Changes to sorcery

Discover the Legend RPG, Mongoose's fantasy game.
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Changes to sorcery

Postby Dan True » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:23 pm

I have come to the conclusion, that I need to make some changes to Sorcery to power it down. I am of course most concerned for doing this in the Eberron conversion, but it may prove to be useful as houserules to others who think Sorcery is to powerful.

I have been thinking of implementing some or all of the following changes:

1. Halving the effect of all spells that depend on level in Sorcery. (e.g. enhance only enhances 1 point per 10% of the caster's sorcery skill). Maybe only do this for some spells (damage enhancement, enhance, shapechange, wrack ...).
2. Allow sorcerers to choose what effect up to their skill they cast the spell with (so a sorcerer with 80% in sorcery can cast a spell with 1-80% effect). And then demanding that spells costs 1 MP extra to cast when effect exceeds 49%, 99% etc. (e.g. casting a spell at effect 55% would require 2 MP + any from manipulation).
3. Allowing cheap magic items that protect against magic (sort of a hack ... and not a very good solution).
4. Remove magic reserve. I don't really have a problem with magic reserve, as it only allows sorcerers to to stuff more often (which allows dungeons fx, since they're not one-trick-ponies anymore), without boosting the power of the individual castings.
Also, magic reserve is introduced to fit Eberron, where magic is abundant, but very low key.
5. Make grimoires smaller.


Do any of you have any suggestions or comments on these? I would like to hear your experiences with sorcery, and it's power level.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Ultor
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:16 am
Location: Calydonian Boar Hunt
Contact:

Postby Ultor » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:09 am

I think making Grimoires smaller is the way to go. Four spells per Grimoire is probably best.
Still waiting for Games Workshop's contribution to Questworld

The Rune Under Water: an occasional Runequest blog http://runeunderwater.blogspot.com/
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:23 am

Ultor wrote:I think making Grimoires smaller is the way to go. Four spells per Grimoire is probably best.
But this hardly solves the problem that a sorcerer with Shapechange and Enhance(int) can turn into a Wyrm after 4 sessions. But yes, it might still be a way to limit sorcery.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Simulacrum
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 386
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:23 pm

Postby Simulacrum » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:13 am

I also think Blood Magic could help here, as it talks about alternative ways to "pay" for magical feats and effects. Certain types of magic maybe more "expensive" in your world. For example a shape change human to [a creature that comes with some exotic traits or abilities - such as a wyrm] costs a bit of the caster's should or life-force. Every time you use it there's a chance that a point of POW is permanently lost, or an immediate Age roll is required. Or in some worlds a slowly accumulating chance of acquiring a chaotic feature.

Alternatively, keep those restrictions cultural. Any powerful magic enacted outside he context of religion is regarded as dangerous - like your neighbour playing with noxious chemicals or radioactive material. So your sorcerer's problem is that every time he does something big and flashy with his magic it might get noticed. And he has to deal with yet another pitchfork wielding mob, or visit from the local authorities who take a dim view of such goings on.
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:16 am

Simulacrum wrote:I also think Blood Magic could help here, as it talks about alternative ways to "pay" for magical feats and effects. Certain types of magic maybe more "expensive" in your world. For example a shape change human to [a creature that comes with some exotic traits or abilities - such as a wyrm] costs a bit of the caster's should or life-force. Every time you use it there's a chance that a point of POW is permanently lost, or an immediate Age roll is required. Or in some worlds a slowly accumulating chance of acquiring a chaotic feature.

Alternatively, keep those restrictions cultural. Any powerful magic enacted outside he context of religion is regarded as dangerous - like your neighbour playing with noxious chemicals or radioactive material. So your sorcerer's problem is that every time he does something big and flashy with his magic it might get noticed. And he has to deal with yet another pitchfork wielding mob, or visit from the local authorities who take a dim view of such goings on.
Great ideas, and especially the last one is the way I believe Glorantha handles it? "some spells are powerful, but they are equally tough to find". Might work for someone playing in a more standard runequest world.
The problem for me personally is that neither of these two things are very Eberron-like.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Mongoose Pete
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 6:36 am
Location: Boden, Sweden

Postby Mongoose Pete » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:57 pm

Dan True wrote:Great ideas, and especially the last one is the way I believe Glorantha handles it? "some spells are powerful, but they are equally tough to find". Might work for someone playing in a more standard runequest world.
The problem for me personally is that neither of these two things are very Eberron-like.
I'm not really sure what Eberron is like, but being a D&D setting isn't magic supposed to be big and flashy? :)

Anyway, it seems like the problem is more along the lines of sorcerers becoming too powerful, too quickly. If so, you can easily halve the 'effect' of sorcery spells as you suggested, although some will be a little out of balance.

Alternatively, you could simply place a starting cap on Sorcery skills. Limiting a sorcerer to 50% or less at the start of a campaign will solve a lot of issues, allowing the PC to grow into their strength more gradually. Would that work for you?
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward
Deleriad
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Deleriad » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:45 pm

Another quick and really dirty way to systematically de-power sorcery is to have the effect level of the spell to be based on the spell roll not the skill.

E.g. a sorcerer knows Enhance (INT) at 75% and rolls 34. The sorcerer gains +8 to INT for rolling 34. (34/10 = 3.4 = 4. 4*2 = +8 INT).

On a critical the sorcerer gains the full effect of the spell. E.g. Skill 92% rolls 07. Gets +20 INT.

You might want to allow sorcerers with a skill above 100 to add the difference. E.g. sorcerer with skill 117% can add 2 "levels of effect" to any spell cast (117-100 = 17. 17/10 = 1.7=+2)

Finally you could add a new Manipulation called Potency. Each point of Potency adds +1 level of effect to a spell (but can't exceed the normal maximum).
E.g. Sorcerer with Enhance (INT) 75% and Manipulation 50%. Uses Manipulation to add +5 levels to his spell. rolls 41. Normally that would give 5 levels but he adds an extra 5 from his Manipulation. This is enough for 10 levels but his maximum is 8 so he gets a total of 16 INT.
The game effect of this is that a sorcerer has to spend an extra Magic Point to make their magic more reliable.

If you don't want a new manipulation, you could say that Magnitude adds levels of effect as well as increasing a spell's magnitude (with the same limits as above).
PhilHibbs
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:45 pm

Postby PhilHibbs » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:37 pm

Good suggestions, Deleriad. I don't think I liked the roll-based potency before but I'm warming to it - although I don't find the need for it in my game just now, and I don't like to take things away from players once they've had it. I halved the effect of Enhance Characteristic right from the start because I thought it was a bit OTT though. If anyone finds it to be too powerful in game then they could halve it as the consequence of a major backlash against a God Learner experiment. That goes against the general principle I mentioned earlier but it's ok if there's an in-game justification.
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:06 pm

Mongoose Pete wrote: I'm not really sure what Eberron is like, but being a D&D setting isn't magic supposed to be big and flashy? :)
Well, Eberron has an abundance of magic, but usually low-level. Spells level 1-3 are pretty common, level 4 are rare but accessible, 5-6 is very rare and 7+ have only been cast by mortals very few times (that kind of power belongs to the dragons of Argonessen, or the Giant Empires of ancient Xen'Drik).
Mongoose Pete wrote: Anyway, it seems like the problem is more along the lines of sorcerers becoming too powerful, too quickly. If so, you can easily halve the 'effect' of sorcery spells as you suggested, although some will be a little out of balance.
This is also the one I am clinging most too... Do you have any immediate concers as to what will be thrown out of balance?
Mongoose Pete wrote: Alternatively, you could simply place a starting cap on Sorcery skills. Limiting a sorcerer to 50% or less at the start of a campaign will solve a lot of issues, allowing the PC to grow into their strength more gradually. Would that work for you?
Hmm, it may be a possibility - but I would personally find it a bit annoying if I were a player myself. But might be okay, but I tend to favour the halv-effect one.
Deleriad wrote:Another quick and really dirty way to systematically de-power sorcery is to have the effect level of the spell to be based on the spell roll not the skill.

E.g. a sorcerer knows Enhance (INT) at 75% and rolls 34. The sorcerer gains +8 to INT for rolling 34. (34/10 = 3.4 = 4. 4*2 = +8 INT).

On a critical the sorcerer gains the full effect of the spell. E.g. Skill 92% rolls 07. Gets +20 INT.

You might want to allow sorcerers with a skill above 100 to add the difference. E.g. sorcerer with skill 117% can add 2 "levels of effect" to any spell cast (117-100 = 17. 17/10 = 1.7=+2)
Good idea. I would jump at it if I were converting Warhammer or another world where magic is unpredicable.
Deleriad wrote: If you don't want a new manipulation, you could say that Magnitude adds levels of effect as well as increasing a spell's magnitude (with the same limits as above).
I've been thinking of this too, and it seems like a good alternative to the half-effect one.
I will try to do the number crunching to see which one is most balanced.

Sadly it doesn't in itself solve the problem. A sorcerer can still turn into a wyrm, by boosting only magnitude (POW minutes for basic duration, is still in itself a long time in battle).

But great suggestions all :) As far as I have understood form other threads, I am not the only one thinking sorcery is a bit on the imba side. So this thread can give inspiration to others in the same shoes as I.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Deleriad
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Deleriad » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:38 pm

I don't personally have a problem with the default power level for sorcery. I do have a dislike of the Enhance STAT spells, especially Enhance POW. I know Shapechange to Wyrm is a popular spell (one of my players runs his own scenarios with friends and that spell features strongly) but I'm happy for players to start with characters who have something awesome they can do.

On the other hand, every setting calls for some tweaks. I don't know Eberron but if magic is supposed to be fairly rare and fairly weak then clearly you need to modify magic accordingly.

For example in a world with "Vancian" style magic a spell is completely fixed. You could simulate that in RQ by not having access to the "raw" sorcery spells but only to formula which are specific examples of spells and manipulations.

For example the spell "Giant's strength" might be: STR +16, SIZ +16, Castable at Range up to 100m. That would actually be Enhance STR, Enhance SIZ, combined and given Range +1. To cast it you would to know the Grimoire at 71%+ and at least 2 levels of Manipulation and it would cost you 3 MPs. Even if your Grimoire skill or Manipulation skill is higher you would get no additional benefit.
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:01 pm

Deleriad wrote:I don't personally have a problem with the default power level for sorcery. I do have a dislike of the Enhance STAT spells, especially Enhance POW. I know Shapechange to Wyrm is a popular spell (one of my players runs his own scenarios with friends and that spell features strongly) but I'm happy for players to start with characters who have something awesome they can do.
I don't really have a problem with players doing awesome stuff - even from the beginning - but the sorcerer can pretty much outshine any melee-oriented character with that spell ... But maybe the problem is only with that spell (and enhance), instead of with sorcery in general.
Deleriad wrote: On the other hand, every setting calls for some tweaks. I don't know Eberron but if magic is supposed to be fairly rare and fairly weak then clearly you need to modify magic accordingly.
Low-key magic isn't rare - it exists in abundance, it illuminates streets, heats food, provides communication and transportation etc -but powerful "turn myself into a 9 metre long wyrm"-magic is very rare, at least for mortals.

But before I start changing sorcery and pulling spells from my players, I'll try to handle it in-game ... all city guard officers will have a wand of Neutralise Magic.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Deleriad
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Deleriad » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:16 pm

Dan True wrote: But before I start changing sorcery and pulling spells from my players, I'll try to handle it in-game ... all city guard officers will have a wand of Neutralise Magic.

- Dan
Ha! That will be rather funny. "Fear the mighty wyrm! Hear me roar! Rawwr! uh oh, *cough* Umm has anyone seen my underwear?"
Mixster
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:12 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby Mixster » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:41 pm

Dan True wrote:
Mongoose Pete wrote: I'm not really sure what Eberron is like, but being a D&D setting isn't magic supposed to be big and flashy? :)
Well, Eberron has an abundance of magic, but usually low-level. Spells level 1-3 are pretty common, level 4 are rare but accessible, 5-6 is very rare and 7+ have only been cast by mortals very few times (that kind of power belongs to the dragons of Argonessen, or the Giant Empires of ancient Xen'Drik).
But that's not really a proper way to write it.
Already at level 2 spells in D&D The game gets broken, at level 4 spells, it gets silly and above that wizards usually stops caring about what's happening around them. They are crazy good in any D&D based setting. The fact that WoTC never realised this is just silly. Neither did the makers of Ebberron apparently.

Eberron is an awesome world, but from a D&D perspective it makes as little sense as all of their settings.
I don't really have a problem with players doing awesome stuff - even from the beginning - but the sorcerer can pretty much outshine any melee-oriented character with that spell ... But maybe the problem is only with that spell (and enhance), instead of with sorcery in general.
I've been thinking about this a good deal, and I think the problem lies with the melee oriented character.
If you are ignoring some of your stats to the extent that you ignore POW, if you play Runequest and don't get spells, people that use those stats will clearly outshine you.
Another quick and really dirty way to systematically de-power sorcery is to have the effect level of the spell to be based on the spell roll not the skill.

E.g. a sorcerer knows Enhance (INT) at 75% and rolls 34. The sorcerer gains +8 to INT for rolling 34. (34/10 = 3.4 = 4. 4*2 = +8 INT).

On a critical the sorcerer gains the full effect of the spell. E.g. Skill 92% rolls 07. Gets +20 INT.

You might want to allow sorcerers with a skill above 100 to add the difference. E.g. sorcerer with skill 117% can add 2 "levels of effect" to any spell cast (117-100 = 17. 17/10 = 1.7=+2)

Finally you could add a new Manipulation called Potency. Each point of Potency adds +1 level of effect to a spell (but can't exceed the normal maximum).
E.g. Sorcerer with Enhance (INT) 75% and Manipulation 50%. Uses Manipulation to add +5 levels to his spell. rolls 41. Normally that would give 5 levels but he adds an extra 5 from his Manipulation. This is enough for 10 levels but his maximum is 8 so he gets a total of 16 INT.
The game effect of this is that a sorcerer has to spend an extra Magic Point to make their magic more reliable.

If you don't want a new manipulation, you could say that Magnitude adds levels of effect as well as increasing a spell's magnitude (with the same limits as above).
I quite like this trick, sorcery as it is now is very secure.

---

All in all I think people around these forums have a big focus on sorcery, and while I initially agreed that sorcery was the most powerful magic in the system, I quickly turned my head and saw something else, Divine Magic.
Do you realise how crazy good divine magic is? Starting with Acolyte ranking and thus 75% of your POW dedicated, is sort of basic. Which means a character who has put like a 12 in POW could prepare 9 spells.
And these spells are all easily the power of a 2 or 3 magic point sorcery spell. They are often multi target spells that are devastating, or buff spells that are both more powerful than their sorcery counterparts, and can be made to last indefinately. Better yet, all the spells take a single CA to cast, as opposed to sorcery, where the big effects cost at least 3 or 4 CA.

Also, while sorcery takes an entire skill per 4 spells you want to learn, you can just throw in 2-3 Improvement rolls to get more Divine spells.

And then there is spirit magic, once you wrap your head around it, it is pretty good.
First you get 200 skill points for you fetch, and then you can also get it's extra reserve of magic points, which can easily be 13, meaning you have around double the normal amount of magic points.
Then if the spirit he has is of a kind that can discorporate his enemies, it can initiate spirit combat. In spirit combat, you need two advanced skills to fight it, if you don't have them, you are pretty much screwed. Then the guy with the bear who just used 1 or 2 magic points to command his spirit to eat you.

I think the detriment towards sorcery is by comparing it to hitting someone with a sword, or by comparing it to common magic. I don't think it should be. I think sorcery is pretty balanced against Spirit Magic and Divine Magic.

In any setting were magic exists, people who refuse the use of it will be weaker in most fights. This is were I love Glorantha the most, everybody can do some form of magic, because those that can't are extinct.

---

Outside of Glorantha, I think what I'd do to sorcery is this:
Remove the Grimoires, they are mainly a glorantha thing anyway. Sorcerers now know one spell per 50% Sorcery they have, so 0-50% gives 1, 51-100% gives 2, and so on. Any spell a sorcerer doesn't know he can cast from a scroll, but each scroll only has a set number of charges, before it cannot be used by that sorcerer anymore.
A sorcerer advancing his Sorcery skill wont be getting more spells automatically but will have to find them in scrolls.
The sorcerer can use a week in study with a scroll to remove an old spell from his knowledge and get a new one, essentially preparing new spells.

This way, sorcery is powerful and magic, but the DM has a good say in what spells the sorcerer can get, and he has a very limited number of spells at the ready at all times. Yes a sorcerer could have Enhance Int and Shapechange, but the only thing he'd be doing in a combat was turning into different creatures, and turning into a wyrm is very inversatile. I mainly use it when there is enough space, which is rare unless you are outdoors at all times. If I was fighting a sorcerer who turned into a wyrm, I'd hide inside a house, under a tree or in a dungeon. NPCs should think like that.
Meep Meep
Loz
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2087
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:34 pm

Postby Loz » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:18 pm

To me, the best way to put the brakes on sorcery is to increase its MP cost. Instead of 1 MP per manipulation type, make it 1 MP per degree of inensity (grimoire/10). So sure, a sorcerer at a grimoire of 80% can cast that Wrack with 8 levels of manipulation, but that's an 8 MP cost on top of the 1 point needed for the basic level of the spell.

You can also...
  • Ban some spells to fit the Eberron setting...
    Give some grimoires a minimum INT to be able to learn - in fact, you could do that for individual spells in a grimoire too.
    Give learning a grimoire some really unpleasant side effects, like always gaining a level of fatigue when casting from a grimoire - no Resilience roll allowed.
I think creative ways of powering down sorcery are more elegant than overly tinkering with the mechanics.
What am I supposed to say?
Where are the words to answer you,
When you talk that way?


Rush - Spindrift
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sun May 01, 2011 7:20 am

Mixster wrote:
Dan True wrote: But that's not really a proper way to write it.
Already at level 2 spells in D&D The game gets broken, at level 4 spells, it gets silly and above that wizards usually stops caring about what's happening around them. They are crazy good in any D&D based setting. The fact that WoTC never realised this is just silly. Neither did the makers of Ebberron apparently.
It's because game designers typically are not min/maxers ;)
Mixster wrote: I've been thinking about this a good deal, and I think the problem lies with the melee oriented character.
If you are ignoring some of your stats to the extent that you ignore POW, if you play Runequest and don't get spells, people that use those stats will clearly outshine you.
But you can't solve it by just saying everyone needs to plays sorcerers. Some people don't like that kind of gaming style. Plus, I think there is a pretty good balance between meleers and casters because the caster don't wear armour (in Eberron). If you once get caught before you have time to cast a spell, one crossbow bolt aimed at you is a major threat... so you need those meleers to stop that from happening.

I am still not sure what precisely my problem is aimed at, and I need to figure that out before I change anything - so for now I will be handling it in-game. But this is partly why I wanted this discussin - I feel there is a problem somewhere, but I am not sure where it lies - with sorcery in general or with shapecange and enchance.

But of course, your specific sorcerer is also very focused on doing this trick, and can hardly do anything else. If I had created a sorcerer I would have taken general-purpose spells such as Detect, mystic vision etc. to allow to solve other kind of things. You can do nothing of this, so perhaps it is alright - as you're basically just another melee-oriented character - who can loose his strength and natural armour.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Deleriad
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Deleriad » Sun May 01, 2011 9:39 am

I think the divine magic comment is a good one. One of the PCs in my campaign has a sylph (8m3), wind mastery and lightning strike, Wind Mastery effectively reads "Everything around stops" and has become known as going nuclear. It doesn't look like much when you read the text until you see it in play and think through the implications.

As a GM, RQII magic is quite challenging. It's somewhat like the challenge of running a modern scenario with high explosives. It is capable of killing indiscriminately. The last session featured the PCs in a knock-down fight against a creature stitched together out of 4 sorcerers by Delecti. The PCs went through 14 hero points between them and one still ended up with a major wound to the right arm before the sylph finally won the day.

What is interesting about running a full-scale magical battle is that sorcery is comparatively slow. Those two to three CA spells are a luxury and as most happens at range almost every spell costs 2 MPs. A sorcerer needs allies to buy him time.
Mixster
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:12 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby Mixster » Sun May 01, 2011 4:05 pm

Dan True wrote: But you can't solve it by just saying everyone needs to plays sorcerers.
Some people don't like that kind of gaming style. Plus, I think there is a pretty good balance between meleers and casters because the caster don't wear armour (in Eberron). If you once get caught before you have time to cast a spell, one crossbow bolt aimed at you is a major threat... so you need those meleers to stop that from happening.
That's not my argument. My argument is that if you ignore some of your stats, those that use them will have an edge towards you.
Also, the sentiment of playing style is to me a pretty moot point. I think this stems from D&D or Lord of the rings were people view everything that uses magic as some kind of frail old wizard. RQII isn't set to be such a system. Common magic should be pretty common among player character (hence the name), or having POW as a stat on even footing with Dex doesn't make sense at all. You might want to play a brutish thug, but there are common magic spells that help that sentiment.
My argument is that RQII basically assumes you will use your stats. Anything else would be silly from a min/maxers point of view anyway.

I am still not sure what precisely my problem is aimed at, and I need to figure that out before I change anything - so for now I will be handling it in-game. But this is partly why I wanted this discussin - I feel there is a problem somewhere, but I am not sure where it lies - with sorcery in general or with shapecange and enchance.

But of course, your specific sorcerer is also very focused on doing this trick, and can hardly do anything else. If I had created a sorcerer I would have taken general-purpose spells such as Detect, mystic vision etc. to allow to solve other kind of things. You can do nothing of this, so perhaps it is alright - as you're basically just another melee-oriented character - who can loose his strength and natural armour.
Actually, I was focused around doing multiple useful things, in and out of combat until you changed my Grimoire, then I just decided on the spells I had used the most, which was enhance, and shapechange. Also because I wanted a Gish Character. Since they are my favorite type of D&D character to play.

I don't think the problem lies with Sorcery, since after having read through the other stuff properly, without Magic Reserve it would be the weakest of the magic systems (outside common magic), Spirit Magic is crazy good, and divine magic is almost as good.

There's also the thing about Sorcery being ridiculously easy to shut down. Which can only be countered by casting as a reactive CA.

The main problem here is that you are trying to balance magic against no-magic. That is pretty much impossible. Look at the character concepts:
Concept #1: Hit things with a sword, Trips things with a sword, Kicks people in the face.
Concept #2: Turns into magnificient creatures, Teleports, Fires bolts of lightning from his fingertips, sees the past, and speeds up time.
Which of those concepts if the most powerful? If you don't answer concept #2 I'm concerned. If you nerf Concept 2 till it can't do any of that, then it doesn't feel like a sorcerer.
I really like that in RQII everybody needs magic to survive. A great balancing factor of having sorcery (or spirit magic,but divine magic is special in this case) is that you can't really use your common magic, because you use all your MP for your other type of magic.
Meep Meep
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sun May 01, 2011 4:27 pm

Mixster wrote: That's not my argument. My argument is that if you ignore some of your stats, those that use them will have an edge towards you.
My point exactly. The problem is that you can ignore siz, str and con, and simply use your magic to gain great values in those stats. So even though the sorcerer ignore 2-3 of his stats, those that use them gain no edge towards him.
Mixster wrote: Also, the sentiment of playing style is to me a pretty moot point. I think this stems from D&D or Lord of the rings were people view everything that uses magic as some kind of frail old wizard. RQII isn't set to be such a system.
But the fact is that some people will not enjoy playing people that make stuff happen magically, and I as GM will have to live with that. I cannot simply have all my players be casters, as some of them will not think it's fun.

Also, this is the way it is solved in Glorantha - and I have no problem with that. I can (and won't) however, say that all people know Common Magic in Eberron - as it doesn't fit the setting. When common magic is no longer that common, of course the other systems may need some toning down to keep the power balance as it was.
Mixster wrote: I don't think the problem lies with Sorcery, since after having read through the other stuff properly, without Magic Reserve it would be the weakest of the magic systems (outside common magic), Spirit Magic is crazy good, and divine magic is almost as good.
Well, I don't use Spirit Magic so I don't know about that. Divine Magic is powerful, but they all have a risk of having to return to a temple to regain the spells... And on top of that, most cults only have 4-6 divine spells and you can't learn divine spells from outside your cult.
Besides that, Divine magic only gets really good when you becomes a Rune Lord / Rune Priest, and those two positions come with extremely limiting responsibilities, in terms of donating 50% of one's income to the cult, etc.
Mixster wrote: There's also the thing about Sorcery being ridiculously easy to shut down. Which can only be countered by casting as a reactive CA.
Yep, which is why I am hesitant to directly interfere too much. However, you can still easily just boost your Shapechange with max magnitude without problem, as long as you only use cast it on yourself, with minimum duration.
Mixster wrote: The main problem here is that you are trying to balance magic against no-magic. That is pretty much impossible. Look at the character concepts:
Concept #1: Hit things with a sword, Trips things with a sword, Kicks people in the face.
Concept #2: Turns into magnificient creatures, Teleports, Fires bolts of lightning from his fingertips, sees the past, and speeds up time.
Which of those concepts if the most powerful? If you don't answer concept #2 I'm concerned. If you nerf Concept 2 till it can't do any of that, then it doesn't feel like a sorcerer.
I really like that in RQII everybody needs magic to survive. A great balancing factor of having sorcery (or spirit magic,but divine magic is special in this case) is that you can't really use your common magic, because you use all your MP for your other type of magic.
I am not trying to balance magic vs non-magic. I am trying to balance magic to be good in some situations, but weak in others. A magic user should be able to do maginifcent things, all the things you said. I just wan't him to rely on the party in some way - a mage should not be omnipotent in my eyes, which is also what you implied in your earlier posts is one of the problems in d&d.

So I'm not talking about nerfing concept 2 "till it can't do any of that", but merely toning down how much they can do (allowing turning into a lizardman, instead of a wyrm - blasting 2 of the enemies with lightning, instead of the whole party).

But again, I may just be too influenced by the fact that you were in the air during the last fight (where, by the way, you yourself agreed that there was a problem ;) ). If the fight had been in the city or in a dungeon, you would have been seriously hindered. I will continue thinking about what to do before I change anything...
For starters I will equip my NPCs better in the future I think.

- Dan
Last edited by Dan True on Sun May 01, 2011 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf
Deleriad
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Deleriad » Sun May 01, 2011 5:50 pm

Actually I think there's another interesting issue here which is what happens to RQ in a world where common magic is not actually commonly known? i.e. where magic is only used by specialists.

Is there a rationale for giving non-magic users something else? Heroic Abilities currently cost 1 MP to invoke which, to an extent, allows the non-magician another use of their Magic Points. What about extending these into "slightly heroic abilities" (i.e. they may require 70% in a skill and 12 in a stat without a hero point cost).

E.g. Impressive Pecs. Requires Brawn 70% and STR 12. When targeted by a spell that has the trait Resist (Persistence), the adventurer may spend 1 Magic Point to resist with their Brawn rather Persistence.

Anti-magic focus. Requires POW 12 and Perception 70%. When targeted by a spell with a resist trait the adventurer may spend any number of Magic Points. For each Magic Point spent this way, the adventurer gets +5% to their chance to resist the spell.

Obviously magicians may use these but they tend to either be low on MPs due to dedicated POW or need their MPs to cast magic so they will be of most use to non-magic users.

You could also extend Combat Manoeuvres.
E.g. Double attack. Requires 70% in a combat style featuring a 2H sword. If you gain a Combat Manoeuvre you can spend 1 MP to use the Double Attack CM. The Double Attack CM allows you to immediately attack a different opponent. This attack requires you to spend a CA as usual.

That might be more work than you're interested in and might not fit the setting but it is a way of allowing non-magic users to use their MPs for something.
Dan True
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 891
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Dan True » Sun May 01, 2011 6:55 pm

Deleriad wrote:Actually I think there's another interesting issue here which is what happens to RQ in a world where common magic is not actually commonly known? i.e. where magic is only used by specialists.

Is there a rationale for giving non-magic users something else? Heroic Abilities currently cost 1 MP to invoke which, to an extent, allows the non-magician another use of their Magic Points. What about extending these into "slightly heroic abilities" (i.e. they may require 70% in a skill and 12 in a stat without a hero point cost).

E.g. Impressive Pecs. Requires Brawn 70% and STR 12. When targeted by a spell that has the trait Resist (Persistence), the adventurer may spend 1 Magic Point to resist with their Brawn rather Persistence.

Anti-magic focus. Requires POW 12 and Perception 70%. When targeted by a spell with a resist trait the adventurer may spend any number of Magic Points. For each Magic Point spent this way, the adventurer gets +5% to their chance to resist the spell.

Obviously magicians may use these but they tend to either be low on MPs due to dedicated POW or need their MPs to cast magic so they will be of most use to non-magic users.

You could also extend Combat Manoeuvres.
E.g. Double attack. Requires 70% in a combat style featuring a 2H sword. If you gain a Combat Manoeuvre you can spend 1 MP to use the Double Attack CM. The Double Attack CM allows you to immediately attack a different opponent. This attack requires you to spend a CA as usual.

That might be more work than you're interested in and might not fit the setting but it is a way of allowing non-magic users to use their MPs for something.
It fits perfectly, and I don't really care about the amount of work :) Great idea! I will probably implement something like this.

And I think I will also half the effect of some select spells, enhance, diminish, damage enhancement and perhaps damage resistance... But probably not shapechange, as I've come to realise that size is often as much of a minus as a plus. Especially in regard to NPC reactions.

- Dan
Check out my RuneQuest 6 blog!. It now has an adventure idea generator :)

Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests