How does Magic (in general) work? I’m not talking about how the rules work, but how Magic works within the game world.

Why raise the question now?
I should probably pause for a moment to explain why I’m writing about this now – in the middle of a major series about Modern Priests. There are four main reasons: I didn’t think I would get the next part of the Priest article written in time; I thought some readers might like a change; and I decided that those readers who are more into Fantasy and D&D might like something more in tune with their genre, and I had an idea that could be developed. Finally, because this is (mostly) going to be sheer off-the-cuff creativity, I can put as much work into it as there is time, and be satisfied to publish the result.

Why ask the question at all?

I guess the place to start is by answering the question “why bother?”. There are a number of good reasons why I think it’s important to at least think about the subject.

  • It helps color the game world uniquely;
  • It can inspire adventures that are unique to that game world;
  • It adds to the verisimilitude of the campaign;
  • It gives the GM a framework for decisions about how spells and magic items can/will Interact with each other;
  • It can be a lot of fun to do, and a lot of fun for the PCs to explore;
  • It lays a foundation that can be used to assess unusual situations.

“How Magic Works” is one of the “Big Questions” that I think all campaigns need to be able to answer. Or at least, to start to answer. I’ve been trumpeting that philosophy for years – one of my earliest articles here at Campaign Mastery, A Quality Of Spirit – Big Questions in RPGs, is all about Why.

But, in addition to all of the above, which is generically true of any of the Big Questions, there are two problems that only an answer to this specific question can start to answer:

What can Magic do?

Not just in the sense of the lone mage casting his spells; what can it do on an industrial scale? At what point does Magic become a more economically viable solution to a problem? Or, if you are dealing with a handicrafts-based pre-industrial or semi-industrial society, how can magic fit in as a tool in the workman’s armory?

Some definitions:
Pre-industrial means that everything is hand-crafted, and each craftsman works to his own particular design. Depending on the simplicity of the object, these may be very superficially similar, e.g. nails; but as soon as you get to anything more complicated, the artisan incorporates some distinctive feature into everything that he does that distinguishes it as his handiwork, and feels free to vary every other feature to a certain extent. A Knife set in which each blade is of slightly different size and shape and has a different decoration, which viewed collectively, tell a story. Daggers and Swords that are as individual as trees in a forest, each the subject of unique design. Each apprentice puts his own spin onto every project, and the master is more concerned with teaching technique than in directing creation.

Semi-industrial means that the idea of mass-manufacturing something has occurred to someone and been generally accepted throughout the society. Get forty or fifty blacksmiths together and give them some common design and supervision; there may be small variations between resulting examples, and each item is still hand-made, but the artistry is suppressed to some extent in the name of efficiency.

Early in the road to Semi-industrial society, the specifications have to be really vague: “Blade so long, hilt so long, cross-piece so long and so heavy, and I need five of them by Tuesday,” being about the outer limit. At the end of it, design specification extends to almost every detail of the work; the master smith gets to be creative, the apprentices do what they are told.

(For some reason, I naturally think of this stuff in terms of a blacksmith first, and other fields of design and creativity – woodworking, glaziers, etc – second. You will be able to observe this pattern repeatedly in the course of this article. I don’t know to what extent that shapes my thinking, so if you want to employ the same principles and approaches that I do but have a better chance at an original result, make some other craft your primary vehicle).

What can you do to Magic?

This question is all about the modes of interaction between magic and everything else, including other forms of magic. Can a Magical Sword unbind a spell, if used correctly? Are more powerful spells more susceptible to this? Can the enchantment within the sword be changed? What can be enchanted, and what can be done with those enchantments? Are some materials more suitable to specific types of magical effects, or less? Is there a limit to the powers that can be infused into a piece of wood, or a piece of hide? Or does the fact that these were once living give them a greater capacity than a lump of iron/steel? Perhaps Druidic magic can go further in enchanting once-living materials than Wizardly magic? Can magical properties be imbued into a source of wood, or a beast, while it is still living, that will persist within items that are subsequently crafted from the remains?

If these questions don’t fire up your imagination, and complete the process of justifying some expenditure of time on the basic question, you may be in the wrong line of work…

For every GM, a different answer

Every GM evolves his own set of answers to these sort of questions, whether he realizes it or not, simply by the process of deciding which things PCs attempt work, and which don’t. One GM I know describes everything in terms of Einstein’s General Relativity; rather than Space-Time, he describes a magical “energy field” called ‘The Weave’, which can be distorted by a select few – those with the potential to become mages – and the energy that results from the release of the distortion, transformed into various magical effects. The more powerful the spell, the longer the mage has to spend “pumping up” the distortion, but the more skilled and powerful the mage, the less time that has to be spent in this way; this yields a set of modifiers to base casting time. Some mages are better at some types of magic than others; another modifier set. The energy field itself is not uniform in distribution; there are natural peaks and depressions, spots where magic is innately more or less effective. There are wrinkles, and where these occur, concentrations of arcane potential are much higher; these form “ley lines” within the weave. Where several of these intersect is where Wizards like to settle, because it makes them more powerful, and hence they can defend themselves more easily. When crafting a magic item, the Wizard (who has to do all the blacksmithing himself, generally yielding a vastly inferior item) bends the Weave within the hot metal, which preserves the distortion when the metal is cooled, enchanting the weapon. What’s more, you can’t take a mastercrafted sword and have it enchanted because the process of reheating the blade sufficiently to capture the weave destroys the craftsmanship already within the weapon. Try enchanting a weapon with +5 because of the skill of the forger and you will end up with a weapon that has +5 because of the magic – and a sizable bill for the effort. Heat a magic weapon enough, and it will lose its magic, just as a sword will lose its edge. The greater the material’s resistance to heat, the more powerfully it could be enchanted. The difference between different practitioners of magic all came down to different ways of working with the weave, and different things the spellcrafter was taught to do with it once he had manipulated it.

For many years, every campaign this GM ran – whether it was Fantasy, where it was called magic, or Sci-fi, where it was called Psionics – employed this basic “vision”. For all I know – I haven’t spoken of such things with him for a long time – they still do. He found one answer that worked for him, and he has stuck with it – occasionally refining it to incorporate compatible ideas from other sources.

Sometimes a different answer for each campaign

My approach is a little different. I like to have a different answer for each campaign that I run; this may be more work in terms of learning each interpretation and distinguishing between them, and of course, it requires a bit more effort in the campaign creation stage, but there are a number of advantages in compensation.

It helps each campaign feel a little different to all the others, even though they may have the same rules system and hence game mechanics. It helps keep the campaigns fresh for both players and GM, because there is always new ground to explore. The distinctiveness can serve as a touchstone, a way for the GM to get his head into this particular game – a useful trick if you have more than one on the go at the same time.

Let’s create an answer

Rather than go into the answers that I have used for my existing campaigns, I thought that it might be more useful – and quicker – to demonstrate the process that I use to generate an answer to this question. This is going to be an all-new solution to the problem, and hence free for anyone to interpret as they see fit for their own campaigns.

The Limitation

Because this is being done as a fill-in drop-in article, the results will be a starting point, and not a robust solution. There will still need to be more work done by individual GMs before this reaches the point of creating game mechanics – though part of the process defines what those game mechanics will be, in general terms. I intend to work on the article up to the point where it’s either finished (not likely) or I run out of time, always reserving a little to use in indicating what still has to be done.

The Core Concept

I always start with a core concept, a fundamental, upon which I can build. It was having an idea for such a core concept that actually led to this article in the first place.

The Core Concept: Magic is a series of energy fields propagating throughout the planes of existence. These can be combined in various ways to produce different spells and magical effects. Simple (low level) spells cause a particular energy to flow either to or from the field to the environment. Higher level spells combine different energy flows to achieve more complex effects.

That’s my starting point.

The General Expansion

The next step is to define the parameters and expand on the basic concept. What are the different energy types? What are the different field effects? What are the ways that two or more energy flows can be combined? What’s the process of mapping existing spells into this view of the world? What are the differences between types of Magic? How do other spell parameters fit into this concept – things like range, area of effect, casting time, saving throws, targeting. What is spell resistance? Why doesn’t it always apply? How do spell components fit into the picture? How about Metamagics?

I used my general experience with D&D/Pathfinder to create the above set of questions, but if I were doing this “for real” I would skim the rule books looking for all the game mechanics that are involved with magic and making a list of them to make sure that I hadn’t missed one. The alternative is to expand the theory on-the-fly as questions arise in-game, and that can work too – if you’re good at that sort of thing. I am (hence my willingness to undertake this article), but I happen to feel that I get better answers if I have time to work at my own pace – so I prefer to work in advance.

Answering that long list of questions in the opening paragraph is a great place to start – not necessarily in that order.

The Ultimate Goal:

It’s worth keeping in mind what we hope to achieve at the end of it all: A system for the generation of spells, a process for the creation of magic items, a broader concept of what those magic items can be and do that facilitates the creation of new items not on the official lists that are unique to this campaign. And an understanding of what is happening that can provide a basis for color description of spell casting, spell countering, etc. We also need to evolve home rules for the campaign to reflect the metaphysical concepts.

This stuff is all metagame, in that it connects with game mechanics on one side, and roleplay/narrative on the other. At its heart is my belief that game rules should be subordinated, when necessary, to the campaign concepts and precepts.

What are the different energy types? What are the different field effects?

Turning the vague into the specific is an obvious next step. The general concept talks about Energy Fields of different types – how many do we need?

Well, how many effects to we need? Let’s start by thinking about the effects employed in existing spells.

  • Heat and Cold are obviously paired, and set the pattern of matching opposites. Call it Thermal Force.
  • Life/healing and death/harm fit this pattern. Call it Vital Force. Animate object and its antithesis can also be covered here.
  • Time – things like enfeeblement, and potions of youth – can also be covered under Vital Force.
  • Acid – also sounds like an application of the death/harm aspect of Vital Force.
  • Electricity/Lightning and ? According to modern physics, the opposite of electrical current flow is a flow in the other direction – so the answer would be ‘more of the same’. But this is magic, and an invented metaphysics – it doesn’t have to follow those rules. So let’s get creative! Electricity turns water into gas that doesn’t turn back into water when the electricity is removed. Using that as a template, “electricity” breaks things into its component parts, and the opposite of that is binding things together – and static electricity makes things cling together, and electricity can be used to coat one one material with another (electroplating), so – in a metaphysical sense – that seems to fit. So lets define this pair as Binding Force. This also covers spells that repair things, a nice touch. This also offers an alternative interpretation of Acid effects, something to choose between at some point.
  • Size spells – making things bigger or smaller. Maybe that’s a special application of Binding Force?
  • Movement (including summonings and teleports) – the opposite of that is a resistance to movement, which is generally associated with solidity and the other characteristics of resilience. Lets call it the Resilience Force, because Resistance has a special meaning in our base game mechanics.
  • Clairvoyance and that sort of thing is all about moving the sensory point-of-view of the subject, so that’s covered under movement.
  • Detect spells – these are different to clairvoyance in that they give the caster a sense they wouldn’t otherwise have, or amplify it of they do have it naturally. And the opposite would be used in hiding things. Call it the Awareness Force. It’s a bit of a stretch, but Comprehend Languages can also be covered by this concept.
  • Light and Dark. That seems fairly obvious. Let’s call it Luminous Force.
  • Good and Evil = Moral Force.
  • Charm and Fear seem fairly opposite. Call that… hmmm. Thesaurus time…. The Alluring Force. And that can cover things like Fools Gold, too.

That covers all the spells from first and second level of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. There might be something that’s been overlooked from the higher-level spells, but that seems quite enough to be going on with.

Thermal. Vital. Binding. Resilience. Awareness. Luminous. Moral. And Alluring. Eight Forces. Taken singly, with a choice of increase or decrease, that gives us sixteen basic spells – some of which come in different variations and effects, indicating that there’s more to the story. Taken two at a time, those 16 basic effects become 240 combinations – possible less sixteen that cancel themselves out, possibly not – that depends on how creative we want to get. Taken three at a time, we get 4096 combinations. Taken four at a time, 65,536. Five at a time, 1,048,576. Six at a time – 16,777,216. Seven – 268,435,456. With the potential for multiple interpretations of each.

What are the ways that two or more energy flows can be combined?

I mentioned having a reason for thinking about 5 at a time: to get enough basic spells, I think the minimum needs to be two forces at a time, balancing the manipulation of one with a corresponding opposed manipulation of the other. I also had the notion that some of the other questions to be answered might be resolved by specifying one of these energy types as a “carrier” or “conduit” for the energy flow (both these ideas occurred while writing the list of effects). So that gives a three-fold combination at the base, or 4096 different possible spells. Next, suppose that – in general – every five character levels, a character gains enough mastery over spellcasting to integrate a new order of complexity within their spells. Character level five opens the door to three-plus-carrier, or 65,536 spells. Character level 10 opens the door to four-plus carrier, or 1 million-plus possible spells. Character level 15, sixteen million possible spells. And Character Level 20, 268 million.

With the field expanding like that, and each having its own nuances, it’s very easy to see why mages would specialize. But, of course, we’re talking here about obtaining a “unified magical theory” that covers Clerical and Druidic and Bardic magic as well. And Rangers and Paladins, and well, any class with a unique spell list.

What are the differences between types of Magic?

A general principle: I’m always on the lookout for answers to the next couple of questions while I’m answering the current one. I had this question at the back of my mind even while I was writing about “carriers” and “conduits”. By the time I got here, I had the rough outline of an idea.

First, let’s assume that not all carriers are equal. Some are easier to work than others, and some individuals find one easier to manipulate than others.

Second, let’s assume that spellcasting exacts a toll on the body or mind unless you are attuned to that particular carrier.

Third, at least some of those difficulties can be overcome with specialized training – at the expense of making other carriers more difficult to use in some way.

Finally, it seems to me that there are simply too many options in the number of combinations that the proposals thus far create. The field needs to be restricted a little more, and that restriction needs to be more substantiative at higher character levels than at low – which is to say, with higher combinations of force manipulations. A great way of achieving this is to suggest that some combinations are unstable, and prone to blow up (perhaps metaphorically, perhaps not) in the caster’s face. With specific training, though, perhaps stability can be forced on combinations that would otherwise disintegrate.

These four general principles give a foundation for explanations of the differences between core classes, and for the differences between prestige classes and those core classes.

Some classes get spells at character level 1; others don’t start until their character level is in their teens, the exact level varies. Let’s assume that for most characters with an innate affinity, that “level in their teens” standard is the one that applies generally. You might be able to bring that forward using a prestige class, but those should always come with some sort of a price-tag. It might come in the form of special abilities that the character doesn’t get because they aren’t progressing in the core class, or slowed progression in some area, or something.

Some Prestige Classes don’t seem to have such a cost. Some explicitly don’t. These are either inherently unbalanced class designs that need to be overhauled by the GM, or they come with character obligations that the GM needs to lean on – hard. You should never have a situation in which characters automatically gain an advantage by taking a Prestige Class without a commensurate cost that keeps them at pace, overall, with the core class.

Clearly, a future stage of the process will involve listing the different spellcasting core classes and most common Prestige classes against the list of forces and defining each of them in terms of their manipulation of the forces of Magic.

What’s the process of mapping existing spells into this view of the world?

With many of the basic concepts roughed out, it’s time to start thinking about what I think of as the “translation matrix” – the principles of how individual spells and their descriptors will be mapped onto this vision.

I can never think of this phase of the subject without referring to the TORG spell construction system in my head. The principles were that each parameter of a spell was indexed, and these indexes were then combined to achieve a certain index value that defined how difficult the spell was to cast. There were other aspects of the spell construction system as well, but those aren’t especially relevant here. I don’t think I could do better than to take the same general approach this time around.

There are three general approaches to combining parameters: you can add the index values together, you can multiply them together, or you can add their logarithms together. This choice has a profound effect on the end result.


Addition has the virtue of being the simplest. It means that if there is some sort of maximum total that can be achieved by a given caster and given level of spell, once that target is reached, an increase in value in one parameter must be matched by a decrease in another. Short of that level, however, an increase in index value has no greater impact on the total requirement than a matching increase in the total – so it’s not that much harder to double the range, or double the duration, or whatever.

If you have, say, 6 parameters, and they have an average value of five each, that’s a total of 30. Increasing one of those parameters to an index value of 7 only increases the total by 1, to 31.

At the same time, it doesn’t make the spell that much easier to cast by halving the range. To increase one indexed value substantially, you would need to decrease several others by a considerable amount – how many and by how much depends on the base values for each parameter.

Taking the same basic example as before (just as a way of getting our heads around the numbers), increasing one of the parameters to 17 – when the average value is 6 – is an increase of 12. To keep the total to the same value (30), it requires that 12 to be made up by reductions in other parameters – assuming that no parameter can drop below zero, that means reducing two of them TO zero, or three of them by four to two, or some other combination that reduces the total by that 12.


Multiplication means that increasing the index value of one element of the spell by one increases the result by a massive amount, equal to the rest of the index values multiplied together. It also means that the inherent numbers we’re talking about are a lot bigger. 6 parameters with an average value of 6 is a result of 46,656. Increasing one of those to a 7 brings the total to 54,432 – almost a 17% increase in the total.

Increasing one of them to 18 – tripling it’s index value – means that to achieve the same total, one other parameter has to be dropped to 1/3 of what it was – from six to two.

This shows that significant alterations to an index value actually compromise the final spell LESS under a multiplication regime, which is also food for thought.


Contrary to what a number of my players may have thought, this was not actually the first thought that occurred to me. If you don’t know what a logarithm is, don’t worry about it – you don’t need to know. Why? Because this is an absolutely unnecessary complication. Just by altering the way values increase in the index tables from one entry to the next, you can achieve exactly the same effect using the addition system.

Linear increases in those values will work for some Spell Parameters. Geometric increases, such as each entry being double the one before, will work for others. Exponential increases – say, powers of ten (1, 10, 100, 1000) – may be needed for some. The latter is exactly the same as taking the logarithm of the base value being indexed and using it in an addition model.

Index progression

But the discussion of logarithms points out a key parameter for each index table. In addition to a base equivalence, we will need some notion of how the indexed values will increase within the table.

Measuring The Target

There are three meaningful values that should be taken into account in determining what a reasonable total should be.

  • The first is Spell Level, which has a minimum of zero and a maximum of nine. This permits more powerful spells to have greater range and effect.
  • The second is caster level, so that more powerful mages can be more effective at casting the same spell as a lower level mage who has access to it. This has a value of anywhere from 1 to 30, say.
  • And the third is the relevant skill value, usually Spellcraft. It seems reasonable that the higher this is, the more effectively the mage can cast spells. This can have a value as high as Caster Level x Skill points per level, plus INT, plus anything derived from magic items that stacks, plus anything that derives from Prestige Classes (yes, I have seen some that boost it), plus anything derived from preliminary spells… At low character levels, this will be very low, at high levels it could be in triple digits. It probably won’t be that high, but it could be.

Simply adding these together would give numbers like 15 or 20 when the character was low level, numbers more like 50 or 60 at mid-level, and numbers close to 100 at about 20th level: INT 25 + 40 = Spellcraft 65, Caster Level 20 brings the total to 85, and spell level 9 gives a total of 93, and 93 divided amongst, say, 6 parameters gives an average index value of 15.5 – quite high. Especially when you consider that some parameters can be reduced to compensate for even higher parameters elsewhere. There’s no reason why one parameter can’t have a score of 75 under this regime. Or more, if the multiplication model were to be used.

Which settles one thing: we’re using the index addition model.

Spell Stability

Simply generating a total in this way makes the caster’s spellcraft total FAR more important than the spell level, and more than twice as important as Caster Level. Is that really what we want?

We could make the spell level matter more by using a multiple of it – but that would just increase the total available for the different parameters as well.

What we need is an overhead that rises with spell level and parameter total, and that must be “paid for” from the Spellcraft total – with only the balance going to towards the sum available for Parameters. If we make this number too severe, we can then compensate with multiples of spell level. At the same time, we want this to be VERY low at low character levels, where there isn’t a lot to play with, anyway. In effect, what we’re doing is taking some of the score available for spell parameters and soaking it up in some mandatory additional parameter.

Lets call this additional parameter… Stability.

Two options come to mind.

A Fibonacci Sequence

The principle of a Fibonacci sequence is very simple – each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. If there is no preceding number, assume a zero. So, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 is a 9-step Fibonacci sequence. I like such sequences because they keep showing up in the natural world, for reasons no-one is quite sure of. I used them a lot in my (still unfinished) game supplement on Druids. They start low and rise slowly until they rise quickly at the tail end.

Prime Numbers

The alternative that sprang to mind was counting prime numbers. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19 is a list of the first 9 prime numbers. But this doesn’t seem to go up fast enough.

Stability in excess of parameter total

My first thought – waaaay back in the writing of this article – was that Stability could have a minimum required value based on the total parameter score. But that doesn’t do very much – you could achieve virtually the same thing by simply doubling the index values. So that wasn’t very satisfactory. But while writing the above, a new thought came to me…

Extended progressions

Why stop at nine entries on the progression? What if the count was Spell Level plus one for each parameter with an index value higher than Spell level, plus another one for each that was more than twice spell level, and so on?

This idea is a bit of a game-changer. Suddenly, there’s an added penalty to pay for extremely high parameter index values. Spell level defines how big this penalty is.

Let’s consider a spell with +5 penalty due to parameters in excess of the spell level. For a third level spell, the Fibonacci entry would therefore be 8, and the eight entry on the list is 21. The Prime entry is 17. Not very different. Both a bit high when you consider likely spellcraft scores and caster levels for a character capable of casting 3rd level spells – 18+12+6+3=39 total. Use 17 or 21 of that and you get 22 or 18, respectively – so those are what the index parameters have to add up to. We have, say, one parameter at triple the spell level (9), and three at double (6) – that gives us the +5 penalty – which totals 27 out of our 22 or 18. So we’re five short, or nine short, depending on whether we use Fibonacci or Primes.

We could limit that by counting a minus one for each parameter that was at or below the spell level, and so lowering where we are in the sequence. Even a small movement makes a big difference. If there are six parameters, and four of them are established as being double the spell level or more, that leaves two as less than spell level – so our +5 modifier becomes a +3, and the list entry numbers drop from 21 (F) & 17 (P) to 8 (F) and 11 (P). Suddenly, out of our 36 maximum, we have 28 or 25 available.

I would continue to work the numbers like this, exploring the best way of combining operations, until I came to a satisfactory result.

Catching an error

By now, most readers familiar with the 3.x/Pathfinder game systems are probably screaming at their computer screens, because skill levels are based on stat bonus and not stat value. But this is supposed to be a warts-and-all demonstration, so I have left my initial error stand, even though I caught it quite a long time ago. So spellcraft contributions will be much lower than indicated, and the gap would have to be plugged with increased emphasis on something else – Spell level being a prime candidate.

Spell Parameters

Using a system such as the one outlined, a logical model can be assembled. The next step would be to actually assign some values to the different spell parameters: Level of effect, die size, range, etc etc. Once that was done, it becomes simply a matter of creating the tables for each parameter, and then looking up the values for each spell in the core book. It would take longer to actually type out the names of them than it would to do the math involved, from which a final choice between Prime and Fibonacci structures could be made.

But I’m rapidly running out of time, so I’ll assume that all that gets deferred and move on to the next question.

What is spell resistance? And why doesn’t it always apply? Why are some spells no-save?

I would define these as an additional Parameter (that may or may not count against the spell level limits described above) – a score of zero means that spell resistance applies, and that a character can save for no effect; a score of N, resistance and save for half; a score of 2xN, resistance and no save, or no resistance and save for half; a score of 4xN, no save, no spell resistance.

Which only leaves the metagame explanation of these effects. Saves generally imply some warning of what is about to happen, a chance to overcome the effect, or some such; it depends on the type of save involved. So that’s easy enough, though the specifics would vary from spell to spell and should be part of the spell description.

Spell resistance is slightly tougher. The first thought that comes to mind is that each class might have one type of spell energy to which they are inherently resistant, and that spell resistance would only apply to those spells that employ that spell energy in some way. But this restricts spell resistance more than it currently is. So I’m not really satisfied by that notion.

And now I AM out of time.

The Next Steps

I need an answer to the question of Spell Resistance. I need an answer to the question of Metamagics (I had one in mind but don’t have time now to describe it). There’s some work listed above that has been assumed to be done, and which would need doing in real life. I would contemplate how all of this gets affected by Permanence, and magic object creation. I would think about spell creation, and make sure that it was reasonably onerous but not too difficult. I would think about the effects on the cosmology. I would think about how all this would permit magic to be used as a labor-saver, and what the impact on the society would be. I would think about Spell Books and how they work. I would think about counter-spells, and whether or not I wanted high-magic zones or lines and magic-resistant zones or lines. I would think about inherently magical creatures, and how they might be affected, and how their descriptions and/or capabilities might change.

I’ve spent less than a day on this concept, and look at how much I achieved. Four or five more like it, and the system – and its concept – would be ready for use in an actual game. And all those benefits listed at the start – and which took a substantial quantity of the time expended in this initial session to list – would come flooding in.

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