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  1. #1
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    New Microlite20 thread

    continued from this thread

    Quote Originally Posted by greywulf
    In our games we've used the Magical Attack bonus for a number of things, including setting the save DC for spells in place of the usual Spell-level based Save DC; that way, the difficulty to resist the spell is based on the level of the character rather than the level of the spell. In other words, resisting the Sleep spell cast by a 20th level Mage is harder than resisting against the same spell cast by a 1st level apprentice. Makes sense to us, anyhow. Sometimes we do it, sometimes we don't. Depends on the style of game, I guess.

    We also enjoy trying out other magic systems (several are listed on the Macropedia), and use the Magical Attack bonus then in a similar manner to any other attack bonus.

    Hope that helps!
    Thanks, Greywulf, for the advice and for creating a way cool game!

    I guess I came late to the party, but I do have a couple of questions that I didn't see addressed in the Macropedia. (And I have a couple of suggestions, too, but later for those...)

    I can definitely see the use of the magical attack bonus for saves, and I like the idea of it being level-dependent. But there are two similar, but distinct, mentions of this in the Core Rules.

    1) The Difficulty Class (DC) for all spells is 10 + Caster Level + Caster's MIND bonus.
    2) Magic attack bonus = [d20] + MIND bonus + Level

    So the Save DC is 10 + ..., and the Magical Attack Bonus is d20 + ...

    I can see where the DC for saves works, as you described above. But when does the Magical Attack Bonus come into play? All of the spells in the SRD are either automatic, require a save, or require a "to hit" (which would be the Missile attack bonus (ranged touch), right?) Could you give an example of when the Magical Attack would be used?

 

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    I am curious about the rationale for the skill advancement system. In the Core, "Each level adds: +1d6 to Hit Points, +1 to all attack rolls, and +1 to all skills. Has anyone thought about having a degree of customization for the characters, skill-wise? So, for example, each level would add +1 to any one skill. This way, a player could decide which skills the character would be stronger in. Would this be too weak at higher levels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunbruha
    ... Would this be too weak at higher levels?
    The short answer is "probably".

    The longer answer is "it depends on your style of play". Hmmm.... that's not much longer. I'll ellaborate.

    The +3 at 1st level gives quite a boost to your chosen skill area to start with. Remember that Skills in M20 cover a whole lot of ground; there's only the four (Physical, Subterfuge, Knowledge and Communication - I'm recapping for the benefit of new readers, please bear with me here ), so in effect that means your character has a +3 head start with the things their class is most likely to use frequently, and is adding another skill point at each level advancement.

    That's kinda like D&D/d20 where a Rogue, say, will start with +4 on all his roguely skills, then adds +1 skill point to them as they increase level - it's just the mechanics boiled down.

    Except (don't you love sentences that start with "Except"? I do.) Im M20, they get a +1 to all skills, as that's simpler still and in keeping with the M20 ethos. That means your 20th level Rogue will be at +20 Phys, Comm and Know too and able to do other heroic things your average 20th level D&D Rogue couldn't do. To my mind, that's a Good Thing. Remember that M20 has No Feats, so no skill boosting Feat tricks up its sleeves. Heck, M20 doesn't even have sleeves. But anyway.

    If you want to create a character in D&D that's got a skill out of the ordinary, you need a Feat of some kind - Educated, Cosmopolitan or something from the Forgotten Realms book, say. In M20, you just use it. If you want an Intimidating Magi, just play one, and roll Com+STR a lot of times. If you want an Educated Fighter, make Know+INT rolls. Your roll will be lower than choosing the "right" class for the skill, but this is about Fun, not Balance. If I wanted a game all about balance I'd have taken up tight-rope walking, not role-playing. I just hope Wizards don't hunt me down for that last sentence. Oops.

    Anyhow, giving the characters only a +1 to any one skill at level advancement takes away that flexibility - either the character will choose to put in on their core skill (Sub for Rogue, etc) and stay Two Dimensional (not that that's a bad thing), or choose to put it on a different skill and become More Interesting But Weaker In The Important Stuff. That's up to you, but for my money I'd say flexibility during play trumps it.

    When it comes to customization of the rules, anything goes. How I play is unlikely to be how you play, so please do make any and all changes you want; if it doesn't suit, make it fit how you play the game. All I can do is explain my rationale; if it's not for you, that's cool

    Phew. Another explanation that's longer than the rules themselves. Sorry about that!

    Back to Magical Attack. If you hadn't guessed, we play a loose game where the rules intentionally take a back seat, so what the SRD says ain't necessarily what we do. Magical Attack is used whenever there's.....uhhhh.... a magical attack - a direct physical manifestation against an opponent. So that means Fireball, Lightning Bolt, etc are all Magical Attacks. Magic Missile would be, but that's auto-hit anyhow. Touch spells are physical attacks though.

    We explain it that Magi focus on the opponent's Chi/Spirit/Soul/whatever at range and target that, not the physical presence. It helps explain why low DEX Magi can hit a womp-rat at 400 paces but couldn't hit their foot with a crossbow bolt while kneeling

    Hope that helps
    Greywulf

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    Glad to see there's still interest in m20. I wondered if the 'long-thread rule' would kill off our discussion.

    Anyhow, as promised on the other thread, here is the work I've done on differentiating one type of magic from another. I know Greywulf will consider it needless complexity, but my group wants to try out something of this nature. It all kind of came out of our desire to change and define the nature of magic for our games. At any rate, here it is:

    MAGIC
    Magic is separated into three types. Divine Magic is that granted by the gods, and controlled by clerics. Arcane Magic depends on formulae and arcane knowledge, and is the province of wizards. Ritual Magic can be either Divine or Arcane in origin, and is dependent on eldritch ritual and the petitioner's skill at acquiring and using such.

    DIVINE MAGIC
    Clerics focus divine power in order to effect certain miraculous abilities. This power focus can be used a number of times per day equal to the clerics level + his MIND bonus + 2.

    The divine energies channelled by the cleric can have any one of the following effects:

    Bless: The cleric grants his allies a +2 bonus to Attack/Damage/AC/Saves/Skills per 5 cleric levels, to all allies within 30 feet.

    Create: The cleric can summon up to 50 GP worth of non-magical, non-living items per cleric level.

    Cure: The cleric cures blindness, deafness, insanity, or disease in a subject. Certain diseases might resist clerical curing, and curing does not prevent reinfection by the same disease.

    Heal: The cleric is able to heal 1d8 hp of damage per cleric level.

    Purify: The cleric is able to remove spoilage from food and water, and to remove poisons from either substance, or from the body of a subject.

    ARCANE MAGIC
    A wizard learns spellcraft as arcane formulae and lore, and records it in his grimoire, a book of collected magickal knowledge. A wizard can cast any arcane spell from the Microlite20 spell list, as long as he has that spell in his grimoire, and is able to cast spells of that level.

    A wizard begins play with a grimoire which contains all 0-level spells (cantrips) from the spell list, as well as 1d6+1 1st-level spells. He adds 1d3 spells of the highest level he may cast to his grimoire at each successive character level; and may also add spells through study (say, by studying the recovered grimoires from enemy wizards he has defeated), and by purchasing them from other wizards.

    Wizards can cast any arcane spell with a spell level equal to or below their class level, rounded up.

    Casting an arcane spell costs Hit Points. The cost is 1 + double the level of the spell being cast. This hp loss cannot be healed normally, but is recovered after 8 hours rest.

    RITUAL MAGIC
    Ritual magic can be either of arcane or divine origin, and is based on the use of rituals and ceremonies to accomplish effects. Examples of ritual magic might include summoning and binding extraplanar creatures, creating magical items, temporarily changing local weather patterns, communing with a deity, or raising the dead.

    In order to accomplish a specific ritual, a character must find, purchase, or possess several things:

    a) the proper rite for the task he wishes to accomplish (it may be necessary to purchase or obtain this information from a church or a high-level wizard)
    b) the necessary materials required to perform the rite; possibly including rare items or artefacts, or the assistance of several other clerics or wizards
    c) a requisite number of successful skill checks made to signify that the ritual has been correctly performed.

    Note that the obtaining of these materials may, in themselves, be cause for further adventures. Perhaps the rite for raising a dead comrade requires the party to travel to a far-off kingdom to obtain a rare incense (which, of course, must be kept safe from brigands and thieves during the return journey).

    SAMPLE RITUALS

    Enchant Weapon: Used to enhance a weapon (to create a +3 longsword, +1 battle axe, +2 short bow, etc.)
    Required: Weapon Enchantment rite (a scroll, obtainable from a wizard of level 5 or higher); a masterwork weapon to be enchanted; the assistance of one additional wizard per point of bonus to be enhanced; 1d4 successful Know + MIND checks.

    Summon Servitor: Used to summon and bind to service either a creature of nature or a minor fiendish being.
    Required: Servitor summoning rite (a scroll, obtainable from a wizard of level 3 or higher); knowledge of a creature to be summoned; the assistance of 1d2 assistants in the rite; a sacrifice of incense worth at least 150 gp; 1 successful Know + MIND check.

    Summon Demon: Used to summon and bind to service a creature from the depths of Hell.
    Required: Demon summoning rite (a scroll, obtainable from a wizared of level 10 or higher); the true name of the demon to be summoned; the assistance of 2 additional wizards, or 1d4+1 cultists devoted to the demon; a blood sacrifice; 1d4 successful Know + MIND checks.

    Commune: Used to commune with a deity, in order to seek guidance.
    Required: Communion rite (a scroll, obtainable from a cleric of the proper deity of level 5 or higher); a number of questions needing to be answered; a cleric devoted to the proper deity; 1 successful Com + MIND check per question to be answered.

    Raise the Dead: Used to return life to a recently-deceased being. Must be used within (STR) days of death.
    Required: Raise the Dead rite (a scroll, obtainable from a cleric of level 15 or higher); a holy site dedicated to the deity being called upon to return life to the body; the body of the recently deceased being; the assistance of one cleric per level of the deceased being; 1d6 successful Com + MIND checks.

    Well, that's it. I'm still working on which spells to include in the Arcane Magic spell list. Let me know what you guys think.

    Regards,
    Darrell

    PS--
    Should there be a blatant link to the m20 site on this new thread, or do ya think the one in Greywulf's sig will suffice?
    --D.
    Last edited by Darrell; Wednesday, 20th February, 2008 at 12:03 AM.

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    Darrell- Pretty cool system. Probably too complicated for my taste, but I like the different types of magic used by clerics and magi.


    greywulf- I see your point about the skill levels. I like the idea of having a way for characters to be diffferent, and you are absolutely correct that role-playing is the best way to do it.


    Going back to the Magical Attack Bonus (maybe I'm dense, but...). If you use the Magical Attack Bonus for the DC for saves against Fireball, etc. then what is the "Difficulty Class (DC) for all spells (10 + Caster Level + Caster's MIND bonus)" used for? They seem to really be essentially the same thing. So why is it in the rules in two places with different mechanisms (one "takes 10" and the other rolls d20)? Or am I making too much out of nothing... I tend to do that now and again.

  • #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dunbruha
    I am curious about the rationale for the skill advancement system. In the Core, "Each level adds: +1d6 to Hit Points, +1 to all attack rolls, and +1 to all skills. Has anyone thought about having a degree of customization for the characters, skill-wise? So, for example, each level would add +1 to any one skill. This way, a player could decide which skills the character would be stronger in. Would this be too weak at higher levels?
    I am planning something Microlite-ish right now and this was crossing my mind as well.

    My solution is to raise any two skills +1 per level. That way a player could still raise his "main skill" every level while also getting better at select other skills.
    If spread out evenly it's more like SWSE's (and 4e's?) "stat plus half level" instead of M20's "stat plus full level".

    It doesn't prohibit a Mage to eventually being as good at thievery as a 1st level Rogue, but now the Mage has to actively pursue it (by putting a +1 into Subterfuge).

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    Darrell - I like! On a tangent, I've been thinking about using Rolemaster's sources of magic ideas in D&D and M20 for a while. The idea of magic originating from three different sources appeals to me. There's Essence (drawing magic from all around), Channelling (drawing it from the Gods) and Mentalism (drawing it from yourself). It's probably the best take on Arcane/Divine/Psionics I've ever seen, and deserves Microliting.

    Mondbuchstaben - Sounds like a good compromise to me

    dunbruha - I agree, it does sound like there's two rules for one thing, doesn't it? Let me think on that one.........

    Sorry about the short post, I'm lost in Poser renders and trying to get articles complete for Save Or Die right now.
    Greywulf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondbuchstaben
    My solution is to raise any two skills +1 per level. That way a player could still raise his "main skill" every level while also getting better at select other skills.
    I like this. It makes characters a bit more 'customizable' but retains the level-scalable aspect of regular m20. I'm probably gonna implement this in my version of m20.

    Regards,
    Darrell

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    Quote Originally Posted by greywulf
    Darrell - I like! On a tangent, I've been thinking about using Rolemaster's sources of magic ideas in D&D and M20 for a while. The idea of magic originating from three different sources appeals to me. There's Essence (drawing magic from all around), Channelling (drawing it from the Gods) and Mentalism (drawing it from yourself). It's probably the best take on Arcane/Divine/Psionics I've ever seen, and deserves Microliting.
    Yeah, my guys like it differentiated, too. I handled it this way because I wanted the cleric's use of 'magic' to reflect the fact that the cleric is channelling a minute portion of the limitless divine power of his deity (in a similar way to Turning Undead); while wizards use arcane lore and magickal formulae to bring about an effect by drawing on an eldritch power that permeates the universe. Ritual Magic came about because we wanted to keep certain types of effects, but didn't think they should be common spells. That way, a wish or raising a dead comrade is still possible, but not on a whim; so it retains its 'uber-magic' wonder in the characters' (and therefore the players') eyes.

    Regards,
    Darrell

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