Friday, May 27, 2022

New Magic System: Eat Stuff for Power

This is a new magic system inspired by reading a lot of Sanderson, namely Stormlight Archive and Mistborn.  I highly recommend both series, by the way.  All the art is inspired by Mistborn, as I couldn't find any Draconis Memoria art. 

by Miranda Meeks
The Consumptive Art:

Some people are born with a specific ability.  This ability is innate and awakened by strong emotions, trauma, or a situation that places a character close to death.  Among the strongest, it manifests naturally, though this is extremely rare.

This power allows the user to, upon consumption of specific materials, transmute those materials into energy that can be used to manipulate the world.  This is called the Consumptive Art by scholars and nobles, while it is referred to as Grinding by the peasants and lower-classes and the people who do it generically as Grinders.

These materials are as follows:

Gold is the weakest material.  By consuming flakes or threads of gold, a Grinder can manipulate light to create illusions, turn something invisible, create flashes of light, illuminate dark spaces, or do anything else with light. 

Consuming Gold gives you d12s, which you spend to activate your abilities.  These dice burn out on a roll of 11 or 12 and last for up to 6 hours.

Those who can consume Gold are often called Goldcloaks, Gilded, Gilts, or Finches.  Since many who can do this make their living as spies or information mongers, they are often distrusted.  'Finch' is also underclass slang for a snitch or informant for a very good reason.    

Bone is sometimes thought to be a weak material, for some Grinders fail to realize it's true significance.  By consuming bones, usually in powdered form, a Grinder can manipulate the flesh, bone and muscles of living things, including themselves.  This power can be used to heal, harm others through modifying their bodies, or through enhancing the strength and power of the Grinder. 

Consuming Bone gives you d10s, which you spend to activate your abilities.  These dice burn out on a roll of 9 or 10 and last for up to 3 hours.

Those who can consume Bone are often called Gnawers, Skeletons or Bonies.  The reputation of those who can burn Bone varies from culture to culture.  In some cultures, where this Art is primarily used for healing and strengthening the living, those who can heal with it are idolized and praised, while in lands where healing is rarer and the use of Bone is much more common in the destruction of life, such people are feared and despised.     

Iron is often thought of as the strongest material, or at least, the one most suited to combat.  This is, tragically, actually quite an accurate sentiment.  By consuming iron, usually in the form of dust mixed into a liquid, the user can manipulate metals.  Despite only iron being needed, those who can consume it can manipulate any metal, except for Gold.

Consuming Iron gives you d8s, which you spend to activate your abilities.  These dice burn out on a roll of 7 or 8 and last for at least 1 hour.

Those who consume Iron are known as Ironmongers, Butchers or Knives.  They are employed in most lands by powerful organizations and almost exclusively used in war, assassination and crushing dissent.  They are feared and despised, often with very good reason.

Ash
is, besides Iron, the strongest material.  Ash brings death and destruction on an unimaginable scale, because what it does gains a life of it's own.  By consuming Ash, a Grinder can manipulate and create fire.

Consuming Ash gives you d6s, which you spend to activate your abilities.  These dice burn out on a 5 or 6 and last for no longer than half an hour. 

Those who consume Ash are called Blackteeth, Flametongues or Salamanders.  They have a similar reputation as those who can consume Iron, with the difference being that many famous criminals have had the ability to consume Ash, leading to people associating the material and those who can consume it with criminals, revolutionaries and war-mongers.

by Enrique Rivera

How to create a Grinder:

Make a character as normal.  Then roll on the following table.  If you are starting from level 1, you may roll 1d12 and reroll the initial result once.  If you are above level 1, you may only roll 1d6 with no rerolls.   

1d12
1- No talent.  The Art escapes you.  Add +1 to any of your ability scores.  If you get this roll as a second result, other materials are beyond you.    
2- Gold.  You can consume Gold, but no other materials.   
3- Bone.  You can consume Bone, but no other materials.
4- Iron.  You can consume Iron, but no other materials.
5- Ash.  You can consume Ash, but no other materials.
6- Gold + reroll.  You can consume Gold.  Additionally, roll 1d6 and depending on the result, you can gain an additional material.   
7- Bone + reroll.  You can consume Bone.  Additionally, roll 1d6 and depending on the result, you can gain an additional material. 
8- Iron + Reroll.  You can consume Iron.  Additionally, roll 1d6 and depending on the result, you can gain an additional material. 
9- Ash + reroll.  You can consume Ash.  Additionally, roll 1d6 and depending on the result, you can gain an additional material.      
10- 1d3 materials.  Roll a 1d6 X times, where X equals the number rolled on a 1d3.  You get a minimum of 2 materials. 
11-12- All-Grind.  You can consume all materials.   

But how does it actually work?:

This is a free-form magic system, based on the limitation of the characters needing to obtain certain materials and consume them to be able to use their abilities. 

There are no spells, instead, players should tell the Referee what they want to do and the Referee should assign a DC.  Then the players should roll a number of their dice to apply to the roll.

For example:

Alice is being pursued by enemies.  She runs into an alleyway and wants to create a false wall over a gap in two buildings.  The Referee assigns a DC of 12 if she uses her Material Dice or a 15 if she just tries to hide normally in the alleyway.  Alice rolls 2d12 and gets a 7 and a 9 respectively.  This totals 16, so her illusion is convincing enough to fool her pursuers, who don't understand how she escaped them.

by Chris McGrath

1 comment:

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