Friday, April 5, 2013

Castle Mordha 3

3: Magic

Clerical Magic

There is a big break between Faith and normal Clerical turning and spellcasting – my largest change from the BD&D as writ. I’m making the change because I want the spellcasting classes to feel different I how they play. While Magic-Users and elves keep the Vancian magic, Clerics have a more flexible system with a number of effects per day chosen at the time of use, with turning undead being one of those uses. There’s still resource management, but it’s of a different sort.

That number of uses is the stat number from their Wisdom score plus their level in Cleric, so a 3rd level cleric with 12 Wisdom can draw on her faith 7 times a day. Faith mirrors many spells listed in the BD&D rules so the spell descriptions still apply.

Turning Undead is now a d12 test with the following scores



Clerics also gain minor advantages based on their selected deity.
·   Baal: God of Fire and Storms; +2 on saves vs. fire.
·   Baldur: God of Beauty & Bravery; can wield long swords.
·   Demeter: Goddess of Harvest and Marriage. Purify Food and Water spell actually creates food and wine.
·   Duncan: God of Music and Medicine; +4 on First Aid.
·   Horus: God of the Sky, Sun and Moon; -1d6 falling damage.
·   Ishtar: Goddess of Love and War; +1 on Reactions
·   The Many-Faced Death: The god of death has six known names and a seventh secret name; +2 on death/poison saves.

A quick look over the deity list (one you remember that Duncan was a PC in my modified Amber game who was nearly killed and buried alive, and then that the Pcs from that game were later deities in my modified Earthdawn setting) and you’ll see a mythical commonality in the non-Death gods: all of them somehow won a victory over a death god. This will likely be a theme for the campaign, but it’s mostly there to explain the commonality of Faith effects.

When the Cleric reaches 4th level she has a choice – to continue worshipping her existing god or to move into one of the two cults that proclaims that all the gods are shadows of a single life force and that life is a balance between life and death. These two cults are Monks (i.e. Asian style martial artists) and Druids. If she does change she gets a new array of Faith abilities but the broad mechanics of the Cleric Class are unchanged.

Magic User and Elf Magic

Two game rules for Arcane Magic: Its science right up to the point where it isn’t, and Cantrips ease adventuring burdens and remove some of Magic User back-loading.

Magic Users and Elves have several standard spell components
·   Mage’s Staff: made from hardwood or bone, this is stronger and heavier than it looks. It is – along with alchemical reagents – a spell component for Ignite, Light, Magic Missile, Pyrotechnics, Burning Spray and Stinking Cloud. These spells (save Ignite and Light) are accompanied by crack of thunder.
·   Mage’s Dagger: identifiable by their crystal pommels and thick grip these blades are made out lightweight material that never needs sharpening. The hollow hilt holds the mage’s parchment scraps and vials of unearthly powders. It is a spell component for Detect Magic, Read Magic, Identify, Read Languages, Detect Invisible and Locate Object; in most cases the mage holds the pommel to his eye and references the scraps while using the spells, but for Locate Object he imbibes as much unearthly powder as can fit on his knife tip.
·   Mage’s Medallion: shaped from twisted wire holding crystals or gemstones, concentrating on this allows the mage to create force of various sorts. It is a spell component for Armor, Floating Disk, Hold Portal, Knock, Shield, Unseen Servant, Levitate and Wizard Lock.
·   Mages Spell Book: 1st level Magic Users and Elves starts with multiple spells in their in their book (based on Intelligence, see above) even though they can only cast 4 cantrips and 1 first level spell per day. They must find, purchase or trade for new spells to add spells (and thus more options) to their book. Learning new found spells is an test modified by Intelligence and the Read Magic spell.

Basic Spell List

Change Self*
Burning Spray*
Detect Magic
Charm Person
Detect Invisible
Find Familiar*
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Magic Missile
Locate Object
Phantasmal Frc.
Mirror Image
Stinking Cloud*
Read Languages
Unseen Servant*
Read Magic
Wizard Lock

Magic User Spell Changes (*=non BD&D spell)
·   Armor*: (range 0, Duration 8 hours) an unbroken cloth garment becomes as durable as leather (AC +2). Every 3 caster levels the AC bonuses increases by +1, so at 9th level the mage’s robe (the most all covering garment) is AC +5.
·   Burning Spray* (Range 30’(see below)) The caster’s staff erupts with fire and smoke. If targeted at someone 10’ or less away it does 15 points of damage. If targeted 10 to 20 feet away it does 7 HP to two targets in a 10’ area. If targeted 20-30’ away it does 5 HP of damage to up to 3 targets in 15’
·   Change Self*: (Range 0 (caster only) Duration 6 turns) the caster can make himself look like someone else, including increases or decreases in height of 2’. If trying to look like a specific person this adds +4 to the test to deceive.
·   Detect Invisible: (Range 20’, Duration 8 hours) The caster has prepared his mind to notice the signs of invisibility, and gains a +6 on tests to detect invisible beings.
·   Detect Magic: (Range 60’, Duration 8 hours) but rather than making items glow the caster must stop and spend one round to examine one object or one turn to examine a room.
·   Enlarge/Reduce: (Range 20’, duration 1 turn) the object in question has its size doubled or reduced to 1/4th. If cast on a living being it gets a saving throw vs. Spells to resist and is at +2 to or -2 to hit and damage during the spell.
·   Find Familiar*: (Range 0 or 60’, duration permanent) The caster gains an animal companion of his choice, up to 20 lbs. They have 3 HP, AC 7 and a +4 on any stealth-type test. If pressed attack as level 1 and do 1d2 damage. The caster can control them and see through their eyes at 60’ distance. If within 10’, the familiar adds +2 to all Perception tests. If a familiar dies the caster suffers 1d4 damage and can summon a new familiar a year later. PCs starting with this spell are assumed to have cast it before play.
·   Friends*: (Range 0, Duration 6 turns): The caster gains a short term likability boost, gaining a +4 on social-type tests.
·   Identify*: (Range 0, Duration 8 hours) the caster has prepared his mind to remember defining characteristics of magical lore.
·   Ignite*: (Range 0, Duration 4 rounds) By touching it with his staff the caster can make a space about the size of his palm catch fire and burn for the duration (it may burn longer if the object is flammable). Living beings take 1 HP per round.
·   Light: (Range 0, Duration 8 hours) the light emanates from the casters staff, and can range to a flicker to near daylight.
·   Magic Missile: Damage is changed to 10pts + caster level.
·   Mending*: (Range 10’, Duration permanent) any broken object up to the size of a dungeon door is completely repaired.
·   Prestidigitation*: (Range 10’, Duration 1 turn) The caster can create any small, brief visual magical effect such as dancing lights, conjured animals, created tools and small illusions. None of these do damage, but give the caster or an ally a +2 on tests or +1 to hit if used in a clever fashion.
·   Push*: (range 30) A single man sized target is thrown back 2d6 feet +1d6 feet per 2 caster levels. Saving throw vs. spells will reduce the distance by half. Target takes 1d6 falling damage per 10’ of distance thrown. Larger than man sized creatures or objects are thrown 1/2 as far (1/4 with a Save).
·   Pyrotechnics*: (Range 100’, Duration 1 round or 1 turn) The caster can create an explosion of blinding fireworks lasting 1 round (all within a 30’ radius of the spells center must save vs. Spells or be blinded for 1 turn) or fill a 30’ radius with thick smoke (-4 penalty on all attacks and tests) for 1 turn. If the caster is next to an open flame and centers the effect on that the radius of either effect is increased to 100’, but he has the normal chance to suffer the effects and the fire goes out.
·   Read Languages: (Range 0, Duration 8 hours) the caster has prepared his mind with the basic rules of language, and has a +6 on tests to decipher any written language.
·   Read Magic: (Range 0, Duration 8 hours) the caster prepared his mind to read magical runes. This adds +6 to learn spells.
·   Scare* (Range 60’) everyone not on the casters side within a 60’ radius must make an immediate morale check at -4. Undead and other creatures without morale scores ignore this.
·   Stinking Cloud* (Range 120’, duration 1 turn) on casting a 20’ radius fills with noxious smoke. Not only does everyone in area suffer -2 on all tests and attacks from the smoke but they must make a save vs. Poison or collapse with nausea for 1 turn, taking no action. Undead and other non-living beings are immune to the poison but still suffer from the smoke.
·   Unseen Servant*: (range 20’ Duration 4 hours): this creates an invisible ‘helper’ for the caster that stays within 20 feet of him. It will not fight, but can carry up to 2500 coins (250 lbs) and perform simple functions like opening doors or tying knots. It is weightless and does not set off traps. If ordered to do so it can climb walls as a spider but cannot fly.

At 7th level Magic Users & Elves must choose a school: Illusion, Transmutation or Necromancy. Each school has 5 unique spells for 4th, 5th and 6th level that only members of that school learn. The other spells of those levels are shared by all arcane casters. Most (75%) of arcane casters opt for Transmutation, and they are considered to be ‘normal’ Magic-Users. 

1 comment:

  1. I like your spell lists and foci ideas. Giving more cantrip-like spells always seemed like a good idea for MUs, granting breath of effectiveness (and coolness) without dominating play too much.

    I also like the 7th level specialisation to make certain spells a proper choice and a potential cost (in forgone spells) for a MU.