My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

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My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:27 pm

Ascendant Destiny

Level 4: Concept
When you choose this Destiny, select one Concept that you seek to embody. This Concept should fall under one of these three broad categories:
Body - Aspects of the natural world, such as certain kinds of weather (Storm, Snow), types of plant or animal (Tree, Feline), types of terrain (Desert, Forest) or even a specific sentient race (Unicorn, Griffon). You cannot choose Sun or Moon as a concept.
Mind - Emotions, such as rage, compassion, or mirth, or philosophical ideals, such as Justice, Beauty, or Industry. You cannot select Love or Disharmony as a Concept.
Spirit - Certain "substances" that traditionally carry a spiritual or symbolic connotation, such as Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Metal, Wood, Light, Darkness, Blood, etc. You cannot choose Day or Night as a Concept.
While you are by no means limited to the examples listed in each category, the Concept you choose must easily fall under one of the three categories. You also get For the Cause.

For the Cause
You gain a +5 bonus on skill checks to further your Concept. When the +5 bonus is in effect, natural 20s count as Cutie Mark Criticals (CMCs) even if not a Cutie Mark skill, and 19s count as CMCs if it is already your Cutie Mark skill. Although any CMCs that occur due to this rule can only occur if they pertain to your Concept.

Level 7: Manifestation
See Things My Way - At-Will
Through natural talent, preternatural ability, or magic spell you command your Concept and it obeys. You may now manipulate your Concept as if using It's Witchcraft. This would allow you to become a cloud of darkness, start fires, help two ponies fall in love, etc. as long as it would pertain to your Concept. Both how drastic a change the character wants to make and how fast you want to make the change affect the difficulty of the Concept DC.

Level 10: Incarnate
You have transcended your mortal form and become the living embodiment of your Concept. Your appearance changes to match your Concept. Your natural, true form becomes three times larger than your original and has an appearance that is nothing short of legendary - whether Alicorn, Draconequus, Changeling Queen, Adult Dragon, or something completely new; this Form commands respect. You may shift between your True Form and your original at will, and can be anywhere from one-to-three times as large as your original size in any form.

Additionally, the merging of yourself with your Concept has made you as immortal as the Concept itself. You no longer age unless you wish it, though you can still be poisoned, diseased, cursed, etc. If you are ever killed you will reform - completely unharmed - a year and a day later. However, your Ascendance has made you too powerful to be resurrected by any other means than the above year and a day rule, so no outside force (like somepony using the Resurrect power) can bring you back before your time. You can only be "put out of commission" for longer periods of time by powerful magical imprisonment, and can only be destroyed outright if your Concept disappears forever.

Note: Once you have received this ability, other beings of your power level - and higher - take notice in you. While they might let you finish your current quest without interference, they will generally not tolerate continued action after that point. Once your quest is complete, you must either ascend to a higher plane of existence or develop a strict "non-interference" policy; either way, your adventuring days have come to an end.


Last edited by Azureink on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:11 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Jason Shadow on Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:48 am

Ooh, you liked my Destiny enough to revise it yourself? I'm flattered! This mostly looks good, but there's one issue that I have with it...

While this is certainly simpler than the original draft of this Destiny, which is something that I wholeheartedly approve, it seems to me that the revision of See Things My Way has made the destiny as a whole lose quite a bit of its... well, let's say "functional flavor". With this new ability, the whole Destiny becomes (more or less) Freaky Knowledge taken to its logical conclusion, i.e. specialization within a narrow range of skill checks, which is - no offense meant, but quite frankly - rather bland. If you want to give See Things My Way a different effect than the original, or even replace it with a new ability, then I suggest you come up with something equally (for lack of a better word) flashy.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:24 am

What I really wanted to do was allow for much more mechanical manipulation of the Concept in Level 7, such as create fire or storms, make someone really happy or depressed, cause trees to come to life, etc. But the problem with that is that it would require paragraphs of game-speak to define all possible potential powers. Making another stat a potential CMC nat20 or nat19ing your primary CMC just seems equal in power to the currently published works.

EDIT - The thing that comes to mind after I spend a few minutes thinking about it is to make the effect even slightly grander than a CMC, which seems impossible by the aspect of it. But the thing about the manipulation is to be able to really get into the controlling of your Concept. You should be able to raise the sun or make two ponies fall in love with each other, for example.

Although I would guess that would fall under CMCs. But it is possible that we need to add another sentence or two regarding such magical manipulation.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Jason Shadow on Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:27 pm

Azureink wrote:What I really wanted to do was allow for much more mechanical manipulation of the Concept in Level 7, such as create fire or storms, make someone really happy or depressed, cause trees to come to life, etc. But the problem with that is that it would require paragraphs of game-speak to define all possible potential powers. Making another stat a potential CMC nat20 or nat19ing your primary CMC just seems equal in power to the currently published works.

EDIT - The thing that comes to mind after I spend a few minutes thinking about it is to make the effect even slightly grander than a CMC, which seems impossible by the aspect of it. But the thing about the manipulation is to be able to really get into the controlling of your Concept. You should be able to raise the sun or make two ponies fall in love with each other, for example.

Although I would guess that would fall under CMCs. But it is possible that we need to add another sentence or two regarding such magical manipulation.

Fair enough. I see your point, and to a certain extent, I agree. However, while versatility via increased control of your Concept looks good on paper, it's much more difficult to implement in practice. Making it fall under the "CMC" category ultimately leaves the control not with the player, but with the DM - and in the hands of a bad DM, such an ability could quickly become useless, or even worse, boring. Besides, gaining a power that grants you an automatic daily CMC frankly cheapens the awesomeness of CMCs anyway. Not to mention that the effect of an auto-CMC at Level 7 is arguably more powerful than, for instance, the Level 10 ability for the Explorer destiny...

But anyway, like you said, it would be great to be able to do all sorts of things with your Concept, but the need to define limits means that converting the concept into non-ambiguous mechanics, while still making it seem cool and useful, is nigh-impossible. Not quite impossible, but probably more trouble than it's worth.

That said, I'd like to be proved wrong. With enough elbow grease and creative input, we might just be able to make this work.
(Any other forum-goers who want to add their two cents are more than welcome to, by the way.)

However, some part of me still feels a need to go into some extended justification of my original concept for both the abilities and the destiny as a whole. I have spoilered it below; feel free to read or ignore it as you see fit.

Spoiler:
For the Cause: Fairly straightforward. I felt that, at an early stage, the character would be gaining rudimentary control over its powers of controlling its Concept. As such, the character should be able to have some versatility in manipulating those powers, but to a limited extent. Basically, the Level 4 ability is already something along the lines of what you were thinking for Level 7, Azureink, but weaker, since - quite frankly - the character is still a novice in regards to Concept control.
Although that gives me an idea... Maybe the bonus could scale as one progresses in levels?

See Things My Way: Expanded versatility and powerfulness were rejected for the reasons above: hard to quantify, hard to make "cool". Additionally, sun-raising and love-making ...er, love-creating could be considered feats far beyond the power of a mere Level 7 character. Such power would arguably not be within the Ascendant's grasp until well after the character has become its Concept Incarnate and had time to grow in power.
As such, I instead went for mind-alteration because that's an ability that's interesting, doesn't yet show up in the Utilities, and seems to be... well, if not standard for the more powerful beings of Equestria, then fairly common at the very least (examples: Discord's mental whammy, Chrysalis's brainwashing, Cadance's love-rekindling or whatever, even arguably the hate-amplifying abilities that the Windigoes seemed to have). Such an ability could be justified concept-wise as expanded creativity in manipulating one's Concept.
This ability could certainly be replaced if something better comes along, but if so, we should really change the name, too. If we end up going with your Level 7 ability after all, "See Things My Way" doesn't really fit as a name anymore.

Incarnate (really gotta find a cooler name for this ability):
Really, this can be said best as it was said in the previous draft: "You have trancended your mortal form and become the living embodiment of your Concept. Although you are still young and have yet to gather your full power, there are still some immediate benefits."
I'd like to draw one's attention to the bolded part. Essentially, this was included to mean that even when you've reached this point, you're still not close to Discord-level or even Celestia-level power. Cadance-level, maybe, but don't expect to be able to move celestial bodies or cover Equestria with baby sea turtles yet (if such actions fall under your Concept). No, such power will come with time, but you can't have it all now - after all, one's teammates can't be overshadowed by you.
But mechanically speaking, becoming the embodiment of your Concept should have some immediate benefits. Thusly, the new form and the respawn system. However, since the new form provides no tangible, mechanically-enforced benefit, and the respawn time is too long to be all that useful, both of these abilities are rather passive. A look at the official Destinies shows that even those which are mostly passive have some "active" benefit, even if it's just an added skill check bonus or more uses of a previous ability. Hence why I included the potential extra uses of See Things My Way. Without that bonus - or a different "active" benefit- actually makes this ability one of the least attractive Level 10 options. If See Things My Way is removed/changed, however, this issue could be easily fixed with the aforementioned scaling of For the Cause.

...Wow, did you actually read all this? I'm impressed. Smile
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:42 pm

Now that I had some time to think about it (and read your spoiler)... perhaps a power similar to Its Witchcraft based off of your Concept might work. Using a skill you chose to act like Arcana.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Jason Shadow on Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:01 am

Azureink wrote:Now that I had some time to think about it (and read your spoiler)... perhaps a power similar to Its Witchcraft based off of your Concept might work. Using a skill you chose to act like Arcana.

Yeah... Yeah, that might work. I'm a bit busy right now, but I'll see if I can write up something along those lines when I have the time.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:54 pm

Of course we would need to make sure it was understood that the Its Witchcraft ability would only work in the manipulation of the chosen Concept, and not just a blanket power like Its Witchcraft.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:33 pm

Perhaps the following:

Level 7:
See Things My Way - At-Will
Through natural talent, preternatural ability, or magic spell you command your Concept and it obeys. You may use your chosen Concept skill to manipulate your Concept as if using It's Witchcraft. This would allow you to become a cloud of darkness, start fires, help two ponies fall in love, etc. as long as it would pertain to your Concept, at the DM's discretion. Both how drastic a change the character wants to make and how fast you want to make the change affect the difficulty of the Concept DC.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

Post  Azureink on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:34 am

Ok with some feedback I have finished updating my first post with the new version of Ascendant.
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Re: My revision of Ascendant (using parts of other Destinies)

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