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.

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Grimorio da Tasca: preview of a new magic system and Lost Pages catalogue

Uk Games Expo required a Lost Pages Catalogue. Inside there’s some product blurb, a teaser spell from Wonder & Wickedness and, as a preview for Magia Nova, a whole new magic system and extra spells. This is what it looks like (dice, keyboard and 8-sided dreidel for scale).

img_20160603_013614

Grimorio da Tasca is a pocketmod. Which means that it’s a simple looseleaf folded and cut into a booklet, with can be unfolded to reveal a hidden, big inside centerfoldy spread.

Here’s the download: Grimorio da Tasca

 

Sneak Peek: Magia Nova: Il Novissimo Metodo Didattico delle Arti Magiche

Oh, the joys of writing something purely for D&D. I’ve been working on a word/runic magic system for a while and while I was at it I though I could just spin off one of its subsystems. I also took the occasion to make a book with all the S&W Whitebox spells, but organized by level and not in alphabetical order.
Yeah, I know, de gustibus non disputandum but there is clearly a WRONG and a RIGHT way, and the alphabetical sort is a pain in the ass when you’re trying to allocate slots and need to check spell details across the level. Which is much a much more common scenario compared to, say, check spell details across the spells starting with the letter S. If you need to find a spell by name, an analytical index will do.
Hence Magia Nova! The principle of this new didactic method is a blah blah taxonomic approach blah blah system of mysticism blah blah correspondences blah blah great pedagogy blah blah left hand, right hand blah blah. Ok, enough babble. The whole point is that the Magic User will learn Arts and Elements instead of single spells.

Four are the Arts:

  • Creo for Creation
  • Disfo for Undoing
  • Sento for Perception
  • Cambio for Change and Control
Four are the Elements:
  • Foco for Fire and therefore Magic
  • Aria for Air and therefore Spirit and Perception
  • Aqua for Water and therefore Life
  • Terra for Earth and therefore Matter

The casters start by knowing an Art and an Element and will progressively get better at casting spells and gain more Arts and Elements. In due time they will fully master a specific type of magic, and summon elemental spirits.

This is the spell list as it is now:

Screenshot 2016-04-17 at 17.40.45

Stars and question marks are safely ignored (they are notes for me). Some of those gaps might be filled, and things rejigged, but that’s the gist of it.

You will find a resemblance to Ars Magica by Tweed and Rein-Hagen. The resemblance is indeed there, but.

First, I love Ars Magica. Gangs & Bullshit owe a lot to it. Also Chthonic Codex. But Magia Nova is a different beast. Merely identifying spell groups with 2 words (or two runes, which is exactly the same) is the extent of the copying. They picked Latin, I picked oldy Italian.

I could have picked English. I didn’t for two reasons: the first is that picking premodern Italian makes it peculiar even for Italians, the second is that it’s better to have domain-specific terms for game elements. If your GM says you’re stunned by someone’s display of wealth, they probably do not mean that your character can only move slowly this round. They just used a turn of phrase which happens to use a word that means something different from a metagame perspective: you’re outside of the game and you use words to describe it that do not mean the same to people in the game. For game terms choose words you would otherwise not use to avoid confusion (no, not the spell).

Second: this whole thing started though with a different approach: create a taxonomy, and see how to allocate existing D&D spells to its subdivisions in an interesting way, rather than coming up with a system and creating new spells fitting in it (which is I guess how the Ars Magica spellbook was developed).

There will be a new, alternate Magic User, the spellcasting rules, the spells sorted by level (with some new spells), a handful of new monsters and, possibly, a few magic items. I have no idea when this will be ready, but given most of the spells come straight from the book it won’t take long.