How would you handle magic?

By CSteele, in Secrets of the Crucible

SotC doesn't really cover (or at lest I couldn't find it) how a PC could be a wizard (or witch). There are Affects - but those don't really work well for a variety of spells.

So I figure I have a couple options.

I could use the magic rules from the core book an add the magic skills for this purpose. If I do that, maybe I should add in amber requirements where you have to have an amber and there is the possibility of depleting it (like Affects).

Or, I could add one new skill Ambercast (or something like that) and then use Affects, but it doesn't feel all that spall casty.

Or, I could make everything tech based (there is no magic, only tech so advanced it seems like magic) - but it doesn't appear that the gear building rules are as robust as the spell rules.

I'm new to the Genesys system - so any advise would be welcome.

I think somewhere in the book it does make reference to some species coming to the Crucible that used some form of mysticism (don't remember the page though) found that what ever they used before for magic has fundamentally changes so that now Aember is the only way that their mystic ways work. A wizard coming from a fantasy world may have used magic by tapping into some magical energy field. But on the Crucible that field doesn't exist because the Architects didn't program that into the Crucible you could say. The only way a wizard can use spells again it to re-forge it with amber, one spell at a time. With Aember the Wizard can program that spell to exist, at least for themselves.

So what ever skill the wizard would use to cast the spell in another setting should be changed to Aembercraft. (they have to re-make that spell first) But to cast the spell the Wizard could augment to what ever skill they wish. A force of will to create a magical bolt could mean Discipline. Or if they were a good shot with a crossbow as well as magic, the bolt could also be cast using ranged.

And would I say the Aembercraft is techbased. Not really. Yes you could make a techno like device out of Aember, but I like to see Aember as a genie (minus the singing and the lamp), it is potential for anything one long as they have enough Aember to make it.

So really just keep the rules as they are for Aembercraft, which probably would be more balanced for this setting than using the magic rules.

Are you wanting characters with the tones and themes of classic fantasy magic-using or actual “We break the rules of reality!” powers? If it’s the former, I agree that using the existing Æmbercraft rules and flavoring them is a good idea. If it’s the latter I would just use the magic rules from the core. I would be ready to address how such power interacts with Æmber (if at all) as well as the ramifications of non-Æmbercraft powers as I imagine “true magic” being a very big deal in the Crucible!

I may end up doing a mix. The Affect rules are cool but they don't feel different enough from "magic" since anyone can get them. So I may use the magic rules from the core, but require amber to use that magic. Something like a hard or lower spell has a chance to deplete the amber, but to cast something above hard may always deplete. I'll have to toy around with it. Overall though, really liking the system the deeper I get into it.

Thanks for the advice!

I like the idea of how “true magic” might affect “Æffects”. 😄

I'd honestly just make Æmbercraft another magic skill akin to Runes, as when you think about it, it's pretty similar.

Æmber runes, perhaps? Yet another nifty way of handling the substance?