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Negima Magic Style


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Since it's as much Fantasy as anything else, I thought I'd post here about the magic style shown in the first few volumes of the Magic Teacher Negima manga. This is skipping the whole Partner business, because that's where it becomes more of a superheroic setup.

 

As I see it, the magic for Negima seems to function as follows:

 

Magisters (wizards) usually require a physical focus to channel their power through when casting, this is normally a special magic staff. The staff is very literally acting as a focus, and in fact if the wizard channels more power through the staff or other item than it can take it will be destroyed in the process. Different items can handle different amounts of power before being destroyed, for example, as a backup Negi carried his "training wand" into a fight, and then when he used it to cast a large spell it was destroyed. Thus Magisters need to carry more than one focus to prevent this. (Note: There are characters who cast without foci, but most do have them that I've seen.)

 

Magisters must speak while casting, and the more powerful spells seem to take longer. Specifically, offensive spells take at least twice as long as defensive spells to cast, leaving the caster quite open to attack by other means. This isn't helped by magic being relatively instant, and sustained magic requiring sustained focus and limited ability to do other spells. Again, in the comic, it was more practical for advanced magisters to use offensive magic instead of defensive magic to counter other offensive magic. (Because once the mage had committed to attacking offensively, going defensive was giving up the initiative and risking being defeated.)

 

Spells can and do fail due to caster ability and go awry.

 

Magisters seem to have a large number of spells, but since spells are largely instant don't seem to use more than one at once. Lower level minor spells seem to call on the user's own power, higher level spells have elemental and spiritual components, invoking outside forces. The exception seems to be things like Flight spells and other movement spells or minor support spells.

 

Magic items like potions and scrolls and such are used by magisters who can't cast or need something fast, but are 1-shot spells that burn themselves up in the process.

 

So, based on the above writeup, I believe in HERO a normal human Magister's writeup would include:

 

Multipower with ultra slots only.

  • OAF- Focus Item
  • Gestures
  • Incantations
  • 0 DCV Concentration throughout
  • Requires a Magic Skll Roll
  • If a spells active points/5 exceeds the body of the focus item, the item is destroyed during the casting process.

 

Notes:

 

  • All Offensive spells must also take at least 1 phase extra time.
  • Minor spells, totalling 30 active points or less may be bought outside of the multipower, but are still subject to standard limitations.
  • Spells with more than 30 active points should pick an elemental focus and spiritual focus (ie Water Nymph Archers!) which will determine their special effects and possible other minor in-game effects. No cost modifier for this.
  • All mages should buy (with points) a personal magic staff or similar focus item which has sufficient strength to withstand being used for casting at their level of power.
  • All mages should chose a code-phrase which starts and personalizes their particular spells. "ie "Klatuu Barada Nikto! Ten Nymph Archers of Ice!"

 

Any thoughts? I'm not currently planning to use this, but since I began to read the comic recently I naturally started to break it down in HERO terms and thought I'd clarify my ideas here.

 

Rob

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Re: Negima Magic Style

 

Any thoughts? I'm not currently planning to use this, but since I began to read the comic recently I naturally started to break it down in HERO terms and thought I'd clarify my ideas here.

 

Rob

I like it. It's simple and straight-forward.

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Re: Negima Magic Style

 

I like it. It's simple and straight-forward.

 

Thanks! :)

 

I should note that this system in the comic is specifically designed so that magisters (latin for magic users) need someone watching their back while they cast. The whole idea of the comic is that wizards work in teams with a guardian of some kind (or guardians, if they have a whole party backing them up) and so while the magisters are powerful, they have two large weaknesses- reliance on foci, and inability to defend themselves while casting more powerful spells. (Concentration could be reduced to 1/2 DCV if the GM wishes to give them more of a fighting chance.)

 

Actually, in the comic there's a really easy way to depower a magister in a single spell- cast a spell that destroys their clothes and anything they're carrying. A naked magister is helpless (which plays into the comic's more lecherous side since most of his opponents are female), however personal foci (like custom magic wands) won't necessarily be affected by this, so you can't always rely on it.

 

I liked this system when I read it because while it lets wizards be powerful, it also enforces teamwork in combat situations. The wizard ends up like a quarterback on a football team, with the others making their plays against the opposition and defending the wizard.

 

Oh, and one other minor note- In the comic, Eastern Wizards use guardian spirits and demons as defenders, Western Wizards use magically enhanced people, but a typical adventuring party would do just as well.

 

Rob

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Re: Negima Magic Style

 

So' date=' basically; forming a group is urged. I like it as surely everyone can find a niche to fill.[/quote']

 

Exactly, it keeps the wizard from being massive in combat and just winning- a real danger with the HERO system. If the wizard wants to have a force field, that's fine, but it's all they can do, and they're 0 DCV while doing it. If they want to go offensive they're still 0 DCV, and now vulnerable while casting the offensive spell.

 

In the comic there's a funny scene where the hero wizard Negima is trying to cast spells, and the other wizard's partner just keeps bapping him in the forehead to break his concentration and cancel the spells so he can't cast. It's the "object lesson" he gets on why wizards need partners.

 

Rob

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