VMIII Revised Memory Cell Chart & System Overview (Part 2)

Part 1

Initially the idea was to use the Memory Cell Chart strictly for spells. Later my friend Ant suggested opening it up and allowing the cells to be used for other facets of the character's mnemonic space. In particular we talked about permanently dedicating cells to particular fields of knowledge that would be part of an ancillary "mental proficiency" system. We called it Lore.

Fill in a pip to indicate cell type.
Lore uses a percentage score (1% to 95%) to measure the magic-user's knowledge of a particular subject. While I've come up with a short list of areas of scholarship that such characters may find necessary, useful and/or fascinating, it's by no means complete and should be considered open-ended. Any suggestions for additional Lore areas would be totally appreciated. Here's what I've come up with so far:
  • Alchemy (transmuting metals and elemental compounds; potioncraft)
  • Ancient Languages (translating and utilizing the glyphs and alphabets of forgotten cultures)
  • Astrology (utilizing zodiac; astral navigation)
  • Cartomancy (divination through playing cards)
  • Demonology (knowledge of the habits and ecology of demonic types)
  • Herbalism (potioncraft)
  • Local History (from tavern-talk to esoterica)
  • Magical Theory (read magic; spellcraft)
  • Mythology (identification of religious symbols and figures)
  • Toxicology (poisoncraft)
Reading texts increases the magic-user's knowledge and also offers an experience reward. Books are statted out according to the amount of knowledge they offer and what sort of requirements must be met to incorporate that knowledge (minimum INT, Lore % prereq, required reading).

More info on the Lore sub-system will be provided in Part 3.

Every character -- including non-magic-users -- possesses five LTM cells. These can be dedicated to Lore or used as temporary spell storage, but they need not be used at all. 

Characters who opt to use some or all of their LTM cells as Lore storage can do so freely. 

Only magic-users have the ability to use LTM for spell-space. They must "dump" experience points to do so, at a cost of 500 XP per cell. Once the spell has been cast, LTM reverts back to its normal state (though any Lore contained by the cell originally is now lost) and another 500 XP must be dumped in order to use it for spell storage again. Naturally, most magic-users will be loathe to sac XP or lose any acquired Lore. The practice is considered a last resort, only to be used when a magic-user is really hard-up for memory.

Memorizing a spell requires time and the proper environment. The magic-user must be in an area where he can focus and concentrate without interruption in order to set up the "mental dominoes" that will collapse when the spell is released. The amount of time consumed depends on the INT of the magic-user and the level of the spell to be memorized. Refer to the chart below. The numbers on here are open for debate.

When a spell is on deck, waiting to be released, it is said to be "in memory". I was thinking that spells which stay in memory too long might "go bad" and have a good chance of doing stranger-than-normal things when finally released. A way to prevent this might be to re-scribe the spell in the magic-user's memory to bolster the mnemonic barriers that contain it. This re-scribing need not be a full re-memorization of the spell and could be accomplished in half the time normally necessary to memorize the spell from scratch.

NEXT: More info on the Lore system and a look at Memory Worms (finally) and a memory-themed variant on the Intellect Devourer.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I make the players translate the inscriptions themselves, but I don't know how that would work for your group.

    Capcha: Aging.