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Themoopanator 08-05-2015 10:41 AM

[3rd edition] Power stones.
How to power stones work !?!?!

How are they made ???
How are they used ???
What are energy points ??
I don't reeeeally understand any of what the 3rd edition basics set says about powerstones and need it explained a bit simpler here please. Thanksyou for reading.

Anaraxes 08-05-2015 11:26 AM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
Powerstones are mana batteries for mages. They're made from gems, and enchanted with a particular enchantment spell. They have a certain size, a number of FP they hold. Mages can use the energy in exactly one powerstone that they're touching as part or all of the cost to cast a spell. Powerstones recharge automatically at a rate of 1 point / day in normal mana areas, and only recharge if they are not within six feet of another powerstone. (Again, the idea is for mages to have only one active stone. But of course players will go to great lengths to circumvent that limit, putting one on either end of their six-foot-one-inch staff and so on.)

The Magic section in Basic, B236, "Energy Cost", explains the energy cost for a spell. Basically mages spend their FP or HP to supply the number of energy points need to cast a spell. Each spell states its cost to cast; high skill reduces this cost.

GURPS Magic discusses powerstones in more detail.

Themoopanator 08-05-2015 02:37 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
What is FP ?
Also, what does it mean when it is mentioning prices along side energy levels ?

Curmudgeon 08-05-2015 02:44 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.

Originally Posted by Themoopanator
How do power stones work!
How are they made?
How are they used?
What are energy points?
I don't really understand any of what the 3rd edition basics set says about powerstones and need it explained a bit simpler here please. Thank you for reading.

How a powerstone works is mostly explained in the spell Powerstone under Wizardly Tools [B161]. Note that it has Enchantment [B160] as a prerequisite and that Enchantment has the prerequisites of Magery 2 and knowing at least one spell in each of ten other colleges, such as Making and Breaking. If it'll make a difference to you, most GMs count each element under Elemental spells as a separate college, so if you know a Fire spell, a Water spell , an Earth spell and an Air spell, that covers four colleges rather than one (Elemental) college.

Other than the special rules in the spell, powerstones are enchanted [made] as any other magic item [B152-B153]. To summarize, you must know both Enchantment and Powerstone to at least at the 15- level in order to make a powerstone and if you want it to work in a Low Mana area, you have to know both spells at 20-. The skill level you know the spell at sets the Power of the Powerstone, so a Powerstone would have a minimum Power of 15 in a Normal Mana area and a minimum Power of 20 in a Normal Mana area if it is intended to function in a Low Mana area. (The Power will automatically drop to 15 when the item enters a Low Mana area.) Power is always equal to the lower skilled spell, so if you knew Enchantment 16- and Powerstone 21-, the maximum Power would only be 16 (from Enchantment).

The ST of a powerstone is the same thing as how many energy points the powerstone can hold at one time. It is limited to the size of the gem (in carats) or the number of times the Powerstone spell is cast before getting two ordinary failures in a row. If, for example, you failed the second and third castings, you would have a ST 1 powerstone that can never be increased to ST 2 even if it was a 140 carat gem that could theoretically have been enchanted to ST 140. In addition, as long as the two failures weren't critical the GM would assign two quirks to the powerstone, one quirk for each failure.

You could use either Quick and Dirty Enchantment [B152] or Slow and Sure Enchantment [B153] in enchanting the powerstone. The big difference is in how the energy points [HT or fatigue (FP)] to power the casting of the spell is gathered. Powerstone requires 20 energy points for each casting, so a mage with HT 10, fatigue 10 could cast Powerstone once and would then be at HT 0, Fatigue 0. [That's the Quick and Dirty style casting.] Slow and Sure takes 20 days per casting, casting it once a day every day for the whole 20 days but there's no sudden drop in HT or fatigue on the twentieth day. You've put 1 energy into the casting each day.

You can recover fatigue using the Recover Fatigue spell or normally, as you prefer, but HT will recover much more slowly, so you'll want one or more assistants to help in a Quick and Dirty enchantment. The limitations and benefits of using assistants are covered on B152-B153.

You, personally, can use one and only one powerstone to help you when casting (but see assistants) Powerstone or any other spell but you can't use the powerstone you're enchanting for that purpose. If you've enchanted a Powerstone to ST 5 for example, you can't use any of that 5 ST to help cast Powerstone 6 on that stone. (The first casting makes the powerstone ST 1 and each additional casting increases the ST by 1.) Note that the spell description says the result of the casting is an uncharged ST 1 stone. In a normal mana zone, the powerstone won't actually have an energy point to spend until after it's had a day to gather the mana.

One note on Anaraxes note about not recharging within six feet of another powerstone. That only applies if one powerstone is bigger (higher ST) than the other. If the stones are of equal size, they share the mana equally. For example, in a normal mana area you could have six ST 1 powerstones within six feet of each other and they'd all recharge but it would take six days since each is only gathering 1/6 of a mana energy point each day and they would all be useless until the sixth day for casting spells.

Dedicated and Exclusive powerstones are things that you can do with a powerstone. An already made Powerstone can be added to a magic item before you cast the first enchantment spell and it will provide 2 energy instead of 1 for each ST in the powerstone but you can't use it to power any old spell you know anymore, only spells that are enchanted into the magic item. That's a dedicated Powerstone and the magic item is broken and loses all its enchantments if the dedicated powerstone is removed but the dedicated powerstone survives and can be used as a regular powerstone.

Exclusive powerstones are also built into a magic item before the first enchantment is cast but the item's spells/enchantments can only use the energy from the powerstone, the user can't power the item using his own HT or fatigue. Exclusive powerstones give 3 energy for each ST of the powerstone.

In general, the wizard needs to hold the powerstone to use it. The wizard can use the energy of the powerstone in place of some or all of his own fatigue or HT when casting or maintaining a spell, subject to the limitations of the spell. For example, a wizard could use a ST 5 powerstone to provide 1, 2 or all 3 of the energy needed to cast a 3d Fireball and the powerstone would still have 4, 3 or 2 energy respectively left for casting and the stone would need to recharge to get back up to ST 5 or he could cast Beast Summoning and maintain it once after the initial duration passes, using all of the ST 5 powerstone's energy and the stone has no more energy available until it's had a chance to recharge.

The prices given in the sidebar Powerstone Costs [B153] are a guideline to the investment the enchanter is making in a powerstone. The only actual costs if the wizard is making a powerstone for himself is his cost of living (and that of any assistants) plus the cost of the gem. Cost to Make is what the powerstone would sell for if the enchanter were making it for someone else or if a wizard were buying it rather than making it himself and includes the effects of critical failures which destroy the powerstone and require starting fresh. Cost to Make is for a quirked powerstone, that is, every failure during the enchantment process added a quirk to the stone. In modern parlance, this is the price of a 'factory second' powerstone. Typical retail is the price for a powerstone without any quirks.

Does that help? Is any part still unclear?

trooper6 08-05-2015 02:47 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
May I ask which 3e books you have? It might make it easier to direct you to information.

Do you have the Basic book? Or do you only have GURPS Lite?

Themoopanator 08-07-2015 02:52 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
Sorry for the late reply, been away for a while. I'm using the 3rd edition Basic set.

Themoopanator 08-07-2015 03:15 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
Also, in reply to Curmudgeon:

That has actually helped so much. But I just need you to go over this one part for me again. Its the part about quick and dirty castings and sure and steady castings or whatever. And how, after 2 failures of the spell you cannot increase the energy capacity of the powerstone. Bit confused about it.

Here is my question:

Say my powerstone is... 10 carat. (Meaning the max it could be is 10ST) would I have to cast 'Powerstone' 10 times on that stone to give it its full capacity? So that every time I cast Powersotne it adds 1 ST to the capacity of the stone ?
I think that is how it works right ? And then say if I was doing it over 10 days and did 1 quick and dirty casting every day (even though that just wouldn't be possible) and on the 4th and 5th day I failed both I couldn't get it above 3 ? Please tell me if what I have said here is correct or not. If not, please correct me.

johndallman 08-07-2015 03:29 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.

Originally Posted by Themoopanator (Post 1925411)
Say my powerstone is... 10 carat. (Meaning the max it could be is 10ST) would I have to cast 'Powerstone' 10 times on that stone to give it its full capacity?

Yes, if you're making it yourself.

So that every time I cast Powerstone it adds 1 ST to the capacity of the stone ?
Yes. You only have to do this to make the Powerstone, not to recharge it.

if I was doing it over 10 days and did 1 quick and dirty casting every day (even though that just wouldn't be possible) and on the 4th and 5th day I failed both I couldn't get it above 3 ?
Yes. The important point is that you failed on two successive attempts. That's fairly unusual, and it blocks further attempts to increase the power of the stone. Usually, Powerstones stop being enchanted because they've reached maximum capacity (ST = weight in carats), or because they have enough quirks that risking adding more seems like a bad idea.

Curmudgeon 08-07-2015 04:24 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
Johndallman's answers address most of your questions very nicely. I think the only thing you're missing is what happens with Slow and Sure castings.

As mentioned earlier with Slow and Sure castings, if you cast Powerstone by that method and don't have assistants or a powerstone to help out, it will take 20 days for each casting (spending 1 [one] energy each day). In that case, using your 10 carat powerstone example, it will take 200 days (in other words, six months, two weeks and two or three days) to get your ST 10 powerstone using the Slow and Sure method, assuming you don't fail any castings. You can fail a Slow and Sure casting just as you can a Quick and Dirty, so failing your fourth and fifth castings would occur at the eightieth and hundredth days and you'd be 'stuck' with a ST 3 powerstone (which has had lots of time to gather the 3 mana it can hold and is fully charged at that point).

Whether you use Quick and Dirty or Slow and Sure enchantment, the stone now has two quirks. You know the enchantment failed to take, i.e. you know the spell failed when you cast it in either case, and since the powerstone didn't turn to dust, you know it wasn't a critical failure. Therefore you know that it has two quirks, but you don't know exactly what the quirks are. By Powerstone's description if you want to know what the quirk is you need to cast Analyse Magic on the powerstone. The rules don't say so, but I'd say each casting of Analyse Magic will only determine one quirk.

One other point is that you can fail an unlimited number of times as long as you don't critically fail and don't get two ordinary failures in a row. You could, for example, fail every other casting and by the Slow and Sure method you would have a ST 10 powerstone at the end of 400 days (a bit over a year and a month) that has 10 (ten) quirks!

Two other points about powerstones are contained in the paragraph on Wizardly Tools in general. Mages, and only mages, can use powerstones as a magic item and second, a powerstone is always on, so you'll want to read "Always On" Items [B153-B154]. The last four sentences of that section [B154] are particularly important.

Themoopanator 08-07-2015 04:56 PM

Re: [3rd edition] Power stones.
Cool. Now that its all wrapped up, how much should I charge for a gem? Like how much gold per 10carats? (I'm pretty much using the prices for items that the 3rd edition basic set says but converting the $ into G (gold). Thanks to everyone who has replied and helped me out btw. Helped alot!

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