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Inactive Forums => The Riddle of Steel => Topic started by: Bob Richter on June 01, 2002, 06:23:45 AM



Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 01, 2002, 06:23:45 AM
The other night, Ulrich took a thrust to the groin (thanks, Wolfen.) Getting hit isn't normally a problem for the Stahlnish tough guy, but take one hit to the groin...

I don't know. Does it seem wrong to anyone else that a groin hit at level 1 is as debilitating as most level 3 injuries? That groin hits are among the most debilitating injuries at any level of injury?

Or that that's just not the case for females?

I've personally come to believe that "the masculine vulnerability" and the supposed steely qualities of female reproductive organs are basically a widely-popular myth that get good play in hollywood because groin shots (against big, strong men) are funny.

But maybe I just need to get Ulrich a steel cup. :)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 01, 2002, 09:02:34 AM
Having taken a few pretty light whacks to the "boys" in sparring, with a cup on, I'd say that they *are* dehibilitating, at least for the length of a normal bout. Henry VIII wore a steel cup.

The female groin damage is based off of the hips/pelvis found in other damage areas, just more sensitive.

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bailey on June 01, 2002, 09:43:20 AM
I'd find it to be not quite as bad as Jake does.  It's worse in sparring, but general pain isn't that debilitating.  My experience is with fistfighting in general and with sometime boxing at the club.

The only real danger beyond pain is bleeding since there are a lot of blood vessels in that area, with slightly more exposed for men.  Personally I'd think it to be about as debilitating as a blow to the solarplex (yes, I know it's not a real plexus but I use the common terminology).


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Lyrax on June 01, 2002, 12:45:21 PM
Jake: You didn't add any shock penalty to the female groin damage tables. I think you should.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 01, 2002, 12:49:54 PM
I think I should get paid for TROS, but I don't see that happening either.

Ha. No, I'll see if I can fix it, but as I've said, the damage tables really are out of my reach now.

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 01, 2002, 04:32:11 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
Having taken a few pretty light whacks to the "boys" in sparring, with a cup on, I'd say that they *are* dehibilitating, at least for the length of a normal bout. Henry VIII wore a steel cup.

The female groin damage is based off of the hips/pelvis found in other damage areas, just more sensitive.

Jake


Well, Ulrich isn't exactly Henry VIII. :)

I've taken numerous hits of varous severity to my "boys," and I find that it's rarely debilitating....especially with repetition. The first time it really hurts (but it's hardly the worst thing that can happen to you. Ever had a fingertip slashed open? Now THAT's pain. A massive percentage of the pain-sensative nerve endings are right under the pads of your fingers.) After that, it starts being less and less meaningful to the point where, when a (large, surly, and unattractive) woman was saying she could "take me in a fight" just by kicking me in the groin, I laughed out loud at her.

And it's actually truly amazing what the fight or flight response does to the genitalia: the blood basically drains out of 'em and the brain does its damndest to ignore 'em.

I'd say the genitalia are pretty much the smallest thing to worry about down there, as there are two of the body's largest arteries very close to the surface in that area, and numerous other nasty things.

Furthermore, I'd bet 2 to 1 that being kicked in the crotch acutally hurts a gal more than a guy.

The final point is that defending the genitalia is both easy (easier, actually, than almost any other location) and instinctive.

*sigh* but a steel cup wouldn't be a bad idea. Now I just need to find a place to have one made.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 01, 2002, 08:12:04 PM
Quote
Ever had a fingertip slashed open? Now THAT's pain.


True that, true that! Happened to my unlucky soul just yesterday. Friggin' computer table, too.

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 01, 2002, 08:51:27 PM
Our first encounter with that particular bit in RoS is that one of the PC's was chasing a wounded soldier up some stairs to finish him, and fumbled his terrain check...So we start rolling locations, shin, thigh, groin....
The master swordsman quickly learned that footwork is everything...

Other note, although men do suffer the "ow, I use that..." from groin hits, let's not forget that there is no sort of gender equality in most places of Weyrth.  The minor combat disadvantage means nothing compared to the right to own things, or have rights at all....

Chris


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Shadow on June 02, 2002, 01:51:24 AM
On this subject, yes I've taken that shot personally also... it is quited stunning, to say the least, at least for what would be a "minor" or easily ignorable strike in another, less sensitive area.  If you don't want the armored codpiece, a chain hauberk should cover the area to some effect at least...

Regarding females, the "location" is a bit lower and more internally located, so I would say most of the lighter strikes that might... ahem.. inconvenience? one of us males, probably would be more an abdomen or pelvic strike to a female.  It should not be as likely to actually strike a female in the "equivalent" area (unless you are talking maybe a level 3 or 4 wound), probably represented as well as can be without (very unethical)experimentation at least in the system as it stands.

I do agree that if you are really wary of an attack to a specific area, it should be harder for someone to get passed your defenses there.  If you know they are going for one particular area (groin-shot), maybe you should get bonus defense CP or raise the difficulty of the attack, if we really want to go there...

Shadow


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Reprisal on June 02, 2002, 02:13:34 AM
Quote
I think I should get paid for TROS, but I don't see that happening either.


Hehe, no good deed goes unpunished. :)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 02, 2002, 02:14:00 AM
Quote from: Shadow
On this subject, yes I've taken that shot personally also... it is quited stunning, to say the least, at least for what would be a "minor" or easily ignorable strike in another, less sensitive area.  If you don't want the armored codpiece, a chain hauberk should cover the area to some effect at least...

Regarding females, the "location" is a bit lower and more internally located, so I would say most of the lighter strikes that might... ahem.. inconvenience? one of us males, probably would be more an abdomen or pelvic strike to a female.  It should not be as likely to actually strike a female in the "equivalent" area (unless you are talking maybe a level 3 or 4 wound), probably represented as well as can be without (very unethical)experimentation at least in the system as it stands.

I do agree that if you are really wary of an attack to a specific area, it should be harder for someone to get passed your defenses there.  If you know they are going for one particular area (groin-shot), maybe you should get bonus defense CP or raise the difficulty of the attack, if we really want to go there...

Shadow


The saying goes "if something is so good that there's no good reason not to get it, it's unbalanced (in a bad way)."

That applies to female groins, and groin-shots against male opponents as it now stands.

On the whole "rights" issue -- male/female rights are widely variable across Weyrth. In most places, women seem not to be too restricted (at least, I don't see any mention of it,) while in places like Odeon they actually lord over the men with iron fists.

And try telling an Odeon storm-queen she "can't carry that giant bone in here." :)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Shadow on June 02, 2002, 02:54:59 AM
It is true that (as far as I have noticed) the only places male/female physiological differences are accounted for in the system is in the groin "weakness" of males, and the superiority of Odeon females over males. (actually I think there was one more race/nationality where there was a male female difference, though what it was eludes me at the moment).  

It could be argued that if we count male groins getting bashed, we should count other physiological differences that would play a (larger) role in combat... otherwise we might have an odd sort of "power gamer" who selects female characters just to avoid this "weakness" (yes this is hillarious, but I can picutre it happening).  Very few games have counted such differences, probably out of fear of alienating rp'ers and being seen as overly chauvanistic).  Pendragon is one that at least in one version addressed this issue; gender differences I think are usually something individual gamemasters deal with in their specific campaigns, if they care to.

If it is found that the "optimal attack location" is the groin (I have not studied the numbers enough to notice this), i would say something needs to be changed.  It is a small target (well relatively speaking, for it is not a place the adjective "small" is generally appreciated... but seriously, small compared to say the skull) and in a location that moves alot in combat, so maybe it should be harder to strike (at least with a foe who is moving/actively defending, rather than caught by surprise).  

Shadow


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Lance D. Allen on June 02, 2002, 05:21:49 AM
Personally, it seems to me that the throat is the optimal attack location, at least for those going for a kill. When fighting even a lightly armored opponent (as with my early duels between Tiberius and Julianos) I noticed that we both tended to strike for arms, legs, groin and head most often, because both of us were armored on the torso (and due to my arms being lightly armored, he rarely attempted a strike there).

For me, when I attempted a groin shot, it was usually to finish the fight without killing an opponent. (My duel record is kinda shabby, with something like 9 deaths and only three wins.. But 0 kills altogether for me, with that last being a small point of pride.) A shot to the stones is normally, in every real fight I've witnessed (and one or two that I've been in) a quick way to bring things to a halt, at least for a little while.

Perhaps, if a change is in order (which I don't feel there necessarily IS) I'd say raise the amount of Shock, but lower the Pain. The debilitating effects of a strike in that location normally doesn't last all that long, but it is an immediate, painful shock, which can turn the tide of a fight.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 02, 2002, 10:41:06 AM
I've taken a couple of hits there and managed to keep fighting, but by no means am I trying to acheive that special numbness that you build into your arms and legs for the purpose of taking hits :P  I'm not sure if those hits just didn't land right, or if I was just too amped off adrenaline, but its not always a sure thing.

On the other hand, muay thai fighters use steel cups(plastic ones break, and then they cut...very bad).

Quote
The saying goes "if something is so good that there's no good reason not to get it, it's unbalanced (in a bad way)."


But if you look at some of the weapons, there are some with clear advantages over the others, period.  If you look at sorcery, it is incredibly powerful.  RoS isn't a gamist design, and therefore isn't interested in game balance.  

Chris


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 03, 2002, 12:34:04 AM
Quote from: Bankuei
I've taken a couple of hits there and managed to keep fighting, but by no means am I trying to acheive that special numbness that you build into your arms and legs for the purpose of taking hits :P  I'm not sure if those hits just didn't land right, or if I was just too amped off adrenaline, but its not always a sure thing.

On the other hand, muay thai fighters use steel cups(plastic ones break, and then they cut...very bad).

Quote
The saying goes "if something is so good that there's no good reason not to get it, it's unbalanced (in a bad way)."


But if you look at some of the weapons, there are some with clear advantages over the others, period.  If you look at sorcery, it is incredibly powerful.  RoS isn't a gamist design, and therefore isn't interested in game balance.  

Chris


Heh. With the way it bends over backwards to balance Sorcery, you'd never know it if it weren't for all of the lip service it paid to the concept -- more on that later (not this post.) :)

I have yet to find a weapon in RoS that is just straight BETTER than another, but even if it were, it would probably be due to similar superiority in real life.

Female groins really aren't all that superior in real life, nor is a groin shot quite that optimum (actually, it's one of the worst shots you can go for, unless it catches an opponent completely off-guard.)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Lyrax on June 03, 2002, 08:53:33 AM
The weapon business:  It's a game of paper-rock-scissors.

example: Two armored Stahlinsh knights, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The warhammer, most likely, because it's an anti-armor weapon.

example: Two unarmored bladeslingers, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The greatsword, because it is an anti-personnel weapon (so to speak).

example: A bowman starts taking potshots at a bladeslinger from 50 yards.  Who wins?  The bowman.  easily.

example: a sorceror vs. a heavily armored knight.  Who wins?  That depends on distance.  If the sorceror can get a "spell" off before the knight catches him, he wins.

example: some guy with a warflail is attacking a bladeslinger with an arming-sword (who is defending with a shield).  Who wins?  The flail-guy, because the flail is great against shields.

example: flail-man attacking a Xanarian fop with two metal rat's tails.  Who wins?  Rat-tail man, unless he doesn't attack, because the rapier is WAY faster than the flail.

etc. etc. etc.

Sorcery:  If you think anybody's really trying at all to balance sorcery in this game, then I would ask you to run a game with a sorceror.  That is all.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 03, 2002, 09:05:44 AM
Quote from: Lyrax
The weapon business:  It's a game of paper-rock-scissors.

example: Two armored Stahlinsh knights, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The warhammer, most likely, because it's an anti-armor weapon.

example: Two unarmored bladeslingers, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The greatsword, because it is an anti-personnel weapon (so to speak).

example: A bowman starts taking potshots at a bladeslinger from 50 yards.  Who wins?  The bowman.  easily.

example: a sorceror vs. a heavily armored knight.  Who wins?  That depends on distance.  If the sorceror can get a "spell" off before the knight catches him, he wins.

example: some guy with a warflail is attacking a bladeslinger with an arming-sword (who is defending with a shield).  Who wins?  The flail-guy, because the flail is great against shields.

example: flail-man attacking a Xanarian fop with two metal rat's tails.  Who wins?  Rat-tail man, unless he doesn't attack, because the rapier is WAY faster than the flail.

etc. etc. etc.

Sorcery:  If you think anybody's really trying at all to balance sorcery in this game, then I would ask you to run a game with a sorceror.  That is all.


All you need to do to see the balancing is look at the sorcery section and peruse the example spells. First, you age in months when you cast spells. It is basically inevitable. Second, it takes forever to cast them. Third, casting spells is blasted difficult.

tRoS's magic system is powerfully versatile, but the magic contained therein is relatively weak: its effects are no greater than those of most other systems, and yet the price for using it is horrific and the slow refresh rate for the Sorcery Pool almost ensures you won't be able to cast a spell when you need it.

Sorcerors and more fighter-types are pretty well-balanced, actually, because the Sorceror will eventually be dropped into melee rounds or will run out of mojo or knock himself out and then it's all over.

So what if he can level a city, if he practically has to kill himself to do it?


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Lyrax on June 03, 2002, 09:10:37 AM
So what?  Run a game with one, and you will see so what.

Also: can you level a city?  I thought not.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 03, 2002, 09:15:04 AM
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 03, 2002, 10:00:49 AM
Hi Bob,

I suggest that comments about the "balance" (so-called) and relative significance (better) of sorcery in TROS should be reserved until after playing extensively. Preferably playing extensively as both GM and as player.

Best,
Ron


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 03, 2002, 10:00:52 AM
True that each weapon has a place, but simply put, that's because they had a real place in actual combat.  Their balances aren't for the sake of the game, but real considerations that were being taken into account.

On the note of real life male/female advantages, etc.  I just figured men die 10 years earlier, women deal with the pain of childbirth.  Both have advantages and disadvantages, that's the nature of life.

And I agree that groin shots are hard to pull off in real life, but they make great feints to open suckers up to head shots :)

Chris


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 03, 2002, 10:04:28 AM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 03, 2002, 10:35:21 AM
Quote from: Bob Richter

Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


"Weakest" isn't the word I'd use (as some of the spell effects are just sickeningly powerful).  At least, that's not the word I would use in most situations.  If your sorceror is caught with his proverbial (or literal) pants down, well yes, in that particular situation it is one of the weakest around.  The drawbacks, prep time (making it impractical for immediate emergencies), and aging (making it impractical for casual use and up to a point is more of a character issue), are not entirely crippling.  Although, these are the kind of situations a player character is more likely to encounter, especially compared to situations where they'll be "smiting" someone (how often is the GM going to give them that oppurtunity, really?  And how much would the GM let them get away with?).  These factors do make the player extremely cautious with magic's use (unless they think of the mage as a "throw-away" character).  But of the two, the casting time issue is probably the most worrisome, what with extremely few options available when engaged in close combat (your options include "lightning" or dieing, unless you have some weapon skill).

Which is why I made this spell.

Jump
Spell of One
CTN= 2 (casting time 2 seconds)
T) 0 R) 0 V) 2 D) 0 L) 2 Formalized -2
Vagary: Movement 2
Effects: Speed 2, maneuverability 2, lift 2
Instantaneous

Also affectionately known as "bug out" or "flee like a wee girl", this spell allows the caster to "jump" to any visible location within 10 yds (double for each additional success beyond the CTN), so long as an unobstructed straight or ballistic path is available.  If the path is obstructed, caster or obstruction (if animate and aware) must make a AG test with TN 6+ to avoid collision or suffer 4 pts bludgeoning damage (to caster and obstruction both).  A fumble by either results in double damage to both.

Has the singular advantage of being one of the few useful spells a sorceror can cast while engaged in melee combat.  Often used to "get some breathing room" so that more powerful spells can be cast.

Can be maintained for a series of hops.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 03, 2002, 10:37:46 AM
Wasn't this thread about being kicked in the balls?

Best,
Ron


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 03, 2002, 10:57:19 AM
Quote from: Lyrax
So what?  Run a game with one, and you will see so what.

Also: can you level a city?  I thought not.


Yeah, you can level a city.  Take that fireball spell Bob posted earlier.  Add a Duration component.  All of the sudden you have an ever expanding firey inferno that's self sustaining (churning 300 gallons of air a second into firey death) for anywhere from a minute to a day depending on how high you want to crank the CTN.

That there is a weapon of mass destruction.

Or another way.  How hard do you think it would be to make a nuke?

Nuke
Spell of Three
CTN=  11 (casting time 110 seconds)
T) 1 R) 3 V) 3 D) 0 L) 3 (3, formalized)
Vagary: Movement 3, Vision 3
Effects: Speed 3, maneuverability 3, lift 3, Clairvoyance 3,  Divination 3
Duration: Dead in an instant

Harnessing the power of the atom (thus the Vision 3 requirement), the spellcaster can collapse a full ton of matter (or 300 gallons, whichever is less, depends on density of object) into a single point at the speed of light.  If the spellcaster is lucky (make an Art roll with TN 5), this results in a catastrophic atomic fusion reaction, devastating everything within 11 + caster successes miles.  If the Art roll fails, the collapsed matter explodes violently, but does not fuse (11+ caster successes in bludgeoning damage to everyone within 11+ caster successes yards) If the caster is extremely unlucky (the Art roll is fumbled) a quantum singularity is formed, starting an irreversable, sustained collapse that will consume the entire planet.  Not to be used lightly.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 03, 2002, 11:01:14 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Wasn't this thread about being kicked in the balls?

Best,
Ron


Yeah, I seem to recall something like that.

Okay, maybe the whole "is magery crippled" bit should have gone in another thread. :P

Back on topic.  Mages don't like it when you kick them in the balls.  Luckily, the shock and pain modifiers are so high, they won't be able to do much about it before you finish them off. :)

I think that the pain modifiers for groin hits should be lessened (maybe more shock), as someone mentioned.  It really is only fleetingly debilitating (usually)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Brian Leybourne on June 03, 2002, 11:25:01 AM
Quote from: Bob Richter
...Female groins really aren't all that superior in real life...


Well, actually...

(deep breath)...

Nah.. it's just too easy. And it would get me kicked off the forum.

And my wife would find out and kill me ;-)

Brian.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Valamir on June 03, 2002, 12:14:36 PM
Quote from: Bob Richter
Quote from: Jake Norwood
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


Bob, you've posted alot of good stuff in your brief time on this forum, but you have this unfortuneate tendency to make great sweeping statements based on initial reactions.  

I suspect you are comparing RoS sorcery to some magic missile, fire ball blasting, 1 man artillery battalion model of a wizard.  You correctly realize that this sort of magic-user doesn't exist in in TRoS so you conclude that magic is weak.  Bah.  magic is different.  Like swordsman, if you charge in full bore without thinking...you die.  Stupid swordsmen die of a sword thrust, stupid sorcerers die of premature aging.  

Back up and think about how a TRoS sorcerer really operates.  You never see him.  You never interact with him.  You've never heard of him.  But somewhere along the line you started unknowingly interfering with his machinations.  Now you are dead, and noone knows how or why, and the sorcerer continues on with his plans.  That is a heluva lot scarier and more powerful than any fireball slinger.

How do you fight that...how do you stop it...how do you even discover who he is?  Weak magic system?...hardly.  The only magic system I've seen which is more potentially devastating is that of Orkwold Elves.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 03, 2002, 02:27:45 PM
>>> Back up and think about how a TRoS sorcerer really operates. You never see him. You never interact with him. You've never heard of him. But somewhere along the line you started unknowingly interfering with his machinations. Now you are dead, and noone knows how or why, and the sorcerer continues on with his plans. That is a heluva lot scarier and more powerful than any fireball slinger. <<<

Okay that's great and powerful, yeah. Not useful to players or Seneschals though...

Seneschal introduces evil sorcer... the players are now dead and there's nothing they could have done.

Player makes a sorceror and goes adventuring, he spends most of his time NOT casting spells (the major scary thing he can do) because 1) it takes too long to be useful in most situations and 2) it WILL cause his premature death if he does

Now the issue of the sorceror's machinations... If I were a sorcerer I would do 1 thing. I would cast Lust on an attractive member of the opposite gender and then go about my life never casting another spell. Maybe I'd use vision and movement to steal a pile of gold from halfway across the world and live in comfort.
Realisticlly, why would a sorceror do anything else?

I have a major beef with the majic system because it makes sorcerors almost completely useless in a campaign for both players and senechals... They don't make good PCs, they don't make good NPCs; what use are they?


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 03, 2002, 02:31:27 PM
I hate asking this, but I have to.

Have any of you that are looking down at TROS magic ever played a campaign with a sorcerer PC?

If not, go do it, and then tell us what happened. I've been in lots of games with TROS sorcerers (and remember, I didn't write the magic system) and I found it to be an absolute blast, and the most fun with magic I've had. That's why I decided to put it in the game--it's not like I didn't have other options.

If you haven't driven it, you can't tell us how it handles.

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Valamir on June 03, 2002, 03:17:37 PM
Quote from: Psychopompous

Okay that's great and powerful, yeah. Not useful to players or Seneschals though...

Seneschal introduces evil sorcer... the players are now dead and there's nothing they could have done.


Awww, now see, now you're just not thinking creatively enough.  There are probably dozens, if not hundreds (in a big plot) who are a thorn in a sorcerer's side.  He's not going to magic kill everyone...not cost effective.  Someone that powerful who is involved as something more than the lonely witch in the wilderness is likely to have maneuvered themselves into a nice position of power.  There are plenty of mundane things that can be thrown at the PCs first...most thorns can be easily removed in that manner.

After a few sessions of escalation the players come to suspect there's a powerful sorcerer sitting at the top of the conspiracy.  Hell, in D&D that's so cliche it'd get a big "yeah, so what".  In RoS...."Holy shit...do you think he knows who we are yet?...God I hope not..."  I can't imagine a better "uh-oh" moment than that.

Now the question becomes "how to dispose of the sorcerer without him getting a link to us"  Imagine how paranoid that party will make themselves.  Heck in RoS, sorcerers are so nasty that players with long established heroes who fought their way to glory over a dozen duels will piss themselves without the GM having to do more than mention there might be one nearby.  

Now what's Mr. Hero going do.  He's all brave and all when it comes to crossing blades...now he's dealing with magic.  What game have you ever played where players would fear magic (and what it could do to their favorite character) as much as real people feared magic.  The inquisition and salem witch trials didn't condemn magic users because they feared a Web spell being cast.  Hell, the shear threat of knowing their favorite character might die at any time and there's nothing they can do about could turn your average player into a rabid witch hunter himself.  Imagine the great stories to be told as the great hero of the people succombs to paranoia and begins to participate in the burning of innocent people on suspicion of witchcraft...No amount of GM railroading could ever accomplish something so delicious...but with magic that is truely frightening players may well go down that road all on their own.

In fact, Terry Goodkind captures this nicely in his fantasy series where the army is the Steel against Steel so that Lord Rahl can be the Magic against Magic.  The bravest most professional army in the world is absolutely terrified of facing and opponent with magic.

Stop thinking of wizards as a "character class" to round out the party with.  They are not in RoS and cannot be used that way.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 03, 2002, 04:35:06 PM
>>> Stop thinking of wizards as a "character class" to round out the party with. They are not in RoS and cannot be used that way. <<<

I'm not :)
The thing is, you can either cast spells or you can't. And the way character creation works right now if you grab the ability to cast spells (much less cast them well) your other abilities really start to suffer (which is fine, or would be if sorcery were very useful more of the time).
The biggest advantage (as far as I can tell) of having a sorcer among the player characters is the Familiar minor advantage (assuming the seneschal allows polar bears and/or great cats) at which point you can fight decently well by possessing your familiar.

>>> Awww, now see, now you're just not thinking creatively enough. There are probably dozens, if not hundreds (in a big plot) who are a thorn in a sorcerer's side. He's not going to magic kill everyone...not cost effective. Someone that powerful who is involved as something more than the lonely witch in the wilderness is likely to have maneuvered themselves into a nice position of power. There are plenty of mundane things that can be thrown at the PCs first...most thorns can be easily removed in that manner.

After a few sessions of escalation the players come to suspect there's a powerful sorcerer sitting at the top of the conspiracy. Hell, in D&D that's so cliche it'd get a big "yeah, so what". In RoS...."Holy shit...do you think he knows who we are yet?...God I hope not..." I can't imagine a better "uh-oh" moment than that.

Now the question becomes "how to dispose of the sorcerer without him getting a link to us" Imagine how paranoid that party will make themselves. Heck in RoS, sorcerers are so nasty that players with long established heroes who fought their way to glory over a dozen duels will piss themselves without the GM having to do more than mention there might be one nearby.

Now what are you going to do mr hero. You're all brave and all when it comes to crossing blades...now you're dealing with magic. What game have you ever played where players would fear magic (and what it could do to their favorite character) as much as real people feared magic. The inquisition and salem witch trials didn't condemn magic users because they feared a Web spell being cast. Hell, the shear threat of knowing their favorite character might die at any time and there's nothing they can do about could turn your average player into a rabid witch hunter himself. Imagine the great stories to be told as the great hero of the people succombs to paranoia and begins to participate in the burning of innocent people on suspicion of witchcraft...No amount of GM railroading could ever accomplish something so delicious...but with magic that is truely frightening players may well go down that road all on their own. <<<

You seem to have missed my point on motivation... It's not hard at all for a sorcerer (through vision, movement, and conquer) to get everything a person could ever want which is to say: Sex, Comfort, and Security. All he/she has to do is cast 2 spells (A spell to steal a bunch of money from halfway across the world, and Lust)...
Then the sorcerer retires, if the place he stole all the money from ever finds out (Fat chance! Unless of course they have a sorceror actually willing to cast a spell for them) there's a problem, otherwise he/she basically never comes into conflict with anyone and if it's done right nobody even has reason to suspect the sorcerer as being gifted and carefree, fulfilled life.
Why would any sorcerer ever follow any different path?

Anyway, considering all that it's not particularly hard for a sorcerer to manuever herself into a position of power if that happens to be appealing to said person. The problem here (assuming the sorcerer isn't completely incompetent) is the kind of power that creates rivals has a tendency of destroying security (and thereby reducing comfort), if they really want thrills they can do something less disruptive and just go climbing/skydiving/etc.

Besides a sorcerer being nearby isn't dangerous... It's the ones who are far away that you have to be terrified of...

Besides, I don't particularly like the threat of some random sorcerer smiting my character hanging over my head all the time. If I get a character killed I want it to be because I screwed up, not because there was simply nothing that could be done to prevent it. I guess I'm strange that way...


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 03, 2002, 06:24:10 PM
Quote from: Valamir
Quote from: Bob Richter
Quote from: Jake Norwood
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


Bob, you've posted alot of good stuff in your brief time on this forum, but you have this unfortuneate tendency to make great sweeping statements based on initial reactions.  

I suspect you are comparing RoS sorcery to some magic missile, fire ball blasting, 1 man artillery battalion model of a wizard.  You correctly realize that this sort of magic-user doesn't exist in in TRoS so you conclude that magic is weak.  Bah.  magic is different.  Like swordsman, if you charge in full bore without thinking...you die.  Stupid swordsmen die of a sword thrust, stupid sorcerers die of premature aging.  

Back up and think about how a TRoS sorcerer really operates.  You never see him.  You never interact with him.  You've never heard of him.  But somewhere along the line you started unknowingly interfering with his machinations.  Now you are dead, and noone knows how or why, and the sorcerer continues on with his plans.  That is a heluva lot scarier and more powerful than any fireball slinger.

How do you fight that...how do you stop it...how do you even discover who he is?  Weak magic system?...hardly.  The only magic system I've seen which is more potentially devastating is that of Orkwold Elves.


tRoS's magic system is normally only abnormally devastating to the user. Well, unless you're particularly keen on nuking cities. Any other effect it can come up is fairly easily replicated in the other magic systems I'm familiar with (DnD 3ed, Shadowrun,) just without the premature aging (though Shadowrun does have the knockout mechanic.)

Talk about boring -- an enemy I never see or interact with who kills me. That's like the chance of being hit by a bus while sitting in your living room. It's not scary, it's just there. There's nothing you can do, so why worry?

Magic ISN'T all that different (momentarily laying aside its versatility) it just COSTS more and is HARDER to do. That makes it weaker.

And while it CAN destroy a city, it can't restore life to the dead, create matter from nothingness, or any of the other good stuff that more potent magic systems can do.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Brian Leybourne on June 03, 2002, 07:04:05 PM
Quote from: Psychopompous
You seem to have missed my point on motivation... It's not hard at all for a sorcerer (through vision, movement, and conquer) to get everything a person could ever want which is to say: Sex, Comfort, and Security. All he/she has to do is cast 2 spells (A spell to steal a bunch of money from halfway across the world, and Lust)...
Then the sorcerer retires, if the place he stole all the money from ever finds out (Fat chance! Unless of course they have a sorceror actually willing to cast a spell for them) there's a problem, otherwise he/she basically never comes into conflict with anyone and if it's done right nobody even has reason to suspect the sorcerer as being gifted and carefree, fulfilled life.
Why would any sorcerer ever follow any different path?


You seem to be laboring under the misassumption that since you seem to desire nothing more out of life than sex and physical comfort, obviously everyone else only desires those things as well.

I would say "get a life" but that would be rude, so I'll merely point out that the human beast is a lot more complex than that, and different people have very different desires in life. Sex and wealth come into it, yes, but so does personal power, political power, the respect of others, love (there's a difference between someone loving you and you using the lust spell on that person; even if they don't know they only want you because of magic, you will), (in)fame; the list goes on and on.

Brian.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 03, 2002, 08:31:49 PM
>>> but so does personal power, political power <<<

As I pointed out earlier... those are easy. Using Conquer to make the king abdicate in your favor comes to mind...

>>> the respect of others, love <<<

And how are you going to accomplish those?

>>> (in)fame <<<

Fame can't be done with magic (at least not as far as I can tell), now infamy is easy, but I'm guessing you don't want the inquisition killing you...

How would the motivations of any sorcerer drive them to join an adventuring party of become a major villian?
And even if you ignore the motivation aspect it's just not interesting most of the time... Villian sorcerer simply kills player group (if he ever notices the players are interfereing somehow in his plans)... Player sorcerer can cast precisely one spell in a scene this may or may not be useful, take the exemple from the book of the 3 players running into 5 hefs... Let's say one of the players is a sorcerer who knows fireball, so he presents this plan: I fireball them and you guys take out any that survive (if any survive)...

Makes that encounter kinda sad...


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 03, 2002, 08:44:52 PM
It seems to me that there's a lot of unconstructive complaining going on in here, with one camp saying "think more creativley, if you think it's weak/boring that that's 'cause you made it so," and another camp that says "TROS magic is hopelessly weak, dull, and useless." I pretty obvioiusly belong to one camp, but despite that I'm getting tired of this thread fast. It is NOT getting anywhere. Some of you want to bitch and moan (I dig), but you're not willing to take the solutions that have made magic fun in our games. That's cool, I dig, but the horse is dead and it's still getting beat.

So give the poor bastard a break and bury it allready. If you have some ideas to make magic in TROS "cool" and useful by your own standards then by all means do share--many of us would *love* to see what you have to do with the system. But I'm sick "it sucks;""no it doesn't" crap for now, so dammit, cut it out.

I propose that those of you that have a beef with magic "as is" in TROS:
(1) Play in a campaign that has a PC sorcerer. Be creative. And hold back the harsher judgements until after you've found the system to either (a) rock out or (b) bore you to death. But by Jove at least try it.
(2) Offer a constructive solution to your problems, or be willing to work with the solutions suggested, instead of getting upset that your new toy is broke when you haven't pulled it out of the box completely. This forum is for usefull discussion, not just plain ranting--or at least not 2 pages of it.
(3) Accept the fact that it's a facet of the game that doesn't suit your style of play, and get on with enjoying the elements of the game that you do like (I assume that you do, of course. Bob has very strongly stated that he does, and though it doesn't usually show through in his posts I believe him, and would hate to see what he has to say about stuff he doesn't like!). If you like shadowrun or D&D magic then slide it over to TROS. Or go play D&D.

Finally, the revised edition of sorcery (the only part of the book to undergo any major revision) will be available online for those that have the book allready. Many of your concerns have been carefully addressed therein. If there's one thing that Driftwood and I can't be accused of it's "not listening." We're guilty of listening too much perhaps, and trying to please everyone of our "fans." You'll find that we are more responsive and faster to help iron things out than anyone out there, except maybe for Ron Edwards and Adept Press (who, in truth, seem to have fewer nay-sayers, whiners, and complicated rules to deal with...the last of those is our fault, but I like complicated games, dammit!).

Anyway...I'm overjoyed to see such emotional activity on the TROS forum. I'm glad it's seeing so much use. I'm just beginning to feel like we're all just whacking it here instead of going out to get some.

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 04, 2002, 02:29:19 AM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
It seems to me that there's a lot of unconstructive complaining going on in here, with one camp saying "think more creativley, if you think it's weak/boring that that's 'cause you made it so," and another camp that says "TROS magic is hopelessly weak, dull, and useless." I pretty obvioiusly belong to one camp, but despite that I'm getting tired of this thread fast. It is NOT getting anywhere. Some of you want to bitch and moan (I dig), but you're not willing to take the solutions that have made magic fun in our games. That's cool, I dig, but the horse is dead and it's still getting beat.

So give the poor bastard a break and bury it allready. If you have some ideas to make magic in TROS "cool" and useful by your own standards then by all means do share--many of us would *love* to see what you have to do with the system. But I'm sick "it sucks;""no it doesn't" crap for now, so dammit, cut it out.

I propose that those of you that have a beef with magic "as is" in TROS:
(1) Play in a campaign that has a PC sorcerer. Be creative. And hold back the harsher judgements until after you've found the system to either (a) rock out or (b) bore you to death. But by Jove at least try it.
(2) Offer a constructive solution to your problems, or be willing to work with the solutions suggested, instead of getting upset that your new toy is broke when you haven't pulled it out of the box completely. This forum is for usefull discussion, not just plain ranting--or at least not 2 pages of it.
(3) Accept the fact that it's a facet of the game that doesn't suit your style of play, and get on with enjoying the elements of the game that you do like (I assume that you do, of course. Bob has very strongly stated that he does, and though it doesn't usually show through in his posts I believe him, and would hate to see what he has to say about stuff he doesn't like!). If you like shadowrun or D&D magic then slide it over to TROS. Or go play D&D.

Finally, the revised edition of sorcery (the only part of the book to undergo any major revision) will be available online for those that have the book allready. Many of your concerns have been carefully addressed therein. If there's one thing that Driftwood and I can't be accused of it's "not listening." We're guilty of listening too much perhaps, and trying to please everyone of our "fans." You'll find that we are more responsive and faster to help iron things out than anyone out there, except maybe for Ron Edwards and Adept Press (who, in truth, seem to have fewer nay-sayers, whiners, and complicated rules to deal with...the last of those is our fault, but I like complicated games, dammit!).

Anyway...I'm overjoyed to see such emotional activity on the TROS forum. I'm glad it's seeing so much use. I'm just beginning to feel like we're all just whacking it here instead of going out to get some.

Jake


I very seriously did NOT mean this discussion to stray into magic. It *WAS* about being kicked in the balls. (someone else brought up magic...must learn to ignore tangents!)

I have a lot to say on the subject, but I mean to say it in a more coherent and complete form (that was what "more on this later" was about.)

Ah well.

Yes, I really DO like this game. The combat system is just plain fun. I think I've decided a -2CP modifier for groin shots is an appropriate solution to this "bug" (after all, powerful groin shots have a certain cool cinematic quality about them, but there must be a reason we don't always go for the groin shot.)

Which, of course, is why I bring this stuff up, to get ideas on what to do about it.

Hm. I need to see if I can get a tRoS fix today. :)

For the record, we are going to play a more sorcery-oriented campaign...some of us look to be itching to try out our sorceror-characters. :)

And, as I said, more about magic when I know what I'm talking about. I'm shutting up now, I'd suggest ya'all do the same. :)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Shadow on June 04, 2002, 02:52:44 AM
As long as the original topic (groin shots) and the tangent (powerful magic, i.e. instant disintegration from a distance out of nowhere) are not combined more directly, I will be happy...

Shadow


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Lance D. Allen on June 04, 2002, 05:46:12 AM
Quote from: Shadow
As long as the original topic (groin shots) and the tangent (powerful magic, i.e. instant disintegration from a distance out of nowhere) are not combined more directly, I will be happy...


I hope I don't get swatted for a pretty much pointless post, but this.. I needed this. I just got home, and a laugh is a great thing after a long night at work. I can just imagine this, though...


Evil Sorceror: You have interfered with my plans for the last time, Hero! <begins weaving complex signs in the air with his hands, and chanting in a strange tongue>

Party: <collective gasp>

Moody Hero: This looks bad...

Paladin-like Hero: Hah! I fear not your foul sorceries! Have at you! <charges the Evil Sorceror>

Apprentice Sorceror and Hero's girlfriend: NOOO!

Evil Sorceror: <finishes his spell, whipping his hands in a dramatic gesture at the charging Hero, and shrieks in triumph> Disintegrate!

Party: <yet another collective gasp>

Pally-like Hero: ulp! <freezes, but does not disintegrate>

Side-kick: His spell failed! The gods be praised!

Pally-like Hero: <sinks to his knees, whimpering>

Apprentice Sorceror, Hero's girl: What is it??? <then as understanding reaches her, she throws her head back in a wail of despair>

Evil Sorceror: <cackles malignantly and looks on in wicked amusement>

CUT!

Hehe... I love a good laugh in the morning.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 04, 2002, 07:33:55 AM
Quote from: Psychopompous
>>> but so does personal power, political power <<<

1) As I pointed out earlier... those are easy. Using Conquer to make the king abdicate in your favor comes to mind...

>>> the respect of others, love <<<

2) And how are you going to accomplish those?

>>> (in)fame <<<

Fame can't be done with magic (at least not as far as I can tell), now infamy is easy, but I'm guessing you don't want the inquisition killing you...

3) How would the motivations of any sorcerer drive them to join an adventuring party of become a major villian?
And even if you ignore the motivation aspect it's just not interesting most of the time... Villian sorcerer simply kills player group (if he ever notices the players are interfereing somehow in his plans)... Player sorcerer can cast precisely one spell in a scene this may or may not be useful, take the exemple from the book of the 3 players running into 5 hefs... Let's say one of the players is a sorcerer who knows fireball, so he presents this plan: I fireball them and you guys take out any that survive (if any survive)...

Makes that encounter kinda sad...


Numbers added by me:

1) Why would a sorceror want to be king himself, when it's just plain safer to be pulling the strings in the background.

2) Not with magic, directly that's for sure.  That's where the whole "why adventure?" part comes in.

3) See #2, also see the section of the book on spiritual attributes.  These should answer the "why is my sorceror adventuring?" question.  And back to your example, why would most sorcerors do such a thing.  It's really only suited to those that have no Conscience (both parts of your plan qualify as Morally Wrong), have no Drive (except maybe one to "Live a life of leasure"), and no Destiny (is "Squander my great talents" a destiny?).  I'm guessing that most sorcerors have more ambition/curiosity/love of the art than that.  A good many of them are academecians, they study and practice magic purely for it's own sake, and are also likely to travel the earth (and plunder the crypts) in search of the wisdom of the ancients.  Heck, in that respect, they have a better excuse to be adventuring than most folks.

Are you really telling me that if you were Gifted with the power to affect the very fabric of reality that all you would do with it is steal a bunch of money and force some poor woman to be your sex slave?[/i]


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 04, 2002, 10:14:08 AM
(edited)

Quote from: Furious D
Are you really telling me that if you were Gifted with the power to affect the very fabric of reality that all you would do with it is steal a bunch of money and force some poor woman to be your sex slave?[/i]


I'm pretty sure he's telling you that's exactly what he'd do.

Actually, it doesn't sound like a bad gig.
:)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Valamir on June 04, 2002, 10:32:57 AM
Just a quick off topic note:  Could I ask that people start editing their quotes.  The quote button automatically quotes the entire text, but it can be deleted down to an appropriate amount.  3 pages of quote for a 2 line response is a little much.

Thanks.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ace on June 04, 2002, 10:35:48 AM
Quote from: Valamir
Quote from: Psychopompous

Okay that's great and powerful, yeah. Not useful to players or Seneschals though...

Seneschal introduces evil sorcer... the players are now dead and there's nothing they could have done.


SNIP

Quote

After a few sessions of escalation the players come to suspect there's a powerful sorcerer sitting at the top of the conspiracy.  Hell, in D&D that's so cliche it'd get a big "yeah, so what".  In RoS...."Holy shit...do you think he knows who we are yet?...God I hope not..."  I can't imagine a better "uh-oh" moment than that.

Now the question becomes "how to dispose of the sorcerer without him getting a link to us"  Imagine how paranoid that party will make themselves.  Heck in RoS, sorcerers are so nasty that players with long established heroes who fought their way to glory over a dozen duels will piss themselves without the GM having to do more than mention there might be one nearby.  



I am, like Psycopompus, concerned about the gameability of the magic system myself, not the playablity (AFAIK it play fine)or the game balance (its not supposed to be) but what kind of play does it lead to.


The "fear factor" doesn't sound much like the kind thing either I or my players would enjoy to tell you the truth.  After half a session in which the players could trust No One and Fear Everyone (conquer 3 don'tcha know) the players would be bored and walk out. I would (as a player) last a little longer but not much.

We play RPG's to "do stuff". Heck our mutual tolerance for Riddles, Traps and the assorted dungeon stuff is fairly small. We do Combat and Roleplaying mostly. The TROS sorcerer afaict is mostly a "behind the scenes" guy. While there is "buffing" magic and utility magic, the high price paid (a few months of life per adventure) and the limitations of the spell pool (1 decent spell per day unless you want to age) mean the Sorcerer isn't going to be on the front line for long.
Its a lot easier to act from the shadows and in fact a lot more likely given the rules and world situation in Weyerth that a Sorcerer would.

The makes the 'standard party" ala Tolkien or D&D pretty hard to do and takes most of playability of Sorcerous PC's out.


Quote


Now what's Mr. Hero going do.  He's all brave and all when it comes to crossing blades...now he's dealing with magic.  What game have you ever played where players would fear magic (and what it could do to their favorite character) as much as real people feared magic.  The inquisition and salem witch trials didn't condemn magic users because they feared a Web spell being cast.  Hell, the shear threat of knowing their favorite character might die at any time and there's nothing they can do about could turn your average player into a rabid witch hunter himself.  Imagine the great stories to be told as the great hero of the people succombs to paranoia and begins to participate in the burning of innocent people on suspicion of witchcraft...No amount of GM railroading could ever accomplish something so delicious...but with magic that is truely frightening players may well go down that road all on their own.



That isn't my idea of fun either. The way folks here keep talking about the glorys of witchhunts and killing PC's without giving them a chance "look he used conquer on that town guard who then killed the party in their sleep.Does he fear the inquisition, no because he is 2000 miles away.

I imagine a basic TROS Sorcerer with passion "Hates King Whoever" simply waiting  till the next tourney and calling a big (half ton) rock on the whole thing. 1 rock+50,000 MPH = no more king. The hell of it is, done right, he might not even age!

I have had dificulty trying to parse Sorcerers motivations into something that makes a good game.  Since you are hated and feared for what you are (outside of Gelure where you get respect at least) I would think that a Sorcerer would either long for acceptance (which means denying his very self) or hate in return. Neither lead to a very mentally healthy person

And there is the dying to get what you want problem too...
I use my powers and I age before my own eyes, joy....


OK OK we can go the 'searching for foci and formalized spells route" but why should a Sorcerer necessarily want to do this.  There isn't the kind of freedom in a fuedal society to allow people to do this, you can't make a l living as a Sorcerer and I really doubt Weyerth is crawling with traveling scholars (Penslingers if you like)
Helping people is pretty unlikley too as if you use your powers you will age and worse your neighbors will want you dead.

So what do you do?, A I see it you have three choices practice your craft in secret while living in fear, As Psycopompus suggested --use your powers to satisfy yourself (you can have any woman you want and getting gold is no real problem either), or make a grab for power from the shadows.

None of these IMO are very good options for player characters.  I suppose you could combine use option 2 to support adventuring.

 IMO none of the options are conducive to good campaigns.

Also a lot of charcters (again IMO) won't want anything to do with Sorcerers if only for the trouble they bring.

Just a few concerns of mine I guess,  As a Senechal I have to walk a fine line with my likely players and balance realism and gamablity. I am concerned that the Sorcerer "race" might not be a good fit with my players.

When I Senechal I will first try to use the rules as written in a logical fashion, If it provides a good result,  great I was wrong.

If it doesn't than I will try using them as plot devices---


  A mad Sorcerer and sculptor "Menahasi" has decided to wreak havok on the Nobility (Passion: Hate Nobilty 5, Drive:Vengance 5) after they did unspeakable things to the women he loved.
Gradually he travells the Kingdoms learning the ley of the land and making connections and stealing new bodies as needed

Soon his masterplot will unvieled, The Rain of Stones

Will the PCs learn of his plot in time to stop him or will Weyerth soon be in Ruins.....


If that doesn't work then I will try to get together with other TROS and make a magic system I like better or convert GURPS Spirits or Ron Edwards Sorcerer.

I love most of the system, its just the jury is still out on the magic


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 04, 2002, 10:37:20 AM
Quote from: Valamir
3 pages of quote for a 2 line response is a little much.

Thanks.


Er. Quite.

But the fact is that I'm just irrationally lazy.
:)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 04, 2002, 11:08:24 AM
Quote
imagine a basic TROS Sorcerer with passion "Hates King Whoever" simply waiting till the next tourney and calling a big (half ton) rock on the whole thing. 1 rock+50,000 MPH = no more king.


In our current campaign of RoS something close happened....  A sorcerer decided he would fly in and shank the king with a spear.  Of course, there's better ways to use magic, but since it was a 13 year old boy on a power trip, strategy wasn't exactly his strong point.

Chris


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jaif on June 04, 2002, 11:12:15 AM
Quote
Are you really telling me that if you were Gifted with the power to affect the very fabric of reality that all you would do with it is steal a bunch of money and force some poor woman to be your sex slave?


Women, not woman.

They wouldn't be poor either, I'd share the wealth.  That's part of the fun.

Besides, what's with the "fabric of reality" stuff? I can do that with a magnet, it's no big deal.

-Jeff :-)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 04, 2002, 03:50:22 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
It seems to me that there's a lot of unconstructive complaining going on in here, with one camp saying "think more creativley, if you think it's weak/boring that that's 'cause you made it so," and another camp that says "TROS magic is hopelessly weak, dull, and useless." I pretty obvioiusly belong to one camp, but despite that I'm getting tired of this thread fast. It is NOT getting anywhere. Some of you want to bitch and moan (I dig), but you're not willing to take the solutions that have made magic fun in our games. That's cool, I dig, but the horse is dead and it's still getting beat.


Sorry 'bout that didn't really mean to. Identifying the problems (which I have several with the magic system, otherwise a great game!) is the first step in fixing them, and that's what I was working on.

Quote from: Jake Norwood

(1) Play in a campaign that has a PC sorcerer. Be creative. And hold back the harsher judgements until after you've found the system to either (a) rock out or (b) bore you to death. But by Jove at least try it.


Actually the first character I made was a sorcerer :)
And I would've liked playing that character, but my Seneschal wouldn't have it... something about magic being too powerful or something, then I started really looking at the whole game in more detail and analyzing it. I found that a player sorcer really wouldn't be useful because he would either spend most of his time pretending not to be a sorcerer (which really hurts, because he spent the B priority on being gifted) or dies rather quickly...

Quote from: Jake Norwood

(2) Offer a constructive solution to your problems, or be willing to work with the solutions suggested, instead of getting upset that your new toy is broke when you haven't pulled it out of the box completely. This forum is for usefull discussion, not just plain ranting--or at least not 2 pages of it.


My quick fix would be to port the shadowrun magic system, but I'd prefer to work on this system and fix it...

Quote from: Jake Norwood

Finally, the revised edition of sorcery (the only part of the book to undergo any major revision) will be available online for those that have the book allready. Many of your concerns have been carefully addressed therein. If there's one thing that Driftwood and I can't be accused of it's "not listening."


I'll have to look into that :)

-Psychopompous


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 04, 2002, 04:12:08 PM
Quote from: Psychopompous


Actually the first character I made was a sorcerer :)
And I would've liked playing that character, but my Seneschal wouldn't have it... something about magic being too powerful or something, then I started really looking at the whole game in more detail and analyzing it. I found that a player sorcer really wouldn't be useful because he would either spend most of his time pretending not to be a sorcerer (which really hurts, because he spent the B priority on being gifted) or dies rather quickly...

Too powerful for the situation, and woefully inappropriate for the campaign I had in mind.  But either way, you're still thinking too much like a D&Der.  If the campaign is run properly, you shouldn't have too many "oh my god I'm being attacked" situations where you are completely unprepared.  Unlike D&Ds "gang of adventurers" concept, teamwork (protecting the group's mage) and preptime (precasting spells) are very important.  The seneschal may need to tweak the campaign a bit to accomodate having a sorceror, but it's not especially hard.
Quote from: Psychopompous

My quick fix would be to port the shadowrun magic system, but I'd prefer to work on this system and fix it...


Shadowrun's magic is nice, but it's not as appropriate for the pulp fantasy feel (I don't know how many people agree with me, but this game gives me serious Conan flashbacks, too many youthful summers spent reading in the treehouse) that Riddle otherwise presents.  It's too flashy and well, mundane...


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: contracycle on June 05, 2002, 04:34:23 AM
Quote

The makes the 'standard party" ala Tolkien or D&D pretty hard to do and takes most of playability of Sorcerous PC's out.


You say that like its a bad thing.

All I'm seeing is that sorcerers are not effective as mobile artillery.  Fine; that role always irked me in D&D.  Sorceres as grand movers and shakers of the status quo - now thats much more interesting.

If magic is such that a PC sorcerer is not going to be able to much much spell-slinging, then obviously spell-slinging cannot be the primary purpose of the character.  This is a much more interesting person - one who has personal issues and, in many ways, only a mallet no matter delicate the operation they need to perform.  I'm sure this can and will work on a PC level.

As for the tender bits, I've taken the odd blow to the nads, and I've found the effects variable - sometimes incapacitating, sometimes numb.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 05, 2002, 09:28:28 AM
Quote from: contracycle
Quote

All I'm seeing is that sorcerers are not effective as mobile artillery. Fine; that role always irked me in D&D. Sorceres as grand movers and shakers of the status quo - now thats much more interesting.


Actually, under the present system they make great mobile artillery... They're not terribly useful for too much else as far as I've seen...


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 05, 2002, 09:42:53 AM
Hello Psychopompous,

My comment to you is precisely the same as it was to Bob Richter. If you have not played TROS with active use of sorcery, preferably both as player and GM, then what is your basis for these comments? Don't bother answering - the answer is, "None." No basis.

It's all Omniscient Rules Dude talkin' out your butt. I'm not interested in engaging in such conversations, and I invite you to play the game and see what you think after that.

If I've misunderstood this, and you do have multiple sessions of TROS play experiences, with multiple examples of how sorcery interacts with scenario design and player satisfaction, then please include that information with your next opinion.

Best,
Ron


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on June 05, 2002, 10:02:11 AM
My observations from actual play about sorcerers:

We don't have a PC sorcerer in our group. There are two active NPC sorcerers though, working in concert, that our PC's have come across several times.

Good God, do sorcerers rock. It's admitted in RoS that in hand-to-hand combat, a sorcerer's going to get his ass kicked because of long casting times. Given that, though, sorcerer's don't get into hand-to-hand combat. The things we've seen happen:

 - One sorcerer (with Glamour 3) hides away, using sorcery to make his normally social unadept friend the best damn speaker you've ever met. Charisma drips off this guy, and he manages to raise an entire peasant army.

 - The other sorcerer has a plot to kill the king. Instead of hand-to-hand combat, which would be stupid, he uses his Movement 3 to almost instantaneously appear before the king, propelling a spear so hard that it goes through his foot-thick wooden chair.

 - The Glamour-riffic sorcerer's obviously hiding this whole time. When his friend's plan goes awry (a PC managed to leap with a staff at the Movement guy, breaking his leg), Mr. Glamour creates within 4 seconds a thick, choking smoke, allowing his friend to get away.

The funny part is - I haven't even really used these guys' power yet. I've used only touches, and the Movement guy has played it stupid, him being about three weeks into puberty. He could have killed the king from 2000 yards away by throwing the same spear with Movement 3. (And here's yet another cool thing: although some of the PC's had met him, none recognized him - he's used an absolutely tremendous amount of power in two weeks, and looks 35 instead of 13.)

Sorcerers require a bit of tactical thinking - charging them into battle's never going to work. In actual play, though, they can be devastating in terms of how much influence their power has.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 05, 2002, 10:03:54 AM
Quote from: Psychopompous


Actually, under the present system they make great mobile artillery... They're not terribly useful for too much else as far as I've seen...


Not useful for anything but mobile artillery?

You really telling me you see no use for creative applications of vagaries like conquer and glamour?  Good ol' "Jedi mind trick" school of head messing magic.

Or demon summoning?  Even a lesser demon (probably the most you can reasonably do, because of the huge SA cost) is a killing machine.  What demon summoners need, however, is a way to draw out other people's SA to fulfill the cost (sacrificing and such).  Hopefully we'll see a mechanic like that soon (hint, Sorcery and Fey, please, please).

And can you think of any other way to regrow lost limbs?  An Amputee flaw is not a nice thing to have on your character sheet.  Or any other solution for when someone in the group is mortally wounded?  I'd be willing to give up 3 or 4 months to keep my buddy from dieing here and now.

And Vision?  A prophet sort of character is perfectly playable with a combination of the intuition gift and prodigious use of Vision (though it may be a bother to the GM).  You won't have to worry about those "sudden ambush" situations if you always see it coming.  Heck, and vision has plenty of other uses, such as spying or intelligence gathering.

And don't forget magically enhanced personal combat.  Fun little things like Barbarian strength, Avatar of the Blade, Armor of Air, and From Fit Armor.

The system is really quite flexible, and any of the above can be implemented into a character concept without too much pain.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 05, 2002, 10:19:47 AM
Quote from: Furious D
Quote from: Psychopompous


Actually, under the present system they make great mobile artillery... They're not terribly useful for too much else as far as I've seen...


Not useful for anything but mobile artillery?

You really telling me you see no use for creative applications of vagaries like conquer and glamour?  Good ol' "Jedi mind trick" school of head messing magic.


I was exagerating :)
I know all about your armor-fitting guy and bob's avatar-of-the-blade sorceress...
In all actuality healing is probably their most useful function, but Magical Artillery is not at all hard to do and is whole lot easier to play than most other concepts...

Quote from: Furious D

Or demon summoning?  Even a lesser demon (probably the most you can reasonably do, because of the huge SA cost) is a killing machine.  What demon summoners need, however, is a way to draw out other people's SA to fulfill the cost (sacrificing and such).  Hopefully we'll see a mechanic like that soon (hint, Sorcery and Fey, please, please).


Even ignoring the SA cost demon summoning is very difficult (and most of the time stupid) because summoning gives no control, you have to use Conquer for that... So you prepare a conquer spell that's strong enough (you hope) to get the demon under your control and use what spell pool you have left (after resting for a while) to summon, immediately springing your prepared control spell... Then you pray it works and the Demon doesn't take the time to evicerate you before going home...

Quote from: Furious D

And Vision?  A prophet sort of character is perfectly playable with a combination of the intuition gift and prodigious use of Vision (though it may be a bother to the GM).  You won't have to worry about those "sudden ambush" situations if you always see it coming.  Heck, and vision has plenty of other uses, such as spying or intelligence gathering.


Nice idea, really wouldn't work for detecting most ambushes methinks, but could help a lot in other forms of planning :)

Quote from: Furious D

The system is really quite flexible, and any of the above can be implemented into a character concept without too much pain.


Yeah, and it's plenty flexible to allow magical artillery... In fact it has the most devistating magical artillery I've ever seen (that is, assuming you have any idea how to use movement...) in any game system. Support spells (with the notable exception of Avatar of the Blade and Armor of Air, which both have serious problems and I would probably disallow as Seneschal) are pretty weak compared with other games...

-Psychopompous


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 05, 2002, 10:25:07 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hello Psychopompous,

My comment to you is precisely the same as it was to Bob Richter. If you have not played TROS with active use of sorcery, preferably both as player and GM, then what is your basis for these comments? Don't bother answering - the answer is, "None." No basis.

It's all Omniscient Rules Dude talkin' out your butt. I'm not interested in engaging in such conversations, and I invite you to play the game and see what you think after that.

If I've misunderstood this, and you do have multiple sessions of TROS play experiences, with multiple examples of how sorcery interacts with scenario design and player satisfaction, then please include that information with your next opinion.

Best,
Ron


Heh, I've played in 3 sessions of tRoS and Seneshaled one. (Aside of that I've read the manual several times). Due to my aforementioned problem with my seneschal not allowing me to play a Sorcerer, I haven't except as NPC in th session I ran...
In the session I ran; however, ALL of the players were sorcerers :)
And they are GREAT at the whole magical artillery thing...
I haven't seen them do a whole lot else except for the Fey casting a Glamor spells so she could pass among humans (notably, the Fey character entered late in the session and so didn't have much opportunity to do anything)...

-Psychopompous


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ace on June 05, 2002, 10:30:01 AM
I am looking forward to seeing what a well played Sorcerer can do with the system.

So far what I have seen is stupid power hungry sorcerers aging themselves prematurely,  running  around at super speed and flying at people with spears.

This is probably good roleplaying however :)

My inner munchkin is eager to try a war against the nobility kind of thing.

Now being a good player I will warn the Senechal  of my intentions first so he can 'retcon' the world after I am done, call it a breaking test if you like.

I am pretty sure I can decimate the ruling class of a country in a short time and lose no more than a few years of life.

OTOH a Senechal had better be prepared for players with that mindset because if they happen they will nuke campaign continuity.

The wrong kind of players can destroy a game world with most any system but TROS magic, well it makes it pretty easy.

Me I am using vision (to find em and for premeptive attacks on opposing Sorcerers) and stuff like movement 3 to move them to me at the speed of light (ouch).

Other good campaign destroyers sculpture (crush them in thier own armor) and conquer (bring me a hair sample from the king hahahahahaha)

If that fails I will use my spells from

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2298

BOOM!!!!

After that (it will be the third or fourth campaign) I will play nice, maybe ;)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 05, 2002, 10:43:13 AM
Quote
So far what I have seen is stupid power hungry sorcerers aging themselves prematurely, running around at super speed and flying at people with spears.


Just a bit of clarification as far as the example you gave is used in our game.  The young boy turned man is being manipulated by another sorcerer, who so far, has sparingly, if at all used his powers.  

This means you have two of the most scary folks working together; a smart person, and a crazy person.  The smart person is dangerous because they are better at predicting what you'll try to do, and the crazy person is dangerous because they themselves are unpredictable.

Fun stuff :P

Chris


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 05, 2002, 10:49:53 AM
Hi Psychopompous,

Ah ha, good news! You aren't a wanker, then. Serves me right for assuming ...

Now I'm curious, though, with all this play under your belt, what sort of play are we talking about that leads TROS magic to seem so, well, artillery-like?

"In the session I ran; however, ALL of the players were sorcerers :)
And they are GREAT at the whole magical artillery thing...
I haven't seen them do a whole lot else"

Given the tremendous variety of spells/effects one can achieve with TROS magic, especially with Spells of Many, this perks my ears up. I sense some degree of Traditional RPG Habit in terms of character creation and scenario design. "Sorcerers fire mighty damage; situations of play provide targets for mighty damage; sorcerers fire mighty damage; repeat; repeat."

But I wasn't there, and I don't want to assume anything, so I shall ask questions.

What would you say was the problem faced by the sorcerers in that session? Foes to fight? Stuff to blast? What do you think might have happened if the story/problem concerned things like trading off one's loyalty to one's family against the safety of a town attacked by raiders?

What did you think of Christopher's comments in the Defending against sorcery thread? I think he nailed the issue squarely - focusing on sorcerer's Spiritual Attributes as the primary issue of play completely changes the whole "effectiveness" equation. All of a sudden sorcerers have priorities, concerns, time-constraints, and much else.

I'd be reasonably interested in the Spiritual Attributes of the sorcerous PCs in the game you GM'ed. It strikes me that if all they did was hurl magical artillery (with one magical disguise as the exception), then we aren't really talking about characters who were Driven, or Passionate, etc. Is that how it was?

Best,
Ron


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jaif on June 05, 2002, 12:27:03 PM
On the subject of battlemages;

I don't see that you need to be artillery (I assume the movement spell), or buffers/debuffers (sculpture?).  With a few points, maybe even just 1 in glamor, and the ability to hold MA's worth of spells, I'm pretty sure I can win any one-v-one combat.   All I need is to momentarily blind or even distract my opponent and they're pretty much dead.  The spells won't even cost much.

I can do pretty much the same thing with any of the vagaries: one-shot spells designed to give me the upper hand for an instant, held until I fight.

-Jeff


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Psychopompous on June 05, 2002, 02:14:59 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards

But I wasn't there, and I don't want to assume anything, so I shall ask questions.

What would you say was the problem faced by the sorcerers in that session? Foes to fight? Stuff to blast? What do you think might have happened if the story/problem concerned things like trading off one's loyalty to one's family against the safety of a town attacked by raiders?


Heh you weren't there... And I must say it wasn't the greatest session I've ever run :)
There were 3 combats and a riddle to solve... Notably two of the characters combined (farmboy, the sorcerer without any vagaries and Furious D's Gelurian battlemage) make a decent fighting team without really needing spells for the most part. The riddle I didn't really have solidified in my mind until they were halfway on the way to solving it (required the use of the sword from a slain opponent to draw a sorceror's blood a deposit it on a particular rune).

As far as things go each character cast precisely one spell... And one of them was an act of despiration (lightning... cast by farmboy, one of the two he CAN cast, due to his lack of vagaries)... The Gelurian's spell mashed the guy they needed the sword from. Come to think of it the Gelurian tried to cast a spell in the first combat, but was interrupted... Then he prepared an arty spell and let loose at the beginning of the next fight (which ended it rather quickly, and the thing I had set for them to fight really wasn't all THAT scary...).
Not nearly the most impressive magical artillery possible, but then the characters don't know the uber-destructive slay-the-world spells that have been come up with...

Quote from: Ron Edwards

What did you think of Christopher's comments in the Defending against sorcery thread? I think he nailed the issue squarely - focusing on sorcerer's Spiritual Attributes as the primary issue of play completely changes the whole "effectiveness" equation. All of a sudden sorcerers have priorities, concerns, time-constraints, and much else.


I guess I haven't been tracking that thread... Sorcerers make for good defense against other sorcerers.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

I'd be reasonably interested in the Spiritual Attributes of the sorcerous PCs in the game you GM'ed. It strikes me that if all they did was hurl magical artillery (with one magical disguise as the exception), then we aren't really talking about characters who were Driven, or Passionate, etc. Is that how it was?


Don't remeber exactly, but Farmboy has a destiny to become a great sorcerer and D's Gelurian mage has a similar drive (in fact I used his search for arcane relics as the seed of an adventure idea... I'm starting to think of ways I can advance the campaign)... Other than that I don't really remeber.
I think they all have luck, not that that plays into their motivations at all :)

-Psychopompous


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 05, 2002, 02:19:32 PM
If you're running an all-sorc campaign, consider giving out bonus priorities if you want them to be more competent. Just as if they'd had insight...

Jake


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Furious D on June 05, 2002, 02:41:16 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
If you're running an all-sorc campaign, consider giving out bonus priorities if you want them to be more competent. Just as if they'd had insight...

Jake


That would have been useful.  As it was, my sorceror's F in attributes was painful (but actually not nearly as debilitating as I thought it would be)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Ace on June 05, 2002, 03:32:17 PM
Quote from: Bankuei
Quote
So far what I have seen is stupid power hungry sorcerers aging themselves prematurely, running around at super speed and flying at people with spears.


Just a bit of clarification as far as the example you gave is used in our game.  The young boy turned man is being manipulated by another sorcerer, who so far, has sparingly, if at all used his powers.  

This means you have two of the most scary folks working together; a smart person, and a crazy person.  The smart person is dangerous because they are better at predicting what you'll try to do, and the crazy person is dangerous because they themselves are unpredictable.

Fun stuff :P

Chris


Cool
I meant no offense , I had figured from your post that wasa Roleplay oriented choice and therfore IMO always good.


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bob Richter on June 05, 2002, 04:01:10 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
If you're running an all-sorc campaign, consider giving out bonus priorities if you want them to be more competent. Just as if they'd had insight...

Jake


Bah! What's the point? We do good enough without. :)


Title: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)
Post by: Bankuei on June 05, 2002, 05:13:46 PM
Quote
Cool
I meant no offense , I had figured from your post that wasa Roleplay oriented choice and therfore IMO always good.


None taken, just wanted to clarify that our sessions aren't a very good example of the full abilities of using sorcerers in RoS, but that they do serve well in highlighting a couple of interesting aspects of sorcerers:

1) Having power and knowing how to use it, aren't always the same.

I recall a couple of games in my past where I totally pissed off a GM because I would think outside of the box and come up with a solution that solved the problem and ruined some preplanned scene, despite having other players with more "powerful" characters. A pawn well played can still create checkmate.   In RoS, you have to think smart, plan, and get your act together, even if you have a 20 die combat pool.

2)  Motivation plays a higher role in RoS than many games for the use of power(be it magical or physical).

Since it's very easy to take a life, or have your own taken, with no hitpoints or resurrect spells to save you, you really think,"Do I really want to do this? And is it worth it?"  Likewise with magic and the permanancy of aging.  In our game, many folks could be squashed right now with intelligent magic use.  But there are other ways of acheiving the same goals, without alerting folks to sorcery, without costing life.

In this case, we have one person with high motivation and little wisdom, who burns out their power, not very efficiently.  Then you have someone with also a solid motivation, but wisdom to sparingly use the power as necessary.  The first one will use his power wantonly, but is limited by his understanding, recklessness, and maturity.  The second may not slam us all down, but probably is concerned that it might have political backlashes against his movement.  Cudgels and scalpels.  One is brute force, the other is delicate.  Knowing when to ply the two is the riddle.

Chris