Magic Masks

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Julien
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Magic Masks

Post by Julien » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:59 pm

Is there a price list for Magic Masks from Heroes Companion?

Chompy
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Re: Magic Masks

Post by Chompy » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:31 pm

Will probably need this for the session I'm running tomorrow, too. If the heroes stop by a particular merchant
Don't know about an official list, which would override all this. But some (very rough) quick back of the envelope calculations as a rough starting point...

Learning each new mask spell is stated to be 100xp (Heroes Companion, p12)
Learning a new spell is 20xp per magic point cost (AFF 2nd ed, p56)
100/20 = 5 points cost to the "spell" of making each mask

Getting a spell cast costs 50-300gp per point cost of the spell (AFF 1st ed, p376)

Which when multiplied by the supposed spell cost of 5 gives a price of 250-1500gp per mask made... seems like a lot.
Though when the limitations of the magic mean the creator can only have a certain number of masks at a time, and there's no guarantee the customer will use the mask right away, maybe it's to be expected? 250 for a custom-made, attuned mask in the likeness of whoever commissioned it doesn't seem unreasonable. Outside of a city not many people are going to be able to afford that. Certainly it wouldn't be common for people to buy them, at that price. If it's someone sought out specifically as they have this rare magic, rather than just a shop selling masks, then maybe they want the money or maybe they have a task/quest needs doing instead.

More generic, non-attuned masks would probably be cheaper? And the person selling them might not even be the creator, they could have just acquired them somehow. Though a thought occurs, how do you know a mask such as that is genuine?
If you test it, you've activated the 24hrs it will work for and suddenly you're on a timer...

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Re: Magic Masks

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:50 pm

It does seem like a lot but permanent magic items are supposed to be rare in AFF so when one costs only gold (as opposed to do, time, risk to the heroes or anything else) it should cost a lot.

Maybe instead of gold, the mask maker can set the heroes a dangerous quest to find a certain amount of a rare material needed for mask making with the reward being able to use some of it to make a mask. That makes the process more entertaining and dangerous and makes the idea of making a mask for the heroes more feasible because they have done something for the maker rather than just turned up with a sack of gold.
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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Magic Masks

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:33 am

Yeah the reason prices are only given in the rulebook for sundries is because that's all that's usually for sale. But even those aren't available in every town, let alone village, and usually from the maker of the items rather than a merchant. Not to say that a magic shop or even a travelling trader aren't possible, but they should be rare. Such a merchant might have a few scrolls, potions, curiosities and trinkets for sale, but in my opinion never enchanted items. I'd say they should have a lot of junk too and it be hard to tell which are which.

Masks are a bit of a special case, they last 24 hours from activation and so are in between trinkets and enchanted items in power. But importantly there can only be a number of dormant and active masks by each mask magician equal to their MAGIC score plus Magic - Mask Magic special skill. So they're likely to only give them to those they expect will use it in the near future. Of course that person may lose the mask somehow and it turn up in a shop, but it will be unusual and I can't see them having more than one.

Mask magicians normally live in out of the way places, or perhaps in primitive societies, far from towns and cities. But if you found one and they were willing to make you some masks for coin then 250-1500gp each seems okay. Maybe where in that range it is depends on how much they like you and what they believe you intend to do with them. So if it's in a just cause it might be more towards the lower end of that, which isn't so bad. But I wonder how much they need gold, they may prefer a trade for another item, or for services as Stuart suggested. Or they may not be interested at all. It seems like mask making is more an art and even a part of their culture, than a business.

I would say most masks are made to order, payment in advance. You're not going to have a load ready made hanging on the wall with the limit on masks. So you're usually waiting a day before each is ready.

Julien
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Re: Magic Masks

Post by Julien » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:40 pm

There are prices for Tatoo Magic though.

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Magic Masks

Post by SkinnyOrc » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:55 pm

Sure, because where tattoo magic's available it's usually from a shop in a port city. Also from a game balance point of view, each PC can only ever have one magical tattoo so restricting access doesn't matter so much.

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Re: Magic Masks

Post by Chompy » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:53 am

Feels like magical tattooists are supposed to be uncommon, but not exactly rare (on the coast, at least). While mask magic is unusual and exotic.
So you get fairly established prices for the former, but the latter is likely to be entirely at the whims of the mask maker.

Game-wise, tattoos are limited to one per person but with enough money you could buy a backpack full of masks and get pretty overpowered if there was a regular vendor of the things. If you're planning to introduce someone that sells them, you may want to consider a way to limit either supply or availability. I ended up having a trader who, as part of his inventory, has three different pre-made masks - one of which is fake. The trader didn't make them and has no means to get any more. So at most the heroes can end up with two masks. I was working out ballpark figures so I knew the rough price he'd try to get for them, but an actual mask vendor with a regular supply of stock could be dangerously exploitable. : P

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Magic Masks

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:02 am

I was thinking about how you could handle a trader who had some genuine magic items amongst a load of red herrings. Seems likely they'd say everything was magical or at least useful and everything be priced as if it were. So what happens when the PCs come back to them and complain stuff doesn't work as advertised (or at all)? Maybe they just say it definitely worked when it left the shop, the PCs must have broken it. But that only works once or twice. Plan B could be a sign somewhere not very obvious saying the buyer is responsible for checking the working condition of all items, and the proprietor saying "Do I look like a wizard?". :) Of course if they're a travelling trader they can also be hard to find again.

Looking at the canon info on Mask Magic, the main source is the story of Pen Ty Kora as told in Titan and then what happens in Caverns of the Snow Witch when you come to him for healing. Pen Ty Kora appears to be a master of not only Mask Magic, but also of Wizardry (a colleague of Nicodemus and Yaztromo), and of other healing magic, probably including Enchanting to make potions. He may even be an Archmage as he can perform healing rituals.

Having only one example of a mask magician has had a couple of results. Firstly Titan only mentions Mask Magic being used for healing, but that's just what Pen Ty Kora's used it for. Graham's already made a call on that by expanding Mask Magic in the Heroes Companion. Secondly Pen Ty Kora is a recluse living in the wilderness. But he only did that after being crippled curing Nicodemus of the death spell, so again that can't be taken as normal.

What we can say is Pen Ty Kora may be the only mask magician in northern Allansia, and he learnt the art in Kaynlesh-Ma in south-west Allansia so it's known there. Because the masks look quite primitive I like the idea that it's also used in some tribal societies. We know from The Riddling Reaver that there are tribal humans living in the jungles east of Kaynlesh-Ma, so maybe it's more common there and only known to a few in the city.

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