Dungeon Crawler for Rolemaster – Part 6: spell casting

Rolemaster has several rules for spell casting and spell resolution. It is not a straight forward process. On one hand you need to consider the varying casting times based on the caster’s level and the spell’s level. Moreover there are different spell resolution mechanims based on the spell’s type.

Considering casting times

For the dungeon crawler I want spell user to be able to cast a spell each round. In Rolemaster the casting time depends on the spell’s class. 

  • Class III spells: Spells with a level equal, one below, or two below the caster’s level take 3 rounds to cast. (As example for a level 14 mage all spells with a level of 12,13, or 14 are class III.)
  • Class II spells: Spells with a level three, four, or five levels below the caster’s level require 2 rounds to cast. (As example for the mage from above all her spells with a level 9,10, and 12 are categorised as class II.)
  • Class I spells: Spells with a level six or more levels below the caster’s level need only one round to cast. (Again I use the level 14 mage as example. All spells with a level from level 1 up to level 8 are categorised as class I spells.)

As mentioned above I want that spell users can be active every round. For class I spells the casting time in Rolemaster is one round. So no change needed. However for class II and class III spells I need reduce the spell’s power to keep the balance.

I did some serious calculations considering casting time, power point costs, and spell effect.

I decide not to fiddle with power point costs. There are good reasons to do so. Mainly changing spell cost would also unbalance the relation to the character’s power points pool. So the spell cost stay as they are. So I still need to power down class II and class III spells. I think I will utilise D&D 5th Edition’s disadvantage mechanism. Anytime you need to roll a die you will roll two dice and take the lesser one. This reduces your roll to 70% on average.

As this should only be applied to class II and class III spells, I introduce the mastered property for spells. More or less it is class I category from Rolemaster. A spell is  mastered if it’s level is six or more levels below the caster’s level. Spells with a higher level count as not mastered and require the caster to roll on disadvantage during resolution.

Next week I will continue with spell casting. Stick with me to when I work on the rules for elemental attacks, base attack spells, and non attack spells.

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