Introducing Magic to AIME

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
BookBarbarian
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by BookBarbarian » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:08 pm

ThrorII wrote:While I'm hesitant to open the door to D&D 5e spells (even the AiMe approved ones), I also would like to give the Master Scholar a little 'umph!'

What about giving the Master Scholar various already established magical cultural virtues whenever they pick a Secret Lore?

Something like this:

Ancient Lore
In addition to the listed abilities and proficiencies, the Master Scholar gains the Piercing Sight cultural virtue of the Men of Minas Tirith.

Birds & Beasts
Upon choosing this secret a third time, you gain the Wood-elven cultural virtue the Speakers.

Dark Knowledge
Upon choosing this secret, you may learn Dreadful spells. Dreadful spells are weapons of the Enemy that involve control, deceit, domination, fear or overt force.

The Master Scholar may learn one Dreadful spell as their undertaking during a Fellowship phase. Casting a Dreadful spell earns the Scholar one Shadow point automatically, and two additional points if their DC 15 Corruption saving throw is failed.

To avoid the Dreadful spell, the target must make a Corruption saving throw equal to DC8 +caster’s Proficiency bonus +Intelligence modifier.

Examples of Dreadful spells from D&D5e include Charm Person, Command, Dominate, Dominate Beast, Fear, Mass Suggestion, and Power Word Stun. Other unnatural effects might include causing your sword blade to be wreathed in flame or cause an enemy’s weapon to shatter, or shattering a gate or door with a foul word. Each Dreadful spell costs a number of Hit Dice equal to the spell’s level +1 to cast (a cantrip costs 1HD, a 9th level spell costs 10HD).

Natural World
Along with the listed abilities and proficiencies, you gain the Herbal Remedies cultural virtue of the Wood-men.

Runes
In addition to the listed abilities and proficiencies, the Master Scholar gains the Broken Spells cultural virtue of the Dwarves.

Works of Elder Days
In addition to the listed abilities and proficiencies, the Master Scholar can now craft an object of beauty and strength by weaving the subtle magic of Middle-earth into it.

During a Fellowship phase, for your Undertaking, you may create a non-combat object and add a low powered magical effect to it, amounting to a +1 to a single skill.

Note that while certainly skillful, you cannot improve the craftsmanship of old: you may only enhance an object that does not already possess Enchanted Qualities.



Just a thought....
Before I had the Lore-Maters guide I was just going to let Master Scholars take Cultural Virtues from any culture, so they could do something similar to this. I think you're on to a more elegant approach than I was.

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Mim
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Mim » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:19 pm

I concur with ThrorII and BookBarbarian. I've been considering something similar to this and giving the Scholar a bit more oomph without overpowering the class, a tough proposition. I'd already decided to tweak the Dwarven Broken Spells and add 'em to the mix, but these additional Cultural Virtues are excellent ideas. :)

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:43 am

Sorry for the delay TS, still reading the Guide (and the Adventurer's Companion for TOR)! Will let you know my thoughts in about a week (life gets in the way), but as per the previous post I am liking the idea of using Inspiration or Hit Dice to power magical effects - this seems to be very appropriate for Middle-earth, as using magic should be Exhausting!!

Robin S.
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:24 am

Thank you. I actually like the idea of using Hit Dice and inspiration to power spells, I have considered giving up the spell slot idea entirely, at least in the two more traditional Dungeons & Dragons games I am running. And I use the word traditional lightly.

One is a more Sword & Sorcery, Conan-esque game, taking place in a mostly noncivilized world with ancient powers that are too terrible to comprehend. Actually, because I disliked the spell slot system so much even for this campaign, I have tried a spell point system, but I think the HIt Dice and Inspiration works even better! I really didn't want to include that many spell casters in this game originally, but as it progressed, it became obvious that there were some spellcasters somewhere, so I naturally had to develop rules for them. I decided to limit it to 3 spell casters: the spiritualist (or shaman) who is taught his powers from a patron spirit, the sorceress (or sorcerer) who uses her (or his) charms and sexual wiles to gain magical power, and the wizard, but the wizard is nothing like the traditional fireball slinger, it's more of a person who meditates and communes with spirits of the natural world to gain some limited powers.

And the other game is a little bit more of the traditional game, but where empires and kingdoms are very culturally different from one another and political intrigue is the name of the game. When the game is less about spell slots, and more about "do I want to do this now, knowing I'll suffer the consequences later" - magic becomes much more epic and cinematic.

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:12 am

T.S. Luikart wrote:I am rather looking forward to hearing what you and Zed think about the magic section, Robin. ;)
Ok, so now I have read the magic section, my thoughts are:

What's Good: - The section on Magical Treasure & Enchanted Qualities is really good and provides a lot of good advice for LM's about handling magical items, although I would have liked something on "Dealing with Players who say they want 'X' on their item' (as this is what players are going to want).
- the overall advice on running appropriate 'magic' in Middle-earth is properly Tolkienesque and covers most of the points that have been raised by fans in previous posts. I haven't had time to check the List of Appropriate Spells yet, will comment on that in a later post.
- The 'Revealed to them' sidebar is a good warning to PC's!

What Could Have Been Better:
- I felt that more advice was needed about 'Magic-using PC's', in particular. I foresee a lot of headaches trying to integrate Wizard or Cleric type characters (although I can also see that players want to play these types). Perhaps some follow up advice in the form of a 'Scholar Supplement' would be forthcoming in the future, since Magic is really just a specialised branch of Lore?? For example, there are hints in the Magical Treasure section about using Inspiration and Hit Dice to 'power' magical items. This is a great idea and could have been developed further: to power 'spells'!!

- Could have been a bit more discussion on the nature of magic in Middle-earth, tied to the Music of the Ainur (or Song of Creation, so that LM's can deal with nosy players who ask annoying questions!

- There needs to be another sidebar: Magic is Tiring in Middle-earth. There is a perfectly good reason you don't see Gandalf etc. chucking fireballs about - it's much less exhausting to kindle pinecones! (the energy required has to come from the caster). I refer to my mention of the 'Open Door' test I have mentioned previously. I am strongly considering developing the idea that spells require Inspiration and/or Hit Dice to use, perhaps even Exhaustion Levels for the more powerful ones, but I need to read up my Basic D&D on this stuff first

Robin S.
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

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ThrorII
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by ThrorII » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:32 pm

I think you're on the right track.

A simple spell level +1 = HD used covers D&D5e spells pretty well. Cantrips cost 1HD, a 9th level spell (if there were even one on the 'approved list') would cost 10HD to cast. Or you could decide each spell individually, based on the effect list in the Wondrous Item magical effect table.

Large spells would be draining (in HD) and since generally a character only refreshes HD every long rest, spells are precious on journeys, and can't be thrown around willy-nilly.

Another option is to say that you can only cast a total number of spells per day equal to your Hit Dice (using spell level +1 as the cost), AND that casting a spell costs 1 exhaustion point for anything more than a 1HD spell. That creates an economy for the scholar to balance spell limits and spell casting limits.

Now, whether you keep a standard 5e spell progression list by level, or if you allow a scholar to pick ANY approved spell they have enough HD to cast is up to you, I don't immediately see a problem with it. I'd say 1 spell per Fellowship phase, as a benefit of the Research undertaking.

M Luwin
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by M Luwin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:49 pm

I still like the idea of the eye of Sauron effect from the One Ring as well. Each time you use magic you might also draw unwanted interest from the Dark Lord. Another reason I think Gandalf and others limited their power. The effect could still be something like rolling a natural 1 draws his attention with the added +1 per level of the spell. So cantrip is on a one but Level 1 spell would be on a roll of 1-2, etc. Just a thought. Cheers

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Majestic
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Majestic » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:25 pm

I like that idea as a possible way of incorporating the Eye of Sauron, M Luwin!
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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ThrorII
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by ThrorII » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:44 am

TOR Eye of Sauron rules would work well with 5e type spells.

Rivendell supplement already breaks spells in to three types for Eye Awareness: Lesser effects (+1 Awareness), Major spells (+2 Awareness) and Powerful spells (+3 Awareness).

The AiMe Loremaster Guide also breaks Magical Results from Wondrous Items into three levels (Small [1-3HD], Medium [4-6HD] and Large [7-10HD]).

All you need to do is determine what the HD cost is for each spell allowed, and then add to the Eye Awareness as appropriate. A quick and dirty way is that since there are 10 spell levels (cantrip to 9th), that HD = level+1 (cantrip = 0).

For example: The 5e cantrip Control Flames (from the Temple of Elemental Evil Player's Companion--a must have for Middle-earth type spells!!!) pretty much is 90% of what Gandalf does. So as a cantrip, we'll say it is 'Small' or a 'Lesser effect' spell (1-3HD of expenditure, and a +1 to the Eye Awareness).

Another 5e spell that is very Gandalfesque is Incendiary Cloud (remember Goblin-town and the 'burning sparks'?). This is an 8th level spell in 5e, so we could call that a 'Powerful spell' and 'Large' spell (7-10HD, +3 to Eye Awareness).

Many 5e spells can be cast at higher levels. You can rule that each 'higher level' requires +1 Hit Die to cast. That 5HD spell might be boosted up to 7HD, thus pushing it from a 'Major spell'/'Medium sizes' (+2) to a 'Powerful spell'/'Large size (+3).

Does this make sense?

BookBarbarian
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by BookBarbarian » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:35 pm

M Luwin wrote:I still like the idea of the eye of Sauron effect from the One Ring as well. Each time you use magic you might also draw unwanted interest from the Dark Lord. Another reason I think Gandalf and others limited their power. The effect could still be something like rolling a natural 1 draws his attention with the added +1 per level of the spell. So cantrip is on a one but Level 1 spell would be on a roll of 1-2, etc. Just a thought. Cheers
Setting DCs for drawing the Eye of Sauron based on Spell level seems like a great idea.

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