View Full Version : Original magic and technology.

2011-09-15, 09:01 PM
I'm currently making a new rpg with an entirely new system. I'd like it to be an open system like mage the ascension, but I recognize how cheap it is simply ripping off a game system like that, I also do and don't like the spell system in D&D. With the spell system in d&d, with that system you have a number of effects that you can do, but are limited to their singular and often convoluted, contradictory effects.

On top of this, in this game I want the effects loose enough so that if a player to they could call the effects what ever they want such as psychic powers, technology,divine energy, etc.

can you guys help with this conundrum? maybe feed me with some ideas or articles on this or something?

2011-09-15, 09:17 PM
On top of this, in this game I want the effects loose enough so that if a player to they could call the effects what ever they want such as psychic powers, technology,divine energy,
Well; this at least is easy:
Character Concept.
Your players can just decide on what they want those things to be; how a spell looks, what the power source is and that sort of thing. As long as the spell does what the spell-description says mechanically, all the rest is just for fun.
However, spells should NEVER have a mechanical source. Mechanical sources can be stolen, smashed, damaged or otherwise inconvenienced. Items can grant special abilities upon activation, but these should be purchased through in-game currency; not experience.

For the rest: You say you want an 'open' system like M:tA (the base WoD system with some specifics; the d10 dice pool where you count a number of successes (usually 6-10)) but don't want that because you would be ripping off their idea? In the end, there's only so many RNG systems out there, and most of them have been used. There's a system where each of your stats is represented by a single die; the better the stat, the greater the die. There's dice-pool systems like WoD (and others; Arkham Horror uses a six-sided dice-pool system), there's dice-pool systems like GURPS where multiple six-sided dice function as if they were one greater die; the results of each die is added up for a single result which determines success or failure.
There's also dice systems where you roll against a table, dice systems where you need to score under your stat in order to succeed (the higher the stat, the more chance of success), there's systems where you need to roll OVER your score in order to succeed (lower stat = better chance) and there's even a system that uses rock-paper-scissors in order to determine successes (used in Mind's Eye Theatre, often used for WoD LRP purposes). I've personally even made a system once that used a deck of normal playing cards (stripped off of the picture cards) in order to determine successes and failures.
In the end, no matter how you turn it, some game or other will probably have used a system similar to what you're doing, in the basics.
The real freedom lies not in the RNG, but in the values you assign, allow and set out; the parameters, the way different things combine and function, and the different ways in which your system deals with problems.

I hope this could have been of some help to you. Don't be afraid to be inspired by someone else's work; as long as you don't outright steal it, being inspired could also be interpreted as a compliment.

2011-09-15, 09:29 PM
I think by "open" system he means one based more on the "storyteller" model, where the rules are relatively nonrestricting (as compared to D&D) and the GM has far more role in determining what's allowed.

In order to best devise the system, it might be best for you (the OP) to answer a few more questions:

1. What exactly do you like and dislike about the D&D spell system? From how I read it, you like that you have "a number of effects that you can do", but I don't know if that means you like that there's a limited number, or that you like that you have options.

2. What roles will the PCs (and other characters of importance) have? Will they all be spellcasters (or the psionic, technological, holy, etc. equivalent)? Or will there be martial characters and those who "live by their wits" as well?

2011-09-15, 09:41 PM
You make a fair assumption; DnD is rather restricting indeed.
But I think one of the reasons for that is that DnD is more of a miniature game with heavy RP elements (such as story and progression) rather than a real roleplaying game.

But yes, that's a very good question: What are the things you would improve in your own system? What are the things lacking in other systems? Those questions are paramount to designing your own system.

2011-09-15, 09:54 PM
If it's just magic you got a problem with, this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=213706) might do.

Yay! Self-Promotion!