Magic Subsystem: Elemental Chakras

This post is inspired (or triggered) by the Lawful Indifferent post of the same title.

N. Wright explores (‘throws out’) the idea of a magic system based on the elements and the seven chakras.  He initially decides that he likely won’t pursue this avenue, but I think it has a lot of potential.  Perhaps not in the way he initially described, but I can see a few ways to make it viable.

Ways to use Elemental Chakras

The described approach is to have each chakra bound to an element (and each element may be bound to more than one).  The number of chakras bound to each element determines the maximum tier of magic of that element that may be used.  The example provided is that someone with two fire chakras and one air chakra you could cast up to ‘second tier fire spells’, ‘first tier air spells’, and ‘third tier fire+air spells’.

I agree that this might not work as desired, if only because it is likely to devolve into a specialization choice (all fire, all air, etc.) or determining which bits you are slightly better at.

There are other ways that might work better.

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West Marches-style Sandbox Campaign

Ben Robbins had what looks like a very good sandbox campaign, and a remarkable way of managing PCs available at any given time. This post describes how I think I’ll go about giving it a try, because it sounds like it’ll work very well for me, given the difficulties I’ve had in maintaining a steady group of players online… and the design requirements for any particular session are relatively small compared to my normal campaign design mechanisms. I’m looking for players and possibly co-GMs.

D&D Meta-Classes

In AD&D 2e you could choose your weapon and nonweapon proficiencies (optional rule), thieves could choose how to distribute their skill points, and (in the Complete Priests Handbook) speciality priests could have different ‘spheres’ that controlled what spells they had access to and influenced the powers they received. D&D 3e started making …