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Minor Magics


Lord Mhoram

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As a bit of color in my FH game I have a kind of magic called knacks (or trinkets). It is everyday magic that anyone can learn, requires no skill roll, and is not generally useful for combat (although a few are, in a very minor way).

The feel I am trying for is sort of an old wives tales come true kinda thing- little bits of magic passed through families and traded by grandmothers and collected by the village old woman/headsman.

 

The rules for the spells - they must cost one point (although I would handwave down a 1.7 or so cost).

 

If anyone has any ideas for any others, feel free to share. I am hoping for a couple hundred by the time I'm done coming up with these -

 

Here are the few I've come up with-

 

Soldier’s Blessing

Description: By spending time in the morning, a character can give himself a “lucky edge†that negates up to 2 body and stun the first time he takes body during a fight that day. The talent takes 1 full minute to set up, during which the character cannot move, take action and must chant and gesture.

Mechanics:

2/2 armor {6}

trigger (+1/4) first time the character takes body {7}

Extra Time One minute (-1 ½), Instant (-½), Gestures- both hands (-½), Incantation (-1/4) Concentration 0 DCV

(-½)

 

Enemy’s Bane

Description: By spending time in the morning, a character can give his weapon extra bite, that adds 1 damage class to an attack the first time he does body with that weapon that day. The trinket takes 1 full minute to set up, during which the character cannot move, take action and must chant and gesture.

Mechanics:

+1 DC killing {5}

Trigger (+1/4) first time the attack does body {6}

Extra Time One minute (-1 ½), Instant (-½), Gestures- both hands (-½), Incantation (-1/4) Concentration 0 DCV

(-½), OAF weapon used on (-1)

 

Mother’s Touch

Description: While humming and puttering in the kitchen like mother always did, the user of this can make food taste much better.

Mechanics:

+5 to cooking roll {5}

Extra time 1 minute (-3/4), incantations (humming, muttering) -1/4, OIF (kitchen implements herbs ect) -1/2, Concentration 0 DCV throughought (-1)

 

Pipelight

Description: With the flick of a finger and a small incantation, the caster can light a fire without to much trouble. This can only light a fire on something ready for it (such as a pipe or wood ready to light) or something very flammable (paper).

Mechanics:

1 pip KA (fire) {5}

Full phase (-1/2), Incantations/Gestures (-1/2), only to light fires, and then only on ready to light objects (-1), no range (-1/2)

 

Daddy’s Presence

Description: This is the aura exuded by father’s to comfort thier children when they are afraid of the monster under the bed.

Mechanics:

Change Environment - Feel safe

1 turn to activate -1/2, 0 DCV thorughout -1 No range -1/2

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AA- I know. Most of the combat trinkets will have real spells that are a good deal more useful.

 

KS- That was my intent. Holding them to a single point means that players could buy one or a few for color, almost like background skills, and thus have something cool for thier character, fairly cheap. I would suspect the pipelight trinket to be something almost any traveller knows for example.

They are also there for NPCs to have all sorts of minor magical talents, because I want the "ambient magic level" fairly common, if not very powerful.

 

When I brainstorm on these later, I was going to go by profession.. think of "smith" and what little magical things would he have that are useful to his profession, as useful as another point in his PS would be. That is where I came up with the soldier ones - I figure the foot soldier would have a little access to some magic, even if only the "oh lord please don't let me get killed today" variety.

 

The world is a high fantasy after a civilization collapse, so there is a lot of random magic floating around, but no real social or political center for major empires yet. I wanted a lot of magic in the world, but very few really powerful mages - that was for the campaign bad guys and the PCs.

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Instead of trinkets, why not steal a line from Card and call them Knacks?

 

Whatever you call them it's a nice idea. And I'd buy the "clean clothes" knack for my adventurer - instant change, 1 set of clothes (whatever you were wearing, with extra time (1 minute, gestures throughout (patting into place) and Only to remove dirt and stains (-1/2)) to ensure you could stay clean and presentable even after wading through the bog of eternal stench.

 

All the elves in the LOTR movies clearly have that knack, while the humans and dwarves, equally clearly do not

 

cheers, Mark

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Wow, that's a pretty interesting idea... I've thought about adding 'knack' like magic to my campaign. Those are some good examples, I hope you don't mind if I use them...

 

I've actually started to think about what kind of professions would use knack magic... one that comes to mind... midwives. I can see grandmother midwives using knacks to help women with pregnancy, childbirth, and even the child's early life (to keep them from dying from diseases early on)...

 

Wow... thanks for the inspiration... keep it up... I might post some stuff here (if I get a chance).

 

Jak

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Originally posted by Markdoc

Instead of trinkets, why not steal a line from Card and call them Knacks?

I see this as something that is all over and different areas have different names. I think of them as Knacks or Trinkets, and this week trinkets were dominant.

 

As for stealing from Card, I'm doing that already in a major way. Civilization on my world fell in an almost Revelations like mass destruction and invasion from the forces of chaos and entropy (from beyond the universe) agents of the Unmaker. :D

 

And Jak steal away. Part of why I posted the thread is to see who could use the idea and for others to post thier own little spells. I was an idea I came up with after ready Card (as Markdoc surmised) and had never really seen in a RPG before, and I thought it would be really nice color for a world.

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Remidns me of AD&D 2E cantrips. You can find large lists of these on the net,

 

I had a character who used cantrip to make sure she was always immaculately groomed coming out of a fight. Shed pull off her helmet and her hair would wall into a perfect coif, etc.

 

Basically the movie-hero effect :)

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Ok, here's a ragged attempt at producing my first Midwife Charm:

 

Newborn's Blessing

Description: After a baby is born, a serving midwife may create a poultice or herbal charm that will protect the newborn from common infections and diseases until he is old enough for his immune system to take over.

Mechanics: Life Support: Immunity to all diseases and biological agents (10 pts), OAF charm necklace (-1), Fragile (-1/4), Only works on newborns and infants (-1), Extra Time to prepare One Hour (-3), Requires a KS: Herbology-1 or KS: Alchemy-1 skill roll (-1/2)

 

What do ya think? It comes out to 1.48 real points... that close enough?

Jak

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Originally posted by Catseye

Remidns me of AD&D 2E cantrips. You can find large lists of these on the net,

 

 

Sort of. Cantrips are more simple magic for beginning mages, I'm looking almost for "everyman magic". Things that the nonmage would find useful.

 

I like that midwife one, Jak.

 

Here is one of the others I've puttered together (I'm working on the power magic for my world, the stuff the PCs will use, so these are sort of a lower priority for me).

 

 

Smithfires

Description: Anytime a smith is in his workshop/foundry he can deal with the heat better than most.

Mechanics

3rED armor OAF Bulky foundry/workshop -1 1/2, 1 minute to activate -3/4

 

 

Or replace teh OAF with a "only when in" limitation.

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That necklace idea sparked my imagination. Here are three more midwife kinda things...

 

Headfirst

Description: The character places hands on a woman giving birth, and the baby turns from a breach birth to a normal birth.

Mechanics: 2 STR TK indirect {5}

0 DCV throughout -1, gesture/Incantation -1/2, only to turn baby to birth correctly -1

 

Stablize Mother

Description: This is used when the mother is bleeding too much from a birth, and it stops the bleeding and stabalizes the injury.

Mechanics: 1/2 d6 Body healing standard effect (1 body) {5}

x4 end --1 1/2, only to stop bleeding in injuries that occur during the childbirth process -1, full turn -1 1/4

 

Easy Birth

Description: This causes the mother to not get anywhere near as tired when giving birth.

Mechanics :0 End on 10 Str usable by other {6}

1 minute to initially start -3/4, 0 DCV (both caster and target) throughout -1, IA Focus (stick in teeth, doll to grab, husbands hand to squeeze ect) -1/2, gestures/Incan to start -1/2

 

 

And of course that last one made me think that in that circumstance pushing is the real world description and the hero game mechanics description of what is happening.

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Here's a few that I thought for the foot solder...

 

Always by your side

Description: A necklace, symbolic of one's faith or a loved one back home, the owner can draw strength from it to keep going, even when mortally wounded. Note that it can be triggered by someone else by clasping the owner's hand around it. (Based on Stablize Mother)

Another version is simply clasping a buddy's hand and soulfully saying, "Don't die on me, buddy! Don't you dare die on me!" In which case, remove trigger and replace OIF with Incantation (-1/4)

Mechanics: 1/2 d6 Body healing standard effect (1 body)

Trigger +1/4 (when clasping necklace and badly wounded) {7}

OIF (-1/2), Gestures (-1/4), x4 end (-1 1/2), full turn (-1 1/4)

 

 

Marching Song

Description: A marching song to assist in marching for long distances.

Mechanics: 0 END on 6" Running {6}

Incantations and Gestures throughout (-1), Requires at least ten men marching and singing together in formation, all of which have this knack (-1 1/2), Extra Time 1 Minute (-3/4)

 

 

Packing Light

Description: By rearranging the stuff in a backpack, it gets lighter, thus one can honestly say they are "packing light" even when they are carrying nearly 200 pounds of stuff. In true miltary style, you have to learn to pack your own stuff efficiently. Remember that anything else carried or worn still counts for endurance purposes.

Mechanics: 0 END on 10 STR {5}

Gestures -1/2, Only to make the pack up to 220 pounds lighter -2, Extra Time 1 Minute (-3/4)

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Originally posted by Blue Jogger

Here's a few that I thought for the foot solder...

 

 

Marching Song

Description: A marching song to assist in marching for long distances.

Mechanics: 0 END on 6" Running {6}

Incantations and Gestures throughout (-1), Requires at least ten men marching and singing together in formation, all of which have this knack (-1 1/2), Extra Time 1 Minute (-3/4)

 

 

The other two were good, but this one was bloody brilliant. I love it.

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Here's one I just thought up... an interesting side occupation for an old farmer or crafter in the villiage would be as a diviner, someone who was taught to locate water (or other items) by using an old-time technique, taught by fathers to sons, or mothers to daughters.

 

Divining(?) Rod

Description: Taking a bendable stick or rope, a diviner may use this device to locate the proper location to dig a well, open a mine, or find a stolen object.

Mechanics: Detect Water (or other single item, 5pts), OAF stick, rod, or rope (-1), Concentration (-1/2), Incantations (-1/2), Gestures (-1/2)

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Mend: repairs a cut or tear on a piece of fabric or clothing. 1 pip Heal BODY only works on cloth?

 

Needle: Turns the end of a thread hard and pointy so you can sew without a needle. I have no idea how to do this one.

 

Change of Pace: Used to relieve the effects of boredom or monotony. +Ego to resist boredom.

 

Color: A trinket that changes the color of a persons clothes.

 

Kwirai: Enhances the Color trinket to include patterns and texture.

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Originally posted by Shadowpup

Mend: repairs a cut or tear on a piece of fabric or clothing. 1 pip Heal BODY only works on cloth?

 

Needle: Turns the end of a thread hard and pointy so you can sew without a needle. I have no idea how to do this one.

 

I like these a lot. Very "OId School Grandma". :D I think you could write these both up the same way (1 pip Heal Body, Only vs. Cloth), but Mend would probably have an instant affect, where as Needle could be over time, and require a PS: Seamstress skill roll. :D

 

Change of Pace: Used to relieve the effects of boredom or monotony. +Ego to resist boredom.

 

Color: A trinket that changes the color of a persons clothes.

 

Kwirai: Enhances the Color trinket to include patterns and texture.

 

I'm not sure how I like Change of Pace... that would probably help if you were a Storyteller or something... :P

 

Color and Kwirai could also be written up the same way (1d6 Cosmetic Transform, OAF, Phase Delay, Only vs. Clothing, etc)... I know Hero v5 changed Instant Change, but I can't remember if it's part of Transform or not...

 

Good examples,

Jak

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Pocket Golem

Description: Everyone heard of the boy whose favorite toy bunny came to life. Nowadays, practically only a little bit of encouragement is neccessary to animate a small well made toy.

 

Mechanics: Summon Loyal Pocket Golem {2}

-1 OAF - Well-made Toy

-0 Lim: "Loyal" may become Annoyed or Hostile if proper care is not given. (GM fiat)

 

Notes: A pocket golem has a -15 STR, moves 2 feet per phase (4 non-combat), +10 DCV, and has 2 SPD (equivalent to 5 levels of shrinking). Taking anything more than 1 BODY (1 BODY resistant damage) will cause it to return to a toy, possibly a broken toy. Animating a golem bigger than a 2 to 3 inches tall becomes very dangerous and impossible for an untrained summoner to control.

 

Optional: +1/4 Trigger, Toy animates when owner is attacked in toy's presense.

 

"He loved that toy almost as if it was really alive."

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Convince Object

Description: At a certain point, older people realize it is easier to ask things to move to the proper place and wait then it is to try moving those heavy things themselves. Although only a few have been able to see the item in question moved, usually within a day, the object has (usually) moved to the right place. Everyone else just thinks older people are crazy.

 

Mechanics: Summon animated and Loyal version of object {2}

+1/4 Trigger: Only when no one is in the area

+1 Limted Group: Inanimate object, usually furniture {5}

-1/4 Incantation

-2 Extra Time: 5 Minutes until animation can start.

-1 Lim: Only to animate furniture and have it move to a new location within the house. Caster must convince the furniture that he/she is an old man/woman or at least have a bad back. Furniture reverts to normal when it is either in the right place or (occasionally) in a better spot. Furniture moves very slowly but very carefully (1" per turn)

 

"Did I say you could move there? No, I wanted you over there!"

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These are all coming out pretty nice... I was thinking about writing up a quick trick for storytellers/puppeteers, but it would have required too many points... :D It would have been something like:

 

Puppeteer

Description: Every child in the villiage remembers the old man who sits in the corner of the hall and tells stories with his neat puppets... and sometimes, if they look closely enough, they can see that the puppeteer isn't using any strings!

Mechanics:

2 STR Telekinesis (2pts), Fine Manipulation (+10pts), 0 END, AOE 1 hex (+1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4)...

 

and I ran out of ideas for limitations... help?

 

Jak

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Originally posted by JakSpade

Puppeteer

Description: Every child in the villiage remembers the old man who sits in the corner of the hall and tells stories with his neat puppets... and sometimes, if they look closely enough, they can see that the puppeteer isn't using any strings!

Mechanics:

2 STR Telekinesis (2pts), Fine Manipulation (+10pts), 0 END, AOE 1 hex (+1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4)...

Jak

 

Gestures -1/4, Incan -1/4, 0 DCV throughout -1, 5 minute to start initially -1, Cannot move more than 1" per phase while in use -1/2, TK only affects prepared puppets -2, No range -1/2 (ie within 1 hex)

 

Which brings it down to 3 (well 3.6 but...).

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I really like these...I may well snitch some of them for my own use, since I'm playing a sorceror-scientist in a Champions game, but I've got a pretty small magic pool, so low-cost stuff is always appreciated. I may post some of my own low-cost stuff, though most of that comes from the gadget pool, not the magic pool.

 

Little everyday magics that anyone can learn, and soldiers often know a few...

 

Hmmm...anyone else remember the Cenotaph Road series by Robert Vardeman from about 20 years ago? The hero in that series is a soldier, who has a few minor magics...wound closure, fire starting, etc. By the end of the series he's a world-cracking mage, partly because once the cross-world adventures start happening, he's constantly having to use these minor little magics in ingenious, improvised ways they were never meant for...and he slowly develops them into stronger, more versatile spells as he goes.

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