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Old 07-20-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Evolution of GURPS MAGIC regards to Yrth background

One unexplored venue of the evolution of Magic as far as GURPS goes, is the methodology of "Duration Type" and what they mean for various spells. This particular post is intended to suggest to readers a new venue for spell research for their player characters and for GM's to modify their own game worlds as they see fit.

For example - is it possible to have spells that are essentially the same, but have different spell duration types?


For example, suppose someone wanted to create a FLESH TO STONE spell, but instead of it being an Instantaneous spell, it was a Temporary spell that requires energy to maintain? The player notes that the spell normally costs 10 energy to cast, and lasts indefinitely until a counter spell is used to make the effect reversed. So the player argues that the Temporary version of the spell costs only 5 energy, and has a maintenance interval of 1 week and 1 fatigue.

The GM realizes that while it sounds too cheap as far as energy, that it does come with its own set of limitations. First, while this spell is ongoing, it results in a -1 skill penalty to spell casting, as it counts as a spell on. Then he realizes that in comparison to the original spell, which lasts indefinitely until counter-spelled, the same energy cost for 10 energy will leave a target as a statue for only 5 weeks as compared with indefinitely. And finally, if the spell caster wishes to end the effect before the spell wears off, he must spend an additional fatigue to end the spell. So, the GM reasons "sure, go for it."

Right there, you have the means to "evolve" your spells away from the original premise from ANY edition of GURPS MAGIC to be something other than what the rules as written specify. But GURPS MAGIC for 4e gives you the tools to help modify spells that for all intents and purposes, are identical in effect, just not identical in duration or duration types. As a potential note - Even the earlier versions of GURPS MAGIC sort of implies the potential for having a spell that normally creates a temporary effect, end up creating a long term effect by expending 100x the normal energy to cast the spell instead of normal 1x energy cost. GMs can now separate that aspect out saying that it is an entirely different spell with a duration type of Instantaneous (create animal for instance) versus Lasting.

When I have more time, I will likely weigh in with the changes to the rules for ceremonial and group casting rules. The pertinent quote that I'd like to point out is the original

"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."

Note that the original rules for Ceremonial and Group magic divides the methodology into two GROUP types. They are:

Circle: Any number of mages may link to cast a spell.
Spectators: Unskilled observers can aid a ceremonial casting.

Note that in the Circle method, any spell backfire affects ALL involved in the casting. Spectators add to the Circle method as opposed to being a second method of ceremonial casting. If you don't have a mage casting a spell, the spectators can't make the spell work. So in reality, spectators ADD to the original methodology.

Which begs the question in my mind...

Do spell backfires in Ceremonial and Group casting affect ALL involved?

Method one uses only mages.
Spectators allow for non-mages to contribute energy to the spell.

When I get a chance to reread the rules for Ceremonial and Group magic for all three rule books, I'll return (or someone else can do the same and quote the various editions and the changes so that GM's can see how magic evolved over time in the various GURPS publications...
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