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PleasingFungus
Oct 10, 2012

in my pope game,


ProfessorProf posted:



Giant Allege Part 7: Clients Dig Giant Robots

I just wanted to thank you for posting this writeup! I've really enjoyed it - might try to run the game, if I can sort out the logistics. Thank you again!

("If I cut their body deeply enough, they'll explode. That's what it means to be number one in power." Fantastic.)

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Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


A dracula hunter? No, this character specializes in one type of vampire.



We're hunting blackulas.

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.

Hipster Occultist posted:

The White Tower has a Ter'Angreal that prints out the cloth iirc.

edit: yeah here it is http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Fancloth_ter%27angreal

Ah! Thanks. That must come up in the books I haven't read yet then. This is the problem with me doing this off memory/where I'm up to in a reread without actually knowing the final stuff.

Although the people who wrote this sourcebook didn't either, so it's no huge handicap.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Count Chocula posted:

Night's Black Agents sounds cool. Can you use it to run a John Le Carre game without the supernatural nonsense?

You absolutely can! There's a short appendix at the end of the book that covers hacking the game to run something other than spies vs. vampires, and one of those is a straight-up non-supernatural spy setting.

quote:

I prefer Mirror, and I suggest an ex-IRA hard man who got left out after the last peace settlement. He still fights for the Irish people against the imperialist empire of English vampire.

Funnily enough, I just watched Ronin last night.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: 2ND EDITION - The Complete Psionics Handbook
Chapter 4 - PSYCHOKINETIC DEVOTIONS OR 90% OF THESE DEVOTIONS COULD HAVE JUST BEEN ROLLED INTO THE MECHANICAL EFFECTS OF TELEKINESIS

There's fourteen of these things and quite a few of them feel like they exist just so that they can arbitrarily gate off some of the more powerful sciences from first level psionicists. I can't believe there's actually an AD&D rules system that makes me nostalgic for the leveled spell lists of clerics and mages, but there would be less redundant and/or useless powers in the Psionicist's wheelhouse if Steve Winter didn't have to find some kind of artificial way of making them different from the other two casting classes.

Animate Object - You get to animate any object that weighs 100 pounds or less (tables or trees or whatever). There's a penalty to the attempt based on the type of material that the object is made of. The mechanical effect of this power? The object can move around in a weird, jerky motion, and it can also attack with a THAC0 of 20 and deal damage like a club. Kind of weird to me that there's not a separate table listing different damage types based on the weight/material of the object, especially given how spergy AD&D loved to get about the game rules modeling the physical reality of the game world.
POWER SCORE: Animation is smooth and lifelike. WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!

Animate Shadow - You can animate a shadow within 40 yards to dance around or move suspiciously or whatever. The book explicitly states that this power can't be used to create any kind of tangible effect (like maybe startling a mage and breaking his concentration) and basically exists so psionicists can amuse themselves when they're bored.
POWER SCORE / 20: The range is 100 yards / The shadow completely disappears for 1 round.

Ballistic Attack - Attack with a sling even if you don't have a sling, provided there's rocks or other small, loose things around that you can mentally fling at someone. You use your own THAC0 and the "bullet" deals d6 damage regardless of whatever you actually fling at your target; this is awesome because it means you could conceivably kill someone by flinging used tissues at them (the only mechanical requirement is that the object you throw has to weigh less than 1 pound). What's not awesome is that this devotion requires both a power check AND and an attack roll, so at lower levels you are exceptionally likely to have this power do absolutely nothing.
POWER SCORE / 20: The damage die is increased to d12 / WHOOPS you throw the object at yourself! Since you still have to make an attack roll, and I believe you can intentionally always fail a check, this may result in nothing happening. rear end in a top hat DMs are going to rule you automatically hit yourself with the stone which is great because if you hadn't critically failed the power check, you still don't automatically hit your target but whatever.

Control Body - Turn someone into your puppet. You have to make a second opposed check against your target's strength score immediately before this power takes effect or else the target is able to break free from your puppet strings; in practice this power is going to do dick and poo poo because a power score needs to roll low to succeed but the opposed check has to come in over your target's strength score, so until the psionicist is at such a high level that their power score comes in around 30, you're not going to get much mileage out of this power. Assuming you're trying to puppet a baby or a kitten, you can control all of the target's physical movements and make them dance or attack (using their THAC0 with a -6 penalty) or fart their own name or whatever. If you try to puppet them into a fatal situation (walking into lava, etc.) they get to make an immediate opposed roll again to break free of your control.
POWER SCORE / 20: You automatically win the first opposed test / You suffer paralysis in one arm or one leg (roll d4, figure it out) for d10 hours.

Control Flames - You can make non-magical sources of fire 100% larger or 50% smaller. You can make the fire look like a person or an animal and make it do an amusing dance. If you will the fire to move around past its fuel source, it completely dies out after one round. Otherwise your dancing fire horse can move 30 yards per round and deal d6 damage on an attack using your THAC0. This power doesn't place any limitation on the dimensions of a fire that can be effected, so RAW if there was an entire building that was on fire a psionicist with this power could make the fire turn into a bunny and hop away from the building and provided there's open space next to the building that won't immediately ignite, the fire will extinguish itself the next round. In Steve Winter's AD&D, all of the firemen are psionicists.
POWER SCORE / 20: The size change of the fire can range from 200% to 0% (meaning the fire is extinguished) / You burn yourself for d4 damage.

Control Light - You can make bright areas dark and vise versa. There's a whole chart detailing what degree of light can be reduced by what percentage of darkness but no one is ever going to use that table so I'm not typing it out here.
POWER SCORE / 20: The maintenance cost per round is reduced to 1 PSP / The opposite effect of what the psionicist wanted to happen immediately occurs and the power cannot be maintained.

Control Sound - Manipulate one sound to sound like something else (i.e. make the king's rousing speech sound like he's farting the star spangled banner out his mouth or whatever). You can't use this power to make sound arise from nothing however. You can use this power to muffle the screams of your murder victim or make some bandits think that a whole legion of guards are marching through their hideout.
POWER SCORE / 20 / 1: The maintenance cost per round is reduced to 1 PSP / An explosive noise originates from the psionicist's location (fart joke) / The sound you're trying to make comes out slightly garbled.

Control Wind - Make the wind blow harder or not as hard or change direction by 90 degrees. If you make the wind a lot stronger, flying things take a penalty to their movement. Not a lot of mechanical examples of this rule in action, but a reasonable DM will let you get away with some creative things.
POWER SCORE: You gain total control of the wind.

Create Sound - You can create a sound even if there wasn't any sound previously. Also known as speaking, clapping your hand, stomping your foot, etc. I am now wondering why this power was even necessary because Control Sound would allow you to change the sound of your own voice or of your hand clapping or of your foot stomping into whatever else you needed it to sound like. I guess Steve Winters wanted to make sure that mute, quadriplegic psionicists weren't left out in the cold.
POWER SCORE / 20 / 1: Sound volume can be as loud as a dragon's roar / An explosive noise originates from the psionicist's location (he reused the same fart joke) / The sound you're trying to make comes out slightly garbled.

Inertial Barrier - Make a shield of air around the psionicist that protects them from harm. They are protected from non-magical missiles (including things like +2 arrows of slaying but not magic missile), fire, breath weapon attacks, acid, gas, and falling. Only, each of the listed effects has a specific edge case where the effect actually does pass through an inertial barrier, rendering the skill kind of underwhelming. Also, it's completely unable to stop raw heat or cold, pure energy or light, and gaze effects. There's no mechanical description provided for the first two categories, so enjoy your round of "mother may I?" with the DM every time there's a debate about whether or not something should or shouldn't be effected by this power. Finally, the power doesn't just stop missile attacks from harming the psionicist (like protection from arrows because they still have to be inferior to mages), instead it just protects from some/all/none of the damage an arrow would have dealt. The barrier also stops your own ranged attacks from harming things on the other side of it, making this power situational at best.
POWER SCORE / 20: The barrier blocks an additional amount of damage per arrow / You knock yourself prone for one round.

Levitation - You can float up or down but you can't use this power to engage in horizontal movement. In order to do that you've got to get another power involved like control wind, which means spending more PSPs and possibly failing multiple power checks in order to crudely duplicate the same effect that a mage can just perform.
POWER SCORE / 20: The rate of levitation is doubled / You double your weight for one round.

Molecular Agitation - For some reason they decided not to call this power pyrokinesis even though that's exactly what it is. You can slowly make things start to smolder and eventually ingnite. It takes 3 rounds of concentration to actually make something other than paper or dry grass ignite/deal damage, so I'm not clear why you would use this power over just tossing a torch into the barn, but whatever.
POWER SCORE / 20: The speed at which things ignite doubles / One of the psionicist's belongings is randomly afflicted with this power.

Molecular Manipulation - You can make a thing slightly weaker such that when the thing suffers stress, it breaks. There's next to no mechanical support for this power; instead the book says that DMs should use their best judgment determining what kind of objects should be vulnerable and for how long a psionicist might have to focus to make an object breakable. Interestingly there's nothing RAW that stops a psionicist from using this power on a creature's heart or lungs or brain and then slapping them on the back or the head and basically instagibbing the target (because this power doesn't have any mention of saving throws for its effect), but I'm sure that's not something players would ever think of doing.
POWER SCORE / 20: Weakness occurs at twice the arbitrary limit your DM comes up with / The object in question is strengthened instead of weakened.

Soften - This power works just like the last one but it effects the entire object at once instead of just a vulnerable portion of an object. In reality, this power exists solely to gate disintegrate from first level psionicists. Another section where the DM is told to use their best judgement regarding how this power should affect objects of varying sizes and material. Steve started getting exceptionally lazy towards the end of this section, like even he realized he was just churing out powers to meet the pre-agreed upon minimum word content for the book.
POWER SCORE / 20: The item softens twice as fast / The item is strengthened instead of weakened.

IN CONCLUSION: Psychokinesis is at least a functional discipline, as opposed to Clairsentience. The Sciences are the heavy hitters in this school, and most of the Devotions really should have just been rolled into a more expanded description of what the telekinesis power can do. I think it's interesting that a lot of effort clearly went into preventing first level psionicists from learning disintegrate, but by the time you can get said power you can also get detonate which is functionally superior in every way. All together not a terrible place to spend your limited number of Sciences and Devotions, but I'd probably try to limit myself to one major power from this school, picking up telekinesis and either create object or detonate before moving on. All of the Devotions are near useless except that you need to take them in order to produce the more powerful effects from the Sciences.

NEXT TIME: CHAPTER 5 - Psychometabolic Sciences OR FOR WHEN YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO BE A DARK JEDI

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Great Ork Gods, Part 1: You're Green, You're Ugly, and the Gods Hate You

Great Ork Gods is a free indie RPG from 2004, and the system responsible for one of the best oneshots it was ever my priviledge to be a part of. Technically, it's just a preview of a final release, but the last update on the blog was in 2007, so I'm pretty sure that the preview release is all we're ever going to get. It is a comedic game about being stupid, ugly Orks, being as mean as possible, dying repeatedly, and killing your friends whenever it's even slightly beneficial or hilarious to do so.

The basic setup goes like this: First, you make an Ork. Chargen is dead simple, and should take a few seconds on the outside. In fact, you actually get stat penalties if you take more than ten minutes to finish making your Ork. An Ork character sheet consists of a name, an amount of Oog, and seven numbers pertaining to the titular Great Ork Gods.

You see, the race of Orks is ruled by seven mighty Gods, and the Gods hate the Orks. Your attributes, rather than being physical descriptors, are measurements of how much each God hates you. The higher the stat, the more likely you are to gently caress up at things related to that God's domain.

This is where it gets amazing: The players are playing not just the Orks, but also the Gods.

Once Orks are made, the players distribute the seven Great Ork Gods amongst the party, and then they get to play those Gods in addition to their Ork. If you, for instance, want to kill a human guard with an axe, then you need to appeal to the Great Ork God Slashings and Slayings, and the player controlling that God gets to - in character - decide, through divine mandate, how difficult your task is.

In the unlikely even that you should actually succeed at something, all this does is make the Gods hate you even more. Successful rolls against a God's domain allow that God to accumulate Spite points, which can be spent at the cruel whims of the players to make any roll more difficult at any time.

For an Ork, life is almost as unfair as it is brief. Most players are going to go through three or more Orks in a single session. The goal is not to work together as a valiant party - it's to be as Ork-like as you possibly can, and die in the funniest way possible.

Next: The Gods!

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

GimpInBlack posted:

There are definitely a few odd bits I'm not a huge fan of. What in particular do you hate about it?

An investigation based RPG is a great idea, but the way GUMSHOE has obsessive focus on it, doesn't look like much fun. The game feels more experimental, much like a Warhol movie, than enjoyable (also like a Warhol movie).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I much prefer the idea of presenting clues without making the PCs roll to spot them (in one sense or another), but the issue with Gumshoe is once I nab that idea there's not much left to the game itself.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I much prefer the idea of presenting clues without making the PCs roll to spot them (in one sense or another), but the issue with Gumshoe is once I nab that idea there's not much left to the game itself.

Exactly! I have run non- or minimal dice roll investigations in other systems and it worked great. GUMSHOE doesn't bring anything else except some seriously clunky mechanics.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core

Ars Magica character creation is, sadly, very complex. It follows a lot of steps and uses XP totals that you have to check against charts to see what level in what ability they give you. I use spreadsheets to make it easier, but I actually enjoy doing it. I'm weird that way. It does, however, provide you with very detailed characters.

Jacques d'Orleans, Jerbiton Magus

Jacques here is something of a specialist. He's Jerbiton, an educated and noble magus who is an accomplished musician and a specialist in travel spells, though he's somewhat careless with his magic. When he fucks up, it tends to be big. Very big, and often very strange. He has blackmail on at least one noble, and he plans to use it to get ahead.

You may notice that Blackmail is listed as a flaw. Flaws and Virtues come in two levels: Minor, which gives or costs 1 point, and Major, which is 3. Blackmail is a Minor Story flaw, which means it's actually mostly positive to take but is going to cause adventures. Minor Story flaws are usually positive; Major ones are mostly negative. You can only have one Story flaw, period. You can have up to two Personality flaws, only one of which can be Major - Jacques her is very Ambitious and has a minor Proud flaw. Careless Sorcerer and Weird Magic are Hermetic flaws, wizard-only. They mean that when he botches he spell, he really botches a spell.

Jacques got a fairly basic childhood package - he speaks French fluently, is decently passable at a few social skills and then got picked up for his 15-year apprenticeship. As an apprentice he, like all magi, learned to speak Latin, achieved basic literacy, learned good amounts of magic theory and the basics of the Parma Magica. He specialized in Corpus, body-affecting magic, and Terram, earth magic. He also focused on Creo and Rego, creation and control.

He has basic healing magic, teleportation magic (that he can only manage because of his specialization in travel), some body-control debuffs and rock-hurling. You get 120 levels of spell during your apprenticeship, with a hard cap based on your stats on the level of any single spell. Spell design is pretty simple - there are rules in the book for it, and it's pretty much all divisible by 5. After apprenticeship, Jacques spent five years practicing and learned Muto, change magic, and also learned how to create gold from nothing, grow people and shoot crystal darts. He's pretty well off that way. He is a pretty normal starting PC.

Wolfgang Krieger, Criamon Magus

Wolfgang is more of a study magus than Jacques was. His childhood XP mostly went to the very basics of survival and social skills. He's much more focused on what he learned after - theology, philosophy, greater understanding of the arts and the lore of both the Magic and Divine realms. He also possesses the innate ability to sense holy and unholy things, with a focus on the Good and holy side of things. Wolfgang also possesses Faith, granting him innate magic resistance. However, he is especially susceptible to Divine auras, which weaken magic, and he has trouble doing magic without his crucifix, thanks to his devotion and need to have God approve of what he does.

Wolfgang's magical focus is on knowledge (Intellego), control (Rego), the magic of the mind (Mentem) and metamagic (Vim). He has minor skills in creation magic as well, but not much. He learned that after his apprenticeship. Most of his spells are focused on control or understanding of the human mind. He also has wards against ghosts and demons. His primary control is the ability to make others see him as authoritative, or to put them to sleep. He can do basic mind-reading, too. He also knows the Aegis of the Hearth, a very important spell for parties because it lays a shield over your home base, weakening the magic of anyone who didn't take part in the ritual. Very important defensive ritual.

Like Jacques, Wolfgang spent five years after his apprenticeship ended learning more things - but unlike Jacques, he didn't learn much magic. Rather, he focused on theology, lore and philosophy. He's quite good at ritual magic but has relatively few ritual spells - he'll probably be looking into more of them in play, along with his research on the nature of divinity.

Leon the Sailor, Criamon Magus

Leon is different from the other two. Unlike them, he didn't become an apprentice at age 5, but age 15. He's just out of apprenticeship. Leon's early life was as a sailor. He had relatively poor social skills, but was a good swimmer and is considerably more physically adept than the other two, thanks to his years on the sea. He's still very good at sailing, too. However, his apprenticeship involved a Wizard's Twilight that drove Leon a bit mad. He's prone to greater Twilights now, and has occasional prophetic visions that he cannot control. He's become alcoholic as a result, and he simply cannot write a decent book to save his life - his rambling gets in the way.

He's an extreme specialist in Aquam magic, the magic of water, focusing on change (Muto) and control (Rego). He also knows Auram, air magic. He has little beyond the basic knowledge hammered into all magi, but he's very good at water magic - he learns it faster and easier, and he does it better. His spells reflect this, and include a spell that turns water to air as it enters the lungs, the ability to spread oil with his footsteps, control of waves or wind on a minor level, the ability to turn wind into a weapon and the ability to sense poison.

He's just barely out of apprenticeship, despite being older than the other two, and will likely want to bolster his skills - Aquam is truly at its best at high levels which he couldn't reach as an apprentice. He may want to dabble more in Creo or Perdo magic, too.

Next time: Non-magi!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core

You may have noted that almost none of our magi have skills above a 3 in pretty much anything but languages. That's pretty normal for magi. They care more about magic and tend to be decent at best at mundane tasks. Often they're just flat terrible. None of our magi have any real combat skills at all, either, except for casting spells. That's also pretty normal.

That's where Companions and Grogs come in. You play one Magus-level character, one Companion-level character and have a communal pool of Grogs. Companions are less potent than magi - they get fewer XP, but also have less to spend it on, since most of them can't do magic at all. Certainly none of the Companions we can build out of the core book. As a result, they tend to be significantly more skilled at a wide array of mundane tasks.

Carlos the Brave

Carlos is a Spanish knight. He's pretty notable for the fact that his highest stat is actually Presence, the primary social stat, rather than any of his combat stats. But still, he's a good fighter. He's spent 20 years getting drat good at it. As a knight, he gets access to the most expensive weapons in the game, and he specializes in them - specifically, the longsword. Swords cost. He's amazing with a sword, and pretty good at most social skills, too.

Of course, unlike magi, Companions need to spend time maintaining their lifestyles. However, Carlos is a wealthy knight, having probably inherited a lot of money and, in general, being very good at his job. He only has to spend one season a year out working, and has three free seasons to do whatever he likes. He's also very good at inspiring others to great shows of courage. He's illiterate, of course, but that hardly matters when you're a self-sufficient, inspiring warrior who can woo the ladies, hobnob with the nobles and kill bandits with extreme skill.

Of course, Carlos is not without his problems. He suffers the Curse of Venus, a major Story flaw. Essentially, people fall in love with him a lot. People who really, really shouldn't. The local lord's wife, evil witches, mad faeries...Carlos lives a very interesting life. He's also extremely proud and overconfident, and...well, don't let him lead the group. He's going to get you lost. This can make his escapes from those aforementioned ill-advised lovers very difficult.

Father Francois

Father Francois is not a combatant Companion. He's got no combat skills. That's okay, though - he's clever and sociable. He has social skills that are much better than those of most magi, and without the Gift to hobble him. Plus, he's got Faith, granting him magic resistance, and a piercing gaze that often makes people break down and tell him the truth. Plus, he's very well-educated. Better than most magi, actually - he can speak Latin as well as they can, but has much greater understanding of theology and the Artes Liberales. And he's a great teacher - the person whom the magi will likely come to if they want to learn anything he knows. Between his teaching skills and his understanding of human nature, he's quite a useful man to have around.

Of course, it's not all good. Father Francois is a Black Sheep - the Church does not appreciate his openminded acceptance of many heresies or his closeness to the magi. He has few friends among them, and his presence is likely to make Church relations worse, not better. He's extremely pious, as well, and doesn't like it when he has to break God's laws. And, of course, he has a vow of celibacy to uphold, but that's not too onerous.

Of course, he spends a good two seasons out of the year preaching and administering to his flock, and so is unavailable in that time for adventuring.

Richard Breton

Richard is another warrior. He's a mercenary captain, so he comes with a small team of warriors. (That's not hard, though - pretty much every covenant has a small team of warriors.) His primary skills are: murdering people, being tough as nails and speaking multiple languages. He's a good leader and a skilled tracker, though he's only okay at social skills. He has a fairly similar build to Carlos, actually, but with less focus on social skills and more on multiple weapons.

Richard, specifically, is built to handle a two-handed warhammer in most cases, a bow at range and, if he really needs defense over power, swapping to a shield and any one-handed weapon he can get his hands on. He's also pretty sneaky, as far as warriors go. Of course, his heavy scarring and missing ear make him frightening to most people, and he's not very good at telling where sounds come from. He's also prideful and prone to anger. He's the eldest of our three Companions, so he had the most XP to work with, which is why he has so many weapon skills.

Grogs are the next step down. Grogs lack one trait both magi and Companions get: Confidence. Confidence is basically something you can spend to get bonuses to rolls. Grogs don't get it. They also can't take Story flaws or Major flaws of any kind, and can have a fewer number of Flaws in general.

He has two seasons a year running his company and making mercenary money.

Jane Barleycorn

Jane here is a British minstrel. She's small, reckless and gets into everyone's business, but she's great at music and learning about what's going on. She also has a supernatural ability - her voice is enchanting, such that it can induce emotions in listeners, regardless of her musical skill. She's not trained that power much, though.

Jane is a great musician and good at most social skills. She's also a minor thief, but she's not very good at it. She has very little in the way of combat skill - about all she can do is try not to get hit. But since she's not a very important character at all, that hardly matters. She is very young, only a few years over minimum age for a Companion (generally around 15). Her social skills could make her a valuable information gatherer for a covenant.

Klaus the Scarred

Klaus here is a combat grog. He's angry and he hates nobles - probably thanks to some event in his past which may at some point come up, but probably won't. He's a grog, his backstory is frankly unimportant. He's an excellent mace-fighter and decent with a bow, plus a great hunter and wilderness guide. Very handy to have around on a long journey through the wilds.

His social skills are decent at best, but that's not why he's kept around anyway. He can manage a stable if push comes to shove, he's athletic and alert, and he makes for a great camp guard and warrior. Don't expect him to be a leader or anything, though. And, of course, like pretty much everyone in this post that isn't a priest or clerk, he's illiterate.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles here is a very basic grog. He's a clerk, employed largely as a go-between for other mundanes and a scribe. He's pretty good at that - he is literate, for one, and can read and write in Latin as well as French and basic German. Very handy - he can copy books, though not books of magic. He needs a basic education in magic theory for that. More importantly, however, he's a steward, and a skilled one. He'll be the one organizing payrolls and managing the other grogs for your magi, serving as a buffer for the Gift and generally keeping things running smoothly.

That's a very important job, even if he's not a very important character. He'll also do well as a merchant and social character when needed, and can handle the stables if no one else with more skill is around. He's also got a basic understanding of the civil and canon laws, especially the laws and customs of Germany. That may never be useful for most people, but if it comes up, he's handy to have around.

(Of course, Gilles' early-onset arthritis means his use as a scribe is limited - his hands can't take it.)

Next time: Covenants

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 20:50 on May 5, 2013

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


homeless poster posted:

ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: 2ND EDITION - The Complete Psionics Handbook

I could not be more about all these old games.

I am super glad I started RPGs when I did. Every time I read about what games were like before then, it all sounds like they were custom made to be exactly what I would hate.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




I think it's most amazing how unevenly distributed the focus on playable mechanics is in the older stuff. Something trivial like mental-combat gets this entirely hackneyed system poorly stapled onto the already bloated combat mechanics, but other things like powers that give you the ability to create matter or turn one thing into another thing or control fundamental universal forces get little to no mechanical support and tell the GM "just go hog wild!" with regards to interpreting and implementing said powers.

In a way, it's kind of like watching the games that children would develop versus a professional game published for money. At first everything is nebulous and poorly defined and there's clear abuses of the rules going on that everyone just kind of accepts, and as the game progresses everything becomes more uniform and more evenly balanced and implemented.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


One thing to realize when playing those older games there just wasn't much of a focus on "doing it by the book" in most groups. I mean, I'm sure there was somebody that used all the Speed Factor rules and the Armor Class by Weapon charts in AD&D, but I've never known them. There was a much greater tendency to only use RAW when it worked, and discard it at all other times. I don't think I ever actually understood Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness' combat system when I was running it, and there was just no knowledge that there might be a better way at the time.

Which only lasted until I encountered GURPS, which for all its foibles, had the advantage of perhaps being the first well-edited and designed game I ever played, and shocked me out my complacency regarding rules.

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




I really love how most of 2nd ed psionics is poo poo, except for the few things that are just op as gently caress. That one power that just straight up absorbed all kinetic energy you came into contact with, which you could then expel in a hit meant my psioncist would get ready for battle by falling off of tall objects.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Alien Rope Burn posted:

One thing to realize when playing those older games there just wasn't much of a focus on "doing it by the book" in most groups. I mean, I'm sure there was somebody that used all the Speed Factor rules and the Armor Class by Weapon charts in AD&D, but I've never known them. There was a much greater tendency to only use RAW when it worked, and discard it at all other times. I don't think I ever actually understood Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness' combat system when I was running it, and there was just no knowledge that there might be a better way at the time.

That's actually a really good point. I know that when my friends and I were actually playing AD&D the version of the psionics rules that we interpreted were way different from what I'm finding now that I'm combing through the book. I think though that the reason so many groups disregarded the majority of the rules as written in older games was because they just didn't work. We might not have had the experience at the time to adequately explain why they didn't work, but we ended up tossing them because they either slowed the game to a crawl or were too easy to abuse or some other of a plethora of possible follies.

It's also interesting reading through a lot of this material again and seeing what I'd have a problem with now versus what I'd have had a problem with as a kid. I can definitely see my middle school friends having a poo poo fit over a psionicist getting disintegrate at level three, but having no problem whatsoever that a wizard can just use sleep to immediately end low level encounters. I feel like I've gotten to experience the sweet spot of gaming where my childhood was all the bizarre rules and corner cases and hilarious abuses, and now that I've gotten older game design has grown up with me (to an extent).

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Part 3: More Tales than Tales

But first, some more feats.

    Chaotic Aura: Everything just seems to go wrong aroud you. Anyone within range, or anyone who's just moved out of it, cannot use or benefit from Flanking or Aid Another, nor can they take 10 or 20 on any skill check.
    Fearsome Violence: Any opponent who sees you kill a living creature must make a WILL save (difficulty scales with how many you've killed already this encouter) or be shaken.
    Frivolous Pleasure: Tantric energy surrounds any area in which you have had a sexual encounter within the past 24 hours, repelling undead and speeding up healing.
    Ganguro Beauty: A Tokyo fashion craze from years ago, where young women bleach their hair blond and bake themselves brown in tanning booths. I always thought it was ugly as hell, but Fields apparently thought they rated a daily bonus pool that can be applied at will to CHA-based skill checks.

    Heavenly Virgin (female only): You radiate an aura of childlike purity which protects you from demonic attacks and frustrates their actions while in your presence. Benefit is lost for 24 hours after engaging in consensual penetrative sex. I think I covered this one already, but here's a refresher, since it gets a couple of optional extras in this book:
    Glimpse of Heaven: You can make your aura of purity visible CHA mod+2 times per day, with any one of a number of effects: target makes a WILL save, or you "instantly improve [their] attitude by one category" ; holy bonus to next CHA-bases skill check, Intimidate exempt; expend two charges to cast Sleep at character level; or expend three charges to remove the fatigued or exhausted conditions from any willing creature you touch. Targets receive no saving throws if you're at least partially nude, though, since the light shines out of your cooch. Of course it loving does.
    Heavenly Exhibition: CHA mod+1 times per day, you can spend a full round masturbating and cum "a spectacular fountain of golden or rainbow colored plasma" which burns outsiders, undead and hostile fey with holy damage.

    Lesser Toymaker: The ability to make Living Toy servants (shapes limited to humanoid or smaller fantastic creatures) with a Craft check and a sacrifice of "memories and life energy" in the form of XP. Another baseline requisite feat with expansions and add-ons:
    Dark Toymaker (requires evil alignment): Instead of your own XP, murder a child or children to give your creation Hit Dice.
    Master Toymaker: Harder skill check and higher price, but you're no longer limited in the shape or size of the Toys you can make.
    Toymaker's Secret: Instead of semi-sentient items, the Living Toys you create are fully alive, first-level characters. Roll 'em up!

    Masochistic Willpower: Immune to pain-based attacks. Also, bonus to WILL (or Craft, Perform or Profession checks for whatever reason) after taking 5 or more points of damage in a single round.
    Memento Mori (undead only): Any time you make ay sort of skin contact with a living sentient, the target must make a WILL save or be shaken for a couple of rounds. If the contact is sexual, the save's DC and penalty are increased. Can be temporarily suppressed with a Concentration check.
    Mind Rape: Cumulative bonus to Intimidate checks for every four hours you've kept the target in continuous bondage. Spend an action point during torture, and you can force them to make a WILL save vs. permanent WIS damage.
    Mysterious Lover: You can attempt to wipe the details of your appearance and identity from anyone with whom you have sex. The victim gets a WILL save.

    Pony Pretender: By putting on hoof boots and plugging a tail into your butt, you "unlock ancient equine power within you", transforming yourself into a sort of human-pony hybrid. You cannot speak normally or use your hands while dressed up, which also means you can't take the costume off by yourself. You can, however, communicate with any equine as a Speak With Animals spell effect, and you get rather large bonuses to your STR, CON, and land speed, the last despite tromping around on all fours.
    You may also designate a single rider as your master/mistress. Designating a new one requires 4 to 6 hours of "intense" sex. If your rider has any mounted combat feats, they may use them while mounting you. You share an Initiative score in combat, but since you're sentient, no Ride check is necessary to command you, unless you and your rider take opposing actions, in which case the DC is your WILL save.
    It's not all friendship and magic, though: for every 24-hour period in which you have spent any time in costume, you suffer 1d4-1 points of temporary INT damage. This damage cannot be healed while you remain in-role, and if you ever drop down to 2 INT this way, the transformation becomes permanent. And remember, you can't take this costume off yourself.

    Slave Harem: When taking this feat and each time you gain a character level, you obtain a number of slaves equal to 5 times your CHA mod. Each slave is built as a character with a single Ordinary Level, any common PC race, and a standard array of ability scores. The initial number requires no game effort on your part ("Submissive souls seem drawn to you instinctively."), but any that are slain, rebel, or are sold must be replenished.
    Transformative Dominance: By spending an action point while engaged in a "transgressive" sexual act, your partner must make a WILL save or have their personality and alignment rewritten to your specifications. This lasts until they gain a level, when they can make another WILL save to try and shake off your control. Even if they shake it off later, though, they "secretly long for your dominance" ever afterward, suffering a penalty on WILL saves from this feat or any similar abilities. FIIIIIIIEEEEEEEELLLLDS!!

Fields fills out the remaining page space with a plug for his post-apocalyptic sourcebook, Cruel Evolution, and then it's time for some more world-building.

The Akashita Winds

A cold wind that blows down from the mountains of the Black Else, "swooping with a sound like women screaming" across the Tatakama, and touching the Earth Realm with strangeness and melancholy. This occurs most often in late autumn, and has been recorded multiple times throughout Japan's history; in fact, the "Divine Wind kamakazi" is an aspect of these Winds.

Its mundane effect is a rainy cold front and a drop in temperature across an area rougly the size of a large city, lasting several hours. On the eldritch side, the membranes between worlds are at their weakest while the Winds blow. All undead in the area gain 4 turn resistance, and any necromantic spells cast have their numerical effects maximized; all living creatures receive an insight bonus to Craft: Visual Arts and Knowledge: Arcane Lore or Theology/Philosophy checks.

The Akashita Winds have also been traced as the awakening catalyst for numerous breeds of oni, and the opening of new trans-realm portals, all of which is cause for concern among Black Tokyo's heroes. The arrival of a Wind may be predicted with a Knowledge: Arcane Lore check. Success means you know the duration and location of the next Wind, plus the arrival time within 12 hours minus 2 for each point by which you exceeded the DC.

Fashion Club Nekomimi - Tokyo, Japan

An exclusive Nekomusume bordello in Black Tokyo's financial district, catering to salarymen on break. Except then it says that annual club dues run into the millions, and membership is only extended to Japanese men from wealthy families that have produced at least one magic user within the last generation. Mundanes and outsiders, especially foreigners, are not wanted.

In addition to the whorehouse standard private rooms, the club features an excellent bar and a live stage show where audience participation is encouraged. There are also monthly Nekomusume shows, where cat-girl enthusiasts bring their pets to compete for the titles of Best In Show, Best In Breed, and Best Lover. As exploitative as this sounds and is, it's apparently still pretty much the best place in the country to be a Nekomusume, as the race has no legal status in Japan, making abuse and neglect the norm.

The Gathering of Flowering Bodies - underneath Tokyo

An entire self-contained ecosystem of fungal Kijimunna exists in the deepest of the city's sewer lines, flourishing in the fertilizer-rich sludge it produces. Hardly anyone on the surface knows it exists, and hardly anyone down below is really aware of the city above them, either, and that's the way they like it. The collective is governed by a few adults, some of the oldest of their kind remaining on Earth. Aside from the occasional attack by some elemental predator still wandering the bones of the world, life is kinda gross, but good.

Hokusai Spring - Okinawa, Japan

Hey, wait a second. Why does Fields keep emphasizing Japan in the locations? Everything's in Japan in this game. Plus, it's not like there's an Okinawa, Virginia for anyone to get confused about. Is there? Maybe another Tokyo, I could see, but still. Whatever, just a stupid little detail that dawned on me as I was typing this out. Moving on.

The rural island of Okinawa is nominally a part of Japan, but possesses its own culture, language, and identity. This makes it the perfect place for the setting to populate with fading fantastic races such as Kitsune, Koropokkuru and Kijimunna. The Hokusai Spring, a natural onsen that's stood for over a hundred years, serves as a gathering place, where the monsters can meet and relax in the company of their own kind, and in their true shapes.

The Spring is also popular with transgender mortals, particularly those whom modern science and conventional medicine have either failed or rejected. Mystical perfumers use the Spring's water to craft Perfection CHange Soap, an ancient alchemical marvel that can reshape one's gender "like a sculptor reimagines clay".

posted:

The Tatakama-folk who frequent the onsen, even the evil ones, have acquired a grudging respect for the 'little human changersí. More than one transgendered visitor returns to their home country in a new body, having made a lifelong friend from another realm- changed far more than s/he could of ever imagined. At least the TSTV humans who appear at the onsenís gates know the liberating value of the shapechanging gifts that all too many of the Tatakamaís creatures are all too jaded with. Itís not worship, not like the old days, but it will do...

Marine Corps Base - Okinawa, Japan

posted:

The storyís reported in Stars & Stripes, the US militaryís official daily newspaper, and on the local news, but nobody pays attention anymore. Another rape by a US serviceman. Another in a long line of atrocities and violent sins. Just another rape: another school girl or woman from a singleís bar, her body invaded and defiled by some American.

Story time! Way back in 1968, a joint mission between the United States' supernatural task force, Department Seven, and their Japanese counterparts, Chrysanthemum Seven, went into the jungles of North Vietnam to exorcise a fearsome ushi-oni who reveled in the atrocities and genocide taking place there. Answering only to "the Revered Shogun", the oni proved too powerful to kill and too clever to be contained. So what was to be done?

Well, as it happened, the would-be exorcists noticed two facts about the Revered Shogun: first, that it took particular delight in corrupting and destroying American Marines over any other mortal, leading some of the exorcists to theorize it was once a Japanese soldier who died there in the Second World War; and second, that playing its diabolical games left the demon at its weakest and most tractable state. So, a prison was carved beneath Marine Corps Base Okinawa (yeah, that's apparently the whole name of the place). A flaw was built into the prison by design, just enough of a flaw that the demon's corruptive influence could escape over a period of years, working "like moral radon gas" on the soldiers stationed above. Hence, the periodic and seemingly random rape cases: a ploy to keep the Shogun from becoming bored and restless enough to make a concerted effort at breaking its prison and inflicting even greater evils upon the world.

Only a few very highly-placed agents in either Department Seven or Chrysanthemum Seven know of the Revered Shogun, and the number with any conclusive proof of its existence can be counted on one hand. Anyone coming close to the truth is assassinated, but there are still many who suspect some supernatural cause behind the island's troubles. Even the militantly feminist Sisterhood has gradually come to believe that the raped are perhaps not the only victims; here, and here alone, do they give captured sexual predators a single chance at repentance and redemption before putting a bullet through their head.

Mansion Inugami - Shijuku District, Tokyo

Half-forgotten between the skyscrapers of the busiest shopping district on the planet is a tiny, dusty building that's stood practically unchanged since the Edo period (the most recent addition was a flashing neon sign placed in the front window back in 1962). Mansion Inugami is equal parts pet shop and slave market, a place where the ultra-wealthy can purchase a Nekomusume sex-slave or commission a Harem Mage's talents. The true owner is a mystery, but the store is operated by a succession of elder oni, all in the guise of a quiet old Japanese man in a traditional kimono. Service is completely unrestricted; so long as they have the money or the barter to exchange, anyone or anything is welcome. The oni behind the counter will always honor the letter of any agreement, but will frequently and viciously twist its intent given even half a chance. Nothing personal, they say, it's simply tradition... after all, would anyone willing to bargain with an oni expect anything less?

Okiku Furniture - Kyoto, Japan

Up top, just another factory churning out cheap furniture for Japan's office cubicles and micro-apartments. In the basement, behind a peeling yellow door, an ancient Ironclub Oni named Kajaku works his craft, ripping the living souls from dying bodies and trapping them in beds, chairs, or worse things, made from the leather of what was once their flesh. The victims retain just enough of their minds to suffer unendingly in the humiliation of their new forms. There is no way to reverse this process, either, the best that can be done is to put them out of their misery. There's no shortage of business, as Japan's richest and most evil men pay to have their enemies cursed with immobility, and anyone who recognizes Kajaku's agents coming for them will almost invariably commit suicide rather than risk capture.

Studio Sayaka GO! - Aichi, Japan

A small collective of animators and manga artists working out of a converted apartment block, Studio Sayaka GO! is a moderately successful but unremarkable producer of hentai, cashing in on whatever anime-culture fad is in vogue this month for a quick yen. It's also one of the last great surviving "magical schools", where the senior artists will teach the art of the Harem Mage to anyone with the talent to learn and the patience to spend a few years doing tedious fill-in art first. They keep mostly to themselves, but when roused into action (usually by some favor they need from Black Tokyo's occult community), they always distinguish themselves with their contributions, and are credited with saving the world no less than twice.

Tokyo Bureau of Mythological Sanitation

The TBMS is a recent addition to Japan's national budget. Its mission is the humane disposition of Tokyo's wide assortment of supernatural pests, in particular the semi-feral packs of abandoned Nekomusume who prowl the streets at night. The problem with this is that the pay is meager, respect is non-existent, and the only weapons they're given are tranq-guns which have little to no effect on any of the far more numerous and far more formidable threats hunting the same easy prey, nor the occasional Sisterhood mage working to prevent the felinoid's gradual genocide. So the bureau ends up with only two types of employees: sexual sadists who sign on for a steady and legal supply of victims, and those who have reached the end of their rope, and thus lack the energy or the compassion to do anything more than clock in, clock out, and check the Help Wanted ads for any other way to keep body and soul together.

That's it for Chastity and Depravity. Next time: one final entry which, if not peak Fields, is undoubtedly peak Black Tokyo. I can't wait!

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


ProfessorProf posted:

ORKZ ORKZ ORKZ ORKZ ORKZ!

This looks like it should make up nicely for being born too late to play Gorkamorka back in the day.

TOIME FOR FOOTSLOGGIN', BOYS!

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.



The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game

13: Conquerers' Creature Catalogue

So there actually aren't that many creatures in here, and it makes sense. Most of the series, anything that isn't a human threat comes from two rather limited sources: Shadowspawn, engineered monsters from the War of Power way back when, or "exotic creatures" that the Seanchan armies brought with them. Humans are statted up pretty solidly in the classes, as the game sees it, so you get a total of 17* creatures in here, and 4 of those are animals you'd see in real life (mountain cats, wolves, horses, and, you guessed it, RATS, under "vermin").

* Give or take. You could argue you get a few more given that some of these come in child/adult or greater/lesser varieties.

Well, except I kind of lied, because most of the Seanchan stuff is "(animal) but (spiky/bigger)". Sometimes I feel lazy in these writeups and most of these don't have any cool tricks, so... comedy creature cavalcade!


Imagine a herd of these things running across a plain and try not to bust out laughing.

A Corlm is a chocobo. We cool on that? Okay, good. Don't ride it, these things are vicious and smell you coming for a mile off.


Too bad we have a smug Smaug already or this'd be the perfect face for "prick-rear end reptile"

Grolm are battle-frogs. Not even kidding: "A Grolm is roughly the same shape as a frog but [...] has three fierce eyes protected by a horned ridge, a horny beak, and clawed, six-toed feet." +10 to Jump and somehow they have trip as a special attack. Imagine how much poo poo you catch from other soldiers if this thing somehow trips you in the middle of a battle, they describe these things in the novels as being "bear-sized". Seriously, does it just leap at you and then sweep your leg? How does that even...


Dire CHUD

Lopar are described as "the most dangerous Seanchan creature". I have abso-loving-lutely no idea how they came to this conclusion, given it's a "C" rank, and given that s'redit exist. (More on them shortly.) These things aren't incredibly bright, but tend to be rather friendly, and are used as bodyguards for nobles: you get the lopar used to the kid early, and they'll fight to defend them with their lives as they grow. The kids might hit 6 feet, but the lopar's gonna hit 10+ and weigh roughly a ton. I like to think of them as nature's bouncer given another descriptor: "When used for battle, lopar are normally fitted with a leather coat (+2 Defense) that protect's the creature's spine, chest, and belly." Imagine this thing in a leather jacket outside of a club turning people away. C'mon. It's pretty funny.


Let's be honest with ourselves here: riding drake.

Raken are flying horses, more or less. Horse-sized, carry small jockeys who wield spears, can be ridden to death.


WHAT

S'redit arFUCK YOU THAT'S AN ELEPHANT


Somehow it is shameful to ride this, when compared to their crappy cousins. I dunno either.

To'raken are the raken's bigger, meaner relative. Huger, longer range, and can fly 200 miles without stopping with 1000 pounds of cargo in its grasp, rider be damned. These guys are large enough you can fit multiple riders on them, it mentions sometimes there's a pilot and then crossbowmen (yes, plural) just seated behind them. How the gently caress do they find LEADING CRAZY AERIAL COMMANDO DEATH RAIDS to be the less honorable option than "riding the moped of the sky"? Seanchan are weird.


Yet another riding lizard. "Exotic" my rear end

Finally, Torm are an offshoot of Grolm that have solid stamina and run long distances instead of leaping. Also you can ride 'em. This is made even stupider, if you ask me, by the fact that Grolm can LEAP ACROSS BATTLEFIELDS (get a dude with a spear on there are you all idiots, you'd literally have a Dragoon Corps) as a specialty, and meanwhile Torm will actually start to frenzy if they're in a fight for long, attacking everyone but their rider and an especially close trainer. So in the middle of a battle suddenly you've got all your cavalry turning berserker and cutting up anyone nearby indiscriminately, maybe cutting through your OWN people. Good show, you tactical twits.

I'm just saying, there's probably a reason these guys have all these animals nobody on this continent has ever seen before, and yet still get loving schooled most of the time. Spoilers, I guess.

Next Time: Shadowspawn!

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007



Holy poo poo FIEEEEELDS

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core

A covenant, of course, is the term used for an organized group of magi and assorted hangers-on. It is, in a way, a character as well - one that's made by the collaboration of the entire party. It is the home base of the party and it will strongly influence the game. Covenants are traditionally classed into four types by the Order. Spring Covenants are just starting out, with few resources and few magi, most of whom are very weak. Many Spring Covenants don't make it. You play in a Spring Covenant if you want to be pioneers, possibly lacking even standard buildings when you start if you really want to go ground-up. A Summer Covenant refers to a firmly established covenant that is still growing. A long Summer is best. Playing in a Summer covenant means you don't really have to worry about the place collapsing, but you're also not the oldest or most powerful magi around. Still, Summer covenants are usually not so organized that the elders are giving orders, so you're generally free to do what you like.


You thought I was kidding when I said the Aegis was one of the most important spells in the game?

An Autumn Covenant is living off the fruits of past glory, but has not yet begun to decline seriously. The most powerful covenants in the Order are Autumn, for the Autumn after a long Summer can last for centuries. There are two real ways to play an Autumn Covenant. First, you could be the youth of the covenant, having to work for the elders...or you can be the elders in charge. Being junior magi is good for players who have no real idea what to do but like the idea of the game, since their seniors will serve as bosses for a time, and as they succeed they'll get more and more independence. (Also their seniors may die of old age.) Playing elders is really only for very experienced parties, not least because the first step is creating elder magi, and even the book thinks this isn't exactly an easy task and requires you to understand the magic rules intimately.

A Winter Covenant, meanwhile, is one in heavy decline, on the way to death. Winter Covenants tend to be filled with old and eccentric magi who have little interest in recruiting. However, sometimes new blood does get brought in, and the Covenant moves around to Spring once more. Pulling a Winter Covenant back to Spring is a fun idea, especially if you want the freedom of Spring with the history and grandeur of an older covenant. The primary difference is that a Winter Covenant still has a few old magi hanging around, both far older and more potent than the PCs, but also usually obsessed with their own obscure research.

Designing a covenant involves another complex subsystem to determine what kind of useful books, stocks of vis, vis sources and other resources (like specislist craftsmen and so on) are on hand. The more interest part is the part with the Hooks and Boons. These are like Virtues and Flaws, except for a full Covenant. Boons are good things, while Hooks are stroy-causing things, often problems. Hooks and Boons can be major or minor, though some can only be one or the other. The core has a fairly short list of them, so I'll just give 'em to you. A Covenant must have the same value of Hooks and Boons, with minors worth 1 and majors worth 3.

Hooks
Unknown: Only the GM (or, in troupe play, only one player) knows what the Hook actually is. An Unknown Hook is always a minor Hook, but counts as a Major one, pointswise. The characters do not know what it is, and will discover it in play. If you don't really want to do troupe play, the Unknown hook isn't really appropriate.
Beholden: As a minor Hook, the covenant owes favors to someone or something, perhaps a bishop, lord or magical being, who can't give orders but can ask for help. As a major Hook, they can give the Covenant orders, though the covenant still decides how to carry them out.
Contested Resource: This is always a minor Hook, and it means that someone or something contests the covenant's control of one of its resources, and typically an adventure to secure the resource is required once every five years or so.
Monster: As a minor Hook, a powerful creature lives nearby, and is too powerful to be defeated immediately. As a major Hook, the thing lives inside the Covenant.
Politics: As a minor Hook, the covenant is deeply involved in Hermetic politics. As a major Hook, it's deeply involved in mundane politics and will have to dodge Quaesitor investigations.
Poverty: As a minor Hook, the Covenant only has the cash on hand for day-to-day matters and will need an adventure to find funds for anything big. As a major Hook, the covenant basically has no mundane resources at all and even getting daily food will take adventures.
Protector: Always a minor Hook, the Covenant is responsible for protecting something like a village, magic grove or weaker covenant.
Regio: As a minor Hook, there is a regio near the covenant but not inside it, and the magi don't know what's in the regio. As a major Hook, things live inside the regio and occasionally come out and cause trouble. If the regio isn't a Magical one but of another realm, that's another minor Hook.
Rival: As a minor Hook, someone is working to undermine the covenant. They can be weaker, so long as they can still cause problems worth telling stories about. As a major Hook, they are trying to destroy the Covenant and have the resources and power to do so.
Road: As a minor Hook, the Covenant is on an important mundane road, river or trade route, so people often show up. As a major Hook, the road is a mystical trail of some kind, so the visitors are usually magical beings.
Superiors: As a minor Hook, the PCs aren't in charge and don't have access to all the covenant resources, but can't be ordered around. As a major Hook, they can be given orders and must obey.
urban: As a minor Hook, the covenant is in a small market town which it does not rule. As a major Hook, it's a major city (and still unruled by the covenant).

Boons
Aura: As a minor Boon, the entire covenant gets a stronger magical aura, making magic easier. As a major Boon, only a limited part of the covenant does. (You do this because it's not safe to be in an extremely powerful aura all the time.)
Buildings: Always a minor Boon, there is an additional large and important building on the covenant, like a tower or library or gatehouse.
Fortifications: As a minor Boon, the place has fortifications enough to fight off an assault but not a siege. As a major Boon, it could even withstand a heavy magical assault or siege.
Hidden Resources: Always a minor Boon, the covenant basically has extra vis sources or books or whatever hidden somewhere on the grounds, and the PCs need to find it.
Prestige: As a minor Boon, the covenant is regarded well for some reason and has a good reputation. As a major Boon, the covenant is really famous, one of the oldest or most potent, and has a truly amazing reputation.
Regio: As a minor Boon, the covenant is inside a magical regio with several entrances. As a major Boon, you can only get in if guided by a native resident.
Seclusion: Always a minor Boon, the covenant very rarely gets any visitors at all except for Redcaps.
Wealth: Always a minor Boon, the covenant has shitloads of mundane resources.

A later book would go and rework this system, making it more flexible (and, of course, complex). I happen to like the reworked system, personally, but its list of Hooks and Boons is much bigger.

Next time: Magic.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!



I thought this thread wasn't feeling vile enough, so thanks for that.

Bitchtits McGee posted:

Pony Pretender: By putting on hoof boots and plugging a tail into your butt, you "unlock ancient equine power within you", transforming yourself into a sort of human-pony hybrid. You cannot speak normally or use your hands while dressed up, which also means you can't take the costume off by yourself. You can, however, communicate with any equine as a Speak With Animals spell effect, and you get rather large bonuses to your STR, CON, and land speed, the last despite tromping around on all fours.
You may also designate a single rider as your master/mistress. Designating a new one requires 4 to 6 hours of "intense" sex. If your rider has any mounted combat feats, they may use them while mounting you. You share an Initiative score in combat, but since you're sentient, no Ride check is necessary to command you, unless you and your rider take opposing actions, in which case the DC is your WILL save.
It's not all friendship and magic, though: for every 24-hour period in which you have spent any time in costume, you suffer 1d4-1 points of temporary INT damage. This damage cannot be healed while you remain in-role, and if you ever drop down to 2 INT this way, the transformation becomes permanent. And remember, you can't take this costume off yourself.


Edit:

homeless poster posted:

In a way, it's kind of like watching the games that children would develop versus a professional game published for money. At first everything is nebulous and poorly defined and there's clear abuses of the rules going on that everyone just kind of accepts, and as the game progresses everything becomes more uniform and more evenly balanced and implemented.

To me it feels like the games are Jerry-rigged patchworks; they start with a base (the original D&D, in this particular case) and someone decided they want to add something new so they wrote some new rules and crudely welded it on, at no point thinking "let's try to make this fit as cleanly with the previous game as possible" or how everything interacts.

V

InfiniteJesters posted:

I think the subtly-placed My Little Pony reference is what broke my will to live with that one.

And of course it must be a disgusting sex thing. Because turning into a ridiculous magical loving horse isn't terrible enough on its own.

ThisIsNoZaku fucked around with this message at 04:22 on May 6, 2013

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


I think the subtly-placed My Little Pony reference is what broke my will to live with that one.

PleasingFungus
Oct 10, 2012

in my pope game,


Bitchtits McGee posted:


Part 3: More Tales than Tales

...

Heavenly Exhibition: CHA mod+1 times per day, you can spend a full round masturbating and cum "a spectacular fountain of golden or rainbow colored plasma" which burns outsiders, undead and hostile fey with holy damage.

Six seconds, guaranteed. Nice!

InfiniteJesters posted:

I think the subtly-placed My Little Pony reference is what broke my will to live with that one.

That feat's not a MLP reference, actually. BDSM is weird.

e: oh, you mean the reference McGee added. Missed that on my first read.

Mors Rattus posted:

Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core
...
Hooks and Boons

This is a really, really cool system. It feels very modern, too.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


PleasingFungus posted:

e: oh, you mean the reference McGee added. Missed that on my first read.

Didn't notice at first that McGee added that and thought Fields originally put it there. I think grognards.txt destroyed my reading comprehension and my sanity.

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




So if Mages can live for centuries in Ars Magicia, how does the game change if the players make it to modern times?

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Hipster Occultist posted:

So if Mages can live for centuries in Ars Magicia, how does the game change if the players make it to modern times?

You reroll characters in Mage: The Ascension.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





I found my copy of Creeks & Crawdads

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Mr. Maltose posted:

You reroll characters in Mage: The Ascension.
And get into fights with the Order of Reason, clearly.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

Frivolous Pleasure: Tantric energy surrounds any area in which you have had a sexual encounter within the past 24 hours, repelling undead and speeding up healing.

This is the only thing in that post that isn't vile. It would work for a stereotypically 'pagan' mage or priest, a Cult of Ectasy or Lord Summerisle (The Wicker Man) type.

Mirthless
Mar 27, 2011
I GENUINELY BELIEVE I BOOTSTRAPPED MY WAY TO BEING A COMPUTER TOUCHER THROUGH NOTHING BUT HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION AND WILL ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE WITH A SHITTY JOB!!!



I don't have a huge effort post to put here, but I just dug this up for the Next tread, in case any of you haven't seen it:

From Dragon Magazine, Issue 3

NOTES ON WOMEN & MAGIC - Bringing the Distaff Gamer into D & D




Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


That's horrible. The Thief table, with 'Hag, Wench' and Suductress is especially bad but its all gross.

Mirthless
Mar 27, 2011
I GENUINELY BELIEVE I BOOTSTRAPPED MY WAY TO BEING A COMPUTER TOUCHER THROUGH NOTHING BUT HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION AND WILL ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE WITH A SHITTY JOB!!!



Count Chocula posted:

That's horrible. The Thief table, with 'Hag, Wench' and Suductress is especially bad but its all gross.

Read the description for the Charm Humanoid Monster spell.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20





What does the "Fight As" column on the table mean? It seems annotated rather oddly.

Mirthless posted:

Read the description for the Charm Humanoid Monster spell.

I love the rather bizarre distinction that she can seduce a werewolf pretending to be a wolf, but not a werebear pretending to be a bear.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Hipster Occultist posted:

So if Mages can live for centuries in Ars Magicia, how does the game change if the players make it to modern times?

Short version: It looks very, very strange indeed, because Ars Magica doesn't subscribe to the metaphysics of Mage and the Consensus. The world just works on Aristotelian physics and metaphysics.

Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core

So, Ars Magica magic is divided into two types: Techniques, what you're doing, and Forms, what you're doing it to. Verbs and nouns, basically. There are five Techniques.


Creo ('I Create') is the magic of making things that exist independently into better things. These things are called "substances", and basically they're stuff, as opposed to qualities of stuff. Creo can make a rock, it can't make blue. Creo can heal, because a fixed thing is superior to a damaged thing. Creo can create, because a thing that exists is superior to a thing that doesn't exist. Natural things (plants, animals, fire and so on) have simple forms, so they're easy to create and heal. Natural things made by magic are always perfect examples of their kind, and magic can heal a natural thing even if the caster has no idea what's wrong with it. Artifical things, though, like bread or books, have complex forms, combining several natural forms, and creating an artificial thing requires skill and finesse (and the Finesse ability) to determine how good it is. Further, you can only fix an artificial thing if you know what's wrong with it - if you don't know what the words inside a burned book are, you can't really bring them back by unburning the book. You'd just get a blank book. You don't have to know how to make it by mundane means, at least - just be familiar with what you're fixing. You can also use Creo to improve things (make a horse faster, for example) or mature them, but not beyond their prime. Magically created objects vanish at the end of the spell, but their effects do not - a created horse's footprints don't vanish with it. Magical food, on the other hand...well, if you eat it, you're going to be hungry again when the spell ends and it goes away. Stuff washed by magically made water is still clean, but someone drunk on magical alcohol sobers up when it vanishes.


Intellego ('I Perceive') is the magic of perception. It gathers information directly from things, not from their appearances (except for Intellego Imaginem, naturally) but from the actual nature of the things. Pretty simple, especially compared to Creo.


Muto ('I Transform') is the magic of changing properties. Muto can give someone wings or change the color of their skin, or turn them into a wolf. It's harder the more extensive the change is, though. And it can't do anything about the properties something has naturally - it just adds properties that mask them. Muto can't kill or injure directly, but can render immobile (say, turn someone to stone) or kill indirectly (turn someone on land into a fish).


Perdo ('I Destroy') makes things into worse things. It's basically the exact opposite of Creo. A thing that doesn't exist is worse than one that does, so Perdo destroys. It can remove the weight from someone or render a fire unable to burn. However, it can only destroy all of a thing's property - it can't be selective. You can't make a fire able only to burn one thing with just Perdo - you'd need Muto, too. First you destroy the fire's ability to burn, then add the ability to burn that one thing. Perdo is easier, though, if the target can naturally lose the property being destroyed - it's easier to kill someone than remove their weight, since people die but don't naturally become weightless. Plus, you can't permanently remove something that can't be naturally removed. It breaks the limits of magic. Perdo also can't make something better - it can't sharpen a sword, even though doing so involves removing metal. It can't remove the ability to be hurt, since that would be improving someone.


Rego ('I Control') lets you change the state of a thing into any state it can naturally have. Since all things naturally have location, Rego can move them. It can't make an animal become younger, because mature animals can't naturally become young, and can't make them older, as that would decay them and fall under Perdo. It can, however, make them move, or force a tree to blossom out of season, or carve a block of stone. (A tree made to bear fruit would not produce fruit with seeds, though, as seeds are a new form, potential trees, and would need Creo.) Any change a mundane craftsman could do, Rego can also do, though Finesse would determine the quality. It can also make natural changes they can't, for it doesn't have the limitations of time, tools or skill.

We'll talk about the Forms in a bit, because I'm going to talk about how each technique interacts with that Form. Instead, let's talk about the Limits of Magic. The Order is well aware of all of the limits, but that doesn't stop them from trying to surpass them. No one has yet, but if someone managed it, they'd be as famous as any Founder.

The Limit of the Divine states that Hermetic magic cannot affect the Divine. Any magic that tries just fails. That, everyone agrees, is why Hermetic magic can't do anything about miracles, and also is why magic can't do anything to the transubstantiated bread and wine at Mass. Agents of the Divine in the form of saints and angels are protected from magic to an extent, but are not completely immune. As a rule, if a being has a will seperate from God's, it can be affected by magic in principle, if not practice. Only direct action of God is immune.

The Limit of the Essential Nature states that any magic which alters the essential nature of a thing must be maintained, and when it lapses, the thing will return to its natural state. Thus, Muto magic must be maintained, but the effects of Rego magic can last beyond the spell itself. The essential nature itself cannot be changed. Hermetic magic may completely change how a thing looks, but not what it is. The essential nature of a thing depends on what it is. All humans are essentially human, mortal creatures with reason, senses, motor skills and the ability to reproduce. The basic body shape is also part of the essential nature, but bits can be cut off. Men are essentially male, women essentially female, and some people have other factors in their natures. Some people, for example, are essentially blind, while others are merely blind by chance. As a rule: if some disability is taken as a Flaw at chargen, it's part of your nature. If it's acquired later, it's not.

Those are the two Fundamental Limits. There are Lesser Limits, too - things that are impossible for Hermetic magic but might theoretically not always be.

The Limit of Aging states that natural aging cannot be halted or reversed, but only slowed and mitigated. Neither can the effects of natural aging be removed. Most magi suspect this derives from the Limit of the Essential Nature.

The Limit of Arcane Connections states that without an Arcane Connection, Hermetic magic cannot affect a target that can't be directly sensed by the caster. This is widely seen as a flaw in Hermetic theory, especially as Intellego magic is much less tightly bound by this. For example, it can determine if people are beyond a wall which the magus can see, even though Perdo magic can't touch those people until the magus is aware of them.

The Limit of Creation states that Hermetic magic cannot permanently create anything without employing vis. This limit affects all Creo magic, but because Creo magic does not violate the essential nature of what it makes, when vis is used it can create permanent things. No one is sure if this limit derives from the Limit of the Divine or the Limit of Essential Nature. Some think it's merely a flaw in Hermetic theory.

The Limit of Energy states that Hermetic magic cannot restore one's physical energy and fatigue, nor one's Confidence. Most believe this is a flaw in Hermetic theory.

The Limit of the Infernal states that Intellego magic is useless against the Infernal realm, revealing only what demons want you to believe, not the truth. Optimists say this is because of a flaw in Hermetic theory, while pessimists believe it is because of the Limit of the Divine. Moderates say it is because of the Limit of Essential Nature, and that deception is in the nature of demons, so magic only detects their deceptions. Heretics point out that because of this Limit, it cannot be proven that God is not, in fact, just a very powerful demon.

The Limit of the Lunar Sphere states that Hermetic magic cannot affect the lunar sphere nor anything beyond it. Most believe this is due to the Limit of the Divine. However, since the lunar sphere and the celestial spheres beyond have very little that anyone cares about, no one is really bothered by this one much.

The Limit of the Soul states that Hermetic magic cannot create immortal souls, and so cannot create true human life nor return the dead to life. Most believe this derives from the Limit of the Divine, though a significant minority believe the inability to raise the dead is just a flaw in Hermetic theory. Animals, lacking immortal souls, can be created. Magical beings and fairies are believed not to have immortal souls, and some spells appear to create them, but some magi believe those spells merely summon existing beings. Angels and demons, being nothing but immortal souls, cannot be created.

The Limit of Time states that Hermetic magic cannot alter the passage of time. The past cannot be affected, and the future can only be affected by changing hte present. This also means that Hermetic magic cannot scry on the past or future. Most magi believe this derives from the Limit of the Divine.

The Limit of True Feeling states that some humans possess a love, friendship or faith that Hermetic magic cannot touch. (If a Virtue or Flaw is involved, as a rule, it counts.) Magi agree that this must derive from one of the two Fundamental Limits, since most emotions can be affected by magic, but they cannot agree which one it is.

The Limit of Vis states that Hermetic magic cannot change the Art to which raw vis is attuned. Most magi believe this derives from the Limit of Essential Nature.

The Limit of Warping states that Hermetic magic cannot affect the changes caused by prolonged exposure to powerful magic, known as warping. Wizard's Twilight is a manifestation of this warping. Most magi choose to believe this derives from the Limit of the Divine because that would mean magic is a manifestation of Divine power. Others say, however, that it is merely derived from the Limit of Essential Nature.

Vis, of course, is raw magic power in physical form. It's always associated with a Technique or Form, taking the shape of some associated matter. When used, it loses its power and is destroyed in an appropriate manner, unless the vis is transferred to an artificial receptacle. Vis has many uses in Hermetic magic, and is often used as a form of currency. One unit of vis is called a pawn. Ten pawns are a rook, and ten rooks are a queen. A queen of vis is a legendary amount - few magi ever have anywhere near that much at any one time. Magi often wear vis sources openly, to show that they are ready to respond to threats.

Next time: Magic in practice.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 13:49 on May 6, 2013

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Kurieg posted:

What does the "Fight As" column on the table mean? It seems annotated rather oddly.


I love the rather bizarre distinction that she can seduce a werewolf pretending to be a wolf, but not a werebear pretending to be a bear.

Original D&D used the combat system from Chainmail when it first was released. The d20 syetem did not appear until Supplement I GryHawk. Many of the early Dragon articles were written for backwards compatibility because finding copies of the supplements was not very easy for the average player.

Also that article was written by Len Lakofka (Leomund of Leomund's Tiny Hut) and illustrated by Paul (now Jennell) Jaquays (did level design and art for Quake 2 and 3 and Halo Wars among other things).

Humbug Scoolbus fucked around with this message at 13:32 on May 6, 2013

Mirthless
Mar 27, 2011
I GENUINELY BELIEVE I BOOTSTRAPPED MY WAY TO BEING A COMPUTER TOUCHER THROUGH NOTHING BUT HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION AND WILL ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE WITH A SHITTY JOB!!!



Kurieg posted:

What does the "Fight As" column on the table mean? It seems annotated rather oddly.


I love the rather bizarre distinction that she can seduce a werewolf pretending to be a wolf, but not a werebear pretending to be a bear.

Pretty sure that's the pamphlet predecessor to Thac0.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I knew the early edition had some wonky issues with female characters, but that's exactly the kind of rules made for men who never even talked to a woman before.

With that charm humanoid monster, why would someone bother using it with the better then good odds of getting kidnapped?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core


Animal is the magic of animals. Animal spells can't touch human beings; Hermetic theorists aren't entirely sure why. Knowing Animal magic helps to resist the attacks and poisons of animals. The spells can affect both the mind and body of animals, and things made from animal materials.

Creo Animal is good for healing animals, creating animal products, summoning or creating living animals (and, with proper skill in other Forms, even give them magical powers such as firebreathing) or age animals to maturity. At the truly highest levels, which few magi ever reach, it can return a dead animal to life.
Intellego Animal can sense animals, read their minds and memories (though a dog tends to remember way more about scent than, say, appearance or sound, so you may not always get what you want), read the history of animal products or even speak to animals.
Muto Animal grants animals or animal products new abilities or qualities. If you know the appropriate form, you can also transform anything they're carrying (so Terram to transform a horse and its barding).
Perdo Animal is normally not something most animals have a defense against. It can cause pain and damage, destroy corpses, cripple or age animals or even, at high levels, simply kill them or remove some property of the animal such as weight or aggression.
Rego Animal can ward against animals, control the bodies and minds of animals, manipulate items made of animal products, protect people from animal attacks or manipulate the emotions of animals.


Aquam ('Water') is the magic of water and liquids of all sorts. Knowing it helps resist drowning, thirst and direct attacks made of water. For purposes of spells, the amount of water determines whether it is an individual, a group or whatever. An 'individual' of water is a pool about five paces across and two paces deep at the lowest point. Natural liquids such as olive oil or fruit juice are 'individual' at a tenth of that, and processed liquids like beer are a hundredth that. Corrosive or dangerous liquids are a thousandth. Poisons are by dose.

Creo Aquam can create water, though it will have no lasting benefits if drunk. Works fine for washing, though. It can create corrosive acids and create other natural liquids, poisons, and water in various forms.
Intellego Aquam can cause your senses to be unaffected by water (so you could see clearly through muddy water), scry on water, learn the properties of a liquid or even speak to a body of water. Poison detection is one of the easier things to do.
Muto Aquam can transform liquids, but not if they're in someone's body without Corpus or Animal. Still, it can convert any liquid to any other kind of liquid, liquid into solid or gas with appropriate requisites, and so on. The more unnatural the thing transformed becomes, the harder it is.
Perdo Aquam destroys liquids. It can dry things, or at higher levels remove properties of a liquid (such as the ability of alcohol to intoxicate). You can remove the liquid from inside someone's body by targeting a specific part of their body, but it takes Corpus or Animal. Very nasty trick for bypassing armor.
Rego Aquam can force water to become ice or steam, ward against magical beings of water, make water move in specific ways or even ward against mundane water, like a spell to keep you dry in the rain. The more violent the thing you want the liquid to do, the harder it is.


Auram ('Air') is the magic of air, wind and weather as well as gas in general. It helps to resist suffocation, drowning and damaging weather. 'Gas', however, is a misnomer - it's a modern concept. Auram affects air as a phenomenon - wind, odor, poison...that's all qualities of air. Lightning, rain and snow are also qualities of air.

Creo Auram can create weather phenomena, though it is much harder to do at ground level, since that is very unnatural for weather. Noxious stenchs and poison gas can also be created. It is particularly tricky to create things utterly divorced from their natural context (such as shooting lightning from your hands).
Intellego Auram can cause your senses to be unhindered by air (so see through fog or hear in a windstorm), sense properties of air, such as if it's safe to breathe, or even speak to bodies of air.
Muto Auram transforms the properties of air, and with proper requisites can convert air to other elements or materials.
Perdo Auram can make air unsafe to breathe, destroy air and weather or weaken weather.
Rego Auram can control existing weather, ward against creatures of the air, ward against weather or control bursts of wind. Very handy.


Corpus ('Body') is the magic of the human body. It targets human corpses and the bodies of creatures that look human as well as living humans. Since natural philosophy states that these things have nothing in common but appearance, and human statues aren't Corpus, Hermetic theorists tend to be puzzled by Corpus. Corpus helps protect against damage from being punched and getting sick, but not getting old.

Creo Corpus accelerates healing, heals wounds, preserves corpses from decay, enhances the body at high levels, helps to deal with the problems of aging and can, in a very limited sense, return the dead to life. The body will have no soul, may dissolve into nothing, and is not truly alive, can't learn and even in the best cases has no personality unless possessed by another being, but the body at least moves around.
Intellego Corpus can locate people, sense information about the body or speak to corpses.
Muto Corpus transforms people, though someone who spends a lot of time in animal shape will start to act like an animal or even lose their identity if weak-willed, despite the fact that the mind remains unaltered. It can grant unnatural powers, change appearances, harden the skin to harm, turn people into animals or plants (with Animal or Herbam requisites) or even solid objects or air (with Terram or Auram).
Perdo Corpus causes direct harm. It can cause damage to the body, cause pain, destroy corpses, harm the senses or ability to move, cause fatigue or disease, destroy the senses, or at high levels even kill or remove properties such as weight or solidity.
Rego Corpus can ward against magical beings associated with Corpus, control body parts or the body as a whole, allow levitation or flight, teleport people or raise the dead as zombies.


Herbam ('Plant') is the magic of plants and trees, including dead wood and linen. It protects against harm by wooden weapons, herbal poison or starvation.

Creo Herbam creates and heals plants, though any food created is only nutritious if it is permanent - sustenance otherwise vanishes with the food. Living and dead plants are equally easy to make, though treated products such as linen or cooked vegetables are harder. Furniture and clothing is harder still. It can also ensure plant growth, speed a plant to maturity or prevent plant disease.
Intellego Herbam can grant knowledge about plants, locate plants or speak to plants.
Muto Herbam can change or modify plants or plant products, turn plants into plant products, awaken a plant to consciousness (with Mentem) or cause a plant to bend or twist rapidly. Standard Muto stuff, really.
Perdo Herbam rots and destroys plants or plant products. It can spoil food, too. Destroying living wood is somewhat harder than dead wood, but possible.
Rego Herbam can control living or dead plant material just as easily, ward against creatures of wood, deflect attacks by wooden weapons, control plants or summon mobile plants, ward someone against plant products, force trees to blossom out of season or weave thread into cloth (or other such things).


Ignem ('Fire') is the magic of fire, heat and light. It protects against flame and cold. Note that heat includes absence of heat - so Ignem can create cold.

Creo Ignem creates light or heat, ignites flammable objects or creates fire from nothing. Brighter light and hotter heat are harder, as is more potent flame, especially in an unnatural shape.
Intellego Ignem senses properties of fire, locates fire, senses heat, learns properties of ash, detects traces of old fires, can allow you to see clearly through fire (but not smoke without Auram) or speak to fire.
Muto Ignem can change the properties of fire, convert one type of fire into another, grant fire unnatural properties or turn fire into other things (with appropriate requisites). It's harder the more powerful the fire is.
Perdo Ignem reduces light, destroys or shrinks fire, chills things or people or can destroy aspects of a fire (such as light or heat).
Rego Ignem wards against creatures of fire, controls fire in natural or unnatural ways and moves fire. The more powerful the fire is, the harder the spell.


Imaginem ('Image') is the magic of the senses. Natural philosophy refers to this as 'species'. All things give off species for each sense, though those of touch and taste do not travel far and those of sight require light to reach people. Imaginem spells affect the process by which species are produced, rather than the species themselves. Thus, the species created by an illusion are not, themselves, magical. Imaginem cannot create solidity, merely the illusion of solidity which can still have things put through it. Touch-based illusion is more effective at changing the feeling of what is already there. Imaginem only changes appearances, not truth - a fire made to seem cold can still burn. Imaginem helps protect against confusion, deafness or nausea caused by sights, sounds, smells or tastes. Imaginem cannot affect light (that's Ignem) but can alter what light allows you to see. Mimicking specific things requires Finesse.

Creo Imaginem creates or restores images. It doesn't make real things, just the images of them. The illusion may feel real, but it's not and has no true substance - you might feel a solid wall, but any real effort will go through it. More complex illusions (speech, movement, clear and legible text) are harder, especially if the movement or sound has to be at your direction or the image is very intricate. Illusions made this way can affect any or all of the senses, with more senses being harder.
Intellego Imaginem may detect illusions, allow the use of your senses at a distance, memorize images you encounter or enhance your senses. (For example, seeing small objects or seeing in darkness.) Clairvoyance or clairaudience are quite handy; taste at a distance, not so much.
Muto Imaginem can alter the images of real things. You can change the sensations of an object (make a coin seem hot, say, or a leaf look like a rock). The more you change about an image, the harder it is, and if you want to make it resemble something specific, you need familiarity with what you want to mimic. It cannot overcome the social effects of the Gift, but may offset them slightly by granting noble bearing and so on.
Perdo Imaginem can destroy illusions, dull the ability of a thing to affect the senses, or render an object unable to affect the senses. (Invisibility is the inability to affect sight, for example.) Destroying shadows, however, is Creo Imaginem - they are caused by light being blocked by a physical body. Note that invisibility must be maintained - destroying the image of a rock works for a second, but the rock continues to put out species after that, since new images are constantly generated.
Rego Imaginem may change where an image appears to be - making a rock look as if it is six feet left of whare it actually is, say. It is harder to affect a moving or changing object, though. It can transmit images to one or more senses this way, or make objects appear to move rapidly.

Next time: More magic!

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Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

I thought this thread wasn't feeling vile enough, so thanks for that.

InfiniteJesters posted:

I think the subtly-placed My Little Pony reference is what broke my will to live with that one.

It's always so nice to know one's efforts are properly appreciated.

mllaneza posted:

I found my copy of Creeks & Crawdads



Count Chocula posted:

This is the only thing in that post that isn't vile.

Which is, I think, still more than can be said...

Mirthless posted:

NOTES ON WOMEN & MAGIC - Bringing the Distaff Gamer into D & D

...for this. Old grog really is the worst grog.

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