I need a bit of help with my magic system

Hello, guys! I have been working on a CS game lately (the working title: Kingdom of Blackwood, genre: medieval gothic horror) and I need your help with my magic system.

  1. There are three elements: light, fire and darkness. I am planning for every element to have five spells. I came up with all five spells for light, but I got stuck with fire and darkness; I am missing one spell for each. It would be nice if you could come up with spells that are more adventure gamey than actiony in nature.

Here is the list of fire and darkness spells I have and their effects:


  1. Sparks - Not very harmful. Used mostly for distraction and confusion. The sparks fly in random and changing directions.
  2. Fire Ball - Launches a ball of fire that travels in a straight line.
  3. Oil - Creates a slippery substance. Can be set on fire.
  4. Explosion - Creates a fiery explosion anywhere in caster’s sight.
  5. ??? - ???


  1. Transformation - Turns the caster into a rat.
  2. Summon Undead - Summons an undead minion to serve the caster. Context-sensitive.
  3. Mind Control - Forces the target to listen to the caster’s command. Context-sensitive.
  4. Curse - Afflicts the target with a negative status effect. Context-sensitive.
  5. ??? - ???
  1. Would you like the mind control spell to be passive (you cast the spell on someone and watch them carry out the command and whether they succeed in carrying it out or not depends purely on the luck stat) or would you like it to be active (you play as the character under the spell and their success/failure depends on your choices).

@MaraJade There is no class system so you can do all things warrior, rogue and mage throughout the game. Poisoning someone’s mind sounds cool, but I think I will put that into one of the effects of Curse.

Maybe I will offer more than rat transformation, but I chose rat because they are versatile: they are small so they can’t be noticed easily and can fit into small spaces or spread deseases through their bites. Maybe I could even give them claws sharp enough to allow them to wallcrawl.

There is also no mana requirement, because magic is already limited by the amount of choices it appears in. I think putting a mana requirement alongside that would put too much limitation to the use of magic.

@P0RT3R Boil is a great idea, but instead of boiling people’s blood, maybe increase their temperature. Maybe make it affect things too, not only people. (example: somebody has an armor too heavy for your weapons to be effective so you heat it up with the boil spell)

@FairyGodfeather By light I mean holy things like healing, removing negative status effects, resurrecting people etc. (there is also a bit of literal light) and by dark I mean evil. I am not tailoring the game to spells or vice versa, it is just that I got every aspect of the game clearly in my mind, but the spell system.

P.S. The shadow abilities you have menitoned are all extremely badass, but too much for my game. :smiley: Also, will o’ the wisps actually appear in the game, but they are angels. They are too powerful to be controlled in any way.

I want to transform in a happy darkness rainbow

I’d suggest looking at this from a different direction. Instead of tailoring the game to the spells, tailor the spells to the game.

I think light and fire are extremely similar. I also don’t understand your darkness power, none of those powers actually seem related to darkness.

Are light, fire and darkness essential to the plotline?

See for darkness, you don’t have being able to douse the vicinity in shadow, or being able to see in the dark, or shadow-tendrils, or shadow-teleporting, or summoning shadow-creatures that you can speak to and send off as your spies, or fight with you, or being able to use pools of shadow as scrying pools and see things at a distance, as long as people are standing near shadows. Or hey, why not even have your own shadow as a minion, and you can tear it off and send it to perform tasks for you. Or calling up a thick cloud of darkness that suffocates all in its vicinity. Or just basic stealth things, like muffling your own sounds and being able to sneak around at night. Or being able to shift into a shadow form, and step through solid objects, or beneath solid objects, as long as the area isn’t too bright. To me all of those things are powers of darkness, without actually being evil powers. Darkness to me is sneaky stealthy stuff.

And light, well light is LASER BEAMS! Light is being able to summon an orb that illuminates your vicinity. Light is being able to create visual illusions. It’s being able to cast fireworks. It’s blinding people. It’s creating an aura around yourself that screams LOOK AT ME!!! providing a distraction. Light could be seen as healing too, channelling energies into the aura, or something. It’s mirrors and reflective surfaces for scrying anywhere that the light touches. It’s setting laser traps. It’s being able to summon will o’ the wisps to lure people to their doom, or to find them.

And fire… well fire can smith metals, it can melt swords and armour and even stone at hot enough temperatures. It can cause fevers, it can burn and scorch, it can cure hypothermia, it can deal with fire elements, it can set fires, and create explosions. But fire and light are similar to me, you can focus light through a magnifying glass and create fire. I’d roll light and fire into one and focus on a Light vs Dark.

1 For fire maby Boil - Letting someones blood boil lol
For darkness No name - sucking someones life out slowely

2 passive


About Darkness Poison mind you dreak their memory tranforming them basically in berserkers or zombies attacking their own allies and enemies and spreading caos maybe make their bite poisonous of course a spell like this has to be limited foes affected in function of mage level and cost a good amount of mana.

Why transform in rat ? only let people choose between rat cat of snake for instance i never use a spell only transform you in a rat I hate rats aghh …
Sadly i never play as mage only rogue or assassin so mage systems is not my strong i love a charm spell too but that maybe is too roguish. I hope character could be more rogue than mage

Looks like you already have a good idea of what you want. I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do.

Maybe, instead of having each spell as a separate stat, I should simply have the elements as requirements in spell-casting situations.

The good thing about that is I don’t have to worry about the number of spells each element has as I would balance things out by allowing the players to use each element as much as the other two elements and the effects of spells would depend on the situation. Also, I would have only 3 variables to work with instead of 15.

The bad thing is that sometimes the players wouldn’t be able to cast spells if their required element is not high enough.

So, any opinions on whether this option is better than the first? Maybe someone has an idea for another spell system?

well i don’t want use magic maybe transfiguration due i play as rogue not mage at all. If they don’t have enough element always could use another way even if they don’t receive same good ending or reward.

That add replay value, just allow another way to not get player stuck without choice.

@MaraJade The players will not get stuck. Magic is only one part of gameplay. There is also combat, stealth, diplomacy and mixtures of those styles. My problem is that I know how all of that will work, but I am not sure for magic.

These are awesome spells. Though it does seem like the darkness spells are a lot more powerful - will there be manna?

For magic it could be if darkness>50 mind control available making it so you can only use the better magics if you are trained in that magic enough

For fire, I would do almost a negative action. In essence, what it would be is not omitting heat, but absorbing it, thus healing the player and hurting the enemy.

For darkness, I would try something like physiological warfare. Basically, it’s not mind control; instead, it’s attacking the mind. That could work really well with minor fire spells (i.e. fireball), but it can impair the enemies ability tom understand what they’re being attacked with.

Absorbing heat won’t heal you, absorbing heat is the basics of ice magic. That sounds like a darkness curse

I couldnt agree more! Though I would like to have a few moments where I converse and work with ‘darklings’ or other creatures of the darkness

@Samuel_H_Young Well, if I choose the first magic system, there will be no mana. In the second system, element requirements are used instead of mana.

@God_of_Demonz This darkness > 50 thing is exactly what I am talking about for the second system. And maybe allow same spells for lower magic requirement. Example mind-controlling someone to give you an item would require darkness > 10 and mind-controlling someone to start a fight and attract the guards’ attention would require darkness > 50.

However, I still do not know whether to use that system or the first one.

Also, you can converse and work with creatures of darkness as the whole world is filled with wolfmen, vampires, ghosts, revenants, demons etc. Also, you can become most of these things.

Becoming a vampire would disable the spell system, but you’d get vampiric powers. When it comes to becoming undead creatures like ghosts and revenants, I am planning for it to be a short, playable epilogue if the player fails by death so they can come back from the dead and finish their job or just haunt the people who killed them. :smiley:

I decided to go with the second magic system (element requirements), but now I have a new magic-related idea.

I am thinking that casting darkness spells should make you more evil and casting light spells more good. How fire spells affect your alignment would depend on your luck stat and whether you are good or evil because fire is a neutral element in my world.

So, in your opinion: this is a good idea or a bad idea? Maybe alignment should be affected only by good/evil deeds?

P.S. To avoid confusion because I am mostly bad at explaining things: from what I said about how fire spells would be affecting your alignment, it might sound like it is randomised. It is not.

It should be decided by deeds. A Dark mate is not always evil, but often forced into that stereotype by other people’s reactions to their magic. If I saved an orphanage by summoning a skeleton army or some other dark magic I would be chased out of town of practicing dark magic. The type of magic does not matter, it’s what you do with it

exactly @God_of_Demonz If I play like a light magic racist like if you don’t follow my god I would kidnapped your children and destroy your city in name of god. Where is the good karma in that?? Icould use light to kill people yes could I save people with dark, yes.

Alignament Doesn’t have to be so simple … light good darkness bad, lol. So if I use light to blind puppies I’m better than if I use shadow to save a person who is being robbed or stabbed ?

@God_of_Demonz I’d like the players to be able to use dark magic for evil things only, and light magic for good things only, and fire magic for both good and evil. Light spells would not work for evil purposes and dark spells would not work for good purposes.

There is an interesting workaround that is a mix of your and my idea: Instead of summoning the skeletons to save the children (since it is a good deed, the dark spell wouldn’t work), you summon them to abduct the children. Later you can let children go (you have tricked the dark magic for working for the good guys, +1 good) or ask for ransom and then let them go (+1 evil). After getting the ransom you can return it. (+1 good again, so it turns into a neutral deed)

@MaraJade That is only when magic comes into question. Good people can still do bad things and bad people can still do good things in my game. Also, sorry to disappoint you, but you will not be able to destroy cities with magic. :frowning: And there are no gods, only one. :frowning:

P.S. I don’t even know whether I will use alignment or not. It is just an idea I am playing with untill my writers’ block subsides.

I was putting a example, lol. I play like a poisoner bard rogue . Your game same promising and about magic, I just never play like that so I couldnt be dissapointed about that.

How options your rogue style character could have diplomacy, seduction ,picpocketing , etc or is just battle focused?