Re: Magic in the East : Mysticism, Dream Magic, Dragon Magic

From: Mike Holmes <mike_c_holmes_at_...>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 14:31:56 -0500

>From: Philippe Sigaud <sigaud_at_...>
>And the big grouping seem to be '3 HP/+1' skills.

Exactly, forgot that part. Thanks for mentioning it.

>Now that I think of it, is there any other interesting rulesbits you
>could base a magic upon? Maybe no useful in game, but it could be
>aesthetically pleasing :)

Heroforming is already sorta presented as a universal thing that could happen in any magical form. Coming up with applications for it is interesting.

Also, at first I thought it was unique, but the "fetish release" bonus seems more universal than I'd at first thought, in that wizardry tapping is very similar in some ways. Implies an essential "Magic Superaugment" rule that you can look for with each form of magic. For mysticism you could have the character discover "moments of enlightenment" or something that could later be used for the superaugment.

>The HW Mysticism rules were not done under this (HQ) structure. Just
>three abilities you could use as any other and which _also_ coudl be use
>as anti-magic against the other kinds. So basically a no-magic magic.

While I'm not against the idea of kung-fu mysticism or anything, I've never thought that the HW mysticism was systematically particularly any good at representing any sort of mysticism. I haven't used it since HQ came out. Even converted the one character who had it to something new.

>In HQ, I like the new explanations, but personnaly dislike the rigidity
>of the magic rules. All these levels of powers and specific tests to go
>from one to another, they contrast with the more flowing mindset of the
>general rules.

Consider the rules on going up levels to be examples...indeed, the rules also say that if one pays the HP, that one doesn't have to do the contests, IIRC (somebody will correct me if I'm wrong). The pont is that it's always fun to use a contest as a way to justify the expenditure of HP, but not required. So, looking at these rules this way, they're just finding interesting places to use the basic mechanics of the game. If it's not interesting to you, then don't have these contests.

Further, the rules seem more rigid than they really are at times (an, no, that's not just some odd personal interpretation).

>...I guess some of the questions that need answers at the beginning
>of such a process are:
>- can they improvise new magic on the fly? (for Martial Mysticism, my
>answer would be no)

I'd agree. But I'd also probably allow players to "find" new magic abilities quite a bit. That is, there could be a spell that's just hard to discern in the grimoire, or something about the nature of reality and illusion that one can discover by thinking about it long enough.

The key to the categories isn't so much in limiting the number of abilities, but in limiting the type of abilities. Don't let any one category be a "do anything" category, and players will look to obtain other categories. No matter how many abilities they can add to the ones they already have.

>- can they work together? (as per the Veneration rules or the
>Grimoire+Spells rules)

I think that, as with any ability, the default is yes. It's only with odd rules like Affinities and feats (which are just applications of the affinity, in-game), that you are limited by not having the one augment the other. Even with spirits, I often allow a player to augment a spirit's ability with their relationship to it.

>- how much cost a magical ability? What fraction of time/resources does
>it need (10%, 30%, not to really use it be as a way to see 'how many'
>magics you can have)

I tend to see this as a good guideline (because it's really ill defined overall what this is supposed to mean). But if you do keep it, then, yeah, 60% for a high level of dedication, 30% for the primary level, and 10% for incidental extra sources of magic.

>- the malus they have against the other magic systems? God World, Spirit
>Place, Sorcery Planes and the related creatures. These last being
>Glorantha-specific. You don't need it for other gameworlds, I think.

I just use -20 for concentrated and in the wrong world. -10 for non-concentrated in any world, unless it's a mixed world.

>- can initiates/spiritits/chapelain/whatever learn this magic (ie: is it
>somewhat akin to Common Magic).

Or, as I like to think of it, what magic, if any, do "first level" worshippers have?

As a default, I'd say none. Theists don't. Wizardry doesn't...blessings are really an augment from the liturgist, and that can be simulated by any magic using the general rules. Animists seem to be the exception, but, again, it's somebody trained giving the magic to somebody else. Basically look for what sorts of abilities the magic might have that can be "donated" to others. These, generally, can be given to anyone, BTW, not just first level worshippers. They only get abilities, really, at the behest of others in the same society with the same magic. As such, you can give "five charms" or similar to starting characters, but it's probably not neccessary. They can buy them with HP, if they want them.

>FWIW, I'd treat martial arts the way you do. The same for Immanent
>Mastery (the guys who can tranform into dragons).

Don't forget heroforming!

>For dream magic, I'd use the Animism rules : you know how to go into the
>Dream World, hunt dream creatures (your own or others') and you can
>bring them back. Do not try to go into foreign dreams for there be

The last dream magic character we had I used the simple system to deal with. Basically the way the player described the magic, there didn't seem to be any categories, just random abilities.

Which reminds me, there's the question of needing objects to use magic. When doing the no-categories thing, since it's somewhat less powerful than having the potential to purchase categories, I often don't require objects. No talismans or fetishes. Just like natural magic.


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