Custom Magic System Might Not Work in ACKS 2

Hello! This is my first thread here, I apologize if custom systems should go outside of the House Rules section but I’m not sure where it should be written if not.

I started looking into creating a custom magic system for ACKS 2 using the Judges’ Journal, and I was wondering if anybody would be able to give me any suggestions.

My approach to worldbuilding is basically that I have no reason to assume any standard fantasy trope exists unless it MUST exist (aka I make no assumptions and draw logical conclusions through it as much as rationally and temporally possible), and given my cosmology, history, and all sorts of stuff, it is simply impossible for standard magic to work in my setting, and if it does, it will affect the world and what is considered “ordinary” and exploitable.

The Journal provides some options for this, which is awesome. I have 2 main systems:
-natural/accidental power, which certain sentient mortals are able to use naturally, however they must still learn and hone their skills, much like someone learning a fighting style or lifting weights would have to… this replaces arcane magic
-substantial/formal power, which alters the invisible form of things, or their essence - usually, this means you have the ability to alter another’s soul, giving him very specific supernatural faculties - this is, in essence, divine magic - I think most of this would just be custom class abilities for custom classes

So, as to arcane magic, the way it works is that you are basically able to manipulate energy resources that your body stores, which functions like electricity.

The simplest form of the natural power is to draw up your energy into your hands and discharge it as lightning. You can probably do this 1-3 times in a day. Alternatively, you can store high amounts of energy in your hands to heat the air and create gusts of wind.

Over the course of history, they realize there’s quite a lot they can do with this. They can channel wind quite precisely to move objects, they can imbue energy throughout their bodies to repel the lightning blasts of another, they can bring their charged hands very close together to create powerful repulsive forces, etc.

So you can see how it’s sort of “inherited” (like the Fey magic example) but also sort of “learned” (like arcane magic is supposed to be, but it’s not bound to any metaphysical formulas - you would develop physical muscle-memory for the effects you learn).

Should I just abstract this out into spell slots and spells learned per level, and rationalize that you can practice all you want but you will only truly learn a certain effect once you level up? Or should I rethink this whole thing from the ground up, creating rules for what similar effects you can learn more easily if you know related effects, how much practice you need in order to interiorize it for practical use, etc? This whole idea also has implications for magic item creation and potion crafting but that’s a whole other can of worms…

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You might want to check out the Heroic Fantasy Handbook, which has a system of magic called “Spellsinging” that uses spell points for spells and allows for dynamic/spontaneous creation of spells on the fly. It sounds like if you combined ACKS II’s custom magic type rules with something similar to Spellsinging, you’d be able to get what you want!


Awesome, that sounds perfect potentially!