Quick 'n' Dirty Magic for NPCs
Creating PC mages is great fun in Forge: all those schematic to roll on and ways of customising your spells. It's less fun for the GM when it comes to creating NPC mages, especially 'on the fly' when mages turn up as wandering monsters or unplanned encounters. Here's a quick'n'dirty way of assigning spells to NPC mages.
This system assumes that NPC mages have 10 spell attempts per level (average Intellect score) and that they use the schematics conservatively to remove any chance of Harmful Side Effects (HSE) rather than increasing the potency of their spells. Therefore every NPC spell is treated as if it rolled '11' on every schematic table.
Spells of level 4+ always risk HSE. Rather than deciding which spells have HSE and which don't, allow Pagan Mages to save vs Magic whenever they cast such spells and the HSE takes effect only if they fail. Mental Exhaustion means the NPC cannot cast any more spells for a number of days.
If Pagan Mages (Beast, Elemental, Necromancy) cast spells one level higher than their Magic level, they automatically incur the HSE with no saving throw. This is unavoidable HSE is indicated in parenthesis for levels 2-3 for Pagan mages of levels 1-2 casting above their Skill level.
NB. Pagan mages at 8th level have 1 spell; if they roll 2, instead of giving them a second spell, cancel all HSE penalties for lower level spells.
Example 1: A Level 1 Beast Mage has 20 SPTS and 2d4 spells. If you roll 3, then he has a minimum of 4 spells. If you roll 5 or 6, then the extra spells are 2nd level spells with the unavoidable HSE.
Example 2: A Level 5 Necromancer has 75+1d6 (roll 80) and knows 4 1st level spells, 4 2nd level spells, 4 3rd level spells, 3 4th level spells; they know d4 5th level spells, with a minimum of 2, and if 3 or 4 are rolled the extra ones are 6th level spells with an unavoidable HSE.