Question about magic



If magic rolls D10 for effort and all others are rolling D6, doesn’t magic then become too powerful for people to want to use other builds? Maybe there is a mechanic I don’t understand yet as a newbie…


There is an entire book about magic, or adding magical things for ICRPG 2E. With magic now using D10, the downsides and limitations (and cool upgrades) from that book come more into effect.

One such effect is MAGIC BURN, which can do some really bad things when you roll a 1*.
Also from my understanding spells are to be used like inventory items, so it can be a downside to have a bunch of different spells**.

As a DM I often placed more restrictions on magic. Is this something you need to concentrate on, but there are goblins attacking you? - it is now a HARD roll. I also did some crazy bad things for crit fails.

Let’s say you rolled a 1 to shoot an arrow, your probably gonna hurt yourself or an ally.
Let’s say you rolled a 1 to shoot a fireball, your hurting yourself, and all entities near you.

So tl;dr it’s up to the situation, planning, and mechanics the world you play in uses, to help balance magic being… well magic.

Also don’t miss out that a MAGIC: bow, sword, or dagger, can still be considered as magical effort. Spells arent strictly needed to roll that effort die.

*= I don’t have this particular book and cannot speak too much on it, I just know it exists!
**= It’s been awhile since I tried to run an ICRPG really close to Rules as written so this might be inaccurate.


I hadn’t considered the magic items and weapons, that helps! I also love to get creative on “critical 1’s.” It keeps magic on the wild side…


Even on CORE, you have Spellburn to keep casters in check if you feel there’s a need.

But if they’re just sitting pretty casting spells… you gotta challenge them more.


My only problem is how do you keep a monster in check that encounters a player party of 1 heart characters and their first spell rolls a 9 or 10 plus 3 bonus effort and you have TPK immediately lol. I know Defense rolls will give them a chance to avoid this but it’s still a pretty good chance.


You dont. TPK happens.

Game On


In my games, they don’t happen in the first attack of an encounter, or even of the session…

But I’ve adapted my own rules and variants for my own games anyways, it was just a curiosity. I realize it’s a “mod” and people take what they want from it. Just wondering other people’s experience with monsters using the d10 as I feel like my encounters were hard enough already.


At the start of a new campaign, my monsters do 1d4 to 1d6 damage with crude weapons and have 5 hit points. The party usually doesn’t encounter an enemy spellcaster until later. That’s because I don’t want new characters to die in the first session of a campaign. I mean, they still have that new car smell. Also, I want to be able to gauge where the group is at early. Below average enemy effort sets a baseline for my ramping up the challenges that follow.


This was a concern even back in the D8 days, and it really wasn’t a thing, honestly. Casters like to collect spells. And so, at milestone time, they usually choose new spells. But if they are locked into D10, then their power curve isn’t crazy. Meanwhile, fighters are strapping on all kinds of loot with bonuses or choosing milestones with cool new moves or abilities. Finally, as has been pointed out above, fighters will ultimately get magic weapons and do d10 damage too. All of that is a long-winded way of saying that it all evens out in the wash. And honestly, I have found that fighters in my groups appreciate having a powerful caster to back them up. I’ve never seen one regret it when swarms of enemies come pouring in.

Finally, if your casters are outshining the others, you can always apply spellburn or resort to a critical fail table, as others suggested. Overall, I wouldn’t sweat it.


Thanks @Alex, that’s good to know. Now that I think about it, I guess that’s what I’ve been doing all along, just using crude weapons or creatures with bite/claw attacks.


After I watched the video about aggro, I started having all the enemies turn on the spellcaster as soon as they cast a spell. Everyone knows how dangerous they are!

Really puts the pressure on them, especially if they are burning HP to cast. Soon, they’ll be casting a shield on themselves first before attacking anyone. :slight_smile:


The caster may also have chosen scores for attributes that wouldn’t be too helpful in other endeavors, such as low CON, DEX, etc. So put those situations forth where things can’t quite be solved with a fireball to the face.


Regarding the die size, I think it mostly works because there is a very natural trade-off between efficiency and versatility. Say you have three characters: one using their hands, one tools/weapons, one spells. Now they encounter a problem they weren’t prepared for. The tools/weapons character has to go to the hardware store to get the required gear. The spellcaster has to go on a quest to learn a new spell. And the empty-handed gal just has to get going.

So the “balance” is in the choice between being very efficient in a smaller set of actions, or less efficient but in a larger set of actions - not really in any mechanical check.