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I am interested in game masters' experiences with  the use of magically enhanced  weapons in Mythras.  Do most GM's allow ubiquity with magically enhanced weapons or does this screw the gameplay too much?

Is it better to restrict magic use to time-limited casting onto weapons eg bladesharp? or do you allow Rune-weopens or weapons with a sorcerous matrix embedded that  convey permanent benefits to the wielder? or weapons that give on one hand and hamper on the other eg +10% to combat skill but -10% to evade

As a side-question, does casting bladesharp on a weapon allow it to damage a wraith? and if so, is it only the magical enhancement damage or full weapon damage that is inflicted?

 

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32 minutes ago, jezreel said:

I am interested in game masters' experiences with  the use of magically enhanced  weapons in Mythras.  Do most GM's allow ubiquity with magically enhanced weapons or does this screw the gameplay too much?

In my old school games where magical weapons were more common, the more powerful ones usually were targeted to affect a certain type of opponent, with only a side order of weaker magical effect when used generally. That way you get a Macguffin with game-changing effects in certain situations while having a manageable effect the rest of the time.

32 minutes ago, jezreel said:

Is it better to restrict magic use to time-limited casting onto weapons eg bladesharp? or do you allow Rune-weopens or weapons with a sorcerous matrix embedded that  convey permanent benefits to the wielder? or weapons that give on one hand and hamper on the other eg +10% to combat skill but -10% to evade

Given the combat system that separates to hit and damage, these are two areas that can be affected jointly or separately, and even partially adversely.

A common RQ item was a a bound spirit that would cast the bladesharp (or similar) spell for the wielder on command, eliminating the time and magical expenditure to fire off that spell.

Enhancing the weapon with a temporary spell had the tactical component that this advantage could be targeted with Countermagic spells, allowing second rank intervention for the non-fighters in group-vs-boss situations.

Always-on magic should have a draw-back. Take an elven sword that glows in the presence of orcs, and acts as permanent bladesharp against them. Not the best item if you want to avoid or ambush an orc patrol from hiding, correct? Hiding with active magic is difficult, anyway (unless it is magic that enhances hiding or misdirection). These old mechanistic properties really are the same as more modern narrative techniques. A magic sword will increase the likelihood of combat, it will frame a situation in its favor.

Use your imagination when creating the item. Rather than simply adding damage, a magical effect could bypass a certain amount of armor instead, stun the arm wielding a parrying weapon for a few combat rounds, reduce permanent damage but inflict overwhelming pain instead (causing a resistance roll of remaining hit points vs. pain inflicted in order to keep functional), leave an ominous glow where it hit the opponent (giving a cumulating to hit bonus, which comes in handy in tank vs tank battles when specials and criticals decide the outcome).

32 minutes ago, jezreel said:

As a side-question, does casting bladesharp on a weapon allow it to damage a wraith? and if so, is it only the magical enhancement damage or full weapon damage that is inflicted?

I have played it that only the magical damage applies, but that the entire weapon damage (of enhanced weapons only) can cause knockback (which means that the wraith can be forced away for a time, giving the opponents more time to act against it).

It doesn't have to be the same for any old wraith, either - you could have a weaker form of wraith that reacts to the entire damage of an enhanced weapon, or a tougher form that doesn't get knocked back. You might make it fully vulnerable to items with a light or fire spell on it. If you do so, you can allow the players to make perception rolls to identify its weakness from its behavior in combat - avoiding torches or lighted areas, etc.

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On the TDM forum we have discussed this last point a bit.  In Mythras, the tendency seems to be to separate Folk Magic from the "higher forms".  How to accomplish that mechanically is ambiguous, in this case.

In the old BRP-style, then, Bladesharp 2 would cause 2 damage versus an opponent that is "only affected by magic weapons", while a True Weapon would cause all rolled damage.

That's BRP, though.  In Mythras it's a bit weirder, because here Bladesharp increases weapon damage by a die step:  A dagger goes from 1d4+1 to 1d6+1, while a great axe goes from 2d6+2 to 2d8+2 (!).  So, how do we apply "just the magic part" to our wraith?  I have suggested that the extra die step is what you use, treating that as 1d2.  (You will lose, quickly, against that wraith.)

Note that Mythras does not use progressive Folk Magic; there is just the one level of Bladesharp, as opposed to Bladesharp 1, 2, 6, or whatever.  This emphasizes the power gap between Folk Magic and the higher forms.  Overall that's a good thing, IMO.

You could be even more draconian and just rule that, in Mythras, Bladesharp doesn't work at all against critters that are only hurt by magic.  Going the other way, you could just allow the full 1d6+1 for your Bladesharp-ed dagger against a wraith--but that makes wraiths rather wimpy, no?  In the end, your Mythras may vary, as we say.

My personal take on "always on" magic weapons is that there should be 0 or 1 in a campaign at any time.  (I have come to prefer low-magic settings, after years of high-magic "gamism".)  Such a weapon should be a powerful artifact that shapes the destinies of people and kingdoms.  Therefore it would probably be:

* a True Weapon, always, with no MP expenditure by the user;

* essentially unbreakable;

* loaded with other magical effects, like being the bane of the creator's enemies (Demoralize), giving the wielder Witchsight, being able to fire a lightning bolt now and then, or having a charge of Heal Body that can be recharged at a temple.

 

 

 

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yeah I think you both mirror my preference -  if you get a juicy magic item, there either has to be a serious drawback, or it's made for a heroic purpose and "loaned" to a specific character-  I quite like the juicy drawbacks actually - so you lose in another area what you gain somewhere else- but I guess there's a time to let a single character take down a powerful monster/NPC with an awesome weapon, otherwise it's going to have to be avoidance/ negotiation,/ numbers /magic /luck  to take it down. 

And I did grow up on halfling nobodies having magic swords that could take down a ringwraith and that was pretty cool

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We soon got tired of the "Every powerful magic item has to have a flaw" idea. It is draining as a player and doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would you make a powerful magic item with a built-in flaw, unless these were Fumbles?

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53 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

On the TDM forum we have discussed this last point a bit.  In Mythras, the tendency seems to be to separate Folk Magic from the "higher forms".  How to accomplish that mechanically is ambiguous, in this case.

In the old BRP-style, then, Bladesharp 2 would cause 2 damage versus an opponent that is "only affected by magic weapons", while a True Weapon would cause all rolled damage.

That's BRP, though.  In Mythras it's a bit weirder, because here Bladesharp increases weapon damage by a die step:  A dagger goes from 1d4+1 to 1d6+1, while a great axe goes from 2d6+2 to 2d8+2 (!).  So, how do we apply "just the magic part" to our wraith?  I have suggested that the extra die step is what you use, treating that as 1d2.  (You will lose, quickly, against that wraith.)

I'd still award only the single point a Bladesharp 1 would offer, or in the case of 2-dice damage weapons, maybe 2 points. Statistically, that's what the enhancement will do, a D4 does 2.5 points of damage in average, a D6 does 3.5 points. Allowing the knockback maneuver to keep the blasted beast at distance while your comrades come up with something more decisive - the wraith being rather insubstantial, it won't suffer damage from being knocked back, but will have to cover some ground for its next attack. A True Weapon magic will be fully effective, a damage enhanced weapon would deal the enhanced damage to the hit points of the beast.

 

53 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

Note that Mythras does not use progressive Folk Magic; there is just the one level of Bladesharp, as opposed to Bladesharp 1, 2, 6, or whatever.  This emphasizes the power gap between Folk Magic and the higher forms.  Overall that's a good thing, IMO.

You could be even more draconian and just rule that, in Mythras, Bladesharp doesn't work at all against critters that are only hurt by magic.  Going the other way, you could just allow the full 1d6+1 for your Bladesharp-ed dagger against a wraith--but that makes wraiths rather wimpy, no?  In the end, your Mythras may vary, as we say.

As said, your wraiths may vary - whatever suits the challenge level of that encounter.

53 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

My personal take on "always on" magic weapons is that there should be 0 or 1 in a campaign at any time.  (I have come to prefer low-magic settings, after years of high-magic "gamism".)  

My take is that if such things exist, they will be rather ubiquitious - like weapons made from enchanted rune metals or Gloranthan iron. (Yes, Gloranthan iron isn't ubiquitious, unless you take a census among highly experienced or rune rank characters.)

53 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

Such a weapon should be a powerful artifact that shapes the destinies of people and kingdoms.  Therefore it would probably be:

* a True Weapon, always, with no MP expenditure by the user;

* essentially unbreakable;

* loaded with other magical effects, like being the bane of the creator's enemies (Demoralize), giving the wielder Witchsight, being able to fire a lightning bolt now and then, or having a charge of Heal Body that can be recharged at a temple.

That's a massive overload, basically the artifact equivalent of a lesser god - like Elric's Stormbringer and Mournblade, or the Great Morganti weapons in Brust's Dragaera.

 

6 minutes ago, soltakss said:

We soon got tired of the "Every powerful magic item has to have a flaw" idea. It is draining as a player and doesn;t make a lot of sense. Why would you make a powerful magic item with a built-in flaw, unless these were Fumbles?

It's not a flaw, it's a feature. The elven blade wants confrontation with the arch-enemy orcs, and the wielder will have to deal with that. It's similar to planning an ambush with a Humakti warrior possessing the Sense Assassin gift in your party. Any sufficiently powerful item will have an agenda, and that agenda won't necessarily be congruent to its wielder's agenda.

Do you have a similar reaction to the Earth Axe in the Munchrooms scenario in Troll Pak, or to the demonic steeds of Sir Ethilrist's Black Horse company?

 

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OK I see your point- I guess magic items have flaws to make them less awesome- but maybe it's better just to limit them to "one use per week" or "needs a temple recharge before re-use" - but I suppose a bunch of PCs with a bunch of wholly useful magic weapons can just beat down on bigger and stronger creatures/nasties  that they used to have to run away from- and there must be some fun in that

I suppose it's whether there is an "arms-race" feel to the campaign or whether it's kept "down to earth" ( where the goblins can still kill ya!)

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

It's not a flaw, it's a feature. The elven blade wants confrontation with the arch-enemy orcs, and the wielder will have to deal with that. It's similar to planning an ambush with a Humakti warrior possessing the Sense Assassin gift in your party. Any sufficiently powerful item will have an agenda, and that agenda won't necessarily be congruent to its wielder's agenda.

Do you have a similar reaction to the Earth Axe in the Munchrooms scenario in Troll Pak, or to the demonic steeds of Sir Ethilrist's Black Horse company?

Ah, I'm happier with those, but not for every magic item, otherwise it becomes tedious again.

A sword with permanently on Bladesharp 2 enchanted into it shouldn't have a personality, for example. However, it would be funny if it did, as it would have an inferiority complex comparing itself unfavourably to other magical swords.

Balastor's Axe, the Earth Axe from the Mushrooms and the Wind Sword all have personalities, which is fine.

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11 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Ah, I'm happier with those, but not for every magic item, otherwise it becomes tedious again.

A sword with permanently on Bladesharp 2 enchanted into it shouldn't have a personality, for example. However, it would be funny if it did, as it would have an inferiority complex comparing itself unfavourably to other magical swords.

RQ never had the means to create such a sword, except for the Clanking City mass-produced items with a magical crystal in the handle, presumably channeling some magic from the Machine God or one of the mechanical prayer mills below the city all the time. (The magic broke down when the sword was removed from the Clanking City.)

The easiest way to create an enchanted blade was to give it an armoring enchantment which would increase its ability to parry damage (not that that would help against a wraith attack...), or to use a Rune Metal and enchant that, with the usual by-products of enchanting an item made of rune-metal (some of which, like enchanted silver or Gloranthan iron, might affect a wraith).

 

In an Old School Fantasy setting I would expect +0% - +25% to hit, +0 - +5 to damage enchanted weapons. Not necessarily bladesharp, but some lesser magic imbued to the weapon by magician-smiths, possibly using runes (and permanent POW) to create this. Probably 1 POW for each +1 damage or +5% to hit.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

I'd still award only the single point a Bladesharp 1 would offer, or in the case of 2-dice damage weapons, maybe 2 points. Statistically, that's what the enhancement will do

Yes, of course, raising the number of terms in an arithmetic series by 2 raises the mean by 1, when the difference between terms is 1.  I like the 1d2 aspect for the randomness, but I don't feel strongly.

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My take is that if such things exist, they will be rather ubiquitious 

That's exactly the opposite of my preference. :-)

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That's a massive overload, basically the artifact equivalent of a lesser god - like Elric's Stormbringer and Mournblade, or the Great Morganti weapons in Brust's Dragaera.

Yes, it is.  That's why I would prefer 0 or 1 in the game.  "Overload" depends on your POV.  I prefer my magic weapons to be antiques by Stradivari, not mass-produced stuff available at Guitar Center.

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It's not a flaw, it's a feature.

Well, again, that depends on your preference and POV.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

RQ never had the means to create such a sword, except for the Clanking City mass-produced items with a magical crystal in the handle, presumably channeling some magic from the Machine God or one of the mechanical prayer mills below the city all the time. (The magic broke down when the sword was removed from the Clanking City.)

Just because something is not described in the rules doesn't mean it cannot be done.

None of the Items in Plunder could be created by the RQ rules but there they are.

I'd just have a spell that is only available to certain smiths that allows them to enchant permanent spell effects into an object.Sure, it costs POW, or whatever the rulesset uses for enchantments, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

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17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Just because something is not described in the rules doesn't mean it cannot be done.

Yeah, this is my feeling, too--especially for powerful artifacts.  I just decide what they can do, and don't worry about whether a character could duplicate some mechanical steps to create her own in gameplay.  As far as I'm concerned, magic can be, well, magical.

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12 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Just because something is not described in the rules doesn't mean it cannot be done.

True. You start playing something else, then, though. Letting your average AD&D 1st ed fighter have climbing skills and spellcasting ability did break the game.

If you played RQ in Glorantha, the world description said that it cannot be done since the God Learner forbidden knowledge has disappeared. If you want to do it, your characters will have to re-discover this abiltiy, or create it from scratch. The former is fairly easy, resulting in a quite high-powered campaign. The latter doesn't have rules. Yet. Which means you are free to write such rules, share them, and possibly submit them for inclusion in future publications.

12 minutes ago, soltakss said:

None of the Items in Plunder could be created by the RQ rules but there they are.

Some could, providing the rules how to create them. (Ball of Tails?)

Others were present before - blessed woad, enchanted thunderstones. These could be used as guidelines.

12 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I'd just have a spell that is only available to certain smiths that allows them to enchant permanent spell effects into an object.Sure, it costs POW, or whatever the rulesset uses for enchantments, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

As long as this doesn't alter the setting, sure, why not. It doesn't matter whether those weapons are special because they are made from Gloranthan iron or whether they were enchanted by a select group of magical smiths, as long as they don't flood the ecology of the world.

If every broo you encounter has an iron or enchanted sword and a piece of Truestone, something has gone wrong. Which may very well be the premise of your campaign - one of the "official" vague futures of the Hero Wars has a provider of magic and weapons beyond the normal availabiity, with no price attached, honest, just a little favour. And we'll probably be happy to help you spin this on.

If this happens as the result of "I don't care", then you just have burnt your warranty, and the service team probably won't be able to help you. Just don't blame the product if you didn't use it according to the specifications. If a spade sucks at opening tin cans this doesn't make it a bad gardening tool.

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My theory regarding magical items is that they tend to accumulate fater with a PC Party than with the normal populace.

Some assumptions first:

  • PCs will take the magical items of their fallen foes as booty or the prizes/spoils of combat
  • PCs won't sell or give away their magical items, unless they absolutely cannot use them
  • Cults allow the PCs to use those items that they give to their cults, or at least some of them

So, a PC Pary with no magical items meets a party with one magical item and defeats the party. As part of the items found, they find the magical item. recognise it and keep it. The GM doesn't like having lots of magic items, so restricts them to every other NPC party. The PCs meet an NPC party for combat every 3 sessions, so get a magic item every 6 sessions. A PC Party thus gets 5 magical items per year of gaming, assuming 50 sessions per year, with a very stingy GM.After a year of gaming, the PCs have 5 magic items, which is 10 times what an average party in this campaign has, after 2 years, 10, 3 years 15 and so on, making the PCs extremely magic item rich.

In an extended campaign, a PC Party is likely to pick up, keep and use many magical items. I have absolutely no problem with this, as PCs can use these items in interesting ways.

 

 

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On 01/05/2017 at 2:44 AM, soltakss said:

 A PC Party thus gets 5 magical items per year of gaming, assuming 50 sessions per year, with a very stingy GM etc etc

I am still reeling with jealousy that you are assuming the average troupe plays 50 sessions a year.

Thats impressive, I count myself lucky if my group manages to keep on track for regular monthly to six weekly sessions...

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We play every Monday, except when circumstances interfere. Our current campaign is twelve years old, so assuming 40 sessions per year, that's around 480 sessions.

One of our players also plays in another RQ game every Wednesday, so be jealous of him!

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I, too, was boggled by that arithmetic.  Now that I read more, I am beyond jealous.  With our current schedules and preferences, my crew only manages to play a few times per year, when you come down to it.

It's all about priorities, folks. :-b

 

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4 hours ago, Matt_E said:

I, too, was boggled by that arithmetic.  Now that I read more, I am beyond jealous.  With our current schedules and preferences, my crew only manages to play a few times per year, when you come down to it.

It's all about priorities, folks. :-b

I hit the "Like" button on this post, to indicate "agree."  I'm in the same boat with Matt, more or less... I wanted a "hate" button, not a "like" !!!

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My teens and early 20s were pretty good times for rpg gaming. We would do nothing for a few months, then suddenly would find ourselves  gaming quite frequently, sometimes several times a week. 

Then I went through a rpg drought from the late 1990s to mid 2000s, GMing and playing in only a handful of sessions over a decade. Dark days for my gaming.

Since about 2010 we had a renaissance which led to second monthly catch-ups, which have progressed to monthly sessions. Its not as sporadic as it was gaming in the 80s/90s, but its actually more regular and organised for me now, and the campaigns benefit from some maturity and hindsight.

I count myself lucky :D 

 

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11 hours ago, Raleel said:

A little off topic but Matt's comment reminds me... is anyone else slightly annoyed that bladesharp's stepping affects both dice in multidice weapons? That's not how stepping works :)

That is exactly how it should work, as it moves the weapon damage up to the next step.

The progression of damage is fairly clear in Mythras, 1d2>1d3>1d4>1d6>1d8>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10, but gets a bit flaky after that.

Damage Bonus uses a different progression,-1d8>-1d6>-1d4>-1d2>+0>+1d2>+1d4>+1d6>+1d8>+1d10>+1d12>+2d6>+1d8+1d6>+2d8>+1d10+1d8>+2d10>+2d10+1d2>+2d10+1d4, which is a bit annoying.

However, in each case you simply move some step to the right for Bladesharp.

Combat Effects such as Maximise Damage, however, affect one die, so 2D6 would become 1D6+6, which, I think, is similar to what you are aiming at. You would expect Bladesharp to move 2D6 to 1D6+1D8, I think.

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17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

That is exactly how it should work, as it moves the weapon damage up to the next step.

The progression of damage is fairly clear in Mythras, 1d2>1d3>1d4>1d6>1d8>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10, but gets a bit flaky after that.

Damage Bonus uses a different progression,-1d8>-1d6>-1d4>-1d2>+0>+1d2>+1d4>+1d6>+1d8>+1d10>+1d12>+2d6>+1d8+1d6>+2d8>+1d10+1d8>+2d10>+2d10+1d2>+2d10+1d4, which is a bit annoying.

However, in each case you simply move some step to the right for Bladesharp.

Combat Effects such as Maximise Damage, however, affect one die, so 2D6 would become 1D6+6, which, I think, is similar to what you are aiming at. You would expect Bladesharp to move 2D6 to 1D6+1D8, I think.

Yes, that's what I would expect, and no doubt it's clear in Mythras. Just seems like it should be like maximize damage or adamage bonus and move up one die. Seems inconsistent for no apparent reason I can determine is all, though that progression was used back in the RQII SRD for damage mod, and something different for bladesharp. 

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