Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Shazarot"...uh no..."shagzamot" it's "Shamaazak" !

Alternate MU spell casting sub-system for old-school games

This sub-system is an example making magic use more involved at the tabletop as discussed in my last post. It's an attempt to model forgetful old wizards and magical duels.

Every MU has the same number of spells ready as defined in the rules used. Each spell is not automatically cast nor is it expended when cast.

Readying Spells.
Readying spells takes a considerable amount of time and effort. A hour per spell level must be spent to ready a spell known to a MU. It takes a high level MU a great deal of time and effort to ready a full range of spells. (What do folks think wizards are doing in their towers after all?)

Casting A Spell
Spells are not automatically successful. A MU must make a casting check each time they attempt to cast a spell.
A Casting Check is made by rolling 3d6.
The following modifiers apply to the roll
-1 if the level of spell being cast
+1 if the level of the MU
-2 if the MU has weapons or device in hands other then magical apparatus.
-3 if the MU moved this round or is mounted
-9 if the MU is engaged in melee
-12 if the MU is held or bound
-12 if MU damaged while spell casting
+2 for each MU helping (multiple MU can aid each other if they have spell prepared)

Casting Check Results Table
4 or less...spell lost
5 to 8.......spell forgotten
9...............spell miscast
10 to 15......spell delayed
16 or more...spell cast

Explanation of casting check results:

Spell Lost- the spell is removed from the list of ready spells.

Spell Forgotten- the spell is marked as forgotten and may not be cast until it is remembered. (see remembering spells)

Spell Miscast- spell simply doesn't work

Spell Delayed- casting isn't complete caster is able to act next round, it is then successful.
An enemy MU can counter if in area of effect.

Spell Cast- spell is successfully cast. An enemy MU can counter if in area of effect.

Counter Spell
All MU are able to counter the spells of other MU without risking loss of readied spells. A MU attempting to counter spell must be the target or within the area of effect of the spell to do so.

roll 3d6.
+1 per level for counter spelling MU
-1 per level for casting MU
-12 if counter spelling MU cast a spell this round
-2 if counter spelling MU has weapons or device in hands other then magical apparatus.
-3 if counter spelling MU this round or is mounted
-12 if counter spelling MU is engaged in melee
+2 for each MU helping (multiple MU can aid each other if they are in area of effect)

Counter Spell Check Chart
3 or less....Counter Stunned
4 to 12.........Counter Spelling fails
13................Spell Halted
14 to 15.......Casting Delayed
16 or 17.......Counter Spelling Successful
18+........... Spell Reflected

Counter Stunned- counter spelling fails and MU attempting to counterspell is stunned for 1-3 rounds
Counter Spelling Fails- counter spelling fails

Spell Halted- spell goes off midpoint between caster and target, casting MU can cancel spell if
higher level then the countering MU.

Casting Delayed- incoming spell is delayed one more round.

Counter Spelling Successful- spell is successfully countered, will not function.

Spell Reflected- spell sent back to casting MU, it "goes off" at max range if range to target and back to caster greater then spell range. A higher level MU can cancel a spell reflected if Mu would still be in area of effect. A MU may attempt to Counter a spell reflected back at them but shoudl carefully consider modifiers when doing so.

Remembering Spells
A MU can spend a full 10 minutes trying to recall a forgotten spell at any point in time.
A MU may attempt to quickly recall a forgotten spell as a free action once a day per level (not in the same round they forgot a spell however)

The chance to Remember a spell is tied to Intelligence

INT score....Chance to Remember Spell
9 or less......45%
10 to 14.......55%

If one is attempting quickly recall a forgotten spell subtract the spell level from INT to determine effective INT to determine the chance to remember the spell.


  1. I like these ideas, I'm always looking for ways to tweak magic use. I was thinking about having magic-users be able to work together similar to how you have it. I also thought about having a spell that would allow one MU to steal magical potential from another for a short time, and thus boost his casting level.

  2. Glad you like it.

    I have some more elaborate counter-magic options I've been working on that include a wider range of results allowing MU to steal spells and other related actions. That'll see light of day soon.