Ritual Magic Thoughts

Pondering the ritual magic system of my campaign.

Ritual magic uses casting dice (in a way similar to the GLOG), but instead of a certain number of dice per day, there’s a total roll Limit. Each cast accumulates Strain which will impact your ability to cast more.

So, choose any number of d6 and roll them.

  • [sum] = total rolled on the dice
  • [dice] = number of dice rolled
  • Limit = Intellect/5 + Resolve/5 + Level (Resolve is basically a replacement for Wisdom)

Add [dice] to Strain. If Strain + [sum] is greater than your Limit, you miscast, otherwise you’re fine.

Normally, it seems people feel safe using one casting die per ~4.5 Limit available. As the base Limit is around 6 for a newbie ritual mage, this means no one in their right mind would cast a two dice spell just like that. But a one die spell is really pathetic (think “one dagger blow” pathetic, only with a little more utility). So how to allow them some more power (at a cost)? Apart from tools there’s the… well, rituals.

Ritual components grant +3 Limit each:

  • Reading spellbook (1 minute)
  • Preparing circle (9 minutes, needs chalk/paint)
  • Purifying oneself (50 minutes, needs cold water or whip)
  • Singing spells, whirling dance, intricate hand signs (one of the three depending on school)

I’m tempted to move he Intelligence bonus from the base Limit to the bonus from reading the spellbook. Having a separatr attribute for all of these might be too much, though.

The spellbook/circle/purification are on a scale of speed vs. cost and clumsiness. The song/dance/signs are different kinds of trouble to go through.

The intent with all of these granting a bonus when used (instead of a penalty when not) is to make it easier to remember. People have a tendency to like bonuses better than penalties, even with the same results.

 

But really now, I’m tempted to sit down and make a table or program comparing Limit casting with pyromancer style dice casting and spirit user casts per day… I think I’ll do that.

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