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Awesome Powers 16: Spellcraft

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:57 pm
by BASHMAN
So I have been adapting the Spellcraft power from the BASH! Fantasy Grimoire of Magic supplement to see how it would work for superheroic games, and I think I have it. What do you think?
Spellcraft
Cost: Level (1-10 Pts) New Power, Charges
Instead of being able to cast a few spells at will, you have memorized a great many. However you can only cast a few per day.
Special Mechanics: Spellcraft can be used both as a replacement for, and as a supplement to, the existing magic system, with the permission of the Narrator. The increased versatility of Spellcrafting is offset by the limited number of spells the caster can use per day. It might also more closely emulate a certain style of magic that is more common in certain fantasy or horror genres.
The Spellcraft power requires a focus, usually a spellbook (but tattoos, runes, or some other focus would also work) in which the spells are stored. This does not count as a Limitation on the power, and has no effect on the point cost.
Each Rank in Spellcraft gives the caster 5 Character Points worth of powers that function as magical spells in their focus, and allows them to cast one of them once per day. So a caster with Spellcraft 3 would have 15 CP worth of magical spells in their spellbook, and be able to cast three times per day from the listed spells. The caster can choose to cast the same spell more than once. If the user is unable to get sufficient rest between days, the Narrator might declare that they regain fewer castings back, possibly even none. Likewise, if the user is separated from their focus, or the focus is in some way ruined (like magic tatoos being covered or a spellbook being doused in ink), they would be unable to use Spellcraft until the focus is restored.
As an option, Narrator might decide that magic learned through Spellcraft is something that anybody can learn how to do, even people with the Normal Disadvantage, so long as they have the focus in their possession and have trained in the use of the Spellcraft power. As a result, a campaign in which there are magical cultists might have otherwise “normal” cultists wielding magical powers. However, one cannot simply pick up a spellbook and start blasting like picking up a gun; they would have to spend considerable time learning how to use the item (and if it were a permanent change to the character, it would require adjusting the character’s build, probably 1 Rank at a time as they gradually learn more spells).
Common Enhancement: Extra Effect (grants the user an additional two castings per day; this can only be taken once).
Common Limitation: Diminished X (Castings: the user has two fewer castings per day than their Rank might indicate). Time (instead of daily, perhaps spells only are restored weekly).
This seems like it might be especially appropriate and useful to include in a lower-powered "Mystery Men" / "Pulp" style campaign to allow more magical versatility while keeping the point cost low.

Re: Awesome Powers 16: Spellcraft

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:46 pm
by MrJupiter
This Narrator's option, of any "Normal" character being able to learn Spellcraft, might suggest that this power deserves being placed in the INTENSE TRAINING POWERS category (though with the obvious caveat that this is at each Narrator's discretion).

Re: Awesome Powers 16: Spellcraft

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:22 pm
by BASHMAN
MrJupiter wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:46 pm This Narrator's option, of any "Normal" character being able to learn Spellcraft, might suggest that this power deserves being placed in the INTENSE TRAINING POWERS category (though with the obvious caveat that this is at each Narrator's discretion).
That is a good point-- instead I think I might move that section to the "Common Enhancements" part and list Esoteric Training as a common enhancement for people with the Normal Disad to use the power.

Re: Awesome Powers 16: Spellcraft

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:52 am
by OmegaCrusader
This is my favorite part of AP 16. I love the spell book option. Even though it is the same it is presented in a much clearer fashion than in the Grimoire of Magic. It is what sparked me to start working on a Thundarr game using Bash UE. I was strictly going to use LoS but I wanted to have some "Challenge of the Wizards" robot cars and such so UE seems to the better fit. :D

Not to dork out too much, but I've got to say Bash! UE and the AP line is our table's favorite. We've played D&D for decades. And when it came to superheroes, the other systems were good but never quite right. Bash has taken over our table for a whole host of games from capes to spies to zombies!

Re: Awesome Powers 16: Spellcraft

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 3:15 pm
by MrJupiter
I agree. BASH:UE is an excellent choice to play sci-fi and fantasy games. Just keeping CP levels down around the 20-point range gives you a pretty "heroic" level of play and the best part is that it is so much simpler than dealing with the points levels and costs of Hero System or GURPS (admittedly, it has been a very long time since looking at those games).

Note: If you are worried about players investing huge points for something like Brawn or Super Speed at level 5 then apply a point-tax of 1 extra CP for every power or 2CP for every attribute rank over 3rd level. If the hero wants to be like Hulk or Hercules then let them pay the 14 character points for that privilege. Their other attributes and abilities may suffer but they would still be pretty awesome.