I spent some time at work today thinking about things that could be done with the ORE system. I admit that I’ve not yet had the chance to really test it in anger
OREs Magica is a terrible pun on Ars Magica, one of the best RPGs of all time. In Ars Magica, the players can be Grogs (the peasants and footsoldiers), Companions (nobles, ‘adventurers’ and ‘special’ characters’) and Mages. The background is ‘Mythic Europe’ which, to be honest, can be as ‘fantastic’ or as ‘mundane’ as you like. I quite like the “turnips and boils” of low fantasy contrasted with the Magic of Ars Magica.
OREs Magica takes the background of Ars Magica and plonks it onto a ORE-based system. I don’t have Reign yet but I’m guessing that the Reign system works much the same (though they have the concept of Expert Dice which are a little like Hard Dice.)
Anyway – the thought I had was that you could easily replicate the Techniques and Forms of Ars Magica onto the ORE system.
The Techniques (or Verbs) of Magic are:
The Forms are:
e.g. Curdus the Fire Mage has 3d in Creo and 2d in Ignem. To create Fire, she rolls 5D. One match is needed minimum and the height of the roll dictates the intensity of the flame. The Width of the roll can indicate speed or skill. She also has 1d in Perdo but no dice in Aquam, therefore she cannot “destroy water” without additional, outside assistance. The most common assistance is Vis.
Vis is the purified essence of magic as extracted from magical things. To convert, for instance, a Magical Bull’s Heart into Vis requires two rolls; the first being Muto Animal and the second being Creo Vim. A failure in the first roll may be attempted again. Failure in the second roll means the Vis disappears in a dramatically appropriate way. Success in both rolls means a number of points equal to the width of the Creo Vis roll are extracted from the heart.
But why do we need Vis? Every Mage wants more Vis. Why? Because Vis has some very special properties. Each point of Vis that is expended in a Magic roll can have one of the following effects:
- Each point adds a single dice to the Magic Roll adding to Techniques and Forms. This means that you can perform pretty much ANY magic if you have Vis to help.
- Each point adds a year and a day of permanence (in the Ars Magica book, adding Vis makes something permanent but I never liked that.) After the year and a day, the magic wears off. This has some serious repercussions for Longevity Potions and magical constructs. It won’t affect a house built with magic if the structure itself is sound.
The maximum amount of Vis that may be used in any activity is equal to your Vim score.
To do any more on this I guess I’ll have to buy Reign 🙂 Okay, I’m convinced!