Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-18-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

The 'Grimoire' worldlines are those in which Path/Book Magic is taught openly and widely (though they may be former Secret Magic settings, and several are), and in which most known styles are Book styles, with few or no Path styles. The first three I've written were previously posted in the New Reality Seeds thread, but will be repeated here. The others may be posted out of order, due to being in different stages of completeness. If you want to make your own, feel free.

Grimoire-1: Current year 2027 (same date and time as Homeline and Centrum), discovered by Infinity in 2003; mature TL8^ (space industry at early TL9^). This was a 'secret magic' worldline until 9/11/01, when a group of magicians saved the World Trade Center with wind magic and machine control - first summoning powerful updrafts which forced the planes away from the towers, and then sending spirits to take over the airliners and ditch them in the Hudson River, when the planes kept coming around to try again. All aboard survived the landing, and most survived the suicides of the terrorists who took over the flights. Magicians who wanted to stop hiding took advantage of the good PR from that action, and performed demonstrations for scientists, reporters, and the military. People were dubious at first, and even in 2027, many insist that this isn't 'magic,' but the use of psi powers (which ignores the fact that until fairly recently, few made that distinction), or the intervention of aliens, but even at the time Infinity found this worldline, there were already some colleges in the USA teaching classes in practical magic, and 'how to' books being published that in some cases actually worked. By 2027, most countries that allow public magical instruction at all (as opposed to limiting it to government agents and military personnel, or forbidding it entirely) begin it somewhere between the ages of eleven and sixteen.

Technology-wise, this worldline is pretty close to that of Homeline, apart from a complete lack of parachonic science (many local counterparts of Homeline parachronic scientists are instead studying thaumatology), better-than-Homeline's space infrastructure and spacecraft, and a lot of weird gadgets that result from adding spirits to machines (including some of the aerospace tech, which has reduced the cost of space travel, a fair bit of 'cyberpunk' technology, which has not always been to society's benefit, and various other things from science fiction and fantasy). Humans returned to the Moon in 2010, when Rick Husband and Yury Lonchakov broke ground on the internationally-funded Moonbase Alpha; fifteen years later, Alpha is the size of a (very) small town, with a long-term population of 311, and habitable space for a thousand more. Humans first walked on Mars in 2019, and established what is intended to become a permanent colony in 2024. The Space Shuttles were mostly retired by 2016, after the magic-based 'Vulcan' flying saucer program had proved its worth, the exception being Enterprise, which had served as a testbed for upgrading the shuttles with the systems that were eventually used in the flying saucers, and is still in use - often as a testbed for new experimental technologies and magics.

Most magical practitioners on this Earth use one or more single-Book styles (that is to say, Path/Book styles which only have one Book, and thus the Book skill is the same as the core skill of the style), although there are nearly as many multiple-Book styles, total, as there are single-Book styles. Path styles are speculated to exist, and there are reports that they may have existed in the past, but this is currently unproven. A few styles can be considered 'Path-like,' either because they have a fairly clear theme in their rituals, or because the style allows for improvising rituals, or both. Note, however, that an improvised ritual in a Book style will suffer from familiarity penalties (on top of the skill penalty for Effect Shaping magic, if the style uses that) until the user spends a point in a Book skill (not in the ritual's technique) that contains the ritual, even if that requires writing a new Book for the style (which is sometimes how styles get new Books - and also how Books sometimes get new editions, with more rituals). The familiarity penalty is at least -2, but may be worse the more different it is, in the GM's opinion, from the other rituals in the Book the caster is improvising from; optionally, a penalty that starts out worse than -2 may be reduced by practice at the same rate as normal familiarity penalties, but it cannot be reduced below -2 without buying a new Book skill (again, on top of any skill penalty for Effect Shaping magic).

Example 1: 'Balthazzar the Bold' (aka Melvin H. Poindexter), a Diabolist, wants to learn to Embody spirits, both to have minions in general, and as part of his ongoing quest to punish everyone on 'his list' (mostly people who were mean to him in high school). He knows Book of the Hierarch (Thaumatology: Age of Gold p18) at a skill of 15, and Fetish is similar enough to Embody that the penalty is only -2. Since his style is Energy Accumulating and he's using all the normal elements of a ritual (including sacrificing a young lamb), this is the only penalty he takes to his skill (effective skill in Book of the Hierarch thus being 13) - though it helps a lot that the demon he summoned wants to be Embodied, as demons in this setting are far more often spiritual threats, rather than physical.

Example 2: Mary Tanner, a Fourth Year student and member of Lion House at the Monar Academy of Magics (a magical boarding school in Scotland, by Loch Monar), is quite certain that her rival on the school's field hockey team, Ekidna Sackville of Serpent House, is up to no good. Why else would she be sneaking out with Rod Herrington (another Serpent House bully) every Friday night, and not returning until nearly morning? They must be plotting something! Monar teaches a multiple-Book Effect Shaping style, which Mary is rather skilled in, partly due to being a prodigy, with natural Magery 3. Mary's plan to follow them involves turning herself into an owl, which is a bit tricky given that they aren't supposed to learn Shapeshifting until Fifth Year. The closest ritual she knows to Shapeshifting is Reversion of Form, from the Book of MacCruimein (a text introduced in Year 3); she has Book of MacCruimein 14, and has bought up Reversion of Form to 11, due to an evil shapeshifter she encountered in Third Year. Converting Reversion of Form to Shapeshifting (Owl) is not easy, as they are not that similar. Shapeshifting (Owl) has a base penalty of -6, one worse than Reversion of Form, and the two rituals are different enough that the GM decides that the total penalty to her skill with Reversion of Form should be -5, for an effective skill of 6 at Shapeshifting (Owl). (If she were trying to convert another form of Shapeshifting into Shapeshifting (Owl), the penalty would be lower, probably as little as -2.) Perhaps she should try a less ambitious plan...


Mystic Symbols (Thaumatology p124, text box), sometimes called foci (singular 'focus'), are somewhat common on this Earth, in a variety of forms (the materials and appearance are more often dictated by magical style than by personal preference). In many cases, they do not grant Magery, but do grant some often-limited form of Path/Book Adept (e.g. One Book Only, Cannot Wear Armor, Song Aspected, or some other limit). Familiars exist, but are more likely to grant Magery or other advantages, rather than Path/Book Adept. There are rumours and legends of Adepts who didn't get their ability to ignore the usual ritual elements from gadgets or familiars, but no proof.

Unknown to Infinity, Centrum, and the Cabal, several intelligence services in this Quantum 6 worldline are aware of the presence of outtime observers, though they are not aware of the exact details. There is some debate among them as to whether the outtimers are aliens, time travelers, or dimensional travelers.

EDIT: Link to the Infobox.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 07-01-2020 at 07:31 PM.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2020, 07:36 PM   #2
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Grimoire-2: Current year 1951; TL(6+1)^. Also a former 'secret magic' worldline, with both history and secret history identical to Grimoire-1 until approximately 1770, when magic became slightly less secret. Masked heroes (many of them magicians, but not all, or even most) were seen as so important to the American Revolution on this worldline that the right to a secret identity was included in the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution. This is the only timeline of the Grimoire group in which the USA in general (and a number of other countries) widely accepts people dressing in silly costumes and acting like comic book characters; though would-be 'superheroes' exist on some of the other Grimoire worlds, they tend to only be accepted on an individual basis, and in a limited area (a single city or town, or part of same), being otherwise considered 'of questionable sanity,' at best. Magic begins to be openly taught in a few countries after WWI, and far more after WWII. The general outcomes of the wars were mostly the same, but the specifics varied in strange ways - for example, the Thule Society never fell out of favor with the Nazis, and used plastic surgery and magic to turn a number of fanatical volunteers into body-doubles for Hitler, at least three of whom are still at large (it is generally agreed that the real Adolph Hitler of this worldline was assassinated in either 1938 by unknown agents (Homeline German SpecOps), or 1941 by Allied superheroes). The Thule Society appears to have split into several factions after the war, intent on manipulating specific governments to take over the world, so that the Thule Society can rule from the shadows. The heroes and governments (and some villains, for that matter) who have fought agents of the various Thule societies liken them to the mythical hydra, for just when you've cut off one head, it seems that two more have sprung up!

Politically, a number of small countries were created after WWI (rather more than on Homeline), and some of them either survived the Second World War, or were recreated in some form after the war was over, along with a few more (the Balkans in particular are something of a mess). Some of these countries are ruled by what might be called 'wizard-kings,' though not all of them do so openly, and almost half of them go with something like the common dictatorial claim of being 'just the First Citizen' or 'just the Party Chairman,' rather than trying to take up the dignity of a monarch (in large part, it depends on who is sponsoring them - if anyone is - and whether they can believably claim to be related to someone who both ruled the region previously, and is still widely respected in the region today).

Much of the former French Zone of Occupation is mostly a patchwork of such states, as is the border between East Germany and West Germany, parts of Thuringia, and parts of the French, British, and Soviet protectorates and occupation zones in Austria. The states and protectorates created by the Soviets very rarely use any royal styling, and always pay at least significant lip-service to communism, whatever their government actually is.

Israel in this worldline is in theory a Dominion of the British Empire, but in practice, beyond giving the British Most Favored Nation status and the British royal family being really popular there (the Knesset agreed to grant King George VI the title of 'King of Israel, Jerusalem, and Acre' in 1949, partly due to the efforts of the British government and the royal family to help Jewish people to survive and escape Germany and German-occupied territories during the war, itself a result of Kabbalist scholar-mages extensively cooperating with British mages to fight the Nazis), the country is more like a close ally that lets the British and Americans have some bases on Israeli soil. By contrast, the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine was slightly bloodier on both sides, and seems to have lead to increased cooperation with the Nazis by Arabs living in the Levant.

Checking the maps and information guides before traveling is always important, but more so than average in much of this worldline.

Dr. Robert Goddard sent the first artificial satellite (a radio transmitter that played the Star-Spangled Banner on a continuous loop, powered by batteries which lasted until the satellite burned up) into orbit on July 4th, 1941. This was followed on December 7th of that year by a German transmitter that played the Horst-Wessel Lied (first detected in the US during the attack on Pearl Harbor; this was a coincidence, as Imperial Japan did not share the timing of their attack with Nazi Germany, though most in the USA of this worldline believe otherwise). Goddard, by then employed by the US Army, sent up the first spy satellite in 1942 (a better transmitter with a receiver, a television camera with a telephoto lens, a remote-controlled gyroscopic steering system, and a mercury boiler for power, with a spirit bound to the satellite as a whole, to keep the components from failing too soon). Humans first orbited this Earth in 1947 (a Russian on November 7th, and an American on November 10th), although several nations (and a few mad scientists and magicians) performed manned suborbital flights beginning with Dr. Wernher von Braun's defection to the United Kingdom in 1944 (there is some debate as to whether this should be considered a German accomplishment or not). Both America and Russia have manned space stations, and have vowed to have a man on the Moon by 1960.

Technology in general, apart from the various magical gadgets, is closer to the 1960s or '70s than to the early 1950s, save that transistors and related technologies appear not to have been developed to the point of being commercially viable, although vacuum tubes are significantly smaller and more complex than in Homeline's 1951. While home computers as we think of them do not exist as yet, home terminals with telephone or dedicated cable access to one or more mainframes do, and the bigger terminals often have a bit more computing power on their own than you might expect. Flying cars and personal jetpacks are rare and expensive, though less so (and safer) than the proposed atomically-powered cars, which only exist in concept form. Magic-based ray-guns are becoming somewhat common, especially variants that can only stun, or cause temporary paralysis. The aesthetic of this worldline is rather Atompunk or Raygun Gothic.

Like Grimoire-1, most practitioners of magic on this Earth use one or more single-Book styles, and there are nearly as many multiple-Book styles, total, as there are single-Book styles. Path styles exist, though they are very rare (Unusual Background cost of 20 or higher), and the known ones mostly seem to date from after 1770. The most common Path styles on this Earth (meaning that they have somewhere close to a hundred practitioners, out of a worldwide population of 2.6 billion) are Invocationism, an Energy Accumulating style (roughly identical to the style of that name found in Thaumatology: Age of Gold pp17-18), which is mostly practiced in China and other parts of East Asia, and Neo-Hermeticism, an Effect Shaping style mostly practiced in Europe and the Americas (using all the Paths from Thaumatology pp140-162), which appears to have been created in the 1860s or so by studying several earlier Path styles and bringing together whatever worked.

Mystic foci are relatively common on this Earth. They rarely grant Magery, but do grant some often-limited form of Path/Book Adept (e.g. One Path Only, One Ritual Only, Fire Aspected, or some other limit). Some magical styles on this worldline have developed fairly efficient methods of learning Limited Path/Book Adept advantages appropriate to the style (often, but not always, One Style Only), without the need for Gadget or Familiar limitations; indeed, this is one of the more common reasons to join such styles. Familiars exist on this Earth, most commonly as animal Allies that the mage can communicate with silently and from a distance, and can perceive through the familiar's senses; they rarely grant much in the way of other magical advantages.

Many of the governments in this Quantum 4 worldline are aware of Infinity, and though the details they understand are somewhat limited, they strongly suspect that the agents travel through alternate timelines. They are also aware that the Homeliners are concerned about the Thule Society making contact with a group of dimension-travelers called 'Reich-5,' who by context appear to be from a world where the Nazis won WWII. So far, no government has approached the Infinity observers that they are aware of, though it's only a matter of time. No local government is aware of the Cabal's existence, nor their presence on this Earth.

Reich-5 currently seems to be unaware of this worldline, and would be dependent on worldjumpers to reach it.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2020, 07:36 PM   #3
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Grimoire-3: Current year 1895, PoD 1816; TL(5+1)^, with experimental tech at (5+2)^. This Earth appears never to have been a secret magic setting, as the Cabal suspects that it was a no-mana or very low mana worldine prior to the Year Without A Summer, which appears to have been when it became a mostly low mana world with leylines of normal mana and up. Also during this year, many folk who tended to pay attention to dreams began to dream of magic, and in 1819, several of them began publishing Books on various magical styles. The most famous of these was Mary Shelley, who published the Book of Frankenstein, a work on Ritual Alchemy (that is to say, Path/Book Magic - Effect Shaping, in this case - that uses Alchemy as the core skill) which allows the revival of dead bodies, as well as preserving food, and reversing the decay of dead flesh. It cannot be used to truly bring the dead back, as the body is merely being preserved and animated by the spirit within, and the book contains no information on summoning, so the spirit that enters is simply the nearest one that desires a body. Shelley was quite surprised to learn in 1820 that a scientist, using her book, managed to bring a metal and ceramic puppet to 'life,' something that not only had neither brain nor muscles, but had never been alive in the first place.

No human has orbited this Earth by 1895, though each of the Great Powers have put unmanned satellites in orbit, stating with France's Marianne I (a five-channel radiotelegraph repeater, powered by a mercury boiler), in 1891. Much like on Qabala, Embodied spirits as servants are quite common, but as they are mostly not created by acts of worship, there are fewer religious limitations on them. Large Embodied spirits serving as walking vehicles (Mecha) are a familiar sight in much of the civilized world, and some serve as watercraft or even aircraft. Miniature 'golems' serve to assist watchmakers and surgeons, or are used as toys. Few spirits are capable of much skill in mathematics, a lack made up for by the analytical engines, which thanks to quite tiny golems, can be made far smaller than would be possible with human hands alone. The technological aesthetic of this world is aggressively Steampunk, to the point that fashion is affected. Goggles with strange features are often in style, mostly as what amount to sunglasses that look like goggles. Many of them have secondary lenses on the sides, to avoid obstructing peripheral vision.

In the USA, the widespread use of Embodied spirits (mainly thoughtforms) as servants made slavery so economically disadvantageous that when Kansas Senator John Brown introduced a bill in 1855 to amend the US Constitution to end slavery within the next ten years, the Southern Democrats gave it only pro-forma resistance, and the slight modification to eleven years after ratification (which itself took only three years).

Prior to the 1830s, all known styles were single-Book, and the first multi-Book styles were the result of people taking several Books with similar styles, and reworking them into one style. A similar but more difficult process was begun in the 1880s to create the first Path styles, which are more versatile. Path styles are still very rare on this Earth, making up less than 2% of known styles, though they are becoming more common.

Mystic Symbols are fairly common on this Earth, frequently in the form of Books. In many cases, they grant some often-limited form of Path/Book Adept (generally One Book Only, but Two Rituals Only, Moon-phase Aspected, or some such thing are not rare). Some magical styles on this worldline have developed efficient methods of learning various forms of Path/Book Adept. It is fashionable for mages to have a pet that they call a familiar (though which animal is preferred varies over time - owls are currently de rigueur for male magicians in Western Europe and much of North America); some of them may even be magical in some way.

The governments of this Quantum 6 worldline are as yet unaware of the outtime agents that have operated here.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2020, 12:18 AM   #4
Diomedes
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

I wonder if it might be better to call these the "Mandrake" timelines, after the setting in Age of Gold. Indeed, given that it's called Mandrake-1, that implies the existence of other Mandrakes.
Diomedes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2020, 12:26 AM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

The Grimoire designation may be more suitable for worlds that use RPM (since Path/Book does not use grimoires by default). If RPM functions independently of mana, they could offer some interesting challenges for Centrum, Infinity, and the Cabal, as its practitioners could function in no mana environments (similar circumstances could arise with Path/Book magic or Syntactic Magic). After all, they are not the default magic system.
AlexanderHowl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2020, 08:02 PM   #6
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
I wonder if it might be better to call these the "Mandrake" timelines, after the setting in Age of Gold. Indeed, given that it's called Mandrake-1, that implies the existence of other Mandrakes.
The Age of Gold setting is not, as far as I can tell, that focused on Book styles, though, so it doesn't really fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The Grimoire designation may be more suitable for worlds that use RPM (since Path/Book does not use grimoires by default).
You're getting Doylist and Watsonian mixed up again. The worlds, in setting, are being named by Infinity, not be GURPS gamers.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2020, 08:24 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
The Age of Gold setting is not, as far as I can tell, that focused on Book styles, though, so it doesn't really fit.
Eh, of the three known factions in Age of Gold one (the Golden Dawn) is based around books rather than Paths.

As for the "Mandrake" designation I believe it's for both pulpiness and non-standard but non-secret magic. So if Infinity did find a close-ish (but pulp-y) parallel in the 1920s or 30s that used RPM (I know of no official ones) they probably would label it Mandrake-2 well before they understood the differences between its' magic and Mandrake-1's.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2020, 09:17 PM   #8
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Eh, of the three known factions in Age of Gold one (the Golden Dawn) is based around books rather than Paths.

As for the "Mandrake" designation I believe it's for both pulpiness and non-standard but non-secret magic. So if Infinity did find a close-ish (but pulp-y) parallel in the 1920s or 30s that used RPM (I know of no official ones) they probably would label it Mandrake-2 well before they understood the differences between its' magic and Mandrake-1's.
Oh, probably. None of these quite fit it that well, though (and I'm not sure exactly when Mandrake-1 was discovered by Infinity; it could have been discovered after Grimoire-2, and even if it was discovered before, it's not unheard of for Infinity to change a designation).
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2020, 09:18 PM   #9
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

Grimoire-5: Current year 1190, PoD 1119; TL(3+1)^. This worldline appears to have been an historical echo of Grimoire-1 until 1119, when Walloonian clockmaker William of Mons invented a primitive linotype machine (much to the confusion of outtimers), and a printing press; papermaking spread faster as side effect, with books becoming common and fairly cheap by 1130. The White Ship still sinks in 1120, but Stephen of Blois was on board, and drowned, leaving Empress Matilda to inherit relatively unopposed when Henry I died of a 'bad belly' in 1138. Cliodynamic evidence suggests that this Quantum 6 worldline was on Quantum 7 or 8 prior to 1120. Matilda reigned until her death in 1162, when she was succeeded by her son Geoffrey FitzEmpress as King Geoffrey of England (the first coronation on this worldline to be announced in a newspaper). Geoffrey still rules England in 1190, along with his eldest son (and junior King) Fulk, Count of Anjou, who has taken on more and more of the King's duties, of late.

Technology-wise, this Earth is (at least in Europe) closer to the 15th or 16th century than the 12th or 13th, save that gunpowder has yet to spread to Europe, and thus armour is not yet made to try to counter it; newspapers and literacy are nearly as common as they were in the mid-17th century on Homeline. In the Islamic world and parts of Asia, black powder is as much a toy as it is a weapon, but the advancements of science in Europe are passing East as time goes by, and in many cases, being matched. Advanced sailing ships have reopened Vinland to settlement, and thus the technology of Europe passes West, as well, albeit with greater difficulty, as the native peoples of the Western Lands lack immunity to many diseases that the Europeans carry. Africa likewise grows more learned, especially in the expanding Ghana Empire, and the Zagwe Kingdom.

The increased availability of books leads to both an increase in literacy, and an increase in the availability of Book styles, which are less hidden or secret in this era than one might expect. Most practitioners use single-Book styles, though the actual number of distinct single-Book styles is rather smaller. Multiple-Book styles are still more common than Path styles, however. The most common distinct Path style in Europe is Western Ritual Alchemy, which uses Alchemy as the core skill, rather than Ritual Magic. The Paths are Via Animalia (Animal Control), Via Bellator (Combat Abilities), Via Toxicum (Hostile Elixirs), Via Magicae (Magical Abilities), Via Medicinae (Medical Elixirs), Via Animus (Mental Abilities & Mental Control), and Via Virtus (Skills and Physical Abilities). The style was quite rare before 1119, and may have been at risk of dying out, due to secrecy and poor communications; no-one is known to use this style with the Path/Book Adept (Material) advantage, though some have been known to possess the other forms of PBA. Herb Lore-based (mostly oral) Book styles are more common than Alchemy, but are in nearly all cases local styles, with few or no practitioners beyond their home regions.

Mystic Symbols are rare on this Earth, and few of those that do exist grant any form of Path/Book Adept (granting some variant of Limited Magery is far more common), though some magical styles do have efficient methods of learning a style-appropriate form of this advantage. Familiars are spoken of in this worldline, but there is little evidence that they are not simply trained and/or possessed animals that the mage or spirit enhances with magic (id est, they do not appear to grant the mage new abilities).

So far, no-one native to Grimoire-5 seems to be aware of Infinity or Centrum, though a few have joined the Cabal, or had contact with them.

EDIT: Link to the Infobox.


Thoughts?
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/23/2020: Earth-1 American Command Crew Rosters article has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 06-28-2020 at 09:06 AM.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2020, 08:06 AM   #10
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The deep dark haunted woods
Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] 'Grimoire' worldlines

The designation of Grimoire-6 is questionable, as the origin of the magic is due to a unique event, making some claim it belongs in the "Merlin" designation. But there is no designation for "Orc Invasion" timelines.

On 23 February 1956, a solar storm filled Earth's skies with auroras and static. Or it was believed to be one ...

In the southern Indian Ocean, the Kergulean Islands transformed over the course of a day into a small continent with a climate similar to Mongolia. The slow growth allowed the adjacent continents to suffer only abnormally-high tides rather than tsunamis. This also caused a titanic surge in magical energies worldwide (even though "standard" mana levels are still Low).

The French colonists were startled, to say the least. Then they were killed, according to the scant few surviving records, by green barbarians riding giant hamsters.

The orcs (name derived from a French pronunciation of their own name for themselves, which is OKK), riding their huge war-hamsters across the surface of the water as if it were dry land, first attacked ships, but by March had invaded Australia and by April were assaulting Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.

At first it was assumed the more outlandish tales of Orc attacks were exactly that. But then counter attacks halted the orcs - in all cases either led by or completely composed of tribal shamans of the natives from the local areas. A few captured orc shamans, desperate to save themselves or just greedy, revealed the secrets of their power.

(The Orcs use a variety of Book magicks, usually secrets of families or lodges. The human shamans use Path/Book magicks from their native traditions.)

The year is 1962. As the introduction of magic was only eight years ago, society itself has not changed much. But the changes, where they have occured, promise to be profound.

The Cold War is extending into a new magical direction. The Americans have parity with the Russians (Native American Paths vs Siberian Turkic and Paleo-Siberian Paths), but neither has gotten very far because their treatment of their native populations has bred a lot of grudges and resentment. And neither are anywhere close to the magical powerhouses of India, Australia (Aboriginies are now "National Treasures"), and South Africa (now under a black majority government via very mysterious events). Japan and China have started their own Cold War as they find a number of shamaic practitioners to augment their militaries (as magic still hasn't been codified by international law, this bypasses Japan's restrictions on offensive weapons).

The Vietnam conflict ended in 1960 with a new monarchy as both American and Communist forces were expelled from Southeast Asia following enormous numbers of curses, plagues, and monster attacks. Vietnam is now isolationist, and the world opium market has suffered a major hit. Korea is unified, after North Korea fell during the "Night of Horror" in 1959 (The North Koreans all but exterminated their magic-believing population, leaving them helpless before South Korean shamans and monks).

The demonstrated reality of magic has caused a magical/religious renaissance across the world. The major Western religions, however, took massive hits in popularity when they couldn't demonstate any ability to repel the magic of orc shamans. New religions with Paths from Wicca and Neo-Paganism are growing in popularity, and a few Jewish Qabala practitioners are enjoying fame in Israel. The Muslim world has radicalized over the issue, killing anyone who demonstrates magical ability.

The Racists are currently in convulsions over the new effectiveness of "primitive mumbo-jumbo". Some try to openly claim all magic is "satanism". However, the new threat of orcs help blunt that reaction. (it seems that white and black and brown will all unite against green.)

Attempts to "rationalize" and scientifically quantify magic have had limited success, save to create a few Books. But the "Old Wise Witch" has reappeared acrosss the world, selling charms and talismens, and a few have gone into mass production.

Meanwhile, the orcs continue to be a threat, their barbarian hordes able to charge across land and sea around the world and enjoy good luck and assorted supernatural advantages as they raid and plunder. There are orc colonies on all continents and almost every military has has had to fight off an incursion. A small, tragic population of "half-orcs" has come into existence, already becoming the world's newest badly-treated ethnic minority.

As many native shamanic traditions hold valid Paths, Infinity researchers have a slight advantage in studying the local magic. (Centrum, of course, is completely lost here.) But because magic-users are considered strategic national resources, studying directly from the source is very difficult.

There is no evidence of the Cabal yet, but they should have fun in this timeline. Reich-5 will likely be disgusted at all the "lesser races" doing so well.
__________________
"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power."
- Sam Starfall from the webcomic Freefall

Last edited by Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2; 04-22-2020 at 08:09 AM.
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
infinite worlds, path/book magic, worldbuilding

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.