WOIN Simplifying WOIN's magic rules for a starter kit

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
This is very much 'in development' and will almost certainly change before publication, but it gives an idea of where it's going. As you can see, it's a very simplified version. It does not include the full range of spell effects found in the main rules.

Magic​

In What’s OLD is NEW, magic is a ‘freeform’ system in which you create your spells on the fly by spending magic points (MP).

Anybody can use magic as long as they have a POWER score.


Magic Points​

You have a number of magic points equal to five times your POWER dice pool. Casting a spell costs 1 or more spell points, but you cannot spend more MP in one spell than the number of dice you have in your POW dice pool.

For example, e.g. if you have POWER 4d6 you have 20 magic points and can spend up to 4 MP on any single spell.

You recover all of your MP by spending an hour resting.


Theme​

Choose a magical theme. This might be fire, insects, plants, weather, or something else. Your spells all manifest themselves along that theme. For example, if you are trying to unlock a door and your theme is fire, you might melt the lock; if it is insects, a hoard of termites might eat their way through the wood for you. The effect is the same, but the actual details vary.


Casting​

Casting your spell requires one action, a POWER attribute check, and the expenditure of one or more magic points.

Effects. If you are using magic to accomplish a task which already has a difficulty value associated with it (such as unlocking a cell door, lifting a fallen tree), then you will need to make a POW attribute check at that same difficulty. If the action would not normally attract an attribute check, such as washing the dishes or closing a window, then neither does the magical action.

Attacks. If you are attacking a creature with your magic, you will need to make a POW attribute check vs. its relevant DEFENSE. An unwilling target always requires an attribute check or attack.


Skills​

Just like with any other attribute check, you can combine your POW check with a relevant skill. This increases the size of your dice pool as normal (and the maximum number of MP you can spend on a spell).
  • Abjuration (for protection)
  • Compulsion (for controlling creatures)
  • Displacement (for moving things)
  • Evocation (for blasting stuff)
  • Healing (for curing wounds)
  • Summoning (for summoning or controlling creatures)
A necromancer with POW 4d6 and summoning 3d6 has a 7d6 dice pool when casting a necromantic spell. That means she has 20 MP, and can cast an undead summoning spell with up to 7 MP.


Spell Statistics

The statistics of your spell are based on the number of magic points you spend. You can spend magic points to increase your spell’s range, area, damage, duration, and other values. The table below shows how many magic points you need to spend to achieve each effect. You must spend at least 1 MP to cast a spell.

You must purchase each statistic separately–so for 6 MP you might spend 3 MP on range and 3 MP on damage, or you might spend 2 MP on range, 2 MP on area, and 2 MP on damage.

MP
Range
Area
Duration
Damage
Protection
Summoning/Control
0​
0’​
5’​
instant​
1​
SOAK 1d6​
1d6 (woodland critter)​
1​
10’​
10’​
1 round​
1d6​
SOAK 1d6​
2d6​
2​
30’​
20’​
concentration​
2d6​
SOAK 1d6​
3d6 (skeleton, zombie)​
3​
50’​
30’​
1 minute​
3d6 or condition​
SOAK 2d6​
4d6 (wolf)​
4​
100’​
50’​
-​
4d6​
SOAK 2d6​
5d6 (headless)​
5​
150’​
75’​
1 hour​
5d6​
SOAK 2d6​
6d6 (bear)​
6​
200’​
100’​
-​
6d6​
SOAK 2d6​
7d6 (mountain troll)​
7​
300’​
150’​
8 hours​
7d6​
SOAK 3d6​
8d6 (velociraptor)​
8​
400’​
200’​
-​
8d6​
SOAK 3d6​
9d6 (plague demon)​
9​
500’​
250’​
1 day​
9d6​
SOAK 3d6​
10d6 (hill giant)​
10​
600’​
300’​
-​
10d6​
SOAK 4d6​
11d6 (t-rex)​

Range/Area. The maximum range of your spells is determined by the number of magic points you spend, and you can affect an area with a maximum diameter also determined by your magic points.

Movement. You can move a creature or object which fits within the area of your spell, including yourself, anywhere within range of your spell. The form of the movement is based on your theme–perhaps you are born aloft by insects, or you telekinetically lift a rock. The movement is physical.

If you wish to teleport instead, it must be to a location you can see, and the maximum range is halved.

Duration. You can affect one person or object for an amount of time based on the MP you spend, or you can divide that duration between multiple people or targets within the spell’s area.

A duration of ‘concentration’ means that the spell lasts for as long as you concentrate on it, which uses both of your actions for the round.

Damage & healing. Your MP expenditure determines the total amount of damage you can inflict or heal. This damage or healing can be applied to one target or divided between multiple targets within the area. The damage type is determined by your theme.

Alternatively, for 3 MP you can inflict or remove a condition such as blinded or charmed.

Protection. You can bestow SOAK for the duration of the spell. If your SOAK only applies to one damage type, you can increase the protection by +1d6 for free. It’s up to you what this looks like–a ghostly shield or suit of armor, a protective sphere, or perhaps your skin takes on the semblance of stone.

Summoning. You can summon a creature with a Maximum Dice Pool equal to or less than that indicated by your MP expenditure, or multiple creatures whose combined MDPs are equal to or less than that MDP. The creature will be allied with you until it vanishes or leaves at the end of the spell’s duration.

Control. You can compel or control a creature of the same grade that you can summon one.


Examples​

For example, if you have a POW dice pool of 4d6 or more, by spending 4 MP you can:
  • Make a ranged attack to throw a bolt of fire at a zombie 30' away and do 2d6 fire damage.
  • Heal 2d6 HEALTH divided between allies within a 20' diameter area.
  • Summon a woodland critter for 1 minute.
  • Protect yourself with SOAK 1d6 for the same amount of time, or with SOAK 2d6 for fire damage only.
  • Teleport yourself 50'.
 
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Reynard

Legend
One thing I would do is explicitly clarify the number of MP you can spend includes the level of the skill you are employing. It might be worth defining POW and the skills first.
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
I see some aspects are not just simplified but also different from Elements of Magic: the attribute MAGIC is replaced by POWER, the total MP pool is 5x POWER dice instead of 3x MAGIC dice, the max MP expenditure also considers skill dice (while in EOM it's only based on MAGIC iirc), and the table with effects and MP expenditure is a quite different. Overall this simplified system also seems to allow for slightly more powerful spells for the same MP cost, and to cast more powerful spells in general.
Is this a sign that EOM will be revised as well?
 


lichmaster

Adventurer
It is not. It is just me trying to draft a simple fun starter set.
Even if it's just a draft, I think it captures a good portion of this awesome magic system while still being way less complex. It's probably a very good way to get players started and excited about building their own spells on the spot!

I'll be curious to see how the next iterations evolve, keep up the great work!
 

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