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Re: A couple more Environmental Spells. - Jack's comments.

TFT lacks spells that cover the high fantasy idea of spells having large, long range effects.

I sometimes think every system needs three kinds of magic:

(A) One any character can learn, and all it costs is experience points or whatever. When you tell a villager you are a powerful Type (A) magician they try to sell you an overpriced hat, or bring out their children in the hope of marriage or apprenticeship.

(B) Several kinds that can only be acquired through story: completing tasks, finding lost texts, etc. and aren't understood until acquired (the rules have plenty of options and you don't know which apply). Finding out what's going on is part of the story. When you tell a villager you are a powerful Type (B) magician they either ask you to turn their romantic rival into a newt (which you've never claimed to be able to do) or make the (completely ineffective) sign of the thrice-salted cow and run back indoors.

(C) One that can't be acquired by PCs at all and just represents weird awesome stuff like cities that are always frozen, forest glades where animals can talk, or magic shops you can only find when you have no money. When you tell people you are a powerful Type (C) magician they ask you if you're feeling all right or beat you with palm fronds.

A particular campaign might not need all of these. Or a couple of them might be merged to some extent. But I think a system that supported all three would be able to tell a wide variety of stories.

These are very preliminary thoughts and I reserve the right to change my mind on all of them. Has anyone seen a discussion along these lines?


On 3 July 2017 at 14:27, Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca> wrote:
Hi Jack,
  Thanks for your comments.  Sorry I didn't reply earlier.  When
I first read this, I thought I would do so later, and then the press 
of events caused me to forget about it.

  Pretty much the only rpg I run is TFT (tho I keep thinking I 
should try the Serenity RPG some time).

  The main reason I like environmental rules is that it gives me an
excuse to have areas with funny magical effects.  More variety is
always good.  

  Also, TFT lacks spells that cover the high fantasy idea of 
spells having large, long range effects.  Tho too expensive for
an individual, a small kingdom can finance a fairly large area 
inside a closed curve.  Then a low fST spell can have far 
reaching effects.  And there is always the possibility of ancient
rune lines that PC's can use.

  Anyway, if you ever decide to try these rules and have questions
or problems, feel free to post.  I'll help out if I can.

  Warm regards, Rick.

On 2017-04-28, at 11:57 AM, jackal@speakeasy.net wrote:

Very interesting idea, Rick. I had the same questions as Peter but yes, your write up answered them. Thanks.

You might want to check out Wormskin. (First issue here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/168614/Wormskin-Issue-1) Gates and dimensional tears are built into the campaign. I think your mechanism would handle this nicely.

Have you tried porting any scenarios or campaigns from other OSRs using these mechanics? I'm thinking that some of Harley Stroh's work for DCC RPG might be good candidates. I'm also thinking converted Call of Cthulhu scenarios would be cool with this! I'd love any conversion post-mortems you might be able to share.

I don't have any upcoming scenes that might make use of environmentals but I'll let you know how it goes if/when I do.

Thanks for asking for feedback.

- Jack