Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Thaumaturgies Colleges of DragonQuest

Decided I would just go through and do quick and dirty reviews of the various Colleges of DragonQuest.  Going to break it up into multiple part by the original three branches and then those in Arcane Wisdom.

Disclaimer:  My opinions are my own and I'm not saying that other DragonQuest GMs or players are doing it wrong if they disagree with my assessments.  While many of my comments do point out what I consider to be flaws or shortcomings in the Colleges and spells that shouldn't be taken to mean that I think the overall magic system is itself badly flawed or broken.  On the contrary, I think DragonQuest's system of ranking spells individually and having multiple Colleges is brilliant.

So without further ado - on to The Thaumaturgies.

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Look at Area-of-Effect and Wall Spells in DragonQuest

The various magic colleges of DragonQuest have a number of area-of-effect (AoE) and wall spells. The way that the area affected by each spell is determined varies considerably with some using a radius of effect, some are in square feet and some are in cubic feet. Several of them make me think that either the creator of the spell was fuzzy on area versus volume or perhaps an editor came along later and failed their math skill check. I also wonder why most of these spells didn't use a whole hex as a base for the affected area. After all DragonQuest assumes a hex grid for combat. Using formulas that pretty much guarantee that you'll always have partial hexes covered seems like an odd choice to make.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

DragonQuest Special Damage Chart

Looking at one of my older DragonQuest rule books I noticed I had made a correction in it to the [18.2] Special Damage Table.  I generally just do the math in my head to calculate the Grievous and Endurance damage ranges and so rarely look at the actual table.  I had forgotten about the change I had made and why I had made it.  Well the table as published in all three editions has a mistake that affects two of the ranges of Modified Strike Chances.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Characteristics in DragonQuest

Like all Role-Playing Games DragonQuest has a set of characteristics that represent a characters physical and mental attributes and capabilities.  In DragonQuest there are 6 primary characteristics determined by the player during character creation from a pool of Characteristic Points. These are:
  • Physical Strength (PS)
  • Manual Dexterity (MD)
  • Agility (AG)
  • Endurance (EN)
  • Willpower (WP)
  • Magic Aptitude (MA)
There are two derived Characteristics:
  • Fatigue (FT) - Determined by Endurance
  • Tactical Movement Rate (TMR) - Determined by Agility
One Characteristic with a fixed starting value:
  • Perception (PC) - Starts at 5 (8 for Bantam 2nd ed. or TSR 3rd ed.)
And an Optional random Characteristic:
  • Physical Beauty - Determined by 4d5+3 roll.
All of these have some impact on a characters abilities in combat, their skills like Ranger, their ability to use/cast magic and just generally surviving the cold, cruel world.  The degree of that impact varies quite a bit between the various characteristics.  Below I provide some detail on how and where a characteristic is used as well as some comments about them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some Magic College Variants for DragonQuest

A while back I made some changes to the Air Magics and Earth Magics colleges and these are the ones I use for my campaigns.

Changes to Air Magics

Additional situational modifier added at -10%.
Added two Talents, Detect Fumes (T-2) and Speak to Avians (T-3).
Replaced G-4 Communicate with Avians with Far Sight.
Changed G-6 Conjuring Mist to produce more useful quantities of mist.
Replaced G-7 Summon Avians with Protection from Magical Cold
Replaced G-8 Detecting Fumes with Free Fall
Replaced Q-2 Purifying Air with Binding Air
Replaced S-4 Controlling Avians with Flight
Changed S-6 so that damage is reduced by armor.
Changed S-11 Snow Simulacrum to a ritual, R-3
S-12 to S-14 move up by one
New S-14 Spell of Lifting
S-15 Wind Walking removed
S-16 & S-17 move up by one.

Changes to Earth Magics

In the DragonQuest rules this was kind of two colleges in one with Pacifistic and Druidic branches. To me, neither felt like an elemental college so I fully split it into two separate colleges with Earth Magics being more elemental focused and the other, Natural Magics, being a Druid/Shaman type college.

The majority of spells and rituals were changed or replaced for the revised Earth Magics.  See the PDF for more details.

Natural Magics kept the General Knowledge spells of the original college and adds T-2, Pass Without Trace.  Ritual of Finding Totem Animal (Q-2) added which complements S-13 Animal Form.  Most Special Knowledge spells replaced and R-1 changed to Calling the Wild Hunt.

The revised/changed colleges can be grabbed on the Downloads page.

Feedback is welcome!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Magic Weapons and Monsters in DragonQuest

A pretty common trope of fantasy RPGs and literature is that some monsters can only be hit by magic weapons or weapons crafted with specific materials like silver for were-creatures.  In a recent thread in a Yahoo! DragonQuest group the discussion of how to transfer over DnD monsters that have specific requirements in order to be hit came up.  In DnD this is usually expressed as needing a +1 weapon or a +2 weapon or better.  So I've been thinking about how weapon enchantments are expressed in DragonQuest and what monsters require magic or magic weapons to be hurt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Using Herbs in DragonQuest

One of the additions that Arcane Wisdom brought to DragonQuest was a section on Herbal Lore.  This described 50+ herbs (depending on which version of Arcane Wisdom you have) giving information about where they are found, how common or uncommon they are and what properties they have for various purposes.  A somewhat vague framework for how much of a given herb can be gathered and how much the gathered herbs are worth can be teased out of the section.  How they can be prepared for use by Alchemists, at what cost and what selling price can also be found in the text.  Altogether though it isn't particularly convenient for use and so some years back I put together a few tables to remedy that.  I have cleaned them up a bit for public consumption and put them into a PDF on the Downloads page.

Herb Prices

The first page of the PDF has several tables about pricing for herbs in their raw and processed forms.  The top table, Healing Herb Retail Prices, is the important one as it lists the retail prices for the various healing herbs in the different forms that they can be processed into as well as what benefits they grant.  The pricing that is given in this table is all derived from the guidance in Arcane Wisdom though I added some additional cost multipliers when determining the prices.  Without the multipliers I felt they were just too inexpensive.  In addition I apply limits on how often they can be used based on [82.7].  I also added a Concentrate form to go with the Powdered and Distillation forms found in Arcane Wisdom.  In my campaign Concentrates can be used by anyone but do require preparation and so can't be used in combat.  Distillations can be used the same as potions in combat.

The other tables on this page are used to determine the prices for herbs sold to Alchemists as well as what prices the processed herbs might be sold at for use by others.  Arcane Wisdom provided for each Availability rating an amount of herb that might be gathered.  For gathering of herbs there were four amounts that may be found: sprig, handful, bag and basket.  Each one being 12 times as much as the previous one.  For my uses I dropped the Sprigs per Handful down to 6:1 just because 12 sprigs seemed like a lot.

Herb Location Table

Page 2 has the Herb Location Table.  This table is for randomly rolling what herbs might be found during a random herb gathering such as when the party might be camped for several hours waiting on something and the Ranger is bored.  Under the rules [60.5] it takes a Ranger 12 hours to find just one application of herbs but that's has always seemed pretty silly to me.  Arcane Wisdom didn't provide any extra guidance for this and I've typically just winged it depending up the rank of the Ranger and whether or not he was searching in his chosen environment.  I figure 2 to 4 hours is enough searching to get a roll on the table.  Arcane Wisdom does give chances of finding particular herbs based on their rarity and this would be used if hunting for something specific with a similar time period spent.

Herb List

The last two pages are a list of herbs from Arcane Wisdom in tabular format.  There are columns that indicate where they are found, availability and three that indicate general usage.  Nothing too exciting but it can be handy if you want to see what herbs are found in what environment.

I think everything is pretty self-explanatory but please hit me up with any questions you have.

Update: I should mention that Poor Brendan's Almanac includes rules for an Herbalist skill that is similar to an Alchemist.