+Maezar has been diving deep into FotF and particularly his post on duration has inspired me to enquirer further…

+Maezar has been diving deep into FotF and particularly his post on duration has inspired me to enquirer further…

+Maezar has been diving deep into FotF and particularly his post on duration has inspired me to enquirer further about experiences with the magic user.

From a GM/DM and rule-tinkerer perspective, the point-based spell construction in FotF is a thing of beauty. I love it in theory. In practice, on-the-fly spell construction and assignment of points has caused combat, especially, to grind to a halt and the non-MU players to groan with frustration.

To facilitate the process, we’ve often ended up with a static set of “sub-spells” which have particular flavours and point costs. To which I say “did we just build a traditional spell book in the middle of play instead of during character creation?”

What difficulties have (or have not) others run into with this elegant and rich spell casting opportunity?

11 thoughts on “+Maezar has been diving deep into FotF and particularly his post on duration has inspired me to enquirer further…”

  1. Love the system as well, also in theory. Have not had a chance to bring FotF to the table yet.

    You could have Players come up with spell book in advance, but sort of gets in the way of spells on the fly.

  2. I like what I’m seeing, Jason Lutes – my riff on the original move text looks very similar. While this streamlines, I guess I still see a two-fold struggle at the table: first with imagination regarding spell form then second with point estimation.

    For example, a player has “Abu-dalsim’s sand storm” and for 3 points could create (1) a brief and perhaps blinding sand burst in the eyes of a foe or (2) a swirling vortex of sand that levitates them to higher ground.

    For effective play, we started spec’ing out point “tiers” within each spell – a 3pt, a 6pt, a 9pt, etc. then modifying on the go from that baseline. It was a hard lesson to learn.

    Maybe it’s just my group. I can see how others could blast through the spell ideas and point calculation. But I think we all will break down a bit after many hours and maybe a few cocktails.

    Short story: I love it, but maybe my group needs more practice?

  3. Have a copy of DCCRPG, or 5th Ed handy or the Magic Burner if you have it and just use pre-existing spells as ‘templates’. One the MU has made the spell, write it down! It’s their homework to transcribe spells!

    Otherwise, I think your system in play of working out ranges within the spell concept a good one.

  4. The one thing we felt about the magic system was that there seems to be no discount for non-damage-related spells since the magnitude of the effect does not take this into account. If there was such a discount then some more subtle spells might result?

  5. Aaron Griffin, it has not. For “Advanced Freebooters” I will likely include alternate spell tables for things like different magic schools and different cultures (as exemplified by Chris Gardiner’s approach in his Mistmarch setting). I don’t see any need to change the exisiting spell name table, but I’m certainly open to arguments pro or con.

    Rob Brennan, the line “Spell effects are not limited by numbers! Use your imagination.” is supposed to encompass those possibilities. It’s up to the Judge and the players to determine what constitutes a “minor” vs. “moderate” effect, the main point being it should feel roughly equivalent to the numerical values.

    I think there’s a lot of room for table-by-table interpretation in there, and that’s intentional. It’s challenging to hit the right balance between structure and suggestion; I’m trying to make arcane magic feel more structured (by assigning power values to specific aspects) compared to divine magic, which falls more to the suggestive (by leaving the casting modifier entirely up to the deity/Judge).

    Do you have an example of spells that were difficult to break down satisfactorily in play?

  6. Rob Brennan, do you feel that the power cost of a +2 in that context is too expensive? Because a disguise roll can be much more powerful than 2d6 damage in the right situation.

    I guess I’m looking for suggestions. Reducing the spell damage die from d6 to d4? Scaling spell damage to 1d4/1d6/1d8+1/3d6/5d6? Adding a line about reducing power cost if the Judge deems a particular effect “subtle?”

  7. I agree it is not obvious how to fix. I think it would be good to put in a specific prompt to the judge to consider reduced cost for subtle/self-limited effects (eg awkward components). 

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