Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A fun look at Aspects: Sage

Part 4!

Preamble
Remember that most Heroes also don't display only one aspect. A Hero is usually a good blend of a couple/several. Someone with only one Aspect would be like Q from James Bond, Yoda from original star wars, or The Mountain from Game of Thrones. They definitely are still characters, but they aren't "the Hero" and one of the reasons for that is that characters with minimal skillsets are less interesting over long periods of time. They're definitely not uninteresting, per se, but hard to follow and write for for long periods of time. For this series though, when I look at pop culture figures, I'll be highlighting characters who are exemplary at their Aspect, whether or not they are successful at other Aspects as well. Also, remember that I'm not as eloquent as my better half... by like leaps and bounds.

Definition
The Sage is full of wisdom. A font of information, she always knows the right information for the particular jam you're in. In different cultures throughout time she's been known as seer, prophet, wizard or professor. Sometimes they are born super-geniuses, sometimes they study forever, sometimes they are just gifted with "sight beyond sight" as it were.

Problems
Sage is tough. Players who aren't strong or fast in real life can very easily be strong or fast in the game. However, it is much more difficult for people to bridge the gap into extreme intelligence. Its almost more of a GM problem than a player problem. How do you show that a character is smart when the player isn't catching on as quickly? If you just hand them every piece of information, that always feels bad, but if they don't have any information, or aren't able to put together clues on their own, then they aren't getting to participate with their Aspect. And that is'nt fair, because the Warrior gets to just roll and beat things up when he wants.

The internet... Wikipedia... what is a Sage good for anymore?

Solutions
Many Aspects suffer from a similar problem - I'm not X, but my character is X. How do I show that without just using powers? We think excellent Blessing options are a great place to start, but we also thought it had to dig deeper then that. We'll probably touch on this with each of the remaining Aspects, but for the Sage, knowing important things in the story is tied directly into their character. If you are a Sage, there will be things that you either automatically know, or you will know of ways to find out the important information.

Im sure we've all been in that situation. A smart character knows a lot of things, but the fighter knows how to search Wikipedia. It can be very frustrating for intelligent characters and is often a great allure for changing the game to a setting without internet. But Sage is also your ability to digest information. If I need to know about William the Conqueror for an upcoming debate, but I have no Sage, then no amount of searching and reading on the internet will help me. Information belongs to the Sage, as much as every other Aspect's abilities belong to them, and the game avoids workarounds that let you cheat that system. Of course, a Sage can give you some important knowledge, that's allowable, but the internet... nope!

Powers
Reminder that these haven't had a final balance check. So be kind to them :)

Gift of Tongues (Knowledge Blessing)
Labor: Chapter
Roll: Knowledge
Speed: Instant
Whether a Hero has knowledge of all the languages of humanity or only a select few arcane ones, they are of limited use when they cannot use them to communicate or others around them do not understand them. By using this Blessing, the Hero may for a single Episode render their target capable of understanding a single language that the Hero already knows; their target suddenly finds themselves able to read, decipher, understand and speak the language with just as much precision as the Hero feeds their linguistic knowledge directly into them. It effects a number of targets equal to the successes on the roll, and once the Episode ends, they revert back to normal and once again find the Hero's foreign languages incomprehensible.

Soul Conversion (Mysticism Blessing)
Labor: Saga
Roll: Mysticism
Speed: Dedicated
Although all Heroes are capable of great things, even the most legendary of warriors can become exhausted when the odds against them become too great. With this Blessing, a Hero may dredge up the energy to keep others going in spite of how much they have given already; for every five successes they gain on their roll, they may convert one targets chapter labor into 3 episode labors or one saga labor into 3 chapter labors.

Scrying (Perception Blessing)
Labor: Saga
Roll: Perception
Speed: Dedicated
A Hero with this Blessing has sight far beyond the paltry limits of a mortal body; they can see to incredible distances on the strength of will and mind alone. By using this Blessing, a Hero immediately becomes able to scry on a single person, place or object they know of, which allows them to see what is happening to and around it no matter where it might be hidden. The Hero may see anything on the same continent if they are Mortal, on the same planet if they are Immortal, or even send their perceptions out to distant worlds or the realms of the gods themselves if they are Divine. Heroes may only scry on things or people that they have personally met, seen or interacted with before, and they may only see an area of up to their successes in yards around the center of their focus. Living beings that are being scryed upon may hide, move or otherwise leave the Hero's field of vision without warning.

Characters

Ozymandias: The Watchmen
Hermione: Harry Potter
Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock
Spock: Star Trek
Giles: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sloan Sabbith: Newsroom

Moments

Sherlock Mind-palacing


The other sherlock! Chess scene


Sages can fight too! Or rather, choose not to.


Galadriel making Frodo see the things


Monty Hall Problem(game show problem)


Limitless


Best Ever. I've watched this scene so many times. And I still run around boston screaming about apples.


Its my fault for getting this up late. So I have to push Anne's post off a day. She'll be back with her mythology post tomorrow.