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Old 07-11-2020, 08:29 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Because low mana regions inflict a -5 penalty to the base skill of a spell mages who live and practice within the area must usually specialize in just a couple of useful spells. One minor boon from practicing magic in low mana areas is that critical failures have little or no effect (Magic, p. 6), so ceremonial magic is a relatively safe enterprise. In low mana regions, mage paradoxically becomes just another profession, if highly valued, as no one needs to worry about them exploding or accidentally summoning demons.

When it comes to the best utility spells, the best three seem to be Continual Light, Cure Disease, and Rain (especially in desert communities). A magician who learn any of those three spells at 20+ (15+ when in low mana regions) will likely become quite wealthy. What other spells would you think would make a magician wealthy in a low mana region?
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

The food college is always good. Making and Breaking has a lot of utility spells.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Shape Earth and Shape Stone look good. Add in Earth to Stone and Stone to Earth and the Mage is a builder. Just think about some one with these spell at 20+ and how quickly bridges, dikes, guard houses, etc can get slapped up. Given TL3 building techniques, it would probably be much safer and far more enduring to build bridges and docks by these spells than by conventional means.

Bless Crops would always be a godsend.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

There are today, as at any point in my life, about four different objects which a Seeker spell would be handy for.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Seeker would be an interesting choice, though it would likely require a large city to have enough traffic to make it worthwhile for someone to take 20+ in Seeker (with a population of over 50,000, there would be enough people willing to pay a Seeker for their services). In fact, a Seeker could make a good fantasy PI, perhaps one who was once a wealthy mage brought down low by alcoholism and womanizing, making him (or her) a noir fantasy hybrid character.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Magic in Worldbuilding in the GURPSwiki looks at the lowest rung of spells ie spells can either be cast by Magery 0 (but no higher) or by non mages in high mana and above.

The only downside is that one of the criteria for the list is that the spell is useful to the average person and would have a profound effect if common enough. So spells that are would be useful to an individual whose effect are not profound are not on the list.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
One minor boon from practicing magic in low mana areas is that critical failures have little or no effect (Magic, p. 6), so ceremonial magic is a relatively safe enterprise.
Isn't ceremonial only relatively more dangerous at skill 16 and higher when you'd normally get crits on 18s instead of also 17s?
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Isn't ceremonial only relatively more dangerous at skill 16 and higher when you'd normally get crits on 18s instead of also 17s?
Yes, that is correct. I suspect they were thinking of ritual magic which despite using ceremonies has the same success chance as regular magic.

To pull from WWII: Weird War the Blutfahne ceremony is an example of ritual magic while the rallies would fall into ceremonial magic.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

Depending on TL, either Seek Water or Seek Fuel would earn you a fortune. They're both base spells.

Historically, dowsers did make a living in some cultures. One who is actually truly reliable should be able to command a very high price for a day's work. In a more modern world, being able to find deposits of coal or oil without digging is something engineering companies charge extremely large quantities of money for. If magery is rare enough to keep the spells rare, it's money time.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Essential Spells for Low Mana Regions [Magic/Thaumatology]

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Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Depending on TL, either Seek Water or Seek Fuel would earn you a fortune. They're both base spells.

Historically, dowsers did make a living in some cultures. One who is actually truly reliable should be able to command a very high price for a day's work. In a more modern world, being able to find deposits of coal or oil without digging is something engineering companies charge extremely large quantities of money for. If magery is rare enough to keep the spells rare, it's money time.
Except all these spells don't require magery in a high mana or higher setting. That may be true even in a normal mana setting if it follows the Fractional Magery rules such spells are simply -5 to actual skill to cast at Fractional Magery 0 and improve by 1 for each level of Fractional Magery learned. By Fractional Magery 5 you have learned Magery 0
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