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Re: attribute costs [deedsnotwordsd20]

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  • Orion Ussner Kidder
    ... i m on-board. i think this a great idea. it just takes time to slog through the list coming up with stuff. now, the only problem is that if we introduce
    Message 1 of 36 , May 1, 2004
      Palmer of the Turks wrote:
      > I've informally allowed the 2 EP "Power Limitation" complication for a few powers
      > thusfar with NPCs, such as "Life Drain Attack - Can Only Be Used With Bite" for
      > vampires, etc.
      > I fully support complications for powers, both general across-the-board ones (1 EP -
      > counts as Magical/Spell) and specific ones (Flight - Poor Acceleration)

      i'm on-board. i think this a great idea. it just takes time to slog
      through the list coming up with stuff. now, the only problem is that if
      we introduce the 'via' complication to powers, there's no reason at all
      to ever actually use the 'super-tech' rules, which i actually think are
      quite good in their own right. no idea how to fix that, for now, but
      somehting to think about for later.

      we should start keeping a running tally of the changes we want to make.
      so far we've got:

      eliminate super-strength bonus powers
      raise cost of attribute enhancements
      reformulate force field/natural DR (three-part, and vulnberabilities)
      raise gun damage (to match D20 Modern?)
      super-power complications (possibly using M&M's 'via' complication)

      anything else?

      > I notice you're big on the "mystery" aspect of magic... but in a world with people
      > shooting concussion beams from their eyeballs, flying by clicking their heels, throwing
      > around taxicabs, walking through walls and making a construction site get up and
      > attack you... magic isn't actually all that mysterious anymore. It's just "another way of
      > doing things"
      > Cyclops looks at something. Balthazar wags his pinky and mumbles something. Both
      > targets blow up. How Cyclops can shoot eye beams is just as not-understood and
      > mysterious as Merlin's Summon Stupendous Marching Clam Band.
      > The problems it solves are that it keeps things simpler - fire is fire, Magic Energy is
      > still Energy.

      the difference with the ostensibly 'scientific' powers is that there is
      some hope that they *are* understandable within scientific ideology.
      magic is such a huge range of abilities unto itself that i think it
      deserves its own category. but it doesn't look like we'll see eye to eye
      on this, so we can house rule it.

      > Except that in most cases, this is exactly what science comes down to. In every
      > system and story I know of, magic has rules. It has limits. And it has specific ways in
      > which it works. If you make this gesture and say these words while holding that
      > talisman, you will get the same result each time.
      > This is doubly emphasized in D&D, with the "spell formula" business, scribing scrolls
      > and the very basic "memorizing spells". If magic wasn't a science, then memorizing
      > spells wouldn't happen, because that's a scientific process.

      just because the it systematic doesn't mean it's scientific. look at a
      light spell. it has exactly a 60' radius. light doesn't behave like
      that. look at a fireball. if that much heat and fire simply appeared out
      of nowhere, it would produce a huge amount of cuncussive force due to
      the heating of the air, but fireballs have never done that. look at
      lightning bolts and the 'reflection' rules. lightning doesn't travel in
      a line, and it surely doesn't 'bounce.' i agree that comics often ignore
      science, as well, and, yes, that makes their powers mysterious too. it's
      not that it's all scientific, actually, it's that very little of it is.

      anyway, this seems to be an impass, so we can move on.

      > I still stand by the quote completely. Even in this age of incredible science, we KNOW
      > that there's a nigh-infinite number of things we do NOT know or understand.
      > That which we take for granted WOULD appear to be magic, and be called such, by
      > our forebears a couple centuries ago. Hell, even when it was widespread, it was
      > common to believe that blacksmiths worked a kind of magic in their smithies - and that
      > was a "known" science.

      but you're reflecting a purely scientific model of the universe. that's
      not a bad thing. in reality, i agree completely (although i think you
      might over-estimate the number of people who have the humility to admit
      that there are that many things we don't know!). however, in a game that
      involves magic i think it's more fun to embrace the idea of magic as
      something 'else.' what's the fun of including magic if we're just going
      to reduce it to another kind of science?

      > If you don't have the knowledge or context to understand something, then you can't
      > understand it, no matter how brilliant you are. Intelligence is a potential, like strength.
      > But without the knowledge of how to apply it, the tools, it will avail you to naught.
      > Reed Richards has a ball-peen hammer - but understanding magic requires a
      > screwdriver. and no matter how you beat that screw with your hammer, it won't
      > unscrew.

      read the issues. they make a very very different point, and that point
      in no small way informs the point i'm trying to make. i'm a fan of
      waid's work.

      > I've always preferred Heinlein for my (oft thinly) disguised social commentary. Just
      > reread Starship Troopers last week, doing Have Spacesuit, Will Travel again (only my
      > second reading of my first RAH book, I found a copy for 2 bucks last thursday), and
      > then it's back to Friday and Job, and fitting in I Will Fear No evil somewhere (one I
      > haven't read yet)

      it's not like you only need on source for social commentary in sci-fi.
      they're all doing it! anyway, yeah, heinlein is quite brilliant, but
      what makes his stories doubly interesting is his horrendously twisted
      treatment of women. i've read "All You Zombies" and _Job_, and they both
      left with the impression of a guy who really, *really* doesn't
      understand women in the slightest bit, and yet the story that surrounds
      that (not quite mysoginy... more like he's feminist-impared) is
      brilliant and wonderful.

      look up "All You Zombies" on google if you haven't read it. there are
      full texts on-line.

      > It can go slow... sometimes we all get together on AIM (work and school permitting,
      > plus there's the fact I have 4 players... in FOUR different time zones. Vancouver,
      > Colorado, Indiana and Halifax) and we can zoom through relatively quickly that way.
      > More commonly I present the situation to them, sometimes with an MS Paint
      > sketched map, and say "what are you doing?"
      > They all email back with their general plans and intentions... and then I make all the
      > micro-manage decisions (like how much to put into Power Attack), and resolve 1-4
      > rounds of combat on my end. I then write up the results, email it out, and end it with
      > "so now what?"
      > But yeah, I handle ALL the detailed stuff myself... but they like it that way. Half the
      > players have never played an RPG without a TV and controller before, but are writers.
      > The other half have years experience with D&D... and are also writers. Everyone is
      > happy with having all the numbers removed and having everything descriptive instead.

      sounds like a good system. there was a programme on-line that combined a
      multi-user chat window with a primitive animated map (in fact, it was
      called D20 Map). it was meant to facilitate games over the internet
      while retaining the flexibility of table-top gaming. it had dice built
      in, so you could all witness roles. it had lighting features for
      'dungeons' (input a radius and it lights your way). i think it was
      programmed with most of the spells and attack effects, too, so you could
      say 'Jarek attack Ogre #3' and then just input the damage. it would even
      do some of the more basic spell effects for you, sorting out radii and
      areas of effect and stuff. i never tried it (never had the chance) but
      it seemed like a good idea.

    • Orion Ussner Kidder
      done and done. my files don t have the notes on intention as the post did, though, so i m going to whip something up the describes it all, just in case people
      Message 36 of 36 , May 12, 2004
        done and done.

        my files don't have the notes on intention as the post did, though, so
        i'm going to whip something up the describes it all, just in case people
        were wondering 'why in the hell' palmer and i did certain things certain

        lessee if i can toss that together right now...

        slingbld1619 wrote:

        > --- In deedsnotwordsd20@yahoogroups.com, Orion Ussner Kidder
        > <okidder@t...> wrote:
        >>i thought i just posted it as a message, but i can put up the .doc
        > file,
        >> easily enough.
        > I remember that post :).
        > The way you said it in the previous email, I thought you meant that
        > you had posted a document in the files section :)
        > Still, if it's not too much of a bother, posting it as a file would
        > be very convenient for all members. That way we won't have to go
        > hunting through old posts in 6 months when we manage to loose the
        > print out of your post or whatever :)
        > Slingbld~
        > Yahoo! Groups Links

        -Orion Ussner Kidder
        Graduate Teaching Assistant
        Department of English
        University of Alberta

        "I can call it 'magic,' with all the nice feelings
        of wonderment that word inspires; or I can waste
        your time with half an hour of technobabble that
        you could never possibly understand a word of anyway.
        Which would you prefer?"
        -Doctor Who, VIII
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