Invention

Invention

The Throne’s mission is to march the world of mankind into the future, and that hopeful goal means the discovery of new ideas and concepts.  Scholarly groups create special retreats where they may study, experiment, and develop the new knowledge and techniques to better master the world.

Invention is the ability to create new game mechanics for Gothic: the Lion Age.  The suggestion, approval and eventual in-character creation of the new abilities are done via the following process.

Invention requires access to a specific in-game Building.  For the Church, these buildings are Fortress Monasteries, while for the Mage Guilds, these buildings are Grand Laboratoria.   These buildings must in turn be Staffed by a Abbot or Dean, a master scholar character.

(Read more about Cities and Buildings)
(Read more about Scholarly Organizations)

These buildings and characters are the necessary first step in order to utilize the Invention process in most cases.  Characters with Great Intellect have the ability to do so without meeting this prerequisite.

(Read more about Attributes)

Submission

Game mechanics can be invented for any established area of the game, including but not limited to Fighting Styles, Techniques, Rituals, Oaths, Studies, Agents, or Buildings.   Ultimately, the form that the new game mechanic takes is subject to approval in terms of its form, performance, game balance, and any other factor of concern to Staff, who also has the right to say that the proposed invention is too far out of setting or some other factor to ever be allowed.

Once a submission has been accepted by Staff, it is approved as an Initiative and the In-Character process can begin.

Development

Development has several key ideas that make up the process of Invention.

Difficulty

Staff will secretly assign a difficulty rating between 10 and 100 to the Initiative based on the following scale:

Innovation
Difficulty:
10-20
The Initiative is a natural extension or alternative to things that already exist.  It creates nothing new, but uses existing ideas in a new way. 

Iteration
Difficulty:
21-40
The Initiative is an extension of an existing idea, but it breaks new ground or combines existing concepts to create something with the benefits of its parent ideas.

Discovery
Difficulty:
41-60
The Initiative is truly breaking new ground, trying to fill a real hole in the existing applications, but it is well-grounded in existing theory.

Breakthrough
Difficulty:
61-100
The Initiative represents a new, flatly superior idea that will likely have major implications on the world’s economies and institutions.  Since players have the benefit of world history to guide them, anything that would be considered to by the current people of the setting to be advanced technology will fall into this category.

Invention through Mechanism Design, in the Engineering Skill, are created using the same system, but have much lower Difficulty levels, as described under that Skill.

(Read more about Engineering)

The actual rating and its precise difficulty will remain unknown to the would-be inventor, but will be recorded privately by Staff.  In order to fulfill the Initiative and create the new ability, sufficient progress will need to be achieved to hit the target Difficulty.

Progress

When the Initiative is created, Staff will also identify several important Factors in the research.  Factors are specific aptitudes that lend additional insight into the subject matter to be understood.   Factors can be things like similar abilities, related Skills at level 4 or higher, specific Basic or Advanced Studies, or any other item that can be officially represented on a Character Sheet.

Characters with at least the Academics Skill at 4 may perform a Research Downtime on the Initiative, and this Downtime will contribute a number of progress points toward the eventual completion based on the number of Factors that the researched already has.  Researchers always contribute at least 1 point of progress toward the Initiative, but they contribute 1 additional point for each Factor that they already have on their character sheet. 

Most Initiatives have an additional requirement in materials or resources that are required in order to perform a Research action.  These can be the equipment that is damaged or used up in the heavy wear and tear of Research, the fuel for the experimentation such as coal or catalyst, or some other more specialized need.  If such a requirement is present, it must be surrendered for each Research action.

Some factors may crucial to the completion of the Initiative, and these are called Key Factors.  If the research contains a Key Factor, then at least 10 points of the final progress must come from that Factor in order to complete the research.  If an Initiative contains more than one Key Factor, then 10 points must be accounted for from each one.

The total current progress is known by anyone participating in the Research, but they do not immediately know what Factors are contributing to the progress.  For every 10 points of completed progress, one of the research Factors is revealed.  Key Factors are revealed first.  In some cases, especially in Breakthroughs, Key Factors may be required to be Invented themselves before the current Initiative can be completed.

Great Intellect grants 5 additional points of progress to any Invention attempt.

Completion

Once the progress is complete, the character who performed the final Research action and any other character who attempts further Research  gains the ability to purchase the new invention for its normal cost, so long as they meet any other prerequisites of owning it.  After that time, the invention may be passed on by Instruction using the normal methods.