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Old 06-01-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
LazarusDarkeyes
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Default [Magic/Thaumatology] Required Material Components

I just bought Thaumotology and I was praying it would answer following question...but alas, I can't find anything in it to resolve this:

If I want to model that a particular magical university trains its students to cast select spells in a way that REQUIRE spell components, how would I do this?
-This isn't a limitation on Magery as some spells can be case without components
-How much should the $$$ value of the components be (to be fair)?
-Should the amount of components necessary scale for Area or other variable powered spells?
-Size/Weight of components?


My First Draft Braindstorm Ideas on the Issue:
-Spells cast this way have their power cost reduced to 80% (round up). This is factored BEFORE anything would lower the cost (high skill, etc.)
-The spell components have a $$$ value of mana stones (not power stones), with their cost affected by the one college only limitation, big enough to make up the difference of the cost (~20%) in power. This is factored BEFORE anything would lower the cost (high skill, etc.). For very cheap spells, the minimum cost of the component is $1. Rarity of components will GENERALLY scale to cost.
-Scaling spell costs (area spells, etc.) need a particular quality component per size affect. Higher quality components can be used to cast weaker versions of the same spell.
-This only affects casting spells: not maintaining. Maintenance costs are NORMAL and do not need to expend additional components.

A few examples...

Spell: ANormalCheapSpell
-Type: Normal
-Cost (energy): 1
-Component Cost ($$$): The cost of a one-college only manastone whose energy value = 0 ($1 minimum)
-NormalNoviceCaster(skill=12) needs 1 energy to cast
-NormalExperiencedCaster(skill=15) needs 1-1(skill)=0 energy to cast
-NormalNoviceComponentCaster(skill=12) needs 1*80% (round up) = 1 energy to cast + component
-NormalExperiencedComponentCaster(skill=15) needs 1*80% (round up) = 1-1(skill)=0 energy to cast + component

Spell: ANormalExpensiveSpell
-Type: Normal
-Cost (energy): 28
-Component Cost ($$$): The cost of a one-college only manastone whose energy value = 5 ($1 minimum)
-NormalNoviceCaster(skill=12) needs 28 energy to cast
-NormalExperiencedCaster(skill=15) needs 28-1(skill)=27 energy to cast
-NormalNoviceComponentCaster(skill=12) needs 28*80% (round up) = 23 energy to cast + component
-NormalExperiencedComponentCaster(skill=15) needs 28*80% (round up) = 23-1(skill)=22 energy to cast + component

Spell: AnAreaSpell (cast in 1x Base)
-Type: Area
-Base Cost (energy): 1
-Total Cost (energy): 1
-Component Cost ($$$): The cost of a one-college only manastone whose energy value = 0 ($1 minimum)
-NormalNoviceCaster(skill=12) needs 1 energy to cast
-NormalExperiencedCaster(skill=15) needs 1-1(skill)=0 energy to cast
-NormalNoviceComponentCaster(skill=12) needs 1*80% (round up) = 1 energy to cast + component
-NormalExperiencedComponentCaster(skill=15) needs 1*80% (round up) = 1-1(skill)=0 energy to cast + component

Spell: AnAreaSpell (cast in 10x Base)
-Type: Area
-Base Cost (energy): 1
-Total Cost (energy): 10
-Component Cost ($$$): The cost of a one-college only manastone whose energy value = 2 ($1 minimum)
-NormalNoviceCaster(skill=12) needs 10 energy to cast
-NormalExperiencedCaster(skill=15) needs 10-1(skill)=9 energy to cast
-NormalNoviceComponentCaster(skill=12) needs 10*80% (round up) = 8 energy to cast + component (will be a different/higher quality component than the 1x casting of this same spell)
-NormalExperiencedComponentCaster(skill=15) needs 10*80% (round up) = 8-1(skill)=7 energy to cast + component (will be a different/higher quality component than the 1x casting of this same spell)



End Results

The Good
-Given the mages can secure the money, more Cost (energy) expensive spells are a little easier to cast as their total energy requirement has been lowered.

The Bad
-Mages will need more money to buy new components and access to a market to buy them OR time to go scrounging for the components themselves.
-The GM can restrict the frequency of casting of certain spells by limiting access to components.
-Mages will be SCREWED if their component bag gets lost/stolen/destroyed/taken away.
-Mages will be SCREWED if their hands are tied. At high skill, they may no longer need to make elaborate gestures, but they still need to touch their component to cast a spell.
-Mages will be carrying around a little more weight.
-Mages will have to consider how they keep components on hand for ease of access. If they want to be able to cast one of 20 spells on a moment's notice, they better make sure they have a way to quickly touch 20 different components.

The Other
-There may be a shift in trend toward maintaining spells with slightly greater frequency since re-casting will use more components.
-Scaling spells (Area, etc.) might, as a trend, probably be cast on larger areas than normal.





ANY/ALL comments GREATLY appreciated. :)
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
cmdicely
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Magic/Thaumatology] Required Material Components

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazarusDarkeyes View Post
I just bought Thaumotology and I was praying it would answer following question...but alas, I can't find anything in it to resolve this:

If I want to model that a particular magical university trains its students to cast select spells in a way that REQUIRE spell components, how would I do this?
For dollar value of components, there is an implicit relationship one can infer, for any given setting, between $ value (based on signature gear) and energy (via devotional enchantment) wherein the cash value of 1 CP of signature gear is worth 25 energy points. If you require certain spells to be cast consuming an appropriate value in material components in place of energy, this would seem balanced.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #3
munin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default Re: [Magic/Thaumatology] Required Material Components

Rather than this 80% thing, I think it would be easier to say: materials with negligible cost provide no energy (pinch of sulfur), materials costing $4 provide 1 energy, materials costing $8 provide 2 energy, etc. -- as per the pricing of material magic (Thaumatology, p. 98). I prefer the "under control" version of pricing described in the last paragraph of the Pricing section.

If they also need materials to maintain a spell, I would use the same system: negligible materials to maintain at the regular maintenance cost (based on the original unreduced casting cost), $4 in materials to reduce the maintenance cost by 1, etc.

Powers (p. P116) suggests that "Requires material components" is a -10% limitation for abilities. I think it would be fine to apply that to Magery 1+. It's equivalent to "Accessibility, About 75% of the time" (most of the time it's not a problem, but occasionally it is) or "Trigger, Very Common".

EDIT: @cmdicely, that's basically how Thaumatology estimates the cost, but uses 1/25 of 10% campaign average starting wealth, not 1/25 of signature gear.

Last edited by munin; 06-01-2009 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
LazarusDarkeyes
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Default Re: [Magic/Thaumatology] Required Material Components

Yeah, Thaumatology p.98 and Powers p. 116 were PERFECT for what I was looking for. Ignore my proposition. Thanks a lot!
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