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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Non-Vancian Magic In A Vancian World

I have spent a lot of my free time over the past few months running over combat in my head. Looking at rules from various editions and game systems (some of which I didn't even know existed before beginning this project) to see what would work well as combat options for Swords & Wizardry.  The Goldenrod Conventions Guide To Combat has taken it's toll on me. I've looked over these rule sets and gone over my note from how my group plays, and my house rules for what I did back in the day. I've looked at Chainmail to see what it has that it's descendants SHOULD still have. In short, I've had it with combat to the point I don't even want to run combat in a game at the moment. I'd wine more, but then I might give you more of a taste of the booklet than I'm willing at the moment. It's time for something else. 
It should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Vancian magic, so if you were worried that this was going to be a post about replacing Vancian magic, don't be.  My love for Vancian magic runs deep, likely because of my love for Jack Vance's "Dying Earth."  I like my magic users to have fire and forget Vancian style magic.  That said, I feel that there is room for casters that have similar, but different casting styles. and having other options available for all casters. 
Now the first option is simple and I've already worked it out based on work done by folks before me.  This is, of course, my variant take on an old school version of the 3.X Sorcerer.  You may be aware that I created a version for both Castles & Crusades and Swords & Wizardry Complete.  Some variant of the S&W version will definitely make it's way into Goldenrod.  But there are yet more styles of caster that can be added and a plethora of ideas that can be tossed in there. 
What am I doing here?  Well, you see, I want the Goldenrod Conventions to create modular rules (read as "bolt on attachments") that will create an ideal game for both myself and other players.  Some of you know that during the writing of the combat rules I took requests for rules to make this happen.  In the end, that stretched the time that I needed to create the booklet.  Right now, I want to  get ahead of this for the magic supplement.  So, let me know in the comments, what sort of modular magic rules would you like to see presented?  Trust me, if it's something that I'm not interested writing into Goldenrod, or fiddling with in general, I will let you know up front.
Here is some of what I'm looking at right now:
-Rules for Magicians Duels (these will be quite different from the rules for Spell Duels that DCC RPG uses.)  These rules will make it possible for magicians to have duels similar to the duel featured in Big Trouble in Little China between Egg Shen and Lo Pan (using magical avatars) and force duels like the one held between Saruman and Gandalf in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings."
-Hard rules for Golem creation and the creation of other creatures (such as clones and "vat creatures" inspired by "The Dying Earth.")  I also intend to have a "Frankenstein" style creature creation present.
-Rules and roleplaying tips for magic item creation and the forging of magical weapons
-New Non-Vancian magic systems for new casting classes (such as the Alchemist, Sigil Mage and Rune Caster.) 
-Rules for the "Taint of Chaos" and it's effects on casters
-Rules for Ritual Magic (based somewhat on the rules from the 3.5 "Relics & Rituals" book.
-Ley Lines and other Magical hot spots
-New Spells (and the possibility of a spell compendium featuring all of the spells from both official S&W products by FGG and Goldenrod spells.
Let me know if there is anything else that you would like to see presented.  This time we'll get this straight before I start working.