Fantasy Wargaming, cover to cover (XXI)

So, we finally see the table that explains the social classes* and backgrounds that may become various mage types, the methods each type uses to accumulate mana and make preparations for sorcery & divination, and the modes of divination they use, and their base bonuses/penalties to use various types of spells. I am too tired to replicate this info in detail but if you’ve been following up to now you know the types:

  • peasant mage aka Cunning Man/Wise Woman;
  • Wizard;
  • Witch;
  • High Sorcerer/Runic Sorcerer;
  • Cabalist.

Back in the day I missed the part about Runic sorcerers being Dark Ages only and High sorcerers being later eras. Oddly, Cabalists are required to be Jewish (not too surprising) or Muslim(!). I take it Muslim Cabalists are really practicing some Islamic esoterica but similar in all respects to Cabalists. Muslim and Jewish are both “bogeys” you might roll on the Bogey table; I think it’s reasonable to allow players to choose those backgrounds too though, if they want.

Anyway any mage may also become a Witch by joining a coven (and damning their souls). Peasant mages may become Wizards, and Wizards may become Sorcerers, if they can get to the required Social Class and Magic level (4th). “Multiclassed” Witches keep the better factors of their two classes, while other changes of class presumably just use the new factors, even if some are inferior.
The magic section concludes with a run down of magical XP. XP is gained by casting spells, magical preparations (=for accumulating mana), resisting spells and counter-magic (BMC(2)), divination, and detecting influences.

Doling out magical XP would require a lot of record keeping.  Like adventuring XP, it is mainly based on keeping track of chances of success and failure, and you get 100-%chance of success (or more simply, XP=chance of failure). XP is also gained by accumulating and spending mana, which again is going to need a lot of record keeping. This is probably on the order of Rolemaster, but still a little complex for my liking.  I’d probably come up with a much simpler method, like GM fiat.

*Earlier I posted that the Social Class was required of the character, but in fact it is the the character’s father’s SC that is required.

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Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 10:00 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Explaining the games mechanics is probably almost as exhausting as trying to keep track of them all and use them in play. 😉

  2. I was thinking about XP and adventure format. I see this game more like Pendragon than D&D with Feudal obligations, working on Social Class, and making a living and such taking time. There will likely be a long time between adventures.

    Maybe just have Adventuring and Training XP for all classes.

    Adventuring would be critical life threaten experiences to give XPs. Fighting, avoid monsters, casting a spell at a critical juncture etc. in general I am thinking XP would be like DD x danger factor (0-4) x 10 / PC LV = XP.

    EXAMPLE: So a level 1 wizard casting a 6 DD spell at a sleeping guard (danger factor =1) might gain 6 x 1 x 10 / 1 = 60 XP. Casting the same spell against a charging Knight might be (danger factor 4) 240 XP

    Fighting might be better like this (CL of Monster + Damage resistance + Max Damage of Monster) x END dealt / CL). This would take into account the danger of fighting a armored guy vs a peon.

    Fighting a squire in mail (CL=1 + DR=4 + MD = 8, END=12) = 13 x 12 = 156 / LV but a peasant (unarmored but armed) might be 9 x 12 = 108 / LV XP
    Training XP is just what PC do in their off time. It is slow but can be sped up by how much money/risk the PC has to take care of day-to-day expense and buy equipment. You could just rate the intensity of training.
    Combat training takes money for resources (weapons, armor, arrows, and teachers) and some risk of injury and or loss equipment.
    Magical training takes money for equipment (wands, fetishes etc) but has a risk of discovery by church and locals thus facing being ostracized or condemned.
    Religious XP would be doing “god’s work” working with the church or good works outside. Their would modest money cost but they would risk losing title or becoming in a intrigue/duty they cannot leave behind to adventure.

    I made up a training table but it does not format well here

    • The “Pendragon” approach is a good idea. “Off-season” Religious XP would accumulate from attending/performing services, and you can just use a calendar. “Off-season” Magic training would be fairly calculable according to the “Accumulation of mana” rules too. “Off-season” Combat/Adventuring XP maybe for patrols or tournaments.

      • I was thinking religous would be performing rituals rather than attending.

  3. or your average serf would be like 8th level by his 30th birthday.

    • A priest gets 10 XP for a mass, 15 for a high mass; going to mass (or attending any other ceremony) nets the serf 1 XP. Attending mass three times a week for a year is “only” 156 XP, so that’s midway through 4th level at age 30. Assuming non-PCs gain XP — which they probably don’t.

      But you start at age 16 with no XP of any kind so I guess you’d be 2nd level if you did nothing but attend mass every Sunday plus 2 extra saint’s days each week until age 30. The priest on the other hand, if he performs one mass, one high mass, and one other ceremony for an average of 30 XP a week is going to go up levels ridiculously fast. But then again a 10th (Religious) level priest is no 10th level D&D cleric.
      I’d probably also consider altering XP increments (why not 1000 for each of the first 3 levels, then 2000, etc.? or something.)


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