Friday, July 12, 2013

Dice pool casting: healing spells

Hack & Slash just posted a fun new take on the 2d6-to-cast style magic that I've been using in my campaign. It reminds me of Warhammer's magic pool casting, and represents a caster's available power in a very tactile way.

It also lends itself to things like this:

Cure Minor Wounds
Cleric Level 1
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Heals 1 HP of damage sustained per target creature's level/HD, and 1 additional HP of damage per point of casting force.

Cure Major Wounds
Cleric Level 5
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Heals 1 HP of damage sustained per target creature's level/HD, multiplied by the casting force.

Here, "casting force" is the total casting roll, minus 10. Instead of 9-11 counting as "cast at start of round, retain spell," it is 9-10, and every point above 10 counts as an additional point of "casting force." So, Cure Major Wounds cast on a Level 2 character, rolling a 12, heals 2 x 2 = 4 points of damage. Level 4, rolling a 16 (using multiple dice, no doubt) is 6 x 4 = 24 points healed.

I'm scaling healing by recipient level so that a minor wound remains a minor wound across all levels, rather than starting out, functionally, as "cure moderate wounds" and ending as "cure infinitesimal wounds." With the Hack & Slash take on dice pool casting, Minor Wounds becomes a low-risk, low-healing spell that can be mildly powered up by rolling additional dice without much chance of losing dice, while Cure Major Wounds functions as a potent healing burst, that scales up quickly but burns most of your dice. In lieu of any rules for wild magic effects, I'm ruling that each duplicate die roll inflicts 1 point subdual damage on the caster, which makes the decision to power-up a spell with extra dice even riskier.

More thoughts this weekend.