Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Atlantean RPG Classes, Part II; Also Magic

When I originally planned to write about the Atlantean RPG, it seemed to me that the best way to talk about classes was to start simple and move into more complex stuff, so single-classed non-spellcasters first, then dual-classed non-spellcasters, then single-classed spellcasters, then dual-classed spellcasters.  And in first planning this, I did a quick mental rundown of the dual-classed non-spellcasters, thinking "So, there's the Assassin, the Bounty Hunter, and the Corsair off the top of my head.  There's bound to be at least that many I'm not thinking of, and that should be enough for one post".  As it happens, that's the complete list.  So today, I'm going to talk about the three of those, and then briefly describe the different magic styles and the single-classed casters associated with them (for those that have them...Sorcery and High Magic are only used by dual-classed casters).  This will be quite a bit longer than I intended for the second post on classes, but three classes is just too short, I think, especially since, being dual-classed, they're practically described just by listing the single-classes they're comprised of.  So, without further ado:

The Assassin is a Spy/Martial Artist dual-class, combining some of the sneakiness of Spies and some of the acrobatics of Martial Artists.  As they gain levels, they also learn to make Toxic Powders as well as Venoms and Poisons. Unsurprisingly, Assassins get the Assassinate ability of Spies.

The Bounty Hunter is a Spy/Hunter dual-class, combining sneakiness and trap-setting abilities in both urban and rural environments.  They also get the Assassinate ability of Spies, as well as the Waylay ability (as described in the last post under Rogues.

Lastly, for our non-spell-users, the Corsair is a Rogue/Warrior cross, with a nautical focus.  They have Swimming and Basic Seamanship as standard abilities, and learn Navigation and Cartography as they level up.  They also have the Waylay and Backstab abilities of Rogues.  Rogue/Warrior is apparently the obvious choice for pirates, since most of the NPCs in Paizo's Skull and Shackles adventures are Fighter/Thief multi-classed; this made it very easy to convert.

Starting in on the magic styles, Astrology focuses mainly on fortune-telling/analysis and zodiac-based power-ups.  Some examples of the former are Detect Magic and Locate Object at lower levels, with Chiromancy (analysis of any diseases, poisons, infestations, or magic a creature is affected by) and Crystalomancy (scrying with a crystal ball) at mid-levels, and Prophecy (seeing the future on a given topic, which will always happen) at the highest level.  Zodiac-based powers include Initiative of Aries (immunity to surprise) and Lesser Incantation of the Moon (darkness) at lower levels, Courage of Leo (immunity to fear) and Fire Sign (a multipurpose spell similar to Fireball, but allowing the extinguishing of fires and dispelling of ice or water barriers as well) at mid-levels, and Greater Incantation of Jupiter (banishing summoned creatures) and Restorative Power of Pisces (Raise Dead) at the highest level.

The Astrologer is the single-classed caster specializing in Astrology.  Astrologers begin with Chirography (copying maps and writings ability), Linguistics, and Magical Mixtures in addition to spell-casting.  As they level up they learn Decipher and Ancient Lore, as well as several magical skills similar to the alchemical ones described in the last post.  Scrolls skill is fairly self-explanatory, allowing creation of spell scrolls in about an hour apiece.  Runes take an hour to engrave, and are usually placed on weapons or a staff or wand.  Most Runes allow a bonus to a saving throw, although there are other effects possible; for example the Rune of War gives a bonus to hit and damage, the Rune of Good allows the user to detect Black Magic, and the Rune of Travel prevents the wielder from becoming lost.  Minor Magic Items take over a month to create and at least 1000 GP of materials, depending on the exact item being enchanted and the powers bestowed on it.  They function similarly to a Ring of Spell Storing.  Rods, Staves, and Wands are also spell storing items, but have more than one charge.  They take at least a month and up to 2 1/2 months to make, and cost anywhere from 1000 to 6000 GP to produce.  Greater Magic Items are those that produce spell-like effects, but do not use charges or require knowledge of spell-casting to use.  They include Amulets, Rings, and Miscellaneous Magic Items.  Lastly, an Astrologer who builds an observatory can cast one extra spell per day (level+3 instead of level+2).

Black Magic focuses on curses, the undead, and demons or devils.  Examples include Circle of Darkness, Mists of Sleep, and Summon Undead at lower levels, Necromantic Shape Change (into a wolf, bat, or gaseous cloud), Contact Lower Plane (similar to D&D's Contact Higher Plane), and Summon Greater Demon/Devil at mid-levels, and Destruction (similar to Disintegration), Ghost Wind (creating a movable area 100' on a side that causes permanent insanity to those caught within), and Summon Arch Demon/Devil at the highest levels.  Practitioners of Black Magic cannot learn Divine Magic, and vice versa.

The spell-casting class specializing in Black Magic is the Necromancer.  Necromancers can make a pact with an arch demon or devil, gaining greater powers at the cost of greater degrees of servitude.  They are also able to turn or befriend undead, and turn spirit beings as a Priest turns undead.  Necromancers don't start with a wide range of skills, but learn to make Toxic Powders, Venoms and Poisons, Scrolls, Minor Magic Items, Rods, Staves, and Wands, and Greater Magic Items as they level up.  They also learn Necromantic Rituals allowing them to create an Accursed Temple (attracting up to 13 undead or demonic/devilish servitors) and Necromantic Golems, and Advanced Necromantic Rituals allowing the creation of skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights, mummies, sahu (spellcasting mummies), and a Necromantic Bell which summons the shade of an ancient Necromancer who will answer questions for the summoner.  Lastly, a slain Necromancer will return after 13 days as an undead creature to carry on with his work.

Divine Magic is the magic of the gods (including evil gods...many evil high priests dealing with undead cults are best modeled by Necromancers).  Divine Magic is similar to D&D's Clerical magic, dealing mostly with healing, power-ups, and opposition to demons and devils.  At lower levels, practitioners can use Blessing, Faith Healing (heals 4 points of damage per level of the caster), and other similar spells.  Mid-level spells include Lesser Invocation (summons a lesser servant of his diety), Safe Passage (complete protection to anyone traveling along a 1' by 100' path), and Spiritual Shield (immunity to possession, mind control, and magical detection).  At the highest levels, a Divine Magic practitioner can cast Awe (those who fail their save will not attack the caster, and only the most depraved who make their save will do so), Omniscience (combining the effects of Detect Magic, Locate Object, Detect Good/Evil, and several other similar spells), and Miracle (raises dead regardless of the condition of the body or how long they've been dead, restores the target to perfect health, prevents a natural disaster, or any of several other effects).

Priests are the wielders of Divine Magic.  In addition to their spells and the ability to turn undead, Priests can convert others to their faith, gaining allies and experience points in the process.  As they level up, Priests learn to create Holy Items (including Holy Oil which gives a bonus to saves, Holy Symbols, Holy Water, etc), Magical Mixtures, Scrolls, Rods, Staves, and Wands, Golems, and Greater Magic Items.  They also are able to create Magical Weapons and Armor, taking one month plus one month per plus or spell-like power added.

Elemental Magic is the magic of nature (plants and animals) and the four classical elements.  At low levels, casters can learn Animal Mimicry, Fog, and Warpwood.  At mid-levels, Speak With Plants, Control Winds, and Plague of Locusts are available.  At the highest levels, casters can Pass Through Earth and Stone, Summon True Elementals, and create a Tempest covering an area 1000' square and sinking small to medium sized boats, smashing small wooden buildings, extinguishing fires, panicking animals, and causing 1-6 damage per minute to all in the area.

Single-classed wielders of Elemental Magic are Druids.  In addition to their spells, Druids start out able to shape change into animals, speak animal languages, speak the languages of fairy folk and other woodland creatures like centaurs, and pass through terrain without a trace.  As they level up, they learn to make Herbal Remedies, Herbal Elixirs, Runes, Scrolls, Rods, Staves, and Wands, and Greater Magic Items.

Enchantment is the generic "magic-user" spell list, primarily focused on conjuring and illusions.  Low level spells include Charm, False Dweomer, and Levitation.  At mid-levels, casters can Conjure Fire (either a Fireball or a Wall of Fire), Animate Object, or Disappear (functionally similar to D&D's Dimension Door).  High level casters are able to use The Grand Illusion (1000' cubic illusion involving any visible, audible, olfactory, or thermal elements desired), The Great Conjuration (creating any kind of building up to a 100' cube), and Major Enchantment (making another spell permanent).

The Magician is the Enchantment specialist.  They have a chance to Detect Illusion and Detect Conjuration just by observation.  They start out knowing how to make Magical Mixtures, and learn about Toxic Powders, Philtres, Potions, Minor Magic Items, Scrolls, Rods, Staves, and Wands, Greater Magic Items, and Magical Weapons and Armor as they level up.

High Magic deals with symbols, glyphs, and words of power.  At lower levels, casters can Spellbind enemies (similar to Hold Person), command a door or container to Open (similar to Knock), or use a Minor Evocation to summon a minor spirit, demon, or devil.  At mid-levels, they can command a target to Answer a question truthfully, use a Word of Guard to protect against any sort of magical control, or use a Sphere of Confusion to throw anyone within 20' into stuporous disarray.  The highest level casters are able to force a creature to reveal its True Name or trap undead creatures, demons, or devils in a Spell of Eternal Confinement.  There are no single-classed wielders of High Magic, so we'll see more details on users of this magic style in a later post.

Low Magic involves negotiation and alliances with spirits of nature or ancestors (which are different from undead spirits, I guess).  At low levels, casters can heal using a small doll made of grass and Image Magic I, run without tiring with Fast Traveling, and leave their physical body and travel anywhere on the material plane with Spirit Self.  Mid-level casters can make their allies immune to fear with a Song of Courage, use a crystal to scry with Seeing Stone, and speak with the dead with Spirit Contact.  Casters of the highest levels can Exorcise Spirits, trap the soul of an enemy in an animal or rock with Soul Transference, and restore a recently slain ally to life with Recall Spirit.

Shamans are single-classed Low Magic practitioners.  They are able to bind spirits to themselves in a process similar to Priests' turning undead, and release them later to perform a service.  They can also see into the spirit world (seeing spirits and astral and ethereal creatures), but can't see into the material world at the same time.  As Shamans level up, they gain various woodcraft skills as well as Herbal Remedies, Toxic Powders, Venoms and Poisons, Magical Mixtures, Runes, Minor Magic Items, Rods, Staves, and Wands, Greater Magic Items, and Magical Weapons and Armor.

Mysticism is the unlocking of the powers of the mind.  At lower levels, casters can detect alignments via Aura Reading, function normally in darkness, fog, or when blinded using Inner Vision, or Transcend Hunger and Thirst.  At mid-levels, Mysticism practitioners can increase their strength score through Inner Strength, block mental attacks with a Psychic Shield, and foresee danger with a Sixth Sense.  At the highest levels, they can issue a Mass Telepathic Command, summon spirits, demons, or devils with a Mantric Invocation, or astrally project and still maintain control of their physical body with Bilocation.

Mystics are the specialized casters of Mysticism, filling a similar niche to Priests.  Mystics who take an oath of non-violence receive a bonus to XP as long as they don't physically attack any living beings (use of spells on living beings is okay; anything goes when fighting unliving opponents).  They are able to turn undead like Priests.  Their starting skills are limited, but as they level up, they learn to make Herbal Remedies, Holy Items, Scrolls, Rods, Staves, and Wands, and Greater Magic Items.

Sorcery is the most scientific of the magic styles, or I should say, the most sci-fi; where an Elemental Magic caster might conjure a wall of fire, a Sorcerer creates a Force Shield.  At lower levels, available spells include Infra-Vision, Hypnosis, and Structural Analysis (to find unsafe passageways, rotten ropes, etc and determine how much weight they can safely hold).  Mid-level spells include Magnetic Field (to attract or repel metal), Sonic Blast (to stun enemies; also breaks glassware), and Disperse Energy (to reduce damage from magical or elemental attacks).  The highest level Sorcerers can Reverse Time, create a bold of Negative Energy capable of disintegrating enemies, or create a permanent Sorcerer's Gate leading to any desired location.  As Sorcerers are dual-classed spellcasters, I'll cover them in more detail in the next post.

So, one more post on classes, and I think the Arcanum will be pretty well covered.  The other books of this RPG won't take so long to go over, maybe one or two posts each.  I'm still working on this wave project, slowly but surely.  I went back to rework my numbers after deciding I was kind of doubling up on a particular input which was causing my wave heights to be crazy high.  Luckily, a lot of what I need to do is just adjust some spreadsheet entries so maybe I'll have something to post on that topic fairly soon.  I hope to get this wave project done soon...it really is getting kind of tedious.  I didn't know it would turn into such a can of worms.

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