Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hating on Upkeep

Let me begin by saying that this post mostly stems from me being a lazy GM.

I HATE spells, powers, and game mechanisms that have upkeep effects.

Goodberry, animal familiars, druid animal companions, etc...

The druid class has always been one of the worst offenders in AD&D. I really don't like to keep track of a bunch of little NPC's or keep track of how many semi-permanent good berries a character is holding on to.

The reason I brought this up is that I've been reading the Stormbringer 4th and 5th editions. I really like them both for different reasons, but I didn't really like the magic systems presented in either book. The 5th edition brought in Sorcery spells identical to those presented in the BRP system which are similar to sorcery spells from Runequest. These spells have a limited effect and cost ~1-4 MP. In the Stormbringer 4th edition, it is all about summoning and binding elementals and demons (which are really aliens and not demons of the traditional sense). I think this would make for a tremendous amount of book-keeping - which I find tedious and lame.

I've never read all of Moorcock's works, but I'm currently re-reading them to get in the spirit of this game system. The 4th edition spell system of Stormbringer is pretty close, but one thing I noticed is that Elric tends to summon things up pretty quickly in game terms.

I'm thinking about trying to conceive a magic system where you call on the immediate aid of chaos or elementals/ beastlords, etc... and the GM would arbitrate on the level of MP that would need to be sacrificed to induce the effect.

I would still keep the summoning/binding system - but make it so you need specific grimoires to make it easier to call up specific demons, otherwise it would take even longer and use even more power. Once a demon has been bound you could release it, and bring forth a magical effect. This would allow for demon bound magical armor and magical swords but maybe a little bit more limited versus the versions presented in the Stormbringer 4th and 5th.

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