Tuesday, July 5, 2016

OSR College of Fire Magic - Proof of Concept

For those of you who haven't heard of it, DragonQuest is a little bit like RIFTS - great ideas, terrible implementation. One of those great ideas is to break up all magic-users into Colleges of Magic. A character may belong to only one magical college, making an adept from the College of Celestial Magics completely different from one of the College of Earth Magics.

These days, I'm interested in games a little lighter than DragonQuest, 5e D&D, Dungeon World, Risus, etc. One thing that has always frustrated me, however, if being unable to capture the DragonQuest-style magic-users with any of those systems. Honestly, I've tried dozens of times to recreate them in 5e D&D, but have never been satisfied with the result.

Today I tried putting together another DragonQuest hack, this time for OSR - type games. After sketching it out in my head, it seemed decent enough, so I typed it up the College of Fire Magic as a proof of concept.

I'm interested to know what you all think:

  • Too simple/complicated?
  • Not flexible enough?
  • Too weak / overpowered?

College of Fire Magics

The College of Fire Magics is concerning with the manipulation of elemental fire and is considered the most straightforward and destructive form of magic. Adepts from the College of Fire Magics is called Fire Mages or Pyromancers.

Mana Dice: You have a number of d6 Mana Dice equal to one-half your level, rounded up.

Using your Pyromancy abilities usually requires you to roll one or more Mana Dice. Any Mana Die that results in a 1, is expended and cannot be rolled again until recovered.

Mana dice are recovered after eight hours of rest or after 1 hour of rest in a mana-rich area.


Fire size Table: Click to Enlarge

Create Fire: You may roll 1 Mana Die to produce a Tiny-sized magical fire within 15 feet + 5 feet per caster level. This fire may be increased by 1 or more size categories by rolling the appropriate number of Mana Die. Any creature occupying a space in which the fire is conjured takes damage according to the size of the fire  (save vs. Dragon Breath for half damage).

Alter Fire: You may roll 1 Mana Die to increase or decrease the size of many normal or magical fire by 1 size category, plus 1 for every 5 caster levels. The fire consumes fuel and deals damage as appropriate for its new size.

Flame Blade: You may roll 1 or more Mana Dice to cause a weapon to become wreathed in flames. For 1 minute, that weapon deals additional fire damage equal to the number Mana Dice you rolled.

Move Fire: You may take a fire, equal to or smaller than the maximum size you may conjure using create fire with your current Mana Dice, and move it up to 30 feet. The fire dissipates at the end of your turn if it does not have a new source of fuel. Moving a fire into a space that is occupied by a creature causes that creature to take damage (save vs. Dragon Breath for half damage).

Shape Fire: You may roll 1 Mana Die to reshape an already existing fire into any shape or configuration, such as a pillar or wall of fire so long as the fire continues to extend from its fuel source. Should the fire extend into space that is occupied by a creature, that creature takes damage from the fire (save vs. Dragon Breath for half damage).

Sustain Fire: You may roll 1 Mana Die to sustain a normal or magical fire without a fuel source until the end of your next turn. A fire without a fuel source must be sustained each round or it will go out.

Pyromancy Rituals

Summon Fire Elemental: You may spend 1 hour to conjure a Fire Elemental. The size of the fire elemental is based on the number of Mana Dice you expend at when you begin the ritual. At the completion of the ritual, the Fire Elemental is summoned forth. The Fire Elemental is, at least initially, friendly towards its summoner. In order to sustain the Fire Elemental on the material plane, the elemental requires a steady stream of mana. Therefore, the caster is unable to regain the Mana Dice expended during the summoning process until the Fire Elemental has been dismissed.