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 Tarot and Implements

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Tarot and Implements   Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:01 pm

One element of 4th edition that I really like is the flavor of implements... they are foci not something that does it for you ummm that is way too awesome... it makes mages heroic.

I have come to associate the tarot suits with magical implements

Hence you have

Athame (Dagger and Sword)
Staves / Rods / Wands
Crystals, Gems, Orbs and Precious Metals
Cauldrons Cups and Liquids and Vials.



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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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Durriken
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:47 am

Where do Tomes fall? Would they be the major arcana?  Wink 
How about totems? The obvious choice would be with Staves/Rods/Wands, but a totem doesn't necessarily have to be a stick. It might be a carved animal or a shrunken head or a bag of herbs and feathers.
I imagine holy symbols crossing all suits, being representative of any of the things.

I like the flavor of 4e implements as well. I like the more Harry Potter-ish using magic through your implement far more than vancian magic. And at-will magic makes magic using classes feel more magical to me.
I like the implements can enhance magic in different ways rather than having to have things with charges of various spells to use when you used up all your other stuff so that you can artificially get past the 5MWD.

Implements are great. When I look at from a gamist/mathematical point of view, I see that they need to have something analogous to weapons from magic users so they could scale the math properly and have item bonuses to attacks and extra damage of crits and all that. But implements in a 4e perspective are elegant. They makes perfect sense both mechanically and flavor wise. They fit perfectly with 4e magic. It all fits together very well.

I don't know where the inspiration for implements came from (probably MMORPGs, but I never played any so I couldn't speak to this at all, just a suspicion), but the original 4e designer(s) who gave us implements should be praised.

TjD
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:04 am

Durriken wrote:

I don't know where the inspiration for implements came from (probably MMORPGs, but I never played any so I couldn't speak to this at all, just a suspicion), but the original 4e designer(s) who gave us implements should be praised.

TjD

The idea of items which focus magic instead of doing it for you is umm a fairly standard element of witchcraft/magical lore ... you noticed a connection to Harry Potter? much of her writing is legend inspired. This is I would say one of those concepts too old to really have a source.

D&Ds charges idea was like spells slots just ammo being reflavored...see war game roots.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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Durriken
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:44 pm

I was more referring to the mechanical changes for implements to be the spell casters "weapon" and their spells the ammo, rather than a storage for spells to cast later. And the killing of the vancian sacred cow.
The two system are pretty far divorced. And this is one of the reason many don't see 4e as D&D.
I think it was progressive. And I wonder what mechanic inspired traditional D&D designers to make this change.
There are plenty of legend, literature, folk tale, movie inspirations that make the flavor work perfectly.
TjD
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:00 pm

I love the fact that not just Wizards and Clerics (the obvious spell casters) can use implements. Monks use the ki focus to help "channel" their Psionic power. And even the Vampire class uses them to shape the Shadow power they wield. I think they were a fantastic addition to the game system.

Those people that claim 4E was "not D&D" are absurd whether they use the "lack of Vancian casting" or any other reason. It isn't like D&D had a set definition of what must be included to be called D&D. If that were the case, then nothing past the OD&D could technically be called D&D.

>Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:23 pm

Durriken wrote:
I was more referring to the mechanical changes for implements to be the spell casters "weapon" and their spells the ammo, rather than a storage for spells to cast later. And the killing of the vancian sacred cow.  
The two system are pretty far divorced.  And this is one of the reason many don't see 4e as D&D.
I think it was progressive.  And I wonder what mechanic inspired traditional D&D designers to make this change.

Implementation as a storage device creates balance issues rather like storing dailies from one day to the next could, shiver. Mechanically the sacred beef is a problem with big arrows saying abuse me on it. It seems a natural solution to go with mechanics which match up better with "legend, literature, folk tale, movie inspirations"

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:57 pm

Durriken wrote:
Where do Tomes fall?  Would they be the major arcana?  Wink 
How about totems?  The obvious choice would be with Staves/Rods/Wands, but a totem doesn't necessarily have to be a stick.  It might be a carved animal or a shrunken head or a bag of herbs and feathers.
I imagine holy symbols crossing all suits, being representative of any of the things.  
Nod -agreed - Totems symbolize the user and their connection to allied forces... same with holy symbols. The other items while certainly attuned to you and are personal are different.

Tomes as focus items are I think a modern interpretation ... but then again literacy was once considered magical itself so I'm not certain. They are more what they seem ie knowledge containers and things to learn from.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:50 pm

I too really like how 4e handled magic, I just wish more classes got Cantrips! Or that the Arcana skill absorbed Cantrips. They are so darn flavorful and just "make" a class more magical, yet only Wizards get them. Practically every character I make ends up buying a pair of Hedge Wizard's Gloves because of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:12 am

cyvaris wrote:
I too really like how 4e handled magic, I just wish more classes got Cantrips! Or that the Arcana skill absorbed Cantrips. They are so darn flavorful and just "make" a class more magical, yet only Wizards get them. Practically every character I make ends up buying a pair of Hedge Wizard's Gloves because of this.

There is a feat for gaining 3 Wild Talents - ie cantrips by any other name might smell as sweet.

I allow those to be 3 cantrips

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:28 am

There are also MC feats and some racial feats (for gnomes at least, but then again once you've played a gnome for a few levels you never play one again. Ever. amiright) that give you cantrips.
Cantrips are kind awesome though. they may be little tiny effects, but they are so flexible. Like mini instant rituals.

TjD
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:59 am

Garthanos wrote:
Athame (Dagger and Sword)
Staves / Rods / Wands
Crystals, Gems, Orbs and Precious Metals
Cauldrons Cups and Liquids and Vials.
Ki focus is the closest Cup analogue, IMO. It's described as an object you pour your soul's emotional energy into, and is linked to renewal/rebirth, the cycle of life and death and the element of water through the classes it's associated with. I always wished for an implement-based Ardent build that used them.

I think the Tarot implement symbolism would make for an awesome themed party. E.g.: the creative but arrogant infernal warlock with staff or rod; the intellectual and slightly unworldly windsoul genasi swordmage; the seafaring bard whose ki focus (needs a MC feat, but very handy for a bard because of the mix of weapon and implement powers) is the chalice she used to collect her slain lover's lifeblood; and the gold-obsessed dwarf orb wizard whose familiar is a miniature earth elemental (and whose brother got turned into a dragon for some greed-related reason).

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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:47 pm

Duskweaver wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Athame (Dagger and Sword)
Staves / Rods / Wands
Crystals, Gems, Orbs and Precious Metals
Cauldrons Cups and Liquids and Vials.
Ki focus is the closest Cup analogue, IMO. It's described as an object you pour your soul's emotional energy into, and is linked to renewal/rebirth, the cycle of life and death and the element of water through the classes it's associated with. I always wished for an implement-based Ardent build that used them.
Possibly - though that might be a closest analog. I do think that suit is not really represented well in the current 4e implements ( Although the game does have elements it ought to support ). Might call for a new implement. KI focuses I think of as almost generic and yet since I have have come to think of KI as the power in Martial Powers I am less certain.

Duskweaver wrote:

I think the Tarot implement symbolism would make for an awesome themed party. E.g.: the creative but arrogant infernal warlock with staff or rod; the intellectual and slightly unworldly windsoul genasi swordmage; the seafaring bard whose ki focus (needs a MC feat, but very handy for a bard because of the mix of weapon and implement powers) is the chalice she used to collect her slain lover's lifeblood; and the gold-obsessed dwarf orb wizard whose familiar is a miniature earth elemental (and whose brother got turned into a dragon for some greed-related reason).

Nice... I had a creative character collection that went bye bye when WOTC wikis did would like to see that style of group completely built.

Perhaps its time to recreate the CCC.


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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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thanson02
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:01 pm

Durriken wrote:
I was more referring to the mechanical changes for implements to be the spell casters "weapon" and their spells the ammo, rather than a storage for spells to cast later. And the killing of the vancian sacred cow.  
The two system are pretty far divorced.  And this is one of the reason many don't see 4e as D&D.
I think it was progressive.  And I wonder what mechanic inspired traditional D&D designers to make this change.
There are plenty of legend, literature, folk tale, movie inspirations that make the flavor work perfectly.    
TjD  

From what I got with watching intervews with the WotC crew, they felt people understood and could visualize how magic was done on video games and in movies more then the vancian system previous edition used.  And personally, I agree.  I hated the vancian system in earlier editions.  The skill system drove me nuts as well and I was happy with the changes.  When I got PH1, I was a little thrown off by the lack of "flavor" in the magic section, but when I saw what they did with the wizards and clerics and their magic, I was relieved and happy.

What really sold me on the 4E Magic system was reading the nature of Primal magic in the Primal Power Handbook.  I had some friends in college where were practicing druids with a druid community called the ADF, and what WotC described in the hand book was the same as how my friends described the nature of the cosmos from their druid tradition.  What that told me was that because of the change, you can add some real story flavor to the magic system and have it as something that one can draw on and shape.  That and it is a lot more fun to play!!!

Besides, magical practitioners in the game have used implements in their magic since 1st Edition, and not just staffs and rods.  Depending on the type of magic your character is practicing, ritual components work like implements but they are consumed and no longer usable after they are done.  They are either a focus of the magical energies that are around us, channel magical energies that are gifted to us, or they are a catalyst to activate innate magical reactions inherent within the components.  The idea that you have to labor and prep over these spells everyday or beg the gods for favors every day to perform your magic is annoying and absurd.  I can see it with a newb who doesn't know a magic missile from a healing spell, but not a experienced magical practitioner who knows what they are doing or a devout cleric who has developed a strong bond with their deity.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:47 pm

thanson02 wrote:

What really sold me on the 4E Magic system was reading the nature of Primal magic in the Primal Power Handbook.  I had some friends in college where were practicing druids with a druid community called the ADF, and what WotC described in the hand book was the same as how my friends described the nature of the cosmos from their druid tradition.  What that told me was that because of the change, you can add some real story flavor to the magic system and have it as something that one can draw on and shape.  That and it is a lot more fun to play!!! .

Did I mention I was married by a Wiccan Priestess? ;-p

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:55 am

No, but to be honest, I am not surprised. Very Happy. FYI: I am going to be sparce on the list for a month or two. My duplex burned down a week ago and we have a big mess to clean up. I will pop my head in from time to time though. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot and Implements   Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:37 am

ouch "fire bad" says inner cave man.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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