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#1 Daelkyr

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:59 AM

I have the BRP system and was thumbing through it. The magic and sorcery system is very basic and that's fine, but what I didn't see in it was anything pertaining to Necromancy. In the world that I've been making, Necromancy plays a huge part in it. Are there rules on making Zombies/Skeletons and the like, or even lichhood? I don't mind if it goes to either Magician or Sorcerer as I plan on using slightly modified versions of both as it is. I just want there to be Zombies and Skeletons running around messing the day up and having the option for my players to do the same.

#2 CthulhuFnord

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:16 AM

If you are looking to go with the Sorcery option I would suggest Magic World. It is a complete game using the BRP rules, and has a ton of sorcery spells. Its supplement Advanced Sorcery has a whole section on Necromancy, including Lichedom and raising zombies/skeletons. My only problem with those rules is that you have to spend a permanent point of POW for each zombie or skeleton you have to animate it. If you go that route I'd suggest you make it temporary (until the creature is destroyed) or do away with the POW cost all together.

If you would like to go the generic Magic route I could design a spell for creating zombies and skeletons. Legend and Runequest already have several, it wouldn't be too difficult to modify one of theirs.

#3 Mankcam

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:53 AM

In my humble opinion the POW cost is valid, it is like giving up a part of your soul to pay for the cost of creating a zombie. There are ways around using your own POW, such as using sacrifice etc I think LEGEND's Blood Magic rules could be useful to assist here perhaps. But I agree that the best route is to start with the BRP MW Advanced Sorcery rules and go from there.

Edited by Mankcam, 24 June 2014 - 09:22 AM.


#4 CthulhuFnord

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:23 PM

My issue with Skeletons and Zombies under the sorcery rules is two-fold. First with the POW expenditure you run into the problem of the minimum POW of 16 needed to cast spells. A sorcerer can't create too many of the undead without crippling himself magically. Second, summoning elementals and demons to do your bidding is such a better option. They cost more magic points to create, but are so much more powerful than say a skeleton that the POW expenditure is actually worthwhile.

#5 vagabond

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:25 PM

My issue with Skeletons and Zombies under the sorcery rules is two-fold. First with the POW expenditure you run into the problem of the minimum POW of 16 needed to cast spells. A sorcerer can't create too many of the undead without crippling himself magically. Second, summoning elementals and demons to do your bidding is such a better option. They cost more magic points to create, but are so much more powerful than say a skeleton that the POW expenditure is actually worthwhile.


I've always played the old school Stormbringer way - INT+POW >= 32. That way you could have very studious wizards who spend countless hours pouring over tomes, but need to be very careful lest they lose too much POW and thus the ability to cast/summon becomes more and more difficult. Or, you can have characters with raw, unbridled power and ability, but lack the knowledge to grasp the nuances and truly arcane arts. Or, you have the god-like Melniboneans, who have the INT and the POW, and are the source of nightmarish fairy tales and can level whole armies/fleets.

But, that's me ...

#6 tooley1chris

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:31 PM

Seems to me, and I may be mistaken, but the POW cost is a check n balance restriction that is necessary lest a sorcerer who lacks the discipline, earned thru experience, raise an army of undead over night.

#7 Mankcam

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:02 AM

I do like the idea of some POW expenditure for any permanent form of magic (not necessarily always the caster's personal supply - hence draining items which contain POW or sacrifice of others etc). However that is a valid point about weighing the balance of skeleton & zombie creation vs summoning and bidding elementals & demons, I will need to have a closer look at the rules again before I throw in any more comments here...

Edited by Mankcam, 26 June 2014 - 02:10 AM.


#8 Simlasa

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:42 PM

I do like the idea of some POW expenditure for any permanent form of magic (not necessarily always the caster's personal supply - hence draining items which contain POW or sacrifice of others etc).

I feel the same way... AND it sets up all the typical evil wizard stuff of doing despicable things to get more power/Power... why a guy with an army of undead probably did something nasty to get it.
My homebrew setting has a lot of technology powered by 'ghosts'... kind of limited AI that can be either natural or man-made. The man-made ones can be of a living person... a recording of a specific moment in time... or they can be made by a group... a kind of gestalt being, a thoughtform. All of them require some amount of Power from some source.

Edited by Simlasa, 28 June 2014 - 06:03 PM.


#9 tooley1chris

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 06:53 PM

I feel the same way... AND it sets up all the typical evil wizard stuff of doing despicable things to get more power/Power... why a guy with an army of undead probably did something nasty to get it.
My homebrew setting has a lot of technology powered by 'ghosts'... kind of limited AI that can be either natural or man-made. The man-made ones can be of a living person... a recording of a specific moment in time... or they can be made by a group... a kind of gestalt being, a thoughtform. All of them require some amount of Power from some source.


This reminds me of Spell Jammer. Airships fueled by wizards magic source, like a battery.

#10 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

Seems to me, and I may be mistaken, but the POW cost is a check n balance restriction that is necessary lest a sorcerer who lacks the discipline, earned thru experience, raise an army of undead over night.


That makes it difficult to rationalize the existence of armies of undead in a campaign. Nobody has THAT much POW.

Of course, as a game balance issue in BRP you really don't want armies of undead, especially in fantasy, as they would rapidly overwhelm the PCs. A group of PCs taking on an entire tribe of orcs has the same problem -- take on too many foes, even if they're really lousy, and you're toast regardless of how skilled you are.

#11 tooley1chris

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:11 PM

That makes it difficult to rationalize the existence of armies of undead in a campaign. Nobody has THAT much POW.

Of course, as a game balance issue in BRP you really don't want armies of undead, especially in fantasy, as they would rapidly overwhelm the PCs. A group of PCs taking on an entire tribe of orcs has the same problem -- take on too many foes, even if they're really lousy, and you're toast regardless of how skilled you are.


Makes it difficult to rationalize a PC having an army of undead, sure. But a Vampire who obtains POW from Blood or a necromancer who becomes a Liche and is basically immortal... and of course, blood sacrifice mentioned earlier...lots of potential for villains to raise an army.
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#12 Simlasa

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:34 AM

Of course, as a game balance issue in BRP you really don't want armies of undead, especially in fantasy, as they would rapidly overwhelm the PCs. A group of PCs taking on an entire tribe of orcs has the same problem -- take on too many foes, even if they're really lousy, and you're toast regardless of how skilled you are.

I think the 'skill' comes in AVOIDING situations where you face a horde of undead/orcs/whatever. "See all those orcs down there? Let's go the other way."
I could totally see playing something like the OSR module Death Frost Doom for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, with BRP, because the core pickle is that you really can't fight your way out of it.

Edited by Simlasa, 01 July 2014 - 12:55 AM.


#13 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:55 PM

I can easily see PCs as "scouts" in that situation -- "find the orc/zombie/skeleton/trollkin army, get back and report their position to our army, and hope they don't catch you!". Let the King's army deal with them, and hope you general is competent and not some dilettante nobleman who doesn't know a glaive from a roasted whole pig.



#14 Moonowol67

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:04 PM

I'm thinking that if you really want that army of undead, you can ab-lib that with some form of magical focus like an artifact gifted by or dedicated to an evil power, or perhaps the location of a singularly evil historic event, then the POW sacrifice that transforms corpses to create zombies or skeletons in POWX10 feet or meters.  Or you could change the rule to an area-of-effect.   

To preserve game balance, and avoid a TPK, make sure the good guys have a small army available to them, as well!



#15 OrdoMonstrum

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:41 AM

One of the neatest mechanics I've seen for this is in a Retro Clone OSR game "Crypts & Things" you have 3 degrees of magic that e veryone has access to (Anyone who has magic that is) White, Grey , and Black.  Common sense can arrange them but when you dabble in the Black, you also lose sanity, sometimes permanently.
Just a fun mechanic and would keep those "darker side" players from becoming game breakers



#16 Akerbakk

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:21 PM

An easy Magic Spell would be the following:

 

RAISE DEAD

Cost: 1 PP per 3 SIZ of creature to be reanimated, +1 HP from the caster (temporarily) signifying fresh blood to draw pentagram on corpse.

Range: Touch

Duration: (Whatever works for your setting, I'd go with "exists until destroyed")

Note: Caster must win a quick contest of POW vs. target's POW to "force" a fragment of the soul back into the creature.

 

As for Lich-hood, what would you want to be able to do? I'd start with the super powers section and see if I could design an alternate form and make the PP cost 1/2 or 1/3 of the CP cost for the alternate form.



#17 CthulhuFnord

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:58 PM

Ooo.. I like the POW vs POW aspect of the spell.

#18 Akerbakk

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:50 AM

Ooo.. I like the POW vs POW aspect of the spell.

 

Thanks Fnord, I think I stole that from the GURPS adaptation of Castle Falkenstein, but in that case it was the caster's IQ vs the average of the target's IQ and ST. POW vs. POW is way easier...



#19 Robsbot

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 06:36 PM

I too heartily recommend Magic World and it's supplement Advanced Sorcery for your Necromantic needs. Advanced Sorcery has all the good bits so make sure you pick that up. 

One way I deal with permanent powers in my games is power reservation. I use it whenever I want a caster like a Necromancer or Enchanter that can have lots of permanent spell effects going but I don't want the constant POW donations to become too taxing. Let's say a PC with 16 POW creates a zombie that costs 6 magic points (or whatever your chosen system calls them), the PC then has only 10 magic points he can use. Those points stay spent and do not regenerate for any reason until the spell keeping the zombie alive is dismissed by the caster. Then, they come back at a normal rate. A player does not get an immediate 6 magic points to use when they dismiss the zombie, although you could allow a spell that consumes the corpse and the spark of life to give them the reserved magic used by the corpse immediately, which could be interesting. This reservation system very easily lets you tweak the points cost of spells to be as powerful as you want (most casters will have 16-18 POW early on) so that they can have 1-2 zombies, 3-4 zombies, or even more.
 
The system also balances itself out in the fact that the more of their magic points a PC has reserved the less flexibility they have in spontaneous spell casting. Someone with a small group of zombies probably only has a handful of points to cast with each day making their other options much more limited. You could even add another rule similar to how demons work. Each zombie could cost a certain amount of your INT reservation to keep alive thus lowering the number of spells you could remember if you try to keep a horde of zombies alive. Either of these systems creates an actual trade-off for PC's: Do I have consistent meat shields and sacrifice utility? Do I need more flexibility and less zombies?
 
However, for NPC's, do whatever you like. I plan on having one encounter for my NPC's where three sorcerers head to the site of an ancient battle, erect monoliths and imbue them with power over time, then using each other and the monoliths as a battery they cast a spell that resurrects hundreds of undead in hours slowly scouring the ground and resurrecting each buried corpse it crosses. Just keep it interesting. Advancing the story is more important at this point than balance. Just hand wave it off to corrupt power from dark gods, demons, or an ancient spell they found that they immediately hid when they learned it.

 

Although balance could pretty easily be achieved, I'm not sure PC Necromancers are a good idea. Is this a world where everyone is running around with skeletons? Do they all walk zombies like your average middle class American housing development at 7 am? Are you planning to run combat constantly that PC's would need undead for? Combat is very deadly in BRP and should be used as a last resort. If you're planning for that much combat maybe this isn't the system for you. However Pokemon type battles with undead could be fun...


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#20 CthulhuFnord

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 07:55 PM

I like this method.  It makes Brazier of Power very useful to necromancers and summoners.

 

I too heartily recommend Magic World and it's supplement Advanced Sorcery for your Necromantic needs. Advanced Sorcery has all the good bits so make sure you pick that up. 

One way I deal with permanent powers in my games is power reservation. I use it whenever I want a caster like a Necromancer or Enchanter that can have lots of permanent spell effects going but I don't want the constant POW donations to become too taxing. Let's say a PC with 16 POW creates a zombie that costs 6 magic points (or whatever your chosen system calls them), the PC then has only 10 magic points he can use. Those points stay spent and do not regenerate for any reason until the spell keeping the zombie alive is dismissed by the caster. Then, they come back at a normal rate. A player does not get an immediate 6 magic points to use when they dismiss the zombie, although you could allow a spell that consumes the corpse and the spark of life to give them the reserved magic used by the corpse immediately, which could be interesting. This reservation system very easily lets you tweak the points cost of spells to be as powerful as you want (most casters will have 16-18 POW early on) so that they can have 1-2 zombies, 3-4 zombies, or even more.
 
The system also balances itself out in the fact that the more of their magic points a PC has reserved the less flexibility they have in spontaneous spell casting. Someone with a small group of zombies probably only has a handful of points to cast with each day making their other options much more limited. You could even add another rule similar to how demons work. Each zombie could cost a certain amount of your INT reservation to keep alive thus lowering the number of spells you could remember if you try to keep a horde of zombies alive. Either of these systems creates an actual trade-off for PC's: Do I have consistent meat shields and sacrifice utility? Do I need more flexibility and less zombies?
 
However, for NPC's, do whatever you like. I plan on having one encounter for my NPC's where three sorcerers head to the site of an ancient battle, erect monoliths and imbue them with power over time, then using each other and the monoliths as a battery they cast a spell that resurrects hundreds of undead in hours slowly scouring the ground and resurrecting each buried corpse it crosses. Just keep it interesting. Advancing the story is more important at this point than balance. Just hand wave it off to corrupt power from dark gods, demons, or an ancient spell they found that they immediately hid when they learned it.

 

Although balance could pretty easily be achieved, I'm not sure PC Necromancers are a good idea. Is this a world where everyone is running around with skeletons? Do they all walk zombies like your average middle class American housing development at 7 am? Are you planning to run combat constantly that PC's would need undead for? Combat is very deadly in BRP and should be used as a last resort. If you're planning for that much combat maybe this isn't the system for you. However Pokemon type battles with undead could be fun...







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