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Topics - jaredskarma

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Wizard World / Introduction
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:50:43 AM »
Since some of you may have stumbled across this without the benefit of the thread that started it, here's a quick n' dirty pitch for Wizard World:

Wizard World is an attempt meld the complex conceptual brilliance of Ars Magica with the simple elegance of the Apocalypse Engine. In addition to the individual characters, the group shares a character in the form of the covenant, or home base.

You can also check out the original thread here:

Wizard World / Updated PDFs
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:02:35 AM »
Apparently the Dropbox links from my other thread have died, so here's a new set:

Here are the rules:

And here are the reference sheets and playbooks:

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Not sure if Vincent will move this to its own forum or not, but I thought I'd get started :)

I've been working on this hack for a while now. It's very much a love letter to Ars Magica - you know, like those love letters you wrote in high school to the person you were never going to get. The ones with the crappy poetry and gag-inducing metaphors. Well, at least it started like that, but (to continue the analogy) I cribbed some language from much smarter people (thanks Sage, Adam, Joe and Gregor!) and I used a copy of the letter that scored with the prom queen as my outline (thanks Vincent!)

I think the analogy has probably fallen apart, so I'll get to the point. Wizard World is my attempt to take the comprehensive beauty of Ars Magica and distill out the homework parts, hopefully leaving some belly-warming goodness that won't make you go blind (remember what I said about metaphors?) Rest assured that any original thoughts you see in the work are entirely accidental, but I'm very proud of some of them and I hope they help you realize all your wizardly dreams.

The first thing I wanted this hack to capture was the completely wide open nature of magic through the forms and techniques:

Open Magic System
Rather than a list of spells and a somewhat Vancian casting system, Wizard World magi divide their spell casting into two categories. The first category is Spontaneous magic, which is governed by the Arcane Moves. At their heart, the Arcane Moves are just ways of making the Basic Moves but using magic to "do it". Unpacking them a bit reveals a number of differences, including considerably wider application in the fiction as well as some mechanical differences that increase their overall power level. Arcane Moves also typically have a harsher down-side than the Basic Moves to reflect the risk inherent in magic.

The other category of magic is Formulaic or Spellbook magic. Each formulaic spell must be fully detailed and can only be used in exactly the way it was written. Within that limitation, however, Formulaic magic is only bound by the player’s imagination (and the GM’s interpretation of the Limitations of Hermetic Magic).

Magi in ArM World increase their power in a granular fashion by improving their mastery of the 15 hermetic arts. Each art has a score ranging from -1 to +3 and the control a maga has over her magic is determined by the lower of the scores she is using to create an effect. While this inserts more stats than a typical AW hack, it also allows a high degree of differentiation and helps create meaningful character-advancement decision trees. It was also very well received by the play testers ;)

I've got a few more sneak peaks available and I'll have a nicely cross-linked PDF for people to peruse in the next day or two - if you're interested...

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