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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 150 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Divination Powers  (Read 2227 times)
jdagna
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« on: October 10, 2002, 04:27:34 PM »

Got a question for everyone... how exactly would you implement a divination type ability in Donjon?

It seems like the system would handle such abilities better than anything else I've played, since the PC could narrate facts (or receive facts narrated by the GM for failures).  But have any GMs tried to actually work such prediction facts into the story?

(I'm also asking because my wife Sally may go for just such an ability as her primary for our Saturday group).
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Bailywolf
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Posts: 729


« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2002, 04:27:42 AM »

Well, looks to me like it would work like a simple perception based ability with the added demension of using a Fact to state how far in the future the event is to occor.  Say like so:

Manderbrolt the Magnific

Abilities:  See Future 4 (+ discernment)

He's got (say) 8 dice to work with.

He uses his Ritual Mumbojumbo ability to earn himself some more dice with, smokes some weird herbs, and looks into a magical crystal ball (3).  He throws 12 dice in his attempt to See the Future.

The GM sets the diff at 6 (DL3 + normal diff), and he ends up netting 4 succeses.

He uses them as follows:

1) This vision will occor in three days time
2) I see a Big Scaly Monster
3) It Attacks Jack the Woodsman
4) -held over for bonus die-

So on Thursday, Jack the Woodsman is going to have a bad day.  

If you wanted to forsee someone's death- or aparent death- then you would make an attack roll (-1 for the Fact)... when the vision comes to pass, they take damage based on the succeses on your visionary attack roll (and any circumstantial bonuses from Facts you use).  In this case your difficult would be the victim's defensive score or the a difficulty assigned by the GM- wichever is higher.

Say you're pretty pissed off at Jack the Woodsman, so you delve into his future.  Trance, drugs, crystal ball.  12 dice.  You get 6 victories this time over Jack's evasion ability-

1) Jack steps on a trap
2) It involves a Huge Falling Axe (+3 dmg)
3) It will happen in the next hour
4) It is a 3 success attack

When the thing drops on Jack, he takes an attack based on the 3 attack successes plus the axe.




But this is how I'd run it.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2002, 09:38:46 AM »

That's excellent Ben. I'd thought of the first part, but the combat part hadn't occured to me. Coolness.

Mike
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jdagna
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2002, 11:58:59 AM »

So... let's say the PCs are assigned to kill the evil pirate captain.  If the player with divination said "I see us being successful." What would that do?

Obviously, there's no single answer, since the GM can influence the fact's context as he narrates it.  Would you give the PC (or all the PCs?) a bonus die to use at some point?  Dock a die from the evil pirate at some point?  Or would you modify the fact to make it more specific?  For example, the GM could narrate the fact by saying "You have a vision of your party being successful, and in the vision, you notice that one of the pirates seemed to have helped you."  Or, I suppose you could just let the fact lie as a hunch and do nothing about it?
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Bailywolf
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2002, 12:05:23 PM »

What does "success" look like?  

You have to say exactly what you see in the future and you can only claim your Facts... not anything else about the vision.  

In the above example... say Mandebrolt manages 6 successes-

1) The vision sees a time 3 weeks in the future
2) We are dancing about
3) We are dancing around a dead body that is dressed like a pirate captian
4) 2 held over for extra dice.


Now what does the above actualy mean?  In three weeks the group will be dancing around the dead body of someone dressed like a pirate captian... if you've never seen your target- the captian- then how would you know if this body were him?  Likewise, even if you did know what he looked like... all the above means is that you were dancing around the corpse of someone who looked like the pirate captian.

Treat it like a perception ability... demand players state very specific facts about the future...not generalities like "we win"



If you wanted to forsee a grim future for your pirate captian, then forsee one of your camrads sticking a sword into his gut...and rollover all you successes into his attack.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2002, 01:03:22 PM »

Right, you can only "see" or perform harm the same way that you can do it with other skills in the normal game.  In those rules a success in combat cannot be used to define a fact that "I kill Bob". It's just not allowed by the normal rules. But you can just spend a fact to percieve events per normal. In this case, you just also create another fact that the thing percieved hasn't happened yet. A perception in and of itself.

It's really not at all different than the application of the current rules, just a creative use.

Similarly, you could have Mage Site that allowed you to scry at a distance. The difference here being that you can state that the thing you percieve is far away from where you currently are.

Mike
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jdagna
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2002, 01:32:17 PM »

Those suggestions make sense.  I'm pretty new to Donjon and still getting used to the concept of allowing player narration.  I like the idea, but it is a big shift in thinking and there are a lot of options for how things get carried out.

Heck, the last time I tried something Donjon-like in another RPG I said "My character has lived in this city for a while, and should know about a good drainage tunnel or bridge that we could use to hide in," and the GM responded with "Was that in your character's history?"
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2002, 01:40:54 PM »

Quote from: jdagna
Heck, the last time I tried something Donjon-like in another RPG I said "My character has lived in this city for a while, and should know about a good drainage tunnel or bridge that we could use to hide in," and the GM responded with "Was that in your character's history?"


Gah. I play Sim, but that's just dysfunctional. Nobody can write everything about a character up. Especially if the system doesn't help out (which most do not). You should at least get a roll for such a thing based on area knowlege.

Hmmm. That's a perfect example of how this sma sort of ability works in most RPGS. You ask the GM if there is a drainage tunnel that the character is aware of nearby. Assuming it's not an absurd request (desert city?), the GM asks you to roll your Area Knowledge skill. If you make it, the GM creates just such a pipe.

Think of Dunjon like that. Except that the GM is taken out of the process for the most part. Instead the player just makes a resonable request to roll against something. If they succeed, they detect whatever might possibly be there as determined by the player in this case.

Really not all that different. And given the way the rules are written in Dunjon, it's not even "abusable", really. Finding stuff with your abilities is just part of play.

It's sooo cool.

Mike
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2002, 05:42:32 PM »

Despite Donjon's default play-scheme, I was thinking about what a wonderful Lankmar-style city game it could support... think of a huge labyrinth city, dark, gothic, Smokey... undermined with unknowable catacombs and charnel chambers and forgotten treasure vaults... the city is ruled by the Byzantine machination of the Old Families, the Guilds (thieves, mages, slayers) and the Faiths...and all kept in constant conflict by the Overlord and is Guard. A sharp crew of adventurers, thieves, and bravos can make a killing there... or if they be slow or stupid or unlucky, be part of someone else's killing.

In such a setting, an ability like City Lore or Underworld Contacts cold be used to add setting elements just as easily as a perception based ability.

Again, this highlights the game's strengths.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2002, 10:45:25 PM »

Word, Ben.

Word.

Mike
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