Magic and Heroes

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MatthewB
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Magic and Heroes

Post by MatthewB » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:43 pm

It has been bothering me for a while that it is so difficult to introduce Magic, and/or the effects of Heroes into the game.

We had discussed it earlier, with Heroes being either Commanders with specific capabilities beyond that of a normal Commander, the ability to lead one specific unit, and no others, fighting in the front rank, yet still able to exercise leadership over that unit. Or simply individual stands, representing the Hero and any retinue or entourage that may accompany him/her, with the ability to counter or commit certain feats.

I can't recall all of the things we had come up with at the time, but I will look them up to come up with some sort of coherent document.

But...

A thought occurred to me while reading through a set of Unpublished rules, written by Frank Chadwick, which were supposed to have been published by The Foundry, called Ancient Conquest.

The game has several aspects similar to FoG, namely the various capabilities that are similar (same number of armor types, most of the same weapon capabilities, but more types of "training" - Drilled, Levy, Flexible, Impetuous, Professional). And it's leaders were individually based.

But Ancient Conquest had a component that lent itself to Fantasy Warfare quite readily.

It had something called "Oracle Cards," each of which allowed a player to perform some action, or force the opponent to perform (or fail to perform) an action, or that had effects that covered the entire game board.

Each player began to the game with as many Oracle Cards as he had Commanders, and each turn he would draw a new Oracle Card, and discard any cards in excess of the number of Commanders currently in his army.

Oracle Cards could be played at any time. So a player who had four commanders could, in principle, play all four of his Oracle cards at once, but then it would take him at least four turns to regain a full set of Oracle Cards.

This might be an excellent may to deal with Heroes and Magicians.

Each Hero or Magician would get anywhere from one to four oracle cards (either drawn randomly from a deck, or specifically provided for that character). Obviously, there are many ways to set up this system so that it is both balanced and can be tailored to the specific worlds or universes in which a Fantasy Game takes place.

For instance, Hyboria, and the world of Conan would have Oracle Cards that allowed Heroes, such as Conan, to go on a mad frenzy, getting mad bonuses for combat and moral/cohesion tests, or they could be horrific spell cards for magicians.

In the world of Melnibonë, you could have cards for Elric using Stormbringer to suck vital life-force from enemies, and thus gain the ability to hold more Oracle Cards. Conversely, elric could wind up being drained ans sickly, giving him fewer Oracle Cards until he got into Combat to suck souls.

In the world of A Song of Fire and Ice (I can't remember what it's called.... I don't really like George RR Martin), you could have card to represent heroic or treacherous deeds.

AND....

Of course, there is Middle-earth, where you have the Istarí, capable of subtle magics (each one focused upon a different type of effect). Gandalf, for instance, tends to strengthen men's resolve and give hope, he is capable of turning The Shadow (the fear caused by Nazgûl, for instance) back on itself, he is capable of leading men to heroic deeds.

Aragorn is capable of similar things, plus being powerful in combat. Boromir is a leader of men who would get men to fight to the last man for him. Faramir would inspire similar things, but he is more intelligent and capable of using strategems to engage in Ambushes, trick maneuvers to fool an enemy, and horrifically complex maneuvers to get into the battle where least expected.

Bëornings: Turn into Bears, put the fear of Eru into Orcs. Summon Animals to their aid or assistance.

The Nazgûl: Fear, fear, Fear, and fear... And making the Orcs fear more for their lives if they ran away than if they lost to an enemy and were killed (more swiftly and far less painfully). They could also move quickly across a battlefield by means of shedding their outer garments and traveling solely as a Wraith.

And so on....

It would make for an easy mechanism that could be used both to balance games when there are unequal sides, and it would be a great mechanism for adding some randomness to what would otherwise be not much different battles than your typical Historical Battles.

MB

eldiablito
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by eldiablito » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:02 am

You also forgot the DND and High fantasy worlds (i.e. Xanth) where magic is so plentiful where you could easily just take a unit of longbowmen, name them mages and call it a day. ;)

MatthewB
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by MatthewB » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:41 am

eldiablito wrote:You also forgot the DND and High fantasy worlds (i.e. Xanth) where magic is so plentiful where you could easily just take a unit of longbowmen, name them mages and call it a day. ;)
I really consider D&D to be mechanized warfare under a different name.

I reject that world, just like I reject Warhammer (and WH40K) due to their welding in of tropes that are nothing more than fixed tropes without any justification.

At LEAST George RR Martin has made some attempt to justify why things were in his world.

But both Warhammer and D&D just state by fiat "This is the way things are. Here are these "technologies" that have uses FAR BEYOND what we have created them to do... But they just CAN'T be used in those ways because the "races" who created them just DON'T."

For instance, in WH40K, it is essentially Napoleonic Warfare with WWI Era Technology called by the names of "Space-Sci-Fi-Techy-Sounding-Thingamajigs."

One that I find to be the absolute most outlandish is that the "Tau aren't good at Hand-to-Hand."

X: Why?

WH40K: Well, they just aren't, because they have long ranged weapons.

X: Oh!.... But you also claim that they base their culture upon Science. Science would inform them that there were hand-to-hand techniques, and specific technologies for Hand-to-hand (which already exist in their society) that they could then optimize to make them BETTER at Hand-to-Hand than even Imperial Marines.

WH40K: Oh! No, they wouldn't do that. They don't fight well in hand-to-hand.

X: Why?

WH40K: They just don't, because we said so.

That might work for kids who are nine or ten years old (which I understand is pretty much their target audience now), but for anyone who has a couple of brain cells still working, there are holes in their universes large enough to park another two universes inside.

To say nothing of the fact that their "Magic" is exactly as you have described it: A substitute for technology.

You might as well call a High-Level D&D magic user a Machine-Gun Nest with attached Artillery and radar.

MB

eldiablito
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by eldiablito » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:55 am

Please relax. I never mentioned GW and specifically listed DND and Xanth. You are putting words in your mouth and then going on an unneeded rant.

Finally, I placed a wink emoticon to show, hopefully, a light heartedness. My REAL point is that magic can and does vary from author to author. No one has absolute authority over what goes into a fantasy universe except for their author.

I say good day.

MatthewB
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by MatthewB » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:19 am

I realize that it varies by author.

I just find some of it to be arbitrary and silly.... to the point that the "fantasy" loses its charm.

MB

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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by davekhan » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:11 pm

MB
I think you have to chill out more :) I've just got back from mee hols and the last thing I want,is to read you going on about GW stuff this aint the place for that :) Just don't go down this road here please. :)

As for using magic we play with one magic user (if that ) same as generals ( TC,FC IC) for there ranges . TC will get 3 cards ,FC will get 4 cards and ,IC will get 5 cards ,
hearts = Morale ,
Clubs = Attack
Diamonds = Movement
Spades = Defence/ other

to cast a spell the MU has to roll a CMT so we say TC have to reroll there sixes 1st time and IC get to reroll there ones :wink: and the card is discarded after that .

only 1 card to be played per turn ,at any time . can be dealt a new set of cards IF you have not used your MU that turn , but all cards MUST be handed in no more that the specified number of cards held by the player.

As for the type of spells its up to you :lol: we have that diamonds can double move units ect... clubs can reroll a cohesion test IF they lose in the impact phase ect.. and so on you can go on and on with this ...

We are just getting into this so there is a LOT of play testing and beer chat with this ATM..
But I hope you get the ideal of what we do here .

DK

MatthewB
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by MatthewB » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:17 pm

davekhan wrote:MB

As for using magic we play with one magic user (if that ) same as generals ( TC,FC IC) for there ranges . TC will get 3 cards ,FC will get 4 cards and ,IC will get 5 cards ,
hearts = Morale ,
Clubs = Attack
Diamonds = Movement
Spades = Defence/ other

to cast a spell the MU has to roll a CMT so we say TC have to reroll there sixes 1st time and IC get to reroll there ones :wink: and the card is discarded after that .

only 1 card to be played per turn ,at any time . can be dealt a new set of cards IF you have not used your MU that turn , but all cards MUST be handed in no more that the specified number of cards held by the player.

As for the type of spells its up to you :lol: we have that diamonds can double move units ect... clubs can reroll a cohesion test IF they lose in the impact phase ect.. and so on you can go on and on with this ...

We are just getting into this so there is a LOT of play testing and beer chat with this ATM..
But I hope you get the ideal of what we do here .

DK
That's not a bad system.

Why only one card per turn?

I can understand in the case of Magic that one card per turn per magician.

But what if you have more than one Magician?

MB

davekhan
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Re: Magic and Heroes

Post by davekhan » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:56 pm

davekhan wrote:Why only one card per turn?
We don't want super MU running around the table undoing all the stuff that has happen in a turn this aint a GW game that having a super unit rules the whole battlefield.

This way you have to THINK where to place him and how you can get the best result from him ! putting him in the attack or getting him to help hold a flank with a poor unit ? ect....


davekhan wrote:But what if you have more than one Magician?
Then you can cast 2 spells per turn if you like :D
Then you are a Lucky chap as you would not be so lucky in my games :) keeping to one MU is about right we think other wise you could have magic being too powerful and that diverts it from the game it self ,,

We have played a few games that IF you have a full suit ( 1 spade ,1 heart ,1 club ,1 diamond ) then you can summon up a undead B.G that works well as well its unlimited in what you have your spells as ...
davekhan wrote:I can understand in the case of Magic that one card per turn per magician.
Play it and see! We don't want Magic to affect the outcome of the whole game just turn it on its head NOW and Again :) and it sure can do that .
And
.Not sure of the time period of each turn but I think its around 20min (dont have the rules to hand ) But a MU has to get his book out and look up the spell and that takes time in are games and must avoid the odd arrow ,sling shot now and so one spell is about right per turn .

hope that helps you out.

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