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Author Topic: Elements of Magic: Mythic Earth and Spycraft  (Read 4346 times)
Medwyn
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« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2007, 12:59:53 AM »

I was looking at the healing magic and it is quite a high level jump for a small amount of healing.
I do think that healing magic should be difficult and in line with the Spellbound thread on a similar subject needs to handle the vitality/wound system.

I was thinking that lowering the healing spells would work.
Lesser Heal doesn't fit for me so I thought I'd change it to Heal, which would cure 1d6 Vitality or 1 wound.
Greater Heal would change to a level 8 spell that would cure 1d8 Vitality or 1 Wound, then +1d8 or 1 wound for each additional 2 levels.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2007, 01:43:31 PM »

The Akashic Records were also used as the basis for Torg's psionics system, as part of their Space Gods sourcebook.
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2007, 11:50:20 PM »

I never played Torg. I did try the Masterbook system, with the Bloodshadows setting.

Another setting that I think would work better with Spycraft than with its intended system. Smiley

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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 05:25:10 PM »

I heart Torg. It changed the way I game. It changed my preferences for RPG design. It changed everything. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2007, 04:18:26 PM »

While I like the idea of spells doing subdual, I prefer Magic/Spell Points.


One of the things I held open to my players when I did a campaign with magic with Spycraft 1.0 was allow them to take subdual damage when they tried to cast more than their allotment of spells.  (I recall pirating that from d20 Wheel of Time.)
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2007, 05:59:22 PM »

I heart Torg. It changed the way I game. It changed my preferences for RPG design. It changed everything. Smiley

I just scored an original Torg boxed set with the cards still in the wrapper. Smiley

I thought that the Torg system was much better than the later and much ballyhooed D6 system. I also thought that the game system went downhill with Shatterzone. I really dug the way templates worked; in Shatterzone, it was just another point buy system. Sad
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 06:57:41 PM »

I thought that the Torg system was much better than the later and much ballyhooed D6 system. I also thought that the game system went downhill with Shatterzone. I really dug the way templates worked; in Shatterzone, it was just another point buy system. Sad

I recently ran a Torg mini-game using a variant of the original system. My main issue playing the game after so long is that the resolution mechanic requires too many comparisons, especially if you introduce some of the popular fixes for damage overflow. It's a solvable issue, though the system would feel a little different after you were done.

But cards, man. Those cards were amazing.
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2007, 07:14:36 PM »

But cards, man. Those cards were amazing.

*Looks at Dramatic Conflict rules.* Wait, you like cards, do you? That is a surprise!

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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2007, 09:03:02 PM »

Hmmm, time for a little thread necromancy....

I just discovered a somewhat odd thing - I am setting up for another 'serious' SteamCraft game after this 'semi-serious' amateur ghost hunters campaign ends. For some reason it appears that the players are more willing to play a magicy sort in a less serious game than in the more espionage oriented regular game. I should think that illusion, misdirection, and other sneaky magic would entice them, but out of six players, two characters each (not played at the same time - different theaters may be in play at a given moment, so effectively two teams working for the Agency) only one has submitted a sorcerer, wizard, or other practitioner of the thaumaturgical arts, and that for the secondary character.

I cannot help but wonder why this should be - they seem to enjoy playing pointy hats in the ghost busting game (which has picked up what I can only call a Scooby Doo vibe), and it has been quite effective, but somehow it seems like they prefer the wizarding in a 'serious' game to be the work of NPCs.

Mind you, in the spook hunting game they are without a doubt the good guys - the kind that help little old ladies cross the street and save kittens out of trees. This is much less the case in the Game of Amateurs - where sometimes the Queen's defense leads down dark and twisted alleys. I have at times presented a bit of a morality play, where the Queen's course does not coincide with honor.

Any thought on this phenomenon? Means of tempting them to dabble in the arcane tomes of lore?

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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2007, 09:55:26 PM »

Well, from what I remember of your descriptions you have a pretty stiff cost and penalty structure along with a rather low power level.  Maybe making things easier on the casters and giving them a bit more power might help.  One of the very few things I like the sound of in 4e is the design philosophy that when a player should never feel like he's loosing out by having his character do what his character is designed for.  Sounds dumb, but the concept that a caster shouldn't worry about running out of spells or the healer looses out on the action by healing has alot of merit.  I have mixed feelings about what I've seen of how they pull that off, but that's another story and unrelated since, if I recall correctly, you're using spell points.

On the other hand... Maybe they heard you picked up Fragile Minds and are too scared to play a caster? Wink
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2007, 11:42:24 PM »

Well, from what I remember of your descriptions you have a pretty stiff cost and penalty structure along with a rather low power level.  Maybe making things easier on the casters and giving them a bit more power might help.  One of the very few things I like the sound of in 4e is the design philosophy that when a player should never feel like he's loosing out by having his character do what his character is designed for.  Sounds dumb, but the concept that a caster shouldn't worry about running out of spells or the healer looses out on the action by healing has alot of merit.  I have mixed feelings about what I've seen of how they pull that off, but that's another story and unrelated since, if I recall correctly, you're using spell points.

On the other hand... Maybe they heard you picked up Fragile Minds and are too scared to play a caster? Wink
Heh, I was not even thinking of inflicting Fragile Minds on them for the SteamCraft setting. Tongue (Really, I am reserving it for Delta Green....)

The current power level is perhaps a hair greater than that of D20 Modern, a trifle less fantastic than Spellbound, but more flexible. The base DC is 12, most people with a decent primary stat for the cast have no difficulties, barring a really bad roll. In play the spells seem to be working about 75%-80% of the time.

Subdual damage is 1 per 'spell level' (so a fireball type spell dealing 3d6 damage would inflict 3 subdual on the caster) - but is avoidable if the caster is willing to spend extra time, 'drawing power', each round spent doing so prevents 1 subdual. Doing so does not make the spell easier to cast, but does make it a bit safer.

A caster can also 'overpower' a spell, casting above his normal limits, at the cost of 1d6 subdual for every level above the normal limits, this is in addition to the normal cost, so if a person wanted to cast three levels above his normal limit, but took the time to cast slowly he would take 3d6 subdual - only the damage from casting above the normal limit. (If I were awake I could explain this much more clearly....) The maximum you can 'overpower' a spell is 5, so if you really want to deal an additional 5d6 damage on your enemy you can, at the cost of an equal amount of subdual damage. There is a feat that I added that allows the maximum boost to go to six, and also removes one die of subdual damage, so the caster could gain 6d6 extra damage, while only suffering 5 dice himself in subdual damage.

I am thinking that the downside is that a caster has to be pretty specialized, to about the same degree as a hacker, scientist, or sleuth has to concentrate on his field of expertise. The skill costs for having more than one specialty can get pricey, but a concentrated focus works well. The most point intensive current character belongs to the Classic Fey tradition, keeping three skills at high levels, and dabbling in a fourth. He is also the best at getting into, then out of, trouble.

The Mage class is pretty much lifted whole from EoM:ME, the major change being that Boon has been changed to gadget picks (lifted from Inventor instead). This being the case I am thinking that a specially trained and focussed 'spy mage' might be the answer - rather than the more generalized Traditional Mages.

Needs some more thought when I am actually awake....

The Auld Grump
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2007, 09:18:31 PM »

Or it could be that the players didn't realize that they were allowd to pick magic using classes. Roll Eyes

Now there are six, enough for a secondary team of nothing but sorcerer types.

That was just plain silly.

The Auld Grump, nothing to see here, move along....
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2009, 02:49:09 PM »

Since I have started reworking the system again I thought that I would use my Necromancy tradition feat on this thread....

Among the changes made to the base rules in EoM:ME -
Ritual spells are handled with the rules for complex tasks in Spycraft
Attributes do add to the spellcasting roll, using different attributes for different skills - Int, Wis, and Cha are all used for various skills.
Failure is failure; in the base system close is good enough, but since I am adding attribute bonuses I can trim that away. It allows me to drop the base difficulty back down to 10 + Spell Level without actually making spellcasting any easier.
Magic items are for the most part Gadget picks.
Subdual damage is inflicted when casting Spontaneous magic, about 1 point per the effective D&D spell level - so a fireball inflicts 3 points of subdual damage on the caster.
An extra round spent casting prevents the subdual damage - if you've got time you can avoid it.
A threat does not inflict subdual damage on the caster.
A failure does not inflict subdual damage on the caster
An error does inflict subdual damage on the caster, and cannot be avoided by taking extra time.
An error activated as a critical failure is lots of fun for everyone. Cheesy

There are Schools as well as traditions - a school is a pseudo tradition and closer to a version of ceremonial magician than to a belief system. (Wicca is a tradition, the Royal Naval Academy of Magic is a school) - otherwise they are handled in similar fashions. Most direct blasty type spells are taught by the colleges, for some reason Admiral Lord Nelson seemed fond of magic in my setting....

I actually took out the subdual damage for a while, the players wanted it put back in....

Action Dice are handled as for skills in Spycraft, given that Magic Skills are skills....
The first tradition feat that a character acquires grants four skill points that can be used only on magic skills, defraying the cost of entry a tad.
There is a feat that grants an extra skill point per level for every Magic feat that a character possesses, including itself - this will likely be trimmed down to Tradition Feats only.

The core ability of the Mage class is that they can roll two dice when they spend an Action Die for skills covered by their starting Tradition feat.

Experimenting with rules for familiars - I am considering them to be a form of Personal Lieutenant, and scaling them accordingly. You need a feat to get one.

The Auld Grump
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