Saturday, September 22, 2012

Magic in OpenQuest for Non Magic Users

To fully enjoy OpenQuest d100 based RPG from d101 Games one must embrace the author's approach to magic for a fantasy role playing game.

There are three "schools" of magic in the core rules; Battle Magic, Divine Magic, and Sorcery. Unlike fantasy rpg's which limit the use of magic to a specific "class", OpenQuest allows any character at creation to be adapt in the magical arts. In fact every character at creation has to apply six points of magnitude towards the creation of spells whether they are interested in playing some type of magic wielding character or not.

Starting magic is selected by the expenditure of 6 points of magnitude. The player is free to spend them in any manner. A player may choose six individual spells all at 1 magnitude, or select one spell at magnitude 6. Or some variation in between. As stated above, selecting spells from the Divine Magic and Sorcery lists come with some restrictions. This is an attempt to simulate the commitment necessary to master these schools of magic by restricting the amount of character creation points allowed on other skills outside of magic.

But what if you are interested in playing a Barbarian, a Mercenary Knight, or even your traditional Thief? To leave those magic points on the table and not use them would make your starting character much weaker than other players who embrace the use of magic.How should the basic spell list found in Battle Magic be added?

This is where the aspect of "character concept" really shines for OpenQuest. For example I will use Jongo the thieving gnome. Through the character creation steps we've spent some points on attributes, many on the appropriate skills such as Athletics, Deception, Mechanisms, and Dodge. Now it is time to deal with those pesky magic points. Well, since we are playing a nonhuman race, one with a rich literary tradition of magical tricks and talents, it should not be too difficult. Probably the most useful Battle Magic spell for non spell users is Enhance Skill. What thieving gnome would not have an uncanny ability to disappear amongst the underbrush? Or surprising skill discovering hidden traps, or perhaps see normally invisible pixies and sprites?

This is an effective technique for giving your barbarian "berserker rage", or your martial artist a "killing strike". Want your archer to have an effective "called" shot, the enhanced skill spell is your ticket. Creating an elf warrior you may want to add the unusual ability to see in the infrared spectrum. Not a problem with the right application of Battle Magic.

Don't limit yourself to the initial skill list found in Newt's original rulebook. There is no reason why you can't come up with suitable spells which fit your character's concept. Any good Game Master will help you shape your ideas to fit well with the game. Anyone who has ever enjoyed Champions from Hero Games will be familiar with creating interesting effects and abilities from fairly general spell lists.

*OpenQuest uses the Mongoose Publishing RuneQuest System Resource Document.