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TOPIC: Prophecy help?

Prophecy help? 3 years 5 months ago #2519

I am strug­gling to under­stand how the Prophecy mys­tery works for broad ques­tions. Can some­one pro­vide an exam­ple of using Prophecy?

It says “if the answer is obvi­ous to the ref, he decides yes or no”. Does that mean some­times there is no roll and no lin­ger­ing effect? Or is this just part of the sec­ond sec­tion, below?

“Will open­ing the door to the crypt trig­ger a trap?” “No.“

Is that right?

Then what about the less-​obvious ques­tions:

“Will I sur­vive my trek through the desert?“

This is how I believe it works, but I could be very wrong.

1. They ask the ques­tion: “Will I sur­vive my trek through the desert?“
2. They decide if the answer they want is “Yes” or “No”, which is some­times obvi­ous.
3. They make their rolls to cast and to con­tain.
4. You roll a d12, adding and sub­tract­ing from the d12 roll as appro­pri­ate for “Yes” or “No”.
5. They gain an Omen 1 that basi­cally adds an extra die to all checks per­tain­ing to that out­come (sur­vival rolls, etc).

Is that about right? So if they wanted a yes, but they got a no from the mod­i­fied d12 roll, is there an Omen the other direc­tion? One which penal­izes them on sur­vival, for exam­ple?

Thanks!
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Prophecy help? 3 years 5 months ago #2522

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stormy­wa­ters wrote:
It says “if the answer is obvi­ous to the ref, he decides yes or no”. Does that mean some­times there is no roll and no lin­ger­ing effect?

Exactly. The only rolls are the Cast­ing (and Con­tain­ment) Checks, and if the Cast­ing Check is suc­cess­ful at all, it will yield the cor­rect answer, be it yes or no. Pretty handy, huh?

This is mainly (almost exclu­sively, actu­ally) applies to yes/​no ques­tions about already estab­lished but still unknown facts in the past or present, like whether the door to the crypt is trapped or not.

Ques­tions about already estab­lished but still unknown facts in the past or present that can­not be answered sim­ply with yes or no will need a num­ber of Suc­cesses decreed by the ref­eree, as explained on p208. “Who mur­dered the crown prince?” is such a ques­tion, whereas “Did Count Igor mur­der the crown prince?” would require only a sin­gle Suc­cess, as it is a clear yes/​no ques­tion.

The final type of ques­tion is the one about the future:

stormy­wa­ters wrote:
“Will I sur­vive my trek through the desert?“

This is how I believe it works, but I could be very wrong.

1. They ask the ques­tion: “Will I sur­vive my trek through the desert?“
2. They decide if the answer they want is “Yes” or “No”, which is some­times obvious.

Ques­tions about the future are never obvi­ous, espe­cially not where the PCs are con­cerned. The ref­eree may know that the trek through the desert will be a walk in the park or mind-​bogingly dan­ger­ous, but that will be rep­re­sented by the dif­fi­cul­ties chal­lenges the PCs have to brave while cross­ing the desert. Whether they really sur­vive or not is not a for­gone con­clu­sion.

stormy­wa­ters wrote:
3. They make their rolls to cast and to con­tain.
4. You roll a d12, adding and sub­tract­ing from the d12 roll as appro­pri­ate for “Yes” or “No”.
5. They gain an Omen 1 that basi­cally adds an extra die to all checks per­tain­ing to that out­come (sur­vival rolls, etc).

Yes.

Prophecy, like all mag­ics of div­ina­tion in all games, works under the assump­tion (alien to us) that the future is more or less fixed. In the game world a sor­cerer using Prophecy is get­ting an incom­plete glimpse of this future, enabling him to adju­cate whether a cer­tain course of action is pro­pi­tious or not; and the Omen rat­ing, while not out­right fix­ing the out­come, makes sure that this course of action really is pro­pi­tious or not. (And while 1 die may seem handy but not much, just con­sider the dice­pools of the ordi­nary char­ac­ters in the appen­dices to see that it makes a huge dif­fer­ence to them.) What really hap­pens out­side the game world is that this pro­pi­tious­ness is only cre­ated through the mechan­ics of Prophecy; it didn’t exist before. And while the power of any given sor­cerer (i.e. his Prophecy SP) does not make any dif­fer­ence in the game world whether the future he is look­ing into will be pro­pi­tious for him or not, this is exactly how a high Prophecy SP works mechan­i­cally — it makes a pro­pi­tious future of the sorcerer’s choice actu­ally more likely.

Should this sit uneasy with you you can hel your­self by imag­in­ing the sor­cerer as chart­ing a course through the dan­gers inher­ent in the future. The bet­ter he is at Prophecy, the clearer he sees these dan­gers and the bet­ter a path he can plot.

stormy­wa­ters wrote:
So if they wanted a yes, but they got a no from the mod­i­fied d12 roll, is there an Omen the other direc­tion? One which penal­izes them on sur­vival, for example?

Yes, like it says at the very top of p208. The Omen would knock 1 die off all dice­pools for all Checks that directly or indi­rectly con­cern surv­ing the trek. Sur­vival is a prime exam­ple of an affected dice­pool, but so would be Stealth to hide from a band of desert ban­dits, and the even all MPs, APs, and SPs to fight any oppo­nent dur­ing the trek! Any dice­pool for any Check that directly or indi­rectly con­cerns sur­viv­ing the trip. Pretty bad, or pretty good, huh?
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
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Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

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Prophecy help? 3 years 5 months ago #2523

Michael wrote:
Ques­tions about the future are never obvi­ous, espe­cially not where the PCs are con­cerned. The ref­eree may know that the trek through the desert will be a walk in the park or mind-​bogingly dan­ger­ous, but that will be rep­re­sented by the dif­fi­cul­ties chal­lenges the PCs have to brave while cross­ing the desert. Whether they really sur­vive or not is not a for­gone conclusion.

Sorry, I didn’t mean that the out­come was obvi­ous, but rather that it was obvi­ous that the player is look­ing for a “Yes” answer.
Michael wrote:
Yes, like it says at the very top of p208. The Omen would knock 1 die off all dice­pools for all Checks that directly or indi­rectly con­cern surv­ing the trek. Sur­vival is a prime exam­ple of an affected dice­pool, but so would be Stealth to hide from a band of desert ban­dits, and the even all MPs, APs, and SPs to fight any oppo­nent dur­ing the trek! Any dice­pool for any Check that directly or indi­rectly con­cerns sur­viv­ing the trip. Pretty bad, or pretty good, huh?

Gotcha. Clears it all up! So Prophecy can really be a pow­er­ful tool to use. Cool deal, thanks!
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Prophecy help? 3 years 5 months ago #2525

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stormy­wa­ters wrote:
So Prophecy can really be a pow­er­ful tool to use. Cool deal, thanks!

Yes, it can. But don’t over­look that this cuts both ways; and I don’t just mean a very unlucky d12 roll that leaves the PCs stuck with an Omen con­trary to what they want. I am refer­ring to other sor­cer­ers using Prophecy “against” the PCs.

In the game world, Prophecy doesn’t cre­ate favourable or unfavourable cirum­stances; that’s merely what’s hap­pen­ing at the table. In the game world, it dis­cov­ers already exist­ing favourable or unfavourable cir­cum­stances. As such, it does obvi­ously work on a first come — first serve basis. Once cir­cum­stances are “dis­cov­ered” by any sor­cerer, they are in effect, the fic­ti­tious assump­tion being of course that they have been in effect all along any­way. No later use of Prophecy by this or another sor­cerer can change these cir­cum­stances. If an NPC sor­cerer uses Prophecy to find out whether the PCs will thwart him and the result is that they won’t, the PCs will have an Omen work­ing against all their Checks to thwart that NPC sor­cerer.

What comes in here is of course the rule that all rolls have to be made in the open, with a dec­la­ra­tion what they are made for. So even if the PCs have no knowl­edge what­so­ever of the use of Prophecy “against them”, as it were, the ref­eree makes the rolls in the open, inform­ing the play­ers that some­body is just using Prophecy to see whether they are going to suc­ceed at what they are cur­rently doing.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
Last Edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Michael.
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Prophecy help? 3 years 4 months ago #2568

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I worded the orig­i­nal descrip­tion of the vagary badly in the Drakkarn Sea, which has left BotIT with prob­lems. Rather than divid­ing it into yes/​no ques­tions and more com­plex ques­tions, it would have been bet­ter to make the divi­sion between yes/​no (or binary in some other way) on an estab­lished fact and all the other sorts of ques­tions. The first type would be things like, “Is this wine poi­soned?” or “Is she already mar­ried?” or “Does the enemy army march against Tiras or Ala­math?” and the sec­ond type any­thing not yet deter­mined for which the omens are either good or bad. I’d want to avoid nerf­ing the play­ers with some­one else’s prophecy — the antag­o­nist might think he is fated to con­quer, but like Mac­beth or the Lord of the Nazgul or Jadis the White Witch, they missed some­thing and it actu­ally spells their doom.
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Prophecy help? 3 years 4 months ago #2574

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Cer­tic wrote:
I’d want to avoid nerf­ing the play­ers with some­one else’s prophecy — […]

That’s a good point, and my rec­om­men­da­tions about Prophecy cut­ting both ways should indeed be seen in the light of the genre con­ven­tions of Sword & Sor­cery. Here, sor­cery is rare, but when it occurs, it is pow­er­ful. The idea is there­fore cer­tainly not to pester the play­ers all the time with Omens estab­lished by other sor­cer­ers against them, these sor­cer­ers being after all rare. In my own games, this occurs prob­a­bly once every five to ten ses­sions. If a ref­eree has NPC sor­cer­ers using Prophecy against the PCs sig­ni­fi­catnly more fre­quently, he is prob­a­bly over­do­ing it.

But I myself wouldn’t out­right immu­nize PCs against Prophecy used by NPCs.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
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Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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Prophecy help? 2 years 1 month ago #3760

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Hello all,

I have a rather dumb ques­tion about prophecy, yet I feel like it’s worth clar­i­fy­ing it.
Page 207 of the book states that the result of a board prophecy “trans­lates into an Omen rat­ing of 1, which func­tions like a Pas­sion Attribute.“

One of my player used such a prophecy and effec­tively got an Omen rat­ing of 1.
As it says it func­tions like a Pas­sion Attribute, does that mean that the rat­ing gets increased when the PC acts accord­ingly?
And on top of it: can a player “spend” his Omen like he could to increase other traits?

To me, the obvi­ous answers seem to be a dou­ble, strong “NO”, espe­cially for the sec­ond ques­tion as this would mean “free XP”. Yet I’m not con­fort­able with the word­ing of “func­tions like a Pas­sion Attribute” then.
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Prophecy help? 2 years 1 month ago #3761

When you use Omen, you make the roll and come up with a “Yes” or a “No” (or some­times “indif­fer­ent”).

So how that works is they’d ask “Will I sur­vive the jour­ney through the desert?” Then they roll for Prophecy, get­ting a “Yes” or “No” answer. Then they have an Omen rat­ing of 1, which is *not* a Pas­sion, but func­tions like one because it adds a die (or removes 1) in the favor of the Yes/​No answer.

So they get a “Yes” and then they are stranded with­out food and water. They make a roll to find water, and they ADD 1 die because Prophecy told them they’d sur­vive. Then later when they get attacked by raiders, they get that extra die again, because Prophecy said they wouldn’t die.

It basi­cally helps nudge the out­comes in the favor of their prophecy. Does that make sense?
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Prophecy help? 2 years 1 month ago #3762

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Your under­stand­ing is cor­rect. The Omen rat­ing of course behaves as a PA in respect to how it influ­ences dice rolls, not in respect to char­ac­ter devel­op­ment and how it can in– od recrease.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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Prophecy help? 2 years 4 weeks ago #3765

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Thank you stormy­wa­ters and Michael for your answers and inputs, it does help to clar­ify things.
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