House Rules—Magic Rebalancing

(I’m heading to the girlfriend’s for the weekend again, so I’m getting tomorrows SR post out of the way; I’ll probably end up doing Sunday’s post Monday.)

A couple months back, Shadowrun’s line developer (basically, a combination of the production editor and the guy who decides what proposed books for the game line get greenlighted or not, along with deciding the direction the metaplot and rules development takes) had a nice little public chat with the fans. One of the fans asked if there were any plans for rebalancing the magic system, and linked to his analysis of why magic is, in fact, broken, which he had up on Dumpshock, the most used Shadowrun forums. I read his analysis and his proposed changes with interest, and decided that, at least as far as his analysis went, he was right. After discussing the issue with Breagh’s player, I decided he was definitely not right about the way he went about rebalancing; if you look at the ultimate results of his proposal, you can see that Fireball, the area-of-attack fire spell, has a drain modifier of merely +1. With a drain modifier like that, even a non-optimized Magician character can throw fireballs around all day and barely be winded; while his proposals bring indirect combat spells more in-line in terms of power with direct combat spells, they are an enormous buff to indirect combat spells, and they even buff direct combat spells (particularly the powerbolt line), which are already overpowered in the base rules. Magic in general is very difficult for non-magicians to defend against, which, while intended, doesn’t need to be made even worse, which are what those proposed changes would do.

So Breagh’s player and I hammered together our own rebalancing, which I think is significantly better. It makes indirect combat spells slightly cheaper to cast, nerfs direct combat spells some, and nerfs the stunbolt line of direct combat spells more. Overall, it makes combat magic slightly weaker, which I think would ultimately lead to a more enjoyable game for any group but one that’s nothing but magicians. Tell me what you think.


(Sorry for the all-caps, I wanted to be able to find the file in my directory easily.)


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