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How do you use Djinn?

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  • How do you use Djinn?

    So I'm having a bit of a difficulty with this. We have a player in our game who is playing a Taftani, and because he's playing a Taftani, he's wanting his own personal Djinn (which may be important for the concept, given the setting is no where near the the Middle East), but wanting it in the typical 'held in a bottle' style retainer. I'm admittedly a little confused as to how this usually works, as the book both seems to imply you may only make three uses of a Djinn, and that Taftani make much more than just 3 uses with a Djinn. He wrote it up as a Familiar, but his writeup of it suggests its a slave, not a partner (which is not, from what I understand, how a djinn familiar would work).

    How would you represent this mechanically? I am considering allies, but that seems strange, and retainer seems like it should be a lot weaker. Backup seems wrong, and I did consider Wonder as a 3 uses kind of thing. How would you include Djinn in your chronicle, and how would they be different from other normal spirits?

    One of the things that I noticed in the Lost Paths is that it suggests that Djinn are rare as one of the means to limit things like "Wishes"... but also states you can't have Taftani without Djinn. Would you consider that true - if you didn't make a big focus on Djinn, that a person could not actually play a Taftani?

    I'm pretty much thinking of just using them the same way one would any other High Umbra Spirit, but not sure if that would be the most apt means.

  • #2
    I’d make it a wonder, and have the bottle be a fetish the djinn is bound to. If it’s trully a slave then the djinn is going to be trapped to the fetish, probably by Spirit 4 magic, and may have a huge grudge against him.

    He’ll grant his wishes, but will purposefully make them follow the letter but not the intent.

    “I wish for a way out of this cave”

    *the floor of the cave collapses, he is out of the cave, but now deep within an abandoned mine.*
    Last edited by Saikou; 05-07-2018, 04:51 AM.


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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    • #3
      Does he know the rote to do it and does he have the sphere to cast it? Because it requires Spirit 4, Matter 3 ,Prime 2. And that will just give him a empty bottle, than he will need to force a Djinn inside it.



      The procedure is this.

      When the mage is ready to face the djinn she wants
      to imprison, she simply summons the djinn to her using
      Spirit 3 and then speaks the code word she programmed
      into the container; the Storyteller rolls the djinn’s Gnosis
      against a difficulty of the mage’s Willpower. Extra successes
      from the forging of the vessel cancel successes on
      the djinn’s Gnosis roll.
      If the mage wins, the djinn is sucked into the container
      where it is stunned for three turns. The mage uses
      those three turns to seal the vessel with molten lead,
      which she immediately inscribes with appropriate seals.
      If the mage fails to seal the bottle in three rounds, the
      lid pops off, the djinn escapes, and the mage becomes
      the djinn’s enemy number one.
      Last edited by Undead rabbit; 05-07-2018, 10:25 AM.

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      • #4
        Why do you need Matter 3 or Prime 2, to make a fetish. Spirit usually should be enough


        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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        • #5
          The book explicitly say that a djinn bottle is NOT a fetish, and djinn can't be bound by fetish.

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          • #6
            Oh, ok then.


            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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            • #7
              Right. He's a starting character, so no he doesn't know the rote involved in it. He's wanted to start with one made from what I imagine is his mentor's work, rather than his own. I know the Taftani pass on Djinn from mentor to student, so that makes sense (but since you can allegedly only use it three times before the Djinn is free, makes it all the more confusing)

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              • #8
                Maybe letting the player play a Taftani in the first place is the problem? If they always come with a Djinn.
                Otherwise, let him summon it with Spirit 3 and bargain for assistance in game each time it's needed. If the PC is buying it with Familiar, limit it to the normal things that a familiar of that level can achieve..

                That being said, a smart Player could always use "Having a Djinn" as a focus or coincidental reasoning (if people believe in the Djinn existing) and a way of extending their Paradigm to include "things a Djinn can do in Myth"
                Last edited by Illithid; 05-07-2018, 07:56 PM.

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                • #9
                  Don't forget that the taftanis LOATHE coincidental magick, its against their teachings. And i guess they wouldn't accept a pupil that pursue the lie.

                  If taftanis exist without being able to create djiin bottles ? Sure. The containers can be given to the young ones, made by their mentors. You just need spirit 3 to kidnap new djiins
                  You can always imagine the player has a wonder that is a reusable bottle made by a famous taftani.
                  Last edited by RandyRando; 05-07-2018, 08:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                    Maybe letting the player play a Taftani in the first place is the problem? If they always come with a Djinn.
                    Otherwise, let him summon it with Spirit 3 and bargain for assistance in game each time it's needed. If the PC is buying it with Familiar, limit it to the normal things that a familiar of that level can achieve..

                    That being said, a smart Player could always use "Having a Djinn" as a focus or coincidental reasoning (if people believe in the Djinn existing) and a way of extending their Paradigm to include "things a Djinn can do in Myth"

                    This.

                    The Taftani are cool in concept, but they either need some more development or adapted to already existing systems. Preferably I'd simply like paradigm development and not half thought out subsystems that cause headaches for STs and possibly imbalance the game.

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                    • #11
                      Taftani have a Paradigm. They're makers of magical props: Flying carpets, cristal balls that explode on flame, and rings that can bind spirits. There's no "half thought out subsystem" about them.

                      And they don't need to come with a Djinn - that's just part of their fluff. A player has good reasons to want one but it isn't mandatory

                      As Saikou says, it's a Wonder - but it's not a Fetish it's a seal that uses Matter to reinforce the bottle so it becomes harder to break (you could refuse to use Matter, but better use a very hard bottle - if the bottle breaks, it's your funeral). It uses Prime because it's effect it's crafted before you use it (you craft the bottle as a ritual before sealing the Djinn because these creatures are potent and may require lots of successes to seal). It's a Charm. Thus, it's a Wonder (4 dots because it's temporal, 8 if you want constant wishes)

                      Oh, and Djinns aren't omnipotent. Only the most powerful Djinn ever captured by the Taftani, the one that was captured by King Solomon himself, has the "Great Wish" Charm that can do almost anything. As far as we know, only Caliphs and above may have that charm - and that would be a N/A Wonder for it's uniqueness and sheer power (for the same reason you wouldn't allow a Fireball Wand that causes 10000 levels of aggravated damage to its target on a single success), let's be real here: What it's your apprentice doing with THAT bottle? - the rest of the Djinn are powerful spirits but can't do everything (chose their Charms).
                      Personally, I would ignore the Lost Paths book systems, use DA Mage example, and give them Spheres - that works much better.
                      Last edited by Aleph; 05-08-2018, 09:59 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                        Taftani have a Paradigm. They're makers of magical props: Flying carpets, cristal balls that explode on flame, and rings that can bind spirits. There's no "half thought out subsystem" about them.

                        And they don't need to come with a Djinn - that's just part of their fluff. A player has good reasons to want one but it isn't mandatory

                        As Saikou says, it's a Wonder - but it's not a Fetish it's a seal that uses Matter to reinforce the bottle so it becomes harder to break (you could refuse to use Matter, but better use a very hard bottle - if the bottle breaks, it's your funeral). It uses Prime because it's effect it's crafted before you use it (you craft the bottle as a ritual before sealing the Djinn because these creatures are potent and may require lots of successes to seal). It's a Charm. Thus, it's a Wonder (4 dots because it's temporal, 8 if you want constant wishes)

                        Oh, and Djinns aren't omnipotent. Only the most powerful Djinn ever captured by the Taftani, the one that was captured by King Solomon himself, has the "Great Wish" Charm that can do almost anything. As far as we know, only Caliphs and above may have that charm - and that would be a N/A Wonder for it's uniqueness and sheer power (for the same reason you wouldn't allow a Fireball Wand that causes 10000 levels of aggravated damage to its target on a single success), let's be real here: What it's your apprentice doing with THAT bottle? - the rest of the Djinn are powerful spirits but can't do everything (chose their Charms).
                        Personally, I would ignore the Lost Paths book systems, use DA Mage example, and give them Spheres - that works much better.

                        What I meant by sub-systems is the impression that the Taftani all have a Djinn. If they're not a spirit ally, totem, familiar, or a wonder, and if it's not clear what they are otherwise, then it's a half-thought out sub-system.

                        Even if it was fully fleshed out, I wouldn't prefer another group of mages having special abilities outside of what can be accomplished through sphere magick and wonders already. Another example is Do. I'm not a fan of Do having all these special maneuvers. The crazy martial arts should be how their magick works, not an addition to it. Otherwise it just leads to imbalances and special snowflake syndrome.

                        So for more info on their paradigm, I would want more background, rotes, wonders, their metaphysics, cosmology, and their equivalent of the sphere system, etc. Most of what I read about them was in M20 (which was pretty basic) and maybe a Sorcerer Crusades book back in the day.
                        Last edited by Onkwe; 05-08-2018, 02:14 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Onkwe View Post
                          Even if it was fully fleshed out, I wouldn't prefer another group of mages having special abilities outside of what can be accomplished through sphere magick and wonders already. Another example is Do. I'm not a fan of Do having all these special maneuvers. The crazy martial arts should be how their magick works, not an addition to it. Otherwise it just leads to imbalances and special snowflake syndrome.
                          I mean with the same argument you could argue that Enhancements and Requisitions are bad, since they give abilities and advantages that go outside of Sphere magick.

                          Any Mage can purchase abilities which give advantages outside of sphere magick. There are many Backgrounds and Merits which broach this territory, and it's pretty evenly spread overall I would argue.

                          Sure, Do is a potent martial arts variant, but you can only start at 2 dots. Any EXP you pour into it past that point could be put into Arete, or Enhancements, or Spheres. How does 2 dots of Do compare to 2 dots of Computer? Which of those is more powerful?

                          In Mage, anything can be overpowered. I mean if your Djinn gave you +3 dice to all Arete rolls and made all Spirit magick coincidental, we'd have a problem of course. A single thing, if it is overpowered enough, can negatively impact the whole game. But overall I would argue that Mage is balanced by imbalance. As much as your 2 dots of Do, and Archery (Crossbow) 5, with the Weapon Mastery technique, and a Unique Personalized instrument Crossbow could be OP, you could make something much more OP without Do, like a Cyborg with Hands of Daedalus and a Mechanistic Cosmos as their Focus, whose own cybernetics are always going to be Unique Personalized Instruments by default thanks to the merit making all mechanisms you spend enough time with fit that requirement, loaded up with 10 points of Primium to counter all of the OP bullshit other Mages try to pull.

                          Basically anything can be powerful and it's just important that the ST makes sure everyone is playing on a similar level. If one player doesn't know how to make a potent character, maybe give them guidance, or encourage the person with a powerful starting PC to spread their points out more.

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                          • #14
                            Besides, mages are supposed to be special snowflakes...

                            Originally posted by Onkwe
                            Even if it was fully fleshed out, I wouldn't prefer another group of mages having special abilities outside of what can be accomplished through sphere magick
                            The possession of a Djinn only requires the Rote - that's perfectly achievable by True Magick. Actually getting sure that the wish does what you intended requires a bargain process, and there the Taftani get a bonus, but that's all - the wish it's confered trough the spirit Charms (which can do about anything the ST allows)

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