Grimiores and Spells

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Grimiores and Spells

Postby Piperdog » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:45 pm

One of the things I noticed with RQII is that the grimoire concept is left unspecified and vague, allowing GM's to tailor it to thier campaign. What do you guys do here? Do you have campaign specific tomes that the players find/ are given/quest for, etc? How many spells do you have in them, and do you categorize them in any way?

I have been working on the notion that each grimoire is a unique tome, and some are a collection of like spells while others are a variety. In particular, I am working on a grimoire that contains elementalist type spells, which requires me to convert or create new spells for it. I have been using the old Spell Law from Rolemaster for inspiration, as there is a lot of elemental base magic in there. So, you could have the Grimoire of Fire, or the Grimoire of Ice, etc.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby gran_orco » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:01 pm

It is full explained in Cults of Glorantha. If you do not have it, or you won't have it, I can resume the rules with : Each minor saint has a grimoire (normally, but it can have more). You can do a grimoire with 3-8 spells, or you can roll 1D6+2. Each spell in the grimoire must reflect the nature of the saint or rune, of course.
There are thousands of grimoires, and schools work with its own customized grimoires.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby Piperdog » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 am

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I dislike the setting, so I won't be getting the book. I am curious though as to what homebrew grimoires folks have made for their campaigns.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby PhilHibbs » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:09 pm

Piperdog wrote:Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I dislike the setting, so I won't be getting the book. I am curious though as to what homebrew grimoires folks have made for their campaigns.
I started making up a whole load of rune-related grimoires on the wiki, plus some noble family grimoires. For most I just made a list of all the spells that might be in such a grimoire, but for some I made an example named grimoire. There is a certain Gloranthan bent to the rune-related ones, but that is easily adapted.
http://mrqwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=MRQ2Sorcery
Last edited by PhilHibbs on Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:04 am

A couple of posters did, some while back, post examples of grimoires they were using. Despite searching, I can't find the posts on the boards any more, but I did copy the details at the time. I hope they don't mind me repeating them here.

First, from "Gaming Glen":
Here are the generic Sorcery grimoires I wrote up for a player to select from at character creation [plus a very brief and rough description]. Rereading it makes me want to make changes, perhaps Magical Manipulation should be made into two separate ones, one for solid substances and another for elements ("Magical Elements").

I'm presenting it here as a follow up to my suggestion for a generic campaign builder book.


Grimoire: Magical Protection

• Castback [reflects spells]
• Damage Resistance [magical armor]
• Neutralize Magic [dispel magic]
• Protective Ward [must combine with a Resistance spell]
• Spell Resistance
• Spirit Resistance


Grimoire: Magical Strikes

• Castback [reflects spells]
• Damage Enhancement [weapon damage is max]
• Palsy [paralyze a random hit location]
• Smother [smothers a foe, or puts out a fire]
• Wrack


Grimoire: Magical Healing

• Glow [create light]
• Regenerate [reattach or regrow a severed limb]
• Restoration [heal Characteristic damage]
• Treat Wounds [heals damage]


Grimoire: Magical Movement

• Fly
• Haste [increases movement rate]
• Hinder [decreases movement rate]
• Teleport

Grimoire: Magical Manipulations of (X) [must pick X, can be an element, i.e., water, or other substance, i.e., gold]

• Abjure (X) [allows target to go without X, e.g., air]
• Animate (X)
• Dominate (X elemental)
• Form/Set (X) [shape X]
• Sense (X) [detect X]
• Summon (X elemental) [from RQ Spellbook with these changes: summons 1 creature; Target determines size: 1 cubic meter per Magnitude; Range is distance from caster the creature appears at]

Grimoire: Magical Illusions

• Diminish (Characteristic)
• Enhance (Characteristic)
• Phantom (Sense)
• Project (Sense)

The Diminish and Enhance spells in Magical Illusions was put in to give that grimoire four spells, reasoning that the characteristic changes are somewhat illusionary, being a temporary change.
Secondly, from "Richard:
As a GM just starting a new campaign including a sorceror my solution was to limit the number of spells available in a Grimoire to 5. This helped to avoid overpowering the mage. Potential discrepancies which could arise through the acquiring of useless Grimoires for some and huge Grimoires stuffed with piles of top class spells for others were also avoided. My game world has sorcerous traditions / traditions which guard their secrets jealously to attract members. As research tends to be into related realms tomes tend to include related spells. For example this is a selection from the grimoires available to a sorceror joining the officially approved Imperial sorcery guild 'The Codex':

Grimoire (The Codex of the Dutiful Ward – Neutralise Magic, Protective Ward, Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, Spirit Resistance.)

Grimoire (Codex of the Diligent Artesan – Holdfast, Form/Set Metal, Form/Set Stone, Animate Metal, Animate Stone.)

Grimoire (Codex of the Physician of the Heart and Soul – Abjure Pain, Enhance CON, Regenerate, Restoration, Treat Wounds.)

Grimoire (Codex of the Warlock - Attract (Missiles), Attract (Magic), Damage Enhancement, Hinder, Wrack.)

Grimoire (Codex of the Questing Scholar – Fly, Haste, Glow, Mystic Vision, Teleport.)

...and so on. Note that summoning, monster creating and life draining spells are all unavailable and prohibited by this tradition so getting hold of such knowledge would mean looking elsewhere and breaking guild rules!

Our young sorceror hummed and hawed for some time before deciding to divide his skill points between the 'Physician' and 'Questing' grimoires. As part of becoming a ranking mage in the, somewhat distant, future he may create his own named Grimoire containing his favourite spells or discover/create a new spell or spells of his own to add to the guild's exclusive library thus building its power and prestige. I played Ars Magica for many years which has the best magic sytem I've ever seen so, in the unlikely event that time allows it, I might try to come up with rules for discovering and creating new spells as well as scribing and copying tomes.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby Richard » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:17 am

Just to add to the above I went on to treat Grimoires as learning and research texts, not merely lists of spells. I like the idea of sorcerers as scholars and lab experimenters. So in addition to a 5 spell maximum Grimoires had to contain related spells and include lore and learning too. This meant the final Tomes also had associated Improvement Rolls. By studying hard for a week the sorcerer (or anyone else familiar with the language) was allowed an Improvement roll in one skill associated (However laterally) with the spell. This is an extract from the brief guide to the Imperial Codex, Guild of Sorcerers I wrote up for sorcerous characters (There's a bit more 'fluff' I can zap you if you PM me your email).

Grimoires - Reading a grimoire confers knowledge related to the worldly realms of the spell in addition to spell knowledge. The reader must have at least 50% skill in the tome’s written language to use it and may need more if the tome is encrypted. Where the skill learned is an unknown advanced skill studying the tome diligently for a week opens the skill at its basic chance. If the skill is already known the character makes an improvement roll to which they can add their language skill critical chance as a bonus. Sorcerers should take note of what books they have read and tick off any skill improvement rolls they have made.

Sample Grimoires:

Codex of the Dutiful Ward – Neutralise Magic, Protective Ward, Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, Spirit Resistance.
Skills: Lore (Sorcery), Perception, Manipulation, Insight, Persistence.

Codex of the Diligent Artesan – Holdfast, Form/Set Metal, Form/Set Stone, Animate Metal, Animate Stone.
Skills: Craft Stone Craft Metal, Mechanisms, Engineering, Alchemy.

Codex of the Physician of the Heart and Soul – Abjure Pain, Enhance CON, Regenerate, Restoration, Treat Wounds.
Skills: First Aid, Resilience, Healing, Meditation, Survival.

Codex of the Warlock - Attract (Missiles), Attract (Magic), Damage Enhancement, Hinder, Wrack.
Skills: Close Combat Style, Ranged Combat Style, Manipulation, Lore (Battle), Evade.

Codex of the Questing Scholar – Fly, Haste, Glow, Mystic Vision, Teleport.
Skills: Ride, Swim, Drive, Boating, Shiphandling.
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Mixster
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby Mixster » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:52 pm

I'd do it simple, and just let players flesh out that bit of fluff for their character, give them a cap of 5 spells or so so they don't just have all spells on their sorcery.

Actually, I'd much more prefer to just have Sorcery as one skill, and then have it your own grimoire to which you can add more spells.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby andyl » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:59 am

Mixster wrote: Actually, I'd much more prefer to just have Sorcery as one skill, and then have it your own grimoire to which you can add more spells.
Yes, but you are just thinking of grimoires as repositories for spells. My opinion is much closer to that of Richard. Grimoires are more systems of thinking, systems of research.

I would be unhappy with a system of magic where I am as good with that new spell I discovered in some old tower that I've just written in my book as I am with my old faithful spell which I have spent years learning to use, learning the correct forms, the right way to clear and focus your mind, the right way to shape the stuff of magic (or whatever makes sorcery work in your universe). In fact it takes time and learning before you are proficient with any new grimoire or spell.

What you can do (and this is setting specific) is by GM fiat say that Grimoire X is quite similar to Grimoire Y. So that your skill with Grimoire Y is 20% of your skill with Grimoire X (and vice-versa).
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby Mixster » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:16 pm

andyl wrote:[
I would be unhappy with a system of magic where I am as good with that new spell I discovered in some old tower that I've just written in my book as I am with my old faithful spell which I have spent years learning to use, learning the correct forms, the right way to clear and focus your mind, the right way to shape the stuff of magic (or whatever makes sorcery work in your universe). In fact it takes time and learning before you are proficient with any new grimoire or spell.
I'm unhappy with a system were I force my players into using a set list of spells were they'll have to spend twice as many skill points to cast Neutralise Magic and Mystic Vision, than the guy casting Mystic Vision and Teleport.

It's just that, well I don't feel like limiting the grimoires my players use into what I envision a Sorcerer tradition would be, and would much rather have players fill out that fluff for themselves. That way, I don't run the risk that all my players will only use 1 or 2 sorcerous tradition because its' got the good spells, but they can create anything as diverse as they will.

And discovering a new spell and adding it to your grimoire could rather be a new use for an old trick than to learn it all over again.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby PhilHibbs » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:04 pm

Mixster wrote:I'm unhappy with a system were I force my players into using a set list of spells were they'll have to spend twice as many skill points to cast Neutralise Magic and Mystic Vision, than the guy casting Mystic Vision and Teleport.
I understand that. How about a compromise where sorcerors orders still have grimoires with fixed spell lists, but also every apprentice makes their own personal grimoire with a limit (maybe INT/4 or INT/3, maybe Grimoire Skill/10 or /20) to the number of spells that they can add to it? It's your game, so you can run it how you want, but if you want to use materials that are published for MRQ/Legend then keeping to the basic concept of the grimoire may be helpful. Also, it's easier to be restrictive at the start of a game and then loosen the restrictions than it is to be generous and then take peoples toys away.
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Re: Grimiores and Spells

Postby Mixster » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:40 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:
Mixster wrote:I'm unhappy with a system were I force my players into using a set list of spells were they'll have to spend twice as many skill points to cast Neutralise Magic and Mystic Vision, than the guy casting Mystic Vision and Teleport.
I understand that. How about a compromise where sorcerors orders still have grimoires with fixed spell lists, but also every apprentice makes their own personal grimoire with a limit (maybe INT/4 or INT/3, maybe Grimoire Skill/10 or /20) to the number of spells that they can add to it? It's your game, so you can run it how you want, but if you want to use materials that are published for MRQ/Legend then keeping to the basic concept of the grimoire may be helpful.
I like that, but it still bugs me that everybody from one order are equally good at all the spells taught in that order, however, I don't want to include a skill point tax on every skill.

Something I was toying with was having the order have a rather broad list, and you could cast everything from it at half your Grimoire, but you only got a few of them at full grimoire, then I would allow players to add a few spells to each grimoire the way they saw fit.
PhilHibbs wrote: Also, it's easier to be restrictive at the start of a game and then loosen the restrictions than it is to be generous and then take peoples toys away.
I totally agree here.

But all in all, I guess I'm just lazy and want my PCs to find out for themselves what sort of sorcerer they happen to be.
Are they the guy who teleports and uses Wrack? Are they a shapeshifter with 5 different kinds of the shapechange spell, are they just seers that use detect and mystic vision to gather information. Or are they some mix of that that has learned something from every school.
I don't think I'd care, if a player has fun with his character, without ruining it for everybody else, I really don't care how his (or hers) sorcerous tradition fits together.
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Re: Grimoires and Spells

Postby Richard » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:00 pm

As is often the case it all comes down to personal preference. My campaign's be going for decades and has a pretty deep background as a result. 'Fluff', as setting detail seems to be increasingly disparagingly referred, to me is often what much of a game is about. The storytelling atmosphere and mood of the setting, the balance of power and possibilities. I just like the idea of making Grimoires part of that. Not every sorcerer has to join the approved Guild of course! Other paths do exist but they have their drawbacks too.

I can totally understand that letting players take what they want and make it all up for themselves could be very appealing to many gamers. Go for it if it's your thing. It sure would save the poor GM some work. I have to say though that many 'power gamey' / 'munchkin' elements let loose on the Sorcery system might be rubbing their hands with glee! Maybe deep down what we're all really missing are Fireballs and buckets of dice! Where's my Player's Handbook...
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Re: Grimoires and Spells

Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:53 pm

Richard wrote:As is often the case it all comes down to personal preference. My campaign's be going for decades and has a pretty deep background as a result. 'Fluff', as setting detail seems to be increasingly disparagingly referred, to me is often what much of a game is about.
I agree, I wouldn't like to see Grimoires end up just like an AD&D wizard's spell list.

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