Saturday, July 16, 2011

Magicians and Spell Books

I've been working on finding a good balance for magicians, their spell books, and resolve. In the rules as written, magicians have access to any spell in their book with a resolve point; the magician can choose to cast an spell from a scroll/book on his/her person as long as a resolve point is available.

I'm playing with limiting this to the magician's casting stat; you can have a number of spells at the ready based on your arcane bolt rating. If you move one of these to your prepared spells (through upgrading as an application for 2 CPs), you move it out of your repertoire, and this frees up another slot.

For instance, you play a magician with arcane bolt +4, and you have 7 spells in your spell book. You spend 2 CPs to purchase 1 spell as an application. This means:

- You have your basic bolt spell that you can cast at will.
- You have 1 known spell that you can cast in 1 turn, once per scene. This spell, by virtue of being a known spell, allows you to use a resolve point to increase its power or effectiveness.
- You have 4 repertoire spells; these are written in your spell book (or notes, or you carry scrolls); you can cast these in 1 turn by using a resolve point, but you cannot further upgrade these spells with resolve.
- You have 2 spells that you cannot use in combat unless you are willing to read the spell directly from the book or scroll, erasing the spell from your book/scroll in the process.

I like the variety of this for magicians, and it makes them more tactically interesting to play; even though you start with 5 spells in your spellbook, your arcane bolt +3 at level 1 is still going to force you to make some decisions; and every time you pick up a new spell scroll, you're going to have to wait until you increase your arcane bolt rating before you can use it in combat.

This hits a great balance for me between the open-endedness of spontaneous spells in Mythweaver and the more rigid system in D+D. It also means, just because two magicians have a copy of Heldack's Arcanum, they aren't necessarily going to have the same spells in their repertoires.

I'll be play testing this as I go.