Introducing Magic to AIME

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
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Mim
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Mim » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:44 pm

The RAW more or less agree with you and exclude the prospect, though add that LMs can consider exceptions. :)

Stardust seems to be developing some limited options for his own game, and I'm also looking at a limited selection of low level spells that may help players who prefer that sort of thing.

IIRC, you once shared that you've been gaming for a while (me too), and one thing I've noticed is that it's difficult enough to meet gamers you connect with, let alone those who also share your vision of Middle-earth. Ssooo, I'll most likely play the RAW, but kinda err on the side of caution and want to have some options, just in case. :)

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:52 pm

That's another point that's interesting for me. From the films (and that is kind of what this is based on since I know my players haven't read the books too much. I think one of them has), Gandalf the Grey cast several fire and other types of spells. But when he became Gandalf the White he didn't use as many flashy spells. That is why I thought that the magic might have been tied to the Ring of Fire which Gandalf was the keeper of.

I don't think we see the ring after Gandalf returns as Gandalf the White, but I may be wrong in that. Which explains why he did not use the fire and flashy spells in the Battle for Minas Tirith. Either the ring had been lost in Moria or it was recovered and returned to him later, or perhaps he used all the magic the ring had for the time being and was unwilling to use or charge it again because of Sauron's growing power?

Then again, I could be completely wrong about all this.

But the primary reason for me asking this is to create the NPC villain character, but I know that the players will start to ask whey they can't use magic. I am not adverse to the players using magic, but I just think some spells are a little over-the-top and not thematic for Middle Earth roleplaying.

So, its been mentioned twice here, I guess a few people are in favor of introducing the Loremaster or Channeler specialization for the Scholar instead of bringing in an entirely new class.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:05 am

Gandalf still has Narya, the Ring of Fire, when he returns as Gandalf the White. The Ring really seems to be more about Inspiration than fire and flame.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:11 am

Stardust

Please check out the magic system I developed for The One Ring (see link in my sig) and also the one developed by zedturtle (you can find that on the Resources page). I developed a new Calling (or Class) called Dwimmer-crafter for this.

I am still working on converting over the spells to AIME and I understand that zedturtle is working on doing something similar with his system, but you could use these as a guide for developing your own.

Hope this helps!

Robin S.
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:14 am

Thank you, I look forward to seeing what you come up with. In the meantime, I will continue to work on what I have and try to come up with a 5e spellcaster that feels like it would be compatible and not overpowering of the classes within the Player's Guide.

So far, I like the term Magician, since it is a little more neutral but indicates someone who could fall into Shadow Sorcery or rise up to become a Wizard. The game itself indicates that possibility, but I am unsure if the term specifically refers to the Istari or if it is a type of magic-wielder that is possible for common folk. The problem with this term is that there is a Magician background.

Temporary Solution (until a more permanent solution presents itself): Remove Magician background and incorporate its features with the Magician class.

I actually like this because it lowers the number of backgrounds from 13 to 12, so it becomes possible again to roll a d12 to get a background randomly if the players are having difficulty coming up with a concept. It also removes some of the story attributes that focus on magic power for the sake of magic power. While I am sure that theme is present in Middle Earth, as a LM I would rather have that play out naturally as a result of story elements then have it be something that is looming over the players' heads. (They have enough looming over their heads as it is.)

I also like the idea that most Magicians are not battle mages, but focused mainly on finding knowledge, preserving history, and at times creating figments and illusions to confuse and bewilder their opponents. So having Magicians primarily focused on spells of the divination and illusion schools. There are several problems with this. Firstly, some of the higher level divination and illusion spells interfere with the metaphysics of Middle Earth and the divinity of the Valar. Secondly, there seem to be specializations of magic (if not in the main story itself, at least in the sidelines) that would indicate there are stronger magics at work.

Temporary Solution (until a more permanent solution presents itself): Limit spellcasting of the lesser magics (divination and illusion) to cantrips, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells and possibly retheme game-breaking spells such as Identify and theme-breaking spells such as detect magic. Have magicians branching class ability relate to the newly discovered specializations of magic (a la 5e Warlock).

This will effectively be me hashing out an entirely new spell list and potential magic abilities for our Magician. I kind of like that idea as it will give me something creative and fun to do. And I did it before when drafting up spell lists for a conversion from Warhammer.

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:58 am

I have begun posting what I came up with at this thread here: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=7623

BookBarbarian
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:43 pm

I like that Adventures in Middle-earth does not use the D&D spellcasting system, which I find to be a lot of unnecessary bookkeeping. Not to say that you can't bring it in, and I wish luck to all those trying to do so, but I'll be using an alternative that others might be interested in.

Just because AiME doesn't have D&D spellcasting doesn't mean it doesn't have Magic. Elves, Dwarves, and Dunedain all have Cultural Virtues that are in my opinion magical, and the Master Scholar certainly has some Magical Abilities. My plan to allow my players is to expand on this, rather that try to use the 5e spellcasting system.

My current quick fix is to allow Master Scholars the ability to to choose any these Magic Cultural Virtues regardless of there own culture. so a Master Scholar can light and extinguish torches and lamps with magic, put foes into a magical sleep, lock or open a door with a spell, cast a spell of alarm, cast a spell of concealment, and see invisible wraiths and have advantages against them all without using the Spellcasting system. As other Cultures and Cultural virtues get added to the Game this list will expand. And I could even expand it on my own by adding new Virtues (cultural specific or general).

Now that won't make my character Gandalf or anything, but it does me allow to play a character that can obviously do some more magic than your typical Elf, Dwarf, Man, or Hobbit that easily fits in with the feel and balance of the game.

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:47 am

I would be interested in seeing what you have come up with. As I said in this thread and the other, all I am trying to do is capture the cinematic feeling of the films, while at the same time presenting a magic-using villain for my adaptation of The Lost Mine of Phandelver. I might have gone a little bit overboard in my pursuit, but I found it particularly enthusing.

Bullroarer
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Bullroarer » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:17 pm

I personally don't feel the need to introduce any more magic than is already present. Several of the cultures already have magical, or near-magical, cultural virtues to choose. Off the top of my head, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Dúnedain, and Beornings all have some semblance of magic available to them. There's also magical artifacts, toys, and gear, as well as the Master Scholar abilities.

In my opinion, demystifying magic in Middle-earth would take away a lot from the setting. In regular D&D, a guy shooting fireballs is no big deal. In AiME, a glowing sword is crazy cool and borderline inconceivable for most people. It's one of the huge draws for me, magic is supposed to be a mystical and undecipherable power, wondrous and incomprehensible but ever present. And I think AiME does a very good job achieving this with its presentation of magic.
"Kill jester."

Stardust
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Re: Introducing Magic to AIME

Post by Stardust » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:50 am

After giving the matter considerable thought, and actually playing the game some with just the rules as written, I think I've come up with something that works. I like the Loremaster option for the scholar, but instead of using 5e spells, having lore abilities relying on hit dice and inspiration.

If you remember, I was attempting to come up with a magic-using villain character for the Lost Mine of Phandelver to Lost Mine of Phandwelve conversion from the D&D Starter Set.

So here is the villain character I think will work. And it doesn't rely on spells. And I'm surprisingly happy with what I've come up with. Please note that I am mentioning non-heroic actions in this post as I am describing a villain character that is well on his way to being controlled completely by the Dark Lord.

Iarno Albrek
Corrupted Scholar (Loremaster) of Gondor 4
HP 22 (4d8)
Proficiency Bonus +2
Languages: Sindarin, Westron
STR 9, DEX 14, CON 11, INT 17, WIS 12, CHA 11
Skills: Lore +7, History +5, Medicine +6
Attacks:
Staff of the Necromancer +2 (1d6+1) - versatile (1d8+1)
Harming Touch +5 (1d8+1 necrotic)
Hands of Harming (4d8) You may expend a harming die to make a melee spell attack against an enemy within 5 feet, inflicting damage equal to the harming die + Wisdom modifier and taking 1 Shadow Point or by spending 10 minutes with a torture kit, inflicting damage equal to harming die x proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier, taking 4 + 1d4 Shadow Points. You may also spend a harming die to cause one of the following conditions (Frightened, Paralysed, Stunned, or Unconscious) as a melee spell attack.
Lore of Sorcery and Necromancy
The Flaming Eye - As a reaction, spend a hit die to inflict 2d10 fire damage against an enemy that has just damaged you. A Dexterity saving throw will halve the damage.
Aura of Fear - You surround yourself with a cold aura of fear and terror. As an action, spend inspiration to force 4 enemies within 60 feet to make a Charisma saving throw or be cursed for a minute, subtracting 1d4 from attack rolls and saving throws for the duration.
News from Afar At the start of each adventuring phase, or when spending time in a Sanctuary, the Loremaster should inform you of one or two events of importance. Once per Adventuring Phase, you can add +5 to an active ability check to learn more about a person, place, or event.
Path of Wisdom Your proficiency bonus is doubled with Medicine and Lore ability checks.
Tongues of Many Peoples You know a little of many languages and may use a few common phrases of other peoples even if you do not know the language.

Staff of the Necromancer - This blackened staff looks like it has been charred in a great fire. An oval of black agate crowns the staff but gives off a menacing heat. It has 12 charges, which can be used as inspiration or hit dice for any abilities of the Lore of Sorcery and Necromancy. The more charges of the staff that are used, however, the more attached to the evil corrupting staff you become. If you spend more than 3 charges, the weapon has a firm connection to your soul energy, and you must make a Wisdom saving throw with disadvantage to use any other tool or weapon. The staff will also begin to drain your life force. You take a level of exhaustion after every short rest while you carry this staff when the staff regains 1d4 charges. For each level of exhaustion you have, the staff gains a +1 enchantment to attack and damage rolls (maximum +5). The Staff of the Necromancer comes from a stronghold of the Dark Lord, and is Tainted Treasure. Furthermore, you cannot remove any levels of exhaustion unless within a Sanctuary as long as you carry the staff (or are bound to it).

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