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Duane Sibilly

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A Time Arcana for AGE, Part 2

8 June 2019

An image depicting time travel I started building my Time Arcana for the Adventure Game Engine system a few days ago with four Novice degree spells. In the expanded magic system afforded Fantasy AGE since the release of the Fantasy AGE Companion, magic arcana talents feature a total of eight spells each, with four Novice degree spells, two of the Journeyman degree, and two Master degree dweomers. In this second portion of this series I’m releasing the Journeyman spells.

Journeyman spells represent a moderate escalation of power for casters in AGE. MP costs and target numbers rise accordingly, representing increased difficulty and resources required to attain new heights of magical power. Talent degrees come at a regular pace, but since they’re keyed to experience progression it’s important that a new degree in any talent (not just magic arcana!) deliver a noticeable bang for the player character’s buck.

Without further ado, here’s the Journeyman spells for the Time Arcana. Please let me know what you think by dropping me a response on Twitter!

Withering Eld

Requirements: Time Arcana (Journeyman)

Spell Type: Attack MP Cost: 8

Casting Time: Major Action Target Number: 14

Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower

You rapidly pull an enemy forward through time, temporarily inflicting the ravages of aging upon them before they are snapped back to their normal self. Choose a target within 10 yards that you can see. Until the end of the encounter, the target suffers a -1 penalty to Strength, Dexterity, and Perception. These penalties affect the target’s Speed, Defense, damage with melee and ranged weapons, and any ability tests made with these abilities. The target may attempt a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower to resist this effect. If they fail they may attempt the test again each round on their turn in order to loosen time’s grip.

Notes

Building upon the concept of using time itself to harm or debilitate a foe, withering eld is a common time-travel trope turned into a magical effect. Rapid, temporary aging can make a being drop their weapon, reduce their agility when they might need it most, or dull their senses in the midst of pitched battle. It’s not direct damage, but it is enough to hobble a combatant and provide a brief advantage for yourself or allies.

Déjà Vu

Requirements: Time Arcana (Journeyman)

Spell Type: Utility MP Cost: 12

Casting Time: Major Action Target Number: 15

You use fold time to undo the recent actions of a friend or foe, allowing them to relive the same moment over again. When you successfully cast this spell, you gain a number of Precognition Points equal to half the Stunt Die result of your casting roll, rounded up. Until the end of the encounter, you may spend a Precognition Point to immediately negate the actions of the current character’s turn. You must be able to see the character, and they must be within 10 yards of you when you spend the point. Additionally, they must have already selected at least one action during their turn. When you spend a Precognition Point, their actions are undone: any damage they have done is restored, any movement they’ve performed is rolled back, etc. At the end of the current round, the targeted character may take their turn again, and may choose new actions instead of the previously selected ones. After this displaced turn, they continue normally at their original place in the initiative order.

Notes

Here’s where I start doing really weird stuff with game mechanics. I was really enamored with the idea of a time mage being able to say “No, this won’t do…” and rewind a target’s personal timeline just enough that they had to take their turn over again under slightly different consequences. The precog point pool represents another resource the caster and GM have to keep track of in-game, but that’s what counters are for, I suppose? The point pool is equal to half the Stunt Die rounded up (equivalent to 1d3) instead of the full result because of some unfortunate mathematics inherent to AGE’s 3d6 system. It turns out that since success typically requires a high roll (the TN for this spell is 15), the odds that the Stunt Die will display a high number are pretty decent. A mage being able to do this 5-6 times in an encounter is way too powerful for a Journyeman degree spell.

A Time Arcana For AGE Series

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