Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Magic Power Point Presentation

When it comes to the mechanics of magic in a role-playing game two options rise to the top of the list as far as importance. The first is the number of points with which a character has access to for the casting of spells. The second as discussed last week is the time it takes to cast the spell. The points portion of the mechanics can be broken down into several factors that must be considered and balanced. It can be difficult to discern what to deal with first. There is the need to determine the number of points required to cast each and every spell. There is also the number of points to which any single character will have access. It makes sense to determine the spell costs first. Doing that requires starting with the low-end costs and building up to the more costly and thus more impressive and powerful spells, but how to weight them?

The cost of one spell compared to another should be based upon many different factors. These factors can include how long the effect of the spell lasts, how far the effect can be cast away from the spell caster, how large of an area the spell affects, and just how powerful is the effect? What determines how powerful or impressive a spell is? Does it depend on game factors like damage? Is it more powerful if it affects multiple people? Does it matter if it is flamboyant or a spectacle to see? Is it a matter of how much it bends reality and defies the known laws of physics? Is it about the way it can change the playing field and alter the storyline? This last is hard to quantify. Death is a game changing matter when it comes to the players, the protagonists of the story. How does a powerful spell affect the setting if too many can cast it?

Once at least a rough baseline is set for the cost of spells then a look can be taken at how many points to which a single character or player should immediately have access. Factors for consideration include how many spells in rapid succession should a player be able to cast? This will also require knowledge about the other types of characters available so that the spell cast does not run out of options long before his companions. How powerful is a starting spell caster? How should they progress in power? Both of these should be compared to other character types as well, to maintain fairness and promote players to choose a spell caster. From a points standpoint there is an advantage to having more than one spell caster in the player party. Leaving points aside are there other advantages to multiple casters?

Mood: eclectic.
Music: Soma City Ward by Slash and Kill or Be Killed by Twisted Sister.

Slash's Snakepit: It's Five O'clock Somewhere
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Twisted Sister: Come Out and Play
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