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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Hey all! First thread here! Anyways, my friends and I are looking for a good rpg to play, so I decided to homebrew myself a magic the gathering themed role playing game. It doesn't use the cards, and it hopefully won't use a grid map or anything. Anyways, I came up with some preliminary rules, but now I'm here to ask for the help of the good people of the playground. Any comments, suggestions, criticism, etc is welcomed and enjoyed. I will be eternally grateful to anyone who actually wants to spend some of their precious time play testing this. In fact, I might even owe you a life debt. So, have a it! Please? Thanks ahead of time.
    Here's the links to the rules:
    Rules
    Story/Background Guide
    Last edited by raptor1533; 2013-07-13 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Forgetfulness

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I am concerned about the planes walking. The players have it at will and it is difficult to move as a group. Don't split the party and all that.

    That said looks interesting.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I might need to change the planes walking. As it is, do you think that I should make it available less often? The party will usually move as a group when they planes walk, I meant to include that they can stay together with other planes walkers but just can't control where they go yet, I'm not sure if that's in there. But yeah, make it available less often? Or make them be able to control destination? I was hoping for a game where it would include a lot of exploration of new planes and stuff.

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    Asteron Questar's Avatar

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I am always interested in testing new systems.
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I would suggest have planes walking come at later levels and have the dm lead it at earlier levels. Or perhaps have it linked to a panic button of sorts, if you are at 3 or less life roll for chance to plane shift and escape, pulls allies with them. That way its there tied to a stat and not in there control. Later on have it enter there control. The difference between nicol bolas and a new plane walker it is all about control.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Personally, I think plane shifting could be ok as long as it is random and costs enough mana nearly to drain the players until they become far more advanced.

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor1533 View Post
    Personally, I think plane shifting could be ok as long as it is random and costs enough mana nearly to drain the players until they become far more advanced.
    That would work, another thing you could do is add and advanced power that is were they focus on a plane for a long period of time leaving them defenseless but able to planeshift were they want without risk

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    ShadowLord79's Avatar

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Another idea on Planeswalking.. Configure it so that it takes more than one character to accomplish it at low levels. It gradually gets easier as the levels progress upward.

    Also on a sidenote, the group here tested a MTG-themed RPG once. It seemed to go OK, I recall that the five colors were represented in-game by "Factions," which were in various states of cooperation and conflict. It only lasted a few sessions, though.
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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowLord79 View Post
    Another idea on Planeswalking.. Configure it so that it takes more than one character to accomplish it at low levels. It gradually gets easier as the levels progress upward.
    What if, each level, you can planeswalk twice as quickly as the level before? Since the levels only go up to ten, exponential scaling with level is possible, and it's not hard to round to nice numbers. Under this model, novice planeswalkers take a long time to planeshift, but learn quickly. There's also a skill cap - no planeswalker, regardless of power, can planeshift without spending at least a little bit of time between planes.
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    {table=head]Level|Planeswalk time
    1|10 minutes
    2|4 minutes
    3|2 minutes
    4|1 minute
    5|30 seconds
    6|15 seconds
    7|8 seconds
    8|4 seconds
    9|2 seconds
    10|1 second[/table]
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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    What kind of game are you trying to create with this system? That's the first and most important question I can ask.

    Do you want a game where the PCs are battling each other? On where they are fighting against a common foe? Is it a sandbox system where they can do whatever they like?

    Your system appears to be leaning towards that last one, to the detriment of the game as a whole. I think you need to consider exactly what you want a one-shot and a campaign run with this system should look and feel like, and write your mechanics and fluff to that effect.

    Here are some examples:
    If you want a PVP scenario, that's fine, but make it so that the majority of the fighting is done between the summoned creatures, the players are fighting over some shared resource pool, and the more a player is losing, the easier it is for them to take advantage of some sort of 'rapid growth and recovery' mechanic, and another mechanic to make it advantageous for people to ally with the underdog and stab the winner in the back. Meanwhile, give the person who's currently in the most advantageous position some kind of benefit which isn't spoiled by being betrayed. In this way, the PVP is fun for all the players - the winner is winning - until he's not, the loser has strategic and tactical options, and the spoiler (the third party) gets to make a difference in the outcome.

    If you want a cooperative game, make reliance between characters beneficial in some way - for example, limit players to one or two color options, so that they must specialize and therefore must rely on aid from others for balanced capabilities. Add some mechanics for pooling resources or enhance resource collection when more than one PC is in on it. And most importantly, add some kind of 'group planeswalk' which is superior to the individual sort.

    Lastly, it's obvious that the key to this game is going to be the planeswalking itself. Unless you want the PCs jumping in and out of the world where your plot is taking place constantly, you're going to have to make it significantly more costly than it's written up. And if you're going to leave it cheap and easy, you're going to need enemies that can not only follow your PCs across the planes and remain a threat, but also those that can ANTICIPATE those steps and have things like ambushes set up. If planeswalking is easy for the PCs, it should be doubly so for the enemies they meet, otherwise the PCs become an insurmountable problem for whatever you're trying to throw at them.

    As for the current mechanics of the system, I'd strip all of the underlying mechanics - like memory and organization and planeshifting and such - completely away from the color wheel. Power and Toughness are things shared between creatures regardless of color, as are general card mechanics, so tying them or other things to specific colors makes little or no sense. If anything, color choice should influence character personality instead of mechanics. And mechanically, the only thing that color choice should affect is spell selection.

    Also, while creating spells, I recommend coming up with a number of different effect - say 5 or 10 for each color, and then assigning each one a cost. You can add more than 1 effect to a spell, but every effect after the first costs more (say +50% cost, or some such). On top of that, every effect has a color, but just like in magic proper, you can access MOST effects from one of the adjoining colors (Healing is a White ability, but you can get it in Green as well, if at a slightly increased cost). Of course, some effects (Wrath of God) are entirely associated with one color and not available from another color even at a greatly increased cost. So for every effect, give a color, and then perhaps a modified value for other colors?

    Those are just some ideas on the rules portion. The setting portion needs a lot more work - just having some basic descriptions of places is entirely insufficient. Instead, I'd recommend making up a system that automatically creates unique enemies, resources and perhaps even civilizations upon shifting to a new location. Making it random is kind of necessary given the extent of the 'multiverse' you'll be working out of. For ideas here, I strongly recommend looking at the section on creating new worlds in the Traveller RPG (I like the edition published by Mongoose). That system may not have precisely what you need, but it should give you some ideas on a reasonable means of generating a new location randomly.

    Hope that helps.
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    biggrin Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Hey all! Thanks for the enthusiastic response, I never expecte it would get this much attention. I really like the idea of lowering the time to planeswalker every level, that will probably show up in the rules sometime soon. As for group planes walking, I agree it should have more benefits. How does this sound: it takes half the time and half the cost, based on the average plane shifting score/level of the group. As for the style of the game, I wanted it to be a lot about exploration and interacting with the inhabitants of the planes they visit. This is why even at high levels, characters can only deliberately visit planes they've already been to. This would force them to build relationships with the locals. Also, I want a co op game, maybe with some sort of overarching plot line, such as chasing an enemy, being chased, even some sort of generic "save the world" plot. I might have made it a bit too sandboxy, but that was in an attempt to allow any dm to easily change it to fit the style of game they would like. As for the combat, I like a lot of the ideas that kestrel404 presented. Group reliance is proving to be a problem, since I still want players to be able to dip their toes into different Coles as in the card game. One solution I foresee working out would be to add more non-combat mechanics that require a lot of speialization. That could work, because at low levels, they never know what odd environment might be on the next plane they find. Alternatively, I could just make combat far more difficult than one player could handle. As for more ability similarity between colors and not tying the abilities to planewalkers, I wanted to gve each color a distinct feel to play, to emulate the style of the card game. That makes customization of the character truly meaningful. Planeswalking, I can already tell, will probably present the largest issue. I would like to make it so the players have the abolition to planeshift pretty often(once or twice a day) but often won't want to, because they won't know where they're going an it leaves them nearly defenseless. As for enemies that can planeshift, the magic canon alone offers many different explanations and methods for this. It can still as variation, and it allows the players the freedom to feel more like they are not being railroaded and to explore new planes. Lastly, for setting and flavor, I hope to get to that after many of the mechanics have been worked out, since personally that is something I can just relax and write about sometime. I copied the Wikipedia page with the current information mostly just for my own reference. Thanks for the tip, however. I will look at traveller's random world creation. That seems like it would help, especially if the players are in certain situations, ie on the run from a powerful enemy.

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor1533 View Post
    -snip-
    .
    AHHHHHHHHHHHH..... Run the wall of text is coming hide you babes and childern that horror of horrors have arrived...

    Now with that out of the way, I think this would work out very well and keep it balanced as we progressed to higher levels.

    As to the color issue you will just have to have a bunch of abilites avabile to that color to pick from and make ones that are only availbe if they match a certain color sequence to help create the indivual feel you want.
    Last edited by Lore232; 2013-07-17 at 11:12 PM.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Yeah, that's another I meant to ask your opinions on? Should I make an attempt to add multicolor spells? Spells which use two, even three colors of mana? That would certainly improve gameplay, but I can't think if a way where it would be possible to implement that.

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor1533 View Post
    Yeah, that's another I meant to ask your opinions on? Should I make an attempt to add multicolor spells? Spells which use two, even three colors of mana? That would certainly improve gameplay, but I can't think if a way where it would be possible to implement that.
    Well the easiest would be that the Planeswalker had to be made up of those colors, also they would have to play the cost with the smae colors so ...

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Or, if you want to stay with a strictly MTG style, the colors could represent different types of energy, and some spells require you to mix and match these energies. Needing sources of different sorts of energy would by itself be a reason to adventure on any given plane, or perhaps across planes, and the sources could be any sort of thing: gems (of course) but also metals, chemicals, and (sort of) magic items.
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I made a few changes to the rules, following some of your suggestions. I'll add in more stuff later, but for now, I need your help. I'm trying to think of how best to implement summoned creatures. I'm not sure if they should have health rather than toughness. I also don't know if they should be able to block. If they can block, should they only be able to attack or block, as opposed to doing both in the same round? Last question, I wanted to have zones, to add some structure to battles without the need for a full grid map. I have a little bit written out, but I'm not sure how to finish it. Any help with all l this would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor1533 View Post
    I made a few changes to the rules, following some of your suggestions. I'll add in more stuff later, but for now, I need your help. I'm trying to think of how best to implement summoned creatures. I'm not sure if they should have health rather than toughness. I also don't know if they should be able to block. If they can block, should they only be able to attack or block, as opposed to doing both in the same round? Last question, I wanted to have zones, to add some structure to battles without the need for a full grid map. I have a little bit written out, but I'm not sure how to finish it. Any help with all l this would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Well, that depends a lot on how true you want to stay to "MTG way." Are you wanting to create an RPG from MTG rules? Or something closer to an MTG version of an RPG? (Apologies if this has already been answered)

    One way you would import creatures and convert them to your RPG system, while the other way your system would use MTG mechanics (or something very close) and you could, at least in theory, use actual MTG cards to represent summoned creatures.
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    The Tears of Blood Campaign Setting (Based on the Tears of Blood GiTP Forums 2004-2009)
    UPDATED 3 JULY 2014.

    Dungeons & Dragons: The only game where a 3 hr. walk takes 5 min. and a 5 min. battle takes 3 hrs.


    Avatar of the Halfling Pirate is by handforged of the original Tears of Blood GiTP Forums (2004-2009)

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Good question, and probably one I shouldve answered before now. Really, I want to create a role playing game that uses the mtg story. I want it to capture the spirit of the game and the story, but not necessarily use the rules. I want a method to summon creatures that makes the player feel like their character is a powerful planeswalker, imperiously controlling their creatures and minions, but still makes it mechanically balanced without adding too much complication. Now that I've stated my hopes and wishes, time for reality. Really, I want the creature system to be very prevalent, but not overly complicated, and that's where I run into trouble.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Planeswalk will mess up your life. Think of it as the players being able to change the channel any time they get bored, and they'll get bored. And you'll be scrambling to come up with a new plane on the fly. And when you can't come up with an interesting plane in the thirty seconds you were given, they'll planeswalk again. Casting planeswalk should take several sessions to recharge, or require meeting certain objectives.

    Looks like you've got some good basics. I can give you advice on creature rules, but not tonight. It's getting late. I've got half a solution to your creature-build thing that I'm using in a game I'm making, and I'm wondering whether to be a selfish jerk or a tender-hearted sap.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    I crunched this same idea in my head a few months back and I think the best way to make this game is to eliminate planeswalking. At least, temporarily.

    First off, think off each of the planes not as a cohesive world per-se, but rather as different settings (like ebberon, dragonlance, and Ravenloft are for DnD). Want to play a horror game? set it in Innistrad. More into urban politics? play in Ravnica. These worlds are connected and travel between them is eventually possible, but at the start the players are unaware of this. (note: you actually could jump straight into a world hopping campaign, but since you're still building this game i think its simpler to do otherwise).

    Second, the players start as ordinary people in the plane you've chosen to play in. That means they play as low-level rogues for Dimir, or alchemists for Izzit. Essentially, you can use any of the standard fantasy classes for this, with a few alterations depending on the plane you're using. Planeswalkers do exist in these worlds, but they are powerful, rare, and enigmatic (I'm thinking about channeling the Doctor here, but that's just my take). The ability to travel between planes exists, but most don't know that it exists. Thus, planeswalking would be a sort of prestige class, to be attained only at high levels and with a decent amount of experience under the party's collective belts.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: A "Magic"al RPG: The Gathering

    Okay. So I was thinking about a Magic the Gathering RPG a few weeks ago and decided it would be too complicated to be worthwhile, though you've got a good game-designer's head on your shoulders and you might be able to pull it of. I've been working on a system for it for awhile that has a mastermind controlling minions in one form or another, and am working on putting one out. It's not ready for critique yet. I tried adapting my mechanics to the situation and this is as far as I got.

    There are between 20 and 50 spells and skills in this game. Planeswalkers get some, though it's not important that they have them. Summoned beings also get them. This is more important.

    Planeswalkers are about land. They get energy from land. This works well as a unifying goal.

    Mana is tied to number of lands owned, period. Each player starts with 3 minor land holdings. This can be a swamp, an island, and a volcano. This gives them black 1, blue 1, and red one. Or they can have 3 plains for white 3. This gives them the associated attributes. As players go, they'll get additional lands, some minor lands that only one player can hold, others major lands that all players can benefit from. A minor land bumps up one of a player's attributes by 1 and gives them an extra point of mana to deal with. A major land gives all players +1 attribute and available mana.

    So let's say you have two plains and an island. If all the players get control of a major plains, you have white 3 and blue 1 now.

    How do players get lands? I'm not sure. Perhaps they have to rightfully be given it or buy it from the people who have rightful claim as recognized by the law of the land. Maybe it needs to be conquered in one of 5 ways:

    Plains need to be cultivated and a monument to your glory built. Swamps need to have their strongest creature defeated and its heart devoured. Islands need to be studied and understood. I don't know about red and green, but you can see the pattern.

    Whatever the case, give players a scenario where they must undertake some ordeal or adventure to claim lands. As they claim lands, their power increases and they can do more things. You might want to switch up how lands work exactly, but the idea is that you can use them as bait to motivate players to have fun in pursuit of more lands.

    Creatures have a level. The level is the cost in mana to summon them. They get a certain number of skill points (we'll say 4) along with one special point for each level they have. Colorless is half a level. Planeswalkers may invest up to 3 skill points in any skill. Summons may invest as many as they want, but no skill may exceed their level.

    Each skill is associated with two colors. For example, research would represent how much a character knows or can find out, and is associated with black or blue. Medicine would be white or green. Deceit would be red or blue. Leadership would be blue or white. And so on. A creature rolls its skill rating in a particular skill plus the higher of the planeswalker's colors plus some sort of dice setup to get a result. This is my skills page for a different game, but you can draw some parallels: http://archons.wikia.com/wiki/Skills Note that you'll want to make sure each color has some means of combat, unless combat isn't central to the game.

    I mentioned special points. These buy special abilities like flight, trample, gargantuan, invisible, whatever you feel you want to add as abilities that are too unique for skills but should still be included.

    Oh, you'll want to figure out how summons are acquired. I like the command points idea.

    Here's a list of skills off the top of my head:
    (you may also wish to pick types of spells and assign them as skills. For instance, healing magic would be green/white and the more ranks a creature has in it the better it is at casting that kind of spell. Or not.)

    Killing:
    Assassinate: black/blue
    Unarmed: red/green
    Use Melee Weapon: white/black
    Ranged: green?/red?
    Dodge: red/blue
    Block: white/black?

    Stealth:
    Camouflage: green/blue
    Steal: red/blue
    Hide: green/blue
    Run: green/red
    Jump (also Fly): blue/green
    Swim: blue/green
    Track: blue/green
    Sneak: green/black
    Perceive: blue/green
    Initiative: blue/red

    Social:
    Deceit: red/blue
    Leadership: white/blue
    Intimidate: red/black
    Charm: blue/red?
    Negotiate: white/blue
    Resist Social: white/black
    Art: white/black


    Other:
    Heal: white/green
    Craft: white/blue
    Research: blue/black
    Assist Ritual: blue/black
    Strength: red/green

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