Attribute Tests & Magic

(originally posted on Sept 13th, 2016 @

Attribute Tests

Palladium has never had Attribute Tests for when it comes up in the fiction that character might need to use her prowess to cross a narrow ledge, or her strength to hold open a falling door. I’ve broken these tasks into the following categories:

Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard. – Each one of these will add a different multiplier to the Attribute being tested. Very Easy tests will add a x5 multiplier. Easy tests x4, Moderate tests x3, Hard tests x2, Very Hard tests x1.

You will multiply the Attribute being tested by the multiplier to figure the percentage of success.
For example when the knight has to hold open a portcullis to allow her friends to escape, the Gm may decide its a Moderate Strength test. She takes her strength of 14 x 3 (Moderate) = 42%. A Very hard test would show her at 14%.

this leads me to…


Im stuck. To a certain degree. I dont want to rewrite Magic from the ground up, yet I dont like the way that Palladium handles spell casting. Sorcery is something wild to be dominated and controlled. Albeit, its a dangerous task. Having PPE or a ‘mana pool’ seems way too much like buying abilities. Its too ‘video-game’y.

Im keeping some of the spell list. Not all those spells are necessary. Casting will be based on a Sorcery skill. Roll successfully, cast successfully. The question that I’m struggling with, is the ramifications to the magic. It should have a cost. Either in limiting the amount of spells per day, or the endurance required. Does magic take a physical toll on the body? Or can only a certain amount be held on to at a certain time?

This leads me to two options:

Physical Cost – with this option, the Sorcery would have a chance of being physically drained by harnessing these eldritch arcane powers. After each successful casting the player would need to make a Moderate Physical Endurance Test.
On a failed Endurance test, the sorcerer would take an injury equal to the ‘level’ of spell as follows:

A level 1 or level 2 – Superficial Injury; Level 3 – 6 – Light Injury; Level 7-9 – Severe Injury; Level 10+ Traumatic Injury.

or there’s a less damaging but more ‘mathy’ version. Playing with d100 causes the mathiness.

Assume that Attributes are listed as 1-20. That would be 5% assigned to each point of Attribute. You then could have the Physical endurance test the same as above. The margin of failure could then be divided by 5, and that number be ‘taxed’ from the character’s physical endurance. This would cause the sorcerer’s next casting to be more dangerous, as the caster’s Physical endurance would be smaller.

An example may be needed. The sorcerer casts a fire bolt, and has a Moderate Test with a PE of 15. 15 x3 (Moderate) = 45%. A roll of 73 would be a failure. 73 – 45 = 28, so we could assume a margin of failure of 25%. Dividing that by 5% would lead to 5. So the caster’s PE would be ‘taxed’ by 5. When the next spell is cast the Endurance test would test off the new PE of 10.The new Endurance test would then be at 30%.

The risk of the magic user then injuring himself would come when the physical endurance was taxed into a negative number. And injury level would be assigned to the sorcerer equal to every negative point of physical endurance. Therefore if the PE was taxed to -1 Superficial, -2 Light, -3 Severe, -4 Traumatic, -5 would be Mortal.

Its a little too ‘mathy’ for me. But it works.

Optional number two would be more about Mental Space Cost

This is more of the standard DND, you have a spellbook and only can keep so many spells memorized. I honestly feel this is more of a re-write, as i would have to figure out how many spells you could initially keep and remember per day. I like the first option better.

Thats what I’ve got for magic. Maybe I’ll post later for Faith.


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