The Wheel of Time

Brainstorm for settings and game ideas
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hector
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by hector » 17 Dec 2013, 12:02

That would work pretty well, though I would allow the highest element to be the player's choice regardless of gender - Egwene Al'Vere, for instance is very talented with Earth; far more than with any other element. The only resource I can think of is the d20 game that got released, and Robert Jordan wasn't very impressed with that, if memory serves. Typically Healing is water, air and spirit, but Nynaeve often uses fire and earth in her healing as well, and heals far better than any Aes Sedai as a result (though one of the Forsaken talks about Aes Sedai healing in the books as being the most basic of battlefield first aid back in her day).
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higgins
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by higgins » 17 Dec 2013, 17:43

hector wrote:That would work pretty well, though I would allow the highest element to be the player's choice regardless of gender - Egwene Al'Vere, for instance is very talented with Earth;
Oh, sure. A gender-specific free point and your Primary Element need not be related concepts.

That said, I found an ancient Wheel of Time magic system conversion at The Forge: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/archive/index ... 989.0;wap2

It uses pretty similar Elements than what we planned here (albeit at 7 levels) and it also has Weave levels (that basically give information on the difficulty -- I imagine it would tell the Narrator what TN to set). Pretty standard so far. However, it also has Area of Effect rules that... I don't think I really got how they were supposed to mix into the others. And it also has a bunch of Derived Attributes -- a completely alien concept in Song of Steel.

Interesting stuff. The guy has clearly put a lot of effort into it, but he last logged into The Forge around 2008. :|
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hector
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by hector » 02 Apr 2015, 20:29

Yay for a little bit of thread necromancy. It's just that it occurs to me that, overall, if one wishes to run a game set in the Wheel of Time universe, it's incredibly important to know what exactly you want your game to be about. This is going to affect many things about the game, after all.

Say, for example, you want the game to be about four callow youths and their adventures as they leave their little village in the arse end of nowhere to do great things. At this point, they're probably not going to have many weapon proficiencies, they won't be trained in the use of the setting's magic and any encounters they have with those who are will probably be short and mostly social in nature (either that or sticking a bit of sharp metal in their back while they're not expecting it), with open combat being borderline suicidal against men, or simply embarrassing against Aes Sedai.

Alternatively, the game could be primarily about military campaigns - at which point one would have to leave speculation until we know how mass combat is handled (topic for another teaser, perhaps? ;) ). There are many wars in the setting's history, and there's always the potential for more in its future. Playable channellers could show up here, either because the army is made up predominantly of such or because the army has a unit of channellers - the head of that unit would probably be one of the general's lieutenants.

Also, there are more political games. Channellers could show up here as well, though their channelling would likely be mostly limited to such simple tasks as warding against eavesdropping or occasional self defence against assassination attempts (or, in the case of the Black Ajah, making the attempt). Campaigns revolving around an investigation could probably work in much the same way - digging up evidence isn't all that different from digging up dirt, and the two could potentially cross over from time to time.

Finally, we have the Band of Bastards game - a collection of thieves in a big city would probably not have access to a trained channeller - though an untrained one might show up, causing problems all of their own (especially if male).

At this point, we need to decide just how channelling would affect any given story. For the Callow Youths, any amount of channelling is likely to be done by an NPC - either in the form of story based mechanics (Aes Sedai rarely do favours they don't expect to be repaid), creating a weapon using the Power with which to attack in melee or ranged attacks the player characters can potentially dodge. This also goes for the Band of Bastards.

In a military style game, channellers are basically going to be a combination of archers and walking artillery pieces - either killing enemies one by one or tearing the battlefield asunder with powerful explosions.

In a political or investigation style game, channellers may possibly come into conflict with each other, so here is where it's most important to be able to capture that.

Firstly, overall strength in the Power is measured by a separate Attribute, to be assigned points from the Attributes priority (assuming that priority pick is still a thing), while the ability to channel in the first place would be covered by an Edge. Assuming a scale of 0-5, a 0 would indicate functional inability to channel (either through lack of training or lack of natural talent), a 1 would allow for basic effects (think Prestidigitation in D&D), but no real attacks. A 2 would be the minimum with which you could actually attack (and would be the minimum for a fully trained channeller, as anyone less strong would be kicked out), while a 4 would be the minimum for a travelling gateway that a human could walk through.

The different elements would probably be handled as Proficiencies (with points taken from that pool in character generation), with specific talents given as Edges which allow Power to be considered higher for the purposes of being able to use specific weaves (such as healing, travelling or cutting someone off from the Power).

Using the Power in combat would likely have a subsystem similar to that of melee - direct attacks with an element which work like thrown attacks, non-damaging effects which affect an opponent's ability to fight properly and so on being the offensive weaves, with attempts to dodge or to slice a weave and prevent it from working being the defensive weaves. Some, like shielding someone from the source, could be used both in defence and offence. This would probably be largely modelled on the magical duel system from Blades of the Iron Throne, since that's where I got the idea from.

These are just a few thoughts that came to mind as I eagerly await the beta.
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higgins
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by higgins » 03 Apr 2015, 08:02

hector wrote:Yay for a little bit of thread necromancy.
Image
hector wrote:Firstly, overall strength in the Power is measured by a separate Attribute, to be assigned points from the Attributes priority (assuming that priority pick is still a thing), while the ability to channel in the first place would be covered by an Edge. Assuming a scale of 0-5, a 0 would indicate functional inability to channel (either through lack of training or lack of natural talent), a 1 would allow for basic effects (think Prestidigitation in D&D), but no real attacks. A 2 would be the minimum with which you could actually attack (and would be the minimum for a fully trained channeller, as anyone less strong would be kicked out), while a 4 would be the minimum for a travelling gateway that a human could walk through.
Excellent points about the nature of the game, but having just gone over the attribute section in the beta, I have to wonder why tie the ability to an attribute?

I mean, if you're free to allocate as your points as you wish, would that not make the channeling ability more common, rather than making it rare? In addition, if you model the channeling ability as an attribute, you by default make the powerful channelers weaker in their other attributes. Does that model the fiction?

If we'd demand a Major Edge, you'd need to go higher up the priority to get it. If we added a racial column, same would be true. So, by those routes getting a basic ability to channel would be more fundamental choice to make during character creation.
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hector
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by hector » 03 Apr 2015, 08:59

An Attribute and a Major Edge (or a Minor Edge to be able to learn which should be upgraded to the Major version when they learn how) was the general idea - the Attribute determines the strength of a channeller while the Edge denotes their ability to channel in the first place. The most powerful channellers in the fiction are characters who would most likely be considered NPCs, or are characters who start off unaware of their ability to channel. They would have the Major Edge, but would have the Attribute at 0 - SA expenditure would cover the seemingly random uses of the Power at opportune moments, but they would be otherwise unable to channel. Then, as they receive training in the game, they spend SA points on increasing the Attribute and so become stronger.

To balance out the fact that being able to channel from the outset comes with a Major Edge, most characters in the fiction who are able to channel naturally have a block of some description (Nynaeve can only channel when angry, for example), which would likely count as at least a Minor Flaw, if not a Major Flaw (since it's a hard and fast limit - until the block is broken, the character can't even sense the Power, let alone use it, unless the condition of the block is met).

As for starting trained channellers, I feel that it would actually model the fiction for powerful channellers to be weaker in other areas - largely because there are only two places in the fiction that train channellers, and only one of them exists prior to the start of the books.

In the one that exists from the start (the White Tower), only women are taught to channel. A woman who starts at the Tower at around 16-18 as a Novice can expect to spend around 8 years as a Novice, another 8 years as an Accepted, and be well into her thirties by the time she's a fully trained Aes Sedai. During that time, her time will be spent being educated in history and politics, and learning to use the Power. The most physical exercise they get is walking between classes and any chores assigned them as a Novice (or as punishment once they're Accepted).

In the Black Tower, which only trains men (though it will take men of any age - and hang any who try to leave as deserters) and only comes into existence about a third of the way through the books, the trainees are expected to do everything using the Power in order to strengthen it as rapidly as possible. If you can't cook with the power, you eat your food raw. They are also trained in the sword by a retired soldier (who drinks too much and is occasionally fired for months at a time because the guy left in charge of the place thinks that swords are useless when you have the Power). Because their purpose is to be weapons, they don't receive any other kind of education and they don't learn any uses of the power that wouldn't be useful to an army (so they learn to kill people, to travel and to heal, but they don't learn how to do anything else unless they discover it themselves).

Until the very end of the series, at which point the Black Tower would probably start slowing down training and would probably start to work more like the White Tower, the Black Tower would probably be highly unsuitable for Player Characters - except as part of a military style game. If they were runaways, they'd need to take a Major Flaw regarding the fact that the Black Tower now considers them an enemy. If they were part of a military game, they probably wouldn't be fully trained, and those who were would probably have come to rely on the Power for most things.
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higgins
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by higgins » 10 Apr 2015, 14:02

Attribute & Priorities design philosophy tangent got its own thread: http://www.grandheresyforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=88
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Daeruin
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Re: The Wheel of Time

Post by Daeruin » 22 Apr 2015, 23:11

Thanks for doing that. It started out somewhat related but got too far off topic. I was feeling bad about that.
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