thread: 2009-04-30 : Magical Magic

On 2009-05-03, Callan wrote:

Hi Vincent,

Like your latter example, but I realise I forgot to describe a key aspect. You do get to look at your spell book, but only before play. Your not allowed to look at it during play.

This spell book tells you what the spells do, but it tells you only in descriptive terms, not like "It does a fireball eight squares across at a range of twelve squares" and more like "Fire roars from your hands!". So you can't really remember stone cold facts about a spell and more like the 'story' of a spell, if I'm making any sense.

And your not just trying to remember if "Kog" makes fire roar from your hands, but your thinking "Do I want fire to roar from my hands. Is that the way to handle the situation? What does fire roaring from my hands actually mean - will it even do what I'm thinking it'll do, at this point, in this situation?". So it's A: what the descriptor of the spell makes you imagine juxtaposed against B: the described situation and C: What you want to happen but are not certain will (ie, your not thinking as if you have full narative authority here). I think, maybe wrong, it's the laying of imagination onto each other that gives a certain feel here.

Even further I'm not sure all the tests were win/lose - sometimes using the different spells lead to different paths. Though often the wrong spell lead to a horrible death, I'll grant :) But sometimes it wasn't a matter of there being a right spell, but the spell you wanted to cast. If you could remember the damn thing!

On top of that, and you can see from the example you guessed, you never whiffed. Magic always happened - something would happen, somthing magical, even if it wasn't what you intended!

But yeah, being able to read the spell book first but not during play is important. And the spell book gave you descriptions only, which is important too. So you don't have to guess, you might remember. But most of the time you half guess, half remember. And each spell word gives a vague clue as well.

I'm writing too much, but that's because on reflection there was more to the mechanic than first met the eye!


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