[.11] Time to Get a New Life

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I'd like to start off with echoing @MaxIrons. Thank you very much for the work that's been done on the new rules. I'm not going to lie, .11 is fantastically improved over .10, and I actually look forward to playing in 2.0, which is something I haven't felt in previous releases.

That being said, there is a couple of issues that remain with Earth magic, one is thematic and one is mechanic. My proposition is really simple and I believe handles both issues.

Thematic Issue: One of the prevailing themes in Earth Magic in 1.3 is the relationship between Life and Death. That relationship no longer exists in a mechanical sense. However, both Life and Death have been present in every iteration of the playtest up until .11. In order to rectify the expected problems with Death, Death was removed and replaced with Doom. But Life is still around. That gives it a weird feel, for one of our roleplayed Themes to be present in our magic, but the other one is...kinda represented with the equivalent of an avatar (Doom). It's not quite the same. So while the "mechanical" Life is fine, the thematic "Life" is kinda just weirdly unbalanced.

Mechanical Issue: Life is still exclusive to 9th tier Earth and the Enchantment ritual. This will cause players capable of Life to be less likely to share their limited resources (I realize not all players will be like this, but let's not lie to ourselves, many people are going to prioritize their friends over other people), and place a lot of pressure on Earth players to memorize Life spells over other spells in 9th Tier, moreso than pressure exists for any other slot.

Solution: Kill Life.

I'm kidding. Kinda. Here's my real solution.

Take the Life spell and rename it to Revive <"Blah blah healing to Revive you."> Leave it mechanically unchanged, though move it to 7th level. Allow it to be made into Potions. This will give Potionmakers a nice option, and it will allow production to make a critically important resource. I'd also like an Alchemical version, but even just a potion would be an advantage. **Optional: Add a counted stun (a wakeup 3 count, a 10-count "cannot move or use game abilities") something to offset the drop in level.

Create a new spell at 9th level, called Greater Revive. <"Blah blah healing to Greater Revive you."> Functions as a Life spell, *though it also heals the target 200 Body (and can be used on a non-Dead person).

Life and Death will still exist as concepts (and Planes, for that matter). They are represented in Earth Magic through those concepts, but not as actual spells. I feel this would clean up the theme a bit with the removal of Death.

I'm not going to lie; the perception of elitism can drive away players more than anything, and I am genuinely concerned that some players will suffer a Death that could have been avoided, except a well-meaning character opted to save his last couple Life spells in case his buddies went down. He didn't want the guy to die, but in his mind there wasn't a choice. House/clan/group loyalty is a big thing in our culture. Allowing Life spells to be created via production will absolutely help alleviate that issue.

*Edited to avoid issues with overhealing NPCs with large body counts.
**Edited to add an optional offset to the drop in level.
 
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Tantarus

Squire
Life cant be a full heal. If NPCs with 1000s of body can have full heals things are going to get broken real fast. Maybe a 200 point heal?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Life cant be a full heal. If NPCs with 1000s of body can have full heals things are going to get broken real fast. Maybe a 200 point heal?
Sure, 200, or 500, or whatever. Whatever Eviscerate does? That amount? (I don't have the packet open on me right now).
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I agree with that issue, I've edited the post.
 

Ruki

Scholar
While I would be ok with lowering it to a 7th level spell (it would make for a few more life spells going around), I feel like making it potion-able would be a bit too much. It would almost trivialize death.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Interesting thought. I like how it tightens things up thematically, though it does weaken things there slightly as it means Earth Scholars don’t have as clear of a capstone ability as do other classes. But I can live with that.

As for potions potentially trivializing death, in my chapter at least, I’ve rarely if ever seen people rez for lack of Life spells. It’s generally either for plot reasons in some fashion, or because we’ve screwed up our tactics in some manner. And I do like having a purchasable option for Life spells. It gives lower level Earth casters more build flexibility rather than feeling like they have to race to 9th level spells so their group doesn’t die.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
While I would be ok with lowering it to a 7th level spell (it would make for a few more life spells going around), I feel like making it potion-able would be a bit too much. It would almost trivialize death.
*That's not at all uncommon for the fantasy genre, and death's been culturally trivial for the seven years I've been playing, thanks to activatables. Make no mistake; making a shatterable 35 Copper production cost item provide a Life will not make up for the OMG amount of activatable per-day Life spells that are about to leave the field. Death will still be serious (still drops protectives, still puts you on a timer, still takes you out of the fight), but what I want to avoid is people taking resurrections purely because the higher-level players don't value lower-level players.

That's a thing that naturally happens, but it happens less when the resource is more available. While death being ultra-dangerous can absolutely make for a fun game, it can also ruin the game for others.


*This is from my perspective in Seattle and Oregon, and I understand that other chapters may have different experiences.
 

Octal

Newbie
If people are worried about it being a potion you can add a bit of a down side.
7th level "life" could leave the person dazed/groggy for a bit. 10 count? 1 min?
Walk but no in game skills.

Keep them alive but out of the fight for a bit.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Ooh, I was going to suggest making them more difficult/expensive to make, but that’s even better.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Ooh, I was going to suggest making them more difficult/expensive to make, but that’s even better.
I believe I saw someone recently post an objection against greater on-the-field complexity....
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
In all seriousness, if you want to add some kind of “stun” to 7th level Revive, I have no real issue that. I think 5 seconds is more appropriate, or even a “I wake up 1...” 3 count. That’ll feel like an eternity in a fight.

Just make it part of the Revive effect, not a weird potion exception.
 

Octal

Newbie
In all seriousness, if you want to add some kind of “stun” to 7th level Revive, I have no real issue that. I think 5 seconds is more appropriate, or even a “I wake up 1...” 3 count. That’ll feel like an eternity in a fight.

Just make it part of the Revive effect, not a weird potion exception.
Yep, thats the idea
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
It’s almost as though where the line of what is too complex is subjective. ;)

Personally, “this potion gives two existing game effects when administered” is a different (and simpler) beast than having to remember the semi-OOG skill categorization on the fly. Your mileage may vary.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
It’s almost as though where the line of what is too complex is subjective. ;)

Personally, “this potion gives two existing game effects when administered” is a different (and simpler) beast than having to remember the semi-OOG skill categorization on the fly. Your mileage may vary.
Ehhhh....

We’ll have to agree to disagree that “this Revive gives this extra effect in potion form” is simpler than “this Revive always gives this extra effect, regardless of form.”

:p
 

Nikorisu

Artisan
Wait, you’re telling me that I haven’t had to be groggy and catching my breath for at least a few seconds when I’m lifed? I’ve been doing this all wrong it seems.
But really, I’m very much in favor of life (or revive or whatever it ends up being called) having a 3-10 second “spirit reinhabits the body” timer where you’re out of it.
 

Nikorisu

Artisan
Also, as a potion crafter myself, a life potion would incentive me to make potions other than cure light wounds. Just sayin’.
 

DiscOH

Artisan
I like the idea of potions having life since elixirs have death.

The era of potent potables is nigh!
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Also, as a potion crafter myself, a life potion would incentive me to make potions other than cure light wounds. Just sayin’.
And, to be fair, Blacksmiths have new incentives to have Blacksmithing (Strengthening changes, XP towards Martial skills). Alchemists get Stealth XP for Dodge and Evades. Potionmakers get Improved Channeling. Not exactly equal. But a Life potion? That could definitely bring some awesome interest.
 

Seabass

Scholar
South Michigan Staff
I grew up in a game where Life was a cherished and rare resource. We worked our asses off to keep everyone healed and stable because of the looming threat of Death. It lent to a massive importance to maintaining the health of yourself and others (it was an extremely low magic item game as well) as well as maintaining protectives. This is not an old man "back in the day" sort of thing. I think Death/Doom can have some major value so long as the plot teams (of which I am a member, so I am pointing at myself as well here) keep Doom as rare of a commodity. For all the Life spells that leave the game soon so too should the amount of death and killing blows go with them to find balance. If Life is rare and important, Death should be too.

That said if someone dies from just bleeding to death on the ground... yeah I'm not talking about that. Get a buddy system going man. More importantly for the play tests I think if everyone is cognoscente of these values it might really change the game in a good way. We just have to wait and see. Don't forget there are now multiple rituals to help protect against resurrections that are cast on the circle as a second safety net for everyone.

I could be wrong about all of this. It was a long time ago in a different culture but 2.0 is going to mean a different culture for us now too.

Now with that said I am a big fan of the much more effective and tantalizing necromancy effects that have been put in play. For a long time now Necromancy has been hardly an effective tool to be the tempting dark side to the light side. What if there was a lower level life spell that was necromantic? Something that could force you back to Life but took time to heal from? Something like Unlife, get up at 1 body but you are weakened (cursed with destruction, can only be cured with a Life spell) until next logistics (or sundown/sunup the next 6pm whatever). It certainly would be much more tempting and powerful if something like that was available, AND could be placed in a potion, when a Life spell wasn't.

These are just my late night thoughts. I was enjoying the discussion.

Cheers
 
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