And Now for Magic

By | August 30, 2014

Hello once again!

It pleases me to announce today that the long-awaited Magic Chapter for Forthright Open Roleplay is now available for review.  I’ve talked about our magic before, here and there, and now what I’d like to do is point out some features we’re particularly proud of:

  • Simplified Spellcasting.  Magic provides characters with aspects of the universe they can control and invoke within a bounded rules structure.  Consequently, players don’t need to memorize long lists of spells in order to get various effects.  By removing exception-based mechanics from spellcasting, players are free to describe their spells as they choose while selecting appropriate magical effects as the in-game result of their spells.
  • No Resource Attrition.  We’ve removed the need to track spell slots, spell points, and other such structures in order to improve versatility and speed up play.  One of the problems we continued to encounter in playtesting is that players either felt infinitely powerful or tremendously weak when a declining resource was in play.  By removing the resource and stabilizing spell effects, we’ve seen that complaint virtually disappear.
  • Every Spellcaster plays differently.  Thanks to the structure of magic, every spellcasting Role can play very differently than the others.  Normally, I would be wary of such a feature; such a statement would normally be the result of long exception-based lists or complex and crunchy rules.  In our case, we’ve tried to bake away all these rules so that magic functions differently directly based on the core spellcasting mechanic of the role: Armsmancers deliver magic through weapons, Sages through rituals, Summoners through summoned entities, etc, allowing Arcanum reuse in an easy-to-understand way.
  • Few Spells, Infinite Results.  Thanks to the versatility of the Arcana in Forthright, thirty magic words are enough power to provide virtually unlimited effects.  These effects do not need to be designed with escalating complexity thanks to the bounded versatility in which effects can be generated.

Of course, we think the magic system is simple and fun.  But we’re inside it, so we’re poor judges!  Please give the new Magic Chapter a read and let us know what you think in the comments below!