Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Totems of the Dead Preview - Magic & Sorcery


I love an RPG that has kewl powerz, and Totems of the Dead certainly does not turn its back on kewl powerz, which have become a bit of a staple in Savage Settings.

One of the first things Totems of the Dead does is removes Power Points, instead applying Casting Modifiers to each power. This is certainly not unheard of, of course, but is an approach that I prefer (Power Points is one of those rare things I don't like about Savage Worlds). However, they also have a couple of other additions to the magic rules: Backlash (which is a modified version of the Backlash chart for Super Sorcery in the Super Powers Companion/Necessary Evil) and Corruption (which applies specifically for using magic to do Bad Things).

In addition, there are six Arcane Backgrounds to choose from, each with their own quirks and powers list, but include Alchemy (which has its own Backlash table - and less chance of tearing open rifts into other dimensions and greater chance of BOOM), Blood Magic (which is pretty much what you think it is, but is not inherently evil), Runecasting (used by the Viking-like Skadians, of course), Sangoma (which centers around the dead and, again, can be used for good or evil), Seidr (Skadian magic powered by songs) and Shamanism (entering more into the realm of tribal magic).

A great many of the "standard" Savage Worlds powers are still present, albeit modified (usually with just the addition of Casting Modifiers) as well as a number of new powers like Tempest, Grave Speak, Dream/Nightmare Sending and more...(I won't post details here, for obvious reasons).

A sneak peek at Totems of the Dead's take on Magic & Sorcery. I know I said I was going to bash out a magic using character, but I wound up a little pressed for time, sorry. We'll take one more look at Totems of the Dead (at least), where we'll take a closer look at the world and the monsters within it.