Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Magical Arcana

It's a common complaint that RPG magic doesn't feel 'magical'. Perhaps surprisingly I found that the way 4e D&D uses the Arcana skill for detection and manipulation of magic goes a long way towards making it feel more mysterious & magical. Instead of cast spell-auto effect, in 4e most magic use outside of combat involves making an Arcana check vs a DC, as the PC pits their own magical powers against the opposing force, trying to eg breach a ward, close a portal, detect & identify the source, etc. This feels a *lot* more like literary/comic-book/cinematic magic than the traditional D&D fire-and-forget system. Of course in combat it's the opposite - big flashy reliable effects.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?427300-Things-that-don-t-translate-to-the-table-top/page2#ixzz3UfxKwOBG

I'm aiming to treat magic similarly in the 5e swords & sorcery chatroom game I'm starting up soon.

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