Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sorcery: Tranquil Walk Of Peace

Artwork from Dark Souls
I like Dark Souls a lot. So again, I want to tackle an element of that game, magic. For this post, let's work with the Tranquil Walk Of Peace.


So, to start off with, let's take a look at the flavor text and the mechanical effects of the "Miracle" from the game.
Outland miracle, foreign to the Way of White Slows all walking within effect area.
This miracle is normally used to flee, as it slows walking but does not affect attacks, but nevertheless defines peace perfectly.
The miracle makes enemies that come close move very slowly. Technically, the ability comes from loading targets down with 50% extra encumbrance. This is somewhat difficult (strictly speaking, I don't know how best to do it) After thinking it through, the easiest way to simulate this in GURPS seems to be to make the spell simply decrease Basic Speed as if the person affected was 2 encumbrance levels higher. For most characters, besides the insanely fast or slow, this is about 2 basic speed.
The effect is an emanation or aura that surrounds the user and goes out maybe 3 yards, but to work with modifiers in GURPS, let's just take 4. After looking at the definitions of emanation and aura, emanation seems more accurate.


Putting the analysis together we can make the following ability:
Tranquil Walk Of Peace (+55%): Affliction 1 (Will; Sorcery -15%; Disadvantage, Basic Speed -2.25, Divine, Terminal Condition (Leave Emanation, Easy, Discoverable by appropriate divine knowledge roll) +20%; Area Effect, 4 yards +50%; Selective Area +20%; Based On Will +20%; Emanation -20%) [18]

I increased the penalty from -2 Basic Speed to -2.25 because it made the modifiers nice round numbers. Annoyingly, the ability is 17.5 points per level instead of a nice even 17 or 18, but I could not find anything good to fix that. I added Selective Area to simulate the ability to specifically exclude allies from the slow effect as there is no friendly fire in Dark Souls. If you like, you can save 2 points in cost by taking it off, at the expense that everyone within range (except you) will be afflicted.

Closing Notes

A technical note about the mechanical definition of a miracle in Dark Souls is that it is based on Faith (Divine Attribute) instead of Intelligence (Magic Attribute), so for a closer 1:1 correlation with GURPS mechanics, one might say that the "Sorcery" limitation is actually a combination of Divine and Requires FP instead of Mana Sensitive and Requires FP if the distinction is important or flavorful. If we truly wanted a nice even number we could make a version based on Affliction 2 that would cost exactly 35 points. If additional levels are desired (which would make a frightening spell even more terrifying) each level would cost 2 more points (or 4 more points for the 35-point version) to inflict additional multiples of -2.25 Basic Speed, which could lead to a condition of an opponent being nearly paralyzed (everyone can always make 1 step per turn) and a disabled dodge defense (an impact that resembles the original game effects as well.) I don't usually use the miracle, but I heard it has been on-again/off-again effective in PvP. I don't like PvP, but the spell sounds pretty useful in GURPS. This is the first time I tried using the terminal condition modifier. I deemed the termination easy to perform (leave the area of emanation) requiring a skill roll to discover the solution (I'm guessing something like Religious Ritual if the purely divine version is used, or Thaumatology if a magic version is used)

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