in the Shadow of Greatness


June 19, 2002

Powers that Affect Attributes

Through a glass, darkly tosses out a challenge question: What about a Power that directly increases an Attribute or otherwise works to change normal Attribute use? Yes. My "attributes as powers" system supports a two-way approach. In fact (spoiler alert), in the Empire of the Gleaming Banner, it is exactly how some of the powers work. The Gleaming influences abilities you already have, such as Strength, or Psyche. The Mockery (a secret power that is not even noted on my web pages) works to defeat the perceptive abilities of every Attribute— playing false with information the GM is handing to the Characters. So the logic holds. It also helps with a quick answer to a question such as: What about a spell that makes me faster than Benedict? Look at the logic. Sorcery is 15 pts of power. So if you have 15 points of Warfare, and you add some ingenious spell of speed for another 15 pts of power, you now have (you don't really) 30 pts of Warfare. Is that enough? Most GMs can tell you very quickly if it is by comparison of points. But if the player turns around and says, "No wait, you misunderstand, I'm sure that somewhere in the infinite universe there is a spell that makes me move 10 times faster than a normal man. That's the spell I want. I can kick anybody's ass with that." Sorry. The real answer is an infinite universe doesn't mean infinite solutions, or infinite imagination. Sorcery can only create affects that are worth about 15 pts in the real universe. So it's darn likely you will never find a spell that makes you 10 times faster than Benedict in a warfare contest. Or if it appears that you become 10 times faster than Ben, you can be sure that there is some price that you have to be willing to pay in the short or long term. The balance has to come from somewhere. Back to you, Himmaggery.
(update: some refined phrases here and there)

Filed under : Amber at 19.06.2002