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Old 09-17-2015, 10:29 PM   #11
Culture20
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Making Magic Mysterious and Eldritch

A good mix between known laws of magic and mysterious magic can be found in the Staff of One from the Marvel comic series Runaways. The staff can only cast any spell once (presumably in the presence of any potential caster), and the caster can only suggest intent with a word or short phrase. Another well known Marvel mage, Dr. Strange, has the trappings of Mystery, calling upon Eldritch forces from beyond the veil of reality, but he has so many go-to spells like the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak that he's become kind of ho-hum.

A friend ran a fantasy campaign with a new system of magic that he didn't explain to us (we had to learn via trial and error), and the magic was just returning to a world that didn't know magic at all, so no NPCs knew it either (except for the dragons...) However, once we learned the basics, we started treating it as a tool. I would suggest creating two of your own magic systems, and using them alongside every magic system GURPS offers. That won't prevent the players from treating magic like a tool, but at least there will still be magic they don't understand.
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