Friday, 11 July 2008

OzCthulu Spoiler: Craft Magic (Part 1 - Body Paint)

I've been working on some different kinds of magic for OzCthulu. The system will basically break down into three varieties - Craft Magic (mainly performed by the Artist class); Divining Magic (performed by the Elder class); and Dreamtime Magic (performed by the Shaman class). [NB: I've put up details of the Shaman class already, but I'm saving the Artist and Elder classes for the playtesting release.] This is the first part of the Craft Magic section, detailing the use of body paint. Comments welcome! It seems like it might possibly be too complicated, and also unbalanced (I haven't play-tested it yet).

Craft Magic

Body Paint, Carving and Rock Art are some of the most powerful means of spellcasting available. Those of the Gatherer class can perform some limited Body Paint magic; those of the Artist class can perform all three varieties, and in more powerful and expressive ways.

The power of art work is a product both of the level of the artist and the time taken in preparation. Thus, a roughly hewn carving by a minor dabbler will perform very weakly, whereas an intricate design produced over the course of a day by a master will be extremely powerful.

Body Paint Magic

Body Paint is most often used to identify the clan group a person belongs to. However, it can also generate powerful effects if painted by a skillful artist; the colours, dots and swirls echo in the Dreamtime, conferring supernatural benefits on the wearer. It takes 1 hour to daub a wearer in paint, and the wearer can either be somebody else or the painter themselves.

There are three kinds of Body Paint Magic:
  • Protective: Protective body paint lowers the Armour Class of the wearer, in accordance with the following:
    • Level 1-2 Artist or Gatherer: 1d3 point bonus
    • Level 3-4 Artist or Gatherer: 1d4 point bonus
    • Level 5-6 Artist: 1d6 point bonus
    • Level 7-8 Artist: 1d8 point bonus
    • Level 9+ Artist: 1d10 point bonus
    • For each additional hour spent, the dice result can be increased by 1 up to the maximum value of the dice. Thus a level 7 Artist who rolls 4 on a d8 can spend another hour to increase the amount to 5, another to increase it to 6, and so forth, but he cannot increase the amount above 8.
    • Paint gradually fades over time. Its level of protection decreases by 1 rank per day.
  • Warding: Warding body paint gives bonuses to the saving throw of the wearer.
    • An Artist or Gatherer of level 1-3 can confer a +1d3 bonus to one of the wearer's saving throw ratings (rolling separately each time); an Artist of level 4-6 can confer a +1d4 bonus to one saving throw per two levels; and an Artist of level 7-9 a +1d4 bonus to all saving throws. These wards fade over time in a similar way to protective paint.
  • Blessing: Blessing body paint gives bonuses to the attack and damage rolls of the wearer.
    • An Artist or Gatherer of level 1-3 can confer a +1d3 bonus to either the hit or damage roll of the wearer; an Artist of level 4-6 can confer a +1d4 bonus to both the hit and damage rolls of the wearer; and an Artist of level 7+ can confer a +1d6 bonus to either the hit or damage roll of the wearer, or +1d4 to both. These blessings also fade over time.
Artists of level 1-3 can use only one of the above methods on a wearer. When they reach level 4-6 they can use two. Above level 7, they can use three at a time.

Gatherers can only ever confer one of the benefits on a wearer.

Note: Protective Body Paint magic might seem unduly powerful at the higher levels; but keep in mind that it is in lieu of actual armour. Except for shields, armour is extremely rare in the OzCthulu game.

I'll be putting up some more details in Craft Magic (Part 2 - Carvings) and Craft Magic (Part 3 - Rock Paintings) entries some time over the next few days.

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