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-   -   [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63) (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=123182)

Randyman 02-12-2014 11:27 AM

[MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Having just read the latest issue of Pyramid, I am struck by the possibility of using Sorcery instead of RPM in Monster Hunters.

(Cue the torches and pitchforks! :) )

Granted, RPM is an awesome piece of work, and rightfully held in high regard. However, within the mechanical context of MH, which uses powers for Bioenhancement, Mysticism, and Psionic, RPM stands out as an egregious exception.

So, replace the Witch template with a Sorceror template? (Let's not use both; if RPM is to be retained then the whole discussion is moot.) Any other thoughts?

Mathulhu 02-12-2014 11:50 AM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
I don't have the latest pyramid (Cue the torches and pitchforks :) ) could you tell us what the basics of sorcery are please?

From random rumblings here I think it is magic as powers with a dash of modular abilities, if that is right I think it would work nicely with Monster Hunters. I think RPM feels better as the main source of woogedy-boo rather than just one of many.

Pragmatic 02-12-2014 11:56 AM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
From what I can tell, they made an effort to keep everything "cast in 1 second, costs minimal fatigue."

As usual, I have to go through the article again and dig deeper. :-)

Randyman 02-12-2014 11:58 AM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mathulhu (Post 1724433)
From random rumblings here I think it is magic as powers with a dash of modular abilities, if that is right I think it would work nicely with Monster Hunters. I think RPM feels better as the main source of woogedy-boo rather than just one of many.

You've pretty much nailed it - magic as powers, built as modular abilities. There are Details, of course. :)

Lamech 02-12-2014 12:22 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
You take a modular ability 5 point slot 5 points per level. Then add physical, magic, and only advantages. Add more limits if you like. Then you stack alternate abilities on that base. It introduces a new "rule", that lets you pay full cost for a number of the abilities in your alternate array (you pick the most expensive abilities you can), and you can have up to that many abilities active at the same time. Every ability (including ones powered by the modular ability), are supposed to take a point of FP at least.

Then it has a bunch of good advice and examples. This is in all honesty what makes the article good. So shell out monies or not. But its a good pyramid.

Anyway, to replace RPM... a witch is gonna be a lot faster. She's gonna have much more "blasting" power. No charms. Not as much need to obsessively prepare. But she'll probably have less versatility and less buffing power. I think it certainly makes a good addition, although I would probably go the witch route.

PK 02-12-2014 03:47 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamech (Post 1724452)
Anyway, to replace RPM... a witch is gonna be a lot faster. She's gonna have much more "blasting" power. No charms. Not as much need to obsessively prepare. But she'll probably have less versatility and less buffing power. I think it certainly makes a good addition, although I would probably go the witch route.

Pretty much nailed it. RPM's strength is its amazing versatility -- a smart witch will "hang" several powerful, generally useful spells in advance, but can pull off almost any spell in a relatively short amount of time.

Sorcery is not all that different, but it takes it to further extremes. A sorcerer also has handful of powerful spells, but unlike the witch (who's limited in how many he can have ready), a sorcerer can cast those spells all day long -- limited only by fatigue. But a sorcerer's ability to improvise is weaker; even a powerful sorcerer can only improvise modest spells at best, compared to what the witch can do in the same time frame. (Of course, once a sorcerer has improvised a spell, he can recast it as quickly as a known spell, which is admittedly a very potent benefit.)

I think RPM tends to feel like the magic found in Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, etc.: mysterious and laborious. By contrast, sorcery tends to feel like the magic found in the Dresden Files, Harry Potter, etc.: faster, very "blast-friendly," but with each caster being good at only a limited range of "tricks." I agree that either could work well in a Monster Hunters game.

Pragmatic 02-12-2014 03:59 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Going from another direction, how well could Divine Favor replace... whatever it is that priests/houdoun/shaman/whatever use?

Randyman 02-12-2014 04:05 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PK (Post 1724551)
Pretty much nailed it. RPM's strength is its amazing versatility -- a smart witch will "hang" several powerful, generally useful spells in advance, but can pull off almost any spell in a relatively short amount of time.

Sorcery is not all that different, but it takes it to further extremes. A sorcerer also has handful of powerful spells, but unlike the witch (who's limited in how many he can have ready), a sorcerer can cast those spells all day long -- limited only by fatigue. But a sorcerer's ability to improvise is weaker; even a powerful sorcerer can only improvise modest spells at best, compared to what the witch can do in the same time frame. (Of course, once a sorcerer has improvised a spell, he can recast it as quickly as a known spell, which is admittedly a very potent benefit.)

I think RPM tends to feel like the magic found in Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, etc.: mysterious and laborious. By contrast, sorcery tends to feel like the magic found in the Dresden Files, Harry Potter, etc.: faster, very "blast-friendly," but with each caster being good at only a limited range of "tricks." I agree that either could work well in a Monster Hunters game.

Thematically, I agree completely. Mechanically, RPM feels like an exception when other "empowered" types are modeled using powers. And the popularity of RPM's mechanics reminds me of an old piece of GMing advice - if you create something new and everybody wants to use it, it may be unbalanced in some unforeseen way. (Also true if nobody wants to use it.)

There are definitely other factors involved in RPMs popularity, of course; frustration with the default spell system and a corresponding desire for a better-functioning alternative being chief among them.

Randyman 02-12-2014 04:08 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pragmatic (Post 1724555)
Going from another direction, how well could Divine Favor replace... whatever it is that priests/houdoun/shaman/whatever use?

Mysticism.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MH1 p. 42
If blatant miracles would suit the campaign better, groups with access to GURPS Powers: Divine Favor may use that system instead.

So, official.

Ejidoth 02-12-2014 09:49 PM

Re: [MH] Replace RPM with Sorcery (Pyramid 3-63)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Randyman (Post 1724559)
Thematically, I agree completely. Mechanically, RPM feels like an exception when other "empowered" types are modeled using powers. And the popularity of RPM's mechanics reminds me of an old piece of GMing advice - if you create something new and everybody wants to use it, it may be unbalanced in some unforeseen way. (Also true if nobody wants to use it.)

There are definitely other factors involved in RPMs popularity, of course; frustration with the default spell system and a corresponding desire for a better-functioning alternative being chief among them.

Having played with it a bit, my impression is that RPM is 'broken' in that, once you invest enough points, you get more than the total worth of those points out of it. Once you have enough power to create a decent buff with good duration reliably, and pick up Luck so you don't botch yourself to death setting up buffs, you can fairly trivially apply all sorts of useful buffs and enchantments.

That said, the limitation of Greater effects and the general GM oversight involved means that, while you get more for your points than you really invested, the actual effects you tend to have are ones that don't break the story or setting badly. And the limitation on stacking spells (and vulnerability to targeted dispels) means it is to your benefit to share buffs among the party, so everyone gets to share in a bit of the awesome. Looking at it that way, I guess that makes it comparable to Gadgeteer, with Ritual Adept of course being the Quick Gadgeteer version; with some heavy skill investment backing it up, you can do insane things that are arguably a little above your weight class, but the things you can do are things that won't completely spoil the GM's fun, and you're basically giving your allies cool toys rather than showing them up.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent, your comment just led me to think on this a little more than I had.


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