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Old 02-18-2020, 08:18 PM   #1
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default RPM Problems You Have

Tell me what sort of things confuses you about RPM. Be specific please! For example, you are unsure when to add Altered Traits and when not to or how to create conjured weaponry.

I'm going to do something to alleviate some of these questions in the future and I'd like a good starting point, please.

(Please use bullet points if you've got multiple questions and/or want to explain your question more fully.)

Thanks for any who answer.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

I'm still learning RPM: it takes a little while to get used to. You answered the Altered Traits question recently on your blog, and my questions about scrying in a thread I started. Thanks again for both.

I found that it got a lot easier once I made myself a couple of summary sheets, which I'll send you if you're interested. It's also well worth keeping a log of (almost) everything I cast, so that I don't have to work out how to do it again a few sessions later.

There's a definite dichotomy between the approach to RPM where you work mostly in terms of sizeable rituals, of 50+ energy, and the approach where you mostly use smaller ones. Most of the published rituals are bigger ones, but I find it very rare that I can accurately predict what I'll need well enough to make Charms for big rituals, so I concentrate on smaller castings.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I'm still learning RPM: it takes a little while to get used to. You answered the Altered Traits question recently on your blog, and my questions about scrying in a thread I started. Thanks again for both.
Great points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I found that it got a lot easier once I made myself a couple of summary sheets, which I'll send you if you're interested. It's also well worth keeping a log of (almost) everything I cast, so that I don't have to work out how to do it again a few sessions later.
Yeah, that's always a good idea and it builds a grimoire up eventually if you do it enough. I'll take those summary sheets for sure. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There's a definite dichotomy between the approach to RPM where you work mostly in terms of sizeable rituals, of 50+ energy, and the approach where you mostly use smaller ones. Most of the published rituals are bigger ones, but I find it very rare that I can accurately predict what I'll need well enough to make Charms for big rituals, so I concentrate on smaller castings.
Another good point.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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I'll take those summary sheets for sure. Thank you.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

In order to save time when using RPM, I allow players to start with a list of common effects ('rotes') for rituals that their character commonly uses equal to their Thaumatology Skill (plus a number of additional rotes for potions equal to their Alchemy Skill). Rote effects receive a +2 to skill (in addition to any Ritual Mastery bonuses) while improvised effects receive a -2 to skill. Characters may expand their rotes at a cost of 1 CP per (Alchemy) potion rotes or 1 CP per (Thaumatology) ritual rotes, with a maximum number of CP spent on each equal to their Magery. So a character with Magery 3, Alchemy-15, and Thaumatology-15 starts with 15 potion rotes and 15 ritual rotes, and may spend up to an addition 3 CP each to gain 45 more potion rotes and 45 more ritual rotes.

After character creation, they must either learn rotes from other practitioners or research the rotes as well as spending the CP. In order to learn new rotes for their skills, they must spend time in hours equal to the base cost of the effect being taught by someone who has the desired rote and succeed in a Thaumatology (for ritual rotes) or Alchemy (for potion rotes) to comprehend the lesson (an instructor with Teaching-12+ gives a +2 to the comprehension roll). In order to research new rotes for their skills, they must spend time in days equal to the base cost of the effect being researched and succeed in a Thaumatology (for ritual rotes) or Alchemy (for potion rotes) to develop the rote (a successful Research roll and access to a suitable occult library gives a +2 to the development roll).
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

I'll be honest, all of it.

It seems to be overly-complicated. I've read the book more than a dozen times and still have a hard time wrapping my brain around it.
  • The overall explanation of the system is convoluted.
  • The decision of which paths are involved sometimes seems arbitrary (more on this below).
  • The defining line between Lesser and Greater effect can be incredibly fuzzy.
  • The energy costs are widely inconsistent for their effects. (Air Jet and Fireball are both 18 energy, but Ghost Shirt is 135?)
  • Effects seem randomly, and inconsistently, applied. (Why doesn't Fireball have a range while Hunger does?)
  • More time is required to define all the relevant rituals you might need for a game than would be expected, and creating them on-the-fly is extremely cumbersome.
  • It really exacerbates GURPS reputation as being maths heavy.
  • Pg 49. The Box: The "Right" Way gives me a horrible headache. I get it, but it makes my whole paths issue even worse. It confirms that the choice is arbitrary and there is no right way to do it. So, if you're having a hard time grasping the system there's no way to effectively check your work.
My final opinion of the system is "it's for specific types of games, which aren't the kind I play."

I would gladly read any book written to try to make RPM easier, however.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

  1. I would like to see a deeper chapter for the Path of Daath.
  2. I like RPM, but I think it is sort of expensive because it requires several “ingredients” to work. To me it’s been really hard making non-NPC hybrid characters (i.e. fighter-magician):
  • RPM practitioners are more inclined to be dedicated mages (cost-wise):
  • Path skills and Thaumatology, are very hard (expensive). It would be much better if path skills were average (cheaper to buy), let’s consider that you need to buy several paths, on top of requiring a good thaumatology level and supplementary perks and advantages (like energy reserves).
  • The combination of a skill cap with the “need” of ritual adept and magery is kind of taxing. If you want to build an efficient character, then you must buy these. Magery 3 and Ritual Adept cost 75 CP. If you don’t have advanced magery, then your (expensive) skills are limited up to level 12 and if you don’t get ritual adept during creation, then your skills might frequently suffer penalties up to -15.
  • On the other hand, you can build a warrior with combat reflexes and weapon master (2) for 40 CP and call it a day; if you don’t have these advantages, it does not matter, your effective broadsword and quick-draw skills shall work at the level you payed for. This warrior has more chances of focusing on his combat skills while remaining competent in other fields (including non-RPM spells).

I also think think that RPM, right now, "is for specific types of games".
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

My problem with the system is that all the math and calculations just don't feel like magic to me.

Now, I do like realm magic. I don't know why.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

I struggle to know what is a greater effect and what is a lesser effect. I especially struggle with knowing when to charge TWO greater effects as opposed to one.

I'm a little fuzzy on what sorts of things can be done without modifiers, especially damage and bonus modifiers (and also altered traits). I struggle more with explaining to players what they can do without those modifiers, and why. I know that you can track someone using their hair without a modifier, and you can transform a rock into a knife without modifiers, but I can't really explain WHY those things don't require any additional modifiers.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: RPM Problems You Have

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm a little fuzzy on what sorts of things can be done without modifiers, ...
I'll second this request. Several examples of what can be done with each of the Effects with just its base cost, perhaps a few in each Path, would be very helpful.
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