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Author Topic: More setting conversion thoughts  (Read 5164 times)
Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« on: April 08, 2002, 08:45:49 AM »

So here I am with a couple of players again at last, and we've agreed to run a long-term game in White Wolf's Exalted setting, featuring their elementally-aspected "Dragon-Blooded" Exalted.  This setting lends itself well to a portrayal of the decadent, decaying Empire trope, replete with religious conflict, backstabbing political intrigue, mysticism, exotic color, and (of course) wild anime-style action.

My issue is that while I like the setting, I've grown pretty disenchanted with the Storyteller system.  I'm exploring using the Hero Wars system, and I think it will transfer pretty darn well with the following sticking points:

First, Exalted makes use of a ton of fancily-named Charms, e.g. Golden Swallow Parry, Ten Magistrate Eyes, Five-Dragon-Force Blow, etc., that are basically magical maneuvers powered by "mana" (called Essence in the Exalt-verse).  Part of the game's take is to manage the quantity of Essence a character uses, so that Charms aren't unlimited.  I'm having trouble finding a useful analog in Hero Wars for modeling Essence expenditure, though Theistic Feats transfer over to Charms quite nicely in other respects.

Second, Sorcery in Exalted is earth-shaking stuff, not so much point-zap-fireball as Suffocate City with Titanic Poisonous Smoke Cobras.  I think Hero Wars sorcery will transfer over simply by making the spells werra, werra powerful in terms of effect and changing the way individuals learn spells so as to fit the setting better while preserving the difficulty of acquiring them.  However, once again I face the issue of massive Essence expenditure (and accompanying character aura flare).

So here are my questions for the collective input:

(1) Any thoughts on how to model Essence/mana expenditure?

(2) For those of you who have played Hero Wars, any tips on how to interpret Feats given the lack of description in the book?  I'd like to keep the color of the fancy Charm and Spell names, but those names could well lend themselves to different interpretations depending on the player (or GM).  Hero Wars Feat names tend toward the bluntly descriptive.

(3) Thoughts on how to reflect the vast difference in power between Charms (Feats) and Sorcery?

I'd appreciate any suggestions.  Before I present Hero Wars to my players, I'd like to have these issues settled.

Thanks,

Blake
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Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2002, 11:08:21 AM »

I'm close to finding a workable solution today.  Realized I'm relying on people knowing something about the bloody Exalted system in the first place.  My apologies.  I've raised the question of porting Hero Wars to other settings, but this is the first time I've started putting thoughts on paper.

Let me restate:  I want to use Hero Wars mechanics to model a limited but replenishable pool of resource points analogous to Vampire's Blood Pool.  My thought currently is simply to set the resource like any other skill, but allow the player to spend points on a one-for-one basis to add edges in contests.  Alternatively or additionally, spending a certain number of them in a bloc -- say five -- equals a single Hero Point for purposes of a Mastery bump.  This does make the wielder quite powerful, but the Exalted setting encourages such powerful, larger-than-life heroes.

Best,

Blake
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Seth L. Blumberg
Member

Posts: 303


« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2002, 07:42:02 AM »

Breaking the dependence of the Charm system on the details of the combat engine is definitely the hardest part of any Exalted conversion, I think. I don't know enough about the Hero Wars system to give you any suggestions, but please post in Actual Play once you've tested your conversion--I'm really interested in other people's experiences with converting the Exalted setting to use non-Storyteller rules.
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the gamer formerly known as Metal Fatigue
Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2002, 12:12:07 PM »

I'll do that, Seth, thanks.  I'm also considering a fallback of using the Exalted Quick Start rules with a house streamlined version of the Storyteller system, but I'd really like to use Hero Wars, so that's my thrust at the moment.

Best,

Blake
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Ayrizale
Member

Posts: 77


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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2002, 08:40:43 AM »

Ok, I've been thinking about this since I saw your first post in this thread.  I do have a couple of questions, and then a suggestion.  First, I would like to point out that I have not yet had the chance to actualy play Hero Wars, so the suggestion that I make might be completely useless within the context of Actual Play under the Hero Wars rules.

First a question or two.  What purpose within the conversion would the modeling of the Essence Points serve?  And what purpose do the actual Essence Points serve in the base game?

I believe that the answer to both question is mainly that it would be a Game Balance issue to some degree.  Though there is also the use of the specific number of motes spent that determine how bright the character's Anima Banner is.

Since this is a very different set of rules with a fairly different focus, why not go with something different?  For example, perhaps simply stealing from an old sci-fi game (Star Frontiers, I believe, though it may have been an early edition of Spacemaster).  Let the Exalt use Charms until he fails to use one (or critically fails, however you like).  At that point, he must rest for a certain period of time before he can start using Charms again.  Allow the possession of a Hearthstone to allow you to ignore the loss of the use of your Charms once per session or something along those lines to reflect the aditional Essence recovery allowed by the possession of the Hearthstone.

It's very rough, but hopefully will provide a place to start.

Later,

Lael
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Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2002, 11:16:47 AM »

Hi Lael,

Neat idea.  I've also thought about simply making Essence an attribute that functions like a pool, perhaps with some elements of Hero Point functionality.  I'm less worried about balance and more wanting to tap into the anima flare stuff, which provides excellent color.

Your thought would make it simpler, certainly.  I'll mull it over some more.  Thanks!

Best,

Blake
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Ayrizale
Member

Posts: 77


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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2002, 11:46:28 AM »

There's an interesting idea.  Just not sure how exactly it would work, but I'll give a first run at it.

Make Essence into two Traits, Personal Essence and Peripheral Essence.  Instead of allowing a player to purchase and raise the value of a Charm/Sorcery through Hero Points, assign values to the Charms based on how powerful the Charm is, more powerful = higher trait.

Then you might be able to make it a simple contest between the Charm/Sorcery, when it is used, and the character's Essence.  IF the Charm wins, then the character's Essence Score is reduced by the loss and if there is any left, then the Charm works.  If the Essence wins then the Charm works without a loss of Essence?  Hmmm...  Might be more complicated than it is worth.  Just not sure.

Lael
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Ayrizale
Member

Posts: 77


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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2002, 11:49:01 AM »

Shoot, forgot to mention that the Anima Flare would happen whenever the character used their Peripheral Essence score rather than Personal.  And that the Personal would probably need to be limited to half the score of the Peripheral or something along those lines, possibly less than half.

Anima Flare would be based on the amount of the success, regardless of which, Charm or Essence, won the contest?  Hmmm...

Lael
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Blake Hutchins
Member

Posts: 614


« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2002, 12:10:14 PM »

Interesting thought.  Somewhere along the line I'd thought about splitting into Peripheral and Personal.  Using Peripheral, the anima flare would depend on what kind of edge you brought to your overall skill, assuming Charms can only be used to augment a mundane skill.

Cool.

Thanks!

Blake
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