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Old 03-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #101
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Suggestion: Remove anything that produces something for nothing.

.
There are no such spells. All have costs in learning them and have cost sin casting them as well. Especially opportunity costs.

Of course, I wouldn't care if they did damage my medieval theme because I've never had a medieval theme. I've never even had an authentic medieval backdrop. I've certainly never done a census of off-screen peasants. so it doesn't bother me if there aren't enough of them.

I don't even have PCs with authentically bad teeth and for historical accuracy that ought to be a factor into the WWII era.

I've never had authentic medieval disease and filth and never missed them either.

You can't ruin my game world by violating its' medieval economy either. It's not being run as an economic simulator. My PCs are just grateful that there's someone out there willing to exchange magic for money. They themselves have never shown any great interest in using their magic to make money. It'd be a bad trade from their viewpoint.

Really, this is all more theory. I've rarely heard any objections to Magic that ween't based in theory rather than the reality of running games.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:32 PM   #102
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You can't ruin my game world by violating its' medieval economy either. It's not being run as an economic simulator. My PCs are just grateful that there's someone out there willing to exchange magic for money. They themselves have never shown any great interest in using their magic to make money. It'd be a bad trade from their viewpoint.

Really, this is all more theory. I've rarely heard any objections to Magic that ween't based in theory rather than the reality of running games.
There are some spells with economic consequences that I am going to discuss because PCs are likely to use them in "get rich quick" schemes, but "Bless Plant" is not one I am particularly worried about:

- It's less useful as part of a "get rich quick" scheme because it takes months to play out.

- I don't have a problem with farmers in medievalesque fantasy worlds supporting a somewhat higher urban population than in our European Middle Ages, since that is what frequently happens in fantasy worlds. However, farming villages in such worlds have a host of problems that farming villages in medieval worlds did not have, such as raids by orcs and goblins or other wandering monsters, supernatural plagues, or cultists of evil deities creating blights and bad weather.

When the situation is good, harvests are excellent. But a much higher portion of the village resources and time is spent on defense, so the math is not identical.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:55 PM   #103
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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There are some spells with economic consequences that I am going to discuss because PCs are likely to use them in "get rich quick" schemes, but "Bless Plant" is not one I am particularly worried about:

- It's less useful as part of a "get rich quick" scheme because it takes months to play out.

- I don't have a problem with farmers in medievalesque fantasy worlds supporting a somewhat higher urban population than in our European Middle Ages, since that is what frequently happens in fantasy worlds. However, farming villages in such worlds have a host of problems that farming villages in medieval worlds did not have, such as raids by orcs and goblins or other wandering monsters, supernatural plagues, or cultists of evil deities creating blights and bad weather.

When the situation is good, harvests are excellent. But a much higher portion of the village resources and time is spent on defense, so the math is not identical.
Also given how ANCIENT these sorts of worlds tend to be it's almost certain that they've stumbled upon more advanced forms of crop rotation and managed to bred animals and plants that give better yields. And fantasy animals may be a better choice then the horse for pulling farm equipment.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:17 PM   #104
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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Also given how ANCIENT these sorts of worlds tend to be it's almost certain that they've stumbled upon more advanced forms of crop rotation and managed to bred animals and plants that give better yields. And fantasy animals may be a better choice then the horse for pulling farm equipment.
Of course, these animals might be even more tasty as monster snacks. Win some, lose some. ;)

In my last GURPS-based fantasy campaign I assumed that yes, magic-based agriculture had a major effect on society - not to mention what magic can do for other parts of the economy. And consequently, I used this to justify a TL3+2 setting. But if you want to stick to TL3 or TL4, then many things can be justified with fiddling around with the other setting assumptions that have nothing to do with the GURPS Magic spell list.

Thus, it's probably best to focus on spells that allow for player character "get rich quick" schemes, since these are the most likely to represent an actual problem in ongoing play.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:03 AM   #105
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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Thus, it's probably best to focus on spells that allow for player character "get rich quick" schemes, since these are the most likely to represent an actual problem in ongoing play.
That is my perspective as well. Very few players are worried whether the setting is internally consistent, as long as it gives them a space to have the kind of adventures they came to the table to have. Moreover, they don't have the data on demographics, crop yields, incomes, etc. which they would need to show that inconsistency (plenty of real-world countries never collected that before WW II, and some of them still publish data which could be wrong by a factor of two or three ... there has never been a complete and reliable census of Afghanistan for example). But quite a few players will happily break a setting if they need money or see an opportunity. So the Earth spells bother me more than Bless Plant or the Gate college.

There are some pre-20th-century societies where around half the population lived in cities, although many of them worked on the land and lived in the city.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:31 PM   #106
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So the Earth spells bother me more than Bless Plant or the Gate college.
Earth to Stone is the most problematic on that score because it can create coinage metals. Most people seem to interpret the "simple metals" limitation as meaning that you can't create coinage metals or anachronistic metals. Under those limitations, destroying the local economy is unlikely.

Even if making anachronistic metals were possible that doesn't have to change the setting. Several metals were largely unknown at low TL because they rarely exist in their pure metallic form in nature. As such, mages would have no motivation to make metals like Al or Ti because there is little market for them.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:46 PM   #107
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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Earth to Stone is the most problematic on that score because it can create coinage metals. Most people seem to interpret the "simple metals" limitation as meaning that you can't create coinage metals or anachronistic metals. Under those limitations, destroying the local economy is unlikely.

.
If you have bronze coins then that coinage metal can be made with Earth to Stone(Metal). I've never heard of iron coins in any vaguely realistic setting (Dragonlance I am looking at you).

I am quite certain in my own mind that you can't make gold or silver with Earth to stone. "Such as iron or bronze" means iron, bronze and anything less valuable than bronze so even pure tin would be excluded.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:28 PM   #108
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I think the Spartans used iron coins. Owning precious metals was banned by the state.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:05 PM   #109
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Earth to Stone is the most problematic on that score because it can create coinage metals. Most people seem to interpret the "simple metals" limitation as meaning that you can't create coinage metals or anachronistic metals. Under those limitations, destroying the local economy is unlikely.
I don't want to start the Earth to Stone (Metal) flame war again, just say that even if it can only make a few hundred pounds of lead and iron per casting, it means that either a mage with that spell can get rich quick selling created metal at the book prices, or prices are much lower than in the books, and the setting has no room for miners of those metals (or quarries of any stone that Earth to Stone can make) except as luxuries for use in no-mana zones. And dwarves mining and quarrying common minerals are cool. So are slaves sentenced to the mines, abandoned mines occupied by kobolds/wurms/demons, escorting shipments of supplies to the mines in the Murky Mountains through the Forest of Random Encounters, and a number of other tropes.

I don't ask that my fantasy settings be rational, but I ask that they resist players being players. Although some people very firmly disagree/interpret the short spell descriptions in a way that neutralizes them, most GMs think that allowing beginning mages to permanently create large amounts of metal in a vaguely low-tech setting is a bad idea.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:36 PM   #110
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Default Re: Revising GURPS Magic

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I don't want to start the Earth to Stone (Metal) flame war again, just say that even if it can only make a few hundred pounds of lead and iron per casting, it means that either a mage with that spell can get rich quick selling created metal at the book prices, or prices are much lower than in the books, and the setting has no room for miners of those metals (or quarries of any stone that Earth to Stone can make) except as luxuries for use in no-mana zones. And dwarves mining and quarrying common minerals are cool. So are slaves sentenced to the mines, abandoned mines occupied by kobolds/wurms/demons, escorting shipments of supplies to the mines in the Murky Mountains through the Forest of Random Encounters, and a number of other tropes.

I don't ask that my fantasy settings be rational, but I ask that they resist players being players. Although some people very firmly disagree/interpret the short spell descriptions in a way that neutralizes them, most GMs think that allowing beginning mages to permanently create large amounts of metal in a vaguely low-tech setting is a bad idea.
Yeah, there wasn't much other interpretation of that post. In retrospect, I can't figure out the point I was intending to make. Probably something about how most spells can spiral out of control if the GM doesn't use common sense. But you all knew that already. So that post seems completely pointless now. Sorry about that.

The silver lining is that your reply raised some good points. Earth to Stone (Metal) can wreck your setting for the reasons you outlined. I hadn't thought about how Earth to Stone (Metal) would virtually eliminate the mining industry.

Generally speaking, creation spells would dismantle entire industries unless they have severe limitations. And they don't in GURPS: Magic. Refining spells are a much less disruptive alternative. For example, try replacing Create Water with a Condense Water spell. This explains how deserts can remain arid for thousands of years despite the presence of mages. Getting rid of creation spells also helps justify the fact that the world hasn't collapsed into a black hole.
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