Friday, January 17, 2014

Primitive Talent Magic for the OSR

In the continuing effort to model the Chivalry and Sorcery magic system in the OSR (specifically LL), I return to another Natural magic user, the Primitive Talent. The first effort was the Mechanical Artificer class. (I have already translated Primitive Talent magic to GURPS.)

Primitive Talent Magic

At the dawn of mankind, life was a struggle to survive. Humans had several natural advantages, intelligence, tools, and the ability to organize. They also had magic as one of those tools. But in the mists of time, there were no teachers nor books from which to learn spellcraft -- a magically gifted person might be the only one in the tribe. Those who could manipulate mana gained new talents because of their interactions with the world, not because someone told them how to do it. These were the Primitive Talent Mages. Their heritage remains in the human population.

Primitive Talent Magic gives a character the ability to cast spells, but they cannot learn spells from teachers or books, nor can they create magic items. Primitive mages use no focus, but they can use magic items made by other magic users. Primitive mages gain spells as they gain experience. A primitive talent mage does spend long hours studying spells, so any character class can be a primitive talent. The initial list of spells a character knows is based on survival instincts and social class -- starting spells are different, depending on where in society the character was born. 

Yeoman or Serf: 

Locate Animals 
Predict Weather
Protection from Evil
Detect Magic
Charm Person (if CHA >= 16) 

Townsman: 

Hold Portal
Read Languages
Protection from Evil
Detect Magic
Charm Person (if CHA >= 16) 

Guildsman: 

Hold Portal
Read Languages
Read Magic
Protection from Evil
Charm Person (if CHA >= 16) 

Nobleman: 

Detect Magic 
Detect Evil
Protection from Evil 
Read Magic
Charm Person (if CHA >= 16) 

As the character gains experience, they will learn new spells. The player can pick an additional spell for every 10,000 XP their character gains. Spells from Magic User, Cleric, and Druid spell lists can be taken. They can take spells with level equal to half their level, rounded up. For example, a level 3 primitive talent fighter can choose level 2 spells. 

This add-on class adds 750 points to the required experience points for 2nd level of whatever the character's main class is. For example, a Fighter who was a Primitive Talent would need 2750 points to reach level 2, and the experience points double each level beyond that.

Limitations:

GM’s Choice: The GM selects the spells to add to the character’s spell list, instead of the player (-250 XP).

Enhancements:

Enchantment Allowed (+150 XP): the Primitive Talent mage can make magic items.
Book Learning (+200 XP): the Primitive mage can learn from books, scrolls, and teachers.

An alternative to multiclassing for elves is to use Primitive Talent magic for their innate magical abilities. In this case, Elves could choose to be fighters or thieves without dividing their XP between the classes.

Wood Elves are primitive mages with the Enchantment Allowed enhancements. Wood Elves can make a +2 bow and +2 arrows for their personal use, as well as other items. The starting spell list for elves begins with the Yeoman or Serf list above, plus Detect Magic, Find Traps, Read Magic, and Locate Animals. 

High Elves/Great Fey are primitive mages, too. Treat as Wood Elves, plus they have the Book Learning enhancement. Their can make a +3 bow and +3 arrows for their personal use, as well as other items.