Author Topic: Q's about what realms are  (Read 734 times)

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Offline markc

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Q's about what realms are
« on: October 16, 2020, 09:13:21 PM »
Someone was asking what people thought the realms were, here is an article in the guildcompanion.com from Peter Mork that may help you out.
http://www.guildcompanion.com/scrolls/2008/oct/strangemagics.html


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Offline thrud

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 08:59:18 AM »
IMHO, it seems pretty straightforward.
Channeling => You get your power from some  "divine" entity.
Essence => The world around you.
Mentalism => Yourself.

Does it have to be more complicated?



Offline markc

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 09:14:53 AM »
Terry Amthor had a different interpretation of Mentalism, but I am not sure that was presented in the open forum or in a group PM.


In general,
Quite a few game questions can come from where you get your PP and thus how you cast spells.


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Offline thrud

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 09:22:33 AM »
I am aware this will vary greatly from group to group, but I've never came across a group where the players were concerned with rules and actually wanted to learn.
And if they ever did show some interest,  it was usually about how to min/max their characters. Munchkinism...
Greatly frustrating for the GM I suppose. On the other hand, the GM can get away with a lot of dodgy stuff if the players are clueless.

Offline markc

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 10:08:21 AM »
"...but I have never came across a group where the players were concerned with the rules and actually wanted to learn."
Sorry my quote button is blocked by some security software but I think I got it right.


My experience in RM is vastly different in general and depends on the age of your group and style of play. ie if your group(s) love video game style they generally do not care but quite a few older players 20-25+ start to get more into the rules and how they can affect game play. 
Note some rule systems are unable to support more complex game ideas and just use or try to use text explanation to say what can  and cannot be done. In some ways this is fine but in others it can lead to dissatisfaction and people leaving the system. ie using PFM (pure fracking magic) as an explanation every once in a while goes over fine but using it all the time can wear on a lot of players and GMs.


In my experience and areas I have lived in most power gamers have loved paladium and pathfinder but IMHO every game system can be played in a power gamer style.
I myself like what most people would call power gaming from time to time, ie rings of power in players hands or powerful artifacts.


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Offline thrud

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 11:39:56 AM »
I would love to have some fellow gamers interested in the deeper mechanics. It gets lonely being the only one...
And unfortunately it forces me to dial back my own characters to reduce imbalances.

Offline Aspire2Hope

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 06:11:50 AM »
I think the main problem with the realms of magic and the mechanics in RM is that without some heavy GM input it is more likely to be treated as a video game. I find even now with players who I have known for years I have to encourage some form of Roleplay for spell casting.

We all seem to be able to say "I launch myself screaming into the onrushing horde of Orcs, swinging my might two-handed sword of Orc slaying." Less of "I call on the power of Thoth to smite the infidels!" or "I close my eyes drawing the magical forces from the air. Glowing with the blue of my college as the power builds, I release the magical energy with a mighty shout."

Offline jdale

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 10:34:15 AM »
Some of that can come from the example of the GM. If the player doesn't describe the action, you can. That's particularly important for magic, because while all of us know what a sword looks like and have a general idea about how it is wielded, we don't have that knowledge about spellcasting -- especially for a specific setting -- unless examples are provided.

You can also give them incentives. Maybe that "shout" bonus is only available if they describe the action. Maybe the descriptions of their actions are part of what you judge roleplay on, for purposes of XP.

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Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 06:37:20 PM »
*shrugs*
Whilst it has been RM's "official" POV since the beginning, I've been for decades in disagreement with how the rules do not have a care about the matter, and classify spells (and professions) according to said realms. I wrote (complained?) about the matter many times but the rules don't see realms as the source (the "how") of magic but the effects (the "what") themselves, as what realm one uses dictates what one can do (and which kind of spells one may cast) rather than how one fuels one's spells. It's similar to electricity: the realms are the "sources", may it be nuclear, hydro, wind, charcoal, but once one gets electricity, one may perform the same actions, regardless of the original source.
As far as I'm concerned, whilst I do it differently from Peter Mork, I changed the RM magic system so as to focus more on the realms as sources than on the resulting effects. For one thing, I don't separate spell lists or professions as being part of one realm: in my system, there are only Open, Closed and Base lists, and they are completely independent of the notion of "realm".
I then have rules focusing on the differences of being a user of Essence Magic, Personal Magic ("Mentalism") or Divine Magic ("Channeling"), but each of them may acquire any Open or Closed spell list exactly the same. Similarly, for instance, a Magician may equally be a user of Essence Magic, Personal Magic or Divine Magic, with no difference in how hard (or easy) he acquires his spell lists, the difference laying on his own nature as a Essence, Personal or Divine spellcaster.
"100 lives, 1000 lives. Despite their past promise, the gods didn't seem to forget about Solange.
10000 lives, 100000 lives. Or mayhap they did, thus forgetting to add to her curse and pain.
1000000 lives, 10000000 lives. But, as such, they also forgot to cancel the one they put on her.
An eternity.
This is the story of a girl cursed by the gods because they needed a scapegoat. This is the story of heroes whose duty was to realize the one they needed to save was said girl, and not the world."

Offline Aspire2Hope

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2020, 02:02:19 PM »
OLF I think you are right in the approach and the RM tinker with it approach can work well, even if it doesn't help with compatibility between games. For me to avoid the confusion it has been as JDale says to insist on the players describing their "magic".

Offline Cory Magel

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2020, 10:54:59 PM »
Part of this depends on if you have a custom view for your own setting.

For me...

Essence is drawing power from the elements.
Mentalism is drawing power from your own 'essence'
Channeling is drawing power from the energy generated by an idea or concept (which often has a powerful deity as a figurehead).
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Offline PiXeL01

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2020, 11:00:33 PM »
The big question is then should the source of your power limit what you can do?
Channeling probably has the least restrictions as it’s depends on the Superior Being. That Being could transmit anything including Arcane

Essence is see as capable of most feats except raising the dead

I see mentalism is the most limitations as a single body/mind/soul can only hold so much without being depleted.
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Offline Hurin

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2020, 11:37:49 PM »

Essence is see as capable of most feats except raising the dead

Yes, and like Cory, I also prefer to see Essence as associated especially with the elements.

This is why it made sense for Evil Clerics to cast Necromancy spells, and Evil Magicians to summon demons. This is what you had in RM2 and RMSS/FRP IIRC. For some reason though, RMU has switched this so that Evil Clerics summon demons, and Evil Magicians engage in Necromancy.

I actually wonder if this is a mistake: The FRP book 'Of Essence' for some reason lists 'Evil Channeling Lists' in the table of contents, but calls them 'Evil Essence Lists' in the actual spell descriptions. Could that have been where the error crept in?

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Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2020, 05:52:23 AM »
Essence is drawing power from the elements.
But then, what are "elements" though?
Fundamentally, "elements" are the building blocks of anything that makes up the world, including the mind and the soul, thus there's no reason why drawing power from the elements wouldn't allow one to "raise the dead".
"100 lives, 1000 lives. Despite their past promise, the gods didn't seem to forget about Solange.
10000 lives, 100000 lives. Or mayhap they did, thus forgetting to add to her curse and pain.
1000000 lives, 10000000 lives. But, as such, they also forgot to cancel the one they put on her.
An eternity.
This is the story of a girl cursed by the gods because they needed a scapegoat. This is the story of heroes whose duty was to realize the one they needed to save was said girl, and not the world."

Offline Aspire2Hope

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2020, 06:09:39 AM »
It really does depend on your world doesn't it? The beauty of RM is being able (allowed) to swap lists to suit your view (so long as you let your players know).

Middle Earth
Essence - creating and shaping the song of Arda (caster must sing)
Channeling - drawing on the intervention of the Valar/Maia
Mentalism - drawing on your own will a la Feanor and the Noldor elves although I'm never quite sure is that isn't Essence.

Awful lot of debate about that in the past. Still not sure anyone has resolved the mechanics to a satisfactory level.

Offline Cory Magel

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2020, 07:33:26 PM »
Essence is drawing power from the elements.
But then, what are "elements" though?
Depends on how you want to define them.
Earth, Air, Fire and Water are the obvious ones of course.

Quote
Fundamentally, "elements" are the building blocks of anything that makes up the world, including the mind and the soul, thus there's no reason why drawing power from the elements wouldn't allow one to "raise the dead".
I wouldn't necessarily agree with that depending on your universe's makeup. You can't really define a 'soul' very well.

However, I'd toss in Light and Life depending on the situation (Darkness and Death are simply the opposites, so I really wouldn't count them as wholly separate).  And 'Energy' could really cover both those things.  They could also explain raising the dead, assuming you wanted an Essence user to have that ability.  In my world view that's under the purview of Channeling however.  An Essence user could turn you into a flesh golum though.
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Offline markc

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2020, 09:46:33 AM »
IMHO, about making realm's mean something
1) What are some of the reasons people moved from AD&D to RM in the 80's?
IMHO they are Middle Earth, crit tables, power point's and skills
2) The casting table mods do provide some difference now but it could be a lot more.
3) Try and avoid false choices? ie there are five elemental attack charts and they basically only differ because at the top of each chart their is a different color name.
4) Easy is good if it works but if more complexity is needed to do it right, then do so. ie in RM now, most people do not use one chart for all melee weapons, one for thrown weapons and one for missile weapons; that is very easy and ignores a lot of detail that most people would agree makes RM work better then other systems. 


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Offline jdale

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 10:19:06 AM »
The elemental attack charts differ in both power and shape -- in the sense that they differ in armor penetration.

Essence is drawing power from the elements.
But then, what are "elements" though?
Fundamentally, "elements" are the building blocks of anything that makes up the world, including the mind and the soul, thus there's no reason why drawing power from the elements wouldn't allow one to "raise the dead".

This is a setting choice, so it can't necessarily be wrong, but it isn't necessarily right either. Essence in general does not work on the spirit. It deals with tangible things, like the elements, force, energy, or magic. There is a "spirit mastery" list but at best it affects the mind, not truly the spirit.

Why is that? Assuming you want the realms to be meaningfully different -- and not everyone does -- you could explain that as a matter of technique. Essence users take their power from the real, physical world and it allows them to manipulate real, physical things. It could be a matter of the power. Essence mana is attuned to the elements and can only manipulate things that are constructed of the elements. Force is an interaction between elements, e.g. the natural attribute of earth which pulls against other matter. But spirit is something entirely different. Even the mind is constructed of fairly complex and subtle patterns, and the big, blunt forces of essence are poorly suited to manipulate it. If you imagine the mind and thoughts are created by the interaction of the body with the spirit, that distinction becomes even more clear.

Personally, I don't see much point in having realms if they all do the same thing. Simply having a different refresh mechanic just does not have enough impact on the game, in my opinion. Having different types of effects does. And making the realms more different keeps the professions more different which creates space for the characters to have their own unique roles and niches within a party.

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Offline markc

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2020, 02:09:47 PM »
I was trying to be sly and not mention the system but I was talking about D&D 4th and a bit of Pathfinder 2.0, when talking about normalizing damage or managing damage too much.


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Offline juza

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Re: Q's about what realms are
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2020, 05:33:59 AM »
In the world I made up for my game different realms of magic are different ways of approaching magic developed by different cultures.In this way I was able to mix professions and realms to customise  people with different cultural background.