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Old 10-22-2018, 10:51 PM   #1
JohnPaulB
 
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Default Where is the Astral projected?

New TFT P28 Astral Projection says wizard sends his "astral body" to another place and that the astral body can go anywhere as long as the wizard knows the path. Distance is no barrier. It says that a figure is in the astral plane. It also says there are no physical barriers on the astral plane.

It states that nothing in the physical plane...can affect an astral body and cannot communicate with physical being except by telepathy.

So how does this play out? Using a Melee Map as a big room, do you place furniture and doors down, then physical plane figures like guards or Guild Members at a meeting. Is the astral figure placed on the map, but ignored because he's 'not there'?

I was originally thinking I would have the astral plane be an unlimited flat surface with 'glass floor' sections that showed the 'room' that was the melee map. He would watch and listen to the antics below.

However it says he can look for traps and read open books, so I guess he is on the melee map. And what does it mean when it says there are no physical barriers on the astral plane. Does that mean you can walk through a wall into a next room? zip through the ceiling into the room above?

These other Astral Walkers that are mentioned a lot because you can fight them. Are they pre-arranged Astral guards defending the room? Are they lost permanent denizens like ghosts who can't find their way back? Are there astral flora and fauna that live in the plane? Can you talk to another just met astral traveler?

Is the Distance is no barrier comment meant to be an instant travel to that place so you don't spend your hour just walking there?
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

Hmmm, it strikes me that players wandering the astral plane can severly mess up story lines. The GM probably needs to control it pretty tightly.

The lack of barriers might seem advantageous to the player but.... What if there is the astral equivalent of gravity? No barriers, such as floors or ground and the player falls forever.

Or, it's the astral plane alright. Perfectly flat and the player finds themself stuck on the "level" where they cast the spell. They can move left, right, forward and back, but never up and down. A particularly nasty GM might make it a purely 2 dimensional world. In this latter case I suggest they read "Flatland".
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

Word of Command Stop then draw a Pentagram around the astral form to trap it until the physical body dies.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulB View Post
So how does this play out? Using a Melee Map as a big room, do you place furniture and doors down, then physical plane figures like guards or Guild Members at a meeting. Is the astral figure placed on the map, but ignored because he's 'not there'?
Yes.

Going by the book, the astral figure is probably going to be invisible to everyone in the real space unless they were expecting it and somehow have Mage Sight or defenders also in the astral plane.

So if there are players with figures in the material plane, you'd wait until the astral person did something that might alert them and have them moving tactically, and then set up a map and have the astral visitors using hidden movement.

If friendly/player(s) figures are the only astral ones and no material figures have Mage Sight, I would just describe the scene and if/when it seems important/fun, lay out figures and a hex map, and let the players place their figures since I'm roleplaying every NPC not seeing them.

i.e. It's not combat until there's going to be an attack or spell or something, and one of the main uses of Astral Projection is to just spy around and not attack. When it becomes combat, it's similar to a combat with invisible figures, except the astral person is also not making sound or physically interacting with things, so the "revealed when adjacent" part doesn't apply.


Quote:
However it says he can look for traps and read open books, so I guess he is on the melee map. And what does it mean when it says there are no physical barriers on the astral plane. Does that mean you can walk through a wall into a next room? zip through the ceiling into the room above?
I believe so, yes.


Quote:
Is the Distance is no barrier comment meant to be an instant travel to that place so you don't spend your hour just walking there?
Yes.


Quote:
These other Astral Walkers that are mentioned a lot because you can fight them. Are they pre-arranged Astral guards defending the room? Are they lost permanent denizens like ghosts who can't find their way back? Are there astral flora and fauna that live in the plane? Can you talk to another just met astral traveler?
These are great questions and so far it is up to the GM. If the GM has not thought about it and developed Astral monsters, inhabitants, hazards, or terrain, then I assume the Astral plane is empty of anything unless someone is using this spell. So mainly there would only be opponents if someone somehow notices an astral visitor (i.e. they cast an observable spell and someone figures it out, or someone uses Mage Sight) and then is able to cast Astral Projection themselves. Which in practice tends to be almost never, except in situations where someone is expecting or deduces what's happening and is capable of casting that spell.

However, as oldwolf mentioned, if wizards using Astral Projection are the only thing that's ever in the Astral plane, then it becomes a very powerful spell that can undermine all sorts of game situations (not to mention the "stories" that some GMs try to organize their games around) because of the many super-easy low-risk spying possibilities that bypass and undermine situations by requiring no travel or navigation and bypassing walls and being almost undetectable. The mischief and mayhem (assassination, arson, sabotage, etc) possibilities are also almost endless and almost impossible to defend against even if you are a wizard with Astral Projection and Mage Sight (which costs 1/minute, so you more or less need a self-powered magic item if you want to be able to use it constantly). Best bet without that is probably using Ward and/or Detect Enemies to tell you when to cast Mage Sight, and/or having people casting Mage Sight periodically but not maintaining it.

My preference is to develop the Astral Plane more, adding creatures and terrain, barriers, ghosts, weather, hazards, etc, and also to add a variety of defensive spells, such as spells that create barriers, alarms, traps, defenses, attacks, and astral monsters that only act on astral travelers.

Personally, I like to develop per-campaign-world mechanics where using Astral Projection attracts forces that make Astral Travel more interesting and dangerous the more they are used, both on a per-caster basis and on a per-destination basis. I see the Astral Plane as immense and projecting into it as making a lot of noise (dinner bell?) that the plane responds to and attracts ... attention. That way Astral Projection is more interesting and more risky to over-use even against non-wizards, and the spells make it more possible for wizards to defend against astral attacks.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

Can a Wraith Wizard project herself onto the Astral plain?
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

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The lack of barriers might seem advantageous to the player but.... What if there is the astral equivalent of gravity? No barriers, such as floors or ground and the player falls forever.
This is obviously contrary to the intent; no one would research or cast such a spell. I suggest that if one were to play in front of a GM who springs this interpretation on the player that they close their folder and walk out of the game immediately.

The sort of people who run games like this just aren't worth the time.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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This is obviously contrary to the intent; no one would research or cast such a spell. I suggest that if one were to play in front of a GM who springs this interpretation on the player that they close their folder and walk out of the game immediately.

The sort of people who run games like this just aren't worth the time.
Well, it's clearly not the intent, is severe (well, it's sort of like a 1-turn useful duration, or requires you to use Flight or Levitation if you want to stay anyplace for more than a turn), and it would make no sense for a wizard not to know that's the situation before committing to studying that spell, so a GM would be at fault for having it be a surprise. And, if you're going to change the way a spell works, just change the way a spell works and let anyone thinking of learning it know, or just say no one knows that spell in your campaign (or it's in a book but almost no one bothers to learn it because of the weird falling effect).
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Can a Wraith Wizard project herself onto the Astral plain?
I don't see why not.

I have done some house variations where wraiths, ghosts, shadow wights, and/or astral-plane-based creatures can either readily see and interact with figures in the astral plane, or can phase between them, or are just sometimes stuck on the astral plane.

One of the astral-projection-defending spells I devised was one to summon spirits and/or trap ghosts of the recently dead on the astral plane at the casting location, so that you could populate your location with a bunch of crazed and probably hostile astral beings, so if anyone tries to use Astral Projection to spy on or mess with you, they have those to deal with.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
These are great questions and so far it is up to the GM. If the GM has not thought about it and developed Astral monsters, inhabitants, hazards, or terrain, then I assume the Astral plane is empty of anything unless someone is using this spell.

<SNIP>

My preference is to develop the Astral Plane more, adding creatures and terrain, barriers, ghosts, weather, hazards, etc, and also to add a variety of defensive spells, such as spells that create barriers, alarms, traps, defenses, attacks, and astral monsters that only act on astral travelers.

Personally, I like to develop per-campaign-world mechanics where using Astral Projection attracts forces that make Astral Travel more interesting and dangerous the more they are used, both on a per-caster basis and on a per-destination basis. I see the Astral Plane as immense and projecting into it as making a lot of noise (dinner bell?) that the plane responds to and attracts ... attention. That way Astral Projection is more interesting and more risky to over-use even against non-wizards, and the spells make it more possible for wizards to defend against astral attacks.
I've reconsidered my original concept of the Astral Plane: I was originally thinking I would have the astral plane be an unlimited flat surface with 'glass floor' sections that showed the 'room' that was the melee map. He would watch and listen to the antics below.

I will keep this concept but make it so that you can lower yourself into the 'room', do your activity and then go back up. If you want to go somewhere else in the Astral Plane while you have time, you can zoom over there. If you are scoping out a dungeon, you can still go room to room and then pop up to the Astral flatlands again. This way you can have your flat deserted Astral Plane and your material world room also.

I agree with all the adjustments you suggest Skarg. But I would have everything so spread out that it feels empty at times. In fact, at the moment I am typing this, I would make the Astral Plane be something like a dream state that shifts occasionally from flat desert to hollywood fog machine to frigid arctic tundra. However, if you know your Material Plane destination, you will always get into the ballpark on your way there.

I also agree that without the risk of obstacles, both environmental and beastial, Astral Plane cruising would be a Wizard Guild Travel Industry. I'm thinking it should be risky, not a walk through the park. I like your concept that the more times you go to a particular location the more chance you have of gaining the notice of something 'hungry.'

----

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I have done some house variations where wraiths, ghosts, shadow wights, and/or astral-plane-based creatures can either readily see and interact with figures in the astral plane, or can phase between them, or are just sometimes stuck on the astral plane.

One of the astral-projection-defending spells I devised was one to summon spirits and/or trap ghosts of the recently dead on the astral plane at the casting location, so that you could populate your location with a bunch of crazed and probably hostile astral beings, so if anyone tries to use Astral Projection to spy on or mess with you, they have those to deal with.
I like this. Gives these guys somewhere to go when they aren't hunting/haunting. Kind of like a zone of the spirit world along with other types of zone the GM wants. Bag of Holdingland anyone?
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where is the Astral projected?

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If you are scoping out a dungeon, you can still go room to room and then pop up to the Astral flatlands again.
The spell description explicitly limits to "as long as the wizard knows (approximately) the path." You can't go anyplace you don't already know.
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