Magic proliferation

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Magic proliferation
« on: August 15, 2013, 12:16:17 PM »
The "Use Magic" rules seem to be set up for an unusual proliferation of magic - ie, anybody can do it reasonably casually with a small number of hoops during the course of an everyday adventure, even if spookies and monsters are better at it - it might go wrong but there's a reasonable chance of success.

I'd have expected it to be a fairly big deal in any event, and for (say) the average Mundane or Professional to cast even a "non-big magic" spell to be astounding and epic. Do you interpret the requirements more stringently than I'm reading them (eg, just discovering a spell is a really big deal all on its own), or do your games tend to be high magic environments?


Re: Magic proliferation
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 02:44:50 PM »
It can be a really big deal when someone casts magic.

As a Keeper, I usually ask them how they know the spell or how their casting it even before picking out requirements. Maybe Billy the Mundane read it on the back of a bathroom stall, maybe he's not sure what it does exactly (though his Player does, via the choices of the Use Magic list) and that sets up the fiction for if a miss or a glitch happens. Always play to find out what happens. 

Sometimes when I ask this question the Player stops and thinks, 'Hm, maybe Billy really wouldn't know that' and finds another solution to the problem, otherwise in my games it's on them to find a reason and follow the fiction they establish.

If the same spell effect is sought out multiple times over a few stories or hunts, I usually codify it, writing down its requirements, the most common glitches or misses, and then adding it to a list of Custom Magic Moves, much like how the Hex Playbook codifies Rotes. It shows the Hunters know that spell, can teach it to their fellows and if they have what they need to cast it, can do so with fairly predictable results (glitches or misses as well).


Re: Magic proliferation
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 03:17:23 PM »
It's intended to be easy, but very dangerous, to use magic.

Re: Magic proliferation
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 04:11:14 PM »
Good answers, thanks!

(Just trying to get all these things sorted in my head before I actually play so it goes as smoothly as possible first time)

Re: Magic proliferation
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 01:29:40 PM »
It's intended to be easy, but very dangerous, to use magic.

What's the quote from the "Song of Ice and Fire" books?  "Magic is a sword without a hilt -- there's no safe way to wield it."