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Old 08-03-2017, 03:31 PM   #81
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
Interesting sidenote, while Luck cannot be used to change the outcome of Ceremonial Magic, and thus cannot prevent failures while creating a Powerstone from quirking or destroying it, Charge Powerstone is a Regular spell...
Seems valid! Though you might find Luck being the limiting factor on process speed in that case.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:38 PM   #82
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Seems valid! Though you might find Luck being the limiting factor on process speed in that case.
Take Luck with Game World Time instead of Real World Time. That one's from Power-Ups 4: Enhancements. Besides that, you only need Luck if you fail a roll, which only happens about 2% of the time (or one in 50 rolls).
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:39 PM   #83
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Gadgets Require an Unusual Background
The GM might require gadget users to have one of these Unusual
Backgrounds:

Unusual Background (Invention): The character possesses one specific
gadget without being a gadgeteer. This must be a unique invention;
if it weren’t, it would just be Signature Gear (p. 85). The player must
explain how his character came to have the item: he invented it through
a lucky accident, his inventor grandfather left it to him, aliens planted
the blueprints in his head telepathically, etc. The points in this trait buy
a single, bug-free item. The owner can copy it, but he must pay the
usual production costs. 5 points if the gadget is Simple, 15 points if
Average, 30 points if Complex, or 50 points if Amazing.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:21 PM   #84
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Hey, y’all!

I'm sorry to bring this two-year old thread back to life, but I just couldn't help myself. I'm new to the forum (this is only my second post on here, and it’s muuuch longer than my first one-sentence comment), and I can’t figure out how to email another user directly. I suppose I could have started a new thread called “Enchanted Flying Ship.” But I didn’t. I wanted to share my work with the other GURPS nuts, especially in light of this old thread from two summers ago.

I read through this thread yesterday and then looked over GURPS Magic and Basic and then sort of stayed up all night nerding out trying to solve the problem of how to make a flying ship for a Dungeon Fantasy kind of world. I think (in the spirit of the original poster) that a lot of the fun of being an in-game enchanter should be about figuring out how to crack the tough nut of a really special magical item – and then creating a strategy to pull it off by pursuing the necessary skills, spells, and materials. The strategy I’m outlining here might very well occupy a highly gifted and determined mage for years and lead to a lot of adventures and challenges, all culminating in a pretty major enchantment that might take his character (as a lone enchanter) three or four or more years to cast. This process could, in fact, be a major subplot – or even the driving force – of an ongoing campaign. It’d be a pretty difficult mission to accomplish.

A mage in any world who came up with the kind of scheme I’m outlining here would probably also want to guard it as a very powerful trade secret – the kind of secret that wars are fought over. Imagine your surprise when the Eastern Horde of Moishe the Magnificent shows up one afternoon in a fleet of flying ships to bombard your castle! Why don’t WE have flying ships!?

But I’m going to go ahead and share the secret with you guys, because y’all are cool. Just don’t tell anybody. Here's how I'd solve this flying sloop problem using GURPS Magic enchantment rules *basically as written – with just a teensy bit of interpretive finessing, i.e. munchkinry.

Enchanted Flying Ship

This recipe calls for: 1) a very small sloop, no more than 30 feet long for SM+4, 2) a golem that the enchanter has to create himself, with a time and cost to create priced according to the GM’s determination of the material component requirements, 3) a powerstone with 25 energy – or more, for a larger sloop – and 4) the ability to perform a 948 EP ritual enchantment (or 1068 EP for a SM+5 sloop that’s 45 feet long, or 1188 EP for a SM+6 sloop at 60 feet, or 1308 EP at 90 feet, and so on). Let’s get started.

Step 1. Get your GM to rule that a sloop is a machine. GURPS Magic says "For the purpose of these rules, a machine is a tool that in some way uses, stores, or transforms power in order to do its job.... The GM has final say regarding any gray area" (M 175). A sailboat, I think, easily qualifies. Windmills are clearly machines, and sails fit the description of “simple machines” found in Wikipedia, examples of which also include pulleys and levers.

Step 2. Here’s the big potential deal-breaker: see if you can get your GM to rule that you can build a golem that knows spells. Without this, we’re out of business. The golem needs to be able to cast Machine Possession (M 178) and Flight (M 145), and since a golem can’t talk and has no FP, it has to know the spells at a level high enough not only to be able to cast them without speaking but also high enough that they can be maintained for free when cast on a subject the size of your ship, which is really, really high.

Machine Possession can be learned like a skill by anyone who can find a copy in a grimoire, but Flight has Magery 2 as one of its prereqs. So while you’re at it, get your GM to rule that you can (somehow – you may have to track down a special spell or item or substance to unlock this option) make a golem with spells using the “Alternate Prerequisites” rule found in Magic on page 200. For the purposes of this build, I’ll assume your GM does allow you to add to the prereq count in order to learn a spell without the magery, and this also ends up being a little bit cheaper – a flat 44 EP off the final enchantment cost to replace Magery 2 with an additional 3 levels of prerequisite count. (If the GM won’t go for “Alternate Prerequisites,” then you’ll need to give the golem Magery 2 for 25 CP. If the GM won’t go for that, then tough luck and, again, we’re all done here.)

Your GM should consider that there are no clear rules for “abilities added to the golem” (I emphasize the word “abilities” in the spell description, which clearly doesn’t limit the golem’s customization to just skills) – but the Enchantment College is about creating magical items, after all, and the description of the Golem spell is pretty open-ended: “GMs may allow more sweeping changes to the basic golem if they feel comfortable doing so. More powerful golems may require more durable (and more costly) materials, adding to the cost and time required to create the golem’s body” (Magic 59). If it matters, a golem is already a magically sapient creature (IQ 8), and many of the earliest stories of the Jewish golems (the Golem of Prague, for example) give the golem some pretty significant magical powers, including invisibility and spirit summoning. Your GM may decide that you can simply invest the points in the golem necessary to give it the spells you want it to have and you’re done. That’d be the easiest, though it’ll still be expensive.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:21 PM   #85
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Step 3. Use the Golem spell (Magic 59) to make a golem that knows both Machine Possession (base cost 6 to cast, 2 to maintain) at skill 25 (IQ+17) and Flight (VH, base cost 5 to cast, 3 to maintain) at … wait for it … skill 85 (IQ+77).

At these levels, both spells can be maintained simultaneously and indefinitely for free, even in low mana, without rituals or speech, on a sloop up to 30’ (SM+4, so the costs to cast and maintain will be multiplied by 5, or 1 + SM). Making the sloop any larger increases the multiplier for all the following costs since the golem will need to know Flight at an additional +15 every time the Size Modifier increases by one in order to maintain the spell at no energy cost (and that will raise the final Golem enchantment cost by 120 EP for every additional +1 SM).

(As an aside: the Initiative spell, in the College of Illusion and Creation, on Magic 97, says that illusions and phantoms are granted skills at the “same relative level as the caster.” If that’s the ruling, then you’d have to learn Flight up to IQ+77, which isn’t feasible, but I don’t think that should be the ruling, because the Initiative spell only adds 1 FP to the base cost per skill added to the creation, no matter how high the caster’s relative skill: if you know Karate at DX+20, it still only costs 1 FP more to give your Phantom Karate at DX+20. It would be more reasonable, though still prohibitive, to say that the enchanter needed to know Machine Possession at 25 and Flight at 85 herself in order to create a golem that knows them at those levels…. But getting to that skill level is a lot easier for your enchanter with, say, IQ 16 and Magery 4 than for a golem at IQ 8 and no Magery. It would cost that IQ 16 enchanter only 28 CP to get Machine Possession at skill 25, but it’d cost her 268 CP to get Flight at skill 85 – if she could figure out how to learn spells at such a high level. The OP did say *Super Mage, though.)

In any case, if the golem is going to end up with these spells at these crazy high levels, here’s what it’ll cost. Machine Possession has a prereq count of 16. If the golem is exactly as outlined on page 59 of Magic (with IQ 8 - a generous GM might let you take points away from his ST 15 and/or DX, etc., to offset the cost of adding CP for the spells and get him down to a base cost of 130, as suggested in the spell description, and let’s go ahead and assume that), then you have to add each of the 16 prereq spells at 1 CP each before adding the Machine Possession spell at IQ+17 (72 CP). Flight is a Very Hard spell with prereqs of Magery 2, Levitation and Apportation, so the cost of adding Flight to the golem will need to account for 25 CP for Magery 2, 2 CP for prereqs, and then Flight at 1Q+77 (316 CP). To find the final cost of the Golem spell for our sloop pilot, we’ll have to double the cost of the CP for all the abilities added to the golem and add that to the reduced base cost of 130 EP.

The final enchantment cost for our Golem spell is: a base of 130 EP for the stripped-down golem template + Machine Possession for 32 EP (16 CP for prereqs x2) plus 144 EP (72 CP x2) + the cost of Flight for 10 EP (2 CP for prereqs and 3 CP for the added prereq points for Magery 2 x2) plus 632 EP (316 CP x2). The final enchantment cost is 948 EP.

So for 948 EP, you can create a golem that knows Machine Possession at 25 and Flight at 85.

This golem can possess a sloop (or any machine) up to 30’ and fly it at about 20 miles an hour (Move 10). For a neat special effect, you might have the sails on the boat increase performance, with the piloting and sailing of the crew maybe functioning as complementary skills or as an enhancement, like when a successful Hiking skill roll increases distance traveled in a day by 20%. The golem doesn’t necessarily have to be the pilot. The Flight spell, incidentally, doesn’t have any requirement for any piloting skill, and Machine Possession “allows the caster to keep his own sensory apparatus in addition to the machine’s; otherwise, he would be severely handicapped, since machines of TL6 or less are basically blind and deaf.” Because the Machine Possession spell describes the caster as “lying unconscious” for the duration and Permanent Machine Possession says the caster is in Suspended Animation (M 94), I interpret this to mean that the golem would essentially inhabit the ship as if it were his own body for the purposes of Flight, so he wouldn’t need to use his own eyes to see what’s going on around the ship but would have his senses magically attuned to the ship. The sloop would follow the simple instructions (IQ 8) of the enchanter or anyone the enchanter designates – i.e. the flying ship could become a family heirloom. The golem could rest permanently in an armored, sealed (and probably Magelocked, see M 166) casket built into or beneath the deck of the sloop – it doesn’t eat or breathe and needs no maintenance at all – maybe with an ear horn attached to give him instructions (unless the GM rules that the golem can hear anybody aboard the ship, which actually seems consistent with the Machine Possession rules – the enchanter or any of his designees would be in charge of the golem; alternatively, you could use the control rules for Flying Carpet for who gets to be the captain – basically a contest of Will). This is essentially an IQ 8 Artificial Intelligence for a TL3 (or TL 4 or whatever) fantasy airplane. If you want the sloop to be 45’ long, the golem needs Flight at IQ+92, and the final enchantment cost goes up by 120 EP to 1068 EP. At 60’, the price goes up another 120 to 1188 EP, at 90’ it goes up to 1308 EP, and so on.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:22 PM   #86
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Step 4. Crank up the ship. This process will only work, in the end, if you incorporate at least one 25 energy powerstone into the golem so it can cast the initial Machine Possession spell and then, later, the Flight spell. Machine Possession costs 6 energy to cast, regardless of the size of the machine; the spell description notes that Machine Possession is “Like Animate Machine” except for the listed differences which follow; Animate Machine (M 177) lists casting costs for the tonnage of machines that don’t follow the size modifier rules of typical regular spells, whereas Machine Possession has a flat cost of 6 to cast and 2 to maintain (take a look at both spell descriptions; I’m pretty sure my reading of the cost here is the correct one). To cast Flight on the SM+4 sloop (x5 base cost), it’ll be 25 energy to cast and 15 to maintain each minute. In other words, it’s free to maintain Flight indefinitely at skill 80 in normal mana, or, in low mana with a -5 penalty, free to maintain at skill 85. (If you increase the SM of the ship, the powerstone to launch it will need an additional 5 Energy for each larger SM: a 30 energy powerstone to launch an SM+5 ship, 35 to launch an SM+6 ship, and so on.)

Once the golem is installed on the sloop, it can use the 25 energy powerstone to cast Machine Possession at a cost of 6 EP. Then, six days later, when the powerstone is fully recharged (assuming normal mana – sooner if a mage casts Charge Powerstone to recharge it, or if the golem has more than one powerstone), it can cast the Flight spell at a cost of 25 to get off the ground. The sloop can fly anywhere except for a no-mana zone. If it flies into a no-mana zone, it’ll crash and be grounded until it’s moved back into a mana area and can be started up again. Your GM might generously decide to use the rules for Flying Carpet (M 146) and give you 2d+2 seconds to make a bumpy landing.

Presumably, the sloop can hover in the air indefinitely when it is docked and the crew can throw a ladder over the side to get off. But if it does ever stop – if the golem is told to end the Flight spell, the golem will need to wait at least 25 days from the point of its last launch (in normal mana) for the powerstone to recharge enough to recast the Flight spell and get airborne again.

The powerstone, incidentally, can’t be dedicated, because the sloop isn’t the magical item here; in fact, the ship itself is not necessarily magical at all. But it’s also worth noting that on a 30’ sloop with a 10-12 foot beam, you could easily incorporate at least 8 powerstones more than 6 feet apart so that they could all charge simultaneously: one fore, one aft, and 3 more spaced along both starboard and port railings. Since the golem is possessing the sloop, it could use any powerstone incorporated into the structure of the ship to cast any spell it knows, though all of its prerequisite spells will be known only at level 5 or 6, since it’s only got 1 CP invested in each of them. It’s also worth noting that the golem has no FP, so it can’t use either the Recover Energy spell or the Charge Powerstone spell, though a mage on board the ship could use the Charge Powerstone to fuel a spent powerstone to enable the golem to make an emergency takeoff – at the risk of quirking or destroying the powerstone. For that matter, the powerstone that launched the ship – or any other backup powerstone that’s incorporated into the sloop – might help power any spell cast by any mage on the ship, and after 25 days in the air in a normal mana environment, all the powerstones will be at full charge.

Remember that the golem is reprogrammable, but it can’t learn, so once it’s made, you can’t modify its abilities at all, just give it new assignments. What you might be allowed to do, however, is have the enchanter who made the golem take the “Named Possession” perk for either the golem or the sloop itself, and this actually seems appropriate to me.

If the GM agrees to all of this (and if it’s all street-legal – as I said, I’m newish, though I’ve been lurking, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if a more experienced GURPSer finds some serious flaws with my work here….), then theoretically your spell-casting golem could be designed to do a lot more, for a greater enchantment cost. Maybe you could design a golem that could shoot fireballs from a staff-enchanted bowsprit…. It wouldn’t have to be the same golem that pilots the ship; it could be a golem designed to be a gunner. Basically, you could make golems like separate AI programs for individualized tasks. You really could use this scheme to design a TL 3 fantasy magic AI spaceship that comes to your rescue when you get in trouble, though it would take time and incur some pretty steep costs.

At some point, however, I think you probably should just go ahead and bite the bullet and make the ship a character you take as an ally instead of this elaborate Golem enchantment scheme, as it’d be easier to have an ally – say a very elderly wizard who decided to live his life in suspended animation as a flying ship with Permanent Machine Possession (M 178) instead of die of old age (I’m totally ignoring the daily Will rolls to maintain IQ; maybe somebody could find a way around that?). The cost to cast Permanent Machine Possession, for the elderly wizard, is only 30 EP. If you could get around the daily-Will-roll-against-IQ-loss problem of Permanent Machine Possession, then having a mage ally who decides to pour a superhero’s bucket of points into the Flight spell and then possess a ship is really your quickest shortcut to a flying ship. (With Magery 4, it’d take about 240 hours of self-study/practice for each CP added to the Flight spell. To get to Flight at IQ+77 would take a bit more than 64 thousand hours according to RAW – roughly 15 years of flying around every day for 12 hours a day – unless your GM lets you spend CP earned on adventures – or unless, maybe, you find a teacher with the Enlightened Teacher advantage. But imagine that! Fifteen years of constant work would be a small price to pay for virtual immortality as a flying ship, am I right? But, again: only if you could get around that IQ-loss problem with Permanent Machine Possession.)

The other alternative, already discussed in this thread, is casting a permanent Flying Carpet enchantment (M 146). For a 30’ x 10’ sloop, this would cost in the neighborhood of 60,000 EP, depending on the design of the ship. The golem pilot method cuts that cost by a factor of about 60. Is this balanced? One way to look at it is that the enchanted sloop is likely to have a ST/HP rating of at least 50, if not a lot higher (I’m looking at the very limited Watercraft Table on B 464), and be highly repairable and therefore very, very hard to destroy; it will also have no limits on its flight capacity and will likely have a much higher move (equal to the caster’s skill level with the Flying Carpet spell, so probably at least 30 miles per hour, if not 40) and much more stability for its passengers. The description of Flying Carpet, for example, says to “treat anyone fighting from a flying carpet as being on the ground (ignore the special rules for flying combatants on p. B548).” The golem, on the other hand, will have a much lower ST/HP – probably no more than 15, depending on how you reduce his base cost before adding the spells – and will therefore be very easy to destroy, if you can get at him, especially since he can’t go any lower than 0 HP without being destroyed and can only be healed with Healing spells from the original enchanter. You could destroy that golem with a few punches, and then your sloop is just a sloop – maybe in the middle of a cornfield a thousand miles from any water deeper than a puddle.

This process would take a very dedicated enchanter a lot of time to learn all the necessary spells, a lot of money for the sloop, the powerstone, and probably time and money for the golem, in addition to about three years of uninterrupted enchanting – no walk in the park, especially considering that in the same game world, you could just learn Hawk Flight as your fourth spell (with Magery 2) and blast past that flying sloop at 80 miles per hour….

Anyway, that’s my plan to use the GURPS Magic rules to enchant a flying ship. You know, if that’s what you’re into.

And if you’ve read all of this, I hope you enjoyed it! And I’d seriously be glad to know what rules I’ve broken or overlooked, if any, with this nutty scheme. And thanks in advance for any new ideas or feedback. I had so much fun writing this up! Who says rules and math ain’t fun?! Thanks, GURPS!

Let the imagination roam!

Julian
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:32 PM   #87
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Welcome to the forums,
I think you should have started a new thread. Necroing threads should be something that asks or adds to directly to the thread. New threads let you define a lot more in your question with less confusion.
As to your build, yeah I wouldn't allow it. Magic using golems is a problem anyhow but maybe I'd allow that. But that high a spell skill? nope.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:50 PM   #88
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Default Re: High Magic Spells

Refplace, thanks for the warm welcome and also for the hasty dismissal!

I think if you look at this thread, you'll find that it's mostly a lot of people going back and forth about how hard it is to use to use the enchantment rules in Magic to make a flying ship, which is what the original poster said he wanted to do in the very first post of the thread, coupled with a lot of the general dissatisfaction I've seen on this forum about the enchantment rules as written in Magic. I wanted to come up with a fun way to use only those rules in Magic to do the thing the original poster had asked about and that nobody had seemed to give a really satisfactory answer for. I stayed up late working on it! But no way, Jose! Not for your game! Got it!

As for necroing the old thread, I realize how irritating that must be, though I have also noticed that folks tend to do it all the time, and only occasionally do they get an officious reprimand.

But anywhooo.... As I said, I had a lot of fun exploring GURPS Magic and writing out with what I guess really is a pretty silly four-thousand word post. So. Thanks again for setting me straight. And thanks again for such a warm welcome. Go GURPS!

Julian
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:54 PM   #89
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Step 2. Here’s the big potential deal-breaker: see if you can get your GM to rule that you can build a golem that knows spells.
This here is the flaw in your plan chief. It ain't the golem knowing spells, it's whether or not they can cast spells.

Golems have no access to FP. 0 FP doesn't mean "costs no FP and thus castable by creatures without access to FP", it means "costs a creature that can cast spells and power them with FP, 0 FP".

A golem isn't just unable to access FP, they have no access to being able to manipulate mana, since that is essentially on the mage's end, FP.

Now, if you can talk your GM into letting you build a golem and then give them Energy Reserve (or even building a Golem that has FP)... you're in business. I might be persuaded into this through some unholy combination of Golem, Powerstone, and Awaken Craft Spirit.


Of course having said that, I'd also be inclined to just let them enchant a properly crafted ship with Flying Carpet, just tooling up the cost.

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Old 06-16-2019, 08:02 PM   #90
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Refplace, thanks for the warm welcome and also for the hasty dismissal!


As for necroing the old thread, I realize how irritating that must be, though I have also noticed that folks tend to do it all the time, and only occasionally do they get an officious reprimand.

But anywhooo.... As I said, I had a lot of fun exploring GURPS Magic and writing out with what I guess really is a pretty silly four-thousand word post. So. Thanks again for setting me straight. And thanks again for such a warm welcome. Go GURPS!

Julian
Just know that I dont dismiss people, only some of their ideas.
I didnt go back to earlier posts to read the thread. High Magic has been used to describe certain kinds of magic and I assumed thats what it was. Since your question stood on its own I didnt double check. My bad!

Things are pretty mellow around here and official reprimands are rare. A key reason I favor this forum is its such a good community!

As for your idea my objections to it are several.
As you yourself noted its kinda munchkinney.
As Eveleyeore noted Golems dont have FP so shouldnt be able to cast spells.
A huge issue for me is from a worldbuilding scenario though. Consider that if a golem can be created to do that it can be created to cast other spells too. You could have powerful mage armies. See Terminator for one outcome.
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