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Christougher

Water Magic and Limitations

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I'm developing a fantasy world created by four elemental gods.  Each god has their own chosen race, and a distinct style of magic.  All magic has Requires Skill Roll, and the distinction is enforced by -1/2 of limitations exclusive to each style.  Players are also be free to apply generic limitations like Limited Casting(Charges) and Increased END Cost.

 

   Earth magic requires a different Reusable Foci for each spell.
   Air magic requires Incantations and/or Gestures.
   Fire magic requires Expendable Components.

 

Water magic is where my problem lies.  Concentration and Extra time seem thematically (calm) appropriate limitations, but also seem like they should be applicable to all magics.
 

Any thoughts or suggestions from Hero at large?

 

Chris.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Christougher said:

Concentration and Extra time seem thematically (calm) appropriate limitations, but also seem like they should be applicable to all magics.

Everyone might have it, but Water requires it to an exceptional degree.

 

I am also uncertain if I would call water "calm". Everyone that has ever been on the receiving end of a flood would beg to differ. But then all 4 Elements are in equal measure required to live and able to kill you on a whim/by accident.

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Instead of (or in addition to) limitations to distinguish spell casting schools what about having the RSR characteristic be unique per element?

 

Fire - INT

Water - PRE or EGO

Earth - CON or STR

Air - DEX

 

It would encourage spellcasters to focus on stats other than INT in most cases and may lead to some interesting builds.  It also leaves spell design wide open in terms of limitations which may make your life easier in the long run.

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31 minutes ago, sentry0 said:

Instead of (or in addition to) limitations to distinguish spell casting schools what about having the RSR characteristic be unique per element?

 

Fire - INT

Water - PRE or EGO

Earth - CON or STR

Air - DEX

 

It would encourage spellcasters to focus on stats other than INT in most cases and may lead to some interesting builds.  It also leaves spell design wide open in terms of limitations which may make your life easier in the long run.

 

Western occult tradition tends to associate Air with intelligence and Fire with passion, but this is not universal. Whatever characteristics you link to each element, I agree that something like this could help make the four styles of magic more distinctive.

 

Water is associated with the unconscious mind. If attacked, it yields, then closes back, unharmed. But when it moves, it overwhelms anything in its way -- whether washing away a town or drowning the mind in madness. EGO seems more appropriate than PRE: The quiet strength of personality rather than the overt influence of Presence.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I think of water as being very fluid. It could be a tidal wave (massively destructive), a wall of ice (the ultimate defense against anything other than an undead dragon's breath), or a placid lake (a place of serenity and poetry).

 

I'd be tempted to make offensive water powers have one common distinction, defensive have another, and things which manipulate the environment in some way that isn't inherently offensive or defensive have another. For example:

 

An offensive water spell like causing an avalanche or firing a water cannon might use something which can be done rapidly like incantation and gestures.

 

Defensive water magics could require an extra phase and increased END when casting.

 

Other things such as creating drinking water, making a flood recede, increasing swimming ability, etc. needs material components, five minutes of extra time or more, and a side effect of flash to sight as the caster's eyes glaze over with frost (or well up with tears).

 

You could mix and match of course. If you want the fire magicians to be the best offensive choice, you could flip the restrictions on water's offensive and defensive spells. That'd make a water mage much better on defense and protection while more limited as a quick offensive threat.

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17 hours ago, sentry0 said:

Instead of (or in addition to) limitations to distinguish spell casting schools what about having the RSR characteristic be unique per element?

 

Fire - INT

Water - PRE or EGO

Earth - CON or STR

Air - DEX

 

It would encourage spellcasters to focus on stats other than INT in most cases and may lead to some interesting builds.  It also leaves spell design wide open in terms of limitations which may make your life easier in the long run.

 

I really *really* like this idea, consider it stolen.  Using 5E, the differences in stat costs might be an issue, but I can deal with that.

 

The choice of stats, and DShomshak's comments dovetail nicely with the races' default bias.  I had considered a racial package for each that modified some stats, this will make me take a second look at that.

 

I received commentary from CaptPatriot or WyrmOuroboros elsewhere, can't remember which suggested giving Gestures to water mages, leaving air mages only the Incantations.  Still thinking on that.

 

The other styles of magic have limitations only they can use.  Water should also, just most of the remaining ones should apply to all styles.  Anyone have new limitations that might work?   And why am I suddenly picturing Iron Man 2 here?

 

Chris.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Christougher said:

I really *really* like this idea, consider it stolen.  Using 5E, the differences in stat costs might be an issue, but I can deal with that.

 

The choice of stats, and DShomshak's comments dovetail nicely with the races' default bias.  I had considered a racial package for each that modified some stats, this will make me take a second look at that.

5E's figured Characteristics make this a lot harder, but it is still doable.

 

6E1 47 has this to say on "Toolkitting Characteristics" and I thought it might be helpfull:
"Because they’re fundamental to every single character, Characteristics are one of the most important parts of the HERO System, and your campaign. Changing them is one of the best ways to create a certain “feel” for your campaign, or to enforce the way you see your campaign working... but also one of the easiest ways to create unintended consequences, so tread carefully.
There are three basic changes you can make to the Characteristics. The first is to add one or more Characteristics to the lineup. This is an easy way to show players what’s particularly important or useful in your campaign, or to foreshadow what sort of perils they’re likely to face in their adventures. Some examples:
- In In a “Psychic Wars” campaign focused on factions of mentalists using their powers to compete for influence in the shadows of normal society, Mental Defense is so common, and so important, that the GM makes it a Characteristic (Base Value of 2, cost 1 Character Point per +1 point).
- In In a Fantasy Hero campaign featuring powerful wizards and a magic system that defines magic as drawing primarily on the caster’s personal energy but also ambient arcane power, the GM requires all spellcasters to have a Mana (MANA) Characteristic (Base Value 20, costs 1 Character Point per +10 Mana). Mana functions like END, but only for spells. However, characters only Recover MANA like they do BODY, on a per-month basis — so a
wizard can cast a particularly powerful spell, but then he’ll be a long time “recuperating” before he can do it again. On the other hand, areas with “high levels” of ambient magical energy make spellcasting easier and less stressful.
- In In a Horror Hero campaign, characters have a Sanity (SAN) Characteristic (Base Value of 20, costs 1 Character Point per +2 points). Sort of like STUN and physical attacks, characters lose SAN when exposed to or “attacked” by horrific or stressful situations and beings.
Second, the GM can remove Characteristics that he doesn’t want to use. For example, removing END is discussed elsewhere in this chapter. In a campaign with no Mental Powers at all, OMCV and DMCV aren’t needed, so you could remove them and save space on your character sheets. (See Dormant Abilities, 6E1 46.)
Lastly, the GM could change the cost of a Characteristic to make it easier or harder for characters to afford. For example, in a game where the GM wants characters to be less “durable,” he could increase the cost of BODY. However, changing the cost of a Characteristic can affect Adjustment Powers, combat, and many other aspects of the game, so proceed cautiously."

 

And of course there is my favourite example for changing cost: Swimming and Flight would propably trade places and cost in a Underwater Campaign.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 1:32 AM, sentry0 said:

Instead of (or in addition to) limitations to distinguish spell casting schools what about having the RSR characteristic be unique per element?

 

Fire - INT

Water - PRE or EGO

Earth - CON or STR

Air - DEX

 

It would encourage spellcasters to focus on stats other than INT in most cases and may lead to some interesting builds.  It also leaves spell design wide open in terms of limitations which may make your life easier in the long run.

I know a variant of a classical western Elements with 6 Elements:

Earth/Air

Fire/Water

Ice/Humus (Life/Plantlife)

 

As I once made a Character on this basis, I had a bunch of Data/Ideas gathered on it. Attribute associations were hard, as not every Attribute mapped to Hero. So I mostly focussed on Skills (inlcuding Arts) as well as Personality Attributes. As for mapping it to only 4 Elements: Ice is usually a part/form of Water. While Humus has elements from water (life) and earth (fertile soil)

 

"Ice:
Attributes: Cold (P)
Sec. Attributes: Darkness, Intelligence, Purity, emotional cold, detachment, mercilessness, timeless stasis
Color: Violet or White
Stone: Quartz, mountain crystal; Onyx?
Counter: Humus
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Meditating Naked, Icediving, sitting on a ice floe floating on the ocean
Skills: Tatic, Deduction
Arts: Writing, Icesculpting
Good side: Intelligence; Needed Balance/Border for all other Elements; unaffected by emotions
Other side: Emotional Distance; aloofness
Uses: Protection. Iceconstructs, Dispel/End of all energy. Darkness. Stopping Time? Durability? Eternal youth and beauty?
Physics: Nihilus Energy (counters all energy and even mater), lack of energy.
 

Humus:
Attributes: Life (especially Plants), Growth, youth, high age;
Sec. Attributes: Vitality, sedateness, coziness, (pratical) creativity, endurance, assertiveness, faith and hope, courage to face life, Knowledge of transience (willingness to start anew on failure)
Color: green, brown; plant colors
Stone: agate
Counter: Ice
Elements for Spell/Rituals: wickerwork, Flowers, Living plants
Skills: Botany, Biology, Genetics, Survival (Wilderness)
Arts: Cooking, Especially painting, Gardening
Good side: Life is good and must be protected. Friendly, pratical, helpfull, paternalistic, trustingly
Other side: Pure reaslism, Indifference for human problems. No Justice, compassion, friendships.
Uses: Healing, Food, Precognition, Plant Manipulation
Physics: Mixup of everything else but Ice

 

Stone:
Attributes: Heavyness, Inertia
Sec. Attributes: quiescency/calmness, sloth, sedateness, steadiness, stability, lasting, unshakeable, reliable, planing
Color: pure black, silver sheen
Stone: Onyx?, Granite?
Counter: Air
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Handwork, Climbing up mountains or down caves, Mosaiks, Menhirs, Long Meditation
Skills: Geology, Mechanic, Architecture/Analyze Buildings, Weaponsmith
Art: Every stonecraft (inlcuding gems), handicrafts
Good side: Durabiltiy, Planning, Dependability, Long Memory, Resistance to Emotions
Other side: Lazyness (Sloth), unadaptable, stubborness, perfectionism,
Uses: Protection, inmoveability, constructs, heavyness
Physics: All elemental Binding Forces (Gravity, Weak, EM, Strong)
 


Air:
Attributes: Movement, Lightness
Sec. Attributes: Emotion, Passion, Desire, Excitment, Restlessness, wealth of ideas, Joy of life, happiness, freethinking, recklessness, carelessness, phantasy, dreaming, never-resting, deceptive rhetoric, sense illusions, fleeting, incomprehensible, Freedom
Color:
Stone: Lapislazuli
Counter: Stone
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Dancing, Feathers, Incense, bracing Storms,
Skills: Persuasion, Conversation, Mimikri, Disguise, Acting, Ventriloquism
Art: Singing, wind instruments, Dancing, Poetry, Storytelling
Good side: Passion, wealth of ideas, Joy of Life
Other side: Restless, reckless, deceptive, incomprehensible, mocking, Trickster
Effects: Higher speed and Inventiveness, but also: Lack of Concentration. Impulsiveness. Maybe even Lust
Uses: Movement, speed, Illusion (especially sound based), Mimkri, Ventriloquism, Prediction?
Physics: Movement.
 

Fire
Attributes: Warmth (destructive, deadly and life giving)
Sec. Attributes: Light, Heartiness, comfort, affection, Emotional, quarrelsomeness, joy of action, valor, honesty, truthfulness, Dangerous, aggressive, Strenght, Energy, Activity, Protection, Awareness about it's own dangers
Color: red, orange
Stone: Fire opals
Counter: water
Elements for Spell/Rituals:
Skills: Chemistry (Part), Persuasion
Art: none; Inabiltiy to create anything lasting?
Good side: Strong personality, Valor, Honesty, Thruthfullness
Other side: quarrelsome, believe in superiority, overactive
Effect: Truthfull, direct, strenght of character, impulsive, Protection; but also Overconfidence, Wrath, lack of patience
Uses: attack, battle
Physics: All Energy

 

Water:
Attributes: Change
Sec. Attributes: permanent Change, depth, unfathomable, many things at once, self-contradicting
Color: bluegreen
Stone: Aquamarin
Counter: Fire
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Meditation, Dancing, Choreography, seafood, gemstones and shells, meshes, conversation to tune in on it,
Skills: any Knowledge aquired on Travels?
Art: Instrumental Music, especially Wind/water Instruments, Poetry
Good side: Soothing, comfy, calm, adapting
Other side: Melancholia, Poision, wild, overpowering, extreme emotions
Effect: Strenght and Endurance; but also Melancholia, unpredictability
Uses: Personal attack and defense
Physics: Chemical Binding Force"

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On 3/14/2019 at 6:12 PM, DShomshak said:

 

Western occult tradition tends to associate Air with intelligence and Fire with passion, but this is not universal. Whatever characteristics you link to each element, I agree that something like this could help make the four styles of magic more distinctive.

 

Water is associated with the unconscious mind. If attacked, it yields, then closes back, unharmed. But when it moves, it overwhelms anything in its way -- whether washing away a town or drowning the mind in madness. EGO seems more appropriate than PRE: The quiet strength of personality rather than the overt influence of Presence.

 

Dean Shomshak

I am going to steal these. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 4:51 AM, Christopher said:

 

5E's figured Characteristics make this a lot harder, but it is still doable.

 

6E1 47 has this to say on "Toolkitting Characteristics" and I thought it might be helpfull:
"Because they’re fundamental to every single character, Characteristics are one of the most important parts of the HERO System, and your campaign. Changing them is one of the best ways to create a certain “feel” for your campaign, or to enforce the way you see your campaign working... but also one of the easiest ways to create unintended consequences, so tread carefully.
There are three basic changes you can make to the Characteristics. The first is to add one or more Characteristics to the lineup. This is an easy way to show players what’s particularly important or useful in your campaign, or to foreshadow what sort of perils they’re likely to face in their adventures. Some examples:
- In In a “Psychic Wars” campaign focused on factions of mentalists using their powers to compete for influence in the shadows of normal society, Mental Defense is so common, and so important, that the GM makes it a Characteristic (Base Value of 2, cost 1 Character Point per +1 point).
- In In a Fantasy Hero campaign featuring powerful wizards and a magic system that defines magic as drawing primarily on the caster’s personal energy but also ambient arcane power, the GM requires all spellcasters to have a Mana (MANA) Characteristic (Base Value 20, costs 1 Character Point per +10 Mana). Mana functions like END, but only for spells. However, characters only Recover MANA like they do BODY, on a per-month basis — so a
wizard can cast a particularly powerful spell, but then he’ll be a long time “recuperating” before he can do it again. On the other hand, areas with “high levels” of ambient magical energy make spellcasting easier and less stressful.
- In In a Horror Hero campaign, characters have a Sanity (SAN) Characteristic (Base Value of 20, costs 1 Character Point per +2 points). Sort of like STUN and physical attacks, characters lose SAN when exposed to or “attacked” by horrific or stressful situations and beings.
Second, the GM can remove Characteristics that he doesn’t want to use. For example, removing END is discussed elsewhere in this chapter. In a campaign with no Mental Powers at all, OMCV and DMCV aren’t needed, so you could remove them and save space on your character sheets. (See Dormant Abilities, 6E1 46.)
Lastly, the GM could change the cost of a Characteristic to make it easier or harder for characters to afford. For example, in a game where the GM wants characters to be less “durable,” he could increase the cost of BODY. However, changing the cost of a Characteristic can affect Adjustment Powers, combat, and many other aspects of the game, so proceed cautiously."

 

And of course there is my favourite example for changing cost: Swimming and Flight would propably trade places and cost in a Underwater Campaign.

 

I know a variant of a classical western Elements with 6 Elements:

Earth/Air

Fire/Water

Ice/Humus (Life/Plantlife)

 

As I once made a Character on this basis, I had a bunch of Data/Ideas gathered on it. Attribute associations were hard, as not every Attribute mapped to Hero. So I mostly focussed on Skills (inlcuding Arts) as well as Personality Attributes. As for mapping it to only 4 Elements: Ice is usually a part/form of Water. While Humus has elements from water (life) and earth (fertile soil)

 

"Ice:
Attributes: Cold (P)
Sec. Attributes: Darkness, Intelligence, Purity, emotional cold, detachment, mercilessness, timeless stasis
Color: Violet or White
Stone: Quartz, mountain crystal; Onyx?
Counter: Humus
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Meditating Naked, Icediving, sitting on a ice floe floating on the ocean
Skills: Tatic, Deduction
Arts: Writing, Icesculpting
Good side: Intelligence; Needed Balance/Border for all other Elements; unaffected by emotions
Other side: Emotional Distance; aloofness
Uses: Protection. Iceconstructs, Dispel/End of all energy. Darkness. Stopping Time? Durability? Eternal youth and beauty?
Physics: Nihilus Energy (counters all energy and even mater), lack of energy.
 

Humus:
Attributes: Life (especially Plants), Growth, youth, high age;
Sec. Attributes: Vitality, sedateness, coziness, (pratical) creativity, endurance, assertiveness, faith and hope, courage to face life, Knowledge of transience (willingness to start anew on failure)
Color: green, brown; plant colors
Stone: agate
Counter: Ice
Elements for Spell/Rituals: wickerwork, Flowers, Living plants
Skills: Botany, Biology, Genetics, Survival (Wilderness)
Arts: Cooking, Especially painting, Gardening
Good side: Life is good and must be protected. Friendly, pratical, helpfull, paternalistic, trustingly
Other side: Pure reaslism, Indifference for human problems. No Justice, compassion, friendships.
Uses: Healing, Food, Precognition, Plant Manipulation
Physics: Mixup of everything else but Ice

 

Stone:
Attributes: Heavyness, Inertia
Sec. Attributes: quiescency/calmness, sloth, sedateness, steadiness, stability, lasting, unshakeable, reliable, planing
Color: pure black, silver sheen
Stone: Onyx?, Granite?
Counter: Air
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Handwork, Climbing up mountains or down caves, Mosaiks, Menhirs, Long Meditation
Skills: Geology, Mechanic, Architecture/Analyze Buildings, Weaponsmith
Art: Every stonecraft (inlcuding gems), handicrafts
Good side: Durabiltiy, Planning, Dependability, Long Memory, Resistance to Emotions
Other side: Lazyness (Sloth), unadaptable, stubborness, perfectionism,
Uses: Protection, inmoveability, constructs, heavyness
Physics: All elemental Binding Forces (Gravity, Weak, EM, Strong)
 


Air:
Attributes: Movement, Lightness
Sec. Attributes: Emotion, Passion, Desire, Excitment, Restlessness, wealth of ideas, Joy of life, happiness, freethinking, recklessness, carelessness, phantasy, dreaming, never-resting, deceptive rhetoric, sense illusions, fleeting, incomprehensible, Freedom
Color:
Stone: Lapislazuli
Counter: Stone
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Dancing, Feathers, Incense, bracing Storms,
Skills: Persuasion, Conversation, Mimikri, Disguise, Acting, Ventriloquism
Art: Singing, wind instruments, Dancing, Poetry, Storytelling
Good side: Passion, wealth of ideas, Joy of Life
Other side: Restless, reckless, deceptive, incomprehensible, mocking, Trickster
Effects: Higher speed and Inventiveness, but also: Lack of Concentration. Impulsiveness. Maybe even Lust
Uses: Movement, speed, Illusion (especially sound based), Mimkri, Ventriloquism, Prediction?
Physics: Movement.
 

Fire
Attributes: Warmth (destructive, deadly and life giving)
Sec. Attributes: Light, Heartiness, comfort, affection, Emotional, quarrelsomeness, joy of action, valor, honesty, truthfulness, Dangerous, aggressive, Strenght, Energy, Activity, Protection, Awareness about it's own dangers
Color: red, orange
Stone: Fire opals
Counter: water
Elements for Spell/Rituals:
Skills: Chemistry (Part), Persuasion
Art: none; Inabiltiy to create anything lasting?
Good side: Strong personality, Valor, Honesty, Thruthfullness
Other side: quarrelsome, believe in superiority, overactive
Effect: Truthfull, direct, strenght of character, impulsive, Protection; but also Overconfidence, Wrath, lack of patience
Uses: attack, battle
Physics: All Energy

 

Water:
Attributes: Change
Sec. Attributes: permanent Change, depth, unfathomable, many things at once, self-contradicting
Color: bluegreen
Stone: Aquamarin
Counter: Fire
Elements for Spell/Rituals: Meditation, Dancing, Choreography, seafood, gemstones and shells, meshes, conversation to tune in on it,
Skills: any Knowledge aquired on Travels?
Art: Instrumental Music, especially Wind/water Instruments, Poetry
Good side: Soothing, comfy, calm, adapting
Other side: Melancholia, Poision, wild, overpowering, extreme emotions
Effect: Strenght and Endurance; but also Melancholia, unpredictability
Uses: Personal attack and defense
Physics: Chemical Binding Force"

Oooh this Is even better! I’ll steal THIS one!

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On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 3:09 PM, Scott Ruggels said:

Oooh this Is even better! I’ll steal THIS one!

 

Heck I'm stealing this.* It's one of the best bits of quasi-Hermetic associations I've ever seen.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

* For personal use only in my games. I don't plagiarize.

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3 hours ago, DShomshak said:

 

Heck I'm stealing this.* It's one of the best bits of quasi-Hermetic associations I've ever seen.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

* For personal use only in my games. I don't plagiarize.

I largely distilled this down from someone elses writing. Wich was written as a free suplement to someone elses RPG setting.

 

So I am honestly unsure what the legal ownership of any of that is.

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