On divination: writing original spells for AFG. Also featuring “a yellowish shade of mauve”

I’m still working on AFG. I want to get a “reasonably complete draft” before the end of next week. AFG has a non-Vancian magical system  that’s still 100% compatible with your retroclone of choice, but I’m not wanting to release anything under the OGL, so I’m writing down a bunch of new spells.

At the moment I’m feeling all happy because I achieved something I feel brings very close narrative, magic tradition, spell effects and weirdness: spells in AFG are not only a tool to change game mechanics, but something that tries a bit harder. Something that stuck me about divination spells in RPGs is that they’re mostly teleological: designers need some result and bend over backwards to motivate it. I think that 3E and Type 4 are, in this respect, much worse than anything that before. As a skeptic with a substantial background in occultism this annoys the heck out of me.

I am not satisfied. I want more.

Moreover, divination is opten seen as some kind of lame, non flashy, ineffective type of magic. My perception of the problem is that most players that would be interested can’t be bothered anymore because GMs do their best of making “spells that break the plot” ineffective. Because, somehow, using a spell to understand whuddonit “breaks the plot/campaign/style/trope/balance” where using a fireball to toast the fuck out of the big baddie doesn’t.

I give my players divination spells because, if they don’t, they’ll die a horrible and surprising death instead of  being able to just about survive.

End of rant. Here comes my last baby (you happy, JOESKY?):

Opening the Third Eye Level 1

Range: self. Casting time: 1 turn. Duration: until next dawn.

An eyelid will form will open on the caster’s forehead, to reveal an eye. The caster will be able, through the third eye, not only to see normally (and have better awareness) but also to perceive auras. The spell does not give any indication of the aura type, but the caster will be able to associate various aura “colours” to different type of auras: for example arcane items emanate something that’s been described in the literature as a “yellowish shade of mauve”.

Also, I got to write “a yellowish shade of mauve”.