I have a question about dealing with magic.

I have a question about dealing with magic.

I have a question about dealing with magic.

I’m writing a world that’s relatively unfamiliar with magic (it was common in a past age, but rarely seen now, and even then only minor cantrips, etc.), where an event triggered by my setting’s god of chaos sends magic surging into the world once again.

 I’m trying to sort out how to handle this for the PC’s – which is to say, what magic classes make sense in this sort of context?  The Wizard doesn’t have many books from which to study (though I could certainly make finding the remaining ones a focus of the early game), but I’m not sure that fits.  I like the Mage a great deal, but I worry that he’ll so thoroughly outshine the other party members (he writes his own spells at a whim?  That’s AWESOME, but might leave the Fighter feeling a little lackluster, you know?) that the game will be all about him.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to handle such a situation?  Many thanks in advance.

8 thoughts on “I have a question about dealing with magic.”

  1. just keep in mind, if the fighter needs to bend the bars of a jjail cell to escape, he runs the risk of not being able to bend them back….

    the mage.. runs the risk it effects more than he planned… so he also bends his forearms and shins like bananas….

    interesting idea for setting tho, does seem those with amgic would be very powerful (socially) but also could be seen as a big threat

  2. Finding the lost spells would make a pretty cool early adventure. Or put the books in as rewards for the normal adventure?

    The Druid is another magic class. Are you going to include them? Maybe the druid also needs to find spells, or the shapeshifting power is due to deal with a demon?

    I second the idea that magic users would be seen as a threat. Power is threatening, especially power to burn you to crisp at the flick of a wrist. You could have an inquisition type organization as an enemy/front/danger, as well as power-hungry newly minted magic users.

  3. If you’re worried about magical classes outshining the non-magical classes, just remember that people are very often suspicious of or downright afraid of things they are not familiar with.

    If a magic using PC casts a spell in front of a bunch of villagers, they’re not going to simply say “Oh. You can use magic. That’s cool.” and then go about their daily business. They’re going to get all freaked out, think the PC is possessed by demons, and run them out of town. At best. At worst the player will be making a new character after the villagers have themselves a good ol’ fashion witch burning.

  4. In Fourth World, my Earthdawn hack (see the post made in this community a couple of days ago), I changed how magic works, making it slower and more risky. It also includes different casting classes. Also, every class uses magic in some way.

  5. this probably won’t be useful, but… one option is to not offer ANY magic classes (although having some smart classes like the Collector around might be good) to start with, but allow the Wizard and/or Mage as options for multiclassing if the characters encounter enough magical stuff. 

  6. alternative: the wizard hasn’t been studying from books – he’s been reverse-engineering spells from ancient legends. The spellbook he has is entirely self-written. 

  7. Some seriously fantastic ideas here.  To provide a little background – the magical event referenced above effects much of the population of an entire continent, centred on a small trade school.  The result is an unleashing of potential in many of the people in the area – makes thieves swifter and more wily, warriors stronger, smart, intuitive folks start to see the early signs of magical ability.  Beyond that, savage races get smarter and more organized, wildlife undergoes some interesting transformations… it permeates almost everything, but within a particular geographical radius.  

    The students at the school (where the event originally occurs) are the most affected – which will give the PCs some mutual history (and plenty of potential baddies), and explains why they seem to be more powerful than most of the other folks in the area.  

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