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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Name That Demon- building difficult demons  (Read 22125 times)
Valamir
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2003, 02:31:34 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes

Hey, I don't think that last link in the chain is in the book (don't have a copy on hand).


Sure enough...it is.  In fact its the very first link  

1 score point = 1 die = 1 victory.  Damn.   I never would have got that either.  

One day Ron will rewrite the rules using a bigger hammer for the benefit of the rest of us ;-)
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Ben Morgan
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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2003, 02:36:40 PM »

Regarding Need vs. Desire:

A demon with a Need to "protect the sorcerer at all costs" would be pretty nasty, considering it's the sorcerer that's responsible for fulfilling the Need. You'd have to actively get yourself in stupid, dangerous situations in order to keep the demon happy. On top of that, "at all costs" can be interpreted in a variety of really screwed up ways. This, I think, is where Desire can come into play, as well as a dysfunctional relationship and a jealous nature. After all, someone has to take that bullet that just missed you, why not your girlfriend? You know, sometimes, there just isn't enough time to ask someone to choose who lives and who dies. But then again, sometimes... there is. Eeeeevil.

I so want to play this game, dammit.

-- Ben
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-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2003, 09:04:19 PM »

You know, I think I noticed the Score Point entry on the first read of the text, but have been dismissing it since then (now that I've had time to actually re-read it). I think that I thought that it was broken. I still sorta do. That is, the equivalence seemed to me to mean that if you have a Score of Will 3 that on a Will roll that you can just take 3 successes.

I mean they're not really equal at all, but transferable through the mechanism of the roll (statistically your likely to get about a quarter of a success on average for each die; so they're each "equal" to some fraction of each other). I see it all now. But I've been confused about it up until this point.

Ya learn something new every day. :-)

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2003, 05:20:17 AM »

Hi there,

Ben wrote,

Quote
A demon with a Need to "protect the sorcerer at all costs" would be pretty nasty, considering it's the sorcerer that's responsible for fulfilling the Need. You'd have to actively get yourself in stupid, dangerous situations in order to keep the demon happy.


One of the example demons in the book - Ruatt, I believe - is built on this principle.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2003, 05:50:40 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes

I mean they're not really equal at all, but transferable through the mechanism of the roll (statistically your likely to get about a quarter of a success on average for each die; so they're each "equal" to some fraction of each other). I see it all now. But I've been confused about it up until this point.

Ya learn something new every day. :-)

Mike


Which begins to open up all kinds of interesting possibilities for making rolls and then dumping your successes into your Will for purposes of making Will rolls to shrug off damage.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2003, 06:20:03 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Which begins to open up all kinds of interesting possibilities for making rolls and then dumping your successes into your Will for purposes of making Will rolls to shrug off damage.


See, that I would have done previously. That's a Roll, not a boost to a Score (pun intended, and quite significant). See, if you add to a roll, you only get a fractional return. If you add to a Score you get a full return if that Score isn't rolled. That's what threw me about the example in particular. If the demon's abilities were based on rolling a Power die roll, then it would have seemed natural to me. But they're not, they're based on a flat bonus.

If one thinks of, say, a demon ability like Boost as being rolled against a difficulty of Zero, and thus getting all successes every time, then it's all one system (and the rules as written are just a shortcut).

Now, there's no actual imbalance that I can see. It's just not symetrical, which was implied by the equivalence thing. Hence the fact that I had dismissed it. Now that I'm seeing it in it's complete form, I really like it.

No surprise that it turns out that Synthesis is just a more fomalized version of the exact same system (every die is turned into it's own "score" even if only temporarily). Turns out I was trying to fix something that wasn't broken to begin with.

Mike
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Valamir
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2003, 06:36:31 AM »

I can see that.  In the spirit of unified rules consistancy the power shouldn't be written to say that it works for "the demon's Power in minutes".  Instead it should say "roll the Demons Power vs. something with successes being the number of minutes the power lasts".

That would eliminate the "exchange rate" difference in the currency equation.

Note:  "Should" and "shouldn't" in the above should be taken in the context of an example on how the exchange rate would be unified...not as an indicator of the game's design choices.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2003, 07:29:53 AM »

Hello,

I tried at the time to choose pretty carefully among the abilities between (a) rolling the Power score and (b) using the Power score as such as a quantitative in-game thing. Dunno how well it worked, but yeah, I was in tune with the issues being discussed. As I've said before, my first thoughts re: RPG Theory were all about currency, not goals (I was a naive Narrativist who thought everyone else was obviously psycho), and at least this element of Sorcerer expressed pretty well what I wanted to do.

About time for trying out another weird/hard demon, yes? What would you make of ...

... a demon whose primary in-game effect was to smooth over all the little hassles of life? If you drive somewhere, no traffic problem. If you need to get a flight, you do. No bills logistics troubles, no tax audits, never having to wonder whether you have the correct change.

A big part of the concept is that it doesn't produce money or anything - the person lives a very normal life. They just never, or rarely, get stressed about managing the daily details.

Best,
Ron
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2003, 07:40:31 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

About time for trying out another weird/hard demon, yes? What would you make of ...

... a demon whose primary in-game effect was to smooth over all the little hassles of life? If you drive somewhere, no traffic problem. If you need to get a flight, you do. No bills logistics troubles, no tax audits, never having to wonder whether you have the correct change.

A big part of the concept is that it doesn't produce money or anything - the person lives a very normal life. They just never, or rarely, get stressed about managing the daily details.


This one's too easy:
Stamina 3
Will 6
Lore 1
Power 6

Abilities:
Psychic Force (user: demon, used on people that would confront the sorcerer about petty problems)
Psychic Force (user: demon, used on the sorcerer whenever he gets stressed out.)

I wrote Psychic Force twice just to show the two uses. The demon pulls the Jedi Mind Trick on most everyone with the first use of Psychic Force.

The second's for when the ol' JMT doesn't work. In order to prevent the sorcerer from getting worked up, the demon just zaps him.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Bankuei
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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2003, 08:03:12 AM »

Hey Clinton,

Would it at all help to add:

Perception-Hassles(stop it before it happens)

Cloak-Allows the demon to run around and make small things happen without people noticing(oh, look she dropped her purse, you step right in line before her!)

Daze/Confuse-used in conjunction with Cloak?

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2003, 08:07:46 AM »

Maybe Warp to make those bill problems and tax audits disappear in the computers? Along with Perception again to make it work.

Mike
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2003, 12:03:00 PM »

Could it be as simple as...


Cover (confers to sorcerer)- Lucky Guy

With massive Power, this ability can be used in place of the sorcerer's normal score for just about any given task so long as luck plays a fair roll in its success or fialure, or it doesn't require any kind of real skill (like surgery)...  

And a wierd wierd form of Travel & transport

Path of Least Resistance: user moves throug normal life through the easiest path possible.  Never hassled, never bothered, and never having to worry about little things- subway fare, enuogh cash for the tip, a condom in your drawer when you need one, one last beer in the fridge when you get tired.  The demon steers the sorcerer- via a wierd sense of cosmic interelatedness and corespondences- between the flaps of the butterfly's wings which lead to trouble.

The good thing- no hassle.  The bad thing- you're going to loose your edge...seriously.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2003, 12:22:18 PM »

I think that's stretching Cover beyond it's mechanical intention. I mean, I don't want to propose a man-eating demon, and get:

Cover - Guy with Man-Eating Demon.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2003, 12:42:34 PM »

Hi there,

I was thinking along the lines of Travel (through/past barriers, just making that lane-change in time, maybe stretching actual Time one way or another; Fast might work here too), Warp (for when you use the wrong key, for instance), and Daze/Confuse in some combination. Clinton's notion about the Psychic Force is a good one; I'd never thought of it as a stress-reliever, but when you consider its only mechanical effect simply to be penalties, that works. Cloak, certainly, although since the demon's best defined as Inconspicuous it's already got one of its own, so it would confer to the sorcerer (very handy ability). And yes, Perception in one or more forms to make a variety of the other abilities work better.

That Cover's definitely a bit out of the bounds, though ... Cover's a matter of subcultural semiotics more than anything else, as well as associated skills.

Best,
Ron
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Zamiel
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« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2003, 12:53:14 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Cloak, certainly, although since the demon's best defined as Inconspicuous it's already got one of its own,

While we're talking about Inconspicuous Cloak, I'd like to note the book is ambiguous.  Does it literally get the Ability Cloak for free (ie. it doesn't increase the Demon's Power/Lore), or does it pay for it the same as all others its just automatically got to go on the sheet, or (third option that just occured to me) is it an assumed, "free" lesser Cloak that only applies to the Demon when its being, well, Inconspicuous (since it becomes visible when it takes an active interaction and doesn't retain the perception affect?
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