Over at Planewalker, they have an article up about “tinkered” spells. That’s just another way of saying “customized spells”.

In most PC games, spells are fixed items. The only series I can think of offhand that allows custom spells is Elder Scrolls. I recall having a fine time especially in Morrowind with a few self-made magics.

One of my favorites was the “Seeing Axe Shirt”. It was a shirt (of course) that had permanent spells for magic axe and night eye on it.

The magic axe was a great weapon. It weighed nothing and did as much damage as a Daedric axe, which weighed 80 or 90 pounds. The night eye spell let me see in the dark. Good stuff.

However, the PW article is about spells, not enchanted items. Apparently, Broken Hourglass will let you mix and match many effects from different spell schools to create unique effects. Of course, there’s a cost for that, and the more potent varieties will be more expensive in mana to set off.

The interesting aspect is that the entire party can learn that same spell, and cast it if they have the requisite skills and mana. So it isn’t just “yours alone”; the spell is shared among everyone. That’s a nice feature, provided, naturally, that others can make use of it.

I’ve wondered from time to time why more RPGs don’t allow for custom spells. That’s one of the better features of the Elder Scrolls magic system, and – aside from D&D – could certainly be implemented to spice up a game.

I except D&D because that’s a pre-created system, although the rules do allow for player-created spells, at least in the p&p version. Maybe one of these days that will show up in a computer game.

In the meantime, check out the Planewalker article.

Custom Spells on Planewalker