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Author Topic: Stealing from Sorcerer for RoS Magic  (Read 7853 times)
Drew Stevens
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Posts: 154


« on: July 07, 2004, 12:04:37 PM »

As many others, I'm not terribly thrilled with Riddle's magic system.  It feels too clunky, the science speak is jarring, etcetc.

I'd like to replace it with something more pulpish.  Something I could see out of Conan or Elric.

In short, I'm thinking of stealing Ron Edward's Sorcerer take on magic- that all magic lies in the summoning and control of demons.

Which leads me to wonder, has anyone tried any similiar system merges before?  And if so, which thread should I be looking at? :)
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gloomhound
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Posts: 12


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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2004, 03:38:26 PM »

Well my copy of tros magic chapter was not useable and I have not got a chance to read the pdf yet so I can not speak to particular but I think that the magic in tros is it weakest section. But I love the idea, but not the execution. I always liked the magic terms from Ars Magica thought about using them.
   Also I was thinking on adding a homebrewed critical magic failure table with interesting effects. I donít know, but I like to see what you guys have came up with.
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Strike with thy lance, and I with Durendal,
 With my good sword that was the King's reward. So, if I die, who has it afterward
     Noble vassal's he well may say it was."
Ben
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Posts: 55


« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2004, 08:19:41 PM »

Quote from: Drew Stevens
...I'm thinking of stealing Ron Edward's Sorcerer take on magic...

There was a thread going on adapting ArsMagica to TROS. Other than that, all I can recall are rewrites, most being pretty good. As for adapting Sorcerer; it's an old, but to me, still a very good idea. There was talk about this back when I had a finger (and possibly a thumb) in Driftwood. At the time, the idea was to have a small section in Sorcery & The Fey about alternitive types or methods of sorcery for groups to experiment with; one of witch was of course a way to use Ron Edward's Sorcerer. Just a page or two on parallel elements and consept switches. You'd actually have to buy the book to emplament it. I don't think much came of it but that was the idea.
And a much better idea than just tacking on some number system. Just remeber the Sorcerer take isn't about summoning and controling demons to effect magic. That is just the means by which it very effectively acieves its ends. That end being, to qoute Ron, "How far will you go to get what you want?" The best advise I can give you for it is try to preserve the relationship between sorcerer and demon and not to let it just be some explanation for how it happens. The point to any magic tack-on (or any tack-on) should be the same spirit as the game you're altering represent. In this case, for TROS and Sorcerer: Choices, and not the easy ones. The tough ones.
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Be Seeing You,

   Ben
greyorm
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2004, 10:02:00 PM »

Ben's advice is good, and it brings up a question I would have: Sorcerer is specifically about what you would give up for power? What power (the ability to affect the world for some goal) is worth to you.

But TROS is about what you are willing to put your life on the line for.

Mechanically, TROS has no Humanity mechanic that would go up and down...nor would simply tacking on "Humanity" really achieve the same function, as the attribute would lose its thematic importance.

The change would have to be concretely measurable in the current mechanics of TROS, and central to them as well. That is, the worry in TROS is not that you will become inhuman, but that you will die pursuing some goal.

Humanity would have to be linked to mortality, rather like it is in the Sorcerer mini-supplement, Schism -- that is, at a certain point (when Humanity reaches 0), your death scene occurs. Or, perhaps even more relevant to TROS, the use of Sorcery may result in the loss of Spiritual Attribute points: the more you pursue your goals through sorcery, the more sorcerous power you choose to wield, the more in danger you become of losing what any of it actually means to you.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Tash
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Posts: 284


« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2004, 11:52:25 PM »

Why even use humanity?  In TRoS you know mechanicaly what is of great importance to each character (their SAs).  Force them to give up these things for power.
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"And even triumph is bitter, when only the battle is counted..."  - Samael "Rebellion"
Jay Turner
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Posts: 88


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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 02:53:13 PM »

Back to the topic;

I was thinking of doing this, myself. I had some thoughts that occurred to me when I was far, far from my computer (and of course, I've evolved past the ability to write in ink on paper....), but I'll try to remember what I had.

Of course, these are all based on not knowing the inner workings of TRoS at all, so it may not make sense.

We have two main game premises coming together here: "What would you die for?" from TRoS, and "What would you sacrifice for power?" from Sorcerer. Forgive the paraphraing.

It would seem to make most sense to tie Sorcery into the SAs. SAs tell you what the character cares about, and so these are the primes for sacrifices for sorcery. So, if the character has Destiny (Rule the kingdom), then use of sorcery might jeopardize that destiny. In other words, the demons might require some of that Destiny in trade, or maybe sorcery makes the character more hardened or callous in regard to his SAs.

I was thinking of removing the racial priority that gives "Gifted Human" and replacing it with a Major Gift called "Blacktongue." This gift gives you the ability to communicate with demons, use sorcery, and do neat things like wilt plants and frighten people by speaking at them. The downside is that your tongue turns black--a subtle but unmistakable mark of sorcery.

So then you have a number of new skills: Contact, Summon, Bind, Banish, Punish, Ward, whatever. These could also be Vagaries, I suppose, but they're used to build a Sorcery Pool that's more like the Combat/Missile Pools. You add WP+(sorcerous skill/Vagary) to get your pool. Alternately, Sorcery could be purchased like a Proficiency, with the various skills as "maneuvers" under it (You may Bind demons at Sorcery level 3, etc.).

To do a sorcerous act, you roll the pool. You have a TN of some sort, possibly set by which deed you're doing and lowered by certain things (sacrifices, time, ritual, fellow cultists). To Contact a demon, you simply need a successful roll--you simply must find the one you're looking for. To Summon a demon, likewise. Demons generally like to be summoned.

To Bind a demon, things get tricky. You use your pool and roll against the demon's own pool, which is calculated somehow using the number of abilities it has and its own stats. No matter who wins, the demon enters the world and is bound, but the margin of success indicates that the Bond is stronger in one direction or the other. If the demon won, then the margin subtracts dice from your pool whenever you are using sorcery to interact with that particular demon. If you won, then the margin adds dice to your pool.

From there, sorcery is, as in Ron's game, a matter of what the demon can do and what you can convince it to do for you.

Oh. I almost forgot. Instead of Aging, you may want to leave aside sorcery pool dice to roll for "Humanity." Roll these dice vs. some TN, and if you fail, you lose some number of SA points. As you deal with otherworldly forces, the things that tie you to this one being to disintegrate.

Alternately, there could be some form of Sanity or Humanity stat, but that ties in less with TRoS. The SA connection implies, "These are the things I would die for, and yet I am willing to sacrifice them for power."

I also am humoring the idea of Prices, outward signs of infernal dealings. In a fantasy world, blackened hands, serpentine eyes, scales on the shoulders, and pointed ears could be downright unnerving, and it would show that the sorcereris willing to give up his own appearance for power, as well. Perhaps if you lose SAs during a sorcery check, you may chose to take a Price instead. Just a thought.

Any advice or comments?
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Jay Turner
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Posts: 88


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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2004, 07:24:44 AM »

Please, folks, this topic (Sorcerer magic in TRoS) is of great interest to me, and that's the "official" topic of this thread. With all due respect, if you could take the "Does science belong in magic?" topic to another thread, I'd appreciate it.

Personally, I want to make a working version of the Sorcerer magic philosophy in TRoS, and I'd love some feedback on my work-in-progress above.

Thanks.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2004, 02:22:12 PM »

Quote from: Drew Stevens
As many others, I'm not terribly thrilled with Riddle's magic system.  It feels too clunky, the science speak is jarring, etcetc.

I'd like to replace it with something more pulpish.  Something I could see out of Conan or Elric.

In short, I'm thinking of stealing Ron Edward's Sorcerer take on magic- that all magic lies in the summoning and control of demons.

Which leads me to wonder, has anyone tried any similiar system merges before?  And if so, which thread should I be looking at? :)


Funnily enough, this idea appeals a lot to me, and is something that I was thinking about doing, but it's one of those things you never seem to get around to (and I never asked Ron for his blessing, anyway). If you do it, let us know, I for one would be keen to see it.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

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

Posts: 1793


« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2004, 02:27:11 PM »

Guys, I have split all the posts regarding science/magic into another thread so this one can continue with its original purpose.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

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

Posts: 254


« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2004, 01:09:40 PM »

I like the bit about the Blacktongue.

What about  'daemon items', for example, that are actually a demon in sword form?

One thing that bothers me slightly is the sheer number of stats sorcerers in TRoS require. 15, to whit. That's a lot, and most of the extra 5 are, imo, not really relevant to Sorcerer.

Going to think about this topic for a bit.
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Jay Turner
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Posts: 88


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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2004, 09:53:29 AM »

Well, one mystery so far for me would be the source of the Sorcery Pool. I have some thought to put into it.

In the world I have in mind, Sorcery would be less "demon in my pocket" and more like gifts from foul gods. Instead of having a "pet" demon that you feed with Needs, you pay a Price (or accept one) when you make the deal, and then you get the power. Example:

You contact some entity from beyond, whose Name you found carved in fingernail scrapings in some cave. The being manifests as a buss in the back of your head and communicates with you in Blacktongue. You work out a deal for power: You wish for the ability to see that which is hidden, and in return, the being asks you for four eyes in return. If you gather the four eyes, the being will grant you your gift. When you get the gift, it can turn out to be whatever the being wants ("Now... Dig out your own eye and replace it with this one, and you shall see the Hidden."), as long as it fulfils the deal.

The problem is that I'd like a way for you to lose these powers, and I'm not sure how to do that. I could instigate a Need in this situation ("Wash the eye in blood once every new moon to retain its abilities"), perhaps.

So, if you want a demon weapon, you entreat some foul entity to empower your weapon, lead to you a weapon of power, or grant you a weapon from its dark realm. The form of the weapon is up to the being (forged from the soul of your father, perhaps, screaming with every strike), but the use of it is up to you.

Another problem with sorcery in TRoS is its inherent unbalance. I don't mind if sorcerers are powerful, but I do mind if the other players feel left out or overshadowed. While this type of sorcerer would be handicapped somewhat (lower SAs from doing sorcery, physical marks, requirements to fulfill Needs, the enmity/attention of dark deities, and the requirement of a high priority placed into sorcery), the results might still seem unbalanced. After all, you have a great swordsman who could still die in battle with a poor roll, next to a sorcerer who interacts with gods and has a menagerie of powers at his disposal.
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arxhon
Member

Posts: 254


« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2004, 03:41:11 PM »

Here are my thoughts, in a rapid fire sort of way.

The source of the Sorcery Pool is his Spiritual Attributes.
In game terms, this means that he has to sacrifice the things he loves to the demon as time goes on in order to maintain his control over it.

See, when he loses the struggle against the Demon, his SAs are lost, also decreasing his Sorcery Pool. He can increase his Sorcery Pool by doing things he cares about, but he'll eventually fail a test.

The Demon's Need should affect Spiritual Attributes in some manner, probably in conflict with achieving it.

Example: a Drive to Protect the innocent could be challenged by a demon's frequent Need to Eat children's teeth.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2004, 05:17:00 PM »

Quote from: arxhon
Example: a Drive to Protect the innocent could be challenged by a demon's frequent Need to Eat children's teeth.


Nice. Like it.

The more I think about it, the more and more I'm liking the idea of Sorcerer style magic in TROS. The story potential in having to fulfill the demons needs alone (such as in the above example) is full of promise.

If I wasn't so busy doing actual Driftwood/TFOB writing, I would most certainly be working on this as a fan project.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

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

Posts: 254


« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2004, 03:26:07 PM »

Thanks for the kind words, Brian.  :-)

Here are more of my thoughts on the subject.

Let's leave aside what demons really are for the time being. Doesn't really matter right now. Maybe nobody really knows.

People who mess around with demons do so willingly (for the most part anyway) and are either insane, desperate or both.

What do they want so bad they are willing to consort with demons in order to get it?

Why do they need a demon to get it, anyway? What can a demon do that other avenues can't?

From a game mechanics standpoint, i can see a fairly major graft here.

On the other hand, The Riddle of Sorcery sounds pretty cool.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2004, 09:34:38 AM »

Ha! Knew this was back there somewhere ...

Drew & whoever, check out The Riddle of Sorcerer? begun by Brian, way back when. Neat discussion there, although it didn't go too far.

Best,
Ron
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