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Old 11-09-2019, 10:16 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Burning Time [Thaumotology]

Here is a thought about an alternative way to fuel magic. Mages may age a day instead of spending FP, up to their (Age) in days, up to (Magery+1) times every day. So, a 25 year old mage with Magery 3 could age themselves by up to 25 days, up to four times a day, in place of spending FP. Regardless of their effective age, they only look as old as their actual age.

What do you think would be the consequence of this option? Would it be a good option to introduce into your games? Would it be too abusive?
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:31 PM   #2
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

What if I'm an Elf with Unaging?

Even for humans, I don't think most campaign lasts long enough to make it matter and even if it does, the odds of dying from something else entirely (eg spear to the guts) is higher, so it sounds to me like free spellcasting. Why not just use Unlimited Mana/Threshold-based Magic?
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

Make sure its not allowed for those with Unaging. It does suit certain tropes.
But yeah, could be abusive,but with human lifespan? I think it would not be used much,unless it could be healed through magic.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:24 PM   #4
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Regardless of their effective age, they only look as old as their actual age.
Why this? I would think it would be more fun if they visually aged more rapidly. Johnny goes off to magic school, starts burning days like its nothing, and comes home with far too much gray hair. (A gifted 18-year-old going all out could age 72 years in a single calendar year!)

Quote:
What do you think would be the consequence of this option?
Totally breaks down in typical fantasy worlds with races with wildly different lifespans. Maybe it would be based on "human years" and there would be a multiplier for each race.

I could imagine evil wizards searching for other mages to Charm and then have them burn out their life energy in the wizard's service. There could even be a society ruled by powerful wizards who hunt for young people with magical potential and then train them up to cast specific spells until death.

A powerful ruler might have a cadre of elderly wizards as bodyguards (perhaps members of an order sworn to service) who could power tremendously powerful defensive spells, possibly at the cost of their own lives.

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Would it be a good option to introduce into your games? Would it be too abusive?
I'm intrigued by the flavor here, but as others have said, it seems like it would be abusive on the time scale of many RPG campaigns.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:53 PM   #5
Apollonian
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

It'd certainly have some interactions with the Youth and Steal Youth spells.

I'd put into a game in one of two ways. First way, it's literally sapping your vitality - biologically actually advancing your cellular clock. Going this way, you do age, and suffer the game effects of advancing age, and if you're clever you can counteract it with proper healing magic (for example, Steal Youth).

Second way seems more interesting, in that you've cut a deal with the Fates or the Norns; you're voluntarily shortening the thread of your life for magical power. You don't age, but the day of your death gets closer. The form of your death might change, too; a wizard originally fated to die peacefully in bed might have spent so much of his life that now he's doomed to a back alley murder or a plague fit. Evading the fates, of course, is the kind of stuff stories are made of.

As for longer-lived races, I'd make it a percentage charge instead of a day charge; maybe one percent of your total lifespan gets you 250 points of energy. Or maybe not; longer-lived races just have more energy to burn, which is why they live in fantastic magical palaces and humans don't.

For extra fun, you can knock off age and store it externally as a potion, and then it can be stolen or given away. Maybe really ruthless mages keep a stable of peasants they harvest of time and turn it into mana...
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:56 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

I think that it would circumvent Extended Lifespan and Unaging, meaning that each point of magical energy avoided would cause one day of effective aging. If we assuming that a character with Unaging has an effective age of 15 years, they would start making aging rolls after ~13,000 energy (when their effective age would become 50 years). Assuming Magery 0, that could occur in as little as 2 years (the assumption being that their essence is being consumed, as reflected by the effective aging).
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:07 AM   #7
Refplace
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I think that it would circumvent Extended Lifespan and Unaging, meaning that each point of magical energy avoided would cause one day of effective aging.
On the other hand it gives the mortal races a different route to power if the immortal races cant use it.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

I've used it before as the power source for a mage in a supers game. The character had an off screen method of restoring their age so the amount of power expended by the character was basically refreshed on a per scenario basis. I used the 3rd edition aging rules to determine the effects of spending extreme amounts of energy.

It worked OK, but it was a relatively short lived supers campaign rather than a fantasy game.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
On the other hand it gives the mortal races a different route to power if the immortal races cant use it.
On the other hand it gives the immortal races a unique level of power if they can recover from it.



(IE, not immune, but can heal the damage over time)
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #10
Jack Sawyer
 
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Default Re: Burning Time [Thaumotology]

It's an idea that some fantasy series have employed, either as an inherent side effect of magic (various reasons) or because it was a form of blood/sacrifice magic (sacrificing your own life for greater power) so you might consider it as an additional option rather than a binary either/or. Say that the spellcaster can burn their life forc to power a magic spell with certain advantages you might not get otherwise (ie 'Life' fuelled spells have more power or are more effective in some way.)

Alternately you have some means of replenishing at least part of the life part (there would still be diminishing returns.) Some sort of magical hibernation/sleep perhaps. Stealing it from others is another option (and probably the easier route) but this might be something you want to give different diminshing returns (less efficient, gives the caster a distinctive aura, a 'tolerance' builds up meaning it becomes progressively less efficient as a way to recover, etc. Perhaps 'stolen' life is temporary and dissipates and needs to be replaced more frequently.)

For long lived/unaging types, you could disallow certain means of recovery (like the hibernation, they have more 'power' to start with but its still finite) Or the expenditure is proportional (percentage of lifespan rather than an absolute figure) Or treat it akin to some sort of magical 'withering' rather than natural aging - even if they don't grow older they may become weaker or more enfeebled because of the 'life force' loss.
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