Martial vs Casters with Magic


So I’ve been writing a homebrew world for the last few months and I’ve gotten to the point where I wanna choose what system I want to run it in and ICRPG is one of the options however I do need to ask some stuff before I decide as I’ve only run a few one-shots although I’m in love with the system through and through. So the big thing is that magic is pretty important to the setting so I want to use ICRPG Magic however, I’m not sure if it’s ok to use this as I already know some of my players are more martial focused so I’m wondering if it’s ok to have it to where you can have other characters besides casters. I don’t want the martial characters to feel blown out of the water by the spellcasters of the party. Any help is appreciated

Thanks in advance :smiley:


Death to spellcasters! Make Martial Player Characters Great Again!


You can absolutely have a mix of magic and martial players when using the MAGIC rules. Yes, the MAGIC rules blows the door wide open with what’s possible when casting magic but that’s kind of the point: to make magic more over the top.

Part of being a spell caster is learning how to use your magic for the benefit of the overall team and group. If you’re concerned with what martial characters can do still, I’d recommend looking into Khan’s Spells and Feats. It uses the same method MAGIC does but for martial skills. Very easy to incorporate at the exact same time.


I approve of Khan’s Spells & Feats, he did a great job! And it does balance out both types of classes!


Its your world so there is no reason you couldn’t… just give spells to everyone. or maybe spellcasters get more spells, and fighter types get a 1 at start or something to that effect… Game On!


It’s actually one of ICRPG’s biggest strength : the GM have a good grasp on how powerful characters can become.
In my current campaign, the spellcasters are on an even ground with the martial classes thanks to the LOOT they found :

  • The warrior have learnt how to create ‘berserker’ potions, found a bardiche attacking every close enemies and have built a flintlock pistol feeling triple damage once per battle.
  • The rogue have a pair of badass swords that deals ultimate when they both hit, a dagger dealing double ultimate on backstabs and the ability to stealthily sprint.
    On the other hand, mages have weaker loot to compensate for their magic…


Spells for every one! Or, or, hear me out…

Martial powers. Why can’t martials have access to cool things too? I have a couple of pdfs on the subject, free to download, here and here, with some ideas.

I love the idea of martial classes having Str-, Dex-, and Con-based powers, just like spellcasters have Int-, Wis-, and (in some settings) Cha-based ones.

I’ll bring a few ideas about it as soon as possible.


Nobody pinged me and I missed this thread.

@Zephin, @P_Frota:
My books, as @KaneDriscol and @BlazingPolyhedron kindly mentioned, do have “martial powers” which are called FEATS. Those FEATS let everyone (not limited to casters!) use mechanics very similar to SPELLS.

Between two books I think I have around 100 FEATS which do a myriad of things like rage, shield bashing, stat boosting, finding loot, cleaves, dodge and so much more.

One of the good things is, these FEATS are not just limited to STR, DEX and CON. Some combat maneuvers require INT for example. Usually FEATS can be used with multiple STATS so they are useful for many different character builds.

You can find them here:

Take a look at these threads to see screenshots from the books:

I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.


They’ve been on my wishlist for a year now! :stuck_out_tongue: The joys of being a gamer in a 3rd world country… I’ve been writing and putting things on DTRPG just to make enough to reinvest in the community by picking up books like these lol


Ha, don’t worry. I feel your pain.


It’s totally OK to do whatever you want! The health cost to magic helps a lot. As GM I also had intelligent foes often prioritise the magic users because… well you would focus on the person who can make fire come out of their fingers.

As others said, I’d “balance” them with eventually giving the martial classes amazing feats/techniques/physical ability. But the key thing I would do is make them general, things they will use often and for different reasons, rather than specific (like magic). I feel like that’s the main difference between magic and martial.
FREE-RUNNER: Move over basic terrain obstacles without roll (if you can narrate how), more difficult obstacles (eg. high wall) are EASY rolls
CAT-LIKE REFLEXES: always first to move, re-roll failed reflex saves, HARD to hit (if aware of attack), etc
NINJA: Move silently, climbing always Easy, Dex rolls EASY, surprise attacks always hit and do MAX damage
BAR-FIGHTER: Use any object as weapon - bigger objects = more dmg dice + can hit more targets, breaking stuff is EASY
KUNG-FU: When attacked by multiple foes, if they miss redirect their attacks to each other (use your dmg dice). Single foe is EASY to hit and HARD to be hit by. Re-roll failed mental saves.
BEZERKER: Each time you take damage in an encounter, increase damage dice by 1 and reduce damage taken by 1. If offended or frustrated, intimidation is EASY.
INDOMINANT: When you would drop to 1hp, roll CON to stay on 1hp. If on 0HP, self-revive on 19 or 20 roll.
BEAST-BOND: If in the right position, your pet adds damage to your hits, can take hits instead of you, makes relative perceptions rolls EASY.

You could also simplify it by just using a TAG or 1 liner (eg. Big Bar Brawler) and whenever the player does an action that the TAG reflects they are good at (eg. throw the table at them, challenge someone to drinking game, punch him in the face, intimidate, etc), simply give them advantage (re-roll failed attempt). This really encourages players to creatively play their character like they imagine, and gives the martial classes a totally unique and more flexible mechanic to the magic ones.

Of course the simplest solution is just cool items :smiley:

Main piece of advice: Don’t worry about this until you need to. Whether its a cool new item or technique, you can give your martial classes these things when the magic classes begin to feel much stronger in your campaign.


Hi, so you have a few ways of tackling this, magic in this system is very powerful to be sure, but theres plenty of ways of reining it in both through actual mechanics and through setting/story. Alternatively, you can give martial characters more/better loot/abilities, or make overall progression faster for martials, heres a few ideas i have for my own game.

1 - Magic has a cost!:

  • Sacrificing HP to cast: Mechanically, adding an HP cost to spell casting is probably the simplest approach for everyone involved, adds in tension and resource management without the need to introduce a new concept in the game like spell slots, its also thematically implies that magic and life are intrinsically tied together in some way and that bending the rules of the universe takes a toll.

  • Magic is volatile: You can increase the potential for magical backfire by removing the confirmation roll on a fumble, making every natural 1 a problem or you can make the consequences of a fumble more dramatic (or you can do both!) - this adds an element of tension in increasing the risk/reward of magic and (in my experience) helps reign in the use of magic a little bit, sure, you can cast fireball EVERY TURN… don’t roll a 1!

  • Magic corruption/radiation: taking a page from Dark Sun and Warhammer, magic can have physically mutating effects on your characters over time through exposure, boils, hump back, scales, etc, it could also drive people mad, allowing you to to mechanically tie magic into an insanity and/or morality stat if you’re using one. Dark Sun also has the whole leaching aspect of it, tying it back to the HP cost of spells, maybe that HP doesn’t necessarily have to be from you, and the battery doesn’t necessarily have be willing, which opens up a whole host of possible narrative deterrents for casting to the more ethically minded players.

  • Magic regulation: If magic is a part of your world and its powerful, it stands to reason that there would be significant effort put towards the control on the use of magic by the ruling elite, be it through guilds, sanction, taxes and/or threats, In a medieval world where roofs are made of wood and thatch and walls of mud, dung and sticks, a stray firebolt can be DEVASTATING, and generally speaking, peasants and lords alike tend to frown on the destruction of their property, so careless, wild and unsanctioned use magic could lead to serious legal and social consequences, your setting could be just one magic catastrophy away from another major witch hunt! providing incentives for secrecy in casting and for other magic users to govern their own wayward/reckless members.

  • Magic is hard to learn!: Maybe magic is really hard to learn, required training, study and being an apprentice to a mage, allowing you greater control of just exactly how much magic your party has access to in both the numbers of spells known and which spells they get to know!

  • Magic is all of the above!: My setting has all these elements working together, Magic is extremely strong, but very costly both mechanically and socially, Proper mages are few and paranoid (for good reason) and don’t take on apprentices lightly, peasants and lords alike are superstitious and wary (if not outright hostile) to spell casters, religious beliefs and institutions reinforce the regulation and intolerance of magic, most monsters and monsterous humanoids in the world are the result of magic gone wrong (corruption, summoning and experiments) and magic costs life force, either through HP (yours or others) or by sapping it from the land, unless you are properly trained to mitigate the dangers, and magical training is hard to come by!.. and finally, magic is fickle, DON’T ROLL A 1!!! Casters in my world tend to live very brief, but memorable lives!

2 - Make Martial characters "stronger"

either through more loot, milestone rewards or the creation of feats/powers, you can raise up your martial characters to a more even footing, I don’t have all that much to offer on that front from experience as lean more heavily into the “sword and sorcery” flavor of things, but luckily, other helpful posters have you covered!



Link us those products, my dude! I’d look to at least browse them! :smiley: