All Magic As Sorcery

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All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Piperdog » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:43 pm

Maybe this has been covered, but I have always been turned off a bit by the "everyone has magic" approach that runequest/legend presents. Is there any plans on presenting an option to convert all spells to sorcery? Or if anyone has already done so, I would appreciate someone sharing their work with me. Thanks!
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:23 pm

You don't even have to amend the rules as written. Just describe all magic as different flavours of sorcery, each approaching the same thing but from a different angle.

For example, Common Magic happens to be the breadcrumbs from the sorcerers' table: minor spells of varying degrees of power which have been optimised and packaged for ordinary people to use. Wherever you hear of a new Common Magic spell, a sorcerer is behind it, having prepared it and released it into the wild. The sorcerer might have a far more efficient form of the spell, which uses the Grimoire and Manipulation skills and the sorcery rules - but as a Common Magic spell, what he is doing is beta testing his new magic to see how well it works before he writes it down as a sorcery spell in his Grimoire.

And Divine Magic? Another form of sorcery, invented by sorcerers who wanted to give their followers potent spells which they would power through Pacting, having learned from spirits they summoned the technique of dedicating Magic Points to a collective Switchboard, a virtual etheric accumulator which collects all the dedicated Magic Points submitted by each Pactee. Let's say a cult has 18,000 adherents, all of whom Pact 1 Magic Point. That cult can access 18,000 Magic Points to fuel its spells daily. Now imagine if they all Pacted 5 Magic Points - and the 350 leaders Pacted 10 Magic Points. And give them Concert, to create massive collective effects powered by a maximum of 93,500 Magic Points a day.

Once you have sorcery be the root of all magic, it's just a matter of changing your way of thinking as a Games Master. The characters don't have to buy into any altered rules - and they can even still go on believing that their Bladesharp is a spell the common people invented, or that Consecrate spell comes from a God of Hygiene and Healing that does not actually exist - just the collective will and accumulated Magic Points of five hundred thousand people praying to one, their will focused and channelled through a grand working of sorcery.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:18 am

I'm not sure that Legend follows the "everyone has magic" approach inherited from Runequest - that's more of a Gloranthan thing.

In my homebrew setting, I presume that about one person in twenty will know a simple spell or two, but that professional spellcasters are rare. This means that a rural village with around 200 inhabitants will have perhaps 15-20 people who know a single spell directly related to their profession - and most of these spells will be mundane in nature. Perhaps the local blacksmith knows a secret chant that helps at the forge, or an elderly farmer remembers a charm that prevents milk from curdling, or a goodwife knows a sign to ward off evil. About one in a hundred people might know a bit more than this. So it is feasible that the village priest knows a healing spell and the village witch knows a minor curse of two. But to find a professional sorcerer, you really need to visit a large town or small city...
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby The Wolf » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:29 am

Spider God's Bride uses magic as Sorcery - there's a completely re-written magic chapter for the re-write as well.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby alex_greene » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:07 am

As Games Master, you can decide that behind every Divine cult is a cabal of sorcerers who use Concert and Pact to create effects which are, in essence, the Divine spells that characters can pray for. The Magic Points fuelling the "Divine" spells come from the collective dedicated Magic Points of the worshippers.

Those "Divine" spells are actually completed sorcery spells which are cast at the point where they are gained - the shrines and temples where they are prayed for - and, once cast, they are left hanging in the auras of the characters until a trigger phrase (which the characters believe to be a prayer to their deity) releases the spell.

This would explain why Divine spells disappear once cast.

And, as I said in my reply, you don't have to amend a single word of the spell descriptions or a single line of the core mechanic.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby superc0ntra » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:25 pm

Why not just skip common and divine magic and just use sorcery?
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Piperdog » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:56 pm

Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I guess I wasn't as clear in my post as I could have been. I really meant how do you apply the sorcery rules (manipulation, etc) to all the spells listed in the books; I then label every spell as sorcery. I was wondering if anyone has already done this, so I don't have to go through each one and convert it to a sorcery mechanic myself. The reason is I really enjoy the idea that each spell can be manipulated by the spellcaster.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:24 pm

Piperdog wrote:Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I guess I wasn't as clear in my post as I could have been. I really meant how do you apply the sorcery rules (manipulation, etc) to all the spells listed in the books; I then label every spell as sorcery. I was wondering if anyone has already done this, so I don't have to go through each one and convert it to a sorcery mechanic myself. The reason is I really enjoy the idea that each spell can be manipulated by the spellcaster.
There really is no mechanical distinction between Common Magic, Divine Magic and Sorcery as such: they all have a Magnitude, Range, Duration and an effect which is either going to be fixed or variable, depending on how well one knows the spell (skill in CM, Lore or Invoke, Sorcery etc).

The only technical difference between sorcery and CM is how CM treats spells of variable Magnitude - Magnitude is a fixed value, and Magnitude affects casting time, combat actions to cast and other variables such as range, duration and intensity of the effect. Magnitude is also bought as a fixed value. Once you take the CM out of it and treat the effects as Sorcery, you can port Entertainer's Smile or Bladesharp easily into Sorcery - bonuses to combat styles and skills, damage inflicted are based on the Intensity, which can also affect a maximum of 3 characteristics per Intensity - Befuddle cast as a Sorcery spell could affect targets with a maximum INT equal to three times the Intensity (which means that potentially, a caster with Sorcery 61% or higher can affect any human being whose unenhanced INT is 21 or below).

The term Intensity was first used in Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic. It's basically one-tenth (10%) of Sorcery skill, rounded up (you always round up in Legend): a caster with 63% Sorcery skill can cast spells with a maximum Intensity 7.

Likewise, Divine Magic can be treated similarly - Magnitude is a variable to be manipulated via Manipulation, and so on; and where a Divine spell has an area of effect, such as Consecrate, use the Range Manipulation to work out the maximum radius, or - if the spell has an area effect and must be cast at range - use Range as normal, and work out an alternative manipulation factor, Area Radius, to replace Targets. As for what that column looks like - copy the Range table's values, and label the column "Area."

In both cases, MPs spent and CAs are based on the number of factors being manipulated, just as for normal Sorcery.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Loz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:12 pm

Piperdog wrote:Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I guess I wasn't as clear in my post as I could have been. I really meant how do you apply the sorcery rules (manipulation, etc) to all the spells listed in the books; I then label every spell as sorcery. I was wondering if anyone has already done this, so I don't have to go through each one and convert it to a sorcery mechanic myself. The reason is I really enjoy the idea that each spell can be manipulated by the spellcaster.
The biggest challenge you're going to face is how to ensure that Common Magic spells manipulated using the sorcery rules don't become overly powerful in comparison with specifically designed Sorcery spells.

Let's take Bladesharp. As a Common Magic spell its variable. Its MP cost is commensurate with its Magnitude, and its Magnitude is limited by the caster's INT/3. This means that a character with INT 12 can only learn and use up to Bladesharp 4, which, when successfully cast, provides +4 Damage and +20% to the Combat Style - but costs 4 MP. So its potent, but has two natural brakes: INT and MP.

Take Bladesharp and apply the Sorcery rules to it. Forget that its a variable spell and use the Intensity system as Alex has mentioned. Intensity is based on the Grimoire skill %. It Grimoire is 63%, then Bladesharp can be cast at Intensity 7 and, in an unmodified form, it costs only 1 MP. So, for 1 MP, the sorcerer is going to get +7 Damage and +35% to the Combat Style.

But of course, he can manipulate Bladesharp, so that it affects multiple weapons, lasts for far longer than usual, and can even be cast at range. Let's say the sorcerer manipulates duration and targets, that increases his MP cost by a further 2 MP only, but Bladesharp's power and effect are hugely potent.

This could be a game-breaker for you.

The different types of magic are structured and written very differently, even though, mechanically, they work in a similar way. When you start applying Sorcery's rules to divine and common magic spells, without taking a long, hard look at what the likely consequences will be, you're going to end-up with some hideously over-powered spell effects that you may regret allowing.

Or you may not regret it. You may want to play the game in this way, and that's fine. However, the point is that applying Sorcery to Common Magic can have some very drastic effects. The different magic systems in Legend have been designed with a certain degree of checks and balances. Applying the mechanics from one form of magic to another can wreck those checks and balances to the point where its difficult to manage the outcomes.

So try it, by all means, but go through each Common Magic spell first and work-out the effects if treated as a sorcery spell, and then design some limitations so that things don't get out of hand.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:24 pm

Loz wrote:
Piperdog wrote:design some limitations so that things don't get out of hand.
Nah, let them have fun.

If you want your characters to do more than just Ginzu rock golems with their enhanced pocket +40 Swiss Army knives all the time, put them into situations where Bladesharp turns out to be worse than useless, and other spells - and a few mundane skills - are far more critical in resolving the stories.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Loz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:24 pm

Nah, let them have fun.

If you want your characters to do more than just Ginzu rock golems with their enhanced pocket +40 Swiss Army knives all the time, put them into situations where Bladesharp turns out to be worse than useless, and other spells - and a few mundane skills - are far more critical in resolving the stories.
As I said to the OP, try it and see how it works. It may work fine for that group's style of play and setting.

But the general principle holds true, Alex. If you let this stuff get out of hand, because you haven't thought-through the repercussions, fun may very well be short-lived and the GM faced with the problem of having to manipulate situations to prevent wholesale rule abuse which could've been avoided with a little foresight.

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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby strega » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:09 pm

Loz wrote:

Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should.
Oh I don't know, I think gamers should...... and then watch the whole thing crash and burn because you obviously know much better than the game designer who spent months designing and testing systems to ensure a fun game. :-)
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby Piperdog » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:56 pm

It certainly looks like it could be unbalancing with the rules as written. Each spell would have to be rewritten with sorcery mechanics in mind, which is what I was afraid of. lol. Since I enjoy human-centric, low magic campaigns where magic is rare and greatly feared, I find the RQ system a little odd to me as presented. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool system, but you can tell it really fits best in a "everyone has magic" kind of setting.

I am going to have to get Spider God's Bride as it sounds like it will give me the boost I need to start my Sword and Sorcery style campaign.
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby JP42 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:17 pm

strega wrote:
Loz wrote:

Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should.
Oh I don't know, I think gamers should...... and then watch the whole thing crash and burn because you obviously know much better than the game designer who spent months designing and testing systems to ensure a fun game. :-)
"Some men just want to watch the [meticulously developed campaign] world burn" then?
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby strega » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:00 am

I've run a lot of Nehwon using Legend with the Mongoose Lankhmar material for background. There's absolutely no issues with no-one except the bad guys having magic unless there's a good story/plot that requires a magic item or friendly sorceror.

If you don't like the 'everyone has magic' thing don't use it.

God! people want to be spoonfed everything nowadays!! And get orf my lawn while you're at it. :-)
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Re: All Magic As Sorcery

Postby p_Clapham » Wed May 07, 2014 7:01 pm

Depends on what kind of game I'm running really. Given that I favor pulp sword & sorcery pretty heavily, I mostly use Sorcery and ignore Common Magic and Divine Magic. If I were trying to run a "traditional" D&D game I might include all three magic systems. I do like the take Runequest 6 has on Common Magic. I am considering using them as lesser sorceries or cantrips in my next game.
Piperdog wrote:Maybe this has been covered, but I have always been turned off a bit by the "everyone has magic" approach that runequest/legend presents. Is there any plans on presenting an option to convert all spells to sorcery? Or if anyone has already done so, I would appreciate someone sharing their work with me. Thanks!

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