Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

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Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Carriker » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:44 pm

Hello, all. Just because I'm having such a good time writing it, I thought I'd drop a little teaser in your lap: a simple sidebar from the upcoming Chronicle of Sorcery, a basic ruleset for the use of magic for the Chronicle System. Just keep in mind that this is literally a first-draft, unedited and not even guaranteed to end up in the book at all. But still. :)

Subtle Sorceries
The magics presented throughout the majority of the Chronicle System's rules will not be the overt, flashy magics of many other role-playing systems. The Chronicle of Sorcery, and its attendant Lores are intended to reflect a lower-magic sort of fantasy setting, one in which magic plays a distinct role without resorting to pyrotechnics and earth-shaking manifestations.
Many of the Lores provide effects that could, to the skeptical eye, be regarded as coincidence, chicanery or some combination of the two. Indeed, the Price of so many of these Lores is so high that magicians who openly proclaim themselves as such often do resort to sleight of hand, chemical tricks and taking credit for things that are genuinely coincidental.
So, with this system of magic, you'll find distinctly magical effects enough. Just not many of them are fireballs.
--
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Jon Snow » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:30 pm

Nice!
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Pytorb » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:25 pm

Sounds about perfect for a magic system, mysterious, otherworldly, unknowable and rare enough to be, well, magical. Can't wait to see more!
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby orcface999 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:33 pm

This is something I look forward to!
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Tao Jones » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:36 pm

I like what I see here! I was thinking on some potential for a magic framework within the Chronicle system myself, and also came to the conclusion that you get some subtle effect, with a cost.

Some examples I came up with of effects:
- Raising an ability by 1, or gaining 3B specialty dice (without waiting for the end of a story arc)
- Gaining one or maybe two related benefits, for which you don't have to meet the prerequisites (without waiting for the end of a story arc)
- Deciding on your House Fortunes roll for one month
- Gaining an immediate Destiny Point that must be burned within a certain period of time

Some examples of costs:
- Lowering an ability by 1, or losing 3B in specialties
- Gaining a permanent drawback or two (can't be bought off), chosen by the Narrator, for which you don't have to meet the prerequisites
- Being limited to having no more than, say, one Destiny point at a time
- Gaining no benefit from spending Destiny points, instead having to burn one to gain the effects of spending one

These seemed to make the most sense in the context of "wishing" rituals or blood magic. I'm still not sure how to go about the more specific effects like the abilities of the alchemists, Melisandre's shadow effects, Jaqen H'gar's shapeshifting, or the warlocks. My initial inclination would be to frame them in very specific terms as benefit trees, like the Skinchanger and Greensight benefits. I'd probably start them all out with Third Eye, and maybe the alchemists with Knowledge Focus (Alchemy), for example.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby shadowninja » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:49 pm

I think about a magic rule system, not effects yet. The first step to learn magic is acquire a benefit (I don't create a name) giving access a new ability, a specific magic theme starting in 1, each different theme requires other benefit. Using "A Song of Ice and Fire" as reference, Fire Magic (Melissandre and Thoros of Myr magic style) or Blood Magic (Maggy the Frog and Lhazar Maegi in Game of Thrones's last Daenerys chapters), using Conan D20, each school is a different magic theme.

Each spell learned is a different specialization, working in the same way of normal ability specializations. The spells effects variables is linked, primarily, to magic’s ability rank, spell specialization level and degree of success, and secondarily, to other abilities (like intrigue system, the composure damage is based in other abilities).

This is my first draft.

I want see this system working with sorcery. :D
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Uncle Twitchy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm

For my homebrew world I've been using a very loose system I came up with that presumes magic as an attempt by the magic-using character to convince the universe to suspend or change how it works to suit the character, using my pantheon of deities as the benchmarks for establishing how difficult something is (so, for instance, if a necromancer wants to raise an army of the dead, he's got to trick the Goddess of Death into letting him do it since she's a very jealous and overly protective deity).

This, effectively, turns magic use into a simplified Intrigue system, where the "armor" of the spell is based on the probability of just how likely such an occurrence could happen on its own (so, for instance, since there was the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse a millennia ago and the effects of it still bubble up from time to time, and if the necromancer above is performing the spell over an old battleground, the army of the undead he's is trying to do is rated as Improbable but not Impossible...)

I have a chart based on my pantheon. Clerics use Persuade, Mages use Deceive. Magic Resistance is based on Awareness, Cunning and Will. Flavors of magic -- Wizardry, Sorcery, Necromancy, Witchcraft, Shamanism, and so forth -- are Benefits and have different ranks like, say, Water Dancer I-III, for instance. I'd be willing to share more in detail.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby B-Type » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:48 am

I kept thinking flashier magic would work with the Chronicle System, as long as it's danger and complexity is appropriately stated.
When I ran a brief few adventures in the setting of the novel series "The Witcher" (which is rather like Westeros in that it's a down-to-Earth politics focused vaguely 14th century world, only with more magic involved and a lot more satire), I ruled it that to use magic you needed to spend a Quality (which was called "Source" as per the terminology in the novels), and THEN you needed spend points on a "Spellcraft" skill, which made it even more of an expenditure on the character's part. Spells worked by setting a difficulty based on how crazy the effect was, and trying to make it.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby rulandor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:58 am

With "Spellcraft" skill - do you imply to use an additional ability called Spellcraft or a Spellcraft specialty to, perhaps, the Knowledge or Will abilities?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby B-Type » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:22 am

With "Spellcraft" skill - do you imply to use an additional ability called Spellcraft or a Spellcraft specialty to, perhaps, the Knowledge or Will abilities?


An actual separate Ability. This means it requires more expenditure then simply bonus dice, meaning it forces a player taking the skill to consider his choices carefully: he can be a badass spellcaster with lots of points in a spellcasting-style of ability, but thanks to how inter-related Abilities are for things like Defense and such, he'll be taking some hits elsewhere. Bonus dice for the ability were based around types of spells.
Damage of spell-based effects was based on your Will, with different spells having different levels of damage, much like weapons of different sorts.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Thig » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:52 pm

I like sound of subtle magic. I also like the idea that 'sorcerers' when they fight each other are not necessarily doing so in a normal state of mind and therefore not 'of our world'. Katherine Kerr's Deverry books achieved this well with effects that werent always visible in the material world but which affected other sorcerers: Scrying blocked by warding and charms etc. The spells could affect the rest of the world too, charming and bewitching characters, curing psychological and emotional damage ( the sorcerers were often herbalist/healer types too so could sort out physical injuries but I dont think their magic felt like it healed physical ills but its a long time since I read them and I might have missed some instances)

The battle of wills between sorcerers is something that rarely translates into gaming in any 'realistic' way. I would love to see a system where conversations are loaded with meaning and power and are effective duels. Or where a sorcerer, seated and meditating, perhaps astrally projecting, or remote viewing etc fights unseen to onlookers against other forces or sorcerers. And perhaps where concepts are weapons, or dangers/protections to be used, hidden or distracted from... Theres plenty of examples for this, whether its Gandalf Speaking to Saruman and breaking his staff, or speaking to the Balrog and using concepts like pieces on a chessboard, or Nevyn having astral battles whilst his body is on the ground in meditation...

Another aspect of subtler magic is knowledge not known or understood by the majority which sets a magician apart. Thats a common theme in the Conan stories where a magician might know a certain phrase that controls some hideous, possibly demonic creature. Or Gandalf knowing Moria westgate needed a password, arguably thats magic from a certain point of view and the door itself was magical so its knowledge of how to use items or locations... Depends on the setting and a setting where a lot is lost like this setting seems to be is rife for that and engages players with the world much more than a pocket full of fireballs. (IMO!)

This reminds me of early Pendragon and to a degree the way later magic worked when they did implement actual rules for players, whether you agreed with that happening in that setting or not. The methods of spell casting in Slaine had things like Corn Dolly spell foci and Evil Eye line of sight etc. Clever and evocative and again encouraging engaging in the world I think and with a feeling of the old forgotten ways of the world. The graphic novels themselves oozed magic but believable magic: distracting Medb's attention so her mind was not on her enchantments allowing others to get past them/defeat them/cheat them - Again its a long time since I read them and cant quite remember the exact details but the sense of the 'spell' being more to do with the sorcerer's awareness reaching out and the heroes defeating that by keeping her distracted on something before them ( Slaine seducing her until she caught a whiff of something fishy-pardon the pun-and then her awareness stretching back out and catching them out)

Times of year, historical sites and sites associated with certain powers or qualitites... Oh and prophecy, whether real or not for as we know, power is also where men perceive it to be...

Thats my tuppence! Its a great subject.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby John Roy » Fri May 18, 2012 11:34 am

Very excited for this. I hope that, while the Chronicle System is meant to apply to any setting, the Devs will realize that the current core of interest in the system are Song of Ice and Fire players, and give us a good solid foundation that we can easily use for Martin's world. I would love it if the Chronicle of Sorcery had rules that could be readily applied to Red Priests, Faceless Man, Quartheen warlocks, etc.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Ich » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:14 pm

I think a useful supplement would address the concepts of magic in Westros first. For example giving several options as to why magic comes to the land sometimes and not others. Is magic just on or off or are there differing degrees and how do they affect magic? Do those degrees affect all the different magics the same or differently?

What happens with the Maesters' knowledge of magic, those with their Valerian steel link, when magic returns to the land? Of course, it should also include Blood Sorcery such as was used by the sheep people. The fire god's magic as well as the sorceries of Quarth.

And when do Snarks and Grumpkins finally make their appearance? :wink:
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Carriker » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:41 am

Ich wrote:I think a useful supplement would address the concepts of magic in Westros first. For example giving several options as to why magic comes to the land sometimes and not others. Is magic just on or off or are there differing degrees and how do they affect magic? Do those degrees affect all the different magics the same or differently?


The problem with such an approach is that magic in Westeros is not ours to conjecture about. Mr. Martin is far too busy to answer our individual questions about the setting, so we can really only print material about what appears in the book. Because his work is wonderfully steeped in mystery, though, that doesn't give us a lot to go on in terms of how his magic functions. I appreciate that he's not interested in hammering down rules on his magic, unlike many authors. Admittedly, it makes writing a game about it difficult, but it's worth it, really.

Part of that, of course, is why we're doing this Chronicle System series. Providing options for those who want to use magical systems in their games. It strikes the middle-ground between remaining faithful to the setting and not creating details inconsistent with Mr. Martin's vision, and yet providing tools for those who want to tell certain kinds of stories with our game.
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Joseph Carriker
Developer, Song of Ice & Fire
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby aprewett » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:03 pm

Any idea when it will be published?

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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Ich » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:26 pm

Carriker wrote:
Ich wrote:I think a useful supplement would address the concepts of magic in Westros first. For example giving several options as to why magic comes to the land sometimes and not others. Is magic just on or off or are there differing degrees and how do they affect magic? Do those degrees affect all the different magics the same or differently?


The problem with such an approach is that magic in Westeros is not ours to conjecture about...


Thanks for your response; point taken. So then, will there be one magic system or several options to choose from and/or mix and match?

Setting-wise, fantastic historical settings such as Mythic Greece and Ancient Egypt seem ripe for this game. Any plans or thoughts to explore those or similar settings?

When I first read the ASIFRP rules, I thought it would make a great system for running a game set in the Dune universe. While I expect GR won't be acquiring any such licensing, will futuristic fantasy or sci-fi settings be getting any developer love?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Carriker » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:35 am

Ich wrote:Thanks for your response; point taken. So then, will there be one magic system or several options to choose from and/or mix and match?


We'll be using a unified "Sorcery" system that provides the basic rules for magic the way the Combat system provides basic rules for conflict. We'll then be presenting subsystems (referred to as "Lores") that use those rules to present a style of magic. A very low-powered talismanic magic, for instance, will come with the Chronicle of Sorcery PDF to start with, and we've got plans for releasing other Lores of varying power, from subtle Wortcunning (herbal magics) to more terrifying and overt Blood Sorcery (magics involving sacrifice and the use of human vitality to power them). More on specifics later, of course.

Ich wrote:Setting-wise, fantastic historical settings such as Mythic Greece and Ancient Egypt seem ripe for this game. Any plans or thoughts to explore those or similar settings?


Not currently, no. Which isn't to say we won't draw as inspiration from those settings for our Chronicle system material we do release, of course, just that we have no plans to present a cogent setting or system that uses them.

Ich wrote:When I first read the ASIFRP rules, I thought it would make a great system for running a game set in the Dune universe. While I expect GR won't be acquiring any such licensing, will futuristic fantasy or sci-fi settings be getting any developer love?


I'm in agreement with you, and am a huge Dune fan myself, truth be known. We don't have anything quite like that planned at the moment, although it might make for a good place to expand through once we get rolling with the Chronicle System releases.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Joseph Carriker
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Odinnscout » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:35 am

any updates on when we can expect publication?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Legate » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:20 pm

Any further news on a release date for the magic system?

I was also wondering is there any plans for expanding the Chronicle system into more "generic" fantasy roles (ie the inclusion of Elves , Dwarves, etc.)? I have recently found a campaign world that the Chronicle system would work well with, Midnight RPG by FFG. Again another fairly low mana setting.
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Warnockworld » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:58 pm

I just picked up the SIFRPG books and I love the system. As a long time dnd player this system is a breath of fresh air. That said, a lack of magic system is disappointing. So this thread has me very excited! Any updates on this?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby aprewett » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:07 am

Also looking for some sort of update?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby aprewett » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:39 am

So there must be someone at the GR who can give us an update!!!

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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby rulandor » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:26 pm

Adding my voice to the frustrated chorus of:

Any hope of this product appearing on the horizon - after being in the works for more than one and a half years?
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby aprewett » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:55 pm

I have given up and gone to other games
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Re: Sidebar from "A Chronicle of Sorcery"

Postby Feilin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:55 pm

Is there an update on the work in progress?
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