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Old 05-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Different critical spell failure tables

I've been thinking about critical spell failure tables and want to toss out two ideas.

One is the idea of giving different traditions of mages different tables - this is implicit in the Dark Magic perk but this would apply to everyone.

The second idea is to vary table by area. So down in the valleys you have the standard table, but up on the faux-celtic Highlands you use another table.

Has anyone tried to do something like this?
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

Never done it by location but have done one by college and tradition.
Fair amount of work and the players didn't really get much out of it.
You could also just go ahead and improvise results based on the roll.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

Thaumatology has several different tables.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Fair amount of work and the players didn't really get much out of it.
This is the real crux of the design issue here. Crit fails are pretty rare, rarer still for those with Luck.

It'd be a lot of work to produce a number of results that actually feel different from one another, especially if you have to make each result meaningful due to the potential rarity of their occurrence. The rarity is made even worse if limited to locations, as some locations might harder ever be visited!

An alternative is to have only a handful of results produce "special" outcomes, perhaps all the extreme crit fails are the same due to the nature of magic, but minor failures are a lot more stylised. This would both cut down on the work required in making full lists of outcomes, and allow some harmony in outcome which would make magic more predictable and leave no nasty shocks in failing somewhere as yet unvisited.

As for different fails for different traditions of mages, then yeah Thaumatology has a number of tables with different themes which fit more for differently styled/college focused mages.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Originally Posted by PseudoFenton View Post
This is the real crux of the design issue here. Crit fails are pretty rare, rarer still for those with Luck.
Isn't it 2% of rolls, without Luck?

That's pretty damn often!
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Isn't it 2% of rolls, without Luck?
Not if you have at least a 16 skill.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Not if you have at least a 16 skill.
Then you don't automagically get a critical failure on a roll of 17? I sit corrected, then!

0.5% is still very bad, but obviously and inarguably it is much less bad than 2%. It's just odd that everybody always talks about the threshold value of 15. Clearly saving the energy is very worthwhile, but it seems to me that hitting 16 is even more worthwhile because you redudce your miscast probability by 75%.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Isn't it 2% of rolls, without Luck?

That's pretty damn often!
In theory? Maybe. In practice? No, not really. This'd be a case where probability|statistics are deceptive. The sample size is too small to be predictive.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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In theory? Maybe. In practice? No, not really. This'd be a case where probability|statistics are deceptive. The sample size is too small to be predictive.
I'd actually like to hear some observations from people who have played campaigns based on GURPS Magic. E.g. dungeon Fantasy campaigns.

Bruno? Others?
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Different critical spell failure tables

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Isn't it 2% of rolls, without Luck?
Luck doesn't affect spell crit fails.
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