Another Magic System (Part 1)
or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Write a Blog
It started as a one-shot. Just one session of Wanderhome — a quaint, pastoral, no-stakes ttrpg. Session 1 was a blast. I guided the players through a small corner of Hæthland where they leisurely explored the backroads before arriving in the town of Lostknot. Everyone left the table feeling great and wanting more so we came back for another session, and another, and another…
Our game has since evolved from that first session of no-stakes collaborative world building. An unknown evil is growing in Hæthland. A magical force flung our protagonists across time and space. The PCs are now trapped in Dolmenwood with no way back, and they worry what dangers their home is facing.
There's tension, there's excitement, but since we started this as a Wanderhome game, there's not much for mechanics. Following the FKR path, I've been adding rules here and there as needed. But one of the PCs is now in possession of a mysterious spell book, and naturally wants to use it. Time for a little magic. And mechanics to support it…
But first, please enjoy this string of words
Smoke and ash drift through the cool air. The rubble, once the intimidating tower of Mistress Violet-Begets-Sunrise, lies quiet following the din of its collapse. Once white marble, singed chucks of masonry blanket the hillock while dust slowly settles on top.
A Magic System No One Asked For
This “Wanderhome” game now needs a magic system. I want something more freeform than a list of spells with pre-defined effects that you might find in more traditional ttrpgs; I want PCs to have more agency, allowing them to craft their own spells. But there should be consequences for trying to wield too much power. It needs to have guardrails.
There should be a leveling system that supports both apprentice magicians and powerful sorcerers. Dice resolution mechanics are a must, as are statistics that provide satisfying results.
The rules should be very light. They should sit in the background, behind the narrative, and feel natural enough that you almost forget you're even using them.
Oh, and setting agnostic.
What I'm not sure about yet is if it will be a complete ttrpg system, or something more like a MOSAIC Strict module, a magic system you can bring into your FKR or OSR game. We’ll see how this evolves.
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