Post:Foci - 12/12/2010 - 18:39:33

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Foci · on 12/12/2010 6:39:33 PM 12601
One of the more interesting goals of Magic 3 is to make {+spellcasting something that can be more involved and evoke a sense of "high wizardry," while at the same time not compromising the core functionality of the system and the need in DragonRealms for magic users to fling spells often and with limited constraint.

Our answer was to return to an old and mostly forgotten solution, placing emphasis again on magical devices that influence the result of spellcasting. To that end, Magic 3 is going to see the introduction of a new type of magical device, currently called the focus, which are designed to be used to benefit the caster if they are used during the preparation of a relevant spell.

"Relevant spell" is an important consideration here. "Normal" spells (non-combat, non-ritual) and "Combat" (combat, non-TM) spells are unaffected by foci. You will continue to cast the bulk of your character's repertory just as you're doing it now. This is done for two reasons. First, to preserve the utility of these spells; Mental Blast becomes useless if you need to bust out a cauldron every time you want to cast it. Second, because we want the use of foci to be a pronounced change from "normal" casting, rather than a new, more cumbersome status quo.

Using a focus in the relevant situation is never strictly required, but in two cases it can be called a practical requirement. I'll discuss these cases in descriptions of specific foci.

Rituals use enormous amounts of mana, often requiring many hundreds of mana streams to top out. Ritual foci are tools designed to aid a magician in harnessing the incredible energy these spells require, reducing the impact on the magician's Attunement to manageable levels.

Ritual foci are, magically speaking, "blunt tools." They often have to be designed with a specific book of magic in mind, and are useless for spells that do not support a ritual's grandiose, dozens-of-streams-at-a-time movements. Some ritual foci are, more conveniently, designed to be used with any ritual within a realm (such as all Elemental rituals), but they are comparatively harder to make and use.

This is one of the practical requirement cases. Nothing stops a magician with enough Attunement and mana on hand from straight casting a ritual, but in most cases this is not a realistic or convenient proposition.

Sorcery is a conceptual blind-spot for modern magicians. No one denies sorcery exists, but there are no widely supported (or reputable) theories explaining why and how. However, the existence of the Sorcery Foci suggests somebody out there is getting a good bead on it.

No one will admit to knowing how they are made, but Sorcery foci are as useful as they are illegal to own. They assist the caster in translating the "work" of his Attunement into other frequencies of mana. This can drastically reduce the inefficiency of using sorcery as well as the danger inherent in using it. The major problem (besides finding one) is that they are highly technical and finicky devices: the focus must be configured by the user to the mana mixture he wants to use.

This is the other practical requirement, though how much it's required depends on both the magician and the spell being cast -- the more foreign the sorcery is to the caster, the more useful the focus is.

Magicians have been shooting each other with every sort of force conceivable, and a few that strictly speaking aren't, since magic was discovered. The use of elaborate apparatuses to assist in magical combat has waxed and waned in popularity over the centuries, but is seeing a resurgence with the introduction of this relatively unobtrusive invention.

Targeting foci assist their user in quickly forming targeting matrices, reducing the penalty for "snapping" TM spells. Most targeting foci must be held in the caster's main hand (right hand) to function properly, though some are designed to function from the off-hand (left hand), at increased difficulty.

Compared to the other foci -- not to mention some of the byzantine inventions of the Warrior Mage Guild -- Targeting foci are simple to use and subtle in their implementation. Magicians do not need to feel compelled to use them to cast targeted spells competently.


This message was originally posted in Abilities, Skills and Magic (4) \ Magic - Suggestions, Discussions and Thoughts (16), by DR-ARMIFER on the forums.