Newbie Questions

There are things out there, in the weirder reaches of space-time where reality is an optional extra. Horrible things, usually with tentacles. Good thing there's a bureaucracy to deal with them. Based on the Laundry Files novels by Charles Stross. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-laundry/
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Cdr Vimes
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Newbie Questions

Post by Cdr Vimes » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:28 pm

Ive recently discovered the Laundry and have run the first 2 scenarios from the core book and have just started the third. Ive got a couple of questions that hopefully someone can easily answer.

Magic.
In the Sorcery chapter it states that a sorcerer can only cast relatively safely the spells commensurate with his Sorcery skill. If he tries to cast a higher spell he rolls on the spell failure table. Is this evrytime or only if his Sorcery roll fails?

When casting computational magic the book says a roll is not required. Therefore can a user cast a higher spell automatically using computational magic or does he now have to make a Computer Use (Magic) roll? or use his Sorcery roll.

Cthulhu Mythos skill.
I am happy with the rules re gaining the skill from grimoires and books similar to old school CoC. However what, in laundry terms, counts as Cthulhu Mythos knowledge. The players gat a bit of an intro to the Deep Ones / Blue Hades in the starting adventure but gain no Mythos skill. Just wondered why or is it that they just know rumours and hearsay as opposed to cold facts.

That was it as so far my players and myself are having a ball. The players like the humour, something they do in all our RPG sessions so serious horror is not our forte. Ive also snagged a copy of Delta Green so have plenty of adventures to convert as time is tight to write full scenarios myself.

Thanks for any help.

Hermes Serpent
Posts: 1630
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 9:28 pm
Location: Sunny South Coast of Britain

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by Hermes Serpent » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:17 am

Here's something I wrote back in 2013 on the old board IIRC.

Q: The rules say that if you modify a spell to increase range you need more POW depending on your computer and you need to make a Computer Use (Magic) roll.
A: No Sorcery skill required. No instructions required as Computer Use (Magic) is all about 'assembling the equipment and programs for computational summonings and invocations'. You have a level 3 Exorcism spell on the laptop and add a circuit board for the extra POW. Push the button and off it goes, completing in 3 minutes.

Q: You get your newer laptop with POW14 and you know you need POW 16 to cast the level 3 Exorcism spell. A: You could take it slow and allow 30 minutes to check and double check everything (10 times the 3 minutes for a L3 spell) or you could plug in a custom circuit board to give +2 POW. Roll your Computer Use (Magic) skill.

Q: You use the Sorcery skill to learn spells that you cast using non computational Traditional Magic and Mental Magic (True Sorcery).
A: This is mostly done through training courses (where Sorcery and the appropriate spells are taught) and gaining skill checks at 50%, 75% and 90% in the skills listed on p127 under learning Sorcery.
A grimoire is instructions so if it says 'cut the head off a black cockerel at midnight while standing in a pentacle chanting these words' then that's instructions. You don't need to know any of the theory behind the cockerel to cast the spell. If however you mis-pronounce the words (fail your Sorcery roll) then it's roll on the fumble table for you. So if the cockerel is being used in a level 3 Exorcism spell and you only have Sorcery 10% you had better hope you roll 10% or under. The POW for a traditional casting is 11 and it takes 60 minutes to cast (20x the 3 minutes). You'll need to find another 5 POW (+3 for an elaborate set of ritual equipment, +1 for 5 assistants and +1 for casting at a crossroads) and make a spell casting roll. This roll is made against the lower of Sorcery and some other skill, usually Art, Knowledge (Occult), Perform or a specific ancient foreign Language (Enochian?).

If you are using computer hardware to generate the spell even if you've modded it to deliver more POW/range then it's Computer Use (Magic) that you roll, no Sorcery skill needed.
----------------------------------------

"Sorcery is the real deal; the ability to use actual magic in the form of summonings, wards, bindings or other enchantments."

Science (Thaumaturgy) - " The technical aspects of magic, such as understanding the physics involved (and rudely violated by) spells and supernatural entities and their effects upon the physical world."

Computer Use (Magic) - "This includes knowledge of setting up computerised wards, assembling the equipment and programs for computational summonings and invocations..."

Sorcery is doing practical magic, Computer Use (Magic) is doing the technical/electronic stuff that will support the use of an application or program to "do" magic.

Sorcery can often involve sanity loss just for using it. Computational magic not so much.

"There are five ways to use magic. Except when using a magical device, all of these methods of performing magic require a skill roll but the skill rolled depends upon the type of magic. "
1) Using a Magical Device - no roll, the device lists the skill used to activate it.
2) Pre-written app - no roll required
3) Computational Sorcery - roll Computer Use (Magic) (or Science (Mathematics), for calculations by hand)
4) Traditional magic - The sorcerer makes a spell casting roll. This roll is made against the lower of Sorcery and some other skill, usually Art, Knowledge (Occult), Perform or a specific ancient foreign Language.
5) Mental Magic - The sorcerer makes a Difficult Sorcery roll.

These are all from the Sorcery chapter in the core rulebook.

Other quotes from the core rulebook.
There's also more information in "License to Summon" on many of these subjects
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You only need the Sorcery skill to "cast all common spells of a particular level"

"If you have access to the instructions for a spell (say, a grimoire), you can try casting it even without having the requisite Sorcery skill level"

"Any failure when casting a spell that you do not have the Sorcery to work means a roll on the Spell Failure table." oops!

So you don't need Sorcery skill at any level to cast a spell from instructions. You will need the appropriate amount of POW though. A newer laptop will provide 14 POW just enough to cast a level 2 spell. If it's not pre-written or you are adjusting it then a Computer Use (Magic) roll is needed to make those changes.

Increasing area is under Modifying Spells p134 so you need +1 POW to increase the diameter by 3. So that means using a peripheral circuit board to boost POW or taking more cycles (x2 longer) or maybe using a location of power. You still need to make that Computer Use (Magic) roll on top to activate the spell.

All quotes from the core rulebook.
------------------------------------------------------------------
You're talking about the thing at her front door yes?

"I bumped the fuzz diffuser up to full power and piped the entire entropy pool into it over wide-spectrum infrared."

Note the thing with the arms has used Entropy Manipulation to reduce sound and light in the vicinity of the attack. This is a give away to Bob who understands that the thing is some kind of entropy manipulating thing from outside.

So Bob's PDA has a Level One Entropy Manipulation app in the OFCUT suite. He uses it to "Cause an area around the target to harmlessly de-cohere." as far as I can tell from Charlie's text and comparing it to the rulebook. So Bob isn't banishing it as such but messing with the Dho-Na curve sustaining it in this universe - "fuzzed its eigenvector but good". So with its Dho-Na curve messed up it discorporates as it can't sustain it's presence here any longer.

Mytholder - Gar Hanrahan - 21/9/12 C7 forum
the spell on your computational device is prewritten (an app or a computer program that's already complete), you don't need to roll in most cases. You just hit the button. You don't need any Sorcery or Computer Use (magic) or anything.

Exception: in certain cases, if you're trying something unusual, the GM might call for a Computer Use (magic) roll. For example, using Entropy Manipulation, it's easy to set up a sound scrambling field to block eavesdropping. That's routine, so you don't need to roll for it. However, if you want to try changing the settings to turn it into a demon scrambler (as Bob did in Atrocity Archives, then you've got to roll to see if you get it right (and if you fail, roll on the spell failure table).

If you're doing anything more complex, like writing your own spell routines, then you need both Computer Use (magic) and Sorcery.

The Necronomiphone has a POW of 12, and the spells listed are all the ones in the standard OFCUT package. It can run other spells, but you've got to get someone from Tech Support to install them.

Note under banishing p145 core rulebook
"Most summoned physical entities are kept in our world using some magical construct like a carefully drawn circle containing a Dho-Na curve or, more commonly these days, a Dho-Na circuit connected to a computer. These entities either die or vanish (depending upon how alien their home cosmos is, anything too alien vanishes) the instant the diagram or circuit keeping them here is disrupted."

This particular discorporation technique is so creature specific that unless you get something identical it isn't going to necessarily work a second time.

Nigel
Some TOR Information on my G+ Drive.
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... sp=sharing
"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

Cdr Vimes
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by Cdr Vimes » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:31 pm

Thanks for that, cleared up a load of questions.

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