Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Warlock High: 10 Magical Fighting Styles

As an challenge to myself, I came up with a variety of different potential magic-based fighting styles for the Warlock High game, each based on a combination of two different schools of magic. These were partly intended to be examples/suggestions for my players, as well as a reserve of ideas for my own characters. Each school of magic gets used twice.

Void+Entropy: Strategic Demonic Suppression
As mentioned in the previous post, "Demons" in this setting amount to a sort of superpowered evil side; any permanently demonic character is just a Mr. Hyde who managed to beat Dr. Jekyll into submission. So say there was a character who was a natural prodigy in the realm of demonology, meaning they could turn into a very powerful Mr. Hyde. Naturally, such a child's parents wouldn't be to keen on their little darling risking their 'life', so an arrangement was found that would still let them realize their potential: The child could become an expert at Void magic. Rather than trying to reign in their natural talents, they'd just keep their effects suppressed by using antimagic on themselves.
The side benefit to this is that they have can unleash their demonic form to a limited degree; for example, letting one or both arms transform and using that limb to throw or block a punch.
Force+Matter: Augmented Projectiles
The mage uses Matter magic to enhance objects in a variety of ways- hardening them, shaping them, sharpening them, and so on- and then uses Force magic to propel them towards her target in various highly dangerous ways.

Mind+Sense: Fake Familiar
The mage has a powerful construct, which they command with expert skill; say, an electric elemental, able to get around the vast majority of defenses and hit you with painful jolts that leave you barely able to move.

Except that the construct doesn't exist. It's an illusion that the character constantly projects, and its "attacks" are meant to make the enemies more susceptible to the mage's mind blasts; since they believe a physical source is wreaking havoc on their nervous system, they aren't trying to instinctively guard against a mental one.

Space+Fire: Unpredictable Beamspam
This one's fairly simple. Fire magic is great for attacking with blasts of energy or heating/cooling objects with a touch. But throw in the ability to create small close-range portals at the snap of a finger, and your attacks become much, much harder to anticipate. You can simultaneously look your enemy in the eye and shoot them in the back, and they know it.

Growth+Machine: Cyborg

The human body is an extraordinary machine, honed by untold ages of evolution to survive in its given environment. But modern society is a different sort of jungle; one with power outlets everywhere you look. It would be a shame to let this resource go to waste.

This mage's talents with constructs let them craft artificial enhancements; their knack for growth magic gives them the necessary capacity for biological manipulation, meaning they can surgically insert these mechanisms into their body and have them work in tandem with the existing system. Having to keep an eye on their battery levels is a small price to pay.

Space+Mind: Bullet Time

Time is relative, and advanced-level Space magicians can work with that fact in several ways, accelerating or decelerating themself or others. This mage, however, manages to take things a step further by enhancing themselves with Mind magic. Their thoughts flow at an advanced rate, and they accelerate their body to make sure that it can keep up- making it so that for them, the rest of the world really is moving in slow motion. It's a powerful combination; just don't let the enemy mess with your concentration. In this case a partial disruption of your spellcasting can throw you off worse than a total one.

Entropy+Sense: Chaos Theorist

Entropy magicians' power is labeled by the layman as "corruption", but the truth is more complex and subtle. At a fundamental, their magic deals in the forces and natural dynamics that disrupt and degrade functional systems- be they mechanical, biological, social, or otherwise.

As such, there's a natural synergy between this and sense magic. The more you can perceive and understand a given system, the better your ability to gum up the works; you have to see the lines of power in an enchantment or a person before you can strike at them. This mage can seem weak; but appearances can be very, very deceiving.

Growth+Force: Living Weapon

While most associate Force magic with telekinesis, it has another application: Enhancing or reducing exiting kinetic energy. Stop a sword blow or break a door down with a casual wave of your bare hand. Here, it's Growth magic that has a natural synergy with your efforts. If you enhance your physical power (and more to the point, durability), and simultaneously augment the kinetic energy your actions carry, you get exponential improvements to your results.

Machine+Void: Automated Assistance
The thing abut void magic is that in duels its applications are entirely defensive and reactive. You can't do anything to an enemy that doesn't use magic. As such, Void users traditionally work best when supporting one or more partners in combat. However, a Machine magic-user can make their own partner, who goes into combat while the magician sits back and negates any magic that would come their way. In fact, they can also use their magic to negate more temporary magic effects without interfering with the ingrained type of magic which allows their construct to function, a more advanced form of Void Magic that requires a greater level of skill but less raw power.

Fire+Matter: Magma Blade
This mage's approach is wonderfully straightforward. You take a weapon, and use your magic to heat it up to amazing levels- maybe even the point where it would normally be reduced to a puddle of molten metal burning a hole in the floor. But then you use your Matter magic to reinforce the weapon, letting it retain its integrity and sharpness while conveying heat even better than ordinary metal would. Voila; you have the hot knife, and the world is butter.

As mentioned before, these kind of concepts have no direct mechanical significance in Trigger Discipline. And yet, they're still vital; the key to crunch advantage in TD is the rewards given to those who manage to do cool/interesting things, and if anything will help you there it's having a cool and interesting character with cool and interesting abilities. Being "strong" is a secondary priority at best.


Mr Black said...

Idea: Void+Space: Break

using a combination of of teleporting and space manipulation with void style cancellation magic would lead to a very interesting style. In combat, this would probably be a support kind of style. But this combined with Kung-Fu? Serious bad-ass potential.

or Entropy+Space: Vorpal

Teleporting destruction on demand, not the flashy-est thing ever, but extremely effective ranged combat.

just some thoughts.

Also, slightly disappointed you didn't go with the grimdark Mecha on mars idea over Warlock High.

This looks good, but I can't help wonder 'what might have been'....

Dagda said...

I guess you'll just have to run that game instead.

Mr Black said...

yeah I guess.... too busy working on my own projects though.