This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Modern Star Wars and LOTR - Magic is over-rated in RPGs unless it's OVER THE TOP  (Read 1033 times)

Dumarest

  • Vaquero
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3685
Quote from: hedgehobbit;970955
Vader was referred to as a "Dark Lord of the Sith" in the novelization of the movie, in the place where he first shows up on board the Tantive IV. I believe that he was described later in a way that implied he was just "one of the Dark Lords" but I can't find the actual quote.

Also, "Sith Lord" was part of the original dialog, but was cut.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja4WudpzBYw

Interesting to know. I've only seen the original movies in their original theatrical forms. I haven't read any of the novels or seen the reedited versions of the movies or seen any of the movies that came out after 1983 except for a few minutes when they were on TV. I have a lot of the Marvel comic books, though, including the awesome Treasury edition. There's a ton of wild stuff to draw on from the comic books that Lucas or his representatives approved.

Eric Diaz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com.br/
Quote from: tenbones;970744
Which makes me ask: Why is there not Silmarillion-era RPG?

Thoughts?


What about Earthdawn, Runequest, etc., where there is magic everywhere (IIRC)? Or games where players are actually god-like (Godbound, Amber, etc)?

Or do you mean specifically in LotR / SW universe?
Chaos Factory Books  - Dark fantasy RPGs and more!

Methods & Madness - my  D&D 5e / Old School / Game design blog.

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
Quote from: Eric Diaz;970962
What about Earthdawn, Runequest, etc., where there is magic everywhere (IIRC)? Or games where players are actually god-like (Godbound, Amber, etc)?

Or do you mean specifically in LotR / SW universe?

I'm hesitant to speak about games I'm not intimately familiar with. Earthdawn I've played, but not in-depth. Amber is a perfect example of where powerful magic is abundant and assumed. The setting of Amber doesn't break because of it. D&D's settings (mostly) make zero-sense *because* of the assumed amount of magic.

I'm using SW and LotR as examples of settings where the implied amount of magic is really low. But in different periods it was really high and the magic is crazy powerful. I'm saying that this seems to be something that a lot of RPG's with supernatural power don't really reflect that. That's why I'm please to see that the new LotR does that. And I'd even say that most of the new FFGSW does that too.

What games with "magic" (or psionics/supertech/whatever) where the game's setting reflects that well? Rifts? What else? And what game settings do not reflect this conceit? I guess that's what I'm asking.

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
Quote from: hedgehobbit;970957
I agree with regards to D&D. In Dave's original magic system, each spell had a cost (in terms of gold pieces or special ingredients) which would limit their application to society at large. When Gary dropped those limits for simplification he really opened the door to all sorts of impacts to the game world (that's been consistently ignored for decades). For example, Create Food isn't that game-world breaking a spell when each casting costs 50 gp.

Hello? Create Water. hahaha That alone would change the world.

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
Quote from: Dumarest;970958
Interesting to know. I've only seen the original movies in their original theatrical forms. I haven't read any of the novels or seen the reedited versions of the movies or seen any of the movies that came out after 1983 except for a few minutes when they were on TV. I have a lot of the Marvel comic books, though, including the awesome Treasury edition. There's a ton of wild stuff to draw on from the comic books that Lucas or his representatives approved.

Another interesting side-note, the Timothy Zahn books had an non-canon idea - there is a race called the Noghri that originally he wanted to make "The Sith" - but Lucas shut that down. Vader conquered them and essentially worshipped him like a god. His mask is kind of a mechanical representation of their face. The Zahn SW books are *very good* if you ever fancy reading such fare. I don't say that lightly. I'm pretty picky about my fiction.

Eric Diaz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com.br/
Quote from: tenbones;971017
I'm hesitant to speak about games I'm not intimately familiar with. Earthdawn I've played, but not in-depth. Amber is a perfect example of where powerful magic is abundant and assumed. The setting of Amber doesn't break because of it. D&D's settings (mostly) make zero-sense *because* of the assumed amount of magic.

I'm using SW and LotR as examples of settings where the implied amount of magic is really low. But in different periods it was really high and the magic is crazy powerful. I'm saying that this seems to be something that a lot of RPG's with supernatural power don't really reflect that. That's why I'm please to see that the new LotR does that. And I'd even say that most of the new FFGSW does that too.

What games with "magic" (or psionics/supertech/whatever) where the game's setting reflects that well? Rifts? What else? And what game settings do not reflect this conceit? I guess that's what I'm asking.

So let, me get this straight: do you want (a) a game where magic/etc is powerful and common; or (b) a game where magic/etc used to be powerful and common but isn't anymore?

For (a), we got amber, Godbound, Earthdawn, etc. I'm not sure either; maybe people who are more familiar can say for sure.

For (b), we got Carcosa, Numenera, and probably Dying Earth. First two cases are "we used to have magic technology, but not anymore", that you can find in most post-apoc game, but I think Dying Earth might be "we used to have powerful magic, but not anymore".

Dark Sun, maybe?
Chaos Factory Books  - Dark fantasy RPGs and more!

Methods & Madness - my  D&D 5e / Old School / Game design blog.

Skarg

  • Venerable Gamer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2379
Not sure if you meant interest in this too, but if you want a game system / setting where magic is fairly common but not ubiquitous and not generally overpowered, you could look at The Fantasy Trip: Advanced Wizard and In The Labyrinth. It's what I started with and remains my baseline for thinking about magic power and about how much I'd want to turn up the dial on magic power before it starts seeming too hard to think about for me. It helps that the magic system was designed and carefully playtested and balanced so that wizards would be fair arena matches for fighters of the same attribute total (the way TFT handles character advancement).

Of course, it's also just what I'm used to, and I'm thinking about it terms of decades of play as I and my friends came to set and run our campaigns. The setting and system aren't quite enough to do that though, as the setting can vary and a few of the more powerful spells have implications especially if there are people using them much, or if anyone tries to get any industrial magic going. Essentially, I use lowish-magic settings and/or nerf magic a bit with limits and risks and a couple of missing spells, and the powerful wizard NPCs in the game I track so I know what's going on and what happens if someone tries to abuse the Wizards' Guild.

Specifically:

* I don't want to have reliable scrying, so the Crystal Ball magic item I either make unreliable or limited, or not a thing, or not available, or have some other drawback.

* I do something to the Summon Demon spell and Wishes, either making them all not exist, or making what you get with Summon Demon be rather unpredictable and almost surely not something you can count on bending to your will, let alone coercing a wish out of.

* I toss out the Bless spell and sometimes the Curse spell with it. (because it seems too good, too boring, not enough logic, annoys me).

* I tend to have almost no magic items for sale, and few wizards wanting to make magic items for customers in general for a mere fee. Magic items for sale tend to get bought up. Wizards powerful enough to enchant items tend to have better things to do than make someone a magic helmet for coin, and/or they probably have a long customer list including lords and other powerful wizards and so on.

* I also have house rules for magic item reliability. Each item has a "breakdown number" based on the creator's skill and luck and process used. It starts high, but the more you use an item, the more often you check for breakdown, and modifiers can add up. If you only occasionally use a well-made item in good condition, it'll probably be very reliable for a very long time. If you push it, it will eventually wear down and become less reliable, and the breakdown results possible will tend to get worse and worse. Apart from enjoying this, this was designed and agreed on by our players long ago after some years of TFT play, to counter the problem where magic items would just essentially make characters with them notably better, they'd always use them, etc.

* I also tend to make Analyze Magic less reliable, so it's not so easy to be sure exactly what all your magic items are like (especially with the breakdown table possibly having effects).

* Oh, and we also tweaked the experience system so you get EP based on the relative ability of your opponent, with magic use taken into account, adding another reason to only activate magic items when you think you need them.

jeff37923

  • Knight of Common Sense
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17111
Quote from: Dumarest;970921
Are there anthropomorphic green rabbits to team up with?



Jaxxon and his ship, The Rabbit's Foot

Jaxxon, male Lepi
 Dexterity 4D+1
blaster 8D+1
 dodge 8D+1
 melee weapons 7D+2
Knowledge 2D
scholar: outer rim 3D+2
 willpower 4D+2
Mechanical 3D+1
astrogation 7D+2
 space transports 6D+2
 starfighter piloting 7D+1
 starship gunnery 6D+2
 starship shields 6D+1
Perception 3D
con 6D+1
 investigation 6D+1
 search 6D+1
Strength 3D
brawl 7D+2
 climbing/jumping 5D
Technical 2D+1
computer programming/repair 5D+1
 space transports repair 5D

Rabbit's Foot
 Craft: Modified WUD-500 Star Yacht
Type: Star Yacht
Scale: Starfighters
Length: 18.5 meters
Skill: Space Transports: WUD-500
Crew: 1 pilot, 1 gunner
Crew Skill: Unique
Passengers: 7
Cargo Capacity: 3 metric tons
Consumables: 4 months
Cost: Not available for sale (90,000)
Hyperdrive Multiplier: x.5
Hyperdrive Back-Up: x8
Nav Computer: Yes
Maneuverability: 2D
Space: 8
Atmosphere: 365; 1050 km/h
Hull: 3D+2
Shields: 2D
Sensors:
Passive: 30/1D
Scan: 60/2D
Search: 75/3D
Focus: 4/4D
Weapons:
2 Quad Laser Cannons (fire separately)
Fire Arc: 1 left, 1 right
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/12/25
Atmosphere Range: 100-300/1.2/2.5km
Damage: 6D
Dual Ion Cannon
Fire Arc: Turret
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/7/36
Atmosphere Range: 100-300/700/3.6km
Damage: 4D

Lepi
 Average Lepi. Dexterity 2D+2, Knowledge 1D+1, Mechanical 2D, Perception 1D+2, Strength 2D, Technical 1D+1.
Attribute Dice: 12D
 DEXTERITY 2D/4D+2
KNOWLEDGE 1D/3D+2
MECHANICAL 1D+1/4D
PERCEPTION 1D/3D+2
STRENGTH 1D+1/4D
TECHNICAL 1D/3D+1
Special Abilities:
Feet of Fury: A Lepi's feet make effective weapons. Lepi who use their feet to make brawling/kicking attacks get +2 to hit, and add +2 to any damage they inflict. In addition Lepi add +1D to any Climbing/Jumping skill rolls they make that involve jumps.
Alertness: Due to their keen sight and hearing, Lepi characters get a +2 pip bonus to Search rolls.
Move: 10/12

(Made from d20 Star Wars stats converted to d6 SWRPG)

(Other, IMHO better, stats and art can be found at The Home of the Lost Star Warriors)

Dumarest

  • Vaquero
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3685
Quote from: jeff37923;971071
Jaxxon and his ship, The Rabbit's Foot

Jaxxon, male Lepi
 Dexterity 4D+1
blaster 8D+1
 dodge 8D+1
 melee weapons 7D+2
Knowledge 2D
scholar: outer rim 3D+2
 willpower 4D+2
Mechanical 3D+1
astrogation 7D+2
 space transports 6D+2
 starfighter piloting 7D+1
 starship gunnery 6D+2
 starship shields 6D+1
Perception 3D
con 6D+1
 investigation 6D+1
 search 6D+1
Strength 3D
brawl 7D+2
 climbing/jumping 5D
Technical 2D+1
computer programming/repair 5D+1
 space transports repair 5D

Rabbit's Foot
 Craft: Modified WUD-500 Star Yacht
Type: Star Yacht
Scale: Starfighters
Length: 18.5 meters
Skill: Space Transports: WUD-500
Crew: 1 pilot, 1 gunner
Crew Skill: Unique
Passengers: 7
Cargo Capacity: 3 metric tons
Consumables: 4 months
Cost: Not available for sale (90,000)
Hyperdrive Multiplier: x.5
Hyperdrive Back-Up: x8
Nav Computer: Yes
Maneuverability: 2D
Space: 8
Atmosphere: 365; 1050 km/h
Hull: 3D+2
Shields: 2D
Sensors:
Passive: 30/1D
Scan: 60/2D
Search: 75/3D
Focus: 4/4D
Weapons:
2 Quad Laser Cannons (fire separately)
Fire Arc: 1 left, 1 right
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/12/25
Atmosphere Range: 100-300/1.2/2.5km
Damage: 6D
Dual Ion Cannon
Fire Arc: Turret
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/7/36
Atmosphere Range: 100-300/700/3.6km
Damage: 4D

Lepi
 Average Lepi. Dexterity 2D+2, Knowledge 1D+1, Mechanical 2D, Perception 1D+2, Strength 2D, Technical 1D+1.
Attribute Dice: 12D
 DEXTERITY 2D/4D+2
KNOWLEDGE 1D/3D+2
MECHANICAL 1D+1/4D
PERCEPTION 1D/3D+2
STRENGTH 1D+1/4D
TECHNICAL 1D/3D+1
Special Abilities:
Feet of Fury: A Lepi's feet make effective weapons. Lepi who use their feet to make brawling/kicking attacks get +2 to hit, and add +2 to any damage they inflict. In addition Lepi add +1D to any Climbing/Jumping skill rolls they make that involve jumps.
Alertness: Due to their keen sight and hearing, Lepi characters get a +2 pip bonus to Search rolls.
Move: 10/12

(Made from d20 Star Wars stats converted to d6 SWRPG)

(Other, IMHO better, stats and art can be found at The Home of the Lost Star Warriors)

That's what I'm talking about.

Honestly , I find the comics from the '70s far more creative and inspiring than anything the sequels did.