View Full Version : [WIP]Dominic Deegan: The Comic: The Movie: The RPG

2011-05-10, 04:01 PM
Crossposted from the DD thread over in the webcomics section.
I hope this is where this goes, if not: Mods, please move this Thread where it belongs.

The idea is to make a magicyber(steam?)punk system out of the trainwreck that is Dominic Deegan.

Setting (Primer/First draft):

If I were DJ Callan, I'd have a single, loyal assassin in Blinder Gear whose purpose is to track down and kill Seers powerful enough to see through my Advanced Warding.


*cough*Null Magic*cough*

Also, might as well go a bit further. Have the gear teleport off to a preset location on death (piggybacking on the teleport network? I... don't know how that is a network, anyway. More of a nexus, or something.), and, ideally, replace it with Devil Dust, so any seer trying to investigate just goes into a coma full of mayhem.

Okay, wait, here it is: upon detecting disloyalty, the implant floods the assassin's system with devil dust or a similar compound, then activates a stored teleport, after death is confirmed.

Callan is a dystopian society run by powerful magical institutions backed by Guild interests. Of course, since the law of the land is that no Guild may own more than one Business at a time, the Guilds have to engage in shadowy dealings in order to maintain their power and prestige without triggering the ire of DJ Callan. Since DJ Callan has a monopoly on anti-Scry magic, Seers are the mainstay of the shadow, with their ability to both spy on others and detect spies. Generally they fight in the mindsoulscape known as Scry-Net: a realm that all Seers must enter in order to practice their trade and where the mind is king. But with the Royal Blinder Assassins walking the streets no Seer can survive without allies.

You are a Seer - one trained in the techniques of Second Sight. Perhaps you are an Oracle (who gains potent information at the whim of Destiny); or a Black Hat (a Seer with training in Black Magic); or a White Hat (one with White Magic). Or maybe you're one of the frightening Spellwolves or Necros that has terrifying powers of their own.

We're gonna use the KULT 2nd Edition as basis, since it's fairly simple and wouldn't need that much work to retrofit it to the setting.

Throws: D20 under score, the greater the difference the better the success, 1 is crit, 20 is botch)
Damage: via table, D20 + DmgBonus
Ini: D10+IniBonus as high as possible

Point-Buy system, 100 points for 8 attributes, human average is around 10, superhuman starts at 15:
EGO (INT and willpower as well as a bit of CoC's Sanity)
EDU(cation, for scholar characters)

Note here: All skills will be linked to respective attributes as far as their point caps go, so for example:
Knowledge(Psychoplanar Planes) is linked to EDU. Your EDU score is 12. For point buy, each point in Knowledge(Psychoplanar Planes) costs 1 point, each point over the linked attribute costs 3 points. So Knowledge(bla) 12 would cost 12 points, and Knowledge(bla) 13 would cost 12 + (1*3) = 15 points.

Secondary attributes (derived from primary, d'oh):
Carrying capacity: STR | STR * 10 (first is what you can carry in kg without eventually getting tired, second one is the maximum weight you're able to lift short term)
Stamina: (CON*5)+30
Movement: DEX/2 per round
Initiative Bonus: +1 for each DEX over 12, -1 for each DEX under 8
Damage Bonus: A table I don't have around right now. (STR+DEX)/2 and then look it up
Actions per round: 2 ( + 1 for every 2 DEX over 12)
Mental Breakdown: gotta think of something for this one

Skills: KULT has too many to list here, so suggestions anyone?
Magic: Either buy spells like skills (How KULT does it, means pretty low spell count, not ideal for this setting) or buy schools of spells like skills and link spells/day to EGO*2 or something like that.

Another thing that'd fit right into DD from KULT is the character background which in addition to perks and flaws introduces the "Dark Secret" that most characters have. Since most characters in DD actually do have some traumatizing past or terrible secret, it'd fit.

In KULT mental breakdown is done with a throw against EGO, with modifiers depending on the circumstances (see your best friend eviscerated right next to you? take a +5. BY you? +10) and in addition to this there is a stat called Mental Balance, which is Points of Flaws - Points of Perks and determines how balanced between good/evil and emotion/apathy the character is. Most (playable) chars in KULT are around +-10, and I think this could be adapted, too.

Also, rip a page out of the Buffy RPG book and give the chars some drama points for dei ex machinae (or whatever the plural is... we figured that one out a while ago, I think).

To Do right now:
Skills Mental Breakdown system Stat some example characters [Whoracle] Write up more info on KULT and clarify earlier posting [Whoracle] Clean up the first post Decide on magic system implementation Make some spells

So, discuss, throw ideas around, you know the drill.

2011-05-10, 05:03 PM
I'm going to toss out some stuff that frankly just has me confused:

How does magic break down? I believe that eight of the Planes (fire, water, earth, air, law, chaos, creation, destruction (are these last two white and black magic? I'm unclear)) can be called upon for the purposes of spells, and that a sufficiently powerful and creative mage can found a School (divination, necromancy, illusion, alterism, ecomancy, acibek, time, I'm so confused). Most mages will specialize in one School, and rely on just a few Planes.

Planes provide "basic" spells, which a mage can then embellish on with their choice of school. Schools also provide spells of their own.

Something something nakta akta something.

Anyone have preferences about whether Infernomancers will... exist? Unless Karnak squirreled one away, there haven't been any in-comic for a while, not counting TIM, since he's... what he is.

Also, thinking about playable races. Most Callanians are human, and leaving Callan leaves behind the draw, IMO, but there are plenty of other races kicking around. I don't think any besides the orcs have their own magic stuff, so the big reason to have, say, a nagastrali or a slime, would be flavor of some kind. So, Orcs get their nature magic, everyone else gets standard stuff, I think. Feel free to dispute, because even though I haven't seen anything to the contrary, it makes a hash of the flavor. (Like, I'd expect elves to have nature magic, but unless it works like the orcs, except with different names, I have no idea what that would be like.) (Also, anyone playing a mermaid has to be the one to figure out how they're moving around on dry land.)

Proposed outline of magic, derived from that:
Orcs can buy individual nature spells at a low cost, and a specialization in Nakta or Akta at typical cost.
Everyone else can buy any combination of Schools and Plane specializations, although it should be hard to get more than a few Schools at once, and they need to buy at least one Plane. Some Schools might require a particular Plane as a prerequisite. All mages get a few basic spells for free, regardless of what they actually buy. (I'm not sure about this one.)
Certain areas disrupt magic that's used predominantly outside those areas. Have fun with that.

If an orc renounces the culture of Maltak, they lose any nature/Nakta/Akta spells they had, and can buy Schools and Planes as normal.
GM fiat can temporarily grant a non-orc any combination of orc magics they see fit, but this is all in the area of discretion.

2011-05-10, 05:27 PM
[...]Anyone have preferences about whether Infernomancers will... exist? Unless Karnak squirreled one away, there haven't been any in-comic for a while, not counting TIM, since he's... what he is.[...]

I'd imagine this working like standard demonic possession, and oh boy, does KULT have rules for this :D They nearly managed to make this a playable character archetype, but I think for starters Infernomancers should exist, but not be playable until we've got some basic balancing done.

As for your idea for magic: I like it. Plus, we wouldn't need much reworking on the KULT rules, because that's pretty much how magic in KULT already works.

Let's see... In basic KULT you have to buy a perk called "magical talent", which is pretty expensive for starters. This leads to magic users generally being more unbalanced than regular joes.

If you have this perk, then you proceed to buy one or more "schools" of magic, of which in KULT there are five. These would translate to our planes. We could give the spells power levels which equate to levels one must have in the governing plane(s), i.e. Greater Groinpunch Missile - Lvl. 5 (Chaos), which would equate to a plane level of 25 in chaos. 25 because at 1 to 1 casters would get too powerful too quick. I'm proposing (Powerlevel*5) for this.
The actual score for the spell would be done via normal point buy, maybe from a different pool than other skills (I'll have to think on this one a bit before further elaborating).

So, in essence this gives us
Perk - Magical Talent -> Plane Level -> Spells that fall under that plane

For multi-plane spells we'd have to devise some system of dividing the power level. Maybe go for the simple route: Acibek Induced Fire Ball - Lvl. 2 (Law), Lvl. 3 (Fire). Less work devising the system, more work actually balancing individual spells later.

Edit: This'll also work rather nicely with N/Akta.

Alternatively, go with a "building blocks"-approach: Let chars learn basic spell components (fire, ballistic, expansion, illusion) in addition to the planes, and let the players combine the elements as they wish. The above'd lead to a Exploding, Invisible Fire Ball (tm), btw. That way, versatile casters would be powerful but expensive to create, while specialists would be rather cheap, but not as hard-hitting.

That's all from me for now. It's half past midnight over here. I'm looking forward to what you guys'll cook up while I'm sleeping.

2011-05-10, 08:22 PM
I'm currently in agreement with the majority of things going on here.
in regards to the idea that magic should use a different point pool, however, I must disagree. If you have to buy your magic like skills, then they should use the same pool. Otherwise, you could end up with guys as physically powerful as Sigfried with magic as strong as Miranda's.

Let's use Dominic as an example. If he was a character, he would have high stats in the mental/magic based stats, high enough ranks in the magic skills, and plenty of points in the law and second sight skills.

Also, when you mentioned the Invisible, Exploding Fireball, I went ahead and assumed that that meant that by having enough ranks in a school/plane, you could introduce a static effect to the spell. That way, you wouldn't need to think of all the possibilities, and characters wouldn't be limited. In this regard, it should naturally be impossible to introduce opposing schools/planes to a spell.

Example One's mage could cast a Perfect Invisible Fireball, but not a Perfect, Chaotic, Invisible Fireball, because that would introduce hte planes of law and chaos to the spell.

I like the idea with having prerequisite ranks in certain plains and schools to introduce their effects to spells, as that would make mages less broken (slightly).

In terms of the races, here's my little list on which one's I think there should be:

Callanian - run of the mill human
Semashi - like Callanian, but perhaps more physically attractive and sly
Spellwolf/Werewolf -
Orc - able to cast nature magic better than anyone else or the only ones who can
Halfling - tricksters of sorts
Dwarf - angry short folk who take pride in their beards and are territorial
Elf - very, very old folk who are adept at certain magics
Elemental Changeling - perhaps an acquired template(?) that can be acquired only after certain skill prerequisites are met
Homunculus - Quilt

that's it for now

2011-05-10, 09:34 PM
One thing that occurred to me about limits on spells was, the daily limit could be much higher, but consumed differently: according to the total Plane Level of all of the components. So, spells with more components would typically be superior to vanilla spells, but they'd use up charge faster.

Another thought I had was, each Plane could have an associated at-will ability, with a deferred cost. What I mean is, for example:

A chaos mage can ignore negative effects at the cost of increasing their personal chaos. I had in mind stuff about bending rules and taking counters of some kind against that, but I think it would be easier to say:

If a chaos mage is unsatisfied with a roll, they can reroll and go with the lower roll (or the higher roll, if it's an opponent rolling). For every reroll a chaos mage uses, the GM can force a reroll on any later roll, choose highest (lowest). Obviously, only one person is allowed to reroll a given roll. There are probably serious mechanical issues with this.

If a law mage rolls a natural 20, they can lower the roll by any amount (within some limits?), but their next 1 has to be raised by the same amount.

I'm not sure how these ideas would extend to the other six Planes, and I'm not sure if this is the best way to do what I want, but there has to be some way to represent that whole "Too chaotic to react like a normal person possessed by demons" bit.

Hmm... creation = white fire, destruction = blight? Probably not, but maybe I'm just bringing too much logic to bear on this.

Anyway, I mostly agree with the idea about opposite Planes forcing each other out. Ideally, in situations where that rule is ignored, the, ah, game... balance would be completely thrown off by doing so.

Also, question about higher-end mages going nuts: are we going to be going along with the fanon that Miranda is controlling Snuggly and inserting illusions into Dom's scries and visions to turn him against DJ Callan, and the Circle Archmages against him? (I mean, that'll be invalidated in a few weeks when they talk to Celesto, but...)

Thoughts on races:
I think Werewolves should get a slight discount on magical talent, with the restriction (not much of one, hence "slight") that they can only do magic shifted, and some of it is locked to the phase of the moon and suchlike.
The Nagasta are amphibious and have four arms, and I don't know if there's anything else special going on.
Like I said before, Quastrillians Qualenti. Have fun getting those guys on land.
Hobgoblins can understand all languages. Does that mean they can break secret codes effortlessly? I have no idea. Also: eating people.
Mongrelfolk: If they show up, should probably be NPCs.

More on magic:
Resistance should cause most magic to fail (it would be all magic, but, um, Mookie)
I swear there was something else that I had in mind, but I can't remember.

2011-05-11, 01:35 AM
I didn't make the "different pools" idea clear enough I think.

As it is now in KULT, you get 250 points plus whatever is left of your flaws after you subtract the perks.
since KULT is a quite deadly system with underpowered characters, this is not enough. Plus, if we're going with the skill-linked-to-attribute idea, spells and schools of spells will become expensive rather quickly.

So I though we should make 3 pools for skills:

Physical ( (STR+DEX)*5 , average 100)
Social ( (CHA+APP)*5, average)
Magical ( (EGO+EDU)*5, average 100)

Since we only have 100 points for our attributes, this means that skills will even out more.

A character that minmaxes for magic will not have many skills for his physical/social attributes and vice versa.
Better than just dumping 300 skill points in whatever, I think.

Opposite planes canceling each other out sounds like a great idea, I'd say we go for it.
Resistance: D'accord, mwchase.

At will ability: As long as the effects are not tied to the plane level, good idea.
But given the law mage example: If you tie the amount that can be modified to the plane level,
a higher up mage could, in addition to his already higher skills/stats because of level, basically make any throw he wishes.
so if you have a skill level of 11 or greater, you could never miss that throw.

IMHO a better idea would be to use the drama points mentioned earlier and tie them to
the planes. Let's say a regular guy get's regular drama points at a rate of 1/session.
A plane mage could get 2/session, but use them only in a manner fitting to their plane, eg
a law mage only when interrupting a court trial/killing off the swirling vortex of chaos or some such.

This needs more thinking through, though.

On the race thing: Throw around more of your ideas. I'll sit that one out for now.

2011-05-11, 05:15 PM
Maybe the law mage thing would just be: convert a critical failure into a failure (even if a nineteen would have succeeded), at the cost of converting a critical success into a success (even if a two would have failed). Maybe give it a number of uses per day, tied to level, or something. What I'm going for is, a law mage is more disciplined, so they tend to be more consistent, something like that.

If we go with that, similarly limit the number of rerolls a chaos mage gets.

I was... provided... a copy of the rules, so I've been looking over them. Not coming up with much new to say, at the moment.

2011-05-12, 02:18 AM
As I said, there isn't all that much that needs to be done for this.

What we need now is some serious fluff and flavour. Maybe Oracle Hunter'll provide.

2011-05-13, 03:31 PM
I'm not sure I can manage the tone, but I'll put some ideas out there, some of them cribbed from others' fluff.

DJ Callan... Excuse me, King David Johann spent his life pursuing power. He ascended to the pinacle of human achievement in magic, before realizing it wasn't enough. He was but one man, and one man, alone, can only wield so much power. He could only advance by assembling an army.

Now, I get a bit confused, because Callan predates the creation of Acibek, right? And David is its first elected king (and we have no idea whether that's a democratic or a parliamentary (not sure if that's the right word, but at least I sort of remember some of the "elected king" discussion) election)... What was the government structured like before? Kings appointed by Luanian prophets, a closely-inbred family, what?

I'm leaning towards appointment by the Church of Luana, because it seems like they should be a big deal, and I like the idea of giving them a position on everything besides [WARM FUZZIES MOVE ALONG CITIZEN].

"Gentlemen, for too long has Callan's advancement been hindered by the soft-hearted whims of the Church. If we are to become more than an academic curiosity, if we are to regain our former glory, we need a man unfettered by the collective desires of a bunch of sensitive, mewling healers, a man who will, instead bend the country to his iron will, and infuse it with his clarity of, ahem, vision. Lords of Callan, David Johann is your man." -- Klaus Green, minor Lord of Callan, and close personal friend of David Johann.

"Sisters of Luana, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the Lords have ignored our warning, and not merely broken with tradition, but broken with tradition to elect... that man. Above all else, we must avoid conflict, so we cannot be seen to oppose this appointment; the common man, so much more impulsive, may be inflamed to crimes of passion, and perhaps civil war."
"So we are to relinquish this vital measure of control and moderation, and allow him to... to..."
"Time heals all wounds, Sister, and who can say? We are not strong enough now to heal this country, but perhaps there will be one stronger, soon enough..."

Or something, iunno. Also, I am feeling like blegh about names.

2011-05-16, 01:18 AM
Sorry for not posting the promised info this weekend. Haven been quite ill. Will post the stuff this evening.

2011-05-26, 12:30 PM
Work is being slow, going to give this a shot.

There's never less than two sides to an issue, never less than two ways to view a person, an event, anything. The Unfocused Destroyer failed to understand this, even as he personified it. He called himself the Creator, while the rest of us, the sane, and many of the insane, called Him by that other name. He thought himself purest good, and so was blind to his evils. We have no record of the time before the Unfocus; some have speculated that time itself is meaningless to our foe, that He has plowed through history as He pleased, with no regard to logical sequences of events. For now, He is gone. For now, we rebuild. If He returns, our efforts will be for naught, but every second spent giving into despair is another second spent living life like He is already back. If we are to restore this battered world, this battered epoch, it is through action, not inaction.

What my enemy has constructed can be forged into a tool of my will.
What my enemy has erected can be swept away in an instant.
What my enemy has arranged can be scattered by a breeze.
What my enemy thinks is a solid foundation can crumble away to nothing.

What my enemy has added, I shall remove.
What my enemy has destroyed, I shall replace.
What my enemy has constrained, I shall set free.
What my enemy has disturbed, I shall set right.

Don't know if bringing in Mookie as a faceless ultimate evil NPC (who should never show up in the course of normal play) is totally kosher, but, you know, whatever. Also, the chronology I have in mind to go with that puts everything years before the start of the comic, don't know how people feel about that.

Anyway, I figure this is a start. Is this a start? Need... feedback.

2011-05-27, 11:01 AM
Sounds fine to me, and is fittingly dark. Me likey.

Also: Got a weeks leave so I'll be finally able to defeat my lazyness find time in my busy schedule to do something here.