Expanded Divination Skill

I have just bought Mythic Iceland by Pedro Ziviani. It is a Basic Role-Playing supplement designed to play in mediæval Iceland. Despite its title, Mythic Iceland is firmy set in real world history and is historically, linguistically, and culturally accurate. In that respect, it is similar to the Alephtar Games historical titles :)

Anyway, the nice thing about BRP games is that they are mutually compatible. And 'mutually compatible' means you can steal from a given game whatever you think is cool for your own.

The Celestial Empire features the skill of Divination (pages 59-62). Mythic Iceland similarly presents the skill of Prophecy (pages 206-208), which has a slightly different scope: instead of requiring to GM to come up with a cryptic sentence that somehow predicts future in-game events, it requires the player character using the Prophecy skill to try and give some input to the GM's game through the prophecy itself, i.e., it introduces player-driven narration. Also, the Mythic Iceland version of the skill is much more articulate, with scalable effects depending on the amount of power points spent by the player character.

This post adapts the ideas from Mythic Iceland to The Celestial Empire. By spending more than 1 Qì point, the player character may use the Divination skill as the Mythic Iceland Prophecy skill. Replace the following text from the Divination skill description on page 59 of TCE:
After spending 1 Qì point, the diviner performs a divination ritual according to the tenets of his religion, and consulting the appropriate source; then the GM rolls against the character's divination skill (the result of the roll must remain hidden from the player since he has no idea whether the attempts to prophesy the future was successful or not).
After spending a variable amount of Qì points [see table], the diviner performs a divination ritual according to the tenets of his religion, and consulting the appropriate source; then the player rolls against the character's divination skill. Depending on the result, the player may or may not announce the prophecy.
Fumble > The player character has a prophetic vision of his own impending doom.
Failure > No prophecy.
Success > The player character has a prophetic vision of his future. The player may express it in a seven-word sentence.
Special > The player may express the prophecy in a nine-word sentence.
Critical > The GM cannot interfere with the prophecy.

The table referred to above is the following one:
The divination attempt only involves the diviner...........1 Qì point
The divination attempt involves another person...........2 Qì points
The divination attempt involves a group of people.........3 Qì points
A precise location is 'seen' in the prophecy.................+1 Qì points
Precise people are 'seen' in the prophecy....................+2 Qì points
The prophecy involves some misfortune......................cost×2
The prophecy involves death....................................cost×3

Example: a diviner attempts to prophesy what will happen to his brother who has set upon a dangerous endeavour in Bukhara with a band of fellow adventurers. The divination attempt involves a different person than the diviner: 2 Qì points. The divination attempt involves a precise person: +2 Qì point. The diviner would like the prophecy to involve death: cost×3. Total: a hefty 12 Qì points. The player successfully rolls against his skill and chooses the following prophecy: 'My brother kills the emir of Bukhara'. Now 12 Qì is a huge amount, but the GM may still think it's to easy to get away with it like that. That's where the GM may decide this will happen... several years in the future! maybe after the diviner's brother has escaped from a harrassing stay in the emir's penal labour camps...

1 comment:

  1. The d100 system as backed by Chaosium's BRP system is one of the finest RPG system's going. Just look at Newt Newton's OpenQuest, and Leary's "Classic Fantasy" as some of the finest iterations of the system for fantasy role playing games going. Also, could you join my blog vanishingtower.blogspot.com as well? In the old "we're in this all together" kind of way?

    Cheers, Jager