Friday, March 15, 2013

Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw 7


7: Design the Game Mechanics: Magic

As discussed in spellcasting, there are both standard spells and general magic. Here's what you can expect your character to be able to do with general magic, divided up by class


Astronomy:

First Year: identify the class & sub-class of obvious magical effects based on their planetary tuning. It will help a witch to quickly determine if the giant spider that just appeared was conjured, a transformed being, an animated statue or is an acromantula and therefore not part of a spell.

Second Year: As with first year, but the witch can use it on subtle effects, i.e. determine an enchantment rather than identifying the spell as it is cast. In addition, the witch can reduce the higher year spell penalty by 1 per level (so a 2nd year aiming for a 4th year effect would only have a -10 rather than -12).

Third Year: detect the existence of magical effects by lingering influence. This allows a witch to see if something is enchanted; she can follow up on figuring out how. In addition, the witch can reduce the penalty for trying a higher year spell by 2 per level (a 3rd year trying 5th year effect would have a -8).

Fourth Year: Magically discern apt times & places for ritual magic. In addition, the witch can reduce the penalty for trying a higher year spell by 3 per level (a 4th year trying a 6th year effect would have a -6.)

Fifth Year: detect the preparation of a ritual spell as it is being cast - the Potions lab will bubble with this sort of magic while class is in session. In addition, the witch can reduce the penalty for trying a higher year spell by 4 per level (a 5th year trying a 7th year effect would have a -4.)

Astronomy does not have 6th and 7th year classes

Charms:

A type of magic concerned with giving an object new and unexpected properties

First Year: Assign single property based on high similarity (turning pincushions into hedgehogs) or minor movement effects (making small things levitate); effects are limited to what someone could hold or lift in her hand and for as long as the witch concentrates on the spell.

Second Year: as first year, but effects are now limited to two hands in size and lift, and last for a few seconds past the end of concentration.

Third Year: as the second year, but effects are now limited in size to whatever a normal person could embrace or lift, and last for several minutes

Fourth Year: The witch can now assign single properties based on moderate similarity or multiple properties based on high similarity and the duration is now hours. Otherwise as third year.

Fifth Year: As fourth year, but the size of the objects has now increased fourfold and the duration is in days

Sixth Year: The witch can now assign single properties based on slight similarity or multiple properties based on moderate similarity; duration is now weeks. Otherwise as per fifth year.

Seventh Year: As sixth year, but the size of the objects is now increased another tenfold (so 40 times what a normal person could lift or embrace), and the duration is now months.

Defense Against Dark Arts:

This class teaches defensive techniques to block spells, charms, curses, hexes and jinxes cast by other wizards, counteract the Dark Arts, and to protect from Dark creatures.
First Year: students are taught basic defensive charms against as well as defenses against many common hexes (defending against hexes etc. is at +/-3 per level between hex year [highly experienced mages can still use first year hexes] and defender year). Students learn to identify small common menaces and spells to delay them.

Second Year: basic defensive charm training continues; Students continue learning about small common menaces and spells to dispel or damage them.

Third Year: basic defensive charm training continues; Students begin learning about larger, less common menaces – what people normally think of as ‘monsters’ in the form of vampires or werewolves – and spells that delay them.  Spells that will seriously delay a wizard are now being taught.

Fourth Year: basic defensive charm training continues, as does learning about larger, less common menaces – spells against them will now damage them.

Fifth Year:  basic defensive charm training continues, as does learning about larger, less common menaces – spells against them will now have a chance to dispel or destroy them

Sixth Year: basic defensive charm training continues. Study moves to defending against other wizards (or some truly rare or terrifying creatures of the dark arts, but in the end the worst thing a wizard can face is another wizard). Spells that can directly damage other humans are now taught, if sparingly.


Seventh Year: basic defensive charm training continues, as are spells that can be lethal to other humans (though mostly theoretically, with the focus still on damaging and incapacitating spells)

Herbology:

The study of magical plants and how to care for, utilize and/or combat them.

First Year: teaching focuses on common greenhouse techniques and the medicinal uses of various plants to cure conditions that are mostly trivial.  Students are given single magical plants to tend to for each term, which is mixed up year by year as practical study of greenhouse techniques.

Second Year: advanced greenhouse techniques and medicinal uses, but the conditions become more important. Witches continue practical tending of individual plant species.

Third Year: final year of standard greenhouse techniques. Medicinal uses continue but expand to greater levels – upon completing year 3 witches should be able to identify and remember uses for all common magical medicinal plants. Witches continue practical tending of individual plant species.

Fourth Year: Witches start studying broad range of plant species for their value as potion and enchantment components and the introduction of sentient plant species. Charms affecting the growth and development of plants are discussed.

Fifth Year: Continued study of plants as components and sentient plants. Charms that can damage or drive off plant species are discussed. Students work with highly mobile and or dangerous species.

Sixth Year: Greenhouse work expands to non-European environments, with a focus on desert and rainforest species.

Seventh Year: Greenhouse work expands to oceanic or non-terrestrial environments, with deep sea, lunar, Venusian or Martian species discussed

Potions:

The art of creating mixtures with magical effects. It requires few incantations, instead requiring the correct mixing and stirring of ingredients at the right times and temperatures.

First Year: teaching focuses on common lab techniques and  uses of potions to cure or inflict conditions that are mostly trivial.  Students are given a new potion to successfully perform each week; effects cannot damage people or dictate actions.

Second Year: advanced lab techniques and medicinal or cosmetic uses, but the conditions become more important. Mastery of first year potions is expected by end of second year.

Third Year: final year of standard lab techniques. Medicinal uses continue but expand to greater levels – upon completing year 3 witches should be able to identify and brew dozens of potions with restorative or cosmetic effect.

Fourth Year: Studies shift to minor personal transformational effects (such as polyjuice potion) or things that will alter the mildly reactions of the imbiber (such as mild truth serums).  Reagents can be made that will slightly alter physical objects on contact that will be short term (or permanent if destructive).

Fifth Year: potions can generator major personal transformations or mild psychological alterations that are more difficult to resist. Reagents will make significant alterations of physical objects that are short term.

Sixth Year: Potion work expands to mild effects on non-human imbibers, or significant psychological alterations that are relatively easy to resist. Reagents can make significant alterations that are moderate term.

Seventh Year: Potion work expands to significant effect on non-human imbibers, more difficutl to resist psychological alterations or longer lasting, significant material changes via reagents.

Transfiguration:

The act of changing something into something else through magic. (I must note that as a designer the highly imprecise division between charms and transfiguration drives me nuts, but I’m stuck with it.)

First Year: make a single change to an object, including providing it with limited locomotion. Effects are limited to what someone could hold or lift in her hand and for as long as the witch concentrates on the spell.

Second Year: as first year, but effects are now limited to two hands in size, and last for a few seconds past the end of concentration.

Third Year: as the second year, but effects are now limited in size to whatever a normal person could embrace, and last for several minutes

Fourth Year: The witch can now make up to three changes to an object, including both locomotion and full articulation (so rather than lumber the statue can dance). Otherwise as third year.

Fifth Year: As fourth year, but the size of the objects has now increased fourfold, and the duration is for hours

Sixth Year: can now make up to 6 changes to an object (size, weight, locomotion, articulation, location, speed to teleport a statue of a spider to you, make it grown, keep its weight down, let it move with super5human speed and full articulation). Otherwise as per fifth year.

Seventh Year: As sixth year, but the size of the objects is now increased another tenfold (so 40 times what a normal person could lift or embrace) and the duration extends to months.