Draxia RPG: Crafting and Spell Creation

Since today is the third Friday of the month it’s time for another RPG update. What I will be discussing today is focused on crafting equipment, enchanting equipment, and creating custom spells. I have always found when I play in an RPG that I have a strong desire to create. Unfortunately, in most RPG systems I have played, the rigidity of the system severely limits what kinds of objects can be made. That drove my desire to create a system that is highly flexible and allows a player to create a wide variety of truly unique things.

Crafting Mechanics

The first and most obvious thing a player can create in an RPG system is an ordinary material object. This is accomplished through the use of a craft skill. In my system a player selects the object they want to make, makes a skill check using the appropriate craft skill (such as craft weapon), and spends the appropriate amount of time and gold needed to finish the object. The time and gold cost formulas are clearly written in the RPG for those who are curious about the specifics.

While this is a fairly common way for a craft system to be designed in an RPG, I have one significant difference from most other systems. The core attribute used for the craft skill varies based on the skill, rather than using Intelligence for all of them. This means that to do work as a blacksmith, a player needs to have a high strength attribute, and to do wood working a player needs a high agility attribute. I did this for two reasons. First, I find it more accurate to have the skills associated this way. Frail scholars are NOT the types of people who work at a forge. Second, it encourages more players to take craft skills, since it means you can make equipment for your own use, rather than asking someone else to make it for you.

Masterwork Crafting Mechanics

In addition to making ordinary objects, I also developed a set of rules to craft both masterwork and enchanted equipment. Yet again, in most systems I have encountered minimal to no versatility when it comes to improving equipment. I built a set of masterwork and enchantment tables to allow players to pick and choose what they want. In this way a player can create a highly customized piece of equipment. Not only can a player customize the physical attributes of the equipment, but he or she can then choose complimentary magical enchantments to further augment its abilities, creating a completely unique item.
The advantage of a craft system that allows such powerful customization is the nearly endless combinations of physical and magical attributes that can be made, providing numerous ways to make each piece of equipment. This facilitates good RPG playing by allowing and encouraging players to be innovative and creative. For the moment the masterwork and enchantment tables are fairly basic, such as increased damage and accuracy. But as time goes on I will continue to expand the tables to allow ever more complex customization.

Custom Spell Creation

Finally, we come to custom spell creation. I have come across very few systems that even attempt to have a way to design unique spells. I can’t count the times I have been playing a Spell Caster and found myself limited by the pre-generated spell book for the game. To address this issue I created spell attribute charts for each component of a spell, such as cast time, duration, range, etc. When creating a spell, a player uses Spell Points to determine the potency of the spell’s attributes. The amount of Spell Points available for a spell is based on the level of the spell. In this way a player can choose the level of spell they want to create, and then spend Spell Points to modify the various components of the spell.
The end result of this custom spell crafting system is truly unique spells. For example you could create an extremely long ranged lightning bolt spell that does minimal damage. Alternately you could make the same spell, but increase the cast time to half a day, and now the spell also does significant damage. By providing a truly custom spell system players are encouraged to think outside the box – to accomplish their quests in new and innovative ways. Such an open magic system encourage players to think of new ways to play Spell Casters; which will be all the more fun for everyone in the Party.
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Here’s to Epic Dreams and Epic Ideas,

Jimmy Sanders
Lead Game Designer
Mythica Gaming LLC