You might be familiar with the soft and hard magic system concepts like described here https://www.campfirewriting.com/learn/how-to-choose-between-a-hard-or-soft-magic-system and thought “hey, both soft and hard can be good in their own right” and you might be right as well.
What it means in your TTRPG game ?
You know how magic works in its own way and is mysterious and all? Hard to feel like this when every spell mecanicaly works the same. So what are we doing? We use more than one system at the same time!
There’s a blood magic user at my table. Her character has a “classic” spell with a rigid form, Blood Cloud, that makes a cloud of blood that drains vitality and block vision + wet the air and ground in an area.
She also has spell element like Blood, Harden, Range, Projectile, Water. She can combines them to create a spell with a less rigid form than Blood Cloud by doing things like Blood + Projectile to throw blood projectile from her body or even Blood + Projectile + Range to throw them from a separate blood source than herself… like her Blood Cloud! She can also Harden the projectile to make them harder hitting and blunt, or Harden the blood surface under a Blood Cloud to make it slipery.
You can play with this idea in a lot of ways. The idea is that making them mecanicaly different make them more distinct and more unique while allowing fun stuff to happen.
Let’s imagine you have a system where some spell cost Mana, some cost HP, some are free. Having a spell cost both Mana and HP might be a good way to make it “the big one”, the juicy one even, the one your player really wants an excuse to use.
There’s lot of official and homebrew magic systems all around, and I just gave you a legit reason to use them. Go ham!