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Edits to After Sundown: Magic
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: Edits to After Sundown: Magic Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How would changing the existing description of Devotions:
Quote:
A Devotion is a special Advanced ability that belongs to two different Powers and requires that a character have at least one Basic ability from both in order to be learned.


to something like the following, work out?

Quote:

A Devotion is a special Advanced ability that requires that a character have at least one Advanced ability in order to be learned.





Breaking up Devotions into Universal Power categories, as devotions are part of an existing Universal Power, the currently written up devotions should be divided in some manner.

Mostly, I tried to break up the Devotions by their flavour, but the only firm decision I took overall was that each Universal power gets the same amount of devotions (3).

Authority
Look me in the eyes and tell me that again.
  • Façade of Nonchalance
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Purify the Mind

    Celerity
    There she goes again.
  • Adaptive Resilience
  • Familiar Stranger
  • Shorten the Fuse

    Clout
    I have the power.
  • Flight
  • War Form
  • Will to Power

    Discernment
    You see what you want to see. You hear what you want to hear.
  • Chain of Eyes
  • Telekinesis
  • Tracking Echoes of the Muse

    Fortitude
    Endure. And in enduring, grow strong.
  • Cleanse the Body
  • Empty Body
  • Flesh of Marble

    Magnetism
    Alright everyone! Let's hear it... for me!
  • Betrayal of the Tongue
  • Desire Reflection
  • Shifting Sands

    Veil
    ...Now you don't.
  • Blind the Senses
  • Burrowing
  • Holistic Ventroloquism

    It's probably not the best sorting of devotions into Universal Power categories, but it does streamline Devotions as a interim level of power between advanced powers and elder powers.




    The AS chapter on "Rituals" says flat out that using "rituals" to copy Advanced powers you don't have is bad, and copying Elder powers is even worse. However, I've also recalled Frank stating that Elder powers should be considered examples of rituals.

    Has anyone tried anything like this, or have thoughts on how to make elder powers into rituals PCs can try to reproduce.
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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Frank was planning (but may have changed his mind?) on making Devotions into regular advanced abilities.

    I don't think he was planning on distributing them evenly.
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Good, but you didn't go far enough. Here's some more to do:

  • Eliminate discipline Tier bonuses
  • Rewrite Celerity to get rid of Initiative Passes
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    FrankTrollman
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    Frank was planning (but may have changed his mind?) on making Devotions into regular advanced abilities.

    I don't think he was planning on distributing them evenly.


    This is correct. I'd say more coherent things at the moment but this last week I literally spent more time at work than not at work. I'm nearing the end of 12 days in a row on shift, and 5 of the previous 7 were spent on-call. There's only 168 hours in the week and I was at work for 88 of them.
    So pretty much anything I say at this point is some variation on "gibber gibber" I'm afraid.

    But yes. Devotions out and some of them get rolled into basic and advanced powers in single disciplines.

    -Frank
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Frank Trollman wrote:

    Gibber gibber. Gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber.
    Gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber.

    Gibber. Gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber gibber.

    -Gibber


    hm
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    Judging__Eagle
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    Frank was planning (but may have changed his mind?) on making Devotions into regular advanced abilities.

    I don't think he was planning on distributing them evenly.


    That's fair, but the fact that there are enough Devotions to split up among the different Universal powers evenly indicates that it's possible, so I attempted to make the possibility a reality.

    Looking at each Universal power, and figuring out which ones have "enough" powers, and which could use more is an other way of looking at it, but I didn't consider about rebalancing all the universal powers.

    Lokathor wrote:
    Good, but you didn't go far enough. Here's some more to do:

  • Eliminate discipline Tier bonuses
  • Rewrite Celerity to get rid of Initiative Passes


  • Any suggestions on Tier bonus replacement? Pure elimination is easy, replacement is difficult

  • Honestly, I haven't thought of dealing w this Celerity/Combat Initiative Passes issue

    FrankTrollman wrote:


    But yes. Devotions out and some of them get rolled into basic and advanced powers in single disciplines.

    -Frank


    Do any of the listed Devotions seem like they should be Basic powers instead of Advanced? They mostly seem a bit more powerful than the Basic powers in any of the devotions, but I guess the weakest Devotion of each group could be pulled down into becoming a Basic power.

    Which would result in an average of: 3 basic powers, 4 advanced, 2 Elder powers.
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    erik
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Didn't we already invent this wheel? I thought a couple different versions of devotion dispersement were proposed a few years ago. I will try to find it when not on phone.

    Ah, found one. I even made a google doc spreadsheet organizing the various powers with Devotions dispersed mostly into the Universal powers. But that's 4 years old and was operating under the presumption of Elder Powers still being a thing... which I believe has lost support in lieu of making them rituals or something.


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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Judging__Eagle wrote:
    Any suggestions on Tier bonus replacement? Pure elimination is easy, replacement is difficult


    If they're cool bonuses then just make them powers. You can have a Clout power that simply says "you get +1 to Strength all the time", and that's a fine power that some people will want to pick, but it's less than Vigor can give you if you have the PP to burn, so some people might want one or the other.

    The problem is not that they're passive bonuses. The problem is that you get a passive bonus for having any ability within a tier, so when you look at your power list notes and it says what each power does you need to also have a list of what tiers you've hit in what disciplines, and when you get a new power you need to check if you already have anything at the power's tier and discipline before you add the passive bonus, and it's just more complex than it needs to be.

    I don't think that each discipline needs an even number of powers, and I would suggest not letting that constrain any design choices.

    The recent thought that I had on how to replace speed levels was to give actors a +2 or +3 bonus per speed level that they have over the defender whenever they take physical actions. It's easy to understand, but it cuts down on all the repeated turns with repeated rolls on each turn and so on. The problem with Initiative Passes is that they're a mechanic you introduce because you're going fast, but they make the game feel slow.
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    Judging__Eagle
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I've recently come to the realization that the "name" for each power/sorcery should be treated as the fundamental supernatural power of that group, and written onto a character sheet as any other power/sorcery.

    That they give skill bonuses of varying scales (no stealth, low social, decent physical), or attributes.... is boring, but powers that are less impactful than a "Basic" power may very well be nearly negligable in how obvious they are. Low level powers being boring seems fine. If the introductory powers get updated entries that would be fine too, but I'm not pining for it just yet.
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    FrankTrollman
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Gibber gibber gibber gibber. No wiat, I haven't been at work for like 16 hours. I can probably communicate intelligibly.

    Here's the issues with bonuses.

      1) Skill bonuses are and were a bad idea. I put them in originally to make the dicepool numbers closer to Shadowrun so that I could easily gauge how hard tasks were going to be, but it ends up with a min/max challenge that does some dumb things.

      2) It shouldn't be possible to have any kind of Necromancy and not be able to see Ghosts. Yes, you can find many genre movies where people learn to call up the spirits of the damned before they learn how to see them, but no player is ever going to take that deal. And you can tell those stories by having people able to use mighty rituals out of books to activate necromancy powers without having them. If there's a power to see ghosts that's standalone in Necromancy it becomes a "feat tax" on everyone who wants to learn Necromancy. See: all the different ghost interaction powers in Vampire. So no matter what direction you come into off of Necromancy, some of the basic "you can interact with Ghosts now" shit needs to come in on the ground floor.

      3) It is entirely possible to put the passive strength and toughness bonuses of Clout and Fortitude into individual powers. Vigor could be +1 Strength all the time, plus spend power points for a temporary bigger bonus. Armored in Life could be a passive bonus to soak with the ability to buy extra defense for power points. So in many cases the discipline could either have or not have any inherent bonuses and all that would mean is "You must take Power X if you want to get this discipline's passive bonus." And then we are right back to feat taxes.

      4) Not all disciplines have any obvious level passive abiliities they would want you to have. It's important that you have wizards who can set people on fire but who aren't themselves immune to fire. It's important that you have monsters that can turn into animals but can't talk to animals.


    So that's the basic problem right there. Putting in passives for all the disciplines either goes into generic bonus territory with associated mandatory min/max paths, or it gets into weird "we needed a thing for this slot" territory ("Now that I know Ice magic I can do what?"). But not putting in passives leaves us with feat taxes, which are also mandatory min/max paths but slightly more infuriating because they cost actual power slots.

    My best idea is to flavor up the sorcery disciplines a little bit more and give out passives based on those flavors. So Symphony of Silence can be more overtly musical and give you music and hearing abilities for knowing it.

    -Frank
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    JesterZero
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FrankTrollman wrote:
    My best idea is to flavor up the sorcery disciplines a little bit more and give out passives based on those flavors. So Symphony of Silence can be more overtly musical and give you music and hearing abilities for knowing it.

    If you want to mechanize the flavor, it's probably worth pointing out that doling out bonuses to knowledge skills in not nearly as problematic as doling out bonuses to active skills (to use Shadowrun terminology).

    If each level of a discipline grants you +2 to Music Appreciation or whatever, that's easier to note on a character sheet than keeping track of flavor text perks that are otherwise free-floating. And I seem to recall that AS had a deep list of mechanics for arguing and appealing...although I can't remember if any of them used some sort of Appeal to Common Interests or Hey, You're Not The Other So We're Cool type of deal.

    Admittedly, there are absolutely times where writing down "you can just do this thing" is vastly preferable to mechanizing it. For example: "You don't need to breathe" vs. "+9,999 to breath-holding."
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The ghost thing is easy. It can just be a passive thing, but since it's not tiered and it's not a number you have to remember to add, should be fine.

    Quote:
    Necromancy

    Necromancy powers are the powers to interact with the dead. Yada yada yada.

    As a special rule: If you know any Necromancy power at all you can automatically see any Ghosts that are on the same plane as you, even when they aren't manifesting.


    Having passive effects in general is fine if it says that in the power. Whenever possible, each power should say when it's giving a passive bonus to anything at all. Necromancy letting you see ghosts at the top of the Necromancy discipline should be an exception, not a guideline on design.

    In general, it's best to assume that most players of the game haven't read the full book. There is usually one or two people in a group that have read the whole book and then everyone else reads the minimum possible amount of the book to start playing and get to the real goal of every player character: making bad life decisions. I know it probably sounds like a really stupid way to play an RPG to people like us here on this forum, but that's honestly how most players I've met across many groups approach games.
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    erik
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FrankTrollman wrote:
    It is entirely possible to put the passive strength and toughness bonuses of Clout and Fortitude into individual powers. Vigor could be +1 Strength all the time, plus spend power points for a temporary bigger bonus. Armored in Life could be a passive bonus to soak with the ability to buy extra defense for power points. So in many cases the discipline could either have or not have any inherent bonuses and all that would mean is "You must take Power X if you want to get this discipline's passive bonus." And then we are right back to feat taxes.


    I was looking over my google spreadsheet of the powers when I linked its thread for JE and was wondering why the heck Vigor was a temporary strength boost instead of a passive one. It was about 4 years ago, so i dunno where my head was at back then.

    But hey, I can edit it, so I'll do that.
    I reckon I'll amend the initiative pass celerity powers later. Maybe boosts to Agility. One power for a small passive, another to temporarily boost Agility for a scene.

    It looks like my rendition already had stripped passive bonuses from power sets, but included having things like having any necromancy sorcery grant you ability to interact with ghosts.
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    PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Jester Zero wrote:
    If each level of a discipline grants you +2 to Music Appreciation or whatever, that's easier to note on a character sheet than keeping track of flavor text perks that are otherwise free-floating.


    This is true. But on the other hand there are lots of real bits of flavor you can put in there that's actually helpful.

    For example, it's kind of nice if Vampires can smell blood. It's not necessary of course, there are lots of versions of Vampires and some of them don't have super senses at all. But if that's a thing Vampires can do, it's cool. And if having Blood sorcery just passively alerts you to the presence of spilled blood, that means that Vampires get to do that without that being a secret rule. They all get some Path of Blood for being Vampires, so they all get to do that.

    And if you want to be a Werewolf who tracks people by blood, which I think is a reasonably thematic life goal, all you have to do is grab yourself something off the Path of Blood and you get to be a Blood Wolf.

    -Frank
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    Judging__Eagle
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Jester Zero wrote:
    If each level of a discipline grants you +2 to Music Appreciation or whatever, that's easier to note on a character sheet than keeping track of flavor text perks that are otherwise free-floating.


    Only recently (like, last week) I came up with the solution of writing in the "title" of a sorcery or Universal power as an entry in and of itself. It's literally the only way to keep track of the fundamental abilities of any universal power or sorcery.
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    Judging__Eagle
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    erik wrote:


    I was looking over my google spreadsheet of the powers when I linked its thread for JE and was wondering why the heck Vigor was a temporary strength boost instead of a passive one. It was about 4 years ago, so i dunno where my head was at back then.

    But hey, I can edit it, so I'll do that.
    I reckon I'll amend the initiative pass celerity powers later. Maybe boosts to Agility. One power for a small passive, another to temporarily boost Agility for a scene.

    It looks like my rendition already had stripped passive bonuses from power sets, but included having things like having any necromancy sorcery grant you ability to interact with ghosts.


    Thanks for that spreadsheet. How much have you changed of it from base AS?
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    erik
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Judging__Eagle wrote:

    Thanks for that spreadsheet. How much have you changed of it from base AS?


    It was about 4 years ago, so my memory is a bit rusty

    For powers:
    • The devotions section got scraped, and powers bundled into universals, mostly.
    •Names got changed for a couple disciplines... but I think those might have been accepted in the general usage since then (Veil of Morpheus --> Sands of Morpheus, Trail of Tears --> Depths of Despair)
    • Patience of the Mountains got scrapped. Probably other powers did too, like the lame one where you could change your invulnerability to various materials.
    • Immortality now flows from a couple sorceries (Gift of Health, Light of Ennui)
    •Necromancy gives ability to manhandle spirits. Also see them.
    • Compel Spirits lets you send them away, or actually compel them to do bidding.
    • Ability boosts from Universals got dropped. Skill boosts dropped too. Sorceries mostly just give horizontal expansion with cute abilities.
    • I think the power distribution for monster PC choices got fiddled with some. I included a generic witch/wizard/mage that is pretty much a student of all 3 other realm arts.
    • Empty Body vs Phase body differentiated. (I think that was a change)

    more recent changes from just the last couple weeks:
    •Tweaked Vigor (passive Strength mod, but didn't specify the # maybe base it upon highest tier of Clout owned +1 for Basic, +2 Adv, +4 Elder)
    • Changed phase body to a complex action to switch back n forth, rather than a duration effect simple action.
    • Orphic renamed as Umbral (to fit with the other to -als)
    • nerfed Purify the mind from "Heal (cure?) madness in others" to "suppress madness in others". It may merit updating the action from extended-10 min to a shorter time req given this.

    things it needs:
    • get rid of initiative pass powers. Replace with temporary stat boosts and a few feat-like abilities
    • update with proposed new monster classes

    I had an electricity themed infernal sorcery, but left it out since that was a completely homebrew deviation.

    Anywho, feel free to make your own copy of the spreadsheet to edit as you see fit if you find it is a helpful tool.
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Sorcery and Universal powers need to be cleaned up a bit in terms of flavor. Some sorceries are powers that should probably be "always on", and some are actually non-dispelable, but Authority is also universal and dispelable.

    So we need to know what powers have you saying funny words or making signs or calling up rune circles in the air as you turn them on, because that shit has Masquerade effects that we care about.

    I'd split it out so that powers are Astral, Orphic, Infernal, or Universal. Universal just means "copies power source of whoever uses it". So every power use is always either actually or effectively part of one of the three power sources. This affects dowsing and counterspelling and resistance test bonuses.

    Then we have Spells and Talents. Spells have you saying funny words to activate them and Talents are the ones that are always-on. Talents might still break the masquerade (like walking up a wall) but you're not dedicating actions to turning them on and stuff (though you might spend power points as a free action to activate a Talent, such as with Vigor).
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    FrankTrollman
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Lokathor wrote:
    Some sorceries are powers that should probably be "always on", and some are actually non-dispelable, but Authority is also universal and dispelable.


    Needs consistent terminology.

    • Enchantment - an Enchantment is a continuous effect that can be dispelled.
    • Spell a Spell is a magical effect that can be countered while it is being activated.


    Sorcerous powers do not have to be spells or enchantments. You can't dispel a Golem's fire immunity. Every power should have tags on them to tell you if they are Spells or Enchantments.

    -Frank
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    How terribad would it be to rename "Universal" powers into "Psychic" powers? With the former, I always get looks of confusion (especially from players who haven't played much WoD), while the latter seems almost instantly grokable. I don't like the word, but I've found it is the easiest to understand label.

    It's likely that every edit I make to AS 1e are catering to the lowest common denominator. However, I've routinely found that bringing TGD content to more people leads to enjoyable game sessions.
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Other than Authority, most Universal powers aren't psychic though. I think that Universal is fine because it lets you take a moment to explain power sources when you get the blank look.

    "What's Universal?"
    "Well the other three groups are each linked to the power source of a hell plane. Universal powers are like general powers and they count as the power source of the user for detection and stuff."

    But yes, catering down the game to the masses is generally the best plan with any content from TGD. Our first and second and sometimes third drafts are usually too intricate for their own good.

    I like the enchantment term I think. So we have:

  • Continual (always on, no-dispel, but still clearly magic; Patience Of The Mountains)
  • Enchantment (lasting, might time out, but you can dispel it either way; Flesh Of Marble)
  • Instantaneous (happens and is done, but can be countered as its cast; Revive The Flesh)

    Do we want magic that times out but that you can't dispel before the counter is over? I don't think we want that to exist, but I guess Advanced Authority does that kinda at the moment.

    EDIT: to sound more magical we could call Continual magic "Intrinsic" or some such.
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    PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Problem (maybe): Due to the way that Resistance Tests work, it's impossible to activate a power and end up with exactly zero net hits. For most powers at least. Unlike with skill checks and attacks, the resistance test doesn't set the threshold, it reduces the hits, and then the threshold is almost always zero, but then zero hits makes the power fail.

    So, I dunno what to do about that one, but it seems weird.
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    PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    https://gist.github.com/Lokathor/5ba4eea5181b95fe2ca8aef47c179412

    I've done a first pass at a complete replacement to the Magic chapter for After Sundown. There are a few clean ups in the top matter, but most of the powers are the same as before, just put into a new format that gives a much more unified presentation. The biggest single change is that devotions are merged into the main disciplines. Also, almost no more passives tied to knowing levels in a discipline. There's a few fluff effects for knowing the discipline at all that are still in on some of them.

    It'll probably take some iterations to end up with a good arrangement of powers, replace the tier bonuses that people strongly cared about, things like that.
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    Last edited by Lokathor on Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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    pragma
    Journeyman


    Joined: 05 May 2014
    Posts: 144

    PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Great work! I really like the formatting. A few comments:

    * Why is there a dice entry on distant reflection? To generate hits in case a target tries counterspelling?

    * Would it make sense to pull the action type and power point cost into the bullet point description? What advantage do they have as part of the text?

    * Horrid Slumber and Adaptive Resilience are pretty vague. Are there plans to flesh them out?

    * I caught a yypo in Curse of Failure: "activatee"
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    Lokathor
    Duke


    Joined: 01 Nov 2009
    Posts: 2132
    Location: ID

    PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The dice stage down the time required to lock on to the reflection. I could add that note to the power.

    A rare few powers are multi-mode, so having the action tied to the effect as a paragraph allows that to look nice. Eg, Eyes of the Night, Bite of the Serpent, etc. Other than that its just stylistic choice I guess.

    Yeah lots of powers are still kinda not good.
  • Disciplines dont all have a clear theme. I consider the theme to be clear when someone can tell you the theme looking only at the effects of the powers.
  • Some Devotions should have not become universal.
  • Mesmerism and Authority merge? Hmm
  • Wouldn't hurt to just plain add some new powers in a few spots.

    There are a few typos im sure. I can spend some time on it this weekend i hope.
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    Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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