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Author Topic: Ars Magica, the TRoS way....  (Read 27234 times)
Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« on: June 24, 2003, 06:26:05 AM »

Just to let you know, I've finished a rough draft of a conversion of the Ars Magica magic system to The Riddle of Steel. The mechanics will be quite similar to TRoS, but using the Technique+Form system of Ars Magica.

Also, it reduces the penalty for failing to resist the bad effects of magic (fatigue instead of aging), makes powerful magics more difficult, so you get the power of the Ars Magica wizards, and their ability to do things like fireballs (grin), without getting the cheese of D&D magic.

Last thing I'm going to do is create a new damage table, for magic that can truly kill via doing non-generic damage.


All this above is a theory, however. Hopefully the rest of you will help me "debug" it once I'm done.
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Eamon Voss
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2003, 07:17:43 AM »

Morfedel, I would be extremely interested in this sort of thing.  I started with Am way back in 1st edition, loved the 2nd edition ('one true edition'), got disgusted with 3rd edition's focus on demons on pins, and have enjoyed nearly everything about 4th edition except the whip's domination in combat and that armor increases the damage done to you.

So please forward me your work!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2003, 07:19:21 AM »

There is no reason to forward it, as I'm going to post it here. I just need to finish the damage table and its done and will be posted in this thread.
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Robert K Beckett
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2003, 07:44:15 AM »

I await this breathlessly, Morfedel.
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Robert K Beckett
Durgil
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2003, 10:09:25 AM »

That would be extremely helpful, Morfedel.  I tried to do the exact same thing months ago, but didn't have the time it required to do justice to both systems.  I believe I still have a few hand written notes on the subject that I'll have to go find to see if I was even close.  I anxiously await to read your work.
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Tony Hamilton

Judd
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2003, 12:43:14 AM »

The best magic system in gaming meets the best sword combat in gaming.

S'like chocolate and peanut butter...

Count me in and watching (and USING)
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Judd
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2003, 12:48:17 AM »

And one more thing...

Will it be simple to change your take on it from fatigue to aging?
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2003, 06:06:31 AM »

You mean, switch it back to the aging rules?

It should be. My changes really aren't very significant. At least, to my eye.

Basically, I've changed the formula a tad. You still assemble the formula as per the original rules, but the meaning of the numbers were altered slightly, so that to get the more powerful effects, will need to go a bit higher; effects were a bit more generalized, and therefore disassociated from the vagaries directly.

In exchange, each spell has to be composed of one technique and one form; you assemble the spell with the altered formula as above; including the slightly more generic Effect value. The technique and form creates a permissive; you cannot even begin to cast a spell whose resultant CTN is higher than the technique + form.

So, if you wanted to be a master fire mage, or a Flambeau mage in AM vernacular, you could, say, take an A in vagaries and put all 14 in Ignem, fire magic, and be able to cast almost any kind of fire sorcery you can imagine... but be almost worthless at everything else.

Or, you can spread them out a bit more evenly. The more diversified you are, the less power you will have, but the more flexible you will be, etc etc.

The rules may need some revision: I am just writing them down without testing, so I will need the lot of you to help me test them and find out what tweaks or changes it will need.
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2003, 09:34:06 AM »

Ars Magica, the TRoS Way

I apologize fo the sloppiness of this document: I'm at work, and should be working on something else instead of this, but having promised work on Taveruun by this evening, I thought I'd be sneaky and get this done fast.
It isnt entirely complete, and it rambles a bit, but it is the core of what I'm working on (and need to reformat, clear up, etc).

So, forgive my ramblings, and let me know what you think so far. I suspect there may be flaws here, but since I dont have a playtest group, I'm just not sure.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This document is intended to represent a conversion of TRoS' magic system to the Ars Magica format, while keeping its own strengths. It isn't intended to totally explain the old system, so knowledge of Ars Magica is required; however, you can download the 4th edition from rpgnow.com.

Magic is same as before: you have 5 techniques, and 10 forms. Every
spell is composed of one technique and one form.

The process of determining the level of the spell is as follows:

Target(s)
Volume
Duration
Range
Level of Effect

You will notice that these are the same as before for TRoS. However, the numbers and meaning of each have been changed.

Target(s): This represents the number of targets, rather than the type. It
is used most especially when you are trying to avoid using an area of effect that could effect allies and foes equally.

1: Self
2: Other (one target outside yourself)
3: Three (3)
4: Handful (around 5 or 6)
5: Dozen (around 12)


Range:
0: Self
1: Touch
2: Reach (around the distance of the longest of melee weapons)
3: Distance (the distance a man could run in several seconds; the range
of a thrown rock/dagger, etc)
4: Range (Bow shot distance, line of sight, etc)
5: Any Distance (some taretting method, such as scrying or an arcane connection is required; an arcane connection could be a hair from the person, or nail clipplings, or their True Name in game worlds were True Names are used)


Duration: durations longer than months are possible, but special circumstances
0: Instantaneous/Concentration
1: Rounds
2: Minutes
3: Hours
4: Days
5: Weeks
Beyond this point are special circumstances, meaning I may just throw them out, hehe
6: Months
7: Years
8: Decades (Effectively permanent, except for the immortal fey, at this point)
9: Centures
10: Millenia


Volume(in radius): Volume and Targets are Mutually Exclusive.
0: Self
1: 1 yard
2: 4 yard
3: 9 yards
4: 16 yards
5: 25 yards


Effect:
1: Minor Effect: minor discomforts (damage in pain and shock is # of successes); changes, control, other alterations, also minor. Apprentice level magic.
2: Lesser Effect: attacks become more serious, using generic damage chart; alterations and effects are of low degree, but not inconsiderable. Novice Level Magic
3: Moderate Effect: Damage becomes serious (use revised sorcerous attack rules); effects are considerable and significant. Journeyman Level Magic
4: Greater Effects: Damage can be deadly and debilitating; effects are
awe inspiring and have few flaws. Master Level Magic.
5: Flawless Magic: Attacks can kill instantly. Effects are complete. Archmage Level Magic.


As you can see, with the numbers changed, levels of spells will be higher.  A caster wanting to cast spells on himself will be having a level of spell of
2 before any other factors for Apprentice Level Effects..

Levels of effects are determined by a judgement call from the Seneschal, based on the power level he wishes in the game. However, suggestions, example spells, and the revised sorcerous attack rules are forthcoming in a later post.


To cast a spell, the character makes his rolls as normal, with the following changes:

Since effect levels are now disassociated from the vagaries, the vagaries now, insead, act as permissives. Each spell is composed of a single technique (the verb) and a single form (the noun). A spellcaster cannot cast a spell with a CTN that is greater than his Technique + Form.

So, for instance, if a sorcerer with a Creo of 3 and an Ignem of 5 wants to hurl a blast of fire, his best CTN he can manage is an 8.

As he is casting a spell, a sorcerer must still divide up his sorcery pool into two groupings. Instead of aging, however, the number is the amount of fatigue levels gained, rather than the number of months aged (And using this system, fatigue effects ALL pools, instead of just CPs). Note that using spells such as Mana 1 also delivers fatigue... but one may not refresh their mana pool by a level that would increase the pool beyond the dice pool allowed after fatigue.

When casting magics, one must modify the CTN of the spells based on the aura of their surroundings. Magical Auras reduce the CTN of the spell by their aura; fairy auras reduce the CTN of the spell by half their aura, but sometimes have strange effects; divine and infernal auras increase the CTN of the spell by their aura strength.

Sorcerers can resist spells better than others. When the target of a spell, a sorcerer adds his score to the dice pool being used to resist magic - and even if a spell is not normally resisted, a sorcerer can still attempt to resist with the raw form. So, a sorcerer targeted by a Pilum of Fire can roll his Ignem score to resist the attack. This makes forms valuable for resisting hostile effects; since techniques influence more spells (only 5 techniques vs 10 forms) this makes them more valuable for spell combinations.

The idea behind the system as listed is that it will make magic a bit weaker, while still allowing for impressive magics. It was meant to capture the feel of the Ars Magica system to an extent, while still keeping the core ideals of the TRoS system intact. By the same token, however, because fatigue is used rather than aging, magic may be used more often with less fear of permanent consequences.

I originally planned on using the effect system similar to how it is already done, by adding in effect based on vagary level; but with 15 schools, and the technique + form combination, it made it more complex; I figured this permissive approach would work better. You be the judge.

Spells of the greater levels of effect was designed to be more difficult to cast; furthermore, non specialists will have a real problem generating staggering magical effects (heck, even specialists will have troubles getting a 5 in all areas and still casting, as they have to have the permissive levels in technique and form, PLUS be able to roll the number of successes....) However, generalists will be able to work with a greater degree of materials, and be able to resist more varieties of magic.

Spells of Three/Many: These are now spells that add multiple techniques or forms. For instance, a spell that transforms a man to a beast would be Muto-Corporem/Animal. You use the lowest of the scores in form, and the lowest of the scores in technique, for determining permissives. Spells of even one technique and one form may be researched and formalized as ritual magic instead, if the Seneschal allows.

This system suddenly makes formalized spells significantly more valuable. If you have a Creo Corporem combined score of 6, and there is a spell that is normally a 7 or 8 ctn, you wont be casting it nonformulized. However, if you know a sorcerer who has it formulized, and you have something in exchange....

In upcoming posts, I will be adding in the Sorcerous Damage system, several example spells the way I see it, and some other Ars Magica methods imbedded, such as studying, making permanent magic, etc.

I hope you like.

For those who don't know Ars Magica, rather than my explaining it in detail, just download it; they are working on a 5th edition, and decided to make 4th edition available for FREE download at RPGNOW.com. Head there, download it, read it. Then this will make more sense to you.
------

Post Script: I just added this in last second as I was thinking of something while pasting this in....

Character building, I considered doing similar to Ars Magica for the techniques and forms (henceforward called the Arts). This I'm not certain of, but reviewing my rules above, if you spent proficiency points 1 for 1, you will have to make a diehard specialist, or be exceptionally weak. To counter that, I was thinking that every "proficiency" point converted to purchasing Arts would be multiplied by 10, so putting 14 points in would amount to 140.

Then the arts would be purchased just as in Ars Magica: 1 pt for level 1, plus 2 pts for level 2 for a total of 3, plus 3 pts for level 3 for a total of 6, etc. But, the numbers in this system are lower than in Ars Magica, so maybe multiply by 5 instead. So, 14 points would net 70 points; allowing you to purchase 8 at level 3, the rest at level 2, having an average spell level possible of 5 to 6 if you go an A in proficiencies and generalize, while getting the highest score in a single techique and form would be an 8 and a 7, a possible 15 CTN spell at best, but very focused.

IF you went with a C in prof and an A in attributes, you will have a much higher potential sorcery pool, but will be a poor generalist or mediocre specialist by comparison.  But with lots of natural ability.


Techniques
-----
Creo - Create
Intellego - Percieve
Muto - Transform
Perdo - Destroy
Rego - Control

-----
Forms
-----
Animal - Animals and Beasts
Aquam - Water
Auram - Air
Corporem - Body (human body)
Herbam - Plant
Ignem - Fire
Imagonem - Images
Mentem - Mind
Terram - Earth
Vim - Power
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2003, 09:42:52 AM »

One quick example spell while I have the chance:


The Heartbreaker's Caress (Perdo Corporem)

The caster reaches out and lightly touches the victim; once done, the victim must make a HT resistance roll, or his heart simple stops, and he dies.

Target: 2 (one other)
Range: 1 (touch)
Duration: 0 (instantaneous)
Effect: 5 (Instant Death)

CTN Total: 8


And a second, The same spell a

Whispers of Death: Spell of Three (Perdo Corporem and Perdo Vim)

Having the hair, or a true name, of a victim makes assaults from great distances far easier. Same as above in effect, but it is performed at a long distance; it requires an arcane connection or a method of scrying the target; attempts to destroy any magical protections the target might have; and ends their life:

Target: 2
Range: 5
Duration: 0
Effect: 5

CTN: 12


And a third version:

Reaper on the Wind: Spell of Many[Ritual spell] (Perdo Corporem, Perdo Vim, Intellego Corporem:

Spell does not require an arcane connection; instead, it "Searches out" the target, as it contains a scrying component (Intellego Corporem):

Target: 2
Range: 5
Duration: 0
Effect: 5

CTN: 12



-----------------

Note that I didnt make it clear what defines a spell of 3 versus many in my iteration. If a spell contains a single technique and a single form, its a spell of 1. If it contains more than one of either ONE of them, and three or less overall effects, it is a spell of 3. IF it contains more than one technique AND form or if it has more than 3 effects, then it is a spell of many.

(just a quick thought I hadnt considered, so this was not well thought out yet; I needed a way to fit this system into the 3/many scheme, and it doesnt so well... :/  heh)
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2003, 11:25:22 AM »

Another Spell:


Pilum of Fire: Creo Ignem

The Caster hurls a "spear" of fire from his hands at the target. The Caster must roll to hit, and the target may evade, like normal. Standard resistance is not possible.

Damage functions as per the upcoming sorcery damage chart *grin*

Target: 1
Range: 4
Duration: 0
Effect: 3 (uses sorcerous damage)

CTN: 8


Dousing the Flame: Perdo Ignem

A spell to douse candles, torches, and other small flames; a spell originally taught to Flambeau apprentices in learning their arts.

Volume: 1
Range: 2
Duration: 0
Effect: 1

CTN: 4
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2003, 06:50:50 AM »

*listens to the chirping of crickets in the night....*

That bad, eh? :/

Heh
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prophet118
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2003, 07:12:02 AM »

the one problem i could see, is that somehow the magic got even stronger that base line TROS.,... at least in baseline, you couldnt throw a fireball... now you can.. .lol
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2003, 08:04:12 AM »

In the baseline, you could kill someone with a mere few points in a single vagary - say, 3 pts in sculpture. Now it can't be done as easily.

And yeah, fireballs can be thrown - but thats how it worked in Ars Magica. IT isn't D&D, but if you remember, even Gandalf hurled a bit of assault magics; I remember one scene where he had a fire throwing out sparks that ate their way through Goblins; and there are plenty of other non-cheesy fantasy with similar attributes.

And this is how Ars Magica does it - it has fireballs, and if I'm doing an Ars Magica to TRoS port, doesn't it make sense you should be following a similar path?

Furthermore, all total, I think this makes magic weaker overall, not easier. For 3 pts in a single vagary, you can do quite a bit, and thats not so true here; furthermore, there are 5 steps in each formula rather than 3, making a CTN potentially higher than before.

Perhaps I'm wrong though?
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prophet118
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2003, 08:11:51 AM »

im not saying you are wrong, or that your conversion was wrong, im just saying, for all the people who have something against the strength of the baseline magic system, they'll have a bigger beef against this one... thats all
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