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Old 03-25-2018, 11:20 AM   #15
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: GURPS Cabal for 4th Edition: Notes and Thoughts

I realized that while I'd put a lot of words up about the Realms above, there wasn't much directly useful. So here's a bit on traveling the Realms with Skills. I'll post some Powers, abilities, and spells later.


Cartography (B183)

The spirit realms can be mapped, though doing so is quite difficult. Cartography is a different specialty for each realm or plane, and defaults to the related Navigation specialty at -4.

A map of a particular realm or plane grants an equipment bonus (or penalty, if badly or maliciously made) to Navigation rolls: +1 for a decent map, +2 for a good one, and +4 for a truly amazing map. Travelers are well-advised to pay close heed to any “Here be dragons” notations on a map they trust. The GM should define what regions of a plane a map applies to; the larger the area covered, the less useful the map will be for actual moment-to-moment navigation. (It may, however, apply a bonus to Area Knowledge).

Cartographers should be aware that certain Planes (notably Yetzirah) are liable to change quickly and without notice.

Dreaming (B188)
Dreaming allows you to control your own Dreamworld and defend it from intruders. You may also roll against it to travel from a Dreamworld to Yetzirah or Nod, and vice versa. If the Dreamworld’s owner has erected barriers to your entry, this roll is a quick Contest of Dreaming skill, yours versus the owner’s.

Coupled with Telepathy abilities (still to be developed), you may use the Dreaming skill to enter someone’s Dreamworld from Assiah.
Once in a Dreamworld, you may attempt to control it using the Dreaming skill; this is usually opposed by the dreamer’s Will or Dreaming skill, but not always; GM’s call. Controlling a Dreamworld can allow you to extract information from the dreamer, implant information and ensure they will retain it, or inflict various temporary disadvantages or advantages on the dreamer. Nightmares, Sleepy, and Light Sleeper are obvious, but any mental disadvantage, often at quirk level, can be argued for. Or the invader can simply ensure that the dreamer has a terrible night’s sleep and is fatigued when he wakes up – see the rules on B426-427 for this.

Law (B204), Religious Ritual (B217), and Theology (B226)

In Briah, the Iconic Realm, knowing the rules is a vital survival skill. More creatures than not in Briah are bound by arcane rules and may be placated by the right rites (or offended by the wrong ones). Knowing when to use Diplomacy versus Intimidation can be the difference between gaining a favor from an eikones and being eaten by a manticore.

Appropriate Law specialties include, but are not limited to: Atlantis, Faerie, Yithoghu…

Religious Ritual and Theology must specialize by pantheon and/or religion. Roll against Theology to know something about a particular pantheon or related creature. In particularly formal social situations (not uncommon in Briah) involving a being of a pantheon for which you have Religious Ritual, you may use Religious Ritual as a substitute for Diplomacy, or as a complementary skill to any influence skill (GURPS Action 2, p. 5).
(For example, Brian McAllen uses Religious Ritual (Roman) to influence the eikone Consus in the vignette on p. 80 of GURPS Cabal.)

Navigation (B211)

Navigation in the spirit world is a separate specialty for each plane. Instead of using careful observation and instrumentation to find your way, Navigation (spirit plane) involves understanding the rules for how the plane works and using appropriate symbolism and action to move to your intended destination. While the spirit worlds are limited to TL4 – and the stars can be different depending on where you are, if they’re even visible - the symbolic heft of a compass, astrolabe, or sextant can give a bonus for equipment. How much and when is largely up to the GM, but from +1 to +3 seems appropriate.

Absolute Direction is of no help in navigating the spirit realms outside of the ghost zone in Yetzirah. There, it gives its usual bonus.

Navigation (Yetzirah) applies mostly to the deep Astral. Navigating in the ghost zone can be done by defaulting to Navigation (Land or Sea) at -2, since the ghost zone so closely echoes Assiah.

In the deep Astral, travel is by drawing correspondences and similiarities between places. Correspondences could be decanic, poetic, historical, magical, or anything else that both players and GM can agree fits the effect they want. (Traveling through Shadow in Roger Zelazny’s Amber series provides one example of how a player or GM might narrate travel in the deep Astral. So might Snuff and Gray’s journey to the Dreamlands in Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October, as Gray recites a description of the Dreamlands that seems to bring the pair to their destination.) Defaults: Will-5, Artist-4, Occultism-4, Poetry-4.

Navigation (Pearl-Bright Ocean) allows one to navigate the sea that divides Briah and Yetzirah. Defaults: Navigation (Sea)-4, Occultism-4, Will-5
Navigation (Briah) applies to the Iconic Realm. Since Briah is somewhat more ordered than Yetzirah, it is easier to navigate, if not to travel within. Defaults: Occultism-4, Theology-4 (only in regions appropriate to specialization), Will-5.

Navigation (The Abyss) may let one climb out of that dread pit, but don’t bet on it. Defaults: Hidden Lore (Demons)-4, Will-5.

Survival (B223)
Appropriate specialties for Survival are one for each Realm (Yetzirah, Briah, the Abyss) or for particular Planes. There is no default between Survival skills for each Realm; however, the GM may grant a default for survival rolls with appropriate symbolism. For example, someone with Survival (Forest) can use that skill in forest surrounding Baba Yaga’s hut in Briah.

I could use some suggestions for Law specialties. Any ideas?
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