Sunday, 8 February 2015

Magic-Users in my Campaign: Material Components

  I have a love/hate relationship with material components for spells when it comes to my campaign. On the one hand, I think they are a balancing factor in the game. On the other hand, I like to grab spells from all over the OSR and some OSR games don't use material components. And on the third hand (Don't question it!), I hate the idea of a player having to write down every single little thing required for a spell. Don't get me wrong, if it's something really important like the scale of a dragon or a gem of a certain worth, then yeah the Magic-User will need to get it. But for the small stuff?
  Thankfully, Castles & Crusades: Castle Keeper's Guide has a solution for me; Buying material components costs 20 gp per level every few adventures. So a level 3 Magic-User will need to spend 60 gp on material components. To that, I'll add that if a 3rd level MU only has 20 gp on him, he can always cast spells like a 1st level MU. (In other words, if you have enough to cast like you used to with 20 gp, why wouldn't you be able now that you've become even more awesome?) That would require just a bit of note-keeping, but not that much.
  That brings the obvious question though; How many adventures is 'A few adventures'? Well, the adventure Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine has optional rules for handling differently how long torches and lanterns will last you. I won't repeat the rule here because the adventure is Pay-What-You-Want so you can grab a copy if you want to check it out, but basically you roll every turn to see if the light stays on. A MU could use that rule per gaming session (if magic was used) instead of turns to see if he needs more material components.
   Yeah, let's go with that. :)
  The next one about Magic-Users will deal with magic item creation in my campaign!