Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Petty Magic
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Aerospider
Something's always bugged me a little about how SR never made provision for weak and/or trivial magic. I prefer the notion that magicians, in their studying, play around with their mana-crafting abilities and learn little tricks that, whilst potentially entertaining, don't have the scope to achieve anything significant, as opposed to the idea that they just learn a dozen powerful spells and live mundane lives between runs.

So I came up with this positive quality (restricted to magicians and mystic adepts).
Let me know what you think in terms of balance and play this is pretty much first draft.

Petty Magic: 10 BP

The magician can perform little tricks and sleights to entertain, confuse, or just pass the time. If the player can give the GM a reasonable explanation of how this mini-sorcery might aid him in a task (e.g. winning over a suspicious NPC by showing him some nifty but minor illusion or aiding a palming attempt with some mana-fueled misdirection) he may make a Spellcasting + Magic (2) roll. Every net hit adds one die to his main skill check, whilst failure to meet the threshold will incur a -2 distraction penalty. There is no drain for this but it does extend the time the main task takes by a complex action. No focus or spirit aid may assist with the Petty Magic roll.

Too strong?
Too unnecessary?
Summerstorm
Hm... I find this quality a bit weird. It pretty much takes the spot from low-level spells (Illusions, telekinesis, mind-altering??) And boost them up to eleven. I am very much against piling up even more bonus dice on magical characters.

I could live with it is just a quality which is like the half-magic of earthdawn or the "Prestidigation - ummm, spelling?" Spell of D&D. But no bonus dice for anything, throws of the game balance (and is hard to justify)
Ascalaphus
It essentially allows you to use one of your biggest dice pools as a wizard to teamwork with almost anything, providing your imagination holds. That's rather powerful.
Surukai
What you are looking for might be the illusion spell "Entertainment" ?

The thing that slightly bothers me is that all spells are equally easy to cast, only drain is the difference between a complex "I win, you all loose" spell (Mob Mind, all enemies instantly shoot the lucky bastard that resisted and then shoot themselves) and a petty spell with barely any effect at all (Agony, every 3 net hits gives -1 modifier to target compared to confusion or blind that give at least -1 per net hit). All spells cost 5 karma (or 3 bp) without any regard for hos difficult the spells ought to be in game (mass mind control ought to be more complex than creating a weak little blast that barely cause damage modifiers) or how good they are balance wise.
kjones
This seems too powerful - if you have Spellcasting 6 and Magic 6, that's an average of +2 to almost any skill. I like the idea, but your model for this sort of thing should be the Prestidigitation spell from that other game - the rules basically restrict its uses to "anything without a significant mechanical effect".
Starmage21
QUOTE (kjones @ Feb 16 2010, 10:28 AM) *
This seems too powerful - if you have Spellcasting 6 and Magic 6, that's an average of +2 to almost any skill. I like the idea, but your model for this sort of thing should be the Prestidigitation spell from that other game - the rules basically restrict its uses to "anything without a significant mechanical effect".



it would be easy enough to say that this overrides any AR Assist dice you could get, since that applies to practically everything as well. Suddenly its a lot more balanced.
KCKitsune
How about this for "Petty" magic

Cantrip (F/2 + 2)
  • Physical Spell: +1
  • LOS: +0
  • Duration: Permanent +2
  • Effect: Restricted Effect (can cause no damage & no dice pool bonus or penalty) -1


This will allow minor magical effects (drying things, cleaning an item, mending small rips in fabric, small ball of light, etc, etc) Nothing heavier than a pound may be moved, and any illusion is obvious.
DireRadiant
This type of stuff is what the low force casting of already existing spells are for. If a PC only has big bang spells, well, that's what they get for only having those spells. Low force Levitate, magic Fingers, etc and force 1 spirits are perfectly fine for all of the low level stuff, and most mages can buy the hits for effect and drain so no worries there. (10 BP could have gotten you 3 useful spells to acheive this!)
Neraph
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Feb 16 2010, 11:11 AM) *
This type of stuff is what the low force casting of already existing spells are for. If a PC only has big bang spells, well, that's what they get for only having those spells. Low force Levitate, magic Fingers, etc and force 1 spirits are perfectly fine for all of the low level stuff, and most mages can buy the hits for effect and drain so no worries there. (10 BP could have gotten you 3 useful spells to acheive this!)

Exactly. There's Levitate, Light, Magic Fingers, Ignite, Fashion, Makeover, Trid Entertainment, Fix, Alter Temperature, Healthy Glow, Shape (Element), and a couple others that all make those effects if cast at a low force.
Draco18s
My GM generally goes with "you can cast all spells at F0" kind of deal--basically as a mage you have at will, for free, 0 force, 0 drain Prestidigitation. All mages have it and its use is for out of combat minor magical effects of various natures.
KCKitsune
@DireRadiant & Neraph: Yes, there are those spells, but all together they are VERY, VERY expensive, and have effects far in excess of what the OP wanted for "Petty Magic". I tried with my Cantrip spell to make something that a mage can get for "fluff" reasons. My Cantrip spell is small, non-game breaking, and best of all... cheap enough to get.

You want someone to get 11+ spells to do all the minor tricks? No one is ever going to do that. They'll get the spells because they can do the major stuff, but they will never cast them at low force.
Pendaric
Sorry but that is fault with player mentality. Show them the vast and fun world of minor force spell weaving throguh the strange world of inter character interaction.

I know what you mean but this is really re inventing the wheel to fix an out of game issue with a rule, when the rules ALREADY provide the scope in game for the idea in question.

Props for trying but SR has it covered.
Snow_Fox
I agree it's a bit much. It seems rather to be a catch all for someone not willing to use their imagination. Anyone can blast throw trouble with a power spell, but with a little wit the existing spells cover the small magics. I just take a few spells at really low level. Think of lightning bolt or acid at level 1 -2 not going to do much to a person but it could really foul up someone's electronics or a light switch, simple lock. similarly magic fingers allows all sorts of small manipulations. The various spells to improve/change appearance, healthy glow, fashion can also work the other way. A 'fashion' type spell that happenes to loosen threads in a gown or suit instead of improving them?
Karoline
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Feb 16 2010, 02:17 PM) *
@DireRadiant & Neraph: Yes, there are those spells, but all together they are VERY, VERY expensive, and have effects far in excess of what the OP wanted for "Petty Magic". I tried with my Cantrip spell to make something that a mage can get for "fluff" reasons. My Cantrip spell is small, non-game breaking, and best of all... cheap enough to get.

You want someone to get 11+ spells to do all the minor tricks? No one is ever going to do that. They'll get the spells because they can do the major stuff, but they will never cast them at low force.


Well, actually what you have is a spell. With a rather high +2 drain (Equal I should add to mob control). This means it costs 3 BP/5 karma to get and, perhaps more importantly for a starting character, takes up one of the limited number of spells you can start with. Instead of taking this spell, you could really just take magic fingers and cast it at low force. That gives you the same 'look, stuff moving around on it's own... it's like MAGIC!', or you could just cast a low force levitate to make it move around some. A low force lightning bolt spell might make a good joy buzzer. Low force entertainment spell, low force lots of other stuff.

Sure, it is 'more expensive' to get all these different spells, but considering the person is going to get them anyway, it's actually a free bonus to thinking outside the box with your spells.

Also keep in mind what you're describing is a spell that mimics the ability of alot of other spells. You mimic Fashion, magic fingers, entertainment, fix, and likely a couple others (Since the parameters of the spell are so exceedingly vague). Remember, Fashion doesn't give you any bonuses, nor does healthy glow. Entertainment doesn't either. What you've described is one spell that does what each of these does at low Force, which makes casting them at low force even less desirable.

Given the OP idea that 'mages just have big nuke spells and nothing else' I would think the idea of using those spells at low force would be appealing. Maybe when she gets home, a mage hits herself with a low force stunbolt to literally knock herself out to get to sleep quicker. Maybe she only owns two sets of clothing and just constantly changes them around with fashion so that she has an entire wardrobe. Maybe she saves some money on her heating bill by casting low force fireballs. Maybe she uses a low force mob mind spell to 'nudge' that cute guy to come talk to her. Magic fingers could be used for any number of 'magic' tricks, making slight of hand all the easier as the stuff moves of its own accord. A low force phantasm spell is almost like an entertainment spell.

Invisibility could be fun just to mess with people. Turn someone invisible without them noticing. They automatically can see through invisibility cast on themselves (I think) and watch from secret as your low force invisibility causes some people to be able to see him and some not, and he has no idea what is going on himself. (Note to self, do this in next game I play an awakened).

I have to agree with Snow Fox that a cantrip spell just largely isn't needed.
Neraph
QUOTE (Karoline @ Feb 20 2010, 09:10 PM) *
Maybe she uses a low force mob mind spell to 'nudge' that cute guy to come talk to her.

Influence.

EDIT: Or possibly Control Emotions.
Karoline
QUOTE (Neraph @ Feb 22 2010, 01:56 AM) *
Influence.

EDIT: Or possibly Control Emotions.


Maybe she needs a harder nudge nyahnyah.gif
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012