Magic Discussion

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:50 am

True, but you still need to be able to speak to use Persuasion so it has it's limitations, but I agree Persuasion is pretty damn powerful when Min-maxed.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Ramsus on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:54 am

And you still need to be conscious to use magic. All things have their downsides. Mostly the downside is that the Stealth minmax guy can knock you out and steal your -insert relevant ability here- while inside a brightly lit crowded room with no shadows. =P
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:56 am

Hayatecooper wrote:Yeah, Emotion based Magics was more meant to be "Magic to manipulate the emotions of others" just in less words, I could have phrased it better however.

And yes, min-maxing breaks the game. But with this build I can do everything anyone else can do and more thanks to magecraft/Arcana. Point me to another min-maxed build that allows me to do that.
 This is your repeated error. Your premise is that "having a 60 with magecraft arcana lets you get the same results as having a 60 in every other skill."

It does not and that is absurd. It has also been pointed out to you many times. If the talent *did* work like that, it would be broken. But it does not work like that.

Please change your premise.

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:36 am

No, that was more the Archmage Destiny that allows me to do stuff just as well as other builds(as it allows me to rock my Arcana score in place of Stealth, Mechanics, Perception and Persuasion). Also with Element of Magic and the lvl 4 destiny, I don't need to use Magecraft to do thinsg the same as other destinies, I can just get them myself or create an effect that will reach essentially the same end goal even if it's not done in the same way.

You want an example of me using magecraft to give something that a UT can do, but do it better?
Lets look at Dazzling wings:
Dazzling Wings - 1/Day
Preparation Time: 6 Seconds
Target creature gains a pair of dazzling wings. The wings are made from gossamer and morning dew, stunning but delicate. The target can fly with good maneuverability (the target suffers no penalty to athletics or acrobatics checks while flying) and gains a +2 bonus to Persuasion checks due to the beautiful appearance of the wings. The wings last for eight hours before dissolving into mist. However, the wings are delicate – attempting any athletics or acrobatics check while flying that has a DC of 30 or higher has a 20% chance to cause the wings to disappear into mist.


Now lets look at Magecraft DCs
DC 55 - Conjure an illusion of an army, give yourself and several allies the ability to fly, transmute lead into gold.

Magecraft being used to give allies the ability to fly.. just like dazzling wings and without any of the draw backs.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:54 am

Hayate, your comparisons are rather ridiculous.

Yes, I agree that if you sink an extreme amount of utility talents, racial traits, as many attribute points as possible, skill training, cutie marks, freaky knowledge and MORE into one thing... Then yes, it can roughly duplicate the effects of a single utility talent rather reliably.

What you seem to be missing is the opportunity cost involved.

If someone else put all that obsessive amount of focus into other areas, lots of other cool things can be pulled off too. You are comparing a whole build and multiple levels of focus to a single utility talent. That isn't by any reasonable notion a meaningful comparison.

A magecraft focused character is going to be cool and versatile, sure - that's the point. They aren't going to make other characters irrelevant unless your DM doesn't know what he's doing. We've made every effort to make it clear how to manage things, but not everything is possible.

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:15 am

Actually... the Dazzling wings thing can be pulled off at lvl 1 so can things such as
Reversing gravity, transmuting lead into gold, making ponies fly, I assume I can also in the same vein make ponies invisible, speed up, slow down, get bigger, get smaller, become able to fit through gaps, mold setions of wall to my will, make birds sing, create illusions (Oh isn't that also a UT?) make people happy, sad, confused, angry, apathetic, melt swords, destroy stone, become immune to naturally occurring elements(Like the Born racial's do: DC 40 for reference), Destroy Magic, manipulate the effects of UT's in the process of casting them(Cause if I can do something similar with magic tricks I don't see why I can't do it with Magecraft), instantly unlock doors and detect traps(DC20), Disable Magic based traps and potentially mechanical ones if I can just do great bursts of Arcane force, force people to lie or tell the truth, create a magical kitten that's purrs sound like the music played by a cello. (remind me to do the last one as a companion it sounds adorable)

And that's at lvl 1, some of them I admit will need the help of Magic Points, maybe some help for the rest of the team if I roll terrible.

At lvl 7 character running around with 3/day base of 21(Instant Party) in Stealth, Arcana, Mechanics, Persuasion and History who can do all of the above, plus by this point I have two ways of swapping out my Utility Talents for others, and I can't fail twice per day, or more depending on the Boons being picked.

Yep.
I can see why it's the DM's fault for not knowing how to handle it.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Pingcode on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:56 am

If I may have the opportunity to divert the focus a little, I'd like to turn the spotlight away from the extreme of optimisation. It seems fairly clear at the moment that if a player really wants to, they could charop a mage into breaking everything save a DM telling them to take a hike. And breaking curves is a non-unique issue; it's an ordinary balancing issue that calls for winding things back to avoid unexpected behaviour from the catastrophic breach of skill bonus limits.

What if Magecraft were a 0-talent ability? What if it had no talent tax whatsoever, and instead was an ability inherent to Arcana that any character could use?

What would it look like? How much power would it be allowed to have as a basic skill? It's evidently too powerful as is; After all, the entire reason why it has a two talent tax is because it was considered too powerful at a single talent.

The other question is: What is our expected Arcana user? Is it a Knowledge 7, Trained, Cutie Mark (+15) mage? Is it the Best of Breed Knowledge 12, Trained, Cutie Mark (+20) mage? Is it a mere Knowledge 5 Trained (+8.) mage?
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:10 am

When you have to spend magic points and all those various effects together - I would *hope* you get something at least as cool as what people can produce with a generic talent. =)

I'm getting a little tired of this. I'm inclined to agree that some effects give arcana too much scope (the current Archmage ability that lets you use arcana in the place of all sorts of other skills is probably a good example - and that is likely to get reworked to some extent in the destiny revamp). However, this particular discussion seems to be going in circles. If you aren't going to compare the options of maximized characters in totality - rather than just building a really cool character and saying "Look how awesome this is!"... There really isn't much to discuss.

Heck, I built a level 6 or 7 character (I forget) that could use Twitchy Tail more than 7 times each session - which gave the group an extraordinary amount of information. The character could also do other things; such as detect thoughts, discern lies and more. We had two magecraft junkies in the group, but nothing could make the DM sweat like having 7 questions in the bag.

I do agree that the Archmage destiny feature which gives a 3/day ability to use arcana in the place of another skill is currently too much (though it might be just right now - as destiny level 7 features are getting buffed). However, your tales of magecrafting run awry and duplicating the effects of everything and making all other people irrelevant do not worry me... As that's not how the talent is supposed to work at all. There might be other issues that make it too easy to get a super-high skill check, such as Heart of Courage, but in that case it's the support options in question that are the issue and not the talent itself.

Out of curiosity, as you must surely agree that Magecraft as a concept is at least theoretically able to be balanced (with the right DCs for effects - if it took a 90 to cast a glimmer of light then the talent would surely be underpowered rather than what you currently think is overpowered... Meaning there must be a mathematical middle-ground) - what do you think the DCs should be instead of the ones listed? You seem to have put a great deal of thought into how Magecraft lets you do everything at once at the current DCs. If you think that's the case, what are the DCs that make sense according to your math?

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  A1C Bronymous on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:30 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
I'm getting a little tired of this. I'm inclined to agree that some effects give arcana too much scope (the current Archmage ability that lets you use arcana in the place of all sorts of other skills is probably a good example - and that is likely to get reworked to some extent in the destiny revamp). However, this particular discussion seems to be going in circles. If you aren't going to compare the options of maximized characters in totality - rather than just building a really cool character and saying "Look how awesome this is!"... There really isn't much to discuss.
Well it doesn't help when everyone else keeps saying "Look how awesome and even better the other builds can be!", but no one has produced a single example where persuasion, stealth, athletics, or anything else can be made to produce similar effects- the effects being, so we're clear:
a) The game is broken wide open because the magic user can and will do whatever he wants, with only the luck of dice rolls to stop him, unless the DM specifically and definitively has everything come with a "shut down the mage" clause somewhere in its design, just to give himself a chance.
b) The mage, being able to perform in most skills as well as the others who have maxed their builds, and when he can't, there's a spell for that, basically sucks up most if not all of the responsibilities of other members whenever they might be lacking. ESPECIALLY if they don't have to roll, because then it's "why bother rolling to push the statue over to make a bridge, when the mage can just instantly do it without fail."

So you got 7 Twitchy tails a day. Isn't that seven Yes or No Questions? So you either have seven really really vague pieces of information to act on, or you have seven instances of stopping the game just to formulate and ask the perfect question so you can be sure what the answers mean. That doesn't sound like it breaks the game, or steals anyone's role- except maybe Persuasion guy, who could have tried asking npcs to find the detailed answers. And if its the thinking up detailed questions, the your just wasting everyone' playing time. Not broken, just rude.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Cardbo on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:48 pm

The question, which I haven't seen answered, where are the DC's broken? Your average pony isn't going to be casually throwing around 50+ arcane dice rolls. At least not without help.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:43 pm

For all the complaints about Magecraft thus far - I've yet to hear any concrete solutions proposed. Obviously, if you think Magecraft is *objectively* overpowered and that it's not due to its vague nature meaning DMs are accidentally making it overpowered or underpowered (my concern) - then there is surely a perfect set of DCs for the tasks. After all, being able to bend time and space with a DC of 10 would be ludicrously OP and being able to light a lamp only at a DC of 100 would be hilariously underpowered. This means there is some mathematical middle-ground of correct numbers for the DCs. If you don't think we've currently reached it, what *would* be DCs that seem right to you?

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:58 pm

Hayatecooper wrote:True, but you still need to be able to speak to use Persuasion so it has it's limitations, but I agree Persuasion is pretty damn powerful when Min-maxed.
Actually, body-language can do a lot of talking... just saying.

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:If you don't think we've currently reached it, what *would* be DCs that seem right to you?
Increase the DC40 & DC45 by five, and the DC50-60 by 10.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:02 pm

The thing with this discussion is that it's multiple in one.  It's about Magecraft, the Arcana stat, overall views on what magic can do in the setting, lateral thinking, and how min-maxing affects things.  Admittedly, there's been some back and forth arguing but I feel it's way too early in the actual conversation to be "tired" of the discussion because it's multiple valid discussions.

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:For all the complaints about Magecraft thus far - I've yet to hear any concrete solutions proposed.

  • Change it from an At Will power to a limited number per day.  There's a sizable number of positives and negatives here since on the upper end it means you can't be broken as often and forces creativity of use but on the lower end the non-broken aspects may not be usable often enough to be worth the cost.
  • Add ways to use some of its components, such as magical nullification, elsewhere so that there's less weight placed on needing Magecraft for just one thing.
  • While I don't advocate it, in theory it could be changed from a utility talent to a destiny.
  • On the other hand, something lateral to Magecraft is that several destinies should be eyed for issues and rebalanced accordingly.  Archmage's Level 7 is problematic since it removes the very weakness of overspecialization.  It's been noted also that Mind Sculptor could work quite well as just a Persuasion focus than being half Arcana and that Dragon's Disciple could be expanded to work with all skills/attributes since "knowledge" granted could be applied directly to any number of skills rather than solely the Knowledge stat.
  • Adjust DCs, though as already said that's difficult to properly determine.


I think three very valid questions to ask are: What can you do with Arcana raw anyways?  What is the pinnacle strong point of each of the eleven skills?  What CAN'T Magecraft do?  While numbers are being thrown around, a lot of this is a conceptual argument.  Just what can and can't be done is a big issue since Arcana seems like an incredibly feast of famine stat since it seems limited raw and potentially over powered with certain talents.  It takes a holistic look at all the skills in the system to figure out how to handle this.  I also advocate a tech variant of Magecraft, even if it's just a sidebar about reflavoring the name and using Mechanics instead of Arcana.

Pingcode wrote:What if Magecraft were a 0-talent ability? What if it had no talent tax whatsoever, and instead was an ability inherent to Arcana that any character could use?

What would it look like? How much power would it be allowed to have as a basic skill? It's evidently too powerful as is; After all, the entire reason why it has a two talent tax is because it was considered too powerful at a single talent.
While I don't currently have an answer, it's a very interesting mechanics question tying back into wondering the strengths of Arcana on it's own.

The other question is: What is our expected Arcana user? Is it a Knowledge 7, Trained, Cutie Mark (+15) mage? Is it the Best of Breed Knowledge 12, Trained, Cutie Mark (+20) mage? Is it a mere Knowledge 5 Trained (+8.) mage?
Personally I think a +15 to +18 should be expected.  It's someone who is focusing on it but not extremely min-maxed to absurdity.  At times I actually wonder about Genetic Engineering, especially now that directly adjusting a base race is less of a "need" due to Pick of the Litter/Highborn.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:45 pm

Wall-o'-text below!

Magic Wall-o'-Text:
The main strength of "magic", for the mechanics we work with, is that it's pretty much always more versatile than anything else the system has to offer. Nobody, in any RPG, likes feeling useless or helpless. Specialized magic users, barring extreme situations or outright being targeted by the DM, are never, or rarely, in such a situation.

Everyone can agree that a characters abilities, out of combat, are wholly dependent on:

1) Utility talents & racials
2) Skill/attribute values
3) Destinies

1) The thing with both utility talents and racials is that they are rare, limited, and hard to come by in design, making them valuable (you get only 8 by the time you're lvl 10, barring special builds and destinies, so they're always at a premium), and are what 90% of every player uses to make a distinction out of their character or to do something unique, interesting, or special, that would be impossible with a simple roll. These are what let them set a specialization and a role. This is also the main limit to every character - how many utilities/racials they have, and how much they can do with such, and how often, taking luck out of the equation for most cases.

2) In the long run, skill attributes don't differentiate you from other PCs - cause even the grand super-strong hulk can fail the simplest of athletics checks, and the wimpiest of wimps can perform superman feats if luck feels like it, or with the proper situational modifiers, or other influences. Anything a character with 20 athletics can do with a skill check, so can any of the other characters, with varying "difficulty" as the only difference of doing such.

3) Destinies are pretty boss - it's unlikely anyone will have to same destiny, and they are all vastly unique and in almost all cases useful (well, less if the destiny poorly fits the character, but that's up to a PCs choice), and an easy method to "stand out" and get a special moment for ones character. They're fine as they are.

- Some characters are loaded with "passive" abilities, or things that only affect the actual rolls, rather than do something unique. Mechanics masters and power-houses are such, as well as flyers (especially weather-crafters). They have the constant benefit, but are reliant on rolls and the allowance of the DM, as well as their own creativity in coming up with a skill-check explanation. When they can't do a skill check (or are simply unlucky), they are left with little to do. They also have the problem of being linked to specific tasks - a physical brute can only do so much, for example.

- Others rely on specific, "active" abilities, utilities, or racials to do something impossible with mere rolls, for instance, party makers, contraption makers and fabricators, weather-crafters, psionics users, specific types of persuaders and diplomancer abilities... These give huge, obvious effects and advantages that are impossible to get otherwise, but are limited in how often they can be done (usually once or twice a day, session... Magic points further limit them as well, forcing a choice between epic-spell-like ability, or giving a roll a big boost, once a day), or are highly specific, meaning they are left unused or useless for anything that isn't closely related to the task at hand (e.g. vile villain, dream stride, speak with the dead...).

What Magecraft does, however, is combine these - It lets a player use magic passively in a active manner. Magic is a term that is vague enough (or rather, completely undefined in the rules) to encompass *ANYTHING*, and allow one to utilize it in the form of a skill check, for as often as they like (no x/daily or MP restrictions), with the only limits being the DCs (which, as was proven with the math of the earlier posts, are easy to go around or break), or the DMs allowance (subjective, varying), or ones own creativity (potentially infinite).

They get the benefit of complete freedom in whatever they do (no daily, magic points, or other limits, all you need to do is roll high enough), extreme flexibility (utilities are often strictly worded or limited. Players can just use magecraft to re-word those limits), at no cost (other than maybe "time" which is relative). And depending on how they've been build, they can also then have actual other active or passive utilities/destinies/racials that let them further build on that flexibility by adding reliability/uniqueness (improving the rolls/dies, or giving stuff to do other than skill check rolls, if they fail or something).

This effectively lets a single PC always have something to do, in every situation, always letting them do something when others can't due to their own limits of their characters, through either:
- Being too inept (through numbers, which never change or improve without utilities/racials/destinies) to roll reliably on the given task...
- Lacking the proper utility, or having the right utility, but it being too powerful or limited to use for the given situation...
- Not having MPs to use the right utility...
- Not being able to justify using their strength/optimized skill to the given situation...
- Being completely unable to interact with the problem, like for magic-less/"muggles", when faced with magic...

Now, most systems balance such power by letting the specialization come at a cost of weaknesses in other areas. Magecraft is too versatile for that to come into effect - A frail, clumsy, socially clueless Magecraft user can easily use creativity/smarts (which comes as a bonus with the arcana skill, naturally) to go through physical, acrobatic, accuracy or social challenge, because their chosen tool, "magic", allows them to manipulate all of those areas at will and needing no real justification, and with no penalty or limit other than those decreed by the DM.

Lets take a locked door. The players have to bypass it. How do they do so?

Physical character - Break it down with brute force. If its magical (e.g. on fire), or too hard/sturdy to break, tough luck.
Acrobatic/dexterous character- Unlock it, or break it down with physical prowess, or deconstruct it, or lock-pick it. If that's impossible, or its magical in nature (and thus prevents the previous "physical" means of access), tough luck.
Social character - Rely on an NPC being present, that you can persuade to let you in. If none are available, tough luck.
Savvy/smart character, sans magic - Solve a puzzle or lore, present on the door, to get a key or to open it. If it's just a regular door, tough luck. Or try knocking and hoping for the best.
Magic using character - Use magic to open/annihilate/phase through/bypass/melt/magic-unlock/make invisible/teleport through/transform the door. If the door is magic-immune or similarly magical, then use magic to make a tool that bypasses that restriction (e.g. a golem, a fire elemental, shapeshifting past it, making yourself stronger...), or formulate magic that lets you mimic the above characters options. You have no real limits on how often you can do this (at will), so you can keep trying different methods, whereas the others are limited (x/day limits, needing magic points, restrictions/usefulness per situation...). Any idea goes, because it's magic, which can do anything. So long as the door isn't designed to stop/act against magic user, you'll get through it with some good thinking.

It becomes a question of whether the "five minutes of superpowers" types of characters (that comes with "the perfect/epic solution" at a given challenge) gets as much as enjoyment as the magic user that can act often, and in many small, or large, situations, with equal or even greater ability. A magecraft user that can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, will probably have more fun (or at the very least, have things to do - a big problem of many games where a character isn't as useful as one could be due to the setting or DM's choices of challenges) than a over-specialized specialist would, that is either limited to his field (useless outside of it, or lacking flexibility), or can only do special/cool stuff sparingly.

TLDR: "Magic" is strong because it doesn't have the usual limits of utilities or racials (x/day, costs, rules on what works and what doesn't) in doing 'special' things, and can do those things with less restrictions, more creativity, and more flexibility. All you got to do is roll and there's little harm/waste in such (other than nat1s). And if you roll low, well you can think up a different solution and try again. In other words, you can do stuff while the others twiddle their thumbs and yawn.

Now as far as solutions go, I'd say one of them would be to offer much more freedom and diversity in utilities as a whole - more utilities via level growth, maybe? Or offering less restrictions on the utilities, allowing for a wider area of creative uses (a lot of utilities have singular purpose, which makes them unfavorable or unwanted, even when they're fitting a character. Nobody wants a utility that's bad/useless, or needs the DM to tailor a situation just to use). If there are alternatives in being versatile that are equal or better (in some aspects, with weaknesses, etc) over "using magic", then magic it's not as big a problem. Same can go for availability of such - a utility with a 1/day use harder to use and needs to be used sparingly, and MP abilities are at odds with the whole "friendship of helping each other" rules (it sort of invites guilt when you don't help others due to needing your big ability, and then regret if you do and you can't use your defining super-ability cause you invisibly did a friendship thing). Take a look a the utilities, and look at them practically - can a player use it at the tip of a hat? Do they need DM to give them the situation first? Is the cost balanced to the benefit? How often can they need it, and how often can they use it?

Another solution would be further clarification/widening on the non-magical skills (giving them a bigger area of use), as well as a firmer grasp on what is defined by magic and how it works/acts in a typical setting (thereby creating actual limits, rather than vague "you can do anything you want" rules). Is magic energy? Are there Midichlorians? Can anyone use magic? Can a stick being waved around cause or make or create magic? Is there something, or some creatures, or materials, that don't magic, or do magic, or can magic, or can't magic?


Last edited by Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  LoganAura on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:04 pm

Bronymous wrote:
a) The game is broken wide open because the magic user can and will do whatever he wants, with only the luck of dice rolls to stop him, unless the DM specifically and definitively has everything come with a "shut down the mage" clause somewhere in its design, just to give himself a chance.
High bonus persuasion rolls to intimidate (THis is a foal who's technically a nightmare mind you) that caused 2 big bad evil dudes that I had given a DC ~70 total to intiimidate successful. He succeeded both times with meh rolls. The only reason he doesn't intimidate everyone in their path (Which in the end would've worked for the semi-villain character) is that one of the other PCs nat 20ed a persuasion roll to convince him NOT to be so obviously villainy and the player of the nightmare foal decided "Well, that's enough for me" more or less.

Simply put, the pc has enough consistant persuasion to intimidate most anyone to do whatever he wants as long as he doesn't roll a nat 1. He doesn't because it's not in character anymore.

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:12 pm

LoganAura wrote:
Bronymous wrote:
a) The game is broken wide open because the magic user can and will do whatever he wants, with only the luck of dice rolls to stop him, unless the DM specifically and definitively has everything come with a "shut down the mage" clause somewhere in its design, just to give himself a chance.
High bonus persuasion rolls to intimidate (This is a foal who's technically a nightmare mind you) that caused 2 big bad evil dudes that I had given a DC ~70 total to intimidate successful. He succeeded both times with meh rolls. The only reason he doesn't intimidate everyone in their path (Which in the end would've worked for the semi-villain character) is that one of the other PCs nat 20ed a persuasion roll to convince him NOT to be so obviously villainy and the player of the nightmare foal decided "Well, that's enough for me" more or less.

Simply put, the pc has enough consistent persuasion to intimidate most anyone to do whatever he wants as long as he doesn't roll a nat 1. He doesn't because it's not in character anymore.
This kind of "breaking" can be bypassed by making things impossible to scare (e.g. golems, or other non-living challenges). The above, and more, if it's good enough roll, can be done/mimicked by magecraft roll with enough creativity behind it, or can even further be used to break the broken (for instance, boosting that terrifying foal with magic).

Oh, and here's a big kicker of a question, as far as balance goes: How difficult would it be for a Magecraft user to "create" Magic Points (give them to themselves or others), or do MP abilities without using Magic Points? Or to simply emulate Magic Points (in other words, to "magic up" a +10 bonus to anything)? It's a resource, vaguely defined, and you need it to do certain things, and it is connected with "Magic" (though it might be in name only, of course, but you still "need" it for one reason or another...). I expect it to be impossible by common sense, of course, but there's nothing explicitly saying you can't, with the given rules, unless I'm mistaken...


Last edited by Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  LoganAura on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:15 pm

More bonuses than physically possible probably.

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Mind Gamer on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:16 pm

A moment of applause for the last four posts, because they are elegant, thoughtful, and explain the situation perfectly in my opinion.

Now... If I may add a bit on the "widening other skills," thing?

Simply allowing the other skills to have a form of passive Anti-Magic, that doesn't require a shred of actual Arcana or Magic.

Brawn: Endurance in it's pure form can shrug off magical effects through force of will. Athletics can break through magic of any kind, with enough of it.

Precision: Stealth can bypass aspects of magic by not setting off sensors or other triggers. Mechanics can be used as a counterbalance to Arcana, Science versus Magic in it's purest form. Acrobatics can evade magic.

Knowledge: History, with a penalty, grants knowledge of Arcana and potential weaknesses. Heal can use magic in of itself, or be scientific in nature. Both can be used to defeat Magical effects.

Horse-Sense: Perception can find weaknesses in magic, such as the source of the mystical energy keeping the shield in place. Persuasion can be used to bypass magical sensors, passing one's self off as the original caster... Or otherwise overpower through social skills magical effects of the mind. Streetwise... I got nothing.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:16 pm

How did the foal get 70, anyway Logan? A singular, or joint effort? MP boosts and assists don't really count as "broken" so much as "letting the PCs be awesome by working together" mechanics, which is what most of the balancing goes around as far as MPs and most utilities are concerned.

Magecraft is a problem in part because of this (cause if they're broken on their own, with help of MPs and ally boosts, they turn into gods on demand!).
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  LoganAura on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:18 pm

I don't really remember, it was like half a year ago for the first instance but he's done the math out for lv 10. He's offline for a week though.

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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:19 pm

Well Staric, you asked me what I would do with Magic.
and I wasn't sure.
So I got Kajisora, Pingcode, Doc pseudopolis to help me come up with somethings that I feel would make MAgecraft and Arcana users in general a heck of a lot less of a power house.

1. A lot of your Sample DCs are fine, some just need more clarification. For example(Control a master work golem) What if we change that to: DC 30: Manipulate a magical object or enchantment that could be created with this DC or less. Does it mean more work on the DMs part? Yes, but it does mean they don't have to sit there and work out exactly what constitutes a "Master work".

2. Magecraft can do UT/Racial abilities at a cost. I'm going to set that cost as you do, at 60. You want to give flight? Invisibility? Immunity to fire or acid? That's a DC 60 check cause it's hard, and we don't want mages stepping on others toes.

3. But what about the people who just want to copy it for a small timeframe? Cool. We were thinking of
adding to the DC 40: Copy a UT/Racial talent, this ability gives half the number of targets, time it lasts, range. If these parameters are not available the DM must give a suitable effect(or give it a time frame)

4. What about Magic Point Utilities? Well our idea for those were the DC for the normal UT/racial talent(So 60) but upped by 10. This means you effectively need to min-max like a boss, get help or spend a Magic Point anyway.

4. Magic Fatigue(Essentially). This was a cool idea, essentially every time you cast a Magecraft check the DC for the next Magecraft check you do is increased by 5. Yes, it promotes book keeping. But it would also allow people to do the same multitude of effects, but forces them to stop and think "Can a party member do this better? I mean, I could brute for this door, but we have Tanky for that so I might save my energy." Not sure how well this would go in testing, but seeing as most mages are around about 15-18 mark it should allow them to preform several small spells at least without help, making that really big one they cast all the more cool and impressive cause the party understands what they just sacrificed.

5. Magic on yourself is easy, magic on others is harder. So we thought about an additonal penalty onto mages. +5 for each additional creature that you are using a Magecraft effect on*. This is to stop stuff like "Mass and instant Teleportation" making everyone immune to every element(Though this could still be done if you are willing to spend the time to target each creature individually.) and other such things. Meaning it's not the mage just deciding lets buff all the things!

*
A table might look like
1 creature: 0 modifier
2 creature: 5 modifier
3 creatures: 10 modifier and so on

6. Boons/Destinies can not have any form of there effects copied period. No, you may not use Magecraft and stack MPs and NPC help to recreate Miracle, Adorable Assistant, Floating castle unless the DM states otherwise.

I can re-write most of you DC sample table if you want? But honestly I believe if the above gets implemented, it'll mean the dedicated min-maxes still get to be the Twilight Sparkle of mages(Without breaking the game) it'll force more inter party co-operation when it comes to using magic and magecraft, and it makes the more impressive feats all that more impressive. So yeah, that's what I would do to be honest.

Tl;dr
no, no Tl;dr for you.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Zarhon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:24 pm

Mind Gamer wrote:A moment of applause for the last four posts, because they are elegant, thoughtful, and explain the situation perfectly in my opinion.

Now... If I may add a bit on the "widening other skills," thing?

Simply allowing the other skills to have a form of passive Anti-Magic, that doesn't require a shred of actual Arcana or Magic.

Brawn: Endurance in it's pure form can shrug off magical effects through force of will. Athletics can break through magic of any kind, with enough of it.

Precision: Stealth can bypass aspects of magic by not setting off sensors or other triggers. Mechanics can be used as a counterbalance to Arcana, Science versus Magic in it's purest form. Acrobatics can evade magic.

Knowledge: History, with a penalty, grants knowledge of Arcana and potential weaknesses. Heal can use magic in of itself, or be scientific in nature. Both can be used to defeat Magical effects.

Horse-Sense: Perception can find weaknesses in magic, such as the source of the mystical energy keeping the shield in place. Persuasion can be used to bypass magical sensors, passing one's self off as the original caster... Or otherwise overpower through social skills magical effects of the mind. Streetwise... I got nothing.
So, everyone has a bit of "magic" in themselves, or lets them effectively act like cartoon characters / Pinkie Pie and defy logic or the "rules" of magic by being "awesome" enough? I approve.

"But that was a 1000000 mega-mana shield barrier, locked with eldritch runes! how did you go through it?!"
"I lockpicked it."
"That only raises further questions!"
"Maybe for you."

As for streetwise - you get hunches or ideas or tips on how magic works or would work, without any actual understanding or knowledge of such principles - through a sixth sense, or otherwise "common sense" or it "seeming legit" (Pinkie Pie's motor-mouthing the entire plot from Equestria Girls, or her twitchy tail comes to mind). It could be akin to 4th wall breaking via skill checks as well (e.g. DMs outright giving you tips on what to do, or vague puzzles relevant to the magic that will help you if you can figure it out). Or it could be a form of experience - maybe you've seen magic work a lot, but didn't study it. You know how it works and what it can generally do, but not how to recreate it.

Arcana in this sense could then be "scientific magic": The only skill that lets you use something akin to math to precisely determine what magic will and and how to do it. It's like thermodynamics or engineering - its easy to see the basic rules and principles (e.g. heated things bring heat to cold ones), its hard to see WHY, or how it goes in detail (maaaaath). Or it could just be raw magical power you have. Dunno.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Mind Gamer on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:30 pm

Zarhon wrote:
So, everyone has a bit of "magic" in themselves, or lets them effectively act like cartoon characters / Pinkie Pie and defy logic or the "rules" of magic by being awesome enough? I approve.
This. A hundred times this.

I might have been watching a little too much Gurren Lagann really, (and that's a show where they punch holes in space and time by having enough fighting spirit,) but I'm a fan of the theory that doing the impossible SHOULD be possible, especially to deal with vague energies like Magic.

So yeah. Going back to the Door example.

The Tank can punch through even the magical doorway if he gives more effort than normal.

The Thief can solve the unsolvable magic puzzle with skill.

The Diplomancer can discover the solution to the magic through cunning and intellect.

Et cetra.
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:50 pm

... I'm gonna let the intelligent guys do the thinking. I really don't think things through...
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Re: Magic Discussion

Post  Cardbo on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:43 pm

Mind Gamer wrote:
Zarhon wrote:
So, everyone has a bit of "magic" in themselves, or lets them effectively act like cartoon characters / Pinkie Pie and defy logic or the "rules" of magic by being awesome enough? I approve.
This. A hundred times this.

I might have been watching a little too much Gurren Lagann really, (and that's a show where they punch holes in space and time by having enough fighting spirit,) but I'm a fan of the theory that doing the impossible SHOULD be possible, especially to deal with vague energies like Magic.

So yeah. Going back to the Door example.

The Tank can punch through even the magical doorway if he gives more effort than normal.

The Thief can solve the unsolvable magic puzzle with skill.

The Diplomancer can discover the solution to the magic through cunning and intellect.

Et cetra.
In line with this, why not make a Magecraft a utility talent that available to all from the getgo. If you wanted to do something like the above, you could, but the DCs for it would be set by magecraft.
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