I’m now in the final (I hope) rewrite stages of Hari Ragat, after overhauling character creation and the magic system. The ideas are flowing again, and I finally have the time and energy to write them!
Good news for those who want to play Baylan or Katalunan (shaman) characters, there are now a lot more options available for you. Specifically, I’ve detailed the Curse mechanics to be a lot more atmospheric and closer to the feel of Philippine folklore, and giving you ways to use it even at a moment’s notice.
One of the points where Marc and I were going round and round was the ability of shamans to contribute to combat. While I still refuse to budge on what I call ‘point n zap’ magic, I did recognize his concern as valid. Players will look for ways to solve combat problems with magic if that’s what their characters are about.
Magic options in combat now include:
- Raising Ancestral Favor by chanting and dancing just behind the front lines – the most traditional option, and the safest; besides, every PC relies heavily on Ancestral Favor the way the game is built;
- Calling upon environmental spirits to ‘attack’ the foe with powerful environmental effects such as storm, flood, earthquake or landslide, and the like;
- Calling upon spirits to distract or hamper the foe;
- Casting Sumpa curses, which make ‘accidents’ happen;
- Casting Usog curses, which overwhelm a targeted foe with your own spirit’s aura;
- Switching bodies with a powerful Totemic Twin creature, such as a crocodile, so you can fight in that form;
Each of these approaches comes with its own risks and rewards, and depending on how you built your character some may be easier for you than the others.
I’ve booked a playtest session on January 31 next year – alas, I’ll not be in Manila again any earlier – tentatively to be held at a game club in Makati. I can’t wait to have my players try these new things out!
P.S. I’m back to using Scrivener! I tried to continue using Open Office, but Hari Ragat has gotten so big that I just can’t keep it organized properly without a working outline view editor. Fortunately, Scrivener had exactly what I needed. Yay for Scrivener! I’ll just worry about my exporting and final formatting problems later.