Making Random Wizards Part 2: Magic Innate Attacks (Ice, Poison, and More)

This is a continuation of the work I started here.

Technically, I should use costs FP and other modifiers, but I think it is easier to track (ease matters) if I make it Limited Use. Afterall, the thing that matters is how many times in this encounter can the wizard hit me with this thing? Continue reading “Making Random Wizards Part 2: Magic Innate Attacks (Ice, Poison, and More)”

Reflection on Session 6

Overall, a fun session for me. It was good to get back into it. Here are some thoughts:

  • The elves were not that powerful for peril 3. I need to start incorporating minor powers into some of my made up encounters.
  • Carys really felt like a combat master this session, she was dispatching foes left and right even while outnumbered.
  • It was fun to see our enemy finally show up and cause trouble. It ended up being Mireya who sidelined Bastian with a broken arm.
  • The kusari is a good weapon for a recurring enemy since she can fight on the outskirts of the main combat and run when things turn against her.
  • Low level archers are not very effective.
  • The treasure tables have a lot of randomness in them, particularly the coin results. You can get thousands of coins or just a few. I think it is by design, and it keeps things interesting, but I had a number of good rolls last time and made a lot of money.
  • With 5 character points, it is time for Carys to buy Perception on the way to growing her IQ.
  • Right now I am thinking about adding two new PCs: a rogue/thief and a wizard. The thief would need some combat ability. I still am unsure exactly how I want the wizard to look.
  • Most likely, I will be doing that instead of a session this week, but we’ll find out.

As always, thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

Session 6

In the last session, the siblings killed two more bandits and explored more of the ruined fort that the bandits have been using as a base of operations. At the end, they had just gone down a staircase into an underground area and dispatched the bandit who ambushed them there. They have three hands for bounty and a bunch of other stuff too. What else will they find? Continue reading “Session 6”

Making Random Wizards Part 1: Magic Innate Attacks (Fire and Lightning)

One of the hardest types of enemies to create and play are enemy wizards. You have to choose a bunch of spells and typically have many choices to make while playing them. Certainly playing without a GM makes this even harder, and yet evil wizards are such a staple of the fantasy genre that we can not exclude them. I plan to work out a serviceable, random wizard generator for use with GM-less play. I will base it on the peril system from The Collaborative Gamer.

Today, I focus on the simplest and flashiest part of a wizard’s arsenal: the innate attack. Continue reading “Making Random Wizards Part 1: Magic Innate Attacks (Fire and Lightning)”

Reflection on Session 5

Session 5 was cut a little short and so there was not that much done.

  • The fight with the bandit with the flail went on comically long. In retrospect, Carys should have been feinting more; she could expect to succeed by 5 on average and the bandit would only just succeed.
  • The end of fights typically has the two siblings standing over a fallen foe and stabbing (or bashing) them repeatedly. It is certainly effective, but perhaps not the most heroic look.
  • I didn’t mention it in session, but the siblings are up to three severed hands for their bounty collection.
  • One of the things that isn’t clear in a bounty adventure is, what is the “goal” in the dungeon. Normally that is the target monster or treasure or lore or something. Should I say the goal is just a large group of bandits?
  • Related to that, I am not sure how to judge when this is over. The dungeon could go on and on and there could always be more bandits. Right now I plan to go until the siblings need to leave, and then call it good.
  • This has been a very treasure-rich dungeon. Sometimes the randomness favors you.
  • The bandit with the dagger had no chance, I should have given him a sword or something.
  • It is a little odd at the end, when the level change turns out to be “not what it seemed.” I took it to mean that it was ALSO a lair for enemies, but still a stairs down. Maybe it could have somehow not been a level change, but I could not figure out how that would work.

I am pleased with how things are going, but am always interested in other thoughts. Let me know what you think.

Spells as Powers

So I already said that I don’t use the regular magic system, not because it is bad, but because it just seems too different to me. I prefer to use advantages to represent magic spells and such, so I take a more ‘magic as powers’ approach. As I understand it, this is similar to the approach taken in the Sorcery version of magic. There currently is no Wizard in our party of PCs, but I’d like there to be one at some point, so I decided to start fleshing some things out. As always, this is all coming from Basic and Powers.

Power: Magic (-10%)

I just use the magic modifier from Powers. It is good and fits into a fantasy campaign. Thus it is affected by magic resistance and so on.

Common Modifiers:

There are many ways to build spell-like powers. Here are some of my assumptions and how they are modeled mechanically. This is not the only way to go. In fact, I want to make another kind of magic based on the Spirit modifier sometime. But that time is not today.

Spells take time. In genre, wizards need to sometimes make elaborate productions in order to get their magic to work. Either Limited Use, Preparation Required, Takes Extra Time, or Requires Recharge could make sense. Personally, Takes Extra Time is what I will normally use, since I imagine magic as a careful manipulation of forces.

Spells are obvious. I will generally use the modifiers Requires gestures and Requires magic words from Powers. It again fits my imagination, and it separates magic from something like psionics which would happen at just a thought. This makes it so wizards can be meaningfully restrained, as well.

Spells are tiring. Most magic will have Costs Fatigue on it. I might make some small spells be essentially free, but not too many. Some magic spells might have Requires Concentration as well.

Spells normally ignore mundane defences. Malediction will be common, but magic that creates a physical object to deal damage will not.

 Example Spells:

Force Bolt (-15%): Innate Attack, 1d cr (Double Knockback, +20%; Takes Extra Time 1,-10%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Costs Fatigue 1, -5%)

This is a simple and weak spell which costs 4.25/lvl. At a low level, double knockback does not add much, but at high levels adds a lot.

Fire Rain(+70%): Innate Attack, 1d burn (Area Effect, 4 yds, +100%; Overhead, +30%; Bombardment skill 12, -10%; Takes Extra Time 2,-20%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Costs Fatigue 2, -10%)

This spell is expensive at 8.5/lvl, but it does what it is supposed to do.

Sleep Spell (+180%): Affliction 1 (Sleep, +150%; Malediction, +100%; Takes Extra Time 3,-30%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Costs Fatigue 4, -20%)

This spell shows how hard it is to build an affordable sleep spell. This costs 28 and puts one target to sleep. Old timey DnD had a level one sleep spell affect multiple HD of monsters. It made Magic Missile look like crap. A slightly more affordable spell is a dazing one.

Daze Spell (+100%): Affliction 1 (Daze, +50%; Malediction, +100%; Takes Extra Time 2,-20%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Costs Fatigue 2, -10%)

Still a lot at 20 points.

Darkness (): Obscure 8 (Defensive, +50%; Takes Extra Time 2,-20%; Requires Gestures, -10%; Requires Magic Words, -10%; Costs Fatigue 2, -10%)

This comes in at 16 and is a decent defense. It could be a frightening attack too, with a wizard with melee attacks.


Innate attacks are cheap enough and a stunning affliction is reasonable. Damage resistance could be made ok and some other things as well. Area effects and strong afflictions are very hard to get at a reasonable cost. There are probably movement and sensory powers which are easily in range. This approach will require further thought.