Why does taking the same arcane perk just give +1 ability?

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Re: Why does taking the same arcane perk just give +1 ability?

Postby Staffan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:55 am

utsukushi wrote:Yeah, we did the math.

Staffan wrote:Psionics have sort of the same issue, but I don't mind it so much there because there's a stronger tradition of psychics being limited to one category of stuff they can do.

That kind of makes me think that what's bothering you here isn't really what you think it is, though. The problem you're talking about is worse for Psionics, because they have three skills attached to three Attributes, and Attributes are a whole lot more expensive than skills. Any mage can easily support two magic skills (provided they're the right two), but for a Psionicist to have two disciplines has a much higher opportunity cost.

So if you're OK with that because it's more traditional, but it bugs you with magic, I'd suggest that your problem isn't that magic is too expensive, it's that you want a toolbox spellcaster.

The issue is more that the psionics skills have a more logical division between them: physical stuff, mind stuff, knowledge stuff. It would be easy for me to make a Tharkold telepath and get a spread of powers that feels reasonable (e.g. read minds, mind blast, cloud mind). But the magic skills feel a lot less thematic, and they are not designed to make you a reasonable mage with just the one.

It's more of a lore thing - I feel a telepath or a telekinetic are more valid as archetypes than an apporter or a transmuter. So I'm more comfortable focusing on a single psionic power than I am on a single magic skill. Or at least I am with these particular magic skills, because they have little flavor to them.

And that, frankly, is a lot harder to `fix' in Eternity's system. If Magic were only connected to a single Skill and Attribute like Miracles are, that doesn't really help you. Your CyberWitch still only gets four of her five spells to start with, and still only if she doesn't take any Cyber. If you want toolbox magicians, you're really going to need to abandon a significant piece of Eternity's rules and go your own way. I... honestly can't think of anything I like for this. I'm trying to figure out a good way to make buying the pieces-of-powers (spells, miracles, and psionic powers) not come from Perks in the first place - like, it's a Perk to buy into the system, but after that they work more like Gear, or maybe you can learn a certain number for each skill point, or something. Actually, that last might work, especially if the number was the number-of-the-skill-point... so, like, with Divination 1, you get one divination spell, and with Alteration 3 you get six Alteration spells (1+2+3). Ultimately, that would mean that a Priest with a Faith of 5 would have 15 Miracles, while a Mage who built up all four magical disciplines would have 60 spells. Psionicists could have, theoretically, 45, but that would be a much heavier investment for them.

That seems excessive. I'm mostly concerned that mages need to work on four different skills across two different stats to get the same benefits priests get with one.

Hmm. Perhaps an easier fix within the system would be to include a Specialized Caster perk that let you take 2-3 spells, but only those linked to a particular skill? You'd be able to take that perk once per magic skill, and possibly it would be mutually exclusive with the regular Spellcaster perk (but count as it for prerequisites). You could do a similar one for psionics (though I wouldn't allow it for Core Earth, since psis there rarely have more than one skill). This would serve to balance out spellcasting and psionics somewhat with miracles - a greater skill investment leading to more flexibility.

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Re: Why does taking the same arcane perk just give +1 ability?

Postby TorgHacker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 am

I don't know if it'll fix your concerns, but perhaps it might be a good idea to see what we've got cooking in the Aysle Sourcebook?

I'd say more, but I need to wait until the previews can start.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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