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Sorcerous Workings: Where We Make Judgments

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  • #16
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Huh, that's a good way to do it, multiple workings for the different things...
    Anyway, in the end, he didn't get that power, because I thought it was too powerful as one working, that's why he then went and made the dragon minion instead.

    Yeah. The hint is "be a dragon" isn't anywhere in any of the character options in the book, but you can build being-a-dragon out of the various pieces that are. Actually, thinking about it, a powergaming sorcerer is going to end up looking pretty damn weird. Let's say you maximize soak. You're going to perform workings to give yourself a carapace, then ritually cover that carapace with living bronze every day, then put on and possibly never take off armor to match. You could have 22 soak with full Martial Arts capability (5 stamina, 5 carapace, 7 control spell ISoB, 5 silken armor) for the low, low cost of being a bronze beetle-monster in a dress. But eh, Flawlessly Impenetrable Disguise.

    Maybe the Bronze Faction was right... I mean, heck, it's in the name...

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    • #17
      The issue is the "give yourself a power such as..." It doesn't really explain the logic of the powers, the restrictions on the powers, etc. What powers are and aren't appropriate?


      My characters:
      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
      Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        The issue is the "give yourself a power such as..." It doesn't really explain the logic of the powers, the restrictions on the powers, etc. What powers are and aren't appropriate?

        As a ST, I would have the player write up the crunch for any desired powers, and then make a judgment call for Ambition by comparing the write-up to Solar charms and spells.

        If the flaming breath is really no more powerful than a firedust pistol, then I would make it pretty cheap. The main advantages of the fire breath over the weapon are perfect concealment and no need to purchase firedust. That's pretty minor.

        if the flame breath is 10i decisive attack usable one per fight with no recharge, I would cost it much higher, as it effectively gives the character a decent decisive completely independent of his actual initiative. DoOB does that, IIRC, but it's a full-fledged spell, and thus has shaping actions.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
          The issue is the "give yourself a power such as..." It doesn't really explain the logic of the powers, the restrictions on the powers, etc. What powers are and aren't appropriate?

          My read on it: powers should be interpreted as existing character options or as close to existing character options as possible. Mutations cover a lot of ground! Anything that can be covered by a mutation is a Terrestrial Ambition 2 by definition. If it's weirder than that, the sort of thing you might get as a merit from a sorcerous initiation, or something that creates an entirely new dice action, that's Celestial Ambition 2. If it encompasses multiple physical enhancements or supernatural abilities, or in any way increases lifespan an appreciable amount, it's probably Solar Ambition 1 or 2. If they want anything resembling a charm or spell effect, that would probably just earn the reply, "learn the charm or spell."

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          • #20
            I think workings that grant powers should be sharply limited in the powers that they can grant for free. They should be roughly balanced against the passive powers of spells of their level, like the Charm-like effects of Wood Dragon's Claw or Incomparable Body Arsenal. If not motes and willpower, they should require some other expense, being reset by bathing in a pool of blood from deadly predators you beat to death with your hands, or swallowing and destroying a hearthstone, or burning away an intimacy of love.


            Currently writing for Exigents.

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            • #21
              Turning one of the Fair Folk into a creature that isn't a Raksha, that has the ability to 'convert' his former brethren into his new race. Kinda of like Mountain Folk, but infectious.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post
                I think workings that grant powers should be sharply limited in the powers that they can grant for free. They should be roughly balanced against the passive powers of spells of their level, like the Charm-like effects of Wood Dragon's Claw or Incomparable Body Arsenal. If not motes and willpower, they should require some other expense, being reset by bathing in a pool of blood from deadly predators you beat to death with your hands, or swallowing and destroying a hearthstone, or burning away an intimacy of love.
                I agree you shouldn't let people just paste whatever they want onto their PC, but we have to remember people are paying XP for these Workings, so that's already a balancing factor. I wouldn't drop ten XP for the necessity of chomping on a hearthstone.

                This does raise a question for me, though. If a PC wants to do a Working to buy the equivalent of another Exalt's charm, does anyone else think that's a bit of a slippery slope?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                  This does raise a question for me, though. If a PC wants to do a Working to buy the equivalent of another Exalt's charm, does anyone else think that's a bit of a slippery slope?
                  If I were the GM it would depend on the Charm itself, and even then I might put a few more limits on it to make sure it didn't unbalance anything. I'd definitely give a flat refusal if there was, say, Sidereal player and a Twilight wanted to give himself Avoidance Kata, however.

                  A lot of the "Give yourself powers" effects are going to be heavily dependent on GM ruling. Technically there's nothing stopping my Essence 1 Twilight from performing a Sorcerous feedback loop until I could cast every spell in the game at will for free, but that would get shut down hard at any table.

                  I was thinking that Merits might be a good way to model powers granted by a Sorcerous Working, and use some of the merits found in the antagonist section as a guideline. The Eclipse Keyword charms are probably okay, considering how they've been pre-balanced for charmshare. Beyond that, case by case.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Totentanz
                    If a PC wants to do a Working to buy the equivalent of another Exalt's charm, does anyone else think that's a bit of a slippery slope?
                    I'd put a lot of things that equate to Charms as manipulations of the soul anyway, so you need to go to the Solar Circle for it, for a start.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                    • #25
                      This looks fun! It's gonna be a long one!

                      Originally posted by Aiden View Post
                      Say I wanted to give myself an eternal lifespan with a sorcerous working. What Circle do you believe would be required for that, and at what level of Ambition? Obviously there would be caveats to the lifespan due to the limitations of sorcery, but how do I get there in the first place? Or what if I merely wanted to use it to double my lifespan with a one-time working?
                      That's pretty hard to tell, since an eternal lifespan in should be a big god damn deal IC, but who has ever played a game where the characters die of old age?

                      It'd depend on the details. If it's a matter of having no potential upper bound on your life, but ageing and growing weaker as normal (provided the ST would enforce such things, since, notably, there is no mechanical representation of that in Exalted), then I'd say Celestial 2, like granting a supernatural power to a willing person. However, I can't really find a good list of mutations in 3e, so it's possible it'd just be Terrestrial 2.

                      If it's a matter of literally not growing older ever again, it's hard to tell. On the one hand, it's really not that big a deal given the normal character's play, so Celestial 2 might be able to cover it. by another reasoning, it'd be Solar 1 at least, since restoring a single person to the prime of their youth is an example of a Solar 1 working, and that's a one-time thing after which the person ages as normal again. It'd probably more likely to be Solar 2, since that mentions messing with the time flow in a city, changing how the reincarnation of souls work or transforming the nature of a supernatural being without giving it new "powers", which could be equated to transforming a mortal into an everliving thing, I suppose. But that's also really little bang for your buck, and not at all impressive.

                      Conclusion: Terrestrial 2 or Celestial 2 for not dying to old age, but still ageing, with the physical deterioration that entails. Somewhere between Solar 1 and Solar 2 for never growing older again, but still being mortal and being otherwise killable by sword, flame or accident. Yeah, that's not very defined.

                      Double your lifespan is sort of similar to eternal life span but ageing for any practical purpose, honestly, so I'd say Terrestrial 2 to Celestial 2 there too.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      The ability to turn into a dragon at will
                      As has been said earlier, really depends on the the specifics of the dragon. I'd not let anyone just straight up become a flying, scaled and clawed, fire-breathing, Essence-channeling monstrosity and then change back at will. I'd possibly let it happen as a Solar 3 working, but that'd be a one-time thing; that's what they are then. If they want to shift back, it'd take another Solar 3 working, but since Exalts are arguably stronger than monsters, it'd not necessarily even be possible to do perfectly.

                      If it's a matter of less, I'd be willing to discuss it. Layered workings is a thing I'm a fan of.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      The ability to turn intangible at will
                      Sounds like about a supernatural power. Celestial 2.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Making a dragon the size of a large horse to ride
                      If it's a dragon-like animal that's dangerous but mundane (except for maybe fire breath), Terrestrial 3. If it's a magical dragon that's sentient and with significant power, Celestial 2-3 depending on the specific powers.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Making caves with 90 dragon eggs in them. The dragons hatch into full-sized dragons after about 5 years, but only a dozen eggs hatch each time, though you can hatch an egg early by using Resources 5 of special reagents. The dragons can be bonded with by spending a season doing special songs and rituals (I might have got the exact numbers wrong). They don't breathe fire, but they do spit a searing tar-like substance.
                      Are the dragon eggs being created, or are they there from the start? If they're being created, I'd say Celestial 3, since Celestial 3 provides a single grown loyal supernatural minion and these are eggs that need to be hatched and bonded too. That said, I'd not let 90 of them be created by the same working; maybe a dozen per working, and you'd have to recast it to grow more.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Making a set of magical mirrors (one big one, 3 or 4 small mobile ones). Spirits reflected in them are revealed, with chains pointing to their binder. The mirror-master can create copies under his control of anyone the mirrors have seen, but these copies have to stay in sight of the big mirror. He can allow spirits to possess and control the copies.
                      Enchanting a mirror to show spirits and their binders: Terrestrial 1. These copies, are they simple controllable images that are clearly images? If so, part of the previous working, if not obviously images, a separate Terrestrial 1 working. Allow spirits to possess the images... couldn't they normally do that anyway? I mean, it's not like he's making them do it, they just have the option. Haven't really read rules about possession, though. To do everything at once, it has a little too disparate effects for me to feel really comfortable with it, but possibly Celestial 1?

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Making a ghost immune to binding. Possibly only when he's in his temple-manse.
                      Celestial 2, as making alterations to the nature of a willing supernatural being.

                      Originally posted by Leliel View Post
                      Permanently enchanting an Artifact gauntlet that, when fed the proper reagents and motes, gains the ability to summon the Things That Dwell In Corners (living shadows that emerge from sleep and flit around spookily when demons have tainted Creation, for those who don't know) and reforge them into a great armor for the wielder for the next couple hours-ie, a portable, if difficult-to-refuel, warstrider.
                      Sounds like an Evocation, as has been mentioned. I guess it could be done with a working, but also maybe not; I don't think it's healthy for the system to assume that workings can do absolutely everything. I'd totally let a working create that kind of thing as a one-off, however.

                      Side note, do we know how to handle creating temporary things? The rules say workings are "permanent", but I kind of suppose that's more in the sense than they can't be dispelled. If you wanted to give them a time limitation, would that be possible? If so, is that harder or easier? Does it depend on whether would be more beneficial in the moment, maybe? :P

                      Originally posted by Aiden View Post
                      Okay, I have another one. Say I had a small city in the mountains and I wanted to use a working to create an battle group of golems or terracotta soldiers to protect it. What Circle and Ambition would that be?
                      Creating a specimen of a completely new form of life, which I suppose this might count as, is Terrestrial 3 provided they are mundane (and I count being able to heal at mortal rate as mundane). Not sure how you imagine their physical and mental capabilities; if they're essentially mindlessly reactive, then Terrestrial 3 would absolutely be enough. That's one specimen, though; you wanted a battle group of 1000. On the one hand, that's a lot of creatures. On the other, a battle group kind of makes the individual less important and, frankly, less powerful due to system abstractions. I'd say that as long as you intend for them to only specifically fight in battle groups, I'd let it be a Celestial 1 working for the lot of them, but I've not read the battle group rules very cloasely yet, so I might change my mind there..

                      Originally posted by Elyon View Post
                      okay, lets say, I want to be a D&D spells battery mage, so maybe double sorcerous motes by rolls and rituals, and maybe double casting, and, why not, triple casting (i read the gamer, sorry) what circle do you thing this belongs?
                      That's multiple Solar 3 workings right there, if it's even possible. Absolutely mostly Charm and Initiation territory.

                      Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                      I would like to have my players fight a vizzerdrix.* Granted I could always make it a demon, or some monster from the Wyld, but I kind of want it to fit close to the original source material and I figure a working would give justification on why it might be a one time thing.

                      *http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Ca...iverseid=94911
                      Cross two different species of plant or animal to create a hybrid species with the best traits of both: Terrestrial 2.

                      Originally posted by CrownedSun View Post
                      Turning one of the Fair Folk into a creature that isn't a Raksha, that has the ability to 'convert' his former brethren into his new race. Kinda of like Mountain Folk, but infectious.
                      Turning a Raksha into a non-Raksha is Solar 2, by example. Making it able to do the same to others... I'd not let that fly.

                      Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                      This does raise a question for me, though. If a PC wants to do a Working to buy the equivalent of another Exalt's charm, does anyone else think that's a bit of a slippery slope?
                      Overall, I'm sceptical to the idea of using workings to enchant the sorcerer himself. Personal magic and powers is what Charms are for. If they insist, though, my take on it is that they can gain a look but not a mechanical representation of that look. Someone casting a working to be able to turn into a dog doesn't mean they'd get Lunar shapeshifting. Someone making their eyes shoot beams doesn't mean they'd get Death Ray. I'd let them copy the aesthetics, not necessarily the mechanical effect.
                      Last edited by Weimann; 11-01-2015, 03:56 AM.


                      Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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                      • #26
                        Here's one for my Ysyr Rebel/Privateer idea:

                        Enchanting a small atoll so that it tears free of the ocean surface and becomes a flying island quite capable of moving under its own power with directions from a captain navigator. Meant to serve as a frame for other Workings to give it its own ecosystem, weapons, self-repair (he's banking on it being able to survive long enough for him to add that) and the ability to actually accelerate beyond "mind-crushingly slow". Permanent flaw in the working to save on effort is the the fact that there is only ever one captain-navigator; the god of the atoll in question, who has no particular sorcerous binding enforcing her loyalty apart from her inability to exit the island-ship or operate its non-navigational systems once my guy adds those.
                        Last edited by Leliel; 10-31-2015, 11:41 PM.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Totentanz View Post

                          I agree you shouldn't let people just paste whatever they want onto their PC, but we have to remember people are paying XP for these Workings, so that's already a balancing factor. I wouldn't drop ten XP for the necessity of chomping on a hearthstone.

                          This does raise a question for me, though. If a PC wants to do a Working to buy the equivalent of another Exalt's charm, does anyone else think that's a bit of a slippery slope?
                          I do, and also things equivalent to spells. I mentioned the necromancer in my game wanted to do a working to gain the power to turn immaterial like a ghost... but that's already a Labyrinth-circle spell, so I told him to go buy that.

                          Also, why would you pay 10xp? Celestial Ambition 2 workings cost 4xp. This is kind of an issue for me: yes, there's an XP cost, but it's half the price of a charm, so it seems like the powers you gain should only be half as good as a charm (which isn't very good).


                          My characters:
                          Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                          Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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                          • #28
                            Here's a possibly transgressive idea, that I came up with trying to replicate the "Chosen of Myself" feel of 2e Devil Tigers.

                            Say that a mortal sorcerer somehow gets his hands on an Exigent Exaltation. Maybe it's "blank," maybe it's already got some god's Essence imprinted on it, but either way, he doesn't want to become the Chosen champion - the servant, in other words - of some petty divinity. No, he wants to custom tailor it; could he gather Essence from various spirits, and use a sorcerous working to infuse them into the stolen Exaltation? I'm afraid that might be of the Solar circle, which is... a rather daunting prospect for someone only initiated as a Terrestrial sorcerer, but somebody might just be crazy enough to try it.

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                            • #29
                              I'd allow it for a good story. Possibly we need a bit more detail on Exigents though.


                              My characters:
                              Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                              Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
                                Here's a possibly transgressive idea, that I came up with trying to replicate the "Chosen of Myself" feel of 2e Devil Tigers.

                                Say that a mortal sorcerer somehow gets his hands on an Exigent Exaltation. Maybe it's "blank," maybe it's already got some god's Essence imprinted on it, but either way, he doesn't want to become the Chosen champion - the servant, in other words - of some petty divinity. No, he wants to custom tailor it; could he gather Essence from various spirits, and use a sorcerous working to infuse them into the stolen Exaltation? I'm afraid that might be of the Solar circle, which is... a rather daunting prospect for someone only initiated as a Terrestrial sorcerer, but somebody might just be crazy enough to try it.
                                "...Then the freakish, agonized Behemoth screamed 'Kill me now!' in Old Realm and ate Lookshy. Don't do Black Market Exaltations kids."

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