Suggestions for fixing Sorcery

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LilithsThrall
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Suggestions for fixing Sorcery

Postby LilithsThrall » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:42 pm

Here's a way to collect all our thoughts on fixing a set of rules in need of being fixed and to give each other constructive feedback on our suggestions. It was brought about after I was asked how I would fix the sorcery rules and I said it'd take a thread to do that question justice. But I'm not the only one who has came up with their own fixes and I'm a big believer in collective intelligence. So, let's see what happens.
I'll start
1.) Make alchemy cost fate chips rather than silver. A low level sorcerer is as likely to have fate chips as is a high level sorcerer (something which really isn't true of silver). The current rules make it nearly impossible without GMs arbitrarily helping the sorcerer out, for low-level sorcerers to get useful alchemical items, but the cheaper you make alchemical items (or the more silver you introduce into the campaign), the more powerful high level sorcerers become (a wealthy high-level sorcerer with a pile of kothic demon fire bombs and greater telekinesis is a nuclear bomb).
2.) Replace static hit die limits for spells (such as Domination being unable to affect characters with more than 9 hit die regardless of how powerful the sorcerer is) with relative hit die limits (for example, change Domination to affect any character who is less than two hit die lower than the caster). This allows the spell to be useful longer but prevents it from taking out the Big Bad Evil Guy in one roll of the dice.
One way to determine the relative hit die limit involves taking the current spell's MAB prereq, multiplying it by two, and subtracting the static max hit die limit of the target.
3.) Reduce the number of spells by getting rid of spells which are just slightly enhanced versions of other spells. Instead, apply a saving throw modifier when using the more powerful effect.
4.) Get rid of defensive blast. Use Thule's alternative or use my alternative of Thule's alternative.
5.) Enhance the curse spells (see Thule's Scholar alternative) to make them worth having.
6.) Make Sorcerous News a class ability, not a spell. This gives the GM an excuse to give the Sorcerer PC plot hooks without having the PC use one of their precious spell slots on a chance that the GM will make it worthwhile.
7.) Make Shapechange add modifiers to the character, not a whole new character sheet. This allows it to stay useful as the character gains in level.
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Postby seanbickford » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:02 pm

What are your changes to defensive blast?

I think that spell slots should be totally different effects and the amount of Power Points spent on the spell should determine its power level. For example, telekinesis and greater telekinesis should be only one spell slot, but the effects of greater telekinesis should only be attainable by spending a number of PP available at a level when greater telekinesis is a possibility. The number of PP given at each level should be adjusted to reflect this dynamic.

I second the motion to increase the power of curses.

In my campaign, I've pretty much changed every spell that my sorcerer has. I've just been revising them as he gets new spells. I've increased the power of most spells, but I really limit his use of them through role-playing means. I've got him pretty scared of pitchfork-wielding mobs.
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Postby seanbickford » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:22 pm

I guess since we're on the topic, I'll post my revisions. Conjuring is blatantly stolen from an old school D&D book of cantrips. Kind of lengthy:

Entrance

Power Point Cost: 0
Components: S, M or F
Casting Time: One full round
Range: Evil Eye
Target: One creature
Duration: Concentration
Saving Throw: Will negates
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throw

When you cast this spell, the target creature must make a Will saving throw or be unable to take any actions for as long as you concentrate.

If the creature is threatened, attacked or sustains damage while entranced, it may attempt a saving throw again to throw off the effects of the spell. This second saving throw may receive a bonus equal to the amount of damage inflicted. If both saving throws are failed the target is considered flat footed. As well, the caster is flat footed while maintaining the spell, but is allowed a Reflex saving throw to respond normally to sudden threat.

This spell can only affect a target of level six or lower. Entrance cannot be initiated once combat has begun.


Hypnotic Suggestion

Power Point Cost: 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: Evil Eye
Target: One living creature
Duration: Until completed, up to 10 minutes plus one minute/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throws

No changes.

Lesser Ill-Fortune

Power Point Cost: 2
Components: V
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: Evil Eye, Touch or Magical Link
Target: One creature
Duration: One day
Saving Throw: Will negates
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throw

A sorcerer places a curse on a victim. The victim suffers a –4 enhancement penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks and skill checks.

Telekinesis

Power Point Cost: 1/object/100 pounds
Components: S
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: 120 ft.
Effect: Up to one object/level within Close range (25 ft. + 5 ft. per two levels)
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Special
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throw

The sorcerer can hurl an object from his hand at an opponent, expending personal sorcerous power to do so. Any inanimate object can be thrown, weighing up to 100 pounds per level. Items weighing over 100 pounds require an additional power point for every 100 pounds over. The sorcerer can affect more than one item—up to 1 per level—however, the total weight must not exceed 100 pounds per level. Additional items also require extra power points. For example, a sorcerer could throw a 50 pound object and a 150 pound object, expending 3 power points (1 for the 50 pound object, 1 for an additional object, and one for the additional weight of the second object).

Items thus affected can be moved laterally up to the limit of the range (120 feet) or moved vertically at half the distance (60 feet). If an item being held or worn by the target is affected, a Reflex save can be attempted to either hold on to the item or (if appropriate) to grab hold of a secure handhold. If the Reflex save is passed, a Strength check is required to hold on. The DC of each is set by the caster’s Magic Attack Roll. In the case of held items, to retain holding it requires a handhold as well.

When attacking an enemy with multiple items, he may throw them both as
part of the standard action taken to cast the spell, hurling one from each hand (and at separate targets if he wishes). If he succeeds in a Bluff check opposed by his target’s Sense Motive check, the target loses any dodge or Dexterity bonuses to his Dodge Defense. Only two objects can be thrown in this manner.

Domination

Power Point Cost: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: Evil Eye
Target: One humanoid who is already affected by your entrance spell
Duration: Concentration
Saving Throw: See below
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throw

No changes.

Animate Object

Power Point Cost: Special
Components: V, S
Casting Time: One full round
Range: Close
Target: One Small object/level
Duration: Power Points
Saving Throw: None

This spell imbues inanimate objects with limited mobility and a semblance of life. Each such animated object can then immediately attack whomever or whatever you initially designate.

The sorcerer may animate any number and size of objects if the necessary Power Points are expended. Once animated, objects require a smaller number of Power Points to maintain. The costs are as follows:

Size Animate Maintain Weight Example
Tiny 2/1 PP 2/1 PP < 25 lbs. Cat
Small 1 PP 2/1 PP 25-100 lbs. Dog
Medium 2 PP 1 PP 100-250 lbs. Person
Large 4 PP 1 PP 250-500 lbs. Horse
Huge 8 PP 2 PP 500-2000 lbs. Elephant
Gargantuan 16 PP 2 PP 2000-4000 lbs. Oak Tree
Colossal 32 PP 3 PP 4000-8000 lbs. Um... A bigger Oak Tree?

No especial concentration is necessary to cause the objects animated by this spell to remain animated and fulfill the sorcerer’s wishes. He may instruct them anew once each round as a free action. No skill check is needed to do this.

The animated object can move and bend in any way the sorcerer wishes, though they must roughly retain their original shapes if made from rigid material. For example, a stone statue of a man could walk, manipulate objects, wield weapons and grapple enemies. It could not fold itself around an opponent and re-form itself into a stone tomb for him.

Still working on this one...

Conjuring

Power Point Cost: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft. per two levels)
Effect: See below
Duration: Concentration
Saving Throw: See below
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throws

This spell allows the sorcerer to do minor acts of prestidigitation or illusion at a cost of one Power Point for each effect. Examples include suspending objects in midair or causing his eyes to glow red. The following effects are all possible uses of this sorcery style:

Belch: Subject involuntarily belches. Will saving throw to suppress.

Candle: Will light or douse any one candle or lamp within range.

Chill: Causes non-living liquid or solid material to become up to 40°F cooler, subject to a minimum temperature of freezing. Chilling effect lasts only an instant, after which subject warms slowly back to normal temperature.

Color: Brings color to an object. Can be used to restore faded hues or change the color of an item. Dull or faded fabric can be brightened, pigments restored, hair or skin changed to another color. Effect lasts up to 1 week.

Cough: Subject coughs spastically. Successful Will save means the coughing is suppressed. Failed save indicates victim is affected by a loud and active series of coughs lasting several seconds.
Creak: Evokes sounds similar to that of a door with corroded hinges slowly opening.

Curdle: Curdles milk and hastens spoilage or wilting.

Dampen: Permeates a 1 cubic yard area with a fog-like dampness, leaving all materials in it damp to the touch.

Distract: Caster causes all who are watching to look at an area of his choice, either to the right or left of him and within range. Will saving throw resists.

Dry: Removes dampness and excess moisture. Useful for cloth, herbs, cleaning chores, etc.

Dust: Removes all fine dust and tiny grit particles from exposed surfaces such as floors, shelves, walls, etc. Material so removed is transported elsewhere.

Dusty: Causes film of dust and grime to settle on all exposed surfaces.

Exterminate: Kills small pests such as fly, mouse, rat, beetle. This cantrip is not effective against supernatural creatures. Sentient creatures are permitted a Fortitude saving throw.

Firefinger: A jet of flame shoots forth from the caster’s pointing finger. Will ignite combustibles, provided they are dry. Lasts up to 10 seconds.

Flavor: Changes flavor of subject. Caster can control level of saltiness, sweetness, sourness, or imitate specific spices.

Footfall: Audible illusion of footsteps. The caster chooses direction and loudness. Must begin and remain within range of the spell.

Freshen: Brings new life to food, drink, flowers, etc. Lasts 1 hour.

Gather: Neatly gathers small items into stack or pile. Can be used selectively to gather one specific type of objects from among others.

Giggle: Subject giggles involuntarily. Loudness and strength are determined by save.

Groan: Audible illusion of wracking cry within range of caster. Can be from within or behind something.

Hairy: Causes hair, fur, or fur-like growth to thicken and lengthen. Be it hair, beard, cat, fur coat, etc. Increase is 2-12 in. Must be trimmed or cut to remove effect. Can be reversed to shorten growth or effectively shave, effect on material under 1" is complete absence of growth for 2-12 days.

Knot: Cause thread, rope, cord, etc to knot itself in such a manner as to be very difficult to untie, requiring from 2-8 rounds. Does not work on magical ropes, ropes being held onto by a character or creature, or taut lines.

Nod: Subject involuntarily nods head as if in greeting or agreement. Successful Will save resists.

Palm: Caster secrets small object in hand without seeming to. Creates an illusory duplicate of the object to be palmed, so other can be taken while under similar to hide. Illusory duplicate lasts only 10 seconds, then winks out of existence. Magic word is spoken while the finger points at object to be palmed. Caster then picks up the now invisible object while seemingly only touching or handling the illusory duplicate.

Polish: Magically smoothes and brings luster to such materials as wood, metal, stone, leather, ceramic, etc. Object must be relatively clean. Works better on smaller items like boots, mirrors, etc.

Pucker: This causes the target's mouth to become as if alum had been applied liberally throughout. The net effect is that he cannot speak for the 1-3 seconds duration. Will save resists.

Scratch: Causes subject to experience itch. Unless Will save is successful, subject will scratch.

Shadows: Caster can control the appearance of any shadows within range.

Slider: This causes a 3' circular area within range to briefly become zero co-efficient. Reflex save (DC 10) resists.

Smokepuff: Puff of smoke appears within the spell’s range. Acts as normal cloud of smoke. May be any color.

Sneeze: Subject will sneeze unless a successful Will save is made.
Spill: Causes contents of one container to spill out. Containers of up to 1 gallon can be turned over and spilled with this cantrip. Does not open lids or caps if secure.

Sprout: Plants grow an inch or so. Buds flower. Fruit and vegetables ripen or even spoil.

Stitch: Sews seams in cloth or leather; neither stronger nor weaker than seam done without magic.

Tangle: Causes fine material: thread, hair, small grass, to become twisted and entwined in a tangle. Untangling will take 3-12 rounds, unless roughly done, in which case the material would be broken, torn loose, etc.

Tap: Invisible force which will rap against any solid object. Sound will occur once, twice, or thrice according to the number of fingers extended by caster. If tapped on living creature, they will feel as if tapped by finger.

Tie: Thread, string, cord, rope, cable, etc. will tightly knot itself either to its other end or an end of a similar object within 1' of it. Any normal knot can be produced.

Turn Page: Turns one page at a time or opens book to specified page.

Unlock: Will unlock locks of only the most basic type (Very Simple). Will not work with locks classified as Average or better.

Untie: Can undo the effects produced by either Knot or Tangle (but not both).

Vermin: Summons one or more small pests. The critters thus summoned will be confused and annoyed and will react accordingly. Caster can cause the vermin to appear anywhere within range.

Warm: Causes non-living liquid or solid material to become up to 40°F warmer, subject to a maximum temperature of boiling. Effect lasts only an instant, after which subject slowly cools to normal temperature.

Whistle: Faint or loud whistle from within range of caster.

Wilt: Affects only vegetable matter, whether growing or picked.

Wink: Subject winks one eye. Successful Will save means rapid, barely noticeable wink. Unsuccessful save produces a greatly exaggerated wink.

Yawn: Evokes a yawn from subject. If Will save is successful, creature is totally unaffected.
Spectator
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Postby Spectator » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:28 pm

I like the ideas of LT(Lilith, not Lawrence Taylor);
#1 The Fate points is a good idea to use for manufacture ALONG with Thulsa's rules for alchemy (see his Scholar variant, somewhere).
#2 I like this pretty well, however there are some limitations, but overall a good idea.
#3 Big Time on Spell Reduction, for example Hypnotic suggestion/ Mass Suggestion/ Ranged could be combined in one spell with three differnt variants and required power points. Very similar to Sorcerous Garden combines two spell effects in one spell. BTW I AM STILL USING ATLANTEAN EDITION.
#4 I kinda like DB, but I would take away the Opportunistic sacrifice Sorceror/Jihad/ scholarbomb rules tweak.
#5 Definitely Curses are pretty cool but Conans Curses are too expensive PP -wise and too ineffective.
#6 Sorcerous news as a class ability; I see the logic behind the suggestion, but I still like as a spell. But LT makes a great point, more than I can in terms of justifying a spell slot on it.
#7 I am not sure what LT means, but maybe she can explain.

My ideas:
#8 I would like to more charm/ enchantment/ illusion stuff. It seems more Howardian.
#9 I dislike the differentiation in Telekinesis (I think I like the old ADD rules that you could lift 50lbs/ per level or something like it) and I think it is dumb that if you can GREATER TELEKINESE a rowboat and its crew that you could not shatter a door without Burst Barrier spell.
#10 I totally abhor "Oriental Sorcery" it is a worthless piece of junk, other than ShapeChange (Again I am referring to 1st Ed.)
#11 I like the Necromantic section a lot, however I think the immortality section should be combined with it and not made a separate discipline.
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Postby Ichabod » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:43 am

Curses - This seems to be one of the cases where they are intended to be used by NPCs. PCs couldn't care less about cursing something for a year that will get killed in a couple of rounds. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure no party wants the curses coming at them upgraded in effectiveness.

DBs - Is the concern that 2e DBs tend to suck too much for PCs? I find it kind of interesting to build a character to get the most advantageous DB possible even if most of the spells are in other styles.
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Postby seanbickford » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:05 am

Curses: I like the roleplaying possibilities of long curses on PCs.

DB 2e: I just gave me sorcerer Blast Wave because it's awesome and pretty well-balanced.

As far as the feel of spells, I agree with Spectator that the Hypnotic stuff is Howardian. I also like the more Lovecraftian insanity causing stuff. Darker.

Some spells that I've given my nasties to use on the PCs include:

1) Tentacle Swarm- tentacles burst from nearby corpse and entangle foes
2) Bleeding Lungs- instant fatigue and damage and horror, blood pours from orifices
3) Withering Scourge- blackened skin and hair falls out, Cha and Str penalties + damage
4) Scarab Swarm- scarabs burst from target's skin and attack him/comrades
5) Ivy Choke- vines emerge from PC's mouth and choke him, mute + possible KO
6) Lotus Breath- caster's eyes turn white and breathes lotus smoke as attack
7) Raven Flood- swarm of ravens kamikaze into target, dam + blindness

I have a whole bunch more. I make them up pretty quick. To me, the effects are secondary to the drama it lends to an encounter. I like grossing out/horrifying my PCs. Also, I tend to forget about DB for low levelish NPC scholars.

One thing I would like to see more of are spells that require extensive preparation--rituals, sacrifices, etc.
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Postby Voltumna » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:00 am

I think this a very cool thread, at least for us sorcery loving campers. I am sure there will be many good ideas here. However, rather than proposing new spells which would make a great topic for another thread, I think this one should stick to general sorcery rules and mechanics, and scholar's class abilities.

That said, I'll start with my comments on the rules ideas proposed so far.

Lilith’s Thrall

1.) I agree alchemical items should be more accessible, but I am not sure if fate points are the way to do it.
2.) HD limit = to caster level. To hypnotize higher level characters, preparation is required per normal hypnotism rules.
3.) Totally second this. Spell slots are few enough, and the concept is already used in several spells that have two or three different ways to cast it, like Dread serpent for instance. The suggested saving throw modifier for the more powerful uses of a spell, should diminish as the sorcerer increases magic attack bonus, or have a magic attack bonus prerequisite for more powerful uses of the spell.
4.) I do not know what these alternatives are, but would like to hear them, and I kind of like the idea of defensive blasts, although some sorcery styles version of it suck.
5.) The effects of the curses could get nastier as the magic attack bonus of the caster improves, or you could have a low level sorcerer cast a powerful curse, but he may need to temporarily sacrifice part of its power in it, maybe using a variation of the rule of obsession. I don’t quite remember the rules for cursing of Thieves’ World, but I think they were kind of cool.
6.) I like this idea, the sorcerous network is very cool. I plan on having my sorcerer character always on the look for the madrake root (per Hyboria’s Fiercest) to enter the network, heck maybe even grow it!!!
7.) I am unaware of the shapechange rules, but I agree that the character should remain basically the same plus abilities granted by the new form.

Spectator:

#8 To keep in line with LT’s #3, maybe more uses for existing spells. Hypnotic suggestion and Mass hypnotic suggestion already create minor illusions. Also some spells need reworking to make them more accessible, like the illusion spell on Secrets of Skelos however has very dire prerequisites.
#9 What I dislike about telekinesis is that if you can shatter a barrier as if you had humongous strength, that you can not use a telekinetic blast to attack opponents. There is a dumb earthquake spell now that throws characters off their feet, but in general, basic telekinesis is lacking versatility, what about levitation or flight? There were witches born in the air the night Thugra Kotan rose.
#10 I actually like Oriental magic, the supplements have expanded on the available spells. I have never tried in combat though, and it would be cool if there were more mind over body effects like metabolism control to counter weather effects, toxin effects, hibernate, super concentration, you get the idea.
#11 Conan’s necromancy really rocks, I like the sinister feel of the source book spells. I also would like to see immortality incorporated into it.
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Postby Spectator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:18 am

OK, I have to admit I can't say I totally dislike Oriental Magic.
I must say that the 1st ED Skrolls of Skelos had a great idea/ feats incorporated into it called "Meditation and Greater MEditation" which was only accessible if you knew the Oriental Magic discipline.

The concept was awesome since it allowed non-corrupt sorcerors a large amount of power points, incredibly quickly and without cost other than lost time spent meditating.
Again, that Discipline was very believable for me to have such a feat set attributed to it.
I would like to keep that concept.
Iwould tweek it to allow non-corrupt western sorcerors to access just "Meditation" if they did not have the Oriental MAgic Feat.

I always thought the divination style is given short-shrift; after all Knowledge is power. It would be great to have a spell for ferreting out lotus blossom in the dark jungle or gold nuggets in Pictish stream.

Sorceros should be rich due to thier uncanny ability to find treasures.
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Postby LilithsThrall » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:31 pm

My alternative to Thule's alternative to DB

Starting at first level, a Sorcerer gets Menacing Aura as a free feat.
In addition, a character shaken by this effect cannot attack the sorcerer unless attacked by the sorcerer first.
If the character fails a save, he can try a free reroll of the save once per round for the rest of the combat until he saves.
The sorcerer can use this power as often as he likes and can affect a character more than once in the same combat (though a character currently affected can't be affected again until he saves from the current effect).
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Postby Sutek » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:22 pm

I'll just jump in here real quick to say...

Raven is hereby barred from saying ANYTHING !!! (lol)

Seriously, just post a link and be done with it.

For those new to the forums, Raven's been working on a alternate magic system for Conan for like...years. It's very complete, quite different and much more nasty and realistic. Check it out, but I'd advise to keep this thread for tweaks and revisions to the existing and not like...entire alternate magic systems. That's a can or worms we don't need to open, unless you start a whole different thread for it.

...watching the watchmen...

8)
AE Errata Thread
"Occam's razor makes the cutting clean..."
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Postby LilithsThrall » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:41 pm

Voltumna wrote: *I am not sure if fate points are the way to do it.
*To hypnotize higher level characters, preparation is required per normal hypnotism rules.
*The suggested saving throw modifier for the more powerful uses of a spell, should diminish as the sorcerer increases magic attack bonus, or have a magic attack bonus prerequisite for more powerful uses of the spell.
*I do not know what these alternatives are, but would like to hear them, and I kind of like the idea of defensive blasts, although some sorcery styles version of it suck.
*he may need to temporarily sacrifice part of its power in it, maybe using a variation of the rule of obsession.
*I don’t quite remember the rules for cursing of Thieves’ World, but I think they were kind of cool.
*Oriental magic, the supplements have expanded on the available spells. I have never tried in combat though, and it would be cool if there were more mind over body effects like metabolism control to counter weather effects, toxin effects, hibernate, super concentration, you get the idea.
Do you have any specific objections to using Fate chips or is the idea just too radical?
I'd really like to not have GMs burdened with BBEG taken out by one bad roll. So, allowing hypnotize to affect higher level characters is something I'd like to stay away from
I'm actually working on an alternative to saving throw penalties - one based on making skill throws with higher DC for the bigger effects.
My alternative to DB is now posted in this thread.
Interesting idea to connect more powerful curses to the rule of obsession. I'd like to hear more.
I no nothing about Theives world.
I've had my concerns about Oriental magic, but I've not play tested the existing rules. I think the SRD for psionic warrior may be plundered for suggestions.
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Postby LilithsThrall » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:10 pm

12> Break sorcery spells into two lists; rituals and combat spells. Give these lists different rules as to when they are learned (perhaps one ritual every level and the caster needs to have already learned combat spell in the appropriate discipline)
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Postby Voltumna » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:20 am

LilithsThrall wrote: Do you have any specific objections to using Fate chips or is the idea just too radical?
I'd really like to not have GMs burdened with BBEG taken out by one bad roll. So, allowing hypnotize to affect higher level characters is something I'd like to stay away from
I'm actually working on an alternative to saving throw penalties - one based on making skill throws with higher DC for the bigger effects.
My alternative to DB is now posted in this thread.
Interesting idea to connect more powerful curses to the rule of obsession. I'd like to hear more.
I no nothing about Theives world.
I've had my concerns about Oriental magic, but I've not play tested the existing rules. I think the SRD for psionic warrior may be plundered for suggestions.
What exactly does spending a fate point to gain alchemical items mean? Do you just say I spend a fate point to find lotus smoke bombs or a potion of hibernation? Or will it be up to the game master to say what kind of substance you end up getting, maybe something totally useless for the current situation? I think that’s the problem I have with fate points for this purpose. On the other hand, putting the character in a position to get the kind of stuff he needs is very well in line with destiny under the current rules of fate points. But then, always being able to get that extremely rare substance is a bit far fetched.

I don’t know, I actually don’t have any suggestions as to how to fix alchemy. Also, to create alchemical items, preparations also have a skill rank prerequisite. I think I have seen that some real cool alchemical recipes start at skill rank 10, that means 7th character level. I think that this limit can be overcome by the use of alchemical tomes that contain instructions for the preparations, just as sorcerers can now cast spells they don’t know from sorcerous tomes. I once saw some sort of Acheronian alchemical stuff that required 25 skill ranks of Craft (Alchemy), how do you attain that kind of skill if at 20th level you can only have 23 skill ranks?

Regarding hypnotism target level caps, making it equal to the caster’s level is a fair trade for those spells that have mid level limits (6,8,12,16th level) as you can still use them on targets that are your same level when you get past those points. While it is bad that most of the “basic” hypnotism spells that have the level cap, are not usable on characters of higher level than yours, there are still other hypnotism spells that don’t have level limits. The bummer for me with the basic ones is that they conform the stereotypical hypnotist powers. I think a good exception to this could be willing or subdued targets, like in Conan the Destroyer, when Taramis leads Conan to believe he can be reunited with Valeria. I don’t know if Conan is of higher level than Taramis or the opposite, he falls for Taramis illusion because the witch sees in Conan that weakness, and uses it against him. Bluff, diplomacy and intimidation may play a part in hypnotism in this way.

Sinister presence is a cool ability, maybe reputation should play a part in it too.
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Postby Spectator » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:00 pm

VOLTUMNA wrote:
I think a good exception to this could be willing or subdued targets, like in Conan the Destroyer, when Taramis leads Conan to believe he can be reunited with Valeria. I don’t know if Conan is of higher level than Taramis or the opposite, he falls for Taramis illusion because the witch sees in Conan that weakness, and uses it against him. Bluff, diplomacy and intimidation may play a part in hypnotism in this way.


I totally agree. The Spell in 1sr Ed. skrolls of Skelos was Enslave. It was a brilliant spell that required physical chemistry of the oopposite sex and some good old fashioned whiskey and black lotus.
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Postby LilithsThrall » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:06 pm

Voltumna wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote: Do you have any specific objections to using Fate chips or is the idea just too radical?
I'd really like to not have GMs burdened with BBEG taken out by one bad roll. So, allowing hypnotize to affect higher level characters is something I'd like to stay away from
I'm actually working on an alternative to saving throw penalties - one based on making skill throws with higher DC for the bigger effects.
My alternative to DB is now posted in this thread.
Interesting idea to connect more powerful curses to the rule of obsession. I'd like to hear more.
I no nothing about Theives world.
I've had my concerns about Oriental magic, but I've not play tested the existing rules. I think the SRD for psionic warrior may be plundered for suggestions.
What exactly does spending a fate point to gain alchemical items mean? Do you just say I spend a fate point to find lotus smoke bombs or a potion of hibernation? Or will it be up to the game master to say what kind of substance you end up getting, maybe something totally useless for the current situation? I think that’s the problem I have with fate points for this purpose. On the other hand, putting the character in a position to get the kind of stuff he needs is very well in line with destiny under the current rules of fate points. But then, always being able to get that extremely rare substance is a bit far fetched.

I don’t know, I actually don’t have any suggestions as to how to fix alchemy. Also, to create alchemical items, preparations also have a skill rank prerequisite. I think I have seen that some real cool alchemical recipes start at skill rank 10, that means 7th character level. I think that this limit can be overcome by the use of alchemical tomes that contain instructions for the preparations, just as sorcerers can now cast spells they don’t know from sorcerous tomes. I once saw some sort of Acheronian alchemical stuff that required 25 skill ranks of Craft (Alchemy), how do you attain that kind of skill if at 20th level you can only have 23 skill ranks?

Regarding hypnotism target level caps, making it equal to the caster’s level is a fair trade for those spells that have mid level limits (6,8,12,16th level) as you can still use them on targets that are your same level when you get past those points. While it is bad that most of the “basic” hypnotism spells that have the level cap, are not usable on characters of higher level than yours, there are still other hypnotism spells that don’t have level limits. The bummer for me with the basic ones is that they conform the stereotypical hypnotist powers. I think a good exception to this could be willing or subdued targets, like in Conan the Destroyer, when Taramis leads Conan to believe he can be reunited with Valeria. I don’t know if Conan is of higher level than Taramis or the opposite, he falls for Taramis illusion because the witch sees in Conan that weakness, and uses it against him. Bluff, diplomacy and intimidation may play a part in hypnotism in this way.

Sinister presence is a cool ability, maybe reputation should play a part in it too.
When doing a team brainstorming session, it is counter productive to focus on how something doesn't work. Do you have any suggestions as to how alchemy can be based on fate chips instead of silver in a way that works?

You suggest using Hypnotism on targets who have more levels than the caster as long as the target is willing or subdued and as long as the target fails a diplomacy/bluff/intimidate check. What could such a Hypnotize effect do that is over and above what was accomplished by the diplomacy/bluff/intimidate?
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Postby Voltumna » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:11 pm

LilithsThrall wrote: When doing a team brainstorming session, it is counter productive to focus on how something doesn't work. Do you have any suggestions as to how alchemy can be based on fate chips instead of silver in a way that works?

You suggest using Hypnotism on targets who have more levels than the caster as long as the target is willing or subdued and as long as the target fails a diplomacy/bluff/intimidate check. What could such a Hypnotize effect do that is over and above what was accomplished by the diplomacy/bluff/intimidate?
I already said I don't have any suggestions for that. I also said that some uses of fate points to get alchemy may be already in line with fate point uses described in the book, so no objections there. in the example of the book a dagger can be sneaked into prison to the character being held there, this gives him a chance to escape. so yeah, a fate point could put you in contact with someone that has some alchemy you could steal or buy. the problem is when things get arbitrary and don't work smoothly with the story. so far there is only the suggestion of using fate points for this purpose, but are there more elaborate ideas as to how this may work?

magic has to have an advantage over mere skill uses, or why use it to begin with.
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Postby LilithsThrall » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:34 pm

Voltumna wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote: When doing a team brainstorming session, it is counter productive to focus on how something doesn't work. Do you have any suggestions as to how alchemy can be based on fate chips instead of silver in a way that works?

You suggest using Hypnotism on targets who have more levels than the caster as long as the target is willing or subdued and as long as the target fails a diplomacy/bluff/intimidate check. What could such a Hypnotize effect do that is over and above what was accomplished by the diplomacy/bluff/intimidate?
I already said I don't have any suggestions for that. I also said that some uses of fate points to get alchemy may be already in line with fate point uses described in the book, so no objections there. in the example of the book a dagger can be sneaked into prison to the character being held there, this gives him a chance to escape. so yeah, a fate point could put you in contact with someone that has some alchemy you could steal or buy. the problem is when things get arbitrary and don't work smoothly with the story. so far there is only the suggestion of using fate points for this purpose, but are there more elaborate ideas as to how this may work?

magic has to have an advantage over mere skill uses, or why use it to begin with.
I think you might be missing that the suggestion was to use fate chips instead of silver, not to supplement silver. So I'm not so concerned about the Sorcerer stealing the alchemical item from someone else. One option is that every alchemical item costs one fate chip. The Sorcerer, during his time in the lab, pays one fate chip, then he makes his alchemy skill check (more powerful items have higher DCs). If he makes the DC, he makes the item. If he fails the skill roll, he doesn't make the item and he loses the fate chip. In any case, there is no silver cost.

I don't believe magic should be more powerful than what is possible with skills. Elsewise, you run into balance issues between skill-based and magic-based characters. Magic should be different, even exotic, but not necessarily more powerful.
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Postby Vortigern » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:29 am

I don't feel that alchemical items, or any material items, are worth a fate point.

The example with the dagger being snuck into prison is valid 'only' because it is being snuck into prison and gives the character a chance to make good an escape. It is the chance to avoid death/prison that is relevant.

No one would ever spend a fate point for that dagger if they were standing in the middle of a market where they could walk over and buy one.

To me, the same is for the alchemical items.

If I'm a scholar who is about to get killed, blowing a fate point to get an alchemical item to save myself is worth it. Paying a fate point just to regularly produce the item I feel is not an even trade. Fate points in my experience are much more rare than that, and of plot bending value greater than something just to flesh out your equipment list.

I'm in favor of keeping the base values of the alchemical items the same but giving scholars some sort of modifier by which to divide it, perhaps based on their scholar class level. That way the items stay rare and expensive for everyone else, but get much easier to get for the people that 'should' have them. And I don't see a problem with that causing a bit of proliferation of such things amongst scholars. That is the preferred outcome actually IMO.
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Postby Krushnak » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:40 am

well the alchemical items are free if you collect the materials yourself and choose to work with sub-par tools.
I don't feel that alchemical items, or any material items, are worth a fate point.
i agree. also if you are using/going to use this will it work for non scholars? ie can a soldier who has armour-crafting use a fate point to just make plate armour without spending any silver?
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Postby LilithsThrall » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:04 am

Vortigern wrote:I don't feel that alchemical items, or any material items, are worth a fate point.

The example with the dagger being snuck into prison is valid 'only' because it is being snuck into prison and gives the character a chance to make good an escape. It is the chance to avoid death/prison that is relevant.

No one would ever spend a fate point for that dagger if they were standing in the middle of a market where they could walk over and buy one.

To me, the same is for the alchemical items.

If I'm a scholar who is about to get killed, blowing a fate point to get an alchemical item to save myself is worth it. Paying a fate point just to regularly produce the item I feel is not an even trade. Fate points in my experience are much more rare than that, and of plot bending value greater than something just to flesh out your equipment list.

I'm in favor of keeping the base values of the alchemical items the same but giving scholars some sort of modifier by which to divide it, perhaps based on their scholar class level. That way the items stay rare and expensive for everyone else, but get much easier to get for the people that 'should' have them. And I don't see a problem with that causing a bit of proliferation of such things amongst scholars. That is the preferred outcome actually IMO.
I think there are two related problems to consider; alchemical items cost too much for low-level characters, and they cost too little for high-level characters. Don't believe me? Count up how many damage die a high-level sorcerer with ready access to kothic demon fire and greater telekinesis can do in one round. How will you make such items harder for high level sorcerers to get by lowering the silver cost?
Could the value of fate chips be compensated by increasing the value of the items?
And I'd make this an ability only scholars had access to.

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