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3/06/2014 2:46 pm  #1


Magic

Hi there!

I have to say that I got Legendary BoL from a friend around a week ago with the one order: "Read it. Now". I complied and I have to say that I just LOVE it! Fantastic piece of rules-light rulebook. :D Great work here. I can only say that I would have put the info on backgrounds before the careers (it sounds more natural that way to me) and to express my somewhat puzzlement at the magic system. The rest is just plain amazing.

Now on magic.

I think magic works, and works well as a system. What I fail to see is how it related to the stories of Thongor and Conan. Basiucally, a fairly low level sorcerer (level 1 or 2) seems able to cast the BIG spells (2nd and third magnitude) without relying much in the extra perks. If he is powerful like the enemies of these heroes tend to be, the bad guy could reasonably cast the ritual without perks at all. As such, him waiting for the full moon, the virgin to be wrought in, the psycophants to chant for 2 months and the altar to be smeared in black goat blood seems somewhat unnecessary. He could cast it anyway without all these things to lower his energy requirements.

And then, he has a fairly large chance of failing miserably by rolling average and not reaching the target number. Even if our heroes are just stitting around doing nothing.

This is not what we see in the (great and cheesy) sword and sorcery genre. There we see months of preparation and all those perks being ABSOLUTELY IMPRESCINDIBLE (or a huge boon) to cast the spell. Reducing power is certainly adviseable (and mandatory if you do not have enough Arcane Power in your reservoir) but to a certain point. Maybe reducing the difficulty of the spell could be considered as a secondary bonus you could get from the extra perks? Like, -1 per perk that you do not dedicate to reducing the AC requirement. That would make the madman accumulation of perks something worthwhile, especially for the big spells.

Or maybe I am missing something?

ANy other alternative magic systems out there that keep the simplicity of BoL paramount?

Thanks!

Cheers,
Xavi

PD: seems firefox's corrector does not work here. Sorry for any typos.

 

3/06/2014 3:27 pm  #2


Re: Magic

A point worth mentioning about 2nd and 3rd Magnitude spells - Arcane Power is only recovered at the rate of 4 points per lunar month! Considering 2nd Magnitude spells cost 10 Arcane Power to cast and 3rd Magnitude cost 15 Arcane Power the magician won't be casting many spells unless he takes more Requirements to reduce the cost of casting.

The point about being able to reduce the Difficulty is, IMHO, very valid. Allowing a magician to use Requirements to offset Arcane Power cost and / or Difficulty would make for some interesting decisions.
 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

3/06/2014 6:39 pm  #3


Re: Magic

That might be relevant for PCs, but in general NPCs are unlikely to care much about AC recovery. And well, if you just blasted a city out of existance you ar eunlikely to find many eople retailating during the next 2 or 3 months anyway xD
The potential (fairly easy) failure of the BIG Ritual of Death (TM) due to a bad die roll is what makes me believe that a way to improve the success chances should be paramount for the guys casting the spell. Otherwise it seems difficult to understand some of the preparations being performed by the sorcerers in S&S stories if they could simply fire away and damn the world.

     Thread Starter
 

3/07/2014 12:53 pm  #4


Re: Magic

I don't entirely agree with your point about NPCs - I firmly believe that NPCs should be run much the same as PCs by the GM, with goals, ambitions, setbacks and challenges much as PCs have to face. As a result, I do believe the AC recovery issue should be significant to PCs and NPCs.

That said, as I said before, I wholeheartedly support your point about the option of using Requirements to actually give the spell a better chance of success. With this in mind, it seems a fairly simple houserule to say that each Requirement could be used to either reduce the AC cost by 1 OR reduce the Difficult by 1.

Another point - I notice that the Requirement lists do not mention the option of Group Rituals (ie the cultists all gathered around the sacrifical victim, chanting unmentionable, abominable and evil incantations while the sorcerer proceeds with summoning the demon from the pits of hell). Surely it would be worthwhile adding that in and coming up with a simple formula (maybe based on numbers and relative abilities) to help reduce the costs of AC and Difficulty as well.


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

3/07/2014 12:58 pm  #5


Re: Magic

Oh, and don't forget that casting Third Magnitude spells also means a point of Arcane Power is permanently lost (or exchanged for the permanent loss of an attribute point). NPCs should suffer this loss just as a PC does.
 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

3/10/2014 4:40 am  #6


Re: Magic

The GIT! wrote:

Another point - I notice that the Requirement lists do not mention the option of Group Rituals (ie the cultists all gathered around the sacrifical victim, chanting unmentionable, abominable and evil incantations while the sorcerer proceeds with summoning the demon from the pits of hell). Surely it would be worthwhile adding that in and coming up with a simple formula (maybe based on numbers and relative abilities) to help reduce the costs of AC and Difficulty as well.

I would have sworn that this was in the list. yeah, using that as a potential Requirement for sure

About the monthly recovery of AC, well I would say that a PC sorcerer would be more than willing to perform a 3rd magnitude ruitual form time to time. In fact, for some reason, it seems that is is *precisely* when they have PCs around that they try to perform those rituals. Dunno why http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png
In any case the sorcerers are likely to spend 3-6 months living out of their Evil Sorcerer (TM) adventure earnings when the adventure ends, more than enough to recover all their AC, like the PC do. I would say that NPC would do the same. We are playing the high starring light moment sof the life of the characters.

During the downtime they are also likely to spend some of their earned XP in recovering their lost attributes. If tthey have a strength of 0, for example, getting it back to 0 (fell to -1 after the ritual) only costs 1 XP. Not difficult. [Actually, rising the attribute from -1 to 0 *earns* you 1 XP if you apply the RAW, but that sounds so stupid that let's assume it costs 1 XP instead]

All this is precisely because NPCs *are* threated as player characters, and this is why they would not care much about the needed time to recover their AC. Not the other way around. And well, you always have the option of recovering 1 AC by sacrificing an innocent in a level 1 ritual. House rule territory, but suitably evil and sorcerous enough IMO

Cheers,
Xavi

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 9:32 am  #7


Re: Magic

Seems you cannot edit your messages (or I am too much of agrunt to be able to do so, at least )

What I will be doing next week with magic (because I know some of my players are magic nerds and will want to test the rules)

1. You need 1 requisite per magnitude. So a 2nd magnitude spell requires 2 requisites to work.
2. Oassed the point of required requisites, you can pile on extra requisites. Each extra requsite allows tyou to drop the cost 1 AC _OR_ diminish the difficulty level by 1.
3. 3rd magnitude spells grant you an automatic flaw. 4th magnitude spells grant you 2 flaws. The sacrifice of a nubile virgin allows you to bypass this effect.

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 10:27 am  #8


Re: Magic

The GIT! wrote:

Another point - I notice that the Requirement lists do not mention the option of Group Rituals (ie the cultists all gathered around the sacrifical victim, chanting unmentionable, abominable and evil incantations while the sorcerer proceeds with summoning the demon from the pits of hell). Surely it would be worthwhile adding that in and coming up with a simple formula (maybe based on numbers and relative abilities) to help reduce the costs of AC and Difficulty as well.

Yep. That'll need to go in. Good spot. I was just thinking aboutt that myself a few weeks ago and then promptly forgot.
 

 

3/10/2014 2:48 pm  #9


Re: Magic

Xavi wrote:

1. You need 1 requisite per magnitude. So a 2nd magnitude spell requires 2 requisites to work.
2. Oassed the point of required requisites, you can pile on extra requisites. Each extra requsite allows tyou to drop the cost 1 AC _OR_ diminish the difficulty level by 1.
3. 3rd magnitude spells grant you an automatic flaw. 4th magnitude spells grant you 2 flaws. The sacrifice of a nubile virgin allows you to bypass this effect.

1. I like the idea of a minimum number of Casting Requirements based on the spell's Magnitude.
2. This, I think we are agreed on, is definitely worth adding in as well.
3. First, as a minor point of detail - there are actually only thee Spell Magnitudes. Cantrips also exist but, for the purposes of this discussion, can probably be ignored. As a result, sticking with one flaw for Third Magnitude spells is probably OK (especially if you allow the sacrifice to bypass the flaw). On this point, I would clarify that the sacrifice should only be allowed to EITHER bypass the flaw OR reduce the Arcane Power OR reduce the Difficulty.

It's good to see that the ritual sacrifice still proves itself to be a very flexible option http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png


 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

3/10/2014 2:49 pm  #10


Re: Magic

Simon W wrote:

The GIT! wrote:

Another point - I notice that the Requirement lists do not mention the option of Group Rituals (ie the cultists all gathered around the sacrifical victim, chanting unmentionable, abominable and evil incantations while the sorcerer proceeds with summoning the demon from the pits of hell). Surely it would be worthwhile adding that in and coming up with a simple formula (maybe based on numbers and relative abilities) to help reduce the costs of AC and Difficulty as well.

Yep. That'll need to go in. Good spot. I was just thinking aboutt that myself a few weeks ago and then promptly forgot.
 

Excellent!


 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

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