Looking for Opinions on These Rulings for Magic

I’m planning to dm my first game in a world of my own where magic is dangerous and powerful. Thus, I’ve had to do some homebrew rule changing to Open Legend to make that happen. Ultimately I want using magic to be risky/costly and to be buffed to make the risk worth taking.

To those ends I made a broad ruling that anything that would be flavored magic is not allowed without custom feats I’ve made. This puts a lot of restriction on extraordinary attributes, some more than others. Entropy is still useful for doing stuff with poison but Creation is difficult to make a case for being non-magical. I’m willing to accept that sort of drawback, though if you’ve any ideas on how it could be better well that is why I’m posting this.

My Spell Caster feat uses the term Extraordinary Points, which do not require to have points in that Extraordinary Attribute and they do not stack with what points you do have in any attribute. These points are just what allow a character to use magic. To buff this magic I decided to start with just upping the attribute dice by two and making up new dice for 9 and 10. So 1 Extraordinary Point rolls with 1d8 (normally for 3 points in an attribute) and so on. I gave 9 4d10 and 10 got 4d12. Also, the lethal damage is meant to show loss of years on your life without proper rest or treatment, which lethal damage plays into perfectly in terms of mechanics. Flavor wise, a character appears older from this lethal damage.

Spell Caster

Cost: 3


Tier 1 – 2 Learning or 2 Logic or be taught directly
Tier 2 – 4 Learning or 4 Logic


Whether by innate ability, study from books, or being taught you have learned how to utilize your life force as a weapon to cast spells.


Tier 1 – As a minor action, you can take 5 lethal damage to gain an Extraordinary Point in any one Extraordinary Attribute. You may do this as much as you like as a single minor action. Your Extraordinary Points do not add onto your Extraordinary Attribute. The limit on gaining these extraordinary points is the same as your level allows for Extraordinary Attributes.

Lethal damage from this feat only applies if the source of magic is from yourself. Other sources include essence crystals, a natural rift, or even other people.

These points only last for one round for free. After the first round has finished you lose the Extraordinary Point(s) or you can make a resolve roll to retain the Extraordinary Points. If you fail this roll you lose the Extraordinary Points and take normal damage equal to half the amount of lethal damage it cost to gain the extraordinary points. As a third option, you may use a Focus Action to retain the Extraordinary Points but take 1 damage per Extraordinary Point.

Tier 2 – You are able to teach others this feat. How this is at the DM’s discretion.


You can use a mental attribute to reduce the amount of damage you take to gain or retain Extraordinary Points.

Enchanter is meant to allow crafting of magic items. You might argue that without this feat you can’t make healing potions, but I’d say that is only if you consider a potion magical. A potion could be reflavoured into herbal poultices or some really well made food.


Cost: 2


Craft Mundane Item or Craft Extraordinary Item


You have learned to imbue your creations with magical properties by steady channeling your life force as you work.


You can use the Craft Mundane Item or Craft Extraordinary Item feat to craft items with magical properties.


You decide what exact magical properties to place upon your crafted items but the limits of the definition of magical properties is at the DM’s discretion.

The Infusion boon is meant to allow my in lore creation of storage of magic essence in crystals and allow for more broad usage. I referenced the Aura and Genesis boons to make this and for using boons and banes or damaging rolls it is meant to act similar to a held action.


Duration: Until Dispelled or Triggered

Invocation Time: Special

Power Level: 4, 6, 8

Attributes: Any


Whether you’re setting explosive runes as a trap, glowing sigils to save on torch prices, or storing essence in a crystal you can plan to use your magic powers later rather than sooner. You gather essence and force it to contain it within a set space or idle object to make it react to specified conditions or just to save for later.


This can be an Attack Roll, a Bane Attack, a Boon invocation, or Bane invocation and is considered a held action until specified conditions are met. You set the conditions to trigger the effect, at the discretion of the DM.

You can use this boon to store essence in a crystal for later use. If you do, you cannot add to it or subtract from it at will. Any Extraordinary Points not used when the crystal is used are lost. The maximum power level for the chosen bane or boon is one-half the power level of your infusion.

Power Level 4 – You can set a single effect upon a single object that is able to be held by a single person. The invocation time for this application 10 minutes.

Power Level 6 – You create a depiction of some meaning to Infuse an area that cannot be larger than 5 foot in any direction. Your depiction is restricted to be within the infused area and at least . You can set effects on two objects at once. The application time for this application 30 minutes.

Power Level 8 – Your Infused areas increase to 10 feet in any direction with all other restrictions the same. You can set effects on 5 objects that you’re able to to touch with your able to simultaneously touch with your hands. The invocation time for this application is 1 hour.


To invoke this boon you must have either the Spell Caster or Enchanter feat.

Thank you for taking the time to read through all of this. :heart:

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IMO in Open Legend magic is very neglected and needs special mods due to general style of this system. Changing attribute dice is risky, did you calculate how advantage change the game? Or Destructive Trance? Plus, doesn’t it discourage non-magic builds? I know, the 5 lethal damage thing, but notice, at the very same feat you can roll will (I assume thay you meant that), and will increase your hp and resolve, hope that doesn’t make it “God stat”. Worried about 1-shot build, too. Imagine your final boss that loose 1/2 of his hp in 1 round. I personally got a situation where my party got smashed by goblins while crushing demon. I also don’t understand Enchanter feat, could you explain it more? If your idea doesn’t work, consider my ideas, some are still in BETA or weren’t tested in practice, so it would be neat to PM me if you have any suggestions. There is two ways, in my opinion, to make magic more appealing: by making it harder to use by limits, spell slots, conditions ect or make it dangerous or semi-harmful to user.
New feats are necessary for some situations, but consider those options:
-using boons or banes below some PL are condition-free, but if you need to use more powerful effect or deal damage, you automatically use Power Trance. It makes magic more dangerous per se, plus you can modify it to make magic more personal.
-instead of using new feats, mod the existing one by add side effect and reduce cost. I know that may broke the game, so I need to think about it and test it. Eg:
Attack Specialisation(energy sword)
Cost: 3-1
Condition: you can use extraordinary attribute buffed by this feat only at 5 ft distance.
You can also modify feat itself:
Flying (rocket jump)
Cost: 3-1
Effect: You can fly, but you need to land before your turn ends. If you can’t, DM may assign you lethal damage as ad-hoc damage.
About dangerous magic: I can’t give you much info, since it’s not my cup of tea, but I think damage, lethal damage or self inflicted bane is a way to go.
About “saving throws”, you need to talk about it with @SamWilby or @Great_Moustache for expertise. I think magic items need to be expanded, for example staffs or wands that buffs extraordinary attribute or reduce AoE penalty.
hope I helped :slight_smile:

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I think it’s okay for the creators of Open Legend to leave magic neglected as it is as long as people who use the system can think of good ways to make magic more unique. Hopefully the better stuff ends up on the wiki.

I did not calculate anything for the dice changes since I’m not very good with numbers. I gave the idea a thought but I think I would rather just playtest it and see how things should be tweaked. I plan on paying close attention to the numbers for lethal damage and how effective the dice for magic based rolls go in play.

The same goes for Will, as I did already realize it may become a ‘God Stat’ for magic users, but I know I personally can keep the powergaming to a minimum by scrutinizing my own players for why they might be putting points into Will. It’d have to make sense for their character to have a strong will. On the other hand, I think that having a strong will is almost a necessity to study the arcane of my world. It is dangerous, and you can lose portions of you body if you make a mistake (attempting to use magic with the feat would just give them a high cr and I’d probably take a limb if they failed).

The Enchanter feat is just to return the ability to make magic items. I’ve been considering making it 1 feat point instead of 2 since it already requires a crafting feat. I’m not sure what exactly you’re not understanding about it though.

I considered using spell slots for this but I felt it did not work with the world I am making this for. I made this world before being introduced to OL so I am making these rules in order to adapt OL to the world. Which is work but far less work than if I were to try with 5E (the only other system I know). Back to spell slots: I don’t want to use them because the magic in my world is supposed to be dangerous to use, even to those who have learned and studied how to control it.

On your suggestions:

  • I think you may need to explain what Power Trance would do in more detail or are you just suggesting general idea about it?

  • The second suggestion adds a lot creativity to things but it would take a lot of case by case work. It isn’t a bad idea though since that work can be done as a player goes through the character creation process. Based on how you are wording it I don’t think it is the best way to go with my current campaign setting but I’m gonna save the idea for later use.


I like it. Well thought out and practical. Sounds like it could be a fun campaign!

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