Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

Alternative Magic Systems

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Zalmoxis:

--- Quote from: Humanophile ---I remember that sort of system from my 2e days.  The problem with it was that it let the characters turn into uber-sorcerers, only picking up multiple copies of the spells they think they'd use.  If you feel like sticking with D&D/D20, it's not that hard to use a modified sorcerer for most of your spellcasters.  Or if you're happy changing flavor text for your own purposes (and can get over how sci-fi the name sounds), psionics are a good, flexible magic system.

Past that, Zalmoxis really isn't giving us enough information to go on.  As Kryyst said, the best magic system depends on one's play style.  If we know what you like (and what you can't stand), we can help you zero in on a good match that much better.
--- End quote ---


I am not looking for a magic system to fit any specific genre or style, other than fantasy. I am merely soliciting a variety of magic systems as a starting point, so I can check them out and find one I like the best.

Zalmoxis:
By the way I have already gotten some examples I will have to look at at from this thread; thank you all for that. Please though, continue.

Vermicious Knid:
I actually like the 3.5 psionics system; if you scrape the serial numbers off you have a pretty nifty spell points sytem. My project to translate all the SRD spells into powers has bogged down to time limitations, sadly.

The Arcana Evolved system is pretty nice. Sorta like sorcery, but you can change your spells known (readied) every day. Also has some fun ways to play with spell slots. I recommend taking a look.

obryn:
Check out Arcana Evolved.

It's flexible, powerful, balanced, and unified.  There's no arcane/divine distinction; instead, there's a simple/complex/exotic distinction.

Spells can be cast a level higher or a level lower to improve options.

Low-level slots can be combined to cast high-level spells and vice-versa.

"Templates" can be gained with feats to modify spells and add or remove effects.

Overall, it's complex but a hell of a lot of fun.


Although I haven't tried it in play yet, the Blue Rose/True20 spellcasting system looks pretty impressive, too.  It's skill-based rather than spell-based.

-O

Maximum Fu:
If you haven't looked at it already, you might check out Unearthed Arcana.  There is a variant spell point system there.

Personally, I really like the spell point system found in FFG's Midnight setting.  By  making sure that everything revolves around points (as opposed to something a bit more complex like spell slots), it seems like adding additional magic subsystems becomes a lot easier potentially making the magic system richer.  One example from Midnight is the use of ritual casting.  Adding additional casters simply reduces the spell point cost.

Of course, some of the magic system in Midnight is inherently tied to the premise of the setting so take that example with kind of a grain of salt.

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