Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Pulling punches when casting magic

I'm considering penalizing high level magic users for casting low level spells. Yea wohhahaha what you say! Here's the deal and it's not Vancian magic BTW...

Magic users use power (in this case magic points, aka mana). The more powerful the magic user the more magic points at his disposal. The magic user becomes used to working with a lot of "magical current". It's hard to open the valve for just a few drops of magic as it was when the wizard begun using magic.

I can easily get a single drop from a milk bottle and I might get one by slightly opening the water faucet, but it would be very hard for me to keep it to one drop when opening a valve to a 6" water pipe. Follow me so far?

Well here's the other aspect of the deal. Magic is a skill and as such it requires a roll. Roll ok and the spell succeeds, roll poorly and it fails, roll very poorly and bad things happen, but roll incredibly well and too much power comes out of your fingertips. Lower level spells have the risk of becoming overly powerful and draining more mana that was initially intended.

I think this can add an interesting spin to spell casters as wizards now have to operate in their sweet spot or risk being too powerful. The warlock tries to magic missile the poor little goblin in the barn and ends up nuking it alongside all the livestock in it.

Thought? Have you played with something similar to this? If so what was your experience?
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