improvised magic

Improvised Spell System

When a mage improvises a spell, he decides on a clear effect and then uses the following charts to place it into game terms. With that final context decided, the player can cast his spell. Each component of the spell adds to the total Value of the improvised effect. This value is important in determining the TN and the mana cost.

Casting Time: Suggestion Extra Flat cost for in turn

+4 Free Action +9
+3 Minor Action +7
+2 Major Action +4
+1 1 Minute +2
+0 10 Minutes +1
+0 1 hour +0

Range: Flat increase

2 Magic x 2 in yards
+1 Magic in yards
+4 30 yards +6
+3 20 yards +4
+2 10 yards
+0 Self or Melee +0/

Area of Effect: (Sugg: effect 50% (dmg/heal/debuf/buff))

+0 Radius
+0 Square
+0 Cone (1/4th as wide as long)
+1 Per 2 yards of measurement +2^nrofyards
(Note: A 2 yard radius effect is +1, a 6 yard Square is +3, and an 8 yard cone is +4)

Duration: (really depends on the spell decrease ore increase) points

+0 Instant
+2 Dragon Die in rounds +2
+4 Magic in rounds +4
+2 1 Minute (4 rounds) +3
+3 10 Minutes +4 (Only small buff/debuff)
+4 1 Hour +6 (Only small buff/debuff)
+1 Concentration: Caster spends a Minor action each round to keep the effect going.


Bonuses and Penalties:
+1 Per 2 points added or deducted from a single roll
+1 Per point added or deducted from an entire Ability
+2 Per point added or deducted for any broad activity
+3 Per point added or deducted from all actions
+4 Per point added or deducted from all rolls
(Note: The difference is subtle here. The first would be a bonus to Communication (Deception), the second a bonus to Communication, the third a bonus to all interaction tests. A bonus to all rolls includes free actions used as reactions to other character’s tests, while the all actions level would only be Major and Minor actions.)


+1 Per 1d6 of Health recovered +1
+1 Target recovers caster’s Magic in Health +2


+1 Per 1d6 of Damage dealt
+1 Target takes the Dragon Die in damage
+2 Target takes the caster’s Magic in damage
x2 Damage is penetrating +3
(Note: Damage that is partially penetrating only doubles the cost for the penetrating damage code)

Misc Effect:

+2 Simple Effect (Change appearance or affects only one type of target)
+4 Moderate Effect (Cure disease or poison or affects only enemies)
+6 Major Effect (Change shape or unaided flight)
+8 Extreme Effect (Resurrect or Summon Planar Creature)
+10 Implausible Effect (Wish Spell)
(Note: this requires GM adjudication, but essentially if the change is so minor that it’s almost impossible to notice it’s Simple, if it’s noticeable but not blatantly supernatural it’s probably Moderate. Blatantly supernatural but somewhat believable is Major. Extremely unnatural is Extreme, and things that break all the rules of nature are Implausible.)

Add up the points for each category that applies, this is the Value of the spell. All spells without a range are centered on the caster or have a melee range, all spells without an area affect just a single target.

This will be a total Value of +1 or more, and can rise as high as 13 or more. The spell starts with a TN of 11 and a Mana cost of 1. For every point the TN is raised, you lower the Value by 2. Whatever Value is left must be paid as additional Mana points. Note, penalties from duress that would affect normal spellcasting also affect improvised casting.

Repeated Improvisation of Effects, or Creating New Spells

As an optional bonus, if the character improvises the same spell effect (including range & area of effect) over and over, it becomes practiced, and he lowers the TN by 1. If he does it so often that it should really be a “known spell” he lowers the TN by 2 and halves the Mana cost. He can even choose to learn his improvised spell at his next opportunity to learn a spell. The GM should consider if other flourishes, or minor bonuses apply to a fully codified spell. Once the process is finished, the spell can be taught to other spellcasters.

improvised magic

The Severed Reality Zenmah Zenmah