A Wizard Duel Minigame

Send to Kindle

I saw Eli’s post about his entry into the 200 word RPG this year. It inspired me to create a variant.

License

This game is protected under the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License. This is based on the game Caltrops by Eli Kurtz, found here. I made changes to the theme of his game, the dice used (d6 instead of d4), expanded the rock-paper-scissors mechanic to seven items, and added rules for gaining items over time.

Rules

You are two wizards locked in a magic duel. Both wizards must choose whether or not the duel is to the death.

Requires: 2 players, 8d6, 20-60 minutes

Each Wizards starts with seven spells under their command:

  • Stone Fist: Earth Magic; Advantage vs Fire, Blade, and Arid Magic
  • Burning Bolt: Fire Magic; Advantage vs Blade, Wood, and Arid Magic
  • One Thousand Knives: Blade Magic; Advantage vs. Wind, Wood, and Arid Magic
  • Withering Blast: Arid Magic; Advantage vs. Wood, Wind, and Ice Magic
  • Choking Vines: Wood Magic; Advantage vs. Wind, Earth, and Ice Magic
  • Hurricane Wind: Wind Magic; Advantage vs. Fire, Earth, and Ice Magic
  • Shards of Ice: Ice Magic; Advantage vs. Earth, Fire, and Blade Magic

Each wizards secretly chooses a spell to attack their opponent. Both wizards reveal their spells at the same time and determine the number of dice to throw:

  • Standard Spell: 1d6
  • Name and describe a new spell: +1d6 (must be an existing form of magic)
  • Roleplay the duel before casting the spell: +1d6
  • Advantage over enemy spell: +1d6

Throw your dice to start the battle! Whoever rolls highest is the victor, and may describe the battle. The loser may describe their injury.

A wizard with three injuries is defeated or dead.

text

It strikes me that the game would be simpler with five schools of magic instead of seven. I think next post will offer a five magic base set of rules with two extra schools available as a variant.

What also strikes me is how easily this would be to made into a more detailed game:

  • Vary the power levels of the wizards by changing the number of spells available. Newer wizards would have fewer spells, older ones would have more (or all seven).
  • Provide an alternate wizard that will eliminate the advantage die. This wizard would have an eighth school of magic. It would important to name new spells for both combatants.
  • Provide an alternate wizard that starts with 2d6 for a standard spell at the cost of three additional schools of magic. In a standard game, this wizard would have access to three schools of magic at 1d6 and the specialist school at 2d6. In a game with varying power levels, it could be quite interesting.
  • Add different dice to represent a small advantage/disadvantage. These could be the instruction of a specific teacher, growing up poor, bonds with an extraplanar power, or a host of other things.
  • Provide an alternate combatant whose power is to nullify magic. This could be an anti-magic priest, or wizard hunter. The wizard hunter wins a battle, the wizard loses a spell. Yikes!

It almost feels like an Ars Magica game because the focus is entirely on wizards. Between duels, the grogs and companions help the wizard they serve. It could be fighting non-magical creatures, searching for magical artifacts or ingredients. It’s also possible to add non-magical combatants with different ways to add dice. I could imagine a barbarian that starts with a 1d10 and adds a 1d10 for describing his/her unique hatred for wizards.

I could also see this as a subsystem for a more traditional RPG. S&W could bolt it on fairly easily. I’d use all but necromancy from the d20 schools of magic for the seven forms of magic and use necromancy as the eighth as an alternative wizard. In the Black Hack, this could be the rules for a wizard duel. I’d probably give it a Dog Latin spell name and have characters search for new dueling spells to allow them to get a bonus 1d6 for a new spell.

If you use this game or tinker with it, let me know.

Updates, 200-word RPGs, and Other Fun Stuff

Send to Kindle

My last post was about Warrior, Rouge, & Mage. I have a draft I plan to finish about my bi-weekly Dungeon World group.

All in good time. RL first, then game stuff. Feel free to skip down to the game stuff.

For those that know, my son's surgery will be May 11th. Thanks to so many that have been so generous, especially Spes Magna Games that bought my 1e DMG and gave it back to me under the condition that I never sell it. Mark has also posted about my son's creations including the starfish dragon. Many many thanks.

Yes, he and I went down to our friendly comic book store for Free Comic Day. Good father-son bonding time. 🙂

We have gotten a lot of offline donations to help us out. The fundraiser doesn't reflect it yet, but we are only $300 short at this point. I can deal with that. Most of all, I am glad that neither my or my wife's family had to contribute any money at all. They bought my son's hearing aid many years ago and they have given so much to support us through the years. Okay, on to the game stuff.

Two Hundred Words Can Say So Much

You must have heard about the 200 word RPG challenge by now. At the link, David Schirduan has the entrants. My favorite is The Raver and the Bear. I will play this with my friends complete with making the appropriate noises (as the raver or the bear). The whole premise is delightful. I want to make cool stuff like this.

The Fantasy Heartbreaker

My entry turned into something larger. If you follow me on G+ or ts?, you've probably seen my latest idea for an rpg ruleset. I wanted to use items that non-gamers who likely have around their houses like regular d6s and a deck of cards.

Since that idea, I find myself writing in notebooks like I did in my 20s. Will it play? We'll see. My DW group is going to test it for me, I'm sure of it. The basic idea is that you have four stats. Three are determined by 1d6 or distributing 10 points. The fourth stat is determined by drawing a card, called your Chi card. Health represents how much punishment you can take. Mana represents your ability to use magic. Rolling 2d6 + Stat greater than or equal to 10 is a success. To use your special ability, draw a card from a deck. There are six rules to follow to determine success. It sounds more complicated than it is. My kids got it pretty quickly.

  • If you draw your chi card, the spell is a success.
  • If you draw a card that equals your chi card's rank, the spell is a success, but deduct the spell's Magic Rating from your Mana.
  • If you draw a card that matches your chi card's suit, the spell is a failure, but do not deduct Mana.
  • If you the drawn card's rank + Magic stat is 10 or more, the spell is a success.
  • If you draw a face card, the spell is a success.
  • All other results, the spell fails and deduct the spell's magic rating from your Mana.

I have since discovered that this fourth stat, special ability, and resource pool need not be related to wizardry magic. A priest could have faith instead of Mana. A rogue would have Confidence. An alchemist could have Lore and a warrior could have Courage. There are lots of possibilities that I am exploring and hope to write about soon.

Dungeon World for the 18 to 24 Group

As always, there is Dungeon World afoot. I am running my group through the venerable Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. I have enjoyed my DW version of the troll (one of his moves is to regenerate the last wound he received).

"I rolled a NINE! Awesome! I hit him for 17 damage! I'm ready to take my lumps behind my armor."
"The troll's wound begins to close up before your eyes. Just like that, the wound is gone!"
"Crap!"

Wait until they get to the entrance of the caves. Bwa ha ha. (Yes, they are having a lot of fun. No one has died yet, although one character came close.)

Didn't you used to be an old-school guy?

Why yes, I am still that guy. Swords&Wizardry stuff is coming down the pike soon as well. I hope to provide more details about what this stuff is and how it will come about, but I think it will be fun for everyone.

I am convinced that I will get the DW group into an OSR game if it kills me. If not, maybe I'll run a game at a local store.

I am still trying to get a game to work on my Kindle Paperwhite. I have decided, however, that I'm just going to have to get EPUB formatted modules to work first, because that is easier.

That's all for now. Next post should be more polished rules about my heartbreaker.