Magicians Game


  • Pitcrew

    I've actually been considering a Magicians game since before the show. Read the books, loved them, and realized it'd be great for a MU*.

    I'm not quite ready to dive in head first because I'm still dealing with those damn migraines (neuro on the 10th!), but there does seem to be a stirring of interest.

    Few notes:

    • I plan to use FS3 (AresMUSH if Faraday ends up ready by the time I'm ready); primarily because I've already plotted out how it would be structured, sheet-wise.
    • It will be set modern-day, 1:1
    • Characters will be students (or professors/lecturers), can app in at any of the 4 years, but after a PC graduates... the bit is either retired, or can apply to become a professor, guest lecturer, etc.
    • Hedgewitches will likely only be NPCs / temporary plot PCs. Their structure (of safehouses, etc.) is too loose to use for PCs without severely altering their purpose/theme.
    • This means other than plots, all RP will be around Brakebills.
    • I intend to really play on the darker, more intense themes of the books.

    If this seems like something you'd be interested in, let me know. I'm primarily seeking a coder, someone who can prettify a wiki, and folks who are willing to help flesh out theme files, policy, etc., and ST after opening. I don't need a big Staff and the wiki role can be temporary, but I just know that I am absolutely terrible with them.


  • Pitcrew

    Will there be access to Fillory, the Library, etc?


  • Pitcrew

    @Cupcake said in Magicians Game:

    Will there be access to Fillory, the Library, etc?

    Oh yes.

    I do plan for the initial metaplot to lead to opening the way to the Neitherlands and to do so in a way to not just allow Fillory, but also to make up other worlds to set plots within (I would rather use this to, say, be Wizards in a WW2-like environment than to abuse the time travel devices).

    Thank you for asking- I'd meant to put that in the initial post and forgot!



  • @Auspice said in Magicians Game:

    • I intend to really play on the darker, more intense themes of the books.

    I'm interested but I'd like to know what you mean by dark and intense, as dark and intense for these books means child sexual abuse of one character and the detailed raped of another character. The books are pretty good but they don't tiptoe up to dark, so I think this is a kind of thing that you may want to consider being very upfront about in terms of what you explicitly intend to include as a dark and intense. This is information I think is fair warning in terms of players knowing what they're getting into and deciding if they want to wade into.



  • IMO - If you sign up for a game themed with existing material, and then get shocked and appalled when the theme explores similar concepts (which is usually a good sign you have not read existing materials), I don't think the fault lies with the game runner for not warning you what you're getting into.



  • I agree but there are plenty of people who jump into game themes without having read the books or watched the TV show. I can say for certain that about half of the people I encountered The 100 had never even bothered with the TV show and then were taken by surprise some of the game content. The 100 wasn't nearly as dark by half as The Magicians, so I don't think its a good idea to assume that everyone has bothered.

    And there are players, when left to their devices, have a completely different idea of what dark and intense means.

    I'm not saying don't do it; I'm saying clearly label what's on the tin.



  • I agree in spirit with the idea that people should be familiar with the subject matter, but practically speaking, labeling is just good practice.

    Some folks may assume that subject matter is omitted, for instance; some games might actually insist it not come up even if it's canon -- it isn't unheard of, after all. Being direct about what stance the game takes on it is a good idea.

    Avoid assumptions from all directions, including 'ignorance due to no clue about the source material'.

    If it spares you one self-righteous rant from someone who finds out after the fact that these subjects are a thing, or one channelsplosion from a white knight type who gets plowed under by the forces that be when trying to white hat their way through all and sundry, it will have been worth the time. (Not just for you, but for the whole game, really.)


  • Politics

    Just some advice: Give some real thought to how the learning of magic will be represented system-wise. Becuase if you let people just learn things at the same rate other games do, then the "school experience" will be lost rapidly.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    Just some advice: Give some real thought to how the learning of magic will be represented system-wise. Becuase if you let people just learn things at the same rate other games do, then the "school experience" will be lost rapidly.

    XP gain in FS3 tends to be much slower than, say, nWoD. Many games also throttle spends and require justifications for them. I will likely go a similar route.

    'Your character is better at summonings? Alright, do you have logs either showing study/practice or execution?'

    As for the darker themes- psychological distress (such as Alice's attempts to summon her brother), physical harm, etc., is very likely. In regards to rape, child abuse, etc., I would likely not push that on anyone as an ST, but I would also not make it verboten if, say, a PC wants to utilize it in a background or if it came up as part of a PRP in which all PCs have given consent.

    Those themes are there and I'm not going to reject/deny them outright, but I'm also not going to foster an environment where anyone feels it's going to be forced upon them. Any instance in which they occur will likely require staff oversight/approval and signed consent of all players involved.


  • Politics

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    Just some advice: Give some real thought to how the learning of magic will be represented system-wise. Becuase if you let people just learn things at the same rate other games do, then the "school experience" will be lost rapidly.

    Further thought on this because I actually did a lot of thinking on how to do a Magicians-style game using Mage: The Awakening--

    I think one of the best things you can do is make "Learning Magic" one of the primary themes of the game, and build a lot of it around that. Let players come up with theories (both teachers and students), and have advancement be intrinsically weaved with learning/teaching magic. You can set up schedules, have players suggest courses, etc, etc.

    And you can have experience represent what actually sticks. People FAIL classes all the time, so if someone takes a class and then doesn't buy whatever that class was teaching by the end of the course, they failed. Retake the course. Etc.

    Sure, it sounds boring, but I think with enough attention that sort of detail can really work in a game's benefit.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    Just some advice: Give some real thought to how the learning of magic will be represented system-wise. Becuase if you let people just learn things at the same rate other games do, then the "school experience" will be lost rapidly.

    Further thought on this because I actually did a lot of thinking on how to do a Magicians-style game using Mage: The Awakening--

    I think one of the best things you can do is make "Learning Magic" one of the primary themes of the game, and build a lot of it around that. Let players come up with theories (both teachers and students), and have advancement be intrinsically weaved with learning/teaching magic. You can set up schedules, have players suggest courses, etc, etc.

    So, while I do intend to make sure anyone applying to be a Professor/Lecturer sort does run scenes for classes, lectures, etc...

    It is hard to run classes. I've done it on HP games in the past. I actually, around somewhere, have an entire Divination class schedule, suggested RP 'homework,' etc. I think at least one MU* borrowed it once upon a time. But the problem was? Few players ever got "into" it. It was fun for flavor, but I think it'd take some very devoted people to actually make it a big thing.

    I'd love for it to be, I really would, but it would need a handful of dedicated players who are willing to run a couple classes/labs/etc a month.


  • Pitcrew

    New question:

    Welters.
    The books are vague on its rules and the show even moreso.

    Has anyone seen any writeups out there on fan-developed rules that could be altered for a MU*? Because I see Welters being a potential for ongoing, group RP that requires little oversight/planning.


  • Politics

    @Auspice said in Magicians Game:

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    @Coin said in Magicians Game:

    Just some advice: Give some real thought to how the learning of magic will be represented system-wise. Becuase if you let people just learn things at the same rate other games do, then the "school experience" will be lost rapidly.

    Further thought on this because I actually did a lot of thinking on how to do a Magicians-style game using Mage: The Awakening--

    I think one of the best things you can do is make "Learning Magic" one of the primary themes of the game, and build a lot of it around that. Let players come up with theories (both teachers and students), and have advancement be intrinsically weaved with learning/teaching magic. You can set up schedules, have players suggest courses, etc, etc.

    So, while I do intend to make sure anyone applying to be a Professor/Lecturer sort does run scenes for classes, lectures, etc...

    It is hard to run classes. I've done it on HP games in the past. I actually, around somewhere, have an entire Divination class schedule, suggested RP 'homework,' etc. I think at least one MU* borrowed it once upon a time. But the problem was? Few players ever got "into" it. It was fun for flavor, but I think it'd take some very devoted people to actually make it a big thing.

    I'd love for it to be, I really would, but it would need a handful of dedicated players who are willing to run a couple classes/labs/etc a month.

    I didn't really mean actual lecture/studying scenes, but more make sure that the learning is important, not just a thing that happens in the background. The best way to do this, I think, is by incentivizing scenes that have to do with exploring magic and what it can do, how it works, and, the most fun and most important: how it can go wrong.

    Magic is, in pretty much every instance of fiction, akin to science. Yes, sometimes it features artistry--poetry, painting, ritual bloodletting to the tune of Michael Jackson's Beat It--but even these art bits are always a component in a cause-and-effect effort that can go right... or it can go wrong.

    Much like science, any setting in which learning magic is a large part of it, should have as a main theme "what lessons do we learn when we fuck up"? And I feel this is especially important if you want to make a game based on The Magicians, seeing as how that's basically what the show (and presumably the books) uses as its main anchor for creating plot situations. It's always, "we need to do X but we don't know all the specifics or don't have the experience," leading to, "we do it anyway," which becomes, "we did it wrong and fucked up," culminating in, "holy shit this is horrible," leading back to "we need to do X but...", etc., etc.

    When I talk about making learning magic central, I don't mean lectures and stuff, I mean actual learning about it through the characters and what happens when you do stuff with tools you don't know how to use.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin

    Well, considering I intend to make logs required for increasing stats/skills pertaining to magic, I do hope this will occur. I feel that RPing the experience of learning (and fucking up) magic should be a feature of the game.

    So I believe we're on the same page. I just misunderstood your post. :)


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice

    If you have a clever codebeast, perhaps:

    You have a set of things you are 'Learning.' In theory most of these correspond to classes you are taking, but you can have a few more than that. You can only spend XP on shit you have been learning for x number of days.

    The amount of XP you earn in a semester is the amount it takes to advance enough to get As in a full load of classes.

    It's setting what's in your learning list that requires a justification, not spending XP.


  • Pitcrew

    @il-volpe said in Magicians Game:

    @Auspice

    If you have a clever codebeast, perhaps:

    You have a set of things you are 'Learning.' In theory most of these correspond to classes you are taking, but you can have a few more than that. You can only spend XP on shit you have been learning for x number of days.

    The amount of XP you earn in a semester is the amount it takes to advance enough to get As in a full load of classes.

    It's setting what's in your learning list that requires a justification, not spending XP.

    That sort of thing would be quite awesome, but as I have no coder at this time and will very likely be waiting for AresMUSH (I can modify and understand existing code, but my attempts to write new code tend to come out a horrendous mess)... I need to aim simple for now.


  • Pitcrew

    Well, if you're already requiring justification for spends, you can do it by hand. If it's not a huge game it'd be tolerable and less time-consuming than reading logs, likely.


  • Pitcrew

    @il-volpe said in Magicians Game:

    Well, if you're already requiring justification for spends, you can do it by hand. If it's not a huge game it'd be tolerable and less time-consuming than reading logs, likely.

    That's the plan at this point in time, yes. Most non-nWoD games don't end up very big at all, so it shouldn't be too big a hassle.



  • FWIW, I have had good luck asking for help on the code forum here. Very good luck, actually. Though my project doesn't have a dedicated coder on staff, and I'm in more or less the same boat as you are re: code aptitude (though I'd bet mine's lower, actually), it's been workable thus far. A number of folks have all pitched in and been incredibly helpful, which is a big thing. The help is out there, if you need it, pretty much!


  • Pitcrew

    Same here. Faraday is also very helpful. But you might want to be careful about Ares, since it seems really different to me and may limit your help, and certainly stop you from using stuff off mushcode etc.


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