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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: UW2 and it's magic (system)  (Read 4901 times)
Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« on: March 15, 2002, 04:22:53 AM »

Is there any need for a new magic system in UW2 in addition to charms/relics/rituals? I guess that Gareth intentionally didn't include some kind of "spellcaster" magic-user in UW1. I think I have some nice ideas for "Radiancers" (basically, they can forge connections to different areas of the radiance generating subway pattern, with each section generating a different "magic flavour" which can be used for different kinds of magic; and I have a nice system for customizing "your" subway magic) kicking around in my head, but if you (i.e. Gareth/Todd/Laura) don't want to include such a thing anyway, I won't waste my time writing it down.

Jürgen Mayer
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Jason L Blair
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Posts: 636

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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2002, 06:41:42 AM »

IF AE doesn't want it, post it in this forum. Give a li'l something for your fellow fans. ;)
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Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2002, 06:53:45 AM »

Quote from: Jason L Blair
IF AE doesn't want it, post it in this forum. Give a li'l something for your fellow fans. ;)


Sure.
All I wanted is to get some reaction before using my time to write something down that noone wants to use. I had some doubts if this whole spellcaster thingy really fits UW's mood. Therefore, I wanted to see if I get more reactions like "that doesn't fit UW's style at all" or "it sounds interesting, give it a try."

But now that you asked so nicely, I'll maybe do it just for you =)

So, the "if you don't want to use it, I won't waste my time" should be read as "if you think this is utter nonsense, I won't waste my time." (it's a bit misleading as it is written, I have to admit)

Edit: clarifications
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TSL
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Posts: 41


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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2002, 08:31:22 AM »

Jürgen,

Actually, we'd love to hear ideas/speculation for magic.  Here's the extended face [in gross outline of course] of "magic" in UW2.

Greater Secrets - Lesser Secrets - Charms

Epic Rites - Guild Rites - Individual Rites

Artificers

Taoist Alchemy & Sorcery

Relics

Bonus Points for anyone that gets the reference. :)

So yes, there will indeed be a "sorcerer" type of magic added to UW2.  Basically, a sorcerer can make small radiance based manipulations to his/her/its environment on a fairly limited scale though the stronger the Radiance Level, the more powerful the potential effect.

At any rate, I always like to hear ideas, even if I say, "Nah, that's silly".
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TS
Servant of Mantorok since 1863
Rumpuncher - Nocturnal's Scribe
Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2002, 08:44:46 AM »

Quote from: TSL
So yes, there will indeed be a "sorcerer" type of magic added to UW2.  Basically, a sorcerer can make small radiance based manipulations to his/her/its environment on a fairly limited scale though the stronger the Radiance Level, the more powerful the potential effect.


Cool, that would fit my "Radiancer" concept. I got no time to write it today (running an Alyria playtest session this evening =), but you'll get it at the weekend, here in the forum.
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Thalaxis
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2002, 07:57:36 PM »

Not by any chance related to a novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child?

Anyway, I can't wait. I'm glad I finally picked up a copy of the first edition,
especially now that I know that it's sold out :)

Need any playtesters? :-D
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Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2002, 04:36:12 PM »

Radiancers are denizens of the UnderWorld who know the secret of how to form connections with the magic pattern of the subway system that is generating the Radiance. Through these magical connections they can use the Radiance for creating magical effects.

Every area of the subway system generates Radiance with a different magic "flavour". Depending on which areas the Radiancer is connected with, he is able to perform different magical feats. For example, one area's Radiance could be used for creating illusions, another one for necromancy, one for transformation of living beings, one for transformation of objects, one for conjuring things out of thin air, one for clairvoyance, one for creating enchantments, one for countermagic, one for earth elementary magic, etcetera etcetera.

Forming a magical connection to a Radiance Area requires a difficult, long ritual. To complete the ritual, it is necessary for the Radiancer to sacrifice a part of his own body and leave it hidden somewhere in that area. He can channel the Radiance of this area through this part of his own body. A fingernail, some hairs or some drops of blood will suffice, but: the greater the sacrifice, the greater the magical powers he gets from this area. E.g. if the Radiancer performs the connection ritual with only a fingernail in an area which Radiance is useful for illusions, he won't get a bonus coin later, when trying to cast an illusion effect. If he sacrifices a fingertip, he would get 1 bonus coin, a finger or an ear: 2 bonus coins, a hand or an eye: 3 bonus coins, an arm or leg: 4 bonus coins.
If this body sacrifice is ever taken from this subway area, the magical connection between the Radiancer and this area is severed.

The knowledge about which area has which magic flavour is well guarded by the ones who know it. It is also not easy to find out. The only way is to perform this long ritual, probably with only a fingernail at first. Then, if you want more power you could do another ritual with a bigger sacrifice.

Now for the fun part:
Before beginning a campaign, the conductor prepares a copy of the subway map of his chosen city: he subdivides it into different Radiance Areas as he wishes, and decides which area generates which Radiance flavour. He does not show this to the players.

I would suggest that a Radiancer character starts play with one to three magical connections (of level 0: no bonus coins). However, he can't choose which types of magic he is connected to. He can only choose specific points on the subway map (not the conductor's map, but an unmarked one) where he has performed the ritual and hidden his sacrifice. The conductor then compares those points with his prepared Radiance Area map to determine which areas the new Radiancer is connected to. The same method is used if the PC forms new connections during play.

The Radiancers would be treated like a Guild (from a rules standpoint), but in the UnderWorld, they actually aren't an organization. There are not many who know the secret of the Radiance Area ritual, and those who do want to keep it that way. They start play with the special ability Radiancer Magic.

Rules:

If a Radiancer wants to create a magical effect, his player performs a simple head count: the number of coins is equal to the Radiance Level of his surroundings. If the Radiance Level is 0, no Radiancer magic is possible. He gets bonus coins if he made a bigger sacrifice when creating the magical connection (see above). He also gets one bonus coin if he actually is in the area which generates the type of Radiance he wants to use.
The player declares what magical effect he wants to create and the conductor sets a difficulty.
1 success would be needed for a small, almost unnoticable effect.
2 would suffice for an average effect.
3 would be needed for an effect of bigger proportions.
4 are enough for an impressive effect.
5 would make for an epic magical effect even a powerful magician could be proud of.

The successes of this head count are also used for damage, if the magical effect is used for such a purpose.

Examples:
1 - creating a small wind that blows a document from the table of a Librarian (air elementary magic)
2 - changing your eyes to cat eyes so that you can see in almost complete darkness (transformation of living beings)
3 - summoning and speaking with the ghost of a recently deceased person through its dead body (necromancy)
4 - seeing and hearing a person that is miles away in a crystal ball (clairvoyance)
5 - creating a big animated illusion that can effect every sense of the beholder, e.g. a huge illusionary dragon, that can be seen, heard, touched and maybe can even breath fire that appears to be burning hot (illusion)


There you go. Jason, Todd, and all others, I hope this makes some sense and is not too silly. Waiting for your comments...
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Tim Gray
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Posts: 54


« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2002, 02:16:26 AM »

Is the Taoist reference about the Sappers' sewer shui, moving things around for a brief Radcount change? If not, what is it?!
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Legends Walk! - a game of ancient and modern superheroes
Jason L Blair
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Posts: 636

Nothing is sacred.


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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2002, 03:19:59 AM »

Quote from: MadMoses
Every area of the subway system generates Radiance with a different magic "flavour". Depending on which areas the Radiancer is connected with, he is able to perform different magical feats.


While it all sounds solid and well-done, the above is my favorite part. Bravo, Jurgen... from Germany!
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Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
Jürgen Mayer
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Posts: 240


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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2002, 07:40:52 AM »

Glad that you liked it, Jason.

Besides the core concept of Radiance Areas with different magic flavours which allows for a rather freeform magic system, my favorite part is the conductor-specific radiance area map. The Radiancer really has to spend time on exploring the magic of the Underworld, cause the player cannot rely on metagame knowledge about what kind of magic is where to find. Also this allows for easy personal customization on part of the conductor: Don't want clairvoyance in your game? Just don't put it on your radiance map.

In addition there are some nice built-in plot hooks for the conductor to exploit. Don't know what story or subplot to play next? Just let someone steal the eye-sacrifice of your Radiancer and watch the race to get it back. Or, if the Radiancer wants to be sure that noone will remove his new sacrifice, he has to hide it really deep down. And the unexplored deeps of the Underworld are where things get really interesting... what will he encounter there?
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TSL
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2002, 10:40:21 AM »

Quote from: Tim Gray
Is the Taoist reference about the Sappers' sewer shui, moving things around for a brief Radcount change? If not, what is it?!


Actually, it's a reference to Big Trouble in Little China which is not as off topic as you guys may think, Laura came up with an awesome new area called "Chinadown" that's all I'm going to say about that at the moment, but I suspect that's enough to get you all thinking anyway.

As to the "Radiance Dancer" I like it, Jürgen, your thinking is fairly similar to mine in regards to what they can accomplish, though the expression is different.

One of my original ideas, one I pitched to GMS a long time ago, was that there was a guild or group of individuals that knew the "laws" of the UnderWorld.  We went a different direction, but I think, at least in part, I'm going to resurrect them with the infusion of some of Jürgen's ideas...  I'll have to ponder on it for a bit.
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TS
Servant of Mantorok since 1863
Rumpuncher - Nocturnal's Scribe
Tim Gray
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2002, 01:22:05 PM »

"Chinadown" - oh yes!

To what extent are you interested in submissions from outside the team, and how are you managing that? I posted an area called Wildside (under the Bronx Zoo) on the Yahoo group (I think) a while ago and wondered whether it'd be worth digging it up again.
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