Boil and Bubble: Quick and Quirky Charms

Guest Post by Kalzazz

One of the things that has always seemed a bit peculiar to me is that the Quick and Dirty rules for Charms make it rather difficult to have quirks, and especially, much more difficult to quirk a spell than to botch it entirely. Further discussion on that here.

Now, for those of us who love seeing what kind of suffering quirks bring from the twisted mind of the DM (or enjoy being said DM), I offer a simple rules tweak. When using Quick and Dirty Charms, the first roll is as normal. However, the second roll is either as normal, or versus a target of 14 minus the bonus to the first roll, whichever is worse for the caster.

For instance, Jaina the Mageling wants to make a charm that is greater than her safe threshold, but less than twice her safe threshold. So she would roll 3d+1 vs 15 for the first roll. For her second roll, she rolls either her Effective Skill -1, or 13 (14 minus the bonus of 1 to the first roll), whichever is worse.
A more explicit example. Suppose Bob the Mage has Path of Energy 18, path of Magic 18, and Magery 6 (so pool 18) and he has a +3 Grimoire. Bob would like to create a Charm of Destruction, which is a Greater Create Energy clocking in at 291 (pg 41 of Thaumatology RPM), +15 energy to make it a charm (adding Lesser Control Magic) so he needs 291 + 15 = 306.

With effective skill 21 (+0 charm lab, +3 grimoire, lower of his two paths involved is 18) his Safe Threshold is 75. Using his 18 pool (from Magery 6) he needs to accumulate 288,

288 is over 3 times, but less than 4 times his safe threshold.

So Bob rolls 3d+3 and tries to get a 15 or less to see whether he casts the spell, or if it Critical Failures.

Now, the next step is to check for quirks. Under the normal rules Bob must roll against his effective skill (21) minus the penalty for exceeding safe threshold (so 21 – 3 = 18) as a skill roll. So he gets a quirk on a 17 or 18.

Under the Quick and Quirky rule proposed here, he rolls either vs the 18 as normal, OR, against 14 minus the Safe Threshold penalty, whichever is worse. So 14 – 3 = 11.

So, to avoid critical failure Bob wants to roll a 12 or better. Under the normal system Bob wants to roll 16 or better, while under this proposed rule 11 or better.

This means that quirks will generally be more common than botches, but still requires the same 2 rolls, and no more difficult of calculations.

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