Destiny: Master Gardener

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Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:03 pm

Preface: I feel like the original destinies thread is getting a bit crowded, and it's hard to have discussion running on multiple destinies at once, so I decided the post the ones I came up with separately for easier reading.

And any accusations that this destiny is based on my current character in Pony Team Bravo are...probably entirely accurate, actually. For that reason please tell me if you think any of these ideas are too overpowered. Also, I'm not entirely happy with all the names, so feel free to suggest new ones if you like.

Master Gardener
Green Hoof
Whether through natural talent, inborn magic, or some other reason, you are able to work with and communicate with plants on a whole different level. You gain access to the following utility talents:
Plant Talents:
Proper Care and Sunshine – 5/day
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
Your abilities allow you to magically accelerate the growth of plants around you. You may always use Proper Care and Sunshine to either:
– focus upon a specific plant to grow it from a seedling or even a seed into a mature plant (including any kind of fruit if appropriate). It takes 1 minute for the plant to grow.
– improve the health and slightly accelerate the growth of all plants within 10 feet of you, which takes 30 seconds.
This talent may not be used to grow trees due to their more complex nature, although it could be used to cause a mature tree to magically produce fruit. Additionally, once per day, you may spend a use of Proper Care and Sunshine to cause 1d6 seedlings of a specific kind of plant to sprout and grow into mature plants, even if that particular plant is not found in the region (examples of plants include carrots, Heart's Desire, roses, Poison Joke, etc., but not trees).

Plant Empathy
Just like animals, plants have feelings too. You may now gain a general sense of the feelings of plants around you.
Persepony
Your presence causes nearby plants to become healthier and grow better, and a general feeling of spring follows you wherever you go. You may now use Proper Care and Sunshine to create 2d4 specific plants up to three times per day, and once per day you may use it to grow a small enclosed hideaway for you and up to five companions. Creatures looking for you inside the hideaway will need to beat a Stealth check you make with a +10 bonus made at the time of creation. The hideaway persists for up to twelve hours if you remain inside, though it degenerates into a tangle of greenery after that or if you leave for more than 10 minutes.

Birnam Wood Comes to Dunsinane
Few indeed can surpass your knowledge of botany and your skill in growing plants is nigh legendary. Flowers bloom around you as you pass, and every place you leave behind in your travels feels just a bit more refreshing for your having been there. You may now use Proper Care and Sunshine up to 10 times per day, use it to create 2d6 specific plants up to 5 times per day, and, upon spending a Magic Point, you may use it to grow a single tree from a sapling to fully grown, which takes 2 hours. Additionally, you gain access to the following talent:
Awaken Tree:
Awaken Tree – Magic
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
You may awaken a nearby tree, causing it to have the ability to move about for the next 4 hours. You may give the tree simple instructions and it will attempt to perform them to the best of its ability. When not given instructions trees will prefer to stay still, and after 4 hours will attempt to return themselves to a good location and settle down, regardless of what they were doing at the time. Trees move slowly, and as such cannot do anything meaningful in combat.


Last edited by Philadelphus on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:57 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Completely revamping the entire thing.)
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Cardbo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:43 pm

Philadelphus wrote:
Awaken Tree:
Awaken Tree
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
All trees in Equestria have the ability to move, but most have either forgotten about it or just don't care. With this power you may awaken a tree so that it has the ability to move about for the next hour, after which it will root itself again in the closest suitable location. Before or while awakened, you may roll a Persuasion check at the GM's discrection to persuade a tree to perform some task for you, such as bending down over a ravine so that you may walk across, or attacking a nearby structure with its roots. Trees will tend to act in ways that either further their self-interest or at least do not harm it, so attempting to persuade a tree to perform some action harmful to itself will be much more difficult, unless you can perform some service in return. Trees don't move very fast, so are unable to do anything meaningful in combat.

You can awaken a tree, but can you find a ent-wife for it?

Sorry, I don't have anything to add, but I really like the feel of this. I remember a certain trope called Garden Of Evil, which, minus the evil, might work as a sanctuary for the PC.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:12 am

Cardbo wrote:
You can awaken a tree, but can you find a ent-wife for it?

Sorry, I don't have anything to add, but I really like the feel of this. I remember a certain trope called Garden Of Evil, which, minus the evil, might work as a sanctuary for the PC.
Heh. I was kind of hoping to inspire a sort of Tolkien/Lewis feel with this, although not having the trees directly involved in combat. Glad you picked up on it. Smile

Actually, I just did a Wiki-Walk on TVTropes and found a whole bunch of tropes that this destiny fits: Fertile Feet, Green Thumb, Talking To Plants, and even shades of When Trees Attack, though only against structures in this case.
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Batstallion

Post  Hayatecooper on Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:13 am

I have to admit, I really like this. It's not too overpowered and it has the added Drawbacks that smart trackers will be able to find you thanks to the whole refreshed greenery thing.

Villian: I destroyed this wood like.. 20 minutes ago like my gosh; now's it's all like grown and healthy again, sorta. Freaken PCs have totally been through here. Like just die already!

it's a pity you designed this... I kinda wanted Green Hoof to take the detective destiny! BATSTALLION AWAY!
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:32 pm

Heh, yeah, nothing like leaving a trail of flowers and greenery behind to help people find you. Glad you like it! Very Happy

And while I have nothing against the detective trait, it just doesn't really fit Green Horn's character.

Also, I reworded the level 10 tier, I think it sounds a bit better now:

Birnam Wood Comes to High Dunsinane Hill
Few indeed can surpass your knowledge of botany and your skill in growing plants is nigh legendary. Flowers bloom around you as you pass, and every place you leave behind in your travels feels just a bit more refreshing for your having been there. Your bonuses from Persepony increase to +4, and your practice in understanding plants lets you talk to mature trees as you would to any NPC with very few difficulties. You also gain access to the following talent:
Awaken Tree:
Awaken Tree
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
All trees in Equestria have the ability to move, but most have either forgotten about it or just don't care. With this power you may awaken a tree so that it has the ability to move about for the next 2 hours, after which it will attempt to root itself again in the closest suitable location. You may attempt to persuade trees to perform various tasks for you, such as bending over a ravine so you can cross it or attacking a nearby structure. Trees will tend to act in ways that further their self-interest (or that of their offspring) or at least do not harm it, so attempting to persuade a tree to perform some action harmful to itself will be much more difficult (as with any NPC). Trees don't move very fast, so are unable to do anything meaningful in combat.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Zarhon on Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:47 am

Seems very well balanced. A destiny that turns you into Amaterasu, eh? Sounds pretty awesome. Heh, although, doesn't the "fertile feet" effect make growing a well-trimmed lawn hell?

Also, how does the idea that the "fertile feet" effect has the option of creating a specific useful herb (e.g. poison joke, healing herbs, a poisonous/rash inducing plant, truth flowers and such) by walking around an area and causing it to spontenously bloom sound? Could be a daily utility for one of the higher tiers.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:17 pm

Zarhon wrote:Seems very well balanced. A destiny that turns you into Amaterasu, eh? Sounds pretty awesome. Heh, although, doesn't the "fertile feet" effect make growing a well-trimmed lawn hell?
Thanks! Heh, I suppose it might, though the type of person that this destiny would appeal to would probably be more interested in letting nature grow wild and free than in containing it in neat little boxes.

Zarhon wrote:Also, how does the idea that the "fertile feet" effect has the option of creating a specific useful herb (e.g. poison joke, healing herbs, a poisonous/rash inducing plant, truth flowers and such) by walking around an area and causing it to spontenously bloom sound? Could be a daily utility for one of the higher tiers.
Hmmm, that's an idea. Maybe it could be an enhancement to Proper Care and Sunshine, allowing it to grow a particular kind of plant that isn't found in the area. Maybe a daily for level 7, or would it work better as a level 10? I'm starting to feel like the skill bonuses are out of place, so something to replace them with would be nice.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:22 pm

I know this doesn't help much at all, but I don't see too much to comment on here. It all seems fine...
...except, well...

Proper Care and Sunshine seems a little vague upon the ratio of difficulty-to-distance. Maybe I'm just not plant-minded enough, I admit that's entirely possible, but still it seems like an easy way for arguments to start up between PCs and GMs. And even if I'm literally the only person on the planet to feel this way and therefore the text shouldn't be changed one scrap, then selfish as it sounds: could I pretty please have a differently-worded explanation if it's not too much trouble? Embarassed
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:51 am

Hmm, let's see what I can do here: basically, a use of Proper Care and Sunshine releases a certain, fixed, amount of magical growth-enhancing energy. This energy is roughly equivalent to that which would be required to grow a young sapling into a full-grown tree. Focusing on a larger area decreases the density of magic energy, so the larger the area, the less any individual plant will grow. Try and grow an entire 100-foot radius area, and you'll only be able to get all the blades of grass to grow tall and overgrown. Focus on a smaller area, and you might be able to get a hedge to mature and grow flowers all over, or 10-foot square garden plot of seedlings to grow and produce vegetables.

Does that help? That's what I meant, rather than any strict dependence on distance. It's area that's important.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Yeah, but the only problem is: what is the exact ratio of plant growth:area?

...which I am aware is not anywhere near a huge problem at all. The only reason it's even a slight one is because it could potentially open the door for arguments between PHs and players without some sort of specificity.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:16 pm

The short answer is that the ratio varies depending on what you are trying to do. Trying to grow grass, a very simple plant? You can do it over a large area. Trying to cause roses to bloom? Much more complex, and thus limited to a much smaller area.

With my previous explanation I tried to give a general rule of thumb for GMs: the amount of enhanced growth is roughly equivalent to that which would be needed to grow a young sapling into a mature tree. Notice I didn't specify what species of tree, or what exactly qualifies as "mature". That's because the actual amount varies – a mature willow tree probably needs less energy than a mature redwood tree, for instance. Also, calculating that amount would be freakishly difficult (how do you measure the energy input of an organism that gets energy from the Sun?), and not very helpful. If I just said "Ok, upon using this power you put 34.7 MJ of energy into growing plants", it would be extremely difficult to use. For growing grass, count the number of blades of grass you want to grow, divide by that number, then convert the resulting energy amount into growth rate for a blade of grass – boring and distracting from being awesome.

The sad fact of the matter is, pretty much everything in an RPG is open to argument. The only way to keep it from being so is to make it actually a computer game, where every single outcome is accounted for. But the reason people play RPG's is because they aren't computer games, and they have the ability to imagine and make up things on the spot. Personally, I can see people arguing over Create Crazy Contraption much more than Proper Care and Sunshine. I guess the long answer is that I can't give you an exact ratio of plant growth to area, because such a thing doesn't exist. It all depends on the circumstances and what is trying to be accomplished, which I cannot foresee. And that's why there's a GM, to make rulings in contested areas.

Will this destiny cause arguments? Maybe. Probably, even. But if we were to remove all the talents that could potentially cause arguments, we'd be left with a pretty boring version of the game with no opportunity for imagination to run wild. As it stands, I think the chance of it causing arguments is low enough that I'm fine with it. I gave some specific examples of what players could do with it, so GM's have some context for deciding. If you still think it's too ambiguous, I'd be happy to try and come up with an expanded list of ways you could use it, but I'm afraid I just can't give you an exact number.

Edit: And let me say that I do appreciate your interest and comments, and I hope I've explained why I don't think the issue you raised is a concern without sounding too snippy. I'd be happy to continue discussing it if you still have problems with it.
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Re: Destiny: Master Gardener

Post  Demonu on Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:44 pm

I pretty much have no complaints about this destiny. Only thing that concerns me is the destructive power of the first tier ability, what Persepony does when inside a building and the broad application field of having 10 ents at your back and call.

Growing a specific plant could be a daily if handled well.
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