Friday, September 2, 2011

How many spells is "too much"

I working hard on getting "The Witch" and "Eldritch Witchery" to "press" now.  I am working on the spells for both books and I am wondering something.

How many spells is too many spells?

Potentially I could have 720+ new spells to add to these books.  All culled from nearly 20 years of playing witches in FRPGs.  Not all are equally useful, but all are very witchy.

But is that too many?  More than half the book would be spells, and I am under the opinion that less is more when it comes to old school play.

There is certain market advantage by saying "Over 700 new spells!" which is just a good way of saying "A lot of new spells!" is 700 fine? How about 100? or 200?  Where do I need to stop.

What does the market want?
What do you want?

In the end I think I won't be putting in all 700.  Some of them are a touch redundant (is Beguile all that different in game terms from Charm?)


Padre said...

Personally I don't think too many is a problem. It really depends upon how your players or yourself want to play a given witch. I am always pleased when players find creative uses for spells rather than just cast & blast.

Jaap de Goede said...

Thought a lot about that. Many game books really put me off, because they ARE too much. There is a difference between "rich" in content, and plainly too %&$#&* much. There is a lot I will never play because books look so full, I'm not going to read all that stuff!

I'm not sure how big your book will be, but I think you could go two ways - either use say 120 spells which really set the witch apart, or do a real witch spell book, and make that your selling point (even then 700 sounds as too much for one go - I'd at least consider dividing them up in separate books in that case).

Tim Knight said...

I think, towards the end, you have started to answer your own question - as Jaap says stick to the "unique" spells that are unlike standard issue FRPG spells.

While I'd have no problem with a witch book devoting half its pages to spells, I have to say that 700+ sounds like overkill at the moment.

You can always release follow-up volumes of the ones that didn't make the cut the first time round.

Nick said...

The other side to marketing the sheer number of spells is the inference is that there's little else about the book to promote it. See what I mean? It's like the movie reviews on boxes. When it's got one, and it has ellipses in it so you know they stole it from somewhere, it's not gonna be all that.

Back on subject; go with the really cool stuff. You can always release the rest later in a different volume.

Anonymous said...

I will chime in with the others. Release what you feel is necessary at first and then make a few supplements. How can this go wrong?

netherwerks said...

100 unique spells is plenty to begin with, and having supplements that expand the range of possibilities by getting into specifics and specialties is a good approach. People can buy the particular supplement that they prefer or want to try out. Having a set of seven ready-to-go supplements is a pretty cool way to get a project going. Maybe you can offer a package deal sort of promotion later...