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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

[RPG] UWoM Blood Magic-


I am starting to weigh the pro's and con's of various magic systems I have created over the past ten years, and am currently trying to retain the most D&D-friendly, while still Urutskan, system for the game.

Blood Magic can be blamed directly on Groakes (a subscriber here and a friend from Mike's Moorcock's Miscellany site) when he gave the extant .pdf version a whirl and created a character and a critter, and fought a sample battle.
--It was just the kick in the seat that I needed to solidify the setting's unique qualities, and so I am trying my best to make it my best effort.

So far, I have tentatively rejected my d6 constructive die pool method, due to recent development on my Spectral Index (semi-unified-mechanic colour chart abomination) which operates on an index of one of 16 ratings with a 2d12 roll in place of the flat d100 rolls I had been using.
--Both have their strengths, but I think the 2d12 is fastest and most D&D-friendly, which actually does matter to me. Since both contain the same Colour Logic, it really is simply a matter of design aesthetics.

What I can tell you so far is that the Magic system will be based on pairings of the Sanguine Elements and one of the six character Abilities (Conviction, Agility, Fighting, etc.) in a manner similar to Ars Magica or the slightly pared-down version found in the ultra-rare Lords of Fantasy rpg from the '90's, in which a magicker would combine, let's say, Create and Air to do something defined by what Create entails, and what Air is and can do. However, tying it to the sixteen Sanguine Elements and pairing them with the six Abilities will give a bit more internal consistency to the system's outlook on the setting.

Players of all characters would define six Blood Magics for each character that further their particular character's idiom (perhaps through Tags like, 'grizzled veteran' or something vaguely 'Narrativistic') while providing lateral development potential more than increasing one's rating in any of the six apart from 'super-powers' or the like in the Latter Autumn era.
--This would then reduce the frequency of dedicated magickers ubiquitous in other RPGs.

However, this then diminishes the connection to canned spell lists and the like, which certainly have a lot going for them.

I know that some of you are decidedly interested in an UWoM that is most-compatible with D&D and the simulaclones of late, while others (Groakes, and perhaps also Rob Kuntz at this point) are more inclined to have UWoM be true to its milieu rather than attempting to shoehorn it into an ill-fitting mould. My own inclination is, of course, a happy medium between the two.

Comments, requests, thoughts?


  1. I'd suggest having two parallel magic systems. One, the regular/simple vancian D&D system and an alternate "your personal vision" version, with the users deciding which system to use.

  2. Blair: Thank you.
    --Would you be willing to use a Spell Point system based on the Vancian totals instead of a proper Vancian slot setup, or is the slot setup 'make or break'?
    ---Thanks again.

  3. I'd just have the one system, making sure it served the setting, with the use of sanguine elements and abilities personalizing the magic - maybe instead of spells you have templates (blast, wall etc) that are customized by the elements/abilities.

  4. Sean: The templating idea is wonderful.
    --I dig that mind of yours. :D

    I think, like the rest of UWoM, the D&D standard will work implicitly. It is already possible to run any edition or most other 3d6-based games in-place of the rest of UWoM in any place the rules of the preferred system was in fact preferred.
    --A 5th level AD&D Paladin would have their AD&D class abilities and spells available regardless if he were the one of two odd men out, and only Bill Hickok from Boot Hill, and he thought the place odd --provided the rules to those other games are available for making rulings. Ditto for the modern homages and imaginings.

    Just like we used to do it. :)

  5. Re. Spellponts/vancian casting

    I look at other supplements/rulesets as sources of materials for my own game so I am biased.

    I think that vancian casting would make the transition seamless for D&D players interested in UWOM, but personally as long as the spells have clearly defined "levels" and operate in play without being dependent on a spell point mechanic (in order to facilitate useage in my own more orthodox D&D game)it's all good on my end.

  6. So have you any plans of setting up a Tarot using the sanguine elements? Might be worth considering...might be fun.

  7. NetherWerkes: I do have a five-suit TAROT deck in the works, and have a form of Numerology/Gematria outlined.
    --The most difficult aspect of a TAROT deck is the aesthetic and the artist.