But let's start at the beginning.
Arrows of Indra is a role-playing game authored by a person who chooses to identify himself as RPGPundit – the guy in charge of theRPGsite. On that site there is a forum thread about “Magic in Arrows of Indra.” In this thread, a person who chooses to identify himself as Prince of Nothing asks the question which serves as the title of this post. (Full disclosure: Prince of Nothing is an habitué of YDIS and is thus 'peripherally affiliated' with your humble host.) As a reply, RPGPundit says many things, most of which are irrelevant to the simple question put forth to him. Part of me wants to address all of his asinine remarks – the part that cries out for justice amid an ocean of obfuscation; yet I shall stay true to my course.
The portion of RPGPundit's response that actually relates to the question is: “There's some similarities in the magic system.” I'm no linguist, but this might be Uruguayan slang for “well, I changed the names at least.” The Prince has been banned from RPGPundit's site, so he has taken up his discourse at YDIS. The Prince shows that, instead of “some similarities,” the likeness is more akin to 'substantially equivalent'. The two magic systems are not identical, but they are so alike that RPGPundit made a conscious decision to mimic Empire of the Petal Throne. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with RPGPundit's steadfast avoidance of admitting the truth.
I would like to use graphics to demonstrate the Prince's points. Material from Arrows of Indra appears courtesy of the Open Gaming License and is used for purposes of education and critique. Although I previously discussed the EPT magic system, I will briefly cover some of the same ground here.
In both EPT and AoI, each class has a set of skills. In EPT, skills later in a list are more 'powerful' than skills earlier in a list and, generally speaking, as a character gains experience levels, he or she acquires new skills in list order. In AoI, there are basic skills and advanced skills and, generally speaking, as a character gains experience levels, he or she acquires basic skills before advanced skills. In EPT, many of the 'skills' for priests and magic-users are actually spells. In AoI, many of the 'skills' for Priests and
First, we have priests/Priests:
And now, magic-users/Siddhis:
In EPT, priests and magic-users have access to a common group of other spells called “bonus spells”. In AoI, Priests and Siddhis have access to a common group of other spells called “enlightenment powers.” In EPT, the 'other spells' are divided into three 'groups' according to power level. In AoI, the 'other spells' are divided into three
Here are comparisons of “bonus spells/enlightenment powers” for each “group/rank.” Please note that the order of the EPT spells as presented here is different from the order presented in the book (not that it matters).
This post is not a condemnation of the OSR. It is certainly not a condemnation of Barker's work. It's not even a condemnation of Arrows of Indra. (However, I would recommend Against the Dark Yogi rather than Arrows of Indra.) This post is a condemnation of RPGPundit's misrepresentations.
In replying to the question, RPGPundit ought to have said something like, “I adapted the magic system from Empire of the Petal Throne because Professor Barker handled it very well.” Evidently, such a statement is too onerous for his tender ego to bear.
RPGPundit stood upon the shoulders of giants; sadly, he chose to wipe his feet on them.