Friday, November 21, 2008

draft Cinder house rules, part 2

Thanks for all the great feedback on part 1! Hear are my tweaks to the magic system.

Home Is Where the Spellbook Is
Magic-users, elves and other arcane spellcasters are not required to carry spellbooks on their adventures. After six or more hours sleep and a brief period of meditation a wizard is able to realign their neural pathways into the patterns needed to focus spell energy. This allows the caster to recharge the previous day’s load of spells. Studying a spellbook is only required for initial memorization and to change the wizard’s spell selection.

No Double Dipping

Memorizing the same spell twice sets up destructive interference in the brain of a wizard. Thus a second level magic-user (who can cast 2 spells per day) may safely memorize sleep and charm person, but not two sleeps or two charms.

Membership Has Its Privileges
Newly minted level 1 magic-users and elves are assumed to have apprenticed in the traditions of the Sorcerer’s Guild of H’Kaag, an ancient city ruled by a council of magic-users. As a benefit of belonging to this long line of wizardly inheritance, new PCs begin play with a spellbook, written in the language of their choice, containing the mystic formulae for all the first, second, and third level spells taught by the Guild (see attached list). However most of these spells are not yet fully understood by fledgling mages of 0xp. The player rolls d6 plus their Intelligence modifier (minimum result 1) to determine how many spells they actually understand well enough to memorize and cast. The rest of the spells in the spellbook are not fully understood and may not be memorized.

Each time a new level is achieved the player may attempt to understand more spells by making an Intelligence roll on a d20. If the roll is under the Intelligence of the character, the spell is completely understood. If the number is higher than the Int score, the spell remains incomprehensible and cannot be used. If the roll exactly equals the Int score the spell is partially understood and may be memorized and used if the character is brave enough. Dice are then thrown only for spells that the character could possibly cast. The player may then pick one additional unknown spell or two partially-understood spells that are now automatically understood by the wizard.

The Alchemist Option
The automatic spell(s) learned upon leveling up assume that the magic-user has been studying spell formulae during the course of gaining the level. Alternately, a wizard may opt to putter around with potions instead. This option costs 2d6 x 500gp in laboratory expenses, paid at the time a new level is gained. The decision to take this option must be made before the dice for cost are thrown and if the magic-user cannot afford the cost what money they have is forfeit and nothing gained by their efforts. If the cash is available, the player must roll lower than their character’s Intelligence on a d20 to gain knowledge of a random potion formula. Potions are created at a rate of money and time set by the Labyrinth Lord, but typically around 500gp and 2 weeks. Roughly 1 in 6 spellbooks include a potion recipe. (And 1 in 12 spellbooks contain miscellaneous useful arcane knowledge.) Elves may not select the alchemist option.

Scrolls for All
Magic-users of any level may make scrolls of any spell they can understand. The cost is 250gp and one week of time per spell level. Up to three spells may be inscribed upon a single scroll. Starting at 9th level the magic-user can roll to understand spells of levels higher than they can cast, which allows them to make scrolls of spells they could not otherwise use. Elves follow the standard scroll creation rules.

Books or Beer?
Magic-users and elves must choose between being studious scholars of the magical arts or carousing with their adventuring buddies. Taking advantage of the Ale & Wenches rule makes the Alchemist Option impossible and cancels the die rolls for comprehending new spells. You still get your automatic spell pick, though.