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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:55 am    Post subject: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm attempting to write a Magic d20 game, but I've hit a roadblock. How do I represent the mana system used by Magic? I intend to have it replace pretty much everything, in that mages use mana to cast spells, fighters use it to do cool stuff, etc. But really, I can't figure out how to make it work. I can write a point based spell system, I can write a point based system limited only by points/round or encounter or whatever, but I can't figure out how to do this while at the same time replicating the mechanics and flavor of Magic.
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Modesitt
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:32 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In Magic d20, Wizards start every combat only being able to cast one spell levels' worth of spells /round. For every round a wizard consecutively casts a spell, the number of spell levels worth of spells he can cast per round goes up by one. Add in some sort of 'All spellscasting can be felt by anyone' and 'Teleporting disorients a wizards' magic and he must start from scratch' and you're gold.

In this way, those piles of low-level spells you end up with are actually useful.

Edit: Better idea: Magic d20 Wizards' must 'channel' magic from the environment. Beginning to channel takes a full-round or move-equiv action. Anyone can feel a wizard channeling or beginning to channel mana. You can get either a one-time or continuing bonus/penalty from being on appropriate/inappropriate terrain. E.g. A Green mage standing in a forest starts at 2 or maybe he increases by 1.5 or 2 spell levels a round while a Black mage might have the opposite problems. You could have channeling kill the land around them a la Dark Sun to add a little more awesome to spellcasting duels.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wow. I invented "Creature Rush", "Hand Denial", and "Necrodisc", but I haven't really thought seriously about Magic for years. Every so often I hear about the stuff that happens in the even currenter formats and I'm left all confused.

Characters in the M:tG universe function a lot like Feng Shui characters. When they attune to a Land (Feng Shui Site) they get more power. Now in M:tG that power is essentially like an Incarnum pool of Essentia, only hopefully less retarded.

So it goes something like this:

Characters have six pools of "Mana".
  • Black
  • Blue
  • White
  • Green
  • Red
  • Colorless[/list]

    Every day you could assign your mana to your abilities and make yourself variously awesome. You can also use any pool of mana to pump abilities that tweak off of colorless mana. You can leave mana unassigned, but if the sun rises or sets while your mana is unassigned you take damage.

    At the end of any adventure you acquire some land. Depending upon what the land you get is, you get different mana. When your mana goes up, you gain a Level and in addition to having more mana to assign to your abilities, you also have more abilities to assign mana to.

    Your abiliities are essentially bought with your mana even though you can still assign that mana to different stuff.

    Red Mana gives you warrior-type stabbing abilities as well as leadership abilities and evoking. Black Mana gives you necromancy/demonology (same thing in this setting) abilities, stealth abilities, and madness abilities. Blue Mana gives you water/weather control, illusions, and metamagic. White mana gives you defensive abilties, healing, and leadership. Green mana gives you druid bullshit from plant control to turning into a giant badger and molesting people.

    Right, that's your basic idea right? Xp goes out of the equation, because character advancement is defined by conquest of magical lands, which is done by completing adventures and completing dungeons.

    -Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm. First, I think you'd have to divide each of spell into one or more(multicolored spells) of the colors. Then you'd have to devise a system that divides power available and options available, and figure out some way to insert inconsistency into multicolored magic. The you need to decide how you allow access to various colors of magic.

Since those things should take just shy of an eternity, I'll stop there. Have fun...
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh heck no. It's not going to take an eternity at all. You've got only 6 colors to worry about, and that means that you've probably got yourself about 18 classes to worry about: A Warrior, a Rogue, and a Mage class for each. Characters begin with some number of starting Mana like 6. And they have to take a class that at least half of their mana for that level is.

So it looks like this from a class standpoint:

Black
  • Death Knight
  • Assassin
  • Necromancer

Blue
  • Marine
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer

White
  • Paladin
  • Scout
  • Cleric

Green
  • Ranger
  • Bard
  • Druid

Black
  • Warlord
  • Diplomat
  • Shaman

Colorless
  • Mercenary
  • Engineer
  • Artificer


And you can - if you want - throw down Prestige Classes for people who have only one kind of magic (like Enchantress for Green or Rat Catcher for Black), or for people who went 50/50 for two colors (like Nomad for Red/Green or Hierophant for Blue/White). But maybe not. Anyway, regardless of what class you take, you get +1 to BAB and 6+ skill points every level. What changes is your Saves (you get + to Fort for taking a War class, +1 to Reflex for a skil class, and +1 to Will for a Magic class, in addition to the +1 to all saves you get every 3 character levels); and your skill Selection (Black Classes all give Move Silently, White classes all give Heal, Green classes all give Survival, but the White Scout also gets Move Silently and Survival).

Also, each class requires at least one of your picks for that level's abilities to be from not only that color's ability list but also specifical a War /Stealth/ or Magic ability.

Example: Let's say that we started with a character who is an Assassin. He's got base Saves of Fort +1; Reflex +2; Willpower +1. He has a pile of skill points to spend and he can take them off the Assassin list. Now he has to purchase at least one Black ability and at least one Assassin ability. As a starting character, he gets 5 Mana (he chooses all Black Mana because that's how he rolls). He gets to make five selections, which are like Incarnum Soulmelds without being "blue" or dumb. He selects:
  1. Poison Blades (Black, Stealth)
  2. Cloak of Shadows (Black, Stealth)
  3. Rat Singing (Black, Stealth)
  4. Mind Twist (Black, Magic)
  5. Dark Rituals (Black, Magic)


Each day he has 5 Black Mana that he can invest into his abilities to make them more awesome (pumping mana of any color into Mind Twist, for example, increases the number of abilities you can lock down with a use of it, while throwing Mana into Cloak of Shadows allows you to conceal more people).

But let's consider another guy. He's a Shaman, so he has at least 3 Red Mana. But that's all he wants to spend. He wants some other stuff, so he takes his Fort +1; reflex +1, and Willpower +2 and he throws down on 1 Blue and 1 Black Mana. He gets five abilities that he can invest mana into, so he goes for:
  • Lightning Bolt (Red, Magic)
  • Battle Standard (Red, War)
  • Words of Falsehood (Red, Stealth)
  • Fade from View (Blue, Magic)
  • Mind Twist (Black, Magic)


And presto, he can assign his Red Mana to his Lightning Bolt to drop the recharge time on his neebly beams, but he can also throw it into Mind Twist as Colorless to increase the number of abilities he can lock down.

You'd expect the game to go about 10 levels, and classes pretty much write themselves (Nomad is a Stealth class that requires you to take at least 1 Red pick and 1 Green pick and at least one has to be a Stealth pick, but it also gives you a Fort bonus for no damn reason).

Each level would allow you to draw five more cards, but it would require more mana to get there. To get to level 2, you'd need 15 total Mana (5 for first, 10 for second). So the amount of power you'd channel into each card would tend to rise as your level did.

Races would be fairly self explanatory. Each would give you a fairly simple power and some minor stat modifiers. Starting characters would be required to take a race appropriate for their color. Green races are Elves and Fairies. Red races are Goblins and Dwarves. Blue races are Merfolk and Illumians.

You'd want to set things in a period that people might possibly be able to get along - possibly during Fallen Empires.

-Frank


Last edited by fbmf on Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Catharz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sounds cool. Kinda similar to FFd20, actually, although I like the idea of the mana system better than white/black/red/blue/green mages with spell slots.
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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
...
-Frank


Yes, that was sort of my idea, but I couldn't divorce myself from D&D enough to think of that.

So let's see...

Everyone starts with 5 mana; 3 from their main color and one each of the allied colors. An Assassin would have 3 black, 1 blue, and 1 red. Each level he gets, say, +3 mana, one of which has to go to his primary color, and your maximum for secondary colors is equal to your level (primary color has no maximum). So at level 10 you could have 10/13/10, or 10/23/0, or 0/23/10, or 0/33/0, or whatever as long as it adds up to 33. Taking a level in a class with different primary colors makes the maximum jump up; a Necromancer 2/Wizard 3 would have no max for B or U save that he only has 17 mana, and a max of 5 for R and W.

You can only invest up to your level in mana in any one ability. Our Necromancer/Wizard friend could put up to 5 points into Mind Shred to dish out Int damage, and then 5 into Mana Leak to keep people from getting the full effect out of their powers. But he can't put 7 points into Summoning to grab a Havoc Demon even though he still has 7 mana left, so he has to settle for the 5 point demon and then 2 points in something else, maybe Cloak of Shadows for concealment.

You have the 15 main classes, and multicolored people simply have levels in different classes. Abilities scale by mana investment, so the fact that you have 3 levels of Wizard (blue mage) and 2 of Necromancer (black mage) just means you selected abilities from the blue list thrice and the black twice.

Each color gets two races. Black has Rathi and the Twisted (people mutated when the Ineffable manifested), Blue has Metathran and Merfolk, Green has Elves and Catfolk, Red has Goblins and Minotaurs, and White has Avens and something else, which I haven't decided. There are also 5 human ethnicities: Urborg for Black, Tolarian refugees for Blue, something for Green, Keldons for Red, and Benalians for White. There are also playable monsters, like Centaurs or Mantis-people or even Phyrexian Sleeper Agents (normal Phyrexians are just renegade monsters).

The setting takes place after the Onslaught block back (mostly) on everyone's favorite continent, with places such as Skyshroud-Keld and ravished Benalia, and the empty glass island that was once Tolaria. The Cabal and the Order still exist in Otaria, and Phyrexian artifacts-and monsters-still dot the landscape.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ceiling Cat wrote:
The setting takes place after the Onslaught block...


I have no idea what that means. I coined the "Djinns and Hymns" and I personally turned Necropotence from a "Trash Card" (as evaluated by Inquest magazine) to a "Tournament Quality Card" to eventually a "Banned Card" through published analysis and card demonstrations. But you just opened your mouth and I have no clue what just came out of it. Recall that i haven't played Magic for... some time.

---

People are going to want to play weird Black/White characters from time to time rather than just playing Merfolk Assassins and Sedge Trolls. There's seriously no reason to force a character's 2 starting non-color mana to come from any specific colors. There really isn't a reason to stop people from playing Orcish Artilerists or Worshippers of the Dark Heart of the Woods if they really want to do that.

That being said, having an XP system that acumulates and then causes people to gain mana completely disrupts the flow you're going for. Levels should be gained because you have more mana, not the other way around. Plus, the multicolored nature of mana accumulation really does encourage a certain amount of bargaining between players.

Example: Having defeated the Zombie Master in the City of Shadows. The City itself is useless to you because the players aren't about to spend the next few months killing their friends in order to build up a huge reserve of ghost energy that they can use for Mana. But the area surrounding the city has a section of foul swamp (Black Mana), the river port (Blue Mana), the battlefield (Black or Red Mana), and the farmlands that once fed the city (White Mana). So the party's rewwards are 3 Black Mana, 3 Blue Mana, 3 White Mana, and 3 mna that can be any combination of Red and Black. Then the party of four can divvy up that mana any way they choose between them in order to get the powers that they want to get. The party Ragman probably wants to snag as much of the Black Mana as he can, while the party Shaman wants to get Red Mana (and thus will select the battlefield and take Red from it). The party Druid doesn't give a rat's ass, and will probably end up with Blue Mana or something because the party Paladin wants the White Mana.

This "conquest based" advancement prevents level grinding, and makes abilities like Swampwalk and Invisibilty actually useful.

---

The big challenge of such an undertaking is making Incarnum work. Incarnum had an interesting idea, but it didn't really work that well. If you set up a system with variable daily point ability investiture that is actually not retarded, I think you've got a chance.

And that's the deal here. You're looking to have a system where people invest their Mana Points into their Soul Melds just like Incarnum only without it being retarded. A major breakthrough comes by removing the idea of Chakra binds - because that's a layer of complication the world does not need. Another advantage is that the setting already has a good metaphor for recharge basis - the concept of "Tapping". Abilities can become "tapped" which means that they can't be used again until they become "untapped" and that's a really easy explanation that covers recharge time on firebreath as easily as it does melee attacks.

For example, you have "actions" that allow you to do a certain amount of things before your actions become "tapped" and then you can't do them again until your actions untap, which they do next round. Then your actions are actually put into the costs to tap abilties. And you can put things on longer recharge times by slapping them with "Does not Untap until Dawn" or something.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

For example, you have "actions" that allow you to do a certain amount of things before your actions become "tapped" and then you can't do them again until your actions untap, which they do next round. Then your actions are actually put into the costs to tap abilties. And you can put things on longer recharge times by slapping them with "Does not Untap until Dawn" or something.


Is this supposed to look similar to the Book of Nine Swords system?
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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Ceiling Cat wrote:
The setting takes place after the Onslaught block...


I have no idea what that means. I coined the "Djinns and Hymns" and I personally turned Necropotence from a "Trash Card" (as evaluated by Inquest magazine) to a "Tournament Quality Card" to eventually a "Banned Card" through published analysis and card demonstrations. But you just opened your mouth and I have no clue what just came out of it. Recall that i haven't played Magic for... some time.

Onslaught is the block from '02-'03, but the time setting isn't really important to the core mechanics of the system.

Quote:
People are going to want to play weird Black/White characters from time to time rather than just playing Merfolk Assassins and Sedge Trolls. There's seriously no reason to force a character's 2 starting non-color mana to come from any specific colors. There really isn't a reason to stop people from playing Orcish Artilerists or Worshippers of the Dark Heart of the Woods if they really want to do that.

I should have made this more clear-you can multiclass between enemy colors, giving you access to those colors. You could be a Druid/Necromancer by level 2, and you could even have like one level in every class, but you'd only have a couple abilities from each class. All of your abilities would scale to be level appropriate, but if you want to get big effects out of them you'd have to invest more mana into them.

Quote:
That being said, having an XP system that accumulates and then causes people to gain mana completely disrupts the flow you're going for. Levels should be gained because you have more mana, not the other way around. Plus, the multicolored nature of mana accumulation really does encourage a certain amount of bargaining between players.

I could do that. I'd have to figure out how to work the numbers, but that certainly does seem to work better. Classes would, of course, have nothing to do with the accumulation of mana, only the investment of it-a Necromancer doesn't get Black mana, but he does get spells that work off of it.

Quote:
This "conquest based" advancement prevents level grinding, and makes abilities like Swampwalk and Invisibility actually useful.

Invisibility and Landwalk can't be the same as in the game, since Magic is a competition between two people who have control of a number of units, while an RPG has you controlling those units directly. Landwalk could really be as easy as getting bonuses to stealth while in your land of choice.

Quote:
And that's the deal here. You're looking to have a system where people invest their Mana Points into their Soul Melds just like Incarnum only without it being retarded. A major breakthrough comes by removing the idea of Chakra binds - because that's a layer of complication the world does not need. Another advantage is that the setting already has a good metaphor for recharge basis - the concept of "Tapping". Abilities can become "tapped" which means that they can't be used again until they become "untapped" and that's a really easy explanation that covers recharge time on firebreath as easily as it does melee attacks.

Wouldn't single turn "tapping" of abilities simply be replicated by the abilities taking actions to use?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Wouldn't single turn "tapping" of abilities simply be replicated by the abilities taking actions to use?


Not always, because you have buffs like Howl or Righteousness as well limited use defenses like CoP. These abilities don't use actions, but they are abusive if they are used continuously or every turn.

Quote:
Invisibility and Landwalk can't be the same as in the game


Granted. In the card game you play some sort of plane-hopping dude who can throw down a pile of war elementals and serra angels. In the RPG you play a Hero of Kjeldor. Seriously, you cost somewhere between 1 and 3 mana as a starting character. So the game's structure is completely different.

The point I was making is that since you are only concerned with victory or defeat in the mission rather than killing an arbitrary number of monsters, that stealth abilities are inherently really valuable.

Quote:
I could do that. I'd have to figure out how to work the numbers, but that certainly does seem to work better. Classes would, of course, have nothing to do with the accumulation of mana, only the investment of it-a Necromancer doesn't get Black mana, but he does get spells that work off of it.


I envision it as being that you need to have Black Mana in order to take a level of Necromancer. If you invest Blue Mana into gaining a level you'll have to take a level of Merchant or Sorcerer or something.

Quote:
I should have made this more clear-you can multiclass between enemy colors, giving you access to those colors.


People shouldn't have to be 2nd level in order to have Black and Green Mana. For one thing, the more specific the mana requirements you throw down for a class the less likely a player is going to be able to qualify for any of them when he goes up in level. It's bad enough having to throw down at least a 50% share in Black to get a level of Assassin. If you needed some Blue and Red Mana as well people wouldn't level up at all.

-Frank
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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Quote:
Wouldn't single turn "tapping" of abilities simply be replicated by the abilities taking actions to use?


Not always, because you have buffs like Howl or Righteousness as well limited use defenses like CoP. These abilities don't use actions, but they are abusive if they are used continuously or every turn.

I was thinking that for CoP and the like you'd put mana into it at the beginning of the day and get to negate some damage from a single source once per round. Though putting it all under the brand of "tapping" would allow for Stasis type effects, which could be interesting if designed to force tactical decisions instead of draw-go.

Quote:
I envision it as being that you need to have Black Mana in order to take a level of Necromancer. If you invest Blue Mana into gaining a level you'll have to take a level of Merchant or Sorcerer or something.

I don't like the idea of forcing people to take a certain type of class. If someone's trying to be a Soul Thief (UB), they might want to alternate levels of Rogue and Assassin to get both blue and black abilities, and forcing him to take a level of Assassin because he got mostly black mana this level isn't something I'd really like to do.

Quote:
People shouldn't have to be 2nd level in order to have Black and Green Mana. For one thing, the more specific the mana requirements you throw down for a class the less likely a player is going to be able to qualify for any of them when he goes up in level. It's bad enough having to throw down at least a 50% share in Black to get a level of Assassin. If you needed some Blue and Red Mana as well people wouldn't level up at all.

-Frank


That comes from when I was thinking along the lines of mana coming with level, instead of level coming with mana. I suppose enforcing allied/enemy colors can be done through positive rather than negative reinforcement. Allied color pairs get to have multiclass PrCs, while enemy color pairs have to mix and match abilities from their lists. Neither would be more powerful than the other, though.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The pitfalls of Incarnum (or M:tG, whatever) are pretty constant. You're trying to make sure that people aren't completely fvcked by assigning their points one way or the other. Here are some obvious things to not do:

Mana Investment as Damage

It's tempting, it even happens in the source material constantly. But if people are being offered the ability to do +X damage with their Bow, +X damage with their Firebolt, or +X/2 with both; they would have to be a god damned idiot to not specialize. In fact, even an arbitrary mana expenditure curve such as Square Root Mana Investiture still leads to hyperspecialization (as well as beig way more complex than what you want to deal with).

Options or Less Options

While it be tempting indeed to do something like Mana investment as uses/day - recall that in almost all cases having extra uses/day for a particular ability is worse than having a new ability. Each additiional use for an ability is worth less than the last use because there are a finite number you'd use even if it were unlimited.

---

So you're going to want some sort of compromise. If you can be guaranteed to draw the hand you want, there is little incentive to double up on cards. On the other hand, if you can trade the ability to not be able to play cards that you aren't going to use this turn any way to kill more enemies then you're going to do that.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:


Mana Investment as Damage

It's tempting, it even happens in the source material constantly. But if people are being offered the ability to do +X damage with their Bow, +X damage with their Firebolt, or +X/2 with both; they would have to be a god damned idiot to not specialize.


How about total mana pool as damage? You do Xd6 damage with your Fireball, where X is the total mana you can invest. Additional invested mana could increase targets or something.
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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Would it be viable to make specializing impossible, and simply have people generalize in a self-defined field? A Necromancer could grab Mind Twist to tear out people's memories, but that costs 2 mana and investing more doesn't do anything. So when he wants to spend more mana, he has to grab Reanimate instead, making him a better Necromancer but not a better mind raping guy. These abilities could then scale by level so that if you want to branch out into being a Necromancer when you spent your entire life as a Rogue, you can do that and grab a level appropriate Mind Twist. The guy who spent his whole life on Necromancy has his level appropriate Mind Twist and his level appropriate Reanimate, and the Rogue/Necromancer has a level appropriate Mind Twist and a level appropriate Invisibility.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

About skills: D&D simply has too many of them, and many of them are unused. So, I believe it would be better to fold many of the useless skills into the more useful ones.

Appraise is folded into Search and called "Examine"
Balance is folded into Tumble and called "Acrobatics"
Disguise is folded into Bluff and called "Trickery"
Diplomacy and Intimidate are rewrote to not suck and called "Social Interaction"
Climb, Jump, and Swim become "Athletics"
Decipher Script and Forgery are folded into something
Open Lock goes into Disable Device, since it already is
Escape Artist and Use Rope become one
Gather Information joins Sense Motive
Hide and Move Silently become Sneak
The rest stay the same (except Profession, which is as per Dungeonomicon, and Craft, which will hopefully be as per Book of Gears). But what of Survival? I can't think of anything to put it into, but it certainly isn't good enough to use skill points on.
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Catharz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Survival = Profession (hunter) 2 ranks? I mean, tracking costs a feat already! Just change the prerequisites to the Profession ranks.

And make foraging a function of Knowledge skills.

Also, I'd remove Spellcraft.

BTW, as per current RoW rules Craft is a single skill Smile
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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, but the thing about Craft is that the rules don't work. Frank said they were going to rewrite what Craft actually does in Book of Gears, so I'm waiting for that. Crafting isn't a big part of the game anyway, and Artificers will get special rules so they can construct Weatherlight.

I could make Spellcraft a function of Knowledge (Arcana), with foraging part of Knowledge (Nature). Or maybe just keep Survival but have it actually give out Track for free, with the Hunter having access to a special magic tracking ability or something.
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CHICKENS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO COCAINE, SILKY HEN

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What you are describing sounds like it is more of an atempt to merge Spells and Feats than it is to replace Incarnum because at that rate there's no purpose served in giving people a daily mana pool at all. This gets rid of all the (X) powered abilities, which admittedly makes the game a fvck tonne easier to balance. That being said, what you're looking at is a system of ability management that looks kind of like this:

Race

Each character begins play as a member of one of the major races of the setting. Presently monstrous races are not playable, but there is no pressing reason that a higher level campaign couldn't allow a player to play a Phantom Monster or a Hill Giant. Each race has abilities unique to it:
  • Dwarf (Red)

  • Goblin (Red)
    A Goblin may untap one Red ability once per day.
  • Merfolk (Blue)
    Merfolk breathe water and have a swim speed. They also slither about on land just fine.
  • Catfolk (Green)

  • Elf (Green)
    An Elf may untap one Green Ability once per day
  • Human
    A human character begins play with 1 additional colorless mana which may be used to purchase (or help purchase) any ability. This mana does not


Note: Most of Magic that I am familiar with has pretty much "Humans" as the race for White, Blue, and Black, with all kinds of crazy stuff for Green and Red. Apparently some of the other stuff like Myrodin had a 1:1 correspondence of races to colors. I don't know enough about them to really say one way or another whether that's a good thing.

Mana
Mana is the force that flows from the lands and makes characters special by allowing them to do awesome things. Characters being play with five mana, of which at least two must be from the character's racial color (if any), and the rest may be of any color. Mana is used to buy-in to classes and to purchase abilities. Mana of any color may be spent as colorless mana.

Character Class

In order to buy a level in a class, you must pay the mana required to buy in to the class. The rest of your mana may be spent on any abilities at all.

Black
  • Death Knight
    Buy-in: 3 Black Mana.
    +1 Fort
    Gain a one mana Black Ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Black War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Assassin
    Buy-in: 3 Black Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana Black Ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Black Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Necromancer
    Buy-in: 3 Black Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana Black Ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Black Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.

Blue
  • Marine
    Buy-in: 3 Blue Mana.
    +1 Fort.
    Gain a one mana Blue ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Blue War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Merchant
    Buy-in: 3 Blue Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana Blue ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Blue Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Sorcerer
    Buy-in: 3 Blue Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana Blue ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Blue Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.

White
  • Paladin
    Buy-in: 3 White Mana.
    +1 Fort
    Gain a one mana White ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana White War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Scout
    Buy-in: 3 White Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana White ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana White Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Cleric
    Buy-in: 3 White Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana White ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana White Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.

Green
  • Ranger
    Buy-in: 3 Green Mana.
    +1 Fort
    Gain a one mana Green ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Green War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Bard
    Buy-in: 3 Green Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana Green ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Green Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Druid
    Buy-in: 3 Green Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana Green ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Green Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.

Red
  • Warlord
    Buy-in: 3 Red Mana.
    +1 Fort
    Gain a one mana Red ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Red War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Diplomat
    Buy-in: 3 Red Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana Red ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Red Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Shaman
    Buy-in: 3 Red Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana Red ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select one two mana or two one mana Red Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.

Colorless
  • Mercenary
    Buy-in: 4 Colorless Mana.
    +1 Fort
    Gain a one mana Colorless ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select any combination of three mana worth of Colorless War abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Rogue
    Buy-in: 4 Colorless Mana.
    +1 Reflex
    Gain a one mana Colorless ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select any combination of three mana worth of Colorless Stealth abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.
  • Artificer
    Buy-in: 4 Colorless Mana.
    +1 Will
    Gain a one mana Colorless ability
    Preparation: Each day you may select any combination of three mana worth of Colorless Magic abilities. You have those abilities until the next day.


Example: Kadrach the Ragman is a human necromancer. He begins play with 4 Black Mana and 1 Blue Mana. As a human, he also has 1 additional Colorless Mana. He buys in to the Necromancer class which requires 3 Black Mana, leaving him with 1 Black, 1 Blue, and 1 Colorless to spend on abilities. He chooses Psychic Venom (1U) and Dark Rituals (B). As a Necromancer, he gains a single 1 Black Mana ability and his is Shadowcloak (B). He also has the ability to prepare 2 Black Mana worth of Magic abilities. One day he might choose Hymn to Touarch (BB) while another day he might choose Swamplights (B) and Festering Illness (B), and still another day he might prepare Drain Life (1B).

Advancement

When the team of adventurers conquers a tower or a dungeon, the lands that owe fealty to it fall to their control. These lands produce mana, and the characters may divide the mana up any way that they wish. Most land can produce one of two kinds of mana, and when the mana from that land is taken by a character he may choose which kind of mana to channel. Mana production by land is in general:
  • Badlands B/R
  • Wooded Swamp (Bayou) B/G
  • Plateau R/W
  • Lush Grasslands (Savanah) G/W
  • Forested Mountain (Taiga) G/R
  • Wooded Islands (Tropical Island) G/U
  • Tundra W/U
  • Cave Springs (Underground Sea) B/U
  • Mountainous Island (Volcanic Island) R/U


When a character has enough mana to purchase another level, he may do so. In the mean time, extra mana does nothing (but can be traded around).

Games desiring a more gradual advancement may allow players to purchase abilities with their mana before leveling, though they must still be able to buy-in their level when they get enough mana to go up in level.

Level Mana
1 5
2 11
3 18
4 26
5 35
6 45
7 56
8 68
9 81
10 95

Some Abilities

Black War
    Soulsword (B)
    Devour Flesh (B)
    Protection from White (B)
    Regeneration (1B)
    Mindstab (1B)
    Ebon Hand (BB)
    Fear (BB)


Black Stealth
    Swampwalk (B)
    Shadowclaok (B)
    Poison Use (B)
    Sneak Attack (1B)


Black Magic
    Dark Rituals (B)
    Swamplights (B)
    Festering Illness (B)
    Drain Life (1B)
    Hymn to Tourach (BB)


Skills

The game world has the following Skills:
"Red" Skills:
Command
Socialize
Trickery

"Black" Skills:
Acrobatics
Stealth
Sleight of Hand

"Green" Skills:
Athletics
Concentration
Survival

"White" Skills:
Heal
Perception
Etiquette (Gather information, Sense Motive)

"Blue" Skills:
Examine
Engineering (Disable Device, Use Rope, Open Lock)
Research

(I'm probably missing something, I'm sure a 4th skill could be added to each category, or make a 6th "colorless" category of skills).

System Requirements
As you may have noted, we have been rather shy on fundamental system notation. That's not unintentional, as this could easily be worked into a heavily modified d20 or SAME system game. A SAME engine would ask that each player have an inherent Resistance to each color; and a d20 system would ask that each character have 6 random attributes and a hit die for each level while SAME requires only 4 chosen stats and no hit die.

It would work either way.

-Frank


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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
What you are describing sounds like it is more of an attempt to merge Spells and Feats than it is to replace Incarnum because at that rate there's no purpose served in giving people a daily mana pool at all.

The daily pool was more "you have this many points you can put into abilities. Some abilities cost 1, some 2, etc." Basically what you outlined.

However, instead of having classes cost a certain amount to buy, I'd prefer to simply have classes give you a set of hit die, BAB, and skills, as well as an ability from the [color] [role] list. So you'd start with, say, 5 abilities, and then take a level of Necromancer to get a 6th. Your next level of Necromancer gives you a seventh, and so on. Your Necromancer abilities come from the Black Magic list, while you 5 original abilities come from Colorless, Black Magic, or whichever 2 colors your race is aligned with (10 races, 10 2-color combinations. Humans get to align themselves with any color by picking a subrace). Color alignments do nothing but tell you the colors of your starting abilities; someone whose colors are Green and White (elf) can be a Death Knight, even though both Green and White are enemies of Black.

So let's say we have a 1st level Catfolk Necromancer. Catfolk are aligned with Green and Red. He decides that for his first 5 abilities, he'll take 2 Green, 2 Red, 2 colorless, and 1 Black, and then one Black Magic ability from being a Necromancer. He chooses Growth and Mana Surge for Green, Lightning Bolt and Haste for Red, Power Armor and Goggles for colorless, and Terror for Black. As a Necromancer, he gets a Black Magic ability, so he chooses Reanimate to fit his classes' name. Alternatively, he could have selected other abilities, like 6 Black Magic ones, 5 Red and 1 Black Magic, etc.
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CHICKENS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO COCAINE, SILKY HEN

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You are not a unique and precious snowflake, you are just one more fucking asshole on the internet who presumes themselves to be better than the unwashed masses.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Del Gato wrote:
However, instead of having classes cost a certain amount to buy, I'd prefer to simply have classes give you a set of hit die, BAB, and skills, as well as an ability from the [color] [role] list.


Fvck that noise. BAB, Hit Points, and Skills are not exchangeable in a vacuum. Getting more skills is an advantage. Getting more BAB is an advantage (though not nearly so large a one as Andy would have us believe).

Class chasis are not created equal unless you specifically create them all equal. And if everyone is getting the same number of abilities then there's no reason to do anything else. The whole D&D concept of giving people different amounts of skills and BAB and saves and such is predicated on the notion that some people get more abilities (like Wizards) and some people get less abilities (like Rogues), so you give better hit points, BAB, and Skills to the classes that don't do as much and you can kind of call it balanced in a hand-waving sort of fashion.

If being a Ranger doesn't get you any less abilities than being a Sorcerer, you'd have to be a god damned idiot to take a shittier BAB and Skill progression from having the word "Sorcerer" on your character sheet.

Quote:
So let's say we have a 1st level Catfolk Necromancer. Catfolk are aligned with Green and Red. He decides that for his first 5 abilities, he'll take 2 Green, 2 Red, 2 colorless, and 1 Black, and then one Black Magic ability from being a Necromancer.


That doesn't add up. But even if it did add up, you're completely demonstrating my point above. The classes you are talking about neatly segregate into "best" and "worst". The above Catfolk Necromancer took an optional pick of Green and an optional pick of Black. And then he got a bonus Green and a bonus Black for his Race and Skill. He could have just taken 2 optional Black instead and been a Catfolk Ranger and then he'd have exactly the same abilities, except that he'd be a Ranger instead of a Necromancer - meaning presumably more hit points and BAB.

I am talking about mana buy-in for classes for a reason: if the classes are minor adjustments to your character and involve no real investiture into one color or another then they really seriously don't mean anything at all.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

Note: Most of Magic that I am familiar with has pretty much "Humans" as the race for White, Blue, and Black, with all kinds of crazy stuff for Green and Red.


White is, as you said, nearly entirely human. I can't actually think of a major, mostly White, non-human creature type off of my head. Blue has all sorts of things from Merfolk to Birds to Illusions, as well as a lot of humans. Black has humans (assassin, for example), but I'd say it's more undead and vermin than anything else. Red has various Barbarians as it's human, as well as Orcs, Goblins, Dwarves...Those sorts. Anything that lives in caverns or likes chaos. Green has Druids, but it otherwise very short on humans. Elves, fairies, animals and Treefolk are Green's bread and butter


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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Del Gato wrote:
However, instead of having classes cost a certain amount to buy, I'd prefer to simply have classes give you a set of hit die, BAB, and skills, as well as an ability from the [color] [role] list.


Fvck that noise. BAB, Hit Points, and Skills are not exchangeable in a vacuum. Getting more skills is an advantage. Getting more BAB is an advantage (though not nearly so large a one as Andy would have us believe).

Class chasis are not created equal unless you specifically create them all equal. And if everyone is getting the same number of abilities then there's no reason to do anything else. The whole D&D concept of giving people different amounts of skills and BAB and saves and such is predicated on the notion that some people get more abilities (like Wizards) and some people get less abilities (like Rogues), so you give better hit points, BAB, and Skills to the classes that don't do as much and you can kind of call it balanced in a hand-waving sort of fashion.

If being a Ranger doesn't get you any less abilities than being a Sorcerer, you'd have to be a god damned idiot to take a shittier BAB and Skill progression from having the word "Sorcerer" on your character sheet.

The idea is that each of the three chassis (Magic, Skill, and War) is the best at one thing and moderate at the others. Skill is good at Skills, War at BAB, and Magic at saves. If there were only two progressions for things, would that work? Say, a Skill class gets 8+ skills/level and good Reflex saves (moderate others), War gets full BAB and 4 (or 6, I'm not sure on the specifics) skills/level, and good Fort, while Magic gets 3/4 BAB, 4/6 skills, and all good saves. Everyone can have the same hp. I'm not sure on the numbers (or any of the specifics) yet, I just threw those out.

Quote:
So let's say we have a 1st level Catfolk Necromancer. Catfolk are aligned with Green and Red. He decides that for his first 5 abilities, he'll take 2 Green, 2 Red, 2 colorless, and 1 Black, and then one Black Magic ability from being a Necromancer.


That doesn't add up. But even if it did add up, you're completely demonstrating my point above. The classes you are talking about neatly segregate into "best" and "worst". The above Catfolk Necromancer took an optional pick of Green and an optional pick of Black. And then he got a bonus Green and a bonus Black for his Race and Skill. He could have just taken 2 optional Black instead and been a Catfolk Ranger and then he'd have exactly the same abilities, except that he'd be a Ranger instead of a Necromancer - meaning presumably more hit points and BAB.
The Necromancer list would give access to the Black Magic ability set, while a Catfolk only gets Red, Green, and Colorless sets to start. Being a Necromancer (or Assassin or Death Knight) is the only way for a Catfolk (or the other 5 races that don't get starter access to Black) to get those abilities at level one, and the only way for anyone to get them at other levels. If you wanted to be a Black Magic using Catfolk, you need to be a Necromancer. If you want to be a Red Magic using Catfolk at level one, you can do that with whatever, but past that you need to be a Shaman, or you can only have up to 5 Red Magic abilities if you spend all of your starter abilities on it. Ideally, of course, being a "Ranger" or a "Sorcerer" are both equally good, but at different things.

Quote:
I am talking about mana buy-in for classes for a reason: if the classes are minor adjustments to your character and involve no real investiture into one color or another then they really seriously don't mean anything at all.

-Frank



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CHICKENS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO COCAINE, SILKY HEN

Josh_Kablack wrote:
You are not a unique and precious snowflake, you are just one more fucking asshole on the internet who presumes themselves to be better than the unwashed masses.


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Catharz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:00 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neeek wrote:
FrankTrollman wrote:

Note: Most of Magic that I am familiar with has pretty much "Humans" as the race for White, Blue, and Black, with all kinds of crazy stuff for Green and Red.


White is, as you said, nearly entirely human. I can't actually think of a major, mostly White, non-human creature type off of my head. Blue has all sorts of things from Merfolk to Birds to Illusions, as well as a lot of humans. Black has humans (assassin, for example), but I'd say it's more undead and vermin than anything else. Red has various Barbarians as it's human, as well as Orcs, Goblins, Dwarves...Those sorts. Anything that lives in caverns or likes chaos. Green has Druids, but it otherwise very short on humans. Elves, fairies, animals and Treefolk are Green's bread and butter





Aren't angels mostly white?


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Cielingcat
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: Magic: the Gathering Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Angels aren't a good PC race, though.
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