Magic-User Options

Creating game materials? Monsters, spells, classes, adventures? This is the place!
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Solomoriah
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Magic-User Options

Post Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:09 am

Post your comments here for Tom Hoyt's Magic-User Options supplement.

http://www.basicfantasy.org/downloads.h ... seroptions
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
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Maliki
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:30 am

Nice work, the intelligence bonus for spells is a houserule of mine, I also like the listing of additional supplements.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:11 pm

Indeed. The Supplements Appendix is a nice quick reference list to other options.

This is also nicely laid out as well, and gives the rationale behind the option ideas. I can see where he's coming from on this.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:43 pm

Thanks, guys. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or ideas for it.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:53 pm

I'm moving some suggestions from the thread in General Discussion, just to keep all the ideas in one place.
SmootRK wrote:Some additional ideas to add to your document:
Familiars
Spell Specialization (like fighters with weapons, get some kudos with specific spells)
Circle/Group/Ritual Magic (ie. Cooperative Magic)
Solomoriah wrote:The number of spells a magic-user can cast per day represents the amount of magical energy the caster can hold in abeyance.

It would be possible to abstract those rules, allowing a caster to keep unused slots for spells, then use them in "long format" when needed. For instance, a magic-user might leave a first-level slot free, then spend a few minutes casting read magic or detect magic as needed. Such an unused slot would be useless in combat, so would represent a trade-off for the magic-user, but when the character reaches 5th level or so, leaving unused slots would add adventuring flexibility (particularly if he or she has a variety of spells available).

This could easily be extended to clerics, and in fact would be more useful for them (as they have few "combat" spells), allowing lesser-used spells some play.
KeithCampbell wrote:Why not allow the magic use to simply cast the desired spell as a ritual, without even worrying about slots - OR to replenish a slot during the day, by spending some uninterrupted time performing the ritual?

A few possibilities:

It might be harder to replenish a slot than to simply work a ritual spell. Perhaps replenishing a slot takes a half hour or more.

Assuming the rituals are usually performed in the morning because the mage is well-rested, performing the rituals or replenishing slots during the day could cost hit points, representing fatigue, which might increase with spell level.

This would still make beginning magic users rather weak in combat, as spells at-the-ready would be few, but would eliminate the need for beginner parties to constantly have to run back to town to rest up, or spike the door to a secure chamber and camp. That gets a tad tedious. And, as Solomoriah mentioned, it might give more opportunity for beginning clerics to actually DO a few things, and give more play to neglected non-combat spells.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Fri May 06, 2011 9:05 pm

Mostly notes to myself here, a list of things to consider for the next release.

I found Smoot's ideas for familiars over in another thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=201

Smoot's ideas for a Conjurer class:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=151
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:48 pm

I have, at long last, finished the second release of the Magic-User Options supplement.

There is still more that can be done with it, including adding some of the options discussed earlier in this thread, but this is what I have now and life's about to get busy, so I decided to release what I have and update this supplement again when life calms down a bit.

This version is almost twice as long as the first, incorporating a number of additional optional rules as well as a few examples of how the various options might be put together to create a particular feel for a campaign.

As always, I welcome comments and suggestions.

EDIT 1/19/12: The files I had attached here earlier as release two contained a small error in the second paragraph of the 'Start at Second Level' option.

EDIT 1/21/12: I have gone through and am rewriting parts of this supplement, so I have removed the files. I plan to have the real, true, final and complete supplement up today or tomorrow. Sorry for any confusion!
Last edited by Sir Bedivere on Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:55 pm

In another thread, teluria suggested using the optional skills supplements to give the Magic-User some additional usefulness.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:43 pm

An analysis by Solomoriah in another thread that I'd like to reference in the third release:
Solomoriah wrote:There are three common mistakes made when trying to "fix" the magic-user.

The first is obvious: Giving bonus spells for high intelligence. There is a reason Gary didn't put a bonus spell table in HIS game for magic-users... handing out extra magic missile spells makes magic-users more powerful at high level than you might think.

The second is to use some form of spell points system. This doesn't work, and for the same reason.

The third is to create a different class of magic-users (sorcerers, anyone?) with different spell casting rules, and using them in the game side-by-side with the classic magic-user types. This is jarring, first of all... it doesn't fit. Second, the result tends to be that the new class gets all the "love" while the classic class becomes largely NPCs.

Spell points and bonus spells both cause problems because the spells in BFRPG, and in practically all the other old-school games we're all fans of, are not engineered to balance properly with any other rate of spell acquisition and use. My favorite counter-example is Bard Games' Arcanum, a very similar class-and-level system with a very different spell casting rule. You could cast two spells plus one per level every day, and you could choose from any spells you knew, regardless of level. Yup. At 9th level, you could cast either 10 or 11 spells (depending on how the GM interpreted the rule) and they could ALL be 5th level. But that game had spells carefully engineered so that the overall utility of every spell remained good at all levels. Higher level spells allowed effects not available at lower levels, but higher level casters were still fairly likely to use lower level spells. Try that spellcasting rule in BFRPG and you may see a few problems, like machine-gun magic-users...

The different class issue can be dealt with easily enough, actually. Make your new "magic-user" THE magic-user in your game; design them so that they can be dropped in as replacements for any and all magic-user characters in the game. Little as I like the sorcerer, I can see the attraction of a game where all arcane spellcasters were effectively sorcerers.
Sir Bedivere
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Re: Magic-User Options

Post Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:30 pm

Here's the second release of the Magic-User Options supplement. I have cleaned up the text a bit, added more options, and included some sample rule sets for various kinds of campaigns.

EDIT, 2/19/13: These files are no longer current, so I have removed them.
Last edited by Sir Bedivere on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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