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geki

Verse and Rune Magic vs Arcana

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Hello.

While I understand that Realms of Terrinoth is first and foremost a setting book, and only secondarily a source of additional rules, I am nonetheless a tad confused by the rule set for Verse and Rune Magic. From what I can gather, the two skills do exactly the same that Arcana does , in terms of 1) access to magic categories (attack, dispel, etc) and 2) gaining access to it (certain careers have it a a career skill), with a detriment (needing a Rune or a musical Instrument) that is 1) not balanced by any advantage and 2) easily ignored once the characters have their own item.

I was wondering why, then, the system provides us with a different skill than simply saying that Arcana can be channeled in different ways, including singing or through the use of a Rune, depending on the caster.

 

i really feel like I am missing some details, albeit small,  that makes the three approaches to magic different beside the narrative difference.

 

any help would be appreciated.

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Verse is pretty different from Arcana. It uses a different characteristic (Presence), has a different selection of magic actions available to it (p. 115), such as being the only magic skill that can't be used to attack, and the only other magic skill that can dispel. Likewise, it's the only magic skill that is used in talent actions (Encouraging Song and Dissonance). An argument can also be made that Verse can only work with musical instruments, and not other magic implements.

As for Runes, it is heavily incorporated into the setting of Terrinoth. First, it requires a runebound shard, and cannot be used with any other magic implement. Second, the shards add extra effects unique to them. Finally, most shards have an activation effect separate from them being used as magic implements.

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3 hours ago, geki said:

Hello.

While I understand that Realms of Terrinoth is first and foremost a setting book, and only secondarily a source of additional rules, I am nonetheless a tad confused by the rule set for Verse and Rune Magic. From what I can gather, the two skills do exactly the same that Arcana does , in terms of 1) access to magic categories (attack, dispel, etc) and 2) gaining access to it (certain careers have it a a career skill), with a detriment (needing a Rune or a musical Instrument) that is 1) not balanced by any advantage and 2) easily ignored once the characters have their own item.

I was wondering why, then, the system provides us with a different skill than simply saying that Arcana can be channeled in different ways, including singing or through the use of a Rune, depending on the caster.

 

i really feel like I am missing some details, albeit small,  that makes the three approaches to magic different beside the narrative difference.

 

any help would be appreciated.

You seem to be woefully misinformed as to what the different magic skills do. Verse, Rune and Arcana have access to different magic actions. For example, Verse does not have access to the Attack spell while Rune cannot Conjure. Verse has no career associated with it, you can only get it via a Talent, so that's another difference.

 

Rune is the only magic skill that requires an implement. Verse magic can be done without—bards can sing, after all! But if you do manage to get a musical implement, you get the additional targets upgrade for free!

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1 hour ago, c__beck said:

You seem to be woefully misinformed as to what the different magic skills do. Verse, Rune and Arcana have access to different magic actions. For example, Verse does not have access to the Attack spell while Rune cannot Conjure. Verse has no career associated with it, you can only get it via a Talent, so that's another difference.

 

Rune is the only magic skill that requires an implement. Verse magic can be done without—bards can sing, after all! But if you do manage to get a musical implement, you get the additional targets upgrade for free!

Thanks, that’s why I asked. I knew something was missing. I’ll go back to reading, but this helps a lot.

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4 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

Verse is pretty different from Arcana. It uses a different characteristic (Presence), has a different selection of magic actions available to it (p. 115), such as being the only magic skill that can't be used to attack, and the only other magic skill that can dispel. Likewise, it's the only magic skill that is used in talent actions (Encouraging Song and Dissonance). An argument can also be made that Verse can only work with musical instruments, and not other magic implements.

As for Runes, it is heavily incorporated into the setting of Terrinoth. First, it requires a runebound shard, and cannot be used with any other magic implement. Second, the shards add extra effects unique to them. Finally, most shards have an activation effect separate from them being used as magic implements.

So, just to be clear (thanks by the way): do the runes act as implement ONLY for Rune Magic?

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1 hour ago, geki said:

So, just to be clear (thanks by the way): do the runes act as implement ONLY for Rune Magic?

According to page 118:

Quote

If a character has Runes as a career skill and at least one rank in the Runes skill, they can also use a runebound shard as an implement and gain the benefits listed in the Implement section of the entry.

So I think the answer is "Runes only."

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So, I have a minorly connected question.  I’m planning on buying this and Genesys, but how does magic work in this system?  Looks like the various types of magic are linked to a skill, but how do you determine spells/effects/magical ability?

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Hi! This got long, sorry. TLDR: spells are made of modules, on the fly by the player during the game, it’s awesome and very well balanced.

 

There are 8 different spells in the game, each with two basic ways to be used.

The first, and simplest, way they are used is outside of combat. Each spell has a description of how it can be used narratively by the player, Curse could be used to trick an opponent or make them believe a lie, Augment could be used to help you leap further or even fly, Heal could be used to accelerate natural healing or diagnose an illness. The common thing though is that there is no defined restrictions and no set difficulty, it’s up to the player to come up with an idea and then the gm decides how hard it will be.

The second way to use a spell is during structured encounters, or Combat. Each spell has a specific basic effect, with a predetermined Difficulty, and that’s what a player can do with it unless the gm comes up with some new spell.

But for the structured version of the spells the basic effect is just the tip of the iceberg. Each spell has a table of “additional effects” that can be added to the spell before making the skill check to cast it. Each of these effects increases the difficulty of casting the spell, but also makes the spell do more.

The Attack Spell for example is a Short Ranged (not Close Combat) Attack which does Damage similar to a strong person punching someone, and it’s easy to cast. But then there are 14 different additional effects; Fire, explosions, Lightning, Ice, More Damage, and a lot more. 

So the player builds the spell from these  lists, rolls the skill check, and stuff happens. But this is where it gets really cool, all those upgrades can be described in a huge variety of ways. Fire for example is really just damage over time, it could be acid if the player wanted to describe it that way. Ice is really just an effect that holds the target stationary, that could be vines, it could be the earth trying to swallow them, it could be a sticky glue!

So there’s a lot to choose from, so what a lot of players do is come up with their own short list of “common spells” their character casts along with a nice description and the difficulty. This means that during a session they could look at the book and find the combination of effects they want, or they can just quickly look at their own list and use one of them.

 

Now you mentioned Skills, and they come into this through the allocation of what spells are available to each skill. No one skill can cast every spell, Arcane can Dispel magic, but can’t Heal, Divine magic can Heal but it can’t Curse. Each skill has access to between 5 and 6 spells.

 

Added to all this are magic implements (wands, staves, tomes, rings etc) and Talents. These things will reduce the difficulty of specific spells by adding a certain effect for free, so inthis way your character can get more powerful not just by brute force of having a better skill, but by focusing on specific spells.

 

Ultimately it’s an extremely flexible and open system, very well balanced against the rest of the game so that magic isn’t completely over powering.

 

 

Heres some example spells I made for an Orc Shaman character:

 

Preferred spells:

Fury of Galmorak (Signature Spell): Grug begins chanting in deep guttural cries, stirring himself  into a rage. As his blood races and his face darken his nails grow long and sharp like those of the feline predators of his homelands. Those who face him tremble at the sight and grow to fear his wrath. 

Augment + Haste + Primal Fury.

 

Dranurars Stomp: With raised arms Grug cries out to the spirit of earth from which his great ancestors arose, calling for the earth to rise up and crush his foes. 

Attack + Impact + Blast + Range.

 

Spirit of Death: Grug points his finger and bellows one long howling word of his ancient tongue “Yarrakarnor!!!” which translates loosely to “death comes for you”. A bolt of unearthly green lighting leaps from the young Orks outstretched finger and smashes into the skull of his foe. 

Attack + Deadly + Range

 

Mengurrs Spirit: For once Grug whispers, muttering a low dirge of grunts and growls. With hands raised grasping his his staff above his head he conjures forth one of the many Ork animal spirits to run loose amongst his foes. The wild animal spirit attacks the nearest living being, drawn by its life force, trying to consume its spirit.

Conjure + Medium Summon + Range

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19 minutes ago, Kalanthros said:

Maybe I'm blind, but I couldn't see any of the classes that has Verse as a class skil - or did I miss something?

I'm so hoping I can find local players here in Copenhagen to give it a go :(

You are not blind, and did not miss anything/much. There is no career with verse skill as career skill. Only way to be a Bard and use verse magic is to buy Tier 2 talent bard, and then a rank in Verse skill. In our game, bards are (mostly) envoys with Bard talent. If you want a dedicated bard career, then it's pretty easy to make one from e.g. Envoy (see Runemaster for ideas).

I may be incorrect, if so, please someone correct me.

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You are correct, none of them have Verse as a skill, although interestingly the Envoy has the option to start with a musical instrument. So you have two choices, start Envoy and pick up the Bard talent within the first session or two, or talk to your gm about swapping out skills in the same way as the Runemaster side bar suggests for the Mage career. In the case of skill swapping you have two or even three decent options.

First is the Envoy; Swap Geography for Lore, and pick a Social skill to replace with Verse. This gives you a really social character, perhaps accustomed to palaces and castles.

Second is Scoundrel; Swap Stealth for Verse, Charm for Knowledge (Lore), then the sword&dagger option for a musical instrument & dagger. This is a street performer, performing in taverns, running from those they swindle.

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1 hour ago, Richardbuxton said:

You are correct, none of them have Verse as a skill, although interestingly the Envoy has the option to start with a musical instrument. So you have two choices, start Envoy and pick up the Bard talent within the first session or two, or talk to your gm about swapping out skills in the same way as the Runemaster side bar suggests for the Mage career. In the case of skill swapping you have two or even three decent options.

First is the Envoy; Swap Geography for Lore, and pick a Social skill to replace with Verse. This gives you a really social character, perhaps accustomed to palaces and castles.

Second is Scoundrel; Swap Stealth for Verse, Charm for Knowledge (Lore), then the sword&dagger option for a musical instrument & dagger. This is a street performer, performing in taverns, running from those they swindle.

Another option would be the Entertainer from the Core Book, and swap Discipline (or another skill you deem more fitting) for Verse.

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Is a Rune Magic character supposed to have all the appropiate shards handy he/she needs for all the spells he/she wants to cast?

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Just now, Seam said:

Is a Rune Magic character supposed to have all the appropiate shards handy he/she needs for all the spells he/she wants to cast?

Rune mages just need one runeshard to cast magic, not one shard per spell.

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