Weird Scientists

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Slimcreeper
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Weird Scientists

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun May 05, 2019 9:17 pm

Hey - questions:

The design philosophy behind Weird Scientists is that they get a Professional Skill that is essentially an enchanting spell casting skill specializing in one kind of product, right?

Does that mean that Craft Device is essentially only available to Weird Scientists, and does nothing but create magical items? Could a Mage or Medium get Craft Device as a free skill and create magical devices? Anyone who is magically active could get Alchemy and create the standard healing potions and the like, but not cast spells into the potion, right?

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Andrew1879
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Andrew1879 » Sun May 05, 2019 10:34 pm

Craft Device is indeed available to anyone who's magically active. Herons get it as their Profession Skill, with all the baggage that entails. Yes, a Mage or a Medium could learn Craft Device as a Free Skill. They wouldn't be able to take it up past Rank 10, or spend Karma on it. And yes, Alchemy is similarly available, as is Spellcasting, and someone who was willing to put their Free Skills into it could in fact create potions and enchant them with spells. They would never be as good at it as a Newtonian, who gets Alchemy as their Profession Skill. BTW, the Players Companion has Variants for the Professions, which includes reshuffled Weird Scientist Skill lists for the Newtonian and Promethean.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am

Andrew1879 wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 10:34 pm
And yes, Alchemy is similarly available, as is Spellcasting, and someone who was willing to put their Free Skills into it could in fact create potions and enchant them with spells.
I just want to nail this down so I am sure I understand. For all I know I have this 100% messed up, So please correct me where I am wrong. As I am writing this I have been trying to look up the answers, but for the most part have not had any luck.

So first off I assume the reverse is not true. The special rules for Weird Scientists specify that they never cast spells and that while they need to "use Magic Theory to learn powers and spell effects from grimoires and other texts and record them in their own writings, for later incorporation into devices. The actual spell is not learned, but the Weird Scientist gains knowledge from study of the spell that can be used to empower a device." So a Weird Scientist who wants to make a jet pack, needs to "not quite learn, but rather study for inspiration" the notes of another weird scientist or the Grimoire of a spellcaster who has learned the fly spell.

So my first question is, will this cost him 1300 AP to "learn" the Journeyman spell effect?
It will of course not allow him to cast the spell, but he will thereafter be able to "Enchant" as many things as he wants that can fly. Correct?

So lets get back to Alchemy.
A Weird Scientist (Newtonian) starts the game with how many "recipes" known? 4 just like spellcasters? There are only three recipes listed in the Newtonian spell list (British Fire, Glamour Bomb, and Glow Water) but the Newtonian could also choose any recipe from alchemy list (booster potion, healing potion, etc), Correct?
Or the starting Newtonian could learn any Initiate spell as a potion KaV. So might learn to brew an Astral Sight Potion (to be drunk) or a potion of Binding (to be thrown), Correct?
How many potions would a starting Newtonian start pre-brewed? Or Lightning guns (or whatever) for a non-Newtonian WS?
Learning new potion recipes are are pretty much identical to learning new spells? AP costs and all? you usually use Magic Theory to learn the new recipe? A WS Newtonian trying to learn a Shaman Nightngale Sisters Healing Potion recipe could do so. All Correct?

Shaman get Spellcasting as a Core Initiate skill and Alchemy as a Core Novice skill. At character creation they get 4 spells that they can cast with spellcasting. Again I assume the standard Alchemy recopies (booster potion, healing potion, etc.) are learned as new "spells" are with AP cost dependent upon their tier, and probably coin costs as well. So can a Shaman brew any spell they know into a Potion? They only need to learn it once and use the same knowledge to both cast the spell using spellcasting and brew it into a potion?

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Andrew1879
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Andrew1879 » Tue May 07, 2019 2:14 pm

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
So first off I assume the reverse is not true. The special rules for Weird Scientists specify that they never cast spells and that while they need to "use Magic Theory to learn powers and spell effects from grimoires and other texts and record them in their own writings, for later incorporation into devices. The actual spell is not learned, but the Weird Scientist gains knowledge from study of the spell that can be used to empower a device." So a Weird Scientist who wants to make a jet pack, needs to "not quite learn, but rather study for inspiration" the notes of another weird scientist or the Grimoire of a spellcaster who has learned the fly spell.

So my first question is, will this cost him 1300 AP to "learn" the Journeyman spell effect?
It will of course not allow him to cast the spell, but he will thereafter be able to "Enchant" as many things as he wants that can fly. Correct?
Correct. The Weird Scientist learns what in Earthdawn would be called the spell pattern, and pays the AP to learn it. They will not be able to cast Fly, but will be able to create as many flying devices, potions, whatever, as they have the time and resources to produce. The Weird Scientist gets a sort of investment theory going here. A Mage can only cast on the spot, and may not even be able to cast on others if the spell is a Self target. A Heron, on the other hand, could build flying belts and sell them, and charge people to get the belts recharged, and build a very nice business out of learning one spell effect. Self targets affect the item, which in turn will affect the wearer, effectively extending the spell from Self to Touch.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
So lets get back to Alchemy.
A Weird Scientist (Newtonian) starts the game with how many "recipes" known? 4 just like spellcasters? There are only three recipes listed in the Newtonian spell list (British Fire, Glamour Bomb, and Glow Water) but the Newtonian could also choose any recipe from alchemy list (booster potion, healing potion, etc), Correct?
Breaking this section up a bit. Lot of questions in it. Weird Scientists, whether Herons, Newtonians, Prometheans, Unificationists, or something else start the game with the same number of effects known as Mages. Yes, the Newtonian could choose Improve Recovery and create booster potions, or Grant Recovery and create healing potions, or any other spell in the Base list that could be adapted into a potion, oil, or other solution. For example, one of our sample Newtonian characters has a vial of Oil of Function. It's a Fix spell in a bottle. Pour it over a device or machine that's broken and it's repaired.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
Or the starting Newtonian could learn any Initiate spell as a potion KaV. So might learn to brew an Astral Sight Potion (to be drunk) or a potion of Binding (to be thrown), Correct?
Again correct. The player just has to explain how the effect is invoked - drink it, throw it, add it to the fuel tank, whatever.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
How many potions would a starting Newtonian start pre-brewed? Or Lightning guns (or whatever) for a non-Newtonian WS?
That's up to the GM and player, and the starting funds roll. I generally allow one free item, and then the character has to pay the materials costs for additional items out of their starting funds. Think of it as acquiring magic items in Earthdawn. Everybody has a firestarter, or a warm cloak, or some low level common magic item to start with, but if you want a light quartz in addition to the firestarter, you have to pay for it. How many items you start with affects your campaign balance, so it's deliberately been left to a Session Zero discussion.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
Learning new potion recipes are are pretty much identical to learning new spells? AP costs and all? you usually use Magic Theory to learn the new recipe? A WS Newtonian trying to learn a Shaman Nightngale Sisters Healing Potion recipe could do so. All Correct?
Correct. It's learning a new spell effect. It takes the same time, money, and APs as learning a new Spell. This goes to a root theory of CoreStep: Never introduce a new mechanic when an existing one can be reused. BTW, the Nightingale Sisters aren't shamans, they're a Faith. Remember that Shamans are spirit workers with a bit of spellcasting. Faiths are spellcasters with a bit of spirit working. The Sisters don't normally even deal with spirits - their focus is on healing and protection.
ChrisDDickey wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 am
Shaman get Spellcasting as a Core Initiate skill and Alchemy as a Core Novice skill. At character creation they get 4 spells that they can cast with spellcasting. Again I assume the standard Alchemy recopies (booster potion, healing potion, etc.) are learned as new "spells" are with AP cost dependent upon their tier, and probably coin costs as well. So can a Shaman brew any spell they know into a Potion? They only need to learn it once and use the same knowledge to both cast the spell using spellcasting and brew it into a potion?
Yes, and this applies to anyone who gets Spellcasting and Alchemy as Core Skills. First off, it simplifies bookkeeping - you don't have to keep track of which spells you've learned for casting and which for brewing. Second, it allows for greater flexibility on the part of a character who has specialized in magic. If you've taken that many magical Core Skills, you're not going to be all that great at anything else, so you might as well get some kind of advantage out of it. We'll get more into monetary or equivalent costs when we bring out the Saurids book. Their cultures aren't capitalist, and some don't really have a concept of money or coin. Learning the spell pattern may cost the shaman a week of gathering herbs in a risky area, or a large Favour to be collected later, or some other form of exchange based on the tribe and how their economy works.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue May 07, 2019 10:33 pm

So then I guess my question is can craft device make any thing other than enchanted items?

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Andrew1879
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Andrew1879 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:21 am

Chris - I'm going to take this to a new topic tomorrow.

Slim - Craft Device is specifically a Magical Skill. If you check the Skill listing in the Players Guide (p.188), it specifies incorporating spell effects, special powers, and abilities into the devices created. "From a game mechanic standpoint, use of this Skill falls under Enchanting (p.411)."

Slimcreeper
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Slimcreeper » Wed May 08, 2019 1:01 am

So can you make a harpoon with a ratcheting winch using clockwork, then use craft device on it to add Bind to make it stick to a rampaging Dino to reel it in?

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Andrew1879
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Andrew1879 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:14 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:01 am
So can you make a harpoon with a ratcheting winch using clockwork, then use craft device on it to add Bind to make it stick to a rampaging Dino to reel it in?
Yes, and that's the correct sequence as well. Build the mundane device using Clockwork, although you could also use Mechanic for something that big, then use Craft Device to produce the harpoon and its Bind capability. What you end up with is a mundane launcher for a magical projectile.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by ChrisDDickey » Wed May 08, 2019 4:00 pm

Andrew1879 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:14 pm
Slimcreeper wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:01 am
So can you make a harpoon with a ratcheting winch using clockwork, then use craft device on it to add Bind to make it stick to a rampaging Dino to reel it in?
Yes, and that's the correct sequence as well. Build the mundane device using Clockwork, although you could also use Mechanic for something that big, then use Craft Device to produce the harpoon and its Bind capability. What you end up with is a mundane launcher for a magical projectile.
Just to be pedantic, could this not be done without using Craft Device at all? I mean that is what whaling harpoons do. The head is designed to not pull out and you have a sturdy line attached between the whale and the boat. No magic need be involved.

I mean if you WANTED to use magic, because that is where your talents lie, you could. But I would think that a Dino harpoon gun could be made with ether craft weapon or craft firearm (if you used gunpowder).

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Andrew1879
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Re: Weird Scientists

Post by Andrew1879 » Wed May 08, 2019 8:01 pm

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:00 pm
Just to be pedantic, could this not be done without using Craft Device at all? I mean that is what whaling harpoons do. The head is designed to not pull out and you have a sturdy line attached between the whale and the boat. No magic need be involved.

I mean if you WANTED to use magic, because that is where your talents lie, you could. But I would think that a Dino harpoon gun could be made with ether craft weapon or craft firearm (if you used gunpowder).
Yes, you could use craft firearm and make a non-magical harpoon gun that impales the Dino with a long pointy metal spear, the way a traditional harpoon gun works. You could use gunpowder, compressed air, or a really strong spring to propel the missile. I think what Slim was after was something that didn't wound the target. Using Bind on the harpoon would create a sort of magical capture net, and allow you to hunt Dinos without injuring them.

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