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Thread: Determining Moon Magic bonuses without that <censored> chart

  1. #1
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    Default Determining Moon Magic bonuses without that <censored> chart

    I am tinkering around with the Theurge from the Unearthed Arcana: Non-divine faithful builds, attempting to make a Wizard of High Sorcery out of it.

    So I get to the point where I have to start dealing with the page long rules of astrological charts in order to get bonuses and penalties, and while I have used that chart in my previous 4e and 5e Dragonlance games, I've always found it an inconvenient pain in the butt, overly complicated to explain to players and cumbersome.

    So I was wondering if someone had ideas for a mechanic that I could use to show the ebb and flow of Krynn's moons for ritual magic that doesn't require a lot of book keeping or complex explanations. Something flexible enough that I can roll it on the fly, but still has continuity night to night.
    Last edited by ferratus; 02-08-2017 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I am tinkering around with the Theurge from the Unearthed Arcana: Non-divine faithful builds, attempting to make a Wizard of High Sorcery out of it.

    So I get to the point where I have to start dealing with the page long rules of astrological charts in order to get bonuses and penalties, and while I have used that chart in my previous 4e and 5e Dragonlance games, I've always found it an inconvenient pain in the butt, overly complicated to explain to players and cumbersome.

    So I was wondering if someone had ideas for a mechanic that I could use to show the ebb and flow of Krynn's moons for ritual magic that doesn't require a lot of book keeping or complex explanations. Something flexible enough that I can roll it on the fly, but still has continuity night to night.
    Well, I usually make a calendar rather than use the chart.

    It's a dirty little prop I can easily make from excel, which I use to tell time over a large campaign. Also, it gives the players a meaningful idea of how long their adventures are taking. Afterall, if they're spending 6 months to explore a dungeon...... Maybe the their Nemesis is enjoying 6 months brutally subjugating their hometown. So, on the calendar I have images of the Moon's phases, which gives me a quick scan of alignments, and high sanctions. Plus, once the adventure's finished, they have a nice souvenir of their time together. But beware, the wizards in your group are going to want to borrow that calendar. It's not to hard to print one for them too.

    Before the calendar, I had a excel spreadsheet which gave me the exact phase of each moon, it's sanction (both Ansalonian and Taladan), and any bonuses.
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Well, I usually make a calendar rather than use the chart.

    It's a dirty little prop I can easily make from excel, which I use to tell time over a large campaign. Also, it gives the players a meaningful idea of how long their adventures are taking. Afterall, if they're spending 6 months to explore a dungeon...... Maybe the their Nemesis is enjoying 6 months brutally subjugating their hometown. So, on the calendar I have images of the Moon's phases, which gives me a quick scan of alignments, and high sanctions. Plus, once the adventure's finished, they have a nice souvenir of their time together. But beware, the wizards in your group are going to want to borrow that calendar. It's not to hard to print one for them too.

    Before the calendar, I had a excel spreadsheet which gave me the exact phase of each moon, it's sanction (both Ansalonian and Taladan), and any bonuses.
    I... I would like to work a lot less than you. Something that could be described in a single paragraph if possible. Call lazy and my players disinterested if you must, but I would still like to avoid doing any tracking while maintaining the flavour.

    Especially since I'm limiting it to just ritual magic, because as far as I am concerned moon magic works much better as a plot device (the wizards are performing a black ritual because the black moon is full!) or as a boost for mages to do wonder-working that is more powerful or more permanent (I can raise a Tower of High Sorcery with two other high level mages on the night of the eye).

    Otherwise you have fiddly -3 to +3 bonuses that are annoying to track, or you frustrate your player by putting disadvantage on him on a night when he is making time to show up to your game. I want to avoid those problems.

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    Talking The Holy Grail....

    If *anyone* has a half-way work around, not too in depth - not too simple, then they'd be pretty popular around these parts, right quick!

    While I'd be interested in reading it, I'm more of an in-depth calendar kind of guy. Sorry!

    Good luck and game on!
    Seriously; what's the point of being a minotaur if you're not going to skewer something, anything, on those beautiful horns....

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    I have used a flat 1/10 chance that there is an alignment useful to the players. So I roll 1d10 when the Wizards get to replenish their spell allotment.
    It is the spirit of the game, not the letter of the rules, which is important. Never hold to the letter written, nor allow some barracks room lawyer to force quotations from the rule book upon you [...] YOU ARE CREATOR AND FINAL ARBITER.
    E. G. Gygax, Dungeon Masters Guide, 1979.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I... I would like to work a lot less than you. Something that could be described in a single paragraph if possible. Call lazy and my players disinterested if you must, but I would still like to avoid doing any tracking while maintaining the flavour.
    Really it's not much work after you have the 12 sheets of your calendar. Unlike earth, Krynn is the nice-and-simple 28-day/4-week month. Given the 504-day cycle of the night of the eye, we ARE talking about several sheets, but once I have the template, it was really spiffy easy. The only really difficulty like anal time keepers like myself, is creating three different calendars: 1) The 365 calendar as seen in the 1987 calendar and pages of Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home and that Numerology stuff. 2) the SAGA time keeping where Krynn has 360 days per year, and 3) the DLCS 336-day calendar. Frankly because of all this calendar crap, Takhisis stealing the planet and transplanting it to a different star system sounds a lot more plausible if I treat everything as equally canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    Especially since I'm limiting it to just ritual magic, because as far as I am concerned moon magic works much better as a plot device (the wizards are performing a black ritual because the black moon is full!) or as a boost for mages to do wonder-working that is more powerful or more permanent (I can raise a Tower of High Sorcery with two other high level mages on the night of the eye).
    Then I might recommend the Margaret Weis DoaHM approach. I think the motto of the DoaHM approach is, "If I need a Night of the Eye, then there will be a Night of the eye, dammit." Then don't worry about moon magic bonuses. When you need Solinari to give a boost, then treat Solinari more like a god who is present to give help to the wizard in need. If you think about it, you don't even need one. The DL-series came before DLA. So in my opinion you can always toss out the moon charts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    Otherwise you have fiddly -3 to +3 bonuses that are annoying to track, or you frustrate your player by putting disadvantage on him on a night when he is making time to show up to your game. I want to avoid those problems.
    You know.... I thought the chart was modified so that it's a 0 to +3 bonus. it's like this: if the moons are new moons, your magic is the same as if the moons didn't exist. I.e. no bonus no penalty. But if the moon if full, you get a bunch of magic bonuses. Which doesn't help you because then you're back to being stuck, charting all the bonuses each day. In any case, I don't know how to get around the chart. the very definition of moon magic is that there's a daily magic change based on their position.
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turambar View Post
    I have used a flat 1/10 chance that there is an alignment useful to the players. So I roll 1d10 when the Wizards get to replenish their spell allotment.
    A simple die roll is a great idea with a single issue, IMHO.

    As it is possible to roll a conjunction of some sorts twice in a row, it starts to stretch believability if everyone no one notices. The moons staying in the same position for two nights (or longer, if your sessions cover more time) would have scholars and farmers and everyone with eyes talking about it for decades. It would be seen as a sign or portent for sure.

    So to avoid this, you have to keep track of when the last one was, negating the simplicity of the roll-method. Or go full narrative,

    In either case, you're still chasing after that elusive beast that is the middle ground again. Good luck, Seekers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Unlike earth, Krynn is the nice-and-simple 28-day/4-week month.
    I suppose that this would really be the key for a simple middle-ground. Print off a calendar with the 28 day months. Then attack each month with a highlighter. Use three different colours and give each moon 7-9 days of being "on". Add any once-a-year events you like and so on, and you're good to go. You could go further and split the year up, giving a different number of days each month, etc. as your complexity required.

    Game on!
    Last edited by SaygahMinotaur; 02-10-2017 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Clarity
    Seriously; what's the point of being a minotaur if you're not going to skewer something, anything, on those beautiful horns....

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    Hello fellow adventurers,

    I was tired that my DM took too much time ingame to compute the moon magic bonus so I took quite a few hours and made this excel sheet.
    You enter a reference date with moon status of that date, you select the current date -> it computes current moon status, displays pic of each moon and computes associated bonuses for each type of high magic robe.

    I am not sure I fully understood the rules, does it seem correct to you ?
    How can I improve it according to you ?


    Edit: removed attachment, see post 11 for the update.
    Last edited by HurinTheCursed; 04-06-2017 at 09:07 PM. Reason: removed attachment

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    Quote Originally Posted by HurinTheCursed View Post
    Hello fellow adventurers,

    I was tired that my DM took too much time ingame to compute the moon magic bonus so I took quite a few hours and made this excel sheet.
    You enter a reference date with moon status of that date, you select the current date -> it computes current moon status, displays pic of each moon and computes associated bonuses for each type of high magic robe.

    I am not sure I fully understood the rules, does it seem correct to you ?
    How can I improve it according to you ?


    Attachment 872
    This is great! Thank you.
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