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Old 06-16-2019, 03:12 PM   #21
Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I took the italicized "willing" to mean the assistants were willing to help, not that the caster had to be willing to accept them.
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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Exactly how I run it. Perform a public ritual, take the very real risk that anyone walking by might not want your spell to succeed.
I took the italicized willing as that the assistants definitely couldn't be unwilling, not that the principal caster had to be willing to accept them but I would also hold that you don't get to be an assistant just by getting busy and participating in the ritual. You have to actually be one of the principal caster's assistants and that does mean he has to let you "into" the ceremony/ritual, whether individually, "Bob, would you help me with this?" or generically, "I'm calling on the members of my circle for assistance."

Simple viewing isn't enough to be a spectator, even an opposed one. If you aren't chanting, holding candles or whatever it is the ritual requires of spectators, you aren't a spectator, you're a viewer, and you can't affect it.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:54 PM   #22
Plane
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

Given that in casual speak, spectator/viewer are synoymous, a different term like "participant" might work better to collectively affect the ritual, with "Supporter" referring to those adding energy who help and "Opposers" referring to participant of any skill working against it (knowing the spell doesn't seem to improve your position there like it does with supporters)

Supporters could be broken into:
*High Skilled Mage Supporters
*High Skilled Nonmage Supporters
*Low Skilled Mage Supporters
*Un-Skilled Supporters (this includes a "Low Skilled Nonmage Supporter")

The HSM/HSN/LSM/US supporters would all collectively be participants as would opposers of any skill/magery.

Would be interesting if magery/skill in the spell made Opposers vary more in how well they could sabotage like it does with Supporters.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:34 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Given that in casual speak, spectator/viewer are synoymous, a different term like "participant" might work better to collectively affect the ritual, with "Supporter" referring to those adding energy who help and "Opposers" referring to participant of any skill working against it (knowing the spell doesn't seem to improve your position there like it does with supporters)

Supporters could be broken into:
*High Skilled Mage Supporters
*High Skilled Nonmage Supporters
*Low Skilled Mage Supporters
*Un-Skilled Supporters (this includes a "Low Skilled Nonmage Supporter")

The HSM/HSN/LSM/US supporters would all collectively be participants as would opposers of any skill/magery.

Would be interesting if magery/skill in the spell made Opposers vary more in how well they could sabotage like it does with Supporters.
I don't see it myself.

There is no variability in opposing participants because they are at best low-skilled non-mages or mages who don't know the spell at all. If they were mages who knew the spell, they'd be used as mages because they can potentially raise more than 1 lousy point of mana. The same applies to skilled non-mages who know the spell.

Unskilled supporters are the only class of willing assistant that can oppose the ceremony, (presumably because they're the only class of supporter that wouldn't know exactly what the ceremony/ritual entails. Any mage or skilled non-mage knows what the ceremony/ritual involves and wouldn't agree to be a willing assistant if they weren't okay with it. An unskilled supporter, on the other hand, might change their mind partway through) and lower the mana generated. Being able to lower the mana by an amount five times greater than they could generate on their own is already pushing them into being disproportionately effective. One opposed unskilled supporter, by himself, can almost cancel out the mana generated by two lesser skilled supporters [HSN or LSM] generating all the mana they can [6 points]. They don't need to be made more effective than they already are.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:41 PM   #24
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

I'm pretty sure that the intent of the hostile observers rule is to encourage holding rituals in secret. Presumably they can be participants by choosing to be participants.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:32 AM   #25
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

Yes, it's mostly to have an excuse for tucking away rituals in underground chambers, old churches, and dark catacombs.

"Spectate" doesn't simply mean "line of sight", as from across a battlefield. (Or another planet.)

And I think even "choosing to participate" is a bit thin, not least because that's one-sided while a ritual is a group activity. (If it weren't, the inclusion of some naysayer would be at worst non-contribution, not a negative effect.) It'd a lot more interesting if the saboteurs at least have to try to infiltrate the group or get picked up in the "meh, c'mere and gimme your energy point" presses from the overbearing Wizards' Guild of the dystopian city when they don't bother to do screening, rather than just having the Resistance sitting at home announcing"I oppose all rituals today" each morning when they arise.

It's a lot more likely that there's something like an Area variant of Lend ST involved in ceremonial casting. You'd at least have to get into the ritual area to be a subject of the draw. Once you're involved the magical field, then you can oppose it. "Involved in the magical field" could be a lot more elaborate. (Much as you can target unseen people by describing them, it would be consistent for a careful ritual leader to more carefully target his FP batteries -- but that's just the sort of place a lot of people cut corners when there's no reason to think there's a potential problem.) Just being able to resolve the figure of the caster on your retina isn't much of a magical connection.

Of course, the requirements and effects aren't defined in that kind of detail, so GMs can do as they like.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #26
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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"Spectate" doesn't simply mean "line of sight", as from across a battlefield. (Or another planet.)
"Battlefield" and "another planet" aren't remotely equivalent. Even observing an SM+0 target on the moon from Earth requires a Vision roll at a -50 penalty. Setting aside game mechanics, in terms of optics and physiology, there's a range beyond which too few photons from the candles or torches or bonfire used in the ritual are hitting the eye—according to Google you need about 5 to 9 photons within 100 ms to get past the brain's noise filters.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:52 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Any mage or skilled non-mage knows what the ceremony/ritual involves and wouldn't agree to be a willing assistant if they weren't okay with it. An unskilled supporter, on the other hand, might change their mind partway through
What about a skilled 15+ mage who knows he wants to sabotage it but feigns cooperation with the leader, while working against him?

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
One opposed unskilled supporter, by himself, can almost cancel out the mana generated by two lesser skilled supporters [HSN or LSM] generating all the mana they can [6 points]. They don't need to be made more effective than they already are.
I was actually thinking of lowering their basic contribution to 1, and having higher numbers for mages / skill-knowers, basically just invert the previous amounts.

The 5x better thing (especially if it's super-easy to oppose, even subconsciously, from great distance) would explain a world where it's easy to deny the existence of magic, except for it not inhibiting normal non-ceremonial casting in any way.

In low-mana worlds, ceremonial casting and using the extra FP from crowds to get skill bonuses to cancel out the -5 would probably explain the reliance on it too. The maximum of 100 points for unskilled spectators is +10,000% on a 1 FP spell giving you +100 skill to cast it, which would be really useful for launching long-distance spells or large-area ones to absorb those penalties.

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Yes, it's mostly to have an excuse for tucking away rituals in underground chambers, old churches, and dark catacombs.

"Spectate" doesn't simply mean "line of sight", as from across a battlefield. (Or another planet.)
Some definitions seem to include "at an event", which I think would mean needing to be within the parameters of the circle drawn on the ground to do the ceremony.

To use a sports analogy: they have to be seated in the bleachers themselves, not peeking over the fence or watching it on TV.

I'm not sure about UNDER the bleachers though. Like if someone was conducting a ritual in a bedroom and you were hiding under the bed, would you be a spectator?
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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What about a skilled 15+ mage who knows he wants to sabotage it but feigns cooperation with the leader, while working against him?
He declines to provide energy (so the 3 energy is lost) and also counts as a hostile observer.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:56 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
What about a skilled 15+ mage who knows he wants to sabotage it but feigns cooperation with the leader, while working against him?
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
He declines to provide energy (so the 3 energy is lost) and also counts as a hostile observer.
I'm not sure that he can decline to provide the energy (provided he's there. He could fail to show up for the final day). Given that the ritual/ceremony is about maximizing the power available and also given that aside from not benefiting from spectators, there isn't any difference between slow and sure enchanting and ceremonial magic, I'd be inclined to say that the energy is placed into the spell gradually over the course of the ritual. Ceremonial magic has the skill roll to cast at the end of the ritual and all the contributed energy spent after the roll but it doesn't claim that the contributed energy is donated at that point. Come to that, although the skill roll is made at the end of the ritual, the reason the roll failed might be something that happened hours ago in the ritual. If the energy is placed in the spell over time, the drain may be so small at any given time that the potential saboteur can't wall off his contribution.

I was just looking through GURPS Magic for 3rd Edition and ran across a couple of interesting points, and it looks like they may have been carried forward into 4th Edition.

First, the requirement to know the spell well enough to soak up a -1 penalty for each additional assistant only applies to Quick and Dirty Enchanting. Slow and Sure Enchantment and Group/Ceremonial Magic don't take a penalty for additional assistants. You only need to know the spell at 15-. [20- if enchanting for a low mana area.]

Second, and this may suggest how to deal with a potential saboteur mage, any mage in a ceremonial casting could act as the caster and make the die rolls for the spell as long as he knows the spell at 15-, so maybe the saboteur can roll a Quick Contest vs. the original caster to take control of the spell for casting.

Third, in the event of a backfire, the GM could either assess a single, huge backfire or assess a backfire against each individual mage. So maybe the danger to being a saboteur is that the backfire will be assessed individually instead of as a mass effect. Not RAW, but if assessed individually, maybe the mage who makes the actual roll is guaranteed to suffer the worst of all the rolled backfires, with someone else getting his less nasty backfire. Which would explain why magic saboteurs are few and far between.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:09 PM   #30
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Using ceremonial magic to create an unassailable magical fortress

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I'm not sure that he can decline to provide the energy
Sure he can. He's doing something skilled (as it requires magery or skill), so of course he can deliberately fail. It will be fairly obvious, though, unless he can use acting or something.
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