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Old 05-05-2017, 12:25 PM   #1
Highland_Piper
 
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Default Vodoo in a modern setting

So I was asked by my gaming group to run a game for the weekend as the normal GM was busy with other things. These are not GURPS players although one has played with the great Phil Masters before.

I ran Monster Hunters as it fit everyone's shared interest and as I only had half a week to plan I used Pyramid #3/31: Monster Hunters adventure "Last Stand on Mason Drive" with a few alterations.

So with 8 pregenerated characters I ran the game and it ended seconds before the big fight. Only one character was a full 400 points the rest were sidekicks.

Well they seemed to enjoy it enough to want me to run it now but I need to find a system for Vodoo and the 3e book won't fit my setting from what I've read of it. One of the sidekicks is going to take up Vodoo as he is playing a research student that is studying Vodoo and Urban History at the local University. Any suggestions? I'm starting to research the religion right now but any helpful nudges in the right direction would be great. Obviously I'll be needing my copy of GURPS Thaumatology.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

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Originally Posted by Highland_Piper View Post
So I was asked by my gaming group to run a game for the weekend as the normal GM was busy with other things. These are not GURPS players although one has played with the great Phil Masters before.

I ran Monster Hunters as it fit everyone's shared interest and as I only had half a week to plan I used Pyramid #3/31: Monster Hunters adventure "Last Stand on Mason Drive" with a few alterations.

So with 8 pregenerated characters I ran the game and it ended seconds before the big fight. Only one character was a full 400 points the rest were sidekicks.

Well they seemed to enjoy it enough to want me to run it now but I need to find a system for Vodoo and the 3e book won't fit my setting from what I've read of it. One of the sidekicks is going to take up Vodoo as he is playing a research student that is studying Vodoo and Urban History at the local University. Any suggestions? I'm starting to research the religion right now but any helpful nudges in the right direction would be great. Obviously I'll be needing my copy of GURPS Thaumatology.
You might not want to use *everything* from the 3e Voodoo book... for one thing, if you started off in Monster Hunters you probably want to continue using the Ritual Path Magic (RPM) from those templates rather than switching to the Path/Book Magic presented in Voodoo. However, there are lots of bits and pieces you could use, and the background presented is definitely still good and well-researched.

1) The overall background, descriptions of the loa/orishas and antagonist creatures is all still good, may just require some adaptation and updates.

2) While you won't want to switch to Path/Book Magic, the rituals presented could be inspirational for RPM rituals that might be likely to be cast by practitioners of Voudoun/Santeria, etc.

3) The principle of being a cheval, i.e., allowing yourself to be possessed by the loa, in order to acquire extra abilities, still works and has been used in a number of 4e sources such as Madness Dossier to good effect.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

Pick up GURPS Thaumatology, and turn to the chapter on Path/Book magic. It's my understanding that several of the Paths there came directly from GURPS Classic: Voodoo. Alternately, check out GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic and make a few Voodoo-like rituals there.

As I understand it, Voodoo uses a lot of charms, fetishes, and material components, as well as uses a number of Magical Laws such as the Law of Names and Law of Contagion (described in Thaumatology) for better bonuses to the rolls.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

A lot of elements from GURPS Voodoo were brought into Monster Hunters, if in modified forms. Inbetweeners are on the standard monster list, the Voodoo spirit magic system is at least a contributing gene donor for RPM, and the Voodoo version of the Crusader is basically a 4e update (and action-y redesign) of various 3e concepts, like the chevre.

It's a good mix. I have found salting GURPS Voodoo with some Werewolf the Apocalypse (or vice versa) works well for a setting background for Monster Hunters; WtA definitely plays well in the 400-point kick-butt mode of MH. Garou in this mash-up are a kind of high powered and very very dangerous Inbetweener (consistent with the description of humanoid-animal shapeshifters being Inbetweeners). So are formori, and nearly anything else from WtA that isn't "A person" or "A spirit", so that can be a fun place to loot for Inbetweener ideas.
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:02 AM   #5
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the Voodoo spirit magic system is at least a contributing gene donor for RPM
It's even in the name. The "Path" in "Ritual Path Magic" was a nod to Path/Book magic from Thaumatology. Similarly with the "Ritual", as the energy-accumulating ritual magic rules from Thaumatology are the other big influence. There's enough novelty in RPM that I don't quite see it as one of the "I could have done that -- except I didn't" applications like Sorcery or Psi Powers. But it's also not a completely new, unique system without any precedent in older GURPS rules.

RPM should work as the mechanics for voodoo magic. The amulets, talismans, etc are "charms". Possession by loas isn't really a core mechanic, though, so the world still needs some mechanical support if that's to be anything other than a handwaved plot point.

(Off the top of my head, I might go with a ritual for the invitation, at least narratively, and if the loa takes you up on it, you need an MA pool "Only While Possessed" that lets you buy abilities of the loa, "Granted By Familiar". The GM then has to go construct a bunch of abilities for any of the various loa that will come up in play -- see which way your players lean! -- but that's life as a GM.)
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

I'd make being a proper chevre a (set of) Alternate Forms, normally as part of the Mysticism power. You could use a ritual to get someone possessed, at which point I believe you'd instead use a lot of Altered/Added Trait effects.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

4th Edition rules for Loa possession appear in Madness Dossier as mentioned upthread - do they appear in any other 4e resource?

Madness Dossier was one of the supplements I most enjoyed just reading, though unfortunately I doubt I could convince my group to play in the setting.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vodoo in a modern setting

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4th Edition rules for Loa possession appear in Madness Dossier as mentioned upthread - do they appear in any other 4e resource?
There's the Spirit Vessel rules in GURPS: Thaumatology.
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