Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

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Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Dime Store Magic » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:53 am

There have been some recent changes to the EP menu in regards to learning spell magic. There has also been the creation of the unified spell list. The change is that subsets of magic developed by specialist classes (Necromancy, Temporal, Combat, etc...) can not be learned by a traditional spell caster who can be taught magic, nor purchased with EP (by anyone who uses invocations). I believe this is an overstep and inviting discussion on how we as a group want it to be.

Lloyd hates being bombarded with walls of text, so I am just going to list locations where information on who can cast different types of magic, please take the time to read these sections before commenting if you haven't already.

Subject: Unified Spell & Magic Lists for EU

Subject: Explanatory Notes

Korallyte Magic, BOM p160

Nazcan Line Magic, BOM p176

Necromancy, BOM p184

Temporal Magic, BOM p243

Combat Magic, Mercenary Adventures p8

Despite what is said on BOM p88 that most mages can't learn specialized magic, the actual sections on those magics say they can learn specialist spells.

My position is that the difference between a generalist and a specialist, is that the generalist is willing to let the specialist do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring out a spell in the first place, not in learning it once it's been created. It may be extremely difficult to find and insanely expensive, but it can be done. EP can and should be spent to learn specialized magic. Mages should have the opportunity to find these magics if they put in IC effort to find them.

It's a common trope that mages scour old tomes or travel to distant lands to study with a wizard in search of magic. What mage/wizard/sorcerer in his right mind is going to turn down learning any magic possible? Even necromancy or bone magic might be learned by a principled or scrupulous character at the very least to make sure one can recognize it later. If a character had more magic to learn than time, then they'd prioritize the learning to what is most useful. In that case, mages might choose to not learn a piece of magic that they felt was abhorrent or not as interesting. And really, how are the various combat related magics in the general list of invocations any less brutal than the combat magic in Mercenary Adventures (see fluff text)?

For those who are pro-restrictions, consider this:

If a player wants to blow tons of EP on the magic that in game the character wouldn't otherwise be able to find, who does it directly hurt? The player and GM still need to come up with a plausible in game explanation for it. It's the whole point of EP to create a concept that otherwise couldn't exist, but still requiring the player to invest effort in EU.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby CPR Krueger » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:24 am

Dime Store Magic wrote:There have been some recent changes to the EP menu in regards to learning spell magic. There has also been the creation of the unified spell list. The change is that subsets of magic developed by specialist classes (Necromancy, Temporal, Combat, etc...) can not be learned by a traditional spell caster who can be taught magic, nor purchased with EP (by anyone who uses invocations). I believe this is an overstep and inviting discussion on how we as a group want it to be.


In the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that these subsets already have options built in for some classes to learn them, and some of them even have limited options for so-called "generalist" classes as well, so the characterization that suddenly no generalist can learn (or EP purchase) any of the non-generalist invocations isn't really true. For example, Temporal Magic can be learned by someone who has reached 9th level (in rare cases). This isn't "new" at all, but is actually stated in the original Temporal Magic write-up in Rifts: England, WB3 and is reprinted in the Book of Magic:
Temporal Magic, page 243, BoM wrote:Only high level practitioners of magic (9th level and higher) ever get the opportunity to learn temporal magic spells (rarely spells above 12th level).


So, this restriction has been in place the entire time. Most characters won't have even heard of Temporal magic.

So why do some players get to ignore the restriction? Some attempt to bypass it by EP buying (or learning) spells from HU (which Augur has said is expressly disallowed) or say "GM rewards" etc.

As we all know, some GMs who have been a bit too generous with this sort of thing in the past have caused problems once those tendencies became known, and several players have been stripped (sometimes without compensation) because others had to come in and clean up the mess created.

That said, there are some differences between what's printed and what's in the spell list, such as with Combat Magic and Ocean Magic. Temporal Magic and Necromancy are pretty much straight out of the book.

Dime Store Magic wrote:My position is that the difference between a generalist and a specialist, is that the generalist is willing to let the specialist do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring out a spell in the first place, not in learning it once it's been created. It may be extremely difficult to find and insanely expensive, but it can be done. EP can and should be spent to learn specialized magic. Mages should have the opportunity to find these magics if they put in IC effort to find them.


I have a few concerns with this approach:
1. "The generalist is willing to let the specialist do the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring out a spell... not in learning it once it's been created."

It looks to me like what you're saying here is that you're happy to reap the rewards of the specialists' sacrifice(s) but are unwilling to pay the same price they pay or paid to get those rewards in the first place.

Many specialists pay a certain price and make sacrifices to have access to the things they have access to, and they can't "buy" those costs and sacrifices away with EP. Why should anyone be able to "buy" the benefits with EP without paying the commensurate costs incurred?

2. It seems to me that you are assuming a character knows about all of these obscure schools and branches of magic in the first place. Yes, you play a Lord Magus, and someone who is highly curious about magic. But a lot of characters are highly curious about magic. My High Magus (who would have the same access to the Lords of Magic as Grant, having been trained by them as well) was ruled unable to learn (via EP) Space Magic spells because he had no exposure to them. Is there something which suggests that a PC would know of every obscure spell/school they want just "because", in theory, something could be learned, given the perfect planetary alignment, circumstances, etc.? I mean, just because Pete and Ryan can see the spell in the Rifts Book of Magic (or some other Palladium book) doesn't mean Grant or Salomón would know of it "in-game".. or even get the opportunity to know of it. The only reason I can think of that this should be relaxed is if someone wants to Dual-O.C.C.: this is such an important shift in a character's arc that it's reasonable to presume they'd know or have heard about the O.C.C. (and attendant rare school of magic) they want to switch to. But outside of that, what reason is there to think that a PC would have even heard of such obscure things like Korallyte Shaping? Sure, a character could, in theory, learn to use it, IF they found a Naut'Yll teacher, or someone who learned it from a Naut'Yll teacher. How likely is that (even with EP)?

3. Because of the outright ban on spell trading enacted by Augur (which is not up for discussion), it is even less likely that uncommon magic will be known of by player characters, because of how insular they are portrayed by Kevin and Hugh in the Book of Magic (and elsewhere). Even "generalist" sorcerers are considered secretive and paranoid, unwilling to share most of their knowledge to the vast majority of mages they meet, and the higher level or more powerful/secret the spell, the harder it is to acquire it, generally (see BoM page 13). What, then, of specialist sorcerers, who have paid the price for their specialized knowledge? Would they be somehow more likely to divulge their secrets?

Dime Store Magic wrote:And really, how are the various combat related magics in the general list of invocations any less brutal than the combat magic in Mercenary Adventures (see fluff text)?


You'll get no push back from me on this; I think Combat Magic should be as stated in the book - looked down upon by most, with only a handful of spells (half a dozen is the number cited, so 6) at most learned over the character's lifetime, unless they're a combat-centric casting class like Battle Magus, Combat Mage, Temporal Warrior, Mystic Knight, etc.

Dime Store Magic wrote:For those who are pro-restrictions, consider this:

If a player wants to blow tons of EP on the magic that in game the character wouldn't otherwise be able to find, who does it directly hurt? The player and GM still need to come up with a plausible in game explanation for it. It's the whole point of EP to create a concept that otherwise couldn't exist, but still requiring the player to invest effort in EU.


Here's what the Book of Magic actually says about the topic:

Book of Magic, page 13, BOLD emphasis mine wrote:Pointing out that the very nature, background and training of all practitioners of magic, particularly the Ley Line Walker, Necromancer, Biomancer, Bio-Wizard, and Shifter, among others, are steeped in a tradition of elitism and secrecy.

Thus, while a spell caster may respect a fellow mage, and share the occasional spell (typically from spell levels 1-3; sometimes 4), most are NOT inclined to share the rest of their spells, especially not those they consider rare, special or powerful. One reason is the nature of the business.
Another is the tragic fact that power corrupts, and even novice practitioners of magic have heard many stories of a sorcerer going crazy or rogue and many a mage has fallen to the temptation of power that mastery of magic offers. Thus, practitioners of magic avoid sharing their own, personal knowledge even with fellow mages who are long-time friends, let alone a stranger, even if he or she does seem to be of noble and heroic spirit. Note: Common spells (the ones taught to all Ley Line Walkers at level one) are readily shared, because they are the rudimentary spells of magic and because all Ley Line Walkers and Wizards know them. It is the others that are guarded secrets. And no mage of a good alignment will ever teach spells or the rudimentaries of magic to demonic beings, evildoers, the uninitiated (like a CS interrogator) or a recognized enemy of magic or innocent people. Likewise, evil mages usually refuse to share their knowledge, although for different reasons. Typically out of selfishness and spite. After all, they are not usually inclined to help anybody in the first place, and they sure are not going to share the source of their own personal power! Most evil practitioners of magic believe the fewer people who know magic, the better (less competition).


While I think Kevin goes a bit overboard (because he was talking about spell sharing between players, specifically), the general vibe is still there: spellcasters don't share spells above the very basics - even with lifelong friends - and they especially don't share them without a really, really good reason. EP doesn't give that really, really good reason, in my opinion.

But, to your central plea: who does it directly hurt? The specialists. The ones who put in the effort, made the characters, and paid the price and/or made the sacrifices for their specialist magic.

As I said, I have a Shadow Mage. He knows Shadow Magic. I paid the price for this - I had to make a Sunaj (Aerhiman True Atlantean), evilly aligned, he can never learn psionics (even WITH EP, and despite the roll), he gets pretty screwed in direct sunlight or bright light, can't learn certain kinds of spells (like electricity or light spells), take double damage from silver, etc.

I say again: if I cannot overcome these restrictions, sacrifices, and vulnerabilities by spending some EP, why should anyone else - especially some generalist - be allowed to have access the same Shadow Magic spells (the benefits I pay for) with EP?
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Dime Store Magic » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:27 am

I don't want to quote large block's of text, but CPT Krueger, thanks for the response.

We already meta game equipment. The introduction of the rarity rules is in part to handle that I the player know something exists and how can I possibly find it. The GM can still say nope just not available at this location. The counter to that is EP, where the player can say I've spent the meta currency, please make this happen. This is a check and balance already in place.

We already meta game skills. I've spent my whole life carving soap and eye balling fella's and now I know every engineering and medical skill.

In real life, we uses specialists all the time. I have a fair understanding of how an internal combustion engine works, but I go buy a car rather than try to make one.

For the shadow mage example, the shadow mage will still have the largest range of shadow magic, and can still learn other magic (including other specialist magic). If we want to impose some sort of penalty for learning shadow magic, then that's a whole different discussion. If a diamond patron's character wants to spend EP to learn 3 4th level spells, 3 8th level spells, and 3 12th level spells, the patron has to spend 33 EP. With one character and above average post rates (1 ep/quad) that would take 33 quads to earn. That's a big investment. Are there ways to accelerate the acquisition EP? Yes, but that shouldn't be the frame work to price things.

Another way you could have gone, is to create a ley line walker with a back story of exposure to shadow magic. Then spending EP or working with the GM to develop a contact who knows the magic, and then either spending credits, performing quests, or using EP to obtain those spells.

The idea that in a modern age, wizards and mages would be secretive is a bit wonky with how the various OCCs are built. Ley Line Walkers and Shifters have access to high level spells right out of the gate in RUE. They had to learn them from someone, so somebody out there is virtually giving them away.

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I am not suggesting that GM's just give stuff away. A player has to earn EP (for which the 'effort' is already baked in). Otherwise, it's the GM's job to say, your character wouldn't have that knowledge; hopefully the GM will listen to the player's desires and incorporate into the game at a later point. It might mean stealing a toe nail from a dragon and Joseph Prosek's left sock, but that lets the player decide if they want to pursue it.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Dhaltuun Onyxforge » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:03 pm

hi all,
i play a shifter. He is a follower of Njord. a sea god. for this i am allowed "specialty " magics. IF i can find a teacher and IF they are willing to teach me.. but i need to do the leg work IC.... good luck finding a teacher of ocean magic to a novice, much less a dwarf. :) This is the kind of thing that i like about EU.... when and IF i learn any ocean magic, it will be worth it... not just throw down some EP and say i have it.
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OOC Comments
S.D.C.: 64/64
Hit Points: 49/49
P.P.E.: 115/115

Armor Worn: Mage armor
Weapon(s) Carried and Locations: WI-SR15 Sniper Rifle with Kisentite bayonet (slung over left shoulder), NEMA Automag (AMT) Pistol (on CAF Elite Corps Load-Bearing Chest Rig), Kisentite Cutlass with silvered basket (strapped to left hip in a scabbard), Nuhr Rune Grappling Hook & Line (Tied to right hip), BigBore "Buccaneer" Breech-Lock Pistol (L-R)/TW Firebolt Pistol (R-L)(on old style baldric)

Current Conditions:


Saving Throws, Bonuses, and other handy information
Coma/Death: +14%
Magic (varies): +4
Lethal Poison (14+): +4
Non-Lethal Poison (16+): +4
Insanity (12+): --
Psionic (15+): --
Possession: +2
Horror Factor: +11

Nightvision 300 feet
Sharp vision (doesn’t deteriorate with time)
Augmented P.S.
Superior endurance (fatigues at 1/4 normal rate)
Max. Encumbrance: 108 lbs
Max. Carrying Weight: 460 lbs
Max. Lifting Weight: 920 lbs
Max. Jumping Ability: Leap 5' long X 4' ft high
Swimming: can swim 69 yards/meters per round for 88 rounds

Special Abilities
Dimensional Rift Home
    Can always find his way home from another dimension.
    Can always dimensional teleport home at the cost of a paltry 75 P.P.E.
    Only applies to himself and his familiar as well as gear carried and not anybody else (a full rift or dimensional portal is necessary to take others with him).
    Uses 1 melee action
    Rifting on same world - 1/2 ppe of dimension rift home
    Limit - must have visited location before or use communication rift
    Will appear on nexus near desired location (or stone pyramid)
    Can even use on ley line to move along it or jump to a nearby ley line

Sense Rifts
    Range - within 90 miles +20 miles per level
    Will detect new rift if it opens along the line I am on, regardless of distance (will know where rift is as well as size)
    Can detect teleports and other dimension disturbances at 45 miles +10 miles per level
    He will also instantly know what general direction the rift is located and whether the rift is big or small.
    Note: This sensing ability specifically relates to dimensional portals/rifts and not ley nexuses and ley lines.

Dimension Sense - 49% (+5%)
    Concentrate for 1d6+2 mins to know: type of dimension, if it supports human life, its magic Level, how it was created, if it will close soon, its frequency of opening, any dimensional monsters nearby or in portal (-10% skill), plus unusual characteristics, just by reading portal or meditating after stepping thru
    See O.C.C. description for further details

Dimensional Travel
[/list]Cost: 125 P.P.E. for familiar and caster / +25 P.P.E. per person / remains open for 1 min
When targeting a random dimension - can open anywhere / drawn to locations rich in P.P.E.
When targeting home dimension - 100% random location appearance
When targeting dimensions visited - will appear in random, but hospitable location
Can use Re-Open Gateway or Dimensional portal at 1/2 P.P.E. in ritual / takes 1d6x10+15 min / open for 1 min per level (4th lvl = 4 mins), close it at will, manipulate size at will (max 10 ft tall x 10 ft wide per level)(4th Lvl = 40 ft tall x 40 ft wide)[/list]

Communication Rift
    P.P.E.: on or within 1/2 mile of nexus - 50 P.P.E. / on or within 1/2 mile of ley line - 100 P.P.E. / anywhere else away from ley line - 200 P.P.E.
    Duration: 1 min per level (4th = 4 mins)
    Success ratio 34% +5% if done as ritual gives +20% success
    Time to open: 1d4 rds / as ritual: takes 1d6x10+15 min
    If fail but within 20% will contact correct location but not necessarily the right target
    Send familiar - must return in time or trapped until a portal can be opened (x1 per 24 hrs)

Familiar Link
    Linked to – Marcella the Osprey (monsters and animals pg 158-159)
    Mentally and physically linked with familiar
    Familiar is linked to the shifter and obeys his every command, verbal and mental.
    If the familiar is killed, the shifter will permanently lose 10 hit points; see description for full consequences.

Summoning
    Battle of wills - roll above my MA +ME bonus; 3 out of 5x (if fail is subservient)
    If save - roll init....if I win close rift / if fail creature appears and might attack
    If beat creature - use pact
    If lose to creature - the shifter might be attacked or the being escapes
    Max # of Minions: 2 lesser (4 sub demons) - sub demons or imp-like minor being, poltergeists or haunting entity = 1 lesser/2 lesser beings = 1 greater
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Townsend » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:07 pm

I am willing to go along the route of generalist spell casters gaining specialist magic via EP with some conditions.

1) Specialist magic costs twice as much EP.

2) A character may only know a number of specialist spells equal to 1/2 their level rounded down, then subtract 1 (So a character would have to be 4th level at the very least before they could learn any specialist magic spells)
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby CPR Krueger » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:27 pm

DSM,

I hear what you are saying, but it flies in the face of how both KS imagines the world of magic users in Rifts (the Book of Magic quote above states this) as well as other things written by him.

It sounds to me like you just want to change it around so that, in your version of the Rifts Megaverse, Ley Line Walkers can have a Shadow Magic background or whatnot. If you read up on Shadow Magic, both in Palladium and in Rifts (DB15), you’d know that’s just not plausible at all. Let me break it down: in Rifts, Shadow Magic is the exclusive domain of the Sunaj, and they aren’t sharing. Renegade Shadow Mages, if they even exist, would be hunted down and destroyed. The Sunaj would relentlessly pursue this. You aren’t gonna “find a mage” to teach you Shadow Magic unless your GM just ignores the SotA section about how the Sunaj and Shadow Magic work in Rifts. And any non-Sunaj who ever used Shadow Magic would be hunted down like a dog, because that’s how the Sunaj roll.

Yes, Shadow Magic has a different history in Palladium Fantasy. But even there it is extremely rare - like 4 named people in the entire dimension know it. SotA is the current Rifts adaptation for it, and if you’re playing in the Rifts Megaverse, the SotA book is the canonical history and status of it now. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me for someone to just say, “okay fine I’ll just get those Shadow spells from PF then” and use that as a “loophole” to acquire them.

What EP are supposed to allow you to do is stretch a bit, pick up some spells before you’re normally able to or simulate accelerated self-learning within an area of expertise. They aren’t supposed to just let you ignore whatever you feel like and pick up anything you damn well please because a new book came out and you like that awesome spell. Yeah, that spell IS awesome, and no, you CAN’T have it, unless you find a way to become that class.

Your arguments could apply to ANY school, too. Why not elemental magic? We can EP that too, right? No? Why not? Who does it hurt? Oh, warlocks? Exactly. And folks instinctively recognize this.

The reason that LLW start with those spells (which are all low level and “common”, by the way- even according to Kevin) is that sure, some are taught, but others are figured out over time (or, in the case of the LLW, by "communing" with Ley Lines). There’s no reason to think that the spells a character learns every level are taught to them by other mages. Shifters do start with some higher level spells, but that’s the exception to the rule - most spellcasting classes do not (with a few minor exceptions, and some of them, again, pay a price for it)

The car engine example sounds good, until you realize there needs to be other factors in order for the analogy to really work - such as the idea that magic spells aren’t on every street corner like cars are, and that owning an engine by itself doesn’t threaten other car or engine owners (unlike having access to a potent spell) and that if it was a secret or special prototype engine you’d likely not be able to get your hands on it at all (if you even knew it existed, which you might not). Specialist magic is like this, in many cases.

Yes, we already meta-game skills. How many of those skills are secret or unknown? How many are jealously guarded? I would have made the same argument against opening the Japanese fighting arts to EP. The oriental fighting arts share some of the secretive characteristics that are attributed to spellcasters in Rifts, actually, with some masters taking entire martial systems to their grave rather than have them fall into the wrong hands, for example.

But, that’s already done, so no use pushing against it now. However, skills are not spells (and if they were, perhaps there would not be a way to teach skills to each other, just like there’s no way to teach spells to each other on EU). Skills are also universally applicable - every character has at least some skills. Most characters, however, cannot use magic.

Another issue with the “let the GM decide” approach is site standardization and, as has already been pointed out (and I dare say not addressed), disparities between what some GMs consider reasonable or not. Some GMs might just roll over and let you learn spells you aren’t supposed to because they’re the GM. “Who does it hurt”? Well, I argue it hurts everyone, but it especially hurts players who have put in the effort, paid the prices and made the needed sacrifices that would be cheapened by a simple “I just EP it!”

Also, my argument in line with the above - the one that, in effect, says “if I have to pay x costs and make such and such sacrifices and abide by this list of restrictions to access this special discipline of magic, and I can’t EP my way out of them, why should someone else be able to access the same rewards with zero costs other than some EP?” - has not been addressed.

The few “other” specialist invocations I have access to are specifically provided for by canon. Shadow Magic is not. And magic from HU is out of the question, per Augur.

Now, let’s flip your argument on its side- who is being “hurt” by Players NOT having access to any specialty spells or schools of magic that they want?

The current rule is, "Canonical restrictions based on race or O.C.C. still apply; spell knowledge available via EP is limited to the native discipline of the O.C.C. with generalist mages being restricted to general invocations."

Who's being hurt by this?
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Dime Store Magic » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:00 pm

CPR Krueger wrote:The current rule is, "Canonical restrictions based on race or O.C.C. still apply; spell knowledge available via EP is limited to the native discipline of the O.C.C. with generalist mages being restricted to general invocations."

Who's being hurt by this?


This wasn't the current rule until recently, and it was changed without discussion of the community at large. Players have certain concepts in mind for their characters. Existing characters have/will be hurt if they have to retcon their characters abilities. That's a real change, as opposed to two characters having access to something and one of them choosing to not take advantage of it. That's a choice.

It's okay for us to be on the opposite side of the coin on this, and we most likely won't be able to convince each other to change our opinion because what KS has published supports both sides of the argument (typical Palladium). And while I won't like it if most people agree with your position than mine, I can accept it as a majority decision.

What I am looking for at this point is where do the majority of us stand. Let's let others in the community reply with what they are in favor of seeing done.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby CPR Krueger » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:26 pm

Dime Store Magic wrote:Players have certain concepts in mind for their characters. Existing characters have/will be hurt if they have to retcon their characters abilities. That's a real change, as opposed to two characters having access to something and one of them choosing to not take advantage of it. That's a choice.


Like you said, players have certain concepts in mind for their characters. It would be a minor inconvenience to have characters with existing spells have to change those selections to something else, I will grant that.

But it wouldn't be anywhere near as big of a hit as it would be to existing players and their characters who have invested their entire concept around getting access to restricted and/or specialty schools of magic. Talk about a real change...

There already is a character concept for what you're trying to do. It's called the Forsaken Mage (PF).

That said, I agree - let's hear what others have to say.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Augur » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:41 pm

Dime Store Magic wrote:It may be extremely difficult to find and insanely expensive, but it can be done. EP can and should be spent to learn specialized magic. Mages should have the opportunity to find these magics if they put in IC effort to find them.

This is what the current system now in place in PFRPG allows for, and what I aim to accomplish (if desired) for Rifts.

CPR Krueger wrote:As we all know, some GMs who have been a bit too generous with this sort of thing in the past have caused problems once those tendencies became known, and several players have been stripped (sometimes without compensation) because others had to come in and clean up the mess created.

Yup--because Palladium is sloppy in their work and don't think ahead or systematize, this is sometimes the result. Systematizing things resolves that...hopefully.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Rogue Trader » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:44 am

Augur wrote:
Dime Store Magic wrote:It may be extremely difficult to find and insanely expensive, but it can be done. EP can and should be spent to learn specialized magic. Mages should have the opportunity to find these magics if they put in IC effort to find them.

This is what the current system now in place in PFRPG allows for, and what I aim to accomplish (if desired) for Rifts.

CPR Krueger wrote:As we all know, some GMs who have been a bit too generous with this sort of thing in the past have caused problems once those tendencies became known, and several players have been stripped (sometimes without compensation) because others had to come in and clean up the mess created.

Yup--because Palladium is sloppy in their work and don't think ahead or systematize, this is sometimes the result. Systematizing things resolves that...hopefully.


Making rarer magic systematically harder to get seems like a fair compromise. However, in the link above, I'm not sure why ultra rare spell categories are only double the EP but others that could adjust to ultra rare might be triple.

For example, Phantom mount would adjust to ultra rare and be triple the EP to purchase, but entire blue categories are ultra rare and only twice the EP.

It may be worthwhile to tie the EP multiplier to the rarity instead of the category.

Also need to specifically say whether spells of legend are ever available via the EP menu.

EDIT to add: upon further reflection, I don't support making specialized magic available via EP outside of it's normal restrictions, because that's not how it's done for others. For example, We wouldn't allow a mind melter or burster to buy mind bleeder psionics. Only mind bleeders and select other occs can get them. Magic should be no different.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Augur » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:17 pm

*nods*

Tying rarity to the EP multiplier is ideal. That's what I was aiming for in PF. Send me a PM if you see inconsistencies in that.

And I like your argument vs. making specialized magic available to generalists cuz you're right re: your Mind Melter example.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Seymour Ruiz » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:37 pm

*throws 2 pennies on table*

As a spell caster, i feel like i can say something on this. I agree with how things are now with magic and its avaiability. My thing is not only that i have an image in mind, but access to the type of magic i would like.

My shifter is Dhaltuun Onyxforge of the Templars. He follows Njord, a sea god. i asked my GM about learning ocean magic, he said i need to find and convince a teacher. If i can do those , i am allowed it.

I feel people need to openly ask thier GM/DM for what they want, then work something out. sometimes it is a big, fat NO other times a maybe. as a player, i must convince my gm why i should have said spell. If good enough, you can fiqure out how to work for it....

Maybe do spell like AT... spend EP for rare spell... gm and pc discuss how you got it.... write something in post about getting it.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Naliyah » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:53 pm

@Seymour/Jason: You're a Shifter of Njord - that totally makes sense for you. Also, Ocean Magic is not a specialist school of magic, it is a specialized generalist school, so EP would apply normally to it :)

@Rogue Trader/Lee: Solid argument re: Mind Bleeder psionics.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Augur » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:08 pm

Seymour Ruiz wrote:Maybe do spell like AT... spend EP for rare spell... gm and pc discuss how you got it.... write something in post about getting it.

Explanatory Notes wrote:Rewards of this type must first be included in the player character's character sheet upon redemption. Then the new spell knowledge or tattoo must be manifested as an in-character discovery through roleplay. Players and GMs are advised to coordinate in order to make this occur as soon as contextually possible.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby Dime Store Magic » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:06 pm

I want to revisit this sentence in the house rules:

1) Spells cannot be "traded." -- Spells are not e-clips, folks. A new spell is the equivalent of a new psionic power in gameplay. Even the acquisition of a low-level spell is a permanent expansion of the PCs abilities.


It really should be this:

1) Spells cannot be "traded." -- Spells are not e-clips, folks. Well they could, but as a house rule of Explorers Unlimited it's not allowed between Player Characters because players would meta game spell selection so the characters could learn every spell without having to pay for it. A new spell is the equivalent of a new skill in gameplay. Even the acquisition of a low-level spell is a permanent expansion of the PCs abilities.


Written this way, new players clearly understand the problem the house rule is addressing.

Spells unlike psionic abilities can be taught. It's a fundamental component of invocation magic in Palladium is that they can be learned at any time, regardless of level by Wizards, Ley Line Walkers and others like them.

Psionics, by the book, are only gained at level up.

Rogue Trader wrote:EDIT to add: upon further reflection, I don't support making specialized magic available via EP outside of it's normal restrictions, because that's not how it's done for others. For example, We wouldn't allow a mind melter or burster to buy mind bleeder psionics. Only mind bleeders and select other occs can get them. Magic should be no different.


Comparing magic and psionics this way I believe is an apples vs oranges type of argument. Mind Bleeder and Phase powers are not given an alternative way to be learned outside of an OCC, magic does.

All magic was 'specialized' until enough people learned it and it became 'general'. If we really want magic to be the same as psionics, then we should ban every magical OCC but mystic. (Please let's not). I get that Rogue Trader is referencing just purchasing spell magic via EP, but one of the strengths of EU is that a character can change groups and there is a general expectation that the rules are interpreted the same way. Whether originally intended this way or not, EP is one of the controls of the site that allows a player to manage a portion of their characters destiny.

I am on board with the idea that EP costs follow the rarity rules and that schools of magic outside of one's native discipline increase the rarity. Multiplying the EP cost on top of that just seems redundant.

Proposal:

Common, 0 rolls, 0% penalty (No magic is of common rarity)

Uncommon, 1 roll, 0% penalty (No magic is of uncommon rarity)

Rare, 2 rolls, -10% penalty (Levels 1 to 4) - 2 EP 2/1/1

Very Rare, 3 rolls, -20% penalty (Levels 5 to 8) - 4 EP 4/3/3

Ultra Rare, 4 rolls, -35% penalty (Levels 9 to 12) - 10 EP 9/8/7

Legendary, 5 rolls, -50% penalty (Levels 13 to 15) - 15 EP 14/12/10

Unique*, 6 rolls -50% penalty (Spells of Legend) - 20 EP 18/16/15

Other teachable schools of magic increase the corresponding rarity by one or two levels if it would be considered a specialization to the OCC. This can make certain types of magic unavailable either by shopping or by EP purchase. They would only be available as a quest award. For example, if a character really wanted to learn a temporal spell of legend at that point, switching OCCs makes sense.

* Unique - I think we should split this into it's own category after seeing the breakdown for rune weapons in the PF rarity rules. Even very rare for a minor rune weapon seems too easy to obtain.
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Re: Specialist Magic, EP, and you!

Postby CPR Krueger » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:39 pm

Dime Store Magic wrote:I want to revisit this sentence in the house rules:

1) Spells cannot be "traded." -- Spells are not e-clips, folks. A new spell is the equivalent of a new psionic power in gameplay. Even the acquisition of a low-level spell is a permanent expansion of the PCs abilities.


It really should be this:

1) Spells cannot be "traded." -- Spells are not e-clips, folks. Well they could, but as a house rule of Explorers Unlimited it's not allowed between Player Characters because players would meta game spell selection so the characters could learn every spell without having to pay for it. A new spell is the equivalent of a new skill in gameplay. Even the acquisition of a low-level spell is a permanent expansion of the PCs abilities.


Written this way, new players clearly understand the problem the house rule is addressing.


That would really be an extreme example and not in line with what would realistically happen, in my view. Sure, they aren't e-clips, but Kevin already addresses this in the BoM. So if spell trading on EU followed the book/canon, it would still be quite limited, because Kevin is pretty consistent that players shouldn't be swapping spells outside of the common low level stuff. In other words, the problem you're saying the house rules fixes doesn't even exist if the BoM is followed.

Do we see this alleged problem in Phase World, where spell trading rules strictly follow the BoM?


Dime Store Magic wrote:Spells unlike psionic abilities can be taught. It's a fundamental component of invocation magic in Palladium is that they can be learned at any time, regardless of level by Wizards, Ley Line Walkers and others like them.


It's a fundamental tenet that those generalist casters can learn other generalist spells regardless of level - if they can find them.

Dime Store Magic wrote:This wasn't the current rule until recently, and it was changed without discussion of the community at large.


It was codified in the house rules recently, but has always been the rule.

For example, the Lord Magus entry in Federation of Magic says this:

Lord Magus O.C.C., page 77, WB 16 wrote:At level one he knows all spells of illusion regardless of level, and all spell incantations from levels 1 -2 (includes spells found in the Rifts® RPG and those in this book).


It even says what books the Lord Magus' spell selection are drawn from: Rifts (RUE) and the ones in WB 16. ALL of those spells are "generalist" invocations. The idea that somehow a Magus would somehow know or have access to every spell, anywhere, ever created, from a certain level (this applies to Godling, Demigod, my High Magus, etc. too - I'm not singling out the Lord Magus here) is one that was made up out of whole cloth and directly contradicts canon. I had to learn this lesson the hard way - and had to retcon my character's spells.

So, let's be consistent - there's no reason to think that any generalist could somehow learn spells from outside the generalist area (again, without stated exceptions) as part of the leveling process either. I can't say, for example, that my High Magus learns a Shadow Magic spell when they reach level 6. Why not? Because High Magi draw their spells from the generalist list, not the PF list, or the Shadow Magic list, or the Combat Magic list, or the Temporal Magic list, etc. Speaking of Temporal Magic...

High Magi can learn Temporal Magic beginning at level 6:

High Magus O.C.C., page 80, WB16 wrote:At level six on up, the character can select a total of 1d4+ 1 new spells from levels 7-10, or two spells from Temporal Magic. Some High Magi learn a handful of Temporal Magic spells and enjoy dimensional exploration.


This is a special exception to the Temporal Magic rules, and is explicitly called out. Other classes should not be able to do this (unless also explicitly stated); it is a special benefit of High Magi that they can access Temporal Magic before level 9.

Once again, we see a theme - a High Magus has to pay a price for this benefit (cannot learn new spells from levels 1-6). They cannot use EP to overcome this limitation, even if it's "part of their character concept", and even though they are a generalist caster who can "learn new spells at any time regardless of level" - the same as the Ley Line Walker.

Once again, we see EP has its limits. It isn't there to just throw everything on a menu like "hey, it's all there to be bought if you just spend the right number of EP"; rather, it's there to allow for some stretching of the limitations a character faces, but we still must acknowledge that other limitations just can't be overcome, no matter how many EP one throws at them or what character concept they have in mind.

If the character concept is "I can get whatever spell I want as long as I just throw enough EP at it and RP a bit, because EP should allow me to break whatever rules I want because, EP", I submit that this concept is not in line with how EP are intended to work and anyone who has this concept in mind will end up frustrated.



With Shadow Magic, again, there are limitations:

Secrets of the Atlanteans (DB15), page 93 wrote:Reduce the effects of Shadow Magic in half when exposed to light... Range, damage, duration, penalties, bonuses, etc. are all reduced by HALF when the user/spell caster of Shadow Magic ... does not have a dark place from which to cast the spell.


This means that any time my Shadow Mage casts the spell Shadesword, unless he casts it "from a dark place", his Shadesword would have half the damage, half the duration, bonuses, penalties, etc. And this isn't a Shadow Mage restriction - it's a Shadow Magic restriction (meaning anyone who uses it has to deal with this limitation, including Shadow Assassins and Shadow Lords, etc.).

More about Shadow Magic:
Secrets of the Atlanteans (DB15), page 92 wrote:Many insist Shadow Magic is inherently evil and that you can feel the darkness as you learn the magic and every time you cast a spell. According to some legends and rumors, Shadow Magic slowly corrupts the soul of its user, turning it black and his heart cold. Other tales claim the use of this dark magic leads to destruction, especially for those who call upon the creatures of the Shadow Dimension. A place rumored by some to be a type of Hell and its inhabitants demonic creatures of darkness and chaos.
Whether any of this is true or not, Shadow Magic does seem to be crafted for nefarious purposes, such as frightening and intimidating others, spying, stealing, ambush and murder. The magic certainly has a long history of such use and for confounding and slaying enemies, unseen. As a result, it has been the magic of death cultists, thieves and assassins. Even among societies where Shadow Magic is not forgotten, it is usually outlawed, and practiced by the most dangerous and wicked of sorcerers. For these reasons and others, most civilized people consider Shadow Magic to be one of the dark arts like Soulmancy, Necromancy and Bio-Wizardry, and it is shunned by most practitioners of magic. It was banned from Ancient Atlantis long before the continent vanished. The Sunaj making use of this rare arcane form of magic can only add to Shadow Magic’s unsavory reputation.


So, any generalist caster not of an evil alignment (or perhaps anarchist, at best) - shouldn't be chasing it in the first place. It's dark, evil, corrupting, the tool of thieves and death cults and assassins, practiced by the "most dangerous and wicked of sorcerers", outlawed, practically designed for ambush and murder, is considered on par with Soulmancy and Bio-Wizardry, outlawed and/or forgotten in most places, and shunned by most Practitioners of Magic.

One cannot get the benefits of Shadow Magic without also taking the drawbacks. EP does not, and should not, change this fact.



I think you are conflating "if they can find them" with "can learn any non-generalist spells". A generalist caster learns generalist invocations, according to the house rules, and I think that's a fair reading of the way the magic system works, if we classify schools correctly. Finding a teacher doesn't necessarily mean you can learn to use the magic they can.

Lastly, isn't EU "closed to new proposals until further notice"? That's what the big sign on Augur's Office Door says, anyhow.
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