Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Time Heroes - Fate Adaptation - Freeflow thoughts on Magic and Future Tech

*Please Note: This post is a more stream-of-consciousness post than my others. It is intended to indicate how my thought process work instead of simply describing the final product. If I seem to bounce around in this post, that is why. If you are merely interested in the final result, skip to the end of the post.




My initial thought (as indicated in my previous post) was to have a skill for Magic and a skill for Future Tech. From there I decided to indicate spells and tech would be created via Stunts that are based on those two skills.

However, I'm now starting to wonder if I wouldn't be better off just leaving out both of those skills and doing all magic/tech just with straight Stunts based on what skills that they tie in with. For example, "Remote Viewing" might be a spell that would enable one to spend a Quantum Point (Fate Point) to use their Investigation skill from a certain distance away. For Future Tech, the example I gave of "Self-Repair" in my previous post could still be a Stunt, but instead be a Stunt of Physique for artificial life forms.

In thinking about it, I suppose that I might be able to keep Magic and Future Tech as skills even given my second idea and just utilize them a bit differently. With the "Remote Viewing" example, the Stunt might allow one to use Investigation at distance, but the player would roll Magic and success/shifts would determine the distance at which one would be able to use the Stunt. The potential problem with this is, possibly this is too complicated for what should be a light-hearted fast-paced game. I don't want to create too much crunch.

Another option might be to keep them as skills as listed above but require a roll ANY time Magic or Future Tech is being used. This would give the ability for spells and tech devices to fail, which of course could make for an interesting story. Using the Remote Sensing stunt as an example: the player declares their character is using the Remote Viewing stunt to spy on the Sheriff of Nottingham in a Chinese restaurant a few blocks away. The player rolls and fails. Instead of being able to see the sheriff, suddenly the sheriff is able to see the PC. This would introduce the problem of being able to fail after spending a Quantum Point, essentially wasting it, which isn't exactly fair.

A second idea, similar to above. A roll is still required on Magic or Future Tech. If the spell/technology requires a Quantum Point to activate, it works whether the roll succeeds or not. However, if the roll fails, there is always a complication to the success. Using Remote Viewing again, if the roll failed the PC could still see the sheriff but the sheriff could also see him.

I think I'm liking this most recent iteration of the idea. So here is the new plan for the Magic and Future Tech Skills:

Magic/Future Tech: These skills are required to be able to use any kind of magical ability or future technology, period. If a character has trained in either of these skills, they unlock the ability to create Stunts based on them. The Stunts affect other skills but require a Magic/Future Tech roll to activate. Once activated, the description of the Stunt may be brought into play. If there is a duration or range implied by the Stunt but not specified by the skill it augments (for example, Investigation), the amount of shifts on the roll indicate how long it lasts or how far it reaches.

If the Stunt is determined to be one that requires the spending of a Quantum Point to activate, the spell always succeeds, regardless of if the Magic/Future Tech roll does or not. However, if the Magic/Future Tech roll fails, then there is always some kind of complication associated with the usage of the spell/technology.

Example
Remote Viewing
Q.P. (Quantum Point) cost: 1
Range: 1 Zone
Duration: Concentration
Description: Make a Magic roll. On a success, the character is able to use the Investigation skill up to one Zone away. Each shift extends the range by one Zone.
On Failure: The spell still succeeds. However, whatever is in the Zone that is being remote viewed is able to see back into the Zone of the spell caster.

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