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Thread: Realm Spells

  1. #1
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I bought Codex Mysterium for Sovereign Stone and was stunned by a new idea introduced in the book: there are no spell levels, and you could cast even the most powerful spells!


    The book, for those of you who have not read it, introduces a magic system I found fascinating (even though I have heard a lot about Ars Magica, "the Art of Magic", and am really interested in reading through that too).
    • There are no spell levels.
    • People cast spell by making spallcasting rolls, adding their casting bonus for spells of the element they use.
    • Each of the four natural elements, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and the unnatural element, Void, have their own classes, which simply puts apart the various bonuses you have for each level in each class.
    • Over the course of every round, you make a casting roll, adding up both your roll and any bonuses.
    • There is a small ruling concerning botching (rolling a natural 1 on your casting roll).
    • You also make a Fortitude save with a varying DC according to your racial affinity with the spell's element, which increases every round after the first by 1.
    • Failure on the Fort save deals you 1d4 non-lethal (except for Void Mages, read book for more info).
    • You cast the spell when you reachor go beyond the casting threshold of the spell.
    • Metamagic spells add to the spell's threshold.

    The book also provides with a fomrula to create new spells or transfer old ones from other systems.


    I said all of this to make one point: if we used a similar elemental affinity system for the races (earth for halflings [instead of Sovereign Stone's other race], fire for dwarves, air for elves, and water for humans), and changed a lot about it, we could make a new realm spell system that woulc be more interesting and enjoyable than the one already going on, not to mention there would be a real reason for realm spells to need time to cast ( :P )...

  2. #2
    Kzintosh
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    That sounds excellent! I have lately chaffed at the spell level concept make traditional by D&D (I understand the inspiration for it, but the times-they-should-be-achangin). That seems to fit the flavor of realm spells, too. I'm not sure about using an elemental flavor...anyone have any other ideas for categories? Still, one could justify it...elementalism does have a strong basis in Birthright...the very giants themselves are of the elements and Elves have a unique affinity for the world.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Nov 30 2003, 09:09 AM
    I bought Codex Mysterium for Sovereign Stone and was stunned by a new idea introduced in the book: there are no spell levels, and you could cast even the most powerful spells!


    The book, for those of you who have not read it, introduces a magic system I found fascinating (even though I have heard a lot about Ars Magica, "the Art of Magic", and am really interested in reading through that too).
    • There are no spell levels.
    • People cast spell by making spallcasting rolls, adding their casting bonus for spells of the element they use.
    • Each of the four natural elements, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and the unnatural element, Void, have their own classes, which simply puts apart the various bonuses you have for each level in each class.
    • Over the course of every round, you make a casting roll, adding up both your roll and any bonuses.
    • There is a small ruling concerning botching (rolling a natural 1 on your casting roll).
    • You also make a Fortitude save with a varying DC according to your racial affinity with the spell's element, which increases every round after the first by 1.
    • Failure on the Fort save deals you 1d4 non-lethal (except for Void Mages, read book for more info).
    • You cast the spell when you reachor go beyond the casting threshold of the spell.
    • Metamagic spells add to the spell's threshold.

    The book also provides with a fomrula to create new spells or transfer old ones from other systems.


    I said all of this to make one point: if we used a similar elemental affinity system for the races (earth for halflings [instead of Sovereign Stone's other race], fire for dwarves, air for elves, and water for humans), and changed a lot about it, we could make a new realm spell system that woulc be more interesting and enjoyable than the one already going on, not to mention there would be a real reason for realm spells to need time to cast ( :P )...
    While this could be a good idea, it would "force" players to buy other products rather than the core D&D rulebooks in order to fully understand and play the system. Without having read the material, I bet it is not OGL and hence the limits on paraphrasing and direct use are very strict.

    This was one of the main reasons we didn't use Epic Levels for the major NPCs, or direct reference to the other WotC books (Sounds and Silence, etc.) it would have forced players to have all of the books in their possesion when the only books that could reasonably be assumed to owned would be the core 3 (PHB, DMG and MM). Other books have only been referenced in ways for optional use like prestige classes.

    Now the 3.5 DMG has included quite a lot of Epic information so working up Epic levels for some of the major NPC isn't that far fetched or demanding on the users anymore.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I use a modified version of the Soverign Stone system. (Modified mostly

    because I prefered the standard spell list to the one presented in the

    setting for BR play.) Sovereign Stone does include the OGL, but I am not

    studied up on the implications thereof.



    My modification reads;

    Druids channel divine energy in order to cast spells, so they may cast any

    spell they know without limitation. Spellasting requires an enormous amount

    of concentration. Castingt a spell, works like a skill check. To cast a

    spell, make a Concentration skill check with your caster level as a bonus

    modifier. The DC to cast every spell is 10 + (8 x the spell level). If the

    Concentration check was not higher than the spell DC, this result is applied

    as a bonus during the subsequent round of spellcasting. The priest performs

    the spell casting roll each round until the final result is higher than the

    spell DC. However, spellcasting is difficult and exhausting. For each round

    a druid spends channelling divine energy during spellcasting, he must make a

    Fortitude save against a DC 10. Each round after the first that the

    spellcaster is casting the DC of the Fortitude save increases by 1. If a

    caster fails the Fortitude save, they suffer 1d4 points of vitality damage.

    Damage suffered as a result of spellcasting does not interupt the casting of

    a spell unless it is sufficient to cause unconciousness. Spellcasters can be

    forced to make standard Concentration checks as described in the core rules

    as well. Spells interupted because the caster falls unconcious or fails a

    standard Concentration check fail and cause no effect.



    I have restored spell levels only because I am using the standard spell

    lists, and knew that assigning each spell its own difficulty DC would take

    forever. So I retain level so I can multply it by 8 for a DC. You can cast

    any spell you know, regardless of level. Humans are neutral regarding the

    four natural elements. The elves are elemental specialists. A sidhe

    sorcerer could specialize in any of the four elements.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by kgauck@Nov 30 2003, 02:53 PM

    I have restored spell levels only because I am using the standard spell

    lists, and knew that assigning each spell its own difficulty DC would take

    forever. So I retain level so I can multply it by 8 for a DC. You can cast

    any spell you know, regardless of level. Humans are neutral regarding the

    four natural elements. The elves are elemental specialists. A sidhe

    sorcerer could specialize in any of the four elements.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

    There is also the 'problem' of spells having different 'levels' depending on what class is casting them.

    For example:

    Wall of Fire Drd 5, Fire 4, Sor/Wiz 4
    Tree Shape Drd 2, Rgr 3
    True Seeing Clr 5, Drd 7, Knowledge 5, Sor/Wiz 6
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I thought of this along the day (because I am really interested in substituting the standard spell lists with a the new mechanic ), and came up with something like this:
    • For common spells (non-realm spells), we could throw the elemental thingy to the dust bin, and say that each class has an affinity for a kind of magic (I've been working for ages to balance the spellcasting of various similar classes, like a X-level Druid/Y-level Ranger, who seems entirely illogical why should his spell advancement start ALL OVER ).
    • These affinities would be an extra to the standard system, like keeping the school and subschools as we see fit (I have changed a bit of it in my campaign, but that's beside the point now), and change the level requirement, like saying for cure spells:
      Type: Arcanism (Bard), Nature, Spiritualism
    • Each class type should have a different Casting bonus advancement (that was the first thing I came up with ), like:
      • Up to 6th-level spells: +1 Casting Bonus per 2 levels
      • Up to 9th-level spells: +1 Casting Bonus per level
      • Up to 4th-level spells, excluding 0-level spells: +1 Casting Bonus per (3 or 4?) levels.


    As for the OGL, I thing that providing the reference to the original creators of the product is enough, but I could consult someone more specialised in this area of studies...

  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----

    From: "irdeggman" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>

    Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 5:04 AM



    > There is also the `problem` of spells having different `levels` depending

    on

    > what class is casting them.



    Its not a problem its a virtue. I go farther and bump levels up when I

    don`t think the spell "sphere" is central to the god`s portfolio, but does

    warrant being included. I rather like the idea that spells are not always

    rated as the same difficulty.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member teloft's Avatar
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    On the note of other products, and we not wanting people to feel the need to buy other products exept perhaps the core rule books of D&D

    But if we list the rules thet we create then we would not be refering to other product.

    well..


    I remember some nice magic items and feats. If we keep the base magic list and the way macig is done in D&D.

    Then you could be able to cast a higer level spell if you sacrifice something. You time / your presure followers / your son / your GB&#39;s
    useing more then one spell caster to cast a spell

    and perhaps a combonation of it all.

    I remember a artifact thet alowd me to pour blood into it. difrent blood had difrent qualetys. then when I would poure the blood out again it would be a potion of some sort. heal / harm / posion / bulls strength / and more
    But the item needed negative energy to be channeld into it. using up one turing slot of a divine caster.

    The idee is to make it much easyer for casters to cast beond there own level.

    one idee would be to have the caracter make a will save vs
    10 + spell lv + caster lv (of spell)
    or something bad hapens after the spell is cast.
    perhaps insanity / or simple confusion

    but if you can cast the spell acording to your lv, you no longer have to make this roll.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by teloft@Dec 2 2003, 03:45 PM
    On the note of other products, and we not wanting people to feel the need to buy other products exept perhaps the core rule books of D&D

    But if we list the rules thet we create then we would not be refering to other product.

    well..

    That is where the lines are drawn for OGL and proprietary info. You can reference the info but you cannot reproduce it. Originally the 3.0 D&D requirement was that all products had to use the core 3 books, that was changed over the years as the d20 system evolved. There is now the SRD which gives the specific info from WotC that can be used freely and copied any way desired as well as &#39;other&#39; d20 systems published by WotC.

    This site has been given permission to use any of the Birthright info pretty much as we see fit. We have to give proper credit to the source document but we can pretty much cut and paste. Arjan has the specifics on what we can and cannot do.

    This broad permission does not apply to other companies&#39; products, etc. This is reflected in the trubulations that Daniel is coming across in trying to incorporate the Cry Havoc system for the war system. I don&#39;t know how far he has gotten, but there are definitely legal issues involved in what he can and cannot do.

    When people are creating their own house rules this sort of thing isn&#39;t much of a problem since they are not published for general use and are reserved for individual table tops. Once the line for posting and such has been crossed then the the legal mumbo-jumbo comes into play. Many people on the BRCS d20 development team have &#39;connections&#39; with the publishing business, some have worked (in some capacity) with one or more of the publishers, some have had interface with them and some have &#39;friends&#39; who work for them. By these interfaces we have come across many of the cans and cannots of the OGL licence.

    Just because some people don&#39;t like the D&D magic system doesn&#39;t mean that it gets abandoned. This (the BRCS) is supposed to be d20 D&D and not a mishmash of other products put together. When there is something that is not already in the D&D core books then we have been creating new methods to portray this, but Birthright is still a D&D system not Wheel of Time, not D20 Modern, not d20 Star Wars, etc. This is something that needs to be remembered. Any deviation from this ethic is pretty much a publishing of &#39;house rules&#39;, which is something that the &#39;BRCS d20 team&#39; has consistently been checking each other on - "is what we are proposing &#39;house rules&#39; or a standard that is reflected in the D&D core books?"
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----

    From: "irdeggman" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>

    Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 3:12 PM



    > Birthright is still a D&D system not Wheel of Time, not D20

    > Modern, not d20 Star Wars, etc. This is something that needs to

    > be remembered.



    When d20 was being sold to gamers as an idea, one of the selling points

    would be that designers would now be free to pick and choose the best ideas

    from a variety of sources, thus producing games of higher quality. This

    would seperate D&D from d20, making d20 a kind of stew able to add

    ingredients from products of all kinds. I have seen this in practice. For

    example, the feat Information Network in Penumbra/Atlas product Dynasties

    and Demagogues is credited as being based on the Gossip Network feat from

    Holistic Design`s Fading Suns D20 rulebook. As time goes on, and more and

    more mechanics solutions are solved elegantly, it will become harder and

    harder to create a setting which does not draw on prior solutions to common

    game problems. Designers will either be forced to constantly re-invent the

    wheel, often producing inferior solutions as a result, or combine the best

    solutions that have been put out there to make the solid, superior products

    that the new d20/OGL system was supposed to provide.



    Kenneth Gauck

    kgauck@mchsi.com

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