I’ve so far played Clockwork Dominion at Templecons 2015 and 2016. A friend of mine is running a game. I’ve also started to run my own campaign, which is only mildly terrifying =]. I have a few questions about the rules, most but not all about Transcendent Powers. I figure it would probably be most convenient to lump them all into one thread.
I want to make sure I’m understanding the rules as presented. I know I can technically house-rule any rules as I see fit but I prefer to understand rules-as-written before I apply my own interpretation. I like to see what the writers intended before I consider giving it my own twist.
Questions about Ritual Magic:
How granular or metaphorical can restrictions on the Target be? For example, could the following be an acceptable restriction of the target: “Mortal:”?
Anyone in the police Force
Anyone employed by the Crown
A member of Sinn Fein
Someone with Feinian sympathies
A mortal with Corruption.
A man of at least Means 3+
A mortal who owns their own land
A rich man
A married person
A person in love
An angry person
When you make a ritual, are you assumed to have also made notes (a grimoire) on it during the process? Is it in a form that could be taught to someone else? Must you pay the XP to gain the ‘Grimoire’ asset for a ritual you invented yourself?
Assume the Ritual is being invented in-game by the character as well as the player. How long does it take to invent a ritual from start to finish? Does it take at least as long as the Time Component of the ritual? Can it be invented by oneself even if the Participants rating is higher than 1? Does the invention of the ritual require reagents to be consumed? Does the process of inventing a ritual require it be cast at least once during or immediately after the invention?
Are the following assumptions correct?
If you have the plan for something, be it as simple as a pocket watch or as complicated as an analytic engine, you can make it if you can spare the time, expenses, and materials. You do not need an Asset (though a Workshop may help) and do not need to make a test. People frequently earn a living this exact way. Unless the item would have a game effect because the character intends to use it, this sort of thing can be resolved in the background.
If you do not have the Plans for it, you may attempt to make a non-Steam item that could have existed in real-world Victorian England, such as a pocket watch, revolver, or a marble statuette. You must make the appropriate Trait Test and spend the appropriate Time and Resources. However, you do not need an Asset to accomplish this.
If you wish to make a Steam item that would not have existed in contemporary real-world Victorian England, you must have either the plans for it or the appropriate Asset, as implied above.
Social conflict: Is there a reasonable game benefit to moving someone from Guarded to Agreeable? Or is there only a mechanical benefit going one step beyond Favorable?
For example, say the players are trying to convince a Witchfinder that they are not responsible for a Pontus event that have just occurred in their area, despite them being known practitioners of Ritual Magic. She plans to arrest them and is currently Guarded to releasing them. If they move her one step beyond Favorable in social conflict, she will release them. However, rules-as-written, is it reasonable to say that her actions would be less aggressive depending on how far they sway her, as follows:
If they move her to Indifferent, she will still arrest them, but explain their legal options and allow them to present a defense with another Witchfinder as their advocate.
If they move her to Agreeable, she will still detain them, but as material witnesses rather than the prime suspects.
If she is moved to Favorable (but not beyond), she will suggest they ‘volunteer’ to help her investigation and will become convinced of their innocence if they provide reasonable aid.
Some questions on spending XP Assets acquired in-game:
Do players need to spend XP to ‘cover’ an Asset their character acquires through the plot? For example, if they find a Grimoire or Mechanical Marvel through adventuring, should the ST still require them to spend 7 XP on it, rules-as-written?
My take is that spending the XP makes it ‘safer.’ A player who comes into possession of a Grimoire but does not spend the XP on the asset is fair game for the ST to have them targeted by witchfinders, unsavory people seeking their services, or possibly for it to be stolen, etc. Once they spend the XP, the asset is now considered part of their character and no more at risk to be targeted than any other particular possession that was bought as an Asset during character creation.
Memberships: Is it reasonable to assume that the characters could conceivably belong to a club or organization that is appropriate to their Class, without requiring the purchase of an Asset, as long as it confers no large material benefit and they are not highly ranked within it? Examples would be an artisans’ guild, ex-military club, whist club, etc. (Obviously, memberships in prestigious or material Organizations such as the Athaneum, Illuminati, etc, would still need an Asset).
And finally—are you currently accepting any submissions for extra content? Nothing so lofty as a book or full adventure, but minor ST resources such as pre-made Narrator characters, short scenarios, adventure seeds, new rituals/inventions, or a defined Organization? This is a dang fine RPG and I’d love to see the content grow. I’ve been working on a couple things for my own campaign and if they prove useful for you guys, I’d love if they were released as a free download or some such.