Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Divine Intervention, Part II

In a previous post I talked about a new magic system for clerics. Here's the next big chunk, the face cards. In this system, Face cards always have a "cost" of 10 to play. They may be played in one of two forms.


A face card may summon a creature to aid the caster. The creature persists for one phase of combat or until it is slain, whichever comes first. Each class of card will basically have a set stat block to reference and allow a stock critter to be thrown down easily.
  • JACK: Cardinal "Striker"
  • KING: Fixed "Tank"
  • QUEEN: Mutable "Special Team"
The suit of the card is also relevant. In any event, the creature has the associated Element attached to it. For example, a Club summons some sort of Fire creature. Any other effect that plays off of fire will affect the creature accordingly. Next, there is a default creature type (although the GM/player should feel free to change this to a pantheon specific critter). Finally, when the creature is voluntarily dispelled by the caster prior to the spell's normal expiration, there is an aftereffect which occurs immediately; it is equal to an Effect 1 card of the same suit. For example, if a Fire Salamander (Club) summon is dispelled, then a Smite dealing 1 damage immediately goes off.
  • HEARTS: Water. Nymph.
  • DIAMONDS: Earth. Gnome.
  • SPADES: Air. Sylph.
  • CLUBS: Fire. Salamander.


Face cards may also be used to invoke potent aspects. These generally effect the caster themselves and have an aftereffect which lasts until the end of the phase.

  • JACKS (Version A): When played, treat the jack as a normal number card with an effect of "4." Aftereffect: The caster is considered to have an ace of the same suit in their hand until the end of the phase.
  • JACKS (Version B): Any creatures targeted by the caster within an area of effect are subjected to the magic, which is identical to a potency 1 version of the same suit (for example, the Jack of Clubs creates an AOE equal to the caster's Fire score). The area of effect is equal to the caster's relevant elemental attribute. Aftereffect: The caster is considered to have an ace of the same suit in their hand until the end of the phase.
  • KINGS: Kings generate a powerful aura surrounding the caster. The aura's size is equal in hexes to the relevant elemental attribute (for example, the King of Clubs creates an aura equal to the caster's Fire score). The caster may choose to allow the spell to effect any creatures he or she wishes within the aura.
    - Hearts (Water): +1D to all saving throws to avoid taking damage
    - Clubs (Fire): +1D to all attack rolls
    - Diamonds (Earth): +1 to Dodge Score
    - Spades (Air): Move the creature one square.
  • QUEENS: Queens unleash powerful transformative forces within the caster and represent potent self-buffs. First, the result of the "cost" roll changes the caster's relevant Elemental Attribute to the result if it is higher as well as all derived attributes. For example, casting the Queen of Diamonds might allow a caster to perform a superhuman feat of strength as their ENC load limit increases with a higher EARTH score. Next, the caster gains the following benefit:
    - Hearts (Water): Regenerate 1 wound every round
    - Clubs (Fire): +1 Damage
    - Diamonds (Earth): +1 Soak
    - Spades (Air): +1 Speed and +1 to Dodge Score vs. OAs; +1D to any evasive moves


I think we have a relatively compact system that covers all your basic combat magic. There are two broad classes of magic: Red/Defensive and Black/Offensive (named for the suits). Those subdivide down into the suits: Healing (Hearts), Warding (Diamonds), Smiting (Clubs), and Command/Movement (Spades). Within each suit, there are five types of spells: A standard, common numerical version, a summoning spell (with three variants), a self-buff, a nova/AOE, and a group buff.

The standard, common numerical version should be most common as it has the lowest cost. The other spells are potent but will likely allow the GM to retaliate later.

I think this meets the Rule of 7. The broad outlines can be remembered without reference to a table. I expect a table to be needed for face cards and summons but even those are pretty straightforward (especially the jacks). With some tweaking I may be able to make the others more standard as well.

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