I'd like to see if anyone is interested in being in a roleplaying experience based loosely on Dragonvale Academy in the computer game Keepsake.
I'm not entirely certain how I would run this game, but one idea is to recruit 6 10th level arcane spellcasters (Pathfinder) using the words of power system: 25 pt buy, standard wealth, no alignments*
To facilitate actual roleplaying, we will not be playing with alignments. But I encourage the players to come up with a Motives section for their character's personality. (It may be kept secret from other players if desired).
Arcane Spellcasters who wish to apply as an Adept of Dragonvale Academy must demonstrate knowledge in the arcane by having written no fewer than 3 books, each of which dealing with 5 major volumes of information regarding magical, arcane, spell, or monstrous knowledge.
As the primary function of the spell is education in arcane arts, not necessarily combat magic, I'd invite participating spellcasters to expand the words of power system to incorporate words of power that can be used in civil and natural circumstances.
I may decide to go with a gaming system much sleeker in design (a homebrew based on Runebound the game board), but that will depend on the views of everyone else. Combat will not be a focus in this game, as this is a roleplaying experience of social interaction.
Well, there won't be a lot of "adventuring". The characters will be playing wizards in a roleplaying format, Dragonvale Academy. We will be designing the actual school, the courses, and then recruiting players as students to nourish to become full wizards in their own right, and hopefully have it continue as a multi-generation story. (Much like a fantasy soap opera). I will be rolling random events on occasion, however, especially when things get boring. So we might have to deal with all sorts of things.
If you've ever read The Magicians, it'll be sort of like that, only in a fantasy themed world.
This isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea, I'll put it that way. But if you like intricate characters and emotionally complex storylines for them, it will probably be pretty fun.
Also, I thought that I might point out that I am thinking about using a less complicated combat system than Pathfinder. Since this isn't focused on combat, but on roleplaying. But I will have to poll any players who decide to join to see if that's the way we'll go. It's not at all complicated (to me), but it might take some explanation. (It's also relatively easy to convert wordspells that do deal with combat (other than just damage) to the system I want to use.)
About the only part of the world that's set in stone is the Dragon's Vale itself. Other than that, you're free to make up a little bit of the world for where your character comes from.
The Dragon's Vale is a valley that has been hidden from the rest of the world by dragon's magic. Recently, due to a mysterious reason, the older (and more powerful) dragons have been dying, and the younger ones don't have the power to keep the Vale hidden any longer. So, its a newly discovered valley, relatively problem free with lush greenery, a wild and beautiful forest (perhaps with fey creatures living within it), and caverns high up in the mountains where dragons have been hoarding their treasures for several thousands of years.
The entire valley also seems to thrum with a powerful energy of its own, magical in nature, but difficult to categorize. It seems to awaken various gifts in those with arcane talents, and somehow empowers those without. Usually, these gifts or empowerments are unique to each individual.
Oh, and there is a town nearby, perhaps a day's ride away, Greenstone. It used to be a mining town due to an emerald mine that was located in the mountains surround the Dragon's Vale, but the mine is abandoned now. Greenstone is a quiet town, now. One tavern and inn, the Pig and Blanket, and a single general store, whose owner is also the mayor. Other than that, the town probably has 16 to 20 residents, mostly farmers or orchard-keepers. As far as trade, the town's main export is a simple but flavorful wine known as Emeraude, made from white grapes and green apples.
Well, that's a possibility. I think most people on the boards prefer point-buy, though, cause that way everyone's pretty equal in terms of stats. In a game of wizards, I imagine everyone will be taking a very high intelligence, unless a sorcerer joins, then we'll have high intelligence and high charisma.
I don't know anything about the lore/world of Keepsake. I'm sure a wiki or two could help me in that, though. My only question is why level 10? Is the Academy filled with only the strongest of the strong, and they don't have any new recruits?
Dotting for now, I'll look up some of the lore for now, though.
One option I saw for rolling stats I liked. Everyone picked for the game rolls stats, then everyone chooses from the pool which set they will use, and yes, most of the players will end up selecting the same set. Gives the element of randomness without the impact of fluctuations in abilities between players.
Well, I imagine we will be taking students at some point. But the point of the game (at first) is to create a school for wizards to learn, lol. But the school is established by powerful wizards. That's the whole point of recruiting 10th levelers. :)
How about this for determining ability scores. Everyone has 12 in all ability scores, and three points to spend on increasing scores. Each point can increase an ability score by +2.
I see, we're building the school. I kind of like the idea of having a 12 in everything, except for a few stats. Will we constricted to only arcane classes? Should we have the feat Leadership? Any Prestige Classes we should be avoiding? A Bard/Low Templar could be the Melee part of the party, and make for a reasonable "How Not to Die Immediately in Combat" class instructor, but isn't all that Magic based, and thus having power in a school of magic might seem a little stretched.
If you think the character makes sense in the scheme of things, it probably does. Combat might be a part of the gaming reality, but for the most part it will just be roleplaying. Perhaps some economy simulation, depending on what the players needs are.
As for being restricted to arcane classes. Other classes are okay, but I strongly discourage divine classes unless they have a really good history and reason for being there. (I was actually thinking of making divine magic not work in the Valley itself, so there wouldn't really be a reason for them to be there in the first place.)
Actually this would a good game to consider my alternate divine concept, my idea is that arcan magic comes from the self where as divine magic comes from somewhere else, such as mana granted to you or from crystals or some other method of mana storage.
That said I usually consider traditional divine magic to be powered by faith and understanding of nature, since I rarely have a god to grant me spells. (And that explanation also explains why druids have divine magic without gods)
So what you're saying is that the reason we build the school in this specific location is because the crystal needed to power certain types of magic is found in this location, so that all magic users may join regardless of magical source?
Well there is no giant crystal, but I believe the vale itself was infused with plenty of magic (there is, or will be, a talking tree, and the bones of a dragon, for example)
My idea is that a divine caster uses the energy from the world around them to cast spells (which require only a little of ones inherent magic) and an arcane caster uses the energy from within themselves.
Faith powered divine magic however means that magic happens because I believe it will rather then arcane forcing it to.
Having completed Keepsake and reviewing some notes, I think faith powered divine magic would fit, as would rituals, craft magic (circle of magic series), and alchemy.
True, but I'm trying to keep most of this to pathfinder rules, since those are familiar to most everyone on the board. :) If there's a web-published resource out there (free), for other types of magic that might fit, I might review it.
Well, that's a 3-man party+GM. All we need is 1 more to make it a legit party...
I'm thinking of going 1 of 3 ways:
Illusionist-Face who is the one with all the connections to local and foreign dignitaries.
Druid-The one who draws power from nature itself, and teaches the would-be-students about how to benefit from it.
Warmaster-The teacher who shows how to prevent the would-be-students the pressure of battle
The problem's with these are:
Illusionist-PrC says I need to know 3 different Illusion spells. Do you think that Words of Power count for that?
Druid-There is no such thing as the deity named Gozreh, so the Storm Kindler, aka the perfect PrC for such a character, has a fault in the prerecs.
Warmaster-Arcane Duelist bards don't really have a place in a RP focus'd group, and Low Templar don't get spells.
Anyone have a preference as to what you adventure with? Of course, these can always be edited.
I am thinking of being an Item crafter, a mystic theurge, or both.
As for divine things, I am refering purely to fluff, and as I am not sure about PFs official soure of divine magic, however as you can be a cleric without having a god, obviously the source can be something other then handed down directly from the gods. (Like faith and understanding)
I would like to know what Gm thinks the source should be so if I go that route I can "talk" about it.
Well, most of the magic in the Dragonvale itself, comes from the Dragons. Who, although they have been mysteriously dying off, still maintain a strong mystical power over the whole valley. (Part of the beginning part of these "tales" will be how we deal with that particular issue.
If you wanted to be a cleric or a divine caster of some type, I suppose you could be a cleric of the dragons themselves, or their gods if it seems reasonable. However, if you did pursue a career like that, I think your character might recognize that the Dragons of the Vale have a bit of a rebellious nature to them, intent on rejecting the Old Gods and embracing new ones, namely from among themselves.
On a side note, my normal gaming group has asked me to DM RotRL, so I may be doing that in a few weeks. I doubt it will affect my abilities to post here every so often, but I don't think it will happen everyday.
I was just thinking, a Draconic Shaman, from PHB 2 might be better than a divine caster. Or perhaps, if you have the resources, an Arcana Evolved Greenbond. The magic of Arcana Evolved has a rustic feeling to it, so it might fit in more with a druidic style of play. And it also prevents people from relying so much on cure spells.
I need to go back and review how much of AE is open source, I might be able to post some rules.
I'll look at the arcana evolved if you post it (never heard of it before) but I think having an divine caster would be important to a school of magic even an arcane focused one, and it'll be only a few levels so it's not like my entire repitoire is druids magic. It also gives us some healing just in case, the school nurse if you will, which is also a needed position to fill for any school.
I'm thinking sorcerer with 3 or 4 levels of druid (depending on the arcana evolved thing wows me) though I haven't picked race yet (ooh could do were panther, wanting to make a school where my kind are at least welcome to come and learn)
Also will note my alignment for reference even though no mechanical benefit (not that I ever worried about that anyway)
It is also possible that I overlooked how the divine Words of Power work differently from divine spells. I had forgotten to consider that. To keep everything as uniform as possible, I think I will do something a little bit unusual, with your feedback.
Everyone (All casters) have access to all the words of power. That way I think we will be limited only by our imaginations in the Words of Power system. Opinions? I've also noted that some casters have severely limited access to words of power, so I want to avoid that as well.
I looked at it and it seems to me that divine is different in exactly the same ways as normal, fluff, who can use items made with it, and use divine focus instead of mats or arcane focus.
I don't mind having access to all the words, but that may change the balance a bit. Also to clarify, do you mean no class restrictions when selecting words to know, or do you mean we can select any whenever we make a wordspell? I could go for the former, but not the latter (the latter I think would make the classes all feel to similar).
the former... (no class restrictions when selecting words to know)
I know it might make the classes feel similar, but in effect since the number of words known is limited, it actually begins to feel much more organic and each character takes on a different feel from the words of power they choose to learn.
If we played that way, I could of course allow divine classes again, since the only differences would be class abilities instead of the spells being different.
In effect, I am trying to limit the divine spell mechanic (i.e. preparing words instead of studying), no divine channeling (but it is possible to channel positive and negative energy), because I'm not sure that those things fit in with the theme of the campaign I'm envisioning.
I am curious about this divine mechanic you are refering to. The only difference I can disern between divine and arcane magic is that arcane is usable through study and practice and divine comes from an undefined elsewhere (though gods are implied for some classes, yet explicity stated as unneeded) really is pure curiousity and if I "teach" someone in character it's good to know.
I guess I'm further behind then I thought with all the new stuff, I glanced at prestige classes and there's like thirty of them.
That would be one way to overcome my difficulty with allowing divine classes, if everyone agrees to that.
Perhaps its something magical about Dragonvale itself. Outside the valley, you may be a different type of spellcaster. But in Dragonvale, magic is amplified, enough to where people can study and learn all types of magic.
Divine spells are usually prayed for (or prepared). And the divine class can choose to prepare any spells available at that level, rather than a select few that are studied and learned.
Doh! Yeah, I missed that, was thinking something more fluff connected for some reason but it seems to me that since they don't study like and they are powered by something else they simply take any concept in mind and fit a basic framework for casting without worring about the specifics a wizard has to worry about (as though wizards work to produce any amount, a cleric works to limit and shape the amount)
Either way I am dropping the divine thing for now just so I can really get started on generation.
10th level, 25 point buy, standard wealth, preferably no divine classes without a good story or reason for being there, Words of Power system. If I can get a general consensus from all of the players, I am looking to make all the Words of Power available to all casters. Since we're already advanced to 10th level, I wasn't really planning on using traits, however, I might allow that if people would prefer to (Either two traits or a bonus feat).
Since I'm not hearing a resounding "No!" on making all the Words of Power available to all spellcasters, I'll go ahead and implement that. All spellcasters still have the same numeric limits as wizard, witch, magus or sorcerer (or whatever), but they can choose from whatever lists of Words of Power they like.
Oh and allow me to mention again that there will not be alignments in this game. So detection spells for the alignments will be pretty much ineffective. (They can tell if something has a heavenly or fiendish supernatural aura, though.)
Just had a thought. How are we going to handle the word casting? Are we just going to say what words we are using, i.e. Selected Force Bolt Simple, or are we planning on creating specific words for each Target, Effect, and Meta Words, i.e. similar to Shouts in Skyrim (but not exactly like that.)?