The Concert Skill

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alex_greene
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The Concert Skill

Postby alex_greene » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:19 am

If you don't have Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic yet, Concert is a magical skill. It should be the third magical skill to go alongside Grimoire and Manipulation as a core rulebook magical skill, IMO, and it can also be learned by Divine Magic and Spirit Magic casters.

The mechanic in Blood Magic looks complicated, if you are a newcomer to fantasy roleplaying games, but basically multiple casters can get together, ritually form a gestalt consciousness whose purpose is casting a megaspell far beyond one sorcerer's abilities to cast, and pool their Sorcery and Manipulation skills together to produce an effect with a massive punch; an effect to protect a city, to poke a big hole in a mountainous golem or to charm and enslave every orc on the planet.

The mechanic can be summarised as:-

1. The team leader declares a Concert, and the group gathers and makes preparations.
2. The gestalt takes 1 minute per participant to form. Everybody pools their Concert skills into one big skill, which the leader rolls to form the Concert.
3. Everybody pools together their Intensity and Manipulation points as "Concert points." The maximum number of Concert points available is one-tenth the pooled Concert skill level.
4. Everybody spends Magic Points or casts the same Divine spell.
5. The team leader forms the spell and casts it (normal casting time). The spell is not rolled separately; the result of the pooled Concert skill is the result applied to the casting of the spell.
6. The team leader allocates Concert points into Intensity and Manipulation factors such as Range, Duration and so on.

I think the system can be simplified somewhat.

2. The gestalt takes 1 minute per participant to form. Everybody pools their Concert skills into one big skill, which the leader uses. The maximum number of participants is equal to one-tenth of the pooled Concert skill, rounded up.
3. Everybody pools together their Intensity and Manipulation points as "Concert points."

The cap would be on the number of participants, not on the maximum power of the spell.
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alex_greene
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby alex_greene » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:20 am

Handling Critical Successes and Fumbles

Forming The Concert: If the team leader rolls a Critical Success to form the Concert, every other participant spends 1 Magic Point tops, or if it is a Divine Magic spell then their learned spells do not fade from memory afterwards and can be reused.

If the team leader fails the Concert roll, nothing happens. The concert never forms.

If the team leader fumbles the Concert roll, the concert never forms - and never can form with those participants. Something about them antagonises one another, and they can never again let down their personal defences enough to bring the others in close enough to work together to cast another concert spell.

A Concert skill fumble can lead to the death of that cult, because they'll never again be able to work closely with one another in anything.

I know that the result doesn't sound as sexy as big blasts that lay waste to swathes of countryside for 300 years, but it's a realistic outcome.
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Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:02 pm

Rather than have it be an automatic "can't work together", I would think that they can still work together, but must make a separate Concert roll for each person from the original group, in addition to their regular Concert roll. Yes, that could be a lot of rolling, but it makes them "force" the Concert every time those people are involved. If any of the Concert rolls fail, then the Concert fails...

Personally, I don't like a single Fumble affecting everyone automatically like you have it, but it is a personal taste thing.

For example: What if "I" roll a Critical Success, to join the Concert, but then the leader Fumbles... ????
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alex_greene
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby alex_greene » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:08 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Rather than have it be an automatic "can't work together", I would think that they can still work together, but must make a separate Concert roll for each person from the original group, in addition to their regular Concert roll. Yes, that could be a lot of rolling, but it makes them "force" the Concert every time those people are involved. If any of the Concert rolls fail, then the Concert fails...

Personally, I don't like a single Fumble affecting everyone automatically like you have it, but it is a personal taste thing.

For example: What if "I" roll a Critical Success, to join the Concert, but then the leader Fumbles... ????
What if you're the Leader, and all the others are NPCs?
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alex_greene
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby alex_greene » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:09 pm

There could be additional rules for entering a gestalt while it is being formed, for leaving a concert or being forced out while it is being formed or once it has been formed; but as with all rules, it boils down to:-

- Who gets to roll;
- What do they roll;
- What are the modifiers;
- What are the conditions for Critical Success, Success, Failure and Fumble;
- What overrides do the Gamesmasters have?

There are all sorts of options and possibilities, and while those were covered in the same book they do seem to muddle up the simplicity of the thing somewhat.

- Friendly force wishing to join a forming gestalt (slots available)
- Friendly force wishing to join a gestalt that has formed;
- Attempt to disrupt a forming gestalt, within or without;
- Attempt to disrupt a gestalt between its formation and the casting of the spell, within or without;

- Success of the spellcasting.

- Effectiveness of the concert-cast spell against a concert-cast protection spell (they can cast those as concerts too).
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Prime_Evil
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby Prime_Evil » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:36 pm

I recommend that the impact of a failed Concert Casting roll should be proportional to the margin of failure - this could be anything from a minor embarrassment to a catastrophic event.

Also, I recommend that the difficulty of the Concert casting roll should be related to the size of the gestalt. A larger group of participants can perform more impressive ritual magic, but is harder to coordinate and the energies conjured are more difficult to control. After all, it only takes one apprentice to sneeze at the wrong moment....

For me, the classic example of a fumbled Concert Casting roll is the Turning in Andre Norton's Witch World series where the Witches of Estcarp attempted to perform a massive ritual to halt an invasion. Unfortunately, the ceremonial casting goes terribly wrong and wipes out an entire generation of the ruling caste of spellcasters. The survivors of the backlash are left insane or crippled by the experience.
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Re: The Concert Skill

Postby soltakss » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:58 am

I am using the Concert skill for metaconcerts in Legend:SciFi, it seems to work, but I need to playtest it to make sure. It is good to know that the skill works for magic and psionics.
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