World Building 103

Not sure if anyone else is having fun with this but I am. This is the first time I have had an audience while working on a world.

So a quick recap of 101 and 102… Pathfinder game system. World that is 5000 years old max. Pantheon of gods vs big bad, at start of game one god is missing. Big bad is present in the main world. High fantasy.

So there comes a few big questions at this point and while I know there are several elements I could detail out, I want to answer a few of these questions before I dig too much deeper.

1 – Can everyone do magic or is it limited?

2 – Is magic the same for both holy and arcane?

3 – Certain classes have things like Chi, or Psi (if I open it up to psionics), are these all under the Magic banner or do they function independently?

4 – Do any of the animals, or races have a predisposition to one or the other of the powers?

5 – Are magically enhanced races and monsters common?

So I am going to go into races and monsters and animals in World Building 104, so I am going to skip that for the moment.

Can everyone do magic?  – I dont know about you but I like it when things like magic items can be fairly commonplace. But the majority of them are so low level in effect that they dont have an effect on the game mechanics. But if played properly they can have an effect on a story. Example would be an old wooden spoon that makes whatever it was used to cook taste great. Spoon get stolen from an inn and now no one will stop there because the cooking tastes so bad without it. It wont stop poison, help with healing, feed more people that you could usually get out of food. It just makes things taste better. Magic items being fairly common however does not mean that magic users are common. Since I don’t want thousands of Gandalf’s running around I think I need to put a limit of some kind on magic. Blood lines are over done, and mystic rune-marks are just behind that. Sorcerers already have a blood tie to magic. Hmmm, how about destiny. So in the Pathfinder game rules most of the people you encounter may have NPC class levels, but not Heroic class levels. And if population divisions are as usual, then maybe one in every hundred people would have heroic class levels. That would mean there is a reaction to someone displaying skills an abilities that go above what most would see every day. So it is possible for the Destined to be more than the usual every day person. I think we can pull that off in a game.

Questions two and three are really part of the same thing. In game mechanics the impact that could have would be something like a wizard using a counter-spell to block a psi power. Now then personally again I like seeing separate modes of energy so that it takes one to stop one. But how do you tie that together in a way that does not hinder game mechanics. My personal idea would be that there is a source for each power. And the easiest way to do that in this would would be to tie one power into each of the big four. Magic is called out as a power though, so how to break it out further becomes a problem…

Any thoughts?

Gimme the dice its time to see if I can get a critical search for leftovers.

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  1. #1 by dantherpgman on November 28, 2016 - 3:12 am

    Funny, I actually prefer the low-level magic stuff to be little to none, although I can see how you can put some interesting adventures together with it, like the spoon at the inn example. Again, just different styles.

    I don’t quite follow you on the last paragraph though. Does having magic and psi each with a separate power source mean it takes one to stop one? But then doesn’t that hinder the game mechanics? Guess I need a little more explanation : )

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    • #2 by authortao on December 4, 2016 - 2:50 pm

      Ah, thank you for bringing that up. Ok so in some game settings if a wizard were to cast an anti-magic shell, that spell would stop all Arcane (wizard/sorcerer type spells), Divine (cleric/paladin type spells), Chi (monk/barbarian and with Pathfinder gunslinger), and Psionic (psi type abilities) powers. In others it will only stop Arcane and Divine. And in others still it will only stop Arcane. Having this clearly defined before starting a game is very important for the players and the game master. The primary rules divide things into natural, extraordinary, and magical abilities, not by power source and I feel that Psi, Chi and Magic are usually separate things. So they cannot block each other, even if the rules state that something is a magical ability. However if I do something like that I like to have a reason for it that the players can get behind. Like each comes from a separate source.

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