Old Spell System adapted to the SAGA rules

Or Keep your Zombies Alive while using the new SAGA rules

Feedbacks I received from the NODICE mailing list is written in

Note :to understand this conversion completely you should be fairly familiar with both the AD&D game and the SAGA game

Raistlin and crysania The number of spells allowed to each carachter should be the one determined by their "Quests level" their former Hit Dice would be determined per the same method, while Monsters H.D., for those spell affecting a given number of H.D., should be obtained as per the Monster conversion described in the first SAGA boxed set. Hit Points for those spells that affect them should be calculated in a less craft way: I would say that a spell doing XdY Hit Points in the old AD&D system in the SAGA rules would make 2 wounds/die of damage (round up) thus a 10th level fireball would deal 20 wounds, while a 5th level one would deal 10 (save for 1/2). Spells launched by spellcastes not accustomed to them (thos with a difficulty rating of 12+ are considered to be cast at the minimum level to cast them, thus a fireball cast by a 2nd level wizard would deal 10 wounds).


Each time a spell is to be cast the Caster have to make a Reason or Spirit action to cast the spell. The difficulties are as follow:

Action difficulty ratings


Spell level difference

Automatic (0)


Easy (4)


Average (8)


Challenging (12)


Daunting (16)


Desperate (20)


Impossible (24)


A spell four levels higher than the higest spell normally allowed to the caster would be Impossible While one four levels below would be Easy, that is, a mage capable of casting Fifth level spells could cast a 9th level spell by beating a difficulty of 24, and a 1st level spell with a difficulty of 4.

Spells are memorized in the usual AD&D way, but a spellcaster may memorize one spell for each of the levels superior achievable to him (i.e. a 5th level caster may study one 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th level spell on top of the others). "Memorized in the normal way", meaning that one has to look up one's "level" and number of spells of each level from the PHB.
High level Wizards (lev 18th and above) are treated as above, Clerics would be just the same until 15th level, above this level they're considered to achieve a "virtual" 8th and 9th spell at the appropriate level, meaning that they treat lower level spells according to the table above (thus a 18th level cleric could cast 1st and 2nd level spells with no need to check for them)

Obviously spell points become useless, unless you use the Player's option Spell and Magic

from: Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
"The GreyOrm"
A fix I would propose to make it more SAGAish is the following, a caster can cast spells of a level equal to the normal number of cards in their hand (according to their number of Quests). The number of spells they can cast from a level normally allowed is equal to their Reason or Spirit score. They can attempt only one spell above the level allowed per day (or per day per spell-level).
I am sure there are other ways to do this to cut down on the book-keeping (since that isn't really what SAGA is about), but I'm partial to the above method.
However, a different way? The Reason or Spirit score limits the maximum spell level castable by the caster (ie a Reason of 5 would mean 5th level spells are the highest they could *ever safely cast). Their number of quests determines the current maximum level castable, and the number of cards in their hand determines the number of spells per known level that they can cast.

Failure to cast a spell of a level superior to the ones normally allowed (using the Quests score as the level of the caster) is treated as a mishap whose result is proportional to the difficulty rating, thus a spell four level higher than those allowed will result in a near-disaster situation.

from: Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
"The GreyOrm"
Perhaps coming up with a chart for the effects of various levels would be better than saying a mishap of this severity occured: Something like (for a spell that causes damage):

Mishaps Guidelines

Challenging (12)

Minor backlash of energies, spell dissapates leaving a static discharge in the air

Daunting (16)

Moderate backlash of energies, pell causes damage equal to that which it would have caused to all standing nearby

Desperate (20)

Severe backlash of energies, spell goes off and causes an amount of damage as though cast normally to all those in range plus it's level in increased damage

Impossible (24)

Major backlash of energies, spell likely instantly slays the caster and causes grievous wounds to all nearby

Well, that's my five minutes worth of thought, but you should see what I mean. This could be done for spells that alter things, spells that cause damage, spells that summon things, spells that cause illusions, etc. A different severity level for each (a moderate illusions backlash might cause the caster to believe in their illusion).

Spellcasting actions should be resolved with the Random Draw method to prevent player abuse, but for fair-players it's better to use the traditional method

Saving throws against spells: The only thing I can think about is to add the appropriate value (Perception or Presence) to the difficulty rating of the spell to be cast, keeping in mind that there must be an individual difference among the variouse subjects of the spell (I mean: one can fail his "S.T." but the others may succeed). Spells to be cast must overcome only the rated difficulty to be casted correctly (without errors) but this isn't enough to overcome the character's resistance: to affect a charachter in full a spellcaster must overcome the resistance of the charachter too within the same value.
Example: a 4th level caster with a reason score of 7 hurls a fireball spell (challenghing action =12) against a character with a perception score of 8. The caster uses his only trump card to get a good chance of having the spell work, say a 7 of moons, and then draws another card, and a 4 of swords comes out.
The total is 7+7+4=18. the spell is cast but... the combined difficulty of the spell and the victim's perception total 20. this means that tha subject effectively *saved* against this spell taking half of the listed damage.

Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
"The GreyOrm"
Actually, that is the way it normally works, and I do not see why it would not work as well here. An enemy's Perception (Intellect, actually) score, when falling under the influence of sorcery, would simply be added to the Difficulty for the spell to be overcome. In reverse form, the character attempting to ward off a sorcery would make an average Perception action, adding the Reason (Intellect, again) of the attacker to the difficulty.

from: Tom
BluSponge's Gray Matter (RANTS, Greyhawk, SAGA)
Saving throws are easy Figure which ability best opposes the effect and have the player make an action. For instance, a fireball spell could be opposed either by Agility or Endurance. Charm spells by Spirit.

Having written this "conversion" for standard AD&D spell, I now realize that I completely ignored the Alphabetical scores! Still I don't have much of an idea about what to do about it.

The only point that is sure, in my opinion, is that no C or lower code should cast any spell.

Under the rules set up in a Dragon magazine article (the Ravenloft Saga article) a greater number of spheres of access was allowed, using the schools/spheres of the PHB, an "A" code allows access to five schools or spheres, while a "B" code grants access to three.

One other way could be limiting the schools a wizard has access to: an A code (unless he chooses specialization) can learn spells from any of the 8 schools of magic, while a B code can learn only spells from 4 chosen schools.
For priests the thing is a bit more difficult,maybe priests with A score can use all the granted spheres, while those with a B code can only use half of the listed spheres for his cult (evenly divided between minor and major spheres).

Still, using the A=3, B=1 breakdown keeps magic from becoming a force too dominating in the game.

From: Kaviyd@aol.com
In regard to the question about relating classes to ability codes:
A code of "B" in the appropriate ability score should allow a character to become a "semi-spellcaster" such as a paladin, ranger, or bard.
A code of "A" would be required to allow a character to become a true wizard or priest.

Check it out, you SAGA players out there, and tell me if it works well !

Comments? :-)
Suggestions? :-)
Flames? :-(


Permission herby granted to download and print this material for personal use only. I mean, if you find a way to make money out of this I'd lika a good share


Yours in Lichdom...