GLOG Magic Dice Primer

In short: Spells no longer have levels or slots. Instead, spells are fuelled by rolling Magic Dice (MD). The more MD used, the more powerful the spell. However, casting spells with more MD comes with more risk of Mishaps (bad) and Dooms (very bad).

Magic Dice
MD are d6s, spellcasters gain 1 max MD each level. When rolled, any MD that shows a 4+ is expended until the next morning, 3- are kept and can be used again.

Spell Structure
Instead of dealing set amounts of damage, spells increase in power the more MD used:
  • [sum], the total value of all rolled MD. Often used for damage dealt, or the duration of the spell
  • [dice], number of MD used in this spell. Often used for number of targets, or extra effects
  • [highest] / [lowest], the value of the highest/lowest rolled MD
  • [choose], the caster picks one of the rolled MD, usually as the result on a d6 table

Mishaps and Dooms
Using more MD in a spell makes it more powerful, but also more dangerous. If two rolled MD show the same value, a Mishap occurs. Mishaps vary based on the wizard school, the spell used, or just what seems reasonable. Unless the Mishap says otherwise, the spell is still cast.

Standard Mishaps
  1. Suffer +1 Stress
  2. 1d6 damage
  3. Random mutation, after 1d6 rounds make a Save, if failed the mutation is permanent
  4. Spell hits wrong target, or fails to cast
  5. Depends on spell
  6. A mild version of the next Doom

If three MD show the same value, a Doom happens, something very bad and permanent. Each Wizard School has a set of three Dooms. The first Doom is a warning shot, the second a major drawback. The third and Final Doom results in death... or worse.

Each wizard school has a method of avoiding the Dooms, or decreasing its severity. Spellcasters can also refrain from casting spells with more than 2 MD. But who would do something boring like that?

Chaos Dice
Some spellcasters (or entire systems) use Chaos Dice (or Instability Dice). Instead of losing MD when they show 4+, they gain one or more Chaos Dice with each spell cast. These CD are rolled alongside Magic Dice, but don't count towards [sum] or [dice] or other values. They do count for doubles and triples, resulting in more Mishaps and Dooms. Instead of running out of puff as spells are cast, these spellcasters become more likely to explode.

Some wizard schools come with a selection of small powers or buffs. These can be used without MD. Other systems allow wizards to cast spells using 0 MD. These tiny spells never deal damage, but have subtle effects that might be useful.

Adjudicating New Spells
The simplest way to adjudicate a spell is to have it deal [sum] damage and have an extra effect based on [dice]. The best way to adjudicate a spell is to ask the player what they think should happen, and do something like that. More specific spells are generally more powerful in their limited area of effect. Charm Goose should be more powerful than Charm Animal. Some incredible powerful spells deal [sum] damage to the caster, or have a truly devastating effect on a Mishap.

Magic Words
Magic Words are parts of spells that can be combined together to form new spells. For instance, the words Orb and Flame could be used to create Orb of Flame, more commonly known as Fireball. Magic Words can be collected by splitting spells into component parts, extracting them from arcane artefacts, or by visiting places of power and performing a suitable ritual.

Wizard Robes optional
Suitably powerful robes grant +1 max MD to the wearer, but put them at serious risk on the battlefield, to the tune of disadvantage on all rolls while in a melee.

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