Up a Level
Balance Spell Mechanics

Cleaning up the Balance rules. Mostly it was just cut and paste and reformat stuff, but it gave me a chance to look over things and get back up to speed. I'm hoping to spend at least two more days working on getting the rules, maybe even getting the combat section "done" for the system. It doesn't look like there is much more to do. Of course, when I add the action maintainer program... there is a lot to do.

I'm also trying to figure out the magic system, or at least the sixth version of the magic system. The new one is based on sentances. The most simplistic type of "spell" is: "Create Fire." This should be used to create a lighter or a fireball. The metamagic just determines the size and effects of the spell. Haven't figured out if metamagics are part of a "spell" yet, but not too worried about that. In the new system, "Create" is a pattern as is "Fire." I'm going to use Ursula K. Le Guin (who happens to be probably the writer I love the most) and some of the idea from Earthsea. It won't be exact, naturally, but some of the ideas.

Every pattern is a skill and will probably have a 1, 4, or 16 cost. "Create" is very generic concept, so it will have a cost of 16 right off the bat. So will "Destroy," "Summon." I haven't figured out what "Fire" is but I'm going to reserve the 1 cost skills for a specific place, a place uniquely identified in a similiar way to Earthsea assigns its true names. So, a pond may have a true name (and a cost 1 skill), but the grassy knoll above it would have another. A city will have a true name, but it will really be the "city except for anything else that has a true name." Unique items will also have them.

The cost 4 skills will be categories. In Earthsea, there was a name for sheep and another for goat. I like that idea. So, I wanted to set it up so "Humans" was a cost 4 skill. So, you could either get "Humans" at a specific level or a specific human at four times the same level. The category above that would be, naturally, even more generic, such as "Animal" or "Mammal." That part I haven't decided. I might also go higher than 16 for very generic terms (Mammal at 16, Animal at 64).

This gives us a bunch of skills at various ratings. Stealing an idea from Lojban, I wanted to organize the verbs into having one or more variables. These variables determines the effect of the spell.

For example, "Create" would be "Create A" where A is the material, or creature being created. So, "Create Fire" would create fire while "Create Mammal" would let you make any mammal. Naturally, you couldn't recreate someone who already exists, so "Create Bob" (assuming Bob is the true name for a human) wouldn't work because Bob already exists. This means that each object pattern (creature, location, object) may have modifiers to the verbs.

So, assuming a mage has Create +3 and Fire +2, what does that mean? Or, more importantly, how is it used? One approach is that you add the modifiers (+5) for the effect, which is broken down by the Create rules. So, the +5 might determine how fast you can create that much material.

So, "Teleport A to B" where A is the object to teleport and B would be where to teleport it. How it works would be based on the spell, if B was a human, then the item might show up in their hand, or next to them.

Still working out these details. Mainly, trying to figure out how to organize the effects. As I see it, there are two potentials. The first is to say each part of the verb defines some value.

So, "Teleport A to B" would me your rating in A determined the T# to resist it, the rating in B would be getting there (distance) and Teleport could be arranged through the other parts. So, if you had Teleport +4, Bob +3, and Chicago +2, you could use the +4 to make it Bob +5 and Chicago +4 for purposes of distance and resisting it.