Re: Ho Much Rule fiddling Is Tolerable?

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_WDUVlWcDYmlvMnrzdxXkOxtSFlRC04woijD5_b43a5NmmiO3okMQelu2F4rRMWQR>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 15:33:46 -0700 (PDT)

Ian Cooper:

> I am not saying that any specific rule is unneeded, but that given
> the chance to review it would seem valuable to me to start by asking
> the question could this rule be dropped in favour of the universal
> mechanic where the criteria for doing so is the trade-off between
> complexity vs. authenticity to the source material. Everything might
> pass that test, but some things might not.

My first instinct was one of agreement, but then I thought more about the specifics, and came to the conclusion that I don't see that I would make such a sweeping change. Here's why.

I think the three magic systems are fundamentally different in how they relate to the otherworld entity. Theism is about emulation. Animism is about negotiation. Sorcery is about manipulation. The next question you would logically ask is, "Yes, but does that make a difference to the rule? Is that not just narrative description, rather than a rule mechanic?" (Forgive me if I put in your mouth words you would not say.)

I think my -- partial -- answer is that the core bits of each magic system are quite attuned to those differences. For example:

I have little clue about sorcery, so I've steered clear of making comparisons for that system, but I think there are comparable differences. Sorcery seems to be something of a system that requires a broad social support structure to funnel power up the chain of command. That's a totally different beastie than either of the personal relationships that animism and theism require.


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