First of all, we have wizard heroes. That goes against the general idea of wizards as otherworldly and morally dubious characters which early fantasy fiction generally used. Allowing people to play a wizard is probably a mistake. When you look at stuff by Lieber, Anderson and Howard, the protagonists might use magic, but actual wizards were never viewpoint characters and were usually dangerous, incomprehensible and inhuman. Even in Arthurian stories, Merlin is a half-demon who lives backwards in time. Even fucking Gandalf is an otherworldy being. They shouldn't be comprehensible, quantifiable, understandable characters that you can identify with, they should be things which aren't quite like people.
Then you have the problem that everyone is playing a special fucking snowflake race / class combination which makes your average sword-and-sorcery wizard look pretty fucking normal. Being part-demon used to mean something, now it's a fairly average level of weirdness for an RPG character. How is anyone meant to stand out as weird when people are playing as demisexual lizardfolk samurai werewolves or whatever it is that you kids are doing these days?
>>45268554 I kind of treat the common wizard as a lowlevel reality warper, and just give magic lots of potentially nasty side effects depending on a variety of factors. Including the idea that the reality of what you produce is dependent on what you know of the mechanics and structure of what you're trying to make happen. The less you understand the phenomenon, the less real and functional the result.
Things created by magic, or assisted by it, will often degrade over time, so you have to be careful about it. People who overuse magic often start to physically deteriorate and become corpse-like if they don't allow their bodies to recuperate naturally. Their minds also become increasingly less human the more powerful they become.
>>45269488 That is a nice way of thinking. Drug use and withdrawal is a nice metaphor to relate with magic. Now maybe actually build a system where magic doesn´t come from thin air but comes with a cost/devastating effects on enviroment whatever...
Soon enough you have a wizard in his lonely tower creating golems that rips important peoples skin off and replace them so that the flow of slaves to his underground lair is constant. All of this to ensure he can cast a spell that corupts a certain son of a peasant so that this guy will led a bloody revolt 20 years later. All of this happens in anticipation of another grand wizards plan. Soon enough you have crazy powerful people the players can´t really relate to.
Or go the other way round, magic makes people mentally instable and breaks their bond to society. Wizards are a force of nature, completly razing one city and turning the streets to gold in the next one. Something people desperately want to avoid and not connected to their affairs at all. Is it madness or superior intellect nobody knows and nobody dares or survives to ask...
>>45270045 >Or go the other way round, magic makes people mentally instable and breaks their bond to society. I actually had an idea like that. It doesn't so much make them mentally unstable as it allows them to become their ideal, with the sort of behavior most people only imagine in their fantasies. It's just that this often isn't too compatible with reality, or the guy is the sort who fantasizes about murdering and enslaving others. Or if their envisioned ideal is the sort who could fuck up everyone who they feel has ever wronged them, or right perceived injustices.
Magic allows you to peer into many parallel dimensions at the same time so while you are speaking with a wizard he might say something that is completely of the wall, or react to stuff to stuff that isn't "there". Maybe even some lore from another reality that might help you in this one. Making comunication with a magic user a complicated affair.
I disagree. It's more about having a very strong magical flavor for the setting. Is all magic the work if spirits? Is magic dangerous to the user?
You can give magic users drawbacks and random tables to roll on if they lose control that can result in mutations or madness, etc. Personally I don't like this solution because Wizards earned their abilities already with their typical drawbacks, but you might have use for it.
>>45269680 This sounds too much like a new concept, like the idea of gods being unkillable, unknowable, genderless supreme beings instead of the OG gods of yore like Zues or Thor who were like super powered humans with flaws and shit.
I mean, magic in mythology and folklore is always dangerous and risky and usually involves the user calling on the power of spirits, gods, or the elements themselves through rituals and stuff.
It's all about that hidden knowledge, doing the right thing at the right time in the right place to get the right effect.
Nowdays wizards are like DBZ characters and shit. They just shoot fireballs or whatever because they reached a certain level.
I don't know why, but I'm rather fond of the way The Laundry handles magic. Now, you could spend a lot of time researching the right incantations and rituals, getting the right material components and sacrifices, and ultimately go mad in the process of summoning what is ultimately a lesser being. Or, you could go the more efficient route and just use a computer program that produces the mathematical formulae required to do what you want with less fuss!
>>45270240 I like that. Beeing justbut so perverted that you horribly punish everyone for every little injustice. Aiming for beeing wise and ripping everbodies memories out with magic leaving them horribly scarred mentally. Being generous and fucking up local economy so much that the effects will be felt for years.
>>45270330 Look at irl practitioners of magic. It's a very lonely and isolating existence because they spend all their time talking about crazy shit and locking themselves up in their rooms for hours or days at a time just trying to understand it.
You make magic unsavory, you make it dangerous, you make it creepy and weird and you have everyone act accordingly.
Instead of being some esoteric energy source that lets you shoot lightning and levitate shit willy nilly, magic is the manifestation of the person in question's will, and the stronger their convictions the stronger their powers.
That way the only wizards that will have actual reality-altering powers would be the complete nutjobs with screwball worldviews or the sycophantic psychopaths.
>>45270543 Exactly. Where the fuck are you gonna get the funds to probe NASA about where the location of Jupiter is when compile time comes down? You're not gonna hire some schmuck to get a telescope and eyeball it, are you?
>>45270346 This is starting to get to a good point, but more generally, have each caster focus on their own specifics.
Let the casters lend their own thematics to the spells they cast (nothing mechanical, just flavorful, and the player can pick the flavor). Have them pick a device, a theme, and describe their spells effects in line with that theme. Give them a small bonus for doing so.
Players will go far for any bonus they can lay their hands on.
I'm not fond of drawbacks as random effects - I like drawbacks as negotiated mitigations.
For instance, if my themes of choice were rebirth, butterflies, and frost, and my device of choice was a pendulum; I wouldn't wave my hand and lob a fireball - I would gesture with my pendulum, feeling it spin through the air, and a fluttering chain of frost-kissed wings float gently through the air from its eddies, filling a space before bursting into sudden flames.
>>45270330 >Nowdays wizards are like DBZ characters and shit. They just shoot fireballs or whatever because they reached a certain level. The idea I was shooting for was that acting like this would probably get you killed. You have to have an understanding of every part of what you're doing to do it. Creating fire requires that you have a detailed knowledge of how fire works, turning it into a ball requires you have a good idea of how to shape fire into a ball and keep it stable, and throwing the thing means you probably burnt your hands and lit yourself on fire.
Power level is pretty much entirely dependent on how well the wizard understands the forces he's dealing with. Using it properly takes study and experimentation. Smart wizards know that hands aren't made for shooting lightning out of them, and so don't bother with that sort of flashy but dangerous magic unless they're very sure of their skills. Illusions are more common if they want to look cool.
Most people who muck about with magic successfully usually find methods that aren't quite so blunt, or they hire something else to do things for them.
I've had the idea of running a ritualist system for a while now.
In short, magic is never simple or fast. It always involves a ceremony and some sort of material components, which then reworks reality for some time before it unbinds back to normal. A wizard might have a ritual to bless a sword so that it can harm ghosts, but maybe only for a few weeks, or a certain number of strikes. The components vary, but the more appropriate or rarer they are, the better they work, like phoenix feathers work better than aloe vera plants for sake of healing people from deathly wounds.
I guess this isn't 'weird', but is involves a large degree of foresight, research, and a constant need for superior materials.
>>45270946 Can be wands made of thermally insulated materials be used for this purpose. I used to workin a setting where magic behaved like programming objects. You could make a fireball spell by >creating the fireball >leading it "manually" in a straight trayectory from "you"
or using less energy by >Creating the fireball >using your arm as a direction vector >Hurling, instead of directing, the fireball
Before he totally lost his mind and started writing, almost exclusively, gay black erotica Samuel Delaney wrote several excellent short stories.
Star Pit was set where humans had expanded to colonize the entire galaxy, but found when leaving it to visit other galaxies normal people lose their fucking minds. Something about that transition space didn't gel with normal human consciousness. However there are a select few humans, known as "Goldens", who are essentially autistic or already mad. They can make the trip and visit other galaxies to trade with other lifeforms and return unchanged to our galaxy. Problem is that since they are weirdos already they do dumb or impulsive things like bring back and sell a dangerous manufactured virus without ever considering buying the cure as well.
You could do that with Wizards. Their ability to alter reality could be due to their not thinking like a normal person. You'd have to be careful because some people would take it as a ticket for randumb without consequence, but wizards should do things that don't make sense to normal humans.
Idea I had for a post apocalypse fantasy game was that magic is ubiquitous to the point of being almost Terry Pratchett style common. Everyone gets minor spells, weapons are straight up empowered by focusing spell energy into them. Powering automatic crossbows or reciprocating saws on polearms or just making blades glow red with heat.
Covet is real big boy casting is dicey at the moment. The big final war zonked out the ether so the really big miracle level magic stuff is seriously on the fritz. The crystal ball and panel broadcasting systems are staticy at best and haunted at worst. The grand airships of the past still function though every time you fly them its like they are caught in a storm and can be quite dangerous to land.
Finally beard wizard level magic and powerful enchanted items no longer have a clean cause and effect. The link by which mana cycles from mortal to spell effect and back into the ether is wrong. Spells cause magical pollution which can do all sorts of weird things Temporary/permanent mutations caused by soaking up to much magic in a short period of time or being infused with strange energies which can empower or hinder via a backlash of spell energy.
Regions of the world are also effected by these changes to physical reality usually relating to the warfare that took place in that region. A city of towers created by magically fusing marble into seamless unbreakable towers is surrounded by endless warm ashen storm that remains long after the firestorm which claimed most of its inhabitants. While the worlds largest freeport among a tropical archipelago was not claimed by the tidal way conjured to wipe it out. Instead the waves magic was broken yet the city now faces a slow creeping death from massive globes of water which slowly float through the air or roll across the island filled with all manner of vicious sea creatures. The orbs occasionally meld back into or spawn from the sea bringing wrecked ships unto land or take whole buildings
You're not a wizard. You're infected. You're playing as an Exsurgent. The only difference is you're not immediately hostile.. it's just a matter of time until a 'greater truth' is available to you and you become as such. You're not human, and something is sharing your ego.
>>45271181 I've got nothing against using tools to assist in magic, but you still have to be knowledgeable enough to prepare those items. There's also the question of whether making a fireball is actually the smartest or most efficient way of using your magic.
The idea is that magic can do almost anything you make it do, and only works as well as you make it work. The magic isn't going to compensate for your ignorance if you don't actually know how to do something. A poorly educated wizard is either useless or a danger to himself and everyone around him.
Oh, and a good deal of them are prone to eventually transforming into monsters as their humanity slips away from them. People usually take special care to dispose of their bodies because of the sort of shit that happens with them. Wizards don't tend to rest easily within their graves.
>>45272688 I always liked the idea of having a campaign where the wizard is a high-tech scientist sort from an advanced civiliation out in the stars.
But only the wizard player and the DM know that. The rest of the party, and the world in general, believe them to simply be the typical wizard trope. Weird robes and a "magic spell book" that carries is spells, ie: a laptop. He has a wand of magic missle otherwise known as a glock.
Hardcore physics apply, but anything weird the wizard does is hand-waved away as "magic".
Team has to hunt down evil wizards or scientists who are breaking the prime directive too much.
>>45269322 >They shouldn't be comprehensible, quantifiable, understandable characters that you can identify with, >Merlin is a half-demon who lives backwards in time. Even fucking Gandalf is an otherworldy being. Perhaps you should not undercut your own argument a sentence previous.
>>45268554 Some ideas I ran with: >More powerful mages are more "removed from reality" and this means they become harder to kill by regular means, but become easier to kill through supernatural means >On the flipside, normal humans are all but immune to magic, but obviously can still be stabbed to death >meanwhile, magic also gets stronger with localized levels of belief, meaning a loan wizard isn't going to do THAT much on his own. But getting a whole village to believe you're Dumbledore means you'll be doing some serious shit, tricky part though is just getting them to believe you in the first place because of the above.
Being a wizard means striking a deal. The deal is sensation, reality, solidity for the ability to induce sensation, to make the real and solid melt into air. The more puritanical say it's a deal with the devil. This is nonsense; anyone with any skill can get better terms than the devil offers. It is the real making a deal with the possible. The possible desire reality; the real desire possibilities. We call people who negotiate deals with things that aren't real madmen. There is a subset of madmen who gain the power to set people on fire with their minds. We call them Wizards.
I'm… not exactly planning, but collecting ideas for a low-fantasy campaign set in a world very similar to ours. (Not sure whether I'll go with alternate history, some “it's Earth but in the distant future where history repeats itself!” cop-out, or just a very down-to-Earth fantasy world.)
Magic would generally not exist, but miracles would. Taking a few pages out of the Bible and the more mythical parts of recorded mediæval history, there would be maybe two or three NPCs who can work miracles—healing, exorcising demons, and useless but impressive tricks to woo the masses.
One of these NPCs would indeed be blessed by God and work as a missionary, devout and humble. Another one (not necessarily found in the same campaigns or places) would have similar abilities, and also claim to be acting in the name of God—but he would exercise them for his own gain and fame, and ultimately be revealed to be possessed by a demon. It would be up to the PCs to figure out whether to trust/distrust them, and in either case they would have to work around the impressionable masses who ardently believe in both of these miracle-workers.
I'm considering also adding a tribe of pagans who worship their ancient idol that is actually a demon. It grants them more fantasy-like magic powers (like throwing fireballs and all that) by possessing them, but it would only be able to possess one tribes(wo)man at a time. Might be an option for player characters too.
>>45270641 Or steal shamelessly from it. Also Reign. But then again, I am all about Stolze.
You could also mine his source material, Tim Powers, for weird abilities and weaknesses. Instead of a spellbook as a drawback, mages can't touch the ground without losing all their charges. Or masters of levitation are just exploiting a connection to the moon and have to stay indoors when it's full to avoid flying into space.
I actually really like how magic is done in the Discworld where it has a highly disruptive, contaminating affect on reality. Pratchett did some really cool stuff with it but I still reckon a lot more could be done with it, especially in a more serious setting.
>>45275647 the level of unstability of Pratchett's brand of magic, in a serious setting, is downright horrifying. because, when you get down to it, turning into an ape because you opened the wrong book isn't that funny.
Real "Wizards" Have long since perished. An inhuman race of reality warping fools that caught the ire of there more "sane" accompanying races. However, These beings, avatars of mana itself transformed into fully conscious objects upon there death. Your modern Mage is simply a weilder of these objects, be they a frying pan or a ring, and must ask the wizard for the right to use there powers. The wizard of course, has every chance of saying no, in the belief that the Mage is unworthy of a fireball because they don't eat enough mud. So in short, if a Mage is unable to appeal to their insane/retarded/paranoid object, they cannot use magic.
>>45268554 Chronicles of the Black Company style. That is, majority of magic users can do next to nothing, so they mostly rely on illusions or enchantments that took a lot of work. Also, they don't need any components to cast spells, but they do to seem fancier for the masses. And their probably greatest strenght is being very vital, that is when you defeat a wizard and you want to kill him for good, making sure that he stays dead will be lenghty and awkward.
>>45270946 >Creating fire requires that you have a detailed knowledge of how fire works If set in a typical "roughly medieval" sort of setting, that would require the wizard to have some anachronistically advanced knowledge.
Base them in real occult practices. I'm already working on a translation of this PDF to a list of 6 spells (something like: 1.third eye 2. Astral travel 3. Evocation 4. Invocation 5. Divination 6. Enchantment)
>>45268554 Just no: >"I snap my fingers and create a fireball"
Make magic alot more vague and random. Even a small spell should require days of preparing and various ritual items if you dont want to get killed or worse. Using magic should always be the last option to get your shit done and always should come with a prize.
That was actually a pretty fun read once I got over how bad his/her understanding of neuroscience is.
Protip: increasing bloodflow to the forehead/scalp does not increase bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex. They are vascularised via separate networks. You can't 'feel' changes in blood flow in the brain --- that's your forehead.
I think I've found 3 elements that improve wizards overall
>Magic is difficult to learn and laborious to cast
Not just anyone can have the talent or patience to learn magic. It must be discovered through laborious research, expeditions, experimentation, etc. Furthermore, it can be both hard to cast and take a long time to do so. A small ball of light can be created in a matter of seconds, but illuminating an entire field can take hours
>Magic has a price
Whether it's due to Mana or life force being spent, or an object or life being sacrificed, or a deal being made with spirits, magic can't simply happen out of the blue. There must be some sort of exchange or deal that allows you to use it
>magic has consequences
By using magic, you will suffer both societal and physical consequences. People might begin to shun you or be afraid, or maybe you'll begin to lose your mind, mutate, or be enslaved to spirits. whatever happens, you can be sure that you'll have to deal with consequences in some way
Just be creative about it. You could say druids can always use forest magic on account on making deals with forest gods and sprites, but must always be near the woods, or never kill animals, or something. Hell, that applies to other elemental mages. maybe something similar with summoners, where pieces of their soul get bound to spirits and they get a free ticket to the material realm whenever. Just think of something.
>>45272777 I kind of wanted ot play in a setting like the 10,000 or whatever.
10,000 folks from multiple time periods in several universes are dumped in the year 10000BC. They've got archives detailing how to build technology, six weeks supplies and are spread into groups of 500 in resource rich areas. Everyone is aware of where the others are.
Magic has consequences. For you, your soul, sanity and self. For your surroundings, their structure, nature, form. When a pyromancer sets something on fire, he becomes more like fire - wild, unpredictable, ravenous. After he burns a city to the ground, his blood becomes fire and he becomes unable to stop moving, talking, or stay in the same place for any period of time. When a geomancer creates a stone prison, his skin begins to harden, become like clay. When he creates a golem the size of a skyscraper, his body becomes stone, and he becomes set, stubborn and unable to change. The hydromancer becomes yielding, manipulative, planning and scheming even if he doesn't want to. The wind mage slowly fades into air, becomes immaterial. The illusionist becomes something unreal, unsure of his true form or mind, or even what he wanted to do in the first place, trapped in his own web of lies.The necromancer becomes a cruel manipulative lich not through his own designs, but every corpse he raises makes himself just that little bit more corpselike.
As more magic is used, the life of the area around it is sucked out, used up, gone. It's like entropy, when the magical flames are extinguished, the energy used to create them is gone, forever. The life force used to power that zombie has to come from somewhere - and where does it go after? Wizards leave a trail of woe wherever they go, and that has consequences beyond the ruination they brought.
No one trusts a wizard. Sure that pyromancer kid used to be cute and friendly, but now all they care about is acting, doing things, moving, going faster, harder than before. They can't be stopped and they won't stop on their own. Everything around them is consumed in a roil of flame. They aren't trying to hurt people. They just don't notice. Wizards have to be stopped before they reach that point. As far as the general populace is concerned, there's no such thing as a good wizard.
Make magic more than one craft. It doesn't have a singular source like a type of energy, instead it encompasses any number of weird phenomenon beyond our current comprehension.
Any set of spells may have rules but the logic behind them doesn't need to be explained. A few rules will make sense give the type of magic, a few will seem bizarre. Not all magic functions on the same mechanics ether because magic is inherently beyond the normal rules. However it should still feel connect to this world, albeit in unconventional ways. Some magic may be effect by the specific geometric of the environment, the diet or biology of the user, the colour of the ceiling/sky, the targets bonds to the gods be they false or real, the level or age of the subjects (is it even, odd or a factor of 9?) the targets order of birth or place in society.
Magic should be tied to the things we rarely think about. Minor details that do or undo us. It's always there in the background, just beyond sight, quietly moving mountains and the earth beneath our feet. Sorcery is the door to something large and ominous. For most it's simply easier to suffer the simple tragedies of the mundane than kneel before the awesome thing that sits beyond that threshold.
Magic isn't evil or good but it reveals dangerous things. It shows terrible weakness in the world and nodes of nightmarish power just sitting in the open for any fool to tap.
>>45276508 That's kind of the point. Even if magic can grant its user some sort of enhanced awareness, it takes a lot of study to learn how to do shit and a lot of what you need to know is way more advanced than what would normally be available.
At the point where you're literally throwing around lightning, people would be praying to you as if you're a fucking god performing miracles.
I can't remember the name of the book but it was a low fantasy setting where very few people could use magic. Which in this setting was called The Will and The Word. A person who could use magic could move a rock but they would have to understand that they would have to put pressure forward and back at the same time or you just push yourself away.
>>45268554 The problem is that magic is too easy in most settings. It doesn't have significant personal costs or require weird ingredients. It's just
>I cast 'X'
I like wizards who have to perform long, weird rituals to alter their own consciousness or make pacts with strange entities. I like when they have to gather odd ingredients or craft strange objects to act as conduits for supernatural powers.
>Yes, I am a wizard. >Yes, I can turn myself invisible. >Yes, I have to smear myself with rat feces to do it >No, it can't just be any rat's feces. They have to be fed a specific diet and I have to feed them by hand. Now step back from that cage; Mr. Sprinkles doesn't like strangers.
Veteran to Recruit: [I] remember him telling me something on the march one day, as we were to go to war with one of the enemy kingdoms, and reports had come in that they had a group of arcaners, wizards, is another good word to use... [O]f course, I had simply laughed it off in my ignorance, no one could evoke the Gods' fire, especially not these folks of another religion, these blasphemers. But as I laughed my comrades around me went silent, and a grizzly older man, a veteran of the army, came up to me, and asked me in a raspy voice: "Lad, have you never seen one of these heathen arcaners before?" I, at the time, quite afraid of this proud warrior, replied, "No, sir, I have not. How do they control the Gods' flames? They're heathens, sir." He laughed at me in a burnt tone. "It isn't our Gods' fire they control, boy. We don't know what they do, aye, even our own wise-men cannot figure it out. But I fought them once, I did. One of three survivors of the encounter, I was," he puts his hand on my shoulder now, "...Lad, you get the feeling of something funny rattling in your brain, and you feel like mush, that's the first part. Then, the air feels lighter, as if it's simply dissapearing. That's step two. Then, ye turn round and ask your comrades if they feel the same, and out comes many a squeaky voice. That's the third part. And, before anyone has a chance to say 'shit,' the first ten lines of your mates and lads combust, burnt to smitherines. All of them. Dead. Seeing our Gods right then and there. The damned flames cost me my voice, they did. They cost me my face. Would have cost me more, had I not been a recruit at the time myself, and in the rear of the formation. Do not laugh at these arcaner's abilities, boy. With a simple snap and enough funny-gas, you'll be gone before your mother can sense it." The man now turned back to march, and the formation kept going. I was now properly fearful of these "arcaners."
You want weirder wizards? Every time any kind of spell is cast, roll on the Perils of the Wa...I mean Wild Magic Surge table. Wands and magic items do not apply to this.
On top of that, in the lore of any campaign, insert a witch-hunt that occurred about 10 years ago due to a former BBEG trying to blow up everything.
Now everyone hates wizards, including themselves because they can cause such horrible things. As a bonus, if you don't like the normal Wild Magic Surge Table, use this one: http://www.traykon.com/pdf/The_Net_Libram_of_Random_Magical_Effects.pdf.
TL:DR If magic is too mundane, make all magic go fucking crazy.
Magic is too easy. A world where everyone is a wizard is like a world where everyone knows how to build a working nuclear warhead using household junk. A very short-lived one, ending in lots of ruins to explore.
No one gets to start a character as a wizard. Being a wizard means hard work, immense sacrifice and likely insanity. Sure they may become mighty wizards at some point but they will learn along the way that being a wizard isn't being Harry Potter, its being a near madman that traded away almost everything for power of the supernatural. Their magic is mighty, capable of shaping regions, deciding wars, even putting who they wish on the throne but it will take years of plots within plots as the other magic users in the world don't want someone new mucking up their plans. On top of that their biological clock is ticking, maybe they can stave off a few extra years but it will take more sacrifices, worse atrocities and warp the wizard even more.
>>45275687 I don't think it's a problem if the players have a sense of the gravity of the situation. In a world where whenever someone says "wizard" everyone within earshot immediately hides under their desk, they shouldn't charge right ahead into Lspace and start opening up random shit.
>>45291954 Well, the higher authorities aren't really something so mundane as mortal spellcasters. I'm thinking something that goes all the way up to godly levels of power, with a decent number of them at that level. Powerful enough that most gods and other powerful entities generally abide by their rulings, either out of fear or respect.
The common asshole wouldn't be able to challenge them, and even the uncommon asshole shouldn't have a real chance, but maybe someone could have fun giving it a try. They're basically what enforces the laws of magic.
>>45269322 >How is anyone meant to stand out as weird when people are playing as demisexual lizardfolk samurai werewolves
By playing a character and not a class/race combination? I'm not trying to be facetious here and I know not everyone gets inside character's heads for a living, so I'll be more specific.
Far too many players think that a race and class with some dead parents tacked on equals a complete character. This is not the case.
Even if you're starting at level one, you're entering your PC's story at least a decade after their birth. Childhoods are not standard issue, they inform who you become. The reasons for how you behave, why you chose to become the class you are (or whether you chose), what you fear, what you want, what you've lost, all of those and more are what define a character. And the effort, or lack thereof, that other players put in their characters has NOTHING to do with how you play your own unless you're a profoundly insecure individual.
Wizards are mundane when they're played by mundane people. Wizards are unoriginal when they're played by unimaginative people.
Magic would be a more potent drug than heroin, a 'magic epidemic' staved off only because the average druggie doesn't have the mental acuity to perform the hours of rituals necessary to unlock it. Truly powerful wizards would be men of not only extreme intelligence but massive willpower.
Anyone with the requisite intelligence could cast. The weak-willed would be unable to stop casting, either continuing to power their tiny candlelight or casting glamer after glamer until they exhausted their meager mana stores. The more powerful spells would be more difficult to resist; a mid-level wizard might be able to enthrall their enemies, but would have a hard time resisting the urge to enthrall his allies once he runs out of targets. The most powerful spells would be utterly irresistible. Any wizard strong enough to cast them would be enslaved to his magic, preferably held in check by the party, released into a battle only in the most desperate struggles where destroying the enemy is worth the utter destruction - or worse - of any allied forces.
>>45268554 Bacon grease is a magically conductive fluid and reacts best when applied directly to the skin. With that bit of knowledge, your players will make wizards weirder than you could ever hope to.
Most of the settings that use belief as a tool are describing that as outside the setting itself. As in, "In this setting, belief is a tool, but nobody/only a select few really understand this."
Unknown Armies has their mages either use their own belief as a tool, for example, but they're not aware of it except at higher levels of play, or in the case of avatar magics what the user believes matters way less than what everyone else around them believes.
>>45298029 the thing is that to it have real powers, you have to bring this suggestion to all your multiples selves, There are 3 depicted in the book (higher self, yourself and subconscious) but In my opinion there are many many others. The thing is to try to convince as many selves you can.
>>45304318 Yes. Spells also have random levels of effect too, depending on a roll you make when casting them. In addition, there's an optional rule whereby any wizard casts the spell with random secondary effects.
>>45298303 Numenera's big problem is that it's too obsessed with being oh so mysterious to the point of being purposefully incomprehensible. Stripping that shit out gets rid of 90% of the setting's dumb.
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