Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Varied Magery

The wizard's name is -- uh -- Merklynn. Yeah, that's it.
For me, one of the big attractions to new Fantasy RPGs is to check out the magic systems (which are part of the overall setting, yes) and the mechanics used.

While in the HERO System, almost any magic system can be created (with varying degrees of ease) the concept behind the system is where it usually starts first.

Now, what if -- rather than starting 1st level and moving up in a general sort of magic school -- you start in a very specific (yet eventually broad) niche? I'm not talking about evocation, abjuration necessarily but... well, here's a list:

Color-based philosophies
White Magery -- healing, curing, purification, absolution, resurrection
Black Magery -- damage, corruption, destruction, damnation
Colouratives -- auric manipulation, light manipulation (visual illusions), prismatics

Elemental Magery
- fire mages (aduromagus? pyromancy?)
- water mages (aquamagus? hydromancy?)
- metal mages (terramagus A?)
- plant mages (terramagus B?)
- air mages (aeromagus?)
Alternative Magery
- sound and frequency mages (clamormancers?)
- summoners / channelers
  -- human spirits (saints, powerful deceased)
  -- inhuman spirits (holy spirits, elemental spirits, fallen spirits)
  -- holy entities
  -- unholy entities


  1. Wan't that how 4th ed. Fantasy Hero did it? It had different Colleges of magic, like Storm Mages, Ice Wizards, etc. It's a cool way of doing magic.

  2. I remember that it had something like that, but with very short spell lists (obviously) for each.

    5th Ed has some interesting approaches too -- two different rationales and mechanics for the Vancian/D&D spell approach and a host of others...

  3. In my Vivid system I have a mechanic called Repose. Basically it's what you must do to 'recharge' your abilities. Different types of magic users have different methods of Repose, associated with their source of power or approach to power.

    For example, necromancers' Repose consists of associating themselves with death and decay - sleeping in a cemetery, or an old battlefield, anywhere there are quite a few people buried. My wife played a character with control over the winds and tides of the sea, plus an affinity to some sea creatures; her character's Repose was to play with dolphins. :-)

    It adds quite a bit of flavor, and it can also put severe limitations on character power - which could be roleplaying hooks. For example, there's the cleric of the sun god, who needs to spend time praying in bright daylight ...


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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