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The virtues of the C&S 1st edition magic system

 
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Shane Devries
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Joined: 01 Nov 2008
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: The virtues of the C&S 1st edition magic system  Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I am currently having a brilliant conversation with a member of this forum (max) by email which I would really like to share with all of you.


Max :

That's spot on.
The 'real' feel of magick in 1st Ed. is a positve boon to the game I think, so do my players.
In the C&S 'verse magick *is* hard, and it's *supposed* to be.
The power that magick grants is always a doube edged sword, which is as it should be, and it always entails a sacrifice in either time or energy, again, as it should be.
Using spells as merely another form of weapon, and making mages just another combat class is a waste of the enigma, mystique, mythos and lore of magick. Why would you do that!?
I do think with a bit of mucking about with the layout, and a tiny tweak of the language, th 1st Ed,. magick system can be made ten times mroe accessible, and that's what we've done, but the mechanics actualy work and don't need messing with.
We eevn keep some of the contradictions, having different differetn players / mages using rule slihtly diffeerntly when there is an 'intrpritation' to be made: this has never lead to power gaming or conflict as the players respect the game, the ampaign adn the intent of the rules.
Powerful mages are simply not to be messed with. If you can get in close with them, without their layered defences and minions, they are pretty easy to reduce to mush, which is as it should be. Buuut... if they are prepared and on home ground: be prepared for an ass kicking!
Ultimately it's down to the players and GM, the kind of role playing experience they want and the kind of storis the GM wants to tell: I've playd some great D&D games, going in with eyes open and knowing the bang-zap style that was the norm, great fun! But it's not the grand mystique and epic feel of C&S, which is what I realy look for in magick in a fantasy setting.
It's great to get enthused about C&S magick! Smile

Cheers,


sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> Aye, I agree,
>
> Our group had the same thinking. In 2nd edition the designers tell you at
> the beginning of the 3rd book (magic book) that magic was purposely designed
> to be complex and therefore reserved only for those who are smart enough to
> understand it. We took this further by saying that if you try the magic and
> you are not capable of understanding it then your mage will not live long.
> Also, we felt that players with the patience to read and learn the magic
> system would be the players with the most intellectual competence that is
> required to maintain focus long enough to take it all in. Therefore, those
> players who only desire to smash things with swords and axes will shy away
> from such pursuits and most probably treat magic users like medieval "nerds"
> which is what actually happens in our games. Then when the nerdy mage lets
> off a powerful spell that does amazing things or releases massive energy the
> swordsmen usually stand back in ore. This shock and ore of C&S magic is what
> defined the power of it for us unlike anything AD&D could come up with. Only
> those truly able to practice magic could get the effects they desired and
> unleash the power of magic that in its very complex nature of the mechanics
> made spell casting rare and memorable...
>
> But typically, AD&D players cannot wait to unleash spells in C&S but find it
> hard to understand the system, they get frustrated at the complexity and run
> away. This shows you that these players do not really understand magic and
> its complexity. AD&D enables these guys to play powerful magic users that
> blow everything up and get away with unleashing powerful forces that a true
> C&S magic user (player) would not contemplate so readily or easily...
>
> C&S magic users see this as a virtue of the C&S magic system while EX AD&D
> players see as a massive fault in the game....
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: max@bantleman.demon.co.uk
> Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 8:07 PM
> To: Shane Devries
> Subject: Re: C&S is still alive
>
> It did... it's back in the latest edition, which is cool, in afct the latest
> incarnation with the magick is pretty cool.
> The inherent proble with 1st Ed remains the tme it taks to do stuff with
> magick, but we like that: we have a 2nd string campaign with all mages as
> characters, and of course they need to venture out to 'get stuff' and when
> they do, they need guards... Smile
>
>
> sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> > interesting you should say that about 2nd edition magic, I might re-look
> > at
> > 1st edition magic. I remember that edition had some stuff that was taken
> > out
> > of 2nd...
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: max@bantleman.demon.co.uk
> > Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 6:16 PM
> > To: Shane Devries
> > Subject: Re: C&S is still alive
> >
> > It does indeed have blows, great idea and works really well Smile
> > I liked the look of 2nd Ed. thought they did a good job, but some of the
> > magick looked hinky, and I don't think they gelled the idea of skills
> > properly...
> >
> > But it's all a work in progress Smile
> >
> >
> > sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> > > I agree,
> > >
> > > Tell me, does 1st edition have the blows system like 2nd edition has? I
> > > will
> > > admit I own the Red book but it is not with me right now. I love the
> > > blows
> > > system and would not have it any other way
> > >
> > > Shane
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: max@bantleman.demon.co.uk
> > > Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 5:24 PM
> > > To: Shane Devries
> > > Subject: Re: C&S is still alive
> > >
> > > Hi Shane,
> > >
> > > I keep up with the role playing scene and write for some games, got my
> > > own
> > > game in prod too, so knowng what's out there and what's been is
> > > important,
> > > but the thing that sticks with all good systems is they focus on the
> > > role
> > > playing.
> > > That's why 1st Ed. still works for us, it doesn't get in the way and
> > > guides
> > > where needed.
> > > A lot of the questions around skills were answered by whether the
> > > character
> > > would know / perform such things.
> > > There are lots of good systems out there, but none evoke teh sense of
> > > history, accuracy and devotion that 1st Ed. does for us.And we just
> > > *love*
> > > the combat system, which a lot of people are not fans of.
> > > I'm really hoping C&S gets back off the ground with Brittannia again and
> > > wish there was some way to help...
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > >
> > >
> > > sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> > > > Sweet,
> > > >
> > > > Knowing that there are still groups out there playing 1st edition over
> > > > all
> > > > of the others really satisfies me. I play 2nd edition but having
> > > > groups
> > > > still playing 1st edition is a step back in time or more to the point,
> > > > bringing history to the 21st century. It shows that you don't need
> > > > these
> > > > new
> > > > systems, you can have fun and enjoy what is a classic and original
> > > > game.
> > > > You
> > > > do not need to own a new modern system to enjoy role-playing !!
> > > >
> > > > Well done,
> > > > Shane
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: max@bantleman.demon.co.uk
> > > > Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 3:23 PM
> > > > To: Shane Devries
> > > > Subject: Re: C&S is still alive
> > > >
> > > > Hi Shane,
> > > >
> > > > Yeah, 1st Ed. I've made the combat a wee bit streamlined, but also
> > > > added
> > > > in
> > > > a couple of bits. Magick is 'as is' and works fine: we've never seen
> > > > the
> > > > problems people have with 1st Ed. Magick, all groovy for us Smile
> > > > It is a very role-playing heavy game, so we don;t really need much
> > > > crunch
> > > > from the rules... revolution is afoot though! I'm thinking of working
> > > > in
> > > > the
> > > > skills system from Chaosium's BRP, it's a natural fit with C&S and can
> > > > sit
> > > > discretely along side the combat and Magick without needing changes to
> > > > them.
> > > > But we'll see Smile
> > > > (I also run a lot of CoC, hence the liking for BRP...)
> > > >
> > > > Cheers! Smile
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> > > > > Hi Max,
> > > > >
> > > > > Now that is indeed very special. My C&S games started in 1983 with
> > > > > 2nd
> > > > > edition so you are one of the original 1st edition players which is
> > > > > still
> > > > > going? that is a feat and a half. You should write about it on the
> > > > > forum,
> > > > > I
> > > > > for one would like to hear how your system evolved and what about
> > > > > 1st
> > > > > edition you guys liked or modified and what you may have introduced
> > > > > from
> > > > > later versions or other games?
> > > > >
> > > > > gratz max
> > > > >
> > > > > Regards,
> > > > > Shane
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > > From: max@bantleman.demon.co.uk
> > > > > Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:09 PM
> > > > > To: sdev2749@optusnet.com.au
> > > > > Subject: Re: C&S is still alive
> > > > >
> > > > > Chers Shane Smile
> > > > >
> > > > > Koptis, my C&S campaign started in 1979 still rolls on...
> > > > >
> > > > > C&S is pretty flippin special! Smile
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > sdev2749@optusnet.com.au wrote:
> > > > > > Hey all,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > My aim is to keep C&S players and GM's as united as I can to
> > > > > > ensure
> > > > > > the
> > > > > > g=
> > > > > > ame we all love continues to live. So this email is just to let
> > > > > > you
> > > > > > know
> > > > > > =
> > > > > > the C&S forum is still alive and well. I hope to see you guys here
> > > > > > and
> > > > > > he=
> > > > > > lp contribute and keep us all up to date with your games and what
> > > > > > is
> > > > > > goin=
> > > > > > g on.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Regards,
> > > > > > Shane
> > > > > >
> > > > > > If you are receiving this email in error as you are not a member
> > > > > > of
> > > > > > the
> > > > > > f=
> > > > > > orum, or if you wish to disable your account, then please click
> > > > > > the
> > > > > > follo=
> > > > > > wing link
> > > > > >
> > > > > > http://chivalrysorcery.myfastforum.org/disableaccount.php
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
>
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Hack, Slay, NO Role-Play !!


Last edited by Shane Devries on Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

please feel free to chime in if and when you feel like it... Wink
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shane Devries wrote:
Hi guys,

I am currently having a brilliant conversation with a member of this forum (max) by email which I would really like to share with all of you.


Max wrote:

That's spot on.
The 'real' feel of magick in 1st Ed. is a positve boon to the game I think, so do my players.
In the C&S 'verse magick *is* hard, and it's *supposed* to be.
The power that magick grants is always a doube edged sword, which is as it should be, and it always entails a sacrifice in either time or energy, again, as it should be.
Using spells as merely another form of weapon, and making mages just another combat class is a waste of the enigma, mystique, mythos and lore of magick. Why would you do that!?
I do think with a bit of mucking about with the layout, and a tiny tweak of the language, th 1st Ed,. magick system can be made ten times mroe accessible, and that's what we've done, but the mechanics actualy work and don't need messing with.
We eevn keep some of the contradictions, having different differetn players / mages using rule slihtly diffeerntly when there is an 'intrpritation' to be made: this has never lead to power gaming or conflict as the players respect the game, the ampaign adn the intent of the rules.
Powerful mages are simply not to be messed with. If you can get in close with them, without their layered defences and minions, they are pretty easy to reduce to mush, which is as it should be. Buuut... if they are prepared and on home ground: be prepared for an ass kicking!
Ultimately it's down to the players and GM, the kind of role playing experience they want and the kind of storis the GM wants to tell: I've playd some great D&D games, going in with eyes open and knowing the bang-zap style that was the norm, great fun! But it's not the grand mystique and epic feel of C&S, which is what I realy look for in magick in a fantasy setting.
It's great to get enthused about C&S magick! Smile

Cheers,
>



I agree totally, C&S magic is not for the faint hearted and should be treated with respect. Sure you can have fun playing AD&D and do things that you cannot so readily do in C&S but when you have more of what you desire then what you desire becomes undesirable.

Meaning, you get bored. With C&S magic, because it is so hard to perform it is much more memorable when a complex spell goes off. The magic user feels very empowered that he was able to manipulate powerful elemental or arcane forces that are so hard to control while the awe of the rest of the players around the table add to his/her newly found respect.

When the mage becomes very adept at what he does that respect builds. However, I have also seen the opposite effects of mage characters who consistently fail at what they attempt which actually adds to the experience just as much. The typical, "sorcerer's apprentice" comes to mind here where anything and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. The player gets laughs and ridicule and is not taken so seriously. However, this ridicule and poking fun of actually adds to the shock and awe when that player eventually get off that powerful spell that has the desired effect. The players around the table look at each other in disbelief and newly found stunned admiration. The mage player gains the respect he/she deserves and becomes a powerful member of the party.

I have seen this happen many times over the past 28 years on my experience with C&S and I will continue to see the same events hopefully over the next 28 years, god willing  Razz
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RheinHart



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
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Location: Levin, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may Not have played C & S second edition, but I can remeber the first time i decided to be a Generalist in 3rd ed, that 1 out of 10 spells i cast actually worked. I think that would have been like 1 spell a game session till I got to a higher level. Or I'm really crap at rolling dice
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Don Holt



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 148


Location: NC, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my game is undergoing a schedule change, so we are working through the details of that.

But, as so far not written up, the group of players I now have each have 2 characters, a fighter'ish type and mage. We've had an adventure in Archeon with the fighters, and now the mages are headed to Thorien Lands and perhaps beyond.

So I, too, have been reviewing the magic rules, as the players are becoming more and more interested in how that systems work.
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RheinHart



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Location: Levin, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The game where I had the genaralist each player had a mage of some sort and a fighter of some sort, the fighters were the body guards of the mages.
The mages were in a mage community and every so often would go out on an adventure taking some of the fighters with them. Was in the style of Ares Magika using C&S Rules
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Vault keeper



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 49


Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The magick system in C&S 1st edition is more detailed and complex than 2nd edition?

I'm asking beccause i started with 2nd edition and don't know much about the first..

I used to think they were pretty the same, but it seems to me i was wrong..
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi VK,

Nah, not really, the 1st edition magic system had a couple of rules mechanics and tables that were left out of 2nd edition. 1st edition had what they called a, "Concentration Level" and also a table based on wizards groups etc. The White Lodge and several others. This really aided the GM growth mage groups with their own hierarchies that gave depth to the game. This was left of of 2nd and it was a real pity we felt.

Did not stop us using though before we switch to Harn's magical societies. We still use C&S magic system but the Harn societies suited that world.

I am sure the 1st edition players can enlighten us more so on the differences... Wink
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Don and Rheinhart,

I have done what you have done also. The only difference is that each player still plays a single character unless they play a Mage or Cleric. If they play either of these two classes I allow them to also play a single fighter type bodyguard character as well. We noticed that mages and clerics died a great deal in our games because other players neglected them in combat situations. These characters became vulnerable and suffered. Allowing the players to have "secondary" bodyguards of any fighter type who are obviously devoted to the well being and preservation of the life of the mage or cleric really helped out games.

From this flowed the idea of everyone being able to create secondary characters as back-ups that can go on adventures while the primary "main" character might be doing downtime of some kind. This also enabled players to gain experience with different character types and build attachments to these secondary characters. If and when their mains died the secondary became the main (primary) character and a new back-up (secondary) was created...

works very well for us  Wink
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taustin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a long time since I've looked at 2nd edition, but as I recall, there was some streamlinging in some of the mechanics. Wasn't the "standard" mechanics for learning a spall based on enhancing to a 100% chance of success, with some fairly simple mechanism for learning faster, but with some chance of failure? 1st edition allowed basically the same, but with more steps to get there.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aye, you could speed up the process by reducing the days. However, this is risky with a deduction reducing the 100% downards depending on how much faster you wish to speed up the process. Damned good rule actually.
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taustin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was really the same game mechanics in both. 2nd just pre-computed the 100% level for you in a simple formula. There were, I believe, a few extra options in 1st, or at least extra steps, for screwing yourself, is all.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another mechanic left out of 2nd edition was the "Concentration Level". We do not have this in 2nd edition and I never quite understood why it was left out.


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