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Author Topic: Roughly, But It Should Be Magic  (Read 2648 times)
Le Joueur

Posts: 1367

« on: June 20, 2002, 01:31:26 PM »

Bankuei asked for information for using the Scattershot mechanix for Dungeons & Dragons type play.  I dug up my ancient notes.  Okay, this is in super rough-draft form, many things are still being worked out; be advised and use it for no more than a 'starting point.'  Sorry none of the spell schedules were finalized; if I can find any of them, I'll post them later.

    A spell is very like a skill learned.  Once you know it, you may use it as many times as is possible according to the limits of spellcasting.

    For ease of use spells are given in schedules.  To take a certain spell during character generation, pay the number of points equal to its rank on the schedule of your choice (many spells occur on several schedules).  As a free bonus, also take at least one spell from each successively easier rank (or not and get a 1 point rebate).  Spell schedules are 'wider-based,' meaning that there are many more lower ranking spells than higher.  You can select more than one column of spells from a single schedule (a column is the chosen spell plus all the bonus spells 'under it').  You may choose the same spell more than once and specify different characterizations for the multiples.  You may also double up on a spell, changing the twice-taken spell into a new spell with the 'superior' Enhancement (see below).

    In order to 'trigger' a spell the magic-worker must have at least the number of points of Power available as the rank of the spell.  A negative
MIB is the amount of Power drained from the caster for the failure.  A successfully cast spell takes no Power (or, more accurately, the Power used is refreshed by the nature of spellcasting and the 'ambient energy' of the world) unless in a place of zero magic.  (This does not include the real world.)

'Raw magic' manipulation is unlike spells.  There is a 'loose' skill that can be learned (often the 'Magic Skill' has some kinds of limitations - like Fire Magic - making it less difficult) which is Exceptional (that's 1 worse than difficult).  Use of this skill allows any single spell-like effect, except there is a Power drain for each use equal to the spell's rank (MIB points can be 'burned' to replace these at the time of use).

The Power statistic of a character determines the magnitude of the spell's effect on the UE Chart.  To determine the magnitude for the spell, look up the character’s Power rating on the left side of the chart and you will find this 'quantity' in the column listed as the facet for that spell.  This is the greatest amount the character can normally affect with this spell.  Taking variations on basic spells during character generation can alter the final scale of what they can do.

There are two components to most effects, raw power and finesse.  The entries found on the UE Chart show the raw power of a spell, but each spell also has a rating of the 'skill' of use with it.  These starting ratings are listed on the schedule, but can be raised using character points per normal skills (1 point up or down, for a point spent).  The MIB generated from this rating not only determines success or failure, but it defines the degree of fine control or specificity of that usage of the spell.[/list:u]Modifications
    Variety is the spice of life.  Without modifiers, there would be only the five template effects (see the new spell creation section below).  There are 3 types of modifiers.  An Enhancement raises the cost 1 point and a Limitation offers a rebate of 1 (the minimum cost is always 1).

    To alter a basic spell, you must add, remove, or change its basic modifiers (all spells are listed with any modifiers they
already have).  The list of modifiers for each spell follows its description and is expressed as a series of letters.  Each letter represents an Enhancement, Limitation, or Variation already applied to that spell.  The following list gives these letters and describes each modifier.  The inverse is what becomes of a spell when that modifier is taken away.

The modifiers listed on a basic spell may not be duplicated (except for Power rating customization see below).  When adding further ‘Extra Effects’ you cannot take that Enhancement again.  Taking different Superiorities and Inferiorities from those listed is okay as long as each is significantly affective and is in no way similar to those already in use on that spell.  Adding 'side effects' (‘Extra Effects’ in conjunction with ‘Non-direct Effects’) to a spell with ‘Extra Effects’ is also okay, so long as it does not already have other 'side effects' (you don't get further bonus for loading on even more 'side effects').  None of this means you cannot add more of any modifier, you simply cannot change the point cost by doing so.


    A: Area in Effect
    Affects a circle of up to 7 yds.
    Variations: a 1 yd. sphere, a user defined area up to 154 sq. yd. or an explosion of diminishing damage out to normal radius
    Inverse: affects single subject only

    C: Continual in Action
    Effect is continuous and can be maintained from one turn to another with a free action
    Inverse: effect is instantaneous

    D: Damaging
    Causes damage (UE Chart, Multiplier column, times RMIB for raw damage)
    Inverse: take 'Facet of UE is Unusual'

    E: Extra Effects
    Has additional effects or can duplicate more than 1 spell’s effects
    Inverse: effect is simply of UE facet

    G: Geographic Area in Effect (taken with A: Area in Effect, not separately)
    Affects a very large area (see UE Chart)
    Inverse: affects single subject only

    I: Invisible Agency
    Transmission and activation are imperceptible to normal human senses
    Inverse: effect is plainly visible

    M: Modifies Characteristic
    Changes a characteristic of subject (such as a statistic or paradigm)
    Inverse: spell affects subject instead of changing it

    W: Whole Subject Effected Only
    Effect is all or nothing; where UE is not enough, the result is simple failure
    Inverse: partial effects possible

    +: Superior in Effect
    Miscellaneous Enhancement as listed
    Inverse: take away the specific Enhancement[/list:u]

    H: Hardly Used
    Circumstances under which spell may be used are rare and must be specified
    Inverse: accessible opportunities for use

    L: Longer to Take Effect
    Character must expend more than one action to cast
    Inverse: takes only one action

    O: Off-guard During Usage
    Usage requires concentration away from everything else
    Inverse: does not interfere with engagement or attention

    P: Permanently On
    Always in use, requires no rating or
MIB generation ('effective MIB' is set at the time of character generation, usually related to points spent)
Inverse: must be actively used

R: Rangless
Subject must be within arms reach (often must be touched, depending on the character of the spell)
Inverse: normal aiming modifiers

S: Self-Affect Only
Only works on user
Inverse: usable on any subject

T: Tangible Agency
Some physical manifestation carries effect to subject (which can be affected, even attacked, interfering with spell effect)
Inverse: energy-based transmission, few physical defenses

X: Extra Add-on Enhancement
Must be an adjunct to another spell or action, adding to the other’s effects and can only cast when the other is active
Inverse: spell stands alone

-: Inferior in Effect
Miscellaneous Limitation as listed
Inverse: remove specific Limitation[/list:u]

    B: Based on Other Statistic
    Statistic other than Power used for UE chart
    Inverse: based on Power

    F: Facet of UE is Unusual
    Facet used on UE chart differs from template
    Inverse: facet matches template

    N: Non-direct Effects
    Results are subtle in character, when used with in conjunction with ‘Extra Effects’ this accounts for usable side effects
    Inverse: effects are not subtle

    U: Uses Subject as Agency
    Subject of spell carries out the effect
    Inverse: affects subject directly

    V: Vulnerability of User as Agent
    Attacks on agency of spell does damage to the user
    Inverse: user is not affected by attacks on agency[/list:u]

    During character creation/evolution, make any modifications to the spells you wish per the earlier section.  If neither of the listed spells nor variations on them will give the character the spell you wish, feel free to make up new spells according to the later section.

    Make sure you list both the maximum degree the spell will be able to affect and the rating used in dice trials for that spell in your character’s information.  You will also want to make explicit reference to any variations you used on the listed spells you have taken.[/list:u]
Creating New Spells
    All spells are based on five template abilities referred to by their elements.  To create a new spell, base it as much as possible on others listed or these templates.  The specific details of the templates and how to apply variations on them are left to the reader to glean by studying the accompanying schedules.  The templates are treated as Incredible 'skills' (Difficult + 3) and have no modifiers inherently.
    Extant (Earth): Abilities that affect the physical aspect of the subject.  The UE facet is Quantity.

    Locus (Water): Abilities that change the subject’s location in time or space.  The UE facet is either Distance or Speed.

    Pneuma (Air): Abilities that manipulate energy, either that belonging to the subject, or directing energy at a subject.  The UE facet is Multiplier.

    Ren (Fire): Abilities that gather or modify information.  The UE facet is Bonus for senses rolled, Distance to subject, or Information to be checked.

    Singularity (Ether): Abilities that alter inherent characteristics, or allowing the impossible. The UE facet is unique since there are no simple patterns when doing the impossible.  Changing a man into a woman follows this idea (because 'manness' and 'womanness' are intrinsic qualities not measurable ones).[/list:u]
    Take these templates and apply modifiers as necessary to match a narrowly specified effect.  Show them to the other players to arrive a consensus about permissibility and then use them in your character.  Note, all spells written in the game obey this method and are actually just listed to save you the trouble or 'give you ideas.'

    [/list:u]Um, how about an example; Walking on Air (CEFIRUX- Extra Effects: other things can fly with you too, Inferiority: how the speed is limited to other locomotive ability).  It's a Locus template spell with
    [*]C: Continual in Action (cuz ya can keep on walkin')
    [*]E: Extra Effects (like it said, "other stuff," your clothes, your friends, your bike, heck why not the car?)
    [*]F: Facet of UE is Unusual (since the speed is set by how fast you walk or ride, the UE Facet is switched to Quantity limiting much you can 'take with you')
    [*]I: Invisible Agency (there's no carpet or visible path, just guys walkin' on air)
    [*]R: Rangless (just you and stuff, none of this making Yosemite Sam run off a cliff stuff)
    [*]U: Uses Subject as Agency (you aren't making motion, you're moving, a lot of Locus use this one)
    [*]X: Extra Add-on Enhancement (the motive capacity comes from elsewhere; no walk, no movement)
    [*]-: Inferior in Effect (we're being nice here, since most people don't spell themselves up with a car along doing this, so it's usually pretty slow).[/list:u]It works out to being just Renowned (difficult + 2).

    A simple Flight spell would be CISU and Incredible to be able to do (wouldn't it?).

    Fang Langford

    p. s. The Ranks are Free (of Cost, mostly), Easy, Intermediate, Difficult, Exceptional, Renowned, Incredible, Nigh Impossible, and Legendary.  'Skill' levels are bought simply; Rating equals 11 + pts. spent for Easy, 10 + pts spent for Intermediate, and so on up to 3 = pts. spent for Legendary.  All aspects of character cost points or are unremarkable (no spells are Free).

    Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
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