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Old 01-10-2017, 02:10 PM   #11
Kalzazz
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: [Ritual Path Magic or Path/Book] Life-sustaining warmth ritual

In RPM you can set the greater and lesser categories freely as the DM wills

It will of course be more work than just saying 'follow what's written in the book'
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:56 PM   #12
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Conservation (-ish) of energy magical system?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
To help me decide on a magical system, which system is the best fit if I decide that any magic that creates energy or matter ought to be astronomically expensive or even impossible for almost all mortals, but placing a finger on the scales of fate by transfering energy or manipulating 'luck' is something ritual magicians rely on?

Sort of like Discworld magic, but even more limited. Every magical effect would have an equal and opposite reaction, often in a way that risked the magician or demanded sacrifice.

Can I do this in RPM and if so, does anyone have advice?
From your description, it sounds like the multiplier for Greater Effects might be insufficient. Personally, I like the idea of having categories beyond Greater - say, Epic Effects are x5 cost for 1, x10 for 2, x15 for 3, and so forth. RPM would readily support that - figure out the Epic Effects multiplier first, then add +2 for each Greater Effect, to get the total multiplier. For example, Epic Create Energy + Epic Create Matter + Greater Control Matter to conjure a flaming steel sword that obeys your will out of thin air would have a multiplier of x12. In your case, I'd have the Greater/Lesser divide be feasibility-based by default (like normal RPM), but have effects done in opposition to the aspected mana of the area (like warming up someone in a cold-aspected area) get a bump to category (Lesser->Greater->Epic) unless combined with an appropriate sacrifice to appease said aspect (draining heat from yourself and your allies in order to warm up that victim in the cold-aspected area, say). For Epic, just choose some particular effects you think are nearly off-limits - chronal manipulation, creating matter/energy from nothing (rather than just strengthening what already exists), etc. Epic Effects when mana is opposed to it is either outright impossible or each such Epic Effect counts as 3 Epic Effects for determining the multiplier.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:11 PM   #13
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [Ritual Path Magic or Path/Book] Life-sustaining warmth ritual

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
In RPM you can set the greater and lesser categories freely as the DM wills

It will of course be more work than just saying 'follow what's written in the book'
Yes, but in RPM, you can perform rituals with no thought of any conservation of energy. Healing doesn't demand the sacrifice of health and in the rules as written, the kind of necessary elements of rituals that I envision being necessary for mortals to use them at all only count as small cost reductions.

Path/Book magic generally suits me better in that with the appropriate Very Low Mana I favour for worlds which outwardly resemble our own, ritual use is impossible for even magically-aware mortals without a massive bonus from various ritual elements, e.g. from location, sacrifice or magical correspondance. It's not the difference between 12 energy and 9 energy, it's the difference between rolling at -10 and rolling at full skill. Path/Book is held back from being my ideal system by lacking a way to represent any fictional or imagined ritual that isn't already written up in Thaumatology.

I haven't actually run a game where every magical effect had an equal, but opposite reaction, but now that I consider it, this seems perfect for the feel of magic in a game of investigating horrible mysteries. But I don't know how to codify it in game terms.

What did the magic system for GURPS Discworld end up doing?
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:38 AM   #14
DaibhidC
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Re: [Ritual Path Magic or Path/Book] Life-sustaining warmth ritual

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
What did the magic system for GURPS Discworld end up doing?
The thing is, I'm not sure Discworld magic actually does what you're wanting. As Moving Pictures puts it "Anyone with a bit of intelligence and enough perseverance could do magic, which was why the wizards cloaked it with rituals and the whole pointy-hat business. The trick was to do magic and get away with it."

I don't have the new book, but the way the previous edition handled "getting away with it" was by saying any magic cast by non-mages was slow, ritualistic and still incredibly dangerous (see the Summoning of Dragons in Guards! Guards!). A character who wanted actual spells without Magery or training needed a 20-point Unusual Background, a very good explanation, and gets a bad reaction from witches and wizards, partly out of snobbery, but mostly because something dreadful could happen to them and the surrounding area at any moment.

I realise that's not the system you're looking for. Sorry.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:49 AM   #15
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [Ritual Path Magic or Path/Book] Life-sustaining warmth ritual

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Originally Posted by DaibhidC View Post
The thing is, I'm not sure Discworld magic actually does what you're wanting. As Moving Pictures puts it "Anyone with a bit of intelligence and enough perseverance could do magic, which was why the wizards cloaked it with rituals and the whole pointy-hat business. The trick was to do magic and get away with it."

I don't have the new book, but the way the previous edition handled "getting away with it" was by saying any magic cast by non-mages was slow, ritualistic and still incredibly dangerous (see the Summoning of Dragons in Guards! Guards!). A character who wanted actual spells without Magery or training needed a 20-point Unusual Background, a very good explanation, and gets a bad reaction from witches and wizards, partly out of snobbery, but mostly because something dreadful could happen to them and the surrounding area at any moment.

I realise that's not the system you're looking for. Sorry.
The element from Discworld magic that I was looking for was the aspect emphasised in the early Rincewind/Wizards novels, i.e. that creation of matter or energy was exceptionally difficult and pretty much required sourcery, but that what wizards did mostly relied on manipulation of what was already present. Thus, moving a heavy object with magic would cause a wizard great strain and probably lead to him having a stroke, but a clever wizard would arrange to have another heavy object fall down in order to make use of the energy to move something upwards. Or when an object or person was moved across the Disc, something of equivalent weight needed to be exchanged for it.

I'm considering a similar effect for more subtle magics, in a setting where the players know the supernatural is real, but it remains possible to play a PC who dismisses it as terror-induced hallucinations, placebo effects and unreliable eyewitness testimony.

The example I started with in this thread is perfect for illustration. If Ms. Danzig had been at a modern hospital, the PCs would have known that the damage to her temperature regulatory system was too severe for any realistic chance of her surviving. But she was not and while they may have suspected that she was dying, they did not know. Heating her up while fixing the damage to her internal systems required an immense amount of energy, but fortunately, the PCs were willing to contribute warmth, health and wellbeing of their own.*

This is the kind of magical effect I want to be possible in the setting. It's useful, even in an adventuring sense, but it's a lot more limited than most magical systems by default. On the other hand, as reality is pretty resistant to blatant magical intrusions, the magic system ought to make it comparatively easy to defend from the supernatural, as well as detect it and even end ongoing effects.

*As there were three of them, in good health, they should only be temporarily weakened, not mortally ill.
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