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Faction Abilities.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hybban wrote:
If you stray from your Way (like the Oath you were talking about) you would lose the access to your powers. Really, if you don't know Earthdawn, you should really look into it, there are many resemblances with Wayfarers.

Hyb'

Thanks, Hybban. Yeah, I am going to get myself a copy of Earthdawn. I just read a review of it the other day and it sounds like a good game. My guess is that Earthdawn and Wayfarers started in similar places and each worked towards greater flexibility.

I guess the difference between these factions and what you describe for ED, is that in these Wayfarers factions, straying from the Oath doesn't cause a loss of powers, but reverts characters to the original skill costs for future purchases.

In fact, I've realized the YOGC is often relativistic in it's design strategy. We tend to shy away from absolutes. You can see it in the system, and you can see it in the social structures of Greg's Twylos. I'm not saying this is always a good thing, -but I've noticed a pattern.

(BTW, I'm still at work on the Power Scores.)
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read back through it too and decided to give Ars Mís Merrow-slayers a shot (at least as I see them):

Merrow Slayer
Disciplines:
Aligned: Ambidexterity, Calculated Strike, Feint, Increased Accuracy, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Silent Casting, Vital Strike.
Opposed: Armor Use, Bash, Greatstrike, Faith Magic Circle, Pause and Study, Prayer, Shield Bash, Shield Use.
Proficiencies:
Aligned: Animal Handling (Aquatic), Rope Use, Seamanship, Swimming.
Opposed: Agriculture, Armor-making, Engineering, Running.

Special: In general, a character may hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to half of his endurance score. After this time, the character must make a successful Physical Resistance check of 10 every round thereafter or fall unconscious. Merrow-slayers multiply this duration by 2 for each skill level attained while remaining a Merrow-slayer. For example a character that has advanced 2 skill levels as Merrow-slayer may hold his breath for 2x his endurance score in rounds before a Physical Resistance check is required.


ÖNotice one grade in Seamanship is free each level. I think thatís cool.
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, it's simple and balanced.

Thank you so much for putting this idea to keyboard, I always end up with something rather clunky.

I think devising a system where characters can undertake quests in order to gain favor (and faction-granted special abilities) will be a snap from here, where characters will gain powers, but at the cost of Oaths that must be upheld.

I'm leaving what the oaths themselves are up to the GM, as a list of pre-chosen Oaths are too restricting for what I have in mind. I will be providing examples, however, of how to tailor Oaths to fit the rank in a faction. Note that the number of Oaths for each ranks is the total, and it is not cumulative. Oaths may be changed at each Rank or carried over to the next Rank until Rank 4, but no minor oaths are allowed at Rank 4, only Major Oaths.

Rank 1: One Minor Oath - One spell from Hermetic or Faith from 1st-2nd Circle as a once per day power.

Rank 2: Two Minor Oaths/one major Oath - Increase previously granted spell to one extra casting a day or gain one spell from 3rd-4th circle once per day.

Rank 3: Four Minor Oaths/two Major Oaths - Increase previously granted spell to two more castings a day (cumulative) or gain one spell from 5th-6th Circle.

Rank 4: Three Major Oaths - Increase two previously granted spells to two more castings a day (cumulative) or gain one spell from 5th-6th Circle.

Rank 5: Four Major Oaths - Increase three previously granted spells to two more castings a day (cumulative) or gain one spell from 7th-8th Circle.

Not that this is meant for GMs only, though players may of course design a faction with close GM supervision.

Minor Oath Example: Vow of silence, vow of poverty, must aid those oppressed by those of higher station, must tithe 10% of all income to faction, restricted to certain weapons.

Major Oath Examples: Cannot take the life of another sentient being, cannot accept healing magic, must tithe 90% of all income to faction, offensive action may only be used in the defense of the unarmed, restricted to only one weapon (as in one specific sword granted by the faction, if ever lost, the member must regain it if he ever wants to use his abilities again or remain in the faction), etc.

The quests that will be undertaken to unlock a new Rank (known as Rites) are similarly designed by the GM (or player under GM supervision), and are very specific in purpose and symbolism, much like Oaths.

Thoughts?
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry so slow. I was out of town for the weekend.

I think these are cool devices Ars M. Those Major Oaths are indeed major, but if done right, they could be compelling. The Oaths/Abilities seem like they could be used with factions or without. But I could see using them with could provide for some seriously hard-core folk, -PCs or NPCs. Are you thinking these are specific spells? Like 'Water-breathing' for Merrow-slayers or would the PC pick?

I just drove several hours so my brain is fried. I'll give it some more thought in the morning.
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you've got it, man.

Naturally, spell creation applies so you can have some very specialized abilties if you so wish for your factions.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ars M, just so you know, I am working on a write up of this for the WGJ2. I'll shoot it to you when I have a first draft done.
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool.

Sorry I haven't been around. I've got a virtual crap-ton of gaming irons in the fire right now.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem Ars M. Things have been pretty hectic here as well. I have set some time aside to get some of this work done this weekend. Hopefully it will stay open for me.

I do have a couple questions regarding the ranks, however: Are you envisioning that skill points are included in this rank system, or only fulfillment of a rite? Are the ranks anyway linked to level? My impression was that joining a Faction meant joining an order of some sort, and this meant following their creed. As for these special abilities, what makes the most sense to me is that ranks are tied to the length of time the PC has been in the faction. Take Merrow Slayers for example:

Levels attained as a Merrow Slayer (Rank): Special Ability
1: +1 to Swimming checks.
2: +1 to Seamanship checks.
3: double time the character can hold breath
4: +1 to-hit when using a spear or harpoon.
5: +2 to Swimming and Seamanship checks.
6: Water-breathing
7: Charm Sea Creature 1/day (as Charm Animal Spell)
8: Call Aquatic Fauna 1/day (as Summon Fauna Spell)
etc...

These are just off the top of my head, but you get the idea. Maybe each level attained while upholding the Merrow Slayer Creed/Oaths earns you a rank as a Merrow Slayer? I'm just trying to think in terms of making it easy to implement. In this sense, a character could be 7th level, but a 3rd Rank Merrow Slayer, having joined the Faction at 4th level.

I think you could balance the special abilities with the severity of the oaths. I could give some examples of oaths like you provided. To me, it should not only be the severity of the oath, but how long you hold it that is tied to the abilities you get.

What say you?
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey.

That's actually an interesting take on the idea. Personally, I'd had it more in mind as a less system-oriented and more free-flowing concept where the achievements of certain tasks as well as continuing to embody what the faction stands for would be the method of determining rank.

I.E. A character is 4th skill level, but is 1st rank in the Order of the Unimpeachable Kielbasa. Skill Level and Rank have nothing to do with one another, allowing for a more flavorful and less systematic way of approaching the concept of a faction.

Notice in the sample system I outlined before I used spells. I think skill bonuses would work in much the same way as well and could easily be plugged in without too much undue effort.

Tell you what. I'd already decided to get one project for another game finished this weekend and another one started. I could probably get the rules for my vision of factions hashed out as well and we can include it as an option (as you previously mentioned).

I think what I have in mind will be clearer once more of Arkoth is presented. I'll be supplying all the factions of that world with the game using the system I have in mind. We're getting a printer here soon and I'll finally be able to give you guys a map to look at and get an idea of what I have in mind.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good to me. I don't think I could do your method justice and its definitely worth including it. This really is your baby after all.

I'm thinking we can present the base of Factions, the skewing of the skills list, then present two different ways to enhance it with special abilities/oaths. That might make for a much interesting read, and really fits the spirit of the journal.

I'll go ahead and hash out my version for abilities. I'm thinking of presenting the generic factions above, plus maybe a couple unique ones.

BTW, unimpeachable?! That's some kielbasa.
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey.

Yup, I'm going to have to wait until the next WGJ to get my idea of factions out there.

As I get odler it seemslLife has a away of conspiring against weekends once planned with nothing but free time.

Regardless, I will be getting this finished as it's integral to Arkoth's setting and tone.

My apologies, Jimmy.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a problem Ars. But it's not going to stop me from asserting my version. Smile

I'll send it past you before finishing it. I'll also make sure you are credited with the idea, and explain you have a different and forthcoming take on Factions.
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Ars Mysteriorum
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmySwill wrote:
Not a problem Ars. But it's not going to stop me from asserting my version. Smile

I'll send it past you before finishing it. I'll also make sure you are credited with the idea, and explain you have a different and forthcoming take on Factions.


Assert away, man!

Thanks for your patience!
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