More chapters are on the way, we will share the fully laid out chapters 4-6 (including combat and magic) in a few days!
Regarding the magic rules - while houseruling is obviously fine, I would recommend that you try the official rules out, or at least read them, before discarding them.
I will explain the design philosophy behind the rules and how they are meant to play out. Firstly, there are a few common problems with magic that I have experienced in other games that we want to solve in Forbidden Lands:
So, with this in mind, this is how magic works in Forbidden Lands:
- Magic users are pretty much useless at everything except magic. That makes playing a magic user quite limiting.
- Starting magic users are generally quite bad at magic too. This means that they need to spend all their XP on getting better at magic, compounding problem #1 above.
- When the magic users have risen in skill/level, they instead become overpowered.
- The most important one. To limit the use of magic, many systems have a finite number of mana point or similar to spend, or a system where you build up "corruption" or something by using magic, causing negative effects. The problem with these systems is that they, a little simplified, mean that a magic user can use magic in the beginning of a scenario/session, but not at the end (at which time the mana is gone or the corruption has increased too much). This creates a suboptimal dramatic arc - we want to unleash the awesome spells at the final boss fight, not in the first encounter!
- Magic users (sorcerers and druids) can be almost as good as the other professions at non-magical skills, such as swordplay. We want fights to be like in the LotR, where Gandalf swings his sword with skill and saves his magic for it's really needed.
- Even starting magic users can cast powerful spells.
- Our way of limiting the use of magic turns problem 4 above around - in order to use magic, you must first use other skills, to build up your Willpower Points. This comes naturally during the flow of the game, as magic users can be quite skilled at other activities too. You will never need to "force" your players to make skill rolls to collect WP, it's a dynamic and natural flow in the game.