Morden and his feats, was Re: Questions on Affinities / Feats

From: steven mathers <stevenmathers_at_...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 08:30:48 -0000

> > > Orlanth's Run Up Cliff feat may or may not let you run up a
> >
> >IMO this is an old problem with the rules. Flight feats do let
you fly,
> >Lay Ghost, See in Dark and several other feats let you do things
which you
> >couldn't otherwise do at all.
> Flight may or may not let you fly. Did you win the contest?
> A longer restatement which might be clearer: Orlanth's Run Up Cliff
> feat may or may not let you run all the way up a cliff.
> >If some feats give you whole new abilities, but others only give
> >there seems to be a severe balance problem.
> Not really, Remember that the viewpoint of the game is not a
> simulation of mechanical processes (feats), but of dramatic
> where feats are just a means to an end.

This last sentence is the important thing, but I find I still agree with the original poster. Flying is a whole new grody absolute outcome of a feat, whereas getting +3 to your close combat ability is a puny relative feat. Its is unbalanced.

>From the dramatic point of view, I tend to look on "Morden defends
the camp" as a good example of the way HW should be really captured my imagination. And the feats that morden and others performed in this story were all what I would call 'absolute outcome' feats, in that they were replicas of _exact actions_ performed by past heroquesters. The key to this kind of magic, it seems to me, is repitition of the formula. Morden didnt just throw a shield that was a bit better than he normally could throw a shield: he performed the 'razor shield cutting feat' (Im using my dodgy memory here, so be kind), which was exactly the same feat that his idol performed, and with exactly the same result -- slicing through some poor sod like swiss cheese. It brings out the entire flavour of the magic system 'three times the charm' and all that. Magic through re-enaction of past heroic feats...embodying your god/idol/hero ancestor or whatever.

I guess the counter to this argument is 'if every character can go around slicing others in half at will, then your player characters arnet going to last very long'. OK, I can see that. But then why let some feats be grody, like flying? Why not let them augment jumping ability? That would be dramaticly consistant with those chinese martial arts films where puny heros can leap 20m through the air at each other, but only grody heroes can leap 3 miles at a time.

Just needs a bit of consistancy and these questions will disapear, I reckon.


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