Author Topic: Planescape  (Read 2898 times)

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Offline Zhaleskra

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Planescape
« on: July 02, 2016, 09:19:38 AM »
Planescape was my favorite campaign setting for AD&D2E, which admittedly, is subject to the same problem I submit of Forgotten Realms: it's overdeveloped. In any case, I have been scanning my PS products that have been preserved in sheet protectors and began thinking about making a HARP conversion for it.

Some things are simple enough: multiply all bonuses and penalties by 5, ignore any references to "thief abilities", ignore advice based on party level because HARP characters reach their diminishing return on investments much more quickly. Others are a bit harder as HARP magic is not dependent on level, the default presentation unifies "arcane" and "divine" casting, HARP magic has fewer spheres, and many HARP spells could replace several of AD&D's "laundry list" of spells. So this mostly leaves the question of how to interpret the loss of "spell levels" or item bonuses on the planes in HARP terms. As in PS this is different for each plane, it can get messy quickly.

No more than xx scaling options? No scaling options more than xx PP?

I welcome your ideas. Thank you.
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Offline tbigness

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2016, 01:20:47 PM »
Since most D&D spell levels were gained ever odd level until maxed out at 7 th or 9th I would suggest using ranks/3 as a base for the spell level. It almost rounds out the spells or you can /2 which gets fireball at "3rd Level spell".
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Offline Arioch

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 11:01:51 AM »
I played a RM Planescape short campaign, once.
We basically dumped all the spells levels and item bonuses shifting, because:
a) the book keeping it took was just too much for our tastes
b) it felt somehow artificial/out of place. I don't know, the whole setting is based around planar exploration, but for some reason it "punishes" for visiting other planes. Never understood why.
c) it penalized priests and other "divine" characters more than any other class, thus discouraging people from playing them. Which is also strange, IMO, for a setting where gods and belief played such a huge role.

What we did was giving each plane/realm special rules for magic. Like, in the Lower Planes you got free access to "Evil" lists (or maybe some of your lists were temporarly "swapped" with their Evil counterpart), but were susceptible to corruption.
For for Lawful planes we used the spell use risk chart, meaning that casting powerful spells would get you the attention of some powerful planar being nearby.
Things like that, much time has passed, so my memory is a bit fuzzy  :D
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 09:24:05 AM »
As I understand, the idea behind magic and magic item adjustment was to make the planes other than material feel alien, and to remind you you're not on your home turf even if your character is a planar: for the items, it's that the magic diminishes the father it's taken from where it was imbued (I don't think where the forging happened should matter much). Even so, I am for a simplified version of magic adjustment. None of this losing magical ability per by plane and by layer of said plane.

Elemental planes are relatively easy to simplify: spells of the opposed element simply don't work, magic items forged of the opposing element lose a portion of their abilities.
The spell risk chart is a good idea for any "aligned" plane, spells opposed to the nature of the plane have a chance of attracting natives, holy/unholy abilities simply don't work on their opposed planes and likewise could attract attention, and opposed alignment items lose a small amount of bonus or abilities.

I'm looking at the races from Planewalker's Handbook and figuring out how to make Elemental Talents work to make Genasi. HARP Sci Fi can inform me on some abilities to use, for example

X Element, Greater or Lesser (follow the usual Blood Talent rules)
  • Elemental Resistance, own element
  • Elemental Natural Ability
  • Blood Magic: Elemental Daily Spell
  • Strong Influence

Leaving it like that because some of the spells Genasi get as abilities don't have equivalents in HARP.
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 10:58:05 AM »
I've been juggling doing Genasi as full races and talents. Jotted out some ideas using spells from the Codex and the older College of Magics where appropriate. To stay true to HARP's setup, the Elemental Talent fits and creates more variety, though it'll work a little differently from Blood Talents: Take three (or two) abilities to replace two (or one) of your base race's abilities - the second or third ability is paid for by Species Limitation: Elemental Susceptibility (opposed element), take one size Larger critical from the opposed element, if critical size is Huge, move result up by 10.

Because HARP characters can get their skills up in a hurry, I don't think I'll be entirely throwing out adventuring advice by level, instead I'll just be lowering the ranges. Levels 1-2: Stay in Sigil, 3-5: Short jaunts to single plane at a time, 6-10: longer adventures on single plane or short jaunts on multiple planes, 11+: You're powerful enough to decide where to go, blood.
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 08:57:25 PM »
On further reflection, I'm going to keep it entirely like blood talents. Elemental Resistance will be a package deal with Elemental Susceptibility.

So now it's
  • Elemental Resistance, own element (+5 1st, 5th, etc.) with Elemental Susceptibility, opposed element
  • Elemental Natural Ability: Air - No need to breath, Fire - Immune to Normal Fire, Earth - Tough Hide (Lesser), Water - Amphibious
  • Daily Spell: Air - Fly, Earth - Traceless Passing, Fire - Heat (CoM), Water - Cool (Codex)
    • Strong Elemental Influence

    Still need to work out the AD&D2e to HARP adjustments for that last one.

    And back to the pick two (or one) to replace base abilties.
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 09:33:53 AM »
I'm going to drop the Susceptibility as it was not a Genasi quality from Planescape.
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Offline admartin

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 02:50:39 PM »
I did a take on Genasi for home game.  Gave backgrounds as Half-elves, and offered talents (from Character Law) at reduced rates (RMSS/FRP).  So not all air genasi have to have flight, but can if they wanted.

Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Planescape
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 12:19:42 PM »
I've been reading through Liber Malovelente from Planes of Conflict. While I like some of TSR's ideas about the planes, I dislike others, sometimes about the same plane. As HARP uses only Spheres and there is no distinction between Arcane and Divine magic, there is no need for Power Keys, only spell keys. At the same time, it's more what a spell's about that gets affected than what Sphere it is.
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