Fleshing out a school of magic

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Fleshing out a school of magic

Postby Burrowowl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:13 pm

I've been helping some folks develop a thoroughly juvenile, tongue-in-cheek game system called Braindead Barbarian Bimbos, and we've had a bit of trouble working out a school of magic that is available for characters that rely mostly on their looks to get by. After some brain wracking, I recalled some aspects of Erfworld that fit rather neatly, particularly when some Archons used their shockamancy to "flash" a full hex (or more) worth of opponents. Ah-ha! That's the kind of magic effect a school of magic that revolves around being attractive would create!

The game mechanics are extremely simple; you roll 1d6 for an easy check, 2d6 for a normal check, 3d6 for a difficult check, and all dice have to have a face value under your relevant stat for a success. Because this is a game about bimbos, we've been avoiding anything that sounds like in-game math, so there are no numeric modifiers to stats from equipment or abilities (or actions) and no hit points (when you attack, select a stat that you are targeting; if you hit that stat is unavailable for a turn; if that stat was already available you've incapacitated the target).

The magic school in question is tentatively called Tittiemancy. A degree of natural tittiemancy is available for any female character in the setting, and results in otherwise-inexplicable phenomena such as free bottles of champagne appearing at a bar or restaurant, traffic citations not being written, and human resources management placing you in positions of high visibility but little consequence.

Explicit spells from tittiemancy may include effects that cause characters allied with the caster being rendered invisible (but not the caster), an effect that causes a target to give the caster whatever he has in his hands, or an effect that transforms a defeated enemy into a useful piece of equipment.

An unavoidable problem here is that we have no analogy for Erfworld-style Juice, as tracking Juice would be math, and one of the key design principles here is that Math is Hard.
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Re: Fleshing out a school of magic

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:14 am

I'd like to play that game when it's finished.

An unavoidable problem here is that we have no analogy for Erfworld-style Juice, as tracking Juice would be math, and one of the key design principles here is that Math is Hard.


What's your stance on keeping a pile of poker chips in front of you?

PS oh shit, the Tool icon updated. Feck. I wanted to have my av already prepared for that. Sigh, back to the drawing board.

PPS

Burrowowl wrote:The magic school in question is tentatively called Tittiemancy. A degree of natural tittiemancy is available for any female character in the setting, and results in otherwise-inexplicable phenomena such as free bottles of champagne appearing at a bar or restaurant, traffic citations not being written, and human resources management placing you in positions of high visibility but little consequence.


Who writes this shit? j/k, it reminds me of Pratchett for some reason, and it sounds real good! If the rest of the game manual is similarly zaftig, you just might be sitting on a gold mine here.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Fleshing out a school of magic

Postby Burrowowl » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:06 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
An unavoidable problem here is that we have no analogy for Erfworld-style Juice, as tracking Juice would be math, and one of the key design principles here is that Math is Hard.


What's your stance on keeping a pile of poker chips in front of you?

I hadn't given that much thought. Having tokens isn't too much of a stretch, as we're leaning towards having most equipment managed on index cards (due to a defensive combat mechanic called "wardrobe malfunction" that has a tendency of making arms and armor somewhat temporary in nature). Having chits to manage also opens up possibilities for high-end abilities that allow for a player character to "Accidentally" fail to spend the correct amount or gain too much, as the characters themselves are prone to absentmindedness. In Erfworld terms, bimbos benefit from a lot of unintended natural luckamancy and a bit of natural retconjuration.

We'd probably want to keep the cost of most spell effects to exactly one, to avoid forcing players to count at the table. Counting makes a proper bimbo's head hurt, and we want to encourage in-character thinking here. Perhaps more potent spells would be handled by adding effects to less-potent spells at the cost of a token. Hmm... A lot of possibilities here, but the end result needs to feel simple.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Who writes this shit? j/k, it reminds me of Pratchett for some reason, and it sounds real good! If the rest of the game manual is similarly zaftig, you just might be sitting on a gold mine here.


Anybody who wants to. I don't think anybody's looking to publish this thing for money; its current home is at http://1d4chan.org/index.php?title=Brai ... Barbarians if you'd care to look at what's been written up and/or would like to contribute.
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Re: Fleshing out a school of magic

Postby Twoy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:22 pm

You could have major and minor tittimancy effects. Then you could have three levels of a effectiveness. A newbie could do one minor effect per turn, an accomplished tittimancer could do one major or one sminor effect per turn and a master tittimancer could do one minor and one major affect per turn.
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Re: Fleshing out a school of magic

Postby Burrowowl » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:22 am

Twoy wrote:You could have major and minor tittimancy effects. Then you could have three levels of a effectiveness. A newbie could do one minor effect per turn, an accomplished tittimancer could do one major or one sminor effect per turn and a master tittimancer could do one minor and one major affect per turn.

The way things are shaping up right now is that every spell costs one token. One poker chip isn't really counting, so it isn't really math. If there's an effect (like Hey Guys, Check These Out, which functions a lot like the Flash we see Archons perform in Erfworld) that really should only be fully effective against certain kinds of targets (often those that are appropriately oriented to be attracted to the caster), an additional token may be spent to defy that resistance.

Not many of the spells we've come up with readily lend themselves to this kind of thinking, but here's the spell list as I last saw it. Nothing has listed benefits for spending extra tokens yet, though I think the notion is both good an inevitable:

Check These Out, Boys - roll a normal Tits check. On a success, all the caster's allies are immediately rendered invisible in respect to any character with line of sight to the caster. Creatures affected by CTOB return to normal upon being attacked for damage, losing line of sight with the caster, or if the caster performs any action other than moving. On a fumble, the caster's failure to entice her opponents is so embarrassing that her Tits is effectively reduced to 0 for one round.

Clairvoyance - Roll a Difficult Tits check. On a success, the bimbo spaces out severely, her mind wandering to other places. Literally. The material component here would be a shiny object or nice pair of shoes, not necessarily in the immediate possession of the caster. On a fumble, the bimbo spaces out so much her mind gets lost on the way back. She's stuck outside of her body for one extra hour and has to make an Uhm check in order to remember what she left her body for.

Create Item - spend a token on a suitable incapacitated enemy ("suitable" as the GM's discretion) and render it into a garment, accessory, or weapon. Consult with the GM and the equipment tables to determine the exact item and its benefits. On a fumble the target was not properly incapacitated and its life force lingers in the transformed object. Accessories require a Uhm check in order to be worn properly. Clothing and weapons come to life and will require being tamed through combat before being usable.

Defensive Flaking - roll a Difficult Tits check. On a success, the caster is not considered to be engaging any other character, no other character is considered to be engaging her, and no character may target her for any purpose (friendly or hostile) for a full turn. This must be the only action the caster takes this turn. On a fumble the caster flakes to the point of rendering herself completely open. The next attack roll against her is considered automatically successful; don't even roll for a fumble.

The Difference is I Make This Look Good - make a Normal Tits check and pay a mana token to cast this spell. You may immediately make an attack that would normally be governed by Slap or Legs with a Tits check instead. On a fumble the attack is instead made with the lowest stat of your character.

Future Lower Back Pain - cast this spell and make a Tits check at normal difficulty. If successful, the caster is treated as having a 6 score in Tits for the remainder of the scene/combat. On a fumble the caster's Tits score is treated as 1 for the rest of the scene/combat.

Hands Off - When a bimbo with Hands Off successfully uses a Wardrobe Malfunction or Flash to negate a melee attack, the range of engagement with the attacker is shifted to whatever the bimbo prefers, up to and including disengagement. On a fumble, the target may instead shift to the range of engagement it prefers, and may immediately make a grab attack against the caster.

Oh That's Where I Put It - A bimbo with OTWIPI that has had equipment damaged or destroyed during a scene may, immediately after the scene is resolved, make a Normal Tits check to discover that one of the objects was not actually harmed at all, and was simply misplaced. Oops. This ability may only effect items that were in the immediate posession of the bimbo with this ability when they were damaged or destroyed, and can only effect one item per scene. On a fumble, the caster instead discovers that another accessory or garment of hers has been damaged (consult with the GM to pick which one).

Offensive Flaking - Roll a Difficult Tits check. On a success, the target is not considered to engage others (though it may still be engaged by others that wish to). The target considers all other creatures (friend or foe) to be invisible and inaudible until it is struck by a damaging action or the scene ends. On a fumble, the caster accidentally affects her allies instead of her opponents. Friendly bimbos may recover with a Normal Uhm check or upon being struck by an enemy.

They Followed Me Home - This spell causes a garment or accessory the caster can see to animate as if worn by an invisible copy of the caster. It proceeds to do as mentally instructed by the caster for the remainder of the scene/combat. The difficulty of the Tits check depends on who owns the item and whether it is already being worn or not. For objects owned by the caster, make an Easy check for an unattended item or a Normal check for an attended item. For objects not owned by the caster, make a Normal check for an unattended item or a Difficult check for an attended/worn item. Upon a fumble, a less desirable article of clothing animates instead, possibly damaging itself (both at the GM's discretion).
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