Monday, December 28, 2009

Character Creation - Pre-requisites for Magic Use (Part I) - Aspects

[Editorial Note: I'm still getting the hang of blog publishing. I'd SWEAR I published this entry right before Christmas, but now it's not there. Anyhoo, this should have appeared BEFORE the "Magic Skill" write-up]

In order for a creature to cast a spell without otherwise being assisted (via a potion, or magic item), the following MUST exist:

  • At least ONE Aspect devoted to Magic of some kind.

From there, the caster must have either:

NOTE: A Magic stunt and the Magic Skill are not mutually exclusive. A character may have BOTH the Magic Skill and one or more Magic stunts. In a similar vein, it's certainly possible that a character (most likely an NPC) could have the Magic Skill and NOT have an Magic Aspect. However that would mean that character could not generate magical effects (or at least not without some "replacement" for the Magic-related Aspect). I would envision someone like this as perhaps a librarian, scribe, or researcher. Upon further thought, J.K. Rowling's character of "Argus Filch" (the Hogwarts' care-taker) might be a good literary example.

Aspect "Magical Talent of Some Kind"
A character must devote at least one aspect to a Magical Talent. The player can call it whatever they want (remember the "BAM!")
  • Elven Magic
  • High Arcana
  • Spellsword
  • Illusionry
  • Blessed Magic of the "High Light"
  • Black Magic
  • Necromancy

Positive Aspects: Access to magic, sensitivities to magic, etc.

Negative Aspects: Susceptability to magic-specific maladies or other negative impacts. Being "visible" to people trying to sense those with this aspect. Whatever else the GM happens to come up with...

Clerical Magic Aspects
AD&D dogma implies / states that although the same "energy" is used to create all spell effects, the mechanism by which they are created is different. Magic-Users manipulate the energy themselves to create the effect whereas Cleric-types cast spells are actually generated by their deity's servants in answer to the prayers of the Cleric.

So, Clerical / Druidical Aspects could be something like:
  • Granted [Deity]'s Favor
  • Hand of [Deity]
  • State of Grace
  • Nature's Gift

Split Classes
Based upon the above, my current feeling is that if someone was trying to recreate a "split class" (specifically where Clerical and Magic Use are available) they would need two aspects, in order to cast each group of spells.

Quick Clarification
The requirement of having an Aspect devoted to Magic does not mean that casting a spell requires the use of a Fate point. IMO, Fate points are not measures of a particular character's ability to generate magical effects. Rather, they are the PLAYER's (not the character's) ability to modify the character's reality for story purposes.

The idea of the Aspect requirement was more a way to handle the concept that although magic is common in High Fantasy, in SoG there is something inherently different about the caster from normal folk that allows them to manipulate magical forces.

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