Change background image
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SpellRound

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by Ascimator, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    SpellRound is a tabletop game system created to simulate wizard combat. It was originally created by some Russians whose names I don't really know in 1997. All rights belong to them and all that. Recently I've stumbled upon the description of its rules by another guy who wasn't one of the creators. The following text is my translation of it as far as I understand it, with attempts to make it slightly more readable. The system is easily houserulable, and I'm going to list the key differences between versions as well.

    Purpose

    SpellRound is defined as both a testing tool and a stand-alone game. It's raw, simple and vague, with a lot of things up to the players' judgement. The gameplay process is a deathmatch of several beings roughly identifying as "wizards", possessing magic-like abilities, in the magicproof arena. It leaves an impression of larval tabletop roleplay children have at kindergarten, except that the debate "- I killed you! - No, you didn't!" is either resolved by a referee or, with enough maturity and experience, by the players themselves. From what I understand, it's designed as a quick and fun magical carnage sim, not a serious number-crunching system.

    Character generation

    The more players there are, the more fun the game is. 5-6 is best.

    Each player creates a character that can be virtually anything, as long as they are capable of something defined as "magic". You can allow divine magic, psionics and all that, or you can only allow magic magic.
    By anything I mean literally anything. You can be a human, an elf, a dragon, a swarm of sentient flies... anything that can act. The only rule is that you can't be invulnerable to everything. Imagination's your limit.

    Each character possesses 10 powerful magical spells. They can, as well, be almost anything - from fireballs to teleportations to time freeze to death novas. It is advised to have your spells be related to your image (a fire mage not wielding ice magic, a cartoon character having cartoony powers, etc) for flavor.
    Here is a list of what spells CANNOT do:
    • You cannot leave the arena, neither in time nor in space. You cannot, for example, go to the future where everyone else is dead to win, or to the past.
    • You cannot cast Protection from Everything. Your defense must have flaws, no matter how small. Protection from Magic is fine, since an anvil summoned over your head is physical and will still kill you. "No man can defeat me" is fine as well, since you're still vulnerable to women and non-humans.
    • You cannot cast Kill Everyone But Me. Mass spells must have conditions - "Kill All Humans" is fine, transform self to rabbit then "Kill All Non-Rabbits" in the next round is fine as well. Houserule: You also cannot modify the arena so that no opponent can survive - like casting "Floor Is Lava" when none of your opponents can fly or are fireproof. Houserule: Players can't have mass spells at all.
    • You cannot deprive an opponent of their magic completely (like burning their spellbook). You can, however, dispel or disrupt their magic, or forbid them from casting in a non-permanent way (like a magical gag).
    • You can only use each spell in your arsenal ONCE, and each of them must be different. For example, you cannot state you have 5 lightning bolts and 2 dispels, but you can have a firespear, a firebolt and a lightning bolt (although it's a stretch). You can also have spells that specifically copy another spell (yours or another's). Houserule: spells must be completely different among ALL players, and in the case of a correlation, only the one that was cast first will trigger.

    Your spells should have an in-depth description of what they do. This is important when determining if attack or defense wins, in some situations. If the mechanic is unclear, your opponent or the referee gets to say what happens.

    The spell lists are privately handed in to the referee for review.
    The characters do not know how their opponents look or what spells they possess before the battle starts. It is okay to use spells to look at or manipulate another player's spell list.

    Gameplay

    At the beginning of the game the characters appear in the Arena in a circle. Each player describes how the others see them, and then the first round begins.

    At the beginning of each combat round, every player uses one spell, then they are revealed simultaneously. Afterwards, the referee/the players determine what happened.
    Every wizard has 1 hit point. Unless they are inherently resistant to the attack or have protected themselves with a spell, they die in one hit.
    You can't attack twice in the same round, unless you have a clone or a summoned minion. Summons and clones cannot act in the same turn they were created in.

    The distances and the size of the arena are indetermined - you can drop the moon on one opponent and the others will be unharmed. Another legal move is, for example, to erect a guarded fortress around oneself - the other characters will not be able to approach without being attacked in that case.

    The battle lasts until there is the last man standing, and the others are dead or otherwise permanently unable to fight (turned pacifist, frozen in time forever, etc).
    If the ending is a stalemate, the winner is determined by the number of kills. If kill count is equal, the victory goes to the most stylish and image-fitting player. Houserule: Assists (like dispelling protection so that another player can go for the kill) count as 0,5 of a kill.

    Depending on your group, the turn order can vary:
    • All spells are handed in and resolve at the same time. Defense is always quicker than offense. The order can still be changed with magic (John has cast Haste before, and now his attacking spell can strike an opponent before they put up a shield; John was affected by Snailpace earlier, so his spell takes effect after the others; John has cast Precognition before and sees his opponents cast before making his decision).
    • The turn order is determined at the start, randomly or otherwise, but can still be changed. Players declare what they do (the incantation, visible effects, etc) but the spell only hits home if the target did not defend.

    Clarifications:
    (I did not translate every single one of these because some of them are redundant or unclear to me. If you have any additions, feel free to propose)

    Targeted spells cannot be cast without a perceivable target (like on somebody who's invisible). You can't hurl a firebolt randomly, hoping it hits someone.

    When determining if an attack pierces the defense, use common sense. An ice barrier will stop a firebolt, but not an internal combustion.

    If a spell is enhanced by another spell so it is undispellable, and a dispel is enhanced so it can dispel anything, the dispel wins.

    Long-term protection can last either indefinitely or for the duration of the turn, depending on your group.

    Every spell takes effect immediately; there can be no "delayed death" effects. Two-part spells (like growing a field of flowers in one round and making them emit deadly spores in another) are fine.

    Triggered spells (like filling the arena with a flammable gas that will combust if a fire spell is cast) are judged basing on their trigger, but are mostly legal, since they can be dispelled before they are triggered.

    Chaining spells are either illegal or take several rounds to strike all of their targets.

    Mind control is allowed, but you are only allowed to use ONE spell list for the duration - either yours or that of your target, depending on the exact effect.

    Reviving yourself is allowed, but it must be instant - you can't revive yourself 10 turns later when everyone is dead. The wording is important - you can't very well regenerate from a single cell if you're disintegrated completely.

    Spells must have somatic or verbal components. If a player cannot cast spells or get rid of the effect preventing them from casting, they are out.

    Combat rules:

    The primary variations of combat have two "switches":

    Loud or Silent:
    • In Loud Spellround, each player declares the name of their spell, the target and the effect. Example: "I cast 10 Ton Anvil on Dave! A 10 ton anvil appears 20 meters over his head and falls!"
    • In Silent Spellround, the players only describe what the others see. It is advised to describe exactly how you begin to cast the spell, so other players have an idea of a defense they should pick, provided the turn order allows them to see your attack choice.
    Hard or Soft:
    • In Hard Spellround, the only action you can do is to cast a spell. Even if you have no valid target, you must discard a spell anyway. No somatic components of a spell can be an attack of their own (for example, an ogre mage, who uses a club to cast, cannot use it to smash someone's head in)
    • In Soft Spellround, you can choose to dodge (provided the attack can actually be dodged, being a projectile, a melee attack or a small enough AoE) or move out of range (a swarm of sentient flies flying higher to avoid the summoned insectovore bear), as well as attack an opponent physically. If two opponents clash in a physical fight (as in, attack each other simultaneously), previous effects and their obvious characteristics determine who wins (Titan's Strength beats no Titan's Strength, a warrior-mage beats a scholar-mage).



    I hope that it wasn't a complete waste of time to translate all this, let's have fun, I have literally no idea how to conclude this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  2. Manored

    Manored Executive Officer

    Sounds interesting, I'd be in for giving it a shot maybe, if there are other peoples interested.
     
  3. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Retired Staff

    I'd be interested in this.
     
  4. TheWelp

    TheWelp Retired Staff

    Might be fun.
     
  5. Chronograph

    Chronograph Donator

    Sounds interesting, I'm up for it.
     
  6. Noble Caos

    Noble Caos The Lorax

    Sure, sounds pretty awesome... Maybe
     
  7. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    So that would be five of us (besides me, who I assume is going to be the referee for the first time omg I'm gonna fail). We could wait for another day or two, then gather up.
     
  8. Noble Caos

    Noble Caos The Lorax

    Awesome, should I make mah char before that time?
     
  9. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    I think we should agree on the exact rules we shall use beforehand, like the mass spells legality and all.
     
  10. Noble Caos

    Noble Caos The Lorax

    M'kay
     
  11. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    Actually, let's have you all just create chars according to core rules so we can start earlier, then determine what should be changed for maximum fun for everyone.

    For the record, we're gonna play Silent (the spells are not called out loud with the target and the effect and all, except in the PM you give me, but you still have to describe what your character actually does) and Soft (other actions allowed besides casting, you may even talk to your opponents if you so desire). Turn order is instant, all turns are PM'd to me and then I'll try to put it all together.
    PM me the char sheets as well, with the name (if any), appearance, any other traits of your character, and 10 spells.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  12. Mo_Bros

    Mo_Bros Research Director

    If you are still looking for people I might give it a shot.
     
  13. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    Six is very fine as well!
     
  14. Manored

    Manored Executive Officer

    I will take it we will do it via forum, them. Ok, I will see if I piece a character together.
     
  15. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    I was thinking that we could maybe do it in an IRC or something similar so we can then post it to the forums all at once. On the other hand, that would mean nobody on the forums will see it until the end, which is bad for suspense.
     
  16. Noble Caos

    Noble Caos The Lorax

  17. Noble Caos

    Noble Caos The Lorax

    Just curios, @Ascimator , may we give our characters weaknesses, or..?
     
  18. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    There's nothing that says you can't, if it makes things more interesting.
     
  19. Ascimator

    Ascimator Research Director

    For the record, I have browsed through a few games, and it looks like it's assumed that you can run up to your opponent and cast a spell in the same round, and opponents are always assumed to be in sight distance. Distances do not have to be precise.
     
  20. Manored

    Manored Executive Officer

    Incidentally, I was thinking of making a huge char (possibly Moon-sized, in fact), so I was wondering what kinds of sizes would be acceptable.
     
    Noble Caos likes this.