• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

PbtA Magic School

johnthedm7000

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
This move seems ... weird. I mean, it makes sense in the fiction, but from a mechanical point of view, I'm not understanding what a player is trying to do with it. Is it to your advantage to Trust other PCs? If so, why does the 10+ result have them give it to you? If it's *not* to your advantage, a 7-9 means you've both given trust and given up some fictional leverage. So that's almost like a miss?

I mean, I get what you're going for, fictionally, and extending Trust is an important thing in this genre, but the mechanics backing it up here need some rethinking, I think.

(Also, if you want Virtue to be the 'be seen doing it' maybe a different name is in order. Virtue seems pretty internal. Maybe 'Honor' would be better?)
What about Popularity as the name for the stat? That would get right to the point, and make it more intuitive for a popular character to falsely offer friendship to someone for nefarious purposes. I would suggest however that you change the trigger to "When you offer your friendship", for much the same reason. That way it fits both for genuine nice popular guys like Cedric, and for slimy little snakes like Malfoy who might be well-regarded but whose offer of friendship is likely false.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Offering friendship and not meaning it is Cheating, I would say. So Malfoy can certainly roll his favorite stat.

I thought about Teachers some more. I think I will do a Personality+Thing for teacher/staff characters and have each player play one, [MENTION=80946]Herodarwin[/MENTION] and @Tristissima and Nevermore; suggested.

Thing is likely that characters favorite place + style:

The Outdoorsperson - One cannot properly learn your subject indoors. One has to get down and dirty.
The Scientist - Your subject is best be taught in a proper and safe environment, be it a lab or a shooting yard.
The Archivist - You manage a large collection of books/artefacts/magic materials. If you teach, the kind of collection you keep, is central to understanding your subject.

Those places can allow for special moves on part of the student PCs: Get a book from the library etc. Also this choice of teaching methods can tell us a lot about how the subjet is done in general. The Personality part can provide character traits, especially which students and behavior the teacher will favor. Maybe a move for the Teacher player to use.

Some general Teacher moves are also in order:

When you teach an application or trick from your subject, name the necessary steps, precautions and side effects. When time passes, all students will have mastered it. Students who already know, may describe how they take this opportunity to decrease their suffering.

I'd also like: When you teach a fundamental principle, limit or law of magic,... But I'm as of now unsure about the effects. Handing out experience would be boring. Maybe another kind of resource?

Teachers should not teach again before every other teacher has taught.

Inspired by the new book for Masks, I'd also have:

When you announce a big test, give the students time to prepare. When the test arrives, a student takes +1 for each Yes on the following list, then rolls:
- I have attended the lessons and done my homework.
- I have recently used this stuff in real life.
- I have acquired additional learning materials or tutors.
- The presiding teacher really likes me.
On a hit, a student gets... ?? some of the same stuff you get for learning laws of magic? ??
On a 7-9 choose one:
- You cheated more or less successfully. Suffer scrutiny.
- You gave it your all. Suffer exhaustion.
- You freerode on a account of another student. Suffer Guilt.
 

Herodarwin

Registered User
Validated User
On the laws of magic how about treatjng them like tricks/anti-tricks but apply to all magic not just to one subject. The other idea is to teat it like team points in masks or forward in monster hearts something to give bonus on rolls in some situations.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
On the laws of magic how about treatjng them like tricks/anti-tricks but apply to all magic not just to one subject. The other idea is to teat it like team points in masks or forward in monster hearts something to give bonus on rolls in some situations.
I think they would at first be a way to develop the fiction. Imagine like this:

Teacher: Who can tell me a combat spell?
PC: $Fireball
Teacher: Yeah, they always say $Fireball. Guess, what, when you stand in your fine robes before an audience, concentrate and they clap when you make nicest hole in the mountainside, does that sound like C-O-M-B-A-T? Combat is running, scrapping and pissing in the pants and ... oh yeah... it kills people. With that much bad resonance call yourself lucky when you can light a CANDLE! The first rule of Combat Magic: *writing on the board* You do not cast spells in combat.
So what does that give us?

People in the know are very unlikely to try spell-casting when they are running and scrapping and pissing in the pants. But that is in a way all the more reason to do it. You know, when Sister Kettle/Path/Apple (can't remember who) warns agains cutting of your own shadow, you know our protagonist will do it. So maybe it gives access to some very risky Breaking the Rules move?
 

Herodarwin

Registered User
Validated User
While breaking the rules move needs to be a basic move rules (Cutting your shadow is a bad idea) and laws(as in it s illegal to cast spider climb on a goat) of magic, it sounds like these should be given by more sources then just a teacher teaches rule.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
While breaking the rules move needs to be a basic move rules (Cutting your shadow is a bad idea) and laws(as in it s illegal to cast spider climb on a goat) of magic, it sounds like these should be given by more sources then just a teacher teaches rule.
Why do you think so? Of course, a nice list of example rules is in order, for when people can't think of anything. But having a character say or do it is the perfect way to introduce stuff isn't it?

As for laws of magic, I was thinking of Dresden Files when I worded that. You Shall Not Kill With Magic (done), You Shall Not Call Beyond The Outer Gates (todo), You Shall Not Swim Against The Flow Time (probably done). So yeah, pretty much the same as rules or principles.
 

Herodarwin

Registered User
Validated User
As self study, mystical monolith and "common sense" are 3 sources of law of magic I can think of the top of my head. Now learning from teachers is most likely the main source but other sources will probably be needed.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Hi everyone.

Next week will be the second playtest for this little hack. I put the current state in a google doc:

 
Last edited:
Top Bottom