Blood Magic Revised

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Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:37 am

This is a remake of how Blood Magic works in my game.

I find Blood Magic intriguing, after reading the specialization presented in Set 2 I was kinda disappointed in how Blood Magic was introduced mainly for 4 reasons which I shall detail below, in order for you to understand why I do this little revision, if you don't care for my reasons just skip to the talent.

1) The fact that it is only accessible through a specialization, which means higher levels of entry are required and makes other specializations unavailable until trully high levels 14+.

2) Blood Magic was supposed to primarily enhance ones spellcasting, the realization of the Blood school of magic and unique Blood spells came after that. As written, Blood Magic does not make a caster's spells more powerfull it allows him to replace his Mana with his Health and harm others while siphoning their own blood, even though they are unwilling, these I don't really like.

3) As written, it didn't really give me the feel of raw power infusing one's spellcasting, I hope this revision will change that.

4) I don't like the idea of Health replacing Mana regarding spells, yes I know that it was in the Dragon Age video games as well but I really don't care, Mana is supposed to be an integral part of spellcasting, without mana a mage is just like any other ordinary human.

Instead of a a specialization I'll work Blood Magic as a talent, a different "magic style" for casting spells, this will make it more accessible I think, and it will allow characters to dabble in blood magic without them being "Dedicated Blood Mages", as specializations tend to define characters more so than talents, thus adding more moral decisions in the game, here we go.

New Talent - Blood Magic
Requirements:Mage

Novice: By using a Minor action just before casting his spell the mage cuts himself and infuses his magic with blood, the mage takes 1d6 penetrating damage and increases the Spellpower of his spell by +1. The mage must use the Minor action, and cut himself up, before each of his spells in order to enhance them with blood magic.

Journeyman: When using the Minor action to fuel his spell with blood, the Mage now has a second option. By taking 2d6 penetrating damage, he can maximize one of the variable effects of his spell, be it its damage, duration etc. This option cannot be combined with the first, a mage can use one or the other.

Master: The two options above can now be combined in a single Minor action, by taking 2d6 penetrating damage the mage can maximize and increase the spellpower of his spell by +1. Furthermore the Mage can now use the health of willing victims, instead of his own, in order to fuel the talents above. However this can only be used in the case of spells cast as rituals, not during combat time. (I know that there are no rules for rituals, however this application of Blood Magic seems more right to me).

When enhancing spells with Blood Magic, if a magical mishap occurs the mage does not get to roll Willpower to avoid its effects, instead he rolls 1d6 to determine the Mishap automatically, for all its power, blood magic is dangerous to its users and imposes a terrible risk on those practising it. Upon learning the Novice talent the mage can also start learning spells of the Blood school of Magic, however he must use the Minor action, and take 1d6 penetrating damage, in order to cast spells from the Blood school.


So here it its, I'm really interested in hearing your feedback on this little revision, and if someone chooses to use it in his game I hope you enjoy it!
Last edited by Dragon Son on Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby zanwot » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:29 pm

I really get where you are coming from, and going to. I also was a little underwelmed by Blood Magic as written, but I would need more time to think it through before tweaking myself. It should really feel like a "dark side", tempting for the power but with a real dark side, not just extra blood splatter.

Concerning the origin of the blood. I think I would make the subject possibly be:
Novice: An animal, but it grants hardly any "extra power".
Apprentice: The Mage's blood, or a willing intelligent subject. Extra (spell?) power, or bonus effects like you describe.
Journeyman: Any intelligent subject at hand, extra extra power.

Concering the mishaps, I agree blood magic needs to be more risky than standard magic, but maybe it should have a compeltely different system, with psychological perversions, or systmatic taint, etc.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby shonuff » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:04 pm

I like it, although I would keep the blood mage specialization, as well. What you have seems to be different enough that the two could coincide.

zanwot wrote:I really get where you are coming from, and going to. I also was a little underwelmed by Blood Magic as written, but I would need more time to think it through before tweaking myself. It should really feel like a "dark side", tempting for the power but with a real dark side, not just extra blood splatter.


According to the chantry...
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:08 pm

I like it, although I would keep the blood mage specialization, as well. What you have seems to be different enough that the two could coincide.


I agree, I tend to view the specialization Blood Mage fitting for the mage that is defined by his blood magic, much like the Tevinters. So yes the Blood Mage also has a place even with this variant. I might need to change the way he works, but for the moment that is not really necessary.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:13 pm

Concering the mishaps, I agree blood magic needs to be more risky than standard magic, but maybe it should have a compeltely different system, with psychological perversions, or systmatic taint, etc.


Nice idea, just don't forget however that Tevinter Imperium was partly built upon Blood Magic and ruled the known world, so you should be cautious with psychological perversions.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Loswaith » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:47 pm

You may want to add Magic(blood) as a focus requirement, as other magic talents tend to have a focus as a requirement, and it kind of makes sence that the character would have some specialised knowledge of Blood magic as well.

I'm not sure mages realy need even more spellpower, they tend to already have an issue of their spells being unresistable, due to 'needing' only one stat; magic. A typical mage even not super focusing is likely to have around 5+ magic and a focus for the +7 spellpower (at around level 4), before using spells/abilities that boost it. So its likely either the novice ability wont be used much, or used to simply make their spells nigh unresistable (particularly at lower levels).

Keep also in mind that maximising the damge on a spell is on average +3 damage to a 1d6 spell, +7 damage to a 2d6 spell, and +10 to a 3d6 spell. Making for a rather huge damage boost. You otherwise typically only get a damage boost for +3 from a specialisation, in this case the beserker journeyman one (which also has a downside), most others being but +1 damage.

These factors may or may not be much of an issue for your group however, though the benefits far outweigh any negatives of actually using the blood magic as I see it (as with good spellpower a mage is unlikely to be failing spellcasting).
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:37 pm

These factors may or may not be much of an issue for your group however, though the benefits far outweigh any negatives of actually using the blood magic as I see it (as with good spellpower a mage is unlikely to be failing spellcasting).


Just to clarify, the negatives in using blood magic are the following.

1) You need a Minor action before your spell, so you can't use that Minor action to do something else.
2) You can still fail at casting your spell as easily as before, thus triggering mishaps,the increased spellpower makes it more difficult for your opponents to resist not easier for you to cast the spell.
3) Much increased probability of Magical Mishaps, as the mage can't roll Willpower to negate them.
4) Blood Magic costs Health as well as Mana now.

I think that these negatives balance Blood Magic good enough, however I'll reduce increased spellpower to +1 instead of +2.

Thx for the feedback people.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Loswaith » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:34 pm

True, Spellpower doesn't direcly effect casting (though calculated much the same way), casting is on average marginly higher due to 10.5 being the average roll rather than the base 10 on spellpower.

I cant see a mage failing spells all that often, given even blood wound (the highest TN for a blood spell) at a TN of 17 a mage with +7 (something they can usually have by level 5/6) has a 62.5% chance of successfully casting it (it's a risk but still favors the mage). At the more common TN of around 15 a mage has an 83.8% chance of successfully casting (while a 13TN is 95.67% succeess rate) so they aren't likely to fail that often, unless constantly casting the bigger spells (typically those of set 3 playtest), and then only if they used blood magic at the same time.

Also keep in mind that a mage doesnt realy have much to do with their minor action other than moving, so using it for the added power isnt that large a hinderance.

So all in all for an average of 3 damage getting +3 or more damage/healing to a spell, is a good deal given that its easily recovered by simply maxamising a 2d6/3d6 heal spell, should the mage need it.

I honestly cant see a mechanical reason why a mage wouldn't take blood magic (even if they dont plan to use it much), as the risks short of the self damage are not likely to occur all that often to be of any major concern, compared to the benefits one can gain.

Sure there are negatives but it's more about how often those negatives are likely to come into play compared to the benefits (a factor that may not be a concern for you in your own games).
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby shonuff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:20 am

There would be the social/RPing negatives of using blood magic. Also, there could be, depending on the campaign, an increased risk of demonic interaction.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:57 am

Loswaith wrote:I honestly cant see a mechanical reason why a mage wouldn't take blood magic (even if they dont plan to use it much), as the risks short of the self damage are not likely to occur all that often to be of any major concern, compared to the benefits one can gain.

Sure there are negatives but it's more about how often those negatives are likely to come into play compared to the benefits (a factor that may not be a concern for you in your own games).


Agreed, these negatives are indeed situational. I'm relying on their sheer number to kinda balance blood magic. Each negative on itself is a small setback but all together they can be dangerous.

shonuff wrote:There would be the social/RPing negatives of using blood magic.


I'm counting on that too.

Blood magic is supposed to be the strongest type of magic, it's supposed to be easy to give in to temptation, to ignore the "minor" chances of losing your soul, interaction with your fellows and the authorities/Chantry is one of the reasons that people should think hardly before dabbling in blood magic.

Do you think that by increasing the damage for the 2nd talent (the one that maximizes) to 2d6, and the combined damage for the 3rd talent to 3d6 respectively, blood magic would be more balanced?
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby shonuff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:00 pm

I could see maximizing increased to 2d6, but then I would leave the master level still at 2d6.
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Re: Blood Magic Revised

Postby Dragon Son » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:41 pm

Final edit complete.

Increased damage for the 2nd talent to 2d6.
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