Sunday, April 23, 2023

OSR: Freeform Magic Wizard

I wrote some rules for freeform magic a long time ago.    The rules for such are here.  This is what it would be like to play a Wizard using those rules.  Anything I have not included here is the same as my ordinary Wizard class, found here.  

Starting HP: 1/3 Con
Fighting Spirit: N/A
Atk Modifier: as per Wizard
Starting Equipment: Fine robes, book of arcane lore, staff or wand, impressive hat, dagger or sling

1: Spellcasting, Affinity, Mana Dice
2: Ritual Casting, Reactive Defense
3: Safety Casting
4: Soul Drain, Death Curse
5: Astral Warrior, Affinity Increase
6: Learned Resistance, Partial Success
7: Dual Affinity, Affinity Increase
8: Archmagi
9: Master of the Mystic Arts


Spellcasting: You can use magic.  As an action, tell the Referee what you wish to do and he will tell you if it is possible.  If it is, he will call for a roll.  Roll 1d20+COG modifier.  If you equal or exceed the DC the Referee has set for the attempt, your spell succeeds.  On a failure, your spell fails to accomplish what you wish.  Additionally, if you roll a natural "1" on your d20 roll, your spell automatically fails.
Affinity: Select one element of magic or one school of magic. When attempting a spellcasting roll that involves that school or interacts with that element, you may add +1 to your roll.  See below for what affinities you may select. 

Mana Dice: You have a collection of d6s which are referred to as Mana Dice (MD).  You can spend Mana Dice to enhance the power of your spells, rolling as many as you wish and adding them to your spellcasting rolls.  You must roll your d20 and Mana Dice at the same time.  Mana Dice burn out on a "5" or "6" and return after a long rest.  Rolling doubles or triples on them triggers Chaos or Corruption, respectively. 


Ritual Casting: If you attempt a spellcasting roll as part of a ritual, you may receive certain bonuses based on the level and skill of your preparations.  Common preparations include writing down a spell on a scroll or in a book to recite, creating a magic circle(s) to contain channeled energies, as well as defensive measures to protect the casters and prevent magical mishaps or feedback. 

Reactive Defense: As a reaction on your turn, you can attempt to protect yourself by making a spellcasting roll. 


Safety Casting: Once per day, you may replace one of your spellcasting dice with a "1".

Affinity Increase: Increase one of your existing Affinities by +1 or gain a new one.  You can only select one of the Elements of Magic. 


Soul Drain: You can drain your Fighting Spirit (FS) or Hit Points (HP) and convert them into Mana Dice.  2 points of FS or HP equals 1 Mana Die.   

Death Curse: If at 0 or less HP, then you cause yourself to take X damage, where X is how much damage you take, and gain X MD.  Even if the resulting damage would instantly kill you, you can still attempt your spell before you die. 


Astral Warrior: As long as both spells don't require you to focus or have a persistent effect, X times per day, where X is your CON modifier, you can cast two spells on your turn. 

Affinity Increase: Increase one of your existing Affinities by +1 or gain a new one.  You can only select one of the Elements of Magic.


Learned Resistance: When taking defense action against a spell or a magical ability that involves one of your Affinities, you may add your Affinity to any roll made to mitigate the effects or damage of that ability.  For example, if you have an Affinity for Fire Magic and a Dragon breathes fire on you, you can add your Affinity to your saving throw to take half damage. 

Partial Success: When you fail a spellcasting roll, X times per day, where X is your CHA modifier, you can gain a partial success instead.  This causes half of your intended effect to occur or your spell to succeed at half effectiveness.  For example, if you wanted to create an ice bridge over a chasm, the bridge only spans half the distance, or is extremely thin and fragile; or if you threw a fireball at a group of enemies, it only hits one, doing full damage, or it hits all of them, but only does half the damage it would ordinarily do. 


Dual Affinity: When you are casting a spell that involves multiple of your Affinities, you may add them together when attempting a spellcasting roll. 

Affinity Increase: Increase one of your existing Affinities by +1 or gain a new one.  You can only select one of the Elements of Magic.


Archmagi: 1/Day, you can add +10 to any spellcasting roll or to a damage roll for a successful spell. 


Master of the Mystic Arts: When working Magic or attempting a spellcasting roll involving Magic you have an Affinity in, you cannot trigger Chaos or Corruption. 


At Level 1, you may choose one of the Schools of Magic or one of the Elements of Magic to have an Affinity in. 

At level 3, 5 and 7 you may choose an additional Element of Magic or increase an existing Affinity by +1.

Schools of Magic:

- Abjuration: A school specializing in defensive magics.  Shields, wards, spells of protection. 
- Conjuration: A school specializing in summoning objects, creatures or resources.  Also the school most focused on spells used for transportation such as portals or teleportation. 
- Divination: A school specializing in gathering information, especially from the future.   
- Evocation: A school specializing in combat magicks, especially the manipulations of the elements; highly effective magic often derided for it's simplicity and choice of form over function.
- Illusion: A school specializing in manipulation of light and the senses of others.   
- Transmutation: A school specializing in transforming one substance into another.  Also involves the study of shapeshifting, transformation and life-extension. 

Necromancy is not thought of as a true school of magic, but a mongrel school that steals from other schools but has no strict focus.  This is an elitist perspective, but it holds merit.  Additionally, necromancy is illegal, so it doesn't have a rich academic tradition, for obvious reason. 

Elements of Magic:

The Ultimates:

- Select one of the following: Life, Death, Souls, Minds, Force, Words*

The Fundamentals:

- Select one of the following: Time, Space, Magnetism, Gravity, Light

The Elements:

- Select one of the following: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Wood, Metal, Ice, Lightning, Smoke.

The Ephemerals:

- Select one of the following: Plants, Animals, Words*, Information, Emotions

*Depending on your school of thought or tradition, some consider words merely a tool to express ideas, while others consider them more important than almost anything else.

by zhu liu

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