Noting the one nugget of gold out of the shitfest that >>26006535 devolved into, I would like to talk about this link.>http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/magic/>Approaches to having a more "mythic" style of magic in RPGs, as opposed to scientific. It goes over some common traits of most fantasy RPG magic systems compared to myth, folklore, and fantasy fiction.This seems really cool to me. How do we get away from the modern concept of flashy magic like throwing elements around, and have characters with magic more like you see in Conan? Is there a system that would be good for this?
Per the thread you accidentally posted this in first--try Runequest, FATE, or Ars Magica.
Mythic you say? Runequest I herd
Call of Cthulhu would fit the bill.
I was on board with that guy until I read the "Magic and Society" article.
>>26007242That particular article seems to assume a more traditional D&D magic system.
Mage: the Ascension, especially the Dreamspeakers and the Verbena.
>>26007265Yeah, but he didn't even scratch the surface of what you can do as far as that system itself.
Damn, this guy states my views on magic perfectly. Playing even 3e D&D, I always felt like I was just doing the tabletop version of WoW.
>>26007774>4e is the real wow
>>26007818The moment you get away from AD&D 2e, D&D = WoW, because WoW was based off of 3e.
>have characters with magic more like you see in Conan?Try Barbarians of Lemuria. Read about their magic system and you'll see that it's the best for simulating a Hyborian adventure.
>>26007051Everybody would be basically divine power source.Also in D&D and MtA, magic like slinging fireballs is weaker than the subtler stuff.
Personally I far prefer scientific magic, although I certainly understand the desire for a more "magical" magic. I have to say, people like me who prefer magic to be scientific, it's not so much that we want magic at all, it's more that we just want a fantasy equivalent of high-tech powers.Like you look at, say, Dead Space, just as an example off the top of my head, and the RIGs that are capable of slowing time or using telekinesis. Or if you look at remote cyberbrain hacking in GitS. If you want something like that in a fantasy setting, generally the only option is to say it's magic (the other option is of course "there's actually a system of nanites or whatever from a long lost civilization that people use"). Of course, we don't actually mean it's magic in the sense that magic has historically meant, rather, it's just the name we've slapped onto that stuff in fantasy.I would personally prefer if this system of "scientific magic" wasn't actually called magic at all.
>>26008283if that's what you're looking for, why play fantasy at all? as you pointed out yourself, you can already get that kind of thing in science fiction.
>>26008313Before I answer this, I'd like you to go back and look at your question and think about it a bit, because I think it should be fairly obvious.
>>26008244But even the subtle stuff is done in a formulaic fashion, and there's no downside to the use of magic.
> How do we get away from the modern concept of flashy magic?Treat magic as an NPC. In fact treat everything as an NPC. Give your warriors a bonus if they really take care of their sword with all of their heart, or name them; make the PCs fear angering the forest. Give the city ears and eyes, and make the ravens of the battlefield pledge their loyalty to those who provide for them.
>>26008244>divine power sourceYou started RPGs with 4e, huh?But here's the thing. ALL magic could be done in a non-flashy way, and there isn't even a reason to divide things by "arcane" or "divine". That's a carry-over from the oldest days of D&D, but has no backing with the questions OP is asking.
>>26008360Can you go on? Your statement was one of the best I've seen on this subject on these boards. I want to hear more from you.
In my mind, the core appeal of magic is that it tends to reflect things which are very important to us (as humans) but which physics ignore in real life. Subjective things.This is why I usually find magic systems which boil down to "magic is just a form of energy like any other" boring. How can it not be boring to say "magic is just ordinary"? Why did you include magic if you wanted to make it mundane?In real life, obviously, you can't make a river part before you by issuing an incredibly stern command, or playing a beautiful song. The water doesn't care how commanding you are, or how beautiful the music is, it can't even hear you. A person of pure heart will be electrocuted just as surely as a person of terrible guilt because electricity doesn't care about your crimes. Sacrificing your most valuable bull will not bring you good weather because the weather doesn't recognise value, or bulls, and isn't really even a thing, it's just a vague category of atmospheric phenomena. A shooting star does not portend great events because even if comets could see the future they wouldn't consider anything happening down here a 'great event'. Reality, on the whole, doesn't give a shit about humans or anything humans consider important. It CANNOT give a shit because it doesn't think.That's the hole magic is filling. It turns reality from something mechanical and uncaring into something that reflects what humans think matters. That doesn't mean reality cares about our wellbeing, it could be intent on fucking us over at every opportunity. But it does at least recognise that we exist and thinks we are significant enough that our thoughts and feelings merit some response.
>>26008393Well, I've got a personal theory of Magic Vs Science In Narratives.There is the supernatural, which is stuff that happens contrary to natural laws as we or the setting knows themMagic is a subset of that: magic is the supernatural that is affected by a supernatural mind. This is in contrast with the supernatural that is controlled by a natural mind (like, say, if you consider telekinesis to be a kind of limb controlled by the brain).This is a pretty wide definition of magic, because it includes stuff that basically falls under Bullshit if it's used in a more scifi-y setting. For example, if you have a machine that doesn't have some kind of AI and which takes two animals and combines them into a fully functioning chimera, that is magic, because that machine needs to be able to know what the fuck it is doing, and as far as we know, it doesn't, so magic.Anyhow, the most mythological type of magical setting is that which is the most primordial to our own world view: probably a form of animism. Everything has a mind, everything is alive, everything is out to get you, and you can affect the world around you through the magic of language, contracts and negotiation. Vancian, rules and regulations-based magic removes that element in part, and replaces it with an automated response.
Most magic systems define enchanting items as taking ordinary, non-magical items and adding a property of "magic-ness" to it. Thus, a sword might be well-crafted out of superior steel, but it is not magic. In pre-scientific views, though, crafting of steel is itself a magical process. The hardness of the metal is part of the magical-ness of the sword. Basically, magic should be part of the setting, seen in everything, even if it's not called such. That smith who knows how to make a sword that doesn't shatter throughout many battles is imparting magic into the blade and making it a potent weapon. By making it with skill and with secret methods and naming it, he is making it magical just as if he'd performed a holy ritual over it or inscribed it with runes.
>>26008360>>26008422>>26008467This is what I am seeking in a magic system. THIS is what I want to be able to run as a game.I have no idea what would actually enable it rules-wise though.
>>26008422>Why did you include magic if you wanted to make it mundane?How else am I supposed to have fireballs and levitation and whatnot?
>>26008370>You started RPGs with 4e, huh?No, edition warrior.By and large, people don't WANT PCs to be like those from myth, because just about everyone who had the leet powers, got them from divinity of some kind or another.
>>26008461Basically, magic is the metaphysical and semantic manipulation of your surroundings or reality. Magic is the possibility of saying "everything that is made out of ice-cream is now flavoured rum and raisin" (a terrible curse), and that happens, because There Are Things that Are "ice-cream" and "flavour" and "rum and raisin", and the magic knows what those are.
>>26008502Please don't bring your subjective (and, might I add, quite plebeian) taste in ice cream into this thread.
>>26008498>By and large, people don't WANT PCs to be like those from myth, because just about everyone who had the leet powers, got them from divinity of some kind or another.That depends entirely on what mythos you are reading. Besides, even in mythos where you get powers from a divine source, you'll find lots of players who are totally on-board with that. (Shit, the system of Scion is built on that entirely, and I think Exalted is too.)
>>26008502Have you tried Rum? They have rum gelato in Italy and it's worth eating.
Okay this might sound whack but hear me out. What if you started with the Slayers RPG and western shamanism?The Slayers RPG has a system that essentially means that anyone can cast magic, and can try to cast any spell of any level, but wizards just have a higher chance of it not going tits up on them because they know what they're doing.On top of that you stick a house rule in that goes off the old Crowley style beliefs that any magic you cast will come back on you three fold, so if you try and curse a guy bad shit also happens to you but if you try and do something nice then nice things happen to you, only make it so you still take the brunt of the positive or negative backlash of what you attempted even if the spell fails.That way everyone can try any spell, but if you fail and you were trying to fuck with someone not only does the spell not work but shitty things will happen to you, but if you try and do something altruistic, like heal a party member or something, then even if you fail the universe recognises that you were trying to be a bro and lends you a helping hand.On top of that your wizard has a much wider variety of spells they can access, and has a much better chance of them working, so they can still choose to go full fireballs everywhere, but they will constantly have shitty things happen to them (unless they pact with a demon or some shit), or they can choose to do subtle game changers, like calling a fog down or casting dancing lights, which are not really offensive enough to bring a world of shit down on them, but might give them mild headaches or stomach problems, explaining why all the veteran wizards are kind of crotchety.cont...
>>26008667On top of all that stick some kind of hp cost onto trying to cast spells that wizards get at a reduced rate, or a mana stat or something, to ensure that while at a pinch your fighter can pray to god/make a speech about the power of friendship/declare their undying love to try and get some emergency healing or what not for day to day your wizard is still your main caster and I think there might be some potential in there.
>>26008534Find me some mythos that doesn't have magic coming from divinities, ghosts or spirits.
>>26008667Why wouldn't you go around casting nice things on people 24/7 to boost your karma then?>I just cast 10 "fortune's friend" spells on people!>And in related news I just won the lottery!
>>26008678Arthurian legend, in the form of Merlin. Only later writers said he was the son of a human and incubus boning.
So, my question is, does this mean that if magic is supposed to be mysterious and mythological, science as a whole can never enter into the field? I mean, I typically see science just trying to learn about the universe, not necessarily knowing how to manipulate it or even understanding it, just trying to learn about it.Maybe I'm just odd, because I really do like weird magic inherent in places and charms and other odd shit representing an aware, animistic universe, but I really don't like the Science vs Magic trope since it often comes off as artificial to me. I unno.
>>26008702Because you make magic have a tangible cost, like say hit points, and you make the reward match what you were dishing out.If you spend all your hit points making every stranger you meet in town a bit luckier then when you collapse coughing up blood it happens to be outside of the house of the nice pretty lady who's training to be nurse and bakes exceptionally good tea cakes, who is happy to spend a couple of days helping sooth you back to health because she thinks you look like a nice man.While you're recuperating the Dread Lord Tharg who was on the hunt for you decides against investigating the village and instead goes off following a false lead, buying you a couple more days to prepare.You just make it a balancing act between doing nice things to make the odds tip slightly in your favour, and being in fighting shape to deal with any evil that happens to show up.Also if you go around making it everyone in town's lucky day, including yours from sympathetic backlash, then rather than something specifically lucky happening to each and every person, like winning the lottery, something lucky happens to the whole area that's lucky for everyone, like you have a good harvest.
>>26008667>>26008675I like the idea, though in some ways I want to make magic less a profession, and more something that people do as part of other professions. The blacksmith does magic when he makes a fine blade--and when he makes a masterpiece it's no surprise when it exhibits behavior beyond what a normal sword should do. The annual village sacrifice and ritual for good weather actually has an impact no matter who the people doing it are, though the elders who have done dozens of them are able to make sure everything is performed to the best manner. The woman who has learned the language of the ravens and earned their trust has no ability necessarily to perform any other magic; just as the man who has created a falcon's hide that lets him take the shape of a falcon can't necessarily speak to birds. Not everyone learns to do things that are magical, but nearly everyone can interact with something in a magical way by doing a normal thing so well that it becomes magical. If you ask the river to part for you and then remain high because you have to warn your village of a raid by barbaric northmen, it might do so because you sang it a truly beautiful song--but if you can't sing, it might or might not heed you because of your plight--and if that's no good, you might convince it with a threat or by making an offering to it. Or you might piss it off and it attempts to drown you.Does that make sense?
>>26008360>>26008478>>26008686I'm working on something that might serve your purposes. At least, some of the optional rules and variants were going to cover this stuff - otherwise magic is only limited by by your skill and willpower before it backfires (and if you feel lucky you can keep casting, but it might kill you), and even a fire-specific mage has subtle options.
>>26008831If the world is aware and living, and that is how magic is, then you wouldn't really be studying magic--your studies of living creatures would include things like rivers and mountains.Though I've always liked the idea of magic that resisted the efforts of mortal men to study and classify it, either because it is changing and mutating constantly, or blocking efforts in an active attempt to stop its description (maybe like The Ring, where every record to warn people gets scratched out), or just driving men mad rather like knowledge of the Old Ones in the Cthulhu mythos.
>>26008534>That depends entirely on what mythos you are reading.virtually all concepts of magic before the advent of modern fantasy were tied into religion in some form or another. the modern wizard is a kind of nerd power fantasy, where reading books and studying hard gets you unlimited cosmic power instead of a student debt. many of the people who enjoy fantasy find it easy to self-insert into that kind of character, while they would be put off by a character with a major religious focus. there were magical traditions in real life that involved study and even practices resembling science, but they always existed in a religious framework. hermeticism - which is the main inspiration for the scholarly wizard, and includes practices like alchemy - was focused around bringing yourself closer to god through esoteric knowledge. there's nothing wrong with this concept of a wizard, i should mention, but it tends to be pretty shallow and easily devolves into wank.
>>26008922Well, to get the effect that other anon mentioned, you'd have to lift the default Magic out of the game and modify Witchcraft.Essentially, all things are inhabited by little gods and spirits. They have their own agendas and methods to which mortals are not privy, and only wise sages would even really be aware in detail. So, if a feudal lord sees his swords as so much steel, as tools for his use, the little gods will soon die and leave them ordinary swords.But the so-called barbarians, who must work hard to have a sword forged, no the value of it, and their care, their respect feeds the little god of their blade.As for the ravens... I've associated ravens with a Fae who delights in storytelling. If you fight great battles that feed his animals, Papa Raven will see to it your story becomes legend. If you carve out a legend, Papa Raven will watch over you through his animals.
>>26008914Actually, that would be cool, studying stuff like living rivers and mountains and stuff like that as living things. I'll have to incorporate this into the next urban fantasy game I play.
>>26008986Yeah. I have seething dislike for "oh magic should be more like myth!" while still keeping the whole D&D book-nerd wizard.
>>26008283This isn't the thread to argue about vancian magic or scientific magic.
>>26009069I'm pretty sure he's not arguing anything?
>>26007051>How do we get away from the modern concept of flashy magic like throwing elements aroundWe replace wizards with ritualistic witches, increasing casting times and location requirements; and everyone who want to shoot lightning bolts or fireballs have to be psions specialized in one element. Then we build Academy City.
>>26009028>>26008986See >>26008866I don't want hermetic mages. I want magic that is found in all of the world, and anyone can interact with it--though that doesn't mean everyone does.By the way, a couple other alternatives for sources of magic (instead of divinely granted or through years of study) are by joining a magical society and being taught secrets (less "nerd" and more "RL druids"), or by undergoing a spirit journey and gaining power from it (as seen in some RL American Indian mythos).
>>26009135>oh, and a third alternative methodOr, by learning a craft and doing it REALLY WELL.I mean, by some definitions of magic, knowing the right herbs to treat poisons and how to sew up a wound so that it wouldn't fester is magic--secrets that not everyone is privy to, that have great power. Knowing how to forge a Damascus sword would be another form of magic in this line of thinking--the formulas for the carbon amounts and time of heating would be closely kept secrets.
I am monitoring this thread.
Just stay away from d20 shit.Savage Worlds with the Beasts & Barbarians setting book does a great job of emulating Sword & Sorcery magic.
>>26007818Except the only actual tabletop WoW game is based on 3e.
>>26009363This.If you want non-modern magic, stay away from D&D. Hell, just because this is a fantasy thread doesn't mean we should discuss D&D only.
>>26009363OP here. I've tried Savage Worlds, and I wanted to like it, but it just didn't work for me.
>>26009135>>26009174>>26008866>>26008467>>26008422>>26008360HOLY SHIT YOU PEOPLE ARE READING MY MINDFUND IT
>>26009381Yes, but even with D&D out of the picture, there's still a lot of games that can't deliver the kind of magic system discussed in this thread.
I also hate the modern "lol cast fireball" idea of magic that D&D brought. Far too much like the superhero genre, with powers that are basically shooting beams at each other that hurt but don't kill, and are super flashy without having much in the way of substance.
So ive never tried Runequest, but this thread is making it sound really appealing. Whats it like?
>>26009433Not the guy you are replying to, but would you mind sharing your thoughts/feelings on what you didn't like about it?
>>26009603OK.Let's try to work out what a magic system as described in the post you linked above would even look like.Let's not tie it to any system in particular, just "System X" or whatever, that way it can have all the things we want it to have while not needing to work around other stuff. If this works out, I or someone else could build a complete system on top of the magic system.The question of course is how to tie in this idea of magic to mechanics.Because just crafting the fuck out of sword would be handled with a simple craft (weapons) check. That could be fluffed as just being magical, which is fine, but it doesn't show mechanically. Obviously singing to the water and trees would be a magic thing, there should be a differentiation between a high crafting check and a magical one.Basically:-When doing something magical there should be something else that's happening (mechanically) other than just doing the thing.-It should have an in-game effect, so the sword that gets crafted with a bit of magic in it should have some very minor magical properties (says sharp for a long time, or very hard to break, or draws more easily, etc)
>>26010181Would love to, but it was 3 to 4 years ago, and I've forgotten the details. I didn't hate it, and for some people it's probably fantastic, but it wasn't for me.
>>26010293While I was typing this out, a thought came to me:You have a die pool system. At some point, perhaps by being very good at a thing, or studying under a master, or whathaveyou*, you would get additional "magic dice" to roll with the skill. Starting with 1 magic die, of course.You would roll your magic dice whenever you rolled for that skill, separately. Each success on the magic dice would add one minor magical effect to whatever was being done.So the master blacksmith is making a sword. He rolls his regular skill dice in the skill to see how well he does at making the sword, then he rolls his magic dice (let's say he has 2). One comes up successes and one fails. He can use his success to add one of a number of effects, there should be a list but people should also be encouraged to make up other effects of a similar power. He chooses to make this sword preternaturally sharp. So the sword gets a bonus to damage or penetrating armor or something (whatever would make sense in System X's combat system).*Perhaps different things for different categories of skills (though that could get burdensome if there get to be too many skill groups), or perhaps just a list of things that can get you that, and you get magic dice by doing one (or more) of a list of things.
>>26010293Well, we could have something along the lines of FATE, where everything has Aspects. In this case, everything is an NPC to some degree, and it's likely that for most things, their awareness and intelligence is related to how powerful they are. A well-crafted sword is going to have some slight sense of self, and be more durable, or assist the wielder's blocks, or be eagerly out of the sheath to kill. A named sword from a legendary smith will have an actual personality, even if it has no means to communicate--and it will have potent magic, possibly even doing things beyond what a sword normally is intended for, such as waking the wielder before an assassin can approach.Looking at what you mentioned, something of import is having various craft (weapon) checks result in various levels of swords. If you get an average roll, you make an average sword that is fine for most people. If you get a shitty roll, whelp, shitty sword that doesn't feel inclined to obey its master. If you get a GOOD roll, you start imbuing the sword with potency. Smithing could be as much about beating the sword into shape as it could be training it like you would a dog, so at the slightest turn of the hand it already knows what its master intends and leaps to obey.
>>26010401I haven't read FATE, but it sounds interesting.Using them or something like them might meld pretty well with my magic dice idea from>>26010397So a success on a magic die would allow you to add some low level or weak aspect, and more success would either allow more weak aspects or stronger ones. So each teir of aspects would have a "point cost" that you would "buy" with magic die successes.
>>26010397That could be one way to do it, but I like even better that you just have smithing dice. You don't do anything* different to make the sword magical, you just make that sword REALLY WELL, and at certain levels of results, you start to see "magical" properties take shape. It's not that you're enchanting it, it's that you're taking "metal" and making it "sword"--the better you make it "sword" the more it will act like the nature of what a sword is meant to be.*you could do things like runecrafting or plunging it into a bath of maiden's tears to be quenched, or heating it with coal made from a lover's tresses, that sort of thing, as well, to increase the possible potency. But that's part of the crafting. A different way of "training" the piece of metal into being the essence of a sword, just like you train an unhelpful puppy into being the very essence of a tracking hound.
>>26010445Interesting.I was going more for the idea that magic was out there, in things, available to everyone, but you had to be skilled a doing or using it, so not just any chump with some iron and a hammer could churn out a magical cooking pot, you had to at least know what you were doing with metal to eek out it's magical properties.On the other hand, that's pretty much what having a high skill check in something means, so there's that.
>>26010471Yeah, if you're a chump or an apprentice, you can make things, but you'll never make the sort of thing that we'd call a "magic" item, because you don't have the skill to make that unhelpful piece of metal into something that is almost the very concept of what you wish to make.
>>26010501Alright, so something like:Roll X6, where X is your skill.Success on 4+1-2 successes - you succeed in a menial task. You can make a pot. It's a pot.3-4 successes - you succeed in a more difficult task or do above average on a meanial one. You can make a dagger, or a nice pot that heats evenly.5-6 successes - you succeed in a difficult task, you can make a nice dagger or a great, pot, with one one point aspect.7-8 successes - you succeed in a very difficult task, you can make a pot with 2 points of aspects or a dagger with 1 point of aspects.9-10 - 3 points for the pot, 2 for the dagger.And so forth.Because making a dagger is harder than making a pot. So the difficulty of the task is set at X successes, getting two over it just gets you a nice one, getting 4 over it gets you 1 point to spend in aspects, 6 over gets you two, etc.
>>26010586Of course the numbers would have to be balanced, they're placeholder numbers for now.
>>26010586Yes, something along those lines. (Exact details to be figured out later.)And maybe you get to roll on the table of aspects if your skill was high enough instead of picking aspects to give--or you can reduce successes/your total skill dice pre-roll/etc in order to choose which aspects you are attempting to go for.
>>26010637Interesting.Perhaps you could also "aim" for certain aspects by performing certain acts in the creation of a thing, like inscribing a rune or leaving it under a waterfall for a full day and night at some step in the process. Of course you'd have to actually know in-character what to do for that.Or perhaps things like that are pre-reqs for the most potent of aspects.
Meanwhile if you wanted to sing your way across a river, you're going to have to get a check high enough that things other than people notice.A lot of things that are "magic" are going to take significant time and effort to accomplish, and may have some cost involved. It isn't "just roll a check" or "just use X points of power", it's "prepare the site for days by walking in a continuous circle and having no sleep" or "offer something of great value as compensation for the aid that the mountain gives you". (Usually--some things could be easier than others obviously.)
>>26010694I like this. Making a blade that gained strength as the moon gained fullness, for instance, would be something involving smithing the sword during the full cycle of the moon, and only at night.
>>26010586I'm seriously actually working on this kind of system right now. Like, I started adding it to my base system last month. Do you guys want the details? I'd have to write up it nicely from my notes, mind, and leave the base system in the interim.
>>26010703I was thinking that the crafting process, which is what we've mostly been discussing here, would be exhausting somehow spiritually. You're helping this thing along by putting a bit of yourself into it, and doing that takes something out of you that needs to be recovered.Making a fine sword would not only leave you physically tired from the effort of crafting the blade, but spiritually weakened as well for a time.
>>26010802Tell us more about what you've made, please.Also, yes, do want.
>>26010802I'd love to see it. I've gotta run out for some errands, but I will be back.
>>26010809I'm 50/50 on the idea.Though, the temporary thing I'm not entirely sure about. What if it was like (bear with me) old-school D&D, where wizards sacrificed a point of constitution permanently to make a magical item? Now, to make most things in the hypothetical system we've got here, you can do just fine without it taking anything out of you--but if you want to make a sword that bards will sing of in years to come, a sword that will be as beautiful to see wielded as a setting sun or a bird in flight, then you need to pour everything you are into it, and work unceasingly to shape it. The kind of effort that you won't recover from for years, if ever.
>>26010885That, or just not have it beyond the normal intense mental and physical effort you'd put into it in reality. I'm iffy on the idea, it reminds me of the standard RPG rest periods.Now, not saying you'd just smith and roll and be likely to make something incredible. To have a shot at the high level of sword that magic shone through in, you'd have to do prep work, learn swordmaking secrets, maybe have special materials or the like as well.
>>26010802>>26010822Okay, here's the link to the draft .pdf on my Drive. I'll just collate the new craft rules and link them in a short while. Unless my GM finally turns up, in which case I'll be delayed.It seems to have gotten around a bit on /tg/ lately, so you might recognize it. I'm aware of some discrepancies and imbalances, but I'm addressing those.https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByTOX5rzBtMqNEJZaldKYUVSZ0k/edit?usp=sharing
>>26011063Thanks bro! Can you post in the thread when you update it?
>>26011120I'll post a link to the secondary file with the modified craft rules when I've got them typed up. Seriously, time has taught me those base craft and armour rules are just not right.The next link will contain mundane craft stuff, with the magic modifiers just under them in the same doc. Not that I'm bolting on the magic; if the rules work out as streamlined as I have planned, the magic stuff should interact with it really naturally.Although this isn't the default, it does mean I'll add some kind of Hyborian Saga-flavoured setting variant to the list alongside the noir cybermagic, magitech airships, and weird Dark Soul-sy navel gazing.
Damn, this thread has given me all kinds of ideas.
>>26010822Back.>>26010885I was actually thinking of something closer to those lines.Make a non-magical thing? No big deal.Make a semi/low magic item? Alright, maybe you've gotta get some rest for a few days, you're spent.Make a real, legit magic thing? Prepare to have little willpower for a week or two, just sapped. And it might be a month before you feel back to your old self.Make something really great? Well man, get yourself a nurse because you're going to be hurting for the next month. And it's going to be years before you can recover that part of yourself.Make something Epic, that gets into songs and stories generations hence? You'll never be the same.Then of course there was the Master Smith Turor Al'eson, who crafted his masterpiece, The Sword to Shear the World, spoke, "It is done," and died.Or or or I just had a thought: people change over time, we're not who we used to be. That's how you replenish yourself. Change, growth, seeing new things, feeling love and heartbreak, changing who you are, building that piece back with the things that built it the first time.That's how you recover from the truly great works.
>>26011063Thanks bro, reading now.
>>26011447>Or or or I just had a thought: people change over time, we're not who we used to be. That's how you replenish yourself. Change, growth, seeing new things, feeling love and heartbreak, changing who you are, building that piece back with the things that built it the first time.Sounds a lot like the Dresden Files. Which I find fun to read, but are very much the flashy pew-pew sort of magic for no cost other than making you tired, for the most part.
>>26011447>Then of course there was the Master Smith Turor Al'eson, who crafted his masterpiece, The Sword to Shear the World, spoke, "It is done," and died.Sounds pretty badass.
>>26011525I like the Dresden Files as well, and agree that it's very much not what we're talking about.But I don't see much of the connection, unless you're talking about soulfire.
I imagine some things like mountains would be very hard to get to notice you. Old and tall trees, old and wide rivers as well.Something else: you should never see an anthropomorphized version of something. You speak to the river as the water rushing by, because that is the form of the river--it doesn't poof out a water person to chat with you or have a light show face appear.
>>26011429I've been loving this string of magic system threads these past few days. It really shows how people perceive magic and its influence in games. I feel like /tg/ hasn't tapped into what they consider more subtle magic and we seem to trying to create a system that has vague enough magic to induce a new sense of awe but at the same time apply the concept of game mechanics so we can control or implement it at all.So far the common solution seems to be "make the magic alive, make things alive" which basically gives it human-level complexity and makes it less scientific than "I know about energy so I'm making a fireball. Kaboom!"
>>26011573That would be the thing I was thinking of, yes.
The magically imbued sword by virtue of being well crafted is something I like, a LOT.When monsters can shrug off most swords but a well-wrought blade can puncture them (aka damage reduction/magic in 3.5 terms), it's now less "because a wizard made it 'magic' and thus magic-science says it can penetrate" and more of a clash of concepts and beliefs. The monster's hide tells swords that they cannot pierce it, because they are mere sticks, wielded by mortal men. But the sword made by a master smith knows this is a lie, for it is a Sword, and the essence of a Sword is to kill. And it does.THAT is magic.
>>26011615Yeah, I can see that, but of course the systems are vastly different. Basically everything (with this crafting stuff at least) is using the soul energy a bit.>>26011696That's a fun interpretation. I like it, and I'm using it.
>>26011696>dammit where did that middle sentence go>should have beenThe monster's hide tells swords that they cannot pierce it, because they are mere sticks, wielded by mortal men. And they cannot. But the sword made by a master smith knows this is a lie, for it is a Sword, and the essence of a Sword is to kill. And it does.
>>26011749Either way, I'm with>>26011721. I like the sound of your idea.
>>26011721Instead of saying "soul energy", which sounds scientific, I would just say it "wearies you".But yeah, I could see it as a good thing to have, or as a bad thing, depending on the way it was written up.
>>26011696Very Beowulf, actually.
I'm very interested in this "RuneQuest" thing, it seems like people have posted about it a lot over the past few days. I'd never heard of it before then.I looked it up, and it's $25 for a PDF. Anywhere I can get like a sampler or something? I don't think it's sold at my FLGS, so I can't flip through the book.
>>26011782That's the reason that in my previous posts I never said: soul energy, I tried to sick to "putting something of yourself in," and having "something taken out of you," being "spent" or "sapped" of your will and energy, losing a part of yourself, not being exactly the same, "losing a part of your soul" is just too...what's a good word, exacting feels right. Scientific? Fussy? Rigorus feels right. Just too Not Magical.
>>26011876http://www.mediafire.com/download/5chca867d19l2rm/RuneQuest+6e+-+Core+Rules.pdfBam, 2nd link on /rs/
>>26011749>>26011696You cannot slay me. For I am a WYRM. I am an IMMORTAL. I AM POWER.Flee, before my might!>I can slay you.>For I am a SWORD.>I am a WEAPON.>I AM DESTRUCTION.>DIE!
>>26011920what is this picture? where is it from?
>>26011920"Revenge! Revenge! The King under the Mountain is dead and where are his kin that dare seek revenge? Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep, and where are his sons' sons that dare approach me? I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows! My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws are spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!"
>>26011936越王 勾践 剑
>>26011936It's the Sword of Goujian, an ancient Chinese weapon renowned for it's construction, sharpness, and resistance to tarnish.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Goujian
>>26011944I seriously don't think Hobbit 2 is going to beat how this speech was done in the animated Hobbit. The guy who did animated Smaug was absolutely fantastic and fit the dragon.
>>26011880You're right. I should have mentioned that it was something I stated again because I really would emphasize that it needs to be something that has no pseudo-science behind it. If a word for it... maybe one's "self".I like the idea more now that I realized you would have a real reason for a smith to demand a high price or deed from you before he would make a sword of high power. You want the best sword possible in the setting? You need to track down the best smith in the world, and convince him (likely by doing a deed he finds truly worthwhile, or using it for a purpose he agrees to) to pour his time, effort, and very life into it. It could take months. That, or kill someone with such a sword, and THAT is probably a harder task yet...
>>26011944That was in my mind when writing this >>26011920
>>26011999Yeah, I think it really works well to establish a "low-magic" feel.>>26011696>>26011749>>26011721Tell me how you like this fluff, /tg/, I can't decide if it's too exacting and fussy, or if it feels like a sort of alchemy type thing in a good way.Items have any number of essences. An essence is more than what the object is, it is what it is and is meant to be.Magic doesn't exist. Things exist, and all things have their essence. Magic is the word we use to talk about the truth of things, their essence.A sword is to cut.Armor is to protect.A pot is to cook.A net is to catch.A man is to create and change.And it is in that: Creation, that man makes things. Man, creating, imbues the essence of a thing that he is creating. Often this is intentional. Sometimes it is but a byproduct of his work. He moulds the raw into the complete, and it is through this Man creates the essence of a thing. It is through this that man changes the essence of iron and of coal into one of a sword. Or of a pot, or of armor. There is no limit to what man might impart, but to impart is to use his essence. It must be put into the creation, or it is naught but a thing.
>>26012071I like it. Like anything good, it needs editing and polish to realize full potential, but I like it.
>>26012071>editing attempt, but the end is hard to change, and honestly I'm not sure it's better or worse than the originalAll things have what men call their essences. An essence is more than what the thing is; it is both what it is and is meant to be.Magic is not a thing. Things exist, you can see them and hear them and touch them, and all things have their essence. Magic is the word we use to talk about the truth of things, their essence.A sword is to cut.Armor is to protect.A pot is to cook.A net is to catch.A man is to create and change.And it is in that: creation, that man makes things. Man, creating, changes the essence of a thing that he is creating. Often this is intentional. Sometimes it is but a byproduct of his work. He moulds the raw into the complete, and it is through this Man alters the essence of a thing, destroying its old identity and giving it a new one. It is through this that man changes the essence of iron and of coal into one of a sword. Or of a pot, or of armor. There is no limit to the essence a man might impart to a thing, but to impart is to use his own essence. His strain, his pain, his sweat, his breath, they must be put into the act of creation, or the object will be naught but a thing, without the essences of what it is meant to be.
>>26012250I like yours better than mine.I had originally written only: "A man is to create" and I wrote most of the last bit based on that, but I realized then that men don't so much create a thing as they do take one thing and make it into another, so I added change. But I neglected to re-write the last bit. You did so just as well as I would have, probably better. I like the edits on the first part as well. It works really well.
Okay, here's a link to the doc. I'll be editing it over the next half hour or so - my GM got here so I got cut short. I'll be factoring in the magic, anyway.If you see anything that raises questions, post here or there, your choice:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bD3eqgtQgcgZSdU7S7MBXPaLTHWlk6DE2Dyu0lpPyEI/editI also like this trend of Beowulf-esque monster slaying swords combined with some kind of platonic Ur-Sword.
>>26012396Hurr wrong field.
>>26012396It says I need permission to access the doc.
>>26012369The bit of issue with it as written so far is that we have essences of a thing being both what they are (so something everything has) and what they should be (something nothing can truly attain).But things that have not been touched by man have their essences too. Rivers, trees, mountains, the sun, the moon, the iron beneath the dirt.When man takes a piece of iron and begins making a sword, he destroys some of the essences it has, and tries to give the iron new ones. Essences like sharp, and cut, and strong, and deadly. But if he fails, has he only destroyed some essences and not imparted others? The sword is still sharp and will cut and kill--just not to the extent of one that was well made.When changing a thing, more importantly than giving essences, Man gives it a new identity. The identity of sword. Without using naming as a magic system (where knowing something's true name gives you power over it), I'd say that magic is knowing/shaping the identity of things and the essences that embody them. A powerful sword is powerful because you gave it a strong sense of identity as a Sword, which in turn gives it the essences that a powerful sword has.
>>26012442https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bD3eqgtQgcgZSdU7S7MBXPaLTHWlk6DE2Dyu0lpPyEI/edit?usp=sharingSorry, should work now
>>26012525To elaborate: identity is what makes things what they are, and gives them power. A fighting man trains and hones himself to make his identity that of a warrior, and thus he is one. The stronger his identity as a warrior, the better a warrior he is. A river has an identity that gives it strength and speed; as it ages it slows, but its identity grows more powerful with time as it knows ever more about what it means to be a river--and that gives it power.Everything has an identity, and the things that know their identity the most are both "what they are" and "what they should be". These are the things of power, of high magic and potency.>Should it be possible to have more than one identity? A warrior can be a father, and a friend. Or is his identity Ivan, which encompasses other things? I think I like the multiple identities thing... but focusing on one will (as in real life) make you truer and better at harnessing that identity's essences than someone who splits his self among multiple identities.
>>26012597Watching it be typed real-time is cool.
>>26007051Runequest sounds like what you're talking about.
>>26012717Not a bad book, actually. My introduction to Syntactic Magic, which I love.
>>26012637And now to clarify.An identity: what you are as a concept. You can have multiple identities, tied to different concepts. Ulaf the Smith, Ulaf the Father, Ulaf the Strong. The stronger you identify yourself as something, the more of its essences will be part of you. For Man, identity usually comes from effort; you cannot identify yourself as a warrior if you have never lifted a sword, because your heart knows that to be a lie.An essence: part of an identity; what it is, what it does, and what it should be. Swords are Weapons, they Cut, and they should be Sharp. Walls are Barriers, they Defend, and they should be Strong. An identity can have many essences; the stronger the identity, the more essences it will have.
>>26012525That's a good point. I think now that in that, Man should not be listed as having creation so much as change. He can change the ore into an iron pot, for example. The changing of a thing's essence is a power of man, doing this with tools and other things.In the conceptual mechanics I'm writing up right now, everything has a numerous multitude of mundane essences, these are basic things like metal having the essence of melting, or strong men having the essence of being strong, a sword having the essence of cutting.Then there are tiers above that, it goes: Mundane->Least->Lesser->Great->Fantastic->Pure. These are nice names I think, but just palaceholers. The idea is that a regular, non-magical sword would have the mundane essence of cutting, but if you've got a really nice sword, it might have a Great essence of cutting, enabling it to cut through anything that doesn't have an opposing essence of Great or higher.
>>26012801Or, for the identity or essence of being a warrior as in >>26012752Someone who has never held a weapon would have no "warrior" essence. Someone who's OK with a sword but a novice might have a least in warrior, someone who's a great swordsman might have a fantastic essence in it, The greatest swordsman in the world MIGHT have a pure essence.
>>26012717I sweqr that book was an extended apology letter for everyone who ever had to put up with 3e and base 4e Magic. Ugh.
>>26012884Is warrior an essence, or an identity? I think the latter. Essences of the Warrior identity could be things like Watchful, Weapon Master, Fearless, and so on.
>>26012915>>26012738>>26012717Will have to give it a look-see. Don't suppose anyone has a .pdf to post?
>>26012250>>26012525Just spitballing here: apply that thinking to procreation and child-rearing. Imagine a father, crafting his son in the image of the Warrior or the King.
>>26013076Thank god for the Rune Magic system ideas so my Valkyrie class can do neat shit
>>26013039Absolutely! I am 100% on board with this. Of course, to train someone's identity successfully, you need to know what you're doing. A Farmer training his son to identify as King is not likely to be successful, just as he is not likely to be successful in training a lump of iron to identify as Sword. Now, training Seeds to identify as Wheat, he is in his element at.
>>26013039Jungian Psychodynamics: The Fantasy RPGI'd play it.
>>26012941I was treating essences and identities as two words for the same thing there.I see no real nee to separate create another thing, separate from essences, that are identities. The identity might be the sum total of essences.
>>26013173>identity = sum total of essencesI am okay with this.
Holy shit this is a good thread, /tg/.
What else can we do with the idea of identity/essences as far as magic in the setting?
>>26008866RuneQuest. Seriously, you just described the game pretty accurately. The setting is bronze age rather than medieval, but you could use the system in your own setting with some work.
Doc updated. Any thoughts? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bD3eqgtQgcgZSdU7S7MBXPaLTHWlk6DE2Dyu0lpPyEI/edit
So this is Magic by Purpose,but without mechanics it is essentially FATE with freeform powers.
>>26013649What happens if you give a man Wolf Essence? Night Essence?
>>26013730Huh? I use FATE and I still don't know what you mean.
>>26013730All games are secretly FATE
>>26013725Good stuff, CrucibleGuy.
So, you guys have talked a lot about how this sort of magic system would mesh with crafting skills, which at its mechanical heart is very straightforward: the better you roll, the better your crafted item is at doing its intended task (i.e. probably giving a bonus to skill rolls or attacks rolls, in D&D parlance). Fluff-wise, the lump of metal that you mould into a sword is imbued more strongly with the essences that make up the identity of "sword" the better you do your job: it is made Sharper, and Stronger, and more Deadly, or what have you.However, as mentioned earlier, these sorts of physical crafts aren't the only way that men can tap into the magic of the world. Someone charming a river to part for him with a song is just as clear and example of magic at work, but doesn't involve the creation of anything tangible. So how do you cover that? I'm curious how you would quantify, from both a crunch and a fluff perspective, these sorts of efforts that can't be physically measured.I don't necessarily have an answer (I just stumbled upon this thread, so I'm still mulling it over), but it definitely seems like something worth discussing.
>>26013886Well, if the final mechanics are "roll craft check" for the swords, then the final mechanics for your example are "roll perform check" for the song. Getting a really high roll means that things not human will take note of just how damn good you are. Things that have noticed you in a good light are often inclined to help you.Of course, playing a song takes time... so not the best thing when running from bandits.
>>26013886Is your song not a thing, aspiring to the identity of Song? With essences such as Beautiful, and Melancholy, and Flowing?
>>26013814Well, the rolls and bonuses are all over the place, so it feels disjointed right now. Essentially leading to >>26013836As I get it, magic tends to have some common causes:Grace: Granted by something with power or influence.Nature/Law: Occurring by some law or cycle.Purpose/Fate: Influenced by symbolic or proper actions.After rechecking, seems you're working mainly on Grace as the real source.
>>26007051It's quite easy: Don't have Wizards. Have people who use magic. The problem is that there weren't a lot of myths and legends where magic is the only thing the guy does and still the hero. That sort of all-or-nothing magic usually came at a major price (tying yourself down to the land was common, or major fuckery with the gods/spirits). If you're a traveling magic user you're more a rogue who can cast a ritual and knows what widdershins means. You may be a guy who has a magic sword that helps him, or the assistance of a ghost/djinn/nymph of your bloodline. Perhaps you are too pretty to die because some god or goddess wants to fuck you silly.Just tone the shit down is all. Most of my magicians are more John Constantine than Merlin. I get a little leeway with what I can do,, don't throw doom down from the skies, and get into more fun because of that and a DM willing to let me work with what I've got. I do the same with other magic user players as long as they don't fuck it up by trying to game the largess.
>>26013886I treat bardic skills as a craft, sort of. So if you sing a song that convinces the river, the better the performance roll, the longer or wider it will open before you. If we're going with the little gods method, you just convince the resident god and it's a lot like dealing with an invisible, intangible NPC who communicates purely through the behaviour of the river.If we go with essences, it's trickier. Maybe if your essence is Persuasive? I wonder if that means your reputation, your personal myth, is a measure of your power...
>>26014076>the longer or wider it will open before youWorks for miladies, too.
>>26013990Of course, yes. But how does that affect the world? WHY does the river react to the essence of Beauty in your song and part its waters for you instead of rolling indifferently onward, as rivers do? Perhaps that's a question that should be left to the individual adjudication of each DM; I don't know. I feel there needs to be at least some sort of notional answer to the question if someone's actually to build a functional system out of this.>>26014076This seems like a fairly reasonable start for an answer. From a mechanical perspective, then, would charming the river by to rolling a Diplomacy check as forging a magical blade is to rolling a Craft check?Now that I give it some more thought, that kind of works with the idea that while you can INTEND to work magic, you don't necessarily have complete control over its actual manifestation. Someone suggested previously that when you made a magic sword, you wouldn't necessarily get to choose what aspects were imbued into it—at least, not unless you made specific efforts, e.g., forging at night underneath the moon. In the same way, one could simply pluck at the strings of their harp with the intent of enticing nature to notice their plight—but the exact effect might be up to interpretation, unless the singer had learned beforehand from some canny hermit that the river in question was a particular fan of heartfelt ballads (or whatever).
>>26014076Could be that nearly everything, alive as it is, can appreciate a good tune within earshot. If you've caught something's attention, you may have the chance to speak with it--or if you're really on the ball, you can weave that request into your song.Very much something that is useful for short-term effects rather than long-term, and needs some set-up time, but the universal applicability would make it a very fun character.
>>26014160>Now that I give it some more thought, that kind of works with the idea that while you can INTEND to work magic, you don't necessarily have complete control over its actual manifestation. Someone suggested previously that when you made a magic sword, you wouldn't necessarily get to choose what aspects were imbued into it—at least, not unless you made specific efforts, e.g., forging at night underneath the moon. In the same way, one could simply pluck at the strings of their harp with the intent of enticing nature to notice their plight—but the exact effect might be up to interpretation, unless the singer had learned beforehand from some canny hermit that the river in question was a particular fan of heartfelt ballads (or whatever).Oh, I like this.
/tg/ getting another magic system created? Woohoo! Never seen this one tried a thousand times before with absolutely nothing to come of it.
What I like about this as a setting is that from what's been posted so far, it's very much a setting where speaking to sages and seeking out knowledge is worth your while. Maybe it's to get a new way of forging steel, or a means to align the blade to the moon, or knowing that a particular river is fond of certain songs. But knowledge equals power here, and that makes it much less of a good idea to just murderhobo your way through it.
>>26014196/tg/ doesn't have to make a thing, that's a recipe for failure. I'm going to be making something using this thread for inspiration. The mechanics are going to be pretty easy to pull off for me, as long as I have a steady stock of ideas for how the setting works.
>>26014196As a rule, /tg/ doesn't get shit done. People get shit done with help from /tg/. As often happens, 2 or 3 people from this thread are going to use the ideas and inspiration, then go build something for their group.
>>26014309They might even come back and share it!
>>26014309I'm giving everything I build out of it back to /tg/, in case anyone wants to use it.
Goodness I hope we can get something usable out of this. It's beautiful.
>>26014118Well, yeah, if you're some kind of uber-bard.>>26014160>>26014161>>26014213It might take long study to find out what kind of song a river might like, or careful conversation with locals. Then you practice, and prepare, and finally you compel the river to help you, briefly. It might take some kind of effort to build a rapport for future aid.I have this idea of a grizzled, limping monster-slayer with a well-kept sword and pack of scrolls. He comes into town and just explores awhile, talks to farmers and hunters alike, spends hours staring at a river or sitting in the forest.Eventually, he plays a song on his pipes, and the forest rustles in approval. He waits for nightfall, and draws his sword, blade gleaming green in the dark. When the hulking monster that has been haunting the villages comes, he plays the pipes again, and the forest snares the creature's feet, scratches its eyes.Its his arm behind the ensorcelled sword that kills the beast, but with neither sword nor forest he couldn't prevail.
>>26014548I am down to play in that setting.
>>26014548Damn guy must be a beast on those pipes if the whole forest is up for helping him out instead of a tree or few.
>>26013107I was mostly considering fathers who were passing on their own roles, imbuing their children with every lesson they've learnt in their lives, and especially what would happen when the "crafting" is botched... Of course, what you're describing, when it would be successful, would be extremely good campaign material.
>>26014693Right, that's something that he knows how to do, that he can teach. And the rare man might have some idea of how to train his offspring into an identity he does not himself have.
>>26014548It's not exactly a perfect correspondence, but I'm getting very strong Mushishi-vibes from this idea... which means it's time for a rereading, I guess.
>>26014595I'll be sure /tg/ knows when it is done.>>26014630You don't get to be an old monsterslayer if you're not damn good at what you do. Or if you know what questions to ask of the hunters; few men know their forest so well.
>>26014721It's why you have to apprentice a lad. He's got to learn the role from the man teaching him. It's why a young man raised to be a farmer who likes to spend time with men in the watch might find his way there; maybe being rescued by a wandering swordsman gives him ideas in a more essential way than wayward ambition.But, as for failing the... crafting.Those men might grow up being best fit for a noose, despite your best intentions. A man is not a tool, afterall, and his own will can bend your lessons astray.
>>26014952Even dogs can't always be taught properly.Or in this setting, swords/walls/pots/anything.
This thread has had some of the best ideas I've seen from /tg/ in weeks.
What else should we be looking at as far as things you can do to bring magic? We have smithing and songs so far. Surely other things would be done so well as to be supernatural.
What if Man were the only thing that didn't have an Identity and Essences the same way everything else did? Man could be too much a being of change to be able to confine himself to a single identity, but everything else can.
>>26015739That makes sense, on one level, but the other theory allows us to have magically empowered heroes that I think would fit in this setting - given that they're not hugely magically empowered.Although I think this is all pretty subject to testing and adjusting, so you might be right.I find it interesting that this could lead to quite a craft-heavy sort of game.
>>26016056It occurred to me that someone who fully identified as a Warrior, wielding a Sword, clad in Armor, would basically mow down everything before him like wheat before the scythe.
Can you self identify as whatever you want whenever you want to?
>>26016488Maybe that's how shapeshifter druids work? Either they're very adept at wrapping themselves in identities, or they're so good at holding on to their own identity it's child's play to change their physical form.
>>26016179For good or ill.
>>26016729Personally, I would say having even one other form should be a huge deal.
>>26016488Not easily, no. To make it analogous to the example we've been using this whole thread: consider crafting a sword. It requires time. It requires significant physical exertion. It requires special circumstances (in this case, the location of a forge + the tools and materials used to shape it, at the minimum). And if you want it to be particularly "magical," it requires a bit of yourself.The takeaway is that changing something's essence is hardly a simply process. The complexity will vary, of course, but to be able to fundamentally alter something's identity on a whim would be miraculous for even a talented sorcerer. If a simple lump of iron requires so much effort to fashion into something else, do you really think fashioning a human being into an entirely different creature is going to be simple?>>26016729I like the idea that being a druid isn't just about understanding what makes up the identity of another creature and being able to wrap yourself in its form, but having a firm enough grasp on your own identity that you don't loose yourself in the process.I'm imagining something along the lines of Animorphs (bear with me), where remaining in an animal form for too long is dangerous. In this case, though, the rational would be that the more time you spend as a wolf, the harder it is to remember being human. You start to get used to the sounds and the smells that you never picked up on; the fur on your back starts to feel like YOUR fur, and those sharpened implements of death must be YOUR teeth. As the taste of a rabbit's blood fills your mouth, the taste of your wife's rabbit stew slips out of your mind; as you run through the night alongside that pack—YOUR pack now—the faces of the men you once called your brothers become the strange, indefinite shapes you call Humans—though you don't know where that word came from, and soon even it feels out of place in your head...
[continued]>>26020380Essentially, shapeshifting is all about not forgetting Who You Are. Wearing two identities at once isn't just physically and mentally taxing—it stretches the confines of what should be possible in a very weird sort of metaphysical way, where "You" means way more than it's supposed to, and even reality kind of gets a headache just thinking about that. Eventually, you have to snap back into one form or the other—and the longer you spend immersed in a foreign identity, pushing your own to the back of yourself so as not to muddle the transformation, well... the easier it is to just slip down into that new identity when the rubber band finally snaps, so to speak.I'm not sure if that's feasible to implement in an RPG, but fuck, it'd be cool.
>>26020380>>26020454Cool as fuck indeed.
>>26020380>>26020454Definitely doable in an RPG.
>>26020454That would also explain werewolves.They're men who have the essence of wolves in them.They desperately try to become human again, but they can only manage to walk the line in the middle.
>>26020853I was going to suggest skinwearers that made a special animal skin that allowed people to take that shape when worn, but this is also cool as hell.
>>26020853If the setting is European, wolves are the main predatory animal. Could be something about the killer mindset being especially addictive/seductive to the men taking the wolf's shape that makes it hard to shake.
>>26008360And this is when the thread got good.
What else can we do to flesh out the setting?
Some mechanical stuff based on essences and other things earlier in the thread:There are six teirs of essences.Teir one are Mundane essences. Cuts, Holds, Melts, these are Mundane essences, which everything has. Most Mundane essences will not be listed in item discriptions, because they're obvious from what the item is, and listing them would be too many. Some might be listed if they have constant mechanical implications, as a reminder.Teir two is least essences. These are very minor magical essences. They might be the same as Mundane essences, for example, if [cuts] is a least essence of a thing as opposed to a mundane essence, then its [cuts] essence is stronger than an opposing mundane essence.Teir three is lesser essences. These are more magical than least essences. Further, any Mundane or Least essence might be used as a lesser essence, and if it is then it "wins" against any opposing mundane or least essence opposing it.Teir Four is great essences. Many of them are overtly magical, as opposed to Least and Lesser essenesTeir Five is fantastic essences. Rarely attained, teir five essences for items are always overtly magical, and can only be imbued by great artizens with much work. They are more powerful than any other essence but Pure.Teir Six is pure essences. Pure essences are the peak of a thing. If a sword is to cut, then a sword with a pure essence of cutting will cut anything. Man-made items with pure essences are very rare indeed, only a few exist.
>>26027373I will be leaving for work soon, so I'm archiving this thread as it stands on suptg. (198 replies as of this post). If it survives till my lunch break, I'll bump it, and when I get back from work (around 8:20 4chan time) I'll bump it and post more or make a new thread to continue fluff and mechanical dissections on these ideas.
>>26027373I dunno, breaking into tiers seems to make it more scientific and measurable in a way that the entire idea was working to avoid.
>>26027427Oh, it'll survive, OP is here making sure of that.We should try to flesh out a few other concepts that would be applicable to the system/setting, though.
>>26028848I feel like the Norse mythos works better with this type of magic than most, but Arthurian legends could also be applicable. Maybe start taking some parts of those and tying them in?
>>26027427Lunch bump.>>26027920Well the problem is: how do we introduce things that are immeasurable and model them mechanically, so they're balanced?Fluff-wise, there would be no teirs. Mechanically, there would be, the master smith makes a swoard, he gets a fantastic essence, or two great essences, or four lesser ones, etc.I'm considering lowering the number from six to three. It makes it a little better and because you don't have to incremtent power up 6 scales it makes it lower magic. Maybe Lesser Greater Fantastic for names? You have to have some "scientific" stuff in order to model it mechanically, but I'm trying to keep it to a minimum (and of course it wouldn't show up in fluff). Reducing it to three is one of the things that I think will help there.
>>26030182If nothing else, three is a potent number in a number of European mythos. It does beat six. (Plural of mythos is... mythos? Mythoses? Mythi?)
>>26030182>Unfeeling>Aware>KnowingRelating to the thing's concept of its identity. Alternate words acceptable, very much so in fact.
>>26030182>Lunch bump.I like you. Between Euro and US time, we should be able to get things figured out without a quick thread death.So, as an idea, I was thinking about how maybe there should be spirits that let you borrow their identities as part of a pact. Or maybe you are still strongly your own identity but have theirs as a weak one as well, so that you take on some of their essences while remaining yourself. In exchange for entering the Dreaming World and making a bargain with a powerful horse spirit, it might instill a swiftness of foot upon you for a year and a day.
>>26013811If done by someone with minimal power, they become a bit more feral. More muscles, less intelligence, a bit more instinct. Maybe they get a bit of super-smell, maybe they can run a little faster. If done by someone with great power, they actually become a wolf, or even an Uber-wolf, a wolf with all the qualities one ascribes to a wolf. Alternatively, if you do it wrong, they get two limbs turned to wolf limbs and bits of their face turned to wolf-face, but the rest is human, and they become a disfigured abomination.
>>26013811As for Night Essence, they'd become more stealthy and more quiet, and perhaps a little more scary, a little more chaotic, but they'd either leave, die, or have the spell wear off at dawn.
>>26032614>Night Essence>I am The Night>they become Batman
>>26016488On Tumblr, yes. In a fantasy setting? No. You are, in some ways, the sum of all that you are, wish to do, and have done, and perhaps even will do in days to come. Your identity can change, but a man who spends ten years in the crusades doesn't simply stop having the identity of 'Crusader' after one day of being home.
>>26020454In 3.x, I'd say it'd be something like "Roll a Will Save, the DC being the intended Animal's CR or HD. For every hour above your WIS (in normal form), make another save, the DC increasing by 1. Failing the save means you think you are the animal, and stay that way way. You get a chance to re-roll once a day."Some things would increase the DC, I'd say.>Animal is reptilian/avian/fish | DC +1>Animal is an insect or other thing | DC +1>Animal has limbs you don't have (wings, multiple legs, etc) | DC +1>Animal is a different size category | DC +1 per category>Animal can do something you could never learn to do (flight, intense speed, breathing under water) | DC +2>Animal is magical/mythical | DC +3>Animal is prey, but you've been acting like a predator | +1>Animal is a predator, but you've been acting like prey | +1Certain things would trigger (or even lower) a will save, such as seeing your lover or true companion, being reminded of home or old memories, perhaps certain spells.All Druids have a certain animal (chosen at birth/character creation/character initiation/after an intense change in their life, like death and resurrection, loss of a lover, birth of a child) at which they get an animal they can always turn into or out of without having to make a Will Save.
>>26020853They can resist most of the month, but after the Waxing Quarter they start to get a little antsy, a little more wild, and when the moon is full the predatory instinct kicks in. The moon is full, all of the pack can see, it's a perfect night for hunting, and you will hunt better as a wolf than as a man. Cue transformation sequence.
>>26032975>You get a chance to re-roll once a day.This does not belong with the rest of the ideas in this thread. Now, seeing a lover, that's acceptable.
>>26030515InherentExtraordinaryMythicSwords are inherently sharp. Being Extraordinarily Sharp makes it able to cut through some things, like armor, whereas being Mythically Sharp makes it deal more damage and cut through other things, like spells, lies, or awkward silences. (but only one of those things)
>>26032975Thank you for reminding me why I dislike 3.xIt just makes it so forumulaic and I can't stand that
>>26033142But we're talking about the sword's self-identity as a sword, not about a single essence that the identity gives it.
>>26033142Mythic fits some settings, but others might fare better by calling it "Supernatural" or just "Unnatural." Eg, in a Western, a Revolver that kills anything it hits would be Unnatural more than Mythic, and that would give a certain sense of ominousness to it.
In case anyone in this discussion is into quests, one anon tried to run a quest in this setting today called The Longest Road.Just getting word out in case it pops up again, I think it was deleted.
>>26030515>Asleep>Awake>AttentiveOf every one hundred swords on the battlefield...Ten should not even be there, and will fail the hands that carry them.Eighty are Asleep, barely aware, nothing but targets.Nine are Awake, knowing what they are, they the battle make.Ah, but the Attentive, the Attentive knows what it should be--and he will bring the others back.
>>26020454I'd probably implement an Integrity scale, or for greater ease base it off Willpower as I do for most magical stuff. Your Willpower is a measure of your ability to hold onto your own identity - some stimuli can be ignored, but some things you might have to roll to resist. And if you fail the roll and give in to the beast too many times, maybe it gets harder to change back. Parts of the beast come back with you - mannerisms, instincts, drives. The worse it gets, the more physical traits come back.The frightening thing is a strong-willed person who gives in is still strong willed enough to be caught between beast and man, rather than becoming wholly beast.
Pardon if something like this has been discussed--this is an awesome thread, but don't have time to read it all.Even more than spells, I despise the way magic in many games (read: D&D and derivatives) is about hoarding items and spells (which are supposed to be powerful and mysterious). I seriously remember games where we'd go to Ye Olde Magick Shoppe with armfuls of +1 longswords and be like FUCK how do we get rid of these things!Alot of really good fantasy literature has a "system" of magic, it's just not codified in spells/day.Wizard of Earthsea is particularly good at this--magic works in a certain way, and you can study and understand it, but it isn't just a collection of formulas for making fireballs and useful items.will post an idea for an alternate system in a moment.
>>26033633Make time to read this thread, it'll be worth your while. The ideas posted so far are FANTASTIC for getting away from the bog-standard D&D brand of magic.
To distill a few of the main points of the kind of magic system in this thread:1) Everything is alive. Everything. Not everything is always awake though.2) Magic is not an energy source or a tangible thing, it is the phrase used to describe things with a strong identity, or the act of giving an identity to something.3) Everyone can do magic. No-one is a "magic expert". The closest thing would be a sage, whose knowledge of secrets gives them power--but power that anyone else could use as well.4) Magic is everywhere, even if you don't see it blatantly every day.5) Interacting with magic does not mean throwing fire from your hands, it means changing the identities of things.
Ok, so my one gripe I'd have with a completely fiat/narrative system is that it would depend completely on the DM. Reading old myths is sometimes tiresome, because magic happens more or less exactly as the gods like--it would be very hard to avoid the feeling of riding on a rail. Some metric would make players feel a little more in control.The Ebberon setting was the epitome of making magic boring as fuck (at least for me, in what I enjoy about fantasy).I also would not enjoy a system where it was a single roll against a "spellcraft" skill.Perhaps you need a system of rituals and sacrifices--multiple skills or metrics, integrated with the players other abilities. A master black smith might have magic just as powerful as a loremaster, just with different focuses.Spend more time for bigger effects, with broad powers for players to narrate the effects. The results, limitations, and flavors of the magic would be defined by setting. A grimdark setting, for example, would focus on blood sacrifice, ritual scarification, etc.A Tolkienesque setting might reward those who are humble and use magic only at great need.Lazy or greedy spellcasters would be punished, while those who take their time and think things through will gain more power.>>26033688Agreed, I'll save the text!
>>26033820You pretty much hit upon what has been discussed, which means you may enjoy the content.
I'm working on a setting with a lot of Celtic and Norse influences. It's not even close to done yet, but I was wondering if /tg/ could point me toward some information on how magic works in such legends?
>>26033796Marriage is a form of magic.Childbirth is a form of magic.Blood oaths are a form of magic.Rites for the dead are a form of magic.Coming of age is a form of magic.Creating a sword is a form of magic.Raising crops is a form of magic.Taking the shape of a beast is a form of magic.Offering a cow to bring the year's rain is a form of magic.Honing one's skill in battle is a form of magic.All of these things change and manipulate the identity of a thing, and therefore have power. Some have more potency than others, but all are magical.Magic can be more potent in a circle of standing stones, or atop a mountain, or underneath a full moon. Knowing these places and times, knowing the correct ways to perform magical acts, these are things that grant men power.
>>26033925>http://www.tarahill.com/runes/Here is one thing which may be of interest for you.
I think my main takeaway from this thread is that the magic "system"--whether mechanical, or narrative, or whatever, must flow naturally from the setting.In one setting, magic flows from life energy--blood sacrifice is the only way to invoke spirits or elemental forces. In another, it is tied to holy locations or secret words. I'm sure more than one can coexist.Good magic and good worldbuilding has to go hand in hand. D&D has to be 'generic' magic, so of course it has no real flavor or mystique of it's own.
>>26033935>>26033796I've updated that google doc with the craft content in it according to a lot of this, and I reckon given around two weeks I can bash out a reasonable system and setting with some variations. Any suggestions for cool yet subtle traits I may have missed? So far the more mundane stuff I have are small but significant increases in damage or accuracy, or luck, or allowing a wielder to overcome wound penalties when armed with grandfather's sword.
>>26033925>>26033820This works for both of you, I suppose. Say your Spellcraft/Knowlege (Arcana)/Occult/Magic roll was just to know "Well, if I forge a sword under these situations/do these things, it'll have this effect." So you can roll to know that when a sword is poured into a mold you can sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and powdered hen's teeth into it and it will become hot when its Name is called. Figuring out the sword's Name is an entirely different issue.I'm thinking of stuff like the chains that held Fenrir, which were made from the roots of a mountain, the hair of a woman's beard, the footfalls of cats, etc. The DM (or the Sourcebook writers, but that seems less fun) can give out strange components that have to be collected in order to make a magical weapon. Bonus points if it's something like "I roll Knowledge (Arcana) to try to figure out how to make a sword that will slay the dragon.""You recall a snippet of an old poem. 'Northern Pirates carry blades with chill winds of the fall, but moonforged steel can make a blade that's colder than them all.'" And that's all you get. To be fair, one assumes the DM wants you to be able to slay the dragon, so however you interpret Moonforged to mean is more important than what the rules say it means.
>>26033935A song played on a lute has magic to it, just as a dance to summon a storm has magic to it. Things we take for granted, like the birth of a child, are powerful acts--that child's birth was the creation of a new life!A greedy man who lays atop a pile of gold will become a wyrm in time. Eating that wyrm's heart will let you speak the language of the birds. Making a skin from a falcon and treating it with the right secrets for a year and a day will let you wear the falcon's shape.Power comes from the knowledge of secrets such as these.
>>26033925There were two big forms of magic in the Norse myths, Magic from Sex and Magic from Knowledge. Gullveig taught Sex Magic to the Aesir, whereas Odin Valfather hanged himself from the World Tree to receive the knowledge of Runes. The runes had certain songs associated with them, mastering the songs was a part of mastering the runes. Check out The Havamal, the words of Odin. There's this section where he brags about all these Rune Songs he knows that will let him be awesome at battle and/or get pussy.
>>26034062I imagine there would be a lot of tracking down people who knew various secrets and convincing them to share their knowledge, and thereby their power. Maybe you remember something vital about making the sword, but you don't have all of it--but a smith in another village is rumored to have a secret of smelting from the far east that when paired with your own knowledge would allow the forging of a blade strong enough to slay the beast.
>>26033925http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/I'm a fan of this site for Norse things.
>>26034062The chains of fenrir seem like magic beyond the reach of mortals--the stuff that even sages can only guess at. How would you incorporate this into a game (where the characters are not gods themselves)?>>26034148As I imagine a homebrew system... I think I'd like a more consistent/elegant mythology. After all--mythology in our world was sort of thrown together around the campfire over time. We might assume that magic in a fictional setting is *discovered*--and while mysterious and difficult to access for mortals, it is a natural part of the universe.Not to criticize any of your individual ideas, love the wyrm one.Imagine the hijinks that happen when a crackpot comes up with legitimate sounding magic!How awesome would it be to have the prologue of a game be the war between gods that creates the world!
>>26034221Yeah, this! My only question is, how do you keep it from being a thing where you can just buy Sword of Property X in a store? I mean, by logic if anyone can learn how to make a magic sword and if anyone can forge a sword (with enough skill, such as to add the magic to it) why isn't there a booming industry for these things? I mean, sure, with my Sword that turns Hot example you need Powdered Hen's Teeth, which is appropriately magical, but all you'd need is someone who breeds fanged hens or something to make that easy to access.
>>26033935You would make (or already are) a very good neopagan.
>>26034016Wakes the wielder of an ambush if asleep, to face his foes on his feet.Guards the wielder's mind against ensorcellment (only when in battle).
>>26033935>>26034324It seems important to distinguish in the game whether these special places, ingredients, circumstances are innately meaningful (like ingredients in a pie) or if they rely on belief or understanding.
>>26034324Ha! Then I've got something to make you laugh: I'm a devout Catholic.>And I've written at least a third of the stuff in this thread
>>26034291Less rare ingredients, I suppose. I mean, the Footfalls of a Cat, how do you even get those into a form that makes a chain (well, ribbon, technically, but nevermind)? For simpler things, like a flaming sword, it'd be something accessible, just uncommon. Tears of a virgin, the hairs of a child born under a full moon, the feathers of a hawk who has eaten human flesh, etc.
>>26034407Keep in mind, for the ribbon that bound the Fenris wolf, wasn't that made by dwarves? They had secrets for creating things that nobody else knew.
>>26034407I guess I mean, does the power come from inside you (ie, from the feeling you get watching the sun set from that circle of stones), or does the circle of stones merely mark the place where a great king planted his sword in a previous age?Just a rhetorical question, as I think this over...
>>26033982>>26034062>>26034194>>26034233These are great, I am much of thanking. I really like the idea of bards and language being magical. This is a rather low-magic setting coming off an apocalyptic plague, so the resources for traditional wizardly schooling simply do not exist. Education is sparse as well, but there is some magic inherent to language that the superstitious people take as godly.I decided early on the most a mortal soul (as opposed to immortal soul) could master was the equivalent of third level spells. I think it's really awesome that in Conan the Barbarian, we explore this wild, untamed world and fireball is the most complex arcane magic available.Divine magic on the other hand I want to work more ritualistically and be more inspired by Celtic myth. Druidism will be important in some areas. I have a cosmology planned that is similar to the Norse, wherein the gods have one world and the "Wyrdyr" have their own, with the human world in the middle. The distinction between gods and spirits is important.I'm planning a mythic world inspired more by legend, where thematic monsters may be encountered and the gods may or may not be involved, where the characters will be recorded in epics. I want to bring something hopeless, mysterious and frontier to life. Does this sound like a good idea?
Alright, you guys - This link is to a fresh, virgin document. I will apply my head to desk in the prescribed manner until the magic of game design happens.What I'm basically saying is interested parties can drop in and out over the next few weeks to watch me work on this in realtime, and offer criticism or suggestions as we go.I will be using my own base system as a starting point; golden rule applies.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TQdrrufvdoUCkYAHot8fJMBAlfB7REVYgXYhkEseE-0/edit?usp=sharingI am now, however, going to spend some quality time with my girlfriend, so I'll get to work in a while. A lot of the content in the earlier doc should stand, though, so feel free to browse that and continue devising awesome ideas in this thread.
>>26034406>Catholic>Most polytheistish of all the Abrahamic ReligionsPolite-sage for being off-topic. >>26034375I'd say it'd rely on belief/faith/emotional connection. Eg, there's more power in my childhood home for me than for my parents, who had five houses before that. But in the same way, there's a lot of power in Stonehenge, for me, because I've grown up with lore and fantasy and books in which Henges = Druids = Magic, but someone from a culture with know knowlege of it might not find it at all magical. BUT, perhaps a place imbued with repeated collective magical/spiritual significance would have Awake or even Attentive aspects even for someone who doesn't know that they do, and they could stumble across it and go "My Magic Senses are Tingling", but could also find it after looking in a book for the nearest convergence of magical energy/faith/etc. Similarly, a cleric or a bard could convince a big group of people that this totally normal field is the place where a great battle between good and evil was fought, and good won, and therefore the battlefield is ++ for fighting the good fight. (I had a DM refer to these places, as well as places where Leylines Converge, as a Felcrest, and I've gleefully stolen the word.)
>>26034491I'd play that. I'd play the hell out of that.
>>26034307>I mean, by logic if anyone can learn how to make a magic sword and if anyone can forge a sword (with enough skill, such as to add the magic to it) why isn't there a booming industry for these things?Simple. There's a few things to consider:1) Learning to forge even a sword that is Asleep requires years of apprenticing to a smith. Then further years to gain the skill to make swords that are Awake. To regularly make Awake swords is something that a master smith could do, but instead he's more likely to spend months or years trying to craft an Attentive sword that men will sing of for years to come.2) The population of the setting should not be so numerous that there are thousands and thousands of smiths. Think the Norse, or dark age Europe. A city of a hundred thousand people isn't something you'd find.tl;dr: not everyone can forge a sword, and rather few can forge a sword with actual power within it.
>>26034471I say the latter. Magic is more a thing of doing than a thing of feeling or thinking.
>>26034525>Most polytheistish of all the Abrahamic ReligionsNot as I've seen it practiced, but I'd sooner not get a wonderful thread off-topic.>>26034471>does the circle of stones merely mark the place where a great king planted his sword in a previous age?This. As >>26034576 said, magic is something caused by actions. You don't get to be a mystically good warrior by wishing really hard, you get to be one by constant training and shaping your identity.Doing it like this also means that the world is full of secret places, times, and so on for the PCs to discover, and test, and utilize as part of their magic using efforts. I would love to run a game where the PCs know a secret is more valuable than any shiny bauble, and would seek out sages to find a new way of smithing or shaping the weather.
>I'm planning a mythic world inspired more by legend, where thematic monsters may be encountered and the gods may or may not be involved, where the characters will be recorded in epics. I want to bring something hopeless, mysterious and frontier to life. Does this sound like a good idea?YESYESYES
>>26034735Yeah--Characters who wanted to be great at casting spells would keep a spellbooks or grimoire instead of a list of spells. They can always roll against their lore skill, but you don't need to search your memory for a secret name if you have it written down.Right now, I'm pondering a system where magic comes from "somewhere else" for a grimdark setting, rather than a holistic/animist form. Characters bind spirits of varying power to do their bidding... which can go well or ill depending on skill.
>>26034194>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VölvaTake a look here for some more interesting stuff about Norse magic traditions.
>>26034766>>26034526Well thank you! What are some things you'd like to see? I really wish I had a finished map to share so you could ask questions.
>>26034823You can do that in an animist setting too.By understanding the identity of a thing, you can gain power over it. Or at least, you can try. There would be taboos among good people against doing so, but that doesn't mean someone isn't going to go watch the river and then engage it in dialogue before they gain control over it. (Failure would mean a near certain drowning...)
>>26034857This thread? It is full of things I'd like to see. I have rarely been more proud to be OP of a thread, this turned out to be something amazing.
>>26034911And with this there can be some middle ground. "River, would you be kind enough to flow slowly here, just for a few minutes, while my pony and I cross?" And maybe the river would calm. And maybe you know that singing certain songs, or doing certain dances would make it more pliant.
>>26035006This is actually a thing from a system I'm working on, although I'm sure it'd be too mechanical for this thread as a whole.
>>26034823Most people would probably have some such scroll/book secreted away somewhere. The farmer needs to know some of those places and times just as the smith does, or the mother, and so on.Alternatively, you could have oral history be a very big part of the culture, with people being very good at remembering things they hear just once as a result. A grimoire makes certain you can't forget, but leaves your secrets vulnerable to theft...
>>26035018Can't hurt to link to/post it.
>>26007051Here is a question are there any systems that do a good job of mechanically portraying the Hermetic, Kaballah, Taoist, Shinto, or other magical systems?
>>26035041Farming is too important not to have some kind of almanac, written or spoken. I can picture a genuinely compassionate order of monks who painstakingly hand-record those things farmers must know and send the books to villages, where they are coveted and cared for.Of course, some farmers may know things of their own land, or discover secrets of their own, but when people need bread you're a fool to keep some simple things from the farmers.
How about a magical system in a setting where all a wizard's spells and rituals are merely him taking advantage of the exploits and glitches in reality. You could have a level 1 spell called acceljump.
>>26035063Could try this book >>26013076.Could also try Ars Magica with some of its supplements. See >>26028425 for more details.
>>26035115Great idea, but not really one that belongs in this thread.
>>26035115that's a pretty cliche idea by this point, and pretty much the opposite of what's being talked about here.
>>26035006I wonder just how much such an innocuous spell would fuck up the water ways.
>>26035106Even without an almanac, farmers are going to talk and share tips. Secrets are great to have, but people brag, or get loose-lipped from alcohol, or let something slip carelessly, or decide to help a friend, or trade secrets for mutual gain, or pity a guy who had a bad year. Stuff that works will spread informally without a central authority, it always does.
>>26035210Downstream? Who cares about whoever might live there, anyways.Or did you mean the river? It knows how to take care of itself--if a bird asked you to stretch your arm out for a perch, would you not laugh if it asked how that would harm your body?
For the moon-based sword:A sword that gets stronger or weaker as the moon waxes and wanes. During a full moon it has great power, but use when the moon is darkest risks it breaking. During a lunar eclipse, it must not be moved lest it crumble to dust. During a solar eclipse, there is nothing that can stand before it.
>>26035057Eh, it's not nearly done enough, although if people like it I can start streamlining it. Basically the class, The Magician, (developed for 3.x because it's what I know) can tell objects to do things. At 1st level they can only use a Noun and a Verb in a sentence, and have to roll Charisma to see if the object will do so. Unoccupied objects are easy, but held/attended objects are less so. At this point Objects won't do things they're not designed for. A book will open, but it won't sing to you. A sword will attack, but it won't burst into flames. At every other level, the player can select from a number of Grammars (similar to Rogue Talents) that allow them to form more complex sentences. Adverb, Adjective, Direct Object, Indirect Object, Preposition, Plurals, Compountd Sentence, Time words (eventually, repeatedly, etc). They also gain the Fast Talk ability, which allows them to say a number of words per round equal to 6 + their INT + 1 for every 4 Levels of Magician.The Caster can also take more time to make something happen by using Diplomacy to, essentially, convince an object to do something, explaining patiently why it ought to. Knowleges can be rolled to determine if, say, a River is moved more by moral arguments or emotional ones. Objects usually only do what they'd naturally do (plus some wiggle room for basic 3D movement. "Sword, fall!" is a good way to Disarm, and "Hat, Hover!" is a good command for trench warfare) but a Magician can bluff a thing into something it's not. "Sword, you're on fire!" And the sword is like "Holy shit, yes I am!" [Essentially, this is casting "Burning Disarm", but flavor!]I don't know if Magicians should be able to affect living beings or not, although if they can there should be some fairly steep saves.
>>26035256This, so much this. One of the big things about a Low-Magic setting is that magic eventually goes away if it's just applied to something. Sure, it might take a while depending on the magic, but eventually it'll be weathered off. If you make a river stop flowing for you then restart, it'll eventually speed back up, but in an hour or so everything will be as though you were never there.
Is it a good idea to have PCs assumed to know things with a decent Lore/Knowledge/etc roll, or should their secrets all be kept individually noted like a 3.5 caster's spells? Obviously, these would be different--a secret for swordsmithing would be like "moonlight forging" or "carbon steel" or "wrap and bury in the fey glade north of the mountain for three days" or "quench with the tears of a lover".Or maybe the acquisition of secrets are each a step along the route to gaining skill as a smith. Each +1 or extra skill die or whatever might be more precise hammering, but could also be a learned forge secret.I'm not sure which way is better. Other secrets would be knowing which songs are preferred by powerful beings, or how to dance just so as part of a rain ceremony, or various strokes as a swordsman, or how to deliver a baby, or how to wear the skin of a beast, or how to speak to birds.
>>26035376Sounds fun. Better than the Truenamer, and that was official.
OP here, headed to sleep; I hope the rest of you keep the thread going with great ideas (or start another one since this is getting pretty full).This has been a fantastic trove of ideas.
>>26035532Hmm. Two thoughts. Either (and this would be a lower Skill Level System than 3.x) each rank you have in a skill means you can pick out a new secret. Alternatively, when gaining skills, you can chose +1 to that skill or 1 new magical knowledge about the skill.
>>26035622It would be really cool alternatively if you had to actually go out and acquire secrets. You want to make a sword that won't shatter even from a thousand strikes against it? Better put on your boots and go see what other smiths can tell you, or trade for a formula from a far away country, or seek out a place of power, or ask the old women what they know and give them some of your goats in return, or ask the mountain for potent ore in exchange for some boon you can give it, or I suppose do some trial and error (expensive though and the hardest of them all...)
>>26035581Thanks. I saw a thread about the Truenamer, read all the stuff for it, declared "This is overcomplicated and shitty, and can only be made unshitty by more complications and STILL doesn't get at the feeling of what they're aiming for." So I started working on that. Basically in combat, I'd imagine a character of an appropriately high level going "Axe, accurately strike the Goblin's Leg." You'd roll for attack, using Magician Level instead of BAB and with +1 to the roll for the "Accurately", and the Goblin would take negs to speed from his leg being hit. Or maybe I prepared an action to yell "Arrow, miss!" when an arrow is flying at me. And then maybe I really need to get up to the top of a tower, but I've got a minute or two. So I bend down and roll Diplomacy and Bluff while talking to some random weed, tricking it into thinking it can grow as tall as the tower, and then explaining very pleasantly why it ought to do so. Zoom, it starts growing, and in a moment I can get to the top of the tower.
Early Song of Ice and Fire is a lot like that.Course, I've only read up to the beginning of book 4 and that's changing a whole damn lot, but earlier, it just had valyrian steel, very rare and mostly implied wargs(people able to possess animals), and lots of legends about giants, dragons, and ice zombies.Course, once half the cast is wargs and it's full on attack of the ice zombies, dragons, and giants...kinda makes it a bit less mysterious.
>>26035532CrucibleGuy said he felt seeking out the hidden knowledge would be one of the most rewarding parts of the game, but shouldn't preclude you just being a damn fine smith. I'm inclined to agree, depending on how integrated the magic/essences/identity thing is. I mean, you've go to be a regular smith up to a certain threshold, right?
>>26035962There could be religious/folk activities related to learning better smithing. Maybe there's 4-7 different courts of faeries you can make offerings to, and they'll visit your dreams and teach you tricks for making objects. If you encounter a faerie in the field and show that you've honored someone from their court by showing them a goblet you made using the Autumn Style, they might be friendlier to you. But the Spring Court might be very angry with you...
>>26036346Sounds a bit more high-magic than the thread so far, but I guess that could work. But isn't that also like a neat trick on top of a mundane skill, or synchronous with it?
Hey guys, I was the one posting some of the mechanics stuff earlier. I have returned, and while I like the fluff direction of the thread, (it's throwing out tonnes of ideas), I'm going to return a bit to posting some ideas/mechanics on that. Keep up throwing out ideas though, it's great.So you've got things and they're got essences. Keep in mind, essences are called this and described on the mechanics end, not in the fluff, people don't know or talk about them just like they don't know or talk about what level they are or how many HP they have.The idea is to have JUST ENOUGH mechanical stuff so as to avoid just having a free-form magic system, while keeping it to a bare minimum to avoid a scientific feeling to magic.My goal for this is to have a magic system that:-is low magic.-has everyone able to use magic by being skilled at a thing.-has secrets and odd rituals aplenty that can aid in magics.-is natural in the world and to the world, not taken or channeled from a god or spirits, it just is.-allows a player or gm to accomplish any effect they can think of, so long as it is within the low-magic purview.-is as balances as it can be given the above things and humans (especially me) being fallible.
>>26038727Important Question: Where do we draw the line at which things are no longer high magic?
>>26038727To those ends: I have come up with the following, unpolished system. I would love feedback and improvement from /tg/. You guys are/have been awesome.The Basis: Essences. (rename?)Essences are what make up the Identity of an object. The identity of an object is what it is. So a river has the identity of: River, and the essences of: wet, flowing, etc. A river will have thousands of individual essences, because there are a thousand things that makes up a river.The essences described above are called "mundane" essences. They aren't very magical, everything has them, and everything has hundreds, if not thousands of them. They're the sort of things that you'd think about and just say: "Yup, that river is wet, alright," and not think anything more about. They can change, appear, or go away. A pond in the winter acquires the essence of "frozen." It looses this essence after spring. A path, or even patch of dirt might acquire the essence of "muddy" in a rain, losing the essence of "dry." A sword, newly forged, has an essence of "sharp," If it is used and not well cared for, that essence might change to "dull." If it is sharpened and oiled, it will change back to "sharp."Lesser essences are something more. They still just describe the thing, but they describe essences that are more pronounced then their mundane components. A sword with a lesser essence of "sharp" is sharper than a sword with a mundane essence of "sharp," even newly sharpened.Greater essences are as lesser essences are to mundane ones. A sword with a greater essence of "sharp" is yet sharper. One with the essence of "helpful" leaps to it's wielder's hand more quickly, might guide his hand, even to a greater degree than one that is lesser, it may even wake the user, or glow to light his way.
>>26038931I'm not exactly sure. For the moment, I'm going by Tolkien. Things that say, Gandalf or Galadriel could do would be some of the highest magics. The absolute greatest, most high magic might, MIGHT, make something similar to Finwe in crafting the Silmarils, but these would be (as in Tolkien) the act of a once-in-a-million-yeas sage in his art, and that's the absolute highest you could go, ever, and it would also be the greatest thing basically ever and prepare Silmarillion-esque effects.But the idea also is to very much hand it over to the GM and the group. I think that by not defining a list of specific things, but rather giving a list of general options with a couple specific examples and letting people take it from there, some groups might end up with higher magic than other groups, and I think that's more than fine. The idea is a low-magic setting. If to you and your group that means that there's not shooting of fire from hands, not even close, that's cool (and the direction I'm going). If that means that maybe you CAN, and that's the peak, and your'e very good to do that in some uncontrolled manner (a la Conan) then that's fine.I endeavor for a system that, while obviously being based on my ideas of what "low magic" is, be able to shift slightly and conform to what any given GM/group considers low magic.
>>26038727>>26039308>>26039553Further, I hope that this system is able to encompass any setting with the general themes discussed previously, from tribal to medieval to modern.
A friend of mine was talking to me, he mentioned that this reminds him of the philosophical concept of "Ideal Forms" that Socrates and Plato wrote about (according to my very brief google-fu, feel free to correct/history major boner at me).What if we go at things from that angle? Instead of thing + magic means the thing can do more things, thing + magic means the thing can't do less things. Magic removes (or maybe creates) limits.A sword has a limit to what it can slice through. Things of a certain hardness or thickness won't be cut. Magic removes that impossibility, or at least lessens it. The more magical a thing becomes, the less limits it has, as it moves towards the notion of the ideal form. A sword which can cut anything. A shield that can block anything. A chalice that can hold anything. A couch that can...be perfectly comfy...forever....I'm not sure how this works for things that weren't made to be used though. Any ideas?
>>26040227/tg/ did once try to spin a setting out of mastery of the Forms. It was interesting, for sure.Plato didn't just apply it to made things, though - he felt there was some transcendent, supernal realm where one might find true Red, and all other reds we know are but a shade of its... Redness. Likewise, there would be an Ur-Apple. It's why he was so down on art - he felt that since a perfect form must exist somewhere in nature, attempts at their reproduction are lies, and artwork depicting those reproductions is damned lies.Fucking Plato.I'm not sure this serves our purpose, but I can see how you came to it.
>>26039308So, again remember that essences and their levels only really appear in mechanics, here's some mechanics:Die pool system. X in a skill means you roll X dice. Or roll X dice for a stat, when a thing calls for a stat. Again, if you didn't read the one previous post on this, this is a magic system attached to a fictional "System X" and not any existing system, one might be built on this magic system if someone else or I does it. Rolling D6s with a success being 4+, or d10 with a success being 6+.Given tasks are differentiated into "Easy, Moderate, or Difficult"We'll use the example of crafting a pot, horseshoe, and sword. A pot is easy, a horseshoe is moderate, and a sword is difficult. Better names for these difficulty tiers/other constructive criticism wanted.
>>260407751 success: You succeed on an easy task. You make a pot. It's an OK pot.2 successes: You do pretty good at an easy task. The pot turns out very well. You can make a horseshoe. It fits and stuff.3 successes: You craft a damn fine pot. Light, looks great, heats evenly. Shit's great. You can make a pretty good horseshoe, it fits really well, and you do it fairly quick. You can make a sword that's serviceable.4 successes: Damn that pot is fine. What's more, it can have one lesser essence, or two mundane essences it wouldn't otherwise have. Man, your horseshoes are great, and turned out very quickly as well, nice. Your sword is pretty fine. Above average, one might say. Mechanically, 2 points in essences for easy tasks.5 successes: Holy shit that pot is nice. It can have a lesser essence, and one mundane essence that a regular pot wouldn't have, or three mundane essences that it wouldn't otherwise have. Mechanically, 3 points in essences for easy tasks. Also, your horseshoes are so fucking nice, that they actually make the horse a bit faster, or maybe a bit easier for the rider to control, or perhaps a little of both. Mechanically, 2 points in essences for moderate tasks. The sword you make is fucking great. Almost as good as magic ones, but still mundane.6 successes: 4 points in essences for easy tasks, 3 points for moderate tasks, 2 points for difficult ones.7 successes: 5 points in essences for easy tasks, 4 points for moderate tasks, 3 points for difficult ones.8 successes: 6 points in essences for easy tasks, 5 points for moderate tasks, 4 points for difficult ones.9 successes: 7 points in essences for easy tasks, 6 points for moderate tasks, 5 points for difficult ones.10 successes: 8 points in essences for easy tasks, 7 points for moderate tasks, 6 points for difficult ones.Etc.
>>2604078818 dice maximum (questioning that number assuming these are the numbers for the rolls.)It costs one point in essences to get you one mundane essence that isn't normally there.It costs you two points in essences to bump one essence that is normally there from mundane to lesser.It costs you three points in essences to get one lesser essence that isn't normally there.It costs you four points in essences to get one greater essence that is normally there (bumping it from mundane or lesser to greater).It costs you five points in essences to get you one greater essence that isn't normally there.
>>26007051>magic like in Conan>summoning demons>making people explode>telepathically dominating people>Do you people read the same Conan as me?
>>26040788It's a cool idea, but it feels mechanical. I get that that's the problem this thread is about, and maybe it's just the way it's written/the way it displays on 4Chan. Also, I think that's too much magic. It's a good idea, increased successes allowing you to have one or two powerful effects or lots of little effects, but it needs a smaller cap than 18. I think.
>>26040227Socrates and Plato are pretty easy to confuse or meld together. Socrates was Plato's teacher, and Plato wrote one of the two (and better known) records of the dialogs of Socrates (who didn't write anything down himself).The problem is, after Socrates's death, Plato continued to write, and when he did, he always used a "character" name Socrates as his mouthpiece. Fortunately, we have been fairly able to distinguish the to, due to the fact that there was a second recording by <forget-the-name> of Socrates and style changes. In the recording of Socrates, Socrates mostly listens, asking pointed questions that bring the other person to the viewpoint that Socrates holds.In the writing of Plato, the now-character Socrates rambles on and on about various ideas.Basally: Socrates was a master of winning people to his way of thinking, Plato liked to tell people, at length, why he was right, so we can tell which are recordings of Socrates and which are Plato.The forms were Plato's idea. Consider a chair. Chairs come in many shapes, but there is one, immutable "form" of a chair, which encompasses everything a chair is, and lacks everything a chair is not. So he "forms" were the truth, the things were merely representations of the forms. This is part of why Plato didn't like art so much, because it was a representation of a representation, and thus too far from the truth.
>>26041543Personally: I like this story:Plato was teaching a class, and Diogenes of Sinope was there. Plato was had multiple cups out on a table, and was explaining that while they all were different, they all had the form of a cup, and thus were similar in their "Cupness." Diogenes said, "I can see the cups on the table, but I can't see the 'Cupness.'"Plato said, "That is because you have eyes to see the cup, but," tapping his head with his finger, "not the intellect to see the 'cupness'."Diogenes approached the table, and, looking inside a cup, asked, "Is it empty?"Plato nodded yes.Diogenes asked, "where is the emptiness that proceeds this empty cup?"Plato took a moment to think.While he was doing so, Diogenes reached over and tapped Plato's head with his finger, saying, "I think you will find: Here is the emptiness."
>>26041346It looks basically like CrucibleGuy's mechanics, but his caps at 6.
>>26041346Well, the idea is for it to be mechanics, so the mechanical feeling is allowed, I'm just hoping for it not to be overly mechanical. But of course some mechanical things must be done in order to have mechanics.The idea with 18 point maximums is that: 1: 18 points in any one skill isn't attainable without significant investment, both over time in the campaign, and in the distribution of statistics.Further, even with 18 points in a stat, you'll average a roll of 9, which means that you'll get 7 points for easy, 6 points for moderate, and 5 points for difficult, on average. Since a sword is considered "difficult," even a sword-smith with 18 ranks (the maximum) would be able to imbue a highest-cost (greater esseence that isn't normally seen on that object) essence on a sword or other thing half of the time.Getting lucky the crafted item would be very powerful indeed (and it would take a whole lot to even get near the max 18, let alone reach it in any one skill). Most things are create by people of skill 2-5, meaning simple things are often nice and difficult tings are more OK, but anything with more than a few points in essences is pretty rare and worth a bit of trouble.
>>26042063That's true, sorry, in my head 18 rolls = 18 successes because I am le derp. So, what sort of things would fall under lesser essences?
Not really sure that something based off of The Cave is going to evoke the feeling of Norse or Arthurian myth.
- CrucibleGuy is working on the googledoc again right now.He enjoys gifts of plantains, if you're wondering.
Time for a new thread?
>>26052100If someone wants to start a new thread, now is no bad time.State of the game: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TQdrrufvdoUCkYAHot8fJMBAlfB7REVYgXYhkEseE-0/edit?usp=sharing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G65JJpLAGdYThis seems like a highly relevant link as far as swordcrafting secrets known to only a few in Norse times.
New thread >>26053022