Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin: Anyone read/Dm'd or Played it?

Thomas Shey

Legend
OK gotcha.

Its the color commentary for me that distinguishes the spell casting classes from psionicists. The ModernAGE Basic Rulebook defines magic as Arcana and Psychic Powers but it doesnt make much distinction between the two outside of (and I'm paraphrasing) Arcana is magic spells and Psychic Powers are powers of the mind and its left up to the GM and player to fill in the blanks. This has been the case for most RPGs Ive read and played, so in the long run I guess youre right that it doesnt really matter much and it gets harder and harder to come up with ways to make them different from magic.

There absolutely are ways to make the distinctions significant, but you have to get into the guts of them and the system has to have enough overhead to support the differences. Far as I can tell, AGE is not that game.
 

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R_J_K75

Legend
There absolutely are ways to make the distinctions significant, but you have to get into the guts of them and the system has to have enough overhead to support the differences. Far as I can tell, AGE is not that game.
I don't think AGE makes that distinction either, as the mechanics for both seem the same. I think the key to making them different is the mechanics. Out of the RPGs Ive played that had Psionics as clunky as the rules were, I think 2E AD&D came pretty close. I can't remember if Alternity used them, and we didnt use the Urban Arcana in d20 Modern so I cant comment. I played a Psion in 3.5D&D and it was pretty much a let down because the DM just treated the character like any other spellcaster, so without DM buy in its a moot point.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I don't think AGE makes that distinction either, as the mechanics for both seem the same. I think the key to making them different is the mechanics. Out of the RPGs Ive played that had Psionics as clunky as the rules were, I think 2E AD&D came pretty close. I can't remember if Alternity used them, and we didnt use the Urban Arcana in d20 Modern so I cant comment. I played a Psion in 3.5D&D and it was pretty much a let down because the DM just treated the character like any other spellcaster, so without DM buy in its a moot point.

Alternity did, and its psi and magic (SFX powers) were radically different.

3e--and D20 Modern--had a sort of different approach, but not as extreme as the old-school psionics (which, honestly, was just as well; having a system where magic was carefully siloed to class and psi wasn't never seemed to entirely make sense; the fact that psi availability was strong enough to be baked into random availability didn't help).
 

R_J_K75

Legend
Alternity did, and its psi and magic (SFX powers) were radically different.
A friend of mine was the person in our group at that time who bought the books and GM'd. I don't remember ever using psionics in our games at all. It would make sense because I don't think he owned Beyond Science: A Guide to FX or Mindwalking, even though it appears there were rules in the core books. I think I'm going to have to look into this.
having a system where magic was carefully siloed to class and psi wasn't never seemed to entirely make sense; the fact that psi availability was strong enough to be baked into random availability didn't help).
We didnt use the psionic rules in 1EAD&D and I dont recall any rules being available in 2E besides in the Psionics Handbook and Dark Sun, but I could be wrong, even though we played a few 2E games a few months ago, its been years since I read those books cover to cover. I thought the only ways to get psionic powers was either through being a wild talent or taking a psionic class.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
A friend of mine was the person in our group at that time who bought the books and GM'd. I don't remember ever using psionics in our games at all. It would make sense because I don't think he owned Beyond Science: A Guide to FX or Mindwalking, even though it appears there were rules in the core books. I think I'm going to have to look into this.

Those two books were expansions, but both psionics and (very limited) SFX were in the GM's book.

We didnt use the psionic rules in 1EAD&D and I dont recall any rules being available in 2E besides in the Psionics Handbook and Dark Sun, but I could be wrong, even though we played a few 2E games a few months ago, its been years since I read those books cover to cover. I thought the only ways to get psionic powers was either through being a wild talent or taking a psionic class.

I was referring to OD&D and AD&D1. I'd long walked away from D&D toward the end of the latter.
 


aramis erak

Legend
Its one of those things that turns on how important the sources appear to you. I suspect Aramis is using it in the sense of "suspends the laws of nature as we know them by actions of an individual" and to that view the rest of that is just color commentary.
It's more a case of I play the game, not the fiction its drawn from. So when I want to emulate a given fiction, the game must be made to make those distinctions mechanically.

As for the definition of fantasy, I count supers in fantasy, every bit as much as I count planetary romance (such as JCoM and Flash Gordon), and a number of allegorical works going back to Ancient Egypt. (Amongst which I also count much of Judeo-Christian scripture. Fortunately for me, my faith is not a literalist one, outside the Gospels.) I consider some space opera to also be fantasy (Buck Rogers of the Novel and comics, Star Wars). And I've always drawn heavily on my childhood exposure to Græco-Roman, Egyptian, and Christian Mythologies when running pre-renaissance or equivalent settings... file the names off, and use them as needed.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
Those two books were expansions, but both psionics and (very limited) SFX were in the GM's book.



I was referring to OD&D and AD&D1. I'd long walked away from D&D toward the end of the latter.
2E's Psionics are much simpler, much more elegant (essentially like general skills), but using power points and skill rolls to see if they triggered. Aside from the range of available abilities, and who can get them, it's almost nothing at all like the OD&D Sup III nor AD&D 1E psionics.

3E's was very much weak sauce - being essentially vancian with a different source and list. And man, the list overlapped. A lot. 5E has almost totally lost the distinctions mechanically.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
FWIW, the fact that AGE does not distinguish between divine and arcane magic was a massive drawing point for me as a game system.

Well, as I've said, I think most of the time when you see a game that does, its more habituation from D&D than any thought through case. The only exception that seems to be strongly thought through is RuneQuest that I'm familiar with. You get some games where "divine" magic is one source among many that can potentially be applied, but they don't tend to carry very specific things that the magic can and can't do; its just a source, one among many.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
It's more a case of I play the game, not the fiction its drawn from. So when I want to emulate a given fiction, the game must be made to make those distinctions mechanically.

Well, as I've indicated in another thread, I'm pretty much with you there.

As for the definition of fantasy, I count supers in fantasy, every bit as much as I count planetary romance (such as JCoM and Flash Gordon), and a number of allegorical works going back to Ancient Egypt. (Amongst which I also count much of Judeo-Christian scripture. Fortunately for me, my faith is not a literalist one, outside the Gospels.) I consider some space opera to also be fantasy (Buck Rogers of the Novel and comics, Star Wars). And I've always drawn heavily on my childhood exposure to Græco-Roman, Egyptian, and Christian Mythologies when running pre-renaissance or equivalent settings... file the names off, and use them as needed.

It wasn't your definition of fantasy I was quibbling with, but your definition of "magic". You seem to use it for any functional, but real-world counterfactual process, which I think is overly broad, but if that's what you're doing it makes some of your posts make more sense.
 

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