Sunday, December 2, 2018

Crossword Spell Reserch (my version)

Courtesy of Telecanter
Since Something Something 2d6 uses word combinations to make words, my eyes perked up when I read this post at TRR about using crosswords to define how to research spells. I have an alternate take on that idea, that uses free-form, level-independent spells. I'm going to use T's image to kind of illustrate the idea, but like I said, this is an alternate take, so bear with me.

So here are the changes, listed as system from the ground up, so not so much changes as they are inspired ideas.
  1. Each wizard (or multiclasser wizard) starts their first level with one word of their choice, their eureka concept, that they want to learn (they gots no magics till they do, in fact). As soon as they learn it, they can start using it to cast spells. So you could, for instance, chose to go for "run" or "rune", but run would be easier to learn and do vastly different things than rune, but longer words might be more advantageous for your repertoire-building (see no. 6). You could later expand run to be rune, runner, runny, etc (see no. 7).
  2. The player (not the DM), writes the word they intend to learn on a grid (maybe even a scrabble board).
  3. Each time they find a valuable or hard-won tome, curio, or reagent that can help them learn a letter of the spell, they can take a week to study it and check off a letter from among their words (this is when you get the satisfaction of using pen to fill in a crossword).
  4. Once all the letters in a word have been learned, it can be cast as a spell of its name. For instance, if you learned SEEK, you could tell the DM, "I am casting SEEK to try and divine the location of something".
  5. If you have done the scrabble option, maybe they have +x to cast it, or deal damage with it, or to its efficacy, depending on what kind of elf-game magic we are talking here (in SS2d6, you have to beat DC 7 to cast basic spells, but I digress).
  6. Now then, since the player is in control of their arcane interests, if they want to start studying a word that shares a letter with any current words they are learning, that's okay. The PC names these words too. Any overlapping letters are learned for both spells only once. So for instance, if you were using the pictured Seeks Enemy Mage Dart spell, and you were to learn the E from 1, you would also have it for free for 2. 
  7. Players can elect to modify their words later, adding letters (i.e. change "dart" to "darts"). They just have to be careful to not negate any previously learned words that share letters by somehow messing up their spelling.  If it can't be done in Scrabble, don't do it.
  8. Players can elect to start new words elsewhere on the grid, no problem, unless you are using Scrabble. If you are using Scrabble, be sure to give board square bonuses and give the PC seven starting letters from a Scrabble bag to make them feel better about the fact that they might one day run out of ways to add words.
  9. You could use these rules for alchemists, clerics, etc, with a little adjustment. Imagine mixing two chemicals or prayers to make an interesting effect.
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