6 thoughts on “Hey folks, how do you handle spellcasting failures?”

  1. Depends on what they said they were doing in the fiction. For one mage, I made it so it messed up so he couldn’t cast the magic missile, and as it result it “exploded” inside his body causing damage and completely overloading his magic sense, preventing him from casting spells for a few minutes.

    Other time’s I’ve just had them hit allies, or in some other way fuck up the situation even more. Just be creative, or let them know what result was “You hurt yourself,” but let them fill in how they did so.

  2. Same thing you do any time you’re called on to make a move. Follow your agenda. Follow your principles. Look to your fronts.

    Note that none of your moves is “do something random”, or “roll on a table”. When players succeed at rolls, they’re driving the story forward, when they fail, it’s your turn to drive the story forward. Do that.

  3. Jonathan Beverley The thing is, I want to use a table more as an “inspirational tool”, as a means to an end, and not an end in itself, so I was aiming for a table with stuff like “the caster gets temporarily teleported to a place of the GM’s choosing” not “the caster gets temporarily teleported to the Abyss” (that would be very arbitrary)

  4. I would advocate for putting a magic spin on your regular GM moves. Also, I tend to ignore the fact my casters “failed” a lot and let them cast the spell anyways. Then I just make a move with something else to move the story forward.

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