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Old 03-24-2020, 06:54 PM   #1
ehrbar's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Modified Word Rules

Bothered by both the thread below and by a re-read of the Liber Castellorum (which says Tethers both are usually Word-bound and usually don't last more than a century), I've decided I don't like how the GMG handles really weak Words. So, my suggested replacement is:

1) Words with Word Forces of 0 exist, and celestials do not die like under the GMG rules if their Word falls to 0 Forces. Examples of 0-Force Words are Buggy Whips, Stale Bong Water, and Tethers that have ceased to exist.

2) Words with 0 Forces do not power either Rites or attunements; all existing such powers related to such a Word cease to operate when the Word drops to 0 Forces.

3) All Words, including 0-Force Words, impose a dissonance condition on their holder, because they've attuned the celestial's nature to that Word. The dissonance condition for a Tether-word is the Cherub dissonance condition that goes along with their Cherub-type attunement to the Tether.

3a) If you're a non-Superior Wordbound who grants an attunement from your Word to another celestial, and that celestial violates your dissonance condition, you take dissonance. This is why you're chary about giving them out, not some vaguely-specified risk of Word Force decline.

4) Losing a Word at least partly-unravels the celestial who holds it. The celestial being stripped of his Word rolls against Will, with no modifications for Essence. Succeed or fail, the celestial loses 1 Force; if failed, the celestial loses CD additional Forces. The first Forces stripped by this are counted against the Word Forces lost; other Forces are only lost if the total lost exceeds the lost Word Forces. This automatically happens when a Word-holder Falls or is redeemed.

5) Infernals can voluntarily try to sever their own connections their Word, reworking their own personal symphonies to excise them. Roll against Will; on success, you take (Will-CD) levels of assorted Discord (the stronger your Will, the more distortion you take when you attack your own nature), and then roll for Force-loss as if the Word were stripped from you. On failure, you take CD Dissonance for violating your Word and lose a non-Word Force. It's dangerous and damaging, but it just might be safer than asking Lucifer to do it.

Accordingly, the only reason anyone is deliberately bound to a 0-Force Word is as an act of cruelty; it imposes a new dissonance condition on the celestial without any compensating benefits, and limits what Words they could possibly acquire in the future. However, celestials do not die just because their Words become irrelevant of their Tethers cease to exist.

So, what actually happened to the Demon of Buggy Whips? When his Word became irrelevant, he tried to strip himself of it, so he'd be suitable to take up some new Word under Technology. In the process, he completely unraveled himself.
Steven E. Ehrbar

GURPS Technomancer resources. Including The Renegade Mage's Unofficial GURPS Magic Spell Errata, updated January 22nd, 2016.
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