Thursday, October 7, 2010

Empowerment and Counterspell

I'm choosing to keep the "Empowering" magic rules from Microlite Advanced because I think it's a great way to get magic characters to burn up more HP and get into fun situations.  The rules are:
  •     Extending makes a spell last twice as long as it normally would. An Extended spell costs an additional 2 HP.
  •     Empowering makes a spell do 50% more damage than it normally would. An Empowered spell costs an additional 4 HP.
  •     Widening makes a spell’s area of effect twice as big as it would normally be. A Widened spell costs an additional 6 HP.
 What's not to like about that really?  I think this is like fast-food marketing techniques, getting players to spend a few extra HP to supersize their character's spells.

In addition there was a clever concept from the Microlite forums about something called Counterspell.

The premise behind counterspell is that generally magic duels are trĂ©s suck. Unless there is some serious preparation beforehand, the first mage to get off a spell is likely to char the other one into dust, silence them, or turn them into a paramecium. That's pretty boring. It's also a bit crummy because you don't often wake up in the morning expecting to get into a dramatic magic duel and so can't really prepare for it beyond the obvious.  To liven up this DUEL concept, magic users are allowed to attempt to counter spells cast by other magic users before they get cast.  The better you are vs the opponent magic user (levels), and the more effort you spend (HP as fatigue here) the better chance you have to counter their spell.  Falling to your knees in exhaustion after countering that evil mage's fireball before it blasts your half conscious companions off the bridge, now that's more exciting isn't it?

Here's how I wrote it up:
Arcane spell casters have the ability to disrupt other arcane casters by attempting to counter their spell.  Casters can attempt to counter any type of arcane spell, however get a -1 penalty when countering spells from other schools. Counter spell is considered a cantrip or level 0 spell but only counts as a minor action.

The moment that a spell is cast, any caster aware of that (and who has a minor action available) may try to counter the spell. In order to succeed the countering caster must pass a DC 20 + (spell caster's level) Save roll. Before rolling they may choose to use their magical energies to improve their chances of success: for each HP invested by doing so, this Save roll gains +1 bonus. This loss of HP is only healed by resting, as per normal magic rules.
Since Beacon spells take a full action to get off, you can only counter spells if you aren't casting them which makes for some hard decisions.  Also this is something just for the Arcane guys - the divine casters don't get to play.

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