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Old 09-13-2017, 12:38 PM   #31
JaJacob
 
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

@Gnome

Yes, this was my concern too with RPM. That it would just slow down the game too much and give a mage player too much spot light.

To combat this, I wanted to use Threshold instead of charms (works better with the idea of magic in the world too) and to cut down on the too much improvising problem, just make the player roll his IQ to see if the character can figure out a fast ritual to use instead of taking up too much time.

I don't really know standard Magic all that well.

Checking on the creation of the spells, RPM just seems much more robust and straight forward. Although I'm sure creating new spells would be the easy part after some practice.

With Magic I would definitely use Threshold limited magic and somehow include Winds of magic idea. Unfortunately, no idea came to me so far on how to do that.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:10 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

Combining Threshold with Winds...

You could have Winds reduce or increase threshold rolls. If you've got a +5 red wind, reduce tally rolls for spells that only use the red wind by 5. This will make casting in winds a lot safer, but leave the mage fairly useless afterwards.

Winds could reduce or increase the tally of a spell. There are two options: multiplicative and additive. Multiplicative modifiers make really big spells easier to cast in high winds, while additive ones will let you spam cheap spells in the right conditions. Additive multipliers are also better at shutting down all casting of a certain type. This won't give as big a boost as increasing tally rolls, but it won't raise the tally by huge amounts in the process. I think you'd need a new table for either multiplicative or additive.

Winds could act as a limit on how much tally could be drawn at any one time.

Winds could change how fast tally recovers. This is my favorite idea, but the problem is it requires each wind to have its own tally, which might be a bit of book keeping.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:04 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

@ericthered Thanks for the ideas, I like them.

I think I would keep the Winds as a single entity for the purpose of modifiers, reasoning that the mage would be able to "unravel" it and use the color he needs. Just to keep it simpler or maybe keep the modifiers to a specific Wind as a special event. Before a big battle, Purple Winds of death might be blowing stronger, since death will be on everyone minds, during huge forest fires winds of fire would be stronger etc.

Tally recovery depending on the Winds is great. Maybe keep some static amount and give a bonus or penalty.

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You could have Winds reduce or increase threshold rolls. If you've got a +5 red wind, reduce tally rolls for spells that only use the red wind by 5. This will make casting in winds a lot safer, but leave the mage fairly useless afterwards.
By tally rolls, do you mean calamity rolls?

Reducing/increasing cost of spell is a good way to go, but it would require to rethink it and find the sweet spot.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:06 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
My big mistake when first trying RPM was introducing it in a game where only one PC was a mage. About 75% of game time was spent with everyone watching that player do stuff: making rolls, proposing new rituals that could solve whatever predicament the party found itself in, determining effects and interactions, strategizing ways magic could solve problems, deciding whether a certain ritual was "fair" or whether the rules support it, etc., etc.

A lot of this was bad GM-ing on my part, of course. I could have just cut that player off every time and tried to come up with reasons to say "no, you can't do that because...", and eventually I told him he can only cast rituals in-game that we had already previously agreed upon (this weakened the mage significantly, which didn't really matter because he remained many times more powerful than the other party members), which helped.

I also tried to simplify RPM by not including charms. This too was a mistake, as many people here on the forums pointed out, because a big part of the balancing factor for RPM seems to be the existence of other mages who can dispel your rituals or turn them against you, and they need to be ready to do that with charms if it's an action-packed type of game (this was meant to be an Indiana Jones style pulp action campaign).

I kind of gave up on RPM after that. I've had a lot of luck with the standard Magic system, having used it for decades now. It's actually part of what originally drew me to GURPS. I have had no difficulty modifying it for various games by excluding certain spells, writing lots and lots of new spells, and using some of the many good suggestions in Thaumatology for modifying the basic system. Some of these modifications can create a totally different "feel" to magic and make it suitable for all kinds of games.
I read these kinds of things and I get a little sad. RPM so doesn't have to be like this. Even though I've internalized just about every rule, trick, and spell there is I don't like having to adjudicate on the fly for this very reason. The player tends to take forever getting a spell "just right" and treats it like a mini-game.

In my current campaign I introduced a rule for "spell families." Basically, you "know" a set number of spells and if you cast anything else other than those you suffer a penalty due to being unfamiliar - you can do it. But it's much harder. This discourages the mini-game and players try to use the spells they know creatively, while keeping the flexible flavor of RPM on the table.

I hope you give RPM another shot one day, Gnome.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:38 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

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In my current campaign I introduced a rule for "spell families." Basically, you "know" a set number of spells and if you cast anything else other than those you suffer a penalty due to being unfamiliar - you can do it. But it's much harder. This discourages the mini-game and players try to use the spells they know creatively, while keeping the flexible flavor of RPM on the table.
I simply only allowed the Ritual Adept benes to apply to spells that the mage is Familiar with. They get one Familiar Ritual per character point spent into Thaumatology and Paths.

Bada-bing-bada-boom, no more on-the-fly rituals in the wilds. They still did them in their 'base' where they had time, consecrated space, etc, so it didn't eliminate them, but it did shift an awful lot of them to pre/post session time rather than in the heat of it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:12 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

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I simply only allowed the Ritual Adept benes to apply to spells that the mage is Familiar with. They get one Familiar Ritual per character point spent into Thaumatology and Paths.

Bada-bing-bada-boom, no more on-the-fly rituals in the wilds. They still did them in their 'base' where they had time, consecrated space, etc, so it didn't eliminate them, but it did shift an awful lot of them to pre/post session time rather than in the heat of it.
Interesting way to do it!
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:43 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

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Interesting way to do it!
It did sort of 'unrealistically' shift a bunch of their most cast spells* into the 'UnFamiliar' category... which can be a bit hard to swallow.

But it did what I wanted and put the bulk of on-the-fly ritual creation into 'off-time', so... eh. It felt like a wash.


* One PC only made spells his Familiar ones if they really needed to be "when I need it utility spells" spells rather than combat spells, the other was more 50/50 between utility and combat (he also tended to do 50/50 Familiar/Unfamiliar rituals as charms).
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:53 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

I admit the 'on the fly magic building' is one of my most very most favorite parts of RPM (and Sorcery) both!

I allow the Fast Casting advantage I mentioned earlier this thread for RPM, and a 'Compartmentalized Mind, for Improvising' both in order to help encourage more 'on the fly' stuff

If I was going to refiddle with how magic works with RPM, Id probably do 'Effect Shaping, Fast Casting 10 mandatory, no charms or such, on the fly only!'

Hmmm. But I do like grimoires and charm labs and such as good loot sort of things. So maybe not. But really, while ADnD style 'my spellcaster is my prepared spells' is well and cool, Id just as soon get rid of the incredibly annoying process of making spell loadouts that make me feel playing in traffic would be a more fulfilling life choice than playing RPGs

That said, one fun way to make spell design more fun is you can design spells at least partly IC, 'Hmmmm, so we need a wall? Lets see, how about a Variant off Bewitched Basketry using that dirt over there to make one? It can use subject weight, say, 200,000 tons, and we'll do a Bestows a Bonus to help with my crafting, lesser, greater, well, really doesn't matter its my crafting not the magic thats the issue'

It gets better of course if more party members A - have characters with some excuse for knowing RPM, and B - players that sorta know the system. The system uses mostly plain English sounding stuff, so it sounds very natural IC for people to be discussing Control, Transform, Sense, Greater, Lesser, Path of Magic/Body/Matter etc, so can be a ton of fun

Really, I haven't found RPM causes slowdown, if anything, RPMists sometimes can treat RPM as a big enough sledgehammer to make anything a nail. Slowdowns come more I've found from Magic Magic or skill based characters who are pouring over their 100 lines of spells / skills hoping one of them presents itself as a solution to the puzzle at hand, RPMists tend to have at most a handful of numbers (or often only two numbers) they need to remember, so either they get an idea or they dont for using said numbers

As a player or DM, I much more enjoy seeing a spell designed during the game. Its part of the game, theres something a character is trying to do in game they think the spell will help with. My friends are there taking part in said spell design. Its cool and interesting and advances the game. Designing a spell outside of the game is usually just a chore. Its a necessary evil, like making a character is, because if you want to play a spellcaster you need spells,just like you need a character to begin with.

On the fly casters I've found really don't slow combat, they design their spells while other people are taking their turns (as all people should be doing, getting ready to act before its their turn), only delays if the scenario suddenly changes (scenarios changing mess up anyone who wants to plan ahead of time) or if they want to do something weird (which no matter what mechanics your using, doing weird stuff takes time). Of the things which cause things to slow down, RPM is not one of them (bursts to the head! Or people who just tell me some random action and a dice roll, and then leave me to take their character sheet and try to interpret what said dice roll means in relation to said action)


Also related to the op, since the op likes Threshhold, I like mlangsdorf's idea of less horrible calamity tables, and his idea that recovery should exceed safe tally, to tempt people into playing with said tables
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:52 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

@Kalzazz

Well that's encouraging to hear about RPM for sure.

I have a short spell list in the works to help players envision what each of the magic "college" could do.

I definitely don't want to discourage players from casting on the fly.

I don't see mlangsdorf post anymore and don't remember it word by word, but it seems like a good idea. Maybe implement classic RPM quirks to spells when you are slightly over safe threshold, add corruption points or temporary disadv, before any serious and permanent changes.

As well as winds of magic tally recovery and allowing it to overflow in strong winds by modifier or a multiple.

Casters could also prepare charms to use for when winds are low, although I would limit it to rituals they know. As evileeyore and Ghostdancer do.

All in all do you think using effect shaping + threshold with milder table for fast casting as I wrote would be good alternative? Would there be some unforeseen consequences?

Last edited by JaJacob; 09-15-2017 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:45 AM   #40
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Default Re: [Magic] RPM, Paths, Realms - So many variants, but which one to choose?

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By tally rolls, do you mean calamity rolls?
yes, that's what I meant.
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