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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: octaNe: Going to the mat for Might and Magic  (Read 2890 times)
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« on: March 05, 2003, 08:41:17 AM »

I love octaNe. Because I love octaNe, when I see something in there that in any small way diminishes my love and enthusiasm for this diamond in the rough, even if Jared A. Sorensen hisself declared it so, I gotta protest. I gots ta testify. My voice must be heard!

This may have been answered before, but I gotta ask: Why, Jared, why did you tell us that no character may have both Might and Magic---and then turn right around and give us the Helljacked role (cool nod to Hellboy, but...) which has both Might and Magic? Why did you tell us that roles that start out without Might or Magic may never acquire them during play? What if my Bruce Lee-inspired martial artist gains some mysterious insight into Chi, and can thus justify developing Might or Magic, or even both? What if my character gets taken out by a vampire...only to return as one of the Semi-Dead? Does a Bad MoFo lose all his coolness privileges if he's a Permanent Nighlifer? In sum, I think there's too many restrictions on Might and Magic.

Now, I'm not stupid or beyond the bounds of normal derangement. I know how devastating these attributes can be. But I think they're already as limited as they need to be.

1) Remember, Might and Magic go next-to-last and last, respectively. That gives the other players time to shine, and, if their rolls are low, some attacks might get through and disable Ms. Mighty and Mr. Magic before they get a chance to go all 'kewl powerz' on the opposition. Plus, these beauties suck up Plot Points at the rate of one per die, much more expensive than basing an action off of Daring, Ingenuity, Craft, or Charm.

2) Complaining about how free-form and devastating Might and Magic are is silly when one realizes that the exact same thing can be said about any of the attributes, due to the way issues are resolved and results are determined in this game. My kung-fu guy could, in theory, plow through an army with nothing but his fists and feet, and leave the rest of the players with nothing to do but share the tremendous burden of Kung-Fu Guy's tremendous nutsack as they march off into the sunset. Or Mr. Crafty could create an invention that renders the rest of the party pointless. Or Mr. Charmschool could cut the combat off at the source by just dazzling the bad guy into submission. Or Mr. Ingenuity's clever trap cuts the adventure unsatisfyingly short. And so on. The point is, using any attribute, the play may grind to an unsatisfying halt due to one player overreaching his role and forgetting the point of the game: what would be cool?

I hate to bring up Point #2, because it's one of the things that my regular group of players brings up every time I want to run or play in an octaNe game. "Itjust makes things too easy, and it tears hell out of any prep-work you do. Where's the fun in that?" If you worry about this kind of abuse, it'll happen regardless of how many rules you throw in there. In fact, the more rules there are, the more brittle the resulting structure tends to be. They don't recognize that, but even people who do might be uncomfortable with the freedom given to the players by octaNe.

Something simple that could patch up this hole might be a little essay, snuck into future releases of octaNe, entitled "What Would Be Cool?" This essay would talk about the problem of players and Gms, used to having set limits on what the characters could or could not do, will have in getting used to octaNe's much freer environment. This essay could distinguish between powergaming (which is abusing the system) versus coolness-creation, which means that you and your character can now do all the cool stuff that those other games, with the clunky rules, couldn't let you do, yet doing those things was true to genre. But with this freedom comes responsibility: the responsibility to make the adventure as cool and as fun for everyone as possible. So don't power-trip; measure every move you make by the question, "What would be cool?", not "What will it take for me to win?" There might be some discussion on how to tactfully broach that subject during gameplay, helpful hints, etc.

This, in combination with the little factoids posted above in point #1, should go a long way to cutting down abuses of Might and Magic without outright restricting it or forbidding it. Because restricting or forbidding options just because they're too prone to abuse is just not cool, especially in a freewheeling game like octaNe.

Thus endeth my rant. Sorry if this has been brought up one too many times already.
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2003, 10:18:56 AM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
This may have been answered before, but I gotta ask: Why, Jared, why did you tell us that no character may have both Might and Magic---and then turn right around and give us the Helljacked role (cool nod to Hellboy, but...) which has both Might and Magic?


The HellJack has either Might or Magic. Those are suggested Styles.

Having Might *and* Magic doesn't make sense. The context is that M&M are the styles of people who can do blatantly impossible stuff. So you pick: magical spells or super powers (more or less).

Quote
Why did you tell us that roles that start out without Might or Magic may never acquire them during play? quote]

If your character gets zapped and acquires Might or Magic, it's a new Role.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2003, 11:13:30 AM »

Quote
The HellJack has either Might or Magic. Those are suggested Styles.


Okay, I didn't get that. I thought those were the styles for those Roles--period.

Quote
Having Might *and* Magic doesn't make sense. The context is that M&M are the styles of people who can do blatantly impossible stuff. So you pick: magical spells or super powers (more or less).


Okay, I made the mistake of thinking that Might boosted the character (enhanced strength, regeneration, breathe underwater, etc.), while Magic affected the outside world around the character (magic, psionic brain-melting, TK, etc.) So now I ask, in the Uncontrolled Psychic role given to us by Colin Chapman, are his psychic powers better simulated by Might or Magic? Or would both work equally well?

Quote
If your character gets zapped and acquires Might or Magic, it's a new Role.


So a Role that doesn't start with Might or Magic isn't forbidden from acquiring it, the character just has to rewrite his role. Again, this was not clear to me. Nor was it clear to anyone else in my group who read the book. Hmmm.  Time to reread.
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
Jared A. Sorensen
Member

Posts: 1463

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2003, 11:44:56 AM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
So now I ask, in the Uncontrolled Psychic role given to us by Colin Chapman, are his psychic powers better simulated by Might or Magic? Or would both work equally well?


I'd probably use Magic. But really it doesn't matter much. You could even just have a psychic character have Craft or Ingenuity (but you wouldn't be able to muck with Hazards if you did it this way).

Quote
So a Role that doesn't start with Might or Magic isn't forbidden from acquiring it, the character just has to rewrite his role. Again, this was not clear to me. Nor was it clear to anyone else in my group who read the book. Hmmm.  Time to reread.


Against the Reich! first mentions the whole switching Roles thing. You can change your Role or take a new one without losing any Plot Points.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
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