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Magic World 7E: Anyone, anyone? Bueller?...


GothmogIV

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On 5/5/2021 at 12:55 AM, GothmogIV said:

So playing online for the past year, I can tell you that a great part of D&D online is how integrated their resources are. Want a monster? Click. Want to roll an attack? Click. Want to see how a spell works? Click. It's so easy, and it is an enormous time saver for the GM. I haven't looked at the BRP stuff on Foundry, but does it have that level of interactivity? Can you roll from the Golden Book?

If Chaosium's BRP system could be supported on Roll20 in the same way that D&D is, it would be a game changer. The BRP system is better than Wizards for sure, but Wizards is easier to run, and easier to design with, in my opinion. 

 

I noticed the same thing. The 'click to roll' thing is very useful when playing online. Fortunately it's not restricted to D&D, although D&D has the most sophisticated player and GM tools. I started a Coriolis game which has a similar feature built into the character sheets. I'm sure there would be BRP versions too. I've been using roll20.

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On 4/30/2021 at 4:21 AM, Jaeger said:

CoC in general had a decent presence in Japan. I believe it was with 6th edition that it started to really take off and put fantasy games like Sword World firmly in the rear view.

I am no expert as I have never been to Japan or speak the language - but I found a few place that track things over there, and I Like to read up on it because I find it fascinating how some RPG's can sometimes beat out D&D in different countries.

FWIW - Evidently in Japan they play CoC a bit differently than is common in the US. A strong bombastic Anime-esqe vibe with black humor seem to be the norm. But that is natural as their frame of references for certain things is different than ours

Last time I visited Japan in 2018, I went to 2 stores that were selling RPG books (the "Yellow Submarine" shops), and in both half of the shelves were filled with CoC products. Just like if you entered a hobby store and the D&D books had been replaced by CoC books. Sword World was reported as #1 sales, but a new edition had just been released.

There were even scenarios that looked like national small press releases, which I think were to be used by 2 players (1 GM plus 1 PC). They seemed pretty dark, judging by their covers, and nothing like the "R'lyeh School" books, which seem to be very humoristic.

I my first trip to Japan in 2001, it seemed to me that GURPS was much more popular, with Japanese language sourcebooks dedicated to anime-inspired settings.

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On 2/13/2021 at 5:20 PM, Nick J. said:

"Choose location" special effect in Mythras is pretty neat-o. 

On 2/13/2021 at 5:24 PM, Zenith Comics Presents... said:

Can you elaborate? Pretty please? 🙂

Nash & Whitaker -- whose current iteration of the rules is Mythras (but they began that branch of the BRP/d100 Family Tree with MRQ2, so that game, and MongooseLegend, are also very-similar) -- looked at the varying results and "exception cases" of Specials/Criticals/Fumbles, and turned the whole thing into its own subsystem of "Special Effects."

They have you compare a "margin of success" ...

It's based around the same core RQ/BRP mechanic of   Critical > Special > Normal Hit > Normal Miss > Fumble

You get one Special Effect for every level of success BETTER than your opponent (yes, you can get Special Effects on "normal" hits, if the foe rolls badly)... so long as you HIT them (i.e. you get no SE's for Missing, even if they Fumble their parry/dodge).  You get to CHOOSE your Special Effect(s).

Many of these SE's -- Ignore Armor, Maximize Damage, etc -- will be essentially the same as the good ol' "Critical Hit" and/or ""Special Hit" from RQ & BRP games.

One of those SE's -- that you asked about -- is "Choose Hit Location."  The head is a popular target (because of the possibility of a KO or insta-kill, if you zero the Head location, or drive it very-negative).  But intentional disables (legs, weapon-arm, or any previously-hit Location) can also make for good tactical choices sometimes.

There are a GREAT MANY other SE's, such as "Covered" -- your blade at their throat or other vulnerable point, you auto-roll damage if they don't follow directions.  Some are linked to specific weapons (e.g. a "Trip" or "Entangle" SE, for whips/nets/etc).  Others might be linked to specific training (Mythras call this "Combat Styles").

The big downside of this system, IMHO, is that some players or groups report substantial "Analysis Paralysis" slowing combat-rounds.

Other players love the crunchy-tactical feel.

I'm in the appreciators' camp... but none of the rest of my gaming-group is, it was a hard-pass from them.  😞
 

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On 5/6/2021 at 3:39 AM, g33k said:

I always look at random-roll "Hit Locations" not as "throw a punch or kick or swing a weapon... but blindfolded ! " (which, I agree, would be garbage)  so much as it's "the place you intended to hit, because it's where you spotted  (or figured you could best make) an opening."

It's "random" (i.e. outside of your control) because it depends in large part on what the foe is doing.

 

Same for me. I had 12 years of fencing, and with foil, you are allowed to hit only the torso of your opponent, so you can have to wait a long time for an opening. In a real life combat, you don't have a problem hitting your opponent in the arm, because in the long time, it is an advantage, so you take every opportunity to hit, wherever it is (and in fencing, Epee is very much like this).

Edited by Kloster
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  • 1 month later...

I'm not a huge fan of Magic World as a product - preferring its predecessors (Elric!, RQ3) to the lets throw all the BRP shit in a pot and stir it up, slap on some ugly art and layout, and then not support it approach. But I'd be even less likely to use MW if it leveraged CoC7e mechanics.

Most of the reason is that I found 7e to be an absolute missed opportunity, when it came to the evolution of BRP game mechanics. It didn't include anything that would "update" or improve my CoC gaming experience. And, rather than improve on prior editions, it felt like it threw the baby out with the bathwater, all in the interest of change for change's sake. 7e was wrapped up in a pretty package - who can complain about sturdy, full-color core books? - but many of the mechanics just seemed borrowed from more successful systems. Combine that with general rules bloat, and it would make it my least favorite edition of CoC, and BRP overall.

The other reason is that 7e hardly seems like an update to BRP, when it comes to Chaosium's publishing practices. I've seen many gamers cheer on the changes that came with 7e - and if you like them, and they improve your gaming experience, more power to you. And I can understand fans wanting to homebrew updates based on BRP variants that they enjoy. But, it doesn't seem that Chaosium has embraced 7e as the next evolutionary step in BRP, and given the indication that it would be used for an upcoming non-RQ fantasy Rpg (if they decided to do that).

RQ: AiG's development and release came years after the release of CoC 7e. And at the time, I expected it to follow on the coattails of 7e's mechanics. Instead, it went further back into the history of BRP development, and then tacked on setting-specific mechanical changes. Hell, it still appears to have the Resistance Table?! Have any of 7e's mechanical additions shown up in RQ:AiG? That's not clear from just looking at the Quickstart.

The BRP SRD was released, what, a year ago? I don't see any mention of 7e mechanics in it. The template for future 3rd party BRP releases looks like the BRP of 20-30 years ago! Can we also assume that it's the template for future Chaosium BRP releases? If/when a new version of Mythic Iceland is released, will it follow in the footsteps of CoC7e's mechanics? Or will it more resemble the SRD? I suspect the latter.

Anyway, I went down a tangent there. But, besides the point that I wouldn't use 7e mechanics for MW; it hardly seems likely that Chaosium would reboot MW, or produce a new, non-RQ fantasy Rpg using those mechanics.

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On 2/11/2021 at 3:13 PM, Chaot said:

I've never liked Hit Locations. As I said, it may be an allergy.

I've been of two minds when it comes to Hit Locations, for years.

On the one hand, I like the tactical grittiness that I was first introduced to in RQ3. And I still liked it as it was re-introduced in MRQ2/Legend. I'm a big Legend fanboy, and love to use it as the core for sword & sorcery campaigns. The "narratives" that have resulted from the combats in these systems have been amazing. They've been exciting and dramatic, and also reflected the themes of the genre.

But, I've also been fond of the abstraction and speed provided by systems like Elric! for years, as well - with its variable armor protection, major wounds, and more primitive DEX ranks based initiative system. Sometimes speed and abstraction can be more key to the experience, even sacrificing more dramatic combats.

I learned a harsh lesson 4 months ago, running a Legend campaign over Roll20. Somehow I ended up with 6 characters in a campaign that was originally going to be targeted towards 4. As the sessions progressed the bookkeeping and the work required for detailed tactical combat became overbearing. I started flailing to keep up with the demands of combat, and started to tweak rules on the fly just to tread water. Working within Roll20 didn't make matters any easier.

As much as I love Legend, I don't think I can go through that complexity again. With 2 to 4 players, detailed tactical combat is manageable; any more players than that and the experience - and I - wilt as a side effect. 

I'm planning another fantasy campaign, and I'm seriously thinking about using Elric! instead because it'll be easier to GM. And there is the likelihood that I could have that number of players again. (Though hopefully we will be face-to-face instead of VTT).

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3 hours ago, K Peterson said:

I'm not a huge fan of Magic World as a product - preferring its predecessors (Elric!, RQ3) to the lets throw all the BRP shit in a pot and stir it up, slap on some ugly art and layout, and then not support it approach.

Um, you are aware that Magic World is just Elric! with a couple of ideas and some creature stats from prior editions of Stormbringer and RQ3 and without the Moorcock IP, right?

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1 hour ago, NickMiddleton said:

Um, you are aware that Magic World is just Elric! with a couple of ideas and some creature stats from prior editions of Stormbringer and RQ3 and without the Moorcock IP, right?

I know exactly what Magic World is.

I was being a little hyperbolic when I said "all the BRP shit in a pot", true. I prefer those predecessors (Elric / RQ3) as they stand on their own rather than a cocktail of them blended together. To me, the parts don't hang together cohesively and felt too kitchen sink.

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@K Peterson if I understand correctly, CoC 7e handles ties in skill opposition by giving victory to the highest skill, which is the default method in BRP SRD (page 12 : "If the rolls are successful and tied (same quality of result), the character with the highest skill rating is successful.").

And, honestly, it's perhaps the worst existing version of skill opposition, as even a 1% difference gives a huge advantage.

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry to revive this thread, but I like this idea the more I read Cthulhu Dark Ages 3e and CoC 7e. I LOVED Stormbringer in the 80's and Magic World scratches a lot of itches for me. I do like the modernization of CoC though.

So, anyone want to tackle this? 🙂 

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:45 PM, SDLeary said:

 

Spears and missile weapons, normal location table, though my preference for these is the RQ3 missile location table (it favors the core over the limbs).

I'm with you on that. In melee I can see how the arms tend to get in the way of strikes aimed at the body, but with missile weapons that isn't the case.

BTW, I really liked how Flashing Blades handled hit locations, in no small part becuase ti could be ported over to RQ or BRP. IN FB you pick an aiming point and roll the hit location die (a d20) twice, and strike the location rolled that is closest to what you were aiming at.

IN RQ terms if you were aiming at somebody's head, and rolled a 4 (right leg) and 18 (left arm) you'd hit them in the left arm. One of the nice side benefits of this method is that it justifies aiming dead center of mass as it results in a better chance of striking a vital location. 

It nice becuase hit location is not quite so random as in standard RQ, while it still factors in for what openings you get in a fight, or when a  partial parry shifts the location struck.  

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just curious, would it at all be possible to do a new edition of Magic World - new font and art, preferably in tone and style like Elric! rather than colourful - that was just for fans and could be printed by fans at their own cost from a master PDF? 
 

Basically, to just make it more visually appealing as a book. Just wondering. 
 

I think it’s a brilliant system. It’s just in need of a makeover. 

I’d happily pay to print and bind such a nicer version.
 

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  • 2 months later...

I would REALLY like to see Magic World reinvented for 7E. I've gone back and forth on whether I truly like 7E. I think there's a certain charm to older editions, but overall, I just can't deny how the game has been streamlined. It just works so much better than previous versions.

For a hypothetical 7E-style update, I'd liked to see a few things addressed:

1. Drop the name "Magic World". I understand it has a history to the name, being as old as the company itself. But... its weak and generic. Sorry. It sounds more like all those knockoff mobile games that are cheap but poorly made. We need a name that evokes that pulp sword and sorcery feel (which, honestly, the hobby is desperately in need of more and more). We've had Stormbringer (man, what a name), Hawkmoon, then you have other properties like The Witcher, The Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Greyhawk, etc. I find all these fascinating names. Chaosium books have always worked better when their rules are tied to a strong setting, and not generic.

2. Pretty much use Cthulhu Dark Ages 3E as the base system. The majority of the work is done, just bring in the elements from Magic World to fill in the gaps.

3. Pulp Cthulhu has several concepts that could be key: archetypes (perhaps using archetypes instead of occupations?), Talents, rules for villains, etc. 

4. Keep magic based around Sorcery. Ever since Call of Cthulhu, I just never enjoyed the idea of separate magic systems. Just makes sense that everything works the same. I do like some of the ideas from the Stormbringer/Elric game lines, and Adavnced Magic filled in gaps. A lot of it could be rolled into the sorcery system. 

5. Arete needs to be woven into the skills chapter. Same with alchemy/herbalism. 

6. A strong sword and sorcery setting. Doesn't have to be written into everything (like Stormbringer or Cthulhu Dark Ages) but boxes of text strewn about the chapters explaining how you take the rules and bolt a setting onto them (or dial rules to fit the setting).

7. Fill that book with artwork that evokes the pulpy sword and sorcery genre. 

8. Let the community create additional settings for it. (Personally, I'd do a more medieval era sword and sorcery setting, but I'm sure others have their own personal favorites) 

Or, maybe I'm thinking too much into this.

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8 minutes ago, Bran said:

Or, maybe I'm thinking too much into this.

You and me both mate, you and me both.

I agree, but the one thing I would want is more customization beyond just skills and magic. Open up some "abilities" like the dreaded Feats (make them optional rules) so players feel special. I tried running BRP for my D&D players and to be honest they loved their characters, they loved the universe, etc... but they didn't care for the system (yes we were using Magic World). When queried why, they general consensus paraphrased was "I feel like my character isn't that different mechanically from any other.

Naturally YMMV, but at it's heart Magic World is a fantastic system, I'd just like to "punch it up" a bit with some extra stuff (Pulp Traits are a good start to be sure!), and some Wow factor!

Oh and CoC 7e rocks as a core system.

BE HEROIC!

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7 hours ago, Zenith Comics Presents... said:

You and me both mate, you and me both.

I agree, but the one thing I would want is more customization beyond just skills and magic. Open up some "abilities" like the dreaded Feats (make them optional rules) so players feel special. I tried running BRP for my D&D players and to be honest they loved their characters, they loved the universe, etc... but they didn't care for the system (yes we were using Magic World). When queried why, they general consensus paraphrased was "I feel like my character isn't that different mechanically from any other.

Naturally YMMV, but at it's heart Magic World is a fantastic system, I'd just like to "punch it up" a bit with some extra stuff (Pulp Traits are a good start to be sure!), and some Wow factor!

Oh and CoC 7e rocks as a core system.

BE HEROIC!

What in particular do Feats do? I read some posts before that broke down the typical D&D Feats, and honestly, I found that they are built into the chassis of BRP. Same with class abilities. A lot can be covered with magic as well.

One element I like was introduced in Mythic Island, where Allegiance gave you special abilities at specific tiers (20%, 50%, 70% if I remember off hand... something like that). And Elric had a spell that allowed you to bolt a demonic ability to your being. Gave me the idea that I could award special abilities to characters with spells. 

There's also the Heroic Abilities options from MRQ. Though I didn't like the introduction of Heroic points, which Luck covers in 7E. 

There's options for subsystems. But too many different ones and it starts to weigh down the game chassis. It's one reason why I liked Elric. A lot of hidden little features built and woven into the chassis. 

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Just now, Bran said:

What in particular do Feats do? I read some posts before that broke down the typical D&D Feats, and honestly, I found that they are built into the chassis of BRP. Same with class abilities. A lot can be covered with magic as well.

So customization is a big thing for my players, from class abilities that require choices, to Feats (or Talents) that allow them to focus or specialize.

Magic is not the solution I am looking for, which I need to make clear. I am not looking to have every character have magic. Now I like BRP and Magic World (and CoC 7e) but my players didn't enjoy it, as they wanted more "wow" from their characters. That's all.

Simply a matter of taste, something I find Sabre RPG is doing a good job of representing. 🙂

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18 minutes ago, Zenith Comics Presents... said:

So customization is a big thing for my players, from class abilities that require choices, to Feats (or Talents) that allow them to focus or specialize.

Magic is not the solution I am looking for, which I need to make clear. I am not looking to have every character have magic. Now I like BRP and Magic World (and CoC 7e) but my players didn't enjoy it, as they wanted more "wow" from their characters. That's all.

Simply a matter of taste, something I find Sabre RPG is doing a good job of representing. 🙂

Ah, yes. I can understand that point. I have wrestled with that over the years as well with the play differences between DND and BRP. Something I still wrestle with.

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8 hours ago, Zenith Comics Presents... said:

You and me both mate, you and me both.

I agree, but the one thing I would want is more customization beyond just skills and magic. Open up some "abilities" like the dreaded Feats (make them optional rules) so players feel special. I tried running BRP for my D&D players and to be honest they loved their characters, they loved the universe, etc... but they didn't care for the system (yes we were using Magic World). When queried why, they general consensus paraphrased was "I feel like my character isn't that different mechanically from any other.

Naturally YMMV, but at it's heart Magic World is a fantastic system, I'd just like to "punch it up" a bit with some extra stuff (Pulp Traits are a good start to be sure!), and some Wow factor!

Oh and CoC 7e rocks as a core system.

BE HEROIC!

I agree regarding feats. A purely skills-based approach never quite seemed to give the sense of ‘character’ that talents can. Arguably the latter, plus skills and personality, is a fair description of a human being.

The issue with talents/feats is they would need to be more than just adding percentiles, as then it just reverts to skills. One middle-way option might be ‘aptitudes’, where prior to spending skill points the selected aptitudes change how those points cash out into skills, or how experience works, or both. For example, if not using the 1/2 characteristic modifiers for skill categories, one might bring them back in under the guise of talents. But it again reverts to skills.

I like many of the class abilities in BRP Classic Fantasy, but Mythras seems more crunch than I want. I’d have loved it if Classic Fantasy had stayed fully with BRP for volume II. I’ve since been wondering how to fit those abilities and classes with Magic World (my favourite version of BRP), if running a more feat-based game, but NOT straight-up classic fantasy.

Perhaps one can buy an ability from BRP Classic Fantasy, regardless of class, thus making unusual features. For example, a warrior might take vow of poverty (from the monk) and weapon proficiency (from the fighter); perhaps also lightning reflexes, but fear of magic (from the barbarian). (And that is all. Two of each.)

If players are given a chance to take talents and restrictions, one at a time, with no repeats, so the specific talents and restrictions are not just copied by every fighter, etc., then it may end up fairly diverse as a party. You might even get a warrior with a lore proficiency. 

But I agree. Talents/feats seem an easy addition to add more depth to BRP. It’s one thing D&D does very well. (Perhaps the talents can be lifted from WFRP 2E and plugged straight into BRP with a few adjustments. Not sure.)

I loved the way Classic Fantasy tied various abilities to allegiance. Perhaps each allegiance might contain a few paths, like the kinds of philosophies in Vampire, so that as a warrior on the path of ‘Justice’ increases in allegiance, they gain paladin-like abilities, but the warrior on the path of ‘Vengeance’ gets fighter-class abilities, and so on. Thus life motivation gets tied to unlocking a particular kind of progression. The difference here versus BRP Classic Fantasy is you don’t start with them. (I had considered having a relevant class category activate once a professional skill goes over 100%. That doesn’t seem too bad.)

Hmmm. Now that I think of it, maybe one can have both allegiance AND a personal path. The former defines apotheosis and such, but the latter relates to the idiosyncratic way the character is a warrior, a thief, etc. Perhaps similar to how WFRP defined careers within categories (Rogue, Academic, etc.), each with many careers, a character might have a category aptitude with a starting level of a characteristic X 1 (Warrior: Str), and the aptitude rolls for increases after each adventure. Only as it increases it unlocks a selection of abilities. So academics can choose academic talents, for example, such as ‘mnemonics’ or ‘speed reading’.

I think I like the idea that career categories, each containing many professions, as in WFRP, might also each contain a variety of talents that can be unlocked every 25% or so in the career skill. That creates a neat way to classify the talents and categories while still keeping the BRP professions. A warrior category might have ‘Brawny’ (perhaps players get one at the start, and some, like this one, can only be chosen at the start) whereas a ranger category might have ‘fleet footed’. So we’d have the same BRP system, but we would just need to know the career category as per WFRP and then have the aptitude ‘skill’ (starting at a prime stat x 1) that is really just a metric to unlock/select further career category talents. 

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In the meantime, we could perhaps let players do the heavy lifting. Perhaps allow 3 characteristics (Int, Str, Dex, etc.,) to equal a one-time bonus talent to a relevant skill related to that stat. The player must name it as a talent, too.
 

For example, someone with Dex of 15  could then get +15% to dodge, which they call ‘Lightning Reflexes’. Perhaps every 5 is 1 (round down), so they can use this bonus 3 times in an adventure. Likewise, 15 Int might be +15% to a knowledge test, which they call ‘Forbidden Books’. One might allow Str of 15 to equal 3 extra points in damage (5 = 1), and call it ‘Mighty Strike’. But useable just 3 times, as noted earlier. If it was Str 14, it would be 2 extra damage, and just two uses (14/5 round down).
 

This might be a way to take the skill modifier idea, to focus them in a new way, and to reskin them as player-defined talents.

Con of 15, heal or gain 3 extra hits: ‘Tough as Nails’. Pow of 18, gain +18% to persuasion: ‘Hypnotic Eyes’.

Etc.

I think I quite like this! Simple, and it does what it needs to. 

Edit: It does just revert back to skills, but perhaps it is how it is packaged and rolled as a resource that makes the difference. A player experienced with D&D perhaps wouldn’t think ‘I have a slightly higher dodge than the other player, but we are mostly the same’. They’d perhaps think ‘I have lightning reflexes and THEY have mighty strike’.

Edited by Nikoli
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