Barf Forth Apocalyptica

the swamp provides => Freebooting Venus => Topic started by: Rafu on October 03, 2016, 03:36:00 AM

Title: Wizardry
Post by: Rafu on October 03, 2016, 03:36:00 AM
So, the "ambitious necromancer" PC in our group, Nictus, is now one tick from getting the Wizardry skill (and quite determined to get it ASAP). Wizardry will let him resettle unsettled spell tablets, but is also the foundation to creating one's Grimoire -- a part of the game which has yet to be written.
Now, I know I'm being greedy, but, Vincent, would you share a piece of your mind? What's the general principle behind Grimoires which is expected to make them more than just unlimited magic slots? And are there going to be other steps in establishing one, besides being skilled at Wizardry?
I'm hoping you can provide a direction for the next step in Nictus's ambitions, within the framework of play we currently have - something like "amass spell tablets" or "move to spacious and quiet lodgings" - that fits within your general vision of doing wizardry on Venus.
Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: Wizardry
Post by: lumpley on October 04, 2016, 11:29:46 AM
Well, so...

Your "grimoire" is a collection of physical objects that you've made to be hospitable to spells. You can use a spell tablet to draw a spell from its own native plasmic world into one of the objects in your grimoire instead of into your own brain, and thence cast it again.

Suitable objects include books, staves, wands, amulets, keys, hats, and so on; most such objects will be able to house 1 or 2 spells.

There'll be a process for creating an object for your grimoire, where you roll dice and choose options, as always.

When you get the wizardry skill, you get to create the first object for your grimoire. To create more, you'll have to meet other requirements, involving time and treasure, I'd imagine.

For a necromancer, their grimoire includes any physical objects they own with ghosts bound to them.

The grimoire sheet will include a number of new experiences to mark. If I were to speculate, things like "I've found a potential student," "I've stolen from another wizard's grimoire," "I've written a new spell tablet," "I've learned the names of the guardians of the Jasminite Gate."

Since you can be a wizard for a long time without settling down in a seclusium, the chapter on wizardry will have to include rules for everything that wizards can do in the field.

Title: Re: Wizardry
Post by: Rafu on October 04, 2016, 06:17:09 PM
This is very cool. I love it.

Whenever you have a provisional draft of any part or small bit of that to try, we'll probably be down for testing it, as long as we happen to still be playing the game. :)
Title: Re: Wizardry
Post by: Rafu on October 26, 2016, 05:31:32 AM
During last Sunday's session, Nictus the necromancer - who's stated in-character that his life goal is to live forever - has finally unlocked the Wizardry skill. He really, really wished to be able to resettle spell tablets, and now he finally can - but he's also hungry for more magic, I can read it in his eyes. My suggestion to the player was to start amassing spell tablets as his next pursuit, as the "wizard" Nictus only has one spell so far (Acridic Cloud).
Of course, should you have anything half-baked about creating that first spell-item for his grimoire or anything, now is a great time to send it my way and have it tested (with full understanding it's experimental, noncommittal, etc. etc. These players have been through my playtests, you know. Next session in 2 Sundays) - but that isn't the top reason I've rekindled this thread.

I wished to ask you specifically about spell tablets, instead. They're the main venue of accessing magic in the current draft, but without a bigger context (which I expect the future Grimoire chapter to provide, explicitly or implicitly) it's hard to gauge their social and economical role, the way we can instead infer a lot of setting information from the various lists of things in the rules.
You mentioned in your post that writing spell tablets is the kind of thing you expect wizards to be able to do "in the field" (not requiring a seclusium), and it looks like any literate person can effectively perform an act of wizardry using a spell tablet. Judging from the details "1" result on Examine treasure rolls, spell tablets are rarer and harder to acquire than mundane weapons and armor, but not overwhelmingly so. This suggests that wealthy people routinely have access to a spell or two, as curiosities or specialized tools. So far, I have equipped a few wealthy and resourceful NPCs with a spell, but never more than one, and last session I have put a spell tablet on display as a treasured possession - the way you would display a lucky find at an antique shop - but now I'm wondering whether I went overboard with it.
Also, what with spell tablets being tablets in a word which clearly has books, and even a notion of publishing as an industry? Feels like an interesting topic...
Title: Re: Wizardry
Post by: Paul T. on October 26, 2016, 02:58:01 PM
This is definitely interesting (and great analysis!).

I can't remember: does the text specify whether it's possible to "copy" a tablet? If so, would it be functional? It depends on whether it's just the information on the tablet which allows one to contact the plasmid/spell, or some feature of the item itself.

There are interesting implications if, say, the procedure for contacting a spell is reproducible, but eventually loses its lure to the plasmid (unsettle it enough, and the spell still "exists", but if you want it again, you'll have to come up with a different way of contacting), or if there is something about the physical tablet itself which creates a connection with the plasmid/spell (does shattering a tablet make it useless?).

Similarly, what happens if it is possible to recreate a tablet... and you try to wrest it free from the plasmic world while it is, in fact, lodged in someone's head?

Lots to explore here.