Castle Falkenstein: The Vampires of New Orleans
House Rules: How to Use Magic
Instead of using a deck of cards to represent what type of thaumic energy you draw from the ether, you will draw poker chips out of a bag that are separate from the fortune chips. Use 13 of 4 distinct color chips to represent each type of energy.
Make sure to keep these separated from your fortune chips. If it helps, keep your sorcery chips in a fancy, hand-painted china tea cup….fits the Victorian theme, looks pretty, and is also functional.
You may have four chips at a time, just like the fortune deck. Chips of the same color as the nature of the energy of the spell (emotional, social and spiritual, physical world, and action) allow you to roll your full dice pool with no penalties. You may cast a spell using the wrong color chip, but you will incur a -1 dice penalty (which represents the harmonic energies woven into your spell).
Basic Sorcery Mechanics
Each sorcerer rolls the amount of dice allotted from their sorcery ability level.
Good: 3 dice
Great: 5 dice
Exceptional: 7 dice
Extraordinary: 9 dice
It's All in the Family: If you are using a spell from a lorebook that belongs to your magical organization, you are allowed to add an extra dice to your dice pool to represent your familiarity with that particular type of magic.
Casting Your Spell:
6= success; for most spells, one 6 allows you to achieve the basic effects of the spell being cast. Some spells are very difficult to cast and are very dangerous and thus they require more than one success to cast safely.
Working Together: The sorcerer with the highest ability level in sorcery will roll the dice. For each additional mage that helps (with a level Good-Great in Sorcery), you are allowed to roll 1 extra dice (up to 3 max) This represents the assisting mage's ability to draw in extra thaumic energy and their own personal willpower. Exceptional Wizards give you an extra two dice to add to your pool. If both of the wizards who attempt to cast the spell both have an Extraordinary level, then you are allowed to add 3 extra dice (max) to the pool. If you roll a botch (no sixes and at least one dice with a 1), all mages that worked on the spell will suffer the consequences of the harmonic effect.
For each additional success after the first, you are able to choose an additional magical effect to the spell; each spell has its own list of separate effects you can choose from. Those can include increasing the amount of people affected, the area of effect, the distance, etc…
Sorcerer vs. Sorcerer: Each sorcerer (or rival group of sorcerers) counts up the dice they will be rolling for their dice pool. Each side must make a sorcery roll using the fortune chips and dice rules and their Sorcery ability level. Whoever gets the most successes from this "roll off" will get to cast their spell first in the magical "initiative" order.
Re-casting a Spell
You are allowed to tempt the fates to attempt to recast a spell, as long as it wasn't a botch. You risk danger by attempting to draw more thaumic energy more quickly than you should. Re-rolling after your first attempt represents throwing the universal balance of energy out of whack, and creating harmonic disturbances. The consequences of failure are plain in the form of harmonics, but without risk there is no reward for the truly ambitious mage.
If you are re-rolling a spell that is from a different magical organization than you belong to, you may cast the spell, but at a -1 dice penalty. This represents your unfamiliarity with the group's magical lore and secrets. Anyone with magical ability can attempt any spell, but it much less dangerous to stick to spells that you are familiar with; that you have used before, under the guidance of your magical mentor.