View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:47 am

Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth 
Author Message
Criminal Mastermind
Criminal Mastermind
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 3:53 am
Posts: 143
Location: Tower on the roof
Post Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
As you all know well, magic is a very dangerous buisness in tje Gothic Earth. It is so impaired, that most of my players do not play magic-using characters. I may have an idea of solution in a way of altering one aspect of ot. While extended casting rime, power checks etc. are going to be as writtern in rules, I am going to offer an option to have spell's variables (damage, range,area of effect) increased by one level per... a) spell slot sacrificed or b) additional 1% to power check. What do you think?

I love shorcuts!:
"IMHO a SH HH should be a better RL DL"
- Kargatane mailing list member
My campaign's journal:

Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:38 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:06 am
Posts: 9
Location: Ashland, KY
Post Re: Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
While one of my PCs plays a spell caster (a stage magician who has begun to dabble in the dark arts), I've made sure to limit the spells he receives, while making sure he is given the proper powers checks for spells used.

Increasing the power of the spells for your PC could be tricky; but if I were doing it, I would limit the overall number of spells the player has at his disposal, increase the overall casting times, and increase the chances of the Red Death taking note.


Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:38 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:17 am
Posts: 1087
Post Re: Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
Talk with your players and see what is amenable. That way you'll know what their issues are in specific. Your fixes may not be addressing the problems they have with the game.

The issues that I have, for example, aren't Considering the length the casting time and the chance of failure, I usually wouldn't bother with combat spells regardless of the damage. Considering it's a horror game, it often excludes the option of setting up the time and place for a combat (as in setting an ambush) unavailable, whereas the multiround casting times is all that GE combat spells are really worth anything. When you add in magic resistance, saving throws, energy resistances, and even all-out energy or spell immunity. I know i would not want to spend all combat doing nothing but standing around like a sitting duck only to have my spell fizzle and do nothing. Really the only purpose I see for spells on Gothic Earth is for completely out of combat casting such as the rare plot-mandated spell

Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:01 am
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 1:53 pm
Posts: 179
Location: The Vinkus,OZ
Post Re: Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
Well, how much Baby do you want to toss out with the bathwater? Me now, i've tossed lots of the little rugrats in my time... :twisted:

Anyway, I ran a Gothic mini-series last year in the spirit of the Penny Dreadful TV series, and having planned only about a dozen adventures or so as the next DM in roster got her first ever campaign ready to go (S&W Whitebox) I felt free to experiment a bit. Soldiers were in great shape, Tradesmen were fine, and Mystics had more going for them than just Spells-but Adepts do get a bit hosed-lower Hit Dice, no Combat Abilities, weak spells IF you can cast them at all, PLUS Powers Checks? NAAaaaawww...

Then I found this wonderful little OSR tidbit Bandits & Basilisks: ... t-now.html

-and threw the Adept away in favor of-


Hit Dice-D6
Arms and Armor-cannot wear Armor, same Weapon restrictions as Tradesman
NWP-as Adept. WP-as Tradesman. Combat-as per Adept. XP Advancement-as Adept.
The Forbidden Arts-starting Score=INT as a %, add 5% per Level until 10th, then add 2% thereafter.

The Occultist is able to Craft spells into powders, potions, scrolls, talismans etc as per Bandits and Basilisks rules, using Arcane Lore as the % chance to learn new spells when available-of ANY LEVEL. The DM determines what form the Spell requires and whether or not it is the typical MotRD version or the more powerful AD&D one.

An Occultist can safely unleash any properly crafted Spell that he/she knows of a Level=1/2 Character Level, round down (ie a 5th Lvl Occultist may safely loose a Lvl 2 Spell or less if understood). If the spell is unknown or the Occultist tries to loose a more powerful spell, the PC rolls Forbidden Arts in order to master it...success means that the Occultist 'only' takes 2 HP damage per Spell Level beyond his/her capacity-failure means the Occultist takes 1D6 per Level of 'Overcast' and the DM takes control of the Spell and may do horrible, horrible things with it! :twisted: In addition to any Powers Checks made for casting Spells, the Occultist also must make Powers Checks for any consequences of the Spell, controlled or otherwise...

We only ended up running ten of the dozen sessions but the Class seemed to work out okay. The Mystic got to prod buttock with better combat skills, Turn Undead, creation of Holy Water and the mostly non-combat ceremonial chants found in Masque. The Occultist got to show up like Magic Rambo with scrolls, vials of Forbidden Stuff and a Voodoo Doll at his belt, was terrified of Pickpockets and Item Saving Throws, constantly Broke and borrowing money for trifles such as food...and managed to botch a Fly Spell he wasn't ready to cast yet, resulting in a 'flying plague' every full moon in Wessex, alas... :shock:

Too much, maybe?

"And did she ever come out?"
"Not Yet".

Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:54 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:48 pm
Posts: 1491
Location: It's dark and I hear laughing.
Post Re: Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
Fiddling around with the magic rules on Gothic Earth without destroying the idea that it's a rare, difficult, and dangerous practice isn't too hard. Look at real world history and how our own modern technology actually has echoes even into the ancient past that were forgotten over time. Without the culture to support it, and the loss or repression of knowledge, things can easily be erased from popular knowledge. It's the same thing with magic, doubly so in European and American cultures during the Victorian Era (Gothic Earth's default time).

One thing I did was alter it so casters didn't need to make a powers check for every spell, but that casting spells would certainly "ping" the Red Death's radar enough to double the chance of failure on any subsequent powers checks for a given time (I use spell level in hours). This did have the side effect of focusing on the idea of "ethics of power" which worked out rather well for my group. Spells that already require powers checks for casting still demand such for each casting.

The roll to cast spells I left unchanged; magic isn't a certain thing on Gothic Earth. The longer casting times I did do away with since adepts and other arcane types don't get much more than their spells in terms of class abilities. Adepts also have more chances to learn spells, but that's a role-play consideration and not a mechanical one. One new danger is that spells and mystics' turn undead draw attention from entities that are aware of magic's existence, whether individuals or groups like qabals. Even the most ethical magic user will eventually draw the attention of something.

In the end it didn't upset the atmosphere or suspension of disbelief regarding the rarity and danger of magic, but it did put spellcasters on a more equal footing with other classes if combat resulted.

"Money is the root of all evil...I think I need more money."

Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:13 pm
Criminal Mastermind
Criminal Mastermind
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:36 pm
Posts: 115
Post Re: Increasing power of magic in Gothic Earth
The casting time thing is....actually very, very awful, IMO. I ended up scrapping it entirely and sticking with normal casting times just for balance purposes. Its not that bad when your casting time is a round or two, but...casting infravision requires 10 minutes while fireball takes only 3? Casting strength takes an entire hour? And it gets truly awful when talking about touch attack spells, as its completely ridiculous to expect a caster to stand around for several minutes and then touch his opponent. I understand the idea behind it, but I think it wasn't quite as well implemented as it could have been. I'm looking at possibly tinkering with this more as I get some more actual experience with Gothic Earth under my belt.

That said, I don't see the spell failure chances as being so bad, but that's probably greatly ameliorated by removing the changes to casting time. Adding in that you can effectively remove most of the penalties associated with casting checks (using slots to remove the penalties based on spell levels for example), it at least makes the spell check more manageable. Resistances are more troubling, but I sort of feel that major encounters with something with significant resistances to spells are or at least should be fairly rare (older vampires, illithids, high level ghosts, banshees, grown dragons, golems, rakshasas, etc...). There are a lot of creatures that don't have any significant spell resistances (mummies, lichs, and were-creatures don't have any extra magic resistance, for example), and saving throws

DP checks just for magic casting are pretty low unless you're being evil or casting someone tied to necromancy (which makes healing spells risky, admittedly), so I don't see this as a huge downside.

I do think that Mystics have it better than Adepts, and that is because they have more hit points and better spell selections most of the time (house rules for using the bless spell helps here...). That said, I don't think mystics and adepts are under-powered in the game because, and maybe others have found this to be different, firearms really seem to even the playing field for a lot of encounters. Spells serve to give them an extra advantage (at an extra cost), and I've found that to be pretty useful so far. That said, as I play 2nd edition, nobody really has access to anything the others don't EXCEPT for spell casting, so YMMV.

Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:05 am
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 6 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.