Sunday, December 18, 2011

How I Like Magic To Work

Dr Strange then explains how the spell shows the target an image of everyone they've ever slain. Maybe no big deal for 90% of foes. But if you're Galactus and eat planets all day, it's exactly the right spell. That's how magic would be, in my perfect worldgame. Devastating when the planets align and the situation is precisely right, otherwise kinda meh.

But we don't live in that perfect world/game and this is a game not a novel so I can live with utility spells if they've got enough flavor. We all have to make compromises in this cruel vale of tears.

Even Dr Strange uses a Bolt of Bedevillment half the time. Lazy ass.


  1. Can I suggest The Black Company Campaign Setting by Green Ronin and The Whispering Vault by Pariah Press? I believe both are out of print, but both handle magic in my favorite of ways. The Riddle of Steel also has an interesting magic system, but I don't find it to be a smooth as the other two. And I agree, Magic is most interesting when it requires creative application. Course as a GM you have to be willing to allow that.

  2. "Oh no! All the ants I've accidentally stepped on! All the bacteria that were living on the food I ate, oh the HORROR!"

    Or as the Man & the King put it:

    "Of what import are brief, nameless lives to... Galactus??"

  3. Quantity has a quality all its own
    as Stalin said

    and Galactus was once a man, after all

  4. "But surely even your powers are of no use against the likes of Galactus?"

    Reed is such a dick.

  5. Seems a shame.

    In my game world it works precisely that way and still has spells that blast you with fire and put up wall of stone or arcane force to defend against attacks.

    But then again, I read a lot of comic books and they have a big influence on my games, from Champions to D&D to Chill.

  6. "Oh no! All the ants I've accidentally stepped on! All the bacteria that were living on the food I ate, oh the HORROR!"

    Does Galactus have Buddha-Mind?

  7. The thing is, Dr Strange picks his spells after the circumstance comes up. Don't be thinking he chose that spell during char gen!

  8. One of the best magic systems I ever ran as a DM was in a GURPS fantasy campaign.
    Every wizard was like the Wizards of the Piers Anthony various universes (Xanth and Proton/Phase) - they had to be unique. I used the runic magic system, and spell casters had to combine runes to make spells. But more importantly it had to fit, more or less, their unique "thing". So the guy who could "control smoke" had a lot of illusion/hiding spells, but could justify things like flight ("flying on a smoke cloud"), but not things like "magic missles'. The guy who painted could summon monsters he painted, or create doors, or "paint over wounds" to heal them.