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Old 06-01-2018, 11:51 PM   #11
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

Another Gadget for this ability:

Ashen Wand (Breakable, DR2, -20%; SM-4, -15%; Can Be Stolen by ST, -30%) [9]
Galdr Magic (Cosmic Modular Abilities; Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Allies with Summonable and Minion, -50%; Requires IQ Roll, -10%; Nuisance Effect: Must sing the runes, -5%) 7 [18]
Serendipity (Probability Alteration, -10%; Unconscious Only, -20%, Uncontrollable, -10%) 1 [9]

Notes
This wand was made in the late 5th century CE, from the branch of an ash tree that was struck off by lightning, and empowered by a Saxon wizard who settled in northern Britain around that time. The full set of Anglo-Saxon runes are marked around its surface. The base skill is Symbol Drawing (Futhorc), but the caster must also sing the runes as he draws them in the air with the wand, for galdr comes from the word for singing (seidr uses chanting, instead, but is considered a womanly practice). The individual runes may be bought as techniques, but do not need to be. Other Futhark-related lexicons default to Symbol Drawing (Futhorc) at around -1 or -2.

On occasion, but especially in moments of great stress, the thoughtform will attempt to help the user, though not necessarily in a way that the user would wish for (e.g. a modern high school kid very nervous about a test she hasn't studied for might find that the school's sprinkler system gets set off, delaying the test but drenching her). In the absence of a wielder, the wand will use this ability to cause it to fall into the hands of someone who can and will use it (leaning toward 'will,' as it can arrange for that person to begin learning the runes after finding him). The wand is biased toward male users, but will accept a woman who has some 'masculine' traits (according to the Migration-era Saxons), or is taking on a traditionally-male role. The wand-spirit has no real loyalties beyond that.

Similar wands likely exist in the same setting, which may be the setting of the Books of Spirits, above.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

A Gadget that might be closer to how many GMs use Spirit Communication in their games:

Mirror of Terethiel (Breakable, DR4, -15%; SM-4, -15%; Can Be Stolen by ST (Will not immediately work for thief), -15%) [46]
Spirit Magic (Cosmic Modular Abilities; Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Allies with Summonable, -40%; Requires IQ Roll, -10%) 13 [52]
Spirit Communication 3 [18]
Spirit Empathy (Astral Projection, -10%) [9]

Spirit Communication [IQ/H] [4] IQ

Notes
The spirit within this glassless silver mirror exists to facilitate communication between mortals and spirits, and can summon friendly spirits into its presense (otherwise the user would be limited to those spirits already present). Influence rolls serve as the base skill for the mirror's Spirit Magic (both to convince the spirit to appear, and to negotiate for services), as just because a summoned spirit is friendly and inclined to help, does not mean that they will do exactly what you want (Allies, but not Minions, after all). Occultism and/or Spirit Lore (and related skills) can be quite useful for determining the right Influence skill(s) for the spirit you're working on.

It may help to use these Influence rolls to modify or replace the spirit's Frequency of Appearance rolls in this case.

EDIT: Meant to say, I was thinking of either adding a Nuisance Effect limitation due to the spirits the Mirror calls needing to be negotiated with, or replace Allies with Contacts (you can get a Contact to help you physically, it just requires more effort than an Ally - also Contacts fit the symbolism of a mirror better). Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 08-24-2018 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

Recently rediscovered the Echo Type Ghost Template thread, which is pretty useful for this setting. One of my posts there that is relevant here was on Elemental Phantasms.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

A somewhat more cinematic (in a kind of literal sense) character:

Ping Cho, 1456

Age: 32

Attributes

ST 12 [20]; DX 16 [120]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 13 [30]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 12; Will 13 [5]; Per 14 [10]; FP 13

Social Background

Languages: Mandarin (Native) [0]

TL: 4^ (fireworks, but no guns)

Cultural Familiarity: 15th century Chinese [0]

Subtotal: 225


Advantages

Appearance: Beautiful [12]
Chi Spirits (Modular Abilities: Slotted Cosmic Power)
^Slot 1 (Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Yin-Aspected Allies with Summonable, -50%; Requires DX Roll, -10%) 18 [29]
^Slot 2 (Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Yang-Aspected Allies with Summonable, -50%; Requires DX Roll, -10%) 18 [29]
Combat Reflexes [15]
Danger Sense (ESP, -10%) [14]
Levitation 1 [14]
Spirit Communication 3 (Unreliable (11), -20%) [16]
^ Retrocognitive Flashbacks 2 (Alternative Ability of Spirit Communication) [3]
^ Visions (Second Sight) (AA of Spirit Communication) [1]

Perks

Schtick (Hair is always perfect). [1]
Special Exercises (Levitation). [1]
Style Familiarity (Dancing Ghost Kung Fu). [1]
Style Familiarity (Hungry Ghost Kung Fu). [1]

Subtotal: 137


Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Xia) [-10]
Enemy (Jong Lao; More powerful; Hunter; Appears on a 6 or less) [-10]
Enemies (Jong Lao's men; less powerful group; Hunter; Appear on a 9 or less) [-30]
Selfless (12) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Temple) [-5]

Quirks

Dragon and tiger scars on forearms. [-1]
Nosy. [-1]
Prays quietly while working or practicing. [-1]
Tea snob. [-1]

Subtotal: -64


Features

Staff Art is a Complementary Skill of Judo Art and Karate Art for casting purposes. [0]


Skills

Area Knowledge (Central China) [IQ/E] [1] 12
Body Language [Per/A] [2] 14
Connoisseur (Tea) [IQ/A] [2] 12
Dancing [DX/A] [2] 16
Esoteric Medicine (Yin-Yang Healing) [Per/H] [4] 14
First Aid/TL4^ [IQ/E] [default] 14
Herb Lore/TL4^ [IQ/VH] [8] 14
Hiking [HT/A] [2] 13
Judo Art [DX/H] [12] 18
Karate Art [DX/H] [12] 18
Leadership [IQ/A] [1] 11
Meditation [Will/H] [4] 13
Mental Strength [Will/E] [2] 14
Naturalist [IQ/H] [2] 11
Religious Ritual (Buddhist) [IQ/H] [4] 12
Staff Art [DX/H] [4] 16
Survival (Mountain) [Per/A] [1] 13
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 14

Techniques

Back Kick (H) Karate Art-4 [2] 15
Disarming (Karate) (H) Karate Art [0] 18
Judo (A) Judo Art-3 [3] 18
Jump Kick (H) Karate Art-4 [5] 18
Karate (A) Karate Art-3 [3] 18
Kicking (H) Karate Art-2 [3] 18
Knee Strike (H) Karate Art-1 [0] 17
Staff (A) Staff Art-3 [3] 16

Subtotal: 80

Total: 408


Equipment

Simple clothes
slippers
staff
trail supplies

Notes

Ping Cho lives in a no-mana world that more closely resembles Hollywood's depictions of the 15th century than what actually existed in Homeline's history (and in fact, closely fits a number of movies found on close parallels of Homeline in the twentieth century), though with psi abilities standing in for chi and magic. A Buddhist nun living in Central China, she had been on a mission to a distant village, and returned to find that her temple had been destroyed by a local warlord named Jong Lao. She is on a quest to find other survivors from her temple, and to gather other martial artists who can help her to bring down Jong Lao. Visually, Ping Cho resembles Michelle Yeoh circa Tai Chi Master and Wing Chun.

Herb Lore covers both Physician (Herbal)/TL4^, and Psychobotanics (see the Old-Time Psi text box, Psionic Campaigns p5), which effectively replaces Psi-Tech in this setting. The Herb Lore Critical Failures table (Thaumatology p105) may be appropriate for this version of Herb-Lore, depending on the GM.

Dancing Ghost Kung Fu resembles Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, with elements of T'ai Chi Chuan, and Optional Special Exercises perks for psi abilities. Both it and its evil mirror, Hungry Ghost Kung Fu, involve interacting with spirits, though Hungry Ghost is both more demanding of the spirits, and more strongly drawn to evil spirits.

Ping uses Levitation to jump further, or to walk or run on objects that could not otherwise support her weight, because she can move rather faster that way than if she simply used it to 'fly,' and more directly than staying on the ground. (In other words, she and other high-level martial artists use Levitation to perform 'wire-fu' stunts.)

Chi Spirits
Yin-aspected spirits tend to have ESP (and informational abilities from other powers), Probability Alteration, Psychic Vampirism, negative Meta-Psi (meaning Anti-Psi), and Telepathic abilities in the Communication and Sense and Defense categories, as well as being able to grant Astral Projection abilities to mortals. The base skill is Judo Art.
Yang-aspected spirits mostly have Ergokinetic, Psyckokinetic, Teleportation, positive Meta-Psi (that is, abilities that enhance existing psi abilities), Psychic Healing, and Telepathic abilities in the Control and Offense categories. The base skill is Karate Art.
I suggest that critical failures for this ability should be rolled on the "Oriental" Table, Thaumatology p259.
The fact that her level in each ability is equal to her skill levels in the base Arts is not a coincidence.

Jong Lao is built on 612 points, and has Feudal Rank 5 due to the number of soldiers serving him. Most of them are mooks that the heroes can dance through with one hit each (or sometimes take down several with a single blow), but he does have a number of Elites who are actually a challenge for the PCs on an individual level, some few of whom also consort with evil spirits. His version of Spirit Magic is functionally identical to the Demon Summoning ability from the OP, save that 'Nuisance Effect: Must chant in backwards Latin, -5%' is replaced by 'Trigger: Secret potion, -40%' (which still doesn't take the cost below 80%). Taking the potion also gives the disadvantage 'Addiction (Very expensive; Totally addictive; Illegal) [-30]'; kids, no matter how powerful the drug makes you feel, it will always turn on you in the end. Jong Lao looks like Bruce Lee, in worldlines where he is still alive and acting in 1994. Also, I kind of regret that I can't see this movie, it sounds cool (of course, the way special effects are developing, maybe I will one day).


Thoughts?
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

IMHO this all depends on how the GM wants to model it.

If the GM really doesn't want the added work they could go the Five Earths, All in a Row route and simply go with Magery (Psionic) and do everything per Unified Metaphysical Theories
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

Quote:
Originally Posted by maximara View Post
IMHO this all depends on how the GM wants to model it.

If the GM really doesn't want the added work they could go the Five Earths, All in a Row route and simply go with Magery (Psionic) and do everything per Unified Metaphysical Theories
Meant to reply to this earlier: don't all magic systems depend on how the GM wants to model magic? Sure, this one is more variable, but seriously, magic system choice is one of the things GMs need to decide on.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

A template appropriate for some settings that might use this system (I'm not happy with the name of the template, though; suggestions welcome):

Communicable Caster (Psi) Template, 48 points:

Advantages
Evil Eye (Affliction; Disadvantages: Unluckiness+Weirdness Magnet, +25%; Based on Will, +20%; Malediction, +100; Astral Projection, -10%; Temporary Disadvantage: Phobia (Traditional 'witch banes') (12), -5%; Vision-based (User's Vision), -20%) 1 [21]
Spirit Communication 1 [8]
Dominance (Rationalization, +20%; Astral Projection, -10%) [21]
^ Wild Magic (Alternate Ability of Dominance; Cosmic Modular Abilities; Reduced Time 2, +40%; Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Allies with Summonable, -40%; Uncontrollable, -30%; Untrainable, -40%) 10 [4]
^ Spirit Magic (AA of Dominance; Cosmic Modular Abilities; Astral Projection, -10%; Only for Allies with Summonable and Minion, -50%; Requires (Attribute) Roll, -10%) 5 [3]

Perks
Dabbler (<base skill>, #; Spirit Communication, #; up to six other skills). [1]

Disadvantages
Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Apprentices) [-5]

Notes

This template's Dominance is activated by shaping a thoughtform, and sending it to possess and bond with the target. Will resists, though the target may choose not to.

'Wild Magic' is much like Potterverse 'Accidental Magic,' or most of Schmendrick's workings in The Last Unicorn (at least the cartoon version) - even when activated intentionally (rather than reflexively due to stress) you're basically saying 'magic, do as you will,' and hoping the spirit or spirits that manifest to 'help' you don't make things worse (they often don't understand humans that well, after all). The reason it has Reduced Time 2 is in case the GM decides to have more than one spirit show up. While Uncontrollable may be bought off, or swapped out for Emergencies Only, Untrainable should not be, as this ability represents power that you have little to no control over. Wild Magic should be at a higher level than your more controllable summoning power, regardless of whether the point cost is lower or higher, but need not maintain the 2::1 ratio in this example.

In nearly all cases, your style of Spirit Magic will be the same as or very similar to the one your teacher uses (the example above is merely a convenient placeholder), though you may change this later in life. If the Spirit Magic style is based on Demon Summoning, the other advantages above should also have the 'Corrupting, -20%' limitation, and the Affliction is likely to be rather different (id est, nasty and probably lethal (possibly changed to an Innate Attack), rather than strange and inconvenient, but probably not directly lethal).

The skills in the Dabbler perk vary based on style, though Occultism (if it isn't the base skill) and Spirit Lore are fairly common. Even if the base skill has no default, it will still be in the Dabbler perk, with an appropriate default to the difficulty level. If the base skill has a prerequisite that the target does not possess, that skill will also be in the Dabbler perk, at a higher level than the base skill (not all GMs will find that acceptable, but it seems fair enough in my mind).

Both the Code of Honor and Sense of Duty can be bought off, but others with this template who find out that you've done that will have less trust in you. Note that neither of these disadvantages prevents you from inflicting short-term harm on a student if it will benefit that student in the long or medium term. They don't even prevent you from having sex with you apprentice or apprentices, so long as you do not believe it will harm them. Of course, if you do cause serious or long-term harm to an apprentice, you will feel quite guilty about this, and should role-play that.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

I dislike using Cosmic Modular Abilities for everything, and I would prefer to make a custom-made Modular Ability for spirit magic. Something like

Spirit Magic (5+3) - your modular ability depends on calling on the spirits and binding them to your service. You need to perform a ritual to rearrange your abilities - this takes one minute per point rearranged.

Slap the psionic modifier on that and bam!
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

I tend to use Cosmic and Slotted Cosmic for a couple of reasons:

1. There are a number of limitations that need to be included, that aren't small, while there are relatively few enhancements that make sense most of the time - Reduced Time is occasionally useful, but doesn't always make sense in context; depending on the GM a 'Social, +50%' or 'Spiritual, +50%' enhancement might or might not be required, but sticking it on the base advantage doesn't seem right; I don't generally like using Reliable for things that you don't have a base penalty for and/or can buy up a skill for; et cetra. Cosmic Modular Abilities and Slotted Cosmic Modular Abilities are two of the most expensive variants, so I can use a few appropriate limitations without reducing the total to less than one point per point (which the cheaper versions could leave me with even if the final modifier is higher than -80%).

2. Habit/laziness - I found something that works, and is nicely adaptable, and used it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Psionics] 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability

Any Modular Abilities cheaper than Slotted Cosmic tends to suffer from abuse, as it is possible to spend less CP on the Modular Ability than the CP that you get to reallocate. For example, if Spirit Magic is normally 5 CP per slot and 3 CP per CP reallocated, and if I take Spirit Magic (40, 40, 40, 40, 40; Costs FP, 4 FP, -20%; Preparation Required, 1 hour, -50%; Psionic, -10%) [125], I can reallocate 200 CP worth of skills and mental abilities for only 125 CP. Of course, I need suitable rituals for the reallocation and antipsi abilities inhibit the reallocation, but neither matters for the abilities and skills I acquire through reallocating the points.
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