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The first in a planned series of optional playtest kits, this one adds an updated set of cantrips and spells, as well as the new 'Spell Fatigue' system that modifies how magic is handled in the fourth edition of SW:MLP. In addition to streamlining existing spells, more are added and some removed: there are now 26 cantrips and 65 spells to choose from, with better balance between the schools of magic. Still requires the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition and SW:MLP 4th edition rulebook to use!
Just out of curiousity, why is it that Transformation is in the Illusion school? Shouldn't it be Transmutation like its novice equivalent?
My reasoning was that Transformation was actually an illusionary effect; it is incredibly powerful and affects all of the senses of anyone looking at it and forcing their brain to ignore and rationalize it, rather than actually physically transforming you into the creature (hence why there is no Notice roll to detect an animal that is actually a shapechanged pony).
Seems kind of odd that you would lose your own abilities when using the spell if it's an illusion, I mean it would be a pretty big tip off to anyone with more than animal intelligence that something's up if a ferret started flying around, spitting goo, and shooting green laser beams from its forehead, but if it's an illusion I would think you'd still be able to do anything you normally could and that doing so would simply allow for some kind of roll to detect it.
The limitations on your powers are primarily a balancing rule to prevent players from using it to become overpowered (such as having both spells and Feats at once) and the associated nightmare of possible rules interactions that come with that. Sometimes you have to make concessions for sanity and fairness versus fitting a theme exactly, and the Transformation spell is supposed to be a method of disguise and trickery rather than a way to break the balance of powers in the game.
One item I wonder about, is that with a d8, you have about 12.5%-14% or so chance per roll, to have this happen. Given that at worst, you have 4 fatigue points, more than likely spirit is going to at a d6, so 5 points. A d10 adds more, and the d12 just drops it low. But because of that gap, that it doesn't seem to really punish for casting anyone but the d6 and d4 unicorns unless the luck, just really is against you that day.
As right, or wrong as this may be There is no down effect until you break the cap, and how low go. I get early on its a good investment to prevent them going d8/d10 dice in smarts because they need to prevent fatigue, But as you progress, there is really no fear at all from this, as you can save bennies and reroll once you hit the limit. I like the idea of mental fatigue, but there seems a slight something off with it, but I can't place the exact level of balance thats needed, nor do I think I could in fairness. Its a great balancer, as you say for the "default SW Power Point system and the No Power Points" rules.
It is mostly built around the per day part, where you have to rest to recover spell fatigue. It doesn't really come into play until you get into a more intense session where you have lots of combat or are casting a lot of spells, so it creates an imperative to conserve what spells you are casting after a little while.
But yes, with a d10 or d12 in Spirit it becomes much less of an issue; however, getting that high in Spirit while also having a decent Smarts requires a lot of character resources, especially considering that you have to spend advances to also get New Spell in order to get the range of spells you'd want if you were going to be casting all over the place.
This is looking pretty cool there. Will give it a more thorough read over this weekend and maybe gives some thoughts later.
I am liking this spell fatigue mechanic. Hopefully the stress testing will be successful and I'll be awaiting the rest of the updates.
I also think that it's a nice compromise between the default SW Power Point system and the No Power Points setting rule, as it puts extra incentive on unicorns to invest in Spirit and Vigor, and also creates a sort of flexible upper limit for using spells. If anyone in your group uses it, please let me know their thoughts about it.