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The Cost of Magic - Inspiration for GMs • 2016 supplement

Riccardo Rossi •

Magic comes at a cost. In most RPGs magicians “spend” something for their spells to work: blood, sanity, power... Maybe they must immediately take a risk.

The history of Magic tells us something different: Magic drains your forces, requires sacrifices, maybe puts your safety on the line, but the consequences after all that are more crucial, and a great way to widen a character's story.

You just need a Poker deck.

Think about the spell cast (if many spells can be cast in a session, consider them a unit at the end of the evening): how wide was its influence? Did it relieve one's pain, or change the whole city? A wide group, a nation, the world?
Thinking about this, draw 1 (a person was influenced) to 5 (global consequences) cards.
Their meanings state what will happen to the magician, soon.

Swords = challenge/help.
Clubs = mistery (solved?).
Diamonds = something stolen/found.
Hearts = a new friend(?).

Figures/Aces/Jokers mean someone important comes into play (the king, a long lost lover... Preferably someone known: Magic loves synchronicity).

Adapt these inspirations to the original spell(s) (healing brings healing, attacks bring pain/fights...), literally or metaphorically, and weird up your spellcasters’ life.

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