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Charge RPG

The Free, Open and Generic Role-Playing Game to Power Your Storytelling · By Fari RPGs (René-Pier Deshaies)

Extra: Magic Extra (Integrated)

A topic by Nuagia created Nov 27, 2021 Views: 931 Replies: 4
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(3 edits)

This has been (mostly) markdown formatted, though it may not be perfect and lacks any amount of examples. Feel free to provide any amount of feedback! 

# Magic Extra : 

This extra is meant to emulate low-level magic, so it may not be the best to use in high-powered settings, or setting where magic is everywhere.

## The Magic Dial : 

First, you want to decide **Which stat to use**, though you can obviously mix and match (even inside the same spell) : 

Is magic made of drawn-out rituals that require you to spend a long time gathering some amount of magic power ? Then you need **Focus**

Does magic require careful movements or even danses that you have to execute perfectly ? That would require some amount of **Finesse** 

Is magic made of alchemy and enchanting ? This sounds like **Tinkering**

IS magic something made out of a runic language that you have to decipher, arias you need to know by heart or complex drawings ? I hope you're a good **Study** (but **Focus** could work, especially if you have a book in hand!)

Do you use Hypnosis or Kototama (japanese word magic)? It might be **Sway** or **Command**

Maybe you need to use your **Bond** with a specific god to call upon their particular powers.

Though, obviously, you can mix and match on the same roll or in the same setting : Maybe casting the same spell can be done through a chant or through some movements. Be creative with your magic! 

## The Cost of Magic : 

Depending on the tone of your game, magic can have different costs and have different effects :

For a cost, magic could require any of :

- Some amount of **Momentum**

- Time (require a **Clock** to be filled)

- Risk (put you in a certain **Position** by default)

- Danger (a **Clock** to tick on consequences that is in your character's **Complications** on their sheet)

- Materials (no need to keep an inventory, use common sense)

- Casting Prerequisites (at night; on-site; with a spell tome)

- Casting Limits (once per day; once per session; once in the whole campaign)

- Drawbacks (create collateral damage; take stress)

- Long-term effects on the caster (maybe it takes a toll on their health, maybe it even corrupts them [if someone makes a corruption extra, add it here].)

Just be sure the effect that you're giving magic fits the cost, so that your players will always be tempted to use it. 

## The effect of magic

### Magic with multiple uses and magic items

When creating a magic item, or when using magic that may be used multiple times in the same cast, you should likely define limits to the spell : 

- Either use the [Gear extra]( for a protective item

- Use a "magic charge" clock that depletes with use (may or may not be resplenished by the caster) that can be tracked on the character sheet, using **projects**

- Make the spell much harder to cast and more dangerous 

- Make further uses of the effect have a cost (see above)

- For an item, allow the character wearing the item to roll for the spell in lieu of the caster (give them narrative permission to do something). 

### The effect of magic

Use the effect rating of the spell, or clear segments (if the spell is a clock), to determine its effect. When ticking clocks, follow the normal rules. If the spell is meant to help an ally or hinder the enemy, it applies a bonus (only on rolls where the effect might be relevant) :

A spell with **limited** effect (1 segment) will only have a small impact on whatever you're doing : it only provides a better effect or a better position 

A spell with **normal** effect (2 segments) is stronger : it gives you an extra d6 when rolling 

A spell with **great** effect (3 segments) is powerful : it gives you both better effect or position and gives you an extra d6 when rolling.

Critical successes on spells raise the effect by one level for every additionnal d6 besides the first. A critical success on a spell that already had a **great** effect can have two effect : either it provides better effect, position and an extra d6, or it simply lets the character automatically succeed on a roll where the effect applies (in that case, the effect rating stays the same).


Like said on Discord, I really like this Extra. 

I think you went over everything that's needed to hack your own magic system into the game, and that's quite a challenge.

Magic is a wide term. It means a lot of things to a lot of different people, and each setting has its on twist on it. I think this should generally cover most use cases + it seems it ties itself very well into the core game mechanics.

Couple of things:

- Would it be worth mentioning that you could potentially use different actions to use magic within the same setting ? What you are describing seems to say "if you play with magic that works like this, choose an "action" to do magic. But I'm wondering if it would be interesting to also say that this "action" could also depend on what the PC is doing from one spell to the other? My concern is to have one "do magic" action though those concerns arent probably that important considering the cost and clocks mechanics you outlined

- Perhaps we could explain that the "magic charge / mana clock" could be tracked on the  "projects & complications" clocks on the character sheet ?

- Another point we could touch on is "magic that trigers corruption" a la Fate of Chulhu. What do you think ?

1. Yes, this is actually what I meant by "mix and match", any spell can have any component. Maybe two spells have the same component, maybe the same spells have multiple components at once or you get to choose which one you use. 

2. Yes ! That's probably a very good idea

3. Sadly, I'm not familiar with that specific Fate game, if it is about a more permanent cost to magic, it could definitely be used as a cost


Yeah so in Fate of Cthulu, doing magic can have a cost because you are playing with Great Old Ones' technology. Everytime you use magic, you tick a clock to track how corrupted you get over time (so kind of like the opposite of a mana clock I guess?

When the clock is filled, you character's marks one of their aspect as "corrupted"

Anyway, perhaps it's an interesting example to highlight in the sense of: magic can consume your reserves, but the cost of using magic could also be how corrupted you get from using it.

Or perhaps that's out of scope and this should be its own extra!


Alright! First draft available on!