Friday, December 31, 2010

Making a better Item

There was a time long ago in in the old world when magical items were immutable.  Once enchanted with function, they would never change from that.  This is how it was for hundred of years till a better method was needed.  Not because the items were not powerful, but because their creation was so dangerous.

To make an item imbued with magic required a long and complex ritual with rare materials and chaotic forces.  The risk of this process was that a item could be made of such devastating power and evil nature that it would destroy all that took part in the ritual.  And would then have to be hunted down and destroyed as it would call to the basest beings to protect it.

But in time this changed, with research into the weapons carried on Star Jammer class space ships being the key.  To make the weapons more versatile, their effect focus's were separated from how mana got to them.  This allowed the foci to be removed and a new one put into the gun changing how it worked.  Originally only used on larger capitol weapons other took note.

With the coming of the great war many were put to work on ways to get an advantage.  The Kudu researcher Glinbak Hardnut had been looking at ways to make magical items easier to make.  One day he came across plans for the next generation of space born weapon and had an epiphany.  If they can separate the focus of power from the gun...why could he not do it for a personal item?

Years went by and his efforts moved forward.  Eventually getting government funding and all the perks that go with it, Glinback did it.  He made a safer, easier, and more versatile magical item.

The legacy of Glinback Hardnut is that all magical items are broken into two parts.  The first is the conduit and the second is the focus.  The conduit is the item its self, bound to the character the conduit creates a stable path for the characters mana to be accessed.  But on it's own it has no power.

Foci are the lense for the characters mana.  They give the mana form and function.  Changing the chaotic nature of mana into a stable effect.  Foci can be slotted into any conduit item, drawing mana from the user, though the item, and into the focus.  Then imbuing the effects back into the item and the user.

This allowed a user to change foci at will, to alter his items with out having to carry twenty tons of spare equipment.  Just a small pouch with foci was all that was needed, and it was safe.  Foci them selves did not have power, so the item and the focus could be made safely with out needing to expose the creators to the chaos of the energies being harnessed.

In time this lead to new innovation in magic items.  Mana batteries called Universal Mana Crystals (UMC's), hand weapons that could accelerate a metal slug or launch a bolt of lightning.  Vehicles of any type one can imagine.  And even the great floating citadels of power on the planet Elttaes.

History of Magical Items, Abridged
Revised by Jacob Vanders, Human Historical Corp

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What odd things creep into the mind...

Or may be out of it when one is idle.  Not to things really creep into the mind...oh well...thoughts for another day.  But what I was thinking about before random musings was vehicles.  Now really...what do vehicles have to do with Manifest Destiny?

They have allot to do with it actually.  Magical vehicles that mimic reality, cars that can fly.  War machines that spit fire and bolts of energy.  From a simple cart to a 30ft tall is all possible cause it is powered by magic, by imagination.

What I got to thinking about was how much of the operation of a vehicle in combat is the vehicle and how much is the crew.  In doing so I thought about weapons and accuracy and believe I have a system.  Maybe...maybe not...not to sure.

See what I am thinking about is that the weapons provide the dice for the roll in the form of an accuracy attribute.  And the crew provide the bonuses and skill.  So really any idiot can fire a gun, and that gun can be accurate.  But with out skill, their chances of hitting the broad side of a barn are slim.

So lets say we have a hypothetical tank.  The tank mounts a very good gun with an accuracy of eight.  So the crew would get 8D12 to roll with each shot from the gun.  You then toss in some crew using the same skill set that MD uses skills for general, specialization, and familiarity.  So lets say our gunner is rather new...and between the three he has a plus three from general tank guns, but only a plus one for time with medium tank guns.  And no time at all with this medium tank gun.  So he adds a plus four to all rolls resulting in a 8D12 + 4 for any attack made by the tank.  Not a bad thought I think.

Now this leads into armor also...what to do what to do.  Two routs I can see, both are in MD really.  The first would be the usual, each gun has a power rating and the projectile provides the damage.  If the power of the attack is greater then the armor rating, it goes though.  But that leads to having to track the armor of the tank on all facings and can have armor degradation...kind of messy when it comes to streamlining things.

The other option is a simple bounce/no bounce roll.  Instead of the gun having power, it just does damage based on the round.  If the round hits, another roll occurs with 1D12.  IF the roll is over the armor value, the round penetrates.  If the round is under the armor value, the hit bounces.

Both can allow for effects like armor piercing ammo and the such...and both offer their own unique spin on things.  And this is not even getting into more complex systems like say...vehicle size, its height, the size of a turret if it has one.  That matters since if only the turret is can only hit the turret so you need to know its size.

The things I think about when I can not think about things.