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A conundrum High Magic Low Impact Fantasy

Started by Ace, March 29, 2002, 04:18:48 PM

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I have a conundrum for you. I would like to convert my fantasy game world Midrea to a "real" flavor.

Over the years I have experimented with various RPG systems D&D, Rolemaster, GURPS and a few others I haven't found to be satisfactory for my needs.

What i am trying to achieve is a logically designed (I have simulationist tendencys Mea Culpa) with plenty of minor magic available (charms, illusion and so on) a lots of magicians  that does not turn the world to far from its Ancient roots.

Basically I want Ren faire Middle ages, a little cleaner and a little nicer but still where a man on horseback is the ultimate power and armies matter

The systems I used before have a deep flaw in that taken to logial conclusion Magic dominates. I won't go into the gory details but suffice it to say, a logical laid out D&D, GURPS, or Rolemaster world is not recognizable as midievil.

I had considered GURPS lite with the Ritual Magic rules but I find that a little too simulationist for my current needs

Here is my question should I adapt an existing system (I was thinking a cross between Witchcraft <Eden Studios Unisytem and Sorcerer  or maybe HarnMaster)

Or should I should I create a new game system?

Another question, does anyone here know if Riddle of Steel or The Everlasting (heavily modified) might be a good basis?

Mike Holmes

I'm assuming that the problem that you are having with GURPS, D&D, and Rolmaster et. al. are with their the magic systems, right? The rest of the systems seem fine?

Could you be more specific about the nature of the problem? Is it that the spells available are too powerful?

I would just allow players to take a skill in, say, GURPS that allowed them to perform minor magics in some specific tradition. So I have Shamanism at 14-, I might be able to gain spirit visions related to future endeavors (more or less stuff to color the later adventure wth as the GM). Or the ability to heal minor maladies like Footrot. To make it easy, let the player create the tradition, and just monitor the process to keep an eye on any ability that might wreck the setting.

Would something like that work? I think I'm stealing that from somewhere, but I can't remember where.

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What kind of rules-system would ye be interested in?

(I wrote my own game/gameworld which addressed some of those issues, however it's not been released yet...)

I will note that the game leans heavily on simulationist ahem "side" of things.

Jake Norwood

Hi, Ace.

This is going to sound baiased from me (and it probably is) but The Riddle of Steel was invented largely for this kind of audience. In TROS magic is extremely powerful (ala Merlin), but rare and generally unknown to the day-to-day populace. The system is also set up so that it can be left out if you're going for a very non-magical approach. Either way TROS is not about high magic, but rare and mythological-scaled magic.

As far as simulationist reality goes, I think that might be our strongest virtue (assuming I understand the term...I'm new to all this forum stuff). Check out the thread on TROS (if you haven't already). Hopefully that will answer some of your questions.

Other options that might currently be at your FLGS include Green Knight's really great Pendragon game (formerly from Chaosium). The magic system there is really cool, but relatively contained and again, a rare, mythological thing. It's better suited to NPCs, really.

Jake Norwood
Driftwood Publishing
Creator, TROS
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

Jake's post finally made this thread click for me. My problem with your question, Ace, is that the stated inquiry is too vague.

Give me an example. We have the player-characters, looking like what? Doing what? In what sort of circumstances? Why would we care? And .... once those are answered ... Magic Stuff happens.

What does it look like? Does it appear as a means of initiating a conflict or situation? Or as a means of helping to resolve it? Do you see player-characters using it at all? How much "resolving" or "initiating" power does it have, relative to (say) the influence of a legitimate authority-figure with a squadron to back him up?

You don't have to give the whole range of what you'd like the system to do, just an example that really works for you, something that no matter what, you'd like the system to be able to do ... then I think I'd be better oriented to help in this thread.



Try adapting GURPS voodoo; nice feel for magic.  Its all charms, spirits, blessings and progressive initiation.  No fireballs.
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Mike Holmes

Quote from: contracycleTry adapting GURPS voodoo; nice feel for magic.  Its all charms, spirits, blessings and progressive initiation.  No fireballs.
You know I was going to suggest that, too, but I forgot to for some reason. Anyhow, I agree with Gareth on that suggestion. You may at least get some inspiration.

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