Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   GURPS (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=161684)

GurpsObserver 01-19-2019 05:00 PM

Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
The Steal Youth spell has the spell Youth as pre-requisite, but it seems that makes it superfluous.

The Youth spell costs 100 energy to remove one year from the subject's age, with one try per month, and can be used on anyone including the caster.

Steal Youth costs 10-30 energy to take 2-6 years of life from a subject and transfer 1-3 to the caster, but a critical failure costs 20 years of aging and a point of IQ. It is also resisted, so the effective energy costs and risk of critical failure are increased for repeat castings.

Youth is the better spell to cast for personal immortality, since it avoids the risk of cumulative IQ loss, avoids making enemies by destroying the lives of sacrifices, and falls within the 100 energy ceremonial casting limit for nonmage spectators without Powerstones. And one could get ceremonial support with the promise of Youth (or by building goodwill with the huge profits of Youth castings).

Burning 2 years of someone's life to save perhaps 80 energy (when that person could generate over a thousand energy via Steal ST) seems like a crazy tradeoff. To be fair, Steal Youth could be helpful for a nasty necromancer who cannot get access to large amounts of energy or ceremonial supporters, and so engages in 'slash-and-burn' life-extension, but I would suggest a better approach would be to change the pre-requisites so that a pure necromancer can master Steal Youth without Youth, e.g. Age and Magery 3 (since Age can be learned purely from necromancy).

Those pre-requisites allow for eternally youthful necromancers living off the life of others, who aren't automatically able to renew the youth of others or skip the sacrifices for trivial additional work.

David Johansen 01-19-2019 08:02 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
There are a lot of weird prerequisites in GURPS Magic.

Anthony 01-19-2019 08:24 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
It's a lot easier to afford 10 energy than 100, resistance isn't that relevant if you are kidnapping peasants, and if you have skill 16 critical failure is rare.

Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 01-19-2019 08:53 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Youth is for sane, rational people who plan ahead and accumulate resources.

Steal Youth is for deranged psychopaths who hate the world and want victims to scream in torment.

See the difference?

(Besides which, it's more likely that the Youth Stealer will use an item instead of a spell, making prereqs moot.)

hal 01-19-2019 09:59 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2237261)
It's a lot easier to afford 10 energy than 100, resistance isn't that relevant if you are kidnapping peasants, and if you have skill 16 critical failure is rare.

In the pre-GURPS MAGIC 4e days, getting 100 energy was difficult, if not impossible. Now? Not so much.

3e version:

"Spectators. Unskilled observers can aid a ceremonial casting; they usually
chant, hold candles, etc. Each spectator contributes one and only one energy
point to each spell cast, up to a maximum of 100 “spectator” energy points per spell. Sincere belief and desire to help is required; you cannot collect a crowd off the street, pay them a fee, and use them for spectators
."

4e version:

"Each unskilled spectator who supports the casting (by
chanting, holding candles, etc.): 1 point, to a maximum
of 100 points from all spectators.
"

Note the difference. In one, it spells it out saying you can't just take someone off the street, pay them, and expect them to have a sincere belief and desire to help. 4e rules don't have that limit.


So, how hard is it to pay say, 1/8th of a day's labor, to cast a ritual spell that takes 10 seconds to cast (10 x 1 second to cast for ritual magic)? If using TL 3 income...

700/4 = 175 for the week. 175/5 = $37 for the day's labor. 1/8th of that is a mere $8 per person. Toss in extra money for candles and the like, maybe even pay double THAT rate, and you end up saying $20 x 100 or $2,000.

All that just for one HOUR'S worth of ritual magic.

Dumb question time. If you cast this ritual once per minute, 60 times per hour - in theory, one could knock off 60 years off of 60 recipients (after all, you can only cast the spell once per month. One COULD read that it is one try per target per month as opposed to one casting of the spell per month.

Either way you want to look at it, spending $10 per point works well enough simply for those people with struggling income. Paying $8 per hour is double what they'd normally make.


So - while on the face of it, 100 energy seems like a lot. That was true in 3e days, not 4e.

hal 01-19-2019 10:13 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johansen (Post 2237260)
There are a lot of weird prerequisites in GURPS Magic.

I'd agree with your assessment. There is one other possibility to take into mind here...

First, there was GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. That is when SJGames gave us our first unified magic rules system for use with GURPS.

Then there was GURPS MAGIC 1st edition.

Then there was GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition 1st printing.

Then there was GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition 2nd plus printings.

Then there was GURPS GRIMOIRE

And finally, we get GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

Between 1st printing and 2nd printing of GURPS MAGIC is when they added the boilerplate about not being able to use magic to influence enchantments.

GURPS GRIMOIRE's spells were introduced after the requisite paths were already written in stone (so to speak) for the spells in GURPS 2nd edition spell list. Any spells they introduced in GRIMOIRE had to use the pre-established requisite chain even if it would have made more sense to change the requisite chain to include Grimoire Spells intermixed with GURPS MAGIC spells.

Then - GURPS MAGIC for 4e left most things as far as requisite chains - unchanged, despite the opportunity to perhaps FIX things so they made more sense.

In the end, any GM has the option to rearrange things to suit themselves. They can also change spell descriptions to suit them such as Charge Powerstone not quirking a powerstone with a crit failure. One can also simply rewrite their requisite chains, or even the energy costs for spells. Me? I've reworked the spell for Earth to Stone to exclude the (To Metal) aspect, and made it so that you can cast the spell one of two ways. The original method has a time duration of 10 hours instead of permanent. You can work with earth/stone in the same volumes as given in the original spell. If you cast the spell as a permanent enchantment, it will permanently change earth to stone in units of POUNDS per casting instead of cubic yards per casting.

Enlarge? One can only increase the side modifier value for anything enlarged to a maximum of your Magery value. So, magery 3? You can increase an object's size modifier by +3. Got Magery 8? Increase it up to a size modifier of +8. And so on and so forth.

If the requisites are weird, change them.

Me? I have Summon Lesser Demons (with an attending lower energy cost). I also change my demon descriptions so that one demon might have one college Magery at +10. An imp of the same type of demonic influence might have Magery 1 for Earth spells. Those make great gold hunters and such...

But - that's just me and my campaigns - not RAW, but then again? I never liked what was done with Magic for 4e in the first place.

scc 01-20-2019 02:54 AM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2237267)
In the pre-GURPS MAGIC 4e days, getting 100 energy was difficult, if not impossible. Now? Not so much.

I understand what you saying, but we don't have a Magic 4e yet, the current version is 3e for GURPS 4e, yes it's weird and confusing, but that's the way things are.

Plane 01-20-2019 09:03 AM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2237267)
In the pre-GURPS MAGIC 4e days, getting 100 energy was difficult, if not impossible. Now? Not so much.

3e version:

"Spectators. Unskilled observers can aid a ceremonial casting; they usually
chant, hold candles, etc. Each spectator contributes one and only one energy
point to each spell cast, up to a maximum of 100 “spectator” energy points per spell. Sincere belief and desire to help is required; you cannot collect a crowd off the street, pay them a fee, and use them for spectators
."

4e version:

"Each unskilled spectator who supports the casting (by
chanting, holding candles, etc.): 1 point, to a maximum
of 100 points from all spectators.
"

Sounds like they boosted normal magic while nerfing ritual magic. Used to be you could get a +1 to skill per 2 days (1:2d,2:4d,3:6d,4:8d,5:10d,6:12d,7:14d) repetition, now it's √(days÷2) instead (1:2d,2:4d,3:8d,4:16d,5:32d,6:64d,7:128d) which takes way longer (Thaumatology 127, Extra Time, Multi-Day Castings).

Hopefully the "preparations take at least half an hour of uninterrupted work" only refers to the baseline and it can still be shortened to 1/10+1d (3+1d) for -2 or 1d seconds for -5.

"A magician can only have one ritual in extended preparation at a time" is killer though, I don't think that was present in 3e so using time-reduction you could probably have been prepping multiple rituals simultaneously.

I'd like to know what the theoretical value of an advantage to restore that capability. Perhaps not "unlimited rituals" but a leveled trait where each level allows you the ability to be prepping an added ritual simultaneously to the first.

Since that's something 2 separate people could do, maybe it would fall under Compartmentalized Minds?

David Johnston2 01-20-2019 01:14 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2237267)
In the pre-GURPS MAGIC 4e days, getting 100 energy was difficult, if not impossible. Now? Not so much.

3e version:

"Spectators. Unskilled observers can aid a ceremonial casting; they usually
chant, hold candles, etc. Each spectator contributes one and only one energy
point to each spell cast, up to a maximum of 100 “spectator” energy points per spell. Sincere belief and desire to help is required; you cannot collect a crowd off the street, pay them a fee, and use them for spectators
."

4e version:

"Each unskilled spectator who supports the casting (by
chanting, holding candles, etc.): 1 point, to a maximum
of 100 points from all spectators.
"

Note the difference. In one, it spells it out saying you can't just take someone off the street, pay them, and expect them to have a sincere belief and desire to help. 4e rules don't have that limit.

<shrug> I still wouldn't assume that wizards can easily gather 100 clog dancers unless I actually wanted an industrial enchantment setting. For one thing, in the cast of critical failures I'd give a backlash to every participant in the spell.

Not another shrubbery 01-20-2019 01:49 PM

Re: Youth is a weird prerequisite for Steal Youth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2237375)
<shrug> I still wouldn't assume that wizards can easily gather 100 clog dancers unless I actually wanted an industrial enchantment setting. For one thing, in the cast of critical failures I'd give a backlash to every participant in the spell.

Yeah, it's probably better to assume that 3E bit about sincere belief and desire to help. I've always assumed Ceremonial crit fail results apply to all participants, although I don't remember an official ruling confirming that.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.