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Magic, Psychic Abilities, and Sorcery: Are they equal?


LivingTriskele

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I'm planning on running a fantasy BRP game and I'm considering allowing players to use either Magic, Psychic Abilities, or Sorcery. Can anyone tell me if they are equal in efficacy, or unbalanced (is anyone one of them more powerful than the others)? Thanks.

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking."

~Albert Einstein~

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Personally out of all the power systems the only one I find is "on its own" is the Magic system. I use all the others side-by-side (Sorcery, Mutations, Psychic Abilities, Super Powers) and find them pretty consistent across the board.

I think with the Magic system its the extremely flexible, multi-functional nature of the spells which differs from the other 4 power systems, not the rules themselves; also, some of the spells (Lightning, etc) seem to be easily extremely high-powered. For example, the "Lift" spell basically combines 4 effects: Telekinesis, Fly, Feather Fall, and "Hurl Object For Damage"; "Perception" is every Detect Spell ever thought of, etc. Personally I prefer spells to be more tightly defined, which is why Sorcery works better for me.

I haven't tried using Magic alongside all the others, however, and it may be that the skill level requirements, relatively high POW costs for high-level effects, etc, may balance out, with Magic being the flexible manipulation of magical power which gets very powerful at high levels, whilst the other power systems are more rigidly defined and therefore "low power". I do get the feeling that houseruling Magic spell levels to be equal to spell skill / 10 rather than INT/2 could give you more control over its in-game effectiveness, too. No beginning characters casting 8D6 lightning bolts from their staves, etc.

Give it a whirl - it'd be interesting to see how they all stack up.

Cheers!

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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I don't think the systems are 'equal,' but each has it's strength. I've run games with the three that you're thinking about using and it went well. The psychic didn't feel disenfranchised by the mage, ect. The power scales are definitely different though.

So, in short, they do work together. They're not balanced against each other. As long as you give your players equal time at the table and introduce conflicts that allow individuals to shine, you shouldn't have a problem.

70/420

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Thanks for the responses-- so it sounds like they work pretty well together--with magic being maybe a bit on the stronger side. I'm giving my players the freedom to create their own professions (choose whatever skills they want to spend their EDU-derived skill points on) if they make characters without powers. If they want one of those three powers they'll be restricted to a power-specific profession and its respective available skills to choose from. For example the Magician profession in my setting is composed mainly of knowledge-based skills, whereas the Thee'Ahki Knight (using Psychic Abilities) has a more militant skill-base (kind of like a fantasy Jedi). I'm thinking that limiting/dictating skill choice for power-wielding characters will provide a little balance where appreciated. What do you think?

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking."

~Albert Einstein~

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To be honest, the only really problematic power systems when used with others are Mutations (which has some weird outliers that could be severely unbalanced with other options) and Supers, which by its very nature does everything the other power systems do as well...

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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