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[Fate Core] Words of Power Magic System

Ironclient

Retired User
Hey! This is my first time posting to the forums, seems like a great community here. I was hoping for some insight on Fate Core's supplement Words of Power. The system's great at outlining how to build and cast spells but it's a little foggy on casting offensive spells.

Say I wanted to throw a fireball at an NPC during an exchange whose Will is Average (+1). I imagine it would be a Superb (+5) spell (Distance: 1 Element: 3 since you're summoning fire from nothing and add their Will: 1) My wizard makes the roll and successfully casts the spell, how many shifts does the target take? Has anyone thought of a way to figure this out? I imagine you could add another roll to see how many shifts you generate but that would slow the game down with additional rolling and then what is the opposition? Is it an active opposition from the target? Or is it a passive opposition based on another factor?

I could see using just your magic skill like any other attack skill and doing it that way, but then, what's the point of implementing Words of Power into your game world at all?

Any insight you guys might have would be appreciated!
 

gtroc

Jacob Possin
Validated User
Hey! This is my first time posting to the forums, seems like a great community here. I was hoping for some insight on Fate Core's supplement Words of Power. The system's great at outlining how to build and cast spells but it's a little foggy on casting offensive spells.
Well the way I see it this would work one of two ways. The first way is just figure the difficulty as normal. THe other way is figure the difficulty as normal except instead of adding raw will the person defending would roll will and add the result to the difficulty. In either form I would do stress as normal for an attack. They take an amount of stress equal to the number of shifts over the difficulty you rolled.
 

Ironclient

Retired User
They take an amount of stress equal to the number of shifts over the difficulty you rolled.
I could see how the other character rolling for their will could help out but it could also make it that much harder to a point of ridiculousness. Doesn't that make it a little unbalanced for magic users putting them at a disadvantage? In my example, to score 1 shift of stress with a fireball on another character you have to roll Fantastic (+6) on your magic skill. That's using only their will without a roll to modify the difficulty of the spell. Had the defending creature rolled and got +3 to their Will that would make the level to cast the spell an Epic (+7) difficulty. Meanwhile an archer making a ranged attack could easily score 2 shifts on another creature by only having to make a Good (+3) opposed to the defenders Average (+1) defense.
 

gtroc

Jacob Possin
Validated User
I could see how the other character rolling for their will could help out but it could also make it that much harder to a point of ridiculousness. Doesn't that make it a little unbalanced for magic users putting them at a disadvantage? In my example, to score 1 shift of stress with a fireball on another character you have to roll Fantastic (+6) on your magic skill. That's using only their will without a roll to modify the difficulty of the spell. Had the defending creature rolled and got +3 to their Will that would make the level to cast the spell an Epic (+7) difficulty. Meanwhile an archer making a ranged attack could easily score 2 shifts on another creature by only having to make a Good (+3) opposed to the defenders Average (+1) defense.
first of all, I am merely guessing here, as this was a project worked on by someone else, in order to give another person the experience they were looking for. I may be wrong about how it is supposed to work. It seems to me that on a strait attack defense angle, yes other skills would fit the bill far better than this one. However this magic system does not appear to be about direct magic attacks. It seems to be about having phenomenal versatility and indirect methods of dealing with situations. Yes fighting would be a far better skill in a direct fight, but fighting cannot deal with any other situation. This can. Also it is only something like 5000 words, so there are going to be a few holes in it. I would check out the Fate System Toolkit when it comes out(if you didn't back the project and already have it).
 

Ironclient

Retired User
Valid point. I'm thinking too deep into it. This magic system definitely allows versatility for characters with the ability and that's it's strength. I think in my game if the magicians going to do a straight up attack it should be just a normal attack roll using their magic skill, with the added flair of their specialty to narrate how that attack actually looks. But the attack itself will stay just that. Words of power can be used to summon, augment, morph, and all other things in between. Thanks for the insight, it got me further than the internal conversation I was having in my head. :D
 

HMT

Registered User
Validated User
Nothing in the description of Words of Power says a spell can create an element that is not already present. It doesn't say you can use magic in place of a skill to do one of the for actions either. As far as I can tell, Words of Power magic (only) places, modifies & removes aspects.

[Perhaps the fireball could place an "on fire" aspect on a zone IF one allows elements to be created.]
 

LordDraqo

Technical Shaman
Validated User
Nothing in the description of Words of Power says a spell can create an element that is not already present. It doesn't say you can use magic in place of a skill to do one of the for actions either. As far as I can tell, Words of Power magic (only) places, modifies & removes aspects.

[Perhaps the fireball could place an "on fire" aspect on a zone IF one allows elements to be created.]
I took a moment to reread the piece, so that I could put it together. Basically, you decide what effect the spell will have, so you have to decide whether the spell does damage as an attack, or puts the Aspect "On Fire" on the target. Or both. That gives you a basic spell that does a +0 effect on a character who is within range, for as long as the caster concentrates on it. Put the second syllable of the Element of Fire on it, and now you've added +2 to the casting difficulty and the resistance. I'd hit with the second syllable of Purification so that the Fire is "purifying" the target, by burning away everything that is flammable, for another +2. So now you have a Great +4 Effect. You roll the character's Lore, and the target can attempt to defend (I would say using their Athletics/Dodge versus a difficulty of Great +4) if unsuccessful they take four shifts of stress, if the target decides to accept a Consequence to avoid the Stress, you apply the Consequence "On Fire." and tag that to add to your next attack.
 

Ironclient

Retired User
Nothing in the description of Words of Power says a spell can create an element that is not already present. It doesn't say you can use magic in place of a skill to do one of the for actions either. As far as I can tell, Words of Power magic (only) places, modifies & removes aspects.

[Perhaps the fireball could place an "on fire" aspect on a zone IF one allows elements to be created.]
If you add the skill Magic to your campaign then it opens the world up to a magic skill that can be used to overcome, create advantages, attack, or possibly defend. No different than the example they use from the fate core book in the extras section. They turned Lore into a skill that could be used for magic attacks as a catch all magic system. I'm just trying to figure out the best combination of the two ideas to create a more robust magic system.
 

Ironclient

Retired User
LordDrago I like the idea that you put out there... it's one of those moments when I kept thinking you had to add Will if you want to affect a person, like it said in the supplement. But throwing a fireball at them really is just a physical attack. So then I assume, using that method, any shifts over the (+4) would add to that attack making it harder for the defender just like a normal attack roll.
 
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