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Old 11-25-2023, 09:22 PM   #1
Embassy of Time
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Default Rules for the many powers of.... food?

(This is not the food puns thread. That goes here)

I am completely revamping my food-based campaign setting after losing my note files, and I want to double down on the food aspects. The setting is basically Illuminati University meets Iron Chef. What I am currently trying to do is compile and design rules that make food and cooking as central as combat or magic has long been in RPGs, but I need ideas. MORE ideas!! For some hints at what I am currently dabbling with:

- Food as manipulation: Want to influence people? Prepare and give/slip them food that alters their reactions, like a soothing sandwich or a coward cocktail. I am thinking some alchemy or gadgeteer style rules for making the foods?
- Ability manipulation: Bring the right lunch to boost combat stats, harden your spirit against magics, or handle the rigors of FTL travel!
- Adaptation: Want to understand others? Eat what they eat! Want to survive in harsh environments? Eat what thrives there! Cooking lets you eat things that do not go down well raw!
- Food as powerstones: As written. Also, prepoing and using foods with other magic, or tech! ("I am low on ammo for the plasma rifle, but my chili cheese source should add a few more shots!!")

Obviously, not all needs to be "serious" or "realistic" or "remotely sane"). Crazy is welcome!

Last edited by Embassy of Time; 11-25-2023 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

"I'm strong to the finish/Cause I eat my spinach" is probably the classic treatment.
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Old 11-26-2023, 10:44 PM   #3
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

Ideas:

Foods that trigger strong emotions. (e.g., the food in Like Water For Chocolate)

Foods that have addictive effects. ("Can't eat just one.")

Foods that bestow symbolic traits possessed by the creature (or item) consumed. E.g., eating chicken hearts bestows Cowardice or Fearfulness while eating beef heart bestows strength. Consuming bubbly soda water makes one float in air like a bubble.

Foods that are actual aphrodisiacs.

Alcoholic beverages which bestow specific drunken states, such as talkativeness, sleepiness, lecherousness or anger.

Foods that bestow Afflictions. E.g., a literal "heart attack burger" which clogs the victim's arteries with fat. Hot sauce which bestows Agony.

I recall a spell for GURPS Magic which allowed the mage to directly convert food into magical energy, which could be used to power spells. The updated version could be a potion that works as a literal "energy drink." Magical or electrical power, your choice.

Health foods that actually are. They restore FP or HP or give a bonus to resist or recover from diseases.

Fast Food that improves Basic Speed or Move. (Along with "slow food" which takes much longer to eat than normal, because you must savor each bite, and is so filling and satisfying that it prevents you from moving until you've digested it sufficiently.)

Diet foods that actually subtract calories.

For setting rules, obvious Cooking is key, with Alchemy defaulting to Cooking skill and vice-versa.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:17 AM   #4
clu2415
 
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

I have an idea kicking around that eating the same food over and over on journeys drags down your morale and running into another party and trading spices with them could reinvigorate you.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

There's a great anime: Food Wars, that is a lot like what you are describing.
Near the end of the 1st season (on Hulu) there's a big food competition & one of the cooks is known for "heath cooking" that has healing & restorative powers and can neutralize poisons & diseases. It can also boost chi power, ect...
Maybe you can find & watch the episode.

Also, the campaign sounds unique & interesting.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clu2415 View Post
I have an idea kicking around that eating the same food over and over on journeys drags down your morale and running into another party and trading spices with them could reinvigorate you.
In DF there are a number of rations that give you various bonuses, but only if you eat it for a month or more. For example: Elven, Dwarven, Squiddy Snacks (in DF-14), ect...
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

Have you played either of the newer Nintendo Switch Legend of Zelda games (Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom)? Both feature cooking meals both as a way to restore health and to give your character various temporary buffs. Armored Catfish increase your defense (as with most games, this functions like IT:DR, but in GURPS you could have it grant DR), Mighty Bananas boost your attack power (boost Striking ST), Endura Carrots boost your stamina (basically serving as temporary FP), Voltfruits grant you resistance against electricity, Spicy Peppers allow you to withstand colder temperatures (essentially being comparable to wearing winter clothing), etc. Might be useful to farm (heh) for inspiration.
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Old 11-27-2023, 02:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

GURPS Low Tech has some books which might be inspirational in the bibliography.

You can take this as dark as you want with tropes about cannibalism, vampirism, life-draining and parasites, growing-shrinking, addiction, pregnancy, etc Consider the Turkish Delight in the Chronicles of Narnia for the kind of example which I can cite on this forum.
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Old 11-27-2023, 11:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

Food as heraldry (Matzo represents purity, parsnip being delivered from the bitterness of slavery, Latkes represent beating the tar out of the goyim).

This can be Savoire-faire, Disciplines of Faith, Clerical Investment, etc.
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Old 11-28-2023, 09:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rules for the many powers of.... food?

Other literary sources for foods that do fun magical things are Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, The Phantom Tollbooth and the Harry Potter series.

I particularly like the "You are what you eat" trope. That puts characters on a restricted diet if they want to maintain their edge. ("We will eat the chicken and gain its strength! Err, no, wait. . . We will eat the chicken and gain its wisdom! Nope, that doesn't work either. We will eat the chicken and gain its courage! Umm, no. What else is on the menu?")
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