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Talakeal
2013-01-26, 03:22 PM
I am starting a new campaign and was trying to ask the players what their characters wanted to accomplish over their careers and what their goals and motivations where, trying to use player feedback to shape the storyline to come.

The party mage's only goal, aside from amassing personal arcane power, is to establish something resembling your typical Tippyverse, a world where everyone is a spell caster, magic has replaced technology, all problems both big and small are solved with spells, and social status is directly equivalent to arcane power.

The problem is, we are not playing D&D. We are playing my homebrew system where magic is limited and dangerous. Only about one in 10,000 people are born with any natural magical talent, and learning to became a wizard if you aren't a natural sorcerer requires something akin to the eastern concept of enlightenment. This is in addition to learning to control your powers, which requires years of hard study and practice.

Furthermore it is a system which requires mages roll to cast, and if the fail the results are both dangerous and unpredictable. There is a finite amount of magic, within people, objects, and places. Trying to create something like chain gating, self resetting magical traps, or the ring gates rail gun would, best case scenario, simply run out of power and shut down, but could potentially warp or destroy the surrounding area with uncontained magical energy or create a permanent dead magic zone.

Also, the campaign takes place in a Conanesque Sword and Sorcery setting. The predominant civilization was founded by survivors of Atlantis, a utopian civilization that was destroyed by reckless use of magic, and their fear of it happening again has permeated the society. Most kingdoms outlaw magic and employ witch hunters to burn those suspected of sorcery at the stake.
There are very few wizard academies or mage's guilds in the world. Most mages are either hermits hiding in the wilderness, undercover mystery cults who have magic and religion intertwined, or evil overlords who use their power to lord over their land and are not keen on sharing it with those who cannot be implicitly trusted to obey.



So yeah, I have all these reasons (and more) explaining why it is not a realistic goal, but when I tried talking to the player about this he got upset and said that he plays games for magic and both in and out of character all he wants to do is spread it. When I pushed the issue he got really mad and told me that by trying to logically defeat his opinions I was doing the mental equivalent of bashing his religion, using my views and logic to tear down his personal beliefs.

So, does anyone have any advice for resolving this situation that does not involve kicking out the player or drastically altering both the rules and setting of my campaign?

Saph
2013-01-26, 03:33 PM
So, does anyone have any advice for resolving this situation that does not involve kicking out the player or drastically altering both the rules and setting of my campaign?

Tell him something like this:

"From the way you've described your character's goal, it sounds basically impossible. You can try and do it if you like and you might have some limited success, but you have no realistic chance of changing the world to the degree you want because magic in this setting doesn't work that way. If you don't like that then I'm sorry, but this is the setting we're using."

If after that he doesn't want to play, then he doesn't want to play. You can't force him to take part in a game he isn't interested in, and you shouldn't try to.

(Though quite frankly, if someone played the "You're bashing my religion!" card when I tried to explain how the setting worked, then I'd consider that a major red flag as regards their maturity and capacity to work co-operatively in a group. If they dropped out afterwards I wouldn't make much effort to get them back. But YMMV.)

HorseCover
2013-01-26, 03:49 PM
I agree with Saph, this really boils down to a maturity issue. However, if I were to try and resolve this, I might make it possible for him to achieve his goal. Why the heck not? It's going to be difficult, sure, but if he wants to try and use magic to fundamentally alter the way the universe works, there should be a path open for that.

Make it very clear from the start that attempts to do it in the past have failed, maybe write a cataclysm into the history where a wizard tried to make magic more "available". I don't presume to know how the physics of magic work in your universe, so you'll have to refluff based on that.

So, unless he is really an idiot, he will want to take time to accumulate knowledge and resources to try and avoid the same fate. And if he goes for it too early, then he deserves to have his character killed. I think that fairly gives him a disincentive to wreck the flavor of your game outright, while still allowing him to work towards a goal. Perhaps make it very unpopular, due to the cataclysm, to even try and attempt an experiment like that, so he will have to do work in secret.

Morghen
2013-01-26, 04:27 PM
...he plays games for magic and both in and out of character all he wants to do is spread it.what


When I pushed the issue he got really mad and told me that by trying to logically defeat his opinions I was doing the mental equivalent of bashing his religion, using my views and logic to tear down his personal beliefs.what


So, does anyone have any advice for resolving this situation that does not involve kicking out the player?No.

This will end badly.

Frozen_Feet
2013-01-26, 04:54 PM
...Trying to create something like chain gating, self resetting magical traps, or the ring gates rail gun would, best case scenario, simply run out of power and shut down, but could potentially warp or destroy the surrounding area with uncontained magical energy or create a permanent dead magic zone.


You know, there's this Finnish setting called Praedor where exactly this happened. You could also read up on STALKER. :smallwink:

My suggestion is: let him try. Then laugh epicaricaciously as he fails. That's what I'd do. :smalltongue:

But really, the character fits the setting just fine - his role is just going to be "crazy cultist" instead of "benevolent dictator".

Kelb_Panthera
2013-01-26, 05:15 PM
First, smack the taste out of his mouth for comparing a game to religion. Even if you're not religious that's a wholly inappropriate comparison for anyone to make. Noone ever launched a crusade over a game.

Then tell him flat, "this is how the setting works, if you don't like it you know where the door is." Any other way you might try to handle this simply isn't going to end well.

Frozen_Feet
2013-01-26, 05:41 PM
Noone ever launched a crusade over a game.


You'd be surprised. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War)

Kelb_Panthera
2013-01-26, 05:58 PM
You'd be surprised. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War)
That was a political war, not a crusade, and the game only provided the spark to a powder keg that was ready to explode anyway.

kamikasei
2013-01-26, 06:02 PM
When I pushed the issue he got really mad and told me that by trying to logically defeat his opinions I was doing the mental equivalent of bashing his religion, using my views and logic to tear down his personal beliefs.

So, does anyone have any advice for resolving this situation that does not involve kicking out the player or drastically altering both the rules and setting of my campaign?
How do you see any future dispute with this guy playing out? Do you actually want to have this person in your group?

From what you describe, it looks like the player himself has limited the outcomes to "you capitulate" or "you tell him whatever you decide without explanation or rationale", with the latter case seeming to carry good odds of turning in to "you kick him out" anyway.

Frozen_Feet
2013-01-26, 06:09 PM
That was a political war, not a crusade, and the game only provided the spark to a powder keg that was ready to explode anyway.

Funny how I keep hearing the crusades were mostly about politics as well. :smalltongue:

But seriously, wars have been started for pettiest of reasons. I recall several starting because someone stole someone's wife. I'd not be surprised if there were few over chess, or couple more over soccer, somewhere in history. :smallcool:

Talakeal
2013-01-26, 06:12 PM
Well, worst case scenario I do nothing and the player is simply bored and not invested in the campaign. This hardly seems a situation which will erupt into the end of the game or a real life friendhip. I am just looking for ways to draw the player into the storyline without being inconsistent to the setting or the system.

Also, he only used religion as an analogy for why it is rude to argue with someone just because they have different beliefs than you; lets not dwell on it too much lest this discussion wander away from the game and into areas which are forbidden.

kamikasei
2013-01-26, 06:17 PM
Also, he only used religion as an analogy for why it is rude to argue with someone just because they have different beliefs than you; lets not dwell on it too much lest this discussion wander away from the game and into areas which are forbidden.
Unless you're leaving something out, what he's talking about is not "arguing with someone just because they have different beliefs than you", it's arguing with him at all, even to point out how what he wants to do won't work (when you are the best judge and final arbiter of whether it'll work). He's telling you you're not allowed tell him he's wrong. That should be something that erupts into, at the very least, not playing a game where he'll be obliged to accept your judgement calls.

Talakeal
2013-01-26, 06:25 PM
Unless you're leaving something out, what he's talking about is not "arguing with someone just because they have different beliefs than you", it's arguing with him at all, even to point out how what he wants to do won't work (when you are the best judge and final arbiter of whether it'll work). He's telling you you're not allowed tell him he's wrong. That should be something that erupts into, at the very least, not playing a game where he'll be obliged to accept your judgement calls.

I suppose I am leaving out some of the finer context. He said this when I explained "why" it wasn't a good idea and why the world was set up like it was.
I told them that in my oppinion ubiquitous and ultra reliable high magic made for a better sci-fi or super hero setting than Sword and Sorcery. You would have a situation where magic isn't "magical", it is just futuristic technology with a mystical coat of paint.
His argument was that fantasy and magic where synonymous, and that the more magic involved the more fun the game would be for everyone involved both in and out of character.
When I tried to debate this with him using arguments like those found in this article ( http://www.cracked.com/article_19667_6-horrifying-implications-harry-potter-universe.html )he got really mad and brought up the belief thing.

So it was the debating specific points or the underlying motives behind he plans that set him off, not disagreeing in general.

ArcturusV
2013-01-26, 06:44 PM
You know... there seems to be a somewhat logical answer to what he wants, and what your setting does, based on what I see.

Kill everyone who does not have innate magical talent.

Spread out humanity/other intelligent species over the world.

Less density, less chance for something to go wrong. Everyone would innately be magical anyway, it's everything he really wanted.

Except he'd have to genocide about 99.99% of life on the planet to be able to do it.

But those are just piddling details to the Arcane Madness Wizard with a lust for all things poofy and magical.

So yeah. Maybe give them the facts on what it would take to accomplish it, and let him decide if he REALLY wants to be that Evil. Complete with capital E.

Otherwise I second, or at this point is it tenth, the motion that he kinda sounds like someone you should kick to the curb. Or at the very least punch him in the arm and have a serious conversation with after you shock him out of his mindset.

Scow2
2013-01-26, 07:04 PM
His argument was that fantasy and magic where synonymous, and that the more magic involved the more fun the game would be for everyone involved both in and out of character.

Tell him that he's wrong there, and that the magic of fantasy isn't always so overt. The strongest 'magic' in fantasy is often even just in the 'mundane' stuff.

Sidmen
2013-01-26, 07:53 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't have mentioned anything meta-game to him. His character wants to try and create a kingdom of magical people who use magic to solve everything - awesome.

Now, set the scene of how magic works, and how it is viewed from the current perspective of the people living in the setting. Then let him work towards his goal, collecting magic-users and laying the paving stones to achieve his goal.

The odds of him achieving the stated goal over any reasonable time frame (i.e. his lifetime, or the campaign's duration) are incredibly low. But that doesn't stop people from trying.

You might let him even attain some of his goals - have a few magi working to teach other magic-sensitives how to control and harness their power with fewer negative effects. Maybe he'll even write a grimoire that helps people better prevent catastrophic consequences.

Slipperychicken
2013-01-26, 09:11 PM
Such a small number of spellcasters will make such a revolution nigh-impossible. And even envisioning it requires such an extensive and intimate knowledge of the nature of the magic, that it's quite unreasonable for him to even know half the tricks (one or two boon-traps might come to him after decades of careful study, for instance). It sounds like the kind of thing only Boccob would really know, and he certainly isn't sharing.

If his character's goal is "bring magic to the people", sounds great, and there may be some good he can do (build some appliances to help some people), although they'll be quite limited in scope since magicians are so rare, and he may even be recognized as a saint for his work. If it's "hurr hurr Tippyverse OP", then you can let him know it's ultimately not going to work because there just aren't enough magic-users to sustain it on a large scale.

Jacob.Tyr
2013-01-26, 09:14 PM
I mean, if he wants to try let him. People try to set up magical utopias here on Earth all the time, usually involving a lot of insanity and drugs but whatever.

Just, y'know, make it as hard as it should be in the setting. Every one who remembers Atlantis trying to kill him, people afraid of him, catastrophic damage to the environment because of what he's doing, needing to stretch himself further and further to get his magic to work. Maybe let him make some deals with devils to fuel his power, human sacrifice. It honestly sounds like it would be an awesome campaign if you let it "work".

Chauncymancer
2013-01-26, 10:25 PM
First, smack the taste out of his mouth for comparing a game to religion. Even if you're not religious that's a wholly inappropriate comparison for anyone to make. Noone ever launched a crusade over a game.


As a totally off topic aside: While I'm not naming any examples
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment
there is a researcher (who we should all at least *read* it's the least you can do)
http://www.amazon.com/The-Functions-Role-Playing-Games-Participants/dp/0786447109
who points out that role-playings games copy (probably unintentionally) the basic structure of many religious ceremonies.

Back on topic. Not naming any names (for the same reason) but if your player is using the trope that "magic=technology" in his preferred games...
Then his real-world religion may hold it a tenet that technology (=magic) must be spread everywhere:smalleek:
If this is the case, then what you really need is a conversation about a player who brings his real world religion into a game (which is fine) without telling anyone (which, IMO, is not :smallannoyed:)

Mark Hall
2013-01-26, 10:46 PM
But really, the character fits the setting just fine - his role is just going to be "crazy cultist" instead of "benevolent dictator".

Yep. It's like playing a technologist in Fading Suns. Yes, you may be able to make it work, and there's a lot your favorite things can do... but you're still the person saying "The thing that popular history says destroyed utopia is really neat."

erikun
2013-01-27, 12:08 AM
Preventing him from Trippyversing everything should be reasonably simple: your setting has no resetting magical traps/chain gating/fabricate abuse, and so the general D&D silliness is avoided. You might want to consider how certain things, such at item creature, work in your setting. Other than that, he'd be free to try to "bring magic to the masses" as much as he'd like, although may not be ultimately successful.

That isn't to say that you should automatically let him, though. His whole comparison between his playstyle and his religion is not a good sign; I wasn't there to view the discussion unbiased, but anyone making that comparison is a warning sign in my mind. If you think he can be maturely disappointed, then by all means, it should be a fun time to have him play. If you think he'll start throwing a tantrum the first time he learns he cannot create a "Cure Minor Wounds resetting trap", then you might be best leaving him out of the game.

Joe the Rat
2013-01-27, 12:50 AM
I agree that it makes a great character motivation to try and make it work. Somebody had to make Stygia.

Just so long as he's clear that 1) this doesn't exist now in the setting, and 2) how rare and volatile magic is in the setting, roll with it. He can't start in a Magocracy with high-energy ionizing lev-rails and radium dial clocks (or whatever the magic equivalent would be), but he can work towards that brighter thaumatomic future.

Slipperychicken
2013-01-27, 01:04 AM
Perhaps after discovering the ancient lore, he can create Tippyverse appliances... for absurdly high prices to reflect their true value. Something like the CLW trap should clock in somewhere around 140k-300k (and may even be an Artifact!), considering the general pricing scheme of things like the Ring of Regeneration, which merely accelerates natural healing (HD/hour instead of per day) and is 90k.

Dimers
2013-01-27, 02:10 AM
The player might take it as a personal insult if the OP runs the setting as presented. He thinks magic is supposed to be the Best Thing Evar ... if it keeps acting weak and dangerous to use, instead, then he might conclude that the DM is out to get him.

Oy. :smallsigh:

I'd say "he's welcome to try", with the caveat that he doesn't get to flip his lid OOC when the IC effort fails. I'd also get it in writing. :smallamused:

Alejandro
2013-01-27, 03:03 AM
How old is this player, vs the rest of the group?

1337 b4k4
2013-01-27, 05:03 AM
Your description of your world, and the players stated goals do not, on the surface appear to be incompatible. An excellent example actually, might be the modern BBC series of Merlin, wherein magic while known and capable, is completely banned by law, it's practice is punishable by death, and while there are pockets and usurpers about, they remain hidden, banished or secretive, and most people (even those working with magic users) have no idea (though to be fair, sometimes this seems to require holding the idiot ball. If one of you has Netflix, it might be worth watching a few episodes to see if this setting agrees with both of you, as that would be how your setting would have to play out to work.

That said, your description of the player and their actions throws a lot of red flags. It may be simply that we don't have a full perspective or know what actually happened, but your player sounds like they're going to force you to submit to their interpretation of fantasy, and to shut down any discussion as to why that interpretation may be incompatible with the setting. This is a bad thing, because frankly, it's your game and you're the one putting effort into the setting and world every week. Admittedly you can't game if you don't have players, but you need to be enjoying the game if you're going to run the game, so never give up your enjoyment simply because one other player can't be mature enough to be cooperative.

Ashtagon
2013-01-27, 06:17 AM
If you take teh Buffyverse as a "game example", this player is Buffy. And Buffy told the Gm she really really wanted to empower women worldwide. It took seven game years of campaigning before she was able to make that happen. And in game year eight (the comic book series), that was lost all over again.

Simply because that's not how magic works in that universe.

I'd explain to the player that this is how magic works. He is welcome to try to make a tippyverse in it, but he probably won't succeed because of the magical nature of things.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-27, 08:11 AM
My first instinct would be to let him play that character that way. It could prove to be a very engaging and interesting story of idealism versus realism. As long as all he cares about is the belief and fighting for it, then all is well.

Naturally, in that case you both have to be clear about this. So you should probably ask him what he wants to get out of the story.

Offer to allow him to play that concept, but tell him that it will not be an easy task, at times possibly even impossible. You will toss him consequences and challenges where he might have to compromise his beliefs. Sometimes things will simply not work, sometimes they won't work as expected, sometimes it will be disasters and sometimes it'll work perfectly. Tell him the NPC will likely hate him for what he does.
If he's fine with all that and agrees to those premises. Then I don't think there's any hurdles.

If he is not fine with that however, then you should probably ask him what exactly he wishes you to provide for him. What he wants and how to marry that with what you and the other player's wants. Maybe even offer to run such a campaign for him in the future if he wishes to play ball in this one?

Morty
2013-01-27, 10:04 AM
The problem here is that the player's expectations are fundamentally incompatibile with the setting. He might as well be playing a real-world campaign with the goal of turning Africa into a polar region. Have you tried presenting it to him this way?

Hyena
2013-01-27, 10:12 AM
a real-world campaign with the goal of turning Africa into a polar region.
Not sure if you're correct with this metaphor. I would rather compare his goal with bringing to Africa decent health care, introducing it to human rights, ridding it of hunger and poverty, and bringing democracy in place of dictatorship.
Which is theoretically possible, but practically it will take some superman to actually make it happen.

On topic: If the player is basically offended by magic being not all-solving utopia-brining allpowerful... stuff, he really shouldn't play this campaign.

awa
2013-01-27, 10:53 AM
no i think the first metaphor is more accurate becuase political change how ever complicated does not require a fundamental alteration of either the species involved or reality itself.

Morty
2013-01-27, 11:03 AM
Not sure if you're correct with this metaphor. I would rather compare his goal with bringing to Africa decent health care, introducing it to human rights, ridding it of hunger and poverty, and bringing democracy in place of dictatorship.
Which is theoretically possible, but practically it will take some superman to actually make it happen.

Yes, it's theoretically possible, which is my point. Making a Tippyverse out of a world where magic is heavily constrained and dangerous is fundamentally impossible.
Mind you, it doesn't really matter which metaphor is better.

kamikasei
2013-01-27, 11:53 AM
I suppose I am leaving out some of the finer context. He said this when I explained "why" it wasn't a good idea and why the world was set up like it was.
Okay - that's not as bad, but still a huge red flag, in my view. I'll echo Dimers and 1337 b4k4 from further up.

Those saying "let him try": sure, a player can have goals that are impossible to achieve and still have fun in the game, but I think it's reasonable to say the GM has at least some obligation to let a player know in advance if the concept the player's working on really can't ever be successful. There's a sizable difference between playing someone with high ambition and playing someone who will only every suffer setbacks. Given how this player comes off so far, the latter strikes me as very likely to result in bad feeling. And on top of that, there's the disruption it creates for the rest of the party. I'd say the player's being disrespectful of both the GM and the rest of the group by insisting on a concept that doesn't take Talakeal's work or the other players' enjoyment in to account.

That said, assuming you can impress on him that no, the setting doesn't work that way and I'm not going to change that, and he's willing to continue with the concept in full knowledge that he can't realistically expect to achieve his goals, you might as well give it a try. Make sure he understands that he'll have to stay below the radar of anyone who'd be threatened by what he's attempting or face serious consequences. Find ways for him to feel like he's making progress towards his goal in the long term, even if there are no direct short term benefits: finding ancient texts that suggest ways to carefully manage magic to prevent disasters, artifacts that seem to do things that should be impossible (because they're the end product of costly processes which have been lost), interactions with arcane forces which suggest that the working of magic could be altered if he takes the right steps way off over the horizon of the power level he can expect to achieve within the campaign.

...The better option is almost certainly to get him to try a character that actually fits the game, though.

Urpriest
2013-01-27, 03:53 PM
Two relevant things here:

First, as others have said, this guy might just not like the type of campaign that you're running. If so, there's no particular reason for him to be in it, he can just seek out other campaigns.

Second, if the guy wants to play this sort of character in your campaign, there isn't anything wrong with it. The thing is, your setting already had Atlantis, and Atlantis had to come from somewhere.

The idea of a mage who wants to bring back Atlantis/its equivalent definitely fits in to a Conan-esque setting. Think about the Song of Ice and Fire series, where despite magic being risky, dangerous, and rare, there are people who want to bring it back. They're universally misguided and somewhat villainous, but they exist.

I'd say, (provided that your player is ok with the setting being the way it is, see point one), just let your player be aware that it won't be easy, and that his character will not only be seen as misguided and dangerous, but probably is doing something that in-setting is misguided and dangerous. "Bring back Atlantis" is hard...but it's a great motivation for a conflicted antihero.

Emmerask
2013-01-27, 04:11 PM
The question is though are the other characters in the party really okay to walk around with a dangerous, misguided, insane antihero?

to elaborate a bit, to me its always important that the group either sticks together naturally (they like each other mostly, have matching goals etc)
or that they have a very very strong outside incentive to stick together (military unit, forced by super powerful magician etc).

Else it feels very unnatural and makes going forward in the campaign harder or even impossible.

The Glyphstone
2013-01-27, 04:47 PM
Has your group improved at all beyond the stories of insanity you shared previously?

AuraTwilight
2013-01-28, 03:33 AM
Yea, what's with that? Whenever you start a new thread it's almost always about your problems with your group being stupid and immature.

Talakeal
2013-01-28, 12:59 PM
Yea, what's with that? Whenever you start a new thread it's almost always about your problems with your group being stupid and immature.

Maybe I have stupid immature players?

Seriously though... it isn't every thread I post, but it is a lot. I guess it is because I usually post when I have an issue I would like help with, and since I normally play in homebrew campaign settings / rule sets it is usually problems with group dynamic that I seek advice on rather than rules or fluff.

I am working on finding a new group, but it is slow going. I am not currently playing in any games right now, but I am talking with my old group about a new campaign in advance, trying to sort out any problems pre game by getting everyone on the same train before it starts. Hopefully that will mitigate any disasters that may come up.


Has your group improved at all beyond the stories of insanity you shared previously?

I hope so, but I doubt it. The game kind of broke up after the incidents last summer, and we haven't really played since, but as finding a new group hasn't worked out for anyone involved we are considering starting up again in a few months.

ArcturusV
2013-01-28, 01:03 PM
I still believe in the Stick approach. When a player is being purposefully obtuse or trying to break things just for the sake of breaking them. Go find a stick and hit them with it. I've dealt with enough players to know sometimes that is the only thing that will work.

I can't count the number of times I had to have conversations with players about how "no, that's not how it works in my setting", or "... you are part of a GROUP. You need to play nice with everyone and not just try to turn this into a one man band with the other players as groupies to sing your praises and throw wenches at you."

valadil
2013-01-28, 01:21 PM
I think it's perfectly acceptable to have PCs with unobtainable goals. It's just a matter of managing expectations. His goal should be "duplicate the Tippyverse" but to see how far he can go in influencing the game world in that direction.

1. The player needs to be aware that his goal is probably not going to happen. Even if he says he's aware, he may not be. I've had players get real disappointed when the game ended before they got to their prestige class, even though I told them there were no guarantees we'd reach a certain level.

2. The player also needs to be aware that magic works differently in your universe than in D&D. If the Tippyverse is the logical conclusion of D&D's magic system and your magic system is different, then the logical conclusion of your magic system will be different than the Tippyverse. The point is, even if the PC is 100% successful in spreading magic, it's not going to look like the Tippyverse. If he can't accept that, he should probably save this character for a game in a D&D setting.

The Glyphstone
2013-01-28, 02:16 PM
I still believe in the Stick approach. When a player is being purposefully obtuse or trying to break things just for the sake of breaking them. Go find a stick and hit them with it. I've dealt with enough players to know sometimes that is the only thing that will work.

I can't count the number of times I had to have conversations with players about how "no, that's not how it works in my setting", or "... you are part of a GROUP. You need to play nice with everyone and not just try to turn this into a one man band with the other players as groupies to sing your praises and throw wenches at you."

So while it doesn't help the topic much, I read this quote as 'wrenches' instead of 'wenches', and thought that was kind of harsh...

Coidzor
2013-01-28, 02:40 PM
I am starting a new campaign and was trying to ask the players what their characters wanted to accomplish over their careers and what their goals and motivations where, trying to use player feedback to shape the storyline to come.

The party mage's only goal, aside from amassing personal arcane power, is to establish something resembling your typical Tippyverse, a world where everyone is a spell caster, magic has replaced technology, all problems both big and small are solved with spells, and social status is directly equivalent to arcane power.

The problem is, we are not playing D&D. We are playing my homebrew system where magic is limited and dangerous. Only about one in 10,000 people are born with any natural magical talent, and learning to became a wizard if you aren't a natural sorcerer requires something akin to the eastern concept of enlightenment. This is in addition to learning to control your powers, which requires years of hard study and practice.

Furthermore it is a system which requires mages roll to cast, and if the fail the results are both dangerous and unpredictable. There is a finite amount of magic, within people, objects, and places. Trying to create something like chain gating, self resetting magical traps, or the ring gates rail gun would, best case scenario, simply run out of power and shut down, but could potentially warp or destroy the surrounding area with uncontained magical energy or create a permanent dead magic zone.

Well, making magic finite enough to be needing to bean count it seems like something you might want to rethink anyway. You should either take creating magic items and using it off of the table entirely or not have it require complex math to see if that +1 sword becomes a nuke today.

Talakeal
2013-01-28, 03:10 PM
Well, making magic finite enough to be needing to bean count it seems like something you might want to rethink anyway. You should either take creating magic items and using it off of the table entirely or not have it require complex math to see if that +1 sword becomes a nuke today.

It's nothing like that. Basically, spell casting requires a skill test, and if you fail badly enough you miscast and something unpredictable and dangerous happens. The odds of this happening are only about 1/100 if you are casting a spell appropriate to your skill level, but if you try and push your limits you are taking a serious risk.

Also, any realistic number of magic items isn't going to have a negative consequence. However, if you, say, lit an entire city with continual flame spells then the area would either become exhausted and turn into a dead magic zone or would become inundated with fire magic and spontaneous combustion would start to occur randomly in the town. Likewise feeding an entire city with create food traps could taint the land with primal magic and cancer and mutations in the surrounding area would sky rocket, or replacing your working class with zombies would taint the land with death magic and the ghosts of the dead might start haunting the living.

Now, if you try and do something crazy like create a perpetual motion machine with ring gates or infinite materials with a self resetting trap of wall of iron, then you are simply going to explode the spell / magic item as it struggles to provide the necessary energy. The magic might be dangerous to the immediate area, but the biggest loss would probably be the destruction of the item.


So while it doesn't help the topic much, I read this quote as 'wrenches' instead of 'wenches', and thought that was kind of harsh...

Same here, lol.