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2014-07-22

Spells as Loot

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy puts some restrictions on what spells casters of various flavors can learn, but doesn't address the issue of spell rarity. When I played D&D (B/X), I recall spells being something that you wanted to find. The spell tomb of a powerful wizard could be a whole quest goal.

While the fighter-types are getting new armor and weapons, the wizard might not need more than a new power item and some potions. Sure, their is lots of cool loot a wizard could get, but that can often pale compared to the astonishing new powers that they gain from spells.

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For my DF game, I've decided make "higher level" spells more difficult to gain and turning spells into loot. I'm using spells' Magery requirement as the "rarity" level, but with a few other restrictions:
  • Spells that have an unavoidable Magery X requirement in their prerequisite chain inherit that that same requirement.
    • ex. Identify Spell has a prereq of Detect Magic, which requires Magery 1, so Identify Spell is also considered to require Magery 1.
  • Spells with prereq counts greater than 10 are treated like they require Magery 2, Magery 3 for greater than 15.
Otherwise things break down like this:
  • No Magery Req - These spells are widely known and can be studied from books and sources that are readily available (spell instruction books can be found in stores)
  • M1 - These spells are commonly taught at the Wizards' Guild (standard training fees).
  • M2 - These spells are somewhat restricted. The Wizards' Guild may require that the player perform some service or at least be in good standing (no crimes against) the guild. These tend to cost more (1.5x) for training.
  • M3 - These spells are often unknown, hidden, forbidden, or otherwise not taught. Players will have to find a lost spell tome, hidden trainer, etc., in order to learn this spell.
For starting characters I'm thinking of limiting starting spells to: Any number of spells with no magery req, Magery x 3 M1 spells, Magery x 1 of M2 spells, and M3 are off limits.

Clerics and Druids are also limited, but using the PI requirements in DF1. I'll just map PI6 = M3, PI5 = M2, PI4  M1; PI3 or less as No req. Cleric spells aren't usually found, but instead are gained via donation to the church (training cost) and prayer. A god can give a spell to a character who has performed some service. Druid spells can be found, but are more likely to require a master Druid who lives in some remote place.