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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok, I'm looking at a Gothic Horror-y setting for D&D, not really a horror game, just, you know, D&D adventurers running around Ravenloft contending with horrific monsters.

I want magic to have a "cost" in keeping with being a horror setting, but I'm wary of that cost being either so steep that no one bothers to use magic, or so minimal as to not actually be any kind of cost.

What I'm currently looking at is the Corruption rules from Pathfinder for this purpose, with a couple of modifications for quality of life improvements- 1, you have to reach Corruption level 5 for the Bad Stuff to happen, and, 2, you don't necessarily have to stop playing that character when you reach Corruption level 5.

But what I'm wondering is the general opinion of people on these Corruption rules, and if maybe there's a better subsystem?

The exact form of corruption a character deals with will vary depending on their form of spellcasting, with arcane casters getting to choose from any but Lycanthrope, Plagued, Possessed, Promethean, or Vampirism, and Druids choosing from Accursed, Hive or Lycanthropy, and Clerics and Witches needing stuff written up but I don't really know what's going on with gods in this setting just yet.
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Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I haven't seen that specific system. From what you said you're looking for, I'd want a system that has a cost that cannot be bought off by magic*. So, if you wanted to use ability damage, then you wouldn't want magic to be capable of healing ability damage.

From that point, it's up to you if you want that cost to be permanent, or to have it slowly go away on its own. If it's permanent, you basically have a hard limit on the number of castings per campaign. If not, you have a resource mechanic that's effectively a cool down with some in-game flavor.

*Perhaps you want to let magic partially mitigate some of the symptoms, while not actually reducing the cost. For example, a person might have internalized corruption that is not obviously apparent from casual observation.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Alternatively, you could have the cost be real and disruptive, but specifically not for the PCs other than some flavour text. A lot of fiction gives the protagonist the ability to overcome their limitations for no other reason than their narrative status. One idea I've considered for wizardry is saying that all spells have a chance of exploding (epic fumbles, mutations, attracting dark forces, etc); but any one spell only has like a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing any trouble. That's rare enough for a 1 in 20 chance of even one incident over a ten level campaign, which can be a single adventure hook that time, but common enough to be a persistent threat to the spellcasting demographic.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RobbyPants wrote:
I haven't seen that specific system.

I linked it, but d20pf presents it poorly, so... fuck it.

Basically, something gives you corruption, in the case of my campaign, its "being a spellcaster." When you become corrupted, you start at Corruption Stage 0 and Manfestation Level 1. At each manifestation level, you get a manifestation (obviously).

So lets say you're Hellbound. At ML1, you get to choose your manifestation. It could be Devil's Horns, Devil's Mark, Fiendish Tutelage, Murky Futures, or Tenuous Soul. Each one has a Gift and a Stain.

Lets say you start out simple, and choose Devil's Horns. The Gift is that you get a Gore attack that deals damage as if you were a size smaller. The Stain is that these horns cannot be hidden by magic and people who see them recognize them as unnatural, and if you can take advantage of a loophole in a contract, you must.

Then, when you perform an appropriate act, you have to roll Will (15+Manifestation Level) or your Corruption Level increases. When you reach CorLv 3, "your contract comes due or you become a thrall to Hell"


I'm not sure what the acts what be for my game, but I'm considering either casting a spell, with a DC of 10+Spell Level rather than 15+Manifestation Level, or taking a level of spellcasting, with the normal DC.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you were to write up a new Corruption it'd be ...

Catalyst: Learned to cast 1st level spells, also every time you learn a higher level spell.

Corruption: You are a spellcaster.

Manifestation: 1st level slots, 2nd level slots, etc.
Gift: You get your spell slots renewed every morning.
Stain: You smell bad (look creepy as fuck, sound really sick, just annoy everyone), man, what are you, some sort of spellcaster?

Useful corruption, so you basically have to agree to take more bullshit annoyances off a list as part of increasing your spell-casting classes. So it's like the 3e Wu-jen list only a bit creepier.

Also, you don't become an NPC at level 5, that can wait to level 13 at least.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Corruption doesn't make you an npc at fifth level, it makes you an npc when your corruption stage reaches 3, which requires you to fail three corruption rolls (the Will 15+Manifestation Level save). Manifestation level increases are suggested to occur every couple of levels, and they max out at 9.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Ok, I'm looking at a Gothic Horror-y setting for D&D, not really a horror game, just, you know, D&D adventurers running around Ravenloft contending with horrific monsters.

I want magic to have a "cost" in keeping with being a horror setting, but I'm wary of that cost being either so steep that no one bothers to use magic, or so minimal as to not actually be any kind of cost.

What I'm currently looking at is the Corruption rules from Pathfinder for this purpose, with a couple of modifications for quality of life improvements- 1, you have to reach Corruption level 5 for the Bad Stuff to happen, and, 2, you don't necessarily have to stop playing that character when you reach Corruption level 5.

But what I'm wondering is the general opinion of people on these Corruption rules, and if maybe there's a better subsystem?

The exact form of corruption a character deals with will vary depending on their form of spellcasting, with arcane casters getting to choose from any but Lycanthrope, Plagued, Possessed, Promethean, or Vampirism, and Druids choosing from Accursed, Hive or Lycanthropy, and Clerics and Witches needing stuff written up but I don't really know what's going on with gods in this setting just yet.


Here's my way of doing high-cost gothic horror spellcasting:

1) There are no caster classes. If a class grants caster levels as a class feature, it no longer does. You can still play it, but don't pick something that relies on spellcasting to be useful.

2) Everyone can learn spells and everyone can cast spells they know. Instead of spells per day, they have to pay a specific cost to cast a spell. That cost can vary from silver coins to the heart of a virgin or something.

3) Here's the list of spells that are available in setting along with their costs. Yes, I know that it is heavily truncated. Most spells just don't fit the tone I'm going for.

4) The spells with asterisks beside them can be learned at chargen, pick up to two.



As for actual costs, I'm overly fond of human body parts for this. Live animals, too. For weaker spells that should be commonly cast, money or something of monetary value.

Fertility is also a pretty good sacrifice. Though "your junk shriveled up and fell off" is less of a cost for the player than it is for the character.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Shadowrun thing where it tires you or can kill you is a good start.

Having stronger magic could make your more vulnerable to the effects of magic, or specific kinds of mind affecting magic if you want to be more narrow.

Could have the GM temporarly take control of the character for a turn or during downtime when they go over the edge, possessed, insane, etc. When the player is actually no longer in control of his character, not rolling his own dice, he'll feel the danger of runaway magic.

The player rolling dice is what connects them to their PC's actions, so maybe the more magic you use the more dangerous things get and it goes from "rolling a 1 is a fumble" to "rolling any failure is a fumble" to "every odd number is a fumble".

Flavor wise I like how Bloodborne's magic is based on using enchanted items with creepy descriptions:
http://bloodborne.wiki.fextralife.com/Hunter+Tools


"Soft eye blessed by a phantasm. They were discovered through Byrgenwerth's contact with the arcane, but in the end revealed nothing.
Deep within the eye lies a vast stretch of dark sky that rumbles with an endless meteor storm. The slightest rub of the tiny orb, and the rock will tumble and soar."
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:

I linked it, but d20pf presents it poorly, so... fuck it.

...

Ah, so it's more like Ravenloft's acts of evil system (also cribbed by 2E Spells and Magic with their warlock casting variant). I was picturing something like 3.0's Oriental Adventures corruption (reprinted in Unearthed Arcana), and modified in Heroes of Horror.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What was the first RPG or fantasy story to portray Tolkien style orc monster people as "also human too".

Like Shadowrun seemed to be the popuarlizer but who did it first
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Do D&D half-orcs count as being orcs? Or are they "also human too" because they are also human too?

Actually, didn't Tolkien himself regret making orcs always evil and later wrote some stuff in which there were orcs that weren't evil?
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
What was the first RPG or fantasy story to portray Tolkien style orc monster people as "also human too".

Like Shadowrun seemed to be the popuarlizer but who did it first

It depends what you mean by 'human.' Biologically? Morally?

Having done some research, I don't see anything that really humanized orcs published prior to Shadowrun 1e in '89, although there's a cluster of novels in the early '90s. I'm sure it existed in fanfic and such, Terry Pratchett apparently did some Austen/Tolkien mashups that were the distant ancestors of the Discworld.

edit:
Thaluikain wrote:
Actually, didn't Tolkien himself regret making orcs always evil and later wrote some stuff in which there were orcs that weren't evil?

It was something he struggled with throughout. In the Silmarillion there's a line which implies that there were orcs who fought against Morgoth, and in his letters he goes into how orcs were redeemable, the product of terrible environments, and how humans raised in those environments would be little better if at all. But he never explicitly showed a moral orc, I think it was all theoretical for the sake of his theology.
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Pixels
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
Actually, didn't Tolkien himself regret making orcs always evil and later wrote some stuff in which there were orcs that weren't evil?
He changed his mind on orcs a few times. This is a decent rundown. tl;dr, his later writings described orcs as beasts shaped into a mockery of men and elves, with no real independent agency.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
Do D&D half-orcs count as being orcs? Or are they "also human too" because they are also human too?


Yes.

D&D half-orcs take extra damage from both orcslayer and humanslayer weapons.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Tolkiein said nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was like ending Lord of the Rings with the hobbits riding Nazguls. Thenhe said orcs are on all sides in real life war.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have it in my head that as part of his "applicability vs allegory" spiel Tolkien said that if he had intended an allegory for the Cold War, then Aragorn would have defeated Sauron using the One Ring (somehow) and then Saruman would have forged his own Ring.

Any comparisons with Middle Earth: Shadow of More Dollars are purely coincidental; Tolkien would probably have rolled his eyes at the very least at Stupid Sexy Shelob.
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As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.

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virgil
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How do you manage the situation where a creature is wearing a suit of animated armor, presuming they're on the same side?
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Schleiermacher
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There aren't really any rules for that but if I wanted to hack it, I'd probably look at mounted combat rules as the closest approximation. Replace Ride with whatever skill you think is appropriate (or use BAB checks). The armor moves and the guy inside can act, but needs to make checks to move in tandem with his armor ("control mount in battle") and might take penalties if he tries to do too much ("mounted archery/spellcasting") . Can take "cover" to make attacks hit the armor instead, or if he's somehow especially trained for it, negate attacks against the armor (Ala Mounted Combat). And so on.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In D&D3e and Pathfinder are bards weaker than rogues and fighters
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Schleiermacher
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No, they are not.

The more expansion material you allow the better they get, but even a 3.0 core only bard, their weakest point, should if they are competent be able to contribute about as much as a competent Rogue, which is more than a Fighter. The spesifics of how, and how much better or worse various options are, vary from edition to edition of course.


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erik
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, I'd peg Rogues and Bards to be about on par, with Bards being slightly better. They both get UMD, and that's their most attractive entry for real ultimate power. Bards provide steady buffs and enchantment (suggestion+charm monster) instead of DPS.

I give the edge to Bards over Rogues since they're not as vulnerable to the DM deciding to do a campaign full of uncrittables.


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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

But most things that are immune to crits are also immune to mind affecting magic. I think a rogue with UMD can do anything a bard can do, and with a ring of blink and/or greater invisibility and two-weapon fighting can put the hurt on things.

If your GM is going to stealth nerf your character (what do you know, he makes his save AGAIN), rogue has more recourse.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
But most things that are immune to crits are also immune to mind affecting magic. I think a rogue with UMD can do anything a bard can do, and with a ring of blink and/or greater invisibility and two-weapon fighting can put the hurt on things.

If your GM is going to stealth nerf your character (what do you know, he makes his save AGAIN), rogue has more recourse.


Nothing is immune to Mind Affecting Magic because Mind Affecting Magic lets you hit monsters with other monsters.

-Frank
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, but a lot of GMs will say that a Lvl 7 character having a CR 9 monster in thrall breaks the game and find ways to put the kibosh on it.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A lot of DMs think if a fighter is doing more than 1d8 + 1d6 + 8 damage at 7th level, it's overpowered. A lot of DMs think it's overpowered to have more than two base classes and/or one PrC.

It's kind of hard to predict what any hypothetical DM will complain about.
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