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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: RARodger on November 02, 2009, 02:48:53 PM

Title: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: RARodger on November 02, 2009, 02:48:53 PM
Long story short: I want to hack the rules for Dogs to play in a setting that looks like Ars Magica.

One element of Ars Magica that I want to keep is laboratory activities… wizards hole up in their labs between sessions and try to make magical items and invent new spells. The items and spells themselves are going to be treated just as gear/traits, but I want the creation of these things to be important and difficult. Ideally there should be a healthy chance that the character fails at his first attempt to make an item and has to give and try again later.

My basic idea is to make the lab attempts work like Initiation; the player uses his character’s traits and gears against the 4d6+4d10 roll. But like I said, I want it to be tough, and especially once a character has been a while I think I want it to be tougher than that. So my next thought is to key it to the dice of the item being created. Something like (for example):

1d4 = 4d6 + 2d10
1d6 = 4d6 + 4d10
1d8 = 6d6 + 6d10

And so on. I think I might be willing for it to go all the way up to 2d8. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what a reasonable progression is.

So with the idea that I want it to be hard on the character, with Giving a strong possibility (and with the idea that characters will have more traits and equipment to call on then in Dogs) what might be a good progression?

Title: Re: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: 5niper9 on November 03, 2009, 07:57:41 AM
In this context I think the way fallout is handled is more important than the amount of dice. If you want this to be dangerous and dramatic you should change the fallout table accordingly or write a seperate table for these rituals.

Otherwise I would make it personal. For example say that every potion/artefact is just a demon/spirit of nature/whatever bound to it and you play out the struggle to bind it in the potion/artefact. In this case the fighting with the spirit will leave it's scars in the characters. But there is another game around here which does this quite well. (I'm talking of Sorcerer.)

Just my two pence.

Title: Re: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: lumpley on November 03, 2009, 08:28:14 AM
I think I'd recommend something a little more complicated. If I were designing this game I'd want the labwork to be able to escalate, I think.

Have you seen the simplified NPC rules? Let me find 'em... here (, although that's pretty cryptic. Follow the link to Afraid for an explanation.

But yeah, I believe that if it were me I'd treat the labwork mechanically as an NPC, not as initiation/demonic influence dice.

Oh, here's another thread you might enjoy: A question to Vincent.  (


Title: Re: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: RARodger on November 03, 2009, 06:25:47 PM
I would love to do it as an NPC conflict, but I'm having trouble figuring out who or what the opponent should be (since I'm largely trying to keep to Ars Magica's setting. The idea of the lad work escalating is very attractive, though.

I don't think fall out per se is the problem, 5niper9. I don't necessarily want it to be dangerous, just hard.

Thanks for the link, Vincent. I'll check it out.

Title: Re: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: RARodger on November 04, 2009, 03:17:23 PM
Upon further consideration today (and 4-hours drives give you plenty of time for further consideration), I've changed my mind. I don't think I want lab work to escalate on its own, I just want it to be tough. Fall out will come based on what kind of lab work you're doing.

Title: Re: [DitV] Deconstructing Initiation
Post by: lumpley on November 05, 2009, 08:43:37 AM
Cool. Then the demonic influence dice should be a pretty good guide, say 4d6+2d10 to 4d6+5d10. Try it out and see how it goes.