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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Fractal Magic

So here's the thing. Sometimes I just need to write to get an idea out of my brain so I can move on. This is one of those as it's yet another way for doing magic in Fate.

When I originally started noodling around with this it was with my pools of fate dice mod in mind but it should work just as well using the raw dice mechanic.

Anatomy of a Spell

In this system there is a spellcasting skill and each spell is a fractal object that can either be defined in advance or on the fly, however they all have some things in common.

  • A name which is their core aspect

  • The skill that the spell activates if it is successfully cast

  • Complexity, a skill like ability that is used to resist efforts by the mage to cast the spell

  • Spell Stress track (which I need to find a better name for).


Complexity is determined by the number of effects that the spell has named in it's aspects.

The number of stress boxes that it has are determined by the total skill that the spell has.

flame_arrowThe flame arrow spell has two effects (it's an arrow and it's made of fire) so that gives it a complexity of two. This particular flame arrow has a shoot equivalent of 4 and so it has 4 x 1 point stress boxes.

I envisage a spell caster being able to choose the skill equivalent rating on the fly with the use of a stunt otherwise these are learned rote and the values are fixed.

Casting a spell

Casting spells is a specialised type of challenge where you roll your Spellcasting vs. the Complexity of the spell. Once you have checked off all the stress boxes then the spell is cast and you then resolve its effects. If you don't check off all the stress boxes in your first attempt then you can continue to roll Spellcasting vs Complexity on your next turn to check off more. If you decide to take another action, however you must start from scratch casting a new spell with all new stress boxes.