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Old 07-29-2017, 05:50 PM   #1
TimTimmy
 
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Default High Magic Spells

I am very new to GURPS, and there is a lot I don't get. I have googled this topic, and clearly others are confused by the same concept. After reading all those threads, I am still confused. For one thing, I never know which edition the answers are for, and which world the game is in.

So let's take a very specific case:
Edition: 4
Books: Basic set + Magic
Spell to cast 1: Permanent Shatterproof on my sabre
Spell to cast 2: Permanent Flying carpet on a 50 ton Sloop
Spell to cast 3: Soul Stone
Possible Cheese: Use "Luck" Advantage to not die casting Soul Stone
Possible Cheese: Use "Luck" Advantage to make really large Power Stone over 1 year

How do I cast these with the 400+ energy needed. Assume I have lots of time to cast.

I can start at stats of 10 and spell level 15, and some people say that is low. But how would even doubling the above stats change anything when casting 400+ energy spells?

Last edited by TimTimmy; 07-29-2017 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Slow and Sure method from Magic allows you to enchant something at 1 energy per day plus 1 per qualified assistant, assuming no interruptions. So a 400 energy enchantment would take 400 days. If you have an assistant, then it takes 200 days.

Increasing your stats allows you to make more powerful Quick and Dirty enchantments (all the energy at once), but once it's beyond your Q&D capabilities you need Slow and Sure. High skill will make you less likely to fail on the final enchantment roll and have more assistants.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Yeah at that point your an accomplished normal not a super mage.
So it makes sense you cant cast those spells.
You can try for some of it through Wealth and Signature Gear but I doubt you have the points for that either.
A single mage would need to do slow and sure enchantment for 1 day per energy point. However you may not even have all the prerequisite spells. And if you do assistants can provide an extra 1 energy each per day but at -1 skill.

Basically there are ways to do it but you need a much higher point budget than it sounds like you have.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

What you're missing is that most spells with high energy costs are either going to be cast Ceremonially (see p. 12 of GURPS Magic) or as an Enchantment (see Chapter 2 of GURPS Magic, starting on p. 16).

Ceremonial magic is cast by a group of mages who can each contribute energy into the casting, including using Powerstones to contribute some energy. This can bring the total available energy somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 energy without getting into "industrializing" magic.

Enchantments are kind of a special case of Ceremonial magic, where one or more enchanters can contribute one energy each per day of enchanting until the spell is cast. So a 4-mage circle casting a 400 energy spell will take 100 days to cast it.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

These spells are all enchantments, so all you need is the time, one mage-day per energy point using Slow & Sure enchanting.

The best way to shorten the time would be to have assistants, so you can divide the time amongst yourselves.

The other way would require finding in-game an extremely large Powerstone or Manastone, enough that you can cast with Quick & Dirty enchanting.

Really, this (particularly the sloop) would take a lot of resources and organization.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTimmy View Post

How do I cast these with the 400+ energy needed. Assume I have lots of time to cast.
The answer to all your questions is the enchanting system. To enchant an object, you need to know the Enchant spell, and you need to know the spell you want to use, both at skill 15 or higher. Enchanting always takes time, but how much time depends on how much energy you can put in at once. If you can collect all the energy you need in one go, you can use what's called "Quick and Dirty" enchanting, which takes 1 hour per 100 energy. The other way is "Slow and Sure", which takes 1 day per energy spent, but since you don't actually spend this FP, you can potentially make an item with any number of energy required as long as you can take the time.

Both methods can benefit from assistants. For Quick and Dirty, each assistant can contribute as much energy as their FP, any HP they choose to spend, and a single Powerstone for each assistant. So, for example, if you and 5 assistants each had 20 personal energy (from FP and having, for instance, a 10-point Energy Reserve, which is basically FP you can only spend on magic), and each of you also had an 80-point Powerstone, that would mean that each person could contribute 100 energy, so you could create an item worth 600 energy or less, in just 6 hours.

For slow and sure-style enchantment, you can divide the number of days required by the number of people who can help. So, with the same 5 assistants, plus yourself, doing that 600-energy item would only take 100 days - the normal 600 days, divided by 6.

The trick with assistants is that each one reduces your effective skill with the spell by 1, and your effective skill must stay at 15 or better. So, to have 5 assistants help you, each of them needs to know the spell at skill-15 or better, and your skill needs to be 20 or higher.

Basically, the enchantment system using the Basic Set/Magic system is designed to be pretty slow unless you have a lot of money to burn on hiring skilled assistants and powerful magic items like 80-point Powerstones. There are some suggestions to tweak this in Thaumatology, but they're setting-level decisions the GM makes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTimmy
I can start at stats of 10 and spell level 15, and some people say that is low. But how would even doubling the above stats change anything when casting 400+ energy spells?
Well, changing your attribute won't help much (though it's generally more efficient to buy a high attribute so you don't have to put as many points into each spell to get it to a useful level). If you doubled your skill in the spell, to 30, you would be able to do a circle of 15 assistants, which means each could contribute only a few energy and still add up to a lot for Quick and Dirty enchanting, or it would divide the time required by 15 for Slow and Sure, both of which are significant advantages.

So, hopefully this clears it up a bit?
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Thanks for the help. I am impressed with the speed and helpfulness of the replies. Even supermages can't do signifiant permanent enchants without 100 assistants. I guess I am not happy about that. I want to assume that after 100+ missions my mage would be powerful enough to not need help making his dining room chair permanently strong.

Given the slow method (only realistic choice it looks like), it will take years (of not adventuring) to make even the sabre shatterproof. With an assistant (who also does nothing for a year) I can cut that time in half. I guess invest in Enslave?

The sloop is simply out of the question.

How out of ordinary/acceptable are the "cheese" methods in my post?

Last edited by TimTimmy; 07-29-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTimmy View Post
Thanks for the help. I am impressed with the speed and helpfulness of the replies. One comment though. The answer of "these spells are meant for supermages" is a cop-out. Even supermages can't do this without 100 assistants. I guess I am not happy about that. I want to assume that after 100+ missions my mage would be powerful enough to not need help making his dining room chair permanently strong.
A supermage could have a thousand or more points worth of Energy Reserve
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTimmy View Post
If I may summarize, it will take years (of not adventuring) to make even the sabre shatterproof. With an assistant (who also does nothing for a year) I can cut that time in half. I guess invest in Enslave?

The sloop is simply out of the question.
You could simply employ the assistant. Or get an apprentice. People are often willing to exchange a year of work for room, board, and spending money.

And yeah, Slow And Sure enchantment is not intended to fit easily into the lives of adventurers. It's how expensive magical artifacts that you buy from a specialized dealer or are given by a powerful wizard or magical organization are made - not what you knock off in a long weekend while waiting for half the party to recover from their back-in-town binge. (EDIT: But 400 days is not 'years', it's a little over one year.)

Some low-cost enchantments are feasible to knock off by the Quick and Dirty enchanting method. Probably not Shatterproof, though, unless you're very powerful and preferably have very powerful friends too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTimmy View Post
How out of ordinary/acceptable are the "cheese" methods in my post?
I think Luck is specifically restricted from certain uses relating to magic, but I don't recall exactly what.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

After 100 adventures of 1-3 sessions at an average of 3 points each, you can easily afford a 100+ point Energy Reserve, or Filthy Rich and a few levels of Multimillionaire and put a circle of enchanters on retainer.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 07-29-2017 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:40 PM   #10
TimTimmy
 
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
A supermage could have a thousand or more points worth of Energy Reserve
Could you please give details as to how?
I don't know what this Energy Reserve is. Is it the same thing as a Powerstone?

Last edited by TimTimmy; 07-29-2017 at 07:44 PM.
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