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May 2, 2006 / jadettman

Magical Magic Systems

Over at RPG.net there is an interesting discussion about magic systems going on. The general concensus is that most magic-systems in rpgs aren’t very ‘magical’ and they’re correct.

A magic-system isn’t designed to be ‘magical’. It is built to allow players to create larger-than-life characters that are capable of throwing their weight around in a fantasy-esque fashion. As long as the system is balanced and allows for a certain amount of wish-fulfillment it has done its job as far as the game design is concerned.

That aside, I find the comments of the posters interesting. The two primary ways that they suggest for creating their more ‘magical’ magic-system is to:

  1. Create charts or other randomizing elements (mostly charts) to adjudicate the results of a spell. 
  2. Make the system more vague and leave the details up to the GM.

Both of these options are specifically designed to take power out of the hands of the players; something that the magic-systems they are unhappy with strive to give to them.

It makes me think . . .

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