Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sorcery and Magic Difficulties
Anyways, in reading through it today, I noticed something. I don't like magic. Perhaps it is because I read too much Conan as a teen, or because I almost always play a warrior of some kind when I game. Whatever the reason, magic just does not come naturally to me. Especially when writing about the mechanics of it. In both Age of the Sword and Life of Rage the sections on player-used magic is devoid of detail (in AotS it hasn't even been started yet).
This is largely due to the genres these games fall into. AotS is a Sword & Sorcery game in the vein of Conan and his ilk. Magic is evil, mysterious, and often entails sacrifices and other diabolical actions. Life of Rage is about Orcs. The characters are Orcs. Orcs generally distrust magic at best, and usually avoid it all together. In both games, it makes sense (to me) to restrict magic to NPC's. But I know that there will always be players who ask "Why can't I (go outside your rules)?", and wish to make magic using characters. My first instinct is to tell them to just play D&D and leave my game alone. Which is what I am leaning towards doing anyways.
Of course, another reason may be because magic in an RPG tends to be the most complex section of a rulebook. Look at the D&D Player's Handbook. Literally half of the book is dedicated to magic and spell lists. And that goes for every edition of that game. Frankly, I just don't want to put that much effort into it. Maybe if I was working on these games with a team of writers and creators. But I'm not. It's just me.
So, there you go. No magic using characters in my games. Anyone think that will detract from the playability? Will I lose a significant number of players (you know, maybe 25 out of the 100 people who might like the games)?