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Magic fiddling

Started by AnyaTheBlue, December 23, 2003, 04:28:18 PM

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I know the lightspeed rock has come up before, so I'm not going to go back over that again.  Suffice it to say that this post is in a sense a variation on that specific issue.

I have no problem with the mechanics of magic at all -- I think it's power level is great, I like the dice and aging mechanics, and everything.

What I do not like, however, are the Vagaries.  Having 'teleport' work like a Star Trek transporter is just jarring to me and my sensibilities.

I've been noodling about this for awhile now, and I've come up with a couple of alternate sets of Vagaries which I think might have a bit more of a medieval fantasy feel to them.  Again, this is not an attempt to make magic 'less powerful' or anything, just to give it a less High School Chemistry feel.  They both would change the required vagaries for specific effects, and altering that balance might well alter the relative power of the system.

First version:
      Form - Change what something is
      Motion - Change where it is
      Quantity - Change how much there is
        Influence - Change thoughts and feelings
        Perception - Perceive or mask what is possible to notice (ie, telescopic vision, see in dim light, etc.)
        Apprehension - Perceive or mask what is impossible to notice (Thoughts, emotions, danger, subatomic particles, x-ray vision, the future, etc.)
          Glamour - Make the real unreal, and the unreal real.  Access the Mystic Otherworld
          Spirit - Call or dismiss mystic entities
          Mana - Call or dismiss mystic energy
          So, to summon a spirit you would use Spirit + Quantity.  To bind it, you'd use Spirit + Motion (where is it?  It's in this rock!).  Lightning would be Mana+Form (Summon energy in the form of lightning).  Teleportation would be Motion+Glamour+Apprehension (See where you're going, move there through the Mystic Otherworld, avoiding the space in between).

          I'm assuming Glamour, in this case, is more the Pendragon-esque Temporary Reality.

          Second (more radical) attempt:

              Material - Physical properties (shape, size, weight, strength, color, etc.)
              Mental - Mental properties (thoughts, feelings, perception, wit, memories, knowledge, etc.)
              Mystical - Mystic or spiritual properties (spirits, energy, the Otherworld, magic, etc.)
                Form - What it is
                Location - Where it is
                Quantity - How much there is
                  Increase/enhance/create - Make More
                  Decrease/diminish/destroy - Make less
                  Alter/modify/change - Make it different
                  So, in this system, to say summon a spirit you would use Mystic+Location+Alter to move a spirit from elsewhere to here, or alternatively Mystic+Quantity+Increase to increase the number of spirits present by one.

                  Teleportation would be Material+Location+Alter+Mental+Location+Alter (look where you're going and move you there).

                  Now, I'm not sure either of these systems are any better than what's in the book, but since I had been thinking about them for a few days, I thought I'd throw them out for comment, ridicule, or whatever.
                  Dana Johnson
                  Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.


                  I like the first one, but it seems like the second one makes it harder to cast spells because you will usually need more vagaries for the same effect under the current system.

                  I would actually like to see a system based on medieval alchemy or other archaic modes of thought - egyptian?  chinese?  I think that could really get the right feel, but I don't know enough about it to do it myself.

                  Jake Norwood

                  Anya, etc-

                  One thing I would like to see in the mythical-if-it's-ever-finished SatF book is lots of different, compatible, magic systems. By all means, keep on tooling this one. One of the advantages to TROS's quasi-free-form magic is that it really could be compatible with most any variation on it even in one game.

                  "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

                  Lance D. Allen

                  You know, this made me think of a small rules addendum..

                  Some people have mentioned a type of magic system where instead of aging, the sorcerer has to sleep for long periods of time to regain their energy, and they've had it rejected because the sleeping is mostly a purely-roleplaying negative, where the aging has at least some purely gamist discouragement.

                  So it occurred to me that something of a compromise could be reached for those who, like me, dislike the idea of a constantly aging sorcerer. The idea is this: you age, as per normal rules. But you have the option of sleeping off those extra months. It's purely meta-game, but it allows for things like Allanon from the Shannara series; He dissappears for years at a stretch, and returns looking younger than those who saw him before remember him.

                  Just an idea that occurred to me, make of it what you will.
                  ~Lance Allen
                  Wolves Den Publishing
                  Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

                  Deacon Blues


                  A good way I've found to fix the physics-heavy approach to Riddle of Steel magic is to just make several existing Spells of Three into Spells of One (or Two - so, effectively Three).  For instance, I don't require healing spells to incorporate Vision 3 so that the sorceror can see the tissue bonding.  If it works for Jake's style of game, great!  Not for mine, though.

                  Selectively prune the elements that make the spells too intricate for your tastes, and you should be able to keep the existing system.  The "teleport" spell can just be Movement 3 to get you there, Vision 3 to know where you're going.  It's your call.
                  I'm not saying I'm one for violence
                  But it keeps me hanging on ...

                  - Tonic