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Old 03-17-2020, 07:47 PM   #1
Moneval
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

So I've been going through Sorcery in prep for a game I'm about to run, and it occurred to me that it might be a really good way to get magic that feels kind of like the spell casting system from TES III: Morrowind. While I don't necessarily want to mimic it exactly, this would be of interest to me for a setting I'm working on that's heavily influenced by that game.
The use of afflictions to give spell effects with fixed durations feels very similar to Morrowind, and using alternate rituals with Spend 1 FP, Make Broad Obvious Gestures, and Power Flare (from Pyramid 105) as the options mimics the in-game casting very well. There's even a quote from Morrowind towards the back!
The one part that I'm having trouble with is the different "schools". I want to be able to have different subsets of the Sorcery advantage representing different types of magic, but I'm not sure how to get that using Sorcery.
One thought I had was to have multiple instances of the Sorcerous Empowerment advantage, limited based on the guidelines from Sorcery (probably -30%), but that gets expensive fast. I could also require a skill check, with a skill per college, but the difficulty there is in making the spells within a college have varying difficulties compared to each other (maybe some kind of Power Technique?)

I thought I'd see if anyone here has any experience with sort of dividing Sorcery and adding a skill component to it. Again, I'm not necessarily trying to adapt Morrowind's spell casting directly, but achieve a similar result.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

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Originally Posted by Moneval View Post
One thought I had was to have multiple instances of the Sorcerous Empowerment advantage, limited based on the guidelines from Sorcery (probably -30%), but that gets expensive fast.
The huge upside is having multiple instances of spells, which means easily having multiple spells up by having different schools of magic.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:46 PM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

The problem with using Sorcery is that Morrowind spells do not require XP, only skill and money. They would probably be better represented by RPM, with very large energy pools.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:49 PM   #4
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

The easiest way to do Morrowind magic is to just invent your own. Morrowind magic is pretty straightforward.
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

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The problem with using Sorcery is that Morrowind spells do not require XP, only skill and money. They would probably be better represented by RPM, with very large energy pools.
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The easiest way to do Morrowind magic is to just invent your own. Morrowind magic is pretty straightforward.
If the goal was to mimic exactly, then I'd just use wildcard skills as spell groups and call it a day. I think Sorcery was to get a similar feel by using a system that can mimic certain feels of the magic without being broken like it is in ES games.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

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The problem with using Sorcery is that Morrowind spells do not require XP, only skill and money. They would probably be better represented by RPM, with very large energy pools.
But in Morrowind, all you need to learn any skill is to find a suitable trainer and plonk down a sack of money. Sometimes you have to separate game mechanics and what they are intended to represent.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

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But in Morrowind, all you need to learn any skill is to find a suitable trainer and plonk down a sack of money. Sometimes you have to separate game mechanics and what they are intended to represent.
What's odd is how easy it seems to be for the PC in ES games to learn magic. Morrowind you throw money at someone. Skyrim you eat a book. If the intent was to keep a similar feel, then spells could be made as advantages you buy with money (and possibly time) instead of cp.

To TC; I actually did something very similar in a campaign a few years back. Instead of straight Sorcery, I picked a trait that represented each magic school in Skyrim (Modified Healing for Restoration for instance) and let magic default off of those. It worked really nicely for what I wanted out of it, but I wouldn't say it lined up with the feel of Skyrim perfectly. Then again, I also expanded the types of spells that could be done in each collage.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

Well, skills can also be raised by throwing money at someone or w/e. I would probably implement the magic skills as skills, individual spells as perks (or otherwise costing 1 point), and magica as an energy reserve.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:06 PM   #9
Moneval
 
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
I think Sorcery was to get a similar feel by using a system that can mimic certain feels of the magic without being broken like it is in ES games.
Pretty much this. I think Sorcery is already a good portion of the way to achieving a Morrowind feel, but with some better controls in place. Being built off of advantages really helps balance the spells I think. All that it's lacking for me is a way to divide the spells into schools, and have more powerful spells be more difficult to cast.

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
To TC; I actually did something very similar in a campaign a few years back. Instead of straight Sorcery, I picked a trait that represented each magic school in Skyrim (Modified Healing for Restoration for instance) and let magic default off of those. It worked really nicely for what I wanted out of it, but I wouldn't say it lined up with the feel of Skyrim perfectly. Then again, I also expanded the types of spells that could be done in each collage.
Interesting. Did you have other spells as Alternate Abilities? Or was it different?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The problem with using Sorcery is that Morrowind spells do not require XP, only skill and money. They would probably be better represented by RPM, with very large energy pools.
I thought about RPM, but I'm reserving that for the slower, more ritualistic type magic in the setting, using the effect-shaping variant. If I could think of a way to allow some spells in RPM to be quick cast and others to be slow-cast only, I might go that route.
I will say though, that I've reviewed the original thread from when Sorcery was announced, and might do something suggested there where RPM is used for improvisation instead of Sorcery. So Sorcery spells would be bought as Alternate Abilities to Magery/Ritual Adept.
The questions on that become, is it acceptable from a gameplay perspective to sum Magery and Ritual Adept for purposes of determining how expensive of an alternate Ability can you buy? And would switching to an alternate ability of Magery change your conditional ritual cap? Thoughts?

As for sorcery itself, if I don't tie it to RPM, what would be the best way to represent different schools, and the relative difficulty of spells?
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Using Sorcery to get Morrowind-like magic

If you opt to use Sorcery, I think the following scheme would work well to represent the separate schools.

So, there are 6 schools of magic. Having access to only 1 means around 17%; going off the Accessibility chart from PU8, that's a -35% Limitation. Having access to only 2 is around 33%, which is a -25% Limitation. 3 is 50%, which is -20% as a Limitation. 4 is 67%, or -15%. Finally, 5 is 83%, or -5%. I'd probably condense those to -30% for 1 school, +5% per additional school, but +0% with all 6. That is:
Code:
Schools	Limitation
1	-30%
2	-25%
3	-20%
4	-15%
5	-10%
6	+0%
For a character who has something like Illusion 6, Conjuration 5, Alteration 4, Destruction 3, Mysticism 2, and Restoration 1, you'd build them with Sorcery 1 (All schools) [20], + Sorcery +1 (5 schools -10%) [9], + Sorcery +1 (4 schools -15%) [8.5], + Sorcery +1 (3 schools -20%) [8], + Sorcery +1 (2 schools -25%) [7.5], + Sorcery +1 (1 school -30%) [7], for a total of [60] (or [62] if you round fractions up before adding them together). The character can learn Illusion spells worth up to [60] normally (Conjuration up to [53], etc), can do normal improvisation of Illusion spells worth up to [6] (Conjuration up to 5, etc), and can do hardcore improvisation of Illusion spells worth up to [60] (Conjuration up to [53], etc).

An alternative that could work out alright and might make for better distinctions between specialists and generalists (note the above character could have spent the same number of points to have all 6 schools at the same level, and be able to learn any spell that cost up to [60], at the miniscule cost of only being able to improvise Illusions spells worth up to [5] instead of up to [6], but be able to improvise everything else up to [5] as well), would be to set each school at roughly 15% or 20% nominal cost, and I'd suggest ignoring the oddity of the first level costing twice as much as each subsequent one, as well as setting the maximum point total for known or hardcore improvised spells off of the level of the Advantage (specifically, Levelx10), rather than the cost of it. So, going with 20%, you could have Illusion 6 [12], Conjuration 5 [10], Alteration 4 [8], Destruction 3 [6], Mysticism 2 [4], and Restoration 1 [2], for a total of [42]. You can learn spells (for 1/5 nominal cost) worth up to [60], [50], [40], etc, improvise ones worth up to [6], [5], [4], etc, and hardcore improvise ones worth up to [60], [50], [40], etc. This is likely to mean most characters will know at least a few spells, as it's fairly cheap to learn one or two useful ones, but that seems to match fairly well with my experience with Elder Scrolls games anyway (at least as far as the Player Characters go).

EDIT: I should note that I only played Morrowind extremely briefly, and only made fairly limited use of magic in Oblivion and Skyrim (I'm more a sneaky-bow-guy who switches to sword-and-board in melee), so I may not be the best authority here.
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Last edited by Varyon; 03-18-2020 at 08:04 PM.
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