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A Thread For Random RPG Musings


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On 9/26/2020 at 7:51 PM, assault said:

I'm currently "contemplating" a Sword and Sorcery game, and I'm stuck on how magic works. More specifically, how magic works at a PC level.

 

My general thoughts are:

 

1. Everyone uses magic all the time. When you get up in the morning, you are likely to put on your amulets and/or say your prayers even before you put on pants (or whatever).

 

2. This magic has a real impact on life and society. It covers things like crop yields, maternal and infant mortality, whether or not a wound becomes infected, and a whole host of other things.

 

3. At the same time, its effects at the game system level are negligible, and can be ignored. Essentially they are either minimal, or cancel out. Example: in a fight, each side is likely to be blessed by a priest or similar, who will also lay curses on the other side. So each combatant will be at +1 to hit from the blessing, and -1 to hit from the other side's curses, giving a net effect of +0.

Rather than figure this out each time, it's easier simply to ignore the whole thing. Any slight advantage one side has can be treated as part of the luck of the dice.

 

4. Of course, there is magic that can't be treated this way, which brings us back to the original starting point.

 

5. On a strategic/diplomatic/political level, magic operates as something like an intelligence service. It gathers intelligence, influences minds and opinions, can carry out sabotage and assassinations, and mobilize proxy/ally forces. It can also be negated by the enemy's countermeasures.

The last reason is why conventional means to similar ends are typically used in parallel.

 

6. But how does the previous point scale down to the "tactical squad"/individual level? In part, I suppose, the roles listed above can be reflected in available spells...

 

7. Magic isn't artillery.

You're kinda describing Runequest, though, with a more down low style. You might look at the metric f-ton of free stuff for more ideas.

On 10/6/2020 at 4:17 PM, Ragitsu said:

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How do you find that groove between giving out too much treasure and being too stingy with the material (and, often, magical) wonders of the world? I always worry about this until the moment of truth.

I tend to give big eye popping gobs of treasure, then have taxes, bandits and relatives take it away. Sort of like the real world. Lol

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I have years ago and we had a great time.  We had all read the books such as Howard Pyle's Men of Iron and Mary Stewart’s trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment) as well

Almost everything ever published for the Talislanta world setting and game system is available in PDF for free, legal download from the official Talislanta website: http://talislanta.com/  

You're kinda describing Runequest, though, with a more down low style. You might look at the metric f-ton of free stuff for more ideas. I tend to give big eye popping gobs of treasure, then have

On 10/10/2020 at 10:00 PM, tkdguy said:

Has anyone ever played in an Arthurian campaign? I've never played Pendragon, but King Arthur and several of his knights were written up in Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore book.

 

I have years ago and we had a great time.  We had all read the books such as Howard Pyle's Men of Iron and Mary Stewart’s trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment) as well as the classics about King Arthur and the Round Table.

 

And most importantly we saw the movies like MGM’s 1952 Ivanhoe, Universals 1952 The Black Shield of Falworth and the Warner Brothers 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood.  They may not have been “realistic” and portrayed a cinematic Hollywood adventure take on it, but they were a lot of fun clicked right into roleplaying adventure. 

 

Great times.

 

We tried again in the early 2000’s and it was a disaster.  No one had even heard of the source material and of course reading is just not done today, especially “novels”.   Everyone was all about “da loot’in” and “da a’kill’in”. 

 

Oh, well I can remember the good times….

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1 hour ago, tkdguy said:

Someone on the OD&D forums mentioned that the Arthurian legends have fallen out of favor with the fantasy crowd. Sad, as Le Morte D'Arthur was one of my inspirations when I was growing up. The other two were Bulfinch's Mythology and The Silmarillion

 

Well I blame it on general lack of reading (and reading comprehension) plus the overwhelming contamination of RPG’s by computer gaming’s so called CRPG’s and their “cheat codes” and “walk throughs”. 

 

Game’dom is rife with “discussions” of how the purpose of a GM/DM is simply player fulfillment and to basically let them run wild with lots of don’ts.   As a DM/GM you can NEVER have the PC’s face capture or defeat.  You should never actually have a storyline or even imagine that the players stick to the game they agreed to play.  Basically GM/DMs are servant drudges for the munchkins of gaming and one I simply reject as idiocy.

 

It is really sad and a real blow to RPG’s. 

 

I only game with a small circle of players now and my demo/con games had really fallen off even before Covid.  I had planned to restart demo’s this year, but that kinda stalled….

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13 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

Well I blame it on general lack of reading (and reading comprehension) plus the overwhelming contamination of RPG’s by computer gaming’s so called CRPG’s and their “cheat codes” and “walk throughs”. 

 

Game’dom is rife with “discussions” of how the purpose of a GM/DM is simply player fulfillment and to basically let them run wild with lots of don’ts.   As a DM/GM you can NEVER have the PC’s face capture or defeat.  You should never actually have a storyline or even imagine that the players stick to the game they agreed to play.  Basically GM/DMs are servant drudges for the munchkins of gaming and one I simply reject as idiocy.

 

It is really sad and a real blow to RPG’s. 

 

I only game with a small circle of players now and my demo/con games had really fallen off even before Covid.  I had planned to restart demo’s this year, but that kinda stalled….

 

I've had players like that. But as a friend and fellow GM said, that's not their call. Players seem to forget that the GM is supposed to have fun too. Letting the players run amok and tear the GM's hard work apart isn't fun for the GM.

 

I've taken a hard line with some people, reiterating that I as the GM have the final say, so don't wave the *bleep*ing rulebook at me. That's unfortunate, and I don't like having to do it, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.

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6 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

The number of times I have heard that one right here on this board is shocking. 

 

It's really a shocker when discussing supers. 

 

But I employ the trope in any genre as appropriate.  By appropriate I mean when it follows the story and serves a purpose in the story.  It's hard for heroes to stage a dramatic rescue or equally dramatic escape if the concept of capture is off the table.

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