Magic rules continued


In my post of races, I discussed some of the general changes in feel, concept, and now I will start in on how some of the mechanics of the game system tie in. I will eventually have a complete race/class chart but for now I am going to keep moving forward on the magic rules variants.

I will be honest that I am not a HTML guru, so my table usage and configuring in HTML format is not the best so I ask you to bear with me.

Hum=Human D=Dwarf E=Elf H-E=Half-Elf G=Gnome Hal=Halfling H-O=Half-Orc

Hum D E H-E Gn Hal H-O
Alchemist X X X
Bard X X X X X
Cleric X X X X X X*
Druid X X X X
Inquisitor X X X X
Magus X X X**** X****
Oracle X X X X X X
Paladin X X
Ranger X X X X X X
Sorcerer X X X X X X**
Summoner X X X X X X***
Witch X X X X X
Wizard X X X

HTML Tables

X*Halfing clerics are rare as they seldom have the dedication and stability needed to function within an Organized religion or church. Those that have deep devotion to a god, tend to wander spreading the faith rather than working in the churches normal hierarchy.

X**Half-Orc sorcerers born in Orcish villages are normally put to death when their powers manifest early in childhood as working magic without a pact to the Dark Ones is forbiden. Half-Orc sorcerer born in non-Orcish villages can lead as full and normal a life as a half-orc can. Should a half-Orc sorcerer come into contact with Orcs they will become the primary target and will be pursued till the target or the Orcs are dead.

X***Half-Orc summoner are revered as they are believed to be able to channel aspects of the Dark Ones and their servants from the beyond to fight on the half-orcs behalf.

X****Elven and Half-Elven Magus cast spontaneously as sorcerers. Substitute Charisma instead of Intelligence modifier in all for the base skill modifier for abilities and powers, their spells known is as per a sorcerer but spells per day are as per the Magus list.

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Races in Twin Falls

I have no desire to change the mechanics of the races, I am going to tweak the feel and flavor of them. Before I continue on with the tweaks to the magic system I should provide a brief overview of the races. There are going to be race/class restrictions that are related to the story and feel of each race. While this is not a complete description of each race it will over a brief insight and overview of each.

Humans

I am not using the Pathfinder ethnicities, but humans are as varied as they are in the real world. The gods they worship are varied in their pantheons from noble and just, to evil and depraved. Humans have no common alignment, although certain regions on the continent tend to have a unifying mentality or belief system that ties them together. Humans are only as good or evil as there desires lead them to be.

Dwarves

Dwarves are an old and ancient race that are as comfortable on the surface as they are bellow the ground. Dwarves are regimented, orderly, and at times viewed as cold since law, order, and logic are valued through out their society. Dwarves are a passionate people, but centuries of regimented militaristic living have taught them to push emotion aside when making decisions. Dwarves have a Norse style religion, that also has a focus on ancestor worship. They worship a god or gods within the pantheon that exemplify their personal beliefs but also have great respect for their family that came before them. Example: “Ragnar give me strength to bring glory to your name in this coming battle, for I Wolfgar Twinhammer, son of Vulgnir, son of Thoaden shale show no fear or mercy to the vile Orcs that I am about to crush in your name.” Dwarves are excellent wizards as long study, and understanding the mechanics of the nature of magic appeal to them. They do not posses the free spirited nature to be a sorcerer as the magic that flows through a sorcerer tend to lead them down the path of chaos.

Elves

Elves are bound to the forests, the plains, the rolling hills that they call home. They tend to live in tribes, some times nomadic depending on the environment they call home. What few elven cities exist are in large dense forests and rarely visited by outsiders. Elves worships the spirits of nature and animals that they hold sacred. They draw the energy for the magics they work from all living things around them. They are a chaotic race that are prone to flights of fancy, although when you live for over a 1000 years a new hobby or interest can occupy an elf for 100 plus years. Their tribe or society only has the amount of structure that is needed to keep it running. During times of peace they will govern via a council of elders, sages, or by consensus of the commune. When war arises the tribal Chief, or general of the city will take command and make all decisions regarding the society.

Half-elves

Half-elves have no communities of their own, they become a part of society of their mothers in most cases. On occasion a human will catch the eye of an elf, and more times then not the coupling results in a half-elf baby. If the mother was an elf the child is generally raised as an elf, treated no differently than any other elf (with the exception being in war like elven tribes). If the mother is human the child will most likely be raised in a human society and never be fully accepted. The elven blood coursing through her veins lets her work magic easily, makes her fickle, and curses her to watch her friends and family grow old and die while she barely ages. Half-elves born to human mothers can find acceptance in elven communities after proving themselves, and adapting to the elves way of life.

Gnomes

Gnomes are fickle and prone to flights of fancy. Gnomes tend to jump from interest to interest, however sometimes a Gnome will find a hobby or an interest which they obsess over. This interest will be there passion, and it can come between them and those close to them. Gnomes have no society of there own although some do gather together and form small communities. Generally though they will tend to make a home in human society they tend to get along with elves well and occasionally find homes in the elven community as well. Gnomes tend toward chaotic alignments and generally have a good heart.

Halflings

Halflings tend to live on the plains, rolling hills, and edges of the forrest. They are a light hearted race that tend to enjoy the simple things in life. Their appetite rivals that of the dwarves. Halflings love stories both telling and hearing them, the more outlandish and grand the tale the better. This storytelling is normally enough to satiate most halfings need for adventure, but for some this is not enough they need the adventure of the open road or the hustle and bustle of a big city. Halfings tend to find professions that let them have the widest variety of experiences. The seldom like to be cloistered away studying and prefer to learn on the go or with limited study needed.

Half-Orcs

A half-orc is any Orc that is not of pure blood, and most are born of conquest. In Orcish society they are members of a lower cast or even slaves if their Orcish blood is highly diluted. Half-orc society exist where large populations have managed to break free of Orcish society. Over the centuries the half-orc societies grew into small villages and rumors exist that deep in the blighted swap a half-orc city has risen. Half-Orcs much like Orcs make pacts with demons, and dark beings from other realms. The half-orc warchief that rule half-orc communities answer to only two beings, the eldist witch, and the dark being/demon lord his tribe is in league with.

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Dungeon Room Dressings

I have been spending some time in A.C. Moore buying X-acto knife blades, foam board, etc. for my Magnetic Dungeon projects. On my way in the other day there was a 4’x8′ display box full of clearance trinket style jewelry. Beaded bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and all manner of costume nick knacks. Well I looked at them and saw loot, what is better in the dungeon than finding a chest full of jewels? Getting to open up a paper chest full of plastic jewels that is what!

I am also excited to get Legendary Realms Terrain, Kickstarter items, as well as the items I ordered from them outside of the Kickstarter. I am really excited to mash this all together into some really fun dungeon crawls for the group.

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Magic in Twin Falls

I have decided I want to tweak the magic system for the reboot of my campaign. I want to emphasize the mechanics of magic a bit more. I want wizards to have a studied feel to them, where they truly understand the workings of magic. Spontaneous casters should have to work harder to understand the workings of magic, since they are more instinctive in casting it. I want to reward those spells that require a material component as fewer do in 3.X. Magic should have a mystic feel to it not just a, I drop a fireball over there for Xd6 damage. Enough blabbing and onto some mechanics.

As far as material components are concerned I am not worried about the pinch of salt, or small dash of this or that. When a spell calls for a frog’s eye, a feather, or a gem worth XXX gold pieces these are the types of spells I am looking to impact. I am going to put the effort on the player, for deciding what level of burden they want to carry with their material components. Components that meet the letter of the spell description will allow the spell to function as written. Fouled or damaged components may cause a weaker spell or a failure altogether even magical backlash. Now the player that seeks out a rare or more expensive version of a component will have greater effects.

Let me offer up an example using a familiar spell like fireball. The materiel components are a ball of bat guano and sulfur, simple enough to obtain.

Poor or damaged components:

The party plummets down a step decline tunnel in a dungeon, and they land in a giant puddle soaking them all. As they start to regain their bearings the spell caster hears the groans of more zombie ratmen. Instinctively he reaches into his pouch and grabs the ball of sulfur and bat guano though damp in his fingers his words and gestures take form in the air and the red dot of the fireball rips from his hand down the hallway. He sees a small burst of flame, he hears the bodies of a undead ratmen hit the floor but the groans of the still burning and unharmed zombie ratmen continue to grow closer. The wizards fireball was only a 5′ radius in for half normal damage because the components were soaking wet.

Normal components with no adverse conditions: As per spell description.

Exotic components with no adverse conditions:

Let us say that the party while exploring a cave system comes across a cave that houses a few dire bats. After defeating them he gathers some dire bat guano and mixes it with some rare purified sulfur that he acquired as payment for a job performed for an alchemist (not the PC class alchemist, just a potion maker), to make his fireball material components. Later in the cave system they party encounters a fungus queen, and some of her spawn. The wizard wins initiative and lets a fireball fly using one of his dire bat guano/purified sulfur material components. The explosion of fire is blinding, and larger than normal, as the parties eyes adjust after the explosion of fiery light they see the all her spawn laying in still burning piles on the floor as the fungus queens continues to burn and writhe, missing an arm.  The effects of the spell were treated as maximized, with a 50% increase in area of effect.

I need to work on ironing out the mechanics of how it will effect the spells but that is the feel I want to generate for the mechanic. I am thinking that maybe with better components a metamagic feat/feats of up to +4 level increase can be applied based on quality of improved components. For bad or damaged components maybe something as simple as half all variables.  Of course play test will reveal the flaws in the system.

In the next installment of Magic in the Twin Falls, I plan to discuss spontaneous casters VS. memorization casters.

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Campaign Reboot

My current campaign is on hold while I am running the group through a DCC RPG funnel, and after we finish it I would like to switch to DCC. To be fair to myself and the players who have invested money in Pathfinder products (our current campaign system) I think it is best to keep the campaign in the Pathfinder Rule system for now. Eventually I would like to change the campaign over to DCC RPG but that is still some time away for now.

While I enjoyed the campaign so far and I know my players have too, it has started to sour on me. I let the power curve swing to high to fast, it had been a while since a I ran a game and I was rusty. I had been away from 3.x style play for some time and forgot how fast it can escalate. I need to get it back to basics, a bit more gritter of a feel to make Pathfinder’s system more appealing to me, yet keep the action high to keep player enjoyment up.

I have my new campaign hook and am fleshing it out. I am working on background, story and NPCs. I am reworking the monetary system, and item costs to get it all ready to go. I am fired up for this reboot, I am getting my bearings again as a GM. Here is a sneak peek of the map, and the #fridayfiveminutemap I drew that inspired this new town.

quick sketch

quick sketch

Twin Falls

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Magnetic Dungeon

This is a pictorial guide to how I built my magnetic modular dungeon.  The walls and floor tiles are from Fat Dragon Games, E-Z Dungeon system. The guide to how I built the walls can be found in my post Dungeon Terrain….my first foray into terrain modeling , the only change is I no longer use the Styrofoam and use a double thickness of 3/16” foam board.  While not a thick as the hollow of the wall it is close enough to keep them from being crushed.  All tiles and walls are printed on 110# card stock.  So now on to the floor construction.

22” x 24” sheet of foam board

Foam board cut to the size of my sheet metal

Foam board cut to the size of my sheet metal

My sheet metal fabricator cut the sheets 22” x 24” since that is what he had laying around, I would have liked 24”x24” but for free I will take them.  I have 3 pieces of sheet metal to make floors with.

22'' x 24'' panning grade sheet metal, sanded for better glue adhesion

22” x 24” panning grade sheet metal, sanded for better glue adhesion

I used spray glued to adhere the metal to foam board, I will stick with this technique if I make more floors in the future.  After I made the first floor I had some small gaps between the 8”x8” floor tiles so I sprayed sheets 2 and 3 with flat black primer.  I only applied a very light coat of paint.

Dungeon floor 2 & 3 got a fine coat of flat black spray paint to darken any gaps between tiles.

Dungeon floor 2 & 3 got a fine coat of flat black spray paint to darken any gaps between tiles.

Metal spray glued to the foam board, and drying.

I used spray glue to glue the board and metal together. seems to be working so far.

I used spray glue to adhere the foam board and metal together. seems to be working so far. I sprayed both the metal and the foam board before gluing them together.

Adding the fist tile, I sprayed the metal and the tile with glue.  It makes it hard as the tile will stick your fingers as glue starts to build on them.  I found spraying the entire metal sheet first was helpful than I just sprayed the tile as I got ready to apply it.

 

the first floor tile is glued down

the first floor tile is glued down
more tiles down

more tiles down

 

Just need to trim the excess tiles off.

Just need to trim the excess tiles off.

Completed floor

Completed floor

They don't quite line up, but some of the tiles were printed at different times and had slightly different dimensions due to printer setting.  At 2' above the dungeon floor it is hard to notice.  If I ever redo them I will be more OCD about it.

They don’t quite line up, but some of the tiles were printed at different times and had slightly different dimensions due to printer setting. At 2′ above the dungeon floor it is hard to notice. If I ever redo them I will be more OCD about it.

2' above the dungeon floor.

2′ above the dungeon floor.

 

Top is 6'' walls, next are 4'' walls, next are 2'' walls, last are 3'' walls

Top is 6” walls, next are 4” walls, next are 2” walls, last are 3” walls

Just a random layout

Just a random layout

inverted dungeon

inverted dungeon

 

This project has been fun and I can’t wait to use it in a game.  I am going to make some magnetic bases for minis so that I can run a vertical dungeon crawl for my players.  I have doorways and other features for the dungeon but have not had time to cut and build them yet.  The amount of extras, and neat little features included in the Fat Dragon Games PDFs are amazing.  For now though I need to build walls, lots of walls as I have 3 – 22” x 24” dungeon floors, that is right 1584 square inches of terror awaits my PCs  mwahahahahahahaha!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dungeon Terrain….my first foray into terrain modeling

During the RPGNOW GM sale I picked up a bunch of Fat Dragon Games E-Z dungeon terrain PDFs.  I read the PDF guide on paper modeling and it seemed straight forward enough.  Rather then just try it as directed, I felt the need to make it more difficult by modifying the process.  So enter some 7/16″ foam for in the walls, and some sheet metal and some magnets.  Unfortunately I don’t have the dungeon floor ready as my sheet metal was cut to the wrong size and I need to get some more to fill the gap.  The post about the dungeon floor will follow shortly.

Card stock 4'' wall cut and scored

Card stock 4” wall cut and scored

I purchased the foam from Michael's craft supply.

I purchased the foam from Michael’s craft supply.  Foam is cut to 3.75” long,          by 1 & 7/8” high.

Positioning the magnets prior to mounting

Positioning the magnets prior to mounting

Cut outs for magnets

Cut outs for magnets

Finished wall I need to trim the foam a bit for the next wall.

Finished wall I need to trim the foam a bit for the next wall.

Wall on the fridge

Wall on the fridge

 

The one edge is a bit rough, but I think that is do to the foam being to long.  I am going to cut all future foam 3 & 5/8” long but the 1 & 7/8” seems good.  When I start building the Dragonshire structures, I am thinking of putting metal strips at the tops of walls but I will figure that out when I get there.

 

 

 

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