#43 / Proposal on background driven Magic phase

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    • #43 / Proposal on background driven Magic phase

      0. Concept
      Working on this version for some time now out of the background information I gathered from our background team on how magic should work:
      Display Spoiler
      - Every area has some degree of magic radiance. This radiance is not like weather, it sips through the veil slowly. It works like radiation and not like air pressure. Natural fluctuations in the Veil allow for stronger areas of magic. Something which thins the Veil is souls crossing it

      - The more souls, the greater the potential magic. A battlefield in the aftermath of slaughter is brimming with magic and is a perfect source of an army for a necromancer.

      - Magic radiance can be stored in special items and special items can also be made which increase the flow of radiance through the veil to the mortal world. Wizards can also conduct rituals to draw more radiance through the veil. As Magic is toxic to mortals this is a dangerous process, overflow of magic is very toxic.

      - Casting a spell pulls magic from the nearby area and focuses it through the wizard. With casting spells magic radiation gets lowered on the battlefield, but can never be zero, there is always some minimum background radiation.

      - Dispelling would be a case of disrupting the caster's actions. As they are gathering the magic and channelling it in the correct way to achieve the spell effect, another wizard could strike out with their own magic to force the spell to fail and unravel the magical threads. If something was to happen to the wizard before they finished the spell, there would be a spot of high magic until it had time to dissipate.
      Obsidian items can suck radiance out of air, maybe this could be used instead of army dispelling for wizard-less armies.

      - (more of a design wish from BGT) a player should be able to get at least one spell through each magic phase, while two is average

      1. Wizards
      No Masters or Apprentices. Wizards have levels from 1-6. Most races are limited to max level 4. Some Wizards will have max lvl 2-3 and special races like Saurian or High elves would have option for 5 or more.

      Wizards shouldn’t have access to more magic items than 100 or 150 points, unless they are Generals or that is their army strength. This helps with the layout which is currently a derivative of some other game with heaving Apprentice and Master.

      Wizard level# of spellsFeat gained
      Level 11Gains one Dispel
      Level 22Can pick one Spell
      Level 33Gains one Dispel
      Level 44Can pick one Spell
      Level 55Gains one Dispel
      Level 66Can pick one Spell

      2. Spell Generation / Selection
      A wizard knows one spell for each level. He generates spells as following:
      At start of deployment, he first picks a number of spells equal to each even number level he has. A level 2-3 wizard picks one, a level 4-5 wizard picks two and a level 6 wizard picks three spells. Then he rolls dices for other spells he has. Same way as in 1.3, if you roll a spell you already know you can pick other.

      This makes lvl2-3 mages usable in Paths that don’t have Signatures. And makes sure your lvl4 has at least two useful spells. It also opens an option to have more than 6-7 spells per Path.
      Wizards prepare spells before the battle, so they at least have some idea what they are facing.

      Level 5 Wizard
      First he can chose two spells he knows, then he rolls 3 dice to select 3 additional spells, no duplicates.

      3. Magic Resource Generation
      At the start of the game, before deployment, both players roll D3 to determine Strength of the Veil or SoV (lousy name, BGT job to find better one :) ). Strength of the Veil is equal to Background radiation + both D3. Background radiation is 1 point for each 1000 points in roster.
      Example: Players play a 4500 point battle, so Background radiation is 4. Player A rolls 1, player B rolls 3. Strength of the Veil is 4+1+3 = 8.

      Some armies make Background radiation stronger, like Daemons. Some have items that can increase SoV roll etc.

      SoV = number of D6 dice that can be used in a magic phase for each player.
      This SoV represents how much magic radiation is on the battlefield and is used by wizards to cast spells and deplete SoV. The amount of SoV is known before deployment so armies can adapt their deployment and spell selection. SuV can never be higher than three times the Background radiation, for 4500 point game where Background radiance is 4, maximum SoV is 12. If Daemons increase Background radiation by one a 4500 game would have max SoV 15.

      At the start of each Magic phase SoV is increased by one representing radiance regeneration. This represents increasing radiation due to presence of casters, things dying and crossing the veil etc. There can also be items or army specific AWSRs that increase SoV by one, like when SE kills a unit in a forest SoV is increased by 1.
      If a Wizard didn’t move in his movement phase, battlefield SoV is increased by one.

      Carefully follow how much SoV is on the battlefield. With tokens or writing it down on sheet of paper. This number will fluctuate during the game.
      Even if all SoV dice were used in a magic phase, the SoV automatically regenerates to Background radiation before the start of next magic phase. This represents low background radiation that is always present.

      4. Casting Spells
      A player starts a Magic phase with a number of D6 dice for casting spells in his Magic phase. This number of dice is equal to SoV. A Wizard can never use more dice for casting a spell than his level +1. When a Wizard uses more dices than his level (that +1) this is called Push the limit.

      All spells have a number next to them representing Difficulty to cast. Like “3+”. This means that no matter how many D6 dice you roll for casting at least one needs to be three or more.
      Some very strong spells will have number in brackets next to it, like [2]. This means the difficulty to cast the spell needs to be beaten two times to successfully cast it. A spell can never have a higher Difficulty than 5+, unless specific rule says otherwise.
      Example: The Grave Calls, 4+ [2]. Means that at least two D6 dice need to have result equal or higher than 4 to successfully cast the spell.

      A Wizard can cast as much spells per magic phase as he has Wizard levels and each spell only once. If the wizard fails to cast a spell due to not reaching spell Difficulty, he suffers Lost focus and needs to beat the Difficulty for all further spells this phase one additional time -> all [1] spells become [2] for him and all [2] become [3].

      Medium Fireball, 3+
      Wizard choose to pick up two D6 dice and rolls them, rolls 1 and 2. Since none of the dice is three or more he failed to cast the spell and suffers Lost focus.

      Next spell
      Miasma, 2+
      Because of Lost focus he must now roll 2 dice above two to successfully cast this spell. He opts to throw 3 dices. Results 1, 4 and 5. Success!

      5. Dispelling Spells
      A player starts a Magic phase with a number of D6 dice for dispelling spells in opponent’s Magic phase. This number of dice is equal to SoV.
      All Wizards have a number of Dispels per Magic phase for each odd number level they have. A level 1-2 Wizard has one Dispel, level 3-4 wizard has 2 Dispels and a level 5-6 wizard has three Dispels.

      The dispelling player can use up to as much dice to dispel as he wants, but he needs to beat Difficulty of the spell at least twice and the difficulty needs to be beaten at least as much times as the caster did. It represents wizard duel, the dispeler wants to shatter the radiance the caster is using and return it back to SoV.

      6. Resolving Spells
      After spell is resolved, remove as many SoV tokens from the battlefield that were used to cast the spell. That magic was used and its magic radiance is lost, forever.

      If the spell was dispelled SoV doesn’t change. Magic was not used and radiance will be available next magic phase.

      Example #1:
      Magic phase starts and there is 7 SoV on the battlefield. This is immediately increased to 8 as SoV is increased +1 at the beginning of Magic phase from radiance regeneration.
      Active player has 8 D6 dice at his disposal for casting.
      Reactive player has 8 D6 dice and 2 Dispels at his disposal for having one Lv 3 Wizard.

      Active player starts by casting big Fireball with 4+ difficulty
      Lv4 caster rolls 4 dice: 2,3,4,4

      Success, the difficulty was beaten two times.

      Dispeller rolls 5d6 to try and dispel:
      Successfully dispelled, he also beat the casting two times.

      SoV on the battlefield stays the same.

      Active player continues by Casting Fireball with 3+ difficulty
      Lv3 caster rolls 3d6: 3,6,6
      Cast beaten the difficulty three times.

      Dispelling player decides to dispel with 3d6: 2,4,5
      Did not dispel because it only beaten the difficulty two times, not three like the caster.

      Spell is resolved and three SoV tokens are removed from the Battlefield.

      Active player continues and rolls Attribute spell with his last dice, he needs 2+.
      Rolls 5. Success.

      Dispeller is out of Dispels so he must let the spell resolve.

      Spell is resolved and SoV is decreased by 1, to 4. This means that at the start of next Magic Phase there will only be 4 SoV tokens on the battlefield before any extras from other sources.

      7. Optional
      a. Miscast / Overwhelmed by radiance
      Overwhelmed by radiance happens when caster Pushes the Limit or beats the Difficulty of the spell with four or more dice.
      A model who suffers Overwhelmed by radiance loses half of his number of wounds (rounded down) with no armour saves allowed and every model in contact with him suffers a hit with Strength equal to dice rolled.

      b. Bound Spells
      Bound spells are cast as normal, but the casting unit/model can never use more dice to cast the spell than the spell’s difficulty, unless it has a higher Wizard level himself. Bound spells cannot result in Lost Focus or Overwhelmed by radiance.

      A model has Bound spell with 2+. The player cannot use more than two dice when casting this spell. He rolls two and rolls 1, 4. Spell is successfully cast because one result was 2+.

      A model has Bound spell with 3+. He cannot use more than three dice when casting this spell. The player chose to roll three dice and rolls 1,3, 4. Spell is successfully cast.

      c. Magic Resistance
      Magic resistance is now only (1) or (2). No more (3). When spells target a unit with any kind of Magic resistance this means that its difficulty to successfully cast it is increased by that number, up to a maximum of 5+. Example:
      Miasma is casted on 2+. If target has Mr(1) this is increased to 3+.
      However the Dispeler doesn't have its difficulty increased, only the Caster.

      All armies have access to Mr(1) items and only rare armies, like Dwarves, to Mr(2).
      Note that this resistance works for both enemy and friendly spells targeting a unit with Magic resistance!

      d. Other ideas
      Magic Banner that prevents normal SoV regeneration by consuming one SoV each Magic phase.
      Item or units that have one or two Dispels ready to use each magic phase.

      Items or units that give +1 to SoV regeneration each active round. Or AWSRs that give +1 SoV when something happens, like when an Otherwordly unit dies.
      Items that suck magic radiance out from the battlefield, one time use and can be used at any time, even after a spell was resolved and before next casting starts. Effectively removing available dice for opponent.

      Items that allows you to reroll one dice once per magic phase.
      Items or AWSRs that decrease difficulty of casting certain spell types to emphasise army S/W.

      Items or units that create a bubble where there is no SoVs. Keeping radiance out and leaving Wizards with no dice to cast unless they move out of the bubble.

      8. Short summary of the key changes
      • Wizards have levels from 1-6 gaining additional benefits with each level.
      • There is a fix number of magic dice on the battlefield. This is called Strength of the Veil or SoV. SoV is determined before deployment so armies can adept strategy to it. This SoV is constantly changing during the battlefield depending on spells cast, magic items, AWSRs etc. This can be adjusted to increase or decrease desired influence of magic on the game as a whole.
      • Both active and reactive player start the magic phase with D6 dice equal to current SoV.
      • Wizards cast spells by beating the Difficulty (numbers from 2-5) of the spells with d6 dice. Dispeler's are making duels with the casters and need to beat the Difficulty of the spell at least two times, but can roll as much dice as they wish.
      • Only dedicated dispelers can dispel, there is no army dispel but items are available
      • When the spell is resolved SoV is lowered depending on how many dice were used to cast the spell. SoV on the battlefield must be tracker at all times.
      • All phases of magic are different than 1.3.
      Probability table


      The post was edited 3 times, last by Krokz ().

    • I like this suggestion. A lot.

      Some comments:
      1. The text describing how initial SoV is determined confused me. My interpretation is that SoV=2D3+Background Radiation. Each player rolling a separate D3 seems unnecessary.
      2. I see no reason to include an upper limit of Magic Levels. Having higher than 6 seems unlikely but we could just as well keep the design window open. Future Legendary Characters could potentially stretch into that area.
      3. Can you duplicate spell using the "Can pick on Spell" ability? If yes then I predict that could be a problem.
      4. Making Daemons increase Background Radiation is brilliant!
      5. "If a Wizard didn’t move in his movement phase, battlefield SoV is increased by one." Dose this represent rituals to increase SoV? Is this for each Wizard that didn't move? If yes then council tactics could become a problem.
      6. Overall I get the feeling that the SoV will always be pretty low, unless getting spells through will be uncommon. Could probably be adjusted quite easily (maybe make it increase by D3 at the start of each magic phase).
      7. One think that could be a problem is that failing a dispel has double damage. First a spell gets through which is always bad, but you will also get less dice next round.
      8. All player always having equal number of dice could become stale I think, but its hard to tell.
      Overall I like it :)

      Rules Clarification

      Lord of the Hobby

      Empire of Sonnstahl Blog, including links to my other blogs
      The 9th Wiki, a community wiki for the official 9th Age background
      T9A: Skirmish Campaigns
    • Thanks. I wouldn't be afraid to go even more out of the box with magic. But would like to keep D6s, preferebly increasing number of dice rolled in a magic phase or any other option (like beating Difficulty of the spell like my system) that would lower the temporary luck factor to which 1.3 magic is prone.

      Mad 'At wrote:

      The text describing how initial SoV is determined confused me. My interpretation is that SoV=2D3+Background Radiation. Each player rolling a separate D3 seems unnecessary.
      Each player was done just for interactivity :) and that both players engage in the act since its important to the game.

      Mad 'At wrote:

      Can you duplicate spell using the "Can pick on Spell" ability? If yes then I predict that could be a problem.
      Nope, because you pick spells first, then generate the rest. As it says in Example of lv5 generating spells.

      Mad 'At wrote:

      "If a Wizard didn’t move in his movement phase, battlefield SoV is increased by one." Dose this represent rituals to increase SoV? Is this for each Wizard that didn't move? If yes then council tactics could become a problem.
      Background wise its to represent rituals and such. Design wise it is to give it extra depth while punishing avoidance magic play style. If you want enemy Wizard to move, just go out of his spell range or Line of Sight.

      Mad 'At wrote:

      One think that could be a problem is that failing a dispel has double damage. First a spell gets through which is always bad, but you will also get less dice next round.
      True. It is why I would focus the design to work in a phase with low magic dice. There should not be much effective difference between high dice or low dice magic round. Depends on army build (lots of Wizards can utilise a lot of dice, but are kinda redundant in late game where SoV is low).
      However it depends if SoV is low at late game. If you have items and design a lot of AWSRs that increase SoV (KoE Lance formations Charging, SE killing enemies in forests, etc), there can be medium size magic phases even after SoV is depleted to Background radiation.
      It requires more definite design goals which only RT can give, and lots of testing.