Now you can all stop asking about magick

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Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby IVhorseman » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:59 pm

stubby wrote:The supernatural rules are as follows:

6. You buy supernatural dice for a character (or object or vehicle or weapon or whatever) at the cost of 3CP per d4, 4CP per d6, 5CP per d8, 6CP per d10, and 7CP per d12.

7. These dice may be combined for specific effects according to the character's Supernatural Cliche (e.g., superhero, wizard, etc). Dice are assigned one at a time to add to or subtract from Range, Damage, Skill, Armor, or Move. At half effectiveness (rounded down) they can add to or subtract from Radius, Arc, and alternate Move (e.g., giving Flying Move to a normally ground-based creature).

8. When used for Damage, a d4 always causes one of the d4-based Damage types (Fire/Acid/Poison/etc.), while d10s always do Explosion Damage; everything else causes normal Damage.

9. Supernatural effects have a Use rating of +1 for every die used. If the effect is added on top of an Action that already has a Use rating (swinging a sword and adding Fire Damage to the attack, for instance) then the +1s are added on top of the Action's existing Use.

10. Any crit fail on a Supernatural Die turns it into a Supernatural Die that one of your opponents can re-roll, re-assign, and use to sabotage the effect (subtracting Range or Damage from your attack, for instance), although he must still keep the overall effect within your Supernatural Cliche.


Numbers 9 and 10 may be wildly out of balance; those in particular need a lot more playtesting before I'm sure that SN dice will still be worth the cost. For very large Supernatural Effects I'm sure that players will have to devote a couple of the dice to boosting their own Skill Rolls.

Resurrection, retroactive, and lasting effects are no longer possible in the updated system, although dead bodies can be animated on a turn-by-turn basis. There's no "loaning" SN dice to other SN units anymore either. I kind of want to put in some kind of quick-build power, but I think it's better left to the Mechanix rather than trying to duplicate it in SN.


AS OF NOW, these are what the rules for Supernatural Powers look like for Brikwars 2010. Simple, streamlined, and open-ended. If we wanna talk about em, here's the thread to do it in.

Spells with Durations (speed buff, armor buff, ripped and buff) are (tentatively) treated by leaving the dice used to buff with the recipients and the caster is forced to take a cumulative -1 to skill per die left behind.

These rules need some playtesting, so if any of you are willing to throw some conjurers and telekinetics into their next brikwar, tell us how it goes!
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Tzan » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:27 pm

IVhorseman wrote:Now you can all stop asking about magick


I would like to ask a question about magick.

Shouldn't it really be spelled magik?
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby IVhorseman » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:31 pm

Well it should really be spelled "magic," but I'm not even gonna go there
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Dr StrangeBrik » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:39 pm

This is great, but it’s going to take a few example scenarios to get my head around this.

Do you roll your regular skill die (d6 for normal minifigs) first to determine if the spell cast is a success to begin with, and then start adding the Ssupernatural dice for the effect (and modification of the effect) of the spell (damage etc.) one at a time, or do you just use the SN dice from the outset.

Say, for example I have a mage who wants to use the good old fashioned fireball spell. He’s wealthy, so has been able to spend lots of cp on dice for his pyrotechnically inclined school of wizardry, so he has 5 D4s (this may be a bit extreme, but the natural tendency is to grab as many dice as one can get away with…). How do I work out the “use” rating for this – there’s no existing base use rating for spellcasting, and adding up the +1 penalties for the five dice gives us a use penalty of 5, which is easy if I’m rolling all the D4s together, but impossible (barring critical successes) if rolling one at a time (since a D4 can give at most.. well 4…). Then again, this is a hardcore fire-user, so perhaps he does need to pull something out of the hat to pull this one off (and D4s do throw up crits more readily than other dice).

Secondly, how does one determine range? The fireball is traditionally fired from the spellcaster’s hand, not thrown, so would I use the standard ranged weapon distances of 5” or 10” (depending on whether it was a one-handed or two handed cast…).
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Rev. Sylvanus » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:01 am

I've used this supernatural dicepool rule set in my last three battles. Here are some things i noticed:

The versatility is great. I've done speed buffs, fireballs, fire walls, attempted "intangibility," teleportation, weapon enchanting, armor enchanting, etc, etc. If it weren't for the sabotage dice (i.e. rolling 1's, which then give your opponent a die to "sabotage" your magic effect), I might think them overpowered, but the cost has been reasonable, i think. From what I've been able to tell, supernatural dice have a bigger impact and are much more powerful in small games (100 CP ish), but their power level goes down as CP/army size increases (I mean, in the end you start asking yourself 1 question: do I want to purchase 1 wizard with 5 supernatural dice, or do I want 3 more infantry?).

Early in the game, wizards can tend to be indestructible. That is, if your opponent is still to far away to screw with and you don't feel like overloading on buffs, then you've just got this pool of potential armor equal to all your Supernatural dice. On paper this sounds a little broken, but in my last battle, all of my wizards died the turn immediately following a big spell attempt. SO, they can be very defensive, but that only means you aren't actually casting anything.

Some of my playmates are dissatisfied that there are no necromancy provisions. Or healing provisions (but I guess we are waiting for the medic?)

Though I haven't been able to confirm it yet, one of the more powerful moves I can see happening (in fantasy) is creating "wizard bunkers" of infantry or archers on whom the wizard places large armor and damage buffs.

A final note: versatile as the spells are, they will never be as reliable as simple weapons. In my last battle, my wizard had a very large dice pool but slew less CP worth of points (40CP) than my opponents "wizard" who was carrying a flamethrower staff (62CP).
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Keldoclock » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:25 am

Any sufficiently advanced technology...
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stubby wrote:omg noob, balrogs are maiars too, don't you know anything
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby *CRAZYHORSE* » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:59 am

Looks like a nice rule although I would still like some examples.
I think the cast for the example in the rule book should consist of : Wonder Whore, Moderate Man and some parodies on other superheros.

Although I still feel that "especially in a fantasy setting" there is no real reason to limit your mage to a certain kind of clichés, because isn't it so that just a mage could do everything and even more a fire mage could do because the fire mage would be bound to fire based magic and the mage to any kind of magic?I think that you should either have to choose a more specific power or get bonuses if you choose a more specefic power.

So what do you guys think?
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby IVhorseman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:57 pm

Dr StrangeBrik wrote:This is great, but it’s going to take a few example scenarios to get my head around this.

Do you roll your regular skill die (d6 for normal minifigs) first to determine if the spell cast is a success to begin with, and then start adding the Ssupernatural dice for the effect (and modification of the effect) of the spell (damage etc.) one at a time, or do you just use the SN dice from the outset.

Say, for example I have a mage who wants to use the good old fashioned fireball spell. He’s wealthy, so has been able to spend lots of cp on dice for his pyrotechnically inclined school of wizardry, so he has 5 D4s (this may be a bit extreme, but the natural tendency is to grab as many dice as one can get away with…). How do I work out the “use” rating for this – there’s no existing base use rating for spellcasting, and adding up the +1 penalties for the five dice gives us a use penalty of 5, which is easy if I’m rolling all the D4s together, but impossible (barring critical successes) if rolling one at a time (since a D4 can give at most.. well 4…). Then again, this is a hardcore fire-user, so perhaps he does need to pull something out of the hat to pull this one off (and D4s do throw up crits more readily than other dice).

Secondly, how does one determine range? The fireball is traditionally fired from the spellcaster’s hand, not thrown, so would I use the standard ranged weapon distances of 5” or 10” (depending on whether it was a one-handed or two handed cast…).


I'm gonna answer all your questions with an example that should settle all of this. Put short, use your minifig's normal skill roll to make the UR, and range/damage/other effects are determined by your dice.

Let's say Agent Orange is a Fire Mage deployed in a top-secret mission during the Vietnam War. In his endeavor to stop Ho Chi Minh's terracotta army, Agent Orange has purchased 4d4s and 1d10 as his total for magic dice (18 CP + 4CP for the minifig if you care about "balance"). As Orange comes around the corner, he notices a lone soldier only 7" away from him! Agent Orange decides to create a magical fireball attack to kill him. He decides to allocate two dice to the damage (the d4s), and will use the d10 to determine the range of the attack. Seeing as there are three dice, the UR is three total. He rolls for his range roll and rolls an 8, meaning that he is in range, and he uses his skill roll of 1d6 to make the UR of 3. Making the roll with a generous 5, Agent Orange proceeds to deal 2d4 damage to the soldier, burning him to a crisp.

Later on, Agent Orange finds himself in a sniper's tower, and is armed with a rifle (10" range, UR 3, 1d6+1 damage). Seeing a group of three soldiers come out of the barracks, he decides to ignite them in a huge fireball, magically bound to a bullet. So he takes aim, and decides to add his d10 and another d4 to his rifle attack, making a total UR of 5, but 1d6+1d10(exp)+1d4(fire) damage. He rolls a six for skill, and lands the shot, engulfing all three soldiers in a fiery explosion.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby stubby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:32 pm

IVhorseman wrote:Spells with Durations (speed buff, armor buff, ripped and buff) are (tentatively) treated by leaving the dice used to buff with the recipients and the caster is forced to take a cumulative -1 to skill per die left behind.

This is also the system used for necromancy, which I think somebody asked about further down in the thread - you raise up a skeleton and hand him a couple of your dice to act as his Move and Skill and whatever else he needs. It's a pricey way to raise troops, and you take the Skill penalty for as long as he's out walking around, but you get the dice back whenever he dies (or you decide to stop animating him) and then you can just raise another one. Meanwhile, you get to kick it back in your wizard tower drinking magic tea or whatever while he's out in the wild fighting with clerics.

Dr StrangeBrik wrote:This is great, but it’s going to take a few example scenarios to get my head around this.

I think this section is going to need example scenarios more than almost any other section of the book. But that's okay, because the Supernatural Powers examples are usually the funniest anyway.

Dr StrangeBrik wrote:Do you roll your regular skill die (d6 for normal minifigs) first to determine if the spell cast is a success to begin with, and then start adding the Supernatural dice for the effect (and modification of the effect) of the spell (damage etc.) one at a time, or do you just use the SN dice from the outset.

I've gone back and forth on this a bunch of times over the past year or two. Since there's no real reason not to use the maximum number of dice on every effect (since you only get one Action per turn, unless I come up with some clever way - maybe a new Specialty - to save dice for defenses without requiring an Action), I'm thinking that the best thing is to start with the Skill Roll to establish how many dice you can use, but then (except on a Critical Failure) to allow the unit to spend one or more of its Super dice to boost that Skill roll if necessary.

This means that you'll have to be able to assign and roll the dice one at a time: "Okay, this d8 is for extra Skill. A one? Crap, I guess this next one is also for extra Skill then." Etc.

Whatever Skill is left over after you've purchased your dice is used as the Skill Roll for any attacks or ranged actions you're doing - so if you're attacking with a Use:2 weapon, you'd better make sure to leave 2 Skill left over after assigning dice. This takes some of the element of chance out of attacking, since it gives you the power to effectively decide that you're going to hit with every attack just by budgeting your dice properly, but I haven't figured out a good way to bring randomness back into that.

Dr StrangeBrik wrote:Secondly, how does one determine range? The fireball is traditionally fired from the spellcaster’s hand, not thrown, so would I use the standard ranged weapon distances of 5” or 10” (depending on whether it was a one-handed or two handed cast…).

If the spellcaster has specifically bought his fireball as a standard Ranged Weapon or something, then it starts out with standard Ranged Weapon stats, and Supernatural effects just add to those stats. If he's creating it out of nothing, which seems more likely, then it starts with a Range of 0" before adding any Supernatural range. You might remember that when Gandalf cast fireballs, he did it by picking up pinecones and throwing them; in this case you'd be casting the fireball effect on the pinecone, and it'd start with standard thrown equipment item stats. That depends on there being some pinecones lying around though, which is probably not the case in most battles.

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:I've used this supernatural dicepool rule set in my last three battles. Here are some things i noticed:

This is fantastic. I really appreciate getting to hear play results for new rules from outside my immediate circle.

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:Early in the game, wizards can tend to be indestructible. That is, if your opponent is still to far away to screw with and you don't feel like overloading on buffs, then you've just got this pool of potential armor equal to all your Supernatural dice. On paper this sounds a little broken, but in my last battle, all of my wizards died the turn immediately following a big spell attempt. SO, they can be very defensive, but that only means you aren't actually casting anything.

One of the bits I'm still hung up on is this one - how to best handle dice used as defense. Obviously a wizard should be able to choose, during his turn, to buff his Armor if he has nothing better to do.

But what's the best way to handle the case where he's got unspent dice and attacks are incoming? I want to treat it as a Response Action, so that he has to at least make a Skill Roll to see if he gets his defense activated in time - that'll also burn through some of his Skill points for spending dice, so it'll act as a penalty for not having prepared defenses in advance. I'd even go so far as to say the attacker should be allowed to wait to make his Attack Roll until after the defender has assigned dice, so that he won't know the exact amount of Skill he'll need save to be sure his defenses activate in time.

I mentioned earlier that I was thinking of making a Specialty to allow Supernatural units to spend dice on defense even after they've already used their Action for the turn, but I think it's just as interesting to force them to choose to put lasting buffs on themselves early in the battle that they may have to deactivate later to add dice to some other big spell. At that point they're most likely already in the heat of battle; do they have time to spend a turn's Action to reapply the defense buff, or are they too busy fighting? That's the kind of forced decision that makes for more interesting gameplay, I think.

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:Some of my playmates are dissatisfied that there are no necromancy provisions. Or healing provisions (but I guess we are waiting for the medic?)

Necromancy (and I guess a very lame form of healing) are handled through the duration effects that IVhorseman mentioned in the original post. But the Mediks are on the way in Chapter 10.

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:Though I haven't been able to confirm it yet, one of the more powerful moves I can see happening (in fantasy) is creating "wizard bunkers" of infantry or archers whom the wizard places large armor and damage buffs on like Bonn-o-Tron.

This sounds like a believable tactic, I wouldn't be surprised to see it. The best way would be to give area effect dice to one of the units within the group, so that all allied units within a certain distance would receive the benefits of the buffs. The opposing strategy would then be to target the guy providing the buffs to all the other guys.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/09/21

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:A final note: versatile as the spells are, they will never be as reliable as simple weapons. In my last battle, my wizard had a very large dice pool but slew less CP worth of points (40CP) than my opponents "wizard" who was carrying a flamethrower staff (62CP).

That's the goal! Hopefully it always works that way, reliability vs. versatility is the intended trade-off. Well the real goal was actually to get those sabotage dice into the game, but the reliability-vs-versatility thing at least makes it respectable. I hope.

*CRAZYHORSE* wrote:Although I still feel that "especially in a fantasy setting" there is no real reason to limit your mage to a certain kind of clichés, because isn't it so that just a mage could do everything and even more a fire mage could do because the fire mage would be bound to fire based magic and the mage to any kind of magic?I think that you should either have to choose a more specific power or get bonuses if you choose a more specefic power.

I completely disagree - "especially in a fantasy setting," wizards need to have those clichés for exactly the same reasons Heroes do - because otherwise you end up with a unit who "could do everything." It's easy to imagine a generic no-name wizard who could cast any spell you can imagine, but once you have to base him on an actual wizard character from popular fiction then the cliché starts providing some useful direction and boundaries. Saruman and Voldemort are both evil wizards, but they express their supernatural abilities in very different ways.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Rev. Sylvanus » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:53 pm

I definitely agree that supernatural dice used on the defensive should be treated as a response action with a skill roll. We're talking about some sort of armor or shield "spell" after all, which is an action. I'd say, though, that determining if the spell-caster gets the defenses up in time should just fall under "Who Acts First" from Ch. 4. In this case it might be pertinent just to say that Supernatural Dice couldn't be used to boost such a skill roll; the wizard simply doesn't have time to augment his own wizardry with the magic he is in the process of trying to tap into.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby stubby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:50 pm

Rev. Sylvanus wrote:In this case it might be pertinent just to say that Supernatural Dice couldn't be used to boost such a skill roll; the wizard simply doesn't have time to augment his own wizardry with the magic he is in the process of trying to tap into.

I can't make that as a blanket rule; Supernatural Powers also cover things like heroes with super speed and/or super reflexes. In their case it would be completely appropriate to augment their Response rolls, it'll all have to come down to supernatural cliche.

The more likely vulnerability would be in the other details of Who Acts First: if you're not looking in the direction of the guy leveling the rifle at you, it doesn't matter how fast your reaction speed might be - you're not going to know to react until after the bullet's already made acquaintance with the back of your head.

Dr StrangeBrik wrote:a use penalty of 5, which is easy if I’m rolling all the D4s together, but impossible (barring critical successes) if rolling one at a time (since a D4 can give at most.. well 4…). Then again, this is a hardcore fire-user, so perhaps he does need to pull something out of the hat to pull this one off (and D4s do throw up crits more readily than other dice).

Also, I just remembered that I forgot to address the d4s earlier in the thread - you can't get crits on d4s, they have a special exception. Crits are only for d6es and up - see the "Fancy Dice" section of Chapter MC.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Rev. Sylvanus » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:23 pm

stubby wrote:I can't make that as a blanket rule; Supernatural Powers also cover things like heroes with super speed and/or super reflexes. In their case it would be completely appropriate to augment their Response rolls, it'll all have to come down to supernatural cliche.


Ah yes, I had overlooked that; I'm getting too stuck in my fantasy mindset.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby Tzan » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:01 pm

One movie condition you may want to consider is:

Luke Skywalker deflecting blaster shots with his pee saber.
It seems that no matter how many people are shooting at him, he deflects them all, even when shot from behind.
He can sense shooters behind him with the force.

This would be the extreme condition that you might want to allow and design for.

---------------------
My game group made rpg rules for D&D style and westerns. This was adapted to sci-fi and I made up the rules for force powers.
We didnt use a "turn" concept, we kept track of each second.
There was a grid, each character had a marker on it and the marker was slid along a number of boxes depending on how long the action took.
Swing 2h sword 4 seconds
walk 1 space 1 second

For deflecting, each deflection pushed the marker 1 second and cost force points ( like a mana pool) so you could run out.
Normally you could only take an action when you were ready to act, but we allowed unlimited pee saber deflections.
So you only needed to deflect when a shot hit. You got pinned in place until people started missing, or you hit them back with a deflection.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby *CRAZYHORSE* » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:37 pm

stubby wrote:I completely disagree - "especially in a fantasy setting," wizards need to have those clichés for exactly the same reasons Heroes do - because otherwise you end up with a unit who "could do everything." It's easy to imagine a generic no-name wizard who could cast any spell you can imagine, but once you have to base him on an actual wizard character from popular fiction then the cliché starts providing some useful direction and boundaries. Saruman and Voldemort are both evil wizards, but they express their supernatural abilities in very different ways.

Well actually we do agree. The point I was trying to make is that I think there should be something encouraging people to bind there Mages/Superhero's to clichés because "a generic no-name wizard who could cast any spell you can imagine" isn't nearly as awesome as Mandalf Using his Balls of Good to shine a piercing magical light that blinds the orc army as he charges in on them.
And I think it can be tempting for beginning players to go with an all-magic generic mage instead of an awesome character.
It doesn't have to be a rule just a little text explaining the fun that clichés bring.
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Re: Now you can all stop asking about magick

Postby IVhorseman » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Tzan wrote:One movie condition you may want to consider is:

Luke Skywalker deflecting blaster shots with his pee saber.
It seems that no matter how many people are shooting at him, he deflects them all, even when shot from behind.
He can sense shooters behind him with the force.

This would be the extreme condition that you might want to allow and design for.


Supernatural dice! I'd see him with 1d12" "farce detection" that allows him to detect units within that range as if he were staring right at them. Works behind walls, and for stealthy units as well. He'd have to invest that d12 permanently into his innate abilities, but that's how the farce more or less works, right?
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