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Thomar_of_Uointer
2012-01-20, 02:39 PM
I wanted to try my hand at making a track for blue magic because I think Legend is well-suited to the Final Fantasy video games. I haven't studied the system extensively, so please let me know if I made any major gaffes with regards to the rules or game balance.

I left this here in case anyone wants to see it. The updated one is in this post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12572326#post12572326).
Blue Mage Track
Blue magic is a school of arcane study devoted to copying parts of a creature's soul and harnessing its power. Blue mages are driven to seek out powerful beasts and learn their abilities so that they have a wide variety of powers to draw upon in combat.

1st Circle - Lancet: As a swift action before you attack you may declare a melee or ranged attack against one creature to be life-draining. On a successful hit you heal one point of damage per character level (up to a maximum equal to the damage dealt.)
You can scan a creature you damage with Lancet to learn more about it as a free action. You can also scan any willing or unconscious creature you touch (a move action.) You immediately know the following details about any scanned creature:
* level
* maximum hit point total
* current hit points
* armor class
* saving throw modifiers

2nd Circle - Copy: When you scan a creature, you also are aware of all of the track abilities it has. You may choose one of its first-circle abilities and use as your own (this does not deny the target use of the copied ability.) You cannot Copy Tactician and Shaman spellcasting, or any other type of spellcasting.
A copied ability becomes yours, as though you had gained it from a track. You may switch a copied ability for another anytime you scan a creature. You gain no benefit from an ability that is dependent upon another unless you also have that ability or Copy it.
If your previous ability was restricted to uses per [Round], [Encounter], [Scene], or [Quest] and you exhausted any use of it, then you gain no benefit from a newly copied ability (passive or otherwise) until the old one would have been refreshed.
You cannot Copy your own abilities, and you cannot Copy abilities that you already have unless they specifically can stack (certain feats, for example, but you cannot copy feats until you have the fourth circle on this track.)

3rd Cricle - Sweep: As a standard action you may scan all creatures within [Close] range. You may only use Copy to gain one ability from one creature, even though you have scanned all of them.
You may Copy two abilities. Your second ability may be second-circle or lower, but the other must still be first-circle.

4th Circle - Feat: When you scan a creature you also know what feats it has. You may Copy a feat as a first circle ability. For every prerequisite you do not meet for the feat and its prerequisite feats, the ability is one circle higher.
You may Copy a third ability of third-circle or lower.

5th Circle - Spell: When you scan a creature you also know what spells the target can cast and any active spell effects on the target. You can use Sweep to scan active spell effects in the same way, even if they are not directly targeting a creature, but you must . If you scan an active spell effect on a creature, a spell a creature can cast, or a spell effect using Sweep, you can use Copy to learn it as an ability the appropriate circle. A copied spell can be used as a spell-like ability twice per [Scene]. You may Copy the same spell multiple times.
You may Copy a fourth ability of fourth-circle or lower.

6th Circle - Reserve: When you Copy an ability you may choose to keep it in reserve instead of replacing an ability. You may replace a copied ability with the reserved one as a move action, leaving your reserve empty. You can discard the ability in Reserve as a free action.
You may Copy a fifth ability of fifth-circle or lower.

7th Circle - Magus Opus: Once per [Scene] you may use Copy to learn a seventh-circle ability. This ability only lasts for one [Encounter] and then it is lost until you Copy it again. You can use Reserve to retain a seventh-circle ability until you decide that you need it. If you use a Copy of a seventh-circle ability that is limited to use per [Quest] or [Scene], then you cannot use Magus Opus for the remainder of the [Quest].
You may Copy a sixth ability of sixth-circle or lower.

ChumpLump
2012-01-20, 08:44 PM
First and foremost.
Yay Legend Homebrew!

Second and postforemost.
Yay Blue Magic!

Third and penultimate.
I've been tinkering around with a mime/mimic/gogo-esk track, and have found it very tricky. This looks pretty good.

Fourth and final.
I hope you don't mind me P(leaseolitely) E(valutating) A(nd) C(ritiquing) H(onestly) this work, despite my low level of system mastery.


Lancet:

Swift action heal character level.
Compared to other healing abilities (Virtue, for example) this seems to be a nice little bonus to the full intention of the ability.

Scanning probably should require an action type, or be explained to be part of an action type.

Free Knowledge of...
Level: Seems like a handy thing.
Max HP: Seems a little sketchy
Current Hit Points: Seems more sketchy
Armor Class: Less comfortable with that
Saving Throws: Even less comfortable.

Now, I know the Blue Mage is known for their Scanning ability, and the spell Scan was nice in FF series, when there were no other ways to find out about enemies particular weaknesses and strengths, but I feel giving these for free isn't quite right. I'd fully support a scaling Knowledge Check DC (making this track Ideal for Tacticians and Rogues, Tacticians especially to trade out their spell-casting).
The nice thing about this is that it could also simulate the Boss effect of ???? HP and so on.
But, that's more opinion than balance, really.


Copy

The improvement of Scan really CAPs the whole Knowledge skill. Balance wise this track makes the Knowledge skill seem to pale more and more in comparison. Why take knowledge at all, when you can freely scan to get the goodies without a DC? I reinforce my suggestion to have Scan work hand in hand with the Knowledge skill.

Good call on being able to copy abilities of 1 circle lower than the ability that allows you to copy. This was my thinking as well.
As for spell tracks; why not allow spellcasting tracks to be copied, but only for 1 spell? Perhaps a single spell specifically readied by the scanned individual? Weaker option, yes, but allows for more options in general, which is actually a little stronger. Again, not a balance issue, just a suggestion.


Sweep
Looks good.


Feat
Could probably use a better name... maybe "Learning" ala FFV?
Knowing all the feats a creature has is pretty powerful, but then again how do you choose which one to copy if you don't? But if the feats were released one by one on a Knowledge DC (this will probably keep popping up... sorry about the repetition).
The using of Copied Circle Slots for feats is a very good idea.
I wonder if being able to skip Pre-reqs will cause any oddities?
You know, feats that are dependent on the Mechanics of Feats they have as prerequisites. I don't know off the top of my head.
Also, you may mention if this works on [Iconic] feats or not, as that those are kind of a big deal.


Spell
Automatic Knowledge issue.
Aha, that solves my previous suggestion to allow for spells to be copied. They have to wait until 5th circle. Nice.
Why twice per ? Three seems more natural to me, but that's entirely subjective and arbitrary really.


Reserve
May stipulate precisely how many abilities may be kept in the reserve. (Seems like intention is for just 1, or maybe 1 per circle, but I am uncertain.)


Magus Opus
Nice name!
[S]Seems a bit strong actually, even with the odd limitation of uses per [Scene] abilities. Not really sure what you could do to effectively lower it down. Personally (opinion again) I'd avoid the whole 7th Circle all together, but limiting it to one [Encounter] per [Scene] or [Quest] does seem to keep it in check fairly well. A bit of big guns on hold in case you need it. Thinking on it again, it looks fine.

I hope any of that is helpful.
I'd suggest it as a Tactician Track, rather than a floating optional Track, but that's your call.

You may also consider that this track will be powered down by its extremely MAD nature. Though that may be a good thing, you may consider making the Blue Mage (a character with Blue Magic Track), a Three-ability dependent sort of character, as that they will be far to versatile to support a Dual-ability dependency.
Something like a KCM (Key Copy Modifier), in addition to KDM and KOM.
Where KCM cannot be their KDM or KOM, but is the ability score used in place of other ability scores used in Copied Circle Powers.
Alternatively you may consider making their KOM the ability score used in place of other ability scores used in Copied Circle Powers, leaving the Blue Mage DAD.
A third option is to set this "KCM" as Charisma, as that Blue Magic always seemed to be a charismatic thing.

Leaving the Blue Mage MAD may be fine, balance wise, but will greatly shape the Blue Mage based on what class they originally belong to.

Anyhow, I hope any of that was helpful; use what you like, ignore the rest!

Thomar_of_Uointer
2012-01-20, 09:13 PM
I hope you don't mind me P(leaseolitely) E(valutating) A(nd) C(ritiquing) H(onestly) this work, despite my low level of system mastery.
I don't like saying "PEACH". Why would I generally expect people to examine and critique dishonestly?


Swift action heal character level.
Compared to other healing abilities (Virtue, for example) this seems to be a nice little bonus to the full intention of the ability.

Scanning probably should require an action type, or be explained to be part of an action type.
You're probably right about it being a bit strong for the action type (swift.) However, I didn't want it to mess up whatever type of attacks the character would normally be making. It also requires a successful hit, and can only be attempted once per round.

Scanning can only be done in one of the following ways:
As Lancet as a swift action declared before an attack.
As a move action on an adjacent ally or unconscious creature.
As a Sweep as a standard action.

I'm pretty sure that's limiting enough.


Free Knowledge of...
Level: Seems like a handy thing.
Max HP: Seems a little sketchy
Current Hit Points: Seems more sketchy
Armor Class: Less comfortable with that
Saving Throws: Even less comfortable.

Now, I know the Blue Mage is known for their Scanning ability, and the spell Scan was nice in FF series, when there were no other ways to find out about enemies particular weaknesses and strengths, but I feel giving these for free isn't quite right. I'd fully support a scaling Knowledge Check DC (making this track Ideal for Tacticians and Rogues, Tacticians especially to trade out their spell-casting).
The nice thing about this is that it could also simulate the Boss effect of ???? HP and so on.
But, that's more opinion than balance, really.
The improvement of Scan really CAPs the whole Knowledge skill. Balance wise this track makes the Knowledge skill seem to pale more and more in comparison. Why take knowledge at all, when you can freely scan to get the goodies without a DC? I reinforce my suggestion to have Scan work hand in hand with the Knowledge skill.
That's not a bad point. I will look into the Tactician's tracks to see how to make this work better. It might be best as a flat Knowledge bonus, and additional options for successful Knowledge checks.


As for spell tracks; why not allow spellcasting tracks to be copied, but only for 1 spell? Perhaps a single spell specifically readied by the scanned individual? Weaker option, yes, but allows for more options in general, which is actually a little stronger. Again, not a balance issue, just a suggestion.
You can't copy spells until late levels as a balance issue. You don't want the Blue Mage to be able to overshadow another party member who only has a few spells per day. It's also part of the "otherness" of what the Blue Mage does.


Could probably use a better name... maybe "Learning" ala FFV?
Knowing all the feats a creature has is pretty powerful, but then again how do you choose which one to copy if you don't? But if the feats were released one by one on a Knowledge DC (this will probably keep popping up... sorry about the repetition).
The using of Copied Circle Slots for feats is a very good idea.
I wonder if being able to skip Pre-reqs will cause any oddities?
You know, feats that are dependent on the Mechanics of Feats they have as prerequisites. I don't know off the top of my head.
Also, you may mention if this works on [Iconic] feats or not, as that those are kind of a big deal.
Oh! I did not notice that you could only have one [Iconic] feat. It's definitely a good idea to say that you can only copy a single [Iconic] feat. Since they all have such cheap prerequisites, I will probably also note that as long as an [Iconic] feat is copied it suppresses the Blue Mage's current [Iconic] feat if he already has one.


Automatic Knowledge issue.
Aha, that solves my previous suggestion to allow for spells to be copied. They have to wait until 5th circle. Nice.
Why twice per [Scene]? Three seems more natural to me, but that's entirely subjective and arbitrary really.
Again, it's a balance issue. Can't go one-upping your party's spellcasters. If you can copy the spells of every spellcaster in the party and swap between them at will, it's just ridiculous. This way you can only copy a single spell, and once you've used it you can't swap it out for anything (because of the restriction on per-XXX ability copying.)

I set it to 2 because by the second circle a spellcaster has 3 1st-circle spells per , but looking at higher levels I see that they get 4 of the previous circle. I will up it to 3 because the Blue Mage is effectively locked into his spell choice once he decides to cast, so it shouldn't be a balance problem.


May stipulate precisely how many abilities may be kept in the reserve. (Seems like intention is for just 1, or maybe 1 per circle, but I am uncertain.)
It's only supposed to be one. This is a bookkeeping issue. The Blue Mage's stats are going to switch around constantly so keeping five abilities in reserve could slow combat down.


[S]Seems a bit strong actually, even with the odd limitation of uses per [Scene] abilities. Not really sure what you could do to effectively lower it down. Personally (opinion again) I'd avoid the whole 7th Circle all together, but limiting it to one [Encounter] per [Scene] or [Quest] does seem to keep it in check fairly well. A bit of big guns on hold in case you need it. Thinking on it again, it looks fine.
This ability is the big gun. You decide on something nice, and then you only use it when you really need it. Alternately, you go up against the world-shattering boss and turn one of his seventh-circle abilities back upon him as your own seventh-circle ability (which is exactly what this track is about.) The burnout on [Scene] and [Quest] abilities is there because this is already a [Scene] ability and seventh-circle abilities with those sorts of restrictions are ripe for abuse (save-or-die, effortlessly skip encounters, turn the tide of battle, etc.)

You have to keep balance in mind. For what the Blue Mage does, flexibility actually is the power. This is actually one example of where that part of the Legend design philosophy breaks down, because the Blue Mage can swap his abilities out on a round-by-round basis to meet the situation.


I hope any of that is helpful.
I'd suggest it as a Tactician Track, rather than a floating optional Track, but that's your call.

You may also consider that this track will be powered down by its extremely MAD nature. Though that may be a good thing, you may consider making the Blue Mage (a character with Blue Magic Track), a Three-ability dependent sort of character, as that they will be far to versatile to support a Dual-ability dependency.
You could always take the Shaman route and leave one track open. I like it as an extra track because of the various forms the ability has taken in the games (sometimes it's a field of magic, sometimes it's something in-born, sometimes it's only used by savages, etc.) If someone wants to turn it into a class later, that's fine.


Something like a KCM (Key Copy Modifier), in addition to KDM and KOM.
Where KCM cannot be their KDM or KOM, but is the ability score used in place of other ability scores used in Copied Circle Powers.
Alternatively you may consider making their KOM the ability score used in place of other ability scores used in Copied Circle Powers, leaving the Blue Mage DAD.
A third option is to set this "KCM" as Charisma, as that Blue Magic always seemed to be a charismatic thing.
Leaving the Blue Mage MAD may be fine, balance wise, but will greatly shape the Blue Mage based on what class they originally belong to.
I would say Strength and Intelligence, going by the way it's generally portrayed when it's a standalone class.

ChumpLump
2012-01-21, 08:34 AM
I don't like saying "PEACH". Why would I generally expect people to examine and critique dishonestly?
Sarcasm could be argued as a form of insincerity, which wouldn't be very honest. And sarcasm never happens on these boards, not even once. (Perhaps there should be a color for playful sarcasm rather than scathing sarcasm? I'm a director not a writer, I'm terrible at conveying meaning without use of hands and face...)


You're probably right about it being a bit strong for the action type (swift.) However, I didn't want it to mess up whatever type of attacks the character would normally be making. It also requires a successful hit, and can only be attempted once per round.

Oh no, no, no. I think it's fine. Never said it was a bit strong. One attack per round (if it hits) heals considerably less than the paladin track and has the nifty "scan" tag-along. That looks good, not at all too strong. A nice representation, methinks.



You can't copy spells until late levels as a balance issue. You don't want the Blue Mage to be able to overshadow another party member who only has a few spells per day.
Left the comment there in strike out because I saw that it was made available later, but I figured the initial reaction would be worth noting.


Oh! I did not notice that you could only have one [Iconic] feat. It's definitely a good idea to say that you can only copy a single [Iconic] feat. Since they all have such cheap prerequisites, I will probably also note that as long as an [Iconic] feat is copied it suppresses the Blue Mage's current [Iconic] feat if he already has one.
Sounds good.



Again, it's a balance issue. Can't go one-upping your party's spellcasters. If you can copy the spells of every spellcaster in the party and swap between them at will, it's just ridiculous. This way you can only copy a single spell, and once you've used it you can't swap it out for anything (because of the restriction on per-XXX ability copying.)
What? I said "nice."
I think it's fine the way it is...what are you arguing against?


I set it to 2 because by the second circle a spellcaster has 3 1st-circle spells per [Scene], but looking at higher levels I see that they get 4 of the previous circle. I will up it to 3 because the Blue Mage is effectively locked into his spell choice once he decides to cast, so it shouldn't be a balance problem.
Cool. Like I said, an arbitrary number really, but it feels more round, doesn't it? *shrug*


It's only supposed to be one. This is a bookkeeping issue. The Blue Mage's stats are going to switch around constantly so keeping five abilities in reserve could slow combat down.
May want to stipulate that in the description.


This ability is the big gun. You decide on something nice, and then you only use it when you really need it. Alternately, you go up against the world-shattering boss and turn one of his seventh-circle abilities back upon him as your own seventh-circle ability (which is exactly what this track is about.) The burnout on [Scene] and [Quest] abilities is there because this is already a [Scene] ability and seventh-circle abilities with those sorts of restrictions are ripe for abuse (save-or-die, effortlessly skip encounters, turn the tide of battle, etc.)
Again the strike out text is stricken to show that I had initially responded one way, but then worked out whatever issue it brings up. I think it is good that is the big guns...


You have to keep balance in mind. For what the Blue Mage does, flexibility actually is the power. This is actually one example of where that part of the Legend design philosophy breaks down, because the Blue Mage can swap his abilities out on a round-by-round basis to meet the situation.
Uhm... I did keep balance in mind, and do think that flexibility is indeed their power... what are you arguing against?


I like it as an extra track because of the various forms the ability has taken in the games (sometimes it's a field of magic, sometimes it's something in-born, sometimes it's only used by savages, etc.) If someone wants to turn it into a class later, that's fine.

That would be true of a Tactician-Track as much as it would be for a Non-Class floating track. The only difference is that Tacticians would be able to benefit more from it (a little bit, and as that Knowledge is their shtick, it would be a sensible track that they wouldn't necessarily need to multi-class into). I don't think this really merits a full-class on its own, if for nothing else, the Tactician already exists.
Anyhow, it's fine the way it is, I was just tossing my 2 copper bits in.



I would say Strength and Intelligence, going by the way it's generally portrayed when it's a standalone class.
Charisma doesn't get much play in the FF series.
With the whole "rage" type of Blue magic, I'd call it more Wisdom than anything else, but Strength would work fine. But that begs for trouble when a player copies Rage.
The "lore" type may very well be Intelligence, but, the similarity to sorcery (an inside magical ability) always gave me a feeling of Charisma.
Total personal preference, probably influenced by playing FFV and FFVIII more than any of the others, and playing a fair number of 3.5 Blue Mages (the popular homebrew one).
Still the MAD vs. TAD vs. SAD thing deserves some thought.

Thomar_of_Uointer
2012-01-21, 04:57 PM
How's this? I added a limitation on [Iconic] feats and more notes on abilities granting feats, added the ability to scan in [Close] range (and later [Medium] range) as a standard action, spells are now 3/[Scene] (I considered 1/[Encounter], but that would potentially let you use spells more often than your party's mage or for trivial stuff), reduced what scan reveals, and added notes on KOM and KDM.

Blue Mage Track
Blue magic is a school of arcane study devoted to copying parts of a creature's soul and harnessing its power. Blue mages are driven to seek out powerful beasts and learn their abilities so that they have a wide variety of powers to draw upon in combat.

1st Circle - Lancet: As a swift action before you attack you may declare a melee or ranged attack against one creature to be life-draining. On a successful hit you heal one point of damage per character level (up to a maximum equal to the damage dealt.)
You can scan a creature you damage with Lancet to learn more about it as a free action. You can also scan any willing or unconscious creature you touch (a move action,) and you may scan a creature within [Close] range as a standard action if you have line of sight. You immediately know the following details about any scanned creature:
* level
* remaining hit points

2nd Circle - Copy: When you scan a creature you also are aware of all of the track abilities it has and you may copy one ability for yourself. You may choose one of its first-circle abilities and use as your own (this does not deny the target use of the copied ability.)
You cannot Copy Tactician and Shaman spellcasting, or any other type of spellcasting. If an ability grants a feat, you do not gain the feat until you have attained the 4th circle of this track.
You may only have one copied ability at a time. You may forget a copied ability as a free action, quickly enough to replace it with a new one after you scan a creature.
A copied ability becomes yours as though you had gained it from a track. Copied abilities use your ability scores, but you must use the same Key Offensive Modifier and Key Defensive Modifier the target did. If a copied ability requires you to pick certain options when it is gained, you must pick the same options your target did.
If you have copied an ability that is restricted to uses per [Round], [Encounter], [Scene], or [Quest] and you exhausted any use of it, then you gain no benefit from a newly copied ability (passive or otherwise) until the old one would have been refreshed.
You gain no benefit from an ability that is dependent upon another unless you also have that ability.
You cannot Copy your own abilities. You cannot Copy abilities that you already posess (either through Copy or your tracks) unless they explicitly state that they can stack.

3rd Cricle - Sweep: You may scan a single creature within [Medium] range as a move action as long as you have line of sight.
As a standard action you may scan all creatures within a [Close] burst. You may only use Copy to gain one ability from one creature, even though you have scanned all of them.
You may Copy two abilities. Your second ability may be second-circle or lower, but the other must still be first-circle.

4th Circle - Feat: When you scan a creature you also know what feats it has. You may Copy a feat as a first circle ability unless it came from a track (in which case you must copy the track ability instead.) For every prerequisite you do not meet for the feat and all of its prerequisite feats, the ability is one circle higher.
You may only have one [Iconic] feat at a time. If you have multiple [Iconic] feats from Copy all but one of them is suppressed (unless you gain an ability that specifically allows you to have more than one [Iconic] feat.) You can switch which one is active as a swift action.
You may Copy a third ability of third-circle or lower.

5th Circle - Spell: When you scan a creature you also know what spells the target can cast and any active spell effects on the target. This only reveals the spell description, you do not learn its caster level, saving throw, duration, or any other details about it.
You can use Sweep and your [Medium]-range scan to scan active spell effects in the same way, even if they are not directly targeting a creature. Sweep will reveal any active spells within range. This will not work on instantaneous spell effects.
If you scan an active spell on a creature, a spell a spellcaster can cast, or an active spell effect, you can use Copy to learn it as an ability the appropriate circle. A copied spell can be used as a spell-like ability three times per [Scene]. You may Copy the same spell multiple times.
You may Copy a fourth ability of fourth-circle or lower.

6th Circle - Reserve: When you Copy an ability you may choose to keep it in reserve instead of replacing an ability. You may only keep one ability in reserve at a time. You may replace a copied ability with the reserved one as a move action, leaving your reserve empty. You can discard the ability in Reserve as a free action.
You may Copy a fifth ability of fifth-circle or lower.

7th Circle - Magus Opus: Once per [Scene] you may use Copy to learn a seventh-circle ability. This ability only lasts for one [Encounter] and then it is lost until you Copy it again. You can use Reserve to retain a seventh-circle ability until you decide that you need it. If you use a Copy of a seventh-circle ability that is limited to use per [Quest] or [Scene], then you cannot use Magus Opus for the remainder of the [Quest].
You may Copy a sixth ability of sixth-circle or lower.

Larkas
2012-01-23, 02:39 PM
Woot, Blue Magic! Too bad I'm unfamiliar with this system... For what it's worth, though, it looks really neat! It just seems a little off for the Blue Mage to retain so few abilities: it reads closer to FFVI's Gau than Strago, for example. But again, I'm not familiar with the system, so maybe I'm just saying rubbish. Anyways, keep up the good work :)

erikun
2012-01-23, 03:12 PM
I don't like saying "PEACH". Why would I generally expect people to examine and critique dishonestly?
Not everyone posting here is looking for a critique. Thus, PEACH does not mean "please do not be dishonest with your critiques," but rather "I am open to critiques on this idea."

ChumpLump
2012-01-23, 04:32 PM
Woot, Blue Magic! Too bad I'm unfamiliar with this system... For what it's worth, though, it looks really neat! It just seems a little off for the Blue Mage to retain so few abilities: it reads closer to FFVI's Gau than Strago, for example.

Problem with retaining too many abilities is that it would begin to overshadow other tracks. Or rather, it would overshadow other tracks even more. The Blue Mage track is actually extremely flexible, and offers far more options than most other tracks, and may actually be a little OP as is (but as a DM it is something I would still want to offer my players).