One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Escalation of Power

Wow, Look at all the cobwebs up in this joint! It’s been more than a while since I last posted. I make no apologies for that. Gaming is low on my list of priorities lately. I miss it and I have had ideas in the pipe for things I would love to do but unfortunate time is at a premium these days.
I have been playing my fair share of Magic: The Gathering though. I won a tournament this past summer and the new Battle for Zendikar set is pretty rad. Which leads me into an idea about how magic is handled in RPG’s.

What we tend to see in Rpgs are Vancian/spell slots, spell points or a skill check system. I seem to recall Shadowrun having a system that let you set how powerful you wanted the spell to be and then see if you were able to control that much power without hurting yourself. I always thought that was pretty slick, but overly complicated in execution.

The idea I had this morning was this; in a game of magic you are limited by how many spells you can cast based on how much mana you have at anyone time. Typical Magic decks try to maximize each turn by casting your highest cost card as soon as the mana is available each turn. For example, on turn one you play a land and cast a one mana cost spell. Turn two, you play a land and cast a two mana cost spell. And so on until the game is over. This is an ideal situation but the point is that you are restricted each turn by being able to play only one land. On turn one you are relatively weak but as the game progresses you can cast massive spells as your resources to power grow.

This got me thinking about the Escalation Die from the 13th Age RPG. What if every round a magic
users power grew in accordance with how long he is channeling mana? Every round of combat would allow the caster an additional spell point. So on turn one he could cast a spell worth one spell point, and on turn two a spell that cost two points, and so on.

This could be applied to combat in general. Special combat moves could be given a point cost and more powerful combat tricks open up as the battle progresses. Thus the combat can escalate quickly. In fact, this might be a great way to fix the combat token system that was introduced with Mike Mearls’s Iron Heroes RRG.

Anyway, just a thought I had. Until the next time we meet, happy gaming people!

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