Assuming you’ve read our stuff (particularly Forge of Imagination), you’ve seen that we strongly support the concept of taking ideas from others, but making them your own. There’s a “dark side” to that:
I admit it - I’m a child of the Star Wars generation. I remember playing on the front porch of a guy who later became a play tester for us (wow - that one is a convoluted story) marveling at his new Boba Fett figure. I saw all three of the original movies in the theater with my parents because I wasn’t old enough to drive. So I guess it makes sense that when I think of spells, I envision laser beams. Cast a life drain spell, I see a laser beam reach out and strike the bad guy. Cast a fireball, I see a laser beam that explodes at the far end. But it really shouldn’t be that way. I’m working really hard to change my way of thinking. I’ve decided that spells should (as often as possible) look more like clouds. Magic is supposed to work outside of material physics, so a congealed, amorphous shape with power in it, seems to fit. It’s kind of H. P. Lovecraft too.
Or how about this - a rip in the fabric of space. I really wanted to use “rent in the fabric of reality” but that seems too flowery. I’m working on the stats because while writing this I thought of a cool spell: Ghoulish Hand - conjurer spell - This spell causes a rent in the fabric of reality through which a ghoulish hand emerges to claw and tear at an enemy. The hand will appear at one of the least advantageous points for the target (usually behind). The conjurer opens the portal for the hand, then the hand will attack as well as it can. The conjurer needs to sustain the spell but not direct it, unless he wants to move the portal, then he must take an action to close and reopen the portal. This is an action, but does not require a new casting fatigue or success roll. See, no laser beams.
The other thing I want to do is have precognitive sword fighters. The problem is that it keeps making me think of the Jedis, and I don’t want that. Imagine how cool it would be to be able to use mentalism to predict your opponent’s moves and then counter them. But I don’t want guys walking around saying, “These are not the halflings you are looking for.”
Don’t succumb to the Dark Side. Keep other people’s ideas out of your game (unless their from Board Enterprises of course! and of course unless you have made them "your own"), and the game will run a lot smoother! Come to think of it, maybe I should keep other people’s stuff out of the blog. Nah!