Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Vancian and Moorcockian Magic

Inspired by Pitsperilous, I started thinking about how Vancian of magic fits into Dungeonworld.

Other Kinds of Magic

My Three Power Systems seperate into power from without, power from without and power from divine. yet really the last one could be power from other.

Magic, is power from without. Harnessing Elemental forces via code words, gestures, material effects and runes to force the laws of reality to shift momentarily, so you can perform magical effects. You need to understand these rules to be able to alter the rules.

At its basic level, though, magic is just pre-scripted sets of these code words and gestures, understood by ancient magicians and taught down the lineage to newer magicians, without any thought as to 'how' that rule does what it does.

Material Component for Fireball!
How does someone cast a fireball? what is going on to create that fireball? for the most part, players don't care and so its understood that the magic user has less care, he knows that if he moves his fingers thus, speaks the command word just so and has a pouch of sulfer in his hands as he does so, a ball of fire will appear from his gesture, and move at haste towards the target.

Its only when a mage reaches some greater understanding of magic, that he might question the very art he practices and delve deeper into its mechanics enough to adjust the fireball to become hotter, faster, invisible, or appear at the target instead of thrown towards them.

When this happens, the system needs to already have all those parameters worked out to allow the mage to attempt to adjust and create new varieties of spells..

Which is probably why my spell system has taken 20 years to develop.

Yet since 99% of players will never care, there is no need to have those rules in the core books. just list the spells and what they do.

The Same could be said for all the arts.

So, Vancian and Moorcockian systems might simply plug directly in. Since the above fireball cost to cast has a material component, then maybe instead all spells have a memory slot component, or in the case of Moorcock, the spell requires the knowledge of a being that reduces the magic point cost..

Except we've crossed the line into Priestly abilities.

When developing the system, I decided that the process of Vancian Magic made sense if instead of a memory slot, it was goodwill of a god.

When a young priest begins his journey, he has very little sway with his god, so he asks of his god a prayer, and given than he is indeed a pious priest, the god will award him with that prayer, but if he asks too much of his god, a second prayer or third, he risks the gods ire, or at least is ignored.

This works almost directly with the D&D Vancian style. Priests have X number of slots, based on their relationship with their god. A level 10 priest, might have 1 level 4 prayer, 2 level 3 prayers and so on, allowing the priest to perform a daily ritual, to 'stock up' his prayers, then uses them during the course of the day, if he is strapped for a specific prayer he might ask in abnormal times according to his god, but maybe, godwilling (or GM willing if it makes story sense) the god says yes and the power is bestowed upon the priest, but maybe at some extra cost.. ("don't ask again for a week!")

Vincent Muhr, god of wind!
So, Moorcockian Magic would instead be a external power from others, If you need to cast calm, you pray to Muhr in a windy shaft, and he brings you the power of calm, to be used within 48 hours.

Of course, you'd have to know Muhr, or at least his name and his environmental rules, and have some clout in the elemental realms, akin to belief in the priestly area.

This creates a whole subclass of 'powered' which seems akin to the classic warlock or a neolithic shaman. Its a mage, but uses the priest lifestyle and deals with spirits, demons and elementals instead of gods. It seems cheaper, and easier, like priest powers, but likely with time has terrible after affects. 

Monday, 12 November 2018

Comparing Systems for Completeness

I saw a post about comparing their games break-away dice system, to show it off.. Though I might use the template and see if my system would do the same:

Heres the Link

Will your game system deal nicely with this:

Charter Authority (CA): You have received a gilded envelope with very flowery writing.
Beatrix: Does this look like the last envelope sent by the House of Celebration?
CA: It does, the handwriting is also recognizable to you.
Beatrix: I want to check if the envelope is rigged like the last one and, if so, open it safely. No mess this time!
CA: What skills do you wish to employ?
Beatrix: I have a 12 in Insight, I'll roll to boost: rolled a 6 and 3, success +2.
CA: Ok, If there is any rigged gear, lets see if you notice (GM rolls for stealth vs player perception+2) a 1 and a 3.. doubtful
Beatrix: So that's a failed roll.
CA: You open the envelope, trying to take great care with it until, suddenly, you're covered in glitter. It's all up in your feathers.
Beatrix: Curses!
Kace: Can I try to get a sneaky picture of her covered in glitter?
CA: Roll your Stealth against her Perception.
Beatrix: Aw, you can't just leave my poor character in peace? Does insight help.
Kace: Ooo a Setback! I rolled a pass, but with an 11.
CA: That's a mixed success! You both have a success and a failure. I think I'll let you decide what Beatrix's fumble should be, Kace.
Beatrix: Don't you dare, Kace!
Kace: I think...my character uploads the picture to my holoprofile and shows it to Beatrix.
Beatrix: My character runs at him!
Kace: He runs away! There's no way he's getting covered in glitter too!
Jackson: While this is going on, I get a picture of the chase and upload it with the tag #DD12.
CA: It gets 135 Hearts and you have 10 new followers.
Jackson: Indeed.

Its something I do from time to time, when I see people posting about their game rules. If I come across an issue, I ask myself, do my rules cover this? Can my players do this? and more often, do I want my players to be able to do this, or will it spoil their experience if they assume other rulesets.

In the above example, its the player asking to engage in a perception action.. Us humans, we assume that we're just not engaged with the world, and we need to 'enact' our engagement. 'be aware'. Having been in several life threatening situations, I can attest that your body does this for you automatically. Your awareness heightens, and the only thing you get to choose is where to focus that attention.

For DW, Its assumed that you are in 3 possible states of awareness, Asleep, Awake and Alert. the GM is instructed to give characters the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are in the most appropriate state for the situation. If a person was asleep, and you start describing some sound, then they are awake.

There are of course situational modifiers, lack of sleep, drugs, alcohol, blows to the head, etc, but the base score is Asleep = 0, Awake = half, and Alert = full.

When Beatrix asks to check if the envelope is rigged, its because she has previous experience with such things. So she automatically gains her insight bonus, and can roll to gain it again. (players love to roll) by being cautious and looking for the trigger.

The GM rolled a 4, with a 1, so, unless Beatrix has amazing perception + skills, its doubtful that a 4 would ever fail, so we don't even check if the roll was success or not, that 1 pretty much says it will be.

When Kace tries to stealth against Beatrix, we know the scores, Kace passes the roll, but rolls a fumble (10, 11 or 12) on one of the dice. Having players choose their own fumble is far more entertaining.

Once again, I am relieved. While I had to 'fudge' the text for the Insight roll, I'm just aware that I have to double up on the rules text about how opposed rolls work.

p.s. I have friends who glitter bomb their invites.. vacuuming for weeks!

p.p.s. OMG As Google+ goes down, all their related sites just fail. Appologies, I only now noticed that the text above was forced a white background for certain browsers, AND I can't comment to the fact, as Google+ is now blacklisted by DNS blockers from commenting.. ??

Monday, 5 November 2018

World Build October Part 29

Its World-Build-Tober: 

Monday the 29th - World-build-tober

"Draw (or describe) a ceremonial object"

In A time long gone, The Angels who flew the world left the 'candleholders'. They were collected and distributed amongst the churches of the Holy order of the Tree and are used in ceremonies to celebrate the festivals.

They are light weight, have a heavy pointed end and a hollow end. When placed in the ground or on a wooden table, they balance easily and the weight of the candle usually has no bearing on the balance.

When lit, they give off a glow toward the ground, some show special symbols and patterns, some a generic circle.

Some have been told, hold the bones of the angels and are regarded as holy relics, stored in ancient vaults beneath great churches.


The light weighted bird race invented a spear, that could be segregated into 6-8 parts, and carried on a belt at the waist, connectable in times of need as a dagger, or short bladed sword, a polearm or a full spear.