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Old 01-22-2014, 05:10 PM   #1
scc
 
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Default No Mana Vs. No Magic

This is one area of the rules where I think they fall down, an area with No Mana is treated as if magic doesn't work there while it will else where, an example is the Great Desert on Yrth, as if the laws of physics have changed preventing things that might hold their magical energy inside them already (Examples I can think of are Power Stones, especially dedicated Power Stones, and Alchemical Elixirs)

Conversely worlds magic clearly doesn't work, like Infinity, can suddenly have working magic simply by someone being a mana enchancer
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
Conversely worlds magic clearly doesn't work, like Infinity, can suddenly have working magic simply by someone being a mana enchancer
My solution is simple. If I do want magic in my game I can allow a Mana Enhancer. If I do not, I will not put NPCs with this kind of ability and will tell my players that they cannot pick up "magical traits".

If they really do want magic, I will play in another setting and not force magic in a setting where magic is suposed to not exist.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

First off, I don't think Mana Enhancer should function at all in worlds where magic can't exist - it's completely contrary to the laws of physics, so at a minimum your Advantage would need Cosmic on it. However, it probably should function in No Mana* areas - such areas simply lack mana, and your character can provide it.

Secondly, I don't think powerstones and the like are meant to really contain mana per se - after all, if that's the case, everyone contains mana (in the form of FP and HP). Rather, they have the ability to manipulate mana, just like a mage can do by sacrificing FP or HP (this is why high skill reduces costs). Potions and the like are similar. A truly self-powered item would have Mana Enhancer, with some sort of Self Only modifier (possibly +0% - while it's less useful, it also means you don't empower your enemies while you're at it), in which case it should work in No Mana areas. It might be appropriate to look at most magic items as containing just a little mana - not enough to power their effects, but enough to be able to later manipulate environmental mana to work.


*You could also extend the progression (Very High - High - Normal - Low - Very Low - No Mana) past No Mana to something like Mana Devouring, which would require higher levels of Mana Enhancer to get past the No Mana threshold and might even be able to make things like magic items eventually permanently lose their enchantment. Creatures with Dependency (Mana) would take damage more rapidly in such areas (being in a No Mana zone is like holding your breath underwater, being in a Mana Devouring zone is like having the air forced from your lungs while underwater).
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

This I think is the sort of thing that needs to be identified by the GM, and may have bearing based on campaign assumptions and advantage availability.

I am pretty sure manna enhancer is assumed to not exist in the default Yrth setting so the interaction between the great desert and a manna enhancer is never covered because it can't happen.

In an infinite worlds game you are going to have to identify what happens when there is no magic, and if there is an 'extra no magic outside of no manna' I think you'd actually need to give a discount to manna enhancers. (Side note: I am under the impression that if a manna enhancer somehow ended up on coventry they would have appropriate manna as if they were upgrading it from a no manna zone).

Of course if the world ALSO has Static: Magic 20, then a caster is still going to need to overcome a -20 to skill problem, but there always on/no roll required magical items and any stored spells they have will work normally.

(I mention this because I believe coventry ALSO makes it hard to leave by psionic means which would indicate that the world has some level of Static: Jumper).

If the fundamental physics of timelines/worlds DO change (IE worlds where magic outright does not work even if you have manna enhancer) then you end up with a lot more interesting/dangerous worlds out there. Worlds where electricity will not flow, or flows slowly, where light has actual weight behind it where contained explosions are impossible (negating guns, the engine, and many ways of generating/storing electricity), where psi powers don't work. Where All supernaturaa advantages fail, where all NON-supernatural advantages fail.

This, at least to my knowledge, is not the 'default' IW campaign. There are weird exceptions, but for the most part the remainder of physics continues to apply- IE microworlders are not stupid despite having 1/100th the total brain volume, atomic bombs cause manna reactions on merlin because Openheimer was an unknowing wizard and accidentally created a magical ritual that covered the whole planet- not because atomic bombs inheritly interact with manna.

Some of the more extreme things that are on the infinite worlds may well be the direct manipulation by external entities- this is one of the reasons why worlds that are just weird get put on the 'do not dial' list rather then turned into tourist attractions: Something turned all the microworlders tiny- it may have been that the stars aligned and did something magical/psionic, or it could be that some one/thing did that, and it may still be watching; it may have the capability to do it again, or do worse.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
First off, I don't think Mana Enhancer should function at all in worlds where magic can't exist - it's completely contrary to the laws of physics, so at a minimum your Advantage would need Cosmic on it. However, it probably should function in No Mana* areas - such areas simply lack mana, and your character can provide it.
Why should it need Cosmic? It's already expensive and from what I can tell it's priced that way due to its ability to case -some- mana to exist in an area where there would otherwise be -no- mana.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

@starslayer, the Great Desert is a no mana area, unless there's been a rules change it should work, more to the point it's on a world were magic works, so it should work, unlike Homeline in IW, where magic doesn't work

And Yrth rests upon the IW setting, any advantage is possible, even Mana Enhancer, it would just require unusual background to work
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
And Yrth rests upon the IW setting, any advantage is possible, even Mana Enhancer, it would just require unusual background to work
It may require Unusual Background to be purchased, but once purchased an Unusual Background isn't needed to make it work.

Unusual Background is campaign-by-campaign more than setting-by-setting, and from what I can tell most traits seem to be priced on the assumption that someone might want to take them in an IW campaign.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
This is one area of the rules where I think they fall down, an area with No Mana is treated as if magic doesn't work there while it will else where, an example is the Great Desert on Yrth, as if the laws of physics have changed preventing things that might hold their magical energy inside them already (Examples I can think of are Power Stones, especially dedicated Power Stones, and Alchemical Elixirs)
That's like expecting a bubble of air to keep its integrity if you put it on the moon.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
First off, I don't think Mana Enhancer should function at all in worlds where magic can't exist
Eh, it's just a portable reality generator. In a world where magic actually can't exist, mana enhancer would be a forbidden trait for natives, and it's probably impossible for someone with mana enhancer to ever visit that world, making the point moot.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: No Mana Vs. No Magic

Is there really a difference between No Mana and No Magic? I was assuming that "No Magic" was just a non-technical term for "No Mana". Of course, I could be wrong.
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