Psi and the Social Axiom

Savioronedge
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Savioronedge » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Gargoyle wrote:Regarding discernible rules for magic (and psionics and miracles but perhaps to a lesser degree), I think that the whole point of magic is that it shouldn't be completely quantifiable. There should always be some mystery to it. Otherwise you get the "midichlorians" in Star Wars where you start comparing your midi-chlorian count instead just doing really cool things to show your strong connection to the Force.
<snip>
but I'm going to start doing some weird stuff not defined by the rules, giving


So, one of my favorite High-Fantasy, High-Magick book series is the Mage Storms trilogy, (Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series). And one of the best things about the trilogy is Firesong's repeated complaint that
Magic just doesn't work like that!
.
Sadly for him, despite his previously displayed power and inherant grasp of Magic, it turns out that Magic does in fact work like that. 17 books into the series, and we finally encounter people who studied the "Rules" and "Math" of Magic instead of just going off instinct with training.

As to the going "off books" for mystery, sounds great! However, as a Mystic player, if I can't predict what my Magick (Psl, Miracles...) Is going to do, I can't play my character properly. I need to know, even if my character does not, that if he waves his hands thus and wiggles his fingers like...the fireball will explode in such fashion.

Aenno wrote:I believe it's way of thought thing.
(actually, that's why I'm whining so much about Reality aspects here - it's the most intresting thing in Torg in my opinion, and it being handwaived bothered me a lot)

Exactly. This is one of the reasons I loved, no, LOVE-ED the "Five Realms RPG" in game. The concept of characters learning to better approach Reality Physics through learning the rules of a game was inspired, IMNSHO.

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Aenno
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Aenno » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:19 am

Savioronedge wrote: However, as a Mystic player, if I can't predict what my Magick (Psl, Miracles...) Is going to do, I can't play my character properly. I need to know, even if my character does not, that if he waves his hands thus and wiggles his fingers like...the fireball will explode in such fashion.

...and, as a master who is taking party to Aysle, Orrorsh, Core Earth, PanPacifica... to every cosm, actually, because there is no cosm without having at least one from magic, psi or miracles - I need to know what Magic-Psi-Miracles-ClarkTech supposed to do. Other way I can't model it right.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

utsukushi
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby utsukushi » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:46 am

SaviorOnEdge wrote:I am one of 3 people I have met in the course of living in 6 cities in 3 states within the USA who is disappointed in the complete lack of discernable rules for Magic in Harry Potter.

I think you might have stumbled onto a nest of us here... I thought HP was great, overall, at least at the beginning, but for a series all about wizards, the magic was so lazy.

And of course, the system in oTorg, which somehow managed to make it so intricate and detailed while still feeling magical and unpredictable was pretty phenomenal. I don't think Eternity can replicate that with their commitment to simplicity, and I'm coming to terms with that. I like plenty of systems that haven't done that, after all.

As to the going "off books" for mystery, sounds great! However, as a Mystic player, if I can't predict what my Magick (Psl, Miracles...) Is going to do, I can't play my character properly. I need to know, even if my character does not, that if he waves his hands thus and wiggles his fingers like...the fireball will explode in such fashion.

But I do think there's a major gap between adding some unexplained side-effects to the Powers and making them unplayably unpredictable. Gargoyle wasn't talking about making the actual purchased powers not work as expected, just making things a little fuzzier around the edges.

Aenno wrote:2. ...But, and that's the problem with current Axiom table (I believe): to play with Axioms I should at least know what are they or how do they work. Other way it's a table with arbitrary points, which is boring. In current system nanotech is 25 TA, and rebuilding living biotech is 28; why? Because.

3. And yes, I somehow forgot to put it here first time - I want rules for (beyond other reasons) exacly understanding where can I play with subeffects or, ahm, possibilities in every particular point. Now I'm limited to arbitrary-difficulted effects without actual link into some concrete principles, and that's why this effects looks bland. Psi can heal himself if his Axiom is 24; ok. Nice. But nothing in Social Axiom 24 justify it. Where it would be nice to use this or other weird stuff? Is it on Social 23, 24, 26 or it's an effect of some World Law?

Well, the Axiom table really is just a loose framework. It's not like the Tech Axiom lists everything that appears at particular levels, just a kind of broad sense of where the tech is now. Same thing with the others - it's kind of guidelines for "about how strong magic/spirit/society is", but the listed things are, I think, meant to be more evocative than definitive, if that makes sense.

I'm afraid I do feel that the Psionics-Social connection feels kind of forced to me. I think it was a good idea and I'd have very likely done the same thing if it had been up to me. For the most part, it works, but the fit is a little awkward in places.

I suppose if somebody really wanted to drill down into the Axioms at each level and try to fill them out, that could be a cool Infiniverse offering - I'd probably be willing to pay a few dollars for some better ideas there, but a lot because I wouldn't want to do it myself. <grin>

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Aenno
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Aenno » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:35 pm

utsukushi wrote:I'm afraid I do feel that the Psionics-Social connection feels kind of forced to me. I think it was a good idea and I'd have very likely done the same thing if it had been up to me. For the most part, it works, but the fit is a little awkward in places.

I always just repeating Yoda thoughts about it, and was happy. :) But I do believe it's the place where "principle-based approach" would be useful.

utsukushi wrote:Well, the Axiom table really is just a loose framework. It's not like the Tech Axiom lists everything that appears at particular levels, just a kind of broad sense of where the tech is now. Same thing with the others - it's kind of guidelines for "about how strong magic/spirit/society is", but the listed things are, I think, meant to be more evocative than definitive, if that makes sense.

There is a problem.
It makes total, absolute sense - until we're not speaking about situation where it's literally impossible for common man (read - majority of NPC) to violate axiom borders, and even for player characters it should never came without effort. I used this example before in other place, but - when difference between Glock and Mauser is two axiom levels, it's not good guideline. Guidelines should allow master (and, possibly, players) to be able to define where on the scale every particular tool should be, and with precise. Personally, I can't say I can, looking into Social Axiom table, find, what Social Axiom should be for Force Lightning, and why. Or where on Tech Axiom should be Mosin-Nagant rifle. Is it 18 or 19? And it's important, because it's the difference between being or not Contradictory in Orrorsh.
Or take Invisibility spell from CoreBook (I asked it before somewhere here). It's 17 Magic Axiom. Why? 17 Magic Axiom is, by evocative guideline, "Alteration of living into inanimate mater possible. Reversing the transformation is dangerous and often fails. Solid objects may be conjured from nothing with great difficulty." I can't find anything here to defend Invisibility being on 17th Axiom. It's confusing.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

Blightcrawler
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Blightcrawler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:08 pm

Aenno wrote:Nope. Tools became better on higher tech. Difficulty for shooting Mauser C96 is the same today as it was in 1900.


Tools are what the Tech axiom describes. Shooting becomes easier because the tech is better. Casting become easier because the magic is better. Telepathy becomes easier because the social connections are better. Sure, Huxley Astral Communication will never be as good as Korlash Brain Radio, but since telepathy is made up for the game we don't get into those distinctions. But it can reflect a similiar disadvantage that someone with a tech 20 rifle would be facing against a shooter with a tech 23 rifle.

Technology development is real and we already have an understanding (not to mention tables and tables of game options) that can be readily expressed with historical (or rarely sci-fi) shorthand. The DC differences for Magic, Miracle and Psi are a simple shorthand to accommodate the similar differences that would surely exist if our world had millennia of miracle, magic, and psychic development. Whether that's a new bauble used in casting or the mystic algorithm that defines the structure of the spell or an increased number of access points to tap into mystical power.

If one wanted to, one could create tables of supernatural variants comparable to the tech tables, but I play a game to have fun, not to create support for a thesis on multiple reality metaphysics (and I already find the tech tables somewhat off putting for my indie game sensibilities).

Although given this DC altering system, it does make for a good argument that being in another cosm isn't sufficient to make your "alien" powers easier (which fits the core rules: a core earth magician visiting an Aylse wizard academy still has no rules based method for learning Fireball) so even their bullet spell is limited to their core earth understandings of the limits and powers of Magic. Conversely, an Aylse wizard would have an easier time with bullet no matter where they are (and quite probably risk contradiction unless: like bringing a Mauser to a sniper fight, the wizard knowingly "dumbed" down their magic).

Staffan
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Staffan » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:21 pm

Blightcrawler wrote:
Aenno wrote:Nope. Tools became better on higher tech. Difficulty for shooting Mauser C96 is the same today as it was in 1900.


Tools are what the Tech axiom describes. Shooting becomes easier because the tech is better. Casting become easier because the magic is better. Telepathy becomes easier because the social connections are better. Sure, Huxley Astral Communication will never be as good as Korlash Brain Radio, but since telepathy is made up for the game we don't get into those distinctions. But it can reflect a similiar disadvantage that someone with a tech 20 rifle would be facing against a shooter with a tech 23 rifle.


Except... in the name of game balance, personal weaponry doesn't get all that much better at higher axioms, at least not in its direct function. For example, let's compare a tech 9 war hammer from Aysle to a tech 25 impact hammer from Tharkold. Both are two-handed weapons that deal Strength+4 damage and stagger (make Stymied) their target if they deal damage. The difference is that the Aysle weapon is Unwieldy - if you miss, you become Vulnerable.

Similarly, a tech 19 Orrorshan Lee-Enfield Mk 1 rifle deals 14 damage, has 10 shots, and a range of 50/100/200. The tech 21 hunting rifle still deals 14 damage, has 10 shots, and a range of 80/160/320.

The same pattern repeats itself - higher-tech weapons don't deal more damage, and they are just as easy or hard to hit with (because that's dependent on the target's defense values), but they do have peripheral advantages. The hunting rifle has a longer range than the Lee-Enfield, and the impact hammer is not Unwieldy.

A parallell would be if a high-magic bullet spell would have a longer range, a lower required Apportation skill, or perhaps ignored 2 points of Multi-target penalties. Or if a high-social energize had a longer duration, or lower/no penalties after it runs out.

Savioronedge
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby Savioronedge » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:47 am

Staffan wrote:
Blightcrawler wrote:
Aenno wrote:Nope. Tools became better on higher tech. Difficulty for shooting Mauser C96 is the same today as it was in 1900.


Tools are what the Tech axiom describes. Shooting becomes easier because the tech is better. Casting become easier because the magic is better. Telepathy becomes easier because the social connections are better. Sure, Huxley Astral Communication will never be as good as Korlash Brain Radio, but since telepathy is made up for the game we don't get into those distinctions. But it can reflect a similiar disadvantage that someone with a tech 20 rifle would be facing against a shooter with a tech 23 rifle.


Except... in the name of game balance, personal weaponry doesn't get all that much better at higher axioms, at least not in its direct function. For example, let's compare a tech 9 war hammer from Aysle to a tech 25 impact hammer from Tharkold. Both are two-handed weapons that deal Strength+4 damage and stagger (make Stymied) their target if they deal damage. The difference is that the Aysle weapon is Unwieldy - if you miss, you become Vulnerable.

Similarly, a tech 19 Orrorshan Lee-Enfield Mk 1 rifle deals 14 damage, has 10 shots, and a range of 50/100/200. The tech 21 hunting rifle still deals 14 damage, has 10 shots, and a range of 80/160/320.

The same pattern repeats itself - higher-tech weapons don't deal more damage, and they are just as easy or hard to hit with (because that's dependent on the target's defense values), but they do have peripheral advantages. The hunting rifle has a longer range than the Lee-Enfield, and the impact hammer is not Unwieldy.

A parallell would be if a high-magic bullet spell would have a longer range, a lower required Apportation skill, or perhaps ignored 2 points of Multi-target penalties. Or if a high-social energize had a longer duration, or lower/no penalties after it runs out.


Those ideas would be something.

As it stands, higher Tech tools get better, in some way or another; but other axiom "Tools" are exactly the same, whether "made" by a 9 Axiom "Smith" or a 24 Axiom "Smith". Not a better range; not a chance at reduced consequences for failure; not an extra condition for success...not a single change of any kind.

I am counting on the Aysle sourcebook to correct this disparity.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:20 am

This is going towards this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2645
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sirjolt
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Re: Psi and the Social Axiom

Postby sirjolt » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:35 pm

I always figured that a spell which does "X" does "X" regardless of where you are. If the cosm can't support that then it just won't work.

That said, I figure there are aspects of magic that are better in a high axiom situation; it just doesn't relate to what the spell does. In a high Magic axiom realm, I can learn the spell 'Jigger' by spending a few hours learning how to wiggle my fingers properly and boom, spell learned. In a lower axiom setting, I have to spend months learning the positions of celestial bodies all the while training my brain to think in base 13 while chanting sutras to get the same spell. But since the game doesn't model that it's really only important as a minor piece of background fluff.


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