Jump to content

Sorcery as presented in The Smoking Ruins


Joerg

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

Wear tuke +15%

 

Hey hoser, what’s a tuke (hoser: a word of endearment popularized by Bob and Doug Mackenzie who taught the world everything they need to know about Canucklestan, err Canada) (Toque: a fashion statement, an accessory that says, I have made ir, I have arrived, I am a somebody, I have very cold ears)!

Hockey 25%, In yer dreams, see ya in Beijing* in 2022! 

* Beijing? For the winter Olympics, how did that happen?

:)

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Not sure what you mean... Beijing has snow. And not much further north a lot more snow and mountains.

 

Never though of Beijing as s winter city, the Beijing students I have seen from there around these parts wear heavy parkas, tukes :), er toques, winter gloves and scarves when it's 0 degrees celsius (32 F) and look like they are about to die horribly. 

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Speaking which time to go to work the NY concert and fireworks (-4 do I need a sweater under my fall coat, well I’ll take it in case it goes down to -10)

Happy new years all!

BJ is about the same latitude as New Jersey... 

But, yeah, that happens to all kids everywhere in China when winter arrives (the season - not the weather. "Oh, the calendar says it's winter now, so I have to put on lots of clothes.. ")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/25/2019 at 9:20 AM, Joerg said:

[A lot of stuff. Basically, what all this shows is that the Free Int system in RQG is broken. Frankly, it was broken in RQ3 too. The idea of "forgetting" and "remembering" spells is a clumsy kludge. Basically, only spirit magic should interfere with your INT to remember sorcery spells. The number you can know should be your INT, minus any spirit magic you are foolish enough to know. INT, not "Free INT." -Glorion]

 

On 12/25/2019 at 9:20 AM, Joerg said:

 

 

 

After stating the facts above, time for some grumbling.

 

Neither of the two sorcerers is anywhere "realistic" if you want to develop them in the course of play. They have almost the species max for their INT and are yet only middling effective. It looks like the RQG sorcery system is breeding either one-trick ponies or cheaters.

 

Zindaulo with his mix of spirit magic and sorcery has basically no sorcerous ability left, and he even knows a spell he lacks a rune for. (Which is easy to repair - he has enough storage space for 2 more runes or techniques).

Zindaulo's skill ratings in his spells are somewhat within what you would expect for a player character sorcerer. Urvantan's skill ratings are the fruit of his 90 years of job experience.

 

Urvantan has his caste taboos listed.

  • Do not engage in physical combat;
  • do not perform manual labor;
  • do not negotiate or bargain with other castes or outsiders (he presents things as “take it or leave it” or as simple demands);
  • be celibate;
  • always appear as “Zzabur” (tall hat, long beard, heavy robes, etc.)

The first three taboos are the specialities of the other three castes (horal, dronar, talar).

Celibacy is a Rokari-specific taboo (Meriatan definitely was not celibate in the course of his career)

The last is a Rokari demand that is shared by other orthodox Malkioni sorcerers, although more liberally by some (e.g. the God Forgot advisor to Belinter in Prince of Sartar or the Nochet sorcerer performing geomancy or something similar for Vasana on p.380 of the RQG rules.)

We don't learn what advantages he draws from these restrictions, his Free INT isn't mentioned.

 

Zindaulo (the Arkati) doesn't list any caste or similar restrictions, but he is the character violating the INT requirements. His Illumination allows him to ignore all cult restrictions - but does this affect the Free INT rules?

Edited by Glorion
Fumblefingered posting.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Bienvenue!

Good point, but I still, narratively speaking, like the idea that a well-prepared sorcerer can do amazing things. I would probably rule that you can pre-store MPs in advance, which means that the first casting is immediate (or almost immediate) and free (as you're using the stored MP in the inscribed spell). So kinda like a POW storage crystal, but without the need to spend SRs to transfer the MP "out" of the crystal and into the casting (because they're "already there"). Any subsequent casting of the (now "empty") inscribed spell requires MP expenditure from the caster. So for the first few turns, the sorcerer can use his various tablets and accessories and bling-bling, but if his opponents survive, things get a bit tougher as the spells suddenly take extra turns to cast and need MP.

Ha I didn't see it like that !

in this case my " Hate MP savings" is becoming " "Mistrust MP savings"

It could be tested

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/31/2019 at 2:49 PM, g33k said:

Wait...  Does that mean he gets the Cultural Skill  +10% Ride(Moose) during chargen??!?

 

main-qimg-e7526716410c6f782f4ea9b63e45a4cc.webp Actually, a Russian.

 

On 12/31/2019 at 8:55 PM, Shiningbrow said:

Not sure what you mean... Beijing has snow.

I thought at this point it's pretty much soot. :)

 

 

In re the point of the thread is that RQ Sorcery is at the very least troubled.

  • There were NO Sorcery mechanics in RQ2, leaving our 'impressions' of what sorcery should be in Glorantha at best anecdotal "I remember Greg saying...". That said, it was obviously fundamental to Greg's imagining of the world; after all the story of Prince Snodal & Zzabur was IIRC the very first story he wrote down long before the idea of it ever being a game was even a twinkle in his eye.
  • RQ3 posited a highly mechanical, not-particularly-Gloranthan set of rules that (IMO) could be at best considered a late rough playtest draft.  It could be made to work with enough spackle and duct tape (obviously in Glorantha: duck tape), but even when it worked, sorcerers suffered badly from the D&Desque paradigm of "worthless in the early campaign, ridiculously overpowered in the late campaign".  It was sterile and flavorless; even with Sandy's excellent TC documentation there were severe balance issues.
  • RQG has a disappointing number of issues, as explained extensively in the previous pages of this thread.  IMO what we have today is the barely-viable Broo-spawn of a trifecta of:  the ideal of making Sorcery GLORANTHAN and connect it firmly to Runes (to meanwhile connect it to the source material that exists), to try to glean something of value from RQ3 but fix its weaknesses, as well as make it something interesting and playable for PCs (this last being - imo - the concession that's really warped the result).

I certainly don't have the answers.   I don't know that the goals are reconcilable. 

What I observe is that the idiomatic presentation of sorcerers in the source material (I bow to better interpretations, if people disagree: my knowledge is nowhere near as extensive as most of the long term Gloranthaphiles, to say nothing of Jeff Richard himself obviously) is more akin to the clade of sages and alchemists than adventurers clambering around tombs or mercenaries in the saddle.

So for me, if I were ambitious enough to say "screw backwards compatibility, let's rewrite this from a true tabula rasa" the FIRST task before I write one word on mechanics would be: what are we even trying to create?  Following immediately behind that, though, is recognition of MGF: what do players *want*?  They have to be in that order because reversed it's unlikely to be Glorantha; but the entire exercise is probably pointless if you ignore the second.

I'd speculate that the best way to address the spread of needs here might be to bifurcate sorcery somehow?  In the same sense that divine magic might be seen to be a sort of a glorified, grownup spirit magic, maybe sorcery could be addressed the same way.  Maybe there's a sort of journeyman-ish level of day-to-day sorcery that everyone can use, but scaling that, as well as employing the sorts of ritualistic, massive, collaborative, knowledge-intensive Zzaburian sorcery justifies the whole caste-concept for those societies because it's really a lifetime of work (or, ideally, more than one lifetime).

(Of course, this is premised on my now-obsolescent conception that the worldview needed to use sorcery is anathematic to that which would use spirit or divine magic.  So there's that.)

Personally, given the basic premises of Gloranthan magic and cultures behind them, I'd find such a comprehensive sorcery system AMAZINGLY interesting.  It would probably end up another 400+ page tome though. 

 

Edited by styopa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm confused by the fact that people complaining about Sorcery as "not for adventurous characters" in a game where all characters have a big bag of spells [Spirit Magic + Rune Magic].

In Glorantha your ordinary fighter is more wizard or sorcerer than any fighter in any other RPG. Even without sorcery.

 

Edited by prinz.slasar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, prinz.slasar said:

In Glorantha your ordinary fighter is more wizard or sorcerer than any fighter in any other RPG. Even without sorcery.

Sure, but with Spirit Magic and Rune Magic you have competent casual users (e.g. starting adventurers) and then you have specialists/experts, in the shape of Shamans and Rune Priests/Lords who wield tremendous power because of their commitment to their path.

With Sorcery you have incompetent casual users, who cannot be trusted to light kindling with their ability, and then Sorcerers who wield tremendous power etc.

There seems to be a glaring hole where the competent casual Sorcery users should be. 

And to me - and this is just my personal opinion - Sorcery just doesn't feel fun. It feels like work, because it's unnecessarily crunchy.

Accordingly, I've made sure none of the adventurers in my campaign are Sorcery users. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear all,

I am contemplating the following houserules to RQG Sorcery.

 

1) As long as the Sorcerer mastered the Magic-Rune, he may learn and cast any sorcery spell. It just gets very MP-costly accordingly.

image.png.b5b267c8a737e697fcba38106c71d925.png

 

2) Inscribed spells set in at DEX-SR the following round (or even the same round?).

 

3) It‘s possible to use extra MPs to negate the delaying effect of high-powered spells in a ratio 1:1.

 

Example:
A spell, which normally costs 6 MPs boosted by 6 MPs extra would set in at DEX-SR the following round.

 

4) I a still unsure whether to keep Free INT or not. Keeping it, means forcing the player to restrict his characters active grimoire, his Rune-/Technique-/Form-repertoire and Spirit magic spells severely.

 

5) Mages, that mastered the Magic-Rune, get one free XP-roll per mastered Rune/Technique/Form to a spell of their choosing each season analogous to „Experience between Adventures“ an page 416 of RQG. This to boost spell-percentages, which otherwise wouldn‘t increase as easily as for example Listen, Broadsword or Shield-skills.

 

Lastly some new spells I think should be a thing:

 

Enhance STR (Summon, Air) .. accordingly to Enhance INT

Enhance DEX (Summon, Water)

Enhance CON (Summon, Earth)

Enhance SIZ (Summon, Darkness)

On the other hand all of those should be possible by using the Man-Rune with the Summon-Technique.

Like ...

Enhance INT (Summon, Man), Enhance CON (Summon, Man), etc.

Or even better in my view ...

Enhance INT (Combine, Man, Truth), Enhance CON (Combine, Man, Stasis), etc.

 

Decrease STR (Dispel, Air)

Decrease DEX (Dispel, Water)

Decrease CON (Dispel, Earth)

Decrease SIZ (Dispel, Darkness)

Decrease INT (Dispel, Fire)

Decrease POW (Dispel, Moon) .. isn't that already a thing somewhere?

 

Please don‘t get me wrong. I like the rules as they are, but just want to give Sorcery a bit of a boost. If some or all of this seems to much, please advise. This should by no means seem like a criticism of the authors wonderful work.

Edited by buckwheats
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, buckwheats said:

Lastly some new spells I think should be a thing:

These are all good, and of course you can have fun with other elemental tap spells as well, either tapping associated attributes (Tap SIZ working similarly to Tap Body) or more directly with Steal Breath being Tap Air; allowing for the existence of Dehydrate/Stealth Moisture (Tap Water) or Freeze/Steal Warmth (Tap Fire.)

As well as this, the Animate Dead spell appears to be a variation of the old Animate (Substance) spell, and presumably by replacing the Death Rune with something more suitable: Earth for Animate Stone, Fire for Animate Flames, etc.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, buckwheats said:

I am contemplating the following houserules to RQG Sorcery.

Thanks for sharing! (and you get a bonus point for your choice of profile picture!)

5 hours ago, buckwheats said:

2) Inscribed spells set in at DEX-SR the following round (or even the same round?).

Might I suggest (INT+DEX)-SR, same round? You need to react both physically (to grab/touch your inscribed item) and intellectually (to trigger the spell). I've got no idea how well it would hold, I just thought about it 2 minutes ago.

5 hours ago, buckwheats said:

3) It‘s possible to use extra MPs to negate the delaying effect of high-powered spells in a ratio 1:1.

While I understand the mechanical point of this, I don't think it makes much sense in-world.... spending MPs delays execution, but spending more MPs shortens execution? Errr....

Maybe you can re-use that idea for inscribed spells. For instance, imagine inscribed spells went off on their "normal" SR (DEX SR + MP spending SR), but if you pour more MPs into the inscription you can make it faster, because you're further manipulating the spell to miniaturize it, so to speak.

5 hours ago, buckwheats said:

4) I a still unsure whether to keep Free INT or not. Keeping it, means forcing the player to restrict his characters active grimoire, his Rune-/Technique-/Form-repertoire and Spirit magic spells severely.

Yeah Free INT seems very limiting in terms of how many techniques/Runes/etc. a sorcerer can master. I think the point is to force sorcerers to prepare spells by inscribing them (although we still don't know if the cost changes for unmastered Runes/Techniques) and then only casting spells "on the go" for those kinds of spells you "specialize" in (i.e. master, unless you're ready to take the extra MP cost). Not all sorcerers are "adventuring" sorcerers, so there's probably a good distribution of specialties, but as far as sorcerer PCs are concerned, I don't know if it would push them all to have the same things and look very similar, which would be sad.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

While I understand the mechanical point of this, I don't think it makes much sense in-world.... spending MPs delays execution, but spending more MPs shortens execution? Errr....

Maybe you can re-use that idea for inscribed spells. For instance, imagine inscribed spells went off on their "normal" SR (DEX SR + MP spending SR), but if you pour more MPs into the inscription you can make it faster, because you're further manipulating the spell to miniaturize it, so to speak.

MPs were the only currency I could think of to tax the mage with. I thought as well, that it goes against the current view on MP-spending for Sorcerers. Maybe something else comes up, if at all it has to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah Free INT seems very limiting in terms of how many techniques/Runes/etc. a sorcerer can master.

Wait, are mastered techniques and runes something that affects Free INT? Memorizing Spells on page 390 only mentions Spirit Magic and Sorcery spells. 

I assumed the limit to runes/techniques was separate. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tindalos said:

Wait, are mastered techniques and runes something that affects Free INT? Memorizing Spells on page 390 only mentions Spirit Magic and Sorcery spells.

RQG p384, under "Mastering New Runes or Techniques": "A sorcerer must have a minimum INT of 13 to understand one Rune and one technique. For each point of INT above 13, the sorcerer can learn one more Rune or one more technique. Thus, a sorcerer with an INT of 18 could know up to 7 Runes and techniques in total."

So not "Free INT" per se (the text doesn't use this term) but, well, limited by INT still.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

To show how limited that is: there is a total of 26 Runes/Forms/Techniques (there might be more if you consider condition Runes... I'm not sure why they're not listed). With INT 20 you can know 8 of those. So at most, a sorcerer can only master ~30% of all there is to master in sorcery.

Not to mention the brutalist breakpoint of the 13 INT.   Very retro?  13 INT you can learn this stuff, 12 = nope, sorry, you're too stupid to even grasp the basics.

Far better to have INT either cap your manipulation, or even better, something like a memory check (d20 vs INT or an INTx5 roll if you're wedded to d100s) to 'remember' how to cast that spell.  That's not a bad fantasy trope, the brilliant greyhair wizard absent-mindedly trying to recall the spell while the party is desperately holding back the beasties.  "Oh, what was that spell again?"  

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, styopa said:

Not to mention the brutalist breakpoint of the 13 INT.   Very retro?  13 INT you can learn this stuff, 12 = nope, sorry, you're too stupid to even grasp the basics.

13 is the average score for human Int.

Sorcery is one of the more complex thing to understand for a gloranthan (with illumination)

You're too stupid to use sorcery ? you can use spirit magic

You're too weak to use great sword ? you can use a dagger or... you can run

The spell skill can also be seen as "remember" how to cast that spell

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...