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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 181 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Greece, Gods, and so forth  (Read 1162 times)
« on: March 12, 2008, 09:18:35 PM »

Hey all, been lurking for a couple of days and figured I should join in the debates. However, first I would like to share a rough idea for a game I've had bouncing around my head for years.

I am hoping to someday put together a game themed on old myths and legends from the classical period. Stories like The Oddyssey would be a huge inspiration. Now this isn't altogether a revolutionary idea but then I began thinking about the system and realised that any sort of magic skill would become entirely redundant, as in these myths magic was primarily the work of gods or other supernatural beings. However I didn't want to just limit the players to the mundane (in so far as exploring a mythical world full of spirits and intrigue can be considered mundane), but I didn't want them to have a collection of spells or even a true understanding of magic. Much like a recent thread I've come across, I wanted to keep magic "magical".

I decided to keep magic in the hands of the gods. If, for example, a player is seeking advice from a dead relative then they would have to enlist the wisdom of a higher power (usually at a cost), who would then tell them how to accomplish this goal (such as where the door to the underworld lay and maybe a hint at how to open it). Or perhaps the player wants to gain revenge on an NPC, he could find a god and beg that the furies be unleashed (or in this case maybe a patron of theirs has already done so). Either way the players don't get direct control of this mystical force far above them, and it makes the cost of "spells" a lot more than a deduction from a mana pool (if you draw a gods attention you'd better hope they think your reason was worth it).

I'm hoping it makes magic rare (although still accessible if you put the work in), but so mystical and beyond the players scope that it's worth pursuing. I'm not, however, immune to making mistakes so any and all feedback are welcome. I'm a little worried that by alienating the players from magic they'll reject the whole thing, or end up trying to use the gods through horrible political machinations.
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 04:08:33 AM »

Welcome to the Forge.

What kind of context does this musing on Greek mythological magic have? Are the characters adventurers in a party, or are they heroes with great passions and tragic destinies? Or are they just folks who are trying to live their lives in this world where gods are real? Likewise, what about the players? Is there a GM who provides adversity for the characters? Or is he there to tell a story to the players? Or does he simply depict gods, each of which has his or her own agenda upon the world? This kind of high-level stuff impacts on the actual repercussions of your magic system quite a bit. It could range from being a non-relevant lump on the side of your game to being the absolute focus of the whole thing, all depending on what the players and characters are doing in the game, overall.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
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