View Full Version : Weird freeform spell systems and 'ranking'

2011-12-20, 11:33 AM
So I've got a homebrew game system based loosely off of 7th Sea (rules and campaign wiki: http://elseportrait.wikispaces.com/). Essentially different kinds of art have power and can do things. Sculptures can walk, paintings can connect to other places through space and time and planar boundaries, etc.

One that I'm having difficulty really nailing down is Poetry. I'm stuck on a basic idea: the player composes a rhyme out of character within a limited time frame (during combat) or unlimited outside of combat and speaks it aloud, at which point an effect occurs based on the rhyme. I don't want to judge poetry, so the basic rule is simply 'it has to rhyme and must follow a form'. If it does that, then even if its utter doggerel or Shakespeare, the effect should be the same strength. I'd be willing to give minor boosts for picking a well known form, so a Limerick may be better at certain things and a Sonnet better at others.

The main issue I'm having is that this thing is crazily open-ended (which is good - encourages creativity) but due to the vagaries of the system I have to sort the types of effects that can be achieved into about 6 separate ranks, where 6 is not generally accessible short of plot or major sacrifice. I'm not precisely sure how to do this though without making massive tables that would take longer to reference than the poetry takes to compose.

FWIW, Rank 2 is the maximum that is going to be achievable by anyone PC or NPC for at least awhile due to the way this will be accessed.

Any suggestions?