Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ancient Society with Magic

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ancient Society with Magic

    So I have always loved the story slash campaign idea of a civilization where all members have access to magical abilities. To me such a nifty magical society having access to magical 'disciplines' of individual powers that grow in power works really well.

    I also really like the understandable nature of the World of Darkness rule set. I even more like the nature of the Vampire 20 (and its Dark Age sibling) rules. And this most especially includes the powers of Disciplines and Thaumaturgy.

    Soooo I was wondering about the potential of a WOD game using the Vampire 20 (slash Dark Age Vampire 20) rule set to provide the idea of 'mortal' characters with access to the Disciplines (including Thaumaturgy paths and rituals) of the Vampires. I would have it that while monsters and beasts and such things of magical potency exist there won't be Vampires, Mages, Werewolves, etc as in canon.

    It really comes down to the idea that I go through the Disciplines of Vampire and like them quite a lot, even removed from the general motif of them being Vampire powers. (I should add that they can still be powered by Vitae, nothing says the mortals of this magical society can't use the essential power of their blood to gain access to 'ancient power'.) I would definitely make Vitae something that the members of the society get it naturally - no need to suck blood or kill people for it. (Though I could totally see there being an underground group who do such things, all the better for campaign adventure.)

    In said society Disciplines can be organized by how easy they can be learned so maybe the Common Disciplines that anyone can learn, the Guild Disciplines that only those in a 'guild' can access, the Thaumaturgy Disciplines based on the Wizard's Council or something. Maybe there can be Sect Disciplines that are even rarer than Guild ones, etc.

    I could see the society thinking only their people can use the ancient magics - which leads to the discovery that an Outsider can learn them, adding campaign adventure.

    Anyway, I have long been interested in this idea and so I figured why not post the idea here to maybe get some thoughts and ideas and whatnot about the idea.

    (I posted this in general World of Darkness rather than Vampire as besides using the Vampire Disciplines as the power its not really Vampire specific.)

  • #2
    Is there a particular reason to not use the Sorcery Numina to accomplish this? Most of the same effects are going to be covered, it's already adapted for mortals use, and so on.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Is there a particular reason to not use the Sorcery Numina to accomplish this? Most of the same effects are going to be covered, it's already adapted for mortals use, and so on.
      Well, honestly, its mostly due to their limits and the difficulty in casting the magics. I actually own the sorcery books and such and while I like them as is I find myself really liking the design of the Vampire Disciplines, especially when one takes away the whole 'vampire' nature of the magics themselves and imagine the rules and the fluff as a general sort of magic.

      But yeah, you are right, the Sorcery Numina and the magics described in Sorcerer Revised and Hedge Magics could be applied. Though I would want them to be easier to cast and more open ended in capability.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm curious about what you feel the limits here are. Sorcerers are limited compared to mages, sure, but what can Disciplines do that Sorcery can't? I honestly don't see how Disciplines are more open ended.

        The "Messing with the Variables" sidebar in Sorcerer Revised (p. 62) has guidelines for making Sorcery easier to use, and you can always make the Mana Background more generous in terms of how much Mana a sorcerer can hold (that the Mana Manipulation Path lets you create Mana batteries as well); the ability to toss a -3 diff to your rolls when you need to do something important or fast is a significant boost Disciplines don't have.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, really, I guess its nothing more than long standing interest. Vampire was my first WOD book and I have spent years enjoying the nature, design, and capability of Disciplines and Thaumaturgy. Because of where my mind has long gone I have thought about using it without the death trappings as the power of an ancient magical society.

          But yeah, the sorcery magics you mentioned cover similar things in terms of stepped power groups and the nature of what potentially can and cannot be done. If one uses the variables guidelines to make things 'easier' then they can easily be applied to what I am thinking.

          But, there is much 'ooh, look at that as a society element' that I find interesting while going through the Disciplines of Vampire 20. Like, say, Chimerstry. I could imagine it being used by a Bardic Guild as a trained gift that their people use to entertain society. Same things with some of the other Disciplines, I read the fluff and after taking away some of the death and beast and such elements the powers as is sound really cool as the magical underpinnings for a society.

          Comment


          • #6
            There's certainly flavorful Disciplines in that sense, but those are going to be the unique Clan ones. Chimeristry certain makes sense as the Bardic Guild Discipline and all, but what about bread and butter stuff like Potence or Auspex?

            I see the Sorcery list as working better in that regard too. Most of the Numina Paths are already pretty society element oriented. Divination is for your local oracles. Fascination for your bards. Healing for your healers. Hellfire for your elementalists. Etc.

            There's nothing wrong with indulging your joy from the Disciplines, but if you're going to work up stuff for other people, esp. WoD fans that know stuff beyond VtM, I'd be worried about a lot of reactions such as my own.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm presuming the goal here is people with magic superpowers as opposed to people who do magic.

              I'll also toss out the idea of using the near human form stats for various werebeasts as a starting for beast-people. Cat-people (Bubasti or Cealican), Serpent Folk (Nagah), Fox-people (Kitsuni), Dog-people (Nuwisha), etc.


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

              Comment


              • #8
                First of all, thanks for the comments I appreciate them.

                Heavy Arms well such disciplines as Potence and Auspex would also exist. The idea would be that in this society all have magic. So maybe warriors have Potence and scouts have Auspex. But potentially so does the random beggar down the street. Of course, said beggar's access to the Disciplines aren't equal to what an active soldier might be able to give - giving the government a leg up when it comes to crime prevention.

                I liked the hedge magic book though I also had some problems with the aspects in the most recent version. Basically if I was to use this I would have to do a lot of work I think to make it fit with what I want. For all that though its an interesting system.

                I actually don't get what you mean by the last paragraph. Like, this whole idea isn't a bait and switch where players think they are going to go into the standard WOD and then I yell gotcha, hehe. Its more that this wouldn't so much be World of Darkness as it would be using the Storyteller System and the nature of the magic system within it. There wouldn't be mages and vampires and werewolves and changelings and mummies and hunters and etc - there would be the folk of the society with there access to Magic, there would be the supernatural forces and beasts, and there would be other civilizations without access to magic in such a widespread or common or easy to learn way.

                I don't want to use something like Mage Magic because its to world shaking.

                I like the idea of the Disciplines of Vampire because there is the category - the Discipline - and then the steps that one develops in it. Its very structured which means its 'easy' to figure out how said society would grow and develop and what it would do.

                But even more its mechanically designed so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel so to speak.

                No One of Consequence well the goal here is to basically use an already existing magic system to represent the magical potential of an ancient society in either Earth's past or in a parallel world. In said society the people found a way to tap into a greater source of magic which they then codified into a system of paths with steps. Thanks to this codification and the nature of said society everyone - from the lowest of commoner individual to the highest of ruler - has access to magic.

                On werebeasts and such, I totally would like to add/keep their presence. The idea of the society having both humans and werebeasts interests me quite a lot.

                ----

                On a setting level I am between a) people from the modern day are transported into the past into a small community and it is through there actions that the future magical kingdom is developed and b) the society exists and the pc's are basically special agents of the kingdom going about doing important tasks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My general suggestion would be to cap powers at level 5, and then heavily mine all of the old Thaumaturgy paths for your main power disciplines. Then try to figure out what those plus the three physical Disciplines haven't covered, and fill in with other Disciplines as needed. You may also consider mixing and matching various individual power levels into something that is more thematically consistent.


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                    The idea would be that in this society all have magic. So maybe warriors have Potence and scouts have Auspex.
                    My point though, was that this doesn't really mesh with the idea of Disciplines linking strongly to specific social elements; like your Bardic Guild example. That work really well for some, and not so well for others.

                    Basically if I was to use this I would have to do a lot of work I think to make it fit with what I want.
                    I'm curious what you feel that work is.

                    I actually don't get what you mean by the last paragraph.
                    If someone old me, "I'm using the cWoD base system to run a custom setting where it's a bunch of otherwise normal humans but they have access to magic in an ancient fantasy-style society." I would be very surprised that Disciplines would be the powers used for this given the array of options in the books. I doubt I'd be alone. I've actually been in a few games that have done something similar and none of the STs said, "Disciplines, clearly the best choice." I've seen it with Mage toned back a bit towards Ars Magica, Numina users, a very very curated list of Gifts and other powers from WtA, and even with Changeling's Arts and Realms. They all had their ups and downs, and a lot of player reservations about how some of that would work out (esp. the WtA based one). It doesn't take a lot of experience with the main WoD games to get a sense of how the different power groups work in play and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

                    But even more its mechanically designed so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel so to speak.
                    But it's also very targeted to WoD vampires in a few ways.

                    For example, if you're using Disciplines as a base, your magical society is going to suck at healing people. Healing magic in Disciplines is pretty rare, and often pretty costly, because the Disciplines aren't supposed to get away from the fact that vampires are parasites and damaging entities. If a vampire wants to save someone's life, it generally means by changing them into a vampire, a ghoul, or costing far more damage to someone else (even just in the form of heavy feeding).

                    The physical Disciplines are likewise tuned towards what vampires are already capable of. Any vampire can walk around with 6 in every physical Attribute if they have the time and blood to bump themselves up. So Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude are designed to out perform the brute boosting all vampires are capable of.

                    Either you're leaving this sort of stuff in and letting those design elements influence things, or you're going to have to retool more than it feels like you're taking into account.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                      My general suggestion would be to cap powers at level 5, and then heavily mine all of the old Thaumaturgy paths for your main power disciplines. Then try to figure out what those plus the three physical Disciplines haven't covered, and fill in with other Disciplines as needed. You may also consider mixing and matching various individual power levels into something that is more thematically consistent.
                      Yeah I agree with this. I mean I could potentially see the rare sixth dot power for like the legendary grandmasters but in general yeah, one to five. I also really like the use of the old Thaumturgy Paths and, in fact, would lean on them quite heavily as they represent a lot of what I would like to see available. And yeah, I could very much see moving certain things around and maybe even filling in blanks in categories that are missing.

                      ------
                      Heavy Arms

                      Firstly, thanks for the many comments. I really appreciate them. They are helping me to think on this deeper and in different ways then I was, and I thank you for that.

                      On your comments.

                      On social elements. Well, I figure that not everything is guild based, some are just capabilities the society found and use as a common thing. I mean I could see not allowing some Disciplines while limiting others to anti-hero groups - like Dementation could easily be a secret dark cult hidden in the shadows that uses the magic of madness. Other magics are just 'easy' to discover and so are used - like the physical magics, they aren't based on groups but just powers discovered and utilized naturally.

                      On the nature of magic I actually created a thread about it not that long ago. Basically I would combine the aspects so that one's dot level in the path was the baseline. I would make casting easier and safer and the abilities more available. I might even push things down so that say the posted third dot powers are second dot, meaning sixth dot powers are fifth dot and two and one are combined together. It was a bit of work and so I stopped.

                      On the implication of powers, okay, I see what you mean. My thing is that I really like the format and the thematics of some of the Disciplines and thus they fit my needs a bit more than others. Really, honestly, Thaumaturgy Paths are the ones that scream to me 'yeah, use these, they work well'.

                      Actually, I should say that in the World of Darkness it is the Vampire Disciplines of Masquerade that fit, I wouldn't do this in terms of Chronicles of Darkness. (In that system I might go a bit more towards using the Pillar and Affinity and Utterance system of Mummy, though without the whole mummy thing attached, lol.)

                      I mean I do see what you are saying on how 'so this ancient society uses Discipline Magic but they aren't dead and their magic is about stealing the blood of others' does sound a bit out there in explanation.

                      I do wonder would taking in the Thaumaturgy Paths and making them the basis of the magic of said society fit more than the vampire-heavy Discipline magic? I really love reading them and the idea of using them would be brilliant.

                      On your final point, hmm, interesting. I hadn't considered the healing element, which is definitely something I would want the magical society to have. The other points arent' bad, I mean I like the idea that physical capabilities in the society are enhanced, that is cool to me.

                      But yeah, you speak true, lots of stuff to think about - more than I might want to put into this little thought.

                      I will say this, the nature of a magical society with structured magic versus one with 'freeform' magic is a highly interesting topic for me to think about. A society where magic, while potent, is along a set of structured paths just seems more stable to me then one where nearly anything is possible given some effort.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would suggest looking at Wraith a bit. Not necessarily on a mechanical level, but as the game where the base powers are also closely tied to an overarching society rather than things like Clans or Tribes. Wr20 in particular does something interesting by making each Arcanoi two sets of 1-5 powers: one that any ghost can learn, and one that's tied towards training from one of the Guilds (which is fraught with political issues because the Guilds are not equally tolerated). Of the WoD games it has the most world building where your basic premise is already actualized to an extent.

                        I'm still not exactly sure why the Thaumaturgy Paths feels better for this than the Sorcery Paths (to me they're the most similar points between Disciplines and Numina).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Will have to look up Wraith 20 as while I own the previous version to it I haven't checked out its 20th version. I will say that I did like the general elements of the power system for the Arcanoi of Wraith. So yeah, it would be something to look into.

                          I think its the feel of Thaumaturgy, that and its more mechanical solidity as compared to Sorcery Paths. Mind you there are some that of the later that are really well done too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The WoD sorcerer stuff might actually be more powerful than blood magic in some ways (compare hellfire with Lure of flames) so I could see reasons not to do so. And while some 'in game' characters (like mages) can be simulated with disciplines I do think this detracts from the 'uniqueness' of vampires if you let humans access the exact same abilities (some of the books have depicted the disciplines both as blessings AND curses... potence isn't just about raw strength but also brutality and savagery.) Its still possible (the psychic stuff in Hunters Hunted II are modeled on certain disciplines I believe - pyrokinesis and psycho/telekinesis namely.)

                            However, I *could* see discipline creation rules in Vampire being used to create unique 'gifts' a human being might be born with or develop (which is more akin to psychic powers again but may not have a 'psychic origin) Time of Thin Blood has some rules for that for inceptors that could work (narratively, one could argue that 'thin bloods' being inceptors is because they're closer to their human nature. Perhaps disciplines are debased versions of that human magical 'gift' corrupted by the Curse of Caine.. which is why its hard to develop unique versions unless you're either very old.. or very young.)

                            A human could, for example, learn to develop greater strength (Rather than just potence) and they learn different ways to use it (upper body strength fro lifting or punching, vs lower body strength for running, jumping, kicking, etc.) As the 'gift' develops you might be able to gain more flexibility in how that power is utilized (splitting it evenly between upper or lower body, say. You might have the 'power' develop in a way not unlike the 'Demand' edge for Martyrs in Hunter: The Reckoning)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The uniqueness of vampires really isn't going to matter to the OP's idea, since non-human creatures including vampires would be antagonist material instead of PCs like the standard WoD. I'd imagine vampires would be made with something like HtR's monster creation rules, or M20 G&M's rules, rather than VtM's rules.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X