Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

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Skyrock
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Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by Skyrock » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:57 pm

Taking a line of inspiration from Scorpion Swamp and another from the well-tested alchemy rules in Savage Worlds, here is an alternate take on Wizardry. It is primarily meant for my faux-medieval campaign where superstition about gems is big, but it might also be of use elsewhere.

Gemmomancy

Gemmomancers are Wizards work their magic by creating spell gems – crystallized magical energy that vanishes into thin air as the power within gets used up.
Many of them prefer a peaceful life of gem-trading and supporting dungeon explorers from the safety of their olde magick shoppes, but as in all stripes of life there are more adventurous sorts.


There are several good news about spell gems.

First, Gemmomancer Magic Points are equal to (MAG+Magic-Wizardry)x3 rather than x2. What Gemmomancers lack in flexibility they make up with sheer potential.

Second, they may also freely share their gems with their comrades.


On the down side, they need to bind their MPs into spell gems in advance before they can put them to use.
Each spell gem requires as many MP as the spell bound into it. No roll is required to create the gem. The creation process always takes one hour regardless of how many gems are created. (This is to keep players from creating their gems on the fly as they need them - a few spare points for creating specialized spells as needed can still be handy when there is an hour of time, but they won't do any good in the middle of frantic combat.)
The wizard may create as few or as many spell gems of each type as he likes, as long as the total isn't greater than his total MP. (It might also be a good idea to keep back a couple of MPs for cantrips.)

The MPs only get freed up as the spell gem gets used up. The MP bound to it will be available again to the wizard after a good night's sleep.


The casting check is made when the spell gem gets used, using the abilities of the gem creator.
Armor penalties for wizardry (AFF2 p.72) work differently. Rather than to increase the cost, they become a penalty for the casting roll. Only the armor of the one who uses the gem gets factored in. Any Oops results are applied to the user, not to the creator.


The same rules may be used for similar one-shot item creators, such as Islamic marabouts enscribing spell scrolls, stock Viking shamans engraving runes on bones, and so on.
It might even be used for D&D-style Vancian magic with pre-memorized spells (such as in Citadel of Chaos).

If you plan to use both Wizardry and Gemmomancy within the same campaign, a renaming of their special skill (such as Magic-Gemmomancy) may be in order.

Nuvole!
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by Nuvole! » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:49 am

Spell Gems are now canon items!
See The Titan Herbal at page 11 8)
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HedgeWizard
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:59 am

Just had a look at that, already thinking how i can include them in my games!

Nuvole!
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by Nuvole! » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:27 pm

I think the rules provided in the Herbal could be expanded a bit, but it is a very good canon basis to elaborate on. 8)
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HedgeWizard
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:12 pm

Yes it makes a good starting point along with the description above.

What we know:
- it's a form of magic in use in the Ximoran Protecorate in Khul
- each gem has a single use and then vanashes
- gems can be used by anyone

Suggested rules:

I would suggest that making the gems requires having an appropriately sized crystal available (the greater the power the larger the crystal and the time taken depends on the number of MP put into casting the spell (1 hour per MP?). If using Ensure then the time to cast doubles. Failed spell casting roll means that the MPs and crystal are lost.

When cast from the crystal the caster must know the name and effect of the spell (I.e. They should know the words to activate it and be able to direct it with their imagination). But the casting is automatic and they do not risk rolling on the Oops table.

To limit the use someone needs to find a teacher in or from Ximoran Province and the right size crystals. I would suggest that from level 5 onwards they start to get to big to be the sort of thing you can carry in a backpack.

Now I just need to find a ship to the Old World and on to Khul for my Hedgewizard! :-)

Nuvole!
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by Nuvole! » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:26 am

Should we use Scorpion Swamp and limit the available spells to that list or shall we make it more free?
In practice Magic - Spell Gems could be a Special Skill, maybe similar to some new magic style on Heroes Companion, allowing you to create Spell Gems. Probably all the teacher of this particular magic style are in a particular corner of Khul as mentioned, so you'll need to go there to learn it.
On top of this, only a "good" wizard should be able to make "good spell gems", only an "evil" one should be able to make "evil spell gems" etc. what do you think? Although in that case we need to decide how to define "good" and "evil" in game... :roll:
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HedgeWizard
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by HedgeWizard » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:43 am

I like the idea of starting from Scorpion Swamp l, I was thinking about that last night but got rid of all my old FF books years ago. Do you have an overview of the spells in it?

I don't think that we should restrict the creation of good gems to good wizards etc. There are three categories of gems in the Herbology book: Good, Evil and Neutral. Just as a good Wizard is able to learn Evil spells (raise the dead, earthquake...) they can also make evil gems but such an act implies that they are straying down a path which does not have a pleasant end to it.

I like the idea of it being something which can be learned after gaining the basics of wizardry. But if it is a common form of magic over there (according the herbology book) then perhaps it is something which can be learned as soon as someone has finished their apprenticeship. Perhaps they only know minor magic and some Magic Lore before hand.

Your thoughts?

Ruffnut
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Re: Alternative Wizardry: Spell Gems

Post by Ruffnut » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:12 pm

Nuvole! wrote:Should we use Scorpion Swamp and limit the available spells to that list or shall we make it more free?
In practice Magic - Spell Gems could be a Special Skill, maybe similar to some new magic style on Heroes Companion, allowing you to create Spell Gems. Probably all the teacher of this particular magic style are in a particular corner of Khul as mentioned, so you'll need to go there to learn it.
On top of this, only a "good" wizard should be able to make "good spell gems", only an "evil" one should be able to make "evil spell gems" etc. what do you think? Although in that case we need to decide how to define "good" and "evil" in game... :roll:
My players are neutral good at the best of times, and chaotic neutral the majority despite them being heroes!
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

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