Monday, February 1, 2010

Magic Spells - A Couple Sample Spells

Let's get this party started, shall we?

I'm gonna throw out a couple spells as examples of how I've used the spell translation framework to date. If you don't agree with how spells got translated, I would like to ask upfront that rather than just post "hey, that stinks!", please give alternatives.

We all know that SoG's source material and Fate 3E can be pretty "round-peg / square-hole" when it comes to translations. So I present a couple sample spells with the understanding that nothing's perfect and this is a work in progress. If there's failures in translations that start to show up in patterns (casting times keep end up being off, for instance), then there's a reason to go back and restructure the translation framework, right?

Thus far my preference has been to accept some differences in the translations, rather than try to have to make up an arbtirary ("+3 just cuz I want it to fit") modifier. If nothing else, arbitrary modifiers just mask possible problems. So my hope is that even my failures will move things closer towards a more useable system.

Well, just read and you'll see what I mean, hopefully.

Fireball (+3 Difficulty to cast)

Benefits (+6 Difficulty)
  • Power: Casting Skill is used as Missile Skill. (opposed by Athletics) (+1 Difficulty)
    So this spell has a Power of "Harm". This is the variable of the spell. Shifts are expended towards increasing the power/damage.
  • Improvement: Additional Targets: Everything within zone designated by caster is a target (+3 shifts required)
  • Improvement: Range: Spell can be targeted up to two zones away (+1 difficulty)
  • Improvement: Additional Aspect: Spell contains aspect of "Magic Fire" that would apply within the zone. (+1 Difficulty)
    Means something like a Fire Elemental could tag that Aspect to help defend against it.
    Conversely, a target of something like an Ice Elemental target could mean that the caster could use the Aspect to cause it more damage, as a free compel?
    Compel could also be used to set fire to flammable items within the zone, or wipeout certain fragile objects.

Modifiers (-3 Difficulty)
  • Requirement: Material components required (Sulfur & Bat Guano, Common, -1 shift)
  • Requirement: Verbal Component required (-1 shift)
  • Requirement: Somatic Component required (-1 shift)
Casting Time:
Base Casting Time: Adjusted Difficulty (+6 - 3 = +3) Equals Rung 3 on the time chart (two exchanges)


Net Casting Difficulty: +3

Translation Note:
  1. Given how I currently have the spell translation framework, I chose to go with the same degree of difficulty (3rd Level) for the spell as the source material listed it, and left it with a longer casting time.
  2. The source material would say you have about 1 Fate exchange worth of time (approx. 15 seconds) to cast Fireball. This could be done, but the spell would increase to +4 (4th level) within the current framework.
  3. I considered that the importance of the spell's inclusion at 3rd level was greater than getting the casting time right. YMMV.
  4. You could also argue that it should work at a longer range. Again, YMMV.

Light (+1 Difficulty Spell)
Benefits: (+6 adjustments to difficulty)
  • Power: Hinders the Stealth Skill by increasing the Bonus attached to the Environment with respect to lighting by +2. (+1 Difficulty)
    Note that Margin of success is NOT linked to the Power (see Duration)
  • Improvement: Aspect Addition: "Magical Light". Also allows for a compel for blindness when cast upon a target. (+1 Difficulty)
    Aspect is placed on target via a contested Manuever of "Magic vs. Athletics and/or Magic Resistance."
  • Duration: Base duration is 2 (a few moments) but positive casting shifts give increased Duration. Also, see 'Improvement: Duration', below.
  • Improvement: Duration: Spell duration is doubled, modifier applied after the shifts. (+1 Difficulty)
  • Range: Line of Sight (maximum of 4 zones, but can be obscured/blocked) (+3 Difficulty)
Modifiers (-5 adjustments to difficulty)

  • Requirement: Verbal component (-1 Difficulty)
  • Requirement: Somatic component (Common, -1 Difficulty)
  • Requirement: Weakness: Cancelled out by the 'Darkness' spell (Common, -3 Difficulty)
Casting Time:
Base Casting Time: Adjusted Difficulty (+6 - 5 = +1) Equals Rung 1 on the time chart (1 action in combat)

Net Difficulty: +1

Translation Notes:
The spell's base duration should be a base of 1 hour, however the trade off is that the Fate shifts scale the spell's duration much faster than the source material.

Final Note
Given what you've seen here, pre-fab spells that have been around since Blackmoor was a hoppin' town, would you think that pre-fab spells SHOULD be more-powerful than on-the-fly spell casting?

Currently my thought is no, they shouldn't be more powerful. I'm currently thinking that being easier to successfully cast, and not having the threat of negative effects if they fail (since pre-fab spells don't fail if you follow the recipe), might be advantage enough.

On deck: More spells to come, and a High-Fantasy version of Healing.
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