New developments in the OSR are looking quite interesting. I’m not referring to the whole YDIS/Kellri shenanigans (I don;t care much about YDIS, I consider his blog to be a fun satirical self-referential OSR pastiche) but to what Roger the GS is doing with game presentation and rules, taking the one-page approach a step too far toward awesome.
In particular I’m really happy about his Wizard rules: we had a productive discussion on spell levels, memorization and the like and, despite I initially had quite different ideas on the topic (having spent a while researching magic systems for fantasy games got me some possibly clever insights), I think his approach is different but superior due to being fun.
The planning aspect of the magic user, instead being of centered on daily memorization and resource control, is based on individual spell scarcity (more and diverse spells will see play) and long term research (Fireball isn’t enough when you can cast one, so you want to research more and diverse offensive spells). I believe, furthermore, that uninformed choices are less fun and interesting than informed ones: memorizing in advance, while supporting some interesting kind of gameplay, for me appears less interesting than deciding, on the spot, which spell I should cast now and save the party, at the price of not having the spell available until the next day. We’ll playtest it later on tonight. 🙂
This makes also easy to generate spellbooks for magic user NPCs:
- Give the wizard LEVELd2 spells (more expert wizards will have researched or obtained more spells).
- That’s it really. No memorization faff.
There is also the more awesome method:
- Go to the previously covered Dying Earth Spell Generator.
- Take the first LEVELd2 entries and put them in the MU’s spellbook. Look ma no studying I don’t need to do homework today I swear.
- Improvise spell effects. Be awesome. Reward the few surviving PCs with an awesome spellbook.
This kind of casting also introduces new possibilities for minor magic item crafting. I’ll cover them in the future.