Friday, December 10, 2010

draft Wessex MU rules

1) Normal rules apply except new rule outlined below.
2) No spell may be memorized more than once in a single daily payload.
3) Memorized spells may be cast multiple times by means of an Overcast Roll on the second and subsequent usages.
4) Unmemorized but known spells may also be cast by means of the Overcast Rolls.
5) Known = in your library of spells
6) Failure of an Overcast Roll locks out that spell’s further usage that day. A memorized spell may not be cast for the rest of the day. Failing to Overcast a merely known spell locks out all further Overcasting of spells of that level.
7) An Overcasting Roll may also be used to read an unknown spell out of a spell book. Such castings, unlike the other uses of Overcasting Rolls, are subject to the possibility of Fumbling the casting.
8) Memorized spells remain memorized until the caster re-memorizes a new spell. If you memorize Fireball today you will remember it tomorrow, whether you cast it today or not.
9) As a consequence of rules 5 and 8 most MUs do not carry there spellbooks about with them, as they only need to be consulted when the memorized spells need to be changed.
10) Unless otherwise specified newly minted PC magic-users will be assumed to have a spooky chambers in some lodging, a crumbly old tower or a Batcave located in someplace convenient for the present adventure, such as the town the party is based out of.
11) Most spells require sonorously intoning a verbal formula and use of the proper gestures.
12) Magic Words represent a special class of spell. They can never be memorized in the mechanical sense; they can only be Overcast. This is because virtually no effort is required to memorize them, the trick is understanding the specialized vocalization and cogitation required at casting. Cf. Crowley’s use of Enochian or the Weirding Way of Dune. Hearing another MU use a Magic Word is all that is necessary to learn and begin employing it.
13) Ritual Magic represents a second special class of spell, in that they require some sort of material and/or procedural component that must be prepared prior to casting.

Charts here.


  1. Why is there no chance of insane wild-magic chain reactions?

    Has the grad school mentality already done you in?

  2. Does the chance for spell failure on the Overcast chart go down as the spell caster gains levels?

  3. Zak S: Past experience with my play group indicates that the overcast rules will not be used at all if I include a ridiculous spell fumble chance in the basic rules. I have to find back doors for such things.

    Chutalik: Yes. The link at the end of the post shows the charts.

  4. Sheesh, kids these days.

  5. I love it! Of course, as written a first level MU has an 8% chance per day of cooking off some major mojo. I can't wait to abuse this rule!

  6. Oh duh I missed that link, well that makes it hella more clear.

  7. Good.
    I am thinking something similar for my retro-clone. What I would make different:
    a) you must roll also for first casting
    b) the result should be something like
    success, success but spell cannot be cast again, failure and spell cannot be cast again, side effect+failure+spell cannot be cast again
    C) different tables/effects for "memorized spells" and "known spells"
    D) limits on the number of knowable spells

  8. A wonderful set of rules, but I'm afraid that all I can think of now is that I want to be playing a Dune RPG as a Fremen who's learning the Weirding Way...

  9. I've been working on something remarkably similar, even toyed with calling the effect "overcasting". I am using a table of wacky effects, with a 2-to-1 ratio of harmful-to-beneficial results for the caster and party.

    One important element I've found in my limited playtesting is that players are more likely to accept the possibility of adverse extra effects if they are at least sure that the spell they cast will go off. So my rule is that overcast spells never fail, but it becomes increasingly more likely to fail the overcast check.