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Kage2020

d6 Earthdawn/Shadowrun etc.

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A long time ago I played the game Shadowrun and, lo, it was great. Eventually FASA produced the prehistoric version of the game, Earthdawn, and, lo, it was great. Of course, the reception for the treatment of these settings and the publishers continued involvement in them (i.e., meta-setting) has not necessarily been "and, lo, it was great," but at the same time I've always loved 'em.

 

What I didn't love was the fact that I had to use a different game system to play in that shared meta-setting. As such, over the years I've been looking at a number of generic systems to support this game. First it was GURPS (I'd used it for ever), then EABAv2 and, now, I've come back to d6.

 

Where do I want to go with this? The overall thrust of my current project grew out of a conversation with some players that wanted me to run a "Hellgate: London" game. When i realised that they knew the setting in greater depth than my casual acquaintance I tinkered around with using Shadowrun with the general gist that there was a second Scourge. While somewhat unoriginal, I called this "Shadowrun Apocalypse:" a post-apocalyptic version that drew from the imagery of HG:L and things like Terminator.

 

What I'm looking for are references to rules sets or general ideas about elements of these settings and how they might be handled well with d6. For example, is there a really kick-ass magic system out there for d6? What about a really great cybernetics system? Oh for the love of god has someone in the d6 community finally come up with a decent "cyber-hacking" system?

 

(FWIW, I'm aware of the opend6 wiki and have at my disposal the projects that seemed appropriate for my current project.)

 

So is there something out there for me that you would recommend? Do you have any advice?

Edited by Kage2020
Typo corrections only.

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Welcome aboard!

 

As for a kick-ass magic system, I think it depends on what you consider "kick ass". Some people really love the crunch of what was in the three core D6 books. Others wanted a more generic system, more akin to what came out in Star Wars. I personally used something somewhere in-between with Magic & Miracles. I've also dabbled in various other types of magic systems. So really, what do you consider "kick ass" when it comes to magic?

 

With cybernetics, there are a couple of things I've seen that "kind of" deal with these things. None of them have really stood up, slapped me in the face, and said "I'm awesome! Use me!". So, again, nothing really great... in my opinion, out there. But one of them (Star Wars, Cybertroopers, etc.) might just be right up your alley in terms of what is "really great".

 

And I can't think of any cyber-hacking rule sets out there for D6.

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Welcome aboard!

Thank you, Grimace! I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with d6. I've been loving reading through the Open d6 materials as well as some of the OGL-facilitated materials and have found myself inspired.

 

So really, what do you consider "kick ass" when it comes to magic?

Well, generally--and I should have asked this instead--is what people consider the "best" or "most interesting" d6 magic system.

 

With that said, and if I may, let me outline what I'm trying to build. To varying degrees I've built it in other systems, but I think that d6 has the flexibility and openness to let me build it (and borrow heavily from people more clever than I, i.e., from other systems). I'm going to put the description between three asterisks (* * *) at the start/end so that you can skim past it if you're not really that interested in the specifics.

 

* * *

 

My general desire is to work with "elemental correspondence," the setting inspiration for which came from some of the books from the Shadowrun line (specifically, Tir na n'Og and "Path Magic"). Here magic went from the typical fantasy magic that you see in D&D (etc.) and into the kind of metaphysics that Wiccans would find more familiar. I like this.

 

I also have the "thread weaving" system from Wheel of Time in the back of mind, or the idea that spells are created from weaving in different elements to incorporate certain qualities into a spell. It's not surprising that my brain has stuck to this because the Earthdawn setting is notionally based on a similar premise: magical threads are woven into spells to make them work, magic-users "weave" threads of magic between "patterns" to create given effects etc.

 

So, with that said, there are five elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Aethyr/Void). Each one of them is associated with specific verbs and nouns, e.g., "Create" is associated with "Fire" while "Body" is associated with Earth. A spell, therefore, is woven from the intent (noun, verb) coupled with just what the spell is designed to do (damage, effect, range, etc.).

 

A spell is set into a given form (a "pattern") but experienced practitioners are able to alter that pattern on the fly by weaving additional threads into it. (So rather than a success-based alteration to the spell it is an intent-based alteration to the spell.) This means that a given individual has talent/skill in each of the elements that they can utilise to improve/alter the spell. For the sake of argument I'll call these experienced practitioners "initiates." They also have access to techniques/skills that less experienced practitioners do not have access to.

 

(For reference, less experienced practitioners only have access to rote spells, which is to say spells that cannot be altered on the fly.)

 

While conceptually it is a product of the aforementioned settings, mechanically the concepts have organically developed from the verb/noun syntactic magic of GURPS Thaumatology with some help from EABAv2.

 

That is where I'm wanting to head. Any ideas are welcome, as are "kick ass" magic systems that might already do what I'm after, or that are inspirational for certain bits of what

 

* * *

 

With cybernetics, there are a couple of things I've seen that "kind of" deal with these things. None of them have really stood up, slapped me in the face, and said "I'm awesome! Use me!".

Let me ask you this, then: What kind of things would you be looking for that would, if you saw them, "slapped [you] in the face"?

 

I've seen how enhancements are handled in d6 Space (access to special abilities in "slots"), Septimus (though it's touted as genetic/nano enhancemtn), and the fan-based d6 Appleseed, but knowing what would make it slap you in the face would be really quite cool and interesting to know.

 

And I can't think of any cyber-hacking rule sets out there for D6.

Well, at least I know that there's nothing out there! ^_^

 

I've got some ideas of where to take this, but I'll post these as and when it seems appropriate/interesting.

 

Again, thanks for taking the time to post all of that, Grimace. ^_^

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This "thread weaving" sounds somewhat similar to the "conjuring" magic I came up with for my fantasy game.

 

In it, the conjuror has "magic points" based on their Magic attribute and Intelligence attribute. Roll both and add together. That's the total the conjuror has.

 

With it, the conjuror learns the various "aspects" of conjuring: Protect

Sight

Illusion

Offense

Defense

Range

Affect

Travel

 

Depending on how well the conjuror learns each aspect will depend on how much Magic is required to conjure something up with a certain aspect. As time goes on and the Spellcraft skill is increased, the cost to conjure goes down for doing the same "trick". So while Create Fire might cost the conjuror 8 Magic Points initially, that same conjuror can advance the Spellcraft skill and eventually be able to Create Fire for only 2 Magic Points.

 

 

And new "tricks" can be learned by building off what is already learned. So say that conjuror learned to Create Fire. Then he could use that, along with the "aspect" of Range, to do the trick Fireball (creates the fire, then moves it at range).

 

So to do the "create fire" trick, the Conjuror would have to focus on the aspects of Affect (fire burns things, thus affecting them) and possibly Offense (fire damages things). Then, to learn the trick of Fireball, the conjuror would simply have to add in the aspect of Range (so that the fire moves a distance).

 

It becomes entirely up to the player to decide whether that Fireball is stylized as a "normal" fireball in that it creates a ball that flies through the air and explodes, or becomes something completely different (drops to the ground, forming a fiery ball that grows as it moves along the ground, creating a wave of fire as it moves to the target)

 

 

I'm not sure if that's a "kick ass" magic system, but it's one of the magic systems I've come up with over the years.

 

In terms of cybernetics that would "slap me in the face and yell 'use me!'", I think a cybernetics rule set would need to be something that worked smoothly and FELT like a person got cybernetics. Something like "Argh! My hand was cut off!" "Okay doc, just give me a hand that works." "Hey, I can use everything as I usually did, but now when I want to I can do an extra 2D damage when it comes to squeezing things" (my grip is much better, but my arm is still my arm).

 

And then when I'm unfortunate enough to lose that whole arm, I can have it replaced with an arm. That arm works just like a normal arm, except a couple extra things like "does not reduce Health when damage" and adds +2D to all Strength checks with that arm (and damage inflicted checks caused by hits from that arm), and it can be modified (depending on a character's desire to be more or less noticeable with it).

 

Rather than having every little nitpicky thing created for the cybernetic, and having cybernetics "points" or whatnot that limits what a person can or cannot have, I think a cybernetics rule set that makes them seem a part of a person's body and not just a collection of numbers, would make me feel like a character would really have a cybernetic part of their body.

 

Imagine cybernetic eyes that worked as normal, but had auto-tint when it was bright out, and auto-night vision when it was dark, and could magnify things 10x when desired. And I didn't have to worry about how many "slots" were required to get them, or how many upgrades were needed to get the eyes. I just needed to know whether I could afford those cybernetic eyes or whether I had to get the less expensive model that didn't have the magnifier and night vision.

 

Simple but effective AND conveys the neat aspects of cybernetics AND has rules the "get out of the way" so we can just play and enjoy is what I'm looking for.

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Grimace: Just to thank you again for being a rock star and taking the time to reply to the newbie on the forum. I know I say all the time that I appreciate it but, well, I truly do appreciate it. Many karma points to you. ^_^

 

This "thread weaving" sounds somewhat similar to the "conjuring" magic I came up with for my fantasy game.

Do you happen to have an electronic document that you could share with me, if you're willing? I would love to take a look at it.

 

I'm not sure if that's a "kick ass" magic system, but it's one of the magic systems I've come up with over the years.

I would love to take a gander. It does sound similar, so I would love to take a look at the work of someone that is far more familiar with d6.

 

I'll post some more information for what I had in mind. Perhaps you would be willing to help out and lend me your ear. (Sorry, as I typed that I was thinking of the scene from Robin Hood Men in Tights. ;))

 

In terms of cybernetics ... Simple but effective AND conveys the neat aspects of cybernetics AND has rules the "get out of the way" so we can just play and enjoy is what I'm looking for.

That makes a whole bunch of sense. The whole "slots" thing was another thing that I was looking at with a raised eyebrow. Good information.

 

With that said, I'm looking at a conversion so my life is a little bit easier. I just need to figure out essence cost.

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I'll see what I can do in terms of getting the info into an electronic document for you. Most of it already is, but not all of it.

 

And I would be happy to lend an ear, so to speak, regarding what you come up with. D6 is a passion of mine, so I'll gladly chat about it for quite some time if able.

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Sounds excellent. Thanks.

 

I'll try and distill what I had in the other system into something relatively succinct. It might take me a while, but I'll get to it. Do you happen to be familiar with the Earthdawn and Shadowrun settings at all? it's not a problem either way because the direction that I was taking the magic was a little bit different and a little bit more steeped in western magic tradition (vis-a-vis elemental correspondences and I've also mapped over a verb/noun concept system as well).

 

More shortly.

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Alright. I thought that I would try and take a crack at explaining what I was working up with the EABAv2 system and which worked pretty well. For those that don't know, EABAv2 is a small-press game published by Blacksburg Tactical Research Center (BTRC) that is a generic, effects-based d6 stat+skill pool roll over target number and keep the "best three." It's a great system and EABA in general has some rather interesting settings that don't get enough love.

 

EABAv2 is a very tight system. One of the reasons that I'm looking at d6 is that I tend to like a little bit more flexibility when I run, but there's a whole bunch in EABAv2 that I like and that in the long-term I might try and fold in to at least my house-ruled version of d6.

 

For reference, though, my thoughts on the system have been shaped by two additional systems: GURPS, in particularly Ritual Path Magic; and EABAv2.

 

The Basic Gist...

 

As I wanted to move to a single system for games set in the Earthdawn/ShadowrunEquinox meta-setting, I also wanted to integrate the magic system a little bit more and focus it in a different direction. Rather than the somewhat "standard" fantasy magic thing that it has going on, I was going for something that was a little bit steeped in western magic tradition and in particular the premise of elemental correspondence that is often associated with the Wiccan tradition (I believe; I'm not expert).

 

While that might sound like a break, the 'fluff' in Earthdawn and Shadowrun actually supported some of that, particularly with Path Magic in Tir na n'Og (Shadowrun) and Denizens of Barsaive (Earthdawn).

 

The basic premise that I wanted to go with is that different spell parameters--magical effects and spell enhancements/limitations--were associated with a specific element. The idea being that you would "weave" together the various elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Aethyr) to create a spell and, then, after the fact, be able to weave in additional threads to change the qualities of the spell.

 

There's a little more to it than that. Ala Earthdawn you're also able to weave magical threads between patterns (auras) of people, places, and things. The difference with this system is that the type of thread would make a difference (it didn't in the original system).

 

A little bit of detail...

 

Okay, so at this point it would help to know a little bit more about the elemental correspondences as this will allow them to be mapped onto system variables.

 

[table]

[tr]

[td]CONCEPT[/td]

[td]FIRE[/td]

[td]EARTH[/td]

[td]AIR[/td]

[td]WATER[/td]

[td]AETHRY[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Attribute[/td]

[td]?[/td]

[td]?[/td]

[td]?[/td]

[td]?[/td]

[td]?[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Verb[/td]

[td]Create[/td]

[td]Destroy[/td]

[td]Communicate[/td]

[td]Sense[/td]

[td]Control[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Noun[/td]

[td]Strengthen[/td]

[td]Protection[/td]

[td]Move[/td]

[td]Heal[/td]

[td]Transform[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Domain[/td]

[td]Fire[/td]

[td]Earth[/td]

[td]Air[/td]

[td]Water[/td]

[td]Ka/Chi[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Physical[/td]

[td]Energy[/td]

[td]Matter[/td]

[td]Mind[/td]

[td]Emotion[/td]

[td]Magic[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Abstract[/td]

[td]Life[/td]

[td]Body[/td]

[td]Spirit[/td]

[td]Crossroads[/td]

[td]Pattern[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

What I had done with EABAv2 is divide what might be considered the enhancements/limitations into the different elements, too. So, for example, being able to modify the the type and nature of damage done by a spell was a "Fire" ability ("Offense" in EABAv2 terms, coupled with the "Flexibility" modifier).

 

So the idea was that each spell was learned with given parameters. This was it's "Pattern." Accomplished magic users (Initiates) would be able to alter that Pattern on the fly by weaving in additional threads.

 

And that's about it...

 

For the "spell slinging" anyway. There's a whole bunch of other stuff for things like ritual magic, enchantment, and so on,.

 

Things to remember...

 

So, the reason that I'm focusing on the elements is that I want them to be more prominent. Magic-users will ultimately be aspected by their elements. When you focus in one thing (which you're required to do) it begins to affect your personality in various situations. Aspected magical energy is a thing, so you can use some sites preferentially over others etc. Your affinity with a given element is going to influence your ability to summon an elemental etc.

 

And that's about it...

 

I'll leave it at that for the moment. Articulate it might not be, but that's the idea that is winging around in my head.

 

Initial Thoughts...

 

I haven't been able to spend too much time with this, but the obvious idea is to have the "Extranormal" attribute (c.f. d6 Space) to be akin to the "Magic" attribute from Shadowrun. The different elements are skills, but they're limited in purchase price to an attribute because "As above, so below" (if you're familiar with that term).

 

I also realise that I'm going to have to build something over the top of the spell-build system in d6 Fantasy but...

 

... Well, that's where I am at the mment.

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This sounds akin to the Earth, Air, Water and Fire focuses that was shown in the movie "The Last Airbender".

 

Are you thinking that it would possible for a person to use the focus of more than one element? So can a person who is focused on Earth also do things that the one focused on Air also does?

 

I would suggest "unlearning" what you have learned.

 

You can use the Extranormal attribute, but call it what best fits your setting. In this case, you could go with the obvious and call it "Elementalism".

 

Then, rather than breaking it into Skills, create a "Focus". Say that when a person focuses on an element, everything revolves around that. All of their "EM" power goes into that Focus. Should a person attempt to drift in their Focus to another element, then that EM Power gets split in half (only 50% power to each Focus) and the time to gain any spells takes twice as long as it would with just 1 Focus.

 

The Focus spots can just be the straight elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Aethry

 

You could make it so players can increase the character's "Focus", but their "Elementalism" remains unchanged (or is VERY expensive to increase) and is the only thing used to RESIST and spell-slinging by others.

 

So while an Earth-focused spell-slinger might have a Focus of Earth at +4D, their base Elementalism is only 3D. So they can be pretty potent with spells concerning the Earth, but when they are hit by a spell from a Fire-focused person, they only get to resist the spell with 3D.

 

That also gives an idea of what splitting the Focus could do. Imagine going from 7D in something (3D EM +4D Focus) to only having 5D+1 when they have 2 Focus. And only having 1D+1 to resist spells.

 

 

Those are just some random thoughts off the top of my head. Maybe it'll give you some ideas.

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This is where I'm going to have to go back to what I typed up and see if it made sense...

 

This sounds akin to the Earth, Air, Water and Fire focuses that was shown in the movie "The Last Airbender".

Hmmmn. I wish it were that simple. That's straight out Elemental Manipulation and various themed powers from Godsend Agenda. On the bright side if I ever want to run that kind of campaign all that it is going to need is a little bit of work on some martial arts and it would be good to go. With that said, it also means that I did a terrible job of explaining things. Thus, red wine.

 

Let me try again. Please note that in the following I am using italics to emphasise key words, but only because emboldened text makes me wince and not because of any form of undertone or anything like that.

 

Rather, (some*) magic-users cast spells. Each spell is "woven" together from different elemental threads to form a pattern, with each of the threads defining a certain parameter of the spell (e.g., its range, what it does, the type of damage etc.).

 

* There are other types of magic-users that don't "sling spells," but I'm focusing on the 'ole "spellslingers" at this juncture.

 

So, each spell is actually a construct of multiple elements. While there are magic-users that are focused around the use of a single element, their abilities are a bit more restricted than the ones that you see in The Last Airbender. (Caveat: I'm talking about the film. I've never seen the anime, so forgive me if that is a gross misinterpretation of things.)

 

Each spell is learned as a specific pattern, as noted above. It can only do things in a certain way because that is what its pattern says that it can do. Advanced users (initiates) can begin to weave in additional threads that alter what the spell can do. So, for example, they might be able to mystically armour the spell against dispelling by weaving in an additional thread of Earth-aspected magic. Altering the amount of damage that something does might involve pouring more Fire-aspected magic into it. And so on.

 

Did I do a better job of explaining it that time?

 

On the face of it the d6 Fantasy spell creation system is a good place to start. It's just having an appropriate framework to hang things off of.

 

Are you thinking that it would possible for a person to use the focus of more than one element?

An individual will tend towards favouring one element over another, i.e. elemental dominance. This will manifest in other ways, such as a tendency to react in certain ways over this or that (i.e., you'll lean towards certain advantages/disadvantages).

 

That's not quite what you were asking, but it does influence the rest of the game.

 

I would suggest "unlearning" what you have learned.

I'm always up for that.

 

What I have for the above is the basic premise of the magic system and I rather like how it holds together--conceptually speaking, at least.

 

You can use the Extranormal attribute, but call it what best fits your setting. In this case, you could go with the obvious and call it "Elementalism".

In Shadowrun it's called "Essence" ("Magic" for magic-users), and in Earthdawn and Equinox it... doesn't actually have an analogue.

 

I suspect that I would end up calling it "Pattern" or, more simply, "Aura." Ultimate it represents the force of yours soul: your ki, ka, or suman ami. Soul energy and self.

 

Then, rather than breaking it into Skills, create a "Focus".

I am indeed reticent to use skills for the elements as there are other things that would make more sense there (e.g., "Thread Weaving," "Sorcery," "Conjuration" etc.).

 

One hazy idea that I had was that the attribute associated with a given element would act as some form of "cap" to magic. I'm not quite sure where else I would go with this--I'm just throwing it out there in case the d6 magic happens in the mind of someone. :D

 

You could make it so players can increase the character's "Focus", but their "Elementalism" remains unchanged (or is VERY expensive to increase) and is the only thing used to RESIST and spell-slinging by others.

I do like the idea that the central "thing" will be expensive to increase--just like an attribute.

 

So while an Earth-focused spell-slinger might have a Focus of Earth at +4D, their base Elementalism is only 3D. So they can be pretty potent with spells concerning the Earth, but when they are hit by a spell from a Fire-focused person, they only get to resist the spell with 3D.

That's rather cool for the kind of elemental powers game mentioned in the first para, above, but it's not quite where I'm going here. Think of a more developed elemental magic system but where there's more flexibility built into it depending on how well steeped in magic you are.

 

Seriously, though, cool ideas. Hopefully I did a better job at describing where I was wanting to go in this thread, though. :D

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One hazy idea that I had was that the attribute associated with a given element would act as some form of "cap" to magic. I'm not quite sure where else I would go with this--I'm just throwing it out there in case the d6 magic happens in the mind of someone. :D

 

This bit reminded me of the system from L5R.

 

In that, the attributes a broken into elemental "rings" (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Void). Each contains a physical and a mental attribute themed to the element (except Void, which is kind of a bennie point/luck/special something attribute), with the ring's value being the lower of the two attributes. Spells are themed to elements, and you need a certain minimum ring value in an element to cast that spell. So, if you're "fluid" physically and mentally, you'll have a higher water ring, and be able to cast more powerful water-themed spells. Is this kind of what you're thinking (with or without the wuxia mind/body harmony bit)?

 

Here's a few ideas to play with, if this strikes your fancy:

 

I would create a magic/extranormal attribute (called Essence, or something else if you prefer). You can tie spellcasting/summoning/enchanting/etc. skills to this or to whatever attribute you prefer.

 

I would associate four or five of the component elements to thematic attributes (or attribute pairs) in the system. My first idea is to have Spirit/Aether linked to Essence, but this could be changed if it becomes unbalancing. It might be good to set up your attribute set around these connections (four attributes, all with a linked element; or eight, paired up two to an element), so there's a balance and no dead (unassigned attributes).

 

There's two-three ways I think you could use these links, when a spell uses that element's threads:

 

1) As a flat or die-based bonus to spellcasting. I.e. you get a +1, +3, +5, +1D, or whatever seems appropriate when casting Earth-thread spells for every die you have in, say, Physique (guessing at a linked attribute here).

 

2) As a limit on spellcasting. You can only use xD of your spellcasting skill when casting spells, limited to their linked attribute - this could be a 1-to-1 limit or some multiple of the linked attribute. I.e. you have a Physique (using the above example) of 3D, so you can only use 3D on spellcasting checks for Earth-thread spells (1-to-1), or 6D (2-to-1), etc.

 

Alternatively, you could turn this into a cap on the check result, like 5 per die in the linked attribute. I.e. (following the above) you'd roll your full spellcasting die code to cast Earth-thread spells, but any result above 15 (5 x 3D in Physique) is ignored.

 

3) Rather than tying your spellcasting skill(s) to a single attribute, you assign dice to this skill independently, and temporarily assign it to the linked attribute that applies when casting a spell. I.e. following the above yet again, you have 4D in Spellcasting - when casting Earth-threaded spells, this goes off of your Physique attribute. In this case, it gains that attribute's 3D, and you roll 7D for this check.

 

In any of these systems, when a spell calls for threads from multiple elements, I would use either the lowest or highest linked attribute. This is mostly for simplicity and to curb super crazy extremes of min-maxing characters.

 

Just some initial thoughts. I'll chime in again if I have any other rant-like theories for the system, that's about 90% of my history on here.

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H'okay. Toddler finally got to sleep so I've got a little bit more time to reply to this. I deleted my previous post so that I could have a clean slate with that reply.

 

This bit reminded me of the system from L5R.

I haven't looked at Legends of the Five Ringers since it was published, but from what you report there are some similarities, e.g. the link between the attributes and the elements themselves. I noted the association in the table, above, though I had not many assignments at this juncture. In the other systems that I had try to work this up in, the assignments were:

 

[table]

[tr]

[td]Element[/td]

[td]GURPS[/td]

[td]EABAv2[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Fire[/td]

[td]Strength[/td]

[td]Strength[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Earth[/td]

[td]Health[/td]

[td]Health[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Air[/td]

[td]IQ[/td]

[td]Awareness[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Water[/td]

[td]Dexterity[/td]

[td]Agility[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Aethyr[/td]

[td]Will[/td]

[td]Fate[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

It worked, but the more that I looked at it the way that it merged fairly "abstract" notions like "intelligence" and "will" with something that was more quantifiable, doesn't really sit rightly with me, at least in terms of how it is applied across the elements.

 

I'll get back to this point a little bit later in your ideas section, but there was something else that would be useful to know.

 

So, if you're "fluid" physically and mentally, you'll have a higher water ring, and be able to cast more powerful water-themed spells. Is this kind of what you're thinking (with or without the wuxia mind/body harmony bit)?

I have a number of thoughts, here. First, I like the idea of "mental" and "physical" components and coupling them to elements. This ties back into what I mentioned, above, about not feeling comfortable with how the elements are divided across the physical/mental spectrum.

 

Second, coupling magical ability directly to attributes is kind of where I was going. Maybe. It was just a thought, really. As the attributes are meant to represent the physical expression of your aura (Pattern), become stronger seems like it should mean that you can do more with your magic.

 

On the other hand, it is a common fantasy trope--and one that I like--that a magic-user can become stronger than their physical components, and indeed that magic can make up some of the gap. Thus you have the Raistlin Majere imagery of the physically weak mage who is still strong in magic. Being able to separate magical and physical (or mental) ability seems like a good idea, though of course that isn't quite the same as it being easy to do.

 

Third, I had an initial idea about how the level of the attribute (3 levels per die, 1 level per pip) representing the "resources" that you had available to you for "weaving" a spell. So, for example, with, say, a Knowledge (Air) stat of 2D+2 you would 8 "threads" available for weaving into a spell. This would mean that you would have a hard cap on the range of a spell, which itself would be lessened if you wove in additional "air" parameters (whatever they might be).

 

This last one also interdigitated with the idea of Initiation. That is, you would "buy up" your elemental rating and thus give you more resources to weave into a spell. (Whether that would mean that you had the capability of doing it is another matter.)

 

I may come back to these points in the next bit, but I think that there is some potential with some of those in conjunction with your ideas. The complexity lies in those spell parameters--finding the balance between too few and too many as well as too costly and too cheap (any of which could monkey around with balance).

 

I would create a magic/extranormal attribute (called Essence, or something else if you prefer). You can tie spellcasting/summoning/enchanting/etc. skills to this or to whatever attribute you prefer.

As above, I'm fond of the Extranormal attribute being called "Aura" to tie it to the notion of Pattern and thereby notionally coupling together the Earthdawn and Shadowrun settings. With that said, my ideas about quite what this might do is in transition. Previously I had mapped Aethyr (or Void) to it but...

 

Let me leave this where it is at the moment. If nothing else I can leave it where it is: the control for magical skills. At least this way if there was a "Fire" sub-skill to the attributes and you could buy this up when you initiated, it would be a separate track than being better at casting spells, conjuring, or whatever. Attributes/elemental ratings are what you can do with magic, while your Aura+Skills are how well you can do it.

 

I would associate four or five of the component elements to thematic attributes (or attribute pairs) in the system... It might be good to set up your attribute set around these connections (four attributes, all with a linked element; or eight, paired up two to an element), so there's a balance and no dead (unassigned attributes)

This is, I think, golden advice. It covers some of the problems that I was having in the past including what I mentioned above about physical and mental attributes as they pertain to the elements. When I had made initial assignments of attributes there were some "dead" ones (well, Agility).

 

[table]

[tr]

[td]Element[/td]

[td]Physical[/td]

[td]Mental[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Fire[/td]

[td]Strength[/td]

[td]Presence[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Earth[/td]

[td]Toughness[/td]

[td]Willpower[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Air[/td]

[td]Coordination[/td]

[td]Knowledge[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Water[/td]

[td]Agility[/td]

[td]Presence[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Aethyr[/td]

[td]Aura[/td]

[td]Perception[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

I'm going to leave that there for now because I need more time to think about it. As it is I had to add another couple of attributes: splitting Physique into Strength and Toughness, adding in Willpower, and still ended up using Presence twice.

 

Edit: In some ways replicating Aura would make more sense than having Presence in Strength but... *taps fingers on table* Hmmn.

 

Edit 2: I realised that I didn't address the mechanical suggestions. I think that they're all good suggestions, but even something as simple as the mental/physical thing was itself cool enough that I need to think about that and how it might relate to spell parameters that might exist behind it. (For example, previously a thread of Aethyr would have to be woven into something to "translate" it from being a physical spell into a mental/spiritual one.)

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Actually, the elemental and physical/mental attributes gets much easier if you remove Aethyr from the equation. That could potentially tie into some of the information about elven Path Magic from Shadowrun's Tir na n'Og sourcebook (subsequently integrated into the core magic book for each of the editions).

 

Edit: So, ignoring Aethyr for the moment I get something that is sort of more in keeping with what I had in mind.

 

[table]

[tr]

[td]Element[/td]

[td]Physical[/td]

[td]Mental[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Fire[/td]

[td]Strength[/td]

[td]Presence[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Earth[/td]

[td]Toughness[/td]

[td]Willpower[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Air[/td]

[td]Coordination[/td]

[td]Knowledge[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Water[/td]

[td]Reflexes[/td]

[td]Perception[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

So some minor changes, but they seem to hang together in the Western system of elemental correspondence.

 

Aethyr perhaps shouldn't be treated in the same way--as suggested by marsuniversity. Their post, along with Grimace and others, mean that I'm going to have to take a gander at both d6 Fantasy (or d6 Adventure) and perhaps a little bit of GURPS Ritual Path Magic for some inspiration, too.

 

I'm also going to look into the whole Light/Dark Magic thing. It might just be a setting case of name-calling, but since I'm a fan of aspected magic (specific areas or things associated with elements, but also influenced by events and thus flavour [light/dark] magic) it might be fun. That and I'm watching The Last Witch Hunter and they keep on mentioning "dark magic," which makes me think of Black Magic, then Dresden Files and... Well, there's this whole downward spiral of gibbering madly in the night that I don't want to go too far into. ;)

 

Thanks all for the discussion and inspiration.

Edited by Kage2020
Wantd to add some information that I couldn't earlier and didn't want to double-post. ^_^

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