Wednesday, July 12, 2006

03.8 Magic: Evocation

Ah. The bane of my game design philosophy. Direct damage spells.

Not only are they boring, but they escolate to an almost unstoppable level of power.

Not that the purpose of D&D isn't to deal an amazing amount of damage to whatever you are fighting, but if that's the purpose of the game, then 4th edition should take a page from FINAL FANTASY and just tack on two extra ZEROS at the end of eveything, so 1st level fighters have 1000 hit points and greatswords do 100d12 damage.

But in all seriousness, I find that evocation magic is "vulgar" (to steal a term from MAGE).

Anyone that would tap into the source of magic (whatever it is in your campaign), just to unless pure fire or electricity is bound to grab the attention of creatures drawn to magic (demons, dragons, ethereal creatures, monkeys, etc). I think it would be interesting to see this college removed from a campaign (a short one), just to see how PCs respond to the lack of raw power they've grown so used to using.

I don't have anything else to offer this college in terms of ideas. Some spells have been pulled out of this college and placed elsewhere (see previous posts). Although, I am glad to see that 3.5 offers some 2nd level spells that deal damage. 3.0 has nothing really interesting to offer at 2nd level.

Silver Emote
This idea will probably never be published anywhere, and I'm tired of carrying it in my head.

I made a campaign world a few years back where magic was dying. Wizards weren't able to draw as much power from the SILVER EMOTE as they once had. And this vexxed the leaders of all the Magical Towers. In short, magic was fadding from the world and no one knew how to stop it.

The SILVER EMOTE was the mystical place beyond the veil of man that all wizards taped into to create magical effects. Every spell in the PHB was cast from there. Over the years, wizards had learned how to shape magic in all its forms, but the ELATION that one derived in casting magic from the SILVER EMOTE was addictive and over time wizards cast more and more magic from it, without any real need.

It was like magical heroin.

Eventually, the pool of the SILVER EMOTE was depleated and those who sought to cast useful spells found the energy harder to tap into or completely empty.

The PCs played Sorcerers who drew upon personal magic and quested for a new source of magic to find out why the SILVER EMOTE was empty. They were gestalt characters (before the idea was invented) and played both SORCERERS and whatever else they wanted to be. They only had to increase one of the class levels though, as the SORCERER level went up automatically with the other.

As they discovered new sources of magic, new spells that weren't in the PHB were introduced into the game, but without the PCs having a complete understanding of how the spell worked.

That's the shorthand of it anyway.

Let me know if you want more on this.


psipan_lobbyist said...

You might consider running a game set in the "Roma Arcana" setting found in the latest version of GURPS Fantasy. Basic premise: ALL magic stems ultimately from the Gods. I ie a wizard may get his power by tapping into the spirit of the family genius, but the family genius' power depends on the gods.

It is Rome in the mid 200s ce. Christianity's posiion in this Rome is left to the GM. Which is to say setting wise Jesus is not a factor in the campaign bu the GM has the option of altering that.

Anyway, the Gods are PISSED at Rome and it's people who have been taking them for granted and making their Emperors Gods and so on.

They've cut back on magic. There are lots of magic items still around, but casting spells takes TEN TIMES AS LONG as it used to. Except for surpise attack situations there are few if any opportunities for tactical magic.

By the time that fireball is cast the caster will have had a lot of arrows shot at him.

Direct damage spells then are relatively moot.

jim pinto said...


i will have to check this out