Ultima system details

Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

I'm thinking about running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign for some friends
based on the Ultima series. None of them have played any of the Ultima
games (with the exception of one, who's played Pagan for about ten
minutes, but that really doesn't count), so they're an ideal target
audience.

This, of course, presents some problems. The AD&D system doesn't map
perfectly onto the Ultima system... any of them. And that's the biggest
problem I'm facing. Each game has used a different core system, as far
as I remember.

(I'll admit to being separated from my copy of the Ultima Collection, as
well as my AD&D core rulebooks, but I should be solving both of those
problems on Sunday.)

Anyway, I realise that this project isn't without its attendant
difficulties, but it ought to be a lot of fun if I can pull it off.

What would be /really/ helpful right now would be if anyone's produced
any resources analysing any of the systems used in the various Ultimas;
breakdowns of each character class, each stat, the magic system, how the
mechanics work, that sort of thing. The more detail, the better. If
someone had done something nifty like reverse-engineer the entire game
system and stuck the details on a website, that would be just perfect,
but I must admit I can't find anything with a quick Google search.

So I figured I'd ask around here. Some of you might know something about
Ultima. ;)

Any thoughts?

-Eidolon Dragon
20 answers Last reply
More about ultima system details
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Eidolon Dragon wrote:

    Woo! Eido!

    > I'm thinking about running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign for some friends
    > based on the Ultima series. None of them have played any of the Ultima
    > games (with the exception of one, who's played Pagan for about ten
    > minutes, but that really doesn't count), so they're an ideal target
    > audience.
    >
    > This, of course, presents some problems. The AD&D system doesn't map
    > perfectly onto the Ultima system... any of them. And that's the biggest
    > problem I'm facing. Each game has used a different core system, as far
    > as I remember.

    I tried this once myself - 2e, however - but I never got very far. Same
    roadblocks, of course, although I had decided on which Ultima system. It
    was just not easy to transfer to AD&D.

    > (I'll admit to being separated from my copy of the Ultima Collection, as
    > well as my AD&D core rulebooks, but I should be solving both of those
    > problems on Sunday.)
    >
    > Anyway, I realise that this project isn't without its attendant
    > difficulties, but it ought to be a lot of fun if I can pull it off.
    >
    > What would be /really/ helpful right now would be if anyone's produced
    > any resources analysing any of the systems used in the various Ultimas;
    > breakdowns of each character class, each stat, the magic system, how the
    > mechanics work, that sort of thing. The more detail, the better. If
    > someone had done something nifty like reverse-engineer the entire game
    > system and stuck the details on a website, that would be just perfect,
    > but I must admit I can't find anything with a quick Google search.

    Classes, I don't think I managed to work out well - although I remember
    I was insistent on the eight-class system.

    Magic, I figured we could just use the Ultima version. Spell effects
    might have to be defined in AD&D terms, but that should be easy enough
    to work out. But we got the eight reagents for material components, and
    the Words of Power for verbal components. Don't see a need for somatic.

    We keep the same eight circles, and use the Spell Charge system of AD&D
    to determine how much one can cast per day.

    To be honest, the magic system was the easiest part, and the only one I
    had down to a 'T'.

    If you have any specific questions, ask them here; trying to remember
    something I half-did several years ago isn't working very well, but if I
    have questions to direct my energies to answering, it might go better.

    > So I figured I'd ask around here. Some of you might know something about
    > Ultima. ;)

    Vile lies!

    > Any thoughts?

    We think? MORE vile lies!

    -Lumina Dragon
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Lumina Dragon wrote:
    > Eidolon Dragon wrote:
    >
    > Woo! Eido!

    At least someone remembers me. :)

    Actually, after posting I remembered (by looking through the UDIC
    roster) that I'd changed it to Graceless Dragon some time ago, for
    reasons too tedious to revisit. But since then I've lost my loathing for
    the old name and have started using it quite a bit again, so here I am.

    [Ultima with A&D]
    > I tried this once myself - 2e, however - but I never got very far. Same
    > roadblocks, of course, although I had decided on which Ultima system. It
    > was just not easy to transfer to AD&D.

    Indeed. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who's /very/ experienced
    with AD&D (as in, he has /all/ the books for 1st Edition -- and I do
    mean /all/ -- plus the majority of 2nd and 3rd Edition stuff). He's
    going to be one of the players, and he's helping me figure out the
    system details.

    [System adaptations to fit Ultima to AD&D]
    > Classes, I don't think I managed to work out well - although I remember
    > I was insistent on the eight-class system.

    Yeah, I'd like to use the classes from Ultima IV.

    Browsing through some stuff on Ultima V last night
    (http://home.student.uva.nl/michael.saltzherr/u/ultima5.htm) and noticed
    to my surprise that there seemed to be only three classes: Fighter, Mage
    and Bard. This suggested to me that I might be able to derive the eight
    classes for Ultima IV from Fighter, Magic User and Thief.

    Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: Fighter-based classes.
    Mage, Druid: Magic User-based classes.
    Tinker, Bard, Shepherd: Thief-based classes.

    The differences in classes will be more down to role-playing and
    character background than mechanical terms, although I'm open to
    suggestions to differentiate between the classes.

    I'm considering ditching Shepherd as a class, because my memory of...
    well, pretty much every Ultima, actually, is that Shepherds are rubbish,
    and anyone playing a Shepherd would be at a significant disadvantage to
    the rest of the party.

    Another tricky aspect: religion. Garriott's said several times that
    there's intentionally no overt religion in the early Ultimas, because he
    wants games like Ultima IV to be about becoming a better person through
    ethical actions rather than doing what God tells you to.

    Of course, this means no Priest/Cleric class, and no divine magic.

    I seem to recall Jaana having some kind of spontaneous healing ability
    in some of the later games, but other than that I don't really recall
    any difference between the magical abilities of a Mage and a Druid.
    Again, this was a difference I was going to bring out more through
    role-playing than system mechanics -- druids having some kind of innate
    command of magic, whereas mages are scholarly and study magic from
    textbooks. (A little like what I understand of the difference between
    Sorceror and Wizard in D&D 3e.) And again, I'm open to suggestion.

    Another change is to remove the negative connotations of "thief" from
    the class. I'll probably call the basic class "Nomad" or something. The
    idea is that these characters are self-reliant wanderers, skilled in
    many things, not mighty warriors or powerful spellcasters, but not
    sneaky, evil thieves who pillage and assassinate either.

    (Random note: all PCs will be human.)

    I'm using Ultima IV as the basic model, so I'm asking the players to
    play /good/, /heroic/ characters. (Our group has a history of rather
    selfish, obnoxious characters.) While it doesn't really matter for the
    first few Ultimas as CRPGs (in fact, I think one of Paulon's advice
    pages for an early Ultima (I? II?) suggests that the best way to get
    weapons and armour is to steal them!), I'll be running things a little
    differently.

    There's also the question of scope. This is going to be run as a backup
    campaign in weeks when the main campaign can't run for some reason, so
    sessions are going to be spaced quite widely apart. For that reason I'd
    like each session to be as self-contained as possible; each a complete
    episode in the Ultima story. Not necessarily one session per game --
    eep, Serpent's Isle in three hours? -- but I'm planning to restructure
    the games so that they fit neatly into little pockets.

    I have three players, which matches neatly with the Principles; I'll
    probably be pushing the Principles rather than the Virtues, so that each
    game from Ultima IV onward doesn't take forever to play. I remember
    playing Ultima IX and realising in the middle of my fourth dungeon just
    how big a number eight is when you're deeply bored and frustrated with
    bugs...

    So I'll probably be using the core idea of each game, and some of the
    more interesting subquests from each, to build up each chapter:

    Ultima I: Mondain terrorises Sosaria. After some adventuring and
    exploration the heroes meet the Time Lord, who sends them back to
    destroy the Gem of Immortality. I'll leave out the space part.

    Ultima II: Minax, Mondain's apprentice, terrorises Sosaria. I'll
    probably play this one more as a mystery, to avoid it being too similar
    to the first. Someone's terrorising Sosaria but the PCs don't know whom.
    Investigations will uncover the story of Mondain and Minax, and lead
    them to Minax's fortress.

    Ultima III: Exodus terrorises Sosaria. This is more of a standard
    "retrieve the magic foozle to defeat the baddie" kind of quest, although
    I might put all the cards in one dungeon.

    Ultima IV: Lord British calls for a group of champions to seek to become
    Avatars, following the Principles of Truth, Love and Courage. Codex of
    Ultimate Wisdom, spiritual quest, etc. etc.

    Ultima V: Blackthorne's in charge, the Principles are twisted, the
    Shadowlords are out and about, Lord British is a prisoner, and so on.

    .... You get the idea. The first two are the biggest problem: I don't
    want space travel in Ultima I and I don't want Ultima II to be set on
    Earth. After that it's more a matter of condensing the salient bits and
    leaving out stuff that would make each chapter take too long. It's going
    to be a long campaign whichever way I run it, and I don't want it to
    last forever.

    The characters will probably keep their levels between chapters, because
    starting each game as level one would be frustrating and annoying. The
    plan is to start at level one at the start of Ultima I and have the
    characters reach level twenty by the end of Ultima IX.

    I'll also be using the Ultima IV map for all the games except Serpent
    Isle, Pagan and Ascension. Sorry, I just don't like the maps from the
    first three, particularly the Exodus map. The Ultima IV map is
    everything a good map should be, and it'll give the players a sense of
    familiarity even though a great deal of time passes between each chapter.

    (I'll be moongating them in and out between chapters, at least until
    Ultima VII. Quite a bit of time will pass between each chapter.)

    > Magic, I figured we could just use the Ultima version. Spell effects
    > might have to be defined in AD&D terms, but that should be easy enough
    > to work out. But we got the eight reagents for material components, and
    > the Words of Power for verbal components. Don't see a need for somatic.
    >
    > We keep the same eight circles, and use the Spell Charge system of AD&D
    > to determine how much one can cast per day.

    How does the Spell Charge system work? Is that a 2nd Edition thing? I
    don't believe I've encountered it.

    And yes, I'm going to use an Ultima system, although I haven't yet
    decided which. Spell circles, which give an analogue to spell levels in
    AD&D, and reagents. Encumbrance will be an issue to prevent people from
    carrying around 99 mandrake roots.

    > If you have any specific questions, ask them here; trying to remember
    > something I half-did several years ago isn't working very well, but if I
    > have questions to direct my energies to answering, it might go better.

    The above is kind of a brain dump, in the hope that it'll spark some
    suggestions. I'll come back with more questions if anything specific
    springs to mind.

    >> So I figured I'd ask around here. Some of you might know something
    >> about Ultima. ;)
    >
    > Vile lies!
    >
    >> Any thoughts?
    >
    >
    > We think? MORE vile lies!

    I'm sorry, I've been away too long. I'd forgotten how this place works. :)

    Nice to see[1] you again, Lumina.

    -Eidolon Dragon

    [1] Well, you know what I mean.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    > Lumina Dragon wrote:
    ....

    >> Woo! Eido!
    >
    > At least someone remembers me. :)

    He's not the only one, but I spotted your post last night about a
    minute before I went to bed, so I didn't reply then, I'm afraid. :)

    > Actually, after posting I remembered (by looking through the UDIC
    > roster) that I'd changed it to Graceless Dragon some time ago, for
    > reasons too tedious to revisit.

    I was going to why you'd switched back to the previous monicker, but
    I've already had my question answered, more or less. I shall
    momentarily lament the loss of the "Say goodnight, Gracie" joke, and
    revert to my previous frame of reference. :)

    > But since then I've lost my loathing for the old name and have
    > started using it quite a bit again, so here I am.

    I hope all is well in the land of Eido?

    [Ultima with A&D]
    > Indeed. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who's /very/
    > experienced with AD&D (as in, he has /all/ the books for 1st
    > Edition -- and I do mean /all/ -- plus the majority of 2nd and 3rd
    > Edition stuff). He's going to be one of the players, and he's
    > helping me figure out the system details.

    You're aware of the P&P RPG links in the FAQ, aren't you? There
    might be something in one of those that could help.

    > [System adaptations to fit Ultima to AD&D]
    >> Classes, I don't think I managed to work out well - although I
    >> remember I was insistent on the eight-class system.
    >
    > Yeah, I'd like to use the classes from Ultima IV.

    I'd say it's more or less a must if you're running a class-based
    system in the Britannia of pre-Guardian times.

    > Browsing through some stuff on Ultima V last night
    > (http://home.student.uva.nl/michael.saltzherr/u/ultima5.htm) and
    > noticed to my surprise that there seemed to be only three classes:
    > Fighter, Mage and Bard. This suggested to me that I might be able
    > to derive the eight classes for Ultima IV from Fighter, Magic User
    > and Thief.

    Reflecting courage, truth and... erm, love? It would make sense,
    though, given the Three Principles on which the virtues are based.
    Of course, the lack of priests isn't a problem, since Britannia,
    Avatar aside, was religion-free. But you'd have to move the druid
    over to the wizardry class from the priestly one, obviously.

    > Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: Fighter-based classes.
    > Mage, Druid: Magic User-based classes.

    GMTA, clearly. :)

    > Tinker, Bard, Shepherd: Thief-based classes.
    > The differences in classes will be more down to role-playing and
    > character background than mechanical terms, although I'm open to
    > suggestions to differentiate between the classes.

    Well, you can distinguish between the paladin and ranger in normal
    D&D fashion, with some extra class abilities for the fighter to
    compensate. Tinkers and Shepherds are a bit of a problem if they're
    not going to be grossly underpowered compared to the others, though.
    Really, you need to load them up with non-combat skills to make them
    useful in ways not directly related to hitting something with a sword
    or frying it with a Vas Flam. :)

    > I'm considering ditching Shepherd as a class, because my memory
    > of... well, pretty much every Ultima, actually, is that Shepherds
    > are rubbish, and anyone playing a Shepherd would be at a
    > significant disadvantage to the rest of the party.

    Ultima characters were basically all about combat. In D&D, you can
    ramp up the shepherd's usefulness by offering husbandry-related
    skills, charisma-related abilities and the like. Or turn them into a
    D&D monk-style character, able to beat off wolves from their flocks
    armed only with their bare hands and a few stones. After all, they
    have the right ascetic lifestyle.

    In any event, I wouldn't drop the class completely. Even if none of
    the players want to be one, there should still be NPC shepherds, to
    maintain the Ultima spirit.

    > Another tricky aspect: religion. Garriott's said several times
    > that there's intentionally no overt religion in the early Ultimas,
    > because he wants games like Ultima IV to be about becoming a
    > better person through ethical actions rather than doing what God
    > tells you to.
    >
    > Of course, this means no Priest/Cleric class, and no divine magic.

    Fine. Lose it -- I certainly would, given that mages can heal in
    Britannia. Although, on the no religion front... Empath Abbey?

    > I seem to recall Jaana having some kind of spontaneous healing
    > ability in some of the later games, but other than that I don't
    > really recall any difference between the magical abilities of a
    > Mage and a Druid. Again, this was a difference I was going to
    > bring out more through role-playing than system mechanics --
    > druids having some kind of innate command of magic, whereas mages
    > are scholarly and study magic from textbooks. (A little like what
    > I understand of the difference between Sorceror and Wizard in D&D
    > 3e.) And again, I'm open to suggestion.

    Depends how much you're willing to tinker (heh!) with the setting,
    but the other alternative would be to emphasise the druid's healing
    abilities a bit more and downgrade those of the mage. Presto, two
    distinct classes, more in keeping with D&D.

    > Another change is to remove the negative connotations of "thief"
    > from the class. I'll probably call the basic class "Nomad" or
    > something. The idea is that these characters are self-reliant
    > wanderers, skilled in many things, not mighty warriors or powerful
    > spellcasters, but not sneaky, evil thieves who pillage and
    > assassinate either.

    The group is called rogue rathe than thief in AD&D 2nd Edition,
    anyway. Thief is a specific class you won't be using, since tinkers
    presumably take on a lot of their skills and they're not part of the
    virtue framework.

    > (Random note: all PCs will be human.)

    This is U4, not U1 -- demihumans are effectively absent from the
    world.

    > I'm using Ultima IV as the basic model, so I'm asking the players
    > to play /good/, /heroic/ characters. (Our group has a history of
    > rather selfish, obnoxious characters.) While it doesn't really
    > matter for the first few Ultimas as CRPGs (in fact, I think one of
    > Paulon's advice pages for an early Ultima (I? II?) suggests that
    > the best way to get weapons and armour is to steal them!), I'll be
    > running things a little differently.

    Nothing wrong with that. While the DM should try and avoid being
    heavy-handed in controlling player characters once the campaign
    begins, I see no problem with doing so at the generation phase.
    Insist everyone have Good alignment and leave it at that.

    > There's also the question of scope. This is going to be run as a
    > backup campaign in weeks when the main campaign can't run for some
    > reason, so sessions are going to be spaced quite widely apart. For
    > that reason I'd like each session to be as self-contained as
    > possible; each a complete episode in the Ultima story. Not
    > necessarily one session per game -- eep, Serpent's Isle in three
    > hours? -- but I'm planning to restructure the games so that they
    > fit neatly into little pockets.

    Ah, so you're actually playing through the Ultima story, rather than
    just in Britannia a-la UO? That makes a bit of difference to the
    scripting. I'd suggest breaking down each game in advance and seeing
    what you can isolate as a single episode (learning the mantras,
    freeing the shrines from the Gargoyles, exploring the Isle of Fire --
    that sort of thing).

    > I have three players, which matches neatly with the Principles;
    > I'll probably be pushing the Principles rather than the Virtues,
    > so that each game from Ultima IV onward doesn't take forever to
    > play. I remember playing Ultima IX and realising in the middle of
    > my fourth dungeon just how big a number eight is when you're
    > deeply bored and frustrated with bugs...
    >
    > So I'll probably be using the core idea of each game, and some of
    > the more interesting subquests from each, to build up each
    > chapter:
    >
    > Ultima I: Mondain terrorises Sosaria. After some adventuring and
    > exploration the heroes meet the Time Lord, who sends them back to
    > destroy the Gem of Immortality. I'll leave out the space part.

    Spoilsport. :) I enjoy blends of fantasy and sci-fi, which is one
    of the reasons I rather liked the original Masters of the Universe
    cartoon.

    > Ultima II: Minax, Mondain's apprentice, terrorises Sosaria. I'll
    > probably play this one more as a mystery, to avoid it being too
    > similar to the first.

    Nice idea for a change of pace, there.

    > Someone's terrorising Sosaria but the PCs don't know whom.
    > Investigations will uncover the story of Mondain
    > and Minax, and lead them to Minax's fortress.
    >
    > Ultima III: Exodus terrorises Sosaria. This is more of a standard
    > "retrieve the magic foozle to defeat the baddie" kind of quest,
    > although I might put all the cards in one dungeon.
    >
    > Ultima IV: Lord British calls for a group of champions to seek to
    > become Avatars, following the Principles of Truth, Love and
    > Courage. Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, spiritual quest, etc. etc.

    Ah, everyone gets to become an Avatar? Interesting, if a bit non-
    canonical. I presume your party isn't of the sort where some players
    are willing to play second fiddle to another? You could get around
    that, you know, by making the Avatar deeply unappealing to play in
    some way -- unable to collect treasure (all has to be donated to the
    poor), perhaps. >:)

    > Ultima V: Blackthorne's in charge, the Principles are twisted, the
    > Shadowlords are out and about, Lord British is a prisoner, and so
    > on.
    >
    > ... You get the idea. The first two are the biggest problem: I
    > don't want space travel in Ultima I and I don't want Ultima II to
    > be set on Earth. After that it's more a matter of condensing the
    > salient bits and leaving out stuff that would make each chapter
    > take too long. It's going to be a long campaign whichever way I
    > run it, and I don't want it to last forever.

    If you're making scenario notes, I'd be grateful if they were made
    available for download. Aside from a FAQ mention, I wouldn't mind
    having a copy myself. :)

    > The characters will probably keep their levels between chapters,
    > because starting each game as level one would be frustrating and
    > annoying. The plan is to start at level one at the start of Ultima
    > I and have the characters reach level twenty by the end of Ultima
    > IX.

    Interesting. It'll be a slight challenge to have the level of the
    monsters constantly increasing throughout, in order to continue
    presenting a challenge. You might want to work out some in-game
    explanation for why Britannia is suddenly populated by beholders in
    U9. Minions of the guardian, perhaps?

    > I'll also be using the Ultima IV map for all the games except
    > Serpent Isle, Pagan and Ascension. Sorry, I just don't like the
    > maps from the first three, particularly the Exodus map. The Ultima
    > IV map is everything a good map should be, and it'll give the
    > players a sense of familiarity even though a great deal of time
    > passes between each chapter.

    How are you going to explain Serpent Isle's separation from Sosaria
    if there's no indication the two were ever joined?

    > (I'll be moongating them in and out between chapters, at least
    > until Ultima VII. Quite a bit of time will pass between each
    > chapter.)

    Well, there's already a good in-game explanation for that.

    ....
    > How does the Spell Charge system work? Is that a 2nd Edition
    > thing? I don't believe I've encountered it.

    Yes, you have, if Lumina means what I think he does, i.e.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1 1 - - - - - - -
    2 2 - - - - - - -
    3 2 1 - - - - - -
    4 2 2 - - - - - -
    5 3 2 1 - - - - -
    ....

    I must admit, I didn't realise what he meant immediately, either.
    I've never heard it called anything other than the spell progression
    table. :)

    It's easy enough, though. Just drop the level 9 spells and
    intelligence requirements for level 8, and you're good to go.

    > And yes, I'm going to use an Ultima system, although I haven't yet
    > decided which. Spell circles, which give an analogue to spell
    > levels in AD&D, and reagents. Encumbrance will be an issue to
    > prevent people from carrying around 99 mandrake roots.

    Makes sense.

    >> We think? MORE vile lies!
    >
    > I'm sorry, I've been away too long. I'd forgotten how this place
    > works. :)

    Heh.

    > Nice to see[1] you again, Lumina.
    >
    > -Eidolon Dragon
    >
    > [1] Well, you know what I mean.

    Virtually see. Thirith did a paper on the association many people
    have with the newsgroup as a physical place, remember. :)

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a29
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Words to the wise, Eidolon Dragon <eidolonia@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

    >-Eidolon Dragon

    A voice from the ancient crypts of time and space arrives!

    Hey, hey :>

    Good to see you. Where have you been? How have you been? What have you
    done?
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Eidolon Dragon wrote:
    > I'm thinking about running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign for some friends
    > based on the Ultima series. None of them have played any of the Ultima
    > games (with the exception of one, who's played Pagan for about ten
    > minutes, but that really doesn't count), so they're an ideal target
    > audience.
    >
    > This, of course, presents some problems. The AD&D system doesn't map
    > perfectly onto the Ultima system... any of them. And that's the biggest
    > problem I'm facing. Each game has used a different core system, as far
    > as I remember.
    >
    > (I'll admit to being separated from my copy of the Ultima Collection, as
    > well as my AD&D core rulebooks, but I should be solving both of those
    > problems on Sunday.)
    >
    > Anyway, I realise that this project isn't without its attendant
    > difficulties, but it ought to be a lot of fun if I can pull it off.
    >
    > What would be /really/ helpful right now would be if anyone's produced
    > any resources analysing any of the systems used in the various Ultimas;
    > breakdowns of each character class, each stat, the magic system, how the
    > mechanics work, that sort of thing. The more detail, the better. If
    > someone had done something nifty like reverse-engineer the entire game
    > system and stuck the details on a website, that would be just perfect,
    > but I must admit I can't find anything with a quick Google search.
    >
    > So I figured I'd ask around here. Some of you might know something about
    > Ultima. ;)
    >
    > Any thoughts?
    >
    > -Eidolon Dragon

    Heh, I worked out a system by which one could use the virtue questions
    to set up character stats in D&D - it works best in 3rd Ed, but can be
    retrofitted to 1st/2nd. Of course, that strips the fun out of rolling
    one's stats, I suppose.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Helgraf Dragon wrote:

    > Heh, I worked out a system by which one could use the virtue questions
    > to set up character stats in D&D - it works best in 3rd Ed, but can be
    > retrofitted to 1st/2nd. Of course, that strips the fun out of rolling
    > one's stats, I suppose.

    Yeah, I toyed with that idea, but I think the players would prefer to
    create their own characters from scratch. I have no objection to that;
    it's going to be a very occasional and very long-running campaign, so I
    don't want to trap them into anything they don't want.

    -Eidolon Dragon
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Claus Dragon wrote:
    -snip-
    > A voice from the ancient crypts of time and space arrives!
    >
    > Hey, hey :>
    >
    > Good to see you. Where have you been? How have you been? What have you
    > done?

    Oh, you know. Here and there. Up and down. This and that. :)

    Went to university. Got a degree. (Hmm, I was here for at least some of
    that.) Left. Got a job. Started playing tabletop role-playing games
    again. :)

    Don't get a huge amount of time most evenings now, due to juggling too
    many competing interests, hence no newsgroupage. Good to see so many
    familiar names here, though.

    -Eidolon Dragon
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Samurai wrote:
    -snip-
    > I was going to why you'd switched back to the previous monicker, but
    > I've already had my question answered, more or less. I shall
    > momentarily lament the loss of the "Say goodnight, Gracie" joke, and
    > revert to my previous frame of reference. :)

    I must admit, my train of thought ran something like "D'oh! Wrong name!
    Oh, but hang on, no more 'Gracie' jokes. Woohoo!" :)

    -snip-
    > You're aware of the P&P RPG links in the FAQ, aren't you? There
    > might be something in one of those that could help.

    The RGCUD FAQ? I wasn't, and I've just skimmed through it and failed to
    find what you're referring to. :( Any chance of a more explicit pointer?

    >>Browsing through some stuff on Ultima V last night
    >>(http://home.student.uva.nl/michael.saltzherr/u/ultima5.htm) and
    >>noticed to my surprise that there seemed to be only three classes:
    >>Fighter, Mage and Bard. This suggested to me that I might be able
    >>to derive the eight classes for Ultima IV from Fighter, Magic User
    >>and Thief.
    >
    >
    > Reflecting courage, truth and... erm, love?

    Indeed. :) I'll be renaming the Thief base class "Rogue" anyway, or
    possibly "Nomad", to remove the negative connotations.

    > Well, you can distinguish between the paladin and ranger in normal
    > D&D fashion, with some extra class abilities for the fighter to
    > compensate. Tinkers and Shepherds are a bit of a problem if they're
    > not going to be grossly underpowered compared to the others, though.
    > Really, you need to load them up with non-combat skills to make them
    > useful in ways not directly related to hitting something with a sword
    > or frying it with a Vas Flam. :)

    Indeed. I'm not entirely sure what to do with them. I've never played
    either, so I don't have much of a feel for the classes.

    > Ultima characters were basically all about combat. In D&D, you can
    > ramp up the shepherd's usefulness by offering husbandry-related
    > skills, charisma-related abilities and the like. Or turn them into a
    > D&D monk-style character, able to beat off wolves from their flocks
    > armed only with their bare hands and a few stones. After all, they
    > have the right ascetic lifestyle.

    Ooh, I rather like that idea. Thanks!

    > In any event, I wouldn't drop the class completely. Even if none of
    > the players want to be one, there should still be NPC shepherds, to
    > maintain the Ultima spirit.

    Oh, certainly, there will still be NPC shepherds. Although I'm not
    planning to stat up the NPCs too heavily; I'd rather provide a wealth of
    rich, interesting characters who I can pull out of the bag to role-play
    when necessary, rather than trying to come up with a pile of numbers for
    everything. Hopefully I'll only be needing stats for the evil-doers.

    [no divine magic]
    > Fine. Lose it -- I certainly would, given that mages can heal in
    > Britannia. Although, on the no religion front... Empath Abbey?

    Yeah, true, but the Abbey isn't religious in the sense that Garriott
    means, and doesn't exactly fit the D&D priest model either. In Ultima IV
    and V it feels more like a meditation retreat than a monastery, and from
    Ultima VI onwards it's more of a wine factory. :)

    [druid vs. mage: role-playing, or system mechanics?]
    > Depends how much you're willing to tinker (heh!) with the setting,
    > but the other alternative would be to emphasise the druid's healing
    > abilities a bit more and downgrade those of the mage. Presto, two
    > distinct classes, more in keeping with D&D.

    I've considered that, but I'm not really sure how to pull it off without
    significantly changing the Ultima magic system. Perhaps I could give
    Druids a spontaneous healing ability (like Jaana's from Ultima VII), but
    give Mages somewhat more magic points...

    >>(Random note: all PCs will be human.)
    >
    > This is U4, not U1 -- demihumans are effectively absent from the
    > world.

    Quite.

    >>I'm using Ultima IV as the basic model, so I'm asking the players
    >>to play /good/, /heroic/ characters. (Our group has a history of
    >>rather selfish, obnoxious characters.) While it doesn't really
    >>matter for the first few Ultimas as CRPGs (in fact, I think one of
    >>Paulon's advice pages for an early Ultima (I? II?) suggests that
    >>the best way to get weapons and armour is to steal them!), I'll be
    >>running things a little differently.
    >
    > Nothing wrong with that. While the DM should try and avoid being
    > heavy-handed in controlling player characters once the campaign
    > begins, I see no problem with doing so at the generation phase.
    > Insist everyone have Good alignment and leave it at that.

    Unfortunately I had to take things a little further than that. Alignment
    doesn't mean a great deal to my group. We're quite good at having
    nominally Neutral or even Good characters who are actually evil buggers.
    Normally it's a fact of life; we accept that all the PCs are going to
    hate each other and spend most of their time arguing and sneaking off to
    do evil things on their own. But that just isn't going to cut it for
    Ultima. So I laid the law down right from the start, and made absolutely
    sure that the players in question were entirely happy with this and
    wouldn't feel bored, frustrated or powerless. Only when I was sure did I
    decide to go ahead with it.

    Ask me about our last Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play campaign sometime. ;)

    > Ah, so you're actually playing through the Ultima story, rather than
    > just in Britannia a-la UO? That makes a bit of difference to the
    > scripting. I'd suggest breaking down each game in advance and seeing
    > what you can isolate as a single episode (learning the mantras,
    > freeing the shrines from the Gargoyles, exploring the Isle of Fire --
    > that sort of thing).

    As you said, GMTA. :) Yes, we're going right from Ultima I to Ultima IX.
    I'm omitting the Underworlds because I haven't played them, but we'll be
    doing everything in the mainline series.

    After some discussion, it'll be trimmed down quite a bit, so that the
    campaign doesn't run for years and years. Whereas the original games had
    lots of eights, mine will have lots of threes, and so on.

    >>Ultima I: Mondain terrorises Sosaria. After some adventuring and
    >>exploration the heroes meet the Time Lord, who sends them back to
    >>destroy the Gem of Immortality. I'll leave out the space part.
    >
    > Spoilsport. :) I enjoy blends of fantasy and sci-fi, which is one
    > of the reasons I rather liked the original Masters of the Universe
    > cartoon.

    I wrestled with that, but eventually decided that the time travel was
    wacky enough. Space adventures are as out of keeping with the last two
    thirds of the series as Fuzzy Mages and Bobbit Fighters. :)

    >>Ultima IV: Lord British calls for a group of champions to seek to
    >>become Avatars, following the Principles of Truth, Love and
    >>Courage. Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, spiritual quest, etc. etc.
    >
    > Ah, everyone gets to become an Avatar? Interesting, if a bit non-
    > canonical. I presume your party isn't of the sort where some players
    > are willing to play second fiddle to another? You could get around
    > that, you know, by making the Avatar deeply unappealing to play in
    > some way -- unable to collect treasure (all has to be donated to the
    > poor), perhaps. >:)

    I thought about it, but I don't really want to go there. I'm pushing
    very strongly for party unity, and I don't want to do something as
    divisive as say "Right, one of you has to be virtuous, the rest of your
    can do whatever the hell you like." Plus later games are very
    Avatar-centric, and I wouldn't want the others to feel lessened or
    diminished. Imagine the "Isle Of The Avatar (and his mates)". Or the
    Guardian's opening speech in Pagan. "Nobody here has ever heard of the
    Avatar. Er, or you two. Who are you again?"

    My group has played lots of games where GMs have deliberately driven a
    wedge between the PCs, with very entertaining results. (Remind me to
    tell you about Bodycount sometime. :)) Most of the time, we successfully
    drive wedges between ourselves without GM help. But just this once I
    really want people to stay together, which means equal time and equal
    favour.

    Bear in mind, too, that this is a backup campaign, one to be played in
    weeks where the "main" campaign can't run for some reason (which, for
    various reasons, involves certain key people being unavailable). This'll
    happen rarely enough that I want the game to be equally fun for
    everyone; I don't want anyone thinking "Oh, right, back to another
    session of The Justin The Avatar Show," or whatever.

    > If you're making scenario notes, I'd be grateful if they were made
    > available for download. Aside from a FAQ mention, I wouldn't mind
    > having a copy myself. :)

    By all means. I was wondering if there would be any UDIC interest,
    actually. I'm not sure how the legalities work out, of course, but I'm
    happy to make available whatever I end up producing.

    Note to self: make notes using computer, not scrawled on scrap paper.

    > Interesting. It'll be a slight challenge to have the level of the
    > monsters constantly increasing throughout, in order to continue
    > presenting a challenge.

    Yes, I'm wondering how to deal with that. I have a few ideas, but the
    problem certainly isn't solved yet.

    > You might want to work out some in-game
    > explanation for why Britannia is suddenly populated by beholders in
    > U9. Minions of the guardian, perhaps?

    Indeed. The Guardian's a great excuse for everything. :)

    Incidentally, the villains will remain untouched, more or less; so just
    because there are three Avatars, that doesn't mean there will be three
    Blackthornes, or whatever.

    > How are you going to explain Serpent Isle's separation from Sosaria
    > if there's no indication the two were ever joined?

    Curses. I'd forgotten that.

    Answer: Ultima I will take place over a fairly small chunk of land, and
    the players will only get a map to the local part. They'll hear mentions
    of the Lands of Danger and Despair(?), but they won't need to go there.
    Then, later, when we get to Serpent Isle, those who are paying attention
    will think "Aha!"

    -Eidolon Dragon
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Words to the wise, Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>
    wrote:

    >> A voice from the ancient crypts of time and space arrives!
    >>
    >> Hey, hey :>
    >>
    >> Good to see you. Where have you been? How have you been? What have you
    >> done?
    >
    >Oh, you know. Here and there. Up and down. This and that. :)
    >
    >Went to university. Got a degree. (Hmm, I was here for at least some of
    >that.) Left. Got a job. Started playing tabletop role-playing games
    >again. :)

    I remember that saying: The more I should revise, the more I am
    posting here.

    Yes, this was you. Yes, I was around then :>

    >Don't get a huge amount of time most evenings now, due to juggling too
    >many competing interests, hence no newsgroupage. Good to see so many
    >familiar names here, though.

    What about kids and stuff? What do you work as?
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Fuller reply when it isn't gone 2am, but I wanted to get this in
    quickly, as there is a D&D mention and it might be of use to you.

    Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    ....
    > The RGCUD FAQ? I wasn't, and I've just skimmed through it and
    > failed to find what you're referring to. :( Any chance of a more
    > explicit pointer?

    6.8) Are there any Ultima pen-and-paper RPGs?

    I've heard tell that Richard Garriott exhibited a tabletop Ultima RPG
    at a convention in the USA, but it unfortunately never resurfaced.
    Undaunted, Ultima fans have made several attempts to create an
    unofficial pen-and-paper roleplaying game based on the series.

    One such project, Ultima Resurrection, has seen some playtesting,
    though its creator, Resurrection Dragon, admits it is currently in a
    quiet period. Find out more at the game's website,
    http://blackgate.morningstar.info/index.html.

    Quill Dragon originally hosted that project, but has now created a
    new RPG himself, which he calls Ultima Prophecy -- the Ankh of Stars.
    It uses his own role-playing system, and both can be downloaded from
    his site at http://www.salikon.dk/index3.html.

    Hong Ooi has written a third-edition Dungeons and Dragons conversion
    of U4, which sounds interesting, though he admits it strays from
    canon a tad. Find out more here:
    http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/britannia/index.htm

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a29
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Samurai wrote:
    > Fuller reply when it isn't gone 2am, but I wanted to get this in
    > quickly, as there is a D&D mention and it might be of use to you.
    -snip-

    Ah, now I see my problem. I was looking at the Ultima Gameplay FAQ
    rather than the RGCUD FAQ. Oopsie. :)

    Many thanks for the correct pointer. I'll take a look right now.

    -Eidolon Dragon
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Claus Dragon wrote:
    > I remember that saying: The more I should revise, the more I am
    > posting here.
    >
    > Yes, this was you. Yes, I was around then :>

    *cough*

    No idea what you mean.

    > What about kids and stuff?

    Good grief, no. Well, no kids. Plenty of stuff, though. :)

    > What do you work as?

    I r t3h l33t hax0r, or something. I spend most days kicking code until
    it behaves. Well, actually, I spend most of most days thinking about
    role-playing games, fiction and other creative things, and during the
    creative lulls I kick computers. :)

    -M
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Samurai wrote:
    -snip-
    > One such project, Ultima Resurrection, has seen some playtesting,
    > though its creator, Resurrection Dragon, admits it is currently in a
    > quiet period. Find out more at the game's website,
    > http://blackgate.morningstar.info/index.html.

    Wow, this is /amazing/! This is everything I could ask for and more!
    Many, many thanks.

    I think I'll still use AD&D 1st Edition as the core rule system, using
    these documents as a starting resource, rather than run the game using
    the U:R system, but even so there's all the information I need collected
    in one place here. That's superb.

    Now I just need to decide whether to let the magic system evolve from
    game to game, or pick one and stick with it...

    -M
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Eidolon Dragon wrote:
    -snip-
    > I think I'll still use AD&D 1st Edition as the core rule system, using
    > these documents as a starting resource, rather than run the game using
    > the U:R system, but even so there's all the information I need collected
    > in one place here. That's superb.

    Hmm. It now looks as though I might actually be using the U:R system
    instead of AD&D. My 1st Edition Players' Handbook has gone missing. :(
    Doesn't look like it's survived moving house and then having my parents
    reorganise everything many, many times. Sigh.

    I just hope U:R is complete and balanced enough to be playable...

    -M
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Samurai wrote:
    > Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    >
    >>Lumina Dragon wrote:
    >
    >>>Classes, I don't think I managed to work out well - although I
    >>>remember I was insistent on the eight-class system.
    >>
    >>Yeah, I'd like to use the classes from Ultima IV.
    >
    > I'd say it's more or less a must if you're running a class-based
    > system in the Britannia of pre-Guardian times.
    >
    >>Browsing through some stuff on Ultima V last night
    >>(http://home.student.uva.nl/michael.saltzherr/u/ultima5.htm) and
    >>noticed to my surprise that there seemed to be only three classes:
    >>Fighter, Mage and Bard. This suggested to me that I might be able
    >>to derive the eight classes for Ultima IV from Fighter, Magic User
    >>and Thief.
    >
    > Reflecting courage, truth and... erm, love? It would make sense,
    > though, given the Three Principles on which the virtues are based.
    > Of course, the lack of priests isn't a problem, since Britannia,
    > Avatar aside, was religion-free. But you'd have to move the druid
    > over to the wizardry class from the priestly one, obviously.

    Yeha. U5 switched to one class per principle instead of one per virtue.
    The 8-class system of U4 was reprised somewhat in the UWs, but the
    numbered games after #5 sort of ditched the class concept altogether.

    >>Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: Fighter-based classes.
    >>Mage, Druid: Magic User-based classes.
    >
    > GMTA, clearly. :)
    >
    >>Tinker, Bard, Shepherd: Thief-based classes.
    >>The differences in classes will be more down to role-playing and
    >>character background than mechanical terms, although I'm open to
    >>suggestions to differentiate between the classes.
    >
    > Well, you can distinguish between the paladin and ranger in normal
    > D&D fashion, with some extra class abilities for the fighter to
    > compensate. Tinkers and Shepherds are a bit of a problem if they're
    > not going to be grossly underpowered compared to the others, though.
    > Really, you need to load them up with non-combat skills to make them
    > useful in ways not directly related to hitting something with a sword
    > or frying it with a Vas Flam. :)
    >
    >>I'm considering ditching Shepherd as a class, because my memory
    >>of... well, pretty much every Ultima, actually, is that Shepherds
    >>are rubbish, and anyone playing a Shepherd would be at a
    >>significant disadvantage to the rest of the party.
    >
    > Ultima characters were basically all about combat. In D&D, you can
    > ramp up the shepherd's usefulness by offering husbandry-related
    > skills, charisma-related abilities and the like. Or turn them into a
    > D&D monk-style character, able to beat off wolves from their flocks
    > armed only with their bare hands and a few stones. After all, they
    > have the right ascetic lifestyle.
    >
    > In any event, I wouldn't drop the class completely. Even if none of
    > the players want to be one, there should still be NPC shepherds, to
    > maintain the Ultima spirit.

    If we were to accept Mage, Rogue (Bard), and Fighter as core classes, we
    could easily extrapolate the next three as hybrids.

    Priests, we should ditch, not simply because of the lack of religion but
    also because there is only one spell system to use.

    Anyway. Paladins would be decent warriors, although not quite as much as
    Fighters, and they would have spellcasting ability, albeit with fewer
    charges to use than a Mage.

    A Tinker would be a hybrid of a fighter and a rogue, as Sacrifice is
    Courage and Love.

    Druids, I have a hard time working on, because Truth and Love make
    Justice, implying a Mage/Rogue hybrid, but there is nothing rogue-like
    about Druids in either tha AD&D or the Ultima sense.

    Rangers, of course, are the jacks of all trades, yet master of none.

    Lastly, Sheperds lack the inherent strengths of the core classes, but in
    the UW titles, they had the largest pool of "random" points when
    generated as a character - while you knew a Fighter would have high
    Strength, and a Bard high Dexterity, and so on, the Sheperd could have
    just about anything, from high in one thing and average in others, to
    moderately good in all three.

    Reflecting this in AD&D would be tricky, however. If it were second
    edition, I would grant the character a large amount of Nonweapon
    Proficiencies - I believe 'feats" are the 3.5 edition term? - to reflect
    their generalist nature. D6 would make a good hit die for them - low but
    not too low - and as they levelled up, they could become useful in
    combat ways, should they choose to develop as such. (While I do have the
    3.5 core books, I've yet to get a chance to look them over properly, so
    forgive my vagueness here.)

    >>Another tricky aspect: religion. Garriott's said several times
    >>that there's intentionally no overt religion in the early Ultimas,
    >>because he wants games like Ultima IV to be about becoming a
    >>better person through ethical actions rather than doing what God
    >>tells you to.
    >>
    >>Of course, this means no Priest/Cleric class, and no divine magic.
    >
    > Fine. Lose it -- I certainly would, given that mages can heal in
    > Britannia. Although, on the no religion front... Empath Abbey?

    What religion did the monks study, Sammy?

    Anyway, as I said above, you don't need a Priest class when you got only
    the one magic system.

    >>I seem to recall Jaana having some kind of spontaneous healing
    >>ability in some of the later games, but other than that I don't
    >>really recall any difference between the magical abilities of a
    >>Mage and a Druid. Again, this was a difference I was going to
    >>bring out more through role-playing than system mechanics --
    >>druids having some kind of innate command of magic, whereas mages
    >>are scholarly and study magic from textbooks. (A little like what
    >>I understand of the difference between Sorceror and Wizard in D&D
    >>3e.) And again, I'm open to suggestion.

    Well, I rather like my concept of Druids and Paladins being able to cast
    spells, simply with half as many charges. Yes, I stole the concept from
    U3, which had the classes with half-type mages and priests. Determining
    the spell count for a Ranger might be tricky, because 1/3 progression
    seems a bit too slow. Perhaps, instead, you could give them
    half-progression, but it doesn't kick in for the first few levels?

    > Depends how much you're willing to tinker (heh!) with the setting,
    > but the other alternative would be to emphasise the druid's healing
    > abilities a bit more and downgrade those of the mage. Presto, two
    > distinct classes, more in keeping with D&D.
    >
    >>Another change is to remove the negative connotations of "thief"
    >>from the class. I'll probably call the basic class "Nomad" or
    >>something. The idea is that these characters are self-reliant
    >>wanderers, skilled in many things, not mighty warriors or powerful
    >>spellcasters, but not sneaky, evil thieves who pillage and
    >>assassinate either.
    >
    > The group is called rogue rathe than thief in AD&D 2nd Edition,
    > anyway. Thief is a specific class you won't be using, since tinkers
    > presumably take on a lot of their skills and they're not part of the
    > virtue framework.
    >
    >>(Random note: all PCs will be human.)
    >
    > This is U4, not U1 -- demihumans are effectively absent from the
    > world.
    >
    >>I'm using Ultima IV as the basic model, so I'm asking the players
    >>to play /good/, /heroic/ characters. (Our group has a history of
    >>rather selfish, obnoxious characters.) While it doesn't really
    >>matter for the first few Ultimas as CRPGs (in fact, I think one of
    >>Paulon's advice pages for an early Ultima (I? II?) suggests that
    >>the best way to get weapons and armour is to steal them!), I'll be
    >>running things a little differently.
    >
    > Nothing wrong with that. While the DM should try and avoid being
    > heavy-handed in controlling player characters once the campaign
    > begins, I see no problem with doing so at the generation phase.
    > Insist everyone have Good alignment and leave it at that.

    But one shouldn't be averse to characters who fail at certain Virtues -
    these aren't the Avatar. And while it is probably in the interests of a
    smooth campaign to make sure nobody falls completely, there may come a
    time in the campaign when such a circumstance might prove useful.

    >>Ultima II: Minax, Mondain's apprentice, terrorises Sosaria. I'll
    >>probably play this one more as a mystery, to avoid it being too
    >>similar to the first.
    >
    > Nice idea for a change of pace, there.

    Of the Three, Minax's would be the best if younwanted a Mystery.

    >>Someone's terrorising Sosaria but the PCs don't know whom.
    >>Investigations will uncover the story of Mondain
    >>and Minax, and lead them to Minax's fortress.
    >>
    >>Ultima III: Exodus terrorises Sosaria. This is more of a standard
    >>"retrieve the magic foozle to defeat the baddie" kind of quest,
    >>although I might put all the cards in one dungeon.

    At least put that dungeon in a submerged continent that they have to
    sail into a whirlpool to get to.

    >>Ultima V: Blackthorne's in charge, the Principles are twisted, the
    >>Shadowlords are out and about, Lord British is a prisoner, and so
    >>on.

    This has great potential, if you ask me, and should be kept as close to
    canon as possible. The tension in the Fifth Age would make for some
    great roleplaying opportunities, and if any of the characters seem
    likely to fall from grace (pun not entirely intended!), this would be a
    great place for it.

    > If you're making scenario notes, I'd be grateful if they were made
    > available for download. Aside from a FAQ mention, I wouldn't mind
    > having a copy myself. :)

    Hear, hear!

    >>I'll also be using the Ultima IV map for all the games except
    >>Serpent Isle, Pagan and Ascension. Sorry, I just don't like the
    >>maps from the first three, particularly the Exodus map. The Ultima
    >>IV map is everything a good map should be, and it'll give the
    >>players a sense of familiarity even though a great deal of time
    >>passes between each chapter.

    Just remember to bring up an island where those three volcanoes were, an
    island to have Blackthorn's Castle, later occupied by Sutek, and
    ultimately the town of Terfin.

    If you wish, you can call the three volcanoes - which should still exist
    even after the island rises (but they'll be dormant) "The Sorceror's
    Peaks", a name I gave them in my fanfic.

    >>How does the Spell Charge system work? Is that a 2nd Edition
    >>thing? I don't believe I've encountered it.
    >
    > Yes, you have, if Lumina means what I think he does, i.e.
    >
    > 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    > 1 1 - - - - - - -
    > 2 2 - - - - - - -
    > 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    > 4 2 2 - - - - - -
    > 5 3 2 1 - - - - -
    > ...
    >
    > I must admit, I didn't realise what he meant immediately, either.
    > I've never heard it called anything other than the spell progression
    > table. :)

    Yes, this is exactly what I meant. I call them "Spell Charges" to
    distinguish them from most electronic RPG systems of "Magic Points"
    ("Mana" in the Ultimas).

    > It's easy enough, though. Just drop the level 9 spells and
    > intelligence requirements for level 8, and you're good to go.

    Exactly!

    >>And yes, I'm going to use an Ultima system, although I haven't yet
    >>decided which. Spell circles, which give an analogue to spell
    >>levels in AD&D, and reagents. Encumbrance will be an issue to
    >>prevent people from carrying around 99 mandrake roots.
    >
    > Makes sense.

    As for determining which, I prefer the system which uses words of power,
    the system used from 5 to 7.5 and in both UWs. It works very well, and
    you can create some spells of your own by knowing the words for the
    right effect.

    -Lumina Dragon
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    ....
    > Hmm. It now looks as though I might actually be using the U:R
    > system instead of AD&D. My 1st Edition Players' Handbook has gone
    > missing. :( Doesn't look like it's survived moving house and then
    > having my parents reorganise everything many, many times. Sigh.
    >
    > I just hope U:R is complete and balanced enough to be playable...

    Well, there's always eBay. I'm sure you could pick up a first-edition
    PH cheaply enough. A couple of weeks ago, I'd have offered my second-
    edition AD&D manuals, but there's actually a slight chance I'll be
    running a 2e campaign soon, god help me. :)

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a29
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Quoth Lumina Dragon <kewhitte@hotmail.com>:
    > Samurai wrote:
    ....
    >> Although, on the no religion front... Empath Abbey?
    >
    > What religion did the monks study, Sammy?

    Woship of Bacchus, dear boy. :)

    ....
    > Well, I rather like my concept of Druids and Paladins being able
    > to cast spells, simply with half as many charges. Yes, I stole the
    > concept from U3, which had the classes with half-type mages and
    > priests. Determining the spell count for a Ranger might be tricky,
    > because 1/3 progression seems a bit too slow. Perhaps, instead,
    > you could give them half-progression, but it doesn't kick in for
    > the first few levels?

    If memory serves, in U4, mages got full mana, driuds got three-
    quarters, bards and paladins got half and rangers and tinkers got a
    quarter of the mage total. Do with that as you wish. :)


    > But one shouldn't be averse to characters who fail at certain
    > Virtues - these aren't the Avatar.

    You should read more closely, Lumina. Eido mentioned all of his PCs
    would be pursuing avatarhood.

    > And while it is probably in the interests of a smooth campaign to
    > make sure nobody falls completely, there may come a time in the
    > campaign when such a circumstance might prove useful.

    Possibly, though I think Eido will have quite enough side-quests that
    are already in the game, without having to resort to 'restore your
    fallen comrade's virtue' add-ons. :)

    > As for determining which, I prefer the system which uses words of
    > power, the system used from 5 to 7.5 and in both UWs. It works
    > very well, and you can create some spells of your own by knowing
    > the words for the right effect.

    It's certainly the casting system I'd favour.

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a29
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    ....
    > I think I'll still use AD&D 1st Edition as the core rule system,
    > using these documents as a starting resource, rather than run the
    > game using the U:R system, but even so there's all the information
    > I need collected in one place here. That's superb.

    Obviously, events have moved on a bit since you said that, but I
    don't believe I replied to this post previously, so you're welcome.
    :)

    > Now I just need to decide whether to let the magic system evolve
    > from game to game, or pick one and stick with it...

    I'd be inclined to leave it be. In many ways, the change between
    games was as much about the technology available to Origin as the
    gameworld itself -- and the magical system will feel more like part
    of the latter if it's already established when the players arrive in
    Sosaria/Britannia.

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a29
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    Samurai wrote:
    > Quoth Eidolon Dragon <insertdragonnamehereia@yahoo.co.uk>:
    > ...
    >
    >>Hmm. It now looks as though I might actually be using the U:R
    >>system instead of AD&D. My 1st Edition Players' Handbook has gone
    >>missing. :( Doesn't look like it's survived moving house and then
    >>having my parents reorganise everything many, many times. Sigh.
    >>
    >>I just hope U:R is complete and balanced enough to be playable...
    >
    >
    > Well, there's always eBay. I'm sure you could pick up a first-edition
    > PH cheaply enough. A couple of weeks ago, I'd have offered my second-
    > edition AD&D manuals, but there's actually a slight chance I'll be
    > running a 2e campaign soon, god help me. :)

    You could always go and get the 3.5 core books. I only just got mine
    last Xmas, and I do not yet understand all these newfangled changes, but
    from everything I've heard by readers' letters to Dragon magazine, it's
    a very play-friendly system.

    My problem will be unlearning 2e. And ever getting a group.

    .... ... ...

    Which reminds me! While it is far from complete (it was almost complete
    when my old computer keeled over and died), I am continuing to make
    progress on a custom setting to run on the Weyrmount. It'll be just like
    a real gaming session, only we meet online. (I have already created a
    room for it, and Rubyflame has coded up a generic dice object.)

    It will probably be 2e, however, as much of the framework is set up with
    that in mind, and I do not yet know how easy translating it will be
    since I am not yet familiar with the new system.

    Just keep your eyes peeled on the *DC board for an announcement when
    it's done. (It will also be posted on the *RPG board, but I doubt many
    read that. After the initial announcement, though, I'll direct all talk
    about it to *RPG to avoid spamming those not interested.)

    Once I finish getting it made, the only problem I really foresee is
    scheduling.

    -Lumina Dragon
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (More info?)

    If you're still reading, Eido, you might be interested in this:

    http://www.rpgdot.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=580532&f=51&sid=
    7a0ebe22ee3f50e200f3c73999d05114

    --

    ___________________________________________________________
    \^\^//
    ,^ ( ..) Samurai Dragon -==UDIC Sig Code==-
    | \ \ -==(UDIC)==- d++e+N T--Om+U146MA7'! L8u uC++
    \ `^--^ \\\\\\\\//////// uF-uG++uLB+uA+nC++uR nH+nP+++
    \ \ \ (2 Attentive Points) nI--nPT nS+++nT--wM-wC y+ a30
    ksj ^--^ ___________________________________________________________
Ask a new question

Read More

Computers Games Video Games