For use with 24xx.
All magic comes from strange items and artifacts collected by the sorcerous and adventurous who study them and practice with them, learning their secrets.
Thus all magic is formatted as such...
ITEM : POWER : COST : DIE
With item being the name and/or descriptor, power being what it grants and does, cost being self explanatory, and die being the die used to represent how skilled the user has gotten (starting usually at a d4). An example...
Flaming Skull of Gorbax : kindle & control flames : body turns to ash : d4
When performing magic small uses of a power (after the first few times using the item) will not require a roll ex: lighting a candle with the flaming skull or swirling a campfires embers about. what counts as 'small' can of course be scaled with the player's skill in wizardry as the group see's fit (or not if you'd prefer). When exercising greater control, power, or such, roll a die as normal to how you make die rolls in 24xx, 1-2 is failure, 3-4 is setback 5+ is success, and scale die size appropriate to skill with item. A setback will generally net you a successful spell, but with the cost. A failure is all cost no effect.
State potential consequences clearly, and definitely. The whole of your left arm will become ash. You'll be unable to speak clearly for the rest of the day. Make sure everyone agrees it is a fair cost.
Wizards under this system, should become collectors of esoteric items, pillaging as many as possible.
This system allows players to choose how dangerous they want magic to be, they can play it safe and cautious, or fling it about taking costs as they come. Furthermore, it avoids the 'defined by items, I loot my friends body, what am I now' problem with the bonding/skill die increase, while still allowing some looting.
- Sacrifices, keeping sacrifices on hand, or choosing them in the moment, to siphon off spell-cost, the more potent the sacrifice the better it works
- Ex: siphon the cost of your fireball into a last copy of a rare book which burns to cinders.
- Ex: siphon cost of tongues spell onto a horse, it becomes directionless and confused.