Day Two: More Magic

Note: I switch names often enough that I confused myself. The real name of the SRD is Warrior, Rogue & Mage System Reference Document. I will stop using WYRM now to avoid confusion. From here forward, I will take great care to use WR&M SRD when referencing the core rules.

In thinking about adding spells to the SRD, I wanted the extra spells to different than ported over spells from Swords & Wizardry (or any other flavor of D&D). I also realized that spells in WR&M feel a bit like Savage Worlds spells. I did my best to avoid reading either rulebook to present these spells. Feedback welcome on these spells and feel free to share your own.

New Spells for WR&M SRD

Bend Light and Shadows (1st)

This spell makes the spell caster appear to be 2 yards from his or her real location. As a result of this, the spell caster gains +2 Armor. Mana burn will increase the bonus to +4.

Breathe Underwater (1st)

Breathe underwater for 1 hour. Mana burn will increase the duration to 4 hours.

Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway (1st)

The target of this spell will not suffer any ill effects from being in cold weather, even in extremely cold temperatures. Also, when attacked by Cold or Ice attacks, the target of this spell reduces the damage by 2 points. Damage cannot be reduced below zero. Each level of mana burn increases the damage reduction by 1 point.

Perceive Another’s Thoughts (1st)

If this spell is successfully cast, the spell caster can ask one yes/no question about any creature within a 10 yard radius. Each level of mana burn can increase the radius by 10 yards or add an additional yes/no question. If there is mana burn that adds questions, the questions can be asked about multiple targets within range.

Called Shot (2nd)

Choose a target for the bullet fired from a pistol or rifle. Add 4 to the attack roll. Mana burn will allow for a second called shot.

Clairaudience (2nd)

If successful, this spell allows the spell caster to hear what the target hears for 10 minutes. The target of this spell must be within a 20 yard radius. Mana burn can extend the duration for an additional 10 minutes or allow the spell caster to substitute a different sense from the following list (smell, touch, taste, directional sense)

Echolocation (2nd)

The target of this spell will be able to locate a specific object within a 3 yard radius. The object must be solid and no smaller than a man’s fist. Objects behind thick stone walls or metal walls cannot be located with this spell. Mana burn will either add 3 yards to the radius or allow the ability to search for smaller objects.

Fear (2nd)

The target of this spell will be afraid for 5 minutes or until it can make a Mage check vs DL 7. If possible the target will run away from the spell caster, otherwise it will be paralyzed and unable to move or defend itself. Mana burn will increase the DL for the Mage check to 11.

Ghost Step (2nd)

When this spell is cast, the spell caster will move at normal speeds, but leave no footprints and walk above the ground. This spell does not allow the spell caster to levitate. If he or she walks over a hole, they will stumble, if they walk over a pit, they will fall into the pit.

Imbue Divine Knowledge (2nd)

The target will temporarily gain a specific skill named by the spell caster that they do not already possess. for an hour. All checks to use the granted skill gain a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2. This spell will not enhance a skill that someone already possesses.

Smokewall/Inkcloud (2nd)

This spell creates a wall of dark smoke (or cloud of ink if underwater) to allow escape. The spell will obscure the target for 1 minute per success. If the target is using the spell to escape, add

Clairvoyance (3rd)

If successful, this spell allows the spell caster to see what the target sees for 10 minutes. The target of this spell must be within a 30 yard radius. Mana burn can only extend the duration for an additional 10 minutes.

Imbue Thaumaturgic Talent (3rd)

The target will temporarily gain a specific talent named by the spell case that they do not already possess. for an hour. This spell will not enhance a talent that the target already has.

Quick Iron (3rd)

When this spell is cast, the touch of the spell caster will instantly load a pistol or rifle. Mana burn will reload the pistol or rifle twice.

Xenesthesia (4th)

When successful, the spell caster can substitute one sense for another. The duration for this spell is one hour. For example, if the spell caster is temporarily struck blind, this spell would allow them to see by sacrificing another sense, like taste. If the spell caster has all five traditional senses, he or she can add an additional sense from the following list:

  • Directional: The ability to accurately sense North at all times
  • Ectoprioception: The ability to sense the exact distance between the spell caster and all objects within line of sight.
  • Electroreception: The ability to sense magnetic fields and electricity. Practically, they can accurately predict the weather or the presence of a lightning bolt spell.
  • Linguaception: The ability to discern what the speaker of a foreign language is saying despite a lack of understanding of that language. In other words, the person with this sense knows what the speaker is saying, but does not know what individual foreign words mean.

More On Ritual spells

I am putting out this idea for folks to build on. I have some issues with it that I’ll address later. By the time I put all of these posts into a pdf, it will be more thought out with appropriate credit given to those that offer insight.

Some spells, especially spell that create an object or affect areas (instead of individual targets). Some examples of Ritual-Only spells include curses that blight an entire village or valley, ward spells that protect a home, or spells that create automation/golems. Ritual-Only spells can also be used to summon truly horrible creatures that can rout entire armies.

The rules for ritual casting provided the minimum casting times and DL for success. At the GM’s discretion, these spells may require higher minimum times and allow more participants than listed for the normal four circles of spells. Below are suggested examples:

Circle Time Max Participants DL Mana Cost
5th circle 5 hours 15 15 12
6th circle 12 hours 18 19 16
7th circle 24 hours 21 23 20
8th circle 48 hours 27 27 24

Though circles are listed above 4, these spells can never be cast spontaneously, regardless of a characters Mage attribute.

Create Crab Golem (3rd)

This spell requires the empty molt of a crab man and can only be cast as a ritual. When completed, the Carb Golem will be under the command of the spell caster. If there are multiple participants, it will be under the command of the spell caster with the highest Mage attribute. Crab Golem - W:6, R:2, M:0, HP:16, Mana:0, Def:8, Attacks: 2 claws (W) 1d6 each.

Create Work Golem (4th)

Using this ritual, the cabal of spell casters can create a Work Golem. W:10, R:0, M:2, HP:20, Mana:0, Def:9, Attacks: Steel Fist (W) 2d6

Create War Golem (5th)

Using this ritual, the cabal of spell casters can create a War Golem. W:10, R:0, M:3, HP:20, Mana:0, Def:9, Attacks: Steel Fist (W) 2d6 or Weapon

Dachaigh Warden (5th)

Protect an area the size of a house from being discovered or protect anyone inside the house from any curse.

Remove Family Curse (5th)

This will remove a Family Curse.

Glen Warden (6th)

Protect an area the size of a small village or valley from being discovered by outsiders.

Family Curse (6th)

This spell will curse generations of a specific bloodline until a counter spell is cast. The curse can be anything from weakened health (Warrior attribute cannot be more than 4) to the firstborn will bear a disfiguring mark.

Release the Kraken (7th)

This huge beast will leave nothing but destruction in its wake. There are no stats for the apocalypse. This huge beast will wreak havoc for 2 hours before returning to whatever nightmarish dimension it calls home.

Summon the Banished God (8th)

This spell is for all the times some evil group of ne’er-do-wells want to bring an Old One into their world with mind melting insanity as the result. This is less of a spell than a story hook. If the insane mages that begin this spell finish it, they will need to find a way to banish the god again.

Final Thoughts

Again, these are some thoughts. I do not like having spells above the 4th circle, but I also didn't want a requirement to list Time to Cast, Max Participants, DL, and Mana Cost with each spell. The higher circles concept made the spell description less cluttered.

I hope in a future post to have a spell building system that encourages characters to add specific tags that increase their chance of success. These tags are very specific and quite unusual. Instead of broad tags like fire, cold, acid, or force, examples tags would be; small round objects no bigger than a fingertip, oval objects (any size), bundles, words, smooth and thin (one tag), coin, and book. This allows for individual spell casters to be unique. Instead of lightning bolt, the spell may appear as a shower of hail stones, words appearing above the target in stone letters that drop on them, or a large book that appears and envelopes the target. Some of these may seem quite gonzo, but with enough tags, I’m sure you could come up with less gonzo spells that still add flavor.

Until that post, the next one will be about creatures and races.

Day One: What’s Available and What’s Missing

I posted about the WR&M Renaissance a couple days ago and invited anyone and everyone to post something in the first twelve days of February. I am going to try to post something on all twelve days. Today, I'm going to start with making WR&M your own.

From the srd, here is what Michael Wolf says about making WR&M your own:

I can't stress this enough: make WR&M your own. GMs and players are encouraged to bring their own ideas to the table. Add new lands, create new monsters, change the rules, write up your own spells. Whatever suits your fancy, do it. A lot of creativity went into the production of the game, but it definitely shouldn't end there! This book contains several optional rules that you can use, but you can of course add your own house rules as well. And if you think there's something critical or just very cool missing from the game, let us know!

As someone that combined four different versions of D&D and Battletech into an ongoing campaign, I appreciate the spirit of doing whatever suits my fancy. Looking at what others have made, this spirit shines through. Some games use the same basic rules, but change the name of the game by renaming the three attributes. For example, There is no Pulp WR&M, instead you have Resolute, Adventurer & Genius. (Still looking for a more complete Pointman, Hacker & Thief). Some go in totally different directions genre-wise, like Senshei, Henshen & Mayo. I really do hope that this project gets finished mostly because it is something outside my experience in RPGs. Main Sequence eschews the name Soldier, Agent & Tech to give you Sci-Fi, including Ship Creation rules. (Awesome!)

To be totally different, R.E. Davis made a more crunchy game called REWIRED that changes the core mechanic of rolling a d6.

I've linked to the some of the resources available on the srd site. If you know of more resources for Warrior, Rogue & Mage that are not listed here, please let me know.

What I want to make, though, are materials for the original game. There are plenty of supplements that give you more rules options, but there are no adventures. Beyond that, with the implied setting removed, WR&M could use more fantasy settings.

For example, if you look the implied setting from a pantheon I made lately, there's enough there to make something interesting. First, let's take away the Pathfinder stuff and break it down. There are four types of priests associated by animal; Walrus, Dolphin, Shark, and Octopus. I would split the Thaumaturgy skill into four different ones, one for each animal. It would be safe to add a Swimming skill as well.

Beyond that, we can add a couple talents like Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway (yeah I quoted Frozen) that grants 2 points of damage reduction against any cold attack. There's Echolocation that allows you to locate an object. The DL would depend on distance and size of the object.

Some spells that I need to make are Fear, Obscuring Ink, and Breathe Underwater. I'd also need a spell that makes someone an expert swimmer for a time.

For another race, I can add the Howerter, a kind of uplifted dolphin invented by my son. Its racial talent would be the ability to move around without touching the ground.

For creatures, I would need to create a big bad Ice Drake. For now, let's use the Fire Drake stats, but make the breath weapon cold/ice instead of fire. This is the big enemy of the setting, the biggest bad that is a constant threat to players and their allies. I'd also need to add the golem making crabmen I mention elsewhere.  Their golems would be similar to Work Golems (because they are made of crab shells, not stone) with the damage changed to 1d6+2 claws.

As an extra thought to consider that is not mentioned anywhere on my site, I'd like to have an evil race that likes guns. Since WR&M includes Dragon Pistols and Dragon Rifles in the srd, I'd like to have a form of goblin that loves their own type of pistols. Since they are not as well-crafted, I'd dial down the damage of these pistols to 1d6+2 (instead of 1d6+4).

With that, I think a group could have a good ol' time. It's enough for me to make some notes, roll some random tables, and start a seaside adventure.

That's my first day entry. Make your own or build on mine. I left a lot of stuff out, so feel free to add on.

Personal Additions for WR&M

Also known as the wrym system, this is a little gem created by Stargazers Games. Discussion about the rules takes place on the Stargazer Games site. It was the free download of the week at DriveThruRPG.

Errata

Important errata from the advancement rules:

Whenever the GM allows the players to advance they may do any one of the following:

  • Raise one attribute by one.
  • Add 1d6 to either HP or Mana
  • Gain an additional skill
  • Gain a talent

New Spells

1st Circle

Speak with Animals

With this spell, the mage can speak to any one type of animal for five minutes. The type of animal must be chosen before the spell is cast.

2nd Circle

Open Normal Lock

Opens one non-magical lock. The lock can be of any normal type including, but not limited to; door locks, chest locks, and handcuffs.

3rd Circle

Tremble with Fear

Causes one target create to be in total fear for five minutes. At GM's discretion, the affected creature may either be paralyzed or run at top speed away for the caster. To succesfully use this power, the caster must make an opposed roll against the taget's Mage Attribute, Awareness Skill +1d6 to imbue fear.

4th Circle

Mystic Prison

This spell places a target creature(s) into a ten foot by ten foot by ten foot cage. The walls of the of the cage each 8 hit points and each level of enhancement adds 8 more.

NPC

Peregrine

A gun-toting mage from Warrior, Rogue & Mage.

Full Name: Gnaeus Ovidius Tractus Peregrinus

W: 2 R: 4 M: 5

Skills: Awareness, Daggers, Firearms, Thaumaturgy

Talents: Dual Wielding, Familiar (Cat) -named Plato

HP: 13, FATE: 3, MANA: 10

Defense: 7 + 2 (Leather)

Spells: Healing Hand, Telekinesis

Trappings: Leather Armor, 2 daggers, 2 dragon pistols, 20 rounds, Ring, pouch with 34 silver pieces

History

Leaving his mage training behind, he has learned to use dragon pistols. He originally began training as a Mage in Cemimus. Disillusioned by the brutual rule of the emperor and the corruption of the Senate, he left Cemimus and to travel through Bekel. In Bekel, he briefly joined a group of former Cemimus citizens dedicated to the assassination of the Emporer. During his travels in Bekel, he encountered many mine owners. He was appalled that many of the mine owners treated their workers worse than the Emporer treated prisoners of war. Narrowly escaping, Bekel, he travels the fields of Chaetril searching for purpose. The church has taken some interest in him. The Paladins of the Cathedral believe that he may be “the Hidden Paladin” mentioned in one of their oldest prophecies…