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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:42 pm 
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So I have a player who is a Fardrengir with 3x Summon Mount, which translates to a level 9 White Stag.

What we've been wondering is : can the White Stag bind a rune to Learn power and grab Summon Mount from the player?

If it can, the two alternatives we've been thinking of are as follows :

    1 - It can learn Summon Mount but then that implies that the new mount can also learn summon mount, as such
    you could have an army of (infinite) White Stags and technically have infinite Attack/Move actions with Mount synergy

    2 - It can learn Summon Mount but instead of summoning another White Stag it would give +3 levels to the player's Stag.
    This alternative feels very strong as well because the stag could learn Summon Mount for +3 levels and then stack Keen Aptitudes for more levels
    which would lead to a level 30+ Stag even if the player is lower level.

If it cannot then the mount is not completely broken from our understanding of the rules.

Maybe we're missing something.

TL;DR : Can a White Stag bind a rune to Learn Power to get Summon Mount from a Fardrengir?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:55 pm 
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That's a hard no.

Firstly, it does not work just from mechanical consideration. If the mount had a mount that mount would have to be at least capable of riding the mount; they'd be stacked up in the sky as a tower of stags. That's clearly nonsense. And you couldn't give a mount the benfits of using Summon Mount multiple times, and give it a level bonus, because they never had it in the first place; the Fardrengir did.

Secondly, table-top RPGs - all of them - need to be filtered through the common sense of a GM, and what the GM feels is going to make sense at the table. Let's look at a less outragous example - you wouldn't give a stag the Fardrengir's "Quick Draw" passive power, either, because the Stag does not have a weapon.

I suppose if you were a super generous GM and really wanted to run with it...especially if you had a "monkey paw wishes" approach to your players...you could come up with what would be the kind of mount that a white stag would ride? What kind of terrible Vangardian creature would want a stag to ride it? It would probably be huge, and try to eat the Dwellers.

//Panjumanju

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:34 pm 
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As the player, let me give my views on this.

I want to preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a horrible player, or to break the game. I am perfectly willing to take a straight "no", but me and my Norn both felt like this was worth discussing. Ragnarok is a rather crunch-heavy system after all, and optimizing it is part of the fun. He's the first one to talk about whatever big monster he's cooking up for us, so this is all in good fun. If it ever gets too big for the game, we'll both tone down the optimizing.

Also, I am mostly just playing Devil's Advocate for most of the following points, in order to help find the optimal solution.

To answer your first point, nothing says that the creature has to be used as a mount, it's just a term that was used to separate the options available for this power (the stag and boar) from those available to similar powers in other classes (Summon Familiar, Effigy, Forge Beast). Nothing prevents me from, let's say, making a dweller bigger than the stag, but still having this power and never riding it. So while there can't be something ridiculous like a stag tower, it's not weird for the stag to have a companion, a mate, a herd.

For your second point, nothing prevents the stag from learning Quick Draw. Yes, it doesn't do anything, because the stag doesn't have a weapon, but the stag is able to take it. And if you look at it like that, then Learn Power by itself is useless. My Fardrengir currently has the following passives - Summon Mount, Quick Draw, Rider of Lightning - none of which are even an option. It's much better to try and look how to make things work than to just say no.

The RGS is made to encourage weird power combinations and experimentation, it's part of the fun. It doesn't have any hard bans on power combination, only suggested restriction. The one example that addresses this is the Keen Aptitude addendum at the end of DotN, which gives two soft rules. The first is that the Norn should discourage stacking the same power more than twice one Dwellers (but it's acceptable on other denizens, as some power boards are small enough that it's a necessity), but can allow it if they are fine with the resulting power level. The other is that they probably should not allow the stacking of level-scaling powers, like Fae-kin. Both are simple warnings that things can end up too strong, if stacked more than 2 or 3 times, and to be careful, not that you can't do it.

So, ThiccKat and me are looking for opinions on what is the best way to balance Summon Mount on a Silver Stag. If it's impossible, we'll drop it. But trying is more fun than dismissing it outright.

Now, for some actual numbers. The only real fear for option 1, the summoning of another stag, is recursion, since a stag can get enough Passive to summon another just as strong stag, etc. So, we could just place a cap on the number of stags that can be recursively summoned. 1 extra might be the only reasonable option, but it's worth considering.

For option 2, having a mount at a higher level than the dweller is not inherently a problem. It's something a starting, level 9 dweller can easily do, having a level 12 mount (5-2, mental spec Fardrengir, spec gives 1 instance of summon and you get 3 on the board). So we need to find by how much do we allow the mount to overlevel the dweller before it's a balance problem. If we consider that we can only use 1 Keen Aptitude on Summon Mount, we get an extra 5 instance, or 15 levels. We could chain those together, and us one Learn power to get the levels to get another, but then it's somewhat crippling your future progression, and the only real benefit you get out of it is Skill Ranks and Effective Health Points. More Actives is probably a downside more than an upside since it dilutes your pool of options and makes it hard to get what you need.

Option 2 even has a Rules as Written ruling on it. Attuned Mount says you consider your rider's state for your own Passives. Summon Mount says if you (or here the rider) already has this thane, you instead give it +3 levels. So RAW it's what this interaction says.

Both of these options can be fun to play, riding one stag while the other is on the side doing other things is interesting, and having a summon stronger than the actual player character is a common archetype in many rpgs.

So please, give us your opinions, try to find fringe cases that could be too strong, weird combos etc. We want to find the limits of what is reasonable. I don't know what Andrew's stance is on this but it seems this interaction was never even considered in playtest.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:57 pm 
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baniRien wrote:
I want to preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a horrible player, or to break the game. I am perfectly willing to take a straight "no", but me and my Norn both felt like this was worth discussing.


Hey, I'm all for finding wacky power combinations. There's a lot of fun to be had in Fate of the Norns, and not all of it is at the table. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I was accusing anyone of bad-wrong-fun. That is certainly not the case! I also think this is worth thinking through.

I don't think it works by the rules in either option, but I'm happy to go on a character build adventure and figure it out...

baniRien wrote:
Nothing says that the creature has to be used as a mount, it's just a term that was used to separate the options available for this power (the stag and boar) from those available to similar powers in other classes (Summon Familiar, Effigy, Forge Beast). Nothing prevents me from, let's say, making a dweller bigger than the stag, but still having this power and never riding it.


It took me looking it up again, but you're certainly right.

Summon Mount: You attract a "mount" type thane such as a Golden Boar or Silver Stag.
Effect: Gain a mount thane at level 3. If you already have this thane, then multiple instances of this Passive power boost the level by another +3

So, a Silver Stag using Learn Power to have Summon Mount, if they did, would "attract a mount type thane" - not a mount itself.

However there's a bit of a level problem, there. Let's be generous and say the Norn has said "that makes sense"; I'm not sure it will be worth it. With the new mount being level 3 that means it would have 1 Essence and 1 Destiny. To gain Learn Power again it would have to have 4 Essence, and so at least be at level 6. I guess the quickest way of doing that would be to get Summon Mount again and boost the level, but, the Number One Silver Stag would have to be the one to get Summon Mount again, because it's their thane, not the Fardrengir's. Since the Stag does not have Summon Mount on its board, and Learn Power is in the corners of the Silver Stag's board, it would take another 4 essence to get there, so that would be at least level 10, for the Silver Stag but a level 10 that would have only 1 Destiny for an whoping 9 Essence. That's not a super practical stag.

Let's loosen RAW a little bit and say the Fardrengir can, every time they choose Summon Mount (and there's 4 of them on their passive board in a two-step position and more along the boarders) they can distribute the boost among available Stags or get a new one, that would still involve going up 2 Essence each time with the Fardrengir just to get another level 3 stag, and you'd stll have to get the Stag up 3 more levels before it could spawn a new one.

Maybe it can work, but I don't think it's very ripe for abuse. That sounds expensie. All the Stags themselves would have very little effect in the game with such low Destiny, and it sounds like a costly choice for the Fardrengir.

baniRien wrote:
For your second point, nothing prevents the stag from learning Quick Draw. Yes, it doesn't do anything, because the stag doesn't have a weapon, but the stag is able to take it. And if you look at it like that, then Learn Power by itself is useless. My Fardrengir currently has the following passives - Summon Mount, Quick Draw, Rider of Lightning - none of which are even an option. It's much better to try and look how to make things work than to just say no.


My point was only "one wouldn't expect a stag to make use of Quick Draw, therefore..." I mean, again...use varies from table to table. If a player said to me they really wanted Quick Draw for their Silver Stag I'd just make them justify it, and pay for it. Maybe they trained their stag to bite a sword with their teeth and swing its head, I don't know. They're supposed to be intelligent. The stag I mean.

baniRien wrote:
The RGS is made to encourage weird power combinations and experimentation, it's part of the fun. It doesn't have any hard bans on power combination, only suggested restriction.


Sure. I mean...I think the player and the GM act as a kind of filter on different power combinations. If the Galdr's Rune Blade has the damage of his Mental Runes, and he has only 1, then maybe it's not a great choice? (Or maybe it makes for good roleplaying, it depends on the group.)

baniRien wrote:
ThiccKat and me are looking for opinions on what is the best way to balance Summon Mount on a Silver Stag. If it's impossible, we'll drop it. But trying is more fun than dismissing it outright.


Unless I've overlooked something, I think the Silver Stag / Learn Power / Summon Stag combination is probably, by the end of the day, balanced with the rest of the system. The leveling requirements means it's not going to happen in immediate succession, and getting it to happen down the line looks like a major investment. Still, it could be a lot of fun to have a herd of stag mounts.

baniRien wrote:
Both of these options can be fun to play, riding one stag while the other is on the side doing other things is interesting, and having a summon stronger than the actual player character is a common archetype in many rpgs.


I'm not convinced your imposed limitations are necessary. I don't see anything wrong with the mount being stronger than the PC; that sounds fun. But the Fardrengir would have to gain a full level for each stag to get there on their Passive board. The Fardrengir could get all the two-step Summon Mounts after 8 Essence, so a minimum of level 10 (and even then 8 Essence to 1 Destiny) and one Silver Stag would be at level 12. Let's assume every 4 Essence the Stag is choosing Learn Power to get another boost (I'd rule that's not the rules, they'd be gettng a thane mount themselves, but let's stack it and see how far it will go) that's 3 instances of the Passive, so another 9 levels. Yes, I suppose you could have a Silver Stag at level 21. But with 19 Essence and 1 Destiny? It would be the most worldly, all-knowing, versetile, inconsistent and ineffectual Silver Stag in Midgard.

Still though, some Norns start their games as high as level 10. To be a level 10 Fardrengir with a level 21 Silver Stag, and each of you are only playing one rune a turn, is not that super out of scale with other Archetypes. It's an interesting idea.

//Panjumanju

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