Modified Mage Black Magic spell

Modified Mage Black Magic spell

Modified Mage Black Magic spell

I love the flavour of the Mage (which is awesome, so glad I bought the Alternate Playbooks) over the Wizard, but it seemed a little over-powered (caveat: based only on one play).  Here’s a tweak of the attack spell I’m thinking of using to replace Black Magic

When you weave a spell to inflict pain, roll +INT.  The spell’s base damage is your damage, and its base range is Close (or Reach if you are using a wand or some other arcane focus). On a 10+, choose 4.  On a 7+, choose 2:

-Add extra 1d4 damage

-Add a tag (can be taken multiple times)

-Increase range (Close to Reach, Reach to Near, Near to Far; can be taken multiple times for further range increase)

-Do not become muddled (-1 ongoing to INT until you have a few minutes to clear your head or you cast another spell with a 10+ result)

Available tags:

-Elemental (choose 1)

-Subtle (does not attract unwanted attention)

-Piercing 1

-Two Targets (-1 damage each)


-Debilitating (-1 damage)

It ups the potential damage a smidge (from 1d8 to 2d4), but makes  the base damage lower and the range increments a bit more of a trade-off between the damage and other effects.

I think I like the idea of a 10+ clearing the the ongoing muddled effect, as I think picking the muddled option then becomes a more viable option for the player, as they might be able to shake it off with their next spell.


*editted above to be a little more powerful. Making it “10+ choose 3, 7-9 choose 1” if you want a bigger nerf, or drop the base range to Hand.

15 thoughts on “Modified Mage Black Magic spell”

  1. I suggest the success should be “10+ choose 3 and you do not become muddled, 7-9 choose 1”, and also change the wording of muddled to “-Do not become muddled (-1 forward or until you have a few minutes to clear your head)”

  2. I kinda like the idea of a Mage being able to get a 10+, using their points to able to pull off a Far range spell (or something else cool using several tags, etc.) at the expense of over-extending themselves and becoming muddled.

    That’s why I had the Subtle tag explicitly say it doesn’t attract attention, implying that without it, you are attracting attention.  On a 7-9 roll, that “safe” spell is going to be non-muddling and Subtle, but anything beyond that requires you to sacrifice one or both of those safe attributes.  The 10+ result lets you be safe and add 2 extras, or more if you are will to give up the safety.

    Also, I wanted to leave room for another 10+ spell (other than Black Magic) success to clear the effect.

  3. I don’t find the Mage to be overpowered, powerful, but not _over_powered, but I do like some of your ideas here.  Specifically, that you are putting more of a system of trading power for consequences into play.

    Misha Polonsky 

  4. Richard Robertson If you want to keep the power level back up where it was, you could up the base damage on what I have back to 1d8 and still have the trade-off system.  I still think that’s a little OP compared to, say, the risk/rewards a melee character has to take, but it’s all in the flavour you want the classes to have 🙂

  5. Richard Robertson Thanks for drawing my attention to this

    Alex Wilson I also like them being able to overextend themselves and take Muddled for further effect.

    2d4 doesn’t seem to up the damage any, though.  In fact you have decreased odds of getting 8 damage than a 1d8.  I have often thought that the 1d8 base damage of Black Magic seemed high, though.  1d4 base damage, with possible improvement sounds good.  

    Also, what are the 2-5th level moves built on this?  Where do you go when it does so much already?  Would messy and forceful be enough of a benefit to take an advanced move?

  6. 2d4 does up the average damage a smidge (by half a point), and makes the chance of 1 damage drop to 0% 🙂

    It’s more reliable damage, and rolling lots of d4s scratches my old-school D&D itch.

    The rest of the Mage class I was going to keep the same the same — the other moves in it relating to this move (adding another tag, upping the damage, etc.) should work as is, or with reasonably small tweaks.

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