Re: Are there any free game mechanics engines other than D&D 2nd ed? (WAS: OGL and the d20 system)

From: Artovil (
Date: 10/30/01

At 10:24 2001-10-24 -0400, David Rouse wrote:
>On Monday, October 22, 2001, at 04:31  AM, Artovil wrote:
>>Especially for magic use, does any company have the copyright for the
>>circle/spell book/reagent system used in various games such as Ultima
>>others? Or can I safely use a similar system as long as I write my own
>>and mechanics?
>Speaking specifically on the magic system, D&D's own system was
>more-or-less taken from Jack Vance's "The Dying Earth" stories. Older
>D&D books even mention this and give other references, I wonder if they
>still do? As long as you use more-or-less Vancian mechanics for spell
>casting, I don't think anyone can say you are taking from TSR -- oops --

That's what I was thinking.  I will just make something up and try to stay
in the middle somewhere so as not to step on anybody's toes.

>There should be ways to implement the Vancian mechanics that don't end
>up looking like the D&D system. You could have difficulty ratings to
>memorize each spell and set a maximum number of of total ratings that
>could be memorized based on level -- that would allow a wizard to
>memorize more lower difficulty spells or fewer high difficulty spells,
>an idea that appears in his stories.

This is an excellent idea!  I think I will try to do something like this
when I am finished with my skill tree.  I have planned to make a spell
system that uses memorization and reagents, and possibly some kind of
personal spellbooks that can be used to write customized "spontaneous
magic" or rituals in.

>Personally, I think a magic system that used some kind of Earthseaian
>mechanics would be interesting -- although difficult to pull off in a

Would you like to define "Earthseaian mechanics?"

Kind regards,

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