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 Post subject: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Hey guys, any updates on how the magic system is going?

Also, does anyone have any ideas for a quick fix magic system? I want a system that can let PC's do lots of low powered magic. Like running a little faster, jumping a little higher. Throwing Objects with TK, or even through around energy etc.

I have a Player that really loves magic but Im not game to let him anywhere near the Core Magic System, so I want to give him a tuned down version that fun and flexable but is balanced against non-Casters.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers and God Bless!!

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Hey guys, any updates on how the magic system is going?


The Guide for the Perplexed has stalled in development through lack of interest. Consideration is being made of publishing an early version of the SatF rules -- this version was abandoned and the whole thing re-written for the next version, so it doesn't contain any material that would appear in SatF if it was ever published.

Crow Caller wrote:
Also, does anyone have any ideas for a quick fix magic system? I want a system that can let PC's do lots of low powered magic. Like running a little faster, jumping a little higher. Throwing Objects with TK, or even through around energy etc.


You are describing the Primitive Talent system that I developed for TRoS a long time ago. Available to those with a Racial pick of C and selection of a Major Gift called Primitive Talent. In essence it gave access to a series of predefined spells or abilities that enhanced normal human function. Hear more acutely, see further, see in low light conditions, leap higher and longer, hold breath for minutes, and so on. No TK though, nothing that was obviously magical. Everything was self-targeting.

Crow Caller wrote:
I have a Player that really loves magic but Im not game to let him anywhere near the Core Magic System, so I want to give him a tuned down version that fun and flexable but is balanced against non-Casters.


I am in the midst of developing something that might be interesting to you. It is a way off though so I'll leave that until the first playtest session is completed. In a nutshell, it is a way for wizards (Racial A or B) to throw around the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) in the tactical combat environment without simply killing everything. This will be the only offensive magic available to wizards in my game, replacing much of the TRoS magic system. Spell range will be very low.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Well.. I thought of handling them as gifts, but it you'd be into that, you'd already done it. If you want something simple and more flexible... So, off the top of my head... you could give him plain Sorcery Pool without any bonuses from Attributes... and then treat Vagaries as magical skills, which are more specific. Like "Enhanced movement" for the first two and "Telekinesis" for the other. The magical skills would also require spending SAs to raise.

Limit Sorcery with 10. He will have as much Mana as his Sorcery score. Mana is the number of _failed_ spells he can make before exhausting himself. In essence... it's the confidence that makes it all possible. Fail enough, and you really think you can't pull the spells off (and you don't, at this point).

Say, he has Sorcery 4 and his Telekinesis skill is 7. He wants to bring himself a set of keys while being in a prison cell. Since the keys are inanimate (1), in line of sight (2) and not incoropreal (1) he needs four successes to pull that off. He rolls 9, 4, 5, 4. One success. 4, 2, 6, 5. No successes, 1 Mana gone. 4, 7, 7, 6. Two successes. 9, 2, 5, 7. Another two. He's got the keys, but has only 3 Mana left. Not much Mana lost, but it took quite some time (many rolls). Decide yourself on what interval the Mana is restored.

If you want the system more costly (and flexible) make him buy Sorcery and Mana separately with Vagary points.

Like it? No? Too simplistic? :)

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:59 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Crow Caller wrote:
Hey guys, any updates on how the magic system is going?


The Guide for the Perplexed has stalled in development through lack of interest. Consideration is being made of publishing an early version of the SatF rules -- this version was abandoned and the whole thing re-written for the next version, so it doesn't contain any material that would appear in SatF if it was ever published.


It is a shame to hear about TGftP, how much did you guys have done befre it stalled?

Is Copyright a consieration to be made concerning the release of earlier SatF material?

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
Also, does anyone have any ideas for a quick fix magic system? I want a system that can let PC's do lots of low powered magic. Like running a little faster, jumping a little higher. Throwing Objects with TK, or even through around energy etc.


You are describing the Primitive Talent system that I developed for TRoS a long time ago. Available to those with a Racial pick of C and selection of a Major Gift called Primitive Talent. In essence it gave access to a series of predefined spells or abilities that enhanced normal human function. Hear more acutely, see further, see in low light conditions, leap higher and longer, hold breath for minutes, and so on. No TK though, nothing that was obviously magical. Everything was self-targeting.


This sounds great, is there a way to get my hands on a copy?

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
I have a Player that really loves magic but Im not game to let him anywhere near the Core Magic System, so I want to give him a tuned down version that fun and flexable but is balanced against non-Casters.


I am in the midst of developing something that might be interesting to you. It is a way off though so I'll leave that until the first playtest session is completed. In a nutshell, it is a way for wizards (Racial A or B) to throw around the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) in the tactical combat environment without simply killing everything. This will be the only offensive magic available to wizards in my game, replacing much of the TRoS magic system. Spell range will be very low.

Regards,


Honestly mixing this new system with your Primitive Talent system sounds like it is exactly what I'm after, I'd love to see a copy when its done.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:07 am 
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higgins wrote:
Well.. I thought of handling them as gifts, but it you'd be into that, you'd already done it.


Do you mean use a Gift per Spell? I'm very interested in using Gifts as prereqs for magic, it can be used to flavour the magic (earth magic, fire magic, high magic, low magic, etc) and to curn the power of MU.

Quote:
If you want something simple and more flexible... So, off the top of my head... you could give him plain Sorcery Pool without any bonuses from Attributes... and then treat Vagaries as magical skills, which are more specific. Like "Enhanced movement" for the first two and "Telekinesis" for the other. The magical skills would also require spending SAs to raise.


So rewrite the Vagaries so they are less powerful and intune with the Skill Section?

Quote:
Limit Sorcery with 10. He will have as much Mana as his Sorcery score. Mana is the number of _failed_ spells he can make before exhausting himself. In essence... it's the confidence that makes it all possible. Fail enough, and you really think you can't pull the spells off (and you don't, at this point).


I like the idea of limiting the number of spells castable, I had not considered using confidence as the factor. In Divine system I've often used Faith, if you fail to do something your Faith wavers, if you suceed it is bolstered. etc. etc. For Magic I usually use exhaustion or corruption.

Quote:
Say, he has Sorcery 4 and his Telekinesis skill is 7. He wants to bring himself a set of keys while being in a prison cell. Since the keys are inanimate (1), in line of sight (2) and not incoropreal (1) he needs four successes to pull that off. He rolls 9, 4, 5, 4. One success. 4, 2, 6, 5. No successes, 1 Mana gone. 4, 7, 7, 6. Two successes. 9, 2, 5, 7. Another two. He's got the keys, but has only 3 Mana left. Not much Mana lost, but it took quite some time (many rolls). Decide yourself on what interval the Mana is restored.


So it is an Extended Roll, aslong as you still have Mana, this seems good.

Quote:
If you want the system more costly (and flexible) make him buy Sorcery and Mana separately with Vagary points.

Like it? No? Too simplistic? :)


Some good suggestions, if I can't get my hands on Ian's system(s) then this is the kind of stuff I need to build my own. Also if Ian's System isn't quite what I need then I can tweak it with these kinds of suggestions.

Thanks Heaps.
Cheers & God Bless!

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"It was hard-fought, a desperate affair that could have gone badly; if God had not helped me, the outcome would have been quick and fatal" (115) ~ Beowulf after defeating Grendle's Mother.


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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Do you mean use a Gift per Spell?
That's what I meant, but that wouldn't be too flexible, I figure.

Crow Caller wrote:
So rewrite the Vagaries so they are less powerful and intune with the Skill Section?
Well, if you want tightly defined skills, don't really make a list. Ask player to come up with the skills themselves and say "No, that's too broad!" if you think it is. :)

Crow Caller wrote:
I like the idea of limiting the number of spells castable, I had not considered using confidence as the factor. In Divine system I've often used Faith, if you fail to do something your Faith wavers, if you suceed it is bolstered. etc. etc. For Magic I usually use exhaustion or corruption.
Well, use whatever you want for the fluff. It was just a suggestion. My suggested limit wasn't to the spells however, but to the Sorcery Pool. I think the most reasonable way to figure out the maximum pools an minimum magical TNs would be to use the TROS dice pool probability calculator (which is a MS Excel file). Tailor it to whatever suits your needs the best. :)

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:45 pm 
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I can't believe that I actually found the old document!

It is from January 05. I've removed some pages so the index is out by 4 pages. This is a first draft -- I didn't get round to updating it based on play. So If you end up using it and make changes to get it to work please post them here so I can update the doc.

Regards,


Attachments:
The Primitive Talent v1.pdf [336.22 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Hey Ian thanks heaps for the Download, I'll give a read trhough and let you know what I think.

Cheers!

PS: When you get that other system (elemental?) done I'd love to take a look at that too.

cheer!

PPS: Please excuse the typos, like i said in the other thread, Ive had a big night (Inlaws 50th)

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:33 pm 
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You could always try them on the magic system and see what happens; if a PC goes completely overboard you could always have some master mage come along to give him a bitch slap he'll never forget, along with a message along the lines of "I'd greatly appreciate it if you didn't do anything like that again". It could make for an interesting story, a good object lesson and a reminder that there is always a bigger fish and he might not appreciate you throwing your weight around. Or else have a witch hunter catch onto his tail. Magic =/= invincibility.


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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:47 pm 
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I'm with Hector on this one. There's a tendency in RPGs to make PCs the "only" characters with any input into the world or propriety simply because they're the protagonists.

While they *should* be the protagonists, there are also consequences to their actions, and those consequences come in the forms of other people with their own goals, SAs, and axes to grind.

Is it too easy to kill someone in TROS with Sorcery? Well, it's very easy, but it isn't too easy because in TROS killing is about a choice and the consequences that come from that choice, not so much the challenge of "Can I kill that guy?"

Ookay, well, for the sword-guys the challenge is the point. But that's because they choose to riski their lives or kill others for the thrill and the challenge, as opposed to a Sorcerer, who isn't challenged in killing.

How terrifying is such a being, who can kill so easily? That was what we wanted TROS sorcerers to be. Horrifyingly...horrifying!

Just my two dinar.

Jake

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Well, it can just as well be a setting issue. TROS magic is excellent to depict someone like Xaltoun was in The Hour of the Dragon, but if Crow is speaking of his viking game, then low-key skaldic or rune magic might simply be more appropriate for the setting.

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Very true! Good point.

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Hey Ian, first of all Ive only had a quick read over the pdf, but I have to say I really like the System. I haven't read the spells to thouroughly, but that doesn't matter, with this system I can easily make other Spells and put them in, then either adjust them, or their TN depending on if they are too strong or too weak. Also, rather than using a Major Gift, an idea has occured to me, to make several "Levels" of Race Priorities each correspndoning to the Maximum TN level Spell they can cast.

So a Race Pick of E might let you cast TN 4 and 5 Spells (But at TNs of 8 and 9)

D would let you cast TN 4, 5, & 6 (at 7, 8, & 9) etc. etc.

Or Something like that. That way I can limit the level of Magic in a game by telling PCs they can only have up to a certain Race Pick.

Also, concerning the Powerful Sorcerors that can kill at a glance, I love that stuff, I just prefer them to stay in the Realms of the GM (or Senescahl), and not fall into the hands of the PCs. I find it difficult at best to GM for powerful Sorcerers. I also think that Epic quests are reduced to brief encounters when Magic gets too much room to play.

I mean, could you imagine what would have happened in Lord of the Rings had Gandalf simply Teleported or Flown, the "heroes" to Mordor? If not, I suggest you watch a video on Youtube called "How Lord of the Rings should have ended".

I also believe that Great Warrior should be just as able to kill a Great Sorceror as it is vice versa. I guess Low Magic is just where it is for me. I Like games to be hard, and gritty, that's why I love my Vampire Hunter character in a WoD game we play (using TRoS rules ofcourse;) ) who is just a normal human, he has no powers, just his grim determination and intense training.

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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Of course Sauron would have been far more likely to spot the flying eagles than a small collection of people on foot, and as the eagles of Middle Earth are sentient beings, what would stop one of them from dropping Frodo from a couple of miles up and claiming the ring for himself? Teleportation may well have had the same problem.

Back on topic, A great warrior can kill a great sorcerer under the vanilla rules. It takes a minimum of two seconds to cast the weakest spell (not counting Mana 1), leaving him all but defenceless up close (unless he ignores magic and decides to fight toe to toe). At range, even with all that magic a single arrow can still put him down never to get back up. With there being no magic missiles, fireballs or other such stuff, the only time magic is particularly useful in a fight is against another mage; any other time, all it takes is one archer to take you down while you're in the middle of casting, or if someone gets close to you, you're buggered. Why do you think Gandalf carried a sword?


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 Post subject: Re: General queries on the Magic System and creating a quick fix
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:49 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Hey Ian, first of all Ive only had a quick read over the pdf, but I have to say I really like the System.


I'm glad it was helpful.

Crow Caller wrote:
I haven't read the spells to thoroughly, but that doesn't matter, with this system I can easily make other Spells and put them in, then either adjust them, or their TN depending on if they are too strong or too weak. Also, rather than using a Major Gift, an idea has occurred to me, to make several "Levels" of Race Priorities each corresponding to the Maximum TN level Spell they can cast.


Whatever suits your world view. For myself, I wouldn't want every character (virtually) to have access to magic. To me that is a high fantasy world, even if the spell effects are low level.

Magic is powerful. In almost every FRPG there is a distinct gap between the magical characters and the mundane characters, a gap that gets wider as character experience increases. The warrior in your campaign that has Prim Tal will be far more effective in a wider range of situation than the one without, even if the one without has been able to spend those SAs on things other than spells.

Crow Caller wrote:
Also, concerning the Powerful Sorcerors that can kill at a glance, I love that stuff, I just prefer them to stay in the Realms of the GM (or Senescahl), and not fall into the hands of the PCs. I find it difficult at best to GM for powerful Sorcerers. I also think that Epic quests are reduced to brief encounters when Magic gets too much room to play.


If the game is about the characters completing an objective rather than how a player reconciles a character's conflicting SAs then magic can bone your game. Straight out of char gen a min/maxed sorcerer can change the world -- literally. If you need an objective completed send the wizard while the rest of the PCs sit around a tavern fireplace sipping ale and playing dominoes...

On the other hand if the game is about how the player reconciles the way their character's SAs conflict under the current circumstance, how they compromise their SAs, or how they reconcile their character's SAs with those of another character, then magic is but a tool for impotence. When you have all the power but the situation renders you impotent then you have a mage's tale worth pursuing.

Crow Caller wrote:
I mean, could you imagine what would have happened in Lord of the Rings had Gandalf simply Teleported or Flown, the "heroes" to Mordor?


No -- but nor could I imagine how the Birthday Party scene would have resolved if Bilbo had refused to part with the ring. Now that is a TRoS scene... Not for epic arcane or melee conflict, but for the players sorting out how their conflicting SAs will resolve. Nobody at the table can possibly predict the exit from that scene, and that's what makes for a great TRoS scene.

Back to the topic. The Prim Tal spells were designed to be least magical at low level. The low TN spells should be explainable without magic. The higher up the TN, the more obviously magical the effect. The Circle of Protection is there to provide some remedy for mundanes against Sorcerer NPCs. If someone in the party has a CoP then at least there's some chance of surviving hostile magics. It may well be the handiest "spell", well worth the price of the Gift for those who normally get no protection at all.

Regards,

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