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Old 06-05-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: L.I., NY
Default Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

I've been thinking about Mage the Ascension, and updating the old 3ed G:MtA to 4ed. I also recently ran across the "GURPS: Mage the Ascension Second Edition" document on the web, which contained some errata from the G:MtA book and notes on updating it to be closer to Mage 2ed.

I've done some searches on these forums and found the question of doing Mage in GURPS 4ed has come up a few times, but it doesn't look like anyone has documented exactly how they have done it. I think it's about time we did it. I'd love some input from anyone who's done this or thought about it.

I know that Thaumatology has Realm magic to use for Mage's Spheres. Although looking at it, I'm not sure I really have to go to the trouble of remaking the magic system. Does anyone have an argument for why the magic system from G:MtA shouldn't just be retained more or less as is and used in 4ed? Sphere costs don't work out exactly the same, and escalate for levels 4 and 5, but that feels right to me.

The "second edition" document has some notes on making the Spheres work more like Mage 2ed. I like most of them, for example the difference between minor and major forces is now dependent on scale, not type of force, and darkness, sound, cold, etc. are forces of their own, not the specific instance or absence of a force as defined by modern science.

One idea from the "second edition" document I won't be adopting is replacing the individual sphere skills with a single Arete skill. I like the possibility of mages having varied skills with different spheres, and it matches Realm magic from Thaumatology better.

As for some of the new traits in G:MtA, I'm wondering if their prices still hold up, or if they should be scrapped and recreated from 4ed advantages and disadvantages.

Arete, Avatar, Awareness, node, and extra Quintessence (I'll probably rename that Tass to make it more clear) seem to me to be ok at their old costs, and not worth trying to recreate. Anyone see any problems with those?

Arcane might be ok as is. It's come up a few times on the forum and people usually suggest some kind of Zeroed with Cosmic, or Obscure for a starting point.

Destiny from G:MtA, in my opinion, can just be scrapped. I'd just use Destiny as it appears in the 4ed Basic Set.

Dream is an interesting case. It costs 3 per level, and works pretty much like Modular Abilities with some limitations. I tried to rebuild it from Modular Abilities:
  • Modular Abilities - Cosmic Power 10 pts./lvl (skills only -10%, limited use - once per day -40%, Takes extra time 2 [4 seconds (as it appears in G:MtA it's 5 second)] -20%, requires IQ roll - 10%)
This would bring it down to 2 points per level. But according to limited use, one use is a minute. Dream is supposed to last until midnight. Adding extended duration +120% would get it into the all day range, but will make it cost 13 points/level. But Modular Abilities unmodified lasts until 'rearranged'. It seems cumbersome to me to limit the time it can last with limited use, then extend it again. Anyone have a reasonable call on a cost for limiting Modular Abilities so you can only rearrange your points once a day, lasting until midnight, and only use cosmic power for one skill at a time?

Immunity to the Delirium should be dependent on how often Garou show up in a campaign. I'm thinking of just leaving at is, since it is part of the required "mage package" (template) and all the PC will have to take it.

Immunity to Paradox I'm not really concerned with, since I'm not planning to allow Marauder PCs. It might be worthwhile to look into developing an advantage for some Technomancers who work within the consensus, but I don't think they should be 100% immune everywhere. In other cultures, Tradition mages' sanctums, horizon realms, etc, they'll be as prone to paradox as Trad mages are on the streets of the 1st world.

Spirit Empathy can just be used from the Basic Set.

- just an enemy, dependent or quirk, use 4ed Basic Set costs and mechanics.

Abacus and Bardic Lore are not really needed. An Etherite with an abacus for a focus should have a Mathematics skill to use with it. Replace Bardic Lore with Professional Skill (Bard) or Expert Skill (Musical Repertoire).

Enigmas is odd, maybe keep it as an IQ/Hard skill

Erotic Art can be used as in 4ed Basic.

Meditation as described in G:MtA seems to include aspects of Autohypnosis and something like Metabolism Control advantage. It also lets you recharge quintessence up to the level of your Avatar from a node. That seems like a lot for one skill. I think Autohypnosis will allow recharge from a node. If Mage PCs want Metabolism Control they can take it with (requires Will role -5%).

That's all I have for now. Hope to get into more later about what cinematic/realistic options should be used, and maybe designing a Do martial art style for the Akashics.
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