Just the Rules: Ultimate Spheres of Power

Here I was, brainstorming ideas for a ‘U Day’ post, and I see a book holding my night table down, Ultimate Spheres of Power from Drop Dead Studios.

Two days after I come up with a scheme for spell casting, and here I’m looking at a book with all the tools I need to build a replacement magic system.

  • Universal casting: Everyone uses the same framework, even if the particulars vary.
  • Traditions: Built in right from the start, and each can have positive and negative elements to help differentiate them.
  • Spheres: Many types or forms of power, each with different effects. See below for more.
  • Spell Points: I’m not always a fan, but the implementation in USoP meshes well with the effort mechanics I plan to adopt. The numbers are about twice as high as I plan, but since most uses of effort are readily recovered it will probably be fine.
  • Talents: So many talents, expressions of a sphere’s power. I might not allow as free a choice as USoP does, but there will still be a huge amount of room for selection.
  • Advanced Talents: Sphere-specific talents that look like they fit almost perfectly into the higher-path definitions from a couple days ago.
  • Archetypes: There are archetypes for the classes in this book and in the base game. Each of these gives more options for me to use in building paths.
  • Rituals and Incantations: Rules for ritual magic that I like better than most I’ve seen. I like magic that isn’t specifically spell casting.
  • Spellcrafting: Rules for creating specific spells rather than dynamically applying talents. This could serve as the basis of certain ‘rote’ magic use. In fact, even if I don’t expose the sphere and talent system directly, I could use this to devise spells as I had planned the other day. The other scheme can use spells that already exist (which might save me some work, I’ve catalogued almost 7,000 spells… so far), but it doesn’t have to.

Yes… I definitely need to go up and reread certain sections of this book.

And there is also Spheres of Might, which covers martial endeavors. I’ll have to take that one upstairs with me as well.

… or would; I think it’s already up there.

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