It is no surprise to you that I love playing mages. I am always drawn to the class, whether these are wizards, summoners, necromancers or even illusionists. I am there if spells are involved with or without a pointy hat and robes.
But what makes magic users so formidable, and could we strengthen them?
Spell casting mechanics
Wizards are treated differently in many rule sets. The most important mechanic is the number of spells they can cast.
Levels of Magic Points?
In short systems, the number of spells the wizard can cast is limited to a set number per level. As you release the spells, they are conveniently wiped from their memory, requiring them to study overnight to commit the spell back to their minds.
A more favourable system, which I fully subscribe to, is when you know your spells and you can fuel these with magic or power points. These power points allow the wizard to cast the same spell repeatedly if they want to or to save that deadly spell to the last encounter and plough all their power into it.
You can even allow the spell casters to go into negative magic points when creating your campaign. This would have serious consequences, but it is heroic when the magic-user drains themselves of power points and slams unconscious to the floor!
Creative spell casting!
Mythras also allow the sorcerers to shape their magic. This means they can change the number of targets, the spell effects, or the range. They also have the power to combine several spells and cast them simultaneously! This encourages the sorcerers, and the GM, to get creative!
The need for spell components can also add creativity to the spell battles. If people know the spell component needed for releasing a disintegrate spell, imagine the panic when a successful perception roll reveals that the opposing wizard has just brought that exact component out of their spell pouch.
Do they need armour and weapons?
While playing Dungeons and Dragons, I always got a significant headache when considering why the magic users could not wear armour and use a limited number of weapons.
Multiclassed mages could where armour – for example, the fighter/magic user. Some might say they could because of their race, but that race of a pure wizard could not.
Mythras comes at it from a different angle. Everyone can wear whatever armour their want. The limited factor is the encumbrance rules. Spell casters are generally less strong than the warrior classes, so they must wear lighter armour; otherwise, they would be unable to move! If you had a super strong and dextrous mage in Mythras, they could wear whatever armour they wanted!
Having no levels in the game, Mythras uses ranks within cults and brotherhoods to limit the magic spells one person can cast. With the rules about these orders, there comes the concept of restrictions. This might be one way the GM could restrict the wearing of certain armour. In the Odes campaign, the sorcerers have to wear robes of the colour of their order. Yes, I nicked the idea from the Dragonlance books, but they were so epic I had to use them!
Whatever your view or rules about your magic users, I would be immediately drawn to them. I long for the opportunity to replicate the power and heroics of great mages such as Gandalf and Raistlin. No matter what you think or believe, magic users are powerful, and you would be wise to ‘geek the mage‘ as soon as you see one!