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Old 06-14-2018, 12:14 AM   #41
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Jack Vance's style of magic - good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I've never felt that Jack Vance's style of magic was better or worse than the one in TFT. They were different, and variety is good.

That said, I've sometimes seen similar things happen in TFT. A wizard HAD to put out a fire, but didn't have Magic Rainstorm. So he summoned a Cave Bear, had it soak itself in a near by stream, then try to smother the fire with its body!
I made a Vancian system for TFT that used the spell costs instead of a slot system so the spells needed no modification. Wizards stored triggerable spells in their staffs (paying ST cost out of their staffs). Spell storage took too much time to do in combat.

This was similar to the Dying Earth stories, except that in the stories, the casters stored spells in their minds and they disappeared when cast (which, of course, D&D copied).
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:21 AM   #42
zot
 
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Default Re: Jack Vance's style of magic - good or bad?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Agreed. As I noted above, spells that almost always succeed are going to need to be keyed to a character’s overall power level. D&D has that metric - levels.

But there’s no such metric in TFT.

IQ works as a proxy for spell power in TFT because the other attributes are required to make a wizard effective. A beginning wizard with IQ 16 will be nearly useless. He’ll fail to cast spells most of the time and will only be able to power a few if does successfully cast them. But if you grant Vancian spells that increase in power with the IQ of the caster, you can have a high level wizard from the beginning. Not great.
My Vancian system used the regular TFT success rules and spell costs, i can't remember anything in the Dying Earth books that would demand automatic success.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:34 AM   #43
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
That's a good point. Sometimes, especially with magic, the limit can be astrologically based, so that might be the case, leading to midnight-oriented tactics. Without a thematic reason to do so, in TFT I would assume it means 24 hours after the spell is cast.
That's correct Skarg, and even *if* certain spells were astrologically-based, seasonally-based, or whatever-based, we would *still* need a time-keeping-system to inform us of when the planets align, or the moon rises, or whatever, and be able to relate that information back to our 5 Second Combat time-scale when in combat to *easily and accurately* inform which specific turn the thing is able to be activated or when it de-activates.

As our Jacksonian magic system is: ad hoc, per usum based, we have no need for such timing-systems.

So, again, as stated in the OP: "if we are going to seriously consider adopting the Vancian concept of "Once Per Day" as a rule deliniator, I feel we are obligated to also provide a matching rule for how that passage of time is accurately measured - without much "fudge".

JK

PS - and yes Ty,... I put the extra Latin in, just for you ;-)

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-14-2018 at 01:42 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:58 AM   #44
zot
 
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
As our Jacksonian magic system is: ad hoc, per usum based, we have no need for such timing-systems.
Except that the Trailtwister spell actually does last for a day.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:06 AM   #45
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
Except that the Trailtwister spell actually does last for a day.
Yes, we already covered that case, a couple of pages back or so Zot.

The Trail-Twister spell is a rare outlier, and certianly *not* representative of the basis of our per usum magic system. It also was the key example as to why we also would need to know when a day-length spell deactivates if we are in combat-turn time, *if* we were to adopt more of these per diem based spells into our system. No one said a "per day" spell did not exist. What was said was *we do not have a time-keeping-system at our tactical-level* for such per diem spells because the basis of the Jacksonian magic system is per usum -"per use"; and therefore, does not require such extra timing systems.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-14-2018 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:26 AM   #46
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
If that assessment is true, I would consider that a real shame for TFT adventure design philosophy; as the entire "trick of the tale", behind what is considered by many as Star Trek's greatest episode (and a HUGO award winning story), is Harlan Ellison's: City on the Edge of Forever - which dramatically hinges on getting the adventure party through a time-portal at *exactly the correct instant*; or the characters risk never being able to return to their own time again and having themselves and their old world destroyed.

Now, if we could just get Harlan Ellison to write some TFT adventures!

Ty,... apparently you missed the usage of: "per diem", when it was used in the OP; along with "per usum", even though you quoted me using both earlier. (?) So if you are <golf clapping> Malloyd for using the one term once, as I used both terms more than once, I figure you owe me a double-round of the golf clap ;-D

JK
<belated double golf clap>
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:32 AM   #47
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Jack Vance's style of magic - good or bad?

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
My Vancian system used the regular TFT success rules and spell costs, i can't remember anything in the Dying Earth books that would demand automatic success.
That helps, but it MAY still make it too easy for beginning characters to have access to overly powerful spells. IMHO, of course.

My statements below assume a system otherwise similar to D&D (I.e., spells divided into power levels).

IF you assume that IQ 8 = D&D 1st level, IQ9 = 2nd level, etc., a beginning wizard could plausibly take ST8, DX11 IQ13 and have access to the equivalent of 5th level D&D spells. Of course, the spell levels can be incremented differently. And also, now that I think about it, the number of spells would be limited. Can you post an outline of your system? I find myself intrigued...
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #48
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
That's correct Skarg, and even *if* certain spells were astrologically-based, seasonally-based, or whatever-based, we would *still* need a time-keeping-system to inform us of when the planets align, or the moon rises, or whatever, and be able to relate that information back to our 5 Second Combat time-scale when in combat to *easily and accurately* inform which specific turn the thing is able to be activated or when it de-activates.

As our Jacksonian magic system is: ad hoc, per usum based, we have no need for such timing-systems.

So, again, as stated in the OP: "if we are going to seriously consider adopting the Vancian concept of "Once Per Day" as a rule deliniator, I feel we are obligated to also provide a matching rule for how that passage of time is accurately measured - without much "fudge".
I feel like I still don't really get some aspect of what you're concerned about.

If there's something that can't be done for 24 hours after it was done, it shouldn't say "once per day" but some wording that makes it clear there's a 24 hour delay.

I'd love to see more content about how it's sometimes/often interesting to track what's going on in a campaign in time and space as days pass at different levels of detail. I'd like to see more examples and systems to help players/GMs who haven't done much of that before have better examples of how and why that's fun and interesting and possible. But the main reason it because I think it can make for a really fun/interesting/immersive play experience, and not because I think it's vital to have an effect that lasts exactly 24 hours down to the second. In fact that seems a bit silly (I might add a random factor even in a case where the exact time did matter), but I do see it being important in principle that there be a clear rule that could be resolved fairly/objectively.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:51 PM   #49
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I feel like I still don't really get some aspect of what you're concerned about. If there's something that can't be done for 24 hours after it was done, it shouldn't say "once per day" but some wording that makes it clear there's a 24 hour delay. I'd love to see more content about how it's sometimes/often interesting to track what's going on in a campaign in time and space as days pass at different levels of detail.
Well to the first part, that was all laid-out in the OP, so that answer is there. On the second point, yes, things have to be defined properly - especially in mechanical terms, and at various scales where appropriate (i.e. missile weapon rules at the arena-level, and long-range). Right again Skarg, "at different levels and different rates of time" is also key, as until those are in place, it makes it very tough to properly go from the arena-level to the big scale campaign game, and back, with any level of continuity and flow. This is a place where TFT never made it to - due to going out of print before the product could be fully developed - and D&D has it all over us (regardless if one likes their system or not).

So to your main question, if you don't want to go back to the OP, wouldn't you agree that when it comes to defining spells, they all should have a defined beginning, middle, and end? Seems to me, it's reasonable to want to know when a thing not only turns on, but turns off.

As it stands now, using Trail-twister as an example; we know exactly when it turns on, but, once we go - time-wise - from the "combat-scale", to the "day scale", and back to the "combat scale", we do not know when it turns off - and that should not be; in my opinion.

And that problem will rear it's head with each new "per day" spell - if more are adopted. One of the beautiful things about TFT, is that it is "very low fudge" compared to it's predecessor; so why would anyone want to invite fudge back in?

It's fine to use "per diem" spell mechanics, but for Pete's Sake, let's do it right and define it fully - like most everything else in TFT; otherwise, you might as well play the other game.

I don't think that is such an unreasonable standard for us to expect out of our system.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-14-2018 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:03 PM   #50
Dave Crowell
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

I agree with Jim that if we are going to have per diem effects in TFT we need to define what "per diem" means in game mechanical terms. Is it Sunrise to sunrise, midnight to midnight, dawn to dusk? If instead "24 hour recharge time" is meant then that is what should be given in the rules.
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