Goodman Games

Fan Forums
It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:47 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:52 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2682
Location: San Jose, CA
Designer’s Diary Entry #3: What Do You Mean, “Vancian”?

Or, Spellcasting in DCC RPG

Listen to any experienced D&D gamers talk and you’ll hear the term “Vancian” bandied about. In the 1950s and 1960s, Jack Vance wrote a series of stories, now published as Tales of The Dying Earth. These tales are populated by a coterie of delightful wizards whose power is measured, in part, by how many spells they can memorize; the most powerful can remember more spells, and more complexity, and thus maintain a higher spellcasting ability than their peers. D&D adopted something close to this system, and magic-users ever since have gained class ability to memorize more spells as they progress in level. D&D gamers call this system “Vancian.”

But something is missing. The magic in Vance’s world didn’t always work as predicted. In fact, when Cugel the Clever (one of the models for what would eventually become the thief class) attempts to inflict upon his enemy Iucounu the Laughing Magician the same baleful spells that were inflicted upon himself, he fails – twice – in two ways – and winds up causing himself the problems he attempted to cause others.

Granted, Cugel in this case is a thief, not a wizard, equivalent to a D&D thief casting spells from a scroll (guess where that ability came from?). But unpredictable spell-casting, which is present in Vance, is not unique thereto. L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt wrote a series of stories that were also very influential on the D&D magic system – perhaps so much so that we could have called the system “Camp-and-Pratt-ism” if “Vancian” weren’t so catchy. In their series on Harold Shea the enchanter, they present a logical magic system derived from recipe-like combinations of materials, motions, and chants (including “somatic” components). Unlike certain other literary magic systems that D&D did not favor (such as Moorcock’s demon-sponsored magic of Elric and Arioch), Harold Shea’s magic is organized, memorizable, and logical – but also unpredictable. Shea refers to this as “getting the decimal point right,” and in his attempts to summon a dragon he winds up summoning a pseudo-dragon (or 0.1 of a dragon) and, later, 100 dragons instead of a single one.

So what commonality is shared by the magic of Jack Vance, L. Sprague de Camp, and Fletcher Pratt – as well as Moorcock and many other Appendix N authors – but not by D&D?

Lack of predictability in spellcasting.

Any effort to re-imagine D&D as it appeared in Appendix N – which his the goal of DCC RPG – must acknowledge this fact. Much of the literary source material includes a “margin of error” on spellcasting – and not just the authors listed above. But we ended up with a very predictable spell system with no margin for error. It’s fun, as we’ve all experienced over the preceding three decades – but what if it had been done differently?

The Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game uses a Vancian magic system, which really is Vancian. The core mechanic of the game is the d20 roll (as in D&D 3E), and the core mechanic of spellcasting is the spell check. The caster, whether wizard or cleric, must roll 1d20 and add his caster level. He also adds the appropriate ability score modifier. He must beat a result of 10 + (2x spell level). A roll of less than this causes failure, and, in the case of wizards, the caster forgets his spell. (More on clerics later.) A roll of 1 is a fumble and can cause horrible things to happen – most likely to the caster. A successful roll causes something to happen – but not always the same thing. A high-level wizard casting magic missile can achieve a much more impressive result than his level 1 brethren – not just “more missiles,” but a fundamentally more powerful spell result.

Because magic missile is a D&D staple, it provides a good example of what I mean by “lack of predictability in spellcasting.” In traditional D&D editions, magic missile includes a modicum of unpredictability: for example, in 3.5, each missile did 1d4+1 damage, and a higher-level caster receives a predictable number of additional missiles. In DCC RPG, magic missile is fundamentally more variable. Here is the table of spell results. Remember that the caster rolls 1d20, and adds his caster level and Intelligence modifier, so a level 1 wizard is usually adding +2 or +3:

Quote:
1-11: Lost. Failure.
12-13: You can throw 1 missile that does 1 point of damage. You must have line of sight to the target. The missile flows unerringly and never misses, though it may be blocked by certain magic (e.g., magic shield).
14-17: As above, but 1 missile does damage 1d4 + caster level.
18-19: As above, but 1d4 missiles that each do damage 1d4 + caster level. All missiles must be aimed at a single target.
20-23: As above, but 1d4 missiles that each do damage 1d6 + caster level. You may aim each missile at an individual target.
24-27: As above, but one extremely powerful missile that does damage 4d12 + caster level. Range is increased to 1,000’, provided line of sight is maintained.
28-29: As above, but 1d8 missiles that each do damage 1d8 + caster level. Range is increased to line of sight, as long as missiles travel in a direct path.
30-31: As above but 1d10 missiles that each do damage 1d8 + caster level. Each missile may be aimed individually. Range is line of sight, regardless of whether a direct path exists; e.g., the caster may launch a magic missile through a crystal ball or other scrying device. These missiles have limited ability to defy magic shield and other protections; compare this spell check against the spell check used to create the magic shield. If the magic missile check is higher, the magic shield has only a 50% chance of absorbing the missiles (roll individually for each missile). Any missiles that make it through do damage 1d8 + caster level, as noted above.
32+: As above but 1d10 missiles that each do damage 1d10 + caster level. The caster may direct these missiles individually as a single action, or may direct them all at a single target who is not present or visible, provided he has specific knowledge of that target. In this case, the caster must have a physical memento of the target (hair, fingernail, vial of blood, etc.) and spend 1 turn concentrating to cast the spell, then continue concentrating as the missiles seek their target. The missiles will aim for this target even if it is concealed or invisible, though they have a maximum range of 100 miles. The missiles will turn, curve, re-trace their route, and make every effort to reach the target, although they cannot cross planes. The missiles can travel up to 10 miles per second provided no obstacles are present, but speed is much lower if, for example, they must navigate underground caverns. Provided a direct route exists, the missiles will strike the target unerringly.


This spell effect table is the first and most important element of spell variability in DCC RPG. In actual play, it makes wizard spellcasting extremely exciting. No player is ever quite sure if the wizard will succeed on his next spell attempt. A successful roll means the wizard not only casts the spell, but retains it for casting again in the future. A failure means the wizard loses the spell – and a roll of 1 can result in a spell failure or the corruption of the caster. Conversely, a natural 20 is a critical success, and grants the most powerful result on the table. I have been in games where the wizard character has single-handedly pulled the party from disaster with a series of great rolls – and other games where the wizard just had a really, really bad day.

While Vancian spellcasting is one school of Appendix N, and “Camp-and-Pratt-ism” is another, there is a third approach which has probably received more reader attention but rarely been manifest in D&D. The sorcerers of Robert E. Howard invariably draw their power from alliances with supernatural creatures, as does, to a lesser extent, Michael Moorcock’s Elric, and select other archetypes within Appendix N. This element of spellcasting is reflected in DCC RPG as spellburn and patron magic.

Spellburn and Patron Magic: “Blood aids great sorcery,” quoth the mummy, and it was right. The spellburn mechanic allows a magic-user to harness more magical energies if he is willing to make mortal sacrifice: offer part of his soul to a demon, foster a demi-god’s greedy growth by leeching his strength, or even burn the very life energy in his own cells. Before rolling any spell check, a wizard or cleric may declare he will attempt spellburn. In attempting spellburn, the wizard temporarily expends points of his Strength, Agility, or Stamina score to enhance his spell check. For every ability point he expends, he adds +1 to his spell check. The ability score loss is temporary, but the act committed must be role-played: the wizard must exchange something with a demon, celestial, ghost, or other supernatural power capable of granting arcane favors, and that act is not always without subsequent consequence. I have been in games where the players are perfectly willing to take a hit to their ability scores but balk when the role-played exchange comes into play.

Supernatural patrons are further reflected in the game with a strain of magic known as patron magic. In short, a wizard can utilize a spell slot to form an alliance with an otherworldly power, who serves as his patron. The patron aids the wizard when called…but he will ask for favors, exchanges, and gifts in return. “Blood for my lord!” as certain Appendix N heroes were wont to shout – and the same can happen in your DCC RPG games. A wizard can invoke help from a demon or celestial ally, but the aid that is sent may not be exactly what was requested. Patron invocation as a type of magic will be dealt with in more detail later, but in short, it is even less predictable than other spells, but potentially far more powerful. At a cost.

We now have Vancian and Camp-and-Pratt spell variability, and Howard and Moorcock style consultation with supernatural beings. What next? Well, Appendix N is nothing if not full of many models of fantasy. A third vein of Appendix N magic use concerns hereditary magic use. Whether it’s in Zelazny’s Amber series, or lesser-known titles such as Margaret St. Clair’s Sign of the Labrys, the literature contains a thread of “magical self-discovery” where characters learn of their powers. D&D has adopted this to varying degrees over the years, usually as a racial or class trait (e.g., the sorcerer or tiefling concept of “demon blood in your past”). I prefer to integrate it into the spellcasting mechanic. It is here that mercurial magic comes into play.

Mercurial magic: The firstborn son of a witch hanged at trial wields black magic adroitly. An orphan raised by satyrs is a precocious student of druidry. Cosmic caprice determines skill in magic: birth order, family lineage, horoscope, and matters even more abstruse have as much influence on a wizard’s spellcasting as his hard work and native intelligence.

As a result, the effect of a magical spell varies according to he who casts it. A magical rite invoked by one mage may be more powerful – or even different – than the same ritual exercised by a peer. These variegations are not predictable, as the subtleties that produce them can never be fully catalogued.

In DCC RPG, this is known as mercurial magic. When a wizard learns a new spell, he rolls on a specialized table to determine how that spell manifests in his hands. The mercurial element might mean that a cloud of ash appears whenever he casts the spell, or he swoons in weakness, or there is thunder, or toadstools grow around him, or he is wreathed in flame, or he is “strong with this spell” and makes spell checks with 1d30 instead of 1d20. There are many possible side effects, and it ensures each wizard’s magic missile is unique – independent of the spell check roll.

Taken Together: Spellcasting in DCC RPG is a different experience than traditional D&D, but it feels very much like sword-and-sorcery, and, in my opinion, accurately reflects the amalgam of source material that many of us associate with the origins of D&D. When you play DCC RPG, you’re definitely not playing D&D – but it “feels” like D&D in many ways. The source is true even if the manifestation is different.

In actual play, wizards are tremendous fun. Their dice rolls on spell checks can make or break an encounter – and occasionally an entire session. At a recent con game I ran, one wizard continually rolled high on his invoke patron spell results. In three combats, he managed to summon demonic aid three times, and swayed the combat every time. He utilized spellburn to pull this off, and wound up having to share his true name with a demon to get the aid he requested. But it worked…for a while. Near the end of the session, he rolled a natural 1 on a spell check. Spell fumble! Then he rolled a natural 20 on the spell fumble table: worst possible result! This was a wizard that lived fast…and then died young when his demonic patron claimed his soul prematurely.

In another game, I had a character roll up comprehend languages with the mercurial side effect that the air around the wizard became freezing cold every time he cast it, causing 1d4 damage to everyone nearby. The wizard wound up casting comprehend languages in combat for the side effect!

So, how is a wizard in the DCC RPG different from a wizard in traditional D&D? They both cast spells, they both forget spells, they both know more spells as they advance in levels. But the DCC RPG magic-user has a little more variability in his arsenal. His spells can go extremely well – or very poorly. Or just average. They’re not predictable, they’re not completely controllable, they’re not science experiments.

Hmm. I suppose this means magic feels more like – magic?

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:58 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:56 pm
Posts: 238
Location: NZ
Ooooh first view and first reply :P

Now back to reading ;)

_________________
LAST OF THE F3W
Gloria Finis


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:45 pm 
Offline
Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:51 pm
Posts: 108
goodmangames wrote:
30-31: These missiles have limited ability to defy magic shield and other protections; compare this spell check against the spell check used to create the magic shield. If the magic missile check is higher, the magic shield has only a 50% chance of absorbing the missiles (roll individually for each missile).



I really, really like what I'm hearing, but the above seems way too complicated. It's just one extra roll, but it slows down play just a bit, and all those rolls add up. How about a flat half damage against a shield spell?

The rest of it is great!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:03 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:13 am
Posts: 376
Location: Newcastle, England
JRR wrote:
goodmangames wrote:
30-31: These missiles have limited ability to defy magic shield and other protections; compare this spell check against the spell check used to create the magic shield. If the magic missile check is higher, the magic shield has only a 50% chance of absorbing the missiles (roll individually for each missile).



I really, really like what I'm hearing, but the above seems way too complicated. It's just one extra roll, but it slows down play just a bit, and all those rolls add up. How about a flat half damage against a shield spell?

The rest of it is great!


Yes, I agree with JRR, it may be a bit clunky in play.

Otherwise, the mix of unpredictablity/calling on patrons/ mercurial magic is for me, a winning combination.

_________________
Sean Wills


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:10 am 
Offline
Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:09 pm
Posts: 177
Intriguing and promising stuff! :D

_________________
Click here for a review of Isle of the Unknown, a Wilderlands-style hex-crawl (only more so).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:16 am 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:56 pm
Posts: 238
Location: NZ
Are we also going to see rituals? As in spells that are more powerful but take longer, need more components and/or more casters? Although maybe these are the sort of things that only NPC cultist types use, so just DM discretion?

Aside from that, looks awesome! And I agree with the shield thing, what if the shield spell was cast many rounds ago, will you remember the roll exactly?

_________________
LAST OF THE F3W
Gloria Finis


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:25 am 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:44 am
Posts: 264
Thank the gods you're not including feats or something similar to minimize / nullify low rolls or "1s". (I can already see that's gonna be added as a houserule by most GMs as players bitch and moan with the "lack of predictability" in the game :lol: )

_________________
What do you mean no?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:29 am 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:44 am
Posts: 264
Machpants wrote:
Are we also going to see rituals? As in spells that are more powerful but take longer, need more components and/or more casters? Although maybe these are the sort of things that only NPC cultist types use, so just DM discretion?


That would be a great 3PP supp.

Machpants wrote:
Aside from that, looks awesome! And I agree with the shield thing, what if the shield spell was cast many rounds ago, will you remember the roll exactly?


Uh, what's the difficulty of adding the Magic Shield spell's effect to one's AC?

EDIT: Ah. I see. To be houseruled 8)

_________________
What do you mean no?


Last edited by joela on Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:42 am 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:56 pm
Posts: 238
Location: NZ
"...compare this spell check against the spell check used to create the magic shield. If the magic missile check is higher, the magic shield has only a 50% chance of absorbing the missiles... "

If the shield spell was cast many rounds ago, how are you to remember the actual spell check the shield caster got? I certainly don't want to bother taking note of that... although admittedly, thinking about it, at least you would have a range for the check so you knew what effect you had produced. Even if it would be annoying to have to note the exact number.

_________________
LAST OF THE F3W
Gloria Finis


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:01 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:34 pm
Posts: 707
Location: Győr, Hungary
While magic missile seems a bit complicated at first, especially the last lines of it, don't forget that it's 7 seven spell in one, and that the most complicated results won't come up too often. But it's true, that the part about the shield should be simplified - as others told before, no one will remember what was the shield's casting number, and rolling the chance for every magic missile, will take plenty of time.
Anyway, the system is awesome, reminds me a bit of Warhammer FRP's. Can't wait to see how it works in actual play!

_________________
Current campaign: Terminus DCC RPG


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:42 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Chicago suburbs
This certainly sounds intriguing and I can't wait to see how it shakes out in playtest.

I know already that my players will be of mixed mind regarding the potential randomness of spellcasting, but I think this will (a) invoke the flavor of Appendix N, and (b) help to make the DCC RPG a unique approach to role playing instead of "one of the herd."

The fact that spell misfires and mishaps can be both positive and negative is a feature that I see as a good thing, however. This way it's not a "spell failure" chart as much as a "spell out of control" chart.

Overall, thumbs up from me. I can't wait to bounce this off of my players......

_________________
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:58 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 8:39 am
Posts: 317
Location: Knoxville, TN
sounds awesome!

_________________
Mike
1d8.blogspot
Knoxville Gamers


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:18 am 
Offline
Wild-Eyed Zealot
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Italy
JRR wrote:
goodmangames wrote:
30-31: These missiles have limited ability to defy magic shield and other protections; compare this spell check against the spell check used to create the magic shield. If the magic missile check is higher, the magic shield has only a 50% chance of absorbing the missiles (roll individually for each missile).



I really, really like what I'm hearing, but the above seems way too complicated. It's just one extra roll, but it slows down play just a bit, and all those rolls add up. How about a flat half damage against a shield spell?

The rest of it is great!

To avoid an extra roll, you could always look at the damage dice itself: with an even result the shield works, with an odd it works not.
That's your 50%, simple and clear. :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:00 am 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
Looks great, Joseph.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:05 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:07 am
Posts: 32
GREAT STUFF 8)

ps: I would not use Harold Shea as an example, his problems come from trying to use decimal numbers instead of "sets" he was trying to think the number 1 instead of the set of 1, when he get this trick down he have no more problems :)

_________________
in D&D since 1984


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:13 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:13 am
Posts: 376
Location: Newcastle, England
Hamel™ wrote:
To avoid an extra roll, you could always look at the damage dice itself: with an even result the shield works, with an odd it works not.
That's your 50%, simple and clear. :mrgreen:


*applause* YES ! :)

_________________
Sean Wills


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:03 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:36 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Denver, Colorado
goodmangames wrote:
Spellburn and Patron Magic: “Blood aids great sorcery,” quoth the mummy, and it was right. The spellburn mechanic allows a magic-user to harness more magical energies if he is willing to make mortal sacrifice: offer part of his soul to a demon, foster a demi-god’s greedy growth by leeching his strength, or even burn the very life energy in his own cells. Before rolling any spell check, a wizard or cleric may declare he will attempt spellburn. In attempting spellburn, the wizard temporarily expends points of his Strength, Agility, or Stamina score to enhance his spell check. For every ability point he expends, he adds +1 to his spell check. The ability score loss is temporary, but the act committed must be role-played: the wizard must exchange something with a demon, celestial, ghost, or other supernatural power capable of granting arcane favors, and that act is not always without subsequent consequence. I have been in games where the players are perfectly willing to take a hit to their ability scores but balk when the role-played exchange comes into play.


I have a small suggestion for addition to Spellburn. Give each entity a preferred attribute for Spellburn and allow any attribute to be used. Some demons might want a point of Luck, some celestial allies might want a point of Charisma (i.e. ritual scarification, a brand, or a specific tattoo), etc. If you give the entity the attribute point it wants, it is more likely to help you.

Mechanically giving a point in a preferred attribute could count for double. So, if the demon wants Strength and you give it Stamina it is worth +1, but if you give it Strength it is worth +2.

Another thought I just had. What about permanent effects? By temporary expenditure means the attribute damage from Spellburn heals over time. What about having 'Permanent Spellburn' for a few limited things. The caster wants to sacrifice a permanent part of himself to create a permanent effect on himself (e.g. Magic Shield as a permanent spell effect) or on an enemy (e.g. striking the foe dead by destroying his eternal soul) this costs him a point (or more) of Spellburn which he never regenerates. This could roleplay as the caster cutting off one of his fingers as a sacrifice or something similar.



Or would these be better suited to an Appendix entry, or getting added to my soon to be created "Doug's DCC RPG Houserules" document?

EDIT: Also, what about sacrificing others to fuel spells?

_________________
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:49 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
dkeester wrote:
I have a small suggestion for addition to Spellburn. Give each entity a preferred attribute for Spellburn and allow any attribute to be used. Some demons might want a point of Luck, some celestial allies might want a point of Charisma (i.e. ritual scarification, a brand, or a specific tattoo), etc. If you give the entity the attribute point it wants, it is more likely to help you.

Mechanically giving a point in a preferred attribute could count for double. So, if the demon wants Strength and you give it Stamina it is worth +1, but if you give it Strength it is worth +2.

Another thought I just had. What about permanent effects? By temporary expenditure means the attribute damage from Spellburn heals over time. What about having 'Permanent Spellburn' for a few limited things. The caster wants to sacrifice a permanent part of himself to create a permanent effect on himself (e.g. Magic Shield as a permanent spell effect) or on an enemy (e.g. striking the foe dead by destroying his eternal soul) this costs him a point (or more) of Spellburn which he never regenerates. This could roleplay as the caster cutting off one of his fingers as a sacrifice or something similar.

Or would these be better suited to an Appendix entry, or getting added to my soon to be created "Doug's DCC RPG Houserules" document?

EDIT: Also, what about sacrificing others to fuel spells?


I have to say I love all these ideas, Doug. If you and I ever get to game together, the space-time continuum might collapse!

Why not grab all the ideas that've been floating around here into "Doug, Andy, Scott & Friends' Excellent DCC Houserules" as a 3PP? Half the text is already written on the forums. Copy. Paste. Edit. Playtest. Edit. Wham!

It could be DCC's answer to "Unearthed Arcana". We could call it "Exhumed Apocrypha".

And, on the topic of Rituals in DCC, I'm working as fast as I can (evil grin).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:06 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:40 pm
Posts: 215
It all sounds very interesting. The arguments for the Appendix N-simulating effects looks sound and I'm sure will have the desired outcome. However, when I read the example of the mechanics for Magic Missiles, the thoughts that came to me were, "This is just one spell, so is it likely to be a constant book-consulting, page-turning game when it comes to magic? If so, isn't that kind of counter to one of the design goals of making the system streamlined?"

I'm sure it will get ironed out during the play testing and everyone involved is well aware of the potential issues. However, I still feel I need to say, be careful you don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater." The immediate feedback to this thread has been essentially, "simplify it a bit more", which appears to confirm the point above.

Then again, for the last nine months I've been playing nothing else but Trail of Cthulhu where we often roll no dice for a whole evening of play. Perhaps I'm in a Zen mood.

_________________
Avatar by Stefan Poag (I now own the original!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:21 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:02 am
Posts: 1787
Location: On the run.
smathis wrote:
Why not grab all the ideas that've been floating around here into "Doug, Andy, Scott & Friends' Excellent DCC Houserules" as a 3PP? Half the text is already written on the forums. Copy. Paste. Edit. Playtest. Edit. Wham!

It could be DCC's answer to "Unearthed Arcana". We could call it "Exhumed Apocrypha".


This is a great idea. Just sayin'.

//H

_________________
The lucky guy who got to write some Dungeon Crawl Classics.

DCC Resource thread: character sheets, judge tools, and the world's fastest 0-level party creator.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:51 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:36 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Denver, Colorado
Harley Stroh wrote:
smathis wrote:
Why not grab all the ideas that've been floating around here into "Doug, Andy, Scott & Friends' Excellent DCC Houserules" as a 3PP? Half the text is already written on the forums. Copy. Paste. Edit. Playtest. Edit. Wham!

It could be DCC's answer to "Unearthed Arcana". We could call it "Exhumed Apocrypha".


This is a great idea. Just sayin'.

//H


Agreed. It is a great idea. I am all for it.

We just have to come up with a pithy name and an imprint under which to publish if we are going to do it as 3PP. Or perhaps Joseph would be amenable to publishing it for us, assuming it is of high enough quality. :D

_________________
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:47 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:36 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Denver, Colorado
Stainless wrote:
It all sounds very interesting. The arguments for the Appendix N-simulating effects looks sound and I'm sure will have the desired outcome. However, when I read the example of the mechanics for Magic Missiles, the thoughts that came to me were, "This is just one spell, so is it likely to be a constant book-consulting, page-turning game when it comes to magic? If so, isn't that kind of counter to one of the design goals of making the system streamlined?"


From what I have seen so far it ends up being a table lookup, which is a fairly quick operation. Find the page with the table, roll the spellcheck, and find the result. There is a bit of page flipping, however it is minimal due to the limits of the PC's spell list. I didn't notice it dragging the game down.

Perhaps there could be a set of spell cards created which have two pieces of information:
1) The spell name
2) The result table for that spell
I realize this is a bit 4e-ish, but it would be quick for the caster's player to find the spell he needs.

_________________
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:14 pm 
Offline
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:47 pm
Posts: 731
Location: Lexington, KY
dkeester wrote:
Perhaps there could be a set of spell cards created which have two pieces of information:
1) The spell name
2) The result table for that spell
I realize this is a bit 4e-ish, but it would be quick for the caster's player to find the spell he needs.


I just make an extra copy of the page with the spell and put it with the wizard's character sheet.

_________________
Dieter Zimmerman
Drunk & Sailor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:27 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:36 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Denver, Colorado
mythfish wrote:
dkeester wrote:
Perhaps there could be a set of spell cards created which have two pieces of information:
1) The spell name
2) The result table for that spell
I realize this is a bit 4e-ish, but it would be quick for the caster's player to find the spell he needs.


I just make an extra copy of the page with the spell and put it with the wizard's character sheet.


That is way too simple and easy of a solution. It will never catch on. :wink:

_________________
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:45 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:46 pm
Posts: 2270
Location: Left Coast, USA
*sits, die in hand, ready to roll a spell check*

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 103 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group