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    Default Dishonour Before Death!

    So, a separate thread for my upcoming roleplaying game, Dishonour Before Death (Or "DBD", though the B looks unfortunately like & at a glance) has been asked for, because I've mentioned it and people are interested in having a discussion thread.

    What is Dishonour Before Death?

    It's a role-playing game, which uses a d6 pool. Essentially, you have 8 stats - might (MT), dexterity (DX), agility (AG), vigour (VG), Intellect (IN), Awareness (AW), personality (PR) and will (WL) - which all start at 1, one stat - Magic (MG) - which starts at 0, and a bunch of skills which use a combination of two stats, and you roll a die for each stat point in each of the relevant stats. So you have, for example, Stealth which uses Agility and Intelligence. So you roll a number of dice equal to your AG, plus your IN, plus any stealth bonuses you have.

    What's Special about DBD?

    The magic system is defined by drawbacks: For example, there's task magic, which is very similar to Hymer's suggestion above: each spell does one thing and only one thing very well, and it's really expensive to buy spells that cover a lot of situations. The other drawbacks include blood magic, volatile magic, balance magic, and unleashed magic - spells that can hurt or inconvenience the caster or their allies in a variety of different ways - ritual magic which takes a long time, channelled magic that can easily be interrupted, and finesse magic which places restrictions on the spellcaster before it can be used: commonly the spellcaster can't use standard weapons or armour if they want to use finesse magic.

    This gives people a lot of options. People who don't want to be "Punished for doing their job" can simply not use blood magic. People who don't like randomness can avoid volatile magic. People who don't want to feel like they need to place their spells perfectly in order to make them work can simply not use balance or unleashed magic. People who want to use their spells in combat probably don't want to use ritual magic. But unless someone wants to cast in armour at no risk to themselves or any allies in combat without any chance of their spell being interrupted, and wants their spells to have a variety of powerful effects, then they have some options which restrict their spellcasting so that it's no more effective to cast sword spells than be the best swordsman in the world, but no less either so long as you specialise in sword spells. Alternatively, of course, you can cast sword spells that eat your soul in exchange for more power, if that's a thing you wanted to do.

    If you're not into magic, don't worry! Your weapon attacks can never fail - there's a system of "Glance damage" which means you'll always do something, so you'll never waste an action (spells get "Partial effect" instead but it's the same thing). And the initiative system lets you take actions dynamically, rather than in turns. But I'm not totally certain how that'll work yet.

    You'll also gain a variety of special attacks which actually work differently from spells, but I'm afraid I haven't worked on them yet, so I can't give you an idea of what that'll work like.

    How Does Advancement Work?

    You spend XP on abilities which improve your stats or skills or give you additional spells known.

    What the Setting Like, Anyway

    Not sure, but I'm going to try to make it so that it can be setting-independent without being too generic either. I think this should be possible.

    When's this System Coming Out?

    I like to think it'll be out in the next month.

    How Much Will it Cost?

    Ain't selling it. Donations are appreciated.

    Can I Have a Sneak Preview, Please?

    Since you asked so nicely. All this is subject to change, though:

    Spoiler: Learning Spells Sneak Peek
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    Each spell must be purchased as an ability, and requires a certain magic level be purchased before it can be. The spell Arcane Bolt requires that the Witchcraft ability be purchased, giving you a MG of at least 1. Similarly, Wildfire needs Mysticism, Shield of the Immortal needs Enchantment, and Resurrection needs Sorcery. This requirement is referred to as the spell's level, but this doesn't necessarily inform anything beyond the magic level requirement (and the spell's cost to learn) Ė lower-level spells with many drawbacks may have more actual power than higher-level spells. Sometimes, a spell's level will still be referenced, usually because one spell or ability reacts to the level of another spell. The levels of four spells are demonstrated using the tabbed prerequisite format below, but most spells are not written on an ability list directly. The cost of a first-level spell is always 25, of a second-level spell 75, a third-level spell 200, and a fourth-level spell 500 unless otherwise specified.

    -Witchcraft (+1 MG) 50
    --Arcane Bolt (Task Spell Known) 25
    --Mysticism (+1 MG) 150
    ---Wildfire (Volatile Spell Known) 75
    ---Enchantment (+1 MG) 400
    ----Shield of the Immortal (Channelled Spell Known) 200
    ----Sorcery (+1 MG) 1000
    -----Resurrection (Blood/Ritual/Balance Spell Known) 500
    Spoiler: Spells Sneak Peek
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    Arcane Bolt
    Type: Task 1
    Difficulty: Vs Deflect
    Target: One creature within 60 feet of you.
    Duration: None.
    Full Effect: Arcane bolt deals physical impact damage to the target equal to 1d6 plus your MG.
    Partial Effect: As full effect but the damage is halved.
    Drawback: Implicit.

    Wildfire
    Type: Volatile 2
    Difficulty: Vs Resist
    Target: A cube on a surface, 5 feet per side, within 40 feet of you; also see general effect.
    Duration: 8d6T
    General Effect: Roll a single magic check for the entire spell. The cubic volume of the spell lights on fire so long as it isn't burning through a solid or liquid to do so Ė that is, a cubic flame burns in the air, even though it's on a surface (it just can't be in earth or water, for example). It can even burn on the surface of water or ice. Any flammable object that touches the cube catches on fire immediately.

    At the end of each time point, for each cube already on fire, randomly choose a cube horizontally adjacent to it. That cube also catches on fire if able. Cubes on fire remain on fire for the duration of the spell. For example, the initial cube could set the cube in front of it on fire during the first time point. During the second, it could set the cube to the right it on fire, and the cube in front of it could set the one to the left on fire. This means that the initial cube, the one to the right of it, the one in front of it, and the one diagonally in front and to the left would all be on fire. If a cube that isn't eligible (it's already on fire or it's made of a solid or liquid) would be set on fire, the cube that tried to set it on fire doesn't set any cubes on fire this turn.

    Each creature who is in the flames during a time point takes a resist save during that time point. They need to save every round to avoid the flames:
    Full Effect: The creature takes 1 point of physical fire damage.
    Partial Effect: The creature takes no effect this round.
    Drawback: Implicit (the spell can burn you and your allies).

    Shield of the Immortal
    Type: Channelled 3
    Difficulty: 5 (Channelled Drawback Only)
    Target: 1 creature within 5 feet
    Duration: 60T
    General Effect: The target is immune to damage.
    Drawback: Standard

    Resurrection
    Type: Blood/Ritual/Balance 4
    Difficulty: 6
    Target: One dead creature anywhere.
    Duration: None (The creature is back to life as though they had never been dead and the spell cannot be dispelled).
    Full Effect: The creature returns to life, and is given a body with full form and functionality which replaces their old one and is drawn to the centre of the ritual circle.
    Partial Effect: As full effect, but the creature then immediately takes 2 harm, 2 corruption and 2 affliction, which can be cured normally.
    Drawback: Apart from the possibility of the spell harming the creature if failed, the spell requires a ritual involving the caster, 2 other creatures to perform the ritual, and one creature willing to sacrifice its life to bring back the target. This creature cannot be under physical, magical, social or other compulsion to fulfil this rŰle: they must be conventionally willing under their own will. The ritual requires one hour and results in the death of the sacrifice, the destruction of their body, and the infliction of 1d6 points of physical spirit damage, 1d6 points of mental psychic damage and 1d6 points of magical spirit damage to the caster and the other two performers of the ritual.
    Spoiler: Initiative Sneak Peek
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    At the start of any combat or other situations where speed is important, everyone makes a speed roll. Each character gains time points equal to the result of the speed roll. The person with the highest number of time points goes first, and gets to choose what action they'll start doing. Actions cost time points, and the action is only finished at the end of its cost (at the start of your next turn). Anyone with a number of time points between the number you started with and the number you finished with gets to start their action before you've finished yours.

    You can take an action if you don't have enough time points, but it carries over into the next round, meaning that if you roll badly for speed in the next round, you might end up waiting several time points until your action finishes. It might even go into a third round.

    Action speeds are divided into Very Fast (3T), Fast (4T), Normal (5T), Slow (6T) and Very Slow (7T). Weapons have their own attack speeds individually, and spells' cast rates start Very Slow but can be improved by spending experience on certain abilities.

    Example: suppose you have a war hammer (Very Slow) and someone else has a rapier (Very Fast). If you have 8 time points and they have 6, then swinging with the hammer will bring you down to 1. When 6 time points remain, your action hasn't finished. The enemy can spend 3, completing their entire action before yours, and try to hit you with their rapier. If your attack isn't disrupted, and they decide to attack again, they'll bring themselves down to 0, meaning that your attack actually interrupts theirs!

    If two actions resolve at the same time, neither interrupts the other. Neither one's result is taken into account when determining whether or not the other is valid or what it does.


    Hey, I Have This Really Cool Idea...

    That's what this discussion thread is for. I'd love to hear your ideas.

    I Have Another Question...

    That's also what this discussion thread is for. Ask away!
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Since the magic system is very varied, is there a setting to this?
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Since the magic system is very varied, is there a setting to this?
    That was sorta in the OP already, but expanding on that:

    Honestly, I'm not sure. I sorta started off with World's End* vaguely in my mind when I made this - it's a setting where magic exsits but is unheard of by most, and where trains and handguns are just about in existence. But, I gravitated away from the initial setting while keeping precisely one of the mechanics, the advancement system. The basic idea of DBD is that chivalry is dead, the world is full of people out for themselves, and... there is no necessary set tech level. Those first two are sorta borrowed from the crapsack world of World's End but I don't really wanna lock people into that tech level, or a D&Dish faux-medieval setting, or any other setting. There's no reason that I can't port the magic system and skill system and initiative system lock, stock and barrel into a different setting: it would only be that weapons worked differently and there were different things in the setting. But whether you're driving a cart or a spaceship, there's no real reason why it has to work differently in terms of skill checks. I normally don't like systems that try too hard to do everything, but due to the specific way that DBD is set up there's no reason not to let it have a good go.

    *It's a free flash game which comes highly recommended.
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Probably a lot of work, but what about a mix-and-match set of rules for the system for varying tech levels and magic systems?
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Probably a lot of work, but what about a mix-and-match set of rules for the system for varying tech levels and magic systems?
    I mean, I'm not writing up a bunch of extra magic systems - like I said, no reason you can't port it into a different tech level - but I'll probably have a bunch of different weapon sets at different tech levels, and leave how vehicles and such work abstract enough that you can change up the tech levels but well-enough defined that you actually know what's going on.
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Ah, sorry. I wasn't clear. I didn't mean writing up MORE magic systems, but you do have a variety of ways to use magic. I think at least a page of how to integrate these systems into the setting and how to ditch particular ones might make for a generic enough basis for a setting that people can mix and match. Having a variety of weapon levels (or individual weapons, you're the designer) to pick from and how idea how to use them well might make for an interesting system.

    Are you going to have a 'example' game to show how things are done?
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Ah, sorry. I wasn't clear. I didn't mean writing up MORE magic systems, but you do have a variety of ways to use magic. I think at least a page of how to integrate these systems into the setting and how to ditch particular ones might make for a generic enough basis for a setting that people can mix and match. Having a variety of weapon levels (or individual weapons, you're the designer) to pick from and how idea how to use them well might make for an interesting system.

    Are you going to have a 'example' game to show how things are done?
    I think I generally want to have as many of the magic systems in each game as possible, so I won't encourage ditching them, but I will have some stuff about how to integrate them into the setting. At the moment, magic types have a short description of what they are and implications about who might use them:

    Spoiler: Sneak Peek: Unleashed Magic
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    Unleashed magic is the type of magic which is used by those who want to be able to go all-out every time, without worrying that the magic will blow up in their face like Volatile magic. Not for them the restriction of Finesse magic, nor the singular possibilities that Task magic poses. However, Unleashed magic does face a major restriction: you cannot use it to anything less than the greatest extreme. Whether it be an indiscriminate blast of fire which might burn allies to the creation of a wall of set length, and only that length, and only where it fits, or even a missile which only fires at the extreme of its range, Unleashed magic cannot fail to perform near, or at, the limit.


    I'll probably have an example game, as has become the standard in RPGs. Certainly I'll want an example of how the initiative works, because it's not exactly simple or usual.

    Overall DBD is going to be rules-medium so I don't want pages and pages of setting to back up a roll-to-see-if-you-do-the-thing framework, pretty much.
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Howīre you going to handle the initiative system? We discussed the similarities of SM to your DBD a bit, but you might not have notices that SM uses a certain artificial "balance" there, that weapon speed and damage share a relation that also includes spells.

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Howīre you going to handle the initiative system? We discussed the similarities of SM to your DBD a bit, but you might not have notices that SM uses a certain artificial "balance" there, that weapon speed and damage share a relation that also includes spells.
    Right, so I'm not certain, but the way that attack speed and cast rate works is that attack speed is a function of your weapon, but cast rate is specific to you. That said, it's very expensive to get a high cast rate, so while you could crawl your way up to being able to spit out your single fourth-level spell known as fast as possible, say, while this would make you a combat monster you would have barely any other abilities and you'd also have to deal with the drawback of the spell every three time points. I'm not sure how I'll balance attack speed of various weapons with the fact that you get a flat damage addition (imagine in 3.5 if scimitars were faster than longswords but did a lot less damage: anyone with a high STR would take the scimitar and anyone with low STR would take the longsword). Trying to work out a different percentage of the MT bonus to add to each speed of weapon would be a pain too.
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    So, because this is fantasy, there's almost inevitably gonna be a couple of groups that come into this game: one side that wants things "grittier" and "more realistic" (what they really mean is "harder for no reason" and "less magic-y"), and one side that wants things "higher fantasy" and "more epic" (what they really mean is "easier for no reason" and "power wank fantasy"). Presuming that DBD will not feature what I understand to be a big problem you have with 5e (that is to say, that DBD will have DCs for skill use giving DMs something to compare to when needing to adjudicate more esoteric DCs), will the system have guidelines/rules/whatever for cranking the power level up or down? And since combat/magic in general is tied to the skill system, I assume it would affect those aspects of the game as well? If so, could we get an example of the difference between a skill use in those three setting levels (standard, power wank, and grognard)?
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Why is it called "Dishonour Before Death"? Do the PCs have to be cowards who run from fights?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Why is it called "Dishonour Before Death"? Do the PCs have to be cowards who run from fights?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    The basic idea of DBD is that chivalry is dead, the world is full of people out for themselves, and... there is no necessary set tech level. Those first two are sorta borrowed from the crapsack world of World's End but I don't really wanna lock people into that tech level, or a D&Dish faux-medieval setting, or any other setting.
    It looks like it's going for more of a...pragmatic or utilitiarian setting? Less "the PCs have to be cowards" and more "the PCs need to accept that being good/honorable puts them at a disadvantage".
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    It looks like it's going for more of a...pragmatic or utilitiarian setting? Less "the PCs have to be cowards" and more "the PCs need to accept that being good/honorable puts them at a disadvantage".
    But if there's no specific setting, that needs to be encoded in the rules somehow. If not, it's just a big fluff-crunch disconnect. If you make a Hong Kong action movie game and say "the idea is that you run around shooting triads and corrupt cops like you're the last decent killer in a John Woo or Tsui Hark movie", you can't give characters a +2 bonus to shoot from a prone position with a bipod and a -4 penalty for shooting a pistol with both hands and an extra -4 for doing it while jumping through the air. PCs won't do the John Woo stuff if the rules penalize them for it.

    "You don't get 'hero points'" isn't much of a rule to enforce the theme of everyone being out for themselves. Being at least somewhat honorable is an advantage in real life, because it's easier to get what you want when people trust you. That's why a lot of games have rules for social status or credit rating. So how do the rules of DBD reinforce the theme of constant treachery?

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    But if there's no specific setting, that needs to be encoded in the rules somehow. If not, it's just a big fluff-crunch disconnect. If you make a Hong Kong action movie game and say "the idea is that you run around shooting triads and corrupt cops like you're the last decent killer in a John Woo or Tsui Hark movie", you can't give characters a +2 bonus to shoot from a prone position with a bipod and a -4 penalty for shooting a pistol with both hands and an extra -4 for doing it while jumping through the air. PCs won't do the John Woo stuff if the rules penalize them for it.

    "You don't get 'hero points'" isn't much of a rule to enforce the theme of everyone being out for themselves. Being at least somewhat honorable is an advantage in real life, because it's easier to get what you want when people trust you. That's why a lot of games have rules for social status or credit rating. So how do the rules of DBD reinforce the theme of constant treachery?
    Being honorable isn't a disavantage when dealing with other honorable people; if you build up enough of an honorable reputation, those honorable people will spread word of your trustworthy nature, and then it becomes an actual advantage, rather than just the lack of a disadvantage. On the flip side, being honorable and dealing with dishonorable people puts you at a disadvantage, while being dishonorable when dealing with honorable people puts you at a temporary advantage until you screw them over, and then puts you at a disadvantage towards them - but who cares, because you've already screwed them over.

    It's not something inherent to the mechanics, necessarily, but rather to the NPCs in the setting: if the default nature for most NPCs is "I'm looking out for me, and I'm willing to take advantage of others to improve my life going forward", a player being honorable by default puts them at a disadvantage in dealings. Additionally, dishonorable people will assume honorable people are at best running a long-con, and at worst are giant suckers who can be taken advantage of if they think you're honorable too.
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    It's not something inherent to the mechanics, necessarily, but rather to the NPCs in the setting: if the default nature for most NPCs is "I'm looking out for me, and I'm willing to take advantage of others to improve my life going forward", a player being honorable by default puts them at a disadvantage in dealings. Additionally, dishonorable people will assume honorable people are at best running a long-con, and at worst are giant suckers who can be taken advantage of if they think you're honorable too.
    You can play any game like that. Here are the rules for Dishonour Before Death D20: "Just play D&D, but all the NPCs are Chaotic."

    If the game uses that as a central theme (and its name), it should preferentially support it.

    Old editions of D&D gave XP for recovering treasure but not for fighting, so players avoided random combat (because wandering monsters could hurt you but didn't carry treasure on them) and stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Newer editions didn't give XP for treasure but did give it for killing monsters (who carried level appropriate treasure with them), so PCs became murder-hoboes.

    How does DBD encourage or reinforce the theme?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    You can play any game like that. Here are the rules for Dishonour Before Death D20: "Just play D&D, but all the NPCs are Chaotic."

    If the game uses that as a central theme (and its name), it should preferentially support it.

    Old editions of D&D gave XP for recovering treasure but not for fighting, so players avoided random combat (because wandering monsters could hurt you but didn't carry treasure on them) and stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Newer editions didn't give XP for treasure but did give it for killing monsters (who carried level appropriate treasure with them), so PCs became murder-hoboes.

    How does DBD encourage or reinforce the theme?
    Hard to say, at least for me. Not much information on the game so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Dishonor before death is the ultimate battle cry - I just wanted to add that.

    Two things:

    You have a very detailed magic system. Will there be a similarly detailed melee system?

    Also, you have a bunch of tags for magic - blood/volatile/ritual etc. I considered the possibility of making each tag a modifier for a base spell. As in:

    Fire spell - does d6 damage
    If volatile, does 2d6-4 instead
    If blood, +1d6, also damages caster 1d6
    If ritual, casting time +1 hour, area of effect x10

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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    So, because this is fantasy, there's almost inevitably gonna be a couple of groups that come into this game: one side that wants things "grittier" and "more realistic" (what they really mean is "harder for no reason" and "less magic-y"), and one side that wants things "higher fantasy" and "more epic" (what they really mean is "easier for no reason" and "power wank fantasy"). Presuming that DBD will not feature what I understand to be a big problem you have with 5e (that is to say, that DBD will have DCs for skill use giving DMs something to compare to when needing to adjudicate more esoteric DCs), will the system have guidelines/rules/whatever for cranking the power level up or down? And since combat/magic in general is tied to the skill system, I assume it would affect those aspects of the game as well? If so, could we get an example of the difference between a skill use in those three setting levels (standard, power wank, and grognard)?
    Well, there's a different standard of power level depending on who the PCs, and their enemies, are supposed to be. If you're AltaÔr (Assassin's Creed), you can climb that wall because you're good at climbing (and the guards can climb the wall because screw simulationism). If you're Nilin (Remember Me), you can climb that wall because you're good at climbing and the leapers can climb walls because they're good at climbing and SABRE force can't climb walls because they're not good at climbing. But if you're, like, a shonen protagonist, you can climb walls because, well, who CAN'T climb walls? You can do impossible leaps because seriously, that's just normal. If you're a human mage, you can cast spells because you've got some kind of natural talent and if you're a deity, you can cast spells because uhm, you're a DEITY.

    On the flipside, if you're a child who's inexplicably got themself caught up in stuff that should normally be dealt with by adults (Alex Rider, CHERUB, any "Young [insert protagonist who gained fame as an adult]", or just some of the nastier situations that show up in real life), then you're gonna have difficulties. Everything's going to be harder for you than for adults. Fortunately for Alex, the CHERUBs and young Bond et al, they have either an obscene amount of training, exceptional natural talent, or both. A CHERUB has, for a child, an exceptional amount of training in anything remotely related to spying and espionage, and a very high level of physical fitness too. They could easily be rolling 7 or 8 dice on checks that an untrained adult with no relevant aptitude would roll 2 dice on (you'd usually expect any adult who actually bothered doing something routinely at all to have 4 or 5, though).

    The scale difference is then assessed, which is probably 1 die for a mid-teenager or 2 dice for a near-teen child, and then you come to the basic conclusion that no matter the difference between a child's aptitude and an adult's, a kid who's been trained in multiple martial arts and thrown into a 100-day training course which tests them to their limit every single day and still came out on top, or a boy who's secretly had everyone from his father to his eventual guardian training him up to be a secret agent from the moment he was born, will absolutely wreck someone with no particular combat skill, or even someone with decent strength or training.

    This not only roughly fits our expectations of how reality works (although "Exceptionally strong and skilled child" is a hard concept to even have an expectation of how it would work) but also fits what happens in the books and, where they exist, films, from Alex holding off a bunch of people who have no training in combat to Lauren (CHERUB) giving gangsters a run for their money in a fistfight, taking out a bunch of them with a padlock, and almost killing someone with a biro (surprisingly easy to do in real life, incidentally). They do have their limits - Alex can't fight off combat-trained adults because he's a combat-trained child, and Lauren loses that fistfight.

    Ultimately, the system is based around the idea that you'll be around the power level of AltaÔr, Nilin, or just adults in real life. This doesn't mean that adults in real life are as good in combat or at climbing as an Assassin or a Memory Hunter, it means that adults who are good at fighting in real life are as good at combat as an Assassin or a Memory Hunter, because Assassins and Memory Hunters essentially are just adults who are good at fighting (and other things). The sense of scale doesn't necessarily tell us that an Assassin or Memory Hunter is better than a CHERUB, only that they're bound to a different scale - the best children are better than the worst adults, but the best children are worse than the best adults.

    This leads to two premises:

    1) It's possible for a setting or tone to be higher-powered than another. Assassin's Creed and Remember Me are both heroic settings, rather than gritty or epic. CHERUB wobbles a little, but is mostly around the same. Some games, books and other media are a lot more gritty (Song of Ice and Fire manages to have an epic background but a gritty reality for most characters) while others are more epic (blah blah blah DBZ blah blah blah).
    2) It's possible for certain types of character to have different bounds on what's normal, strong or exceptional for them. Children are one example, but equally, saiyans, soul reapers and gods have different bounds from humans.*

    This leads to the following:

    Spoiler: Power Levels Sneak Peek
    Show
    Low, Medium and High Power Levels (OPTIONAL RULE): In general, Dishonour Before Death is designed for a ďMedium Power LevelĒ. This means that any difficulty is determined based roughly on what a standard human can actually do, but assumes that the PCs will eventually reach the peak of human capabilities, potentially in multiple areas. This is good for a heroic fantasy game but may stretch disbelief for a more gritty game or seem somewhat dull in an epic fantasy game. To amend this, you can use a lower or higher power level. This should be done carefully.

    In general, the Arbiter can simply shift up the difficulty of every check that isn't opposed or already difficulty 0 by a certain amount Ė usually only 1 or 2 Ė to make things a little easier or harder. That said, you should be somewhat careful doing this. Some spells, for example, have a difficulty that isn't opposed not because it doesn't attack creatures, but because they have no recourse to defend against getting hit short of luck.

    If some people are at a different power level from others, you can give people at a higher power level extra dice on attacks and defences made against those of a lower power level. Don't reduce people's number of dice: always give extra dice to the stronger character on opposed checks. Further, anyone at a higher power level deals extra damage and takes reduced damage equal to the difference in power level, to a minimum of 0.

    Example: Amkii The Ineffable is a deity. For Amkii, tasks that a simple mortal would find hard are trivial. Amkii's magical skills are moderate rather than exceptional, for a deity Ė its task magic skill is 4 Ė but it has a High power level of 4 due to being a deity. If it casts a spell, the difficulty is 4 lower than normal. Jimmy is a scared child who is okay at using a sword for a child Ė he has a melee attack of 3 Ė and Amkii's melee defence is 6. However, Jimmy is only young, and finds a lot of things harder than an adult might. He has a Low power level of 1, meaning that Amkii's defence increases by 1. Because Amkii is a deity, it gets another 4 dice. Amkii rolls 11 dice to defend against Jimmy's attack. By some miracle, Jimmy rolls 6, 5 and 5 while Amkii rolls nothing but 1s and 2s for a total of 16. Jimmy's attack strikes Amkii, and he rolls 6 damage. However, they're 5 power levels apart, so even a lucky hit on the deity only does a single injury.


    *Here, we ignore elephants and similar for a moment (obviously, "Clever for an elephant" and "Strong for an elephant" don't go in the same direction compared to "Clever for a human adult" and "Strong for a human adult". There's another way we sort that out, which is to ignore the scale system and give the elephant an obnoxiously high might and zero intellect. We generally assume that elephants aren't going to be player characters so we can give them whatever stats we like because we're the ones writing the monster statblocks).

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac
    Why is it called "Dishonour Before Death"? If there's no specific setting, that needs to be encoded in the rules somehow. If not, it's just a big fluff-crunch disconnect. So how do the rules of DBD reinforce the theme of constant treachery? How does DBD encourage or reinforce the theme?
    So, story time.

    Dishonour Before Death used not to have a name. It actually started off as a magic system (and not even a magic system, just a description of the types of magic) and nothing else: I then codified the skill and combat systems so that that would have a context, and the non-magic parts of the system ultimately became the main feature, because everyone uses those and only magic people use magic so there's a good reason for them to be longer.

    So it was the magic system with no name, basically. And those magic types are... well...

    "Would you like the unmitigated violence magic, the type of magic whose only drawback is that you're easier to stab, the type of magic whose only drawback is that it's bad if someone stabs you, literal blood magic, rituals of supplication to whatever hellish entity you worship, or one of the three types of magic that will put your friends' lives on the line?"

    There's no sense of the "Wizard's duel" in those types of magic. It's not so much that you take turns casting spells in honourable combat, so much as that everything is on fire, everything is a mess, and everyone is out for themselves. A single Wildfire spell can scatter everyone in the combat into the midst of chaos, and most of the combat spells wouldn't work for honourable single combat if you wanted them to (Arcane Bolt would, but Wildfire definitely wouldn't and Shield of the Immortal can no longer be self-cast, despite what the version in the OP says, for example).

    In the combat system, there will be all kinds of ways that you can use stealth, trickery and literal backstabbing to your advantage (and in the skill system, out of the 15 skills that aren't a kind of save, attack, defence, magic or hit-point-equivalent, a full third of them are pretty exclusively usable to do dishonourable things).

    Essentially, for all that DBD does, it doesn't really do NobleBright fantasy very well. I mean, it's not awful at it, and you can do it if you ignore five of the skills and lay off on the literal bringing-back-the-dead-to-serve-you-but-we're-the-good-guys-honest, but it's not really meant to tell stories about how the knight in shining armour or the legions of the sun god or whatever saved the day from the nasty dragon or the dastardly villain. It's a game about an increasingly-ragtag bunch of misfits who are some combination of questionably protagonistic and actually benevolent saving the day for treasure and thrills. Will the game break horribly if you try to throw a regiment of Stormcast Eternals (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar) into it? No, but their superior strength and skill at arms means that they'll survive in spite of their honour, not because of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    You can play any game like that. Here are the rules for Dishonour Before Death D20: "Just play D&D, but all the NPCs are Chaotic."

    If the game uses that as a central theme (and its name), it should preferentially support it.
    Now, I think that this is sorta unfair. "Here are the rules for Dungeons and Dragons d6: just play Roll to Dodge, only you fight some dragons in a dungeon" kinda rings hollow. We generally understand that yes, Dungeons and Dragons would be sorely lacking if you didn't have rules for dragons in the books, but you can play a great game of Dungeons and Dragons in a forest full of assassin vines or a city full of guards (two examples from D&D games I'm playing at the moment). We understand that D&D means something other than the words in its title: it means heroic fantasy, or rather, it means D&D fantasy, because it's actually its own genre now (I can't remember who, but someone on this forum described it thus: "D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess").

    Irrespective of that, D&D has something else to it than just "There are some dungeons or there can be and there are rules for dragons". What exactly that is depends on which edition: in 3.5 it means earth-shattering power and in 5th it doesn't, in all editions of D&D it means a focus on combat to varying extents (the skill system in 3rd and 3.5 is overly restrictive and unbalanced, in 4th is broken in so many ways that even the patches have patches and in 5th requires the DM to make up DCs on the spot. All the combat systems, by comparison, work mostly fine. Guess why.) and in 4th it means that the game is designed with a central focus on balance and so forth.

    But you can't get all of that in a name. And some games don't even try. I've never rolled anything to do with shoes in Roll for Shoes because the name was made up as part of a joke. But in DBD,** you certainly can roll to do something dishonourable to avoid death. You'll probably see someone stab someone in the back because there are absolutely rules for doing that, and there are absolutely rules for other dishonourable actions.

    ** B and & looking somewhat similar was a drawback that I didn't think of when I made the name. C'est la vie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Dishonor before death is the ultimate battle cry - I just wanted to add that.

    Two things:

    You have a very detailed magic system. Will there be a similarly detailed melee system?

    Also, you have a bunch of tags for magic - blood/volatile/ritual etc. I considered the possibility of making each tag a modifier for a base spell. As in:

    Fire spell - does d6 damage
    If volatile, does 2d6-4 instead
    If blood, +1d6, also damages caster 1d6
    If ritual, casting time +1 hour, area of effect x10
    First thing, absolutely! It will probably involve learning skills which allow you to make special attacks, but normal attacks are already dependent on your stats and such. This will end up with a lot more detail on it later, but as anyone who knows me will affirm, you don't have to worry about your nonmagical characters being weak in a game by me.

    The tags idea sorta works and sorta doesn't. For a start, Volatile would have to be "There's a chance this will hurt you" not "This does weird amounts of damage", but that's a problem more with the example than with the concept. The problem is that fundamentally, some ideas only really make sense with some kinds of magic. Resurrection might make sense with Channelled (Yep, you have to babysit the resurrected creature for the rest of your life and pray that you don't fail to concentrate) but not so well with Unleashed, or the Unleashed drawback would have to be pretty contrived to fit both the spell's nominal effect and Unleashed magic's nominal drawback.

    The other thing is that some spells are just thematically best fit to certain types of magic. Let me give you the spell name "Vampiric Feast" and you can guess what type of magic it is. If you said "Blood", then have some internet points on me.

    I suppose you'll want to see it, now. Here you go:

    Spoiler: Vampiric Feast Sneak Peek
    Show
    Vampiric Feast
    Type: Blood 2
    Difficulty: Vs Resist
    Target: One creature within 20 feet.
    Duration: None
    Full Effect: You drain the life force of a creature, dealing physical spirit damage equal to 1d6 plus your magic, and healing you for the amount of damage the target takes (after any resistance or weakness to damage).
    Partial Effect: As above but the damage is halved (so the healing is usually halved too).
    Drawback: You take magical true damage equal to the d6 result rolled for the spell's damage, irrespective of your magic or whether you passed or failed the spell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    First thing, absolutely! It will probably involve learning skills which allow you to make special attacks, but normal attacks are already dependent on your stats and such. This will end up with a lot more detail on it later, but as anyone who knows me will affirm, you don't have to worry about your nonmagical characters being weak in a game by me.

    The tags idea sorta works and sorta doesn't. For a start, Volatile would have to be "There's a chance this will hurt you" not "This does weird amounts of damage", but that's a problem more with the example than with the concept. The problem is that fundamentally, some ideas only really make sense with some kinds of magic. Resurrection might make sense with Channelled (Yep, you have to babysit the resurrected creature for the rest of your life and pray that you don't fail to concentrate) but not so well with Unleashed, or the Unleashed drawback would have to be pretty contrived to fit both the spell's nominal effect and Unleashed magic's nominal drawback.

    The other thing is that some spells are just thematically best fit to certain types of magic. Let me give you the spell name "Vampiric Feast" and you can guess what type of magic it is. If you said "Blood", then have some internet points on me.

    I suppose you'll want to see it, now. Here you go:

    Spoiler: Vampiric Feast Sneak Peek
    Show
    Vampiric Feast
    Type: Blood 2
    Difficulty: Vs Resist
    Target: One creature within 20 feet.
    Duration: None
    Full Effect: You drain the life force of a creature, dealing physical spirit damage equal to 1d6 plus your magic, and healing you for the amount of damage the target takes (after any resistance or weakness to damage).
    Partial Effect: As above but the damage is halved (so the healing is usually halved too).
    Drawback: You take magical true damage equal to the d6 result rolled for the spell's damage, irrespective of your magic or whether you passed or failed the spell.
    Not every tag is available for every spell - and maybe certain spells aren't possible without a specific tag. Say necromancy is always blood or ... you know, something.

    And similar tags might be conceivable for melee.

    But I just wanted to toss the idea into the pot =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    World's End
    I'm going to second that recommendation. It's an isometric tactics game with great humour and a well thought out setting. (I hope we're talking about the same thing, or I'll look stupid )

    That's why I'm commenting but I was already interested in your system because I'm interested in this kind of design, though I'm not sure I could offer insights, I don't really play p&p rpgs. Anyway, I haven't even read the thread yet, so I will and maybe have an idea or a question but for now I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for having such good taste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Not every tag is available for every spell - and maybe certain spells aren't possible without a specific tag. Say necromancy is always blood or ... you know, something.

    And similar tags might be conceivable for melee.

    But I just wanted to toss the idea into the pot =)
    Necromancy might not always be blood - I can see ritual or even finesse - but I think that it would be so rare that modifying the effect of spells based on the possibility that they can be used as multiple types would actually be possible, that it's not necessarily worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverCacaobean View Post
    I'm going to second that recommendation. It's an isometric tactics game with great humour and a well thought out setting. (I hope we're talking about the same thing, or I'll look stupid )
    I am indeed referring to the misadventures of Edwin Tevoran and company. That said, given that it contains a variety of board-inappropriate themes, I suppose I should say that discretion is advised in deciding whether or not to play it.

    That's why I'm commenting but I was already interested in your system because I'm interested in this kind of design, though I'm not sure I could offer insights, I don't really play p&p rpgs. Anyway, I haven't even read the thread yet, so I will and maybe have an idea or a question but for now I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for having such good taste.
    Heh, thanks. While we're on funny free flash RPGs, try MARDEK or Epic Battle Fantasy on for size.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    But you can't get all of that in a name. And some games don't even try. I've never rolled anything to do with shoes in Roll for Shoes because the name was made up as part of a joke.
    Someone else who has heard of Roll for Shoes! One of the most rules light games I have ever played, and a great time.

    On a different note, I think I have played World's End (and I have defiantly played Epic Battle Fantasy), as while we are talking about Flash RPGs I will through Sonny onto the list.

    On another different note, I don't have trouble telling the difference between DBD and D&D, the hard line on the left of the 'B' makes that stand out. Or so it does to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Someone else who has heard of Roll for Shoes! One of the most rules light games I have ever played, and a great time.
    It's quite fun. I tried to develop it into a rules-heavier game, PLACEHOLDER* but that... proved to be something that would have taken a lot of effort and probably been more trouble than R4S was worth.

    On a different note, I think I have played World's End (and I have defiantly played Epic Battle Fantasy), as while we are talking about Flash RPGs I will through Sonny onto the list.
    Ah, yes, another good one. I like how the zombie prejudice thing actually makes a believable analogy to real-world prejudice as well as being clearly fantastical.

    "We're vermin to them. We're monsters. Now we can either be alive monsters, or dead monsters. You decide."

    On another different note, I don't have trouble telling the difference between DBD and D&D, the hard line on the left of the 'B' makes that stand out. Or so it does to me.
    Neither do I, but I just find it amusing how similar I made it look without trying. I'm sure they look harder to distinguish in some fonts (DBD is written in Ebrima, because it's the only font on OpenOffice that I can find which passes all the ambiguity tests (like I/l and rn/m) including when bolded, italicised or both, while also being easy on the eyes, so it's not an issue in that).

    Oh, on the subject of "Amusing how similar I made it... without trying," this is just a ridiculous level of coincidence. Here I was thinking I wouldn't use my German skill for anything to do with making an RPG...

    *This may actually end up its final name, because it's a pun about the way the advancement system works as well.
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    So, I seem to recall a mention at some point that some spells would fall under multiple drawbacks - not that you could have more than one at a time, but rather that a single spell could be cast by both...I dunno, let's say blood magic and ritual magic (presumably some kind of resurrection spell, maybe?). Anyway, the reason I ask is because you also mentioned a kind of magic that doesn't have a drawback but is also less inherently powerful. All of this together gives me the impression that the various drawbacks are things the system roughly considers equal (since the spell is equally powerful if fueled by blood or ritual magic {or whatever the two are}). Hmm, there's gotta be a better way to explain my thoughts...

    Okay, like, so a basic spell of level 5 (one with no drawbacks) would...let's say 10 mana to cast, and so would a blood spell of level 5 or a ritual spell of level 5; however, the lvl 5 blood and ritual spells have an effect that, if you tried to mimic them with a basic spell, would cost 20 mana; effectively, the basic spell sets a baseline the other magicks are measured against, and the drawbacks are effectively doubling the power of the spell in exchange for giving you a consequence worth 10 mana of problems. This is only an example, I'm sure the numbers and possibly mechanics would be different, but it gets my point across.

    My question (well, request) would be to get a presentation of what the power of drawbacks looks like for a few different spell levels. I don't necessarily want every magic type at every level (that'd be asking a ton), but I'd like to see at least a few spell levels with two spells each - one basic, and one drawback, both of which do something similar, to get an idea of how much the drawback is improving the spells of that level just in general. The simplest example I could think of would be single-target pure-damage spells, but I don't mind what's provided as long as it satisfies my curiosity.
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    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    So, I seem to recall a mention at some point that some spells would fall under multiple drawbacks - not that you could have more than one at a time, but rather that a single spell could be cast by both...I dunno, let's say blood magic and ritual magic (presumably some kind of resurrection spell, maybe?). Anyway, the reason I ask is because you also mentioned a kind of magic that doesn't have a drawback but is also less inherently powerful. All of this together gives me the impression that the various drawbacks are things the system roughly considers equal (since the spell is equally powerful if fueled by blood or ritual magic {or whatever the two are}). Hmm, there's gotta be a better way to explain my thoughts...

    Okay, like, so a basic spell of level 5 (one with no drawbacks) would...let's say 10 mana to cast, and so would a blood spell of level 5 or a ritual spell of level 5; however, the lvl 5 blood and ritual spells have an effect that, if you tried to mimic them with a basic spell, would cost 20 mana; effectively, the basic spell sets a baseline the other magicks are measured against, and the drawbacks are effectively doubling the power of the spell in exchange for giving you a consequence worth 10 mana of problems. This is only an example, I'm sure the numbers and possibly mechanics would be different, but it gets my point across.

    My question (well, request) would be to get a presentation of what the power of drawbacks looks like for a few different spell levels. I don't necessarily want every magic type at every level (that'd be asking a ton), but I'd like to see at least a few spell levels with two spells each - one basic, and one drawback, both of which do something similar, to get an idea of how much the drawback is improving the spells of that level just in general. The simplest example I could think of would be single-target pure-damage spells, but I don't mind what's provided as long as it satisfies my curiosity.
    I'm not sure what you're asking. There are no spells which allow you to choose which drawback applies, no fifth-level spells, no mana, and no spells without drawbacks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking. There are no spells which allow you to choose which drawback applies, no fifth-level spells, no mana, and no spells without drawbacks.
    I think that the question was about the underlying function of your magic system. So like do your types of magic work like "Templates" that are applied to each spell (so you have one basic damaging spell that you work with), or is each spell in each magic type a separate rules entity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking. There are no spells which allow you to choose which drawback applies, no fifth-level spells, no mana, and no spells without drawbacks.
    They saw you mention spells under multiple skills/drawbacks and thought some such spells were "choose a drawback", then used spell levels and mana as a badly-described example. Not sure where they thought they saw spells without drawbacks, but I, personally, do think there should be some way to do it. Or at least switch to more general/less problematic drawbacks (which could be a place to put "choose a drawback" listing) so that you can use most spells as any "theme" of mage character.

    A mage-knight, for instance, can't use most of the drawbacks for fairly direct mechanical reasons. Blood Magic turns them squishy out of damage, Ritual Magic takes too long for combat as it's point for the drawback, Finesse Magic is directly made to oppose the idea of mage knights and so on. Some investment to switch up the drawbacks in some way to enable more spells to see use in more characters helps to let people play the type of character they want.
    My most liked class, thematically, is the Artificer. Make free items! (fail by RAW to)Hold up the setting! Have access to every magic item...
    My most liked class, mechanically, is the Bard. I sing the enemy to death! (at level 21)I talk you into a suicidal fanatic! I need to cheese rules that make me sing as I fight or talk to get things done...

    I prefer t2 over anything else, because t2 lets you become anything. I think Psionics is more versatile than magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking. There are no spells which allow you to choose which drawback applies, no fifth-level spells, no mana, and no spells without drawbacks.
    There's a spell type where the drawback is "these spells aren't as powerful as spells cast with other drawbacks", while spells cast using other drawbacks are more powerful but come with some kind of consequence. The equivalent in other systems, like Mutants & Masterminds, would be that you'd have two equally-costly powers: one 10-point power, and one 20-point power with a 10-point drawback. For this reason, I think of the "is just less powerful" type of magic as essentially a drawback-less baseline, with the other drawbacks increasing the power in exchange for a downside. Scouring the thread, I think what I called basic spell in my previous post is Task Magic?

    I'm aware that 5th lvl and mana are maybe things that don't exist for your game, they were example mechanics used to try and better illustrate my point...which failed, I guess, since now I'm here again to resay it.

    I have vague recollections of spells that fell under multiple drawbacks. Not like, you can choose which drawback to use when casting them, but more like...if magic drawback types are like different D&D classes, where you have to level up each one individually, and each "drawback class" has its own list of spells, there are some spells that are on both the Blood Mage spell list and the Ritual Mage spell list...I think? Admittedly, while I could swear I remembered reading something about this for your system, I can't actually find a reference to it anywhere now that I'm looking...so maybe I imagined it? >.>

    Q1: Am I remembering correctly that there are some spells available to multiple drawback types? If no, ignore Q2 and Q3.

    Q2: Alrighty, so let's say there is a hypothetical "Resurrection" spell that can be cast both by a Blood Mage and a Ritual Mage, a spell which returns a single person back to life (presumably casting it with Blood Magic kills the caster, and casting it via Ritual Magic takes ****in' forever). Presumably, the positive effect of this spell is the same for both mages, and that means that even though the drawbacks impact the caster in different ways, they are (presumably) considered equally bad for the caster (using the M&M comparison from earlier, they are both 10-point drawbacks as far as the system is concerned). Is that the case in general? Are drawbacks for different spells of the same level generally considered to be equal to each other in terms of how negatively they impact the caster? If no, ignore Q3.

    Q3: If it's not asking too much, could you please illustrate the difference drawbacks make? That is to say, take a couple spells of whatever level - one Task Magic, and one non-Task Magic - that do something similar and preferably easily-quantified, so I can see how much better the drawback spell is than the Task spell. I wanna get an idea of what that difference looks like.
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    I think that the question was about the underlying function of your magic system. So like do your types of magic work like "Templates" that are applied to each spell (so you have one basic damaging spell that you work with), or is each spell in each magic type a separate rules entity?
    Each spell in each magic type is a separate rules entity. We talked about this a little in posts 17, 18 and 19 - basically, the templates idea is a nice idea, but it so rarely works for more than a couple of types of magic per spell that it's easier to do separate spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    They saw you mention spells under multiple skills/drawbacks and thought some such spells were "choose a drawback", then used spell levels and mana as a badly-described example. Not sure where they thought they saw spells without drawbacks, but I, personally, do think there should be some way to do it. Or at least switch to more general/less problematic drawbacks (which could be a place to put "choose a drawback" listing) so that you can use most spells as any "theme" of mage character.
    You can absolutely switch to less problematic drawbacks. Not every spell has the same amount of drawback - I suspect the "No drawbacks" thing comes from the fact that the iconic Task magic spell has basically no drawback beyond not being able to target objects and not being very good, for example.

    A mage-knight, for instance, can't use most of the drawbacks for fairly direct mechanical reasons. Blood Magic turns them squishy out of damage, Ritual Magic takes too long for combat as it's point for the drawback, Finesse Magic is directly made to oppose the idea of mage knights and so on. Some investment to switch up the drawbacks in some way to enable more spells to see use in more characters helps to let people play the type of character they want.
    This is true for some of the spells, and less true for others. A ritual which gives you bonuses for a while after casting is absolutely usable for a mage-knight, to wade into combat with a mystical shield already pre-cast. Vampiric Feast works fine for a mage-knight, because a knight generally isn't doing much else to corrupt his immortal soul. Some finesse spells have different restrictions on their use rather than forcing you not to wear armour - for example, I'm thinking of copying 5e's only-at-night restriction for necromancy among others. A drawback doesn't necessarily have to be the kind of thing that totally screws you over... but of course, it can be, if you're willing to risk it for the boost.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    There's a spell type where the drawback is "these spells aren't as powerful as spells cast with other drawbacks", while spells cast using other drawbacks are more powerful but come with some kind of consequence. The equivalent in other systems, like Mutants & Masterminds, would be that you'd have two equally-costly powers: one 10-point power, and one 20-point power with a 10-point drawback. For this reason, I think of the "is just less powerful" type of magic as essentially a drawback-less baseline, with the other drawbacks increasing the power in exchange for a downside. Scouring the thread, I think what I called basic spell in my previous post is Task Magic?
    Right, here's the thing.

    Task magic is sorta "Less powerful but with no consequences" and other types are sorta "More powerful but with consequences." And sorta not. For example, a task spell could take control of someone but only allow you to give them one set of instructions and they keep following them until the spell ends, while a Volatile spell could just do a random type of damage to an enemy - not helpful if they're mostly dead but nowhere near insanity or corruption yet, but not really a consequence of using it. Unleashed can just only be able to fire at things at the extreme end of its range but not have any chance to hurt you. Any drawback can be made so that it's not actually going to backfire at a possible efficiency deficit.

    I have vague recollections of spells that fell under multiple drawbacks. Not like, you can choose which drawback to use when casting them, but more like...if magic drawback types are like different D&D classes, where you have to level up each one individually, and each "drawback class" has its own list of spells, there are some spells that are on both the Blood Mage spell list and the Ritual Mage spell list...I think? Admittedly, while I could swear I remembered reading something about this for your system, I can't actually find a reference to it anywhere now that I'm looking...so maybe I imagined it? >.>
    You mean like Resurrection, in the OP?

    Q1: Am I remembering correctly that there are some spells available to multiple drawback types? If no, ignore Q2 and Q3.
    Yes.

    Q2: Alrighty, so let's say there is a hypothetical "Resurrection" spell that can be cast both by a Blood Mage and a Ritual Mage, a spell which returns a single person back to life (presumably casting it with Blood Magic kills the caster, and casting it via Ritual Magic takes ****in' forever). Presumably, the positive effect of this spell is the same for both mages, and that means that even though the drawbacks impact the caster in different ways, they are (presumably) considered equally bad for the caster (using the M&M comparison from earlier, they are both 10-point drawbacks as far as the system is concerned). Is that the case in general? Are drawbacks for different spells of the same level generally considered to be equal to each other in terms of how negatively they impact the caster? If no, ignore Q3.
    "Hypothetical" as in "It's in the OP"? Either a blood mage, or a ritual mage, or a balance mage will take the same sets of drawbacks when casting it.

    Q3: If it's not asking too much, could you please illustrate the difference drawbacks make? That is to say, take a couple spells of whatever level - one Task Magic, and one non-Task Magic - that do something similar and preferably easily-quantified, so I can see how much better the drawback spell is than the Task spell. I wanna get an idea of what that difference looks like.
    Given that I don't have a full spell list right now, and only one task spell at the moment, I can... well, I can give you a couple spells which are sort of an example - they're both Unleashed spells:

    Spoiler: Arc Lightning
    Show
    Arc Lightning
    Type: Unleashed 1
    Difficulty: Vs Dodge
    Target: One creature or object 30-40 metres away.
    Duration: None.
    Full Effect: The target takes physical electricity damage equal to 2d6 plus your MG.
    Partial Effect: As full effect but the damage is halved.
    Drawback: Implicit.
    Spoiler: Scatterblast
    Show
    Scatterblast
    Type: Unleashed 1
    Difficulty: Vs Resist/Dodge (See text)
    Target: A 10 metre cone emanating from you.
    Duration: None
    Full Effect: Any creature or unattended object in the area which fails the resist save is knocked back 1d6*2 metres away, plus 2 metres per point of MG you have, and is knocked to the ground unless flying or swimming (creatures gain the Floored condition). If a creature is thrown into a wall, they take 1d6 points of physical impact damage but do not fall Floored. If a creature is thrown into another creature, the other creature must Dodge or the two creatures will strike each other, taking 1d6 points of physical impact damage and both falling Floored. If an object is at risk of impacting a creature, that creature must dodge or take 1d6 points of physical impact damage (or possibly physical laceration, incision or piercing damage depending on the object. At the Arbiter's discretion, some objects may do more or less damage). The creature is Floored if the object which impacts them is particularly large or heavy Ė enough to knock them over if thrown.
    Partial Effect: Creatures are pushed back half the distance and are not Floored. Objects do not move at all.
    Drawback: Implicit (The spell may shove or hurt allies if aimed improperly).


    (Incidentally, all four of the spells in the OP have gone through a variety of changes during development, and so has Vampiric Feast by this point, so don't baulk at the massively high damages that these two spells deal by comparison).
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Dishonour Before Death!

    So...any updates?
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

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