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Old 11-22-2019, 03:44 AM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [RPM] Learning the system

I'm starting to learn how to use RPM, in a Monster Hunters campaign set in the Florida of Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey's fiction. I'm playing a Witch built off the MH template, but I'm finding that the way of using the system implied by the spell list in Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic isn't what feels natural to me.

I'm finding the system can be played a bit like Mage: the Ascension, but the limitation on what you can do is primarily energy, rather than anything corresponding to M:tA sphere levels. So I'm making charms for things that will obviously be needed, like healing and stunning, but my most effective role in combat (so far) is as the PC who can come up with countermeasures to weird and unexpected things happening.

We've finished our first scenario, where the weird and unexpected thing was homebrew Sarin nerve gas getting released from the shack where the opponents were brewing it. The first PC who got exposed came stumbling back, and I had to do something about it, because nobody else could.

So, Lesser Sense Matter with some range to find out what it was, then Lesser Destroy Matter with some area effect to decontaminate him and the rest of us. I was not going to try to deal with stuff in his system with Matter, because that opens up all sorts of horrible possibilities. But I could not see how to do "Neutralise Poison" with RPM.

I ended up doing Lesser Strengthen Body to give him immunity to that specific poison for 10 minutes, which is enough for its cyclic effect to expire. Is there a better way to do that?

Last edited by johndallman; 11-22-2019 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Could a moderator magically insert a "[" into the title?
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:42 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

There are a few major differences between the MtA and RPM. First, you do not suffer a penalty for multiple continuous effects in RPM. Second, it is much easier to create conditional rituals than in MtA.

If you want to, you can replace the existing RPM Paths with MtA Spheres (there are nine of each, so it is easier than it looks). I would give the effects a base energy cost of (MtA Sphere level + 2). If you are mimicking a rote, I would add the base cost of the Spheres required, though effective skill with them would be based on the primary Sphere. You could replace Arete with Ritual Magic (Tradition) (since it is limited by Magery, the skill actually does represent enlightenment). Lesser effects would be coincidental while greater effects would be vulgar.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 11-22-2019 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
There are a few major differences between the MtA and RPM. First, you do not suffer a penalty for multiple continuous effects in RPM. Second, it is much easier to create conditional rituals than in MtA.
Ah, I wasn't clear. I was trying to say RPM can be used as an improvisational magic system, and that the play experience of doing this is somewhat analogous to M:tA, not that I was having trouble learning the differences between them.
Quote:
If you want to, you can replace the existing RPM Paths with MtA Spheres
No, thanks. I'm not the GM, and I'd like to learn RPM on its own terms before I start fiddling with it.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
GarenLiLorian
 
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Generous of your GM to let you save someone from Sarin gas with lesser effects! But otherwise, yeah, that all seems fine. I'd probably write up Neutralize Poison as something like:

Neutralize Poison.
This spell detects harmful agents in the subject and transmutes them into a harmless substance, which the subject then passes normally. Magical or supernatural poisons are not affected by this spell (but changing it to a Greater Transform would allow that, possibly with a resistance roll). Typical casting: Greater Detect Matter, Lesser Transform Matter. Duration 1 hr (to allow the poison to pass through sweat or elimination) (39 energy). If you already know what the poison is, (through use of a Diagnosis or Poisons skill, possibly) you could forego the Detect effect, making this spell trivial. Note that this only removes cyclic damage; it doesn't heal them from any effects already suffered.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Garen Li Lorian's build should work, though its mildly expensive to pull off.

I'm a little puzzled that you didn't want to use matter effects in the body because you wanted to avoid "horrific possibilities". RPM treats living things as privileged: they are effected in different ways than mere matter, have their path, and you can't inflict indiscriminate amounts of damage via leverage scientific know-how... and quirked spells shouldn't do that to a body either.

I wouldn't have allowed a lesser detect matter effect to identify the toxin, merely its presence and a general description of its effects, though if the caster had cast magic on Sarin before, I'd probably allow it.

Destroy matter should work to get rid of the toxin, though I'd prefer transform. A detect effect to isolate it is appropriate. I'd allow it to be a lesser effect IF you had access to a sample of Sarin. I'd also include range engery if the sample of Sarin was not immediately present, and a weight energy for the subject.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

There is a fairly complete conversion of spells from Magic to RPM found via the link in this post. The examples can be pretty helpful, but there are, obviously, other ways to magically skin the cat.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Is there a better way to do that?
Now I'm no Big City Rules Author, I am but a humble caveman GM... but...

There are a bunch of different ways to do this. Given enough time and a lever long enough, I could find a way to do it using every Path.


Certainly Matter with Sense and Destroy are the direct most and best methods.

But as you found, Body with Strengthen is clearly the best and direct most manner.

Likewise, Crossroads to bring in a being capable of cleansing and decontaminating the area immediately would be the best and direct most manner.

Furthermore, Chance with almost any of its effects, Control being the simplest, is the direct most and best way to solve this.


Okay, admittedly I'm not seeing an immediate use for Magic, Mind, Energy, or Undead. But, with enough information, time, and said lever of length, I'm sure I could do it. The point being, with an improvised magic system, the sky is no longer the limit.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
There is a fairly complete conversion of spells from Magic to RPM found via the link in this post.
Thanks, that will help.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: RPM] Learning the system

Keep in mind that - much like MtA's rotes can incorporate multiple spheres - RPM rituals can incorporate multiple paths or multiple applications of the same path.

"Neutralize Poison" in the sense of 'find the poison and remove it from the body/destroy it' could be done with Lesser Sense Matter (detect the poison) + any of Lesser Control Matter (draw it out of the body), Lesser Control Body (use the body's own mechanisms to force it out, like the cinematic 'sucking poison out of a wound), or Lesser Destroy Matter (to simply get rid of it).

But as others pointed out, with RPM there are always several ways to skin any given cat.
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