View Full Version : Astrology

06-30-2008, 02:03 AM
Discussion thread for Astrology (http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/index.php/Astrology). If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

06-30-2008, 02:05 AM
Do we want to generalize the Astrology rules to any system of foretelling the future, linking reading runestones, and any other methods that get mentioned?

06-30-2008, 02:44 AM
If it is a good system, then I don't mind. I am not a DM so I don't know what alternatives there are.

The key things I would like to be part of the runestone variation are that it is linked to Reynir (or Erik) (because of the runes) and priests/druids with divination spells should be better at it than anyone else, but generally any "wise old woman" can do it (and doesn't need magical runestones).

In AD&D 2e I was thinking that the best option might be to make it a Wis NWP, and add a -4 penalty for everyonel but the relevant clerics.

Also, how do you limit how often a reading may be made, e.g. reading a guild's fortunes in a province? And how do you factor in small and massive misreadings?


06-30-2008, 03:20 AM
A reading takes a half hour, but the future is mostly fixed, so its not productive to constantly check the same question over and over. Its more useful to ask different questions, looking for things that might change the future. The most fluid thing is that people have free will, and so can change their own futures.

Constantly checking the same thing over and over is like asking "are we there yet?" on a road trip.

For the Rjurik we have several categories of people who seem to have a facility with the future. Both magicians (seers) and druids can cast divinations, but there are also people with the doom of second sight. Each of these conditions might be worth a +4 circumstance bonus.

I'm not sure what you're referring to as far as misreadings. Do you mean upon failure of a check?

06-30-2008, 03:34 AM
I'm not sure what you're referring to as far as misreadings. Do you mean upon failure of a check?

Yep. Say I want to read whether the next month in Stjordvik will be favourable for a certain guild, but I am unsuccessful. Who knows I am unsuccessful? Only the DM? The DM and and the player? Does the DM increase the risk of trying to use divination by giving the player some sort of "message" regardless of whether they fail (which gives an incorrect or misleading message) or succeed (which gives a meaningful message of varying degrees of detail)?

If the player knows it was unsuccessful, can he try again tomorrow? Next week? Ever? What if they are successful and just want more detail? For example, first I read that the market will be good for my guild, then I want to know more about how it will be good, i.e. which stock will sell/deals be made, so I want to take another reading.


06-30-2008, 04:40 AM
I prefer that any kind of divination results be determined for DM's eyes only, since most forms of divination provide something that looks like an answer, rather than a clear "no answer at this time, please try again later" result.

Whether one is successful or not, retries should produce identical results until something material changes. A domain can't really change faster than once a month, since domain turns are monthly.

As for risks, the system basically gives you a better result the higher you roll. More information. Its only logical that it can work in reverse. It takes some creativity to come up with bad divination results though, since good and bad are in context to the question asked and the answer sought.

Generally I think regents who have proper domains (not a single jarl) have taken steps to protect themselves form divination, and may have chosen false positive answers that are more likely. Such defenses are expensive and not very portable.

Regardless of whether a result is successful or not, one can always ask a different question that might bear on the first question, such as seeking more information. If one's question is premised incorrectly, you have a garbage-in-garbage-out situation where the result is doomed to failure. But if you can ask a new question without reference to the previous question, its an independent event. Even of the results are related.

The examples given involve people seeking more detailed information after finding something out. But the questions are fundamentally different. Not a re-phrasing of the original question. The difference between Three Trees Traders has a good season in Svinik and how good, good in what way, are just more detailed answers to the same question, so no new reading is possible on that question. You could ask questions like where is Jan Hrustraad going to travel to, hoping it might indicate something, or asking questions about Svinik and hoping to get a more detailed answer (while not knowing whether the result has much of an effect on Three Trees).

Generally there are three different kinds of questions, basic questions, which will tell you about natural conditions; personal questions; and political questions. I can make open ended inceptions, getting a general answer, or I can ask about some event being favorable.

I can ask, "How is Three Trees Traders going to do this summer?"
"Is this summer a good time to sell Anuirean wines to the Three Trees Traders?"
"What is Jan Hrustraad like?"
"Is the summer a good time for Jan Hrustraad to travel?"
"What is the state of the Three Trees Traders?"
"Is it favorable to convince Lars Larsson to betray the Three Trees?"

You'll get answers like, "Storms at Sea", "Shipwreck", or "Too Dry" for basic questions; and "The people are content", "The king is satisfied," "There are rivals" for political questions.

06-30-2008, 10:35 PM
I wrote up a divination skill a while back for a generic 3e-like
skill system. Since it was generic, the details could be left up to
the GM on a case by case/campaign by campaign basis, so it`s fairly
basic. I called the skill "Insight" because it was meant to be a
generalized idea, and "divination" was already taken. I know that
name has a particular meaning in 4e, but that`s not terribly
difficult to change. One could simply call it "Fortune telling" and
maintain veracity. Also, there are a few details in the description
that might warrant a little explanation, if anyone wants to
know.... Anyway, here`s the write up:

This skill allows you to see past events or predict the future using
various methods of fortune telling.
Categories: You must choose a method of Insight to focus
upon. Sample categories include astrology, crystal gazing,
extispicium, rune reading, tarot cards or tea leaves.
Ranks: For each rank of Insight you are able to see into the future 3 days.
Check: Use an Insight check when using spells or magic items that
allow you to predict the future.
An Insight check takes 20-25 (d6+19) minutes. Taking 20 on an
Insight check takes 1 day.
Retry: None.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Spellcraft or Knowledge,
Arcana you gain a +2 synergy bonus to Insight checks. These bonuses
do not stack.