Thread: Viking magic
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:15 AM   #28
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Viking magic

One of the issues surrounding GURPS and MAGIC is that the initial structure for MAGIC was not really generic. Furthermore, if one is going to create other "traditions" of magic, then there should be some means of building a skeleton, or structural foundation - for which the rest of the magic system can be expanded upon.

Take for example, the ability to merge in say, the magic system from ARMAGEDDON for use with GURPS. That could be one tradition, or method on how magic works. Another tradition could be the use of D&D magic within GURPS. Another could be to use THE ARCANUM. Yet another would be the ability to use Ars Magica as a system that is fully compatible with or for use with GURPS - each of those would qualify as a different "Tradition" if you will, yet all needing to have some unifying basic game mechanic that conforms to GURPS in general. In other words - a means for how to determine your skill value to roll against, roll higher and you fail, roll lower and you succeed.

If you take a look at the Celtic Magic rules system, the Runic magic system for use with GURPS, you begin to see HOW one could create one's own tradition instead of having to rely upon GURPS MAGIC.

Me? I don't much like having to custom build spells. If I wanted to do that, I'd use HARN's magic system. And while the rune system of having to use verbs and nouns is nice to some extent, I find it difficult to create NPC opponents ahead of time or even on the fly, whose magical abilities might be overwhelmingly overpowering all because I didn't take into account what player characters may or may not have. But even GURPS MAGIC, which I've loved using since almost the day it first came out, has its warts.

I still recall to this day, the fun we had using MAN-TO-MAN coupled with THE ARCANUM. It worked. You paid a character point cost to have the "level" of magic casting mage, which in turn, gave you how many spells you could cast per day. It didn't matter if you cast a 1st level spell or a 5th level spell, because unlike D&D, the energy required to power a spell wasn't dependent upon the spell level of the mage per se. So, for example, a 3rd level spell caster could cast a total of 6 spells. They could all be 1st level spells if the mage desired it, or all 5th level spells if the mage desired it.

It appears, that what you as a GM wish to do, is customize a magic system/tradition to get the results you want. Sadly, as with anything that is home brew, you have to create it, eyeball it for obvious play balance issues, and then playtest it before you hammer out all of the issues/problems.

That is ONE thing I do appreciate in GURPS CLASSICAL MAGIC as opposed to GURPS MAGIC for 4e. At least with GURPS MAGIC for 3e, you had three separate systems you could use for creating custom traditions - four if you includ GURPS CELTIC MAGIC.

I don't much like the ritual magic system, although I have no issue with it being beloved by many others. It just isn't my favorite is all. Some players have enough problems with dealing with the GURPS MAGIC system that when they have 80 spells, they get paralyzed trying to determine which spell to use when. Some players hate having a limited list of which they can draw upon for creativity (DRAGONQUEST comes to mind). Some LOVE the versitility of creating their own spells from scratch - which is fine.

Different strokes for different folks is all I can say ;)
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