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Author Topic: magic in a steamy RPG  (Read 1303 times)
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2015, 03:48:02 am »

D20 seems very limited. Systems like Champions and GURPS will let you play any kind of character, but I've found the combat systems to be cumbersome.
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George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2015, 07:47:08 pm »

I am more interested in technomancy than fantasy magic. 
Maybe consider aspects of technology and manufacturing that might appear to be magical to an audience that didn't understand, working on the Arthur C. Clarke principle that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

Technomancers might be involved with changing the properties of materials (either permanently or temporarily), annealing and tempering are two real-world processes that could be given a magical twist.  Technomancy could also be involved in making materials that are stronger/lighter than can be produced by conventional means.  A magically enhanced lifting gas with 20% greater lifting capacity than hydrogen, combined with a balloon envelope enhancement/charm that reduces flammability and a techno-alchemy that produces a lightweight but strong steel alloy could give credibility to that staple of steampunk - the airship.

My suggestion is to first work out the credibility gap between your planned world and reality as we understand it, and then see how you can use magic to bridge that gap for the reader.  Magic needs to solve problems if it's to be believable - even the old standards of fireballs and lightning bolts solve problems of the "How do I set that person way over there on fire?" sort.
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hardlec
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United States United States


Solutions do not need Problems


« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2015, 02:15:08 am »

One of my concerns is that the main emphasis of the sets is a technology without too much unobtainium or the use of wishful thinking instead of logic. 
I am looking for more cloak and dagger, protect or capture the mad scientist, or pirate. A steampunk version of "Marvel's Agents of Shield."

There are a zillion D20 supplements.

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Whatever happens we have got
The Maxim gun and they have not;
Technology is no substitute for Valor
Both are true.
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2015, 11:09:46 am »

Why not set out your ideas more thoroughly, it might help you and it will certainy hekp us make useful sugestions.  Getting your thoughts piecemeal is always going to lead to:

Us: How about this?
You: No, I was really thinking this.

If you could set out your ideas in 500-750 words, that might give us something meaty to go at.  At the moment I can't help thinking you want the concept of magic without the bits that make it magic.
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gaslampfantasy
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2015, 02:17:14 pm »

Instead of d20 I have developed a system using 2d10. It gives you more of a bell curve, but when designing the system you can easily work out the percentage chance of something happening. You can still have extreme results - 2 or 20 - but there is only a 1% chance of rolling a 20, for example.
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Peter Brassbeard
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States



« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2015, 05:42:41 pm »

One of my concerns is that the main emphasis of the sets is a technology without too much unobtainium or the use of wishful thinking instead of logic.
You want an "unobtanium" requirement to limit availability of magic, or want magic to be widely available?

Quote
I am looking for more cloak and dagger, protect or capture the mad scientist, or pirate. A steampunk version of "Marvel's Agents of Shield."
D20, for that matter most RPG systems I've seen, are kludgey in handling much beyond simple physical combat.

Do you want "crunchy" rules with clean resolution of action and strong balance, or "mushy" rules with lots of subjectivity is resolution?
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CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
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England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


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« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2015, 09:00:08 pm »

One of my concerns is that the main emphasis of the sets is a technology without too much unobtainium or the use of wishful thinking instead of logic.
You want an "unobtanium" requirement to limit availability of magic, or want magic to be widely available?

Quote
I am looking for more cloak and dagger, protect or capture the mad scientist, or pirate. A steampunk version of "Marvel's Agents of Shield."
D20, for that matter most RPG systems I've seen, are kludgey in handling much beyond simple physical combat.

Do you want "crunchy" rules with clean resolution of action and strong balance, or "mushy" rules with lots of subjectivity is resolution?

If Unobtanium is too difficult there is also obscurium and handwavium but I prefer to mechanically control and contain Æther
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Narsil
Immortal
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« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2015, 10:06:56 pm »


I quite like the idea of using a deck of card as the mechanism for magic, the idea of adapting tarot makes a lot of sense.

From what you have said and given that you are looking at a quasi-victorian setting with an emphasis on technology I would suggest that you use 'magic' in a subtle way to give players a bit more input into the outcome of random events rather than just another combat mechanic.

For example you could have a master deck where a card is dealt at regular intervals which has an overall effect on the conditions of the game. the could be something as simple as the weather or perhaps thing like outbreaks of disease or new technological innovations. This could b a good way to give the game more of a rhythm.

Players could also have their own personal decks which they can dip into as they decide. This would give them a strategic resource to improved their chances of success in a crucial action or to get them out of trouble.

If you wanted to be really sophisticated you could have different decks with different properties eg a reliable but limited 'lucky' deck and a more powerful but unpredictable 'magic' deck.
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A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
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England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


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« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2015, 08:41:17 pm »


I quite like the idea of using a deck of card as the mechanism for magic, the idea of adapting tarot makes a lot of sense.

From what you have said and given that you are looking at a quasi-victorian setting with an emphasis on technology I would suggest that you use 'magic' in a subtle way to give players a bit more input into the outcome of random events rather than just another combat mechanic.

For example you could have a master deck where a card is dealt at regular intervals which has an overall effect on the conditions of the game. the could be something as simple as the weather or perhaps thing like outbreaks of disease or new technological innovations. This could b a good way to give the game more of a rhythm.

Players could also have their own personal decks which they can dip into as they decide. This would give them a strategic resource to improved their chances of success in a crucial action or to get them out of trouble.

If you wanted to be really sophisticated you could have different decks with different properties eg a reliable but limited 'lucky' deck and a more powerful but unpredictable 'magic' deck.
Or have magic infused items.
A pocket Watch to stop or speed up time.
an umbrella that shelfs from more then just rain,
A gun that doesn't just fire led.
A army weapon that can summon a ghost army.
Or a Tarot that is infused with spells.
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