Mageblade: Wealth & Allowance

Adventurers need to replace or acquire adventuring items such as spikes, rope and arrows pretty much after every expeditions. When the loot is small, deciding where to allocate that wealth is interesting, but after a couple of adventures, if the adventurer survives, they’ll hopefully be flush with cash. And at that point, where’s the interesting decision in spending 1 or 2 coins on a rope or a crowbar?

To avoid accounting too much for all these small things, Mageblade introduces the Allowance. If the party acquired a non-negligible amount of wealth, the Allowance lets each PC refill or buy some items for free before their next foray. The initial version of the rule is that the total allowance for each character is 5% of the character’s wealth, with a maximum of 1d6 objects.

For example: Timmy, a character with 100 coins, between adventures has an allowance of 5 coins which can spend on 1d6 objects. Rolling a 4 they buy 6 torches (1c),  a pole (1c) and a bundle of 20 arrows (2c): they’d have another item to buy, but they ran out of money.

Another example: Zurgo the Zauberer, owning 10000 coins in gems and gold, has an allowance of 500c. Rolling a 3 they buy a heavy armour for a henchman (400c) and 3 vials of blessed water (2 x 25c): they’d have another 50c but they ran out of items.

The second version of the rule, the one we are going to playtest is:

If you got treasures in your last foray, you get 1d4 objects for free, their cost depending on your wealth.

PC’s Wealth Tier Object Max Item Cost
nothing 0 no freebies for you! 0
50c 1 1d4 tier 1 objects 1c
150c 2 1d4 tier 2 objects 3c
500c 3 1d4 tier 3 objects 10c
2500c 4 1d4 tier 4 objects 50c
20000c 5 1d4 tier 5 objects 400c

What about bundled consumables, like torches, arrows, pythons? If you have not completely run out of these, a single item will restock them.

Is this going to break the game? not really, it would take 20 adventures with no loot whatsoever for the character to dilapidate their wealth.

Why rolling? to give them a decision: they can still buy things and spend money, but the whole which free swag are you going to get this adventure is just too attractive not to think about.

Why not handwaving it? because it requires GM headspace, while a small subsystem where PCs get freebies after an adventure is a small and cute way to give stuff to players while minimizing downtime.

 

 

 

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Mageblade: a new class

The Mageblade is a magic slayer with a wicked blade, a mystic bridging the arts of steel and magic. Most are trained by one of the Ordo Mysterii for years and released on secret missions, or on an journey of interior growth, or they left or escaped from the order, or for some other imperscrutable reason, often many of these reasons at the same time. They are relentless and, when using their athame, a magically bond blade, can clad themselves in steel, use spells and strike true.

The Mageblade is a new class in my MAGEBLADE game. They are somewhat inspired by clerics, and are part Lone Wolf with Kai powers, part sword saints, part mystics fighters.

What’s important about them, to me, is that they replace a cleric class that was straddled between casting, healing and fighting but plagued with a very weak faith element, despite the name. The Mageblade needs no devotion to the divine, but the lack of devotion to their Ordo Mysterii might prove lethal, as retribution for defectors and betrayers strikes hard.

This is the version for your Old School game, the MAGEBLADE version has slightly different mechanics. 

Mageblade – Old School

HP, Saves, Hitrolls, XP: as Cleric

Ironclad: Mageblades can use any weapon, armour and shield.

Athame: Each Mageblade has an athame, a mageblade. The athame is a magic blade (dealing 1d6 damage in melee), wrought from cold iron by the Mageblade, and then enchanted and bound in a week-long process. The athame is magic, but it is powerless when not wielded by its creator. Mageblades can deliver touch spells making an attack with the athame. Furthermore, athames have an important power:

  • Empower: Mageblades can empower their athame. This takes just an instant (so it can be part of a melee attack or a spell) and charges the blade with magic and makes it glow like a torch for 10 minutes. While the charge lasts the athame gains a +1 hit bonus, +2 at level 5, +3 at level 9. The Mageblade can discharge this energy to power a Blademagic: doing so drains the charge. Mageblades can empower once a day; if they want to empower they blade more times they can do so by spending any unused spell.

Blademagic: The Mageblade can discharge their empowered athame to activate one blademagic. This can be done as part of a melee attack, or just before casting a spell or doing another action. The blademagic usually lasts until the next dawn, unless specified. If a Mageblade activates a second blademagic while one is still active, the first automatically terminates, but they still have to empower the second separately to activate it. So it’s possible to, in a round, charge the athame, hit in melee, and discharge the athame to power a blademagic. Mageblades start knowing 1 blademagic and learn a new one at level 6 and one at level 12, with their availability depending on their Ordo Mysterii. This is a list of some sample blademagic:

  • Rend: the athame becomes a conduit for delivering raw power into wounds. After a successful hit roll the Mageblade can discharge the blademagic into the wound, dealing 1d6+1/2 level extra damage. This terminates the blademagic.
  • Bane: the athame is ensorcelled with energies antithetical to the essence of a specific type of being. The Mageblade adds focus also when dealing damage in melee to a type of enemy. There are multiple banes, and they must be learnt and activated separately: Undead Bane, Demon Bane, Animal Bane, Spirit Bane. Tales mention other banes (including Cephalopod Bane and Human Bane), but do not mention where to learn them.
  • Arc: the athame forms wide circles of lethal steel. The Mageblade can attack 3 different enemies in melee each round. Duration: 1 turn.
  • Dance: the athame is let into the air as it starts to dance, bob and spin mid-air. The athame can be set to attack a given close enemy: it attacks with a hit bonus equal to the PC’s focus, and has AC 5 [14]. If hit, it’s not damaged but loses its next attack. If it is not set to attack anybody, it blocks attacks giving +2 to the AC of the Mageblade. Duration: 1 turn.

Devotion: Mageblades can learn a single devotion, a ritual specific to their order. Each Devotion can be used by discharging their athame. Some sample devotions are, depending on the Ordo Mysterii:

  • Conflict Praxis Orders: Turn/Control Undead/Animal/Spirits/Demons: pick any one combination depending on how the Conflict Praxis order is aligned.
  • Blood Dragon Order: one of the Maenad Powers
  • Thaumagram Orders: one of the Dodecathaumagrams

Magic: Mageblades have some limited spellcasting ability. Depending on their Ordo Mysterii they either cast spells like a Magic User or a cleric of 2 levels less. Mageblades can cast spells in armour but only if they wield their athame. Mageblades do not automatically gain a spellbook or new Magic-user spells. If they cast Cleric spells they gain all cleric spells normally and their athame doubles as holy symbol.

Some orders, like the Thaumagram Orders, often eschew teaching blademagic to focus more on spellcasting: the Mageblade will not learn any blademagic, but can cast spells as Cleric of the same level.

 

 

Magia Nova: new spells, old spells

Here’s some new spells and some old spells and some in-between spells from Magia Nova. Each spell has an Art (like Cambio/Change or Creo/Create) and a form (Foco/Fire /Magic or Aria/Air/Spirit), so there are spells for all combinations for each level. You can see all level 1 spells in Grimorio da Tasca.

Developmentwise, it’s been complicated. Inspired by Ars Magica, I started with more Ars and more Forms, but then narrowed them down to 4 Arts and 4 Elements as I wanted to use mostly OD&D spells analogues from S&W Whitebox.

So, old spells just stay normal, but sometimes their wording is changed a bit, either to fit the short-form, or to make them fit the short form, or to fit the art-element frame, like this level 1 Creo Foco spell, made to replace Light:

Flame

Range: 120′. Duration: 1 h. + 10 min./lvl

The caster creates a flame big as a fist and bright as a torch, coming off target object. It does not need fuel and spreads like normal fire. The burning object deals 1d6 damage if used in melee.

Then there’s the “well, your annoyingly narrow focus is now more entertaining” category, level 2 Sento Aria (Aria also covers spells about spirits and illusion and ethereal stuff in general):

Pierce the Veil of Deception

Range: self. Duration: 1 h.

This caster can see what otherwise would be magically invisible or hard to see, like secret doors, invisible or ethereal beings. In addition they will sense that there’s something wrong while exposed to other types of illusions and phantasms.

Pierce the Veil of Deception is here to replace and extend Detect Invisible, with a better name. Then, as the framing is for 108 spells there’s the”just new spells”, as the grids were gappy, so a level 2 for Creo Aqua (Create Water, which also covers life):

Life Ebullient

Range: touch. Duration: 1 h.

The subject creature becomes engorged with bristling energy and either recovers all temporary da­mage or gains 2d4+2 temporary hits.

Two spells did not fit in the grid, but:

  • you either won’t miss Magic Missile because you hate it, or you’ll use Maleficence rules that let you shoot noxious effects.
  • Move Earth got moved to level 5 and merged with Rock to Mud, into this new level 5 Cambio Terra (Change Earth) spell here, which fits into the “in-between”:

Bind the Hills

Range: touch. Duration: 1 h.

The spell alters orology, moving earth, hills, mountains at 6 feet/minute: when the spell ends the earth stops moving. The spell can also alter earth, stone and mud into each other, but this change changes to normal after 3d6 days.

There are also 2 more spells that don’t fit: Summon Elemental and Animate Dead. but those have some special rules themselves.