Sympathetic Magic Test
Luke Wiltshire “Magic was all cast at touch range, but range could be extended through an Implement. One of the Main components of the Magic system in the playtest was a “Sympathy” clause as part of the combat magic. Whatever you did to the person you cast upon, also affected you, but to a lesser degree. A few examples: “Strikedown” knocked you both to the floor, but also did damage to them; “Shatter” destroyed the weapon you touched, and the implement you cast it through, if you did.”
Matt “Just to be clear, I think Luke’s description is a pretty fair summary of the magic system we tested and is certainly the bit that some people seemed to be frothing about.
It’s probably important to appreciate that we didn’t put sympathetic magic into the system to balance magic… we did it because it sounded like an awesome idea when it popped up at a rules meeting (it’s ripped off from an idea we heard about in Dumnonni Chronicles – there are no new ideas).
Once we’d kicked the idea around, and how it might work, it was obvious that it made magic less powerful. I felt that was actually a positive since it lets you give mages more bang for their buck.
Obviously a load of people will hate it. Which is fine, provided that some people like it and it makes the game interesting and cool. Actually on play-test loads everyone involved seemed to really enjoy it, so I’m mildly hopeful that the more people try it, the more they will actually like it.
Touch-range magic is different – that’s just a way to make combat magic work in LRP. Most LRP systems give spells a range of 30ft or something similar. Works fine in a club based system with a dozen combatants, but it’s hopeless in a battle. The problem is that as a mage you want to be as far from danger as humanly possible, so the rules encourage you to get to the limit of your spell range. But at that range no-one is going to hear you – so you get frustrated as no-on responds to your spell-casting.
Touch-range spell-casting makes mages use their spells at a range that actually works. Add in the use of staffs and wands to deliver the spells and you get all sorts of cool around wizards carrying staves which looks iconic. Better still the wizard now has a way to actually get his targets attention – by hitting him with the staff to deliver the spell.
Basically touch-range magic makes magic work far far better in a fest system and makes it look cooler and more visually appealing. It makes it less powerful allowing you to enhance the power of mages in other ways but keep it play-balanced which is cool. Sympathetic magic doesn’t work any better than non-sympathetic magic but it is cool as all hell.
My main point though was that this wasn’t to play balance magic – the fact that it altered the play balance was just a nice bonus. It was about making magic work well in a LRP battle and making it cool.”
- Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:19:07 +0100 –
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