College of Magic: Spell Casting on an Epic Scale

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"With great power comes great responsibility"

In contrast with many other fantasy role-playing games, magic in HARP is quite limited in its potency. Rolemaster magic, let alone d20 3.x magic, is much more powerful than its HARP counterpart. Fans who possess the original version as well as the revised edition will also have noted the significant reduction in the duration of many magical spells that occurred in the switch to HARP (Revised).

During the writing of College of Magics, I had access to Tim Dugger's original spreadsheet system for creating spells. I revised it to make spell creation easier and more systematic. In the modifying process, I developed attribute and scaling option costs for large-scale spells and rituals such as weather alteration, divination, and the like. They did not make it into the published version of College of Magics, potentially leaving GMs who have a need for more epic magic in their games and settings at a loss.

This article aims to remedy this situation by providing expanded attribute costs and scaling options for range, area of effect and duration. I have edited my original costs for the higher options to ensure a relatively smooth upward progression from the published costs to the new possibilities, and have increased the costs from the original manuscript. All of the new options are presented in italics in the tables below.

GMs should note building such high-powered attributes into the base form of spells can make magic very powerful. Certain of the options for range (1000' plus) and area of effect (100'R plus) are only intended to be used with specific categories of Utility spells such as passive information-gathering effects and weather spells. They are not to be employed with Attack or Elemental Attack spells. Likewise, the scaling options for these special ranges and areas of effects must only be employed with such safe Utility spells. That is the price to pay for scaling penalties which don't require astronomical skill ranks to overcome them. These restricted options are all indicated with a plus sign (+).

With great power comes great responsibility. GMs should be cautious in adding these new rules to their games.

New Base Options

Range Cost
Personal (self) 5
Touch 10
10' 20
50' 30
100' 40
200' 60
500' 80
1000' (+) 100
1 mile (+) 120
10 miles (+) 140

Area of Effect Cost
Individual (self) 5
1 target 10
Per additional target +20
5' radius 10
10' radius 20
Per additional 10' radius +10
100' radius (+) 50
1000' radius (+) 100
1 mile radius (+) 150

Duration Cost Cost * Cost **
Instant/No Duration 5 N/A N/A
Concentration only 10 N/A N/A
2 rounds 10 20 10
5 rounds 20 50 15
10 rounds 40 100 30
1 minute 50 120 40
10 minutes 60 140 N/A
1 hour 80 180 N/A
Permanent 200 N/A N/A
* = duration xx per skill rank in spell
** = caster must concentrate, up to maximum duration
N/A = not applicable

New Scaling Options

Range Power Points
To change self to touch +4 PP
To change touch to 10' +2 PP
To change 10' to 50' +2 PP
For each additional 50' +1 PP
Increase 1000' to 1 mile (+) +12 PP
Increase 1 mile to 10 miles (+) +14 PP
Increase 1000' to 1000'/rank (+) +20 PP
Increase 1 mile to 1 mile/rank (+) +24 PP

Increase 10 miles to 10 miles/rank (+)

+28 PP

Area of Effect Power Points
To change self to 1 target +4 PP
For each additional target +4 PP
To change self to 5' radius +2 PP
To increase 5' radius to 10' radius +2 PP
For each additional 10' radius +2 PP
Increase 100'R to 1000'R (+) +10 PP
Increase 1000'R to 1 mile R (+) +15 PP
Increase 100'R to 100'/rank R (+) +10 PP
Increase 1000'R to 1000'/rank R (+) +15 PP

Increase 1 mile R to 1 mile/rank R (+)

+20 PP

Duration PPs PPs * PPs **
2 rounds +1 +2 +1
5 rounds +2 +4 +2
10 rounds +3 +6 +3
1 minute +4 +8 +3
10 minutes +4 +9 N/A
1 hour +5 +10 N/A
1 day +6 +12 N/A
1 week +7 +15 N/A
1 month +8 +16 N/A
1 year +9 +18 N/A
Permanent +20 N/A N/A
* = duration xx per skill rank in spell
** = caster must concentrate, up to maximum duration
N/A = Not Applicable