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Old 01-15-2018, 07:43 AM   #1
arnej
 
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Default Magic: Determining maintained spells

So maintaining spells is a thing in GURPS Magic.

If a mage wanted to figure out what spells an individual had on them, what skills or spells could he use to determine that?

Would it be different for spells like Missile Shield than Bless? Could it work for Delay?

At first it seemed like Identify Spell would be the go-to, but that stupid 5-second time limit is dang explicit, almost. And Analyze seems like it is designed to deal with enchantments.

So?
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Magic: Determining maintained spells

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Originally Posted by arnej View Post
So maintaining spells is a thing in GURPS Magic.

If a mage wanted to figure out what spells an individual had on them, what skills or spells could he use to determine that?

Would it be different for spells like Missile Shield than Bless? Could it work for Delay?

At first it seemed like Identify Spell would be the go-to, but that stupid 5-second time limit is dang explicit, almost. And Analyze seems like it is designed to deal with enchantments.

So?
Identifying Enchantments may be what Analyze Magic is mostly used for but I'm afraid it is the spell for telling what spells are on a subject too. I know the 1 hour casting time makes it useless for what you seem to have in mind.

Detect Magic will show that there are Spells on a subject but not what they are.

Now, (with GM permission) you could create a Detect Magic power from the Detect Advantage on p.48 of Characters and this would let you analyze what Spells your target had on him. If they were Spells you didn't know the results might be somewhat vague and the Thaumatology Skill would help give you an idea what they did.

Moslty though we seem to have been doing without exactly what you want for 30 years. :)
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:26 AM   #3
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: Magic: Determining maintained spells

I would just house rule that Identify Spell, when cast on a subject, identifies all known spells that are on the subject or are being maintained by the subject (choose one).

I wouldn't like Identify Magic tell you who the target of maintained spells are, though. You know Wally the Wizard is maintained 3 Reverse Missiles and an Illusion Disguise, but not who is disguised or which of his allies are the targets of the Reverse Missiles.

I'd further let Aura give you a sense of any spells maintained on the subject, like "he's got several protection spells on him." That seems in line with the description of Aura.

Occultism or Thaumatology rolls would be useful for better interpreting the results of those spells.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:13 PM   #4
evileeyore
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Default Re: Magic: Determining maintained spells

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Originally Posted by arnej View Post
At first it seemed like Identify Spell would be the go-to, but that stupid 5-second time limit is dang explicit, almost.
I house ruled out the '5 second' limit for identifying Maintained spells only.

I also allow Mage Sight + Thaumaturgy to vaguely* identify spell types that are maintained.


* As in it identifies College and Type, ala "Some sort of Regular Light and Darkness spell" if the target had Night Vision cast on them.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Magic: Determining maintained spells

I've always considered the "cast" in Identify Spell to include currently-maintained spells. That is, maintenance counts as casting for this purpose, not just the initial casting.

(And yes, that means you can ID any spell that's no longer being maintained, as long as it was maintained within the last 5 seconds. Fluff-wise, those magical echoes and remnants of currents that let you ID a spell are still floating around in the manasphere. It takes a while for them to all "level out", dissipating to un-Identifi-ability.)

GURPS rules are not in general written with the rules-lawyer attitude claimed for some rule sets that every tiny nuance in word choice is deliberate and meant to convey such subtle distinctions, so don't get too hung up by the use of the word "cast".
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