Skill Based Spells?

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Angel Tarragon
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Skill Based Spells?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:48 pm

I am curious to know if there are any RPGs where spells are treated akin to skills in D&D. My interest in this is due in part to how the [first] Diablo game handled spells; you don't automatically gain a handful of spells as you level, but rather your talent in each spell dictates how powerful it is...effectively treating 'skill level' as 'caster level'.

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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by agathokles » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:56 pm

WitchCraft RPG (Classic Unisystem) has spells that are learnt and used essentially as the skills of that system. However, spells are organized in related groups (e.g., Elemental Air or Lesser Healing), so you actually learn all spells of a given family together.

I suspect most skill-based games use a similar approach. I'd check GURPS and Fuzion, just to mention two.

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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by Michael Silverbane » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:30 pm

agathokles wrote:I'd check GURPS
GURPS absolutely does this. The magic system presented in the GURPS Basic Set, and in GURPS magic treats each spell as its own separate skill.
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by RobJN » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:15 pm

Alternity works magic FX much in this way
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:35 pm

I believe RuneQuest / Basic RP / Mythras works this way.
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:35 pm

Dungeon Crawl Classics requires a skill check for spells to determine if you can reuse it (and more importantly to determine how well/terribly the spell went off).
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by Khedrac » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:48 pm

Tim Baker wrote:I believe RuneQuest / Basic RP / Mythras works this way.
RuneQuest Sorcery works like this, but I wouldn't say that other magic does.

Another possibility for this is RoleMaster/MERP.
Spells come in lists that run from 1 to (usually) 20 with one spell at each level. If I remember correctly each list has its own casting skill which applies to all the spells in the list (though you can only cast spells up to your class level). However, being able to cast a spell is of limited use for offensive spells because attack wiht a ball spell and attack with a ray spell (etc. etc. etc.) are different skills which must also be trained up to stand a chance of hitting a target. Oh, a list will not be all bolt splls, no, it will be all fire spells, with a bolt at one level and a ball at the next etc.
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by agathokles » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:04 pm

Role master has only two spell skills, one for attack spells and one for general spells.

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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by mythusmage » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:42 am

In Mythus and Unhallowed - both Dangerous Journeys - spells are treated as skills.I don't know about Changeling or Abyss, but in as much as they also use the DJ system I'd expect so.
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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by Havard » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:17 pm

ElfQuest RPG has an interesting take on this. It is BRP based so sort of similar to the rest of those systems, but magic comes in really broad categories. Examples include Tree Shaping, Healing, Levitation, Sending (Telepathy) etc. That system could sorely need a revision though. I started a separate thread about that here.

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Re: Skill Based Spells?

Post by haazeven » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:06 pm

The first Star Wars d20 considered some Force powers as skills as well (others as feats)
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