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  • Flexible magic system for changelings?

    I love Changeling: The Lost but I was always a little disappointed that there wasn’t a more flexible magic system. In Dark ages: Fae there was unleashing, which I thought was pretty cool and there are a few homebrew systems but they never really clicked with me. Do you guys have any ideas for this?
    Last edited by Overlord62; 02-02-2018, 09:46 AM.

  • #2
    You're talking about essentially a sorcery system for fae creatures? One thing you could do is use hedge magic (lowercase "H") as a model for this. If Changelings cannot stack supernatural merits then use a Contract to simulate the ability to do basic magic, blessings, curses and the like.

    I think one reason nothing has been floated, however, is because Changelings and their power source seem tied up in the mechanisms for agreements and bargains with the universe. So while a given Changeling can work a great deal of 'sorcery' they do it through the defined pathways that they discover (Contracts).

    And then there's simple word-count....

    --Khanwulf (who is not an expert)

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    • #3
      Could you please provide links to all the systems you've seen and explain what you didn't like about them? Otherwise, it's gonna be very hard to divine what you are looking for?

      Like, what do you mean by flexible magic system? Something like the ability to basically perform any magical act you can think of (within general CoD level limits) with the appropriate mystical ritual?

      I would argue that Changelings already have more flexible array of powers than Werewolves and Vampires fluffwise. Sure, there's homebrew powers for both, but Werewolf Gifts are all supposed to be focused on making you a better hunter and Changelings are in-universe supposed to be able to bargain with all sorts of crazy things to get new Contracts, meaning that piling your PCs and NPCs up with Homebrew Contracts is more justified than it is for Vampires.


      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
        Could you please provide links to all the systems you've seen and explain what you didn't like about them? Otherwise, it's gonna be very hard to divine what you are looking for?

        Like, what do you mean by flexible magic system? Something like the ability to basically perform any magical act you can think of (within general CoD level limits) with the appropriate mystical ritual?

        I would argue that Changelings already have more flexible array of powers than Werewolves and Vampires fluffwise. Sure, there's homebrew powers for both, but Werewolf Gifts are all supposed to be focused on making you a better hunter and Changelings are in-universe supposed to be able to bargain with all sorts of crazy things to get new Contracts, meaning that piling your PCs and NPCs up with Homebrew Contracts is more justified than it is for Vampires.
        Sure, first there’s wyrd-sorcery which I felt was messy and unwieldy then there’s wyrd-binding and I like the concept for it but it never really resonated with me. Also, by “flexible magic system” I mean something that emphasizes the chaotic nature of fae creatures. That’s why I like the concept of Dark age: Fae’s unleashing although the system could certainly use a few modifications.

        Edit: how do I post links?

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        • #5
          Press the symbol that looks like A and you get lots of options.

          EDIT: Also, what's Dark Age: Fae? If it's C:tD thing, I'd like to remind you that there's a big thematic difference between OWoD and NWoD Fae. OWoD fae are all about creativity and wonder. NWoD Fae (at least True Fae and arguably Changelings) borrow and steal all their ideas from mortals (even the Hedge denizens of 2e seem to be either from Ironside originally or descendants of Ironside creatures). Otherwise, they are creatively sterile. So I almost kind of wonder if there even is any thematic space for a flexible magic system.
          Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 02-02-2018, 11:34 AM.


          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
            Press the symbol that looks like A and you get lots of options.

            EDIT: Also, what's Dark Age: Fae? If it's C:tD thing, I'd like to remind you that there's a big thematic difference between OWoD and NWoD Fae. OWoD fae are all about creativity and wonder. NWoD Fae (at least True Fae and arguably Changelings) borrow and steal all their ideas from mortals (even the Hedge denizens of 2e seem to be either from Ironside originally or descendants of Ironside creatures). Otherwise, they are creatively sterile. So I almost kind of wonder if there even is any thematic space for a flexible magic system.
            Thanks! Also DA:F is actually very different from C:TD although it does use a few of the same terms. In DA:F the fae aren’t born from human wonder and imagination but are actually raw, primordial magic made flesh. Magic was divided into Dawn, Day, Dusk and Night based on it’s thematic effects. You could use cantrips, which were basically the same as contracts, or you could take a chunk of raw magic and unleash it. Unleashing was powerful and flexible but it had lot of ways it could go horribly wrong and I like that element of chaos.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Overlord62 View Post

              Thanks! Also DA:F is actually very different from C:TD although it does use a few of the same terms. In DA:F the fae aren’t born from human wonder and imagination but are actually raw, primordial magic made flesh. Magic was divided into Dawn, Day, Dusk and Night based on it’s thematic effects. You could use cantrips, which were basically the same as contracts, or you could take a chunk of raw magic and unleash it. Unleashing was powerful and flexible but it had lot of ways it could go horribly wrong and I like that element of chaos.

              Sounds like Mage and/or Talespinning with a really wild GM

              "Raw Primordial made flesh" almost sounds like Supernal Cryptids

              EDIT: Ok, still not sure whether DA:F is set in the OWoD or the NWoD or some other setting
              Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 02-02-2018, 12:44 PM.


              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post

                EDIT: Ok, still not sure whether DA:F is set in the OWoD or the NWoD or some other setting
                It is OWoD ( just WoD now), but each game in WoD has very different cosmologies from each other. DA:F is essentially a different take on the idea of Changeling than either CtD or CtL (although it was before CtL). It was similar to but distinct from CtD.



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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post

                  It is OWoD ( just WoD now), but each game in WoD has very different cosmologies from each other. DA:F is essentially a different take on the idea of Changeling than either CtD or CtL (although it was before CtL). It was similar to but distinct from CtD.
                  Basically this, part of the reason I like DA:F is that it got rid of a lot of things about C:tD that I hated.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Overlord62 View Post
                    I love Changeling: The Lost but I was always a little disappointed that there wasn’t a more flexible magic system. In Dark ages: Fae there was unleashing, which I thought was pretty cool and there are a few homebrew systems but they never really clicked with me. Do you guys have any ideas for this?
                    Dreameaving and Hedgespinning are basically the free form types of Changeling magic, problem is most, but not all of their effects are limited to the Hedge or Dreams. Perhaps a future contract will allow their use elsewhere.

                    Some contracts can be very flexible in use, with some creativity, to be almost restricted free forn magic, like the ability to grant objects a Mask (I forget the name) or Loyal Servant and Discreet Conjuration.

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                    • #11
                      Sealing can function as very minor flexible magic giving sealing breakers any minor curse you want.

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                      • #12
                        Not sure if i said it before, but a big theme of 2e that i really like is that Changelings are hunted fugitives who have to beg, con and bargain for every little edge they can get. Thats why im not sure a flexible magic system is appropriate, at least at lower power levels?


                        A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                        • #13
                          It could be in theme with changeling if the magic system used is sortof like magic but put together with duck tape. Potentially strong but horribly unreliable.


                          Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                          Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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                          • #14
                            One thing I've been playing around with (at least in the context of Fairy Tales), is to make various odd-ball effects Closed Rites/Rituals (from the Sorcery system in the Dark Eras Companion).

                            Basically decide what you want the Rite to do, then come up with (about) 3 things doing it successfully requires. Spending a point of Fuel Stat (Glamour, in this case) means you can skip or reduce one of the elements, or improve the effect in some way.

                            They are designed for mortals, in general, but you can pay-gate all kinds of features behind that optional cost.

                            If you want, let Changelings come up with "new" Rites Ad Hoc. I'd borrow from some kind of narrative device or story to give it some structure, or you could roll dice against a chart of flexible options.
                            Last edited by Vent0; 02-02-2018, 03:08 PM.


                            Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                            Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                            • #15
                              One minor hack I'm planning to use that makes things a tad more flexible: making contract blessings something that applies on an individual level instead of by seeming. Any time you purchase a Favored Regalia contract you get one free blessing, which can either be one of the suggested ones or something new you homebrew with the ST.

                              So like, if you're a light elemental who wants to throw blinding daggers and doesn't have dots in intimidate you can take the suggested "darkling" blessing when you get Elemental Weapon. Or as a Ogre with Sword as a Favored Regalia (or just one who spent extra exp) you can say "Hey I'd like for my attacks to inflict Knockdown whenever I use this."

                              Think of it like signing a lease. You have your standard terms and conditions, but if you're a relative (metaphorically representing Favored Regalia) they'll give you a discount and throw in a free dishwasher, or something like that.

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