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Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:28 pm
by soloplayer
Hi All:

Wanted to come up with a way to simulate a battle between two arcane magics, kinda like the battle between Galdolf and Sauron at Dol Guldur, or, in my case, fighting against an evil object... for example:

The 3rd Level Mage walks into the crypt as the evil entombed here overwhelms her. She sees the Translucent Green Jade Skull on the pedestal and realizes the source of the evil that has blanketed this area. It also knows she is here…

Below is what I came up with, I'd appreciate any suggestions or alternatives.

  • - INT Skill Checks
  • - Mana Points

Assign Level to the Relic and any spells or mental attacks it might have. Determine the trauma (MANA) to be dealt with a “hit”. Once reduced to 0 Mana Points, the Magic has been defeated, and can not continue to resist.

We might decide: The Evil lurking in the Jade Skull has INT as prime, 15 Mana Points, and casts as a 5th level Wizard. Its spells are Fear and Confusion. A successful "hit" will deal 1d4 MANA points.

Combat Round
  • Roll for Initiative
  • Make skill check relevant to the target
  • Roll for Damage if successful

Example Combat Round

The Mage removes her riding cloak as she prepares to do battle. She instructs her companions to wait outside and steps into the crypt, as an overconfident young fighter follows curiously. As they approach the green light, she feels the evil sweep over her as the Skull casts its Fear Spell upon the intruders.

The Mage succeeds at her Savings Throw, however, the Fighter fails and runs out of the tomb as the evil becomes stronger.

The Mage focuses her magic and attacks by rolling an INT Skill Check against a CL 5 (5th level Wizard), adding her Level and Attribute bonuses. She scores a hit and does 3 Mana points of damage.

The evil forces in the skull strike back with its own INT Skill Check with a CL 3 (Level 3 Wizard), and it misses...

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:42 pm
by Captain_K
why no just lob spells at each other like a melee combat?

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:28 pm
by soloplayer
Captain_K wrote:why no just lob spells at each other like a melee combat?
Appreciate the reply, and that's certainly available, and is represented in the example with the Fear Spell.

I wanted to represent the mental struggle that is going on, a "battle of the minds" of sorts. In my world, this is different than each wizard shooting Magic Missiles at each until someone loses HP, so much so, that I felt I needed away to show the ebb and flow of mental trauma.

Mana points and Skill Checks seemed like the perfect way to add this.

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:07 pm
by Lurker
I understand what you are aiming at, and I've thought about things like that myself. However, I was never cleaver enough to figure out a good solution to it.

I'm not sure if what you came up with is to 'simple' ... not sure how to explain it ... However, I also don't like CK's 'just lob spells at it either. Not with it being a contest of skill and will.

I can see where there are spells that could be useful - dispel magic, geas (or a revers of geas as a counter to it) bless (to counter an evil magic) etc could be useful

But again, not sure how to make the idea work

Maybe looking back at 1e / 2e and intelligent items and will power as a root idea. I can't remember what those rules were like . I'd hae to di out my old books and look.

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:32 am
by Captain_K
I think I just skimmed across something in the adventurer's backpack...

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 10:05 am
by soloplayer
Thanks CK, I missed that :
Any spell casting class or spell using monster can attempt a counter spell against another spell caster or magic using creature. To launch a counter spell the spell-caster must make the announcement at the beginning of the round, before initiative is rolled. They make an attribute check, again before initiative for that round is rolled, to determine what spell or magical attack their opponent is taking that round.
If the attribute check is successful the spell caster knows what spell or magical attack the opponent is launching that round. They can choose to attack the opponent with their own spell, or they can choose to cast a defensive spell to counteract the opponent’s spell. The spell caster must announce this immediately, again before initiative is rolled. (p 84)
Interesting, I can see how this could make for a fun duel.

I like all these options...

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:03 pm
by koralas
The ABP method sounds like it can be cool. Another thought would be to model something off of AD&D's (original) psionics, doing away with the abilities, but focusing on and expanding attack and defense modes. You could eliminate the actual tables for effects from the attack/defense if you wanted, and instead make them like rock/paper/scissors, with each attack costing Mana to use, and dealing a set of Mana damage possibly using different ability modifiers to the damage, like -
  • Eldritch Wind (Cost: 2)
  • Arcane Thrust (Cost: 4) + Int Mod
  • Mental Blast (Cost: 4) + Wis Mod
  • Id Insinuation (Cost: 8) + Int Mod + Wis Mod
  • Emotional Blow (Cost: 4) + Cha Mod
  • Ego Whip (Cost: 8) +Int Mod +Cha Mod
  • Psychic Crush (Cost 12) +Int Mod +Wis Mod + Cha Mod
And then defense modes that could either reduce the damage, or increase the CL. Certain defense modes could work better against certain attack modes. Maybe they remove the ability score modifier from the damage for the mode type, so something like -
  • Mind Blank (Cost: 1) No adjustments
  • Thought Shield (Cost: 3) Removes Int Modifier
  • Mental Barrier (Cost: 3) Removes Wis Modifier
  • Intellect Fortress (Cost: 5) Removes Int and Wis
  • Calming Thoughts (Cost: 3) Removes Cha Modifier
  • Hide Self(Cost: 5) Removes Int and Cha Modifiers
  • Tower of Iron Will (Cost: 10) Removes Int, Wis, and Cha Modifiers
If you want to adjust CL instead of removing damage modifiers, increase the CL by 1/2 (round up) the cost of the defense of the corresponding attack type.

# of Mana = Int * Level, one pool of points or optionally - 1/2 Attack, 1/2 Defense
Base CL - Defenders Level/2
Base Damage: 1d6
Option - You could scale damage up by adding the number of points over the CR to the damage dealt.
Option - Choose which mental ability modifier to use for the SIEGE check.

Mind you this is something I just came up with on the spur of the moment at lunch on work, so take it as an idea that needs to be thoroughly fleshed out. I can already see some issues with this, but don't have the time to work on correcting it now.

Re: Arcane Magic Battle

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:59 am
by soloplayer
Thanks Koralas,

Cool ideas, and really like using the different abilities for different attacks/defense.

I ended up changing how I did damage on my original idea to include a Level/2 modifier to account for experience, and it all seemed pretty balanced.

I'll take a closer look at Psionics, appreciate the direction.