Friday, June 20, 2008

Uresian Magic

It's a funny thing; sometimes you find yourself wondering how you're going to start a project, then you go back through your notes and discover you've already done about half the work already!

Thus it was with my Uresian magic conversion. I'd quite forgotten that I'd already picked up a train of thought that balances RCD&D simplicity with the specialized nature of Uresian magic. And it fits in nicely with my "Frankensteinian approach" to designing classes: cut up and reassemble the existing parts of the system as you see fit.

My inspiration came from a thread over on the RPG.net Forums entitled "101 Days of the Rules Cyclopedia". Out of the glut of "101 Days" threads that enjoyed a brief vogue not too long ago, this was the one I found most enjoyable. And it had a genuine nugget of inspiration contained within: a re-worked spell list for the Elf class.

Essentially, this was an attempt to make Elf magic a little more distinct, more "Elvish", by taking Druid spells and Cleric spells and kicking out the M-U spells that just didn't seem to fit. This was the result:

Level 1

Detect Danger (D1)
Detect Magic (M1)
Faerie Fire (D1)
Light (C1)
Locate (D1)
Predict Weather (D1)
Resist Cold (C1)
Speak with Animals (C2)
Sleep (M1)
Ventriloquism (M1)

Level 2

Charm Person (M1)
Continual Light (M2)
Entangle (M2)
Levitate (M2)
Mirror Image (M2)
Obscure (D2)
Phantasmal Force (M2)
Produce Fire (D2)
Speak with Plants (C4)
Warp Wood (D2)

Level 3

Call Lightning (D3)
Dance (M8) (Victim gets save to resist; duration of 1 round/5 levels.)
Growth of Animal (C3)
Hold Animal (D3)
Invisibility (M2)
Plant Door (D4)
Protection From Poison (D3)
Water Breathing (D3)
Clothform (M4) (Grows and weaves leaves of local plants into desired form.)

Level 4

Charm Monster (M4)
Confusion (M4)
Control Temperature, 10' Radius (D4)
Create Water (C4) (Only usable in forested area.)
Growth of Plants (M4)
Hallucinatory Terrain (M4)
Massmorph (M4)
Protection from Lightning (D4)
Summon Animals (D4)
Woodform (M5) (Grows and weaves trees into desired form.)

Level 5

Anti-Plant Shell (D5)
Control Winds (D5)
Create Food (C5) (Only usable in forested area.)
Dissolve (D5)
Insect Plague (C5)
Pass Plant (D5)
Projected Image (M6)
Truesight (C5)

Level 6

Animate Forest (As Animate Objects, except that it only works on living plants.)
Anti-Animal Shell (D6)
Find the Path (C6)
Geas (M6)
Lower Water (M6)
Move Earth (M6)
Reincarnation (M6)
Summon Weather (D6)
Transport through Plants (D6)
Turn Wood (D6)
Weather Control (M6)

Level 7

Creeping Doom (D7)
Earthquake (C7)
Lore (M7)
Mass Charm (M8)
Mass Invisibility (M7)
Metal to Wood (D7)
Restore (C7, not reversible)
Summon Elemental (D7)
Survival (C7)

Notice that certain spells had their descriptions slightly tweaked to match their new Elven masters. I like that.

Now, needless to say, the Elves in my Uresia campaign will be utilizing that modified spell list. Well, except for the Dundralin, a special class of Elves that are basically wuxia-style Elf wizard/monks. They use a specialized spell list that has a much smaller selection of spells, reflecting the source of their power (let's just say it's the wild side of nature and leave it at that--don't want to give away any setting spoilers here!). It looks a little something like this:

DUNDRALIN SPELL LIST

Dundralin do not require spell books. They select and cast spells in the same manner as Clerics.

Level 1
Detect Danger (D1)
Speak with Animals (C2)
Sleep (M1)

Level 2
Entangle (M2)
Levitate (M2)
Obscure (D2)

Level 3
Growth of Animal (C3)
Invisibility (M2)
Hold Animal (D3)

Level 4
Charm Monster (M4)
Confusion (M4)
Summon Animals (D4)

Level 5
Dissolve (D5)
Insect Plague (C5)
Pass Plant (D5)

Level 6
Animate Forest (As Animate Objects, except that it only works on living plants.)
Create Normal Animals (C6)
Find the Path (C6)

Level 7
Creeping Doom (D7)
Ironform (M7)
Summon Elemental (Earth only)

For a more conventional spell-casting class, let's look at the Boru Sorcerer's spell list. The Sorcerers of Boru cast their magic through dancing and the liberal use of heady incense (the country of Boru is basically a super-decadent, sensualized version of mythic Persia/Arabia). So they cast their spells like Clerics, without having to memorize spells, and their incantations focus on enthralling and pacifying their audience.

BORU SORCERER SPELL LIST

Boru Sorcerers do not require spell books. They select and cast spells in the same manner as Clerics. Note that spells marked with an asterisk ("*") require visual contact with the Sorcerer, and that all Sorcerer spells require the caster have free movement of his limbs.

Level 1
Charm Person* (M1)
Cure Light Wounds (C1)
Faerie Fire (C1)
Protection from Evil (M1)
Sleep* (M1)

Level 2
ESP (M2)
Hold Person* (C2)
Mirror Image (M2)
Phantasmal Force (M2)
Snake Charm* (C2)

Level 3
Cause Blindness* (C3) (Reverse of Cure Blindness; target gets a save to resist)
Charm Monster* (M4)
Confusion* (M4)
Haste (M3)
Protection from Evil, 10' radius (C4)

Level 4
Animate Dead (C4)
Control Temperature, 10' radius (D4)
Cure Serious Wounds (C4)
Neutralize Poison (C4)
Remove Curse (M4)

Level 5
Animate Objects (C6)
Cloudkill (M5) (Requires burning incense.)
Dispel Evil (C5)
Feeblemind* (M5)
Hold Monster* (M5)

Level 6
Geas* (M6)
Projected Image (M6)
Dance (M8)

Level 7
Heal (M9)
Timestop (M9)

The Elementalist is another pure casting class, but like the Dundralin, they have an extremely limited selection of spells. This is to balance out the fact that they have access to some pretty destructive magic at relatively low levels.

ELEMENTALIST SPELL LIST

Elementalists do not require spell books. They select and cast spells in the same manner as Clerics. They cast their magic "wild" in the same manner as Wild Mages.

Level 1

Light (M1)
Magic Missile (M1)
Resist Cold (C1)
Resist Fire (C2)

Level 2

Continual Light (M2)
Fireball (M3)
Heat Metal (D2)
Produce Fire (D2)

Level 3

Call Lightning (D3)
Conjure Elemental (M5)
Create Air (M3)
Water Breathing (D3)

Level 4

Create Water (C4)
Delayed Blast Fireball (M7)
Protection from Lightning (D4)
Wall of Fire (M4)

Level 5

Control Winds (D5)
Move Earth (M6)
Stoneform (M6)
Wall of Stone (M5)

Level 6

Ironform (M7)
Lower Water (M6)
Stone to Flesh (M6)
Wall of Iron (M6)

Level 7

Earthquake (C7)
Explosive Cloud (M8)
Meteor Swarm (M9)
Steelform (M8)

So that's what I've been working on of late. I'm quite happy with how things turned out, and I'm just about ready to slap all my notes together in a PDF and post 'em. Oh, and as of this week we have begun playtesting. :D

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