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Janisy
02-04-2009, 06:45 PM
A game set in Ancient Egypt with a ritual magic system? I have been working on this game for a while. It revolves around Goetic Magic (the magic King Solomon used in old rabbinical literature, similar to that in the Bartimaeus trilogy) where magicians and priests summon and bind demons to do their bidding through tedious rituals.

kirksmithicus
02-04-2009, 09:02 PM
It depends, is summoning and binding demons all that the game is about? If there is more to the plot then maybe, but it seems a little bare bones at the moment. Backstabbing, court intrigue, spying, assassins could have potential, but you'll have to sell me on it a little more.

Janisy
02-04-2009, 09:15 PM
Well of course there is a lot more. It's a campaign setting. I'm just saying the only magic available is the ability to summon and bind demons.

nijineko
02-04-2009, 10:06 PM
that would fail to interest me, as i perceive it to be inaccurate to the setting described, based on my own studies of the time periods in question.

even discounting any concerns about theoretical "accuracy", i would not be interested in such a magic system.

fmitchell
02-05-2009, 12:21 AM
I second nijineko. Egyptian magic revolved around "Hekau", which were apparently "words of power". A "syntactic magic" system would seem more setting-appropriate.

There's already an indie game called Sorcerer, about summoning demons, and how far a person would go for power. It's a pretty dark game, from what I hear. I don't know whether you wanted to go there, or whether Goetic entities in your world are more like djinn or pagan gods ... but "demons" connotes evil and corrupting influences.

Finally, I'm working on my own ritual magic system based around shamans conversing with lesser spirits, and calling upon greater spirits. I'm a little afraid of "netrunner syndrome", where the shaman does his thing and the other players take a soda break. Whether your entities count as NPCs or simply themes for certain powers (a la "vestiges" in D&D's Tome of Magic) will matter to the flavor of magic, and what players will put up with.

kirksmithicus
02-05-2009, 12:27 AM
Sure then, because I don't care for magic or magic using characters in general. :D Sorry I'm not too helpful am I.

Janisy
02-05-2009, 08:12 AM
Yes, I am well aware of Heka (it's Heka, those who used it were called Heaku). And it revolved around knowing the True Name of things. (As in the story of Isis and Ra where he was wounded and she forced him to tell her his True Name so she could heal him and have his power)

I just like the Egyptian setting and Goetic Magic was used in Babylonia which isn't that far, so I was thinking it's not unreasonable. Besides it's a fantasy game. I believe we're allowed to mix and match.

tesral
02-05-2009, 02:00 PM
An Egyptian game that has magic but not Egyptian magic would feel off to me. It is perfectly proper to have other magics that are the domain of the people around them, but Egyptian magic is extremely tied into the culture itself. It would sort of be like running a roaring 20s game, but were going to have wheat paste prohibition, not alcohol.

A Pharonic game could be intresting. But any magic would have to be setting appropriate and I don't see any game revolving around the magic. You need to concentrate on people and events.

Janisy
02-05-2009, 09:24 PM
The game doesn't revolve around the magic, I just wanted to see how people would feel about it as opposed to the "toss fire" flashy, instantaneous style.

And the magic is a blend. There isn't much on Egyptian magic besides that it revolves around True Names. This combines the rituals of Goetic Magic with the need for True Names (of the demons) of Heka. The 'feel' of it is very appropriate though. It ties in very well to the setting.

And the game has more of a Vampire (WoD) feel than D&D. It's all about political intrigue and religion. It is set around the era when the Romans were doing battle with the Egyptians. Lots of the adventures revolve around the rise to power or the conflicted beliefs of Rome and Egypt.

nijineko
02-05-2009, 09:31 PM
read the earthsea series by ursula k. leguin for ideas on truename magic. or you could just get the tome of magic (3.5) for a peek at d&d's version of truename magic. gurps also has some excellent resources in that regard.

tesral
02-05-2009, 10:45 PM
The game doesn't revolve around the magic, I just wanted to see how people would feel about it as opposed to the "toss fire" flashy, instantaneous style.

And the magic is a blend. There isn't much on Egyptian magic besides that it revolves around True Names. This combines the rituals of Goetic Magic with the need for True Names (of the demons) of Heka. The 'feel' of it is very appropriate though. It ties in very well to the setting.

And the game has more of a Vampire (WoD) feel than D&D. It's all about political intrigue and religion. It is set around the era when the Romans were doing battle with the Egyptians. Lots of the adventures revolve around the rise to power or the conflicted beliefs of Rome and Egypt.

That is a whole different animal. The Pholmeiac Pharaohs, adding Greek mysticism, the Roman PoV the old Egyptian and while you are at it add the Kaballic traditions and more.

One does not need flash-bang magic. I wouldn't expect a game to revolve around the magic, but I would expect the magic to fit the culture. Ripping an entirely differet culture's system out and pasting it on to Egypt, which has a rich culture is kind of pointless.

As to World of Darkness, Meh.

jade von delioch
02-07-2009, 10:48 PM
I think it depends on if it the game is suppose to be historically accurate. If it a Egyptian- like culture in a non-earth world then whatever. Besides, what we know about the real Egypt is complete conjecture.
I think what he should have asked you was, "would you play a game in a setting that was like ancient Egypt?"
Then asked If you would play a game that had magic that revolved around the use of spirits or whatever. I think it is highly possible for foreign magic to have been used in Egypt since the Egyptians did have contact with the Akkadians to their north who i think may have had similar beliefs to the Babylonians. (i'm taking several history classes at the moment).

AS far as the "Words of power", check out Ars MAgica: this is what their magic system is. very well set up.

tesral
02-08-2009, 02:05 AM
Besides, what we know about the real Egypt is complete conjecture.

Hardly. Most of what we know is a matter of written record. Written by the Egyptians themselves. The entire culture had a mania for writing things down. Exact details are often a mater of speculation, but who what where is in the record. More is being found all the time.

nijineko
02-09-2009, 08:19 PM
rosetta stone, and all that, ne?

tesral
02-10-2009, 01:57 PM
rosetta stone, and all that, ne?

And I don't mean the computer program.

fmitchell
02-10-2009, 04:02 PM
One other possibility, if this is historical Egypt, is that everyone believes that Egyptian magic works, but it's about as effective as it was in our world (at least according to us rampant scientific materialists). The only *actual* magic requires summoning Goetic demons, which is a secret, and perhaps forbidden, tradition.

Such a game would have an almost Lovecraftian flavor without Lovecraft's toungtwister names, or his phobias of foreigners and seafood.

jade von delioch
02-10-2009, 10:53 PM
People should not assume that what we know about the world and history to be completely true. As i said, a lot of what we have learned can only be understood relating it to something else- i.e. assumptions.

Farcaster
02-11-2009, 01:12 AM
Sorry to move this so long after the fact, but this belongs in the Fantasy section. The Campaign Resources area is for posting resources that can be used in other people's games.

nijineko
02-11-2009, 01:17 AM
And I don't mean the computer program.

there's a computer program? does it translate egyptian, too?

tesral
02-11-2009, 02:06 AM
there's a computer program? does it translate egyptian, too?

It's for learning languages. I don't think Ancient Egyptian is in there. Pity....

MortonStromgal
02-11-2009, 01:18 PM
I would play if it was more of a politics game :)

Dimthar
02-11-2009, 01:24 PM
People should not assume that what we know about the world and history to be completely true. As i said, a lot of what we have learned can only be understood relating it to something else- i.e. assumptions.

I like the approach they use in the movie "Unbreakable" in regards to "Extraordinary People". Comics and other legends being a way to show what is "really out there".

nijineko
02-11-2009, 05:08 PM
i enjoyed unbreakable.

Edward
02-11-2009, 07:05 PM
I would be very interested in a game set in Ancient Egypt, but only if it's historically accurate -- including the magic. I'd rather see separate magic systems in each region than a blend of Babylonian and Egyptian magic.

jade von delioch
02-11-2009, 10:34 PM
I like the approach they use in the movie "Unbreakable" in regards to "Extraordinary People". Comics and other legends being a way to show what is "really out there".

One of my favorite movies no less.:D

Valdar
02-14-2009, 10:58 PM
I'd be curious first to know what movies or other fiction you'd be drawing themes and feel from- "Ancient" isn't as well-established a genre as Medieval Fantasy, so you might want something concrete to point to in order to give your players an idea of what to expect.

Otherwise, you'll have one player thinking "Ten Commandments", another thinking "Scorpion King", and a third thinking "Stargate". That might be an awesome bit of gaming if you pull it off, but the odds are against you.

jade von delioch
02-15-2009, 12:16 PM
Stargate would be far-fetched next to those other two. But why could they both not be good examples of ancient times? Granted, scorpion King is more 4000-3000 BC and Ten commandments is more like 2500-2000 BC. So the main difference would be if the pyramids were built yet and the technology level.
Now, as was already stated, this is take place during the conquest of Rome which is about 30 BC- 395 AD (which at this point we have more historical documents that help frame this time period since the first histories were not recorded until 480 BC).

tesral
02-15-2009, 06:04 PM
.
Now, as was already stated, this is take place during the conquest of Rome which is about 30 BC- 395 AD (which at this point we have more historical documents that help frame this time period since the first histories were not recorded until 480 BC).

Tell that to the Egyptians.

You talking the Ptolemaic period. It was actually a resurgence of the old Egyptian ways. Egyptian ways actually became popular in Rome as well. A temple of Isis was found in the ruins of Pompeii. Some Romans preferred "mummy" style burials instead of the usual cremation. The Ptolemys went totally native if you will. (The first Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's generals, who got that quarter of the Empire at the death of Alexander. He was Greek, or Macedonian, if you prefer. By the time of Cleopatra VII (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra), the famous one, they could no longer be called or even cared about anything Greek.)

LAST CRUSADER
02-15-2009, 07:25 PM
a game set in ancient egypt with a ritual magic system? I have been working on this game for a while. It revolves around goetic magic (the magic king solomon used in old rabbinical literature, similar to that in the bartimaeus trilogy) where magicians and priests summon and bind demons to do their bidding through tedious rituals.

one thing you gotta remember about tedious rituals that will effect your game: they're tedious !

Valdar
02-16-2009, 11:45 AM
I mean theme, not setting- setting is easy. "Ten Commandments" is a passion play- that player will want to explore the Jews overcoming their downtrodden-ness. "Scorpion King" was a Conan knock-off- that player will want to hack off lots of heads with big swords that would have been improbable given the metallurgy of that period in history (to say nothing of the multi-fire crossbow that appears in the opening scene...) "Stargate" is conspiracy theory- who REALLY built the pyramids? (Aliens, obviously.) That player will want to interact with aliens and hopefully score a blaster staff.

Bascially, what you plan to do with the game is far more important than the magic system, and it's far more important that the players are on board for it.

So, what's your plan?

Webhead
02-16-2009, 12:24 PM
The idea is appealing on a very broad "conceptual" level, for me more due to the "ancient world" theme of the campaign.

I have similar pondered a (probably short-term) heavily-fantasized campaign in the style of Gilgamesh/Beowulf/Conan set in ancient Mesapotamia. Careful historical accuracy would be the first thing to go out the window both because I haven't the inclination to enforce that level of detail nor spend that much time and energy only to be trumped by players who know far more about history and the ancient world than I could ever conceivably retain. That and I would want the element of "fantasy" to elevate the game beyond "historical re-creation" to "mythic action/adventure".

I love learning and have an interest in ancient cultures and societies but I am by no means a master (or even steady accolyte) of any particular such body of knowledge. I would only be setting myself up for failure if I were attempt an "accurate" campaign like that.

I wouldn't be off-put by historical inaccuracy of magic in such a campaign, but my ultimate interest in the game would be more centered on the important and prominent themes anyway. I like excitement and dramatic clashes. Socio-political intrigue tends to make me sleepy if not broken up into bite-sized chunks (hence why I never ran my WoD games that way).

Edward
02-16-2009, 06:26 PM
Careful historical accuracy would be the first thing to go out the window both because I haven't the inclination to enforce that level of detail nor spend that much time and energy only to be trumped by players who know far more about history and the ancient world than I could ever conceivably retain.

Players like that can be a valuable resource, as long as they're properly managed. You could allow them to contribute material to your campaign world, essentially making it a collaborative effort. Of course, any changes you accepted wouldn't be implemented on the fly, any more than changes to the ruleset are implemented on the fly; you could simply explain that you'll incorporate their suggestions into the next revision. You could move to a new revision (say, version 1.1) at the start of the next module or plotline.

Many GM's accept player suggestions on ways to improve the ruleset. Improvements to the campaign world are not fundamentally different.


That and I would want the element of "fantasy" to elevate the game beyond "historical re-creation" to "mythic action/adventure".You could achieve that by including mythology.

Webhead
02-16-2009, 10:18 PM
Players like that can be a valuable resource, as long as they're properly managed. You could allow them to contribute material to your campaign world, essentially making it a collaborative effort. Of course, any changes you accepted wouldn't be implemented on the fly, any more than changes to the ruleset are implemented on the fly; you could simply explain that you'll incorporate their suggestions into the next revision. You could move to a new revision (say, version 1.1) at the start of the next module or plotline.

Many GM's accept player suggestions on ways to improve the ruleset. Improvements to the campaign world are not fundamentally different...

Indeed. A gaming philosophy I subscribe to as well. I wasn't attempting to suggest that I don't want player input in my games. Quite the contrary. Rather, I was suggesting it more from the perspective of when my campaign/adventure/scene/setting descriptions (due to ignorance of the subject matter) are contradictory to what a player believes is correct. In a more "fantastical" setting, a GM has more liberty with these discrepancies because there is a shared understanding that accuracy is not a goal of the game. However, in a game that attempts to promote historical accuracy from its outset, players would tend to see it as their prerogative to "correct" the GM if they feel that accuracy has been breached. The act itself is not "bad" or "wrong" but simply something that I would rather not become an obstacle for telling the kinds of adventures that I want to tell as a GM. Hence, even if I were basing a campaign on some particular historical time or place, I would preface the game by making it clear that it will hold a "thematic" similarity if not necessarily "literal" one (i.e. I reserve creative authority). Sort of like when a film says "based on a true story". The core idea or theme is intact but the actual characterizations and events are entirely ficticious.


...You could achieve that by including mythology.

Very true. Which is sort of what I was suggesting. I would tend to run a more "mythologically" inspired version of an ancient civilization rather than a more "realistic" one. I like mythology.