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 Post subject: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:17 pm 
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I preface this as a "dumb idea" because I suspect that there will be a number of posters who will cite "realism" and thereby dislike it. Bear with me....

What if there are fundamentally two main types of arcane magic. (By "arcane" I mean wizard magic; toss out clerics entirely from the discussion.) One type would be low-level but pretty safe, the other would be high-level and pretty dangerous.

The reasoning is this: when I think about Appendix N I see a couple of types of spell casters. One (usually the characters) are wizards who can do some moderately cool things but don't seem to face corruption. The other (usually the uber-bad evil dude to be killed) dabbles with Magic One Ought Not Play With, which would involve corruption and all sorts of icky side effects.

Call it "white magic" and "dark magic" or "the force" and "the dark side" or whatever. What it would do is to allow characters who wanted a magical and whimsical style to play safe as long as they stuck to simple spells like magic missile and knock, but the wizard who really craved power could get into the dark arts where the big boys play and often flame out.

Guys like Gandalf have lots of power, but clearly his spell choices are limited to the weaker spells. This seems to be by choice, and while Gandalf explains that he simply wants to avoid being noticed by Sauron it’s possible that it could be because his magical style is non-corrupting. Harold Shea casts quite a few whimsical spells but never seems to fear being corrupted or losing a body part due to his magic. Cudgel the Clever may have spell mishaps, but nothing seems to have a long-term effect and he's not usually casting the big spells.

On the other hand, Elric summons elementals and he doesn't seem to mind any potential dangers along the way because his need is dire and he's more willing to take a risk. The evil wizards that Conan faces are often doing things that are twisted and nasty, but they dabble with necromancy and other non-trivial things. Sauron will risk anything in order to cast big spells, and in the process he is somewhat twisted. In the Lankhmar stories, Sheelba and Ningauble each have rather twisted appearances and hide behind cowls so as to not be seen.

In the literature, they seem to be very different styles of wizards. Perhaps there should be two sets of styles in the rules. Essentially, what this may mean is that there could be “PC magic” and “NPC magic” where the rules may not always be quite the same. Not “fair” certainly, but more in keeping with much of the source material.

Anyway, it's possible that my thoughts are more a philosophical issue than a rules mechanic issue and the current corruption rules would allow these options already. In that case my idea could simply be a tweak for my own campaign, but I thought I'd toss it out there to see what folks think about it. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:03 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I preface this as a "dumb idea" because I suspect that there will be a number of posters who will cite "realism" and thereby dislike it. Bear with me....

What if there are fundamentally two main types of arcane magic. (By "arcane" I mean wizard magic; toss out clerics entirely from the discussion.) One type would be low-level but pretty safe, the other would be high-level and pretty dangerous.

.... Lots of other stuff that sounded good ....


I like this idea a lot and I think it's really grounded in the literature that DDC gets inspiration.

The Dresden Files does a good job of illustrating magic that is pretty safe to use and the more powerful magics that will end up costing you your life, sanity, soul or some comibination of the three. I know Dresden Files isn't in appendix N but I'm pretty sure it borrows heavily from Appendix N sources ( including the use of the word "thews" ).

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Dreamslinger wrote:
I like this idea a lot and I think it's really grounded in the literature that DDC gets inspiration.

The Dresden Files does a good job of illustrating magic that is pretty safe to use and the more powerful magics that will end up costing you your life, sanity, soul or some comibination of the three. I know Dresden Files isn't in appendix N but I'm pretty sure it borrows heavily from Appendix N sources ( including the use of the word "thews" ).


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:53 pm 
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I also like your ideas a lot.

Not Dumb at all. :lol:

Revoicing some of the cries that i've read here and there... if we get White Magic, and Black Magic, we could get rid of spell levels as we know them, since we have a new way of categorizing spells.

I'd tune Magic Missile down a bit, or move it to Dark Magic. It's quite strong as it is now, and i think goes against what you just said. A lot of people already said they prefer that to Fireball.

We could have Wizards at level 1 pick at least 1 White Spell (we should get different tables) so you can decide if your wiz is more "humble" or "greedy for power", but he needs to have something "safe" to cast.... As he gets new levels, he could decide whether he'd like to pick a White or a Black spell.
For Elves, we could have them pick more compulsory white magic, they'd be less powerful and maybe this could go with the "good elves" idea (that i'm not sure fits DCC...or it's just my mind)

We could categorize spells in White or Black magic basing our decision roughly on Magic Schools: Divination, Charme, Illusion,> White Magic.
Necromancy, Evocation, Conjuration,> Black Magic.
I'd allow Transmutation to be split in 2, maybe spells that affect yourself are White, if you mess with other people's body they're Black magic. (this way, if a Wiz wants to really be useful and cast "Bull's Strength" equivalent spell on the Warrior, he'd have to risk corruption!)

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:33 pm 
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I'd rather DCC reins in the skipping fireballs:
- good guys make the most out of less-flashy spells like cantrip and mend.
- bad guys go for powerful spells that require dark patrons, corruption, sacrifices.

The sacrifice the good wizard makes is renouncing the temption of all that power, in return he may not be gain corruption. But the dark side always beckons....

I think that would make playing a wizard much more interesting - having to constantly weigh up consequences rather than just having corruption as something random.

Corruption should be a risk, temptation is a choice.

I think Marv's idea would make DCC play more like Appendix N.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:51 pm 
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My theoretical gnome class will involve a type of "white magic" based on illusions. (Although there's a bit of darkness as high level illusionists tend to have troubles seeing the real world as the illusions they cast become pseudo-real. SAN loss doesn't require creatures beyond mortal ken.)

Treating with dark beings is usually called Sorcery. (Hence the Sorcery part of Swords and Sorcery.)


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:09 pm 
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abk108 wrote:

I'd allow Transmutation to be split in 2, maybe spells that affect yourself are White, if you mess with other people's body they're Black magic. (this way, if a Wiz wants to really be useful and cast "Bull's Strength" equivalent spell on the Warrior, he'd have to risk corruption!)


To be Appendix N compliant the spell would need to be called "Unrestrained Thews of the Auroch"

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:42 pm 
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abk108 wrote:
I'd tune Magic Missile down a bit, or move it to Dark Magic. It's quite strong as it is now, and i think goes against what you just said. A lot of people already said they prefer that to Fireball.


Magic missile needs to be toned down regardless, at 10th level you can do 55-280 damage at the last rank. Fireball does 14-84 at last rank, is harder to cast and can be saved at half damage (7-42).


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Not dumb at all. In fact I was working on something similar for my campaign as a way to appease both camps (those that want corruption as flavour, and those that don't). Cugel and Gandalf vs. Ningauble and Sheelba were exactly my inspiration (I haven't read a whole lot of Appendix N admittedly). For some reason I hadn't thought of Sauron but he fits perfectly with the latter two.

Note: If you do something like this I would love to test it out. I have a different way I am likely to going to try as well and want to see which I prefer.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:32 pm 
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Since we are just brainstorming...

How about something like this:

1. Spell levels will be reclassified 1-10
2. If casting a spell from a spell > your character level, normal DCC casting rules apply with the chance of corruption automatically increasing on a natural 1+level difference between spell caster and level of spell.
3. If casting a spell < = your character, you have two options.
3a. Cast it safely, no chance of corruption but you ignore any result above (base spell DC+10 --- for a first level spell you ignore anything above a 22). And you automatically lose the spell from memory (successful or not)
3b. Cast it recklessly, normal DCC rules apply.

Keeps it simple, creates scenarios were a wizard could take a higher level spell if he wants to push the envelope.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:04 pm 
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I'd either scale the spells appropriately or get rid of the concept of spell levels entirely and break down the spells into tiers.

1. There would be spells that needed a 12 or better to cast at their minimum effectiveness. Like the spells in the Beta. Only a larger variety of them. Note that something like Fireball wouldn't have its actual 3e effect until the 16 range. But it would still have a minor effect (maybe 1d6 damage?) at 12. Most of these spells would qualify as 1st to 3rd level spells in D&D.

2. There would be higher tier spells that needed a 18 or better and would require the caster's concentration. As in, not going off until the beginning of the caster's next turn. Most of these spells would qualify as 4th or 5th level spells in D&D.

3. Then there would be Ritual spells. Big, powerful spells with lots of risk and big time payoff. Most all of them would require Spellburn or loss of something or another. These would be spells of 6th level or higher in regular D&D.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:39 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
What if there are fundamentally two main types of arcane magic. (By "arcane" I mean wizard magic; toss out clerics entirely from the discussion.) One type would be low-level but pretty safe, the other would be high-level and pretty dangerous.

The reasoning is this: when I think about Appendix N I see a couple of types of spell casters. One (usually the characters) are wizards who can do some moderately cool things but don't seem to face corruption. The other (usually the uber-bad evil dude to be killed) dabbles with Magic One Ought Not Play With, which would involve corruption and all sorts of icky side effects.

Call it "white magic" and "dark magic" or "the force" and "the dark side" or whatever. What it would do is to allow characters who wanted a magical and whimsical style to play safe as long as they stuck to simple spells like magic missile and knock, but the wizard who really craved power could get into the dark arts where the big boys play and often flame out.


Well now this isn't that dumb at all. Kind of awkward mechanically - but RoleMaster had three "core" types of magic from the get-go, and I've seen more breakdowns than this...

But, I'd suggest that magic would be divided into more types, by "source":

Divine - Clerical Magic, directly powered by "faith."

Elemental - Primal forces manipulated by the will/knowledge of the wizard; the most flamboyant spells. Also would include nature magic (Druids would be kind of a hybrid)

Mental - AKA Psionics - The "inner strength" of martial artists, fakirs, etc. Initially the weakest - but also the "safest" path.

Pact Magic - Characters who treat with powers from beyond; demons, Outer Beings, etc. This type of magic always comes a a price. Most necromancers and summoners fall in this category. Essentially the flipside of Divine; instead of gaining power through devotion, they gain power through barter and negotiation, going in as "equals" instead of "servants" of the Powers. Demonologists, Voodoun - all practice this type of magic. Most shamans would be a cross between Pact and Elemental.

It seems that the core rules ignore the third category and link the second and fourth into a single path - and there's nothing wrong with that at all.
But if you go by the fiction, ANYONE can perform Pact Magic with the right source material - only a dedicated student can do more than invoke one Power or really screw things up however; the other categories all require a dedicated student to progress beyond the purest basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:10 pm 
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smathis wrote:
I'd either scale the spells appropriately or get rid of the concept of spell levels entirely and break down the spells into tiers.

1. There would be spells that needed a 12 or better to cast at their minimum effectiveness. Like the spells in the Beta. Only a larger variety of them. Note that something like Fireball wouldn't have its actual 3e effect until the 16 range. But it would still have a minor effect (maybe 1d6 damage?) at 12. Most of these spells would qualify as 1st to 3rd level spells in D&D.

2. There would be higher tier spells that needed a 18 or better and would require the caster's concentration. As in, not going off until the beginning of the caster's next turn. Most of these spells would qualify as 4th or 5th level spells in D&D.

3. Then there would be Ritual spells. Big, powerful spells with lots of risk and big time payoff. Most all of them would require Spellburn or loss of something or another. These would be spells of 6th level or higher in regular D&D.


The problem with this is that if you make it so a 12 to cast fireball, a higher level wizard would most likely not fail on a 12 (or have a very small chance of it). The scaling (before loss) is s key mechanic for the Wizard class to prevent overwhelming abuse of the class.

Higher level spells need to have a higher failure threshold to keep the Wizards in check.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:23 pm 
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There's no reason you can't have 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 for spells of different "levels" without actually naming the levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:14 am 
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Hamakto wrote:
Since we are just brainstorming...

How about something like this:

1. Spell levels will be reclassified 1-10
2. If casting a spell from a spell > your character level, normal DCC casting rules apply with the chance of corruption automatically increasing on a natural 1+level difference between spell caster and level of spell.
3. If casting a spell < = your character, you have two options.
3a. Cast it safely, no chance of corruption but you ignore any result above (base spell DC+10 --- for a first level spell you ignore anything above a 22). And you automatically lose the spell from memory (successful or not)
3b. Cast it recklessly, normal DCC rules apply.
Keeps it simple, creates scenarios were a wizard could take a higher level spell if he wants to push the envelope.


I underlined the concept i find most interesting, easy to implement and coherent with the idea i got of Appendix N magic ( never read the books..)

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:00 am 
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Hamakto wrote:
The problem with this is that if you make it so a 12 to cast fireball, a higher level wizard would most likely not fail on a 12 (or have a very small chance of it). The scaling (before loss) is s key mechanic for the Wizard class to prevent overwhelming abuse of the class.

Higher level spells need to have a higher failure threshold to keep the Wizards in check.


The problem now is that the only scaling being done is on the DC to fail at the casting. Unless significant changes are done. There's no point casting Fireball until you've lost Magic Missile.

And I think you've misunderstood me. Fireball at 12 is not the same as Fireball at 18. Each spell has its own chart. So a Fireball cast at 12 doesn't fundamentally need to be a 100% positive thing. Maybe it takes longer to go off. Maybe it goes off at a reduced damage. Maybe it's just a small little flame that can potentially set an opponent on fire.

Because each spell has its own chart, categorizing the spells by level is almost vestigial. It's a non-important carry-over from "the way it's always been done".

But if DCC is intent on keeping the level distinction, then it should matter beyond just what DC a character needs to beat to not forget a spell. And I think it should matter significantly. As it stands, a Wizard would be dumb to cast a higher level spell when he's got a 1st level spell he can use instead. I don't think that's DCC's intent.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:08 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
I preface this as a "dumb idea" because I suspect that there will be a number of posters who will cite "realism" and thereby dislike it. Bear with me....


Not a dumb idea, and thank you for temporarily absolving us of the specter of "realism." I've had his label pinned on me before and it sucks, but I've always thought that "believability" is crucial to telling a good and engrossing story.

Quote:
What if there are fundamentally two main types of arcane magic. (By "arcane" I mean wizard magic; toss out clerics entirely from the discussion.) One type would be low-level but pretty safe, the other would be high-level and pretty dangerous.

The reasoning is this: when I think about Appendix N I see a couple of types of spell casters. One (usually the characters) are wizards who can do some moderately cool things but don't seem to face corruption. The other (usually the uber-bad evil dude to be killed) dabbles with Magic One Ought Not Play With, which would involve corruption and all sorts of icky side effects.


I think this is an excellent idea and I look forward to seeing what happens; but from here...well, I'm not sure I like the rest all that much.

Quote:
Call it "white magic" and "dark magic" or "the force" and "the dark side" or whatever. What it would do is to allow characters who wanted a magical and whimsical style to play safe as long as they stuck to simple spells like magic missile and knock, but the wizard who really craved power could get into the dark arts where the big boys play and often flame out.


I reject the idea that it is some how more "manly" to use the dark arts, and that those playing white wizards are wimps.

Quote:
Guys like Gandalf have lots of power, but clearly his spell choices are limited to the weaker spells. This seems to be by choice, and while Gandalf explains that he simply wants to avoid being noticed by Sauron it’s possible that it could be because his magical style is non-corrupting. Harold Shea casts quite a few whimsical spells but never seems to fear being corrupted or losing a body part due to his magic. Cudgel the Clever may have spell mishaps, but nothing seems to have a long-term effect and he's not usually casting the big spells.

On the other hand, Elric summons elementals and he doesn't seem to mind any potential dangers along the way because his need is dire and he's more willing to take a risk. The evil wizards that Conan faces are often doing things that are twisted and nasty, but they dabble with necromancy and other non-trivial things. Sauron will risk anything in order to cast big spells, and in the process he is somewhat twisted. In the Lankhmar stories, Sheelba and Ningauble each have rather twisted appearances and hide behind cowls so as to not be seen.


I'll stick with the examples of Gandalf because I'm more recently familiar with Tolkien, than the others. Just because Abjuration magic isn't flashy doesn't mean its weak. Gandalf goes toe-to-toe with one of the greatest evils of the first age... in single combat. Now, either the magic sword he had was so awesome that it would make Saberhagen jealous: or, his magic is more potent than is portrayed. He fell to the bottom of what was supposed to be a bottomless pit, while fighting a demon of the Old World and lived long enough to fight the monster all the way back to the top of the mountain. Sure the fight eventually claims Gandalf's life, but not before he vanquished his foe... Then [by DCC RPG rules] a displeased Patron sends him back to the world of the living to finish what he'd started. And lets not forget the battle between Gandalf & Saruman in the tower of Orthanc, no flashy spells there, but they manage to beat the tar out of each other. It isn't until Gandalf loses his staff that he loses and gets captured.

Quote:
In the literature, they seem to be very different styles of wizards. Perhaps there should be two sets of styles in the rules. Essentially, what this may mean is that there could be “PC magic” and “NPC magic” where the rules may not always be quite the same. Not “fair” certainly, but more in keeping with much of the source material.


You're correct, and it always seems like it's the Bad Guys that are the ones using the magic of the soul-sucking, horrifying, & generally "naughty" variety. Those are the ones we're supposed to be vanquishing... right? :)

Quote:
Anyway, it's possible that my thoughts are more a philosophical issue than a rules mechanic issue and the current corruption rules would allow these options already. In that case my idea could simply be a tweak for my own campaign, but I thought I'd toss it out there to see what folks think about it. 8)


Nothing wrong with a philosophical bent to the discussion and I love the idea that there may be additional paths of magic available. I think this would enhance the game.

------because I don't want to make a second posting, but keeping with the theme of Ethics---------

After reading the thread, I don't think it is necessary to say that specific schools of magic are "white" or "black" magic. After all, a battle wizard and his or her apprentices working to defend their Lords Castle and its citizens from the invading undead army with a few fireball spells (which is where those bouncy ones would be real nice :mrgreen: ) doesn't seem to me like it is deserving of corruption rolls. Likewise, a necromancers could be using their knowledge to heal people with minor/major surgeries. I had a L-G Necromancer in 2e D&D that used the spells Graft Limb & Shape Bone to perform the services of a country doctor and to help folk deal with undead pests.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:18 pm 
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smathis wrote:
But if DCC is intent on keeping the level distinction, then it should matter beyond just what DC a character needs to beat to not forget a spell. And I think it should matter significantly. As it stands, a Wizard would be dumb to cast a higher level spell when he's got a 1st level spell he can use instead. I don't think that's DCC's intent.


To let you know, I had the same question earlier and I brought it up in one of the playtest/rule review email threads to Joseph. I know you already know some of what I am going to put here, but I am typing it for other people to understand.

The DC progression is exactly matched to the caster levels.

DC 12 - 1st level spells (1st level caster required)
DC 14 - 2nd level spells (3rd level caster required)
DC 16 - 3rd level spells (5th level caster required)

So the % chance to successfully cast a spell stays the same for the highest level spells you can cast. The lower level spells get progressively easier to cast as you get more powerful in levels.

The reason you would even attempt to cast a higher level spell is that the effects are supposed to be that much better for an equivalent die roll. I am sure that the spell tables will go under further revision to bring them into proper balance if they are not as of yet (someone mentioned a Fireball vs Magic Missile difference... I have not looked at that yet).

But remember that each time you cast a spell, you suffer a chance for corruption (that nasty natural 1). So casting a 1st level lesser spell multiple times is more dangerous to the Wizard (long term) than taking a chance on a bigger spell.

The corruption mechanic exists to put a limit on how many times a Wizard will be able to cast spells. Each time a Wizard could cast a spell, he should weigh if casting the spell (with it chance of corruption) is worthwhile. He or she should not cast it just because he can.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
The reason you would even attempt to cast a higher level spell is that the effects are supposed to be that much better for an equivalent die roll. I am sure that the spell tables will go under further revision to bring them into proper balance if they are not as of yet (someone mentioned a Fireball vs Magic Missile difference... I have not looked at that yet).


The bolded part is essential, IMO. Without that, spell levels are arbitrary.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:40 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:

Guys like Gandalf have lots of power, but clearly his spell choices are limited to the weaker spells. This seems to be by choice, and while Gandalf explains that he simply wants to avoid being noticed by Sauron it’s possible that it could be because his magical style is non-corrupting. Harold Shea casts quite a few whimsical spells but never seems to fear being corrupted or losing a body part due to his magic. Cudgel the Clever may have spell mishaps, but nothing seems to have a long-term effect and he's not usually casting the big spells.

On the other hand, Elric summons elementals and he doesn't seem to mind any potential dangers along the way because his need is dire and he's more willing to take a risk. The evil wizards that Conan faces are often doing things that are twisted and nasty, but they dabble with necromancy and other non-trivial things. Sauron will risk anything in order to cast big spells, and in the process he is somewhat twisted. In the Lankhmar stories, Sheelba and Ningauble each have rather twisted appearances and hide behind cowls so as to not be seen.


Well, your idea is good, but I dispute some interpretations.

Tolkien developed his idea of Gandalf's magic slowly. Tolkien set out to just write a whimsical little story - Tolkien had no idea what a "hobbit" might be when he wrote "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit," -- and somewhere along the line, it turned into an epic. After many years of pondering, Tolkien decided that Gandalf's power was connected to Gandalf's exact origin as a Maia. In Tolkien's final version, Gandalf did not cast "spells" by academic study, but by his inherent celestial or spiritual power. Tolkien was a good friend of C.S.Lewis, who had a semi-pagan Merlin figure prominently in his Perelandra series; Lewis' Merlin is discussed by others as having his magic spring from his inmost being. Both men were probably influenced by the Platonism of their mutual friend, Charles Williams.

Cugel was not too worried about corruption. Cugel was an irresponsible sociopath, and Vance clearly wanted the reader to dislike Cugel at least a little. If Cugel had been educated enough to understand corruption, he might have had some concerns - he did have a strong sense of self-preservation. Cugel was an example of how magic in The Dying Earth was like high technology, insofar as idiots could activate it without understanding it.

The evil wizards in Conan were only twisted morally. Physically and mentally they were supermen - but ethically they were megalomaniacs and tyrants. They started off as buff, muscular martial artists and eventually became unkillable demigods.

Elric was never in any danger of physical corruption (his albinism made that something of a moot point). Elric did have a sense of moral and emotional corruption, but it was very subtle and never interfered with his devilish good looks. Unfortunately, Elric's magic was inconsistent because Moorcock explicitly set out to avoid writing a rational magic system, and because Elric's story was intentionally very episodic. (Incidentally, Moorcock wrote an excellent work of literary criticism called Wizardry and Wild Romance - if you can find a copy, you'll enjoy it.)

To the best of my knowledge, Sheelba and Ningauble are the only wizards in all of Appendix N who turned into some kind of Lovecraftian monstrosity due to magic.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:06 am 
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yfr wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, Sheelba and Ningauble are the only wizards in all of Appendix N who turned into some kind of Lovecraftian monstrosity due to magic.


That's assuming they were in fact human first. I don't remember them ever being confirmed as human in the book and if I recall, they are almost hinted as being alien-beings.

The whole corruption idea really seems over-done in this game. As you point out, it's usually not physical in the books or is minor at best (ie. black clawed hands which could just as easily be augmented that way by choice). I want the corruption chart but not the corruption mechanic as used in the game. In fact the more the coolness factor wears off on me, the less I want it for general spellcasting (though kept for other purposes).


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
The whole corruption idea really seems over-done in this game. As you point out, it's usually not physical in the books or is minor at best (ie. black clawed hands which could just as easily be augmented that way by choice). I want the corruption chart but not the corruption mechanic as used in the game. In fact the more the coolness factor wears off on me, the less I want it for general spellcasting (though kept for other purposes).


Much like Mercurial Magic, I think it's overdone in the sense of "whacky, physical manifestations that are evident to everyone". They're almost entirely (if not entirely) overt physical changes of a permanent sort. I think those should be moderated by more, um, subtle changes.

There should be more corruption results like "silver tarnishes in your presence". Or "you take one damage die higher from all iron weapons". Or "your Fortitude save is reduced by -1 permanently". Or "flowers and grass die in your presence". Or "animals roll 2d4 on reactions to your character or any party with which he is associated".

There could also be durations on some of the results. Like instead of "your right hand becomes a Crab Claw forever. hope you can get a refund on your piano lessons", maybe it's "your hand becomes a Crab Claw for this level, after you gain a level it reverts back to a hand yet retains the coloring and chitin of a Crab Claw".

The former (just having a Crab Claw) is borderline silly. It's gonzo. But it borders on parody. I mean, let's throw in Clown Shoes while we're at it. The latter is creepy. Sure, you've got the crab claw for a while. But after that, you've got someone with a hand that's red and bumpy and chitinous. It's those subtle things that are the most disturbing. The more overt the effect, the less weird and more comical it is.

I mean what's creepier? Having the head of a chicken or having one lame foot that has transformed into a chicken foot? Stuff that the corrupted sorcerer could hide. More covert. Creepier. More Unknown Armies. Less Knights of the Dinner Table.

That chitinous hand at least explains why Michael Jackson wore that one glove for the better part of his career. That nose thing? Hmm. Maybe THAT could be on the Corruption table too...


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 am 
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Double post! Gah!

I never roll a hit with both d16s...


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:28 am 
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smathis wrote:
"your Fortitude save is reduced by -1 permanently"..

Everything else you send was cool, but this one is boring.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb idea: Two types of arcane magic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:43 pm 
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claytonian wrote:
smathis wrote:
"your Fortitude save is reduced by -1 permanently"..

Everything else you send was cool, but this one is boring.


Well you could attach a desriptive state to it as well, such as a constant cough.

The crab hand stuck out to me as well. I know the first corruption I rolled was thick bear fur. So basically I had Chewbacca (or an Ewok if the guy was short, I hadn't thought that far) walking around casting spells after that. If we were playing Encounter Critical for a few games I might think that was cool. It didn't deter me from wanting to cast spells, it just felt ridiculous and over the top.


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