New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:17 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:All schools so far were really employing two or so effects, from a given roster of spells which supply said effects in a small palette of areas and strengths. Are we to assume they're all in the same problem then?
A Healamancy revision is also included in this rewrite: (click), as is dollamancy. I'm trying to expand the options available to all players, not just casters. My assumption (long-term) is that non-casters who have interest will expand into champions/paragons and/or city-managers, giving them more control over the campaign world as a whole.

Croakamancy is crazy powerful already - the ability to immediately, cheaply pop hordes of units under your control and reanimate (certain) fallen opponents is currently without parallel compared to other casters. I'm not touching that, since it's in line with canon, but I want all casters AND non-casters to have a wealth of options on and off the battlefield.

The new rules have been posted and discussed, and by the weekend I'm going to combine them into a single cohesive whole for complete review.

Based on my stated goals of additional flexibility for all units, I'm also considering making the "Attack Modifiers" free to all melee (edit: Non-caster; I was thinking 'martial' and wrote melee) units, and allowing as many of them to be used as the unit has levels - so Mighty Blow x4 OR Mighty Blow X2 plus Coordinate X2, etc. I'd like some feedback on that idea as well. Obviously, any units that purchased those would get the AP refunded if these changes take effect.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:41 pm

MarbitChow, I looked over the Healomancy revision again, and I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a regen-like spell anymore - is this intentional?

I also have some other thoughts, but I'm still working out what exactly I think about them. :P
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:05 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:MarbitChow, I looked over the Healomancy revision again, and I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a regen-like spell anymore - is this intentional? I also have some other thoughts, but I'm still working out what exactly I think about them. :P
Yes. Once units become targeted, they don't seem to last more than one round, so I didn't see the point in leaving it in. In most cases, you're either going to want to ward or completely heal; there aren't a lot of situations where a unit is being attacked, but not receiving much damage each round.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
WaterMonkey314 wrote:MarbitChow, I looked over the Healomancy revision again, and I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a regen-like spell anymore - is this intentional? I also have some other thoughts, but I'm still working out what exactly I think about them. :P
Yes. Once units become targeted, they don't seem to last more than one round, so I didn't see the point in leaving it in. In most cases, you're either going to want to ward or completely heal; there aren't a lot of situations where a unit is being attacked, but not receiving much damage each round.


I'm not so sure I think this must be the case - especially since Wards can't practically be cast in battle now. There could be a role for intermediate intervention between a mega-heal (acting reactively) and warding key units before the battle (acting proactively). Suppose that there's multiple engagements in a large city-wide fight: a ranged duel between ground archers on the wall, melee combat to stop the approach of siege, and caster-targeting fliers. A healer shouldn't necessarily be restricted to either predicting the units that will be targeted and healing the ones that get hit. It's unlikely high-level units will be engaged in all three theatres, but all three are obviously important; depending on how rolls go, some might become more or less important. A regen spell would allow a healer to "shore up" an iffy battle of attrition (think lvl 1 spearmen NPCs duking it out) for a few turns while focusing on keeping more important units alive (e.g. making sure Will doesn't get ingloriously downed by focus-fire from lvl 1 archers).
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:49 pm

Here's the thing Water: We have basically 2 kinds of units, grunts and valuable targets. Once the enemy decides they want to kill a grunt, it won't survive more than a round unless you step in with strong healing at just the right moment. Thus, regeneration is useless on them. As for valuable targets, they are usually well defended with Wards in advance and screening tactics, so they take less damage when focused. So regeneration might be helpful....but to benefit them it'd have to be a high amount that would make it overpowered.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:22 pm

MarbitChow wrote:A Healamancy revision is also included in this rewrite: (click), as is dollamancy.


By popular demand (a PM) I took a gander over the Healomancy. And yes, some questions do pop to mind. Since when does this school of magic also have stun and damage spells? I'm only being half-joking when I ask, heck, why not add some Pharmacology that allows Healomancers to get their targets high and hallucinating? Or how about some Reanimator Reagent to allow them to uncroak?

It seems to me like the flavor of that school is diluted. And maybe it shouldn't be. I'm also wary of Healomancy damage also being def ignoring. Which makes it, yes, a bit on the overpowered side.

But really, this is just cutting back to the main issue. Why the changes? So far the magic system worked fine, with all casters contributing a significant portion of our success, which is what you'd expect casters to do. If you really want Shocka-like spells to be available to a Healer, make them available. Don't pollute Healomancy.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:32 pm

Oh, PS:

said PM asked me to look over Euthanasia and when it may be useful. It appears to have a problem, in that it is restricted to being applied to a unit having half or more of its hits gone (so far, nothing too bad) and costs 1juice for 2H removed. However, Malpractice will do 3.5 damage (on average) for each point of juice, and is applicable to any 'wounded' unit, including one that only lacks 1H. So Malpractice, pretty much, renders Euthanasia obsolete.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:59 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:A Healamancy revision is also included in this rewrite: (click), as is dollamancy.


By popular demand (a PM) I took a gander over the Healomancy. And yes, some questions do pop to mind. Since when does this school of magic also have stun and damage spells? I'm only being half-joking when I ask, heck, why not add some Pharmacology that allows Healomancers to get their targets high and hallucinating? Or how about some Reanimator Reagent to allow them to uncroak?

It seems to me like the flavor of that school is diluted. And maybe it shouldn't be. I'm also wary of Healomancy damage also being def ignoring. Which makes it, yes, a bit on the overpowered side.

But really, this is just cutting back to the main issue. Why the changes? So far the magic system worked fine, with all casters contributing a significant portion of our success, which is what you'd expect casters to do. If you really want Shocka-like spells to be available to a Healer, make them available. Don't pollute Healomancy.

Oh, I'm glad you caught that... Yeah, I agree there shouldn't be any sort of damage-dealing spell in the Healomancy school.

Healing is already immensly powerful, so to keep it balanced it needs to remain just a sledgehammer of a different sort. If a Healomancer wants a damage spell, he should take the first-level Shockmancy spell. Same with stun... Just take the first-level Hippiemancy spell.


By "More Flexible" I think Marbit means to give all schools a system similar to what we came up with for foolamancy, with a number of effects and modifiers that can be stacked on top of each other to make a wider range of spells than would have been previously possible. And there's merit in this, especially seeing how it's closer to what's seen in the comic, but I think we're going too much too fast now, and it's messing with the balance big-time.

I think we should just stick with the old system for shockmancy and healomancy until we've got a feel for how this new system works. Especially seeing how those two schools have so much raw power, that flexibility is completely unecessary. Unlike a school like foolamancy, which needs to be flexible to be effective. (Note though that all the flexibility I'm asking for is still just different kinds of illusions.)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:03 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Since when does this school of magic also have stun and damage spells? I'm only being half-joking when I ask, heck, why not add some Pharmacology that allows Healomancers to get their targets high and hallucinating? Or how about some Reanimator Reagent to allow them to uncroak?
Based on what little we know, Pharmacology is primarily in the Flower Power school, and since Healamancy is in the Life access, it can't alter inanimate objects.

As to adding stun / damage to Healomancy, it seems like "evil doctors" isn't an unreasonable template. There are far more NPC healamancers than PC healamancers, after all. I try to play by the same rules I make available to the PCs, so if an NPC were to be able to use Life magic to end life, I want that option to be available to the PCs as well, even if they choose not to take it.

Based on Junetta's and Coil's interactions alone, I could see them eventually coming into conflict. She should be able to fight a shockamancer without learning shockamancy.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:It seems to me like the flavor of that school is diluted. And maybe it shouldn't be. I'm also wary of Healomancy damage also being def ignoring. Which makes it, yes, a bit on the overpowered side.
Malpractice's Juice cost is probably too low (it should be, I think, 2/d6); in general, a healamancer has to spend 4x as much juice harming a target as they do to heal it.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:But really, this is just cutting back to the main issue. Why the changes? So far the magic system worked fine, with all casters contributing a significant portion of our success, which is what you'd expect casters to do. If you really want Shocka-like spells to be available to a Healer, make them available. Don't pollute Healomancy.
This isn't just about the PCs. There are certain things I won't be making available to the PCs: caster links, for example. I can keep that can of worms out by never giving your team a Thinkamancer. But if I introduce a healamancer NPC that can rip wounds into you, a Healamancer player would reasonably ask "Why can't I do that?"

You ask "why the changes?" My response is, in all cases, "because I think it will be fun." That's the same reason I'm creating these rule sets, and the same reason I'm running the game in the first place. I've asked for suggestions to make the game "more fun" from the very beginning. If you have things you think it would be cool to do, that match the spirit of the comic and can be fairly easily codified, let me know.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Oh, PS:

said PM asked me to look over Euthanasia and when it may be useful. It appears to have a problem, in that it is restricted to being applied to a unit having half or more of its hits gone (so far, nothing too bad) and costs 1juice for 2H removed. However, Malpractice will do 3.5 damage (on average) for each point of juice, and is applicable to any 'wounded' unit, including one that only lacks 1H. So Malpractice, pretty much, renders Euthanasia obsolete.
Yeah, I noticed the Juice cost discrepancy as I was writing this. Note also that Malpractice is limits damage to d6/level (average 28 Hits at 8th level) while Euthanasia has no limit; if the beast has 100 hits, it's down to 90, and the healer has 45 Juice available, it's toast.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:08 pm

MarbitChow wrote:As to adding stun / damage to Healomancy, it seems like "evil doctors" isn't an unreasonable template. There are far more NPC healamancers than PC healamancers, after all. I try to play by the same rules I make available to the PCs, so if an NPC were to be able to use Life magic to end life, I want that option to be available to the PCs as well, even if they choose not to take it.

An "Evil Doctor" isn't a pure Healomancer though, it's a Healomancer/Shockamancer hybrid. You don't need to include every feasible ability in every school, since no caster is restricted to one school. To the contrary, making the schools extremely focused (but encouraging cross-school learning) is a much better system overall (and is easier to balance).
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:10 pm

You didn't get the Pharmacology/Reanimator reference. Point is, if you start adding damage to Healomancy, might as well go the whole hog and add Foolamancy and Croakamancy effects, because fictional doctors (a-la Scarecrow, and Frankenstein, and Herbert West) have been shown to do those things.

MarbitChow wrote:As to adding stun / damage to Healomancy, it seems like "evil doctors" isn't an unreasonable template. There are far more NPC healamancers than PC healamancers, after all. I try to play by the same rules I make available to the PCs, so if an NPC were to be able to use Life magic to end life, I want that option to be available to the PCs as well, even if they choose not to take it.

Based on Junetta's and Coil's interactions alone, I could see them eventually coming into conflict. She should be able to fight a shockamancer without learning shockamancy. {snip}

This isn't just about the PCs. There are certain things I won't be making available to the PCs: caster links, for example. I can keep that can of worms out by never giving your team a Thinkamancer. But if I introduce a healamancer NPC that can rip wounds into you, a Healamancer player would reasonably ask "Why can't I do that?"


"Because unlike the NPC you didn't buy Shockamancy spells."

It really is that simple. Or should be.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:33 pm

The way I see it, the domains of most schools are pretty clear and well-defined. Healomancy heals, Shockamancy shocks, Foolamancy fools. Any sort of flexibility within these schools should only take the form of different ways to perform its primary function.

It's only when you get to a school which "specializes in generality" (like, say, Hippiemancy) that adding abilities which are already in the domain of other schools becomes justified.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:50 pm

Schools are also plays on words : Turnamancy deals with Turns (days) and Turning (changing sides); Flower Power deals with Peace as well as plants.

But I've got no objection to removing damage-dealing from Healamancy; there's a lot of stuff in the updated rules already. Wards are getting nerfed a bit so that units don't just get an effective permanent HP boost as long as there is a healer on the field, but the school is getting boosted to allow for protection against/removal of status effects, which didn't exist when it was first created.

I'll try to post the complete updated rules for review in the very near future. In the meantime, the actual game threads could probably use some attention. :)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:04 pm

MarbitChow wrote:In the meantime, the actual game threads could probably use some attention. :)


Well, I've been trying to stir shit in the Original Darkness. As for the New Darkness we're bravely ... sorta bravely ... marching on to fight Lolly.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:06 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Well, I've been trying to stir shit in the Original Darkness. As for the New Darkness we're bravely ... sorta bravely ... marching on to fight Lolly.
I saw conversations in the New D thread, but no orders yet.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:22 pm

In fact, I've been meaning to say that I think the current system for Foolamancy is a bit over-convoluted. As it stands, it costs too many AP to put together even one effective spell, and just giving a level 1 foolamancer extra AP isn't the best fix.

I think we should go back to having set spells, but keep the concept of modifiers: the difference being that now the majority of modifiers are free, costing 0AP to purchace. We should list them under each spell individually as well.

We also need to trim out a bunch of uneeded concepts which are making it ponderous to balance... "Illusionary Damage" is the biggest offender here. I also now regret ever mentioning the idea of a "fake heal", seeing how it spawned the "Spell Mimicry" idea. Also I think we should toss the current notion of how "spot checks" work, and just ignore it until it comes time to balance invisibility.

In fact, let's just toss out all effects and start over from scratch, shall we?


All spells have a one-round duration and automatically dispell when the unit attacks unless otherwise indicated. The enemy is never told the identity of a foolamancy spell or its target unless the effects are obvious (like invisibility). It is assumed that all NPCs have the same nigh-omniscient view the players have (so, while changing a unit's visible hits can be done in LOS, nobody's going to confuse it for a true heal). All juice costs round up.

First, the school's #1 core spell:
Glamour: Cost: 1
Targets units. Any visible stat may be adjusted, as well as the unit's visual appearance and its designation. (Spell effects like Ward and status effects like Stun may not be changed.) Lasts a full turn for free. x3 modifier to allow combat (will not dispel if the unit attacks, will update to show damage taken, et cetera).

I don't have time to prototype any more, but the basic effects I want are the following:

  • Illusionary units
  • Invisibility
  • Illusionary terrain (including smoke clouds)

Actually... Come to think of it, all illusions can realy be broken down into those four basic components. Perhaps there's hope for the effect/modifier system after all. (We still need to trim the fat a lot, though.)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:23 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:Well, I've been trying to stir shit in the Original Darkness. As for the New Darkness we're bravely ... sorta bravely ... marching on to fight Lolly.
I saw conversations in the New D thread, but no orders yet.

I was under the opinion that there wasn't any consensus yet among the players about what to do next. If we agree to press on cautiously, I can post a plan within an hour or two.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby ETheBoyce » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:08 pm

No reply to my questions? I'm sooooo ignored
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:09 pm

Nnelg wrote:I was under the opinion that there wasn't any consensus yet among the players about what to do next. If we agree to press on cautiously, I can post a plan within an hour or two.
Silence implies consent. :D
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:14 pm

ETheBoyce wrote:No reply to my questions? I'm sooooo ignored
Sorry. I didn't mean to ignore your questions, but based on feedback I'm going to hold off making any changes to Shockamancy at all in this pass, especially since I need to take another crack at Foolamancy now to simplify it.
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