Magic systems

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; Slot-based
 
; Slot-based
: [[Spell]]s are prepared in advance, and once prepared a [[spell]] can be cast at anytime with little or no chance of failure. but once cast the [[spell]] is consumed, to cast a [[spell]] twice it has to be prepared twice, and so on.
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: [[Spell]]s must be prepared in advance, after which it may be cast at any time. In many systems, once a spell is cast, it is consumed; to cast a spell twice, it must be prepared twice.
: Typically the maximum number of [[spell]]s that can be prepared is finite, either with an explicit cap (i.e. 'Slots'), or by requiring a finite resource (i.e. Material components).
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: Typically the maximum number of spells that can be prepared is finite, either with an explicit cap ('Slots'), or by requiring a finite resource (i.e. material components).
: Obvious variations would be to have more powerful [[spell]]s require more slots/resources, and [[DnD]]-style leveled slots.
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: Variations include: more powerful spells require more slots/resources; [[D&D]]-style leveled slots; prerequisite spells that implicitly consume extra slots for powerful spells.
  
 
; [[Mana]]-Based
 
; [[Mana]]-Based
: [[Spell]]s consume a quantity of spellpoints (i.e. [[Mana]]) when cast, otherwise spellcasting is unresticted.
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: [[Spell]]s consume spell points ('[[Mana]]') when cast, but spellcasting is otherwise unrestricted.
: Obvious variants are 'aspected [[mana]]' (Fire mana, water, defencive, agressive, etc., and other more unusual divisions), to have [[spell]]s consume things other things instead of [[mana]] ([[Hitpoints]], material components, etc.), and to have [[spell]]s consume more then one type of thing/aspect of [[mana]] (e.g. 3 fire [[mana]] and a stick of charcoal))
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: Variations include: '[[Aspected Mana]]' (fire mana, water mana, offensive mana, defensive mana, etc.); [[spell]]s consuming things other than mana ([[hit points]], material components, food/nutrition, etc.); spells consume more than one type of thing/aspect of mana (e.g. 3 fire mana and a stick of charcoal).
  
 
; Chance-Based
 
; Chance-Based
: [[Spellcasting]] is essentially free, but has a chance of failure, probably a very large chance.
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: [[Spellcasting]] is essentially free, but has a large chance of failure, especially for high-level spells.
: Obvious variants is to have the chance of failure be affected by some combination [[stats]], skill, or enviroment.
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: A variant is to have the chance of failure be affected by some combination [[stat]]s, skill, or environment.
  
Furthermore, theres nothing wrong with combining the above, infact its quite common.
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It is quite common to combine more than one of these methods.
A Slot/[[Mana]] system might let you memorise a shortlist of [[spell]]s, which are then cast as a [[mana]] system. [[Crawl]] does this.
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A [[mana]]/chance system might allow skill to reduce the [[mana]] cost of casting spells. The [[Pen and Paper]] [[Gurps]] does this.
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A Mana/Chance system might allow memorization of any number of [[spell]]s, with the drawback that they cost mana and may fail. [[NetHack]] does this.
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A Slot/Mana/Chance system might allow you to memorize a short list of spells, which then may be cast as above. [[Crawl]] does this.
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== Related links ==
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* [http://roguelikedeveloper.blogspot.com/2008/05/unangband-magic-system-part-one.html Designing a Magic System] - article on [[Ascii Dreams]]
  
 
[[Category:Magic]]
 
[[Category:Magic]]

Latest revision as of 23:40, 5 August 2018

Slot-based
Spells must be prepared in advance, after which it may be cast at any time. In many systems, once a spell is cast, it is consumed; to cast a spell twice, it must be prepared twice.
Typically the maximum number of spells that can be prepared is finite, either with an explicit cap ('Slots'), or by requiring a finite resource (i.e. material components).
Variations include: more powerful spells require more slots/resources; D&D-style leveled slots; prerequisite spells that implicitly consume extra slots for powerful spells.
Mana-Based
Spells consume spell points ('Mana') when cast, but spellcasting is otherwise unrestricted.
Variations include: 'Aspected Mana' (fire mana, water mana, offensive mana, defensive mana, etc.); spells consuming things other than mana (hit points, material components, food/nutrition, etc.); spells consume more than one type of thing/aspect of mana (e.g. 3 fire mana and a stick of charcoal).
Chance-Based
Spellcasting is essentially free, but has a large chance of failure, especially for high-level spells.
A variant is to have the chance of failure be affected by some combination stats, skill, or environment.

It is quite common to combine more than one of these methods.

A Mana/Chance system might allow memorization of any number of spells, with the drawback that they cost mana and may fail. NetHack does this.

A Slot/Mana/Chance system might allow you to memorize a short list of spells, which then may be cast as above. Crawl does this.

[edit] Related links

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