Legend for a Sword and Sorcery game

strega

Mongoose
I scribbled down some details for an Animated Stone Idol for use in a S&S game.

I started with a troll and meandered off from that. The formatting gets a bit wierd when posting a stat block from a document into the forum so apologies for that.
Animated Stone Idol, Medium

Dice Average 1D20 Hit Location AP/HP
STR 4D6+6 20 1–3 Right Leg 10/7
CON 1 1 4–6 Left Leg 10/7
SIZ 4D6+6 20 7–10 Abdomen 10/8
INT 1 1 11–12 Chest 10/9
POW 3D6 11 13–15 Right Arm 10/6
DEX 1D6 4 16–18 Left Arm 10/6
CHA 1 1 19–20 Head 10/7

Combat Actions 1 Typical Armour: Stone
DM +1D8
Magic Points 11 Traits: Blind, Deaf, Formidable Natural Weapons, Earth Sense, Magic Sense, Trample
Movement 6m
Strike Rank +3
Skills: Brawn 55%, Perception 30%, Persistence 43%, Resilience 55%, Unarmed 55%

Tactics
The idol can move 6m per round, Trampling anyone it moves through and hitting, Biting or Crushing a victim on the way.

Crush
If the idol’s crush attack hits, the victim is caught up in the idol's arms. Each round, the idol inflicts db (1D8) damage to the victim’s chest location. Chest armour protects against this damage. In addition to the Hit Point damage caused by the crushing, the victim is unable to breathe and begins to suffocate (see the Legend Core Rulebook). Being crushed by an idol counts as ‘heavy’ activity in determining how long the victim can hold its breath. The victim may make an opposed Athletics or Brawn roll each round to escape.

Combat Styles
Unarmed 55%

Weapons
Type SIZ Reach Damage AP/HP
Bite S T 1D8+1D8 As for Head
Fists M M 1D6+1D8 As for Arm
Crush H S Special - Crushing As for Arm
Trample VL T 2D8 while moving, As for Leg

Sorcery Enchantment from Arms of Legend
21 hours preparing the stone for the idol
3MP hours enchanting the idol with Animate (Stone), needs 120% Manipulation for <21 SIZ plus 15 more SIZ manipulated for +5 MOV
12 limitations/conditions included (2 for SIZ to MOV manipulation, 1 for Sorceror only, 3 target conditions - anyone not the sorcerer entering the room, anyone within sight attacking the sorceror, anyone within sight using magic on the sorcerer +6 others).
Damage Enhancement or Damage Resistance could also be cast on the idol at an extra cost of 1MP each (not enchanted in).
<24 HP for 1MP cost gives 8+db for Bite, 6+db each fist for Sorceror's POW minutes.
<12 AP for 1MP cost gives +12 AP on top of 10 for stone body for Sorceror's POW minutes.
3 MP permanently invested in idol.
Operates while the Sorcerer is Concentrating
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
Strega,

The Summoning rules from Elric will suit what you're trying to achieve perfectly and are fairly straight forward (though those in Blood Magic can be used, I find the Elric ones simpler and they allow for an individual sorcerer to be able to summon a reasonable demon, rather than requiring a cabal of sorcerers acting in concert). Two skills are required Summon (Demon/Elemental) and Command. Demons are built using 1MP for each D8 of characteristic score and demon abilities/features. So for a demon with 3D8 in each score and 2 abilities it will cost 5MP to summon. The Command skill is used to control the demon and is an opposed test of its Persistence, in Blood Magic it is an opposed roll of the leading sorcerers Influence vs. Persistence.
 

Prime_Evil

Cosmic Mongoose
The difference is that the summoning rules from Elric aren't Open Game Content and can't easily be used for third-party projects...

I agree with your assessment though.
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
Prime_Evil said:
The difference is that the summoning rules from Elric aren't Open Game Content and can't easily be used for third-party projects...

Ah yes, true.

But one could always modify the rules presented in Blood Magic which is open content to emulate those presented in the Elric rules by simply reducing the MP cost for characteristic purchases to be 1 point per score for ALL seven characteristics, rather than 1MP for each characteristic - this is the major fault I have with the rules as presented in Blood Magic; to summon a Demon with 3D8 (3-24) across all characteristics in Elric is 3MP, in Blood Magic something similar (13-18) would cost 21MP ( a minimum of 7MP for scores of 1D6). Granted, it will on average be slightly more powerful when created by using Blood Magic but is that really worth it? As far as I can recall, most of the antagonists in Conan, Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser and Elric were not cabals of sorcerers but twisted individuals corrupted by the use of fell powers.

It doesn't really make that much of a difference mechanically whether you have the Command skill or just use the sorcerers Influence skill, they're still both opposed rolls.
 

Prime_Evil

Cosmic Mongoose
DamonJynx said:
Prime_Evil said:
The difference is that the summoning rules from Elric aren't Open Game Content and can't easily be used for third-party projects...

Ah yes, true.

But one could always modify the rules presented in Blood Magic which is open content to emulate those presented in the Elric rules by simply reducing the MP cost for characteristic purchases to be 1 point per score for ALL seven characteristics, rather than 1MP for each characteristic - this is the major fault I have with the rules as presented in Blood Magic; to summon a Demon with 3D8 (3-24) across all characteristics in Elric is 3MP, in Blood Magic something similar (13-18) would cost 21MP ( a minimum of 7MP for scores of 1D6). Granted, it will on average be slightly more powerful when created by using Blood Magic but is that really worth it? As far as I can recall, most of the antagonists in Conan, Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser and Elric were not cabals of sorcerers but twisted individuals corrupted by the use of fell powers.

It doesn't really make that much of a difference mechanically whether you have the Command skill or just use the sorcerers Influence skill, they're still both opposed rolls.

That's a very neat optional rule! Mind if I use it for a secret project that I'm fooling around with?

Mind you, if you want to make Summoning a major form of magic comparable to Divine Magic and Sorcery, you probably want to have it powered by two unique skills like the other styles. One of these should be the Summon skill from p.73 of Blood Magic, while the other should be a new advanced skill analogous to the Command skill from Elric. Personally, I'd call it Binding or something similar (because the genre is full of ambitious sorcerers who summon entities that they can't subsequently bind to their service...). This prevents the situation where a Sorcerer dumps points into Influence to become a brilliant social manipulator as well as a potent summoner.

Personally, I'd limit each instance of the Summon skill to a specific class of entities (Elementals, Minor Demons, Major Demons, Djinn, Faeries, etc) in the same way that the Grimoire skill limits a sorcerer to the spells contained in a single eldritch tome and the Lore (Specific Theology) or Piety skills limit a priest to the practices of a single religious cult. I might also rule that the Summon skill cannot exceed the sorcerer's percentage in an associated lore skill - for example, the Summon (Minor Demons) skill could not exceed the summoner's skill in Lore (Demonology) because the summoner needs to know the details of the entity being summoned.

I might give summoners a +20% bonus to the Binding roll if they make a Lore check to learn the True Name of the entity being called - the difficulty of the Lore roll should be determined by the power level of the entity (since the most powerful demons and other extraplanar entities go to extraordinary lengths to hide their True Names from mortals...).
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
Prime_Evil said:
That's a very neat optional rule! Mind if I use it for a secret project that I'm fooling around with?
No problem, feel free.

Prime_Evil said:
Mind you, if you want to make Summoning a major form of magic comparable to Divine Magic and Sorcery, you probably want to have it powered by two unique skills like the other styles. One of these should be the Summon skill from p.73 of Blood Magic, while the other should be a new advanced skill analogous to the Command skill from Elric. Personally, I'd call it Binding or something similar (because the genre is full of ambitious sorcerers who summon entities that they can't subsequently bind to their service...). This prevents the situation where a Sorcerer dumps points into Influence to become a brilliant social manipulator as well as a potent summoner.
That is a very good point and most likely why Loz designed it that way in the EoM core rules.

Prime_Evil said:
Personally, I'd limit each instance of the Summon skill to a specific class of entities (Elementals, Minor Demons, Major Demons, Djinn, Faeries, etc) in the same way that the Grimoire skill limits a sorcerer to the spells contained in a single eldritch tome and the Lore (Specific Theology) or Piety skills limit a priest to the practices of a single religious cult. I might also rule that the Summon skill cannot exceed the sorcerer's percentage in an associated lore skill - for example, the Summon (Minor Demons) skill could not exceed the summoner's skill in Lore (Demonology) because the summoner needs to know the details of the entity being summoned.

This is a very good path to take. In the Elric game, you summon a specific creature or type of demon with each iteration of the skill, for example Summon (Demon of Combat) 65%, Summon (Elenoin) 58% and so on, my apologies for giving the impression it was a single skill (NB: there are four Demon sub-type, Combat, Knowledge, Protection & Transport as well as a myriad of specific creatures that can be summoned). ALL magic skills in EoM are limited by the sorcerers High Speech skill, something similar should be in place in a 'generic sense' as well.

Prime_Evil said:
I might give summoners a +20% bonus to the Binding roll if they make a Lore check to learn the True Name of the entity being called - the difficulty of the Lore roll should be determined by the power level of the entity (since the most powerful demons and other extra-planar entities go to extraordinary lengths to hide their True Names from mortals...).

I hadn't thought of that, bloody good idea. Do you mind if I pinch that for future use?
 

Prime_Evil

Cosmic Mongoose
DamonJynx said:
I hadn't thought of that, bloody good idea. Do you mind if I pinch that for future use?

Sure...one good turn deserves another :)

Binding demons and other extraplanar creatures is one area where there is plenty of scope for situational modifiers - folklore and fiction are full of examples where summoners must perform their rituals on specific dates with auspicious astrological conjunctions or at particular places. Also the type of containment used for the summoned entity seems to have an influence on the success or failure of the summoning attempt - there's a big difference between a pentagram hastily scrawled in the dirt and a summoning circle fashioned of silver permanently inlaid into the floor of a dedicated conjuration room....
 

warlock1971

Mongoose
Prime_Evil said:
DamonJynx said:
Prime_Evil said:
The difference is that the summoning rules from Elric aren't Open Game Content and can't easily be used for third-party projects...

Ah yes, true.

But one could always modify the rules presented in Blood Magic which is open content to emulate those presented in the Elric rules by simply reducing the MP cost for characteristic purchases to be 1 point per score for ALL seven characteristics, rather than 1MP for each characteristic - this is the major fault I have with the rules as presented in Blood Magic; to summon a Demon with 3D8 (3-24) across all characteristics in Elric is 3MP, in Blood Magic something similar (13-18) would cost 21MP ( a minimum of 7MP for scores of 1D6). Granted, it will on average be slightly more powerful when created by using Blood Magic but is that really worth it? As far as I can recall, most of the antagonists in Conan, Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser and Elric were not cabals of sorcerers but twisted individuals corrupted by the use of fell powers.

It doesn't really make that much of a difference mechanically whether you have the Command skill or just use the sorcerers Influence skill, they're still both opposed rolls.

That's a very neat optional rule! Mind if I use it for a secret project that I'm fooling around with?

Mind you, if you want to make Summoning a major form of magic comparable to Divine Magic and Sorcery, you probably want to have it powered by two unique skills like the other styles. One of these should be the Summon skill from p.73 of Blood Magic, while the other should be a new advanced skill analogous to the Command skill from Elric. Personally, I'd call it Binding or something similar (because the genre is full of ambitious sorcerers who summon entities that they can't subsequently bind to their service...). This prevents the situation where a Sorcerer dumps points into Influence to become a brilliant social manipulator as well as a potent summoner.

Personally, I'd limit each instance of the Summon skill to a specific class of entities (Elementals, Minor Demons, Major Demons, Djinn, Faeries, etc) in the same way that the Grimoire skill limits a sorcerer to the spells contained in a single eldritch tome and the Lore (Specific Theology) or Piety skills limit a priest to the practices of a single religious cult. I might also rule that the Summon skill cannot exceed the sorcerer's percentage in an associated lore skill - for example, the Summon (Minor Demons) skill could not exceed the summoner's skill in Lore (Demonology) because the summoner needs to know the details of the entity being summoned.

I might give summoners a +20% bonus to the Binding roll if they make a Lore check to learn the True Name of the entity being called - the difficulty of the Lore roll should be determined by the power level of the entity (since the most powerful demons and other extraplanar entities go to extraordinary lengths to hide their True Names from mortals...).

I agree with you, limiting each Summon skill to a class of Creature. I prefer, from a campaign flavour point of view, separating my Demonologists from say my Elementalists.
 

Prime_Evil

Cosmic Mongoose
warlock1971 said:
I agree with you, limiting each Summon skill to a class of Creature. I prefer, from a campaign flavour point of view, separating my Demonologists from say my Elementalists.

I'm sure that the Elementalists prefer that too!

Although in most cases the Summon skill should allow you to summon a particular class of creature, for very powerful entities - such as Demon Lords, Elder Gods, and Tentacled Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know - you might need to develop a separate summon skill for each unique individual critter. and you probably don't want to fool around with summoning these potent entities until you have raised your skill percentage to a respectable level since the consequences of failure on the summoning roll can be gruesome. Also, you may need to use some form of Concert Casting for the binding roll since even the most skilled mortals can't hope to control such cosmic entities on their own...
 

warlock1971

Mongoose
Prime_Evil said:
warlock1971 said:
I agree with you, limiting each Summon skill to a class of Creature. I prefer, from a campaign flavour point of view, separating my Demonologists from say my Elementalists.

I'm sure that the Elementalists prefer that too!

Although in most cases the Summon skill should allow you to summon a particular class of creature, for very powerful entities - such as Demon Lords, Elder Gods, and Tentacled Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know - you might need to develop a separate summon skill for each unique individual critter. and you probably don't want to fool around with summoning these potent entities until you have raised your skill percentage to a respectable level since the consequences of failure on the summoning roll can be gruesome. Also, you may need to use some form of Concert Casting for the binding roll since even the most skilled mortals can't hope to control such cosmic entities on their own...

Probably require True Name, etc. Some sort of Advanced Summoning or Elder Summoning skill?
 

strega

Mongoose
More notes and guidelines.

Summoning
This method of gaining access to demons and spirits of the air goes back prior to the 16th century when a large number of books started to be published purporting to be written by Biblical, Greek, Arabic or Roman authors.

Generally these are a compilation of methods and lists of names of demons together with the spheres they purportedly had dominion or control over.

We can look at the pulps for how these books and concepts were translated for an early 20th century literate audience. Summoning seems to be done in the pulps mostly to gain power and usually involved the summoning of some form of demon with knowledge or a demon that could injure or kill an enemy. The act of summoning is usually done by a sorcerer on his own or by a cabal of priests led by some sort of dignitary.
If we take summoning to be a ritual activity then 'lesser' demons can be summoned by a single sorcerer and 'major' demons by multiple sorcerers or priests. In many cases the summoning ritual is accompanied by some sort of sacrifice, often of a nubile young woman although beasts are also used, mostly by priestly summoners who don't wish to upset the populace.

So we have Summoning as a ritual, usually involving circles both protecting the summoner and containing or imprisoning the summoned demon. Failure to ensure these protections are correct and in place usually has disastrous consequences. In Arcania of Legend, Blood Magic the Summoning skill is built from POW plus CHA and is restricted to priests and sorcerers. The combined summoning skills of the participants in a summoning ritual is used to generate the volume of magic points used to 'build' the summoned creature. The Summoning skill of the person leading the ritual is then used to determine the outcome of the casting. Now this works fine for a huge summoning with large numbers of participants, but is sorely lacking when it comes to insane sorcerer's doing some solo demonology. The number of magic points needed to 'build' a demon with reasonably horrific stats is on the order of 20-25, more than most insane sorcerers have going spare. However help is at hand with the use of exsanguination or avulsion. The first gets a maximum of 8 MP's if the sacrifice is killed and MP's equal to the victim's POW in the second. Decrepitation is another possibility that turns up in the pulps, a sorcerer sacrificing his youth to gain power or summon something from beyond. Using STR, CON or CHA and limiting one's self to retaining a minimum of one point in each to avoid death is likely to generate about 30MP's but that seems a little extreme if one wishes to rule the world as insane sorcerer's often do.

Sorcerer's are often going to need some kind of method for storing MP's for the short term as part of the summoning ritual. If they exsanguinate a victim as the culmination of the ceremony then they need to acquire something like another 10 to 12 in addition to their own MP to be able to summon something powerful. Using the chanting of their acolytes will work for some spells but old, and presumably successful, sorcerer's will not rely on those who may not have his dedication. In many cases of individual's summoning demons it's going to have to be multiple sacrifices. If we make two exsanguination sacrifices and the sorcerer adds another 8MP of his own we have the 24 that will give us 1d6+12 in every stat plus say one or two MP to boost SIZ or INT or to add an Advanced, non-magical, skill such as Seduction, Craft (Poisons) or Lore (Demonology).
 

strega

Mongoose
Notes and stuff continued. Again apologies for the formatting issue when copypastaing the stats.

Typical Demon using 24 MP
Rolling twice on the Physique table gives 39 Humaniform and 59 Ophidian so a scaly humanoid, larger than the average human with weird skin markings and eyes. Rolling 2 on the Natural Weapons chart gives clawed hands and feet, with a SIZ of 15 that's 1D4 claw damage, size M and reach M, On the Natural Protection table a 4 gives furry which is at odds with the Ophidian part of the Physique so let's go with scaly, and SIZ 15 gives a natural AP of 1. Finally rolling 5 on the Attitude chart gives us Domineering, typical of summoned demons. This demon is tough, one with 14-16 MP's might be more tractable. In that case one virgin sacrifice survives the night.
Die Roll Av. 1D20 Hit Location AP/HP
STR 1D6+12 15 1–3 Right Leg 1/6
CON 1D6+12 15 4–6 Left Leg 1/6
SIZ 1D6+12 15 7–10 Abdomen 1/7
INT 1D6+12 15 11–12 Chest 1/8
POW 1D6+12 15 13–15 Right Arm 1/5
DEX 1D6+12 15 16–18 Left Arm 1/5
CHA 1D6+12 15 19–20 Head 1/6

Combat Actions 3 Typical Armour: Tough Hide (AP 1), No Armour Penalty.
Damage Modifier +1D2
Magic Points 15
Movement 8m
Strike Rank +15
Skills: Lore (Demonology) 80%, Perception 80%, Persistence 80%, Resilience 80%, other Common skills at base 80%

Combat Styles
Unarmed 80%

Weapons
Type SIZ Reach Damage AP/HP
Claw M M 1D4 As Arm/Leg

A different system might be to use the method that other Legend magic traditions use and go for a Summon(ing) skill and Binding skill where the Summoning calls the demon and the Binding skill determines how controlled/contained any summoned being actually is.
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
As far as I'm aware there are no binding skills in Legend, however there are in Chaosiums Elric and Stormbringer games, in fact Summoning an binding are the predominant magic systems. Speaking of Chaosium products, the BGB has a spell, Brazier of Power, which creates a resevior of MP. I'm sure enterprising types could come up with a Legend version.
 

strega

Mongoose
AFAIK the only Binding skill in base Legend is the Spirit Binding skill from the free Spirit Magic pdf.

I'm throwing out a lot of suggestions and ideas here purely for S&S games. The material form Elirc relating to certain types of Sorcery is certainly useful to add in to any S&S game.

I'd like to see another Arcania of Legend supplement covering Spirit Magic better than the free pdf does and one covering Summoning and Binding of Demons and Elementals. The mix and match approach keeps the cost of the system down and allows a GM to build his campaign to suit his individual concept.

Players only need to get the base Legend book and maybe the extra Magic and Arms material while any settings material like AoT or SGB remain GM material.
 

Prime_Evil

Cosmic Mongoose
strega said:
AFAIK the only Binding skill in base Legend is the Spirit Binding skill from the free Spirit Magic pdf.

From a game balance perspective, you only need a binding skill if you are reducing the MP cost of summoning demons to be closer to those listed in Elric than those listed in Blood Magic. This is because you are starting to grant summoning a power level similar to Divine Magic and Sorcery and the number of skills necessary to develop it should be similar to the other major styles of magic. As a bonus, in pulp fantasy the act of summoning an entity is usually depicted as separate from the act of successfully binding it - many summoners meet their doom when they call up something that they can't control!
 

ArnelMachida

Mongoose
alex_greene said:
strega said:
After recent posts about how a game or scenario should be set up for Sword and Sorcery style play I threw together some notes ... Let's have some commentary on my first thoughts.
Gladiators of Legend for scenes where a captured hero might have to fight in an arena; Pirates of Legend for Duels and mass combat with large numbers of combatants (Crew Combat). Reputation and Vices in Pirates of Legend, if your character is to carve out a name for himself among the Kingdoms of Man.

And until they put Serpent People and Lizard Folk into some sequel to Monsters of Legend, you could do with looking up my treatment on those walking sentient poikilotherms here.

Like Road to hall of fame. I recently doing that, almost everyday.
 
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