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Modular Spellcasting

by Jeff Daly

> The mage has to set up the construct of the spell before adventuring.
> In other words, he can't whip this stuff up on the fly.
> The amount of constructs he can make, are determined by his level,
> perhaps cross indexed with his intelligence.

Well, lets see. Numbers..

First level mages can only cast one 1st level spell, so therefore a first level modular mage should only be able to cast one construction, correct?

ok, that leaves us with "how big" can that construction be? Jeff's examples are a couple of first level spells and fireball (a third level).

With Self

     .Magic.Throw - would be best described as a "magic missile", low damage, and simple to create. But there isn't mention of damage! Damage would have to be assigned on a per-level basis, or a complexity basis.

Angus MacAlister (ouch..) an 8th level mage, casts "With Self.Magic.Throw" If we're staying with the magic missile analogy, then Angus would toss a blast for 3d6 points of damage. (d6 base damage, and +2d6 for level) Because he can cast for more than 1 dice of damage, then he can split the damage.

With Self
      .Magic.Target = <1>.<2>.<3>..Throw. where is a target name/image.

The spell would have to be memorized this way, without inserting names, those names are thought up on the fly, and can all be the same target. This spell is more complex than just "With Self.Magic.Throw" But should still be considered a level 1 construction.

Lets construct a common level 2 spell.


With Self

This spell would zero Angus' weight, allowing him to float in the air. but to control the up and down motion, the "float" command is needed. However, this is different than the 3rd level Fly spell which would be:

With Self
      .Weight.Zero.Impulse.Control = All

Which zeroes out your weight, but allows you to control the forces that push you around. (i.e. flight)

What about Lightning Bolt?

With Self
      .Magic.Summon = Bolt.Lightning.Throw

This modularness invites another kind of compound construction. What about a Electric/Fire attack?

With Self
      .Magic.Summon = Bolt.Exploding.Lightning.Fire.Throw


With Self
      .Magic.Summon = Ball.Exploding.Ice.Throw - For those nasty denizens of he Plane of Fire


But don't start with the idea that a 1st level mage must only have one spell. I was thinking something more along the lines of "generalizing" the spells. A magic missile probably would not even be possible for a modular mage to cast.

To be more specific: A multi-missile spell based on mage's level, hitting automatically, is not possible.

But, a blast of energy in the basic shape of an arrow, using the mage's to Hit roll, is possible.

My basic vision of the class, is that a mage will have to choose (for example) whether to build 3 1d6 constructs, or 1 3d6 construct. This gives a 1st level mage a little more variety and (grin) a little more to do on that first night of playing.