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Author Topic: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)  (Read 13407 times)
Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #45 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 :-)
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #46 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
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Furious D
Member

Posts: 55


« Reply #47 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...
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #48 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.
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #49 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...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #50 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
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #51 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.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Furious D
Member

Posts: 55


« Reply #52 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.
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #53 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
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #54 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
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #55 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 ;)
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #56 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
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #57 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
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Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #58 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
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #59 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
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