Art Magic - Why no Tax or DoF for failed casts?

So, coming out of Pete’s thread about magic needing so many rules (or him linking to an article about that, I should say), I wanted to put forward something that’s been on my mind for ages, ever since I bought the Magic Burner:

Why are there so many awesome rules and trade-offs for Sorcery but none for Art Magic? There is such a great balance between “you can do freaking awesome shit” with the balance being “…but at a price.” Art Sorcery is just “you can do freaking awesome shit. In fact, you can make your own freaking awesome shit!” Price? Pffft.

I’m very curious how this came about and why there isn’t a single thing to balance out the use of such incredible power, except the option to incorporate Corruption. Did it feel at the time like there were too many potential penalties to core Sorcery?

In my game, we’re using Sorcery with Art Sorcery tied into a lost realm (ties three characters together). For Art Sorcery, I’ll be using Tax as per normal (channeling magic is channeling magic) and will be using Corruption instead of a DoF for miscasts/Wheel of Magic (sorry, can’t remember the actual overarching term used to account for the possibility of unwanted summoning, garbled transmission, etc).

(I’m actually kinda hoping I somehow skipped over something in my reading(s) and the answer is “Actually, dumbass, it’s written that you use the standard penalties for failed casting…” :slight_smile: )


Actually, dumbass, there’s the “Consequences” section on pp. 79-80 of the Magic Burner.

It is a lot more open. The GM chooses the consequences of spell failure from the list starting on page 79 of the Magic Burner. This pretty much guarantees something interesting is going to happen, as opposed to normal sorcery which most of the time will result in harmless dissipation.

I particularly like enmity and infamy, reputations as a dark wizard are awesome!

Sweet. Thanks, guys. I’ll take another read tonight. I must admit that I never approached the Magic Burner as a “cover to cover” read. I’ve always used it as a kind of encyclopedia, finding what I needed and carrying on. I’ll give it a more thorough read before my game progresses too much further.

The big difference is that with Art Magic, you only have to worry about consequences if you fail the test, whereas with standard Sorcery you have to worry about Tax even if you succeed. On the other hand, the GM has a lot more tools for truly punishing failures when it comes to Art Magic.

Art Magic is often slower and more difficult than vanilla Sorcery, too.

Yeah, you can get Taxed to your Forte as normal, but only if you fail. The really fun stuff, we’ve found, comes in the free-form GM penalties—imposing new Traits, infamous Reps, shit like that.