Deliberate Mishaps?

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TorgHacker
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby TorgHacker » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:28 am

Plageman wrote:I wouldn't allow players to be able to get mishaps automatically. In my view there is a clear difference between voluntarily failing and mishaps. In the first case you want to fail maybe to slow or deny an opponent a success. i.e. your forced to work for the villain and try to win your rescue team some time. In the second case something unexpected and uncontrollable happens. Also it's a game mechanism not something the characters can decide to do.


Even in this case, the test shouldn't be to see if you fail the forced work, it should be to see if you're able to fool the villain that you're really that bad and not faking it.

Sometimes the key is to figure out exactly what the dramatic question is. If the question is, "Can I fool a single Technodemon into coming into a trap?" then the test isn't casting the spell, it's testing _that_.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby johntfs » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:58 am

TorgHacker wrote:
Plageman wrote:I wouldn't allow players to be able to get mishaps automatically. In my view there is a clear difference between voluntarily failing and mishaps. In the first case you want to fail maybe to slow or deny an opponent a success. i.e. your forced to work for the villain and try to win your rescue team some time. In the second case something unexpected and uncontrollable happens. Also it's a game mechanism not something the characters can decide to do.


Even in this case, the test shouldn't be to see if you fail the forced work, it should be to see if you're able to fool the villain that you're really that bad and not faking it.

Sometimes the key is to figure out exactly what the dramatic question is. If the question is, "Can I fool a single Technodemon into coming into a trap?" then the test isn't casting the spell, it's testing _that_.


When a spell is done in just the "right" wrong way in Tharkold, it doesn't just fail. It also makes a "noise" that Technodemons within 1000 meters can "hear." So, the initial test isn't a trick. It's a use of the appropriate magical skill in an effort to deliberately create the "noise" that draws a technodemon. It's not like this is a duck call where you imitate the noise. The noise is real. The question is whether or not you know how to deliberately create it.

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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:44 pm

I would assume that Race spell casters are rare in Tharkold. Imagine the number of mishaps you get whilst learning a spell before you get it right. It's probably why Psionics envolved by natural selection.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby utsukushi » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:01 pm

I think that really has to be up to the GM. Like I said, for me, the answer would be no, because of the, well, magical aspect to magic. It's not just a technical process. But I'm aware that that's my headcanon - the inner workings of magic aren't really described in the game, at least yet.


If it *does* work, though, I think it's important to look at how this actually works, which I finally found. It doesn't, like, summon a demon the way Heretical Magic occasionally does in the CP; as they say, the demons are already there. They just `hear' it. And to carry along with your example of why a duck call isn't a good metaphor for this, Technodemons are a whole lot smarter than ducks.

So, we know that ducks place a high priority on destroying anyone with bird-call knowledge within their-- wait, again, no, though they sure should. Technodemons place a high priority on destroying anyone with arcane knowledge in their domain, but that doesn't mean they just fly in blindly. Honestly, if you're setting up an ambush, shouting, "There's something here!" usually isn't the best technique - the players may be on better footing than the average hapless mage the Technodemon is hoping for, but any approaching Technodemons are, nevertheless, coming in also alert and on their own terms as well. There's nothing to say they won't have a look before they dive in, and if things don't look right... well, maybe they've got a `tough guy' Technodemon who figures it can handle it. Or maybe they've got one of the more strategic types, and it calls in a few friends who `owe them favors' (eg., lost their last staredown) and an army of Thralls, instead.

If it does work, it's a few orders of magnitude riskier than playing with fire. I generally feel the group's (players and GM) enjoyment is the top priority, but this seems like a place where a TPK should definitely be squarely on the table.

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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Atama » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:18 pm

GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:I would assume that Race spell casters are rare in Tharkold. Imagine the number of mishaps you get whilst learning a spell before you get it right. It's probably why Psionics envolved by natural selection.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tharkoldu nickname for Race spell casters is “dinner bell”.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:44 am

utsukushi wrote:I don't know - to me, magic is formed significantly out of intent. If you're making your usual hand gestures and saying the magic words but intending to fail, you're not really casting the spell. I would only allow magical Mishaps when the spell is actually being cast with intent to succeed, and especially with TorgE's rule of only rolling when it's interesting, that means only when it matters, in play, not just casting your spell over and over to get the result you want, whatever that is.


I'm completely on board with this headcanon right here. I think you need to fully intend to do the spell in order to properly fail.

But even if you do let magic be a beacon, what then?

First off, what do they do with the salvaged occultech? They can't install it themselves by RAW without taking the perk, and only Tharkold characters can do that. It could be used to barter with others, but how much can you get for demon-possessed occultech? Now somebody has to exorcise it. Money has less of a need in Torg Eternity. This tactic sounds so very D&D to me.

The points of how the demons approach the spellcaster are very important. Technodemons don't do anything stupid. They may be lazy, but they didn't live this long by blindly flying into an ambush. They know how dangerous arcane magic is, so when they feel someone using it, they are going to automatically assume that person is dangerous. How they respond can differ from demon to demon. Maybe a blind rage for some but also wary observation for others. Watch the group from afar and wait for the arcane caster to be separated from the group.

Also, technodemons may not be the only creatures that can "smell" magic. Something else could be attracted too.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:19 pm

I was asked this the other week. They wanted to lure a demon and use it as a weapon to kill inquisitors. I simply told them "no" and they seemed to realize that would be too meta without much of an explanation. I can see the argument that's it clever or even something a character would try, but I want demons to be a bad thing, and that goes for any mishap, it shouldn't work in their favor. If they persisted, I'd make the demon show up and posses the inquisitors, powering it up or something. muhahaha
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:11 pm

That's not to say that there couldn't be an adventure where the PCs deliberately let out magic to entrap a technodemon. I think it has great story potential. But that's the adventure itself. And even then, I wouldn't have failure be the end goal. I'd probably require an elaborate ritual to be constructed that required a conjuration or alternation roll to cause a crack to appear in the aether and get a technodemon's attention. But it'd be dangerous—like transporting several gallons of nitroglycerin in the back of a truck through a jungle (name that movie). It might be necessary, but it's not something you want to do all the time.

I'm with Gargoyle that demons should be a bad thing. You shouldn't want to attract one, and you probably especially shouldn't try to weaponized it.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Atama » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:44 pm

According to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the easiest way to fly is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

Initiating a deliberate mishap sounds like it’s using the same logic. Of course, that logic is deliberately absurd and done for humorous purposes so I don’t advise using it as a basis for a plan.

To me, a mishap is a failure. Actually not just to me, the book clearly states that. So trying to use a mishap to accomplish a goal won’t work. A failure is a failure. If the usual mishap result is what you’re trying to accomplish then if you roll a mishap that’s not what happens. You instead get some other unintended consequence, something the PCs aren’t going to like.

I like the idea that if the PCs are trying to set a trap using magic as a lure, that’s cool, but make them work toward that end deliberately. Don’t pretend that you’re “accidentally” causing your intended outcome through a “mishap”. That’s like at my job when someone wants a new laptop or smartphone and their existing device “accidentally” gets broken.
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Re: Deliberate Mishaps?

Postby Greymarch2000 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:50 pm

i mean if the PCs are going to go all meta with it against warnings who says that only one technodemon shows up? After a few of these I could see a whole pride descending down upon them.


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