House Rules: Magic

Home to house rules, approved player-created content for the setting, and both our character and adventure archives.

Moderators: Game Masters, AGMs

House Rules: Magic

Postby Dark Lord » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:46 am

Instead of the standard 'One spell, one melee action' rule for casting time, I will be following the PPE channeling rules as presented in Rifter #21/the Best of issue.

For those that don't know, a spell caster's race, level, OCC, and specialty (as in, specific types of magic they can cast) all influence how much PPE a spell caster can put towards a spell each melee action. You divide the total PPE cost of the spell by this number, to determine the number of actions it takes the spell caster to cast the spell. Most low-cost spells can still be cast in one action, but more powerful magics will take longer.

If you don't have either of the books where these rules are presented, PM or IM me and I will tell you how much PPE your PC can channel.
Last edited by Dark Lord on Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Drawing PPE From the Fallen

Postby Dark Lord » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:16 am

As most of you know, a blood sacrifice is one of the options for boosting a mage's PPE. This means that it is theoretically possible for a mage to draw PPE from a foe killed in combat. However, there are a few restrictions:

1) Obviously, the extra PPE can only be drawn from a 100% dead corpse. Foes in comas and whatnot are still alive, and the standard rules for drawing PPE from them apply.

2) Drawing PPE from a slain foe during combat is covered to a large extent on P. 21 of the Book of Magic. Most of those restrictions apply: The mage and the target must be within 20 feet of each other, and clearly visible to one another. The mage cannot be actually participating in the fight and still prepare him/herself to draw the PPE. The mage needs at least a couple seconds to mentally prepare, so if someone is accidentally killed the PPE is lost.

3) The only scenario in which a mage can draw PPE from a dead opponent while still participating in the battle is if the mage is a) locked in hand-to-hand combat with the target, b) the mage strikes the killing blow on said target, and c) the mage knows as he strikes the blow that it will kill the target.

Point c) presents a little difficulty for a PBP game. If we were at a table, the PC playing the mage could respond as soon as they roll to strike. Since we aren't, here is how I'll be handling things:

If you are a mage and you are locked in combat with an opponent whose PPE you would like to draw, post your actions/strike rolls as normal. Pick at least one action you think likeliest to result in the death of your opponent. Reserve the action immediately after it for a dodge, then specify that if you have the option you will draw the PPE released at death instead of dodging.

Example:

Mage A is attacking Meatsack B. Meatsacks are known to have a high PPE base, and Mage A is running low, so he decides to go for the kill. Mage A has 4 attacks per melee. Meatsack B is almost out of MDC, so Mage A thinks he's gonna kill him on the first blow. So, Mage A's combat post will look like this:

Action 1: [strike roll][damage roll]
Action 2: Reserved to dodge [dodge roll]. If action 1 is a killing blow, A will drain as much of B's PPE as he can.
Action 3: [strike roll][damage roll]
etc.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Modifying Existing Spells

Postby Dark Lord » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:37 am

Per one PC's request, I have looked into adopting the spell modification rules found in the Nightbane sourcebook Through the Glass Darkly. I have decided I will allow them, with the following modifications:

1) No brand-new spells can be created. At this time, the only implementation I am allowing is for the modification of the effects of existing spells. As per the book, a modified spell will be 1-6 levels higher than the original spell.

2) The chance of success will be determined normally. However, since virtually no classes outside of Nightbane have a Principles of Magic skill, I will be replacing it with the Lore: Magic skill. An additional bonus of 10% for all "traditional" spell casters, 5% for techno-wizards will apply. Warriors who have been trained to use spells, supernatural creatures who happen to have spellcasting abilities, and the like receive no bonus. So, the modified formula for success is as follows:

IQ+ME+Caster's level+1/10th of Lore Magic skill+bonus as outlined above = percent chance of successfully modifying the spell.

A +10% bonus applies if the modifications to the spell make it less potent, or if said modifications a VERY MUCH in line with the spell's basic function. An additional bonus may be added at GM discretion if the PC is operating somewhere conducive to spell research (a well-furnished laboratory, or a ley line, for example).

3) There is a -10% modifier for each level of the spell being modified above level 9. There is a flat -50% modifier if the spell is being made more potent, or altered in a way that is significantly counter to the spell's basic function. This is a slight departure from the rules as written. Specialist magic classes suffer a -20% penalty when modifying spells not within their particular specialty (for example, a temporal wizard cannot modify a conventional spell without this penalty).

4) The time to successfully modify the spell remains the same, two weeks per spell level.

5) If the roll fails, the GM will apply the random effects table liberally. :twisted:

6) In light of the fact that I am making it significantly more difficult to succeed at making a more potent spell, and the fact that PBP is a much slower format than TT, I will be waiving the restriction that a failed variant spell cannot be re-attempted until the caster levels up again.

Note: EP-purchased automatic successes cannot be used on spell modification rolls.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Radiation

Postby Dark Lord » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:10 am

Please note that for purposes of combat, magic, etc. radiation is to be treated like an energy attack.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Siphoning PPE During Combat

Postby Dark Lord » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:16 am

In order for a magic-user to siphon an opponent's PPE during combat, the following conditions must be met. Note that the below rules are based on the FAQ in the book of magic.

1) A minimum of one melee action of uninterrupted, focused concentration. The exact number of actions of concentration required will depend on the size of the victim's PPE base. Ultimately, this is up to GM discretion, however, as a rough guide:

- Humans and other squishies with 2-4d6 PPE: One action
- Squishy magic users and supernatural creatures: 2 actions
- Creatures of magic: 3 actions

Again, these are rough guidelines only. GM has final say on exactly how many actions of concentration are required.

2) The mage siphoning the PPE must deliver the death blow him/herself, and it must be done in hand-to-hand combat.

3) The mage must know, with 100% certainty, in advance, that their blow will kill the intended victim. If, within the bounds of in-character knowledge, there is even a tiny amount of doubt as to whether or not the blow struck will kill the intended target, then the mage is unable to open him/herself to the energies properly.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Purchasing Spells

Postby Dark Lord » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:58 am

This post will provide general guidelines for spell purchasing. It is assumed that those reading this will be doing their shopping on Center, where spell availability is better and prices lower. Characters looking to buy spells off-world are advised to consult their GM, who are in turn advised to modify this ruling heavily.

Spell levels 1-10 are always available for purchase on Center. Spells 11-15 are sometimes, but not always, available (GM discretion there). Spells of Legend are rare, but do turn up from time to time.

Prices are as follows. Note that these are not the same as R:UE.

Levels 1-5: 10,000 credits per spell level
Levels 6-8: 15,000 credits per spell level
Level 9 spells cost 20,000 credits per level, or 180,000 credits per spell
Level 10 spells cost 500,000 credits each
Spells level 11-15 cost an additional 100,000 per level above 10 (i.e. level 11 spells cost 600,000 credits each, level 15 spells 1 million each)
Prices for spells of legend are set by the relevant GM and can vary wildly depending on availability and from spell to spell. Minimum cost is 2-3 million credits.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Re: House Rules: Magic

Postby Dark Lord » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:53 pm

Space magic spells from Rifter #10 are not allowed. Space magic reprinted in a canonical source (e.g., Flees of the Three Galaxies) is allowed.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Adding Techno-Wizard Features to EBA/Vehicles/etc.

Postby Dark Lord » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:58 pm

Note: As usual, the availability of these sorts of services will vary wildly throughout the Three Galaxies. Certain high-magic societies within the UWW will have mastered techno-wizardry to the point where prices and construction time will be the same as on Center, however, anywhere else the services will either be totally unavailable or much, much more expensive. As usual, GM discretion.

Guidelines for purchasing Techno-Wizard upgrades in Center

General:
1) Assume all of the commercial TWs offering services in Center are fifth level. That means all spells installed will be cast at a maximum fifth level proficiency (PCs can opt for less to save credits), and in game terms the 'Device Level' for all additions will be five.
2) Adding spells to existing armor and items is slower, more expensive, and less prone to failure (i.e. no skill rolls for NPCs required) than constructing an item from scratch, but only requires the primary spell to be incorporated into the design. No secondary spells are required.
3) Non-conventional spells can be added at GM discretion. In all cases, double both the PPE activation cost and the credit cost of installation.

Construction Time: Two weeks, give or take a few days depending on how busy a particular shop is. Rush jobs are available at an additional markup of 50%.

PPE Activation Cost: The activation cost of a given improvement is equal to the cost of the spell (or double, in the case of non-conventional spells).

Cost: The TW construction rules outlined in R:UE serve as the basis for this section. Multiply the PPE activation cost by 50,000 to get the base cost, and add the cost of the jewel as per R:UE (.5 carats per device level, 2.5 carats for our purposes here). Spell improvements listed in the original Rifts Main Book will be substantially less expensive than this; such 'classic' improvements can be purchased as per the prices listed there. Remember also that the base cost for non-conventional spells is doubled.

Jewels: R:UE has a pretty thorough list of jewels corresponding to conventional spells, and most non-conventional ones. This list will be updated on case-by-case basis as needed. Space magic from Fleets of the Three Galaxies employs black Sapphires for TW construction.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Revised Spell Learning Rules

Postby Dark Lord » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:49 am

In light of the more rigorous spell learning rules recently adopted on EU, I have decided to do a bit of a rewrite on ours such that the two are more similar. At the same time, I do feel that the EU ruling is perhaps a smidge hard on mages, and since this is a higher-powered dimension a little more flexibility is in order. I've been giving this a fair amount of thought the last couple of days, so feedback is welcome, but until someone convinces me different the following are in effect immediately.

Time required to master new spell knowledge:
When being taught by another PC or NPC, it takes two days of study per level of the spell.
When learning a spell from a spell book (either purchased or found during an adventure), that time is reduced to one day per level of the spell.
A day is defined as 24 full hours, minus 8 for sleep and another, say, two for eating and other necessities (so, one day = 14 hours of continuous study). Characters that do not eat or sleep normally cannot use this to reduce the total time required- there are limits to how much information the mind can absorb in a short period of time.

Availability, Access, and Cost of spell knowledge:
As Center has no mages' guild, there is no go-to source for new spells. They are available on the open market, but such availability is completely subject to the whims of the GM. The above listed prices for a given spell are to be considered minimums, and it is entirely up to the GM's discretion whether a given player can obtain a new spell book at all.

Record-Keeping:
As with EU, mages should create a new post in the Tinkerer's thread to track the spells they are studying.

Miscellany

1) Unlike EU, I will still allow spell trading. However, all such arrangements will follow the notes on P. 13 of the Book of Magic like gospel. That means, no trading of spell knowledge beyond the absolute basic spells, and no trading until the two characters in question have clearly established a relationship of mutual trust and respect, etc. Which is determined entirely by the GM. Going on one adventure together doesn't going to cut- if both PCs don't put in the effort to add some details and interaction to their posts, then it isn't going to happen.

2) The rules for learning from spell scrolls remain unchanged. They are about as rare in the Three Galaxies as they are on Rifts Earth. Should a player attempt to convert one to a spell, they are expected to make the dice roll for success using a verifiable online dice roller such as invisiblecastle.com.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Time to Absorb PPE from Willing Donors

Postby Dark Lord » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:11 pm

Mages, or other characters with a PPE base, can donate up to 70% of their base PPE to another spellcaster recipient. Only mages can receive PPE from other characters in this manner.

If the recipient and the donors are in a ritual together, the recipient can simultaneously draw PPE from any and all donors- it will add a single melee action to the time required to complete the ritual, but requires completion of the ritual.

In a non-ritual situation, the recipient has to absorb PPE from donors one at a time. This means one melee action for each donor to donate, and one melee action per donor for the recipient to absorb donated PPE.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Spell-casting in EBA

Postby Dark Lord » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:25 am

Adopting the rule for spell-casting in EBA as written in R:UE severely restricts the available choices for armor for mages. As I feel that this restriction is unrealistic, given the necessity for EBA in a space-based setting and the existence of an industrialized super-power specializing in mage-friendly tech, I'm going to ease that restriction somewhat while still trying to preserve the spirit of the original rule and keep things nice and simple.

A suit of armor will not interfere with spell-casting at all if it meets one of the following criteria:

- It is made of natural materials. If the armor's description does not state materials, assume it is made of some sort of plastic or ceramic alloy (i.e. non-natural). Crystal is considered a natural material. In the case of armor incorporating some natural and some man-made materials, use the armor description and the rule as written on P. 188 of R:UE to estimate how much of the mage's body is covered in metal/man-made materials, and use that to determine whether or not the armor is suitable. If this is still not clear from the description, then assume that it interferes with spell-casting.

- It is light armor. In most cases, the armor description should explicitly refer to the EBA in question as light armor. If, and only if, there is no indication from the description whether a given suit of armor is light/medium/heavy/etc. then use the movement penalty as a guide. A -5% penalty or less qualifies the armor as light if the description doesn't given any clues either way.

- For non-environmental armor that does not cover the entire body, use the rule as written in R:UE to determine whether it interferes with spells.

TW armor offers no special advantages with regard to this rule- apply the above criteria normally.

Powered armor prevents spell-casting altogether. The one exception is the Warlock Armor in the PW sourcebook, which allows casting at half-strength. I think it's a reasonable extrapolation to extend that rule to the mystic PA in the original RMB, but otherwise assume that spells cannot be cast in a suit of powered armor unless the description specifically permits it.

Also, not that we were applying it anyway, but don't bother with the additional -5% encumbrance penalty for EBA as outlined in the R:UE rule.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Recharging TW Weapon Clips

Postby Dark Lord » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:16 am

Per FoM P. 112, any mage who knows the spell talisman can recharge PPE clips for TW weapons.
PPE cost is the amount required to cast the talisman spell (500 PPE), plus the totals listed on that page for filling up a clip's shots (10 PPE per shot for pistols, 20 for rifles). So, a pistol clip with six shots would require a total PPE expenditure of 560 PPE, a rifle clip with six shots 620 PPE.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Spell Revisions

Postby Dark Lord » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:31 pm

(Credit to CS High Command on EU)
Plasma Bolt (Level 8 Fire Warlock spell - Book of Magic p. 81): This spell uses the bonuses to strike as per Energy Expulsion Powers. Each attack with the plasma bolts requires an attack roll and may be dodged like any attack requiring a strike roll. Such attacks require a modified roll of 8 to strike, as per RUE rules for ranged combat.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Base PPE in Secrets of the Atlanteans

Postby Dark Lord » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:30 am

Per the book, specialist Atlantean magic OCCs in DB15 start with the base PPE listed in their OCC only. The normal increased PPE from the marks of heritage and any other tattoos that come automatically with that OCC is subsumed within the base for that OCC.
Atlanteans selecting another OCC, or who receive additional magic tattoos subsequent to character creation, accrue bonus PPE as normal. This ruling also does not apply to any 'tattooed men' OCCs, which all have 'increased PPE from magic tattoos' as a separate line item within the OCC description.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD

Shadow Magic Clarifications

Postby Dark Lord » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:43 am

Barring official errata or an update to the semi-official FAQ, the following clarifications are implemented for shadow magic spells:

The range for wall of darkness (DB 15, P. 100) is a flat 30 feet.
Why kill a PC when you can torture them?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Dark Lord
Dimension Master
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:36 am
Location: DIMENSION MASTER: PHASE WORLD


Return to The DM's Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest