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Being the Official Discussion Forum for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


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5/19/2021 8:18 am  #41


Re: House rules and changes to rules

deathknight4044 wrote:

It's not a huge shift and almost not worth the trouble, but players have asked multiple times now "why would I choose this" when considering those spells and I dont really have a good answer.

My answer in these kind of cases is simple: "If you don't think it's worth choosing, then don't." I really don't care which classes, types of armor, weapons, or spells that characters use. I'm not going to tinker with things for the sake of "variety". If all the fighters want to carry bastard swords because they think they're the best weapon, that's fine. If nobody has flame arrow in their spell book, that's fine too. I have enough to worry about with the rest of the campaign world without trying to micromanage player spell choices on top of it. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

If you really must have "variety" in PC spells, you could require players to randomly roll the spells they develop at level gains; then they would have to work with whatever they happen to find. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

5/19/2021 6:09 pm  #42


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Or just throw fire-using/dwelling creatures or things resistant to the other spells but susceptible to cold at them.  Another easy option is the Elemental Bolt spell.  It could be fire, water, ice, earth, lightning, but that must be specified when memorizing for the day.


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
 

5/20/2021 5:32 am  #43


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Blackadder23 wrote:

My answer in these kind of cases is simple: "If you don't think it's worth choosing, then don't."...I have enough to worry about with the rest of the campaign world without trying to micromanage player spell choices on top of it. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

If you really must have "variety" in PC spells, you could require players to randomly roll the spells they develop at level gains; then they would have to work with whatever they happen to find. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png

Amen!


"An idea of great merit! While we are alive we should sit among colored lights and taste good wines, and discuss our adventures in far places; when we are dead, the opportunity is past."
Jack Vance, Maske: Thaery
 

5/20/2021 9:09 am  #44


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Funny; I've never had players roll randomly for spells, but recently I've thought about it, perhaps only at the odd or even levels, just to get more variety in there.  Sometimes for my own characters I'll have a concept where the character prefers a certain type or style of magic, but I do find that players often gravitate towards the high volume or damage spells, especially at lower levels.  Sleep, for example, can be really lethal.  And it seems like they'll always take fireball or lightning bolt at the first opportunity.

And for what it's worth, I love the diversity in spell lists in this game.  Even if there's some overlap, I do think the different spell casting classes and sub-classes feel different due to these tweaks.  The necromancer lists, in particular, are fiendishly awesome.  I port those over to all my other OSR games.  I've used the witch in that capacity as well.


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
 

5/20/2021 1:11 pm  #45


Re: House rules and changes to rules

If the DM enforces the potential downsides of using fireball or lightning bolt in a enclosed area, they won't be as popular. They're practically useless in a dungeon.

Anyway, the first third level spell a magician should take is dispel magic.https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

5/20/2021 1:16 pm  #46


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Spider of Leng wrote:

Funny; I've never had players roll randomly for spells, but recently I've thought about it, perhaps only at the odd or even levels, just to get more variety in there.  Sometimes for my own characters I'll have a concept where the character prefers a certain type or style of magic, but I do find that players often gravitate towards the high volume or damage spells, especially at lower levels.  Sleep, for example, can be really lethal.  And it seems like they'll always take fireball or lightning bolt at the first opportunity.

And for what it's worth, I love the diversity in spell lists in this game.  Even if there's some overlap, I do think the different spell casting classes and sub-classes feel different due to these tweaks.  The necromancer lists, in particular, are fiendishly awesome.  I port those over to all my other OSR games.  I've used the witch in that capacity as well.

For the third edition we have added in % rolls that allow for random spell determination. This is also useful for when the referee needs to determine the random spells contained in a scroll. Other situations, too. Perhaps training with a master, and the master is willing to teach these (roll for them) three spells. 
 


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

5/20/2021 3:02 pm  #47


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Ghul wrote:

For the third edition we have added in % rolls that allow for random spell determination. This is also useful for when the referee needs to determine the random spells contained in a scroll. Other situations, too. Perhaps training with a master, and the master is willing to teach these (roll for them) three spells. 
 

 
Thank goodness. I was pondering that for my web apps and such but...that is a huge task to sort that stuff out.

I had a thought yesterday to adapt BA's Random Encounter stuff (the appendices for making npcs/parties) into it's own "make a npc party" app.

Having something to randomly determine spells would be great for that.

Some spells are more likely to know/learn than others. I mean magic missile, sleep, fireball, hold person, etc are very likely to be know but having some variation creates flavor and memorability.


What? Me worry?
 

5/20/2021 3:06 pm  #48


Re: House rules and changes to rules

gizmomathboy wrote:

Some spells are more likely to know/learn than others. I mean magic missile, sleep, fireball, hold person, etc are very likely to be know but having some variation creates flavor and memorability.

That's an interesting point.  Ghul are you thinking of a flat distribution for the spell % charts or will some spells be more common than other?
 

 

5/20/2021 3:13 pm  #49


Re: House rules and changes to rules

lige: relatively flat distribution, as close as possible. Take the L2 cleric spells, for example:
Aid (01–06)
Augury (07–11)
Cure Moderate Wounds (12–16)
Darkness (17–22)
Delay Poison (23–28)
Detect Silence (29–33)
Distinguish Alignment (34–39)
Enthral (40–44)
Find Traps (45–50)
Fire Resistance (51–56)
Hold Person (57–61)
Incantation (62–66)
Invisibility to Undead (67–72)
Serpent Charm (73–78)
Silence (79–83)
Speak with Animals (84–89)
Weird War Hammer (90–94)
Wyvern Warden (95–00)


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

5/20/2021 4:49 pm  #50


Re: House rules and changes to rules

I love this.  I already do random rolls for scrolls, but this makes it so much easier.  I've thought about making my own tables for this but frankly I've been too lazy to sit down and do it.  In games with spells spread across multiple books, like Castles & Crusades, it's even more of a hassle.  So I'm rolling first for which book then use whatever die for the level spells in question.  But it's clunky.  They're releasing an omnibus spell book later this year that will make it much smoother.  But I like this approach as well.


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
 

5/20/2021 5:29 pm  #51


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Welp, I guess I'm back to making a weighted distribution then :-)


What? Me worry?
 

5/20/2021 6:14 pm  #52


Re: House rules and changes to rules

I just reread the part in the 1e DMG [p 39] that explains the intent of the rule for randomly rolling all "free" spells (ie starting spells and level-up spells). I feel it, but I think I would split it 50/50 between player choice and random rolling. It makes enemy spellbooks much more lucrative, especially if the NPC caster is using the spells on the party that the party mage wants for his own.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

5/20/2021 7:35 pm  #53


Re: House rules and changes to rules

gizmomathboy wrote:

Welp, I guess I'm back to making a weighted distribution then :-)

Appreciated!


 
 

5/20/2021 7:36 pm  #54


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Ghul wrote:

lige: relatively flat distribution, as close as possible. Take the L2 cleric spells, for example:
Aid (01–06)
Augury (07–11)
Cure Moderate Wounds (12–16)
Darkness (17–22)
Delay Poison (23–28)
Detect Silence (29–33)
Distinguish Alignment (34–39)
Enthral (40–44)
Find Traps (45–50)
Fire Resistance (51–56)
Hold Person (57–61)
Incantation (62–66)
Invisibility to Undead (67–72)
Serpent Charm (73–78)
Silence (79–83)
Speak with Animals (84–89)
Weird War Hammer (90–94)
Wyvern Warden (95–00)

Great excuse to pull out that 18-sider!


 
 

5/21/2021 10:24 am  #55


Re: House rules and changes to rules

gizmomathboy wrote:

Welp, I guess I'm back to making a weighted distribution then :-)

I think weighted distribution has a way of working itself out, if you allow for the BTB rule of automatic spell acquisition at level gains. For example, when a magician reaches 2nd level, if he or she doesn't already have sleep, magic missile, detect magic, or light, one of these is going to be a likely candidate due to their traditional strengths and utility. That being said, if you do prefer a weighted distribution, have at it, of course!
 


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

5/21/2021 10:26 am  #56


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Iron Ranger wrote:

Ghul wrote:

lige: relatively flat distribution, as close as possible. Take the L2 cleric spells, for example:
Aid (01–06)
Augury (07–11)
Cure Moderate Wounds (12–16)
Darkness (17–22)
Delay Poison (23–28)
Detect Silence (29–33)
Distinguish Alignment (34–39)
Enthral (40–44)
Find Traps (45–50)
Fire Resistance (51–56)
Hold Person (57–61)
Incantation (62–66)
Invisibility to Undead (67–72)
Serpent Charm (73–78)
Silence (79–83)
Speak with Animals (84–89)
Weird War Hammer (90–94)
Wyvern Warden (95–00)

Great excuse to pull out that 18-sider!

Well, really in this age of technology, we all have access to downloading some app that can create and number range that then "rolls" to randomly pick one. But the clatter of dice is so much more fun, eh?
 


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

5/21/2021 10:28 am  #57


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Jimm.Iblis wrote:

I just reread the part in the 1e DMG [p 39] that explains the intent of the rule for randomly rolling all "free" spells (ie starting spells and level-up spells). I feel it, but I think I would split it 50/50 between player choice and random rolling. It makes enemy spellbooks much more lucrative, especially if the NPC caster is using the spells on the party that the party mage wants for his own.

It's a good thought. I concur. I had a player rolling up a priest a couple weeks ago, and I had him randomly roll for one spell and pick the others. As luck would have it, he randomly rolled for cure light wounds, the absolute staple spell for priests and clerics. Heh.
 


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

5/21/2021 2:06 pm  #58


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Ghul wrote:

Iron Ranger wrote:

Ghul wrote:

lige: relatively flat distribution, as close as possible. Take the L2 cleric spells, for example:
Aid (01–06)
Augury (07–11)
Cure Moderate Wounds (12–16)
Darkness (17–22)
Delay Poison (23–28)
Detect Silence (29–33)
Distinguish Alignment (34–39)
Enthral (40–44)
Find Traps (45–50)
Fire Resistance (51–56)
Hold Person (57–61)
Incantation (62–66)
Invisibility to Undead (67–72)
Serpent Charm (73–78)
Silence (79–83)
Speak with Animals (84–89)
Weird War Hammer (90–94)
Wyvern Warden (95–00)

Great excuse to pull out that 18-sider!

Well, really in this age of technology, we all have access to downloading some app that can create and number range that then "rolls" to randomly pick one. But the clatter of dice is so much more fun, eh?
 

I cannot tell you how much I needed to back at The Table again, my friend!!


 
 

5/21/2021 2:55 pm  #59


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Ghul wrote:

It's a good thought. 

Thank you. I had another notion about restricting some if not all free spells to the random roll. It promotes the idea of "corruptive magic" that some say is endemic to sword&sorcery — but in very subtle way. Say a mage wants sleep, for example, and knows the only source of the spell in the area happens to be a good-natured hermit that just wants to be left alone. The hermit absolutely won't share the spell, and in fact does not want company. The mage might be tempted to do something illicit. He might even kill the hermit. He may even justify it by thinking he'll put it to use for a greater good, the hermit isn't using it much after all. 
On the flipside, a PC known to have a good spell becomes a target for jealous rival mages and their minions. Not only does it become necessary to be careful about using your best spells, you have to worry about being jumped or robbed. For those concerned about class balance, that goes a fair bit into closing the gap.

tldr, by restricting choice, you make sorcerers far more secretive and competitive. Some may enjoy that. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (5/21/2021 3:07 pm)


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

5/21/2021 3:04 pm  #60


Re: House rules and changes to rules

Iron Ranger wrote:

I cannot tell you how much I needed to back at The Table again

I hear this! I don't know what it is about online gaming but it simply doesn't motivate me. I tried a dozen times. I'm actually thinking about games again, creating again, and I think there are probably table starved players who'll be quick to join an in-person group — mayhaps even for a game they don't know. Like Hyperborea. Now is the time to grab them!
 

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (5/21/2021 3:05 pm)


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

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