My current game design conundrum, like my last one, focuses upon the nature of the magic system. I have a few options:
- A ton of spells of various power levels. This is the D&D option.
- A few spells, most of which are available to beginning characters, but:
- would have more powerful/customizable effects depending on the result of your spellcasting roll (more powerful characters will tend to do better on this...)
- include explicit support for customizing/skinning spells (the Bolt spell could be a Fire Bolt or an Ice Bolt or a Force Bolt... and each of these would function slightly differently.)
- include feats that give extra options to basic spells (the Necromancer feat might let you use Charm to affect undead)
- include rituals (already part of the system, though often used as plot devices) that give new options to the spells you have (a ritual might allow you to prepare an object so that when you cast a spell like Mage Hand that doesn't normally allow fine manipulation you can effectively animate that object).
- Some combination of (a) - (d)
Some people like to play wizardy types because they want to manage the spells. I suspect that just as many people (at least) avoid playing wizardy types for the same reason. If I just had a few basic spells and the system was designed so that you could effectively play a wizard with just those... but you had the option of tweaking a few dials... that might be ideal.
What do you think? What sort of spell lists do you like to see in games?