Elements of Creativity

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Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:51 pm

Inspired by this comic. An entire second set of Elements for players to chose from.

Curiosity
You may spend a Magic point to ask the GM three yes or no questions about the current situation or events that have recently happened that the GM must answer truthfully. You may not ask about futur events.

Diligence
You may spend a Magic point reflexively when you would fail a test with a trained/cutie mark skill. You are treated as having rolled a Natural 30 instead, triggering a Cutie Mark Critical if applicable.

Courage
You are immune to non-magical fear. By spending a Magic point, remove all fear based effects on you and your allies, and for the next ten minutes you and your allies are immune to all fear, magical or mundane.

Passion (credit to Xel the Medic for the initial idea, Credit to Greywander for improvement)
Spend a magic point to roll 2d20 for a skill check instead of 1d20, using the sum of the rolls.

Forethought (Credit to Greywander for helping me figure out how to get my idea across clearer)
"You may ask the GM if a plan is likely to fail or have negative results, whether due to impossible difficulty or extraneous or unknown circumstances. The GM does not have to explain why, only give a yes or no answer when asked if the plan is likely to succeed."

Imagination
You may spend a Magic point to give a friend a Magic point.


Last edited by Whiteeyes on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:16 am; edited 4 times in total
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:57 pm

My idea for passion... Spend a magic point to roll TWO d20s for a skill check.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:06 pm

Thanks Xel, that works great.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Ramsus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Courage should be: Does nothing. Just like in Zelda. =P
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:39 pm

Ramsus wrote:Courage should be: Does nothing. Just like in Zelda. =P

Um, you never played Link's Awakening did you?
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Hayatecooper on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:24 pm

Wow I really like these.
Fairly balanced and would allow you to make some pretty cool character choices, honestly I find the whole "Element" thing a little annoying when character building. More options helps.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  kajisora on Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:30 pm

Hayatecooper wrote:Wow I really like these.
Fairly balanced and would allow you to make some pretty cool character choices, honestly I find the whole "Element" thing a little annoying when character building. More options helps.
Seconded.
Forethought seems a little underpowered though, especially when compared to courage, which gives a passive immunity as well: It seems very easy to waste a magic point on seeing whether a plan will work, just to get completely sidetracked because you don't know why.
On the other hand, giving away too much information could mean almost instant success, making it overpowered.
Maybe have the PH give a one or two word hint as to the flaw, or have the player ask second a yes/no question?
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:41 pm

kajisora wrote:
Hayatecooper wrote:Wow I really like these.
Fairly balanced and would allow you to make some pretty cool character choices, honestly I find the whole "Element" thing a little annoying when character building. More options helps.
Seconded.
Forethought seems a little underpowered though, especially when compared to courage, which gives a passive immunity as well: It seems very easy to waste a magic point on seeing whether a plan will work, just to get completely sidetracked because you don't know why.
On the other hand, giving away too much information could mean almost instant success, making it overpowered.
Maybe have the PH give a one or two word hint as to the flaw, or have the player ask second a yes/no question?

Yeah forethought is a bit tricky. Thats the problem with trying to make a "see the future" power of any sort. You either need vague visions or just disallow it. You give them too much and it's OP, give them to little and it's useless. As it stands, it gives them a clue as to whether or no they are on the right track, which I think is rather fair.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Greywander on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:45 am

Curiosity
Compare this to Twitchy Tail.

Spoiler:
Twitchy Tail – 1/Gaming Session
Preparation Time: 1 Minute
You may ask the DM a question. The DM must answer it truthfully to the best of his or her ability with either a “yes” or a “no”.
The major, MAJOR difference is that Curiosity can be used every day, and for three questions no less, whereas Twitchy Tail is only once per session. I'm not totally sure that's balanced, but I do like the concept.

Diligence
Eh, not sure about this one. Also, a nat 20 is an auto success, so nat 30 is kind of pointless. I'm not totally sure if it's mandatory for an Element to cost a Magic point. If not, then maybe something like this:

Spoiler:
Diligence
Every time to pass a skill check, you get a Diligence point. You may spend Diligence points at any time to add a +1 bonus per point to a skill check that you perform. You lose your Diligence points at the end of the day.
Courage
Not sure about the blanket immunity to fear, though since it's only non-magical that might work. The one-shot fear removal, though, is comparable to the Element of Loyalty. Might go with a more interesting twist, though:

Spoiler:
Courage - Interrupt Magic
Trigger - You roll a natural 1.
Effect - Treat it as a natural 20.

(Compare to This is Whining!)
Something like this will make the player willing to take more risks, but without being reckless.

Passion
The good: Your chances of a crit are doubled (you need only crit with one die), and your chances of crit failing are drastically reduced (you have to nat 1 both dice).
The bad: From a purely numerical standpoint, getting a +10 bonus to a skill check (the default use of a Magic point) is much more useful than rolling 2d20 and taking the higher result.
My suggestion: Roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 for a skill check, summing the result together.

Forethought
I like the idea of this one, but it seems poorly worded, and not too specific. You shouldn't need to use an example to explain your point. It's difficult to nail down exactly what you want to say with this one, though. Perhaps something like, "You may ask the GM if a plan is likely to fail or have negative results, whether due to impossible difficulty or extraneous or unknown circumstances. The GM does not have to explain why, only give a yes or no answer when asked if the plan is likely to succeed."

Imagination
I like this one. It's about as close to perfectly balanced as you can get.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:12 am

Greywander wrote:Curiosity
Compare this to Twitchy Tail.

Spoiler:
Twitchy Tail – 1/Gaming Session
Preparation Time: 1 Minute
You may ask the DM a question. The DM must answer it truthfully to the best of his or her ability with either a “yes” or a “no”.
The major, MAJOR difference is that Curiosity can be used every day, and for three questions no less, whereas Twitchy Tail is only once per session. I'm not totally sure that's balanced, but I do like the concept.
True, but Twitchy Tail has a distinct advantage. You can ask about future events. A question like "Is the McGuffin at The Tower of Doom like we've been told?" would get you a yes or no answer with Twitchy Tail, but isn't answerable with Curiosity because it's not a question about something currently happenening or that has happened recently. You could ask wether or not the pony informing you is telling the truth, but that doesn't mean they can't be mistaken. And since knowing about the mistake would require future knowledge...


Diligence
Eh, not sure about this one. Also, a nat 20 is an auto success, so nat 30 is kind of pointless. I'm not totally sure if it's mandatory for an Element to cost a Magic point. If not, then maybe something like this:

Spoiler:
Diligence
Every time to pass a skill check, you get a Diligence point. You may spend Diligence points at any time to add a +1 bonus per point to a skill check that you perform. You lose your Diligence points at the end of the day.

Eh, that doesn't really work since Diligence represents dedication to a task no matter how long it takes. Also, some may disagree with Nat20 = Auto-success *cough load of bull cough* since that would let an Earth Pony have a 1/20 chance of jumping to the moon with an Athletics check. In which case that plus 10 bonus would make a difference.


Courage
Not sure about the blanket immunity to fear, though since it's only non-magical that might work. The one-shot fear removal, though, is comparable to the Element of Loyalty. Might go with a more interesting twist, though:

Spoiler:
Courage - Interrupt Magic
Trigger - You roll a natural 1.
Effect - Treat it as a natural 20.

(Compare to This is Whining!)
Something like this will make the player willing to take more risks, but without being reckless.

Then why should I pick this Element over This is Whining? I can pick up the Talent easy, it doesn't take up my magic point, and I can get a unique Element Power as well.


Passion
The good: Your chances of a crit are doubled (you need only crit with one die), and your chances of crit failing are drastically reduced (you have to nat 1 both dice).
The bad: From a purely numerical standpoint, getting a +10 bonus to a skill check (the default use of a Magic point) is much more useful than rolling 2d20 and taking the higher result.
My suggestion: Roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 for a skill check, summing the result together.

...that's actually a good idea, thanks.


Forethought
I like the idea of this one, but it seems poorly worded, and not too specific. You shouldn't need to use an example to explain your point. It's difficult to nail down exactly what you want to say with this one, though. Perhaps something like, "You may ask the GM if a plan is likely to fail or have negative results, whether due to impossible difficulty or extraneous or unknown circumstances. The GM does not have to explain why, only give a yes or no answer when asked if the plan is likely to succeed."

Thanks, phrasing is a pain in the flank.


Imagination
I like this one. It's about as close to perfectly balanced as you can get.

Thanks. Simple, to the point, and good for the group.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Greywander on Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:16 am

Whiteeyes wrote:True, but Twitchy Tail has a distinct advantage. You can ask about future events. A question like "Is the McGuffin at The Tower of Doom like we've been told?" would get you a yes or no answer with Twitchy Tail, but isn't answerable with Curiosity because it's not a question about something currently happenening or that has happened recently. You could ask wether or not the pony informing you is telling the truth, but that doesn't mean they can't be mistaken. And since knowing about the mistake would require future knowledge...
Even with regard to future events, Twitchy Tail is limited, because something the players do between now and then could always change the result of the answer. What we need is for the scope of questions Curiosity is valid for to be limited. Something like, "You can ask up to three yes or no questions about a character or object currently in your line of sight that the GM must answer truthfully." Although, even this can be abused. "Is character X planning to betray me?" Getting inside a character's head doesn't really qualify as Curiosity, so maybe limit it to facts about a character or object (like if they come from a certain town, or something).

Eh, that doesn't really work since Diligence represents dedication to a task no matter how long it takes. Also, some may disagree with Nat20 = Auto-success *cough load of bull cough* since that would let an Earth Pony have a 1/20 chance of jumping to the moon with an Athletics check. In which case that plus 10 bonus would make a difference.
A good DM shouldn't be letting a character attempt something that is clearly impossible. My thinking with this was that being diligent (by performing lots of skill checks) would reward you with bonuses to future skill checks.

Then why should I pick this Element over This is Whining? I can pick up the Talent easy, it doesn't take up my magic point, and I can get a unique Element Power as well.
Short answer: because This is Whining! only works for your cutie mark skill. That said, also compare with Awesomeness, which is only a reroll with +5, but can also be used for any skill, and can even be used on allies. You're right that this is somewhat underpowered.

...that's actually a good idea, thanks.
[...]
Thanks, phrasing is a pain in the flank.
[...]
Thanks. Simple, to the point, and good for the group.
Thanks. I'm happy to help brainstorm this sort of stuff. Designing game mechanics can be quite fun.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:44 am

Greywander wrote:Passion
The good: Your chances of a crit are doubled (you need only crit with one die), and your chances of crit failing are drastically reduced (you have to nat 1 both dice).
The bad: From a purely numerical standpoint, getting a +10 bonus to a skill check (the default use of a Magic point) is much more useful than rolling 2d20 and taking the higher result.
My suggestion: Roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 for a skill check, summing the result together.
The funny thing? This was what I had ment when I suggested Passion being 2d20 for a skill check! XD

Just didn't say anything cause I didn't see the problems you pointing out Greywander, also feared that making it be 2d20 might be OP after seeing Whiteeyes take on my suggestion, thanks for that! :3
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Nehiel Mori on Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:35 am

As promised, finally got around to looking at these. I don't quite know the balance of Utilitly Talents-Elements so I'll need to ask Dan. The following is just gut instinct on them.

Curiosity
You may spend a Magic point to ask the GM three yes or no questions about the current situation or events that have recently happened that the GM must answer truthfully. You may not ask about future events.

So, Euerka/Twitchy Tale but more charges. The problem with Euerka/Twitchy Tale that makes it a 1/session power instead of 1/day is that you could time skip, and the player with Twitchy Tale could say "Okay, for each of the following days I use Twitchy tale. 20 QUESTIONS TIME." Which is bad. So this would need a 1/session limit on it.

Otherwise seems fine for a Element. Though it overlaps with Twitchy Tale and I like to limit overlap as much as I can. The Arch-Lich destiny already gives you a buffed version of it.



Diligence
You may spend a Magic point reflexively when you would fail a test with a trained/cutie mark skill. You are treated as having rolled a Natural 30 instead, triggering a Cutie Mark Critical if applicable.

Natural 30's are not a thing, but yeah. 1 Nat 20 per-day is reasonable.



Courage
You are immune to non-magical fear. By spending a Magic point, remove all fear based effects on you and your allies, and for the next ten minutes you and your allies are immune to all fear, magical or mundane.

Fuck indomitable... Damn players skipped a fight because of it. That is all. (This is fine Razz)


Passion (credit to Xel the Medic for the initial idea, Credit to Greywander for improvement)
Spend a magic point to roll 2d20 for a skill check instead of 1d20, using the sum of the rolls.

Ooooh... Very fun. However, worse then Diligence as Diligence allows you to automatically win a roll. This just gives you an average of a +10 bonus to it.


Forethought (Credit to Greywander for helping me figure out how to get my idea across clearer)
"You may ask the GM if a plan is likely to fail or have negative results, whether due to impossible difficulty or extraneous or unknown circumstances. The GM does not have to explain why, only give a yes or no answer when asked if the plan is likely to succeed."

reaaaally tricky. I tried to get something like this through in the Talent Show and it got shut down because of how hard it is to balance effects like this.
As much as I'd like to see one in the system, we have to be careful with them. This, however, doesn't seem that bad.


Imagination
You may spend a Magic point to give a friend a Magic point.

Perfect actually. IMO.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:41 pm

If Passion needs another upgrade, then I suggest making it be a 3d20 roll? Or would that be OP?
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Nehiel Mori on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:07 pm

Could work... The thing is diligence still lets you auto win a roll while passion still has the chance to fail a roll. (low chance, but still there). Now, you can use passion on something other then a trained/CM skill which is nice. Giving you an extra d20 isn't a good option though because then why would the guy ever use his Magic Point for the +10 boost? That would be inefficient.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  sunbeam on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:22 pm

But isn't that exactly what the element of generosity does anyways?
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:30 pm

My thoughts for Passion is building at its heart an inverted version of Generosity. And I have to say that Diligence, strikes me as a magic point using version of All Awesome that griffons once had.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Jason Shadow on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:36 pm

Maybe for one of the two options, the Critical Success rate of a single roll would be tripled - thus, from 20 to 18-20 for most characters, from 19-20 to 15-20 for Earth Ponies... wait, 15-20?! Yeah, maybe not...
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  sunbeam on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:55 pm

In that vein, you could make it a flat increase of 3 numbers added to your critical range. So a normal pony gets a crit range of 17-20, and an Earth Pony gets a crit ranges of 16-20. That might be too big, but if it is then we can just lower the flat increase rate.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:52 pm

If you are talking about passion, that's totally NOT what I'm hoping for it. I mostly just wanted it to be able to when you got a major roll that needs you to put your all into the action you'd spend a magic point to be awesome by having your character put their heart and soul into it. Passion would a talent you use before you do the skill check. While the +10 thing is used after the roll is made to bump it up when you've done a major failing or something.

Maybe the easiest way to fix things is like have it run like you get 2d20+1d10 or 1d20+3d10 to a skill check roll instead of one d20? Admittingly don't like the +3d10 thing, cause my original idea for Passion would be incresing the crit win chance and lowering the crit fail chance.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:58 pm

Nehiel Mori wrote:Could work... The thing is diligence still lets you auto win a roll while passion still has the chance to fail a roll. (low chance, but still there). Now, you can use passion on something other then a trained/CM skill which is nice. Giving you an extra d20 isn't a good option though because then why would the guy ever use his Magic Point for the +10 boost? That would be inefficient.
Yeah, let's keep it at 2d20, for any skill. It's a bit of a gamble, which thematically fits with flights of passion. Maybe your hearts just not in it (rolled a 2 on the extra d20) or perhaps you are truly inspired to give your best (rolled a 20 on the extra d20, possibly triggering CM crit). There is a bit of randomness to the element, but then again it is the sister Element to Laughter, so some randomness is appropriate.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:38 pm

Another fact to recall, Passion needs to be used before the check is made, the +10 can be used after the roll is made.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Whiteeyes on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:41 am

OK, so Curiosity and Forethought need tweaking still. Let's work on Forethought first.

To start with, if the ability as it stands now is too unworkable, should it just be scrapped?
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Xel Unknown on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:06 am

It probblally should if you feel so. And partly thinking that maybe Passion should get upgraded to a full 3d20 roll at the cost of a magic point. Cause that'd be cool.
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Re: Elements of Creativity

Post  Legendary Star King on Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:49 am

Since being diligent is all about perseverance, I suggest making it so that the user can make up to 2 more attempts at a failed check, but they have to try a different method each time.

Example: Pony is trying to move a large crate by putting all the weight on her legs. That fails, so she tries putting the weight on her back. Still doesn't work, so she just kicks it as hard as she can, and it finally moves.

I dunno if that's a good example, but hopefully it gets the basis idea across.
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