For me back in the day the ubiquity of battle magic was something that made RQ and Glorantha significantly different and better than the other games of the time, and to keep the same look and feel to the world it needs to keep its prominence, and see a world where magic is as common a response to a problem as technology is our world.
Keeping spirit/battle/folk magic front and centre needs to be key to any Gloranthan system, and this needs to be the case in the WOD storyteller mash up.
There has to my knowledge never been any link between spirit magic and runes within the game mechanic, there is a linkage between runes and spirit magic in the game world and it would be good if the game mechanic would reflect it.
I am aiming for a system where characters with high traits in runes associated with a particular spirit magic spell find it easier to cast and their spells are more potent when they do. Where characters without associated runes can still use the sprit magic spells but their magic less powerful.
Base Spirit Magic Mechanic
The premise of the system is this
- All characters have variable points in various runes( usually 1 to 5)
- All characters have variable point in various battle magic spells (usually 1 to 5)
- All spirit magic spells have a native rune associated with them
- Casing any spirit magic spell costs a single quinessence point.
When casting a spirit magic spell the caster can choose to
- Amplify his battle magic spell through a rune of his choice.
- Use his knowledge of the spell only
If a character chooses to amplify his spell through the use of his runes, the following mechanic kicks in
- A players dice pool is the sum of the traits in battle magic and the traits in the particular spell
- The target difficulty of the roll for the spells effect is set by relevance of the rune chosen to the spell and the target effect or situation.
- Difficulty 5 – Native rune
- Difficulty 6 – High relevance
- Difficulty 7 – Slight relevance
- Difficulty 8 – Tenuous relevance
- Difficulty 9 – No relevance
- Difficulty 10 – Opposing Rune
If the character chooses not amplify the battle magic spell
- The dice pool is the character trait level in the spell
- The difficulty will be a standard 6
As with all WOD storyteller systems the number of dice rolled over the difficulty is the number of success on the test.
For Example Jema the Chalana Arroy Healer has a trait of 3 in the spell heal and 2 in the life rune. If she choose not to amplify the spell with her Rune she would roll 3 dice with target numbers of 6, so a 2, 4, and 8 rolled mean she has one success.
However if she were to amplify the spell with her rune she would roll 5 dice with a target number of 5, meaning a 3,5,7,5,8 would give her 4 successes.
Ricca the Ernelda priestess has Heal 3 and Earth 4, if she were to amplify with her earth rune by channelling the healing power of the earth into her target she would have a dice pool of 7 and difficulty of 6 as it is a highly relevant rune in an appropriate situation.
Alric the shaman has Heal 2 and Spirit 5, he can amplify his heal through his spirit but it is only slightly relevant so he will have a dice pool of 7 but a difficulty of 7.
Shoga the Deathlord has Heal 2 and Death 5, if he was to try to amplify the heal spell through a death rune, the difficulty would be 10 due to opposing nature and he is as likely to damage his target as heal him.
Runes and Relevancy
The spell descriptions listed below all list native runes and runes with high relevance, however some guidance on other runes.
- Elemental runes – Elemental runes are either native, highly relevant but only become relevant if the physical element is present and could be manipulated to the effect desired. More often they are neutral, but sometimes are opposed when opposing spells native to other elements.
- Power Runes – Power runes are brought into play when associated to the effect being sought and tend to be highly relevant or opposing runes,
- Form Runes – Form runes usually become slightly relevant when the target of the spell relates to the form.
- Condition Runes – Condition Runes slightly relevant to lots of situations especially spirit, magic, infinity, luck and fate which can be used in most situations.
However these decisions should be taken by the storyteller in game time.
Effects of Spirit Spells
Spirit Magic in Glorantha has traditionally worked with one of work with one of three game mechanics;
- Buff – Bonuses are given to various skill checks and combat actions
- Opposed Roll – An effect takes place on a third party if an opposed roll is won
- Instant effect – Things just happen.
These three mechanics need to be considered in the new system.
- One spirit magic buff can be cast a round in addition to a characters main action.
- A character maybe affected by different buffs at the same time, but not of similar types (defensive, offensive, anti magic, movement, stealth, communication, etc).
- Each success made will be added to all rolls of a certain type for the duration of the scene.
- The dice roll affected will be determined by the spell and can be found in the spell table.
- These spells take an action to cast.
- Opposed rolls are made when casting spells over targets who wish to resist. The Target will almost always resist with their willpower at a target of 6.
- If a spell succeeds the amount successes of the caster over the defender determine the strength or length of the effect of the spell.
- These spells take an action to cast.
- One success is enough for an complete success, extra success dive more detailed information
Hopefully this creates a spirit magic system that reflects the best of old Gloranthan RQ, works in the storytellers system and gives runes more an prominence in the system.
|Spell||Type||Native Rune||Associated Runes||Effect & Notes|
|Abacus||Eff||Truth||Mastery, Law||Count of Items|
|Smith’s Boon||Buff||Fire||Earth||Extra dice to craft skill roles all for metal working|
|Babel||Res||Illusion||Disorder, Man, Chaos||Confuses targets language for round per success|
|Bandit’s Cloak||Buff||Illusion||Darkness, Moon||Extra dice to stealth rolls|
|Bearing Witness||Buff||Truth||Mastery, Man||Extra dice to questioning skills rolls|
|Beast Call||Res||Beast||Communication, Mastery||Summons target animal|
|Becalm||Eff||Harmony||Man, Illusion, Life||Allows subject to sleep peacefully, calms out all other mental effects one per success|
|Befuddle||Res||Illusion||Illusion, Disorder, Moon, Chaos||Confuses Subject for one round per success|
|Boon of last night||Eff||Darkness||Illusion||Creates circle of darkness|
|Bladesharp||Buff||Death||Air, Movement||Extra attack dice on slashing and impaling weapon rolls|
|Bludgeon||Buff||Death||Darkness, Disorder, Earth||Extra damage dice on crushing weapons|
|Cauterise||Buff||Fire||Life, Harmony||Extra dice for healing skill rolls|
|Chill||Eff||Air||Darkness, Undead||Cools items and or people|
|Clear Path||Eff||Plant||Movement, Fire||Allows free movement through all undergrowth|
|Co-ordination||Buff||Movement||Man, Air, Mastery,||Extra dice on all dexterity based checks|
|Countermagic||Buff||Magic||Spirit, Luck, Fate, Infinity||Extra dice on WP resist again spells|
|Darkwall||Eff||Darkness||Earth, Moon, Illusion||Magical Darkness in a wall|
|Demoralise||Res||Man||Man, Darkness, Disorder, Moon||Reduces target dice poll by 1 per success on offensive actions|
|Detect X||Eff||Truth||Magic , Spirit, Life, Man, law||Detects stuff, one extra substance per level|
|Disruption||Eff||Disorder||Death, Chaos, Air, Fire||Damage equal to number of successes, no armour on rolls|
|Dispel Magic||Eff||Magic||Spirit, Luck, Fate, Infinity, Disorder||Removes on point of on-going magic effect per success|
|Dragon’s Breath||Eff||Dragon||Dragonewt, Fire||Fire attack of damage equal to success aggravated damage|
|Dullblade||Res||Harmony||Disorder, Darkness||Increase difficulty on target weapon wounding by one per success|
|Endurance||Buff||Man||Earth, Life, Beast||Extra dice on all non combat endurance checks|
|Entertainer’s Smile||Buff||Communication||Man, Harmony, Illusion||Extra dice on performance checks|
|Extinguish||Eff||Darkness||Air, Earth||Extinguishes fire|
|Fanaticism||Buff||Beast||Man, Air, Disorder, Chaos||Loose parry action, each success adds dice to weapon attack and parry|
|Farsee||Buff||Light||Beast, Air, Man||Increased vision and extra dice on visual perception|
|Fate||Buff||Fate||Luck||Boost or reduce next dice pool by number of successes|
|Firearrow||Buff||Fire||Death, Disorder, Chaos||First point makes damage aggravated, all others add one damage|
|Fireblade||Buff||Fire||Death, Disorder, Chaos||First point makes damage aggravated, all others add one damage|
|Glamour||Buff||Communication||Man, Illusion||Extra dice on all charisma rolls|
|Glue||Eff||Stasis||Earth||Fixed item in place, each point give 3 dice in resistance strength|
|Golden Tongue||Buff||Communication||Man, Harmony||Extra dice on all communication rolls|
|Heal||Buff||Life||Man, Harmony||Each success heals a health level|
|Ignite||Eff||Fire||Air||Sets something on fire|
|Iron hand||Buff||Beast||Man, Death, Disorder, Chaos||Extra dice on natural weapon attacks|
|Lucky||Buff||Luck||Reroll one dice per success on next failed test|
|Mason’s Boon||Buff||Earth||Stasis||Extra dice on all masonry craft skills|
|Mindspeech||Eff||Communication||Truth, Air, Man||Communicates with one person per success|
|Mobility||Buff||Movement||Air, Beast||Increases movement rate by var|
|Parry||Buff||Stasis||Air, Death||Extra dice on all parry roles|
|Pierce||Buff||Death||Fire, Air||Extra damage dice on all damage roles for impaling weapons|
|Protection||Buff||Stasis||Earth||Extra soak dice for each success|
|Repair||Effect||Stasis||Harmony||fixes broken item|
|Second Sight||Effect||Spirit||Spirit, Law||magical aura of all creatures and items, allows invisible creatures to be seen|
|Shimmer||Buff||Air||Illusion, Movement||extra dice on all dodge and avoidance roles|
|Slow||Res||Stasis||Man||decreases movement of target|
|Speedart||Buff||Air||death, Light, Fire||extra to hit dice on missile rolls|
|Strength||Buff||Man||Beast, Earth, Life||extra dice on all strength rolls|
|Spirit Bane||Buff||Spirit||Mastery||Creates circle of protection from hostile spirits, success increases radius|
|Thunder’s Voice||Buff||Mastery||Air, Communication||Increases voice volume and extra dice to intimidation and leadership rolls per success|
|Understanding||Buff||Communication||Man||Extra dice on all language roles|
|Vigour||Buff||Earth||Man, Life, Stasis, Beast||Extra dice for stamina rolls|
|Warmth||Effect||Fire||Fire, Light, man||Keeps caster warm each magnitude adds extra person|
|Water Breath||Effect||Air||Water, Life, Man||Allows target to breath Under water|