Arcane Magic Powers

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This is indirectly related to World of Warcraft, in that I'm getting my inspiration from there. I play a Gnome mage who specializes in Fire magic. Thus the obsession with Fire for the first populated section of this article.

I'm trying to figure out the "best" way to handle a character that basically just does a LOT of different things with Burning Attack.

I'm still working through the list, but here's what I've got so far:

Magical Powers

All spells are built as Powers, belonging to a (COLLEGE) Magic power with a -10% "Magical" power modifier. Magical powers are mana sensitive, cannot cross a Pentagram or other spell ward effect, and cannot directly affect Meteoric Iron. Magical powers are also subject to anti-magic "counter-spell" effects, but not anti-spirit or anti-divine effects.

Magical attack powers halve damage rolled when the caster is in a low mana area, instead of applying a skill penalty to activate (they lack activation rolls). If the spell is a Malediction or an Area, use the worse of the mana level the Mage is in and the mana level the target/area is in. If the spell is Ranged, use the mana level the Mage is in.

Not all spells require a Concentrate action - many can be cast while running around with a standard Attack/Move and Attack/All Out Attack action. Exceedingly powerful mages may even be able to cast some spells two at a time or even more! Note that any spell with an extended casting time requires Concentrate actions to cast, and is subject to interruption of Concentrate as usual.

All damage spells learned are part of one big Alternate Attack structure per (COLLEGE) Magic power. Having one spell knocked offline by a precisely timed counter-spell will knock all attack spells of that college offline - for this reason even the most fanatically focused mages tend to learn at least one or two spells from the other colleges.

All damage spells should be bought with one of:

  • The "Metamodifier" Direct Spell, which is Malediction (+100%/+150%/+200%).
  • The "Metamodifier" Ranged Spell, which is the combination of Cosmic: No Active Defense Allowed (+300%) and Armor Divisor (Only Vs 'General' DR, -20%) +40%/level (total +340% for the first level, +40% per level of AD thereafter).
  • The "Metamodifier" Melee Spell, which is the combination of Melee: No Parry (-35%) and Armor Divisor (Only Vs 'General' DR, -20%) +40%/level (total +5% for the first level, and +40% per level of AD thereafter).
  • The "Metamodifier" Area Spell, which is the combination of Armor Divisor (2; Only Vs 'General' DR, -20%) +40% and Area Effect (+50%/level). Area Spells cannot increase the level of Armor Divisor - instead further levels increase Area Effect (total +90% for the first level, +50% per level of Area Effect thereafter).
  • The "Metamodifier" Exploding Spell, which is the combination of Armor Divisor (2; Only Vs 'General' DR, -20%) +40% and Explosion (+50%/level). Exploding Spells cannot increase the level of Armor Divisor - instead further levels adds levels of Fragmentation (total +90% for the first level, +15% per level of Fragmentation thereafter).
General DR

"General DR" is DR vs everything. The armor divisor specifically does not apply to DR that is limited to apply to only the element, magic, damage type etc of the attack. This most often applies against equipment DR, general force fields, and natural DR.

It is a universal trait of spells that they penetrate unspecialized defenses very well.

The Role Of Skill And Talent

One-power Talent is 5 points/level. Talent in all three of the traditional World of Warcraft mage colleges (Fire, Ice, Arcane) is 12 points/level.

  • Talent gives its bonus to Thaumatology - but only apply the best of all college talents. This bonus still stacks normally with other, non-Power talents.
  • Ranged, Area, and Exploding spells require an IQ-based Innate Attack skill roll to target. Talent offsets penalties other than those from size, speed, and range.
  • Melee spells require a DX or Brawling roll to hit. Talent adds its bonus to these rolls instead of offsetting penalties.
  • Mages may buy one perk per melee spell to allow them to optionally channel the attack through one specific class of implement (staff, rod, and wand are popular) or to use Karate or Boxing to hit (one perk suffices for both skills).
  • The mage may not combine a melee spell with a regular punch, kick, or weapon attack - choose either the spell effect or a regular attack, not both.
  • Direct spells are maledictions and require a quick contest to affect the victim. Talent offsets range penalties.
  • Talent bonus is added to the Will rolls to take or keep Concentrate actions related to spells.

Fire Magic

All Fire magic damage spells must have a fixed relationship in average damage done measured relative to the damage of the Fireball spell. A character must buy damage up with all the spells simultaneously, maintaining the proportional relationship.

Individual mages may choose to have randomly rolled damage or fixed damage or a mix of dice and ads. This choice is made for each spell as it is learned, and cannot be changed.

Fire Magic Powers

Fireball

The baseline Fire spell - the damage of all other spells is held fixed relative to Fireball damage.

This single-target spell takes three seconds of Concentration to cast, but has very good range and tends to set things extremely on fire: being a double-incendiary attack, targets are treated as one category more flammable than usual. (+310%)

ACC 5; 1/2D 100; Max 100. Cast time 3 seconds, 3 ER.

Breakdown: Burning Attack. Accurate 2 (+10%); Costs 3 ER (-20%); Damage Modifier: Incendiary (+10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Requires Concentrate (-15%); Takes Extra Time x2 (-20%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Scorch

A fast-to-cast, modest damage attack that cannot be dodged, parried, or blocked. Does 40% of Fireball damage. +280%.

ACC 1; 1/2D 20; Max 20. Cast time 1 second, 1 ER.

Breakdown: Burning Attack. Costs 1 ER (-10%); Inaccurate -2 (-10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Reduced Range 2 (-20%); Requires Concentrate (-15%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Improved Scorch

Also known as Scorch Level 2.

Improved Scorch does the same damage as Scorch, but cannot be interrupted, costs no ER and leaves the victim vulnerable to fire. +380%.

ACC 1; 1/2D 20; Max 20. Cast time 1 attack, 0 ER.

Breakdown: Inaccurate -2 (-10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Reduced Range 2 (-20%); Side Effect: Combustible and Flammable (+65%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Fire Blast

A fast attack that cannot be interrupted, dodged, parried, or blocked, and does twice the damage of Scorch, but is short-ranged, takes a recharge, and costs as much to cast as Fireball. Does 60% of Fireball damage. +270%.

ACC 0; 1/2D 10; Max 10. Cast time 1 attack, 3 ER. Recharge time 5s.

Breakdown: Burning Attack. Costs 3 ER (-20%); Inaccurate -3 (-15%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Reduced Range 3 (-30%); Takes Recharge 1 (-10%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Pyroblast

A very slow attack taking 6 seconds to cast and 12 seconds to recharge, with the same range and cost to cast as Fireball but more accuracy and even bigger damage. Does 140% of fireball damage. +300%.

ACC 7; 1/2D 100; Max 100. Cast time 6s, 3 ER. Recharge time 12s.

Breakdown: Accurate 4 (+20%); Costs 3 ER (-20%); Damage Modifier: Incendiary (+10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Requires Concentrate (-15%); Takes Extra Time x3 (-30%); Takes Recharge 1 (-10%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Flame Strike

This expensive spell takes 2 seconds of Concentrate to cast, and blasts a 4 yard radius with a dangerous initial attack from above and a persistent conflagration. It does 50% of Fireball damage on the initial strike, and hails down for half damage for 10 seconds. +150%

ACC 1; Radius 4 yd; 1/2D 50; Max 50. Cast time 2s, 4 ER. Recharge time 5s.

Breakdown: Burning Attack. Accurate -3 (-15%); Area Spell 2 (+140%); Bombardment 12 (-10%); Costs 4 ER (-25%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Overhead (+30%); Persistent, Half damage -50% (+20%); Reduced Range 1 (-10%); Requires Concentrate (-15%); Takes Extra Time x1 (-10%); Takes Recharge 1 (-10%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Blast Wave

This fast cast, uninterruptable explosion spreads out from the caster - dealing damage, knocking foes back, and stunning them! This spell is quite expensive to cast, takes time to recharge, and is indiscriminate in its effects. It does 80% of Fireball damage. +85%

Cast time 1 attack, 4 ER, Recharge time 15s.

Breakdown: Burning Attack. Costs 4 ER (-25%); Double Knockback (+20%); Emanation (-50%); Exploding Spell (+90%); Does Knockback as if Crushing (+30%); Side-Effect: Stunning (+50%); Takes Recharge 2 (-20%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Living Bomb

Expensive, uninterruptible and long ranged, this Direct spell Ignores armor and does a small amount of irresistible damage every second for five seconds. The victim smoulders until they finally "explode", dealing damage to itself and nearby characters. People caught up in the blast area may apply their full DR, general or not, but the explosion also bypasses the victim's armor... it's the victim who is exploding!

The cyclic damage over time is 10% of Fireball damage per second for 5 cycles. On the sixth second (casters initiative), the victim explodes for 40% of Fireball damage.

ACC N/A; 1/2D N/A; Max 50. Cast time: 1 attack; 5 ER. Malediction!

Cyclic Burning Attack, +455%: Costs 5 ER (-30%); Direct Spell 1 (+100%); Cyclic: 1/sec for 5 seconds (+400%); Maximum Range: 50 yards (-5%), Fire Magic (-10%). Explosion Burning Attack, +175%: Delay: 6s (+0%); Explosion (+50%); Follow Up (+135%); Fire Magic (-10%).

Fire Shield

Absorbs heat/fire damage (recharging the characters Magic energy reserve in the process), and does burning damage to melee attackers. Fire shield delivers 20% of fireball damage to attackers.

DR (Absorbtion: ER only; Heat/Flame only; Link) Burning Attack (Aura, Melee Spell; Link)

Use PK's rules for Absorbtion as usual.

Ice Magic

The second elemental college, focused on defensive magic and slow/snare/crowd control with a small variety of damage-focused attacks. In D&D 4e terms, the WoW Ice mage is a "controller" that applies effects directly to targets rather than the environment. In GURPS I feel that mixing up things a little would be advantageous. I love the Ice Slick spell in GURPS too much to resist.

Idea - Ice magic (except ice lance) does Fatigue damage with Hazard: Freezing instead of normal damage types? And/Or does linked Fatigue damage instead of slowing attack speed? Treat every 3 Temperature Tolerance (cold) as DR 1 vs cold (and vice versa, really).

Ice Lance

A stinging impaling attack that cannot be interrupted and costs no ER. +315%

ACC 1; 1/2D 20; Max 20. Cast time 1 attack, 0 ER.

Breakdown: Inaccurate -2 (-10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Reduced Range 2 (-20%); Ice Magic (-10%).

Todo: double damage against "frozen" targets

Alternate

A stinging fatigue attack that cannot be interrupted and costs no ER. Lost fatigue is treated as hypothermia (B430). +335%

ACC 1; 1/2 20; Max 20. Cast time 1 attack, 0 ER.

Breakdown: Fatigue Attack (Hazard: Freezing, +20; Inaccurate -2 (-10%); Increased 1/2 Damage Range 3 (+15%); Ranged Spell 1 (+340%); Reduced Range 2 (-20%); Ice Magic (-10%))

Note: Damage interacts with DR as normal for a Ranged Spell.

Ice Bolt

Todo: 30 yard bolt, 40% slow

Cone of Cold

Todo: 10 yard cone, 50% slow

Ice Shield

Absorbs cold/ice damage (recharging the characters Magic energy reserve in the process), and slows melee attackers movement. Ice shield Afflicts cumulative -1 Basic Move.

DR (Absorption: ER only; Ice/Cold only; Link) Affliction (Aura, Melee Spell; Disadvantage: -1 Basic Move; Link)

Use PK's rules for Absorption as usual.

Ice Block

Todo: 10 second self-root, very high DR, no actions, 30 second cooldown

Frost Nova

Todo: Emanation Bind + "frost damage"

Blizzard

Todo: frost damage, Requires Concentrate for entire duration

Ring of Frost

Todo: Creates Zone with Onset time. Freezes enemies entering the zone.

Summon Water Elemental

Todo: Summonable Ally

Icy Veins

Todo: Compartmentalized Mind, Spellcasting Only

Ice Barrier

Todo: ablative DR

Deep Freeze

Todo: Stuns frozen targets

Arcane Magic

"Arcane" is an elemental type in World of Warcraft, with a limited range of direct attack powers (unlike Fire), limited direct Defense powers (unlike Ice) and an eclectic range of utility powers.

In WoW the value of the attack and defense powers fluctuates based on expansion; I would like to make the GURPS version here a "middle ground" generalist between the Fire and Ice mages.

Arcane Shield

A generic ablative DR force field, Arcane Shield is a popular panic defence with mages. -26%

Spend 1 FP and take a Concentrate action to activate the Arcane shield. After being activated, the shield maintains itself indefinitely, but is ablated by incoming damage. Damage taken ablates the shield DR; spending a concentrate action and 1 FP/ER "refreshes" the shield to full strength once each second the mage continues Concentrating and spending FP/ER.

Damage Resistance (Either-Or (Ablative 1/day, -80%) vs (Ablative 10/second, -20% + Requires Concentrate -15% + Costs FP 1/second -10%), -36%; Force field, +20%; Arcane Magic, -10%)

Arcane Missiles

ROF attack. What IS arcane damage?

ROF 3, 4, or 5. Requires Concentrate. 0 FP cost. Ranged Spell.

Arcane Blast

Single target arcane damage

Arcane Explosion

AoE Emanation arcane damage

Arcane Barrage

Compartmentalized Mind (Mentalism; Arcane Missiles only)?

Counterspell

Evocation

Very Fast Regeneration (Energy Reserve; Requires Concentrate, -15%; Nuisance Effect: Makes user very obvious, -5%; Takes Recharge 5 minutes, -15%; Arcane Spell, -10%)

Evocation surrounds the user in a swirling vortex of arcane energy; between the light show and the distinctive crackling, howling sound, using this ability stealthily is impossible.

Remove Curse

Slow Fall

Todo: Afflict Catfall + Parachute

Conjure Refreshment

Todo: Snatcher: Food

Blink

Warp Step!

Teleport

Warp!

Portal

Warp! With Portal!

Polymorph

How did I ever forget Polymorph?

Affliction (Direct Spell 1, +100%; Advantage: Alternate Form (Small helpless animal), +150%; Fixed Duration, +0%; Reduced Duration 1/6, -15%; Arcane spell, -10%), +250%

Further levels add further levels of Affliction.

Improved Polymorph adds Selective Daze for the classic "stunned small helpless animal" effect. +300%

Slow

Afflict Decreased Time Rate? Owch.

Level 1: Affliction (Direct Spell 1, +100%; Disadvantage: Reduced Basic Move 5 (Accessability: capped to half subjects Base Move, -20%), +20%; Fixed Duration, +0%; Reduced Duration 1/10, -20%; Arcane Spell, -10%) +90%

Level 2: Affliction (Direct Spell 1, +100%; Disadvantage: Decreased Time Rate, +100%; Fixed Duration, +0%; Reduced Duration 1/10, -20%; Arcane Spell, -10%) +170%

Mirror Image

Duplication 2; (Costs FP 1; Construct, +60%; Duplicated Gear, +100%; Cosmic: Duplicated Non-Signature Non-Consumable Gear, +100%; Maximum Duration 30 seconds, -75%; Arcane spell, -10%)

Consumable gear is not duplicated. Gear removed from a duplicate (including by a disarm etc) instantly evaporates and cannot be recovered without recasting Mirror Image.

Invisibility

With cancellation clauses and a Max Duration.

  • Invisibility (Switchable, +10%; Cannot Attack; Can carry objects: Medium, +50%; Maximum Duration 30 seconds, -75%; Arcane spell, -10%)
  • See Invisible (Only while Invisible)

Brilliance

Level 1: Affliction (+2 IQ (not Will or Per); Costs FP; Fixed Duration (adjusted to ~15 minutes))

Level 2: add AoE 3; Emanation.

See Also