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Old 10-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
seasong
 
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Default GURPS Magic: "Special" spells

There are 30+ spells in GURPS Magic whose only spell class (ignoring Resisted, which is always layered onto another spell class) is "Special." A Special spell follows "special rules" given in the spell description... and presumably, no other rules.

From my reading of the rules, this means that a Special-only spell has, by default, no penalties for range, or inability to touch/see the target. (Also no extra energy cost for large targets.)

For most Special-only spells, this doesn't appear to be much of a problem (Conduct Power specifies range penalties, and many have the caster or the caster's spells as the subject), but some of them get a little weird.

(Note: My solution to the ones that are weird is to treat it as an errata - they should have been "Regular; Special" instead of "Special." If it doesn't get weird, it's fine as just "Special." Other solutions are welcome!)

Banish, Materialize, Plant Form Other, Shapeshift Other, Solidify, and Transform Other - all of these appear to be able to be cast from a continent away at no penalty. (Transform Other's class may be an actual errata, since it "works just like" Transform Body, which is a Regular spell.)

The various summon spells which are Special-only (Summon Demon, Summon Elemental, and Zombie Summoning) look like the intent is to summon the entity to within a few yards of the caster, but this is left up to GM interpretation.

Two others where this gets odd results include Purify Water and Sanctuary, although neither are as obviously useful on another continent as, say, Shapeshift Other.

Your thoughts?

For reference: Here's the list of Special-only spells:

Banish
Conduct Power
Create Elemental
Draw Power
Enthrall
Entrap Spirit
Great Shapeshift
Hang Spell
Maintain Spell
Mapmaker
Materialize
Pentagram
Planar Summons
Planar Visit
Plane Shift
Plant Form
Plant Form Other
Purify Water
Rapid Journey
Recover Energy
Reflex
Sanctuary
Shapeshifting
Shapeshift Others
Solidify
Summon Demon
Summon Elemental
Telecast
Teleport
Timeport
Transform Other
Zombie Summoning
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #2
Bruno
 
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: "Special" spells

I would include Plantform Other and Shapeshift Other in with Transform Other - I'm not sure why ANY of those three isn't Regular.

I've been going with a houserule where in circumstances where it matters and the Special Spell doesn't explicitly provide rules to cover it, I treat it as Regular. It nicely simplifies all the cases, but it DOES require wizards to get dangerously close to Banish horrible Things (as an example).
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: "Special" spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I've been going with a houserule where in circumstances where it matters and the Special Spell doesn't explicitly provide rules to cover it, I treat it as Regular. It nicely simplifies all the cases, but it DOES require wizards to get dangerously close to Banish horrible Things (as an example).
...which gives the meat-shields an important job to do.

I also default to 'treat as regular unless spell description specifies otherwise or the logical result makes my head hurt' for the 'Special' spells.
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