Sword & Sorcery

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DangerDwarf
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Sword & Sorcery

Post by DangerDwarf »

I mentioned in another thread how I didn't feel that vancian magic and the core system assumptions based on the existence of that magic don't give the proper feel of gritty, low magic, sword & sorcery.

So, has anyone done some gritty, low fantasy in C&C and if so what house rules did you implement to help convey the feel?

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Post by serleran »

When I have done this, I have removed spellcasters from the list of playable characters. It might be possible to invoke a spell, but it becomes a ritual with a lot of drawn out components and requirements, such as having the blood of a virgin ox casting a pentacle in a circle of pure powdered silver where the light of the first lunar eclipse after a blue moon can bathe the lead in its distilled light, while the chant of Onng Moonga is uttered... and blah blah. Basically, not something you can just whip out any ol' day and do. And, it might kill you, because all spells have "backlash" (think Conan the Barbarian where the guy does the raise dead / resurrection and the demons come...)

I had it all written down once.
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Post by slimykuotoan »

Interesting thread...

I'm planning on running a game set in Hyborea, so I'm curious about peoples' responses to this.
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Post by Taranthyll »

I'm working on a system right now that is similar to what Serleran described: a ritualistic summoner who needs to spend time inscribing a summoning circle and performing a rite that involves blood sacrifice to activate. I don't have all of the details worked out yet, but it incorporates a lot of the feel of the Summoner class from Palladium Fantasy and contains elements of the Binder Class from the D&D 3E book Tome of Magic.

The class I am working on specializes in protective and summoning circles, which generally take at least several minutes to inscribe. A SEIGE check must be made to determine whether the circle was properly drawn - if not a roll on the failure chart determines what happens when the circle is activated, which leads to some interesting consequences. Summoned creatures must be engaged in a will-battle for control, which translates as an opposed CHA check.

There are a numerous types of circles that can be used to summon animals, spirits, elementals, demons, devils, etc. so a caster can either specialize (a shaman, for instance, might specialize in elemental circles) or dabble in all types of circles.

Additionally all circles require blood sacrifice to activate - the type of blood depends on the creature summoned. There are various creatures whose blood can be used, but demons require human blood. Minor demons, like quasits could be summoned with a small amount of blood - even the summoner's own blood will do, but major demons would require human sacrifice to answer the summons.

I'm going for a dark sword and sorcery feel to my campaign with a lot of inspiration from Howard and Lovecraft, Leiber, and Moorcock and this type of magic seems to fit in better than the traditional Vancian system.

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Post by Treebore »

Taranthyll wrote:
I'm working on a system right now that is similar to what Serleran described: a ritualistic summoner who needs to spend time inscribing a summoning circle and performing a rite that involves blood sacrifice to activate. I don't have all of the details worked out yet, but it incorporates a lot of the feel of the Summoner class from Palladium Fantasy and contains elements of the Binder Class from the D&D 3E book Tome of Magic.

The class I am working on specializes in protective and summoning circles, which generally take at least several minutes to inscribe. A SEIGE check must be made to determine whether the circle was properly drawn - if not a roll on the failure chart determines what happens when the circle is activated, which leads to some interesting consequences. Summoned creatures must be engaged in a will-battle for control, which translates as an opposed CHA check.

There are a numerous types of circles that can be used to summon animals, spirits, elementals, demons, devils, etc. so a caster can either specialize (a shaman, for instance, might specialize in elemental circles) or dabble in all types of circles.

Additionally all circles require blood sacrifice to activate - the type of blood depends on the creature summoned. There are various creatures whose blood can be used, but demons require human blood. Minor demons, like quasits could be summoned with a small amount of blood - even the summoner's own blood will do, but major demons would require human sacrifice to answer the summons.

I'm going for a dark sword and sorcery feel to my campaign with a lot of inspiration from Howard and Lovecraft, Leiber, and Moorcock and this type of magic seems to fit in better than the traditional Vancian system.

So your doing the Diabolist from Paladium Fantasy?
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Re: Sword & Sorcery

Post by Geoffrey »

DangerDwarf wrote:
I mentioned in another thread how I didn't feel that vancian magic and the core system assumptions based on the existence of that magic don't give the proper feel of gritty, low magic, sword & sorcery.

So, has anyone done some gritty, low fantasy in C&C and if so what house rules did you implement to help convey the feel?

My Carcosa campaign, which for awhile used the C&C rules, includes dark sorcery very different from Vancian magic and the assumptions that following from it. The following four posts from my blog give details:
http://carcosa-geoffrey.blogspot.com/20 ... art-i.html
http://carcosa-geoffrey.blogspot.com/20 ... r-who.html
http://carcosa-geoffrey.blogspot.com/20 ... rcosa.html
http://carcosa-geoffrey.blogspot.com/20 ... rcery.html

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Post by Lord Dynel »

After reading through a bit of the LotR RPG section of magic, I find myself to be thinking of working up a system similar to that. This would replace wizards (and illusionists) and I would probably make a similar system for clerics and druids.

What it bascially consists of is a very basic, and small, spell list. I would probably limit this list to somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 spells. Some spells would require the wizard to have another spell access, a certain intelligence (or another attribute) score, or maybe a certain level attained.

Anyway, spells are mostly uility, with a few damaging spells in the mix, too. When a spell is cast, the caster makes a Consitution check to see if the spell goes off. Every spell has a "waeriness" modifier that adds to the CB of the check (it is effectively the CL). If the check succeeds, the spell fires, but if the check fails, so does the spell. Whether or not the spell succeeds or fails, a "weariness point" is added to the character and that total, in addition to whatever spell is being cast next, is added to the Con checks.

Example:

Caster is casting a Light Spell. It has a weariness modifier of 0, so the check is a straight roll. Caster succeeds. The next spell, a Flaming Hands, has a weariness of 1. The caster has one "latent" weariness of 1 from casting the Light spell. So when the caster casts this spell, he rolls his Con check, adds 1 for the Flaming Hands, and 1 for the latent weariness.

The only issue I can see immediately is that is will probably reestrict casters from using utility spells and saving their spells for damage and big fights. I will probably adjust some things before I put the system to paper, like spells with 0 modifier won't add latent weariness and spells might not check straight against Con - they may have their own TN based on the spell itself and a Con check against that number will be made.

I would probably give wizards other abilities to make up for a reduction in power, but I don't know yet.

I think this would lower the power level of wizards dramatically and give a game a much more gritty feel.
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Post by Taranthyll »

Treebore wrote:
So your doing the Diabolist from Paladium Fantasy?

It will more closely resemble the Summoner class from Palladium Fantasy, but I love the dark, low magic feel of all the magic classes in Palladium. I wonder if Palladium's Wizard class would work well in C&C?

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Post by Taranthyll »

Lord Dynel wrote:
The only issue I can see immediately is that is will probably reestrict casters from using utility spells and saving their spells for damage and big fights.

Not necessarily. If I remember correctly, the fatigue from spell casting in the LotR RPG applied only during a given encounter, and reset after a short rest. Thus spellcasters were limited in the number of spells they could cast in any given encounter but not during any given day. Since many utility spells are cast out of combat they should be able to cast them as needed and still be able to cast spells in combat.

I believe that spell casters in LotR made their CON saves after the spell was cast with a cumulative +1 to the challenge rating for each subsequent spell in an encounter; a failed check meant he could not cast any more spells until he rested, which is slightly different than the system that you are proposing. As I read it, in your system increasing fatigue simply decreases the chance of successful casting rather than disallowing any further casting after a failed save.

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Post by Treebore »

Taranthyll wrote:
It will more closely resemble the Summoner class from Palladium Fantasy, but I love the dark, low magic feel of all the magic classes in Palladium. I wonder if Palladium's Wizard class would work well in C&C?

Yeah, its hard to tell the difference when you don't talk about demons.
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S&S

Post by Mac Golden »

S&S coming from TLG -- low fantasy, grim realism, etc...

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Post by serleran »

Ooo, a Mac post!

*rolls against disbelief*
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Re: S&S

Post by moriarty777 »

Mac Golden wrote:
S&S coming from TLG -- low fantasy, grim realism, etc...

As cool as that will be, I still would love to see a C&C conversion of the Fantastic Adventure!

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Re: S&S

Post by Omote »

Mac Golden wrote:
S&S coming from TLG -- low fantasy, grim realism, etc...

I hope this project takes off. Need more of this and diversifying TLG's style of play would be cool too. Good deal.
*fails MAC GOLDEN disbelief save*

AHHH
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Re: S&S

Post by DangerDwarf »

Omote wrote:
I hope this project takes off. Need more of this and diversifying TLG's style of play would be cool too.

Agreed.

Oh...I mean...

BELEE DAT!!

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Post by Lord Dynel »

S&S from TLG would rock the frikin' house!

There are oh so many things from TLG that I would love to see hit the shelves. Oh, so many.
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Post by Omote »

See, DangerDwarf is learnin'
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Fant Adventure

Post by Mac Golden »

Conversion is about 1/3 complete, but had to put it aside to work on the updates/revisions/new stuff for the 3rd printing PH

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Post by Lord Dynel »

Nice! Thanks for the word, Mac!
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Post by Grey »

From the 'other' thread about S&S I get the idea that it is not going to be SIEGE based - any titbits of info around setting/ system that could be snuck out to whet our appetites?
Cheers

D

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Post by serleran »

Setting = sword and sorcery.
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Re: Fant Adventure

Post by moriarty777 »

Mac Golden wrote:
Conversion is about 1/3 complete, but had to put it aside to work on the updates/revisions/new stuff for the 3rd printing PH

That's freakin' awesome! Thanks for the update!

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Post by Grey »

Thanks Serleran! Sort of guessed that much! Just wondering how different the rules were likely to be (being a huge fan of SIEGE, I was hoping it would be similar in feel, but seems that it's going to be a completely different rules set)

D.

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Post by serleran »

I think it'll be far more open-ended, as in no classes, no levels -- might be a "pay with XP" sort of thing, but I don't know for sure. I imagine it will be fundamentally similar (and by that I mean rules light), but the actual system for playing will be very different. But... that's a guess.
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Post by Lord Dynel »

It sounds like i's going to be pretty neat!
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Post by Grey »

Dynel,

I wish I could have your enthusiasm, but all I'm hoping for is that C&C and the other SIEGE games don't suffer from the introduction of a new system/ game (I know that TLG have produced other games before, and I hope that this goes well!).

However, one of the reasons I really like SIEGE is the lack of skills/advantages/disadvantages that seem to be the backbone of all the new games I see. The fact that this new game does not appear to be SIEGE based just gives me some minor worries about the enthusiasm detracting from continuing the GREAT C&C products, diluting things such as the Castellan guides etc....

Sorry to seem so down, , but I've become very jaded about 'new' games, and intoducing a completely new line/ system means that the 'crossover' potential for ideas among current and upcoming products is potentially going to be reduced.

D (feeling a bit down generally at the moment, so perhaps I am worrying too much over this, or at least I hope so)

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Post by Omote »

There is some information regarding TLG S&S game in Crusader #17. In the article, Steve (I think he wrote it) mentions some S&S playtesting. There's not too much info to work with regarding mechanics, setting, etc, but at least there is a little more info on S&S out there.

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Post by bighara »

I've been working up a Labyrinth Lord homebrew campaign setting with an attempt at a Hyborean/Conan feel. I am curious to see what the trolls come up with, though.
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Post by Wulfgarn »

Some ways of limiting magic is to make 2 changes- switch to a point based system and A limit the number of casting points

and

secondly Force the caster to make Con Siege checks each time they cast a spell - CL equal to the Spell level and failing a check drains either HPs or Con attribute points.

IN fact if you wanted to make it really tough have the spell caster spend Hitpoints to cast thier Spells or Spend Con Points that refresh at a given rate

This would make casters a crappy class to play so I would offset it with more Alchemical devices and the like that they can use

Martin

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Post by anonymous »

What strikes me about a S&S campaign is the magic is generally totally different from nearly all the models offered in fantasy games. Sorcerers are sinister figures who closet themselve away in secret chambers to summon up dark gods or put curses on people rather than going "Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!" The only magic system that comes close to giving a Conanesque feel is that of Call of Cthulhu...

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