mage to use as part of the daily routines needed to cast arcane magic.

The Divine caster starts with a Mana Tally, initially set to zero. The Divine caster can cast any spells equals too or is less than his Religious Ritual bonus. To cast a spell the divine caster has to get a 1 or better on a Religious Ritual Roll. The level of the spell subtracts from the roll. The mana cost is added to the religous caster's Mana Tally. If the Tally exceeds 20 then the caster has to immediately roll on the Violations of the Compact table. The gods of the default setting as largely agreed to operation on the basis of divine faith and excessive use of divine spells by a caster may result in the gods considering the spell a violation of the compact. Like arcane casters the degree of success effects the spell's effect particularly any required resistenance rolls. The Mana Tally is reduced by performing acts of piety. The most common of which is the daily prayer which subtracts 4 off of the tally.

Both Arcane and Divine caster can cast their spells as rituals. Instead of gathering mans quickly and releasing it as a spell. A slow ritual gathers in the mana through the use of magical components. In general a ritual takes ten minutes and requires components equal to the spell level squared times 10 silver. Zero level spells cost 1 silver (or d) to cast.

Included in the rules will be a magic item creation system. For example a scroll for one spell cost 100d per level to make and takes 1 day per 100d to write. A scroll can be made for any spell the caster knows, and doesn't require mana or adds to the tally.

In Monday's playtest these was well received. The biggest issue is that I didn't add the degree of success to the damage caused by a magic missile. In the future this will be the case.

What goint to make this work are the numbers. Having the right numbers to reflect a generic fantasy world that most gamers have experience with. +1 in Fudge is a significant bonus so it going to take some carefully planning to make it work.

My goal is to create a system that is flexible but at the same time provides plenty of ready to run content. A system that make it easy through the use of aspects to implement specific setting details.

A lot of been asking to look at the rules. I warn you, although nicely formatted, they are very rough and are only lightly edited at best. The major pieces that are missing are anytype of Monster list or NPC galley. Aspects are vaguely define and I only provide concrete example for a generic Fighter, Burglar, Mage, and Priest. Only one example of a gift granted by an aspect, the ability of priests to turn undead.

You can download the various PDFs from here.


DMWieg said...

I'm working on a Fudge (but not Fate) based game right now myself. Magic is the toughest part for me as well. There's actualy a really good magic supplement for Fudge (A Magical Medely) that I picked up on the cheap from Noble Knight. I'm not actually going to use any of the systems,but they've been really valuable for ideas on how to implement magic systems in Fudge. (I'm half-stealing one of the systems, but modifying it heavily.)

faoladh said...

I am curious to know what you attempted with the second magic system that didn't work. It might save me attempting something that is doomed to failure.

CritSystem said...


I have some ideas on this. Before I go into a lot of number crunching. I need to know are you looking for D&D mages where spells are flash bangs and once out they are swinging a dagger or gurps mage where the mage can do small no cost spells over and over