Divination powers

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sulfurdown
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Divination powers

#1 Postby sulfurdown » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:38 pm

One thing I've noticed in the SW Explorer Ed. is the lack of Divination type spells. I'm not talking about Clairvoyance (though in the core that isn't touched either) but things like the "1-900-CALL GOD" type of spells.

For some things like a minor combat prescience, Boost Trait (fighting) could be used or Tricks (mental), but how have people been handling the bigger things?

Has anyone created or converted the Augury/Scrying/Divination/Commune type spells?
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Re: Divination powers

#2 Postby Clint » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:40 pm

sulfurdown wrote:One thing I've noticed in the SW Explorer Ed. is the lack of Divination type spells.


On purpose, I would add.

sulfurdown wrote:Has anyone created or converted the Augury/Scrying/Divination/Commune type spells?


The Toolkits have some powers of a similar nature. A quick look has...

Fantasy:
Grave Speak
Locate
Wandering Senses

Sci-Fi:
Object Reading
Postcognition
Remote Viewing

Oh, and I know Deadlands Reloaded has Hunch which grants some knowledge of the past of a person, place, or thing.
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#3 Postby sulfurdown » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:31 am

Left out for a mechanical balance?

Thanks for pointing out the other powers, those were the basis I was looking for!
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#4 Postby Clint » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:11 am

sulfurdown wrote:Left out for a mechanical balance?


Personally, for story reasons. They too easily end up "Get Out of Plot Free!" devices. If the GM needs to advance the story with some divine intervention (or some other srouce), then he can just have that happen in the story somehow without need of a "power."

As a power, they can quickly become a game derailer, which can lead to the GM having the "nerf" the ability to account for it.

Just rather give the players something for "free" when needed for a fun game rather than take something "purchased" away because it doesn't make the game fun.

Anyway, that's just me. I know Shane didn't want them in the core, but I can't speak to his reasons.

A likely game reason though is that powers like that can work, but they are really tricky and typically very setting dependent, thus not in the core rules and in more setting-related material.
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#5 Postby jerepp » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:41 am

Clint wrote:
sulfurdown wrote:Left out for a mechanical balance?


Personally, for story reasons. They too easily end up "Get Out of Plot Free!" devices. If the GM needs to advance the story with some divine intervention (or some other srouce), then he can just have that happen in the story somehow without need of a "power."

As a power, they can quickly become a game derailer, which can lead to the GM having the "nerf" the ability to account for it.

Just rather give the players something for "free" when needed for a fun game rather than take something "purchased" away because it doesn't make the game fun.
...snip...


Story level Prescience should always be the GMs perview... frankly if the characters need to get the information to forward the story then its the GMs job to give it to them, and the converse if something needs to be secret why should a random die roll determine if the whole story gets short circuited. If you really really feel the need for a character to have a 'random hints' ability just make it a Common Knowlege roll for a character with a prescient background with ritual/story based requirements. So if you have a psychic character let them see the ghosts that pass along important information when appropriate and if they go through the bother of gather people and materials together and run a seance then make the Common Knowlege roll and if they succeed then have a spirit make an appearance and give out only the amount and kind of information you feel comfortable giving out... good time to throw in red herrings and background color.

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#6 Postby quigs » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:48 pm

I'll throw my voice in on this as well. I have read far too many D&D games that have their plots or secrets ruined all because of a few well worded "Divination" or "Commune" spells, or other such nonsense.

I prefer to keep my deities distant and reclusive, making sure the character knows that even if he is a priest of said deity, they do have better things to do than sit down for a coffee with him and answer a few questions.

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#7 Postby skylion » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:08 am

You, as the GM, can always use Divination type spells to the advantage of your story, rather than a detriment.

I have used the Grave Speak power in at least one Deadlands game. I introduced it as a Blessed Miracle. However, it is not a pleasant Power; it goes against the natural order of things. So, the player can use it, but I gave the warning that it would be a minor sin to do so.

One player used Hunch. He got a Royal Flush. So, I gave the player all the information in writing about the current monster the posse was investigating. (a herd of flesh eating minotaur like bison), how it formed and it's weakness, and how to find the weakness. But, I also called for a fear check. He failed that, badly, so....he couldn't tell them anything, as just thinking about it, and going near any bison/buffalo/the monster was enough to make him go bibbidy.
At a dramatic moment I allowed him to spend a benny, and he could give away a small detail, and the possed beat the monsters, and he got over his fear. But, he always asked me if the local meat merchant was selling buffalo meat, soes as he could avoid it.

So build it into the campaign. The trick is to make it so that it's a part of the story, not a derailer. It might not seem kosher at times, but we GM's are the masters of the handwave.
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#8 Postby MountZionRyan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:18 am

I've got a player in my DLR game with Hunch and he tries to use it with some regularity.
Its easy enough to be vague with the information that I don't give away too much. Also, I tend to only give information that they posse could discover though normal means.

I like the fear check idea, that's wicked. :1sagrin:
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#9 Postby skylion » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:44 am

He got everything at once. All the information, including, kinda sorta being in the mind of the evil cultist type that made the monsters possible.

I went overboard with it, but it made for a memorable game.
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#10 Postby TheLoremaster » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:58 am

MountZionRyan wrote:I've got a player in my DLR game with Hunch and he tries to use it with some regularity.
Its easy enough to be vague with the information that I don't give away too much. Also, I tend to only give information that they posse could discover though normal means.

And if Hunch is overused, an NPC with Knack: Born on Christmas Day can really ruin the PC's day. :D
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#11 Postby sulfurdown » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:37 pm

A lot of DND and many other systems fail to account for the presence of magic much less Divination. I've personally had some sessions completely fold because I was new to GMing and didn't account for divination. I was just wondering how it was generally handled since I was considering going the way of 'pay-to-play' like skylion did. I'm looking at a Ritual/Sanity based application where you might get glimpses into the past or future but the cost... well it may not be worth it. That's the concept but I had no mechanical core to work from.

In retrospect I may not use a mechanical core or stipulate that the characters probably don't WANT one of the 'deities' to stop by for tea. Probably leave it in the hands of the insane who have nothing else to lose.
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#12 Postby Clint » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:56 pm

sulfurdown wrote:In retrospect I may not use a mechanical core or stipulate that the characters probably don't WANT one of the 'deities' to stop by for tea. Probably leave it in the hands of the insane who have nothing else to lose.


Actually, you just gave a way to do it using the core rules alone...

Delusion: The diety speaks to me.

Delusion just says that people think it is strange... not that it's wrong. :twisted:
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#13 Postby quigs » Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:38 pm

Reminds me of a recent episode of Supernatural, where this chick claimed she could hear angels talking. They locked her up, but then some demons showed up to capture her and she escaped.

Later, she discovered she was actually a fallen angel who had lost her grace. Hence why she could still hear them and why both sides wanted her.

So maybe as Clint says, have the Delusional hindrance actually let you hear your god, but people think you're insane, and maybe another cult or evil organization begins to take an interest in you :twisted:


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