Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-18-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Life of a Weirdness Magnet

I like DFRPG's re-write of the Weirdness Magnet disadvantage, since by making spellcasters able to sense weirdness magnets, it removes any question that it is a significant disadvantage. But it raises some questions about what the life-history of a weirdness magnet is going to be like—particularly a spell-casting weirdness magnet, since having every spellcaster react to you at -2 might be a barrier to getting trained as a caster in the first place. One option is the one taken by the "Uncle Seamus" pregen, where is Weirdness Magnet status is implied to be "lifetime of thaumatological misfortunes". But this seems less natural for, say, a cleric weirdness magnet. What ways are there to turn someone into a Weirdness Magnet? Or are there reasons a Weirdness Magnet might get trained as a spellcaster in spite of a reaction penalty?
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Or are there reasons a Weirdness Magnet might get trained as a spellcaster in spite of a reaction penalty?
The boring reason is the same one that lets someone get trained in spite of any other disadvantage- the reasons to do it (natural talent displayed, favors owed, connections existing, ready money offered) outweighed the reasons not to.

More interesting reasons include:

The weirdness is "side effect" of Talent or Blessing that allows the person to work magic. Maybe it only began manifesting after training was well under way; maybe it was actually far worse before he learned to mostly control his powers.

The weirdness is a manifestation of the warping of fate that ensures that the person will "live in interesting times". Such people are virtually guaranteed to have many opportunities to serve [insert cause here], and so training him (and shaping his morals appropriately) was only logical.

If the people living around the person are going to face rains of squid, and strange gods passing by on their way to borrow a cup of sugar, it seemed better for all concerned that he be given the powers needed to properly clean up after the messes that inevitably ensue.
__________________
I predicted GURPS:Dungeon Fantasy several hours before it came out and all I got was this lousy sig.
ravenfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2020, 09:52 PM   #3
Mister Negative
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Most definitely alone
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Maybe she wasn't a Weirdness Magnet, but had a particularly interesting miscast while she was being trained?
__________________
Build a man a fire and he's warm for the night.

Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Mister Negative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 10:13 AM   #4
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
[...] since having every spellcaster react to you at -2 might be a barrier to getting trained as a caster in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
The boring reason is the same one that lets someone get trained in spite of any other disadvantage- the reasons to do it (natural talent displayed, favors owed, connections existing, ready money offered) outweighed the reasons not to.
The most important thing to remember in that regard is this: Reaction modifiers do not "switch on" until the character enters play. If they did, then all delvers with large reaction bonuses would enter play rich, or at least with more and better stuff, since superior reactions let you buy lower and sell higher . . . but of course having +lots to reactions has no effect at all on your starting wealth. Meanwhile, ugly, brutish heroes would be unlikely to have training in anything. In short, reaction modifiers are about "how I've been treated since I took up the adventuring life." Before the story started, you were born, raised, trained, and equipped in an environment where you were known and "just fit in."

With that out of the way . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post

"lifetime of thaumatological misfortunes"
There's always "a training period filled with magical misfortunes." Presumably, before you were so good at spells that you could bravely delve into dungeons and rely on them, you were . . . not good at spells. Somebody had to finish last in the graduating class, after all. Possibly you went into the temple or academy with ordinary bad luck, and came out with all kinds of problems caused by your bad luck shifting from "I slip on banana peels" to "banana peels magically appear just so I can slip on them, and some bananas talk," because magic can be that way. In effect, you cursed yourself, perhaps by not saying the magic words the right way, or maybe by reading the Wrong Books before you were ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post

But this seems less natural for, say, a cleric weirdness magnet.
In that case, Weirdness Magnet may well be your god(s) testing you. Just because most delving clerics are "good" clerics by default does not mean their gods aren't ineffable and fond of tests of faith. Sure, established clerics later in your adventuring career react at -2 . . . but who says they're clerics of the same gods, or even if they are, that they think it's a good idea to have congress with someone those gods are obviously testing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post

Maybe it only began manifesting after training was well under way; maybe it was actually far worse before he learned to mostly control his powers.
Those are both good. As noted above, I like the first one . . . but "it manifested in training" needn't be because of anything the caster did to curse themselves. Perhaps the flaw was always there, and as the caster learned to do more and spent more time actively working magic, there was more for the flaw to feed on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post

Maybe she wasn't a Weirdness Magnet, but had a particularly interesting miscast while she was being trained?
Exactly. Indeed, it seems to me that the best explanations are:
  • The caster didn't start with this weird flaw, but managed to curse themselves by casting a spell they hadn't mastered. Magical training doubtless involves spending a lot of time doing things wrong at first.

  • The caster didn't start with this weird flaw, but managed to curse themselves by dabbling in subject matter they were told to avoid. Magical training also involves being in colleges, guildhalls, monasteries, or temples filled with old books and creepy artifacts.

  • The caster always had this weird flaw, but it wasn't visible until they started doing magical stuff day in, day out during their training. That fed the flaw and made it what it is today.

  • The caster was randomly chosen by an ineffable force to undergo an ordeal to prove their worthiness to wield the powers they wield. That didn't happen until they were skilled and "interesting" enough to be worth testing.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 10:41 AM   #5
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

The biggest message here, though, is that abilities and disabilities don't interact before play begins. That's how you can start with One Hand despite having HT 14 and Rapid Healing, know Two-Handed Sword skill despite having One Hand, be Struggling yet trade five quirk points to have a total of $3,000 worth of gear, and so on. Somehow, you got amazingly unlucky or lucky before your career started, and ended up with an exceedingly improbable combination of traits and equipment. But that's just backstory – a fluke that might never occur again! – and doesn't have to be possible in your adventures going forward.

Personally, I have a thing for PCs whose current state suggests a completely different character sheet at some unspecified time in the past. Stuff like "I was training to be a wizard, until . . .," "I used to be pretty, until . . .," and "I was a real king once, you know?" is a lot of fun to roleplay.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 12:01 PM   #6
Imbicatus
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Personally, I have a thing for PCs whose current state suggests a completely different character sheet at some unspecified time in the past. Stuff like "I was training to be a wizard, until . . .," "I used to be pretty, until . . .," and "I was a real king once, you know?" is a lot of fun to roleplay.
“I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”

One of the really great “until...” options in DFRPG is the simplified fright check rules, and how they can give just blanket -x points in disadvantages. Failing a big fright check from seeing elder things, demons, or angry faeries could easily warp reality or cause a link with such forces to justify getting weirdness magnet, even in play.
Imbicatus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 02:59 PM   #7
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Kromm's perspective widens the array of possible backstories for characters too. As a player wanting to take Weirdness Magnet, I have a lot of flexibility. I could make it a curse-from-birth type of thing and weave it into my story fully. Or it could have happened the moment before the first adventure starts and I get to role-play my character suddenly coming to grips with the negative reactions and bizarre happenings. Either could be a lot of fun!
Dalin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 03:27 PM   #8
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

It's essential to keep a very open mind about what all traits represent. Is high ST slabs of muscle on a chiseled frame, sheer bulk and the brains to throw it around effectively, or an iron will to push the body hard when dishing out and receiving punishment? Is a skill something taught and learned, or natural talent for a narrow task? Is Weirdness Magnet an inborn destiny, a self-inflicted curse, a "wound" left by an external event, or even a challenge willingly accepted from a patron deity? Such decisions make two characters who are close on paper – a common result of working from templates – totally different people.

The DFRPG intentionally discards the somewhat simulationist, realism-oriented bias of its parent system. The box on p. 8 is a big hint: You can have whatever age, height, weight, and sex you want, and it has no effect at all on any of your abilities. Your 4'11", 70-year-old granny can be a tough-as-nails barbarian woman with ST 17. Heck, you can have shocking-pink hair and eyes with no whites, like someone straight outta anime. This is kitchen-sink adventure fantasy . . . go wild!
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #9
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
In that case, Weirdness Magnet may well be your god(s) testing you. Just because most delving clerics are "good" clerics by default does not mean their gods aren't ineffable and fond of tests of faith. Sure, established clerics later in your adventuring career react at -2 . . . but who says they're clerics of the same gods, or even if they are, that they think it's a good idea to have congress with someone those gods are obviously testing?
Hmm. Do the clerics and holy warriors of a Trickster God have a higher-than-average incidence of being Weirdness Magnets?
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 9/28/2020: On Torture article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 11:41 AM   #10
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: Life of a Weirdness Magnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
In that case, Weirdness Magnet may well be your god(s) testing you. Just because most delving clerics are "good" clerics by default does not mean their gods aren't ineffable and fond of tests of faith. Sure, established clerics later in your adventuring career react at -2 . . . but who says they're clerics of the same gods, or even if they are, that they think it's a good idea to have congress with someone those gods are obviously testing?
Oooh, I like this explanation. Gonna use it for a pre-gen PC for a game I plan on GMing.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.