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: (Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?  (Read 1423 times)

Acinonyx

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 95
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« on: March 08, 2006, 11:07:13 AM »
I've started a Planescape campaign and I like the idea of having alterations to the way magic works on the planes. For arcane magic the system in the Maual of the Planes works pretty well. I'll have to decide which schools are impeded/enhanced and such using my Planescape books. However, I'm wondering if the old PS system for divine magic may be a bit harsh.

For those not familiar with it, for each plane removed from their gods plane they lose a level of spell casting ability. So, if their god is on Ysgard and they're on Baator they lose 6 levels. I imagine that may be a bit harsh. I thought of maybe reducing it to - 1 caster level per two planes away from their god's plane. Using the same planes that would give them a -4 caster level (Which would be the maximum possible).

How do you think the two systems compare? I'll use Baator as an example. Say I've decide Conjuration (Summoning) spells are impeded. So, an arcane caster trying to use a summon monster spell has to make a Spellcraft check DC 20+spell level to get the spell off or lose the spell. A divine caster has no problem getting the spell off, however his caster level will be 4 lower.

I'm not exactly sure I like how that works out and was wondering if anyone had some more ideas.
"There's a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think."

Sojourner Judas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • S
  • Posts: 258
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 11:21:32 AM »
I'd actually do it by alignment. Impose a -1 for every step on the alignment charts the plane is from the alignment of the plane of the deity.

So a cleric of a Lawful Good deity would only suffer -1 on a LN or NG plane, a -2 on a LE, CG, or N plane, a -3 on a NE or CN plane, and a -4 on a CE plane.

Make sense?
 

BOZ

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • B
  • Posts: 452
    • http://www.enworld.org/cc/
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 11:50:54 AM »
SJ's idea works out pretty much the same as Eh2Zee's (slight difference).  it's not exact though... i like SJ's better.
don't quote me on that.  :)

Visit the Creature Catalog for all your D&D 3E monster needs!  :)

Sojourner Judas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • S
  • Posts: 258
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2006, 11:56:28 AM »
Quote from: BOZ
SJ's idea works out pretty much the same as Eh2Zee's (slight difference).  it's not exact though... i like SJ's better.
My main reasoning on mine is that it's a pain in the ass to remember what's what on the Great Wheel, so it's easier to just compare plane alignments.
 

Acinonyx

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 95
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 12:20:37 PM »
Quote from: Sojourner Judas
My main reasoning on mine is that it's a pain in the ass to remember what's what on the Great Wheel, so it's easier to just compare plane alignments.
Okay, how do you account for the middle planes? For instance, Arcadia, Lawful Neutral Good?

But, do you think a max -4 caster level compares to Wizards having to deal with alterations to schools and impeded or limited magic?
"There's a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think."

Sojourner Judas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • S
  • Posts: 258
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 12:34:26 PM »
Quote from: Acinonyx
Okay, how do you account for the middle planes? For instance, Arcadia, Lawful Neutral Good?
I forget, is the Neutral on the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis? I think it's on the law/chaos one if I remember correctly, so I'd say no penalties for LG and NG deities, -1 for LN, CG, and N, -2 for LE, NE and CN, -3 for CE.
 

BOZ

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • B
  • Posts: 452
    • http://www.enworld.org/cc/
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 12:40:33 PM »
Quote from: Acinonyx
Okay, how do you account for the middle planes? For instance, Arcadia, Lawful Neutral Good?


those planes would count as both alignments, i guess.
don't quote me on that.  :)

Visit the Creature Catalog for all your D&D 3E monster needs!  :)

Acinonyx

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 95
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 05:13:10 PM »
Quote from: Sojourner Judas
I forget, is the Neutral on the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis? I think it's on the law/chaos one if I remember correctly, so I'd say no penalties for LG and NG deities, -1 for LN, CG, and N, -2 for LE, NE and CN, -3 for CE.
Okay, but still the whole -x to caster level seems a little boring to me.

The alterations to arcane spells tend to be fun and interesting. So, for every impeded spell a wizard casts he might get an enhanced spell. Or, depending on the plane any sort of alteration is possible. The divine caster just loses some caster levels. Doesn't seem like a great tradeoff.
"There's a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think."

Sojourner Judas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • S
  • Posts: 258
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 05:33:27 PM »
Quote from: Acinonyx
The alterations to arcane spells tend to be fun and interesting. So, for every impeded spell a wizard casts he might get an enhanced spell. Or, depending on the plane any sort of alteration is possible. The divine caster just loses some caster levels. Doesn't seem like a great tradeoff.
Well, under 3E and 3.5E all spells get assigned schools so you can treat them all equally if you like.

Still, at least philosophically, there's a reason for this difference in how they're treated. Arcane magic operates off of the rules of the Multiverse and how they're applied in the various locales of the Great Wheel. Thus on certain planes the physical and metaphysical laws are just different, and arcane magic is affected accordingly.

Divine magic on the other hand is a deity focusing its will through an intermediary, in this case a cleric. Under the original Planescape rule the deity's ability to make its will manifest is dependant upon how many planes its will is diluted through en route to the intermediary. Under my suggestion the deity's ability to make its will manifest is dependant upon how philosophically similar the plane the intermediary is residing on.

It makes a lot of sense when you take into account spell keys and power keys. Spell keys are arcane formulae that compensate for a plane's altered physical and metaphysical laws. Power keys are literally a way to mainline a deity. Each has a roleplaying aspect that can be fun to explore. For example, you'd imagine that the powers-that-be of a given plane would be able to sense a power key attuned to a deity whose alignment is opposed to them. It would irritate the very fabric of the plane, and they'd take it very seriously because it's a way for their enemy to force its will upon the plane in a way they would not normally be able to.

So think of the various circumstances that would create these keys. Spell keys are pretty obvious as they can be researched given enough time and resources. Power keys though? You almost have to look to the fiction for examples on those. For instance I remember there was a Forgotten Realms novel where Cyric forbade mentioning any other deities by name on his plane because doing so allowed them to intercede upon his affairs. Things like that are fertile ground for developing a mythos around power keys.
 

Aelfinn

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • A
  • Posts: 193
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 05:49:32 PM »
I really like the spell keys/power keys idea. I'm snagging them, if you don't mind, SJ.
Bedd Ann ap lleian ymnewais fynydd  
Iluagor Llew Ymrais
Prif ddewin merddin Embrai
[/SIZE][/I]

Sojourner Judas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • S
  • Posts: 258
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 05:51:25 PM »
Quote from: Aelfinn
I really like the spell keys/power keys idea. I'm snagging them, if you don't mind, SJ.
Hey, not my idea. Lifted straight from Planescape :)
 

Aelfinn

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • A
  • Posts: 193
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2006, 01:12:37 PM »
Quote from: Sojourner Judas
Hey, not my idea. Lifted straight from Planescape :)

:o

I have the planescape box sitting somewhere around here, but it's been years since i've payed any attention to it. I just felt like it wasn't my thing, at the time it was coming out, so I never did collect it.
Bedd Ann ap lleian ymnewais fynydd  
Iluagor Llew Ymrais
Prif ddewin merddin Embrai
[/SIZE][/I]

Acinonyx

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 95
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2006, 03:49:53 PM »
Quote from: Sojourner Judas
Planescape rocks and spell keys/power keys are teh shiznit! :D
I understand, and completely agree with all that. I really enjoyed Planescape's take on planar magic and I really want to play up the differences between divine and arcane magic, which is I why I'm loath to use the arcane alterations all around. I just find the existing mechanic for divine magic kind of blah. But, until something better come up I'll just go with it I guess.
"There's a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think."

Dacke

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • D
  • Posts: 311
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2006, 04:21:12 PM »
I'm not actually too fond of the "screw the priest" rules in either 2e Planescape or Spelljammer (in Spelljammer, priests had problems with spells in any crystal sphere where their god didn't have any worshippers). They discourage people from playing priests, because your main class ability becomes highly undependable. The rules would be OK for a prime-based campaign that takes an occasional jaunt into the planes, but if you're going to have a Planescape-based campaign those rules should preferably be ignored, or people will just try to work around them (Planescape mentioned that the Celtic pantheon was popular among planars because they lived on the Outlands, which meant that their priests almost never lost more than one caster level).
 

BOZ

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • B
  • Posts: 452
    • http://www.enworld.org/cc/
(Planescape) Magical Alteration on the planes?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2006, 12:54:56 AM »
i could be wrong, but i think that mechanic was devised in the 1E MotP...
don't quote me on that.  :)

Visit the Creature Catalog for all your D&D 3E monster needs!  :)