Burning a magic system: Performance Art

So I recently bought MaBu and decided to burn a magic system using the Magic Burner p:241.

After a couple reads and according to the bardic character I wanted to burn here’s the result. I’d like to hear your criticism on it. It’ll help me see if i did it right and maybe add or delete stuff according to your suggestions. It’s nothing fancy it’s bardic magic based on the idea of a skill based magic where artistic skills can be used as sorcerous skill to cast spells with. The only thing i’m not so clear on is how to allow the number of spells a PC has at the start of a campaign. Since it’s a skill based magic system revolving on using a practiced talent I feel like it has to have that feel. Here’s a couple ideas:

-A spell for every leads he has in Character Burning. (1 to 3)
-A number of spells equal to the years spent according to lifepaths where he learned the sorcerous skill like acting, music, dancing, etc. (3 to 6)
-A number of spells equal to the skills’ exponent. (2 to 4)

I’m not sure what to do here, any ideas?

Performance art. Acting, Poetry, Dance, Musical instrument, Miming, etc…the caster dig into his Emotional attribute to generate his Magic/Effect.

Doing a visual or auditive performance. Skill based.

The PC must have the Gifted traits to be able to cast Performances.
1 year difficult test to learn a new spell by practicing the skill.
lenght of spells: 1 scene, the performance lenght, need to be doing it for it to be active. Starts 1 exchange later in a conflict.

Successfull=tax Forte ob.(spell obstacle)
Failure=Emotional attribute roll ob. (spell obstacle + margin of failure)

Effect (spells) (open ended)

[i]Folie Dansante/i= ob. 4 ou 6(include PC), Targets must make Will test (ob.4 +Margin of success)Can’t control (dance)hiself till hurt. When hurt target make steel test ob.4 to resist. Last till the performance ends.

[i]Sans Regret/i= ob. 3 ou 5(include PC), -1 hésitation + Margin of success. Last till the performance ends.

[i]Hypnophilia/i= ob. 4 ou 6(inclus PC), ½ will+Margin of success VS target’s will. 1 scene.

[i]Faux Prophète/i= ob. 3, Target suffers +1 ob. + Margin of success on social rolls. 1 scene.

I think I covered the five parts from The Magic Burner. I’m kinda new to Burning but I feel like it’s not too broken. I haven’t playtested it yet so it’s hard to tell already. In the setting we see Magic as something only a few is able to do. It’s not that rare but it’s special and not mundane.

I’d have him either buy spells with RP or make it an open system like Art Magic.

If this is an emotional magic, what’s the emotional attribute, and what does it have to do with rolling the performance skill?

The price doesn’t make sense to me. Does Tax work like it does in Sorcery? There’s no Tax on failure, just a test for the emotional attribute?

What are the different Obs on the spells? I don’t understand what Hypnophilia does. And I don’t really understand Folie Sansante. How long can people dance before damage? What if someone attacks them? If this is a lockdown, it’s way too powerful.


For Folie Dansante, you’re right my writing was wrong. I meant it stops when attacked. Hypnophilia is an hypnotic spell that basically put to sleep the target, or put it in an hypnotic state to make him talk. it basically negates the bard as he performes while the target his hypnosed.
I thought about the Art Magic…both models or way of doing it can be fun. For the emotional attribute I tought that any Emotion that could trigger inspiration for an artist could work. The bard dig his magic in his emotional drive wich reflect in his art. tax is the same as sorcery and your’re right I should also tax failure plus an emotional attribute roll for advancement. Thanks for the input!

What emotional attribute? If you just mean the bard performs with emotion… no. Use an appropriate performance skill and don’t bring an extra attribute into it—especially when it seems to exist only to advance on failure. What’s the point? What does that even mean?

In fact, considering this already requires Gifted, I think you could very easily slightly modify the sorcerous LPs to give Appropriate Performance in place of Sorcery, use re-flavored Sorcery spells, and get a full, effective system without all the pain of making and balancing a slightly different one.

Ok I should’ve been clearer in my first post, I’m being misunderstood. I’m sorry, I will get back at it, write an exhaustive template then re-post it. Thanks for your criticism.

I suggest you concider using Sorcery and Abstractions. Your Bard could then taylor make his songs on the fly, and could have a few songs already purchased. Just by changing the way the “socerer” cast his spells you could turn him into a “bard” (speaking becomes singing and gesturing becomes playing a instrument). Many of the spells in the book could become song-spells (rather than spell songs) just by altering their description so as to make it more bard like. The only real advantage that I see for making it Emotional Magic is then a bard who was relying on an atribute (Charisma?) to cast his magic could still do so while fighting (just like elves and priests). Of course, your bard could just buy the Fey Blood trait and choose the elven common trait First Born ("-it is this intimate knowledge that allows the Elves to weave their songs") This would make the bard a half-elf and he would need a good reason to have learned any spell songs or skill songs (perhaps through reputation, affiliation, and relationship with an elven clan).

Question: Could a Bard achieve their spell goal through creative usage of the Dual of Wits rules? It seems to me that by the simple act of listening to the bards performance the audiance has already agreed to the conditions of his song, if he is successful at entertaining them those terms are accepted. If not, he fails and must suffer the consequinces or possible compromise. (This would make for a very talented, though non-magical entertainer.)

Who is the other side if the DoW? It takes two to duel. And I’m really not sure how points and a body of argument fit. Nor can I imagine what the audience wants. How can you compromise?

I didn’t think the DoW thing all the way through. ( I suppose there could be hecklers). Seriously though, I can definitely see the advantage of using some form of emotional magic stat to use bard songs.
You could base it on “Performance” and have the bard songs be burned up as spell abstractions. That way the bard would have obsticals built into his songs (and actions) built into his songs (just like the elves) and you could test for tax but instead of the sickness and loss of fortitude the bars performance would suffer.
If you go this route, I would start the performance stat at B3 and grant a plus 1 for any related traIts and lifepaths (Perfect Pitch, Sonorous Voice, any Performer lifepaths). Also, This would require that the Performance Trait would have to be burned up and purchased (5 resource points works just like Faithful except it opens the Perfomance Attribute)

Why not model it on Spell Songs?

I thought of that too, but cocidering that spell songs are learned through life paths, you would have to make new bardic life paths to learn the different types of spell songs. If they are just burned up like spells they can be purchased in character burning, found in forgotten strongholds, or even written by the erstwhile bard. A talented bard could even learn to ad lib his own songs as needed, perfecting the song a little more each time he performs it until it is finalized.

Spell songs work because they’re scattered throughout all lifepaths of Elves. Most humans wouldn’t have bardic songs, so you’d either make bards take a ton of LPs or cram a couple of LPs full of skills and then demand that bards take a bunch of them. That’s much closer to how Sorcery works anyway.

In fact, you could make performance part of the idiom of sorcery in your game instead of the standard chanting and waving hands. Then add Practical Magic to Sorcery, but with the only option being performance. So all those Arcane Devotees are actually literally Gifted performers, but sometimes they suffer Tax after singing or playing.

You could model it on spell songs, you could even model it on Faith (by looking at what the intent of the bards song would be and comparing it to faith obstacles for similar prayer effects). Depends on what your concept of a bard is, and how your group would want that represented in play.

gatherYou could do that if it fits your concept better.
When it comes down to it that’s what’s important.
When I think about Bards, I envision roguish scoundrels who use their gift for music and misdirection to entertain while they gather information about the riches and wenches of the land. As such my Bard build would use “Bard Songs” which would represent their gift of music. My bards would be trained in Abstractions and Distillations from the Magic Burner. They would be Gifted and their Bardic Voice would be the equivalent of speaking an incantation, playing an instrument would count as gestures. I would allow new wording to existing spells to fit the concept as long as the changes were cosmetic only. The sorcery abstractions can duplicate nearly anything you might want in a bards song. The combination of Anima and Control can make a person think or feel just about anything while the various Area of Effect can decide who your song can reach and origin determines where the sound seems to come from.
But that’s my concept. What’s Yours?