Just a quick thought about a looser spell design move for Wizards.

Just a quick thought about a looser spell design move for Wizards.

Just a quick thought about a looser spell design move for Wizards. 

When you (carve a rune into a surface | invoke the ancient powers by song | call up magic by word and gesture) roll+INT. 10+ Choose 3 from the following list. 7-9 Choose 2 and the GM chooses 1 from the second list. 6- Ouch. You may add an additional tag from the first list by also choosing an additional tag from the second list.

Forceful, Messy, Silent, Subtle, Area, Ward, Elemental (type), Necrotic, Illusion, Ongoing, +1 Forward, +1 Ongoing (to a narrow set of circumstances), -1 Ongoing to opponent (to a narrow set of circumstances). Near, Far, Piercing, Stun, Damaging (deals 2 x class damage), etc.

Loud, Attracts Attention, Exhausting, Slow, -1 Forward to spell casting, -1 Ongoing (to a narrow set of circumstances), Debility, Spent (this particular spell is used up for the day) etc.

For additional colour, choose one from the following list: Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, Summoning, Evocation, Necromancy, etc.

If relevant choose the spell type: Missile, Shield, Circle, Wall, Touch, Eye Contact, etc. 

Example (for  Tim Franzke )

Wall of Fire (Wall, Summoning): Ward, Elemental (fire), Ongoing. Deals class damage and produces a wall of fire.


4 thoughts on “Just a quick thought about a looser spell design move for Wizards.”

  1. I like the general idea but i could see the need of choosing from the second list, even on a 10+ and then give some way of getting rid of the tags through experiment  and use. 

    Also, what levels would these spells be? 

  2. I wasn’t too concerned with spell levels, to be honest. I was aiming at something between the existing wizard and the Mage’s spellcasting. Looser but not too loose, you know? Perhaps limiting the number of beneficial tags to the spell level or spell level+1 would work. Or spending spell levels to grab additional tags. 

    I was thinking that the Damaging tag could be level-based too, with each level adding the class damage die to the outcome. e.g. A 9th level spell would be 10d4 damage, assuming no spell levels were spent on other tags.

    I agree that there’s good play to be had in requiring problematic tags at first and removing them as the wizard ‘masters’ the spell. 

    It needs a good bit of playtesting before anyone would be happy with it. I don’t know if my Mage’s player would be interested in trying it out.

  3. Anthony Giovannetti Thanks! I was looking to move away from the spell lists approach but keep enough structure that certain spells would naturally group together. I see a lot of value in DW’s narrative tags but I can understand wanting more mechanical underpinning for magic too.

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