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Re: Using Fate/SotC to run Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne?

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  • khelbiros
    Well, as I think about it, it s rather not that complicated - no more than D&D type spells. It s just rather exclusive. It mainly works of have particular
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 3, 2006
      Well, as I think about it, it's rather not that complicated - no more
      than D&D type spells. It's just rather exclusive. It mainly works of
      have particular spell lists limited to certain groups.

      You've got Psychic Magic - which, generally mimics psychic powers. And
      then you've got your Ritual Magic, which is more your high fantasy
      type magic. There are a bunch of generic spells that both psychic and
      ritual magic that anyone can learn, and then the rather exclusive
      spells controlled by particular temple groups.

      For example, "The Blade of Inexorable Disjection", which creates a
      magic sword, can only be learned in the temples of the war gods. And
      then, after you learn the base spell, you can customise it a little
      bit - change the shape of the sword and even have different types of
      weapons. And this could be a prequisite for another spell, such as
      "The Perfected Gem of Obliteration"

      And then there are the magic items, the "eyes" on top of that,which
      work along the lines of various magic wands and things.

      So, how would this work in Spirit of the Century/Fate? Would I have to
      create each spell and magic effect seperately in the system? Is there
      a way to link the power of each spell to each character's progress in
      their temple hierarchy? What about for things such as demon summoning
      rituals, which sort of work like recipes (gathering lots of bizarre
      items, sacrificing people in a particular way, doing a complicated
      summoning diagram)?

      Thanks.
    • mcr456
      Take a look at this thread. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/FateRPG/message/6342 This is an idea I came up with for D&D style magic in SotC. Basically you
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 3, 2006
        Take a look at this thread.

        http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/FateRPG/message/6342

        This is an idea I came up with for D&D style magic in SotC. Basically
        you have skills that represent your power in various schools of magic,
        and a stunt that determines how may spells and of what potency you can
        cast.

        Knowledge of each Temple's magic is a skill that determines how
        powerful your Temple magic will be. You can then create spells for
        each Temple and assign them potencies. The spell that creates a magic
        weapon may be a Good potency spell. Requiring a Good spell slot and
        Good skill with the Temple's magic.

        Landon Darkwood has helped expand this considerably. With his
        permission, I could email you the document he worked on. He basically
        took my idea and fleshed it out into something cool.

        You could also forgo coming up with exact spells, just allow players
        to come up with spell-effects that are appropriate for their Temple's
        magic style.

        -Michael

        --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "khelbiros" <brkelly@...> wrote:
        >
        > I might soon be a position to run a campaign set in Tekumel, my
        > favourite campaign world. However, while I appreciate the new book, I
        > didn't really like the rules system when I ran an eleven-session game
        > with previously, and I'm after a more 'narrativist' ruleset.
        >
        > I've played around with the Shadow of Yesterday, and I liked some
        > parts of that - and I've also been hearing about Spirit of the Century
        > and FATE.
        >
        > Do you think that you would be able to adapt the Spirit of the Century
        > to run Tekumel, especially in the Leigh Brackett/Edgar Rice Burroughs
        > pulp fantasy mode? Would be hard to model the complicated temple spell
        > system and other staples of Tekumel's environment? Can the Aspects
        > handle alien races?
        >
        > Advice appreciated!
        >
        > Regards,
        > Belinda
        >
      • Mike Holmes
        ... Does SotC handle engine mechanics well? That is, engines being the complex things that they are, you could come up with a detailed set of specialized rules
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 3, 2006
          >From: Robert Donoghue <rdonoghue@...>
          >
          >My only concern is temple magic,
          >only because I have no idea what it _should_ be like.

          Does SotC handle engine mechanics well? That is, engines being the complex
          things that they are, you could come up with a detailed set of specialized
          rules that covers the different things you can do to, say, tune an engine
          for greater output. Mechanics are like wizards, no? They do something
          arcane, and produce special results.

          Now, I could have missed it, but I don't think that SotC has a special
          system for tinkering with engines. Oh, sure, stunts, but these have gross
          effects. What you don't have is an entire additional system to handle this
          sort of action. Becuase the main system handles it fine. Right?

          Magic in fantasy always gets special treatment, because it's a core subject
          of fantasy. And so it should. But that's not the same thing as saying that
          it needs to have an entirely separate system devoted to it, in order to
          evoke it properly. Just take the stunts for something like engineering, and
          convert them to magic sounding things.

          No, you won't have "spells" and such, or other detailed descriptions of the
          rituals involved...so what? A "spell" is just a technique to get something
          done. No different than a mechanic using different techniques to tune a car
          up, for instance. What the character can do is enumerated by the stunts they
          have.

          So, if the character's stunt allows them to, say, fix people up, then that
          could be represented by a hundred specific healing spells, or just one.
          However you want to describe it to fit the setting in question. Make up the
          elements of the spell or ritual or car repair technique as neccessary to
          fill in the narration in as much or little detail as you like.

          Funny, but isn't Tekumel temple magic technological in origin anyhow
          (despite being seemingly mystical)?

          A feature of SotC is that it doesn't get bogged down in specific subsets of
          rules, but instead just has Stunts for special stuff like this. Just come up
          with some reasonable stunts that parallel some that already exist, to
          emulate temple magic, and go with it. Make the color that you use to
          describe the mechanical outcomes such that it fits what you know about the
          world. Instead of trying to make a set of additional rules to emulate this
          sort of magic.

          What you'll find happens is that you get even more of the color you're
          looking for, as the system won't stop you from creating it. And, further,
          play won't get bogged down with having to understand some extensive set of
          special rules. Instead you'll get the fast-paced pulpy play that SotC is
          becoming known for, along with the color you want. You'll get the magic of
          Thoth-Amon from Conan, and other pulp sources. Instead of the search for
          legumes when you want to cast certain D&D spells.

          Magic is no different than technology for these purposes. Treat them the
          same, and it'll work well.

          Mike
        • Robert Donoghue
          I think the D&D thread probably speaks to the specifics of magic well enough that I m going to spin this off. ... Now, just to note, SOTC has a _little_ bit of
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 3, 2006
            I think the D&D thread probably speaks to the specifics of magic well
            enough that I'm going to spin this off.

            On Oct 3, 2006, at 9:35 AM, Mike Holmes wrote:
            > Does SotC handle engine mechanics well? That is, engines being the
            > complex
            > things that they are, you could come up with a detailed set of
            > specialized
            > rules that covers the different things you can do to, say, tune an
            > engine
            > for greater output. Mechanics are like wizards, no? They do something
            > arcane, and produce special results.

            Now, just to note, SOTC has a _little_ bit of this in the gadgets
            chapter, but that's about it. Beyond that, the discrete nature of
            stunts makes things much more fast and loose, and it would probably
            be easy to throw a whole array of "Spell" stunts into a game for any
            number of effects.

            That said, however, as we work on the Dresden Files, we're faced with
            much more of an (apparent) need for engine based mechanics. Magic in
            the dresden files is very flexible, with many, many different
            effects, and is so central to the premise (the title character being
            a wizard and all) that it really needs a thorough treatment.

            Now, I mention this for two reasons. The first is rather blah: yes,
            it's totally possible to create an engine subsystem in 3.0 if that's
            your bag. At this point I've created and disposed of more of them
            than I really want to think about. So for those folks who want it?
            It can happen.

            The second is the tricky one - figuring out what we really need
            versus what we _can_ do. It is, with all of the examples to draw
            upon in other games, not very hard to come up with a comprehensive
            magic system, one which can do virtually anything. The challenge is
            doing it in such a way that every time the player does something it
            is smooth and easy, at the very least for things which are going to
            come up frequently. Now, if the ritual magic engine is fiddly,
            that's all well and cool because that is a reasonable venue for one-
            offs. But if it's going to take a calculation when a wizard tosses a
            bolt of fire at someone? Not so much with the fun.

            Anyway, I probably don't have a point here, so much as to say "Mike
            says some smart stuff here, and this is a big question in the general
            sense". :)

            -Rob D.
          • Landon Darkwood
            ... Yeah... for the record, anyone who wants to spread that around can. I ll be posting it to the Files section after doing some small, recommended revisions.
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 3, 2006
              On 10/3/06, mcr456 <mikeh1142@...> wrote:
              > Landon Darkwood has helped expand this considerably. With his
              > permission, I could email you the document he worked on. He basically
              > took my idea and fleshed it out into something cool.

              Yeah... for the record, anyone who wants to spread that around can.
              I'll be posting it to the Files section after doing some small,
              recommended revisions.


              -L
            • Mike Holmes
              ... This is the basic challenge of design, as I see it. Once you ve decided that you want to create focus on some specific part of the game, as you say, it s
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 4, 2006
                >From: Robert Donoghue <rdonoghue@...>
                >
                >The second is the tricky one - figuring out what we really need
                >versus what we _can_ do.

                This is the basic challenge of design, as I see it. Once you've decided that
                you want to create focus on some specific part of the game, as you say, it's
                not hard to come up with some system. The question is whether or not you
                need that focus. For Dresden Files, where the game is "Magic Detectives"
                magic is going to be central. Some additional system may make sense.

                And if you want to make Tekumel "Temple Magic Fantasy" then making a
                specific subsystem for it would make sense, too. But I don't think that's
                what MAR Barker would say his setting is all about. Temple magic is an
                important part of the cultures of Tekumel, but it's all about those cultures
                (much like Glorantha and Talislanta, BTW). Aspects can handle most of this
                with aplomb, I think. Stunts can handle the rest.

                I'm not saying "don't make magic subsystems." I'm saying, consider that you
                can have great fantasy play without a totally additional magic subsystem.
                Since D&D, fantasy has meant having a "Combat System" and a "Magic System"
                in RPGs. That's simply not an assumption that everyone should feel that they
                have to go with.

                Mike
              • Laura
                Hello; I ve been running Tekumel using the Fate rules for over a year now, so I think I can safely say that it is very easy to adapt. The magic system I came
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 4, 2006
                  Hello;

                  I've been running Tekumel using the Fate rules for over a year now, so
                  I think I can safely say that it is very easy to adapt.

                  The magic system I came up with is very similar to what the other
                  posters were suggesting. I just used the spell lists from the
                  Guardians of Order book, gave each spell a rank on the ladder, and let
                  players buy them as stunts.

                  As for the alien races; at character creation I gave out free Aspects
                  to players, and one of those Aspects is supposed to be their Clan. If
                  the player wanted to play a non-human, they'd have to change their
                  Clan Aspect for whatever race they wanted to play (with the option of
                  using one of their normal Aspects to buy their way into a Clan at a
                  later date). So far though, all my players prefer playing humans so
                  I've yet to test this out.

                  On the whole I'm pretty happy with how Fate works for Tekumel. It does
                  an excellent job handling all the social connections that makes the
                  setting so fun to play in. Also, the organization rules have been very
                  helpful in managing the Clans and Temples.

                  Laura

                  --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "khelbiros" <brkelly@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I might soon be a position to run a campaign set in Tekumel, my
                  > favourite campaign world. However, while I appreciate the new book, I
                  > didn't really like the rules system when I ran an eleven-session game
                  > with previously, and I'm after a more 'narrativist' ruleset.
                  >
                  > I've played around with the Shadow of Yesterday, and I liked some
                  > parts of that - and I've also been hearing about Spirit of the Century
                  > and FATE.
                  >
                  > Do you think that you would be able to adapt the Spirit of the Century
                  > to run Tekumel, especially in the Leigh Brackett/Edgar Rice Burroughs
                  > pulp fantasy mode? Would be hard to model the complicated temple spell
                  > system and other staples of Tekumel's environment? Can the Aspects
                  > handle alien races?
                  >
                  > Advice appreciated!
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > Belinda
                  >
                • j0vin
                  ... WIth Landon s permission, might this reference be posted into the Files section? ;^)
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 4, 2006
                    --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "mcr456" <mikeh1142@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Take a look at this thread.
                    >
                    > http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/FateRPG/message/6342
                    >
                    > This is an idea I came up with for D&D style magic in SotC. Basically
                    > you have skills that represent your power in various schools of magic,
                    > and a stunt that determines how may spells and of what potency you can
                    > cast.
                    >
                    > Knowledge of each Temple's magic is a skill that determines how
                    > powerful your Temple magic will be. You can then create spells for
                    > each Temple and assign them potencies. The spell that creates a magic
                    > weapon may be a Good potency spell. Requiring a Good spell slot and
                    > Good skill with the Temple's magic.
                    >
                    > Landon Darkwood has helped expand this considerably. With his
                    > permission, I could email you the document he worked on. He basically
                    > took my idea and fleshed it out into something cool.
                    >
                    > You could also forgo coming up with exact spells, just allow players
                    > to come up with spell-effects that are appropriate for their Temple's
                    > magic style.
                    >
                    > -Michael

                    WIth Landon's permission, might this reference be posted into the
                    Files section? ;^)
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