Tuesday, October 18, 2011
[Adventures in Fantasy] Book of Faerry and Magic Pt. 2
Let's dig into the Basic Magic portion of the Book of Faerry and Magic on this examination of Adventures in Fantasy.
The introduction to Basic Magic informs the reader that the magic rules are "an effort to recreate, as simply as possible, the actual manner in which Sorcery was thought to be accomplished". On one hand, this sounds very interesting because the way magic was believed to work in the medieval period of real history. On the other hand, this sounds burdensome for the very same reason. Magic in the medieval times was very formulaic and ritualistic. A spell would probably involve gathering a complex list of ingredients, performing an exacting ritual, and observing a strict timeline of events. In other words, medieval magic would make a good scary story but it would not be fun to play.
There are three conditions of apprenticeship for a player character to be a magic-user. First, it takes a minimum intelligence score of 43 to use basic magic. Intelligence determines the number of Magic Points and the possible spells learned during the apprenticeship. Second, the master that teaches your player character must be higher than level 8. Third, an apprenticeship requires a full year of study. This time must be completed in a consecutive block of time. If it is interrupted then all training is lost.
The spells available to magic-user player characters fall into one of three categories: Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic. Each magic-user will also be one of these alignments depending on spell selection. There are restrictions that come with each alignment; Lawful magic-users are prohibited from learning Chaotic spells and the reverse is also true, Lawful and Chaotic magic-users use Neutral spells with half effectiveness, and Neutral magic-users can use spells of one of the other alignments at half effectiveness.
The list of spells is split into 4 categories: Non-Alignment, Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful. There are 28 Non-Alignment spells, 17 Chaotic spells, 25 Neutral spells, and 17 Lawful spells for a grand total of 87 spells. In all honesty, some of the spell names are "less than inspiring" when you read the list. They might be accurate in relation to medieval times but this is a heroic fantasy game so is there really a use for spells such as agriculture, create music, curse crops, and gambling?
All of the spells are arranged in alphabetical order and they are not separated by alignment. The descriptions are pretty straightforward and in addition to the effects also lists the alignment and magic point cost to use the spell. Some of the spell descriptions need to be fixed. For example, the agriculture descriptions reads "this spell will increase the yield of one acre of land by 25%" at the beginning of the description but ends with "effect doubles yield of the field". The spell description for commotion does not list the alignment or the magic point cost so you have to reference the spell list to find the information. Not a huge deal, just an inconvenience.
That's it for now. The examination of the Book of Faerry and Magic continues with Permanent Magic.