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Old 10-21-2019, 03:04 PM   #11
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

Yes, the intent was a permanent sacrifice. If you sacrifice one point of ST or HT permanently, you get one level of Magery permanent. A temporary sacrifice could be modeled as an alternative ability, but I think that would be too abusive for most settings.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Yes, the intent was a permanent sacrifice. If you sacrifice one point of ST or HT permanently, you get one level of Magery permanent. A temporary sacrifice could be modeled as an alternative ability, but I think that would be too abusive for most settings.
But what does sacrifice mean in this context? In the real world, a sacrifice is, for example, cutting an animal's throat, or burning hell money, or throwing gold into the ocean, or entering into combat without the normal armor and thus offering your life if the god wants it, or inviting a loa to ride you while you drink clairin or smoke cigars. There's a physical process that results in the destruction of a physical thing. What sort of physical ritual are you envisioning as producing the grant of permanent divine favor?
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:20 PM   #13
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

In GURPS terms, sacrifice can also mean the sacrifice of character points (as represented by the Corruption rules from Horror). In the case of the previous rule, it would either represent the wasting of muscle tissue (representing the loss of ST) and the weakening of the cardiovascular system (representing the loss of HT). It is thematic of one of the most famous examples of sacrifice in European mythology, the crucifixion of Odin on Yggdrasil so he could gain the secrets of runic magic.

In order for a character to gain access to Magery through sacrifice, they would probably either have to suffer crucifixion (with each day allowing them to sacrifice one dot of Attribute for one level of Magery) or to suffer starvation (with each week allowing them to sacrifice one dot of Attribute for one level of Magery). In either case, the sacrifices are permanent, though they could be regain latter through spending CP. In the case of sacrificing DX or IQ for Ritual Adept, they would either have to suffer four days of crucifixion or four weeks of starvation to exchange one dot of DX and one dot of IQ for Ritual Adept, representing them suffering permanent neurological and psychological damage through their sacrifice.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:11 AM   #14
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

My first question is "Why?" What's the point of this rule? Is this the only way to gain more Magery? Is it a shortcut to power? What's this modification trying to solve. If it's just change for the sake of change I doubt it'll be used the way you think it will. Standard Magery (RPM) is meant to have theoretically unlimited levels. ST and HT is set at 20 max for human targets. So do you just buy more ST and HT and then convert to Magery? That seems a bit...pointless. Again, what is this trying to solve is the question you should be asking yourself.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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But what does sacrifice mean in this context? In the real world, a sacrifice is, for example, cutting an animal's throat, or burning hell money, or throwing gold into the ocean, or entering into combat without the normal armor and thus offering your life if the god wants it, or inviting a loa to ride you while you drink clairin or smoke cigars. There's a physical process that results in the destruction of a physical thing. What sort of physical ritual are you envisioning as producing the grant of permanent divine favor?
There are poisons that cause permanent damage. Imbibing one of them to invite the spirits inside?

It's not difficult to think up ritual that permanently damages the initiate.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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But what does sacrifice mean in this context?
Whatever it's needed to mean one would imagine.

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What sort of physical ritual are you envisioning as producing the grant of permanent divine favor?
Why do they have to be 'physical'? What happened to rituals that invoke a 'quid pro quo' with the spirit world, a give and take. It gives magical prowess/power and takes physical strength and health. Or mental or spiritual competence...
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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I assumed it would be permanent. You give up a point of ST or HT and get a level of Magery in exchange. Permanently.
Is there anything to actually stop the mage from just buying up ST with earned character points in the future though? You're still getting a free swap out of the mix, which is of benefit as they're probably learning Magery at a time they value it more highly than their ST.

For example, let's say I wanted Warp [100] because I'm trapped in a room with a bomb that's about to explode. If I could just trade DX 5 (at [20] per point) to get that ability, that's just of net benefit to me, and I could always buy back that DX later on with character points I'll earn in the future due to not having died.

It seems like there should be some kind of net loss to this kind of exchange. Or some kind of uncertainty about it, like maybe there's a chance of permanently sacrificing that ST but not getting Magery, or getting a limited version of it worth less than the ST you spent?

What if instead, the GM allowed some kind of "Using Abilities at Default" rules for temporarily getting Magery, but you could supplement your FP with Corruption (which could reduce your ST if it gets too high) and you could use future character points to permanently buy magery once you've used it enough times, like how you can buy skills you use at default.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

It might work better as a Modular Ability.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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There are poisons that cause permanent damage. Imbibing one of them to invite the spirits inside?

It's not difficult to think up ritual that permanently damages the initiate.
If a player came to me with such a theory during a campaign, I might or might not approve of it; it would depend on what I had decided about the campaign setting. (I can't see, for example, that it would make any sense in Tela, the settiing of my current fantasy campaign.) But I wouldn't allow such a thing simply because there was a defined game mechanic for doing it, any more than I would allow teleportation or Trained by a Master for such a reason.

And it rather seems to me that what this thread is doing is first proposing a game mechanic and then trying to come up with a rationale for using it in a campaign, which is way too gamist for me: I want to see it emerge from the nature of the game world (simulationist) and from the flow of events in an ongoing conflict (narrativist).

Ritual that permanently damages the initiate is obviously possible; you could put out an eye, or cut off a hand, or the like. But that by itself doesn't convince me that "lose one point of ST/HT" is a plausible form of damage. Can you point to anything in the published rules where some form of inflicted damage reduces an attribute or secondary characteristic in that way? Can you, for example, point to a poison that is defined game mechanically as doing so?

At the most basic level, my take on this sort of thing is that character points DO NOT EXIST in a game world, and the characters have no awareness of them. They exist only as a formal convention by which the players and the GM keep track of certain things. You may be able to say, as a player, that X is worth n points, and Y is worth n points, and therefore they're in some sense equivalent; but that doesn't compel me, as the GM, to allow you to remove X from your character sheet and add Y. In fact I would say that the equal character points are irrelevant, because it's entirely in my power to give your character a new trait that doesn't conserve character points at all.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Purchasing Magery Variation [Thaumotology/RPM]

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Can you, for example, point to a poison that is defined game mechanically as doing so?
Alcoholism works exactly this way. Roll once per year against HT+2 or lose a point in an attribute. And there are fungal toxins which damage your kidney and liver permanently - representing that by HT loss wouldn't be unrealistic.
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