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Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

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  • Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

    It's been a while since I've played in a Tabletop RPG game, last time was with D&D 3.5. We're starting anew soon and figured we'd look into new systems, that's when Fantasy AGE caught our eye, it's simple and elegant.

    We haven't played yet but reading the rules we did 'miss out' on a couple of things that were quite big in our D&D games, perhaps you guys can shed light on how you handle them.

    1) Attacks of Opportunity
    Having played with them so long it just seems a tad weird going into a system where you can 'just move away' from someone without them taking advantage of it. So how does Fantasy AGE play without AoO, does it seem fine, or do you miss having them?


    2) Cantrips
    We looked through the Arcanas and realised there aren't many cantrips and those that are there are divided over the arcanas. Now a mage starting a simple fire with an arcane blast from the Arcane device seems 'legit' and easy to explain regardless of Arcana, but what about cantrips like Mage Hand or Prestidigitation - which in our games were often used during roleplaying.
    They are not noted in the rulebook, nor are they in an Aracana and it seems a bit much to make an arcana with just cantrips. Is it something you would just homerule it and give it to your mages for free?

  • #2
    Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

    BtB, "Press the Attack" (p.34) is probably what you're after. It's not an automatic free whack, but it serves the general purpose. No AoO's per se isn't a problem in our games, but YMMV. It's easy enough to house-rule of you like.

    As far as cantrips, FAGE as written is a lower power game than 3.5 (most games are ). If I were to allow "small magics" IMC, I would probably try something like having the player describe the cantrip narratively with conditions something like these:
    • The effect cannot cause damage directly.
    • The TN will be set case by case and the GM has full veto power.
    • Spell cost is typically 1-2 MP.
    • If the cantrip cannot mimic or replace an existing spell (even if the mage doesn't know the spell).
    • The nature of the cantrip should be based on one of the mage's known arcana. If not, it may be more difficult (higher TN) or even impossible. For example, a mage with the Air Arcana might have an easier time making a small object float to his hand than another caster lacking that Arcana.
    This die is defective. It has twenty sides!

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    • #3
      Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

      As a long time player/gm(Other people on this thread can tell you my Credentials ),i found that for FAGE as long as you can Describe it&it doesn't copy the Effects of other spells and causes damage in anyway,just allow it.
      As for AoO-I found out that this trick works the best:If moving out of the Opponents space would present your back to them,let the Players/NPC's a free swing(They still have to get over that Defense Number,though!).

      Hopw this helps!
      Originally posted by Bladewind
      Lightsabers don`t kill people. People wielding lightsabers kill people.

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      • #4
        Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

        the novice spell level generally contains the equivalent of cantrips like fire gives you the equivalent to light, but things like prestigitation which would be basicly rollplaying a simple trick you can eather just leat them have as long as it gose with a arcane they know, maybe with the option to spend spell points to do more impressive things, or have them make a check you set the dc for that if they fail it by less then 5 to 3 they can spend that sp to suceed, with it free if they make it.
        and as far as aoo, i personally am working on a stunt chart for press the attack. where they do a competing dex/speed test to deside who is actually acting fastest, like can you cut them off or are you just chassing after, and if they win and get stunt points they can do things like trip them or make an attack,
        its a bit more complicated then need be but if you want to add aoos you want to add complication
        i also findthat it mite be able to be used for persute roll playing(along with an apposed running away stunt sheet), because i hate when it goes, he runs off, i chase him, hes already gone and disapered, how fast is he? i have a 17for speed,nope he got away, thats the 4th one this session (yes i know thats a dming issue)

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        • #5
          Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

          Originally posted by bighara View Post
          The nature of the cantrip should be based on one of the mage's known arcana. If not, it may be more difficult (higher TN) or even impossible. For example, a mage with the Air Arcana might have an easier time making a small object float to his hand than another caster lacking that Arcana.
          I really, really like this last suggestion! What I was going to suggest is basically treat cantrips as a spell, like a prestidigitation. This all encompassing "cantrip" spell would cover all the things that bighara describes and that certain tasks would be easier depending on arcana, again as bighara suggested, or more difficult if you have arcana that are in clear opposition. For example, trying to light a fire when you have Water and one other arcana. In either case, the GM is the ultimate arbiter. Either way, what I would suggest is that this "cantrip" spell cast 0 MP but the mage could spend MP to make the ability test easier. This is a concept that those using Numenera's Cypher system might be familiar with. So for example, a mage with the Water Arcana trying to start a fire would have to succeed a Willpower TN 13, which is challenging according to page 97. However, that same mage could spend maybe 1 MP to make it a little easier, say average difficulty and have a TN 11, and spend 2 MP to really make sure the campfire got started off right and make easy at a TN 9.

          However cantrips get decided, it adds much needed depth to the scant selection of spells. Whatever folks decide on, I'll be adding it to the FAGE Community Spell Compendium.
          Last edited by Otog; 6th November 2015, 08:50 PM.
          Star Wars: AGE of the Empire: An ever-expanding adaption of the Star Wars universe utilizing the AGE ruleset and compatible with the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

          Expanded Classes Playtest: Adding the Bard, Swashbuckler, and Templar classes. As well as introducing archetypes that gives players different options from the start of play.

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          • #6
            Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

            Cantrip Arcana, anyone?

            Novice - Light.

            Journeyman - Mage Hand

            Master - Prestidigitation

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            • #7
              Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

              The way i'd handle it is a series of Cantrips available to any mage. they spend 1-2 MP to use one for its duration. Cantrips will never deal damage but include things a a bit smaller scale. Light for instance is similar to Arcane Lantern but won't illuminate as much area or last as long. That's what i'd do. very simple. maybe the mage knows a certain number equal to WILL +1? maybe
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              • #8
                Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                To consolidate some of the things that have been said thus far, here is what I have come up with.

                CANTRIPS

                You can perform a feat of minor magic, called a cantrip. Cantrips can have a variety of magical effects and come with little to no expenditure of your magical energy, often only requiring that you apply your Willpower to force the cantrip into existence. The GM is the ultimate arbiter in the limits of you are capable of doing with a cantrip. Below are a few guidelines on using cantrips.

                Guidelines
                • The effect is often showy or flashy.
                • The effect cannot cause damage directly.
                • The effect is almost never permanent, often only last a few seconds or minutes.
                • The TN will be set by the GM.
                • The cost for a cantrip is typically 0-2 MP, depending on the effect. Spending MP may make the ability test easier, such as TN 11 to TN 9, or make the effect last longer.
                • If the cantrip cannot mimic or replace an existing spell, even if the you don't know the spell.
                • The cantrip can not replace another ability test, but can precipitate an ability test. For example, you can use a cantrip to make your voice sound like the guard captain to bluff the guard on the other side of the door, but must also attempt a Communication (Deception) test to see if the guard falls for it.
                • Most feats attempted by using a cantrip are at least a TN 11 that tests Willpower. If the nature of the cantrip is based on one of the mage's known arcana, it may be less difficult. Inversely, if you have arcana that is opposed to the task you are attempting to do, it may be more difficult or even impossible. For example, a mage with the Air Arcana might have an easier time making a small object float to his hand than another mage lacking the Air Arcana, but may also have a harder time effecting earth.
                • At level 11, using cantrips becomes easy, if not routine. The suggested TN is between 7 and 9.

                Examples
                • Colorful sparks spring forth and dance or twinkle from your fingertips.
                • Your voice booms with supernatural force (Heroic Arcana).
                • Small flames brighten, dim, change color, or are snuffed out.
                • You warm or chill a drink with your breath.
                • You can make illusory images appear in smoke or change its color.
                • You cause an unattended and unlocked door or window to fly open or slam shut.
                • You cause an object less than 2 pounds to float in the air (Air Arcana).
                • A stomp of your foot or staff causes the ground to briefly tremor harmlessly (Earth Arcana).
                • You make a spark that singes a flammable object or create a palm-sized flame that gives off light like a candle (Fire Arcana).
                • You make your shadow appear monstrous or move of its own accord (Shadow Arcana).
                • You can cause a seed to sprout while held in your hands (Wood Arcana).
                Last edited by Otog; 9th November 2015, 06:29 PM. Reason: Lowered TN to be in-line with novice spells.
                Star Wars: AGE of the Empire: An ever-expanding adaption of the Star Wars universe utilizing the AGE ruleset and compatible with the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

                Expanded Classes Playtest: Adding the Bard, Swashbuckler, and Templar classes. As well as introducing archetypes that gives players different options from the start of play.

                Dustin & Dragons.com: A very uncreative name for my blog on my RPG-related creative projects.

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                • #9
                  Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                  Thanks for the replies!

                  We've decided to leave the Attacks of Opportunity out of it for now, if we feel like we miss them too much or that combat seems weird without it, we'll add them in somehow.

                  As for the cantrips, we'll most likely be using them with the guidelines mentioned above which just seem very logical and fair between mages with different arcanas. Our GM will be GMing for the first time, but he's one who can often come up with logical solutions fairly quickly so these guidelines fit right in with his line of thought.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                    After reading this thread I came up with a few ideas for a way to have cantrip like powers. Have a look at the Arcane Specialties Optional Rule thread and download the PDF. Tell me if you think that might work...

                    Ant.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                      Originally posted by Otog View Post
                      To consolidate some of the things that have been said thus far, here is what I have come up with.
                      [*]The cost for a cantrip is typically 0-2 MP, depending on the effect. Spending MP may make the ability test easier, such as TN 11 to TN 9, or make the effect last longer.
                      What about this: If you do not know the arcana, it costs +1 MP. This would allow a mage without Air Arcana to create a cool breeze on the back of a guards neck to distract him, for instance.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                        What I've done is adopt the concept of Cantrips from D&D 5E. Essentially, they are free to use (no MP cost), and cause effects that are non-damaging and mostly superficial.

                        I have tailored one cantrip that fits with each Arcana. The Mage gains the cantrip with the Novice degree in that Arcana. It hasn't proven to be unbalancing, and it puts a clear set of guidelines on what the Mage can and cannot do with the cantrip.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
                          I have tailored one cantrip that fits with each Arcana. The Mage gains the cantrip with the Novice degree in that Arcana. It hasn't proven to be unbalancing, and it puts a clear set of guidelines on what the Mage can and cannot do with the cantrip.
                          Can you put up a list and effects so others can use them. i really like the idea and want to implement them as well. that would be cool. thanks
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                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAY1JteV9mQjhxamc"]Battlemap Rules based on HeroScape[/URL]
                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAVzNDRUtWT0pjSnM"]Kingdom Hearts/Final Fantasy - Playtest version[/URL]
                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpATDZrZUhXaHBJd00"]Magic Items Repository Volume 1[/URL]
                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAcHVOdVUtajJnV1k"]Magic Items Repository Volume 2[/URL]
                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAcWM5VWFhcXVZUEU"]FAGE-TitansGrave Random Character Generator[/URL]
                          [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpANUxzNHo2aDYxejA"]20 races for FAGE...enjoy[/URL]
                          [URL="https://vladgenx.wordpress.com/"]https://vladgenx.wordpress.com/[/URL] This is my new log Site i just created. it is going to have fantasy short story snippets for you guys. Enjoy

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                          • #14
                            Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                            Originally posted by VladGenX View Post
                            Can you put up a list and effects so others can use them. i really like the idea and want to implement them as well. that would be cool. thanks
                            I'm sorry, but I'm away from my homebrew FAGE material right now. I'll nevertheless try to reconstruct some of the cantrips that I've allowed the party's Mage, just to illustrate the idea. They are pulled from D&D 5th Edition, which, in my group's humble opinion, has made some fantastic advancements in developing the concept of cantrips.

                            We agreed that cantrips are spells that are so simple and intuitive that they require not much effort on the Mage's part to cast. Thus, our cantrips require no MP expenditure and no casting roll.


                            GUST
                            Requirements: Air Arcana (Novice)
                            Spell Type: Cantrip
                            Casting Time: Major Action
                            MP Cost: N/A
                            Target Number: N/A
                            Test: None
                            Effect:
                            You manipulate the air around you, and compel it to create one of the following effects at any point within 16 yards:
                            • You conjure a blast of air that is able to move one unattended object that weighs up to 5 pounds. The object is pushed up to 4 yards away from you, but with not enough force to cause damage.
                            • You conjure a harmless, sensory, air-based effect, such as causing leaves to rustle in the breeze, window shutters to slam closed in the wind, and similar effects.

                            BANE
                            Requirements: Divination Arcana (Novice)
                            Spell Type: Cantrip
                            Casting Time: Major Action
                            MP Cost: N/A
                            Target Number: N/A
                            Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline)
                            Effect:
                            You foresee a series of unfortunate events, and impose these upon your foes. Choose up to three creatures within 16 yards of you. Each of those creatures must make a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test against this cantrip when you cast it. For the next 1 minute, whenever a creature that failed the test makes an attack roll or any ability test, that creature subtracts 1d3 from the number rolled on the attack roll or ability test.

                            MOLD EARTH
                            Requirements: Earth Arcana (Novice)
                            Spell Type: Cantrip
                            Casting Time: Major Action
                            MP Cost: N/A
                            Target Number: N/A
                            Test: None
                            Effect:
                            With a wave of your hand, the soil reshapes itself like a work of art. Choose a section of dirt or stone within 16 yards of you and that fits within a 2-yard cube. You can shape it in one of the following ways:
                            • If you chose a section of loose earth, you can excavate it in an instant, moving the loose earth along the ground to deposit it up to 2 yards away. This movement is not strong enough to cause damage.
                            • You can cause shapes, colors, or both to appear on the chosen section, forming words, images, or patterns as you see fit. The changes last for 1 hour, after which the dirt or stone returns to its original form.
                            • If the chosen section is on the ground, you can cause it to become difficult terrain, forcing creatures to move at half-speed over it. Alternatively, if the section is already difficult terrain, you can cause it to become normal terrain. This change lasts for 1 hour.

                            This cantrip can be cast multiple times, but you can have only two of its non-instantaneous effects active at any one time; creating a third, non-instantaneous effect causes the oldest active effect to be automatically dismissed. You can dismiss any or all of the active effects with a minor action.
                            Last edited by TheGreyWulf; 8th December 2015, 02:08 AM. Reason: Changed the 1d4 to 1d3

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                            • #15
                              Re: Coming from D&D 3.5 - No AoO and how do you handle cantrips?

                              Well one way of doing this is to provide cantrips for each Arcana. They would require an Intelligence (appropriate focus) roll, and cost 1 Magic point per attempt. Cantrips should be reasonably free form, not replicate a particular spell, and be relatively minor and non-damaging. I would totally look at the minor abilities gained from the various magical talents in Dragon Age.

                              For example:
                              Air Arcana: create a small gust of wind to blow sheets of paper around the room, or knock over a small item to distract a foe.
                              Divination Arcana: gain a dream concerning a possible future event, identify a mystery item or who owns it.
                              Earth Arcana: move small amounts of earth, such as flinging rocks or mud, detect vibrations in the earth to detect hidden foes.
                              Fate Arcana: have a lucky coincidence, or have a foe face a spot of bad luck.
                              Fire Arcana: create a small flame in your hand, dry an object or piece of clothing.

                              The Gm should set a difficulty based on the strength of the cantrip, although 10 should be used for a standard cantrip.
                              Last edited by Phantomdoodler; 15th December 2015, 04:49 PM.

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