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 Post subject: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:14 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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There is a fairly cool creature from Nyabme (african-styled) campaign setting for D&D 3.5 - a glowing frog.

3.5 statistics and description (it's a translation, but there is full original text in small font)

Also, I made a 4E conversion of it. I generally don't like this new edition, but I have to say - building a monster was easy. (Well, it's an easy monster with no tricky powers. I feel a little clueless thinking of how I would represent more unusual powers in this strict system...)

It came out like that:
Quote:
Glowing Frog Level 1 Controller
Tiny fey magical beast XP 100
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +3, darkvision;
HP 20; Bloodied 10
AC 15; Fortitude 10, Reflex 17, Will 16
Speed 2, swim 4

Hypnotic Colors (standard;at-will) Psychic
Burst 3; targets enemies; +5 vs. Will; target is dazed (save ends).

Glow (standard; at-will)
Burst 6; +5 vs. Fort; target takes 2 ongoing fire damage (save ends).

Invisibility (standard; at-will) Illusion
The glowing frog turns invisible until it attacks.

Alignment Good Languages Draconic, Sylvan
Str 3 (–4) Dex 18 (+4) Wis 16 (+3)
Con 4 (-3) Int 12 (+1) Cha 14 (+2)

/Details on telepathy, constant glow and tactics./

See, I had to change or omit some of abilities (Animal Trance, Detect Evil...) to get this creature function properly in the context of D&D 4E. More ActionRPG-ish, less western-style RPG-ish.


Then I decided to make a conversion to Eldritch, too. I could make Glow ability sap Resilience (or Health DP, for I use homerule that differentiates magical and bodily resistance). I could redefine Animal Trance ability as affecting "small or otherwise harmless animals", leaving harmlessness measurement to the GM.
But then I thought that system-specific changes should help system's style. D&D 3.5 is action- and interaction-oriented (as I see it), D&D4 is combat-oriented.

(All conclusions following this line are based strictly on my experience, thus IMHO.)
Eldritch, on the other hand, is adventure-oriented. It's meant to accurately represent character abilities and to deal with combat fast and cinematic. So, it won't be fun when glowing frogs will pile up on party and hypnotize/glow them to death, which can take many boring combat rounds.

Should the Eldrtich-converted glowing frog do more damage with Glow to make potential combat more swift or on the contrary - should this ability be considered harmless unless frogs hypnotize you to stay still? Maybe more stress should be put on invisibility and diplomatic abilities, so the frogs won't be combatants but rather sneaks? How to represent Animal Trance?

This is really a mind training, not a practical question... Not that I need this frog for my current game or something... Just stretching my brain muscles %)


Last edited by EvilCat on Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Interesting creature. I would go with this:

Glowing Frog
TY: Level 1 (average die-rank: D6)
TR: none
Arcana: D8 > D8 (Invisibility); D6 (Hypnotic Colors); D6 (Glow)
EA: None
HP: 20
RS: 20
BP: D2 (swim, D4)
Notes: This tiny fey creature can become invisible. It can attack with a glowing ray for D6 Harm damage. It can also produce a captivating display of hypnotic colors, which cause D6 damage to Resilience (when Resilience is reduced to zero, the target is dazed and cannot attack). The glowing frog cannot remain invisible when using the glowing ray or the hypnotic color attacks.

------------------

This brings up a question about invisibility in ERP. How does it work? The spell "Invisibility" seems kind of strange to me. It states that it penalizes the scrutiny of creatures attacking the target of the spell (my emphasis). Does this mean that the target is visible until attacked, then the attacker gets the penalty? Seems unlikely. Maybe it should be revised to read "Penalties apply to creatures attempting to see the target. Then it says "using the sum of the ability dice roll" (original emphasis). How is this different from any other spell?


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:52 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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Posts: 67
Well, Glow isn't a ray %) radiant frogs shooting lasers from their eyes is too much... it's an emanation. (4E "blast" means area effect with user in its center... *flips through the book* oh, should've been "burst". or a "close burst"? Who said that 4E rules are more straight and clear...)

About invisibility: I think this effect is too complex to be fully described mechanically unless you have similarly complex system to back it up. And even d20 does that in massive amount of words (I like this accuracy, anyway). So, with Eldritch I'd rely on common sense. Such as:
  • Invisible creature and objects can't be seen. If completely motionless and odorless (such as invisible dormant living statue), they can't be perceived. No rolls required. Unless, of course, some very special means are used - such as echolocation, heat vision, very acute scent or (ack!) a flour shower.
  • Moving and otherwise taking action can reveal the invisible creature via sound, footprints, gust of air and so on. Abilities that partially rely on sight can detect such creature, but take penalty equal to Invisibility spell roll. These include Scrutiny and melee attacks.
  • Ranged attacks rely almost completely on sight, so to shoot an invisible target you have to pinpoint it first - by using other ability, ally's help or something like that. Unless the character can't fully replace sight perception (such as via heat vision), he or she still takes spell roll penalty to his/her attack.
  • Finally, if a character (or a monster) has some honed talent or prepared item to detect invisibility, he or she (or it) should be allowed to use it without penalty. Expend item to remove invisibility, roll specialized ability (such as "Scrutiny > Hearing") against Invisibility spell roll and so on.

Note that statements 1 and 3 don't apply to Blur effect. Blurred creatures can be seen, albeit not perfectly.

This leads me to conclusion that Invisibility spell should require high die rank in Power Source, just like powerful Influence effects do. Invisibility is clearly more powerful then Blur.

(I don't remember if there are separate Blur and Invisibility spells listed in Core Rulebook, but they are fantasy cliches and _will_ be required at some point.)


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:06 pm 
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EvilCat wrote:
Well, Glow isn't a ray %) radiant frogs shooting lasers from their eyes is too much... it's an emanation. (4E "blast" means area effect with user in its center... *flips through the book* oh, should've been "burst". or a "close burst"? Who said that 4E rules are more straight and clear...)

Oh, I don't know. it sounds pretty cool to me :twisted: But I just made up the ray part. Change it to an area effect with a small radius: "It can produce a glowing burst of fey energy for D6 Harm damage in a 6-foot radius."

EvilCat wrote:
About invisibility: I think this effect is too complex to be fully described mechanically unless you have similarly complex system to back it up. And even d20 does that in massive amount of words (I like this accuracy, anyway). So, with Eldritch I'd rely on common sense. Such as:
  • Invisible creature and objects can't be seen. If completely motionless and odorless (such as invisible dormant living statue), they can't be perceived. No rolls required. Unless, of course, some very special means are used - such as echolocation, heat vision, very acute scent or (ack!) a flour shower.
  • Moving and otherwise taking action can reveal the invisible creature via sound, footprints, gust of air and so on. Abilities that partially rely on sight can detect such creature, but take penalty equal to Invisibility spell roll. These include Scrutiny and melee attacks.
  • Ranged attacks rely almost completely on sight, so to shoot an invisible target you have to pinpoint it first - by using other ability, ally's help or something like that. Unless the character can't fully replace sight perception (such as via heat vision), he or she still takes spell roll penalty to his/her attack.
  • Finally, if a character (or a monster) has some honed talent or prepared item to detect invisibility, he or she (or it) should be allowed to use it without penalty. Expend item to remove invisibility, roll specialized ability (such as "Scrutiny > Hearing") against Invisibility spell roll and so on.

Note that statements 1 and 3 don't apply to Blur effect. Blurred creatures can be seen, albeit not perfectly.

This leads me to conclusion that Invisibility spell should require high die rank in Power Source, just like powerful Influence effects do. Invisibility is clearly more powerful then Blur.

(I don't remember if there are separate Blur and Invisibility spells listed in Core Rulebook, but they are fantasy cliches and _will_ be required at some point.)

This is cool. I was thinking along similar lines. Because the Invisibility spell just can't work the same way as other spells (i.e., having to deplete a foe's Resilience before having an effect). I like applying the amount of the spell roll as a PENALTY to the Scrutiny check of the foe (Resilience does not apply). The foe makes a Scrutiny roll, and subtracts the amount of the Invisibilty roll. If the result is < 0, then the foe does not see the target. If the result is low (say, 1, 2, or 3?), then the foe "sees something out of the corner of his eye", but can't quite make out what is there (but could shoot in that direction). If the result is greater than 4, then the foe can see the target. All of this is for visual Scrutiny only--any other cues such as odor, sound, etc would be separate Scrutiny checks (no penalty).

But I don't think that it should be a high-level spell. You might need high die-ranks for it to be effective, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:38 am
Posts: 67
dunbruha wrote:
Oh, I don't know. it sounds pretty cool to me :twisted: But I just made up the ray part. Change it to an area effect with a small radius: "It can produce a glowing burst of fey energy for D6 Harm damage in a 6-foot radius."

Actually, this frog isn't even a fey creature in original 3.5 text, but I wouldn't state its origin as "natural magical beast" in 4E... %) Details, details... And its heat it chemical, too.

dunbruha wrote:
I like applying the amount of the spell roll as a PENALTY to the Scrutiny check of the foe (Resilience does not apply). The foe makes a Scrutiny roll, and subtracts the amount of the Invisibilty roll. If the result is < 0, then the foe does not see the target. If the result is low (say, 1, 2, or 3?), then the foe "sees something out of the corner of his eye", but can't quite make out what is there (but could shoot in that direction). If the result is greater than 4, then the foe can see the target.

I thought of making Scrutiny checks against the invisible creature's _Stealth ability_, just with additional penalty applied to Scrutiny. You still have to move quietly to stay undetected, so it's a Stealth check. Invisibility won't help that much if you're clumsy and drop furniture %)

dunbruha wrote:
All of this is for visual Scrutiny only--any other cues such as odor, sound, etc would be separate Scrutiny checks (no penalty).

I see it like that: Scrutiny doesn't specify means by which the user notices things, and neither does any of Specialization suggested in Core Rules (Movement, Read lips, Security, Sense mood, Sense motive, Unusual things...). So, usually it's not about sight or hearing, it's about technique, habit, skill. Some characters may have "Hearing" specialization if it fits their concept (keen-eared elf, for example), but most won't (if the character have an eye for clues - it's rather Scrutiny > Investigate or something).

I'd use these rules:

  • If the Scrutiny check fully or almost fully relies on sight (Read lips), it doesn't work against invisible creature.
  • If the Scrutiny check uses sight _and_ others senses and logic (Movement), roll it as usual, but apply spell roll penalty.
  • If the Scrutiny check doesn't use sight or doesn't have to (Usual things - the invisible creature _is_ an unusual thing, this specialization made to notice such stuff) - it works as usual, no penalty applied.

dunbruha wrote:
But I don't think that it should be a high-level spell. You might need high die-ranks for it to be effective, though.

If it's not, why would anybody even bother to learn Blur?


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:17 pm 
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EvilCat wrote:
I thought of making Scrutiny checks against the invisible creature's _Stealth ability_, just with additional penalty applied to Scrutiny. You still have to move quietly to stay undetected, so it's a Stealth check. Invisibility won't help that much if you're clumsy and drop furniture %)

Makes sense

EvilCat wrote:
I'd use these rules:

  • If the Scrutiny check fully or almost fully relies on sight (Read lips), it doesn't work against invisible creature.
  • If the Scrutiny check uses sight _and_ others senses and logic (Movement), roll it as usual, but apply spell roll penalty.
  • If the Scrutiny check doesn't use sight or doesn't have to (Usual things - the invisible creature _is_ an unusual thing, this specialization made to notice such stuff) - it works as usual, no penalty applied.

Sounds good.

EvilCat wrote:
dunbruha wrote:
But I don't think that it should be a high-level spell. You might need high die-ranks for it to be effective, though.

If it's not, why would anybody even bother to learn Blur?

Well, there is no Blur spell...
But if there was, maybe it would be in a different Power Source.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 530
Blur
Power Source: Mystic
School: Wizard
Effect: Obscure
Range: self
The wizard speaks a word and his form is blurred, his image fluctuating rapidly in location, such that it's difficult to pinpoint exactly where he stands in a five foot space. Anybody trying to do harm to him suffers a penalty to the Potential Harm roll equal to the caster's roll, but otherwise can see.

Invisibility
Power Source: Mystic
School: Wizard
Effect: Obscure
Range: Creature
This spell makes one chosen creature invisible. Anybody trying to perceive the whereabouts of the invisible creature must make a Scrutiny check versus the Wizard's ability roll. If the check fails, no action requiring line of sight is possible. If successful, an attack can be made, but with a penalty to the attack roll equal to the Wizard's ability roll.
Note: an arcanist specialized in psychogenic powers may roll his Arcanum basic + Psychogenic Power Source + basic Scrutiny to perceive an invisible creature. If successful, he may target the invisible creature with a psychogenic Harm effect with no penalty to the roll.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
Posts: 530
I just realized something...

Writing the "manifestation" and the "aspect" when creating spells annoys the f&^% out of me. :lol:

I don't think I'll do it anymore, because those things are better described in the spell's notes, allowing for greater description and variance in individual spells.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:25 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:38 am
Posts: 67
dunbruha wrote:
Well, there is no Blur spell...
But if there was, maybe it would be in a different Power Source.

There should be as little limitation as possible in a universal system (in this case - universal fantasy system). What if I convert a creature or spells from other system? What if I write down something from book I recently read to use it in my game? What if my player wants lots of different spells and complex magic for more wizardly feel?

dancross wrote:
If the check fails, no action requiring line of sight is possible.

Much better said than my ranged attacks rule above. That's what I meant by "description of Invisibility should be backed up by similarly complex system". One clearly defined term - and one third of situations with Invisibility is resolved.

dancross wrote:
Writing the "manifestation" and the "aspect" when creating spells annoys the f&^% out of me. :lol:
I don't think I'll do it anymore, because those things are better described in the spell's notes, allowing for greater description and variance in individual spells.

Yay! Practice makes perfect. My thread was useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:06 am 
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I wonder... If the wiki was still up, would I be able to post this converted creature there? The original statistics is open content under OGL, but still copyrighted by Atlas Games. The idea is not completely original, I've seen glowing frogs before, and most likely it hails from african folklore. Yet still... Copyright is a tricky thing in today's world.

Where does this border lie? This eternal dilemma of a displacer beast and a shift cat, a beholder and an evil eye... %)

This question has practical reasons. I wonder if it will be allowed to post conversions in the wiki when it will be reestablished.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:16 am 
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I wonder if it's possible to craft OGL conversion documents for a non-OGL game? Why not, right?
Differentiation from the D&D norm is desired, achieved by the forthcoming campaign setting material and monster articles, but I see great potential in an OGL conversion guide penned by the other frequent contributors on this board.

Can we make it a group project, and then put it together? The critters for the campaign setting and monster articles will be all original, so this project would not interfere with that process.

I'd want to use a wysiwyg WIKI, because I don't want to feel like I'm using a markup language when trying to be creative. That's just me, I know.

This is the place I was hoping to use: http://eldritchrpg.wetpaint.com/


EvilCat wrote:
I wonder... If the wiki was still up, would I be able to post this converted creature there? The original statistics is open content under OGL, but still copyrighted by Atlas Games. The idea is not completely original, I've seen glowing frogs before, and most likely it hails from african folklore. Yet still... Copyright is a tricky thing in today's world.

Where does this border lie? This eternal dilemma of a displacer beast and a shift cat, a beholder and an evil eye... %)

This question has practical reasons. I wonder if it will be allowed to post conversions in the wiki when it will be reestablished.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:41 am 
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I don't know the license stuff well... I just remember "no copyright material" statement in previous wiki. As I understand, one can use the open content (even for commercial purposes), if the OGL and a proper list of copyright owners is included. I don't know if it's applicable to non-d20 game systems...

Me, currently I can't sign in anything that includes "project" in its description >_< with present job, I just fail anything that requires regular attention... Looks like my last and only hobby project, the PBEM game, will stall too... So, currently I'm limited to occasional, non-demanding creativity. You know, when the idea takes over you, and makes you think it, and makes you write it down?

It would be great to see the wiki returned, anyway. It's... inspiring.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:49 am 
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EvilCat wrote:
I don't know the license stuff well... I just remember "no copyright material" statement in previous wiki. As I understand, one can use the open content (even for commercial purposes), if the OGL and a proper list of copyright owners is included. I don't know if it's applicable to non-d20 game systems...

Me, currently I can't sign in anything that includes "project" in its description >_< with present job, I just fail anything that requires regular attention... Looks like my last and only hobby project, the PBEM game, will stall too... So, currently I'm limited to occasional, non-demanding creativity. You know, when the idea takes over you, and makes you think it, and makes you write it down?

It would be great to see the wiki returned, anyway. It's... inspiring.


Did you check this out? http://eldritchrpg.wetpaint.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:50 am 
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Is it ready to try and post?


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:59 am 
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EvilCat wrote:
Is it ready to try and post?


I think so. I haven't had time to play with it, but it should be open to the public to add stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:55 pm 
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dancross wrote:
I just realized something...

Writing the "manifestation" and the "aspect" when creating spells annoys the f&^% out of me. :lol:

I don't think I'll do it anymore, because those things are better described in the spell's notes, allowing for greater description and variance in individual spells.

I totally agree about the manifestation, but I kind of like having the aspect clearly listed. It helps to see what the spell really does. But as long as it was clearly stated in the notes, I guess it would be OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:03 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Blur
Power Source: Mystic
School: Wizard
Effect: Obscure
Range: self
The wizard speaks a word and his form is blurred, his image fluctuating rapidly in location, such that it's difficult to pinpoint exactly where he stands in a five foot space. Anybody trying to do harm to him suffers a penalty to the Potential Harm roll equal to the caster's roll, but otherwise can see.

"Anybody trying to do harm to him..." What about damage from area effect spells?

dancross wrote:
Invisibility
Power Source: Mystic
School: Wizard
Effect: Obscure
Range: Creature
This spell makes one chosen creature invisible. Anybody trying to perceive the whereabouts of the invisible creature must make a Scrutiny check versus the Wizard's ability roll. If the check fails, no action requiring line of sight is possible. If successful, an attack can be made, but with a penalty to the attack roll equal to the Wizard's ability roll.
Note: an arcanist specialized in psychogenic powers may roll his Arcanum basic + Psychogenic Power Source + basic Scrutiny to perceive an invisible creature. If successful, he may target the invisible creature with a psychogenic Harm effect with no penalty to the roll.

I like this. But I think EvilCat's point is valid here: If Invisibility is available, why would anyone choose Blur. Maybe if Blur was a Psychogenic power source?


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:11 pm 
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EvilCat wrote:
I wonder... If the wiki was still up, would I be able to post this converted creature there? The original statistics is open content under OGL, but still copyrighted by Atlas Games. The idea is not completely original, I've seen glowing frogs before, and most likely it hails from african folklore. Yet still... Copyright is a tricky thing in today's world.

Where does this border lie? This eternal dilemma of a displacer beast and a shift cat, a beholder and an evil eye... %)

This question has practical reasons. I wonder if it will be allowed to post conversions in the wiki when it will be reestablished.

As far as I understand it (IANAL!!! IANAL!!!), the name can be copyrighted, but if you are presenting new statistics, then it should be fine. So you might not be able to post the conversion of a "Beholder", but you could post the stats for a "Big Floating Magic Eye". But it would be important to check to be sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:21 pm 
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dancross wrote:
EvilCat wrote:
Is it ready to try and post?


I think so. I haven't had time to play with it, but it should be open to the public to add stuff.

I added a creature! (skeleton). It was pretty easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Mind training: a glowing frog conversion.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:02 pm 
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I checked out the skeleton and made some additions.

Also, I added some stuff to the optional rules section:

Eldritch Focus is described on page 46, in the sidebar of the core rules. It's a way for arcanists to "push" their magical effects through a target's Resilience without inflicting extra P-Harm. It is rolled in addition to the base ADC of the spell casting check, but works with any spell cast under that Power Source. It is as costly as any restricted ability branch, and "costs" Resilience points whenever used (bypassing SPell Points altogether).

New:

Spell Focus: Similar to above, but pertains to a single spell. Costs 1 CP to "learn" per die-rank step (up to 3D12 maximum), and assumes knowledge of the spell to which it's linked. It is not as costly in terms of CPs, and costs Spell Points before Resilience points are used.

Innate Focus: Like above, but pertains to a single innate spell-like ability. Costs nothing, usually pertains to monsters, and costs no spell points. For some creatures it costs Resilience points to use, others not at all (depending on the creature).


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