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Lubidius

Out Of Character Thread.

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By and by, I'm leaning towards using magic based on a d6 converted (slightly simplified) version of the Swords & Glory Book 2 magic system. It has a large repertoire of spells, split much more cleanly between Psychic and Ritual. Also it has spell listings according to the temples most likely to teach them. More on that very soon. I'll have a master spell listing up by Monday (shooting for) along with applicable changes in the conversion doc. I've already made some edits to the document, but please consider it a work-in-progress until I lay a final stamp on it here in the OOC thread. The spell listing will be a separate linked google doc as it will be a large list. I will as GM still allow for customized spell crafting. We can ejudicate that effort privately via PM or email as desired. I think you will find just about everything your psychich/ritual heart desires in the listing from S&G, but want to still have the flexibility of the D6 magic system available to those that want it. Basically, I will be creating 'modeled 6d spells' from the S&G original listings.

Edited by Lubidius

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Amended my last post on the "Awake" thread - asking for a favor, although of course they're NPCs... It'd give me too much power to run them.

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Just a quickie that I've updated the conversion doc a bit concerning the rules of Magic. I've still got a chunk of the master spell list to update, but it's coming along. If you wish to contend any of the newer rules, feel free to openly debate or suggest here in this thread or in PM.

 

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYHt4br8uMMZZGR2aGdkMnFfMTUwY2drYmM0Zjk&hl=en

 

Also of note, I will be on vacation from Wednesday through Sunday late night. I will have limited internet access though, through which I may do a couple sentence replies to threads at most. Give what you get. Feel free to respond in kind as I don't expect a diatribe on all posts from folks. I of course enjoy your more detailed postings (all of which have been very nice lately by and by)

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Also of note, I will be on vacation from Wednesday through Sunday late night. I will have limited internet access though, through which I may do a couple sentence replies to threads at most. Give what you get. Feel free to respond in kind as I don't expect a diatribe on all posts from folks. I of course enjoy your more detailed postings (all of which have been very nice lately by and by)

 

Are you going to ponder the answer to my question while on vacation, or might I see an answer before you go? :)

 

In either case, have a great time!

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I'll be adding a quick and dirty reply to everyone so you can at least move forward while I am out. I will start with your character.

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Finally finished the master spell listing, which is linked in the Magic section of the conversion document. I'm still massaging a few things, but if you want to make any initial comments, go for it. I am absolutely amazed at the level of effort they put into the magic system in the 2nd and 3rd iterations of the tekumel rpg.

 

The one thing I need to work on, is the ability of the priest/ess to increase the effect of the given spell. I was going to work in a simple extra effort mechanic, which would expend 4X the amount of Pedhétl. The S&G/G systems of magic have levels of a given spell, that are attained as the priest goes up in level. This is an incredibly detailed magic system which is bound by more classic "levels" but the added detail offers a level of complexity that I've never seen in a game; one unique to any rpg I've ever played (I've played a lot since ~1980 but not a huge amount of systems). I'm sure there are other overly-complex magic systems out there I've not been privy to take part in. I would not call their S&G complex, just detailed, which for Tekumel I think is a good match. Simple, but detailed.

Edited by Lubidius

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Just thought I would give my opinion on the spell list.

I like the work you have done but am worried about the combination of spells as "focused skills" and the listed difficulties.

 

First, let me make sure i understand the system:

If I have a Ritual Attribute of 2D, I start able to cast 6 U and 3 G spells of my choice, and to cast them I roll 2D. I can then invest 1D of skill point per spell to have a 3D casting total in that spell?

 

All the rest of my comments are based on this understanding of the rules.

 

The "Psychic" and "Ritual" Attributes are odd in that non-magic-users don't take them. This means that invariably (as we see with Osure and Mathin) people are going to take them at relatively low level, to avoid being incompetent at other tasks. I therefore think that the highest starting Ritual or Psychic attribute you are likely to see is 3D. In this game we have one PC with 1D and one with 2D.

 

Someone who has a 2D, without factoring in skill, is only going to succeed on their Universal spells 15% of the time. They will be incapable of casting the 3 Generic spells they know.

 

Someone who has a 3D stat will have a 10% chance of casting the Generic Spells. And a 60% chance of successfully casting the Universals

 

Ok, so now we get to skills. Skill points are very valuable in this game. We get very few of them.

Someone with a 2D attribute is only going to be able to functionally cast Universal spells they put 1D in. But we only get 9D. With scholar, languages, fighting skills, charm skills, etc. I don't see a prospective starting caster putting more than 3D into their spells unless they are going for a very narrow concept without any breadth to it. So that means that a starting 2D attribute caster will have 3 universal spells they can 60% of the time cast if they put 1/3 of their starting skill points into magic. A starting 3D attribute caster will have (presumably) all of their spells at ~60% efficiency (boosting the Generic Spells) or a small number of Universal spells they can rely upon to go off.

 

Based on this analysis I have a few notes:

 

1) The fact that there is such a large spell list and you get 9 spells for free, but have to spend whole skill points to raise them makes the Attribute highly/over valued for magic in my opinion.

 

2) In this campaign where Osure has 2D in Psychic with 2D skill points and Mathin has 1D with 3D skill points the most likely chance for either of them when casting a spell will be failure, by a large margin. Mathin for instance will have either 1 (U) spell with a 60% success rate and 1 spell with a 15% success rate, or 3 spells with a 15% success rate. The rest of his starting spells will be impossible to cast since he needs a 10 on 1d6.

 

3) Compared to the WEG system where magic skills are 4 broad categories costing 1D each, a list of ~40 spells bought for 1D each makes magic ~ 10x more expensive, and also, as mentioned before, makes the attribute 10x more useful than the skill compared to WEG. I tend to err on the side of keeping close to the spirit of the system when making house rules, because I assume it has been playtested and balanced.

 

 

Those are my main notes. Here would be my two suggestions:

 

1) Make spells Specialization skills so they cost 1/3D each AND require at least 1/3D spent in the spell in order to cast it. This would make it reasonable for anyone with 2D in the attribute to have 6 Universal spells with a 60% success rate, assuming they put 2D skills into casting. This is still less powerful than having Alteration: 4D in WEG, but gives a good "novice but competent" spell caster feel. To get around the problem of people just choosing Generic Spells, mandate that you need at least 4 Universal spells before you can learn generic ones.

 

2) If you don't like the above, you could also just lower the casting difficulties for the spells to make them easier to cast with base attribute, but I think this is less elegant, and less in the spirit of the WEG system as it doesn't solves some of the problems I have listed above

 

Sorry for the long and rules heavy post, but I know you are trying to distribute this as a system, so I think part of our job is playtesting it.

 

Danielle

Edited by Danielle

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With regard to S&G spell levels. One option if you go with my first suggestion above and make spells specialization skills, would be to say that the "level" of the spell you can cats is base don the numbe rof specialization dice you have put into it. So for example Ascertainment would look liek this:

 

1D gives you U1 & U2 --Caster can read surface thoughts and detect hostility of own species

2D gives you U3-5 --Caster can sense thoughts hostility of other species and animals, as well as telling their direction and numbers

3D U6 & U8 -- Caster can telepathically communicate with friendly humans and non-humans

4D gives you U10 -- Caster can create a psychic trap.

 

I the above example I started with the idea that you're unlikely to put more than 4D into anything in WEG, especially when you have 40 other spells to choose from, and then chose what i felt to be the big power break points between the different levels

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I'll make some form of edit/decision late Sunday. Let me mull this over a little. I agree on all fronts though. I think we can adjust the difficulties and work in some graduated levels of each spell. Until then though, in case you want to try any spells, just advise which one (on the master list) and we'll run it based upon which of your current magic based skills are most appropriate. Which when it's all said and done, may be the best way to run it. We could just go with the existing D6 magic based skills, and just use which one is 'most' appropriate for the given focused spell that a tutor has taught you. So, for example, for you, let's say you chose a generic spell of Dessication. That would most likely align to a magic skill of "Alteration" as it involves altering the existing target.

 

For psychics, we could use a similar skill system as used in D6 Space for "Metaphysics", which includes the skills: Channel, Sense, and Transform.

 

Let me mull it over a little more. I'm half-drunk in Myrtle Beach right now, which is not conducive to logical solutions. (or perhaps it is more enlightening...)

Edited by Lubidius

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I'm thinking it would be a lot easier for us to handle such a large list of potential spells by sticking with underlying magic/metaphysics skills as follows.

 

Ritual will have the same underlying skills as the Magic extra-normal attribute within the existing D6 Magic rules:

Alteration, Apportation, Conjuration, Divination.

 

Psychics will have the same underlying skills as the Metaphysics extra-normal attribute within the existing D6 Space rules:

Channel, Sense, Transform.

 

We can additionally have levels of effect to spells, as Danielle hinted at before. At different levels of the underlying skill we will provide a graduated list to the character as to how each spell is improved as the skill improves.

 

For example, if Danielle learns the spell Dessication from her teacher, the base ritual skill would be Alteration. And at different levels of Alteration, she would have different levels of the Dessication spell as follows - (similar to the levels present in the Swords & Glory tekumel rule-set)

 

Dessication Sell

Level 1 (at up to 2D in Alteration)

Level 2 (Over 2D to 4D in Alteration)

Level 3 (Over 4D and higher in Alteration)

 

These levels should be discussed further as the individual Ritual Priest/ess or Psychic Priest/ess choses the spells they will learn. The GM will need to be involved in adjudicating "when" a given spell will be taught to the priest either way, so at that time you will both work to appropriately list the "levels" allowed for that spell.

 

We can clean this up as we put it in use.

 

Danielle, if you wish to go ahead and chose the spells you'd like to have been taught by now, I can work with you to make appropriate levels and core ritual skills applied to each.

Edited by Lubidius

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Very good posts by all! I continue to be extremely impressed.

 

In other news, Danielle, what do you think of these slight changes to the spell rules?

 

Summary -

I reduced the difficulty targets, and cleaned it up to utilize core extra-normal skills. (in other words, re-aligned it more appropriately to the D6 magic systems). This should make it a lot easier for magic users to appropriately improve themselves over time.

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Here's a good read. Nice Tekumel PbP game that was held on rpol.net. I may eventually remove that document, so download if you want to save it. I found it in the mail Files folder of the Tekumel yahoo group.

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Looking through the spells list, I cam across a possible problem with basing the spell level off of the associated d6 skill.

S&G clearly views the spell levels as discreet items you buy, and formulated a number of the generic spells as such. A lot of them say things like "prereq: must have U10 level of universal spell"

Essentially that will just mean that maybe 1/3 of the generic spells can't be bough until the d6 skill is at 4 or 5. It's not a big deal, but it's something to be aware of.

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Thanks for pointing that out. I'm sure we can meet half way on that. I don't want it to be too difficult to learn something new, IF a priest/ess is willing to teach it to you. We'll adjust on an individual basis until I review it closer.

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A suggestion for dealing with the multi-lingual nature of the setting (From Middle Earth D6 by Kyle “Moochava” Marquis at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=190283).

 

Languages:

 

Attribute: Wisdom

 

Specializations: None

 

This skill lets you learn additional languages. All languages are given three ratings called Familiar, Conversant, and Fluent. You receive a number of language ranks equal to your Languages skill (or, if you lack the skill, your Wisdom): every 1D gets you three language ranks, while every pip grants you one language level. So, a character with Languages 4D+1 has 13 language ranks.

 

You spend language ranks to learn languages at higher levels of fluency: one rank to learn a language at Familiar, two for Conversant, three for Fluent. Your first 1D of Languages (or Wisdom) are spent automatically on Fluency with your native language. After that, you can select what languages you wish to learn.

 

If you are Familiar with a language, you know its basic vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. You can communicate simple concepts using small sentences. Your accent is thick and your range is limited.

 

If you are Conversant with a language, you know it well enough to speak without trouble concerning most matters. Many technical concepts are still beyond you, and you may have trouble describing or understanding detailed situations.

 

If you are Fluent with the language, you are a native speaker or you communicate just as well as one. You have either no accent (except a regional one) or a faint accent that you can hide without difficulty, and you can communicate any thought that comes to mind.

 

Written languages are rated similarly: Familiar, Literate, and Masterful.

 

If you are Familiar with a type of writing, you can sign your name, read signs, and decipher maps (though it may take you a while). Even simple texts, however, are difficult: you must spend ten minutes per page studying it and make a Languages check, with a difficulty based on the complexity of the writing. You cannot write full sentences, only words or short messages.

 

If you are Literate in a type of writing, you can read slowly but confidently. You normally read a page every 2-3 minutes. Only technical writings (or bad handwriting) force a Languages check. You can also write on most subjects, though slowly.

 

If you are Masterful in a type of writing, you can read quickly and without effort. You normally read a page every ten to thirty seconds.

 

If you lack full Fluency with a language, you suffer a penalty to most social interaction checks: -1D to Command, Deceive, Empathy, Forgery, Investigate, and Persuade at Conversant or Literate, and -2D at Familiar. Lack of mastery incurs a double penalty when writing. So, if you are Familiar with a language and Literate in a writing style, you suffer a -3D penalty when writing a document.

 

With a few minor changes, this might work for us. I'd keep the division between verbal and written to reflect literacy rates, and instead of starting at the bottom, since we're using D6 Fantasy and have Intellect attributes up to 5D (and language skills higher still) I'd think having a base of 2D (Average) Intellect indicative of one spoken language at fluency, then every pip and die above that, either in Attribute or Language Skill adds as the Middle Earth excerpt above indicates - so a genius with a 5D Intellect could be totally fluent in four languages, or fluent in one and conversational in up to four more, and familiar with yet another.

 

That's just on Attributes, as well - using the skills you could have some very learned scholars with knowledge of multiple modern and ancient and secret languages...

 

For full disclosure, if Hanumal were fluent in Yan Koryani with 3D, I'd allocate the other Die to Mettle - I think after the events of the Prequel thread that Hanumal, Tsutel, and Khirgar would all have relatively high Mettle scores to reflect their battle against the One Other in the Vortex. They're not the sort of people to just give up, and a high Mettle score would reflect that nicely.

 

Anyway, I ran across the Middle Earth thing while cleaning up some links on the D6 Resources thread, and thought I'd put it here for the GM as an option.

Edited by Lee Torres

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Ssa! Just loitering around the ship, and waiting for everyone to arrive. Also statting out the NPCs for the small detachment of Ship's Troops to guard you all as we sail into certain death. ADVENTURE! Not death, adventure. Maybe with a little death mixed in, to make the adventure more... adventurey.

 

I'm feeling like Guy Fleegman, the security officer in GalaxyQuest. We're just along to show you how the monsters work. :)

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As seen in the forums, I've now closed all threads other this main one. I will make a single introduction post bringing everyone up and into the main plot by very late evening tonight. It will not be a Shakespearean effort by any means; but I need to get everyone into one thread now.

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Between a cisco class I was just thrown in for this week and an after hours project I'm still hacking at, my spare time is near null (programming pun intended). I will get everyone into the main thread as soon as I can. I won't say by 'when' as anytime I do, something comes up, it's murphy's law.

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Ok. Nothing fancy, but I've at least brought everyone into the fold of the main thread.

 

Urutlen, Osure, Kamar: Please continue with traditional role-playing between your three characters. You may leave and travel to the port, and find the trireme. You can take two to three exchanges as needed in case you want to embellish any points along the short way. You may take liberties with NPC as needed, as long as they are not so-far 'named' characters.

 

Hanumal: Continue traditional role-playing in and around the ship. I will interact with you as needed.

 

Mathin: You may role-play traditionally with anyone that approaches you. I will interact with you as needed.

 

The current time is 5 in the early evening. You have until the morning before departure. The evening will be used to load some cargo that will be used for the trip, but also cargo that will be traded along the way for new provisions. More of that will be described by the characters are you get under-way.

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Forwarded you "the Marines" and two other NPCs via email. If "the Marines" pass muster, I'll post on the main thread to intro some of them...

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