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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Altnernate Vagary Schemes  (Read 5417 times)
Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« on: June 05, 2003, 01:56:35 PM »

While the basic magic system of TRoS is pretty awesome, its not QUITE how I see magic.

For me, I'm one of two minds: on the one hand, I see magic as being like Merlin or Gandalf. Gandalf was a bit flashier, but even then, only a bit, and in most cases, both were quite subtle.

The other kind I see is like the Lords from Thomas Covenant, or the sorcerers from The Black Company series. The flash and fury of sorcery, of strange and powerful energies hurled against each other; Stormbringer and Shapeshifter, NightCrawler and BoneGnasher, The Limper and The Hanged Man, Moonbiter and The Howler, Soucatcher and.... crud, I always forget that tenth wizard from the series.

Anyway. the marvelous thing about TRoS is that it can be retooled; unfortuantely, it will take a little bit of work, in part deciding what the numbers would mean in these new variants of the vagaries.

Also, I might do an Ars Magica port. I already have some ideas on how to do it.

The biggest problem is the aging effect; while that is way cool, it doesn't fit the genre of what I'm trying to create. Yet, without some kind of limiter, whoo boy, those sorcerers will rule the world baby! :)

Anyway. I'll figure it out.
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kenjib
Member

Posts: 269


« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2003, 02:15:23 PM »

How about converting aging-months to misc. damage levels?  You would have to figure out how to handle it when wounds go above level 5 though, since you can't die on the misc. damage tables.  Descriptively, the sorcerer is getting exhausted.
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Kenji
arxhon
Member

Posts: 254


« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2003, 02:47:38 PM »

Use Fatigue. Add one point of fatigue for each failed Aging die. When Fatigue is at a higher level than the sorcerer's Endurance, start causing damage.

If the sorcerer takes a wound greater than Level 5, he/she is dead.
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2003, 05:39:00 AM »

I'm thinking of doing something a bit different.

I'm thinking of doing.... well, for lack of a better term, mana damage. In other words, what happens is it is used to reflect either exhausting internal magic, wearying yourself out on an arcane level, or whathaveyou.

The TN that WOULD be the aging in months is instead the number of dice your MAX Sorcery Pools are reduced by temporarily. So, if you are casting a spell with a TN of 8, you have to prevent 8 dice from being temporarily subtracted from your Max Dice Pool.

If I want to do the Merlin style of magic, I'd make this heal very slowly; if I made this more like the high sorcery seen in The Black Company or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, then it would heal faster.

It would have some very interesting interactions with the mana refresh spells; I'd replace the aging component with automatic dice pool damage instead.

As for the vagaries themselves, I'd have to change both the spheres of influence and what the numbers mean to reflect my view of things.


I almost considered a system where the magic mutated the wizard instead - in other words, transforming them, making them less and less human - sort of Call of Cthulhuish (remember, in stories sometimes people's bodies were warped as well as their minds :)  ); that scheme doesn't really fit the original ideas I had, but it does lend itself to other possibilities.

I'm still working on it, in between crafting my Neverwinter Nights modules/campaigns, my programming, my writing, and other stuff, but slowly but surely I am getting to them, heh.
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prophet118
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2003, 11:36:24 AM »

the only problem i have with the magic, is that its too powerful
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2003, 12:26:07 PM »

It's all a matter of perspective.

Is it too powerful? When they age when casting magic, and when their sorcery pools refresh at 1 pt per HOUR, without getting some guaranteed extra aging?

Those years, they are never coming back....

And what about enemy sorcerers? In a world where there are only one Gifted per 10,000 nongifted, you are talking about club with a fairly exclusive membership; they may well take an unhealthy interest in any PC Sorcerer who is making himself too well known. Unhealthy for the PC, of course.

And then there are the witch hunts. While a sorcerer is incredibly powerful, they cant take on armies of mobs. If caught, they will have to run, hide, or die.

The list goes on and on, but the point being, you can restrain their powers with methods other than just "level" of ability.
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spunky
Member

Posts: 61


« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2003, 06:16:44 PM »

M:

Instead of Aging as a power limiter for Sorcery, why not borrow Ars Magica's Twilight?  This could be combined with damage from uncontrolled "mana feedback," possibly kicking in if the caster took damage (fatigue or otherwise) in excess of Level 5 on the generic table.

Or, you could replace Twilight (or combine it) with Chaos, as presented in Avalon Hill's RuneQuest or GW's WHFRP: instead of Aging, the character CHANGES, becoming tainted with chaos.  Over time, if the character fails to devote enough dice to resisting Chaos, they will mutate into an inhuman horror.  GWs REALM OF CHAOS (unfortunately, OOP) has an extensive mutation table, so long they went with a D1000.  

This can be a lot of fun, especially for players who enjoy surrending their characters to the dice, and for those who relish the opportunity to roleplay the descent into madness of both  mind and body.

P
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2003, 06:14:28 AM »

Twilight was/is cool, and thats a great idea!

I am not familiar with those rules of chaos from any of those games you mentioned, but I'm familiar with the general concept - and it was something I was thinking of doing, actually! Too bad I have non of those tables to run off of as examples. Call of Cthulhu's descent into madness would be another, and the movie "In the Mouth of Madness" is another great one.
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2003, 06:18:29 AM »

Ok, tell me more about those various chaos schemes! :)
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2003, 06:48:47 AM »

Quote from: Morfedel
It's all a matter of perspective.

Is it too powerful? When they age when casting magic, and when their sorcery pools refresh at 1 pt per HOUR, without getting some guaranteed extra aging?
<snip>
And what about enemy sorcerers?
<snip>
And then there are the witch hunts. While a sorcerer is incredibly powerful, they cant take on armies of mobs. If caught, they will have to run, hide, or die.

The list goes on and on, but the point being, you can restrain their powers with methods other than just "level" of ability.


Those points are good and true, but onlyapplicable if you don't mind wizards using awesome powers - because even with all those drawbacks, it will still happen. This may conflict with the feel of the game you want.

As another example, I could allow a player to play a Giant (with his STR 20, and so on). He'll face most of the same problems as above - the GM can put other giants up against him to balance it, and lynch-mobs and giant-killers may hunt him, so it would be possible to gain some sort of balance. But in doing so, the game will probably be very different than the players and GM typically expect when they decide to play TROS.

I like the aging mechanism in TROS, and the system looks pretty good, but it can too easily produce effects in the game that I don't want to have to deal with, from a player or an NPC. I don't want to spend a lot of effort trying to frustrate the desires of the player who takes a mage with the expectation that he can actually use those powers.
So in my case, I'm banning magic until I can come up with a toned-down version of it (with more emphasis on game flavor than actual power).
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2003, 07:01:09 AM »

Well, that's certainly understandable. You could, as an example, changing the meaning of the numbers. I'm working a bit on these myself, for much the same reason as you.
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2003, 07:20:05 AM »

By george, I think I've got it!

I will have to get home and work on it, but I think I've found a system that will convert Ars Magica's magic to the TRoS mechanics, and fairly well I think!

It would also be a lower powered system for those looking for it. I have to get home to get my hands on my books to look it over and type it all out, but I got a pretty good idea percolating in my noggin here! :)
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2003, 07:27:21 AM »

Quote from: Morfedel
Well, that's certainly understandable. You could, as an example, changing the meaning of the numbers.


That's the approach I was planning to take, but I'm eager to see your Ars Magica method.
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2003, 07:37:50 AM »

Well, I have to have both my ars magica and TRoS book in front of me, but this is how I'm going to work it:

you will have the 5 techniques and 10 forms, just like Ars Magica; you must have at least a single die in both a technique and a form to cast a spell that comines both (for example, Pilum of Fire requiring Creo and Ignem).

The effective level of the spell will be determined by several factors; these will include a formual that will be nearly identical to what is in TRoS, but with a couple changes.

I'm still working out some details, so it might be a day or two before I post them.
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