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 Post subject: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:20 pm 
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A while ago I posted the beginnings of my alternative magic system. I have the next part of it ready: the Transformation vagary (formerly called Sculpture in Core). Let me know what you think! Keep in mind that the TNs and numbers of successes are guesses, as I haven't playtested this at all. Suggestions in that area are particularly welcome.

A few notes first. You might recall that I wanted to make the magic system easier to use and bring it a little more in line with mechanics from other parts of the game, like the combat system. In order to accomplish these goals, the adaptation of the vagaries has several objectives:

  • eliminate the need for explicit formulas
  • eliminate the redundancies and superfluous parts of the vagaries
  • provide a little more explanation of how the vagaries might be used

I've been calling the vagaries "arcane proficiencies." You might notice that I've borrowed some concepts from Ars Magica as well.

A little reminder of the mechanics of casting a spell in my system might help you figure out what I'm talking about.

CASTING A SPELL
Each spell is based in one of the proficiencies, and each proficiency has a number of variables, such as size, complexity, or duration, that help you establish the effects of the spell. One of these variables is deemed the prime variable, the one that’s most integral to the proficiency. The prime variable determines the Target Number (TN) of the spell. The other variables are called secondary variables and have a base effect, as long as you get at least one success. Additional successes may be spent to increase the effect level of the secondary variables.

TRANSFORMATION
Realm: Physical

The sorcerer can change the shape and composition of physical objects. The sorceror can construct buildings and tools, enhance human bodies, turn lead to gold, or even create fantastic new creatures.

Prime Variable: Substance
The prime variable for Transformation spells is the type of substance targeted. The descriptions in the table define the most complex type of substance that can be affected by the spell at the given TN.

Spell TN
TNSubstance
7 A nonliving, simple substance (unpolluted water, unpolluted air, purified ores, one type of stone, etc.)
9A nonliving, compound substance (mixed drinks, smoke, metal alloys, mixed gravel or soil, leather, dead wood or flesh, etc.)
10Living plants
11Living humans or animals


Secondary Variables
The secondary variables for Transformation are distance, intricacy, and size. The basic effects for at least one success are:

Basic Effects of 1 Success
DistanceIntricacySize
TouchBasic polygons (cube, sphere, rectangle, triangle)Anything that could fit within a human’s cupped hands


Greater numbers of successes may be spent to upgrade the effects of the variables. Successes are spent on each column separately.


Additional Successes
Additional SuccessesDistanceIntricacySize
1Staff reachAny shape that can be created by simple human toolsAnything approximately human-sized
2Dagger throwAny form similar to that found in natureAnything that could fit in a normal human-sized room
3BowshotAny form imaginableAnything that could fit in a normal human-sized structure
4Line of sight—Anything within a well-defined man-made or natural boundary


Notes
Manifestations of energy such as fire and electricity cannot be affected directly using Transformation. Spirits and spiritual beings cannot be affected by Transformation.

Transformation does not have to target a discrete object. It can be used to target a small portion of an object. However, the substance targeted has to be contiguous.

Constraints specified by the variables apply to both the original target and the end result. You can’t change a stone into an animal, or vice versa, without casting the spell at TN 11. In order to change something small into something big, you must use the appropriate size level for the end result.

To achieve the desired size, the sorcerer must be able to see most of the target substance. With up to one quarter of the target substance’s main surface obscured, the Seneschal may require a Per or Wits roll at the TN of the spell. If more than a quarter is obscured, the sorcerer has to reduce the number of successes spent on size. This restriction is why the maximum distance for Transformation spells is line of sight.

The distance variable refers to how far away the substances can be from the sorcerer’s person. Transformation spells do not allow the sorcerer to move the involved substances.

Transformation includes dividing objects into multiple parts or smaller objects, joining multiple objects into one, enlarging things, shrinking things, and vaporizing things. The actual destruction of matter is impossible, but excess mass can be turned into air, and any extra mass needed can be taken from nearby air.

Transformation spells are always instantaneous (unless specifically slowed by the sorcerer; this requires concentration) and permanent (unless reversed by another spell at a later time). However, Transformation does not make anything magical. It merely transforms a mundane physical substance into another mundane physical substance. After the spell is cast, the resulting substance acts in accordance with all physical laws.

The sorcerer is limited by his mental capacities. Unless the sorcerer has a basic understanding of the principles behind what he is trying to accomplish, his creation may not function. The Seneschal may require an MA roll using the appropriate knowledge skill. This restriction does not mean the sorcerer has to understand molecular biology or physics, but his knowledge should be advanced within the setting of the story. At least a basic understanding of anatomy would be required for transforming animals, and a basic knowledge of architecture would be required to create a working bridge or dam—just enough so the sorcerer doesn’t make any gross mistakes. Magic does the rest.

Maneuvers
Trap Mind (Transformation proficiency level 5, any Mental proficiency level 10, cost 2). Normally, if a person’s body is transformed into a different substance (e.g., stone) or radically different shape (e.g., a cow), the person dies. The mind cannot normally survive without a functioning human body, and the spirit leaves. However, if this technique is used, the person’s mind becomes tied to the target substance until the substance is physically destroyed. The person’s mind can be accessed via the Mental proficiencies, and the person could be restored to life with the appropriate Transformation spell.

Trap Soul (Transformation proficiency level 5, Incarceration proficiency level 10, cost 2). Normally, if a person’s body is transformed into a different substance (e.g., stone) or radically different shape (e.g., a cow), the person dies. The mind cannot normally survive without a functioning human body, and the spirit leaves. However, if this technique is used, the person’s spirit becomes tied to the target substance until the substance is physically destroyed. The person dies, but the spirit becomes a ghost.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:53 pm 
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Daeruin wrote:
A while ago I posted the beginnings of my alternative magic system. I have the next part of it ready: the Transformation vagary (formerly called Sculpture in Core).


Excellent!

Daeruin wrote:
  • eliminate the need for explicit formulas
  • eliminate the redundancies and superfluous parts of the vagaries
  • provide a little more explanation of how the vagaries might be used


While all of these are admirable goals the last of these is particularly welcome!

Daeruin wrote:
TRANSFORMATION
Realm: Physical

The sorcerer can change the shape and composition of physical objects. The sorceror can construct buildings and tools, enhance human bodies, turn lead to gold, or even create fantastic new creatures.


Did you consider limiting Transformation to the inanimate? If so, can you give us a bit of insight into why you didn't want the magic system to differentiate (in an exclusive sense, rather than TN) between the animate/inanimate, or creatures with souls/everything else?

Daeruin wrote:
The prime variable for Transformation spells is the type of substance targeted. The descriptions in the table define the most complex type of substance that can be affected by the spell at the given TN.


The table of substances is a great start. I've had a couple of thoughts here.

In another game called Chivalry and Sorcery, all substances were rated by their level of resistance to being manipulated by magic. If you needed to incorporate a particular substance into, say, a magical item then you first had to break down its magical resistance. When the substances magical resistance was at 0 it could be easily manipulated.

A concept like that could replace this table. Instead of having a table you have a rule that says the normal TN is 7 and then the substance the wizard seeks to Transform has a +/- TN modifier. So people are usually +4 while water is 0. Then you could have a simple mechanic for lowering the TN of a specific example of the substance. For example, a wizard spends time breaking down the magical resistance of his apprentice. Over time it drops from +4 to +3 and so on to -2. The wizard is then able to transform his apprentice into a hawk with a TN of 5. The mechanic for lowering the TN could be as simple as the skill improvement check box system -- every three successful Transformations of the specific example of the substance lowers the TN by 1 for that specific example of the substance.

The down side is that this holds true for all wizards, not just the wizard who successfully made the Transformations. So an enemy wizard targeting the apprentice with a fireball (or whatever) also has a lowered TN because the apprentice is no longer inherently resistant to magic.

Daeruin wrote:
Greater numbers of successes may be spent to upgrade the effects of the variables. Successes are spent on each column separately.


This all looks good.

Daeruin wrote:
Manifestations of energy such as fire and electricity cannot be affected directly using Transformation. Spirits and spiritual beings cannot be affected by Transformation.


Does this cover all undead? Or is it intended to just cover entities that have no physical manifestation?

Daeruin wrote:
Constraints specified by the variables apply to both the original target and the end result. You can’t change a stone into an animal, or vice versa, without casting the spell at TN 11. In order to change something small into something big, you must use the appropriate size level for the end result.


This makes sense -- good to state it explicitly.

Daeruin wrote:
To achieve the desired size, the sorcerer must be able to see most of the target substance. With up to one quarter of the target substance’s main surface obscured, the Seneschal may require a Per or Wits roll at the TN of the spell. If more than a quarter is obscured, the sorcerer has to reduce the number of successes spent on size. This restriction is why the maximum distance for Transformation spells is line of sight.


If the wizard is using some sort of magical sight while casting this spell then LoS could be enormous...

Daeruin wrote:
Transformation includes dividing objects into multiple parts or smaller objects, joining multiple objects into one, enlarging things, shrinking things, and vaporizing things. The actual destruction of matter is impossible, but excess mass can be turned into air, and any extra mass needed can be taken from nearby air.


I think this needs some work. I wouldn't rationalize the mass change, I think that's a path that at some point leads to logic problems.

Daeruin wrote:
Transformation spells are always instantaneous (unless specifically slowed by the sorcerer; this requires concentration) and permanent (unless reversed by another spell at a later time). However, Transformation does not make anything magical.


Magical objects are immune to Transformation spells?

Daeruin wrote:
The sorcerer is limited by his mental capacities.


I'd like to get an understanding of why this restriction is in place. Mechanically, it looks a bit grey and adds another roll. Thematically, it seems to expect wizards to be academics which suits a specific view of magic. I'm not saying it is a bad thing, I'd justy like to know what problem you see this addressing.

Overall I think this is a neatly encapsulated vagary. Good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:11 am 
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Ian, thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and think about it!
Ian.Plumb wrote:
Did you consider limiting Transformation to the inanimate? If so, can you give us a bit of insight into why you didn't want the magic system to differentiate (in an exclusive sense, rather than TN) between the animate/inanimate, or creatures with souls/everything else?

I wanted sorcerers to be able to shrink or enlarge people, change people into animals, or make modifications to their bodies—horns, thick skin, extra arms, and the like. That's the only reason.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
In another game called Chivalry and Sorcery, all substances were rated by their level of resistance to being manipulated by magic. If you needed to incorporate a particular substance into, say, a magical item then you first had to break down its magical resistance. When the substance's magical resistance was at 0 it could be easily manipulated.

That sounds like a good optional rule. In fact, it could apply equally to the mental vagaries. I'm not sure I'll incorporate it directly in the core system, however, because I want to keep it as light as possible. It's already feeling pretty cumbersome to me.

Daeruin wrote:
Manifestations of energy such as fire and electricity cannot be affected directly using Transformation. Spirits and spiritual beings cannot be affected by Transformation.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Does this cover all undead? Or is it intended to just cover entities that have no physical manifestation?

I was mainly thinking to exclude things that would fall under the spiritual vagaries—demons and beings who are from some other plane of existence or whatever, beings who are inherently magical in nature, and spirits without bodies. But maybe it would depend on the nature of undead. I would probably rule that something mindless and soulless, like a zombie, could be affected. Things with minds and souls couldn't be affected.

Daeruin wrote:
To achieve the desired size, the sorcerer must be able to see most of the target substance. With up to one quarter of the target substance’s main surface obscured, the Seneschal may require a Per or Wits roll at the TN of the spell. If more than a quarter is obscured, the sorcerer has to reduce the number of successes spent on size. This restriction is why the maximum distance for Transformation spells is line of sight.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
If the wizard is using some sort of magical sight while casting this spell then LoS could be enormous...

True. However, there's still the limit of size, and the large number of successes needed to affect something that big.

Daeruin wrote:
Transformation includes dividing objects into multiple parts or smaller objects, joining multiple objects into one, enlarging things, shrinking things, and vaporizing things. The actual destruction of matter is impossible, but excess mass can be turned into air, and any extra mass needed can be taken from nearby air.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I think this needs some work. I wouldn't rationalize the mass change, I think that's a path that at some point leads to logic problems.

Good point. I think the mass change is covered under this statement anyway:

Daeruin wrote:
Constraints specified by the variables apply to both the original target and the end result. You can’t change a stone into an animal, or vice versa, without casting the spell at TN 11. In order to change something small into something big, you must use the appropriate size level for the end result.


Daeruin wrote:
Transformation spells are always instantaneous (unless specifically slowed by the sorcerer; this requires concentration) and permanent (unless reversed by another spell at a later time). However, Transformation does not make anything magical.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Magical objects are immune to Transformation spells?

I hadn't actually considered magical objects yet. I wouldn't say they are immune. All the statement means is that Transformation doesn't create magical objects. The end result retains only the properties that the final substance would normally have. If you create a bridge of stone, it's just normal stone. If you make the stone too thin, it will break. We might extend Transformation to modify magical objects as well. Perhaps a new TN should be created for them.

Daeruin wrote:
The sorcerer is limited by his mental capacities.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'd like to get an understanding of why this restriction is in place. Mechanically, it looks a bit grey and adds another roll. Thematically, it seems to expect wizards to be academics which suits a specific view of magic. I'm not saying it is a bad thing, I'd just like to know what problem you see this addressing.

I wasn't trying to address a particular problem, but it kind of follows from my conception of what magic is, as explained in my original post. The sorcerer opens a conduit and magic pours into the world, needing specific direction to do anything constructive. Casting a spell involves actively directing and shaping the magic to do something specific. Magic doesn't do anything on its own; it's just a form of energy that can be adapted to do lots of things. It follows that the sorcerer has to know what she's doing with the magic in order to accomplish her goal. It seemed to me that for the sorcerer to simply think "OK magic, create a fortress!" was too . . . well, simple, and would require the magic itself to be practically sentient. Which isn't wrong in and of itself, it's just not what I wanted.

This is basically the same reasoning I used with the Motion vagary when I created the requirement that the sorcerer has to concentrate to move anything at all, and has to make a roll in order to move more than two objects independently of one another.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Overall I think this is a neatly encapsulated vagary. Good work!

Thank you. I've also been working on vagaries for fire and weather, and they're almost done. I know some people don't like fire magic, but they can just outlaw that vagary if they don't like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:44 am 
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I am liking what yo’re doing, Daeruin, and looking forward to Fire and Weather. The system appears quite solid. Anyhow, first of all a mechanics question:

Magnitude of effect, including intricacy, range, size and number of targets, is a matter of MoS. If a sorceor wants to cast a spell requiring a certain MoS and falls short of it, does nothing at all happen, or a smaller effect? And if the latter, which of the parameters is reduced first – intricacy, range, size or number of targets?

Daeruin wrote:
The sorcerer is limited by his mental capacities.
Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'd like to get an understanding of why this restriction is in place. Mechanically, it looks a bit grey and adds another roll. Thematically, it seems to expect wizards to be academics which suits a specific view of magic.

This seems indeed like a constraint on he applicability of the entire system. Intuitive types of sorcerors would not be able to utilize it. But I think it’s not a big deal. We’ve recently talked about how medieval Christians believed all magic to be wrought by spirit entities, wether the sorceror knew it or not, and such a model might well be applied to the system at hand, if need be. One setting might have only “academic” sorcerors and use the system as it stands, another might have only more intuitive nes and do away with the necessity for skill rolls, and a third one might have both types; the academic types would have to roll their skill, unknowing that spirits are really doing their work, while the more intuitive ones, possibly equally ignorant about the true procedure of magical effects, need not roll skills, but might have some alternative drawback, if balance between the types if important for reasons of the setting.

Anyhow, I think the system has great potential to portray different approaches to magic, from scientific to intuitive, but it might be advantageous to leave parts like the academic skill roll modular, at least if the system should be applicable to a wider range of magic-use.

Daeruin wrote:
The secondary variables for Transformation are distance, intricacy, and size. The basic effects for at least one success are:

Have you thought about and are you interested introducing the range “Arcane Connection”, as seen in Ars Magica? Where you can effect a target anywhere in the world as long as you have something that was part of it or close to it for a long time?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Magical objects are immune to Transformation spells?
Daeruin wrote:
I hadn't actually considered magical objects yet. I wouldn't say they are immune. (…) Perhaps a new TN should be created for them.

Either that, or to apply a variable, but probably high TN, based upon the magnitude of the enchantment embedded in the item. Artifacts should IMO be harder to transfrom than minor trinkets.

Which leads me on to a question about TNs. Living plants are TN 10, living animals and humans TN 11. Does that make sense? If I roll a 10, I reroll and add the result. Technically, 10 and 11 are therfore absolutely identical.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:29 am 
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Grettir wrote:
I am liking what you’re doing, Daeruin, and looking forward to Fire and Weather. The system appears quite solid.
Thanks!

Grettir wrote:
Anyhow, first of all a mechanics question:

Magnitude of effect, including intricacy, range, size and number of targets, is a matter of MoS. If a sorcerer wants to cast a spell requiring a certain MoS and falls short of it, does nothing at all happen, or a smaller effect? And if the latter, which of the parameters is reduced first – intricacy, range, size or number of targets?
If you get 0 successes, the spell simply fails. To get the spell off at all, you need just 1 success. That gives you all the parameters in the table "Basic Effects of 1 Success." If you get more successes, you get to spend them to upgrade the parameters using the "Additional Successes" table. Extra successes are spent on each variable separately.

So if in total you got 4 successes, the first success gets you the basic effects. You could then spend the remaining 3 successes to upgrade the variables, for example you could upgrade the number of targets by 2 and intricacy by 1. If you needed 8 successes to accomplish the spell you had in mind, you'll just have to settle for a weaker spell. If you only needed 2 successes for the spell you had in mind, then you'll have to figure out where to put your extra successes to minimize any problems.

I did this by design. As I mentioned in my reply to Ian's post, magic is raw energy pouring into the world, and it's a struggle to control it and direct it to do anything useful. It's kind of like opening a floodgate without knowing for sure how much water is going to be there. You can try to regulate how far you open the gate, but if there's too much water (you rolled more successes than you wanted), it could force the gate open further, and you have to try channeling the water so it doesn't cause extra damage. If there's not enough water (you didn't roll as many successes as you wanted), and you only get a trickle, then tough luck—try to make it last.

Daeruin wrote:
The sorcerer is limited by his mental capacities.
Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'd like to get an understanding of why this restriction is in place. Mechanically, it looks a bit grey and adds another roll. Thematically, it seems to expect wizards to be academics which suits a specific view of magic.
Grettir wrote:
This seems indeed like a constraint on the applicability of the entire system. Intuitive types of sorcerors would not be able to utilize it. But I think it’s not a big deal. We’ve recently talked about how medieval Christians believed all magic to be wrought by spirit entities, whether the sorceror knew it or not, and such a model might well be applied to the system at hand, if need be.
(. . .)
Anyhow, I think the system has great potential to portray different approaches to magic, from scientific to intuitive, but it might be advantageous to leave parts like the academic skill roll modular, at least if the system should be applicable to a wider range of magic-use.
That actually sounds like a great idea, and also serves to further slim down the core of the system, which is always a good thing in my mind. Sometimes I have a hard time making myself stop coming up with new rules to cover some tangential thought I have while working.

Daeruin wrote:
The secondary variables for Transformation are distance, intricacy, and size. The basic effects for at least one success are:
Grettir wrote:
Have you thought about and are you interested introducing the range “Arcane Connection”, as seen in Ars Magica? Where you can effect a target anywhere in the world as long as you have something that was part of it or close to it for a long time?
I've thought about it. It doesn't seem to work well with certain vagaries, in particular Motion. How can you move someone around when you can't see them? Maybe I will make Arcane Connection part of the mental vagaries.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Magical objects are immune to Transformation spells?
Daeruin wrote:
I hadn't actually considered magical objects yet. I wouldn't say they are immune. (…) Perhaps a new TN should be created for them.
Grettir wrote:
Either that, or to apply a variable, but probably high TN, based upon the magnitude of the enchantment embedded in the item. Artifacts should IMO be harder to transform than minor trinkets.
Very good idea. I like it.

Grettir wrote:
Which leads me on to a question about TNs. Living plants are TN 10, living animals and humans TN 11. Does that make sense? If I roll a 10, I reroll and add the result. Technically, 10 and 11 are therefore absolutely identical.
Um . . . yeah. :oops: I couldn't remember the rules about TNs higher than 10, and I was putting off figuring that out. I was hoping somebody would bring it up! I'm not even sure I'll keep any TNs over 10. It will take some fairly in-depth number-crunching and playtesting to get the right balance of Sorcery Pool, TN, and MoS. For example, how many dice would it take to get enough successes to max out every variable at a TN of 10? Is it even possible? What about a TN of 4? Is it too easy? I'm just putting those questions aside for the moment while I get the meat of the system down, but they need to be addressed at some point. Anybody wanting to help with that aspect of the system would be a godsend!

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:59 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Have you thought about and are you interested introducing the range “Arcane Connection”, as seen in Ars Magica?
Daeruin wrote:
I've thought about it. It doesn't seem to work well with certain vagaries, in particular Motion. How can you move someone around when you can't see them? Maybe I will make Arcane Connection part of the mental vagaries.

Well, fine manipulation would of course be impossible with visual perception of the manipulated thing or person, but something like opening a door or moving something/somebody in a straight line should be possible even without seeing the target. But it’s probably indeed best to leave Arcane Connection out for now, until there is a first draft for all the Vagaries and you have an idea how to integrate it with the system – or not. Adding it at any time isn’t a big deal anyhow, just adding a further line to the distance tables.

Daeruin wrote:
So if in total you got 4 successes, the first success gets you the basic effects. You could then spend the remaining 3 successes to upgrade the variables, for example you could upgrade the number of targets by 2 and intricacy by 1. If you needed 8 successes to accomplish the spell you had in mind, you'll just have to settle for a weaker spell. If you only needed 2 successes for the spell you had in mind, then you'll have to figure out where to put your extra successes to minimize any problems.

Ok, I see what’s your design intent, and I do now remember that we have already talked about what to do with rollover successes; sorry for asking this again.

So I assume one can elect to roll with less than one’s full Sorcery Pool to get lesser effects, but even so it still seems kinda hard to attain the exact effect one desires. If you roll, say, 25 dice against TN 8, the chances to attain exactly 8 successes, not 7 or 9, are very slim. This system’s magic would be very wild, with effects that are very hard to control and that would more often than not “spill over” in weird and possibly dangerous ways. While this is not a bad thing in itself it only suits a limited spectrum of settings. To make the system more widely applicable, I would suggest some kind of again modular rule to tone down the weirdness of the magic, maybe as simple as saying that rollover successes have to be spent only half, rounded down. Or to somehow use the hinted-at mechanic of rolling to prevent magic from escaping your control.

Hmm… maybe you need some kind of base number of successes to prevent the magic from totally veering out of control, their number maybe depending on the prime variable’s TN, and any additional successes cancelling out superfluous successes on the casting roll. Or maybe any successes, not just superfluous ones. Let’s say I need 6 successes for my intended effect. I roll poorly and get only 3, but I roll very well on the control roll, getting the base number of successes and 2 additional ones. As 3 effect successes are no good to me in the situation and will only create some obnoxious minor effect, I do now decide to use these 2 successes to throttle the effect down to 1 success, thereby undoing the entire effect.

Anyhow, number-crunching still required. :roll:

Daeruin wrote:
It will take some fairly in-depth number-crunching and playtesting to get the right balance of Sorcery Pool, TN, and MoS. (…) Anybody wanting to help with that aspect of the system would be a godsend!

I can’t properly help you, but I think it would be well if you kept in mind how that the step from TN 9 to 10 is actually larger than the one from, say, TN 7 to 8. The latter cuts your theoretical number of successes by 25% (40% to 30%), the former by 50% (20% to 10%). Extreme TNs really are extreme, and once you are in the extreme range, even a change by 1 is a very major change.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:30 am 
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Daeruin wrote:
The secondary variables for Transformation are distance, intricacy, and size. The basic effects for at least one success are:


Grettir wrote:
Have you thought about and are you interested introducing the range “Arcane Connection”, as seen in Ars Magica? Where you can effect a target anywhere in the world as long as you have something that was part of it or close to it for a long time?


Daeruin wrote:
I've thought about it. It doesn't seem to work well with certain vagaries, in particular Motion. How can you move someone around when you can't see them? Maybe I will make Arcane Connection part of the mental vagaries.


Just a thought -- perhaps the Arcane Connection allows the wizard to pass control to the target when the target is sentient? So in the case of Motion, the wizard is able to control the movement or pass control to the target.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Magic System: Transformation
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:39 am 
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Daeruin wrote:
It will take some fairly in-depth number-crunching and playtesting to get the right balance of Sorcery Pool, TN, and MoS. (…) Anybody wanting to help with that aspect of the system would be a godsend!


Grettir wrote:
I can’t properly help you, but I think it would be well if you kept in mind how that the step from TN 9 to 10 is actually larger than the one from, say, TN 7 to 8. The latter cuts your theoretical number of successes by 25% (40% to 30%), the former by 50% (20% to 10%). Extreme TNs really are extreme, and once you are in the extreme range, even a change by 1 is a very major change.


Yes indeed. TRoS is a highly stepped system. The solution is to apply mods to the dice pool. So Instead of TN9 to TN10 -- a big step -- you have TN9 +2, TN9 +1, TN 9, TN9 -1, TN9 -2 where the +/- represents the bonus/penalty to the dice pool itself. In essence this generally lowers the stepping. Of course if your dice pool has 3 dice in it then dice pool mods are also big steps...

Cheers,

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