Lone Wolfe Spellcasters mixed with other spellcasting classe

Azgulor

Banded Mongoose
I don't have the Lone Wolf RPG and only have faint recollections of the game books. However, I have been very impressed with the Mongoose products that I've purchased thus far and have read good things about the Lone Wolfe RPG.

Currently, I use the Conan rulesset in a Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign - fairly standard mix of cultures and races. I hate the standard D&D spell-slot system, however and use the Sorcery rules from Conan, but they don't really fit all of the races/cultures found in a more "traditional" D&D/d20 setting. I'm curious if using some of the Lone Wolfe classes might fit the bill, but I don't have a good enough understanding as to how magic works in the Lone Wolfe game or how it differs from standard D&D. Below is a post I submitted on another gaming board describing what I'm trying to achieve.

If anyone else has used Lone Wolfe with other d20/OGL products, specifically with regards to magic, any advice, suggestions, or horror stories are appreciated.

Here's the post:

Tailoring magic to fit this type of world

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok, I've got to say it.

The base D&D spell system, Vancian magic, spell slots - whatever you want to call it....

....it sucks.

I know it's functional. I know it works. But it completely robs me and my games of any sense of wonder, risk, or satisfaction.

I know there is a large number of alternative magic systems on the market. Based on the posts I've read, some feel that they are completely incompatible. Others might just require tweaking. My d20/OGL library isn't extensive enough for me to know for sure. So for those who have looked at various alternatives, here's what I'm trying to accomplish:

Cultural or racial differences to magic. For example:

Humans, with their shorter lifespans seek the most power they can grab in the shortest period of time. My front-runner for this style of magic would be Conan's OGL Sorcery system. Humanity's frequent willingness to enter into pacts with demonic forces puts them at odds with some of the other races, such as the elves.

Elves - magic heavily influenced by or wholly based on nature-magic or the manipulation of elemental forces. Not necessarily limited to druid-style magic, but I just don't see the majority of elves tossing fireballs around the forest. The magic should be either harder to learn than sorcery or more subtle.

Dwarves - rune-magic. Slow to create, yet powerful in execution. As with the elves, at odds with the humans' desire for quick gain and/or high power.

Humanoids - perhaps sorcery ala humans, but probably with the demonic influence/corruption factor turned up to 11.

Conceivably, any race could learn any style of magic, but these are the arcane styles that the races tend to gravitate towards.

So any ideas? I'd be willing to work at tweaking and combining d20 variants, but I'd like to have a sense of where the strengths of the variants lie in achieving my goal. (Thanks to Turanil for his "variant magic" post.)

I'd even go along the lines of class-based magic. Humans are Scholars using Sorcery ala Conan, Elves are <insert class from d20 variant> using <magic system from d20 variant game>, etc. For example, I can extrapolate Conan-style Parry and Defense values to overcome compatibility issues.

Or am I better off house-ruling/redefining the base magic system? I.e. altering casting times, restricting spell availability, using spell points from UA, etc.

Has anyone else tried something similar?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Take a gander at the Magician of Dessi class previe2w offered for free from on the lone wolf section of this site. It is one of the two core spellcasting classes in the rulebook; it would give you a good idea. In essence, as you mentioned in your post, magic in lonewolf the rpg is completely class based. This is because each class represents a specfic order in magnamund; you will not find run of the mill fighters or wizards. (those are npc classes). This also opens up a slew of roleplaying possibilites.

Just to iterate a few points;

Nearly every LW spellcasting class has its own ruleset, its own spells, and its own casting system None of these are dnd's spell slot system. They can be cast as much as the caster wants, but there are different conditions of each; for instance the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star uses endurance to power its spells. An occult (a skill) check is also needed. On the other hand, the magician of dessi uses willpower (a new 'stat' for some types of sorcerors)

Nearly all dedicated spellcasters in magnamund have a Magic attack bonus! (think BAB but for sorcerors; thus a level 20 brotherhood mage can lash out with 4 lightning bolts in a single round!). This makes sorcerors very deadly, and magic very potent in Lonewolf the rpg..in fact mages are more powerful than fighters, knights etc. They also have many, many utility spells, and other general spells, among other things.
They also have balancing factors however, such as endurance drain, willpower drain, 'burnout' (occult check not successful, etc).

Anyhow I have begun to ramble as usual...so I hope this helped.
 
Azgulor said:
If anyone else has used Lone Wolfe with other d20/OGL products, specifically with regards to magic, any advice, suggestions, or horror stories are appreciated.

Sorry, I've never tried this and never will, I think. I do have a few suggestions though...

The base D&D spell system, Vancian magic, spell slots - whatever you want to call it....

....it sucks.

Welcome, friend :D

I do think that LW RPG can do a great deal for you, if you want to introduce different paths to magic. As each spellcasting class has its own, unique powers (defined by ad-hoc rules), you already have a number of different magic systems ready to use. Oh, and by the way, you also get a simple and flexible set of psi powers (Kai Lord's abilities and Psychic Combat)...
Have a look at the two previews on Mongoose LW page and make yourself at home...

If there wasn't LW RPG, I'd have recommended you'd have a look at Ars Magica or Witchcraft (both of which can be downloaded for free), though neither is d20, in fact they are based on quite different perspectives, so you'd have some amount of work to do to convert material from there.
 

Azgulor

Banded Mongoose
Xex said:
Take a gander at the Magician of Dessi class previe2w offered for free from on the lone wolf section of this site. It is one of the two core spellcasting classes in the rulebook; it would give you a good idea. In essence, as you mentioned in your post, magic in lonewolf the rpg is completely class based. This is because each class represents a specfic order in magnamund; you will not find run of the mill fighters or wizards. (those are npc classes). This also opens up a slew of roleplaying possibilites.

Just to iterate a few points;

Nearly every LW spellcasting class has its own ruleset, its own spells, and its own casting system None of these are dnd's spell slot system. They can be cast as much as the caster wants, but there are different conditions of each; for instance the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star uses endurance to power its spells. An occult (a skill) check is also needed. On the other hand, the magician of dessi uses willpower (a new 'stat' for some types of sorcerors)

Nearly all dedicated spellcasters in magnamund have a Magic attack bonus! (think BAB but for sorcerors; thus a level 20 brotherhood mage can lash out with 4 lightning bolts in a single round!). This makes sorcerors very deadly, and magic very potent in Lonewolf the rpg..in fact mages are more powerful than fighters, knights etc. They also have many, many utility spells, and other general spells, among other things.
They also have balancing factors however, such as endurance drain, willpower drain, 'burnout' (occult check not successful, etc).

Anyhow I have begun to ramble as usual...so I hope this helped.

Thanks for the info. Much of this sounds like it's just what I'm looking for.
Different approaches/styles of magic - check
No spell slots - big check
Success not automatic - check? (Skill or spellcasting roll?)
Balancing drain - check

I have a couple of questions, though, after checking out the sample you recommended.

I love the idea of magic orders or cultures having differring and perhaps incompatible approaches to magic. However, is there enough depth within a given class that all characters of a class don't look alike/have the same powers?

I don't mind the idea of spellcasters obtaining incredible power and potentially outstripping warrior types in combat (I expect it, actually). However, are you referring to spell-wielding power or do the spellcasters actually supercede warrior-types in melee combat? I like the former, but not the latter.

Can you provide some additional info on the "many utility spells and general spells"? Are these in the supplements or main rulebook. Is this true for all spellcasters, ala "common spells" that aren't tied to a particular branch of magical study or are you saying there are lots of spell capabilities for each class? (Unless I totally misinterpreted you comment, it sounds like in any case the look-alike syndrome for characters of the same class might not be an issue.)

Thanks!
 

Azgulor

Banded Mongoose
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the non-d20 suggestions, however, I'm trying to stick with d20/OGL systems to minimize the customization required. GURPS is my RPG system of choice, however, the free time necessary to custom build my dream-RPG isn't what it needs to be to support that model, so I'm leaning towards a custom-build d20/OGL approach.

That said, I looked at the Mage of Desai preview and it looks great. I'm 75% sure I'll be ordering the Lone Wolf RPG. Any suggestions or input on how critical the supplements are? Just wondering if I'll want the magical detail they may offer and should order them all now with the rulebook.

Thanks.
 

columbob

Mongoose
Azgulor said:
Thanks for the info. Much of this sounds like it's just what I'm looking for.
Different approaches/styles of magic - check
No spell slots - big check
Success not automatic - check? (Skill or spellcasting roll?)
Balancing drain - check

Brothers of the Crystal Star need to pass an occult check to use their spells. The DC is 10+(5*tier level of spell), so between 15 and 25. Once you learn a spell (one per level), you know all three spell effects, so level 1 wizards can potentially cast tier 3 spells, although with difficulty. Assuming and Int score of 18 and max ranks in Occult, you would need to roll 17 or better to succeed on casting such a powerful spell at level 1.

Azgulor said:
I have a couple of questions, though, after checking out the sample you recommended.

I love the idea of magic orders or cultures having differring and perhaps incompatible approaches to magic. However, is there enough depth within a given class that all characters of a class don't look alike/have the same powers?
This was a bit of a problem with the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star class, since they only have a choice of 10 spells (each with three tiers). At level 10, every BOCS will have the exact same choice of spells. Of course, this will change starting at level 11, but at level 19 most BOCS will be very similar, once again.

This has been addressed with newer magic-using classes presented in the Magic of Magnamund supplement, to avoid having too much similarity between characters of the same class at higher levels. I strongly urge you to pick that book up with the main RPG book, as it gives you considerably more choices of characters to pick from, all of them magic-users of some type.

Azgulor said:
I don't mind the idea of spellcasters obtaining incredible power and potentially outstripping warrior types in combat (I expect it, actually). However, are you referring to spell-wielding power or do the spellcasters actually supercede warrior-types in melee combat? I like the former, but not the latter.

You don't really need to worry about that, unless you choose some type of fighter-mage, such as the Vakeros knights. The Sages of Lyris and the Herbalish can become pretty good fighters too, depending on their progression, however I doubt that they'll become better fighters than Knights of Sommerlund, Dwarven gunners, Telchos amazons, Kai Lords, etc., except maybe for the Vakeros.

Azgulor said:
Can you provide some additional info on the "many utility spells and general spells"? Are these in the supplements or main rulebook. Is this true for all spellcasters, ala "common spells" that aren't tied to a particular branch of magical study or are you saying there are lots of spell capabilities for each class? (Unless I totally misinterpreted you comment, it sounds like in any case the look-alike syndrome for characters of the same class might not be an issue.)

Thanks!

Every class has their own magic, there aren't any "common spells" in LW. Some classes share the same powers however, which are intrinsic to their class, such as Dessi mages, Shianti sorcerors and Vakeros Knights, who all learn the Lesser Elder Arts (to different degrees).

The only new rules in Magic of Magnamund that supplement the RPG, besides the various classes, are the magic item creation rules.

Hope this helps! :)
 

columbob

Mongoose
Azgulor said:
That said, I looked at the Mage of Desai preview and it looks great. I'm 75% sure I'll be ordering the Lone Wolf RPG. Any suggestions or input on how critical the supplements are? Just wondering if I'll want the magical detail they may offer and should order them all now with the rulebook.

Thanks.

You'll really want Magic of Magnamund for the wealth of new classes it presents.

The Darklands is very interesting background and rules for, you guessed it, the Darklands. It's more suitable for higher-level campaigns, although you'll find it interesting for the additionnal monsters, the stats for all 19 Darklords, and the rules for 2 new characters (evil), the Dark Warriors (Drakkarim) and the Dark Cultists (wizards). Very good to create NPCs of you're not into playing an evil campaign. It also introduces the concept of Advanced Classes (Prestige classes, basically), with three of them: Death knights, Cult Leaders and Beast Masters (or something, don't remember the exact title.
 

Ghost Bear

Mongoose
The Darklands is great for background. If you like to really get your teeth into the words of the RPGs you play(and if not, why not?! ;) ), the Darklands is great. The book really brings the place to life, and actually did a decent job of creeping me out on some occasions.

-GB
 
Azgulor said:
Success not automatic - check? (Skill or spellcasting roll?)

Many spellcasters need to make rolls (usually, using the Occult skill) to get their magic work; others don't but they tend to spend more points (Endurance - that is hp in LW world - or Willpower depending on their background), or to have 'weaker' magic.

I love the idea of magic orders or cultures having differring and perhaps incompatible approaches to magic. However, is there enough depth within a given class that all characters of a class don't look alike/have the same powers?

Some characters do end up getting all or almost all the powers provided (Brother of Crystal Star for instance), though the way they choose them leads to different characters who only look alike at certain levels (typically 10 and 20). On the other hand, there have already been some fans creating new spells, if you use those you effectively broaden the player's choice.

I don't mind the idea of spellcasters obtaining incredible power and potentially outstripping warrior types in combat (I expect it, actually). However, are you referring to spell-wielding power or do the spellcasters actually supercede warrior-types in melee combat? I like the former, but not the latter.

Magical Combat is a feature that allows a mage to wield his powers in combat; it's just a matter of giving standard rules on spells and how they hit the target.
As for melee combat... I think the only two magic-users really powerful in melee are Telchos Warriors and Vakeros Knights, both mix of fighter and spellcaster (well, the former actually more of a mix of a barbarian and a druid, but you get the point). The Magician of Dessi has his staff, but he still risks very much his neck.

Any suggestions or input on how critical the supplements are? Just wondering if I'll want the magical detail they may offer and should order them all now with the rulebook.

Magic of Magnamund is a must if you want many different kinds of magic. But Darklands holds very nice black magic classes and monsters (the Nadziranim, for Naar's sake! :) )... not to mention some interesting evil objects. And even if you don't want to set your game in Magnamund, the Darklords can make for very interesting Big Bad Guys your NPCs (or even PCs, why not?) to be the minions of.
Magic of Magnamund does provide Cener Druids and Shadakine Wytches who use black magic, but Dark Cultists from Darklands are something more of the spine of black magic as it's been presented until now.

So, yes, I'd recommend them both.
 
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