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Old 11-07-2017, 10:39 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

I was just curious if people used non-mana based magic (Clerical Magic, Path/Book Magic, and/or Threshold Magic) in an Infinity Campaign?
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:15 PM   #2
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

I prefer RPM for creepy multi-reality forces like Lovecraftian or other rule breaking sources.
Mana based magic is perfect for innately magical smaller setting scale beings, IMO.
But sadly, I haven't had a gaming group in forever, so haven't actually "used" anything.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

Lost in dreams was set in Infinite Worlds (as well as some other places) and featured entirely alternative magic systems to the standard system. I mostly used magic as powers, though I delved into realm magic a little.

What do you want to know about it?
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

Just curious about how you had Centrum/Homeline (or the Cabal) deal with significantly different forms of magic. Mana-based magic is relatively easy to detect (just have a mana-based magical item and, if it works, there is mana around). What happens when agents realize that they are dealing with a ddifferent form of magic after they were told that there was no magic?
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

My version of Infinity doesn't understand magic well, so its not too surprising to them when it does things they don't expect. The basic reaction is to bug out and call the paranormal experts if its hostile, and if its not, they try to bring it home so it can be studied and understood. After they understand it better, then they'll return to the world. If a world has magic they don't understand they have teams trained for just such occasions (ISWAT being among them).

Infinity agents are well versed in dealing with the unexpected: its part of their job. Only a few kinds of magic really threaten the secret, and those kinds tend to be associated with mana. Or with psi. The other thing they tend to assume is that they're dealing with some sort of psi.

Its a big deal, but its also part of the job, and they don't go crazy. They just retire with haste and come back with experts.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

The secret isn't endangered by magic itself. It's endangered by information gathering abilities that may include magic, "psi", technology, superscience, deific, etc.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

I'm about to start up an Infinite Worlds campaign, and I was wondering the same thing. Not in the sense of how they play or how Infinity reacts to it, but rather in the sense of game mechanics in how the power sources are affected in different worldlines.

Currently, the two official (as in fully described beyond just casual mention) Infinite World power sources work as follows:

Magic: Affected by Mana, which varies from world to world. Every world description indicates the local mana level, therefore you know how it works. There are several no-mana, low-mana worlds, and normal mana worlds. There are only a few high- and very-high mana worlds (just 1 of the latter that I recall). Exact numbers aren't really relevant; the point is mana levels - and thus magic availability - will likely change every time the mage changes worlds.

Psionics: Appears to be universal in that it works equally in all worlds, with rare exceptions noted. Even these exceptions tend to be ability specific: e.g., Jumper-based powers have difficulty working to get out of some world. So, a psi who changes worlds can be pretty confident that his powers will continue to work as normal.

So what about the others? Should Divine Favor be universal just like psionics? What if you are from a world that actually has local gods (Orichaculm, for example, actually has the Greek gods and Infinity does its best to avoid them). Would their Divine favor only work in that world? Would a Divine Favor to the Christian God work in every other world but not in Orichalcum because of the Greek gods (i..e., no Sanctity)? Would it work in worlds where the timeline predates the Christian religion? Or should I just randomly pick Sanctity levels in different worlds, sort of like the mana level? Do I need to pick them for every religion/god?

What about Supers as a power origin? Do they only work in worlds with supers, or every world equally? The list goes on for Elemental, Chi, Nature, etc.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward every other power source effectively being universal. I view Supers as just a variation of Psionics. Also, with the Cabal-multiverse in the background of Infinite Worlds, this means the various gods can technically reach all worlds, so Divine Favor should be universal. Besides, if I only make Divine Favor work where the gods are actually active, I've basically rendered it useless in 99% of the worlds. Anyway, I reserve the right for one-off exceptions, like psi, but characters can be pretty sure their powers will work as is almost everywhere.

My one dislike of this is it makes mana-based magic seem second-hand compared to everything else. There are several no-mana worlds, but nothing specifically stopping other power sources. To sort of back this up, none of draft characters submitted for my review have taken Magic as the power source, but I have four characters with four different power sources other than magic. I guess that's just a feature of the setting, but was wondering if others have any other thoughts on that.

(Note: I want to exclude any debates along skill-based vs. powers-based, because many power sources can now be bought either way; e.g. Magery spells vs Sorcery; clerical magic vs Divine Favor; chi skills vs chi powers (as defined in a pyramid article). This shouldn't be a factor in deciding in which worlds they work on.)

Anyway, those were my thoughts and questions. Anyone else make any decisions on how other power sources worked on different worlds in their campaigns?
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

I made just about every magic system its own power system with its own set of worlds it did or didn't work on. And I didn't work it out before hand much of the time: sometimes I just rolled to see how well a power worked on say... Gernsback.

You should also remember super science in this discussion. Infinite worlds has many super-science worlds which things that only work on that world.

Psi does appear to work everywhere in the setting. but technological defenses are available and commonly used: psi-shields are standard issue on conveyors, whereas infinity is still trying to understand magic and centrum is essentially in denial of it.

I'd favor lots of nuance in what works on what world. My inclination would be that supers and divine favor and largely limited to the world they are on UNLESS there is some strong reason why they aren't.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Using Non-Mana Based Magic in Infinity Campaigns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
So what about the others? Should Divine Favor be universal just like psionics?
You've got to look at the power modifiers to answer this. The Magical source, for example, has "depends on an external power that may be blocked or absent" built in, and thus the existence of low- or no-mana worlds is implied. Psionics, on the other hand, has no such limitation - its -10% stems from "can be cancelled by supernatural 'anti-powers'" and "can be cancelled by technology". So a psi with that modifier can reasonably expect to go to any world and have their powers work, though they may run into anti-psis or psi-dampening fields.

None of the other power modifiers from Powers actually has a limitation for source, so I'd expect all of them to work alright on other timelines (some, like Natural, might be impeded by conditions on some timelines, of course). Since the Divine Favor system relies on the Divine modifier from Powers, it should work fine no matter which world you're on. Presumably, gods, even if they can't or won't travel timelines themselves, have the "reach" to act on other worlds.

Note that the implied modifier from Dungeon Fantasy for clerics (or, at least, their spells) is a bit different - it effectively trades a dependency on mana for one on "sanctity". Servants of a god in such a paradigm might lose access to their powers on other worlds, assuming they were effectively low- or no-sanctity. However, their power modifier would either be higher (probably -15%), or it would be easier to atone for their transgressions than the standard Divine power modifier.
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