House rule: Pilosophical Magic

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:09 pm

Hello,

Here are some house rules for an alternative magic style: Philosophical magic. One based not on specific spells and incantations but on the forms of things.

Background:
Created in Carsepolis by the great thinker Epiphanes who argued that nothing was real except the forms of things. He gathered quite a following of students who were devoted to him despite his quirks, one of which included chaining them in a cave and forcing them to watch his shadow puppet shows while shouting out “Don’t you understand yet?” He taught that to truly understand reality, and a result control it with magic, we must truly understand the underlying forms of things and concepts. As a result he turned away from magic taught as a list of specific spells and focused on the manipulation of the forms.
Although his students further developed his ideas (it is said that if Epiphanes was silver then his student Isokrates was gold) all of the writings and knowledge were lost following the fall of Carsepolis. In fact if it was not for the critiques of the priest Nearchos of Salamonis of Carsepolis in his book “City of the Wizards” following the fall of Carsepolis which eluded to the writings of Epiphanes then we would have perhaps known nothing about him at all.
In recent years adventurers have started to recover some of the old texts from the ruins of Carsepolis and open up again these old teachings. This is growing with it even being taught in an impromptu Academia within Guild of Wizards and Sorcerers, and although some wizards take it as a further specialisation there are some who argue that no one should learn spells and only focus on the Forms. Followers of this this second school of thought rather dismissively call the former “Followers of flashes and bangs”.

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:10 pm

Rules:
This is a more freeform style of magic which requires players and directors to discuss and think, but can also open up interesting opportunities and situations. Readers will obviously see the influence of Ars Magica.
Philosophical magic requires a lot of study, long arguments and even more sitting around and pondering. Therefore to achieve levels 1 or 2 in Philosophical Magic a practitioner needs to have at least Level 2 in Ancient Allansian + Magic Lore level 1. For levels 3+ they must have the same level in Ancient Allansian and Magic Lore. In addition they must spend a year pondering their selected verbs and nouns before they can advance a year.
The higher levels of Ancient Allansian represent a mastering of ancient literature required to truly understand the higher levels. It does not mean that they are able to talk fluently although some do just to show off.
Spell is a combination of Verb & Noun, effect depends on level.
Maximum size of the target which can be affected is a circle with a radius equal to the magic level.
The range which magic can be cast is the magic level squared
The impact on the Stamina (positive or negative) which can be achieved is the magic level x 2
The number of properties which can be changed or created is equal to the magic level + 1
Maximum time which a spell can have an effect is roughly the magic level x 30 minutes

At each level the caster selects 1 Verb and up to 2 Nouns. Spells are made by combining a Verb + Noun. The maximum impact is limited by the ability and must be logically constrained by the Verb/Noun combination. With casting the player should describe the exact intent of the spell. Magic point cost is equal to the level which equates to the effect of the spell being cast.
Players are free to select their Verbs and Nouns in discussion with the director and must give a definition for each of them. This does not need to be 100% concreate but should be clear and restricted (i.e. they cannot just use Stuff as a noun and say that it relates to everything).

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:13 pm

Example Verbs (I’ve included some suggested Greek terms if you feel like shouting out the spell in Ancient Allansian, please forgive any errors):

Create Δημιουργώ (Dimiourgó) Create something with x number of properties or improve x properties of something (including healing x # of ST)

See Βλέπω (Blépo) See what something truly is for x number of properties
Transform Μεταμορφώνω (Metamorfóno) Change x properties of something

Destroy Kαταστρέφω (Katastréfo) Make x properties lesser or reduce x number of ST points, remove transformed or created properties

Control Kυβερνώ (Kybernó) Control something for a given time giving direction.

Example Nouns:

Animal ζώον (zóon) Animal without ability to reason

Element Στοιχείον (Stoicheíon) All elements and spirits

Person Πρόσωπον (Prósopon) Creatures with some form of reasoning

Plant Φυτόν (Fytón) Plants, fungi

Object Πράγμαν (Prágman) Inanimate objects

Example spells:

Μεταμορφώνω Πράγμαν! Level 2 making a chair larger

Κυβερνώ ζώον! Level 1 controlling a dog for about 30 minutes

Δημιουργώ Φυτόν! Level 4 creates a bouquet of flowers which have green stems, red pettles and shaped like roses.

User avatar
JohnK
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by JohnK » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:56 pm

Hey! Your greek words are correct!
I didn't know that there was a civilization like ancient Greece in FF.
Although I don't play AFF, could I suggest some ideas on the rules you mention?
Perhaps for greater and more powerfull forms of the philosophical magic, there could be the danger of hybris like in the ancient tragedies. Perhaps an unlucky roll or use of magic beyond one's power could trigger a catastrophic event. I think that in the ancient world there was always the fear of retribution (Νέμεσις = Nemesis) by the gods and perhaps when a sequence of mistakes was made might come Τίσις (= Tisis, anihillation).
Though there might always be a friendly god round the corner!
“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:02 pm

Hi John, Thanks for checking!

There was a suggestion previously on the forum of using Greek as a proxy for Ancient Allansian, plus Carsepolis obviously has a Greek root.

I like your idea, perhaps that could be the basis for a new Oops table? Like when you fail a spell casting roll with a 12.

User avatar
JohnK
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by JohnK » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:06 pm

No problem at all! In case you need some help with greek words, I'd be glad to help.
“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:07 pm

Here is a proposed Oops table.

Roll 2D6

2 The caster is turned into a goat for D6x10 minutes. They can still think but in all other aspects are a goat.

3 Μῑνώταυρος (Minotauros): Minotaur - A minotaur suddenly appears just out of sight, get running or get ready!

4 Everywhere is filled with grapes, the floor, pockets, bags... and a man with goat legs and little horns pops into existence before giggling and running off.

5 Nemesiς (Nemesis): Retribution - You tried to change nature so the Gods changed something of yours. Pick a possession of the caster and make a similar change on it as they were attempting.

6 Agape (Agape): Brotherly love - one randomly selected intelligent being has a sudden overwhelming feeling of brotherly love for another being. They will protect, help and be charitable to that being and reply to all attacks with patience and forgiveness for 2D6 minutes.

7 Epiphaneia (Epiphaneia): Epiphany - The caster has a sudden deep revelation about the words which they are using, struck by the beauty of this perception they remain motionless for D6 rounds.

8 Fizzzz - The caster loses all their magic points for the rest of the day

9 Aποθέωσις (Apotheosis): The caster is elevated to the status of a God for a second, they see all the universe and understand all things before being returned instantly to their mortal state remembering nothing of what they learned, they will be left confused by the sudden changes and with a sense of heaviness for a little while.

10 A random person in the area has their hair or beard turned into a set of writhing snakes, they will do no harm but will be alarming and distracting to begin with.

11 Pop! - The caster disappears leaving behind only soap bubbles and a slightly floral scent. They will reappear at a random location; perhaps close, perhaps several miles away.

12 Tisis (Tisis): Annihilation - A god is angry at your impertinence and lightning bolt fires out 2D6 damage with no dodge or armour reduction

Nuvole!
Hero
Posts: 949
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by Nuvole! » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:57 am

Fantastic idea!

For JK: Caresepolis is the ancient name of Fort Blacksand before the War of Wizards, when a siege almost annihilated it.
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

Nuvole!
Hero
Posts: 949
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by Nuvole! » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:00 am

I think that the Oops table, in order to ba a real hybris, should ba a kind of reversal of the spells that damage the caster instead of having an effect on his enemies, or protects the enemies instead of protecting the caster's friends.
Said that, I love Tisis effect and I think it is very appropriate, although quite unexpected for a follower of Epiphanes' theories.
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:26 am

Good point Nuvulo, perhaps I can focus some of the negative effects more on the caster rather than randomly on those in the area. Hubris is a real risk with this so perhaps I can change one of them to have the Gods punish the casters perceived hubris and arrogance by turning them into something small and weak like a pixie. :)

To return they will need to make amends but that all depends on finding out which God they angered in the first place.

Nuvole!
Hero
Posts: 949
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by Nuvole! » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:55 am

If it doesn't disturb you, I think I will steal (with pride) some of your concepts, as I'm working on a series of adventures with some Greek influence.... :mrgreen:
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:55 am

That does not disturb me in the slightest! I'd be interested to see your campagne and how it develops. :)

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:59 am

Also as with the cost of Living I'd be really intested to hear how you are adapting and developing on some of these ideas.

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:31 pm

Another thought I had this weekend.

This can also be used to simulate the more advanced Elven magic. It mentions in Titan that you need to speak High Elvish to do anything other than party tricks as they call most human magic... but then in the rules they do exactly the same magic as any human would.

So you can apply the same principle as above but the language would obviously be High Elvish as opposed to Ancient Allancian. To beef things up again you could allow them to learn two verbs rather than just one per level, but this would have to be optional.

Don't know what language you could use as a proxy for High Elvish. Old Norse with Norwegen being Common Elvish? Sanskrit and Hindi if you fancied a change from European languages while keeping in the same broad linguistic family?

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: House rule: Pilosophical Magic

Post by HedgeWizard » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:53 pm

JohnK wrote:No problem at all! In case you need some help with greek words, I'd be glad to help.
Hi John, I've been doing some more work on this and wondered if you could give me the correct Greek terms for the following words so that they combine well:

Verbs:

Create
Destroy
Transform
Command
Perceive

Nouns:

Air
Water
Fire
Earth (as in ground/rock)
Soul/Spirit
Body
Animal
Plant
Image

Thank you!

Post Reply