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Old 12-20-2018, 03:35 PM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Detecting Treshold Level, Bad Places and Analyzing Aspected Mana

Can you use the Thaumatology skill to detect the level of a Threshold that you are in, whether a place is a Bad Place and what the local Mana Level is, whether it is Aspected, etc.?

In other words, without casting any kind of ritual, what does a magician know about the local modifiers to magic?

If he needs a ritual, what kind of ritual would do it? How much information does Lesser Sense Magic give?
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:25 AM   #42
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Default Re: Detecting Treshold Level, Bad Places and Analyzing Aspected Mana

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Can you use the Thaumatology skill to detect the level of a Threshold that you are in, whether a place is a Bad Place and what the local Mana Level is, whether it is Aspected, etc.?

In other words, without casting any kind of ritual, what does a magician know about the local modifiers to magic?
No, Magery 0 doesn't let you detect magic in the area nor does Thaumatology. And neither of those will let you figure what power the Threshold is or Bad Places. Magery 0 removes the -5 penalty to work magic that non-mages suffer. That said, you do know if you are in a place of power or a descreted place as soon as you start to gather the energy for a spell.

That said, you could charge a +20% enhancement to be able to sense such things - just as Standard Magery 0 does. If you want the ability to detect thresholds and Bad Places as well that's a 10-point Detect. So to do all that you'd need 10 + (5/5) = 11 points. Honestly, I'd round that off to 10 points and call it Magery 0 for your campaign. Seems workable enough to me.


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
If he needs a ritual, what kind of ritual would do it? How much information does Lesser Sense Magic give?
Lesser Sense Magic would do it by itself. In general, for Sense effects treat them as Detect. Lesser effects reveal the same information as Detect with Vague, while Greater effects would leave out Vague allowing a second roll against your Path skill (or IQ if better) to get more information.

For example, a Greater Sense Magic effect would tell you the local mana level, if it's aspected, etc. on a second IQ or Path skill roll. You would automatically know if you could cast there or not.

Perceiving a threshold or bad place would be Path of Spirit and do the same.
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:17 AM   #43
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Default Re: Detecting Treshold Level, Bad Places and Analyzing Aspected Mana

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
No, Magery 0 doesn't let you detect magic in the area nor does Thaumatology. And neither of those will let you figure what power the Threshold is or Bad Places. Magery 0 removes the -5 penalty to work magic that non-mages suffer. That said, you do know if you are in a place of power or a descreted place as soon as you start to gather the energy for a spell.

That said, you could charge a +20% enhancement to be able to sense such things - just as Standard Magery 0 does. If you want the ability to detect thresholds and Bad Places as well that's a 10-point Detect. So to do all that you'd need 10 + (5/5) = 11 points. Honestly, I'd round that off to 10 points and call it Magery 0 for your campaign. Seems workable enough to me.

Lesser Sense Magic would do it by itself. In general, for Sense effects treat them as Detect. Lesser effects reveal the same information as Detect with Vague, while Greater effects would leave out Vague allowing a second roll against your Path skill (or IQ if better) to get more information.

For example, a Greater Sense Magic effect would tell you the local mana level, if it's aspected, etc. on a second IQ or Path skill roll. You would automatically know if you could cast there or not.

Perceiving a threshold or bad place would be Path of Spirit and do the same.
Hah!

Ruling on the fly, I reached about these conclusions. Edward Alvin Smith used a Charm of Sense Magic after hastily consecrating a ritual space in the back of the storage area of the Seawall Walmart in Galveston.

This allowed him to Sense that despite being a public place, there was a Threshold around a part of the stock area and that Threshold was currently at 'damaged, heading to Bad Place' levels. Based on margin of success, I gave some magicobabble about Tresholds almost never reaching that low unless there were some ancient and inimical power causing it, or, more commonly, some recent atrocity or ritual use had weakened the Threshold in nights past. Oh, and at sunset, in about half an hour, the Threshold would be weaker by at least 1 point, if not more, which would probably mean becoming a bona fide Bad Place.

Smith shared his concerns with his fellow investigator, Lucien Lacoste. Initially, Lacoste wanted to simply wait until dark, when he'd be able to converse with the spirit population in the area and get some answers, but Smith was insistent that the place gave him the (airquotes) 'heebie jeebies' and it was probably a bad idea if anyone was in there after dark.

At that point, Lacoste decided to level with Traci Cartwright*, the incongruously young assistant manager of the Walmart Supercenter. Making sure he kept his cross prominently displayed, he earnestly told her that he tried to be a good Christian and that meant believing, actually believing, in the Bible, even the parts that were out of fashion these days.

So Lucien was not as quick as them secular Yankees to dismiss Traci's stories of hauntings. Lucien implicitly believes that evil walks among us, in the guise of callousness, cruelty, greed, and yes, sometimes actual ghosts and demons sent by the Adversary. He holds that it is the duty of good, Christian men to stand against evil where it is encountered.

But for him to be able to find out whether her store has actual evil influences or not, he and his partner need absolute privacy, not only in the sectioned-off part of the store room, but she needs to prevents the stock boys from starting work at all. Assign them work outside for the beginning of their shift or something, just let them stay away from the long-term storage area. It will, Lucien assures Traci with absolute sincerity, interfere with the cosmic vibrations if anyone other than he and his partners are nearby when they do their investigation.

Overawed and excited, Traci promises to keep this weighty information secret, to allow them to stay in the store rooms and to prevent the stock boys from going in there. Her shift is ending, so they'll have to talk to Bethany Allen, the night manager, if they stay long and it's not like she can just give the stock boys orders just before she leaves and they'll follow them all night, as Bethany "has her own way of doing things and she doesn't much like whatever instructions I've left, oh no, she knows better" but Traci can at least give the night shift in the stock rooms a long task outside with the Christmas tree section, which will take them some time to complete and that way, Bethany can't send them in there for a while, at least.

Before she leaves, Traci asks, hesitantly, if it would help if she got them some candles. "Surely, Traci. Pure white, clean-burning. Store brand will be fine. Not expensive name brands nor any kind of scented one. Those are sinful in their vanity." Eyes glittering with excitement and a pleasant sense of being part of important events, Traci Cartwright left to bring appropriately humble, but clean-burning white candles. She was sworn to secrecy, as Lucien could trust only her with the truth about their investigation.

After which, the two PCs started to make arrangements against damaged Thresholds and Bad Places. Lacoste started the process of Exorcism to cleanse the Threshold and Smith started to enchant his Elder Sign runestone as a Charm anchoring a Ward against anything that comes from Outside, hopefully covering the whole of the damaged Threshold.

The restless husks and fragments, in the spirit world, that are attracted to the damaged Threshold now that the sun had set, did not make their work entirely monotonous. LaDarius 'Dee' Fournette, a spirit wearing the form of Lacoste's dead partner, emptied his spiritual service weapon into a literal mob of unquiet spirits and there are hints that something more coherent and strong-willed might be coming.

Something unsettling came near Teddy Smith and he shivered with cold, but as he has lived for years in a realm of madness and terror, he was not especially impressed with a haunting that could not actually harm him, only try to scare him with a rush of negative emotions.

Smith managed to finish his Elder Sign Charm Ward before the unearthly intrusions got truly unendurable. At least for him, but then again, he doesn't see or really sense the spirits, he just sees the lights flickering occasionally and feels cold from time to time. Oh, and he keeps having to relight the candles for Lucien Lacoste, who is chanting in Latin as he performs an extensive Catholic ritual of cleansing and Exorcism.

Smith hopes that Lacoste finishes his cleansing before anything that can really harm them comes along. If he had seen the small child that Lacoste saw in the spirit world, Smith might be less optimistic about their chances at that. The small spirit was sucking her thumb, dressed in old-fashioned Catholic uniform, and her face was indescribably sad. "The Cold Ones are coming. Hurry, go now, before they take you."

*African-American, aged 24-25, pleasant-looking and curvy. In the preceding interview, it had become evident that Ms. Cartwright was quite taken by the big Creole detective from the Big Easy and that her artless prattle about the orphans children of St. Mary's Orphanage who supposedly haunt the Walmart were not adding anything of value to the investigation, but did suggest that despite admitting that she herself had not seen anything, Ms. Cartwright was prepared to believe implicitly that the incident the night before was to be attributed to ghosts, specifically sad little orphan ghosts.
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Last edited by Icelander; 12-21-2018 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:13 AM   #44
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Default Elder Sign Magical Object

Edward Alvin Smith traveled back to this world with a flat disk of dark olive jade, with an engraved sigil, which he has dubbed the Elder Sign. On the other side of the jade amulet, there are various other sigils.

He has determined this object to be a combination of a Grimoire written in Nommo petroglyphs (Dead Language and Encrypted), a +1 Skill Focuser for Warding spells and rituals that harm Outsiders, and a +2 Skill Focuser on a specific ritual, the Elder Sign.

As a kind GM, while I do not allow the Skill Foci bonuses to be cumulative, I do allow the +2 Skill Focuser to the Elder Sign to be bought as an Alternate Ability, for 1/5, because the Elder Sign is already covered by the Moderate scope and is thus effectively only getting a +1. This means that as a Skill Focus, the Elder Sign costs $40,000 + (10,000*5*1/5)) = $60,000.

The PC bought this as a 10 point Signature Gear, which means that there are ca $40,000 left to write this up as a Grimoire.

It will certainly have the Elder Sign ritual, which is a powerful protection against Outsiders, at a +7 bonus. That's ($26,000*(100%-40%)), which translates into $15,600. The other spells will all have to share a Path, I guess, which is rather disappointing, because it's functionally speaking supposed to be a Grimoire of Wardings in the wider sense (i.e. including banishing spells, the closing of gateways and even damaging Outsiders that do not belong in this reality), which tend have the same effects, but be spread out across Paths.

It's possible that they'll be linked through the Path of Crossroads, if I decide that affecting Outsiders uses that Path, just as Spirit affects any kind of incorporeal being and Body any kind of corporeal being. But it still seems odd that it can't even contain a basic ward against magic.

Is a thematic connection close enough so that a Grimoire is valid, even if some of the spells use different Paths, as long as all of them include some form of Warding effect?
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:54 AM   #45
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Default Re: RPM Rituals: Official, Semi-, Quasi- and Un-official

Invictus
Spell Effects: Lesser Strengthen Crossroads + Lesser Strengthen Mind + Lesser Strengthen Mind.
Inherent Modifiers: Altered Trait, Resistant (Outsider Mental Effects, inc. Fright Checks, Common) + Altered Trait, Mind Shield + Bestows a Bonus.
Greater Effects: 0 (x1).

This is typically cast as a charm. This ritual protects the mind from supernatural intrusions, adding +5 to resistance rolls against psi powers and the like. If the supernatural intrusion is from Outside, not only from another plane, but from outside the known world, the ritual gives another +10 to resist it, for a total of +15 to resistance rolls against attempts by Outsiders to mentally influence or attack you. You also gain a +10 bonus on Fright Checks against Outsiders.

Typical Casting: Lesser Strengthen Crossroads (3) + Lesser Control Magic (5) + Lesser Strengthen Mind (3) + Lesser Strengthen Mind (3) + Altered Trait, Mind Shield 5 (20) + Altered Trait, Resistant +8 (Outsider Mental Effects, inc. Fright Checks, Common) (7) + Bestows a Bonus, Narrow +2 (2) + Duration, 24 hours (8). 50 energy (501).

Does this look all right?

It hasn't got any Greater effects because there is no blatant use of the supernatural and nothing that could not be explained away.
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:30 AM   #46
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Default Reality-Anchor Tattoo Charm

Edward Smith wants to have a tattoo Charm that anchors him to this world and this reality.

In game terms, what does that do and how is it written up as a Ritual?

I was thinking that it was a Lesser Strengthen Crossroad effect and that it granted some traits or Bestowed a Bonus related to resisting reality-warping, plane-shifting and the like.

The Bestows a Bonus thing is easy to figure, but what GURPS traits can be read as 'anchoring' a character to his reality?
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:44 AM   #47
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Default Re: Detecting Treshold Level, Bad Places and Analyzing Aspected Mana

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
No, Magery 0 doesn't let you detect magic in the area nor does Thaumatology. And neither of those will let you figure what power the Threshold is or Bad Places. Magery 0 removes the -5 penalty to work magic that non-mages suffer. That said, you do know if you are in a place of power or a desecrated place as soon as you start to gather the energy for a spell.

That said, you could charge a +20% enhancement to be able to sense such things - just as Standard Magery 0 does. If you want the ability to detect thresholds and Bad Places as well that's a 10-point Detect. So to do all that you'd need 10 + (5/5) = 11 points. Honestly, I'd round that off to 10 points and call it Magery 0 for your campaign. Seems workable enough to me.
I don't want the ability to Detect places of higher Mana, Thresholds or Bad Places at a distance. I just want the ability for mages to perceive it when one of these things is affecting them, without casting a spell.

In other words, if they automatically know the modifiers to their energy gathering rolls for local Mana, Place of Power, desecration, etc. as soon as they actually make a roll to gather energy, wouldn't it be just a Perk, at most, to be able to notice that stuff with a Thaumatology skill roll without actually gathering a point of energy?

It almost seems like Thaumatology, to do anything (other than be a cap for Paths), must be able to analyze ley lines, mana flows and the like, which sort of demands that you should be able to use it to interpret the feelings you get when the area you are in imposes modifiers on your magic use.

Detect, by definition, finds something you could not have been aware of through your other senses. In this case, I'm not trying to find an area of higher Mana or a powerful Threshold, I'm looking for a way for PC magicians who are already affected by the Mana Level and the Threshold to be able to determine how much impact the area is having on their powers.

Would it be balanced for this to be a Thaumatology skill roll, with how much information is revealed depending on margin of success, or should this always be a Lesser Sense Magic ritual?
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:12 AM   #48
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Default Stoneshaping Ritual (Pyramid #3/56 p. 32)

For the purposes of the Stoneshaping ritual in the 'Old Ways' article in Pyramid #3/56 p. 32, you can affect 'stone, but not metal or other minerals'.

It is noted that there might be other rituals that work similarly, for different classes of matter. The example given is 'Woodshaping'.

What other rituals of this kind could plausibly exist? How broad should the categories be?

By analogy from 'Woodshaping', 'Coralshaping' seems balanced enough, especially in an environment with many types of coral that doesn't exist on Earth and which might be used by cultures there.

How would other minerals than stone be divided?

What other, useful matter (even if formerly alive) can be shaped with variations of this ritual?

Especially matter found in the ocean, tropical lagoons or island/beach environment, in an otherwordly mirror of islands in the Caribbean?
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:00 AM   #49
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Default Published RPM Rituals

So far, I've found published Ritual Path Magic rituals in these GURPS books and Pyramid magazines:

GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic
Pyramid #3/43 Thaumatology III
Pyramid #3/48 Secret Magic
Pyramid #3/56 Prehistory
Pyramid #3/73 Monster Hunters II
Pyramid #3/78 Unleash Your Soul
Pyramid #3/111 Combat II

Pyramid #3/58 Urban Fantasy II, Pyramid #3/66 Laws of Magic and Pyramid #3/82 Magical Creations have important rules for RPM, but I've not seen any actual rituals written up in them, though I might have overlooked a couple.

So, what GURPS supplements and Pyramid magazines where rituals are written up for the Ritual Path Magic system am I missing?

Where have I not looked?

And are there any accessible* Designer Notes with more rituals?

*Old links to them on Rice's blog do not seem to work.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:06 AM   #50
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Default Re: RPM Rituals: Official, Semi-, Quasi- and Un-official

If we're on the topic of RPM, you should probably see this thread of mine.
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