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Author Topic: Yet more queries about mystic sh*t  (Read 7211 times)
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« on: December 02, 2002, 04:36:04 PM »

Hi.

Just got The Riddle of Steel. Loved it. Need to wrap my brain around the tactics in battle, but ate up the sorcery system. Nummy! Have some questions:

1) Read the intro fiction to the Sorcery chapter. Realizing that the narrator is one of The Nine, I still wonder: is it possible to invent an age-resisting potion, a la Ars Magica? In this case, it would add successes to any aging rolls made during a certain time-period (month? Year?), with the caveat that if any aging occurs due to magic-use, the potion becomes useless. Would that be unbalancing, seeing as aging is the big restraint? Probably should be difficult to acquire... Still, it is a standard fantasy trope about the wizard in his tower who has lived a few thousand years.

2) Read on an old thread about embedding spells about a player whose character embedded Spite on a guard who was working for an Inquisition. When the guard entered his compound...BOOOOM!!! Is that legal? Should there be some penalties, at least to any Conscience SA levels? I tend to think so, otherwise a  lot more p*ssed-off Gifted would be turning people into walking time-bombs. (Just had a flashback to that movie Impostor with Gary Sinise. Ugh!)

Don't be too surprised to see me asking a lot of questions about magic; it's always been my favorite part in any game!
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2002, 07:06:51 AM »

1) Aging potion: My guess is that Jake will give the default answer... It's your game now, do what you want. If you think it's cool, share it with the rest of us so we can use it too, if we want to. My personal call on it would be that it might be possible, but it's a matter of what you want in your game. Whole threads have been spawned and died about what is possible with the TRoS sorcery system, from world destruction (most of us agree that a neophyte sorcerer could destroy the world, in theory) to ceasing to age entirely. As a seneschal (assuming you will be) it's really up to you to allow or disallow what you want.

2) BOOOM: Legal? Yup. A drop in conscience? Maybe. I'd say it depends on the character's definition of right and wrong, or if they even have a conscience SA. One of the good things (in my opinion) is that the game does encourage heroic roleplaying, but it doesn't require the characters to be good.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Rattlehead
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2002, 12:26:29 PM »

Quote from: Wolfen
One of the good things (in my opinion) is that the game does encourage heroic roleplaying, but it doesn't require the characters to be good.


I have to agree with you here. Unlike a lot of people, I happen to like Dungeons & Dragons, but Alignment has always been a pain in the neck. I usually ignore it when playing D&D unless absolutely neccessary. The truth is, a person has the potential for good and evil and anything in between. Why should a character be any different?

Anyway, on the topic of this thread.... Isn't aging one of those things mentioned as unchangable? I don't have the book handy and it's been a while since I saw the list. Somewhere in the section on magic there's a list of things that magic can't do. I think aging is one of the things on that list.

Of course, it is your game, so bending/breaking/ignoring/rewriting/renaming the rules is ok. The rulebook is really a starting point and guide, the rest is up to you.

Brandon
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Grooby!
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2002, 12:34:43 PM »

Hello,

One thing people tend to miss on first reading is that although real aging can't be reversed, the effects of aging can be overcome through magic. Want to be young, vibrant, healthy, and nubile, but you're effectively 62 years old? No problem. Set up some spells to give you all these features, and there you are, the classic wizard who ages into dust if the spells are broken. But you're too spiff a wizard to let that happen to you, right?

Best,
Ron
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Stephen
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2002, 01:16:47 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
One thing people tend to miss on first reading is that although real aging can't be reversed, the effects of aging can be overcome through magic. Want to be young, vibrant, healthy, and nubile, but you're effectively 62 years old? No problem. Set up some spells to give you all these features, and there you are, the classic wizard who ages into dust if the spells are broken.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that refer purely to the cosmetic effects of aging?  If Attribute loss can't be reversed -- and I shouldn't think it would be, as it's Attribute loss that determines when you actually keel over and die -- the best you can do is appear to be young, vibrant, healthy and nubile... but you move like a 62-year-old with fragile bones, get exhausted climbing stairs, break in two from a blow that you'd have shrugged off when younger, and your charming smile flush with youth and beauty disguises the fact that you've just forgotten the name of the person you're talking to....

Of course, some of us do that when genuinely young, so maybe it isn't such a big deal.  :)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2002, 01:21:33 PM »

Hi Stephen,

I read it a little differently - sure, the actual attribute are lowered, and it's all those lowered scores which are used for the final "Urk!" death, but magic can also provide, for lack of a better word, "fake" scores - which are indeed used for performance.

So I don't see magical disguise of aging to be "cosmetic," or rather, it's capable of performance-enhancing cosmetics. The Movement, Summoning, and Shaping Vagaries seem quite capable of such things.

But that's my reading of the rules, which admittedly are a tad vague on this score.

Best,
Ron
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Stephen
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Posts: 172


« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2002, 01:36:27 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I read it a little differently - sure, the actual attribute are lowered, and it's all those lowered scores which are used for the final "Urk!" death, but magic can also provide, for lack of a better word, "fake" scores - which are indeed used for performance.  So I don't see magical disguise of aging to be "cosmetic," or rather, it's capable of performance-enhancing cosmetics. The Movement, Summoning, and Shaping Vagaries seem quite capable of such things.


Quite capable, absolutely, but only for a few weeks at a time (or however many extra casting successes you can afford to spend on Duration 3) -- and every recasting of the "youthifying" spell(s) potentially burns up even more of your paltry leftover lifeforce.  (After all, how many of us really have SAs devoted to "Maintaining My Hairline"?)  A subtle but vicious trap.
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Even Gollum may yet have something to do. -- Gandalf
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2002, 01:58:58 PM »

Hi Stephen,

Seems that plenty of SA's would be helpful, though - a passion for Yon Fair Princess, or a Drive to be the tourney champion, or hell, anything that simply requires one to be vibrant and active, in circumstances that are so adverse that magic means seem called for.

Best,
Ron
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Stephen
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2002, 02:26:47 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Seems that plenty of SA's would be helpful, though - a passion for Yon Fair Princess, or a Drive to be the tourney champion, or hell, anything that simply requires one to be vibrant and active, in circumstances that are so adverse that magic means seem called for.


At the rate this is going I'm just going to make sure my first sorcerer character puts all his SA dice into two SAs:  Drive (To find a way to live forever) and Destiny (To live forever).  Pretty soon he's got 10 permanent bonus dice to any and all aging rolls, not to mention any rolls to survive injuries or bloodloss in combat....  Surprised nobody thought of it before.  Heck, the Nine probably all did it that way.

Seriously, most interesting and dramatically plausible SAs come with their own limitations on this kind of end-run around your own waning lifeforce.  I appreciate the metagame function of SAs, but there's only so far you can go with that before it begins feeling like a cheat to me.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2002, 02:37:44 PM »

Hi Stephen,

Been here before, haven't we? I anticipated this response. My reading of the SA's I mentioned is clearly different from yours; I don't see them as end-runs, and I do see in-game limits on their applications. Maybe you could stretch a little in order to see where I'm coming from, instead of caricaturing what I'm saying into something stupid.

Best,
Ron
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Brian Leybourne
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Posts: 1793


« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2002, 03:28:05 PM »

Can I just interject that a cunning sorcerer-type will notice that the rules say that magic cannot make anything younger, but they don't say anything about preventing aging in the first place (and thus staying at the same age for ever).

Tricky to do? Probably, but it should be easy enough to come up with a spell that will halt natural aging for X months, and cost less than X months aging to cast (or possibly/probably) be free to cast with clever use of SA's ala Ron E's comments in this thread and others.

And yeah, what Ron said. Besides, even if I'm losing attributes through aging, I can still be buying those attributes back up through SA expendature as experience.

Hmm.. spells to halt aging... lets see. Clearly it's possible (from the short story at the start of chapter 6 if nothing else, assuming the sorcerer concerned isn't really an ageless Fey)

Well, the rules say that "Maturing" is not reversable, this is to prevent making someone get younger by a month, a year or a decade. However, I don't see why the reverse of aging a month/year/decade couldn't instead be to prevent (natural) aging by that amount.

So: T0 (self), R0 (self), T2 (your body), D0 (instantaneous with lasting effect), L1 (Growth 3, -2 for formulisation).

Overall: TN3, spell prevents (natural only) aging for 1 decade per success rolled. Hows that?

Finally, on top of all that, you could instead use the special rules in OBAM to live quite easily and comfortably for (this is from memory) around 520 years if you're a sorcerer prepared to make a few sacrifices. Of course, you'll have to wait until March to read about that... :-)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2002, 04:13:03 PM »

Quote from: BrianL
Can I just interject that a cunning sorcerer-type will notice that the rules say that magic cannot make anything younger, but they don't say anything about preventing aging in the first place (and thus staying at the same age for ever).


And it's exactly this that I was aiming for. Although some sort of potion of some sort that might aid in adding successes to magical aging rolls would also be interesting, particularly if the means of making it were ethically dubious...(fey blood, esence of demon, etc.)



Quote
Finally, on top of all that, you could instead use the special rules in OBAM to live quite easily and comfortably for (this is from memory) around 520 years if you're a sorcerer prepared to make a few sacrifices. Of course, you'll have to wait until March to read about that... :-)


What is this OBAM you speak of? Tell me, for I shall wither and perish most piteously from the lack of this knowledge....
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2002, 05:55:51 PM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
Quote from: BrianL
Can I just interject that a cunning sorcerer-type will notice that the rules say that magic cannot make anything younger, but they don't say anything about preventing aging in the first place (and thus staying at the same age for ever).


And it's exactly this that I was aiming for. Although some sort of potion of some sort that might aid in adding successes to magical aging rolls would also be interesting, particularly if the means of making it were ethically dubious...(fey blood, esence of demon, etc.)


Potion Schmotion, real sorcerers don't need no stinking potions :-)

But yeah, whatever works for you. IYG and all that. And hey - dubious materials like that get bonus dice in my games.

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
What is this OBAM you speak of? Tell me, for I shall wither and perish most piteously from the lack of this knowledge....


Of Beasts and Men - the first suppliment to come out for TROS, which is due sometime early next year (March or so). It's got a lot of new rules for animals (horseback combat, animal damage tables, animal maneuvers, stats etc) plus human NPC's (with some new rules thrown in like gift/flaws etc) and of course nasties, split up into Sidhe and the Fey, Beasts of Legend, Trollspawn, The Other World and Traditional Adversaries.

It's definately the best RPG suppliment I have ever read ;-) (Actually, I'm not quite that self-centered. If it's not already obvious, I have a good reason to be so biased...)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2002, 06:01:38 PM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
Although some sort of potion of some sort that might aid in adding successes to magical aging rolls would also be interesting, particularly if the means of making it were ethically dubious...(fey blood, esence of demon, etc.)


Hmm.. to digress into nastiness for a moment:

Given that familiars give an automatic success on aging rolls, then assuming that your seneschal allows ways to avoid extra aging (I wouldn't, but IYG and YMMV) then the most obvious ingredient would have to be the heart of another sorcerers familiar.

In fact, given how difficult that would be to obtain, I probably would allow it after all. Give them an inch... <insert evil grin here>.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Stephen
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2002, 07:45:04 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
My reading of the SA's I mentioned is clearly different from yours; I don't see them as end-runs, and I do see in-game limits on their applications. Maybe you could stretch a little in order to see where I'm coming from, instead of caricaturing what I'm saying into something stupid.


Apologies for the snarkiness, Ron; no insult was intended.  It's not that I don't see where you're coming from, I do -- but if I can toss off a snarky comment about tailored-for-power SAs as a joke, you can be sure there's a bunch of players who'll have the same idea in perfect seriousness and expect their Seneschal to let them get away with it because "it's not against the rules, is it?"

It's precisely because I love the dramatic, narrative potential of SAs so much that this kind of power-meta-gaming leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I've had enough bad experiences with players who violate the spirit (admittedly a subjective thing) of rules while adhering to their letter in order to powergame that I admit I tend to overreact when I see implications of it --and sometimes I tend to infer such implications where they don't exist, out of paranoia.

Wow, that was wordy.  Anyway, I hope you know I'm not coming from any attempt to "prove" what's "wrong" with TROS magic, just from an interest in exploring which rules permutations and dramatic concepts work effectively and which don't.
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