Tuesday, October 29, 2019

City of Solstice: Channeling Magic for the OSR

Charles Rice has outdone himself with City of Solstice: A Setting for OSR Fantasy Campaigns. As I've read over the setting I'm reminded of Lankhmar or Sanctuary, he's built a thrilling, dangerous, and gritty place either set your campaign in or to stop by for a change of pace.

Charles describes Solstice as where "noir crime fiction and old-school fantasy gaming meet." And it is completely true in my opinion.

One feature that I want to focus on is how magic is channeled within the city.  The Star Society are five criminal organizations who essentially took over the city from the Kingdom of Annwyn several years ago. In exchange for not harming the King's niece and Lord Toren, Solstice is in the Star Society's hands.

While traditional vancian magic is predominant throughout the rest of the Kingdom, only members of the Star Society may employ it and own wands, staves, and rods within the city. For anyone else it is against the law.

Channeling uses Mana Power (hereafter referred to as MP), not spell slots.  When casting a spell, the caster generates 1d4 x level each turn in MP. The MP required to cast a spell is 5 x spell level. If a caster doesn't generate enough MP to cast a spell they may taken another round to generate it, however, once a caster stops generating MP it is immediately reduced to zero.

So a 3rd level Magic-User would generate 3d4 MP per turn and would need 5 MP to cast a 1st level spell or 10 MP to cast a 2nd level spell.

It is possible to interrupt a caster while channeling by dealing damage equal to or greater than the MP that has been channeled thus far, doin so prevents the casting of the spell.

Additionally, if a caster is interrupted, but has generated 10 or more MP, and is attacked physically, the spell deals 1d4 x level of the spell with  the caster taking 1/2 the damage generated and the attacker takeing the other half. But, if a caster is interrupted by magic then everyone in a 30 foot radius takes 1d4 x level of the spell damage.

Extra MP over what is needed to cast the chosen spell may be used to alter the spell. Each additional 10 MP can be used to increase the Caster's level by 1, gain +1 per die of healing or damage, apply a -2 to a creature's saving throw, or increase the range of the spell by 20 feet, increase the area effect of the spell by 10 feet. For every 5 MP over what is needed the Caster may add +2 to the healing or damage of the selected spell.

Casters may generated more MP by using a focus, such as a wand, to generate additional 1d6 to 9d6 depending on the level of the focus. A Caster adds their primary spellcasting Ability modifier (Int for Magic-Users, Wis for Clerics, etc.) to the MP generated with a focus.

I'm really excited to use this system and hope to use Solstice as a setting very soon.

It's still on Kickstarter if you want to back this excellent OSR setting.

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