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Old 10-18-2018, 06:02 PM   #1
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default RPM Traditions Confusion

In RPM the cosmos of magic is broken up into Paths, each representing a different aspect of reality. Various cultures and traditions would have different descriptions of their own magical paradigm and how works. As an example, maybe the Path of Spirit could do different things in one tradition [Chinese], then in another [Wicca], due to their paradigm, or they may not even have the path or perhaps its absorbed into another Path.

So what happens if a person in the one tradition wants to pick up a spell from another tradition? As an example, if a Hermatic Mage [ala Harry Dresden] want to pick up a Wiccan spell with its own traditional trappings and paradigm of magic.

Or is it simply a matter of a spell being what it is, and the persons own paradigm is used for that spell, no matter what? So if that Hermatic mage wants to use that spell that he got from the Wicca Witch, he just uses his own paradigm [Paths] and trappings for that spell and ignores the sage, candles, bells, broom sticks, and references to Hecate and nature?
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:10 PM   #2
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

One of those "how do you want it to work" questions, as it really determines how the different traditions interact in the setting. But, since that's not all that helpful:

If the traditions are to be anything more than color, I'd have a different core skill for each. Not just "Thaumatology", but "White Council" / "Wicca" / "Chinese" magic. The various sets of paths default are and capped by only to their own core skill. So, you can learn another tradition, but knowing one form doesn't help.

Higher Purpose (Tradition) is already specialized. You might also specialize Magery (RPM), to create a further distinction between the traditions. Some workers might be capable or talented in one form and not another; other wunderkind might be talented across the board -- but being the universal archmage could be expensive.

If there's really only one kind of magic, and the various traditions are mostly just style and history, then keep one core skill and set of Advantages, and base each set of Paths on that same core skill. You can't mix Paths that you know from different sets in the same spell; since they're dividing up the mystical world in different ways, they aren't mix-n-match and don't have the right interfaces to each other. You still have to learn different Paths to cast a spell with these different points of view, but it's easier in this scheme.

If the various traditions are pure fluff text and there's really only one kind of magic, no matter how much the practitioners may artificially subdivide themselves, then no changes are necessary. Just describe your spell appropriately; it's all narrative and doesn't need any mechanical distinction to drive a wedge home.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

Ultimately this is a worldbuilding decision the GM has to make. As I see it, there are three different "levels of separation" for different traditions. At the first level, the trappings each uses are different, but their Paths are all basically the same. In this setup, ritual magicians from different traditions can't cooperate on rituals, but one who knows a given Path at a given level is just as capable as another with the same skill.

At the second level, rituals vary a bit between traditions, though they're all present. What this means is that mages of different traditions still can't cooperate, but a given ritual could also vary a bit - maybe the Chaperone ritual defaults to the Path of Luck at only -2 (instead of -3) for someone from the Wiccan tradition, while a Chaos Mage can use the Repair ritual from the Path of Gadgets to provide a bit of fuel in addition to its normal effects.

Finally, the third level changes the rituals for a given path entirely - a mage from the Hermetic tradition can use Summon and Bind rituals to call and command specifically elementals as part of the Path of Elements while nobody else can.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:24 PM   #4
Lameth
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If there's really only one kind of magic, and the various traditions are mostly just style and history, then keep one core skill and set of Advantages, and base each set of Paths on that same core skill. You can't mix Paths that you know from different sets in the same spell; since they're dividing up the mystical world in different ways, they aren't mix-n-match and don't have the right interfaces to each other. You still have to learn different Paths to cast a spell with these different points of view, but it's easier in this scheme.
this seems like what I am already doing. I guess its more color and sets of advantages and perks. If that Hermatic mage wants to learn that Wicca ritual that calls for blood, candles, sage, and various herbs, that is what he must use to get the benefits of that spell? Even if his trappings are more traditional "wizard" and not "witch". Or perhaps he needs an advantage of Tradition Familiarity [Wicca] or suffer a negative to it ?
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:26 PM   #5
Lameth
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Ultimately this is a worldbuilding decision the GM has to make. As I see it, there are three different "levels of separation" for different traditions. At the first level, the trappings each uses are different, but their Paths are all basically the same. In this setup, ritual magicians from different traditions can't cooperate on rituals, but one who knows a given Path at a given level is just as capable as another with the same skill.

At the second level, rituals vary a bit between traditions, though they're all present. What this means is that mages of different traditions still can't cooperate, but a given ritual could also vary a bit - maybe the Chaperone ritual defaults to the Path of Luck at only -2 (instead of -3) for someone from the Wiccan tradition, while a Chaos Mage can use the Repair ritual from the Path of Gadgets to provide a bit of fuel in addition to its normal effects.

Finally, the third level changes the rituals for a given path entirely - a mage from the Hermetic tradition can use Summon and Bind rituals to call and command specifically elementals as part of the Path of Elements while nobody else can.
I am speaking of RPM not Path/Book, but thanks.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:49 PM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

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Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
I am speaking of RPM not Path/Book, but thanks.
Whoops, sorry about that! I just saw "Paths" and defaulted, I guess.

To answer your actual question, then, I'd distinguish between casters of different traditions in RPM as follows:

First, different traditions still can't cooperate. The rules in RPM for "working together" only work if all the casters are using the same tradition for their Ritual Magic skill.

Second, I'd have grimoires be specialized by tradition, and only provide some fraction of their bonus, or none at all, if your Ritual Magic skill isn't from that tradition.

Third, each tradition could have its own version of the advanced rules under "The Sephiroth and Decans". This would be a fair bit of work, but can reward you with much more flavorful magic. A mage of the Hermetic tradition could use the Sephiroth/Decans as written, while a Wiccan might get equivalent bonuses by using a sacred athame, burning expensive sage incense, and so on, while someone in the Chinese tradition might need stuff that resonated with the i Ching trigrams instead.

Finally, you could also say that some traditions do have bonuses or penalties with certain spells, because of the way they approach magic. I'd make sure that these only applied to a few categories (no more than 3 bonus and 3 penalized spells), and that the bonuses and penalties negated each other for each tradition.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:35 AM   #7
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

This is a world building question: do you want all forms of magic to be different parts of the same elephant or do you want them to be radically different things? If the former, then you could base everything on Thaumatology and make the cost of learning magic from another tradition purely in game resources (as per the OP, Harry uses magic from several different traditions quite freely - unfortunately there are spoilers involved), the latter could go as far as using different chapters of Thaumatology (the book) for different traditions. Having different base skills is a midway point.

This being GURPS, there is no "right" answer.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:16 PM   #8
Lameth
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
This is a world building question: do you want all forms of magic to be different parts of the same elephant or do you want them to be radically different things? If the former, then you could base everything on Thaumatology and make the cost of learning magic from another tradition purely in game resources (as per the OP, Harry uses magic from several different traditions quite freely - unfortunately there are spoilers involved), the latter could go as far as using different chapters of Thaumatology (the book) for different traditions. Having different base skills is a midway point.

This being GURPS, there is no "right" answer.
Hello, what do you mean "unfortunately there are spoilers involved"?
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:45 PM   #9
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

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Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
Hello, what do you mean "unfortunately there are spoilers involved"?
I think he means that he can't give examples of how some characters in the Dresdenverse use magic from multiple traditions without spoiling some of those stories.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:47 PM   #10
Lameth
 
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Default Re: RPM Traditions Confusion

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I think he means that he can't give examples of how some characters in the Dresdenverse use magic from multiple traditions without spoiling some of those stories.
lol, oh please spoil it for me. I need examples to help me build this please.
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