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5/09/2014 8:55 am  #1


Mana Gathering

Ok, let me deviate from the norm here. I'm not talking about a "oh my goddess! that's great for a Lemurian campaign!" magic system.

This is medieval fantasy fare. Or, at least, it's how I see it.

The idea is sorcerers don't have magic reserves. Magic essence ("mana", "power points") is all around, and in order to cast a spell the sorcerer needs to gather enough mana. Once he has enough, he can cast the intended spell as an action.

What do you need?
Mind stat and a few d6

When a sorcerer wants to cast a spell, he spends his turn gathering the mana around him. To do so, he rolls an amount of d6 equal to his Mind. The result is the mana he gathered that turn.

On the following turn, he can make 1 of 3 things:
-release the mana to nature and do something else ("Forget the spell! I'll hit them hard with my staff!");
-try to gather more mana ("It's not ready yet! I need more time!");
-cast the spell ("Kamehameha!").

Release the mana
In essence, the mana gathered is reduced to zero. Maybe the caster doesn't need the spell anymore, or something else needs to be done. There's no penalty in doing so.

Gather more mana
Note the amount of mana the caster has at the moment. Roll an amount of d6 equal to his Mind again. If the total is higher than the amount he had, he keeps the new total. If not, he keeps the previous amount.
i.e., a sorcerer with Mind 3 can have at most 18 mana points. It may take him a while to reach that, but the potential is there.
(of course, there's a Boon and a Flaw related to mana gathering)

Cast the spell
The sorcerer pays the mana points needed to cast the spell, then reduces his mana to zero (he releases the rest to nature). The spell is cast if he is successful on a normal Mind + Sorcery Career roll.

How many points should a spell cost?
Spells are constructed by the sorcerer at the time of the casting. He needs to factor 4 (as this is the BoL "magic number" for everything) things: range, duration, area of effect, effect.
*This was inspired by Dragonlance Fitth Age Saga System

Range
1 - Touch (needs a successful Melee attack against unwilling targets)
2 - Melee (arm's length, but no touch needed)
3 - Near missile (I could throw a rock)
4 - Far missile (I'd need to fire a bow)
Duration 
1 - Instant
2 - 1 minute
3 - 15 minutes
4 - 30 minutes
Area of effect
1 - Individual
2 - Small room
3 - Large room
4 - Small house
Effect (Damage & Healing / Bonus & Penalty)
1 - 2d6, take lowest / +/- 1
2 - 1d6 / +/- 2
3 - 2d6 / +/- 3
4 - 3d6 / +/- 4

Sample spells
Lighting bolt: Far missile (4), Instant (1), Individual (1), 2d6 damage (3) -- total mana: 9
Cure light wounds: Touch (1), Instant (1), Individual (1), 1d6 healing (2) -- total mana: 5
Wall of ice: Melee (2), 15 minutes (3), Large room (3), -3 penalty to hit through (3) -- total mana: 11
Ox's Strength: Melee (2), 15 minutes (3), Small room (2), +2 bonus to Strength (2) -- total mana: 9

Unique effects
If a spell doesn't have a "numeric" effect (it is not a damage causing spell, nor a spell to modify stats), the GM should still assign a degree of effect to it. Generally speaking, consider what the spell does and remember +3 is a LARGE bonus in BoL.
So, if it's a Light spell that illuminates like a torch, it could have a +2 effect cost; if it's like a candle, it could be +1; if it's like a funeral pyre, it could be +3.

Spell Specializations
Depending on the genre and scenario, the GM can limit the sorcerers to general spell specializations (a Pyromancer could only create fire-based spells; a White Mage could only deal with protection and healing; a Follower of the Dead Goddess could only deal with spirits and undead).


Marcelo "Fermmoylle" Paschoalin
Brazilian Novelist and RPG author
 

5/09/2014 11:37 am  #2


Re: Mana Gathering

Is it your intention to limit the power of magic in your fantasy setting? I only ask as I don't see any real correlation between your system and 2nd and 3rd Magnitude spells. I like the premise behind your system and think it can work quite well - just thought I'd ask about the upper limits on magical powers.

Also, once a magician has gathered mana, how about adding a fourth option...Hold Mana? This would allow him to keep the Mana on hold for the right moment to cast the spell. That would then give 4 options (again keeping with BoLs "magic number"): Release the mana, Gather more mana, Hold the mana, Cast the spell.

 

Last edited by The GIT! (5/09/2014 11:37 am)


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

5/09/2014 11:46 am  #3


Re: Mana Gathering

The GIT! wrote:

Is it your intention to limit the power of magic in your fantasy setting? I only ask as I don't see any real correlation between your system and 2nd and 3rd Magnitude spells. I like the premise behind your system and think it can work quite well - just thought I'd ask about the upper limits on magical powers. 

No, there no correlation whatsoever. The original system is fantastic for a Lemurian setting, but not for a medieval fantasy setting IMHO.
That doesn't mean I couldn't add "dark" rituals here ("a sacrificed virgin gives you 10 extra mana").

The GIT! wrote:

Also, once a magician has gathered mana, how about adding a fourth option...Hold Mana? This would allow him to keep the Mana on hold for the right moment to cast the spell. That would then give 4 options (again keeping with BoLs "magic number"): Release the mana, Gather more mana, Hold the mana, Cast the spell

At first I'm not too inclined to have a "hold" option. I want magic to be dynamic and not so reliable. A fourth option would be nice, but not one that would act like a "magic battery." ;-)


Marcelo "Fermmoylle" Paschoalin
Brazilian Novelist and RPG author
     Thread Starter
 

5/09/2014 11:54 am  #4


Re: Mana Gathering

Interesting.  I like it.

For Hold Mana, how about you can hold Mana up to your Career level...  

This also opens the door for things like Magic-Rich Areas (extra D6) and so on.

but there needs to be some sort of Difficulty factor as well...

 

5/09/2014 11:57 am  #5


Re: Mana Gathering

GMgerrymander wrote:

This also opens the door for things like Magic-Rich Areas (extra D6) and so on.

One option I've considered was mana spent did not recharge immediately, but at a 1 point per day rate. So, we may have regions where there's not enough mana and everything is becoming barren (Darksun-like)...


Marcelo "Fermmoylle" Paschoalin
Brazilian Novelist and RPG author
     Thread Starter
 

5/09/2014 3:08 pm  #6


Re: Mana Gathering

Fermmoylle wrote:

The GIT! wrote:

Also, once a magician has gathered mana, how about adding a fourth option...Hold Mana? This would allow him to keep the Mana on hold for the right moment to cast the spell. That would then give 4 options (again keeping with BoLs "magic number"): Release the mana, Gather more mana, Hold the mana, Cast the spell

At first I'm not too inclined to have a "hold" option. I want magic to be dynamic and not so reliable. A fourth option would be nice, but not one that would act like a "magic battery." ;-)

Well, you've kind of shot yourself in the foot on this one. Your rules state...

"Gather more mana
Note the amount of mana the caster has at the moment. Roll an amount of d6 equal to his Mind again. If the total is higher than the amount he had, he keeps the new total. If not, he keeps the previous amount."

The problem is there's no chance of failure so, at worst, he just gets to "hold" the mana he already has (which doesn't fit in with the system being a bit unreliable). If you want the system to be unpredictable then the magician should have to accept the new roll no matter what - that's the gamble he has to take when trying to gather the necessary amount of mana. Perhaps you can also have a backlash system for a critical failure (which is unlikely to happen anayway with more than two dice to roll)?


 

Last edited by The GIT! (5/09/2014 3:08 pm)


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

5/09/2014 3:23 pm  #7


Re: Mana Gathering

I see he point. But then, help me with this...

I assume the gathering of mana happens as a counscious and focused action. The sorcerer uses his action to do that.

Assuming he can hold the mana, why would he do that? He can simply try to improve his amount of mana again and again...

But now you mention failure, let me create this rule:

Backlash
When gathering mana, if the total rolled is equal to or less than the sorcerer's Mind, the spell immeditately misfires. The GM should use the entirely of mana gathered so far and produce some wild and perilous effect with it, affecting the largest area possible (including friends and foes), centered on the caster, who loses all mana he had. Further gathering attempts in that region are reduced in one die for one day as the nature needs to recharge.

 


Marcelo "Fermmoylle" Paschoalin
Brazilian Novelist and RPG author
     Thread Starter
 

5/12/2014 11:30 am  #8


Re: Mana Gathering

Fermmoylle wrote:

I see he point. But then, help me with this...

I assume the gathering of mana happens as a counscious and focused action. The sorcerer uses his action to do that.

Assuming he can hold the mana, why would he do that? He can simply try to improve his amount of mana again and again...

But now you mention failure, let me create this rule:

Backlash
When gathering mana, if the total rolled is equal to or less than the sorcerer's Mind, the spell immeditately misfires. The GM should use the entirely of mana gathered so far and produce some wild and perilous effect with it, affecting the largest area possible (including friends and foes), centered on the caster, who loses all mana he had. Further gathering attempts in that region are reduced in one die for one day as the nature needs to recharge.

 

I think this is starting to move in the right direction, but the Backlash effect is hardly ever likely to occur because it will basically require a 1 rolled on every dice. How about ruling that when trying to Gather more mana, if the roll is less than the previous roll by more than (or equal to) Mind x 2? This may then make the sorcerer decide that Holding on to mana is a better option, and the casting or more powerful spells now presents greater risks.

I think the numbers would look something like this (apologies for the formatting)...

Mind Average Maximum Mind x 2
1      3-4        6           2
2      7          12          4
3      10-11    18          6
4      14         24          8
5      17-18    30          10

This may seem a bit "number crunchy" but it is actually very easy to calculate and could work well with your proposed magic system. It's just an idea http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png


 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

5/12/2014 11:37 am  #9


Re: Mana Gathering

The GIT! wrote:

I think this is starting to move in the right direction, but the Backlash effect is hardly ever likely to occur because it will basically require a 1 rolled on every dice. How about ruling that when trying to Gather more mana, if the roll is less than the previous roll by more than (or equal to) Mind x 2? This may then make the sorcerer decide that Holding on to mana is a better option, and the casting or more powerful spells now presents greater risks. 

I'm liking this. I think this is almost what I need.

Yes, at first I've thought that the Backlash would happen on "all 1s"... Your idea is better than mine, but I want to keep it less number crunchy.

However, making a quick math here (mind this is only on the top of my head--I've not found the actual probabilities), your method creates almost an amount of Backlashes as if the player had rolled "all 1s and 2s".

Wouldn't be the case of rulling Backlashes when rolling "all 1s and 2s" to minimize any calculations?


Marcelo "Fermmoylle" Paschoalin
Brazilian Novelist and RPG author
     Thread Starter
 

5/12/2014 11:48 am  #10


Re: Mana Gathering

Fermmoylle wrote:

The GIT! wrote:

I think this is starting to move in the right direction, but the Backlash effect is hardly ever likely to occur because it will basically require a 1 rolled on every dice. How about ruling that when trying to Gather more mana, if the roll is less than the previous roll by more than (or equal to) Mind x 2? This may then make the sorcerer decide that Holding on to mana is a better option, and the casting or more powerful spells now presents greater risks. 

I'm liking this. I think this is almost what I need.

Yes, at first I've thought that the Backlash would happen on "all 1s"... Your idea is better than mine, but I want to keep it less number crunchy.

However, making a quick math here (mind this is only on the top of my head--I've not found the actual probabilities), your method creates almost an amount of Backlashes as if the player had rolled "all 1s and 2s".

Wouldn't be the case of rulling Backlashes when rolling "all 1s and 2s" to minimize any calculations?

You're probably right with your math (I wasn't able to crunch the numbers as I'm at work http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/embarrassed.png
) but Backlash on 1's or 2's could be the solution. I really like the way this magic system is developing.

 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

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