[Let’s Study: Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin] Part 6: Magic

Posted: August 7, 2015 by pointyman2000 in Fantasy AGE, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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Capture After yesterday’s foray into a detailed examination of the combat rules, we’re back to looking at one of the most important parts of the rules: Magic.


Fantasy AGE assumes 12 different Arcana for magic. These are: Air, Divination, Earth, Fate, Fire, Healing, Heroic, Lightning, Power, Shadow, Water and Wood. Each Arcana is obtained by learning a magic talent, each of which corresponds to one arcana. Each Arcana has 4 spells each, 2 at Novice and 1 for Journeyman and Master Levels. Starting Mages begin the game with the Novice degree in two magic talents. This means that they begin with 4 spells at level 1.


Magic is fuelled by Magic Points. This is a resource of magical energy inherent to the Mage. Calculating a Mage’s starting MP is done by adding 10 + Willpower +1d6. Further levels add Willpower + 1d6 MP per level. Every spell has an MP cost and this cost is paid when the Cast action is taken, regardless of whether or not the spell is successful. STRAIN Casting in armor results in encountering Strain. The heavier the armor, the higher the Strain value, which acts as a surcharge to MP costs. A suit of Light Mail for example, has a Strain value of 3, adding a 3 MP surcharge to the cost of casting any spells while wearing it.


Casting spells is a special Variable Action that Mages can take. A Casting roll is made, which is an Intelligence Ability Test against the spell’s target number.


Mages also have a Spellpower trait, which is a measure of how powerful spells cast by the Mage are. This is determined by the following formula: Spellpower = 10 + Willpower + Arcana Focus (If applicable) Spellpower is used as a Target Number for a spell’s target to resist against.


As mentioned before, the Spellcasting roll is able to generate Stunt Points that can be spent for Spell Stunts. These Stunts modify a spell in different ways, allowing for effects like granting a protective field around the caster that grants a +2 bonus to defense to making the spell deal more damage to its target.


The rest of the chapter covers the spells inherent to the generic Fantasy AGE setting. Each Arcana writeup is accompanied with details on what a Mage gains upon getting each level of mastery in the Arcana, as well as a short listing of 4 spells per arcana. The spells are pretty interesting, and range from the useful like voices on the wind from the Air Arcana, which lets you listen in on conversations from up to 100 yards away as if you were right next to the speakers, to the more overtly blasty types like Firestorm, which does some pretty vicious damage to anything caught in it.

Surprisingly, the Arcana and Magic System of Fantasy AGE is pretty straightforward. Perhaps I had more expectations of it than I did, but it does feel just a little bit underwhelming. I’m willing to scratch that one off due to the fact that the magic isn’t grounded on anything, and that there wasn’t a setting to make the “metaphysics” make sense. Without a historical or metaphysical foundation, it feels like the usual lineup of spells. That said I imagine that adding a setting to this will improve this immensely.

The mechanics are perfectly sound anyway, so I think all we needed here was just a little more flavor. Next up, we’ll be taking a quick look at the remaining section of the Player’s Guide portion of the Fantasy AGE book: Stunts.


The Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook is available in PDF format from DriveThruRPG for only $15.99 or roughly Php 720. This Let’s Study series made possible by Patreon. If you’d like to help me secure more titles to cover in detail, please consider becoming a patron!

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