Friday, 12 April 2013

Noircana - a new spell sextet

Time for more noircana. Most of the discussion on this project is going on over at JD's blog, The Disoriented Ranger, and there's a brief intro here.

This time it's a modular set of six new spells for the toolkit we've been developing, for various worlds and various game systems, not least the simple tactical roleplaying ruleset here.

They're for working with magical energy, including creating sources of power and magic items, as well as manipulating magical signatures. This builds on my last contribution and should also tie in with the work JD is doing on wider landscapes and world histories.

In what seems to be the most useful order to introduce them, the six spells are Conjure Reservoir, Channel Power, Beget Source, Bind Spell, Reinscription and Filter Signature.

Conjure Reservoir
Duration: See below
The caster may create an outer reservoir for magical power with a capacity of up to one point of strength per caster level cubed, or expand or contract such a reservoir by up to one point per caster level cubed. The reservoir is anchored at creation to the caster, a source of power or another material. The caster alone may access the energy within, and may do so for the purposes and/or with the aid of a spell at any time while in contact with the anchor. Anchored to a source, a reservoir will capture all power released until reaching saturation point and bleeding. The caster may at any later time collapse the reservoir with the immediate release of all power within.

Channel Power
Duration: 1 day per caster level squared
The caster may draw magical power from a source of such power at usual release rate times caster level, or from the immediate surroundings at up one point of strength per caster level squared per day, or at a rate determined by the GM as more suitable for the environment. The caster may channel this directly to a reservoir and/or use it immediately to power a spell. A spell requires one point of strength per spell level to take effect and, where cast in advance, will do so once this amount has been drawn.

Beget Source
Radius: 10' per caster level
The caster may create a source of magical power by imbuing up to 1 lb of material per caster level squared with up to one point of strength per caster level or all or part of a reservoir. The caster may set a rate of release, but of no lower than one point per month per caster level cubed.

Bind Spell
Radius: 10' per caster level
The caster may attach a spell to a source or reservoir of magical power. A spell requires one point of strength per spell level to take effect and will do so each time the amount is received. The caster may assign simple criteria for the activation of the effect by another entity and such activation may trigger uptake of the necessary amount from the reservoir. While an effect is active, further points of strength are released into the landscape.

Radius: 20' per caster level  Duration: See below
The caster may alter a magical signature up or down by up to one point per caster level squared in the case of a residue or source, permanently, and by up to a number of points equal to difference in caster levels in the case of a lower level caster, for one day per point of difference squared.

Filter Signature
Radius: 20' per caster level  Duration: 1 day per caster level squared
The caster may place over any magical signature, or its source, a mask which alters that signature up or down by up to 1d6 points per caster level.

Reinscription and Filter Signature could be used to cover up activities, sow confusion or frame other casters. Beget Source and Bind Spell can be used to create magic items, and with Conjure Reservoir give a practical reason for certain items having a set number of uses. Together they should allow a caster to exert complex influences down the ages.

Even with the world-changing potential of the set as a whole, Channel Power may be most likely to cause consternation for the way it relates to the nature of Vancian magic. Changes can of course be made, and the description allows for GM discretion, but just think - it could be a justification for a Vancian magic, especially with JD's contributions.

I'll have some spells in Expanded Petty Gods that can tie in with these too, making it possible to create transdimensional cybernetic systems that run on and on. If you like genre-blending magic, the recent collaboration Space-Age Sorcery is also worth a look.

If you can see any problems that need looking at, or you have any suggestions, go for it.

Anyone else who wants to get involved in the project is very welcome - just dive right in.


JD said...

Very cool! Just a quick one (need to think about it a bit more): It fits perfectly into harvesting or nurturing a land. Merlin could be a showcase for nurturing. Right now I think a MU could give up INT to nurture the land up to a point where it spawns another +1 for features (giving room for the spell/s) and in the process, he gets knowledge of the other +1 (he becomes an agent of the land).
Harvesting could mean, a MU takes the existing points, rendering the existant features not useless, but dormant and allowing a region to formulate a trigger event to free it (basically Exclibur in the stone) and what a balancing factor (the knights in the legend) need to do to "bring balance back to the land", with the agent, Merlin in the example, only allowed to influence/force the events, but not allowed to be the final balancing factor, beause he's a MU (like the region), not a figthter (needed to balance a MU-region)...

Porky said...

Using the Arthurian material for examples helps a lot when it comes to grasping what the whole is trying to achieve. The balancing idea is a very evocative one too. Given what we're building is a modular toolkit, there's no need for anyone to actually use any distinct part of it of course, for those worried something like this violates certain principles, but it does seem it really could work that magic.