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D&D-style Magic in QuestWorlds


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How would someone represent D&D style magic - with a large number of possible spells - in QuestWorlds?

Would spells/abilities be grouped by a style of magic, or just a list of keywords?

What do magic items look like ? 

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4 minutes ago, Mark(at) said:

How would someone represent D&D style magic - with a large number of possible spells - in QuestWorlds?

Would spells/abilities be grouped by a style of magic, or just a list of keywords?

What do magic items look like ? 

Possibly as a set of grimoires belonging to one of the techniques (Evocation, Necromancy etc.) and then the spells as break-out abilities from that.

For the rest, here's how I would use Nethack items in a Questworlds environment.

If you need to simulate the "fire and forget" nature of those spells (Gloranthan Rune Magic has the same, and doesn't bother), you could impose a cumulative penalty of -10 to the ability, which could be negated by preparing a certain number of spells from the book each morning. The level of the spell might be used as sort of a penalty on preparing those spells to simulate you have less spell slots for those powerful spells, again if you see fit to follow D&D that closely. You still want them to be cast at full mastery when it comes to contests with enemy magic.

Any magic item is an ability. A +n sword in D&D would be an ability to augment your attack ability with, and might be a stand-alone skill, or a breakout from your sword or combat ability. It might impose the additional ability to harm entities immune to ordinary damage, and armor to withstand enemy damage. The problem is how you use both in the same combat roll, if you make the entire combat a single roll. Maybe use the weapon bonus on a success, the armor bonus on a failure? Tricky.

Similar with rings and amulets. Some of these may have a chance to burn out on activation, e.g. on a fumble. More fragile ones on a failure, but still taking some weaker success.

One-use or charged items like potions, wands and scrolls may be used like ammunition to a basic skill "quaff potion", "activate wand" or "read scroll" to take effect in a largely unopposed situation (I'd use an "activate wand" ability for targeting said wand, when required). When you need to measure the item's effect against say the consequences of a spell or poison or whatever, each such item could be deemed a normal success by its maker to give it an ability ranking to do its stuff once. Your character rolls for the activation, then the activated item rolls with its maker's success against the resistance.

I have played in a game where such made items were rolled individually. In case of doubt, you can roll for the maker's success level at the time the player uses the item.

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Here is an approach I took, sorting spells into grimoires roughly grouped by theme and power level.

I actually have a lot of draft/notes for implementing a whole lot of D&D'isms like classes as keywords, distinct arcane vs divine magic styles, spells/day derived from ability ratings, advancement/resistance-progression framed in Low/Mid/High/Epic-Level terms, etc.

I even went all-in on making alignment something that interacts interestingly with play, Alignment ratings work similar to how community resource ratings do, and your behavior and experiences cause them to fluctuate over time. You can draw upon them for augments when acting in accordance with primordial forces with which you are aligned (especially for Divine casters), use them to resist Charm effects, Flaws, or temptations/manipulation that would make you act against your alignment, and so on. With Mastery-rated alignment, you start to be affected by detect___, protection from____, etc. spells,  and can hurt creatures that are immune to non-magical weapons. Alignment languages even get recast an intuitive understanding among those strongly enough alligned to the same primordial forces, usefull for expressing concepts and ideas relevant to the prordialstruggles of creation, but hard to express mundane ideas like "How much for the top-shelf brandy?".

I stopped working on this uppon discovering that QW would have its own license, which is not only incompatible with directly incorporating D&D spell lists etc., but might also prohibit the alignment ideas as being derivative of story elements from the Moorcock BRP games.  

If we ever get a clear and definative answer on what Chaosium/MDP means by "story element" in the context of their licenses, I might revisit. The spell lists, classes, etc. could concievably be scrubbed of things that would infringe on WizCo's IP, but it would take a lot of work and care to get right. In the meantime, what attention I have available to devote to QW is going to be directed towards less fraught propositions.

On a lighter note, @Newt's Yea Little Book of HeroQuest Dungeoneering has a lot of fun ideas in this vein as well. I hope he's able to re-release it at some point.

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  • 5 months later...

Its simple. The divine magic, nature magic or fundamental magic for keywords, and all spell as break out. And a description for each abilities/spells. But its a lot of work. Evocation, conjuration, divination etc. is a good idea too un der the umbrella of divine, nature and fundamental, for game master who want only abillities/spells name and a free system of casting. Fireball can be cast for example with 18 skills in evocation and meteor shower only for player who have 2 masteries etc. But, again, its some work of judgment and its subjective. Some very powerfull spell cant be cast by beginner player, reasonabily.

Edited by Martigan
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10 spells launch available in the beginning of a new adventure. +1 recover after sleeping 8 hours and another +1 if they ate and drank enough in the journey. The total is 10, even if the caster have 3 masteries. The magic cant be infinite. I make a rule for that because the game dont tell anything linked to this. All spells even the most powerfull cost 1.  

Edited by Martigan
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am thinking of running an at least single one-off of a D&D style game session, and I have a player who's only wish is a character that can cast fireball. 

My desire is to use the AP wagering as the extended contest method since I feel it adds drama, and the betting element adds tactical tension to the game. 

However, since a fireball is traditionally an area effect, how would I best handle a situation where for example, the player is in an extended contest with a single opponent, and then a group of orcs for example come rushing in the room, and he wishes to fireball the group? My first thought is to break out of the current extended contest, resolve the fireball tossed at the orks running up the corridor as a simple contest, then resume the extended contest. 

Are there better ways to accomplish this?

Thanks

Edited by godsmonkey
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On 11/25/2020 at 3:05 PM, godsmonkey said:

I am thinking of running an at least single one-off of a D&D style game session, and I have a player who's only wish is a character that can cast fireball. 

My desire is to use the AP wagering as the extended contest method since I feel it adds drama, and the betting element adds tactical tension to the game. 

However, since a fireball is traditionally an area effect, how would I best handle a situation where for example, the player is in an extended contest with a single opponent, and then a group of orcs for example come rushing in the room, and he wishes to fireball the group? My first thought is to break out of the current extended contest, resolve the fireball tossed at the orks running up the corridor as a simple contest, then resume the extended contest. 

Are there better ways to accomplish this?

Thanks

Take a look at "Unrelated Action" and "Desengaging". You can also rule out that the orcs are simply part of the contest, for example, if they're allies of your current opponent.

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On 11/25/2020 at 2:05 PM, godsmonkey said:

However, since a fireball is traditionally an area effect, how would I best handle a situation where for example, the player is in an extended contest with a single opponent, and then a group of orcs for example come rushing in the room, and he wishes to fireball the group? My first thought is to break out of the current extended contest, resolve the fireball tossed at the orks running up the corridor as a simple contest, then resume the extended contest. 

Extended Contests don't really work for me, so I rarely use them, except for a climatic event.

But, if you use them and the Adventurer is engaged in a contest and some orcs come running around the corner, it all depends on how you see this:

The Orcs come screaming around the corner and the Adventurer looks over at them, shrugs and casually tosses off a Fireball at them. Just roll for the effect of the Fireball against multiple opponents, or treat the Orcs as a single target, see what happens and narrate if any of them survive based on the result of the contest. The extended contest continues as it did.

The Orcs come screaming around the corner and the Adventurer looks at them, shocked by the sudden reinforcements, breaks off the fight, turns to them and fires off a Fireball. The Fireball contest is done as above, but the extended contest stops, maybe the Adventurer loses the extended contest or the opponent gets to run away or to act.

 

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

But, if you use them and the Adventurer is engaged in a contest and some orcs come running around the corner, it all depends on how you see this:

 

I am going to try and address the issue of 'initiative' and parallel and sequential actions in the Core Rules.

A summary would be: Either the story makes it clear who has the initiative or the PCs do by default. Whoever has the initiative gets to say what they do in an exchange first. The other side respond (however they wish to that). You roll for the exchange and the GM (as always) narrates the outcome. If you win the exchange, you most likely have initiative for the next exchange, presuming that makes sense in the fiction. In this way control shifts back and forth. There are exceptions here. Extended as opposed to Scored Contests use AP bids to figure out initiative in a group contest, so use that in preference there.

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>since a fireball is traditionally an area effect

Are they a mob? If you are treating them in game as a mob, i.e. despite being many of them, they just have one action, then the fireball targets all of them, but their resistance drops to that of an individual, instead of being pushed up for being a mob. So for example if you have a mob of Orcs, at a resistance of 20, but the player fireballs them, i might drop the resistance to 14 to represent the area effect nature of the weapon.

> they are all individuals

This is slightly tougher because you would need individual contests against all of them, and if you didn't knock them out, they would enter the contest with other members of the group uninjured. That doesn't really emulate what you are after, even if you just roll once and apply the results to everyone.  In that case I would probably treat is as an 'unrelated action' use the simple contest vs the mob of orcs to determine their fate. In QuestWorlds I might treat a defeat for the orcs as half of them are dead, the other half are at -6 due to wounds, I might give the orcs a -3 if they got a victory to represent flash burns anyway. One of the changes in QuestWorlds is to let you give penalties on a victory or bonuses on a defeat

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On 5/24/2020 at 4:04 PM, Mark(at) said:

How would someone represent D&D style magic - with a large number of possible spells - in QuestWorlds?

Would spells/abilities be grouped by a style of magic, or just a list of keywords?

What do magic items look like ? 

I am just exploring this right now in the Core Rules Book, so great timing.

My line is: ask what the 'feel' is over what the mechanics do. Try to emulate that 'feel' over the exact mechanics. So write down, how D&D magic feels:

Fire and Forget

More powerful spells for more powerful wizards

Spellbooks are a valuable commodity because not everyone knows all spells

They need material components that may be hard to find, words and gestures

Then you can build something around that. In a lot of cases lean on the 'credibility test'. Agree how magic works and simply deploy a credibility test over new rules. So spells are forgotten once cast? Great, it's not credible to use the same spell without a 'rest' having occurred in game. Spells need to be learned and more powerful spells are known to more powerful wizards. You have a spell book ability, and you start with 4 spells. When you find a new spell it is a contest to learn it, and more powerful spells have greater resistances to being learned (using your Wizard keyword). I would not list spells - you can use the source material for names, but I would let the player make up effects on first use. But you could list a spells effects, but just treat them as a credibility test restriction

Make sense?

 

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