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Author Topic: magic in a steamy RPG  (Read 1305 times)
hardlec
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« on: February 23, 2015, 03:29:57 pm »

I am trying to make a steampunk-Victorian Role Play Game.

I need a list of spells and I'm having a block.

There are no levels in this game.  As you gain proficiency your spells work better.
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 05:09:10 pm »

Hum, what kind of spells you need ? I guess magic ones but for which class of character.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 05:15:36 pm »

What roll do you want magic to play?  Will it help science and make it's practitioners capable of bending rules of mechanics they should not be able to or will it be against science and be more like calling a higher power?  The Dead Isle has a realy cool take on things (http://theoriginalsam.livejournal.com/24703.html) As does the steam london game on here (the later chapters more so than the first.) 
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 05:57:23 pm »

What is the nature of magic in your game world?

Once you have the basic framework, you might look at spells to fit:
attack: damage or manipulate opponents.
defense: avoid or reduce damage.
movement: flight or other ways to travel beyond the usual.  Be aware that these can very easily break game balance if you get sloppy.
healing: repair damage to yourself or equipment.
enhanced senses: observe distant or otherwise unseen stuff.  Also a potential game breaker if unrestricted.
crafting: in a steampunk world some kind of construct to work for a "magic" user seems likely.  Extending this, what comes to my mind with the mention of "steampunk magic" as an assortment of artifacts to implement any of the above.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 02:54:17 am »

Is there a particular movie of book that you are modeling your game after?
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hardlec
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 06:06:50 am »

I do not have another persons work as an inspiration.

Technology is supreme but magic can enhance technology or make short-cuts.
 People who use magic do not want to be obvious. 
Alchemy is Technological enhancement, and there is almost always a scientific explanation.
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The Corsair
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 08:54:35 am »

I feel we'd need more details about the magic system before we can really be of much help.

That being said, we are most definitely happy to help Cheesy
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Steampunk Away
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 07:26:08 pm »

Here is an example for a game from 2001, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura

Also, the MMORPG Black Gold has both steampunk and Magic, and is more recent than my previous example.
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 09:56:40 pm »

You'll definitely need a spell that can turn people into frogs.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 02:52:52 am »

Do some research on real nineteenth century mystics; Madame Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, Franz Mesmer, Daniel David Palmer, Marie Laveau, spiritualists, the Thule Society, Joseph Smith, etc. Find out what they claimed to be able to do, and create a magic system to do those things.

I read an article on the Boxer Rebellion and the weirdness going on in China at the time. There were martial arts cults that believed in magic based martial arts; magic elixirs, magic stones that gave you powers when you swallowed them, etc.

Similarly, Native Americans had the ghost dance; a cult that believed that the white man would soon be driven from the land and the buffalo would return. The Ghost Dancers had their own rituals and magic artifacts.
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pakled
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 06:41:52 am »

...or turn people into newts, as long as they could get better...Wink

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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 04:44:16 pm »

the second book in the Burton and Swinburne mystery's is another interesting take on Victorian magic.  http://www.goodreads.com/series/53839-burton-swinburne
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gaslampfantasy
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 05:38:25 pm »

It depends how powerful you want users of Magick to be able to be. Is Magick an addition, or is it the main focus? The more powerful that Magick is, the less need you will have for technology.
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Atterton
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 10:54:10 pm »

A good spell to have is one that can reverse entropy. For example allow heat to concentrate instead of spreading out to colder areas.
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hardlec
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2015, 11:10:04 am »

I am more interested in technomancy than fantasy magic. 
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RJBowman
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2015, 08:22:57 pm »

Shadowrun rules reduce characters' magic abilities as they ad cybernetics to their bodies; a rule to prevent characters from being powerful in both areas. The separation always seemed arbitrary to me; the idea of harnessing magic through mechanization and scientific methodology seemed more compelling to me.
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hardlec
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2015, 10:04:50 am »

I am very, very early in my development. 
I want to incorporate using cards instead of dice, possibly a tarot deck rather than standard playing cards as the basic mechanism for event resolution.  I want to cast a tarot spread to create characters. 
My RPG is not set on earth.  I have plans to have a character scale game (individual people) linked to a skirmish miniature game linked to a tactical game (units are battalions) linked to a strategic game (units are divisions.)
I am still reading suggested articles.
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2015, 10:02:47 pm »


I think that in a steampunk setting it makes sense to have a magic system which is based on illusion and misdirection so that it's based on a psychological approach to science and technology.

when you think of Victorian magic and psuedo-science it tends to be quite theatrical stuff and this is of course the golden age of the stage magician. I think that for a character based RPG having abilities like hypnotism/mesmerism and the potential to create complex illusions could be very interesting. For a skirmish type game this could translate into buffs and debuffs as well as things like stealth abilities.

I tend to think that once you're in an era of technology where you have guns and explosives it seems a bit pointless to have magical fireballs etc as well.

Another possibility is that botany and zoology  were a rapidly emerging sciences and the period literature has lots of references to exotic poisons and hallucinogens.
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gaslampfantasy
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2015, 02:07:24 pm »

One option is to have Magick as just another branch of technology; so, instead of fireballs replacing guns, you have spells which enhance Steampunk creations. You could have spells which improve how effective steam engines are, ones which make guns more accurate, and so on.
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Steampunk Away
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2015, 03:22:39 pm »

I am very, very early in my development.  
I want to incorporate using cards instead of dice, possibly a tarot deck rather than standard playing cards as the basic mechanism for event resolution.  I want to cast a tarot spread to create characters.  
My RPG is not set on earth.  I have plans to have a character scale game (individual people) linked to a skirmish miniature game linked to a tactical game (units are battalions) linked to a strategic game (units are divisions.)
I am still reading suggested articles.

The tarot idea is used heavily in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. R. A. Salvatore wrote the backstory, and the use of Fateweavers as people who can look into the threads of destiny and tell a person's fate. The tarot cards grant abilities and buffs/debuffs, and can act as classes as well. Definitely worth looking into, and there is a wikia for the game, and thus the cards also.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 04:46:30 am by Steampunk Away » Logged
RJBowman
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2015, 02:29:39 am »

What kind of character creation system are you using?
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2015, 07:25:46 am »

What kind of character creation system are you using?
Of note but not necessarily SP is Warmachine and Maifaux for there magic system.
What core RPG system builder are you using?
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hardlec
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2015, 03:21:27 pm »

I am not sure yet.  There are lots of good open licence ones still to look at.  Not D20.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2015, 06:04:05 pm »

I am not sure yet.  There are lots of good open licence ones still to look at.  Not D20.

Why not D20 Wizards of the coast have open sourced both 3.5 and 4.0!
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2015, 09:06:04 pm »

There are a lot of different RPG rulesets.  What kind of game are you after?

If you're looking for mental and social sparing as major features, Aspect by Stone Tablet Games does far better than most. (disclaimer, I'm one of the developers.)
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