Modelling spells from other systems

I’ve been trying to model my sword mage from 5e and have run into issues modelling spells like shield, absorb elements, green-flame blade, booming blade and the like.

Tho I do like the magic being always available nature of Open Legend I wish that there was a feat that would allow an exchange of that unlimited use for power. Something like a feat that gives 4 uses of said boon with your ability counting as 2 levels higher for the activation effectively making it trivial to activate for those 4 times but much harder once they are gone to simulate a depletion of resources, the character could still pull it out if they rolled well but it would be better not to rely on being able to once the feat uses have expired.

Another limitation is most defensive abilities use an action and using them as an interrupt means no action next turn which means simply turning into a punching bag.

Am I missing something?

Should we start a thread of pre modelled spells/superpowers for people to choose from?

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If you look at the archetypes given on, they have “favored actions” listed. I think that would be a good way to convert specific spells: have them listed on your character sheet with the mechanics for each, have the effects made with boons/banes, and flavor them like the original spells.

Open Legend was specifically trying to get away from this sort of resource tracking, even to the point of getting rid of amounts of currency and even ignoring ammo counts most of the time. You can add something like this as a house rule when you’ve had a while to get used to the system as it is, if you even still want it then. It’s very freeing to have your character able to do their cool stuff all the time rather than being limited by an arbitrary number that doesn’t really make sense (since when do Harry Potter or Gandalf run out of spell slots?).

What you’re missing is context for how combat flows in OL. Defend Interrupts aren’t meant to be used against every attack (unless you’ve built your character around that concept), they’re a desperate, dramatic attempt to save yourself from a big hit. It costs your next action because it’s powerful, and you don’t have to decide you’re doing it in advance.

As for other defensive abilities, the only ones that I can think of are boons. While boons usually cost a major action to invoke, you can sustain them for a minor action, meaning that you can keep one of them going (on as many targets as you can manage in one invocation) for as long as you want unless you get Stunned, knocked out or have to take a Focus Action.

I don’t see the need to be honest, though there is a wiki coming soon that could help with this if you want. PCs in this system have powers and abilities as varied and unique as the imagination of the players. I’ve seen characters whose Entropy was energy draining tech, poison, necromancy or a pact with a devil. I’ve see Influence be illusion magic, holograms, or forcing the target to experience a very real and terrifying parallel dimension. Any list of spells or powers is only going to cover a small percentage of the possibilities no matter how extensive you make it.

I do have a suggestion for how to make your character work though: stop focusing on the powers and start focusing on the abilities. Don’t try and model specific rulebook spells, instead think about what the character’s capabilities are. If they have protective magic, give the a Protection score and try out the boons there. If they have the ability to enhance their sword for their attacks, see what attributes give you Bolster and look at feats like Martial Focus and Attack Specialisation.

Start from the character and the OL rules will fit like a glove, but if you start by trying to fit a different system’s rules inside of OL then OL will struggle make it difficult for you. Try modeling your sword mage as a living, breathing character rather than a collection of spells, then you’ll start to see what makes Open Legend great :smile:


Well I wanted to be a fragile character who relied on magic and evasion to defend themselves on demand rather than buffing up or relying on heavy armour, while being able to do melee damage.

The thrill of the character is being almost unhitable walking the fine razor knowing that a single hit might do me in if I’m not clever enough or if my opponent gets lucky.

So far the modelling doesn’t support that well at all.

I’ve been using the character builder to get ideas that fit the concepts things like battle trance and defensive reflexes are good places to start but all in all it feels like the magic is lost with out ways to make what should have been a devastating hit a miss.

Things like a swashbucklers riposte or a last minute deflection caused by my characters initiative are what I’m attempting to model.

Defensive Reflexes and the Sentinel feat are a good place to start for last minute deflections. You can look at Battlefield Retribution and Battlefield Punisher if you want to make further use of your Defend actions to make it something like a riposte, and deal damage while defending yourself.

Also related to your “single hit” philosophy, that’s not quite how combat works in Open Legend. You heal everything except lethal damage with 10 minutes to catch your breath, because HP does not equal damage in this system.
From the Core Rules:

Your hit points (HP) are an abstract measure of your character’s ability to ignore pain, avoid deadly blows, and maintain a presence on the battlefield in spite of wounds or exhaustion.

So as long as you have HP you can be avoiding blows all you want, your HP will just go down from the strain and exhaustion of defending yourself. I know you’re wanting that “single hit” idea from a mechanical perspective, but it doesn’t really work the same way when your roll to hit and roll to damage are the same thing; hence the different way we treat HP. In D&D +4 to your AC as a reaction can save you from 20 damage, in OL +4 to your Guard would save you from exactly 4 damage at most.

So, try the Open Legend way of building that kind of character; don’t get too attached to the idea of defending as a reaction and then attacking as a major action, in OL they’re rolled into one with Battlefield Retribution. If defending as a reaction while keeping your full turn was possible in this system where there is no artificial “spell slot” limit then everyone would be doing it all the time.

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hmm maybe just bane focus with a new bane.


Duration: Instantaneous

Power Level: 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9

Attack Attributes: Protection


Protection vs. initiating attack roll


Through magical power, technological hacking, or similar means, you are able to cancel an enemy’s bane or attack that targets you alone. The cancel bane is often used by abjurers, engineers, bards, and similar characters built to cancel the attacks of their enemy.


You cancel a single bane’s effect if it is of this bane’s power level or lower. The invoking power level further impacts the effect as follows:

Power Level 1 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 1. 

Power Level 2 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 2.

Power Level 3 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 3.

Power Level 4 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 4.

Power Level 5 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 5.

Power Level 6 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 6.

Power Level 7 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 7.

Power Level 8 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 8.

Power Level 9 - Cancel a bane of Power Level 9.

since the limitation of non stacking minor actions this means this could be used once per turn to blunt one attack and only if you had the bane focus

I’d suggest that you play the game as it is a few times before trying to make house rules. You can capture the same flavour of this bane with just a Defend Interrupt, and as homebrews go it seems very much like an attempt to make your own character more powerful. This also doesn’t require Bane Focus the way it’s written, are you maybe misunderstanding how you gain access to Banes?

If you can achieve an effect in the Core Rules (which you can with a wide variety of things, including this one) then trust that the Core version is mostly balanced. I’d recommend you don’t try and mess around with adding stronger effects until you’ve run a couple of campaigns, to get a handle on how the system works without any modifications and gain the experience to be able to adapt properly to any problems in play.

When you’ve played a few games with this character unmodified I’d be happy to help you adapt if it doesn’t feel right. If the gameplay of Defend Interrupts doesn’t work for you then we can figure out something else, including custom rules (though I’d like your GM to be involved in that discussion if possible). I urge you to give it a chance though, characters built around Defend Interrupts are super fun and very powerful without giving them extra abilities.


This is restoration btw

and you can Boon Focus for Restoration at tier 2 to do it as a minor action.