Friday, March 27, 2015

Magic in the new world.

Having decided that this setting is going to have a focus on the psionic, i now have to consider what role, if any, magic will play in this new world. I has actually been harder than i thought, but i am leaning towards a particular solution. In saying that, another better solution may present itself that i will utilise instead.

Divine magic:

Divine magic still has a place in the world. Even though the gods have been abandoned, they still exist as echoes of their former power, and can still grant power to their followers. The drawback for divine casters is that people react with fear and loathing when it comes to divine power from a deific source. Druids are a more complicated issue, but we will deal with that in the class discussions.

Arcane magic:

Arcane magic was very much the harder to work out here. At first I imagined a setting with a few remaining arcane practitioners, but I realised without a concrete mechanical reason, I just couldn't imagine how psionics would have gained such dominance.

So I toyed with a drawback. The Scarred Lands setting dealt with it by having arcane magic generate intense body heat, enough to make wearing heavy clothes untenable whilst spellcasting and causing concentration checks. Though that seemed interesting, the setting didn't have an alternative, and it still wasn't enough to turn people away from magic in my mind.

The next idea was Wild Magic, adding seemingly random effects on certain spells or abilities. However, I have quickly realised how much tinkering that would take, as well as how much it could slow down play to add in chaotic effects via tables and die rolls.

The solution is clearly to remove Arcane magic entirely. This obviously removed Wizard, Bard, Witch, Magus and Sorcerer. It also has repercussions on other classes, but ones that I am willing to spend the time to have fixed.

If you have any suggestions of your own as to how to deal with arcane magic in this new setting, feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Removing Arcane is ballsy. Some would be attached to the old-school arcane magic. If you want to have it historically, but no more, in the world you could go with the sacrifice (either intentional or accidental) to assist in the war - in the dealing of a fatal blow to the Gods, the arcanists burned out - severed their connection with the source of their arcane magic. That can lead to remnants of arcane, a rare object or area that has residual magic, but no new "live" magic. For class option there could be avenues for those that may have otherwise been born with arcane powers to have some other talents/class imbued by their sense of the scar/severed link that would have connected them to arcane magic. Perhaps that it gets diverted elswhere? That may then give rise to the greater numbers of psionics if hitting the arcane wall then re-wires their core and focuses that potential instead to the psionic spectrum?

    As for divine magic being shunned - it works well with the lore. It may be beneficial to have divine magic's power based in the mortal faith that is then magnified by the deity and the power becomes more potent, the small fraction that is returned to the believer is then useful. It can go some way to explain why useful divine power is even possible with the gods so roundly trounced.

  2. Some good points there. I have to flesh it out, but I think the total removal of the arcane makes a unique setting.

  3. Unfortunately I have no direct experience with Arcane powers, nor have I partied with any past about level 5. If Psionics add enough to the game that removing Arcane doesn't seem like it narrows the options too much, then go for it.

  4. So with divine magic hanging around still does that mean there a high priests and priestesses or similar, something like the oracle of delphi? It still keeps magic rare and only for a select few, beyond the realm of ordinary peoples.