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Old 03-20-2019, 01:18 PM   #11
FeiLin
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Realm magic power level?

First off, thanks a million everyone for the inputs! Hugely helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gef View Post
Good luck. Techniques sound reasonable, but remember that it's only cost-effective to have a couple unless they stack.
Thanks. Yes, I am trying to decide what a reasonable compromise is, and CP is maybe isn’t the best way, ideally at least, since it’s more permanent than just an energy cost when casting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
One issue I have with Realm Magic is how what a Level in a Realm can do depends on how many Levels you choose to define, but how much it costs and how long it takes only depends on your level. This means that if you only define three levels so that creating damaging effects becomes possible at level 2, you're talking about 4 energy and 3 seconds; but if you define six levels and say that direct attacks become possible at level 3, you're talking about 6 energy and 4 seconds for the exact same thing.

And it's not really offset by the CP-per-Level: the difference we see above is because we're comparing a 2-of-3 against a 3-of-6. Change that latter part to 4-of-6, and you have an Effect that costs twice as much and takes two seconds longer to cast to produce the same result at the same point cost.

As well, we're assuming that direct damage is level 3-of-6. What if it isn't? Moving it up or down a level alters its cost and casting time without any change in how much damage it does.
Definitely agreed. I read the example and thought that “oh, well, maybe level 2 or 3 won’t matter that much in the end”… The example from Realms and Damage says “at least level 2”, so I figured level 3 for a six level seemed reasonable.

Regarding CP, though, there was something that annoyed me even more, and that’s that I had 6 levels, and depending on whether I classified “unable to affect the magic of the gods” as a “weakness”, cost could vary by a factor of 2 (5-6 is x2, 7-9 is x1).

I like that damage becomes available (or at least reliable/effective) at level 3 and +1 per die for each level after that, and then special effects (like the mentioned AD2 and whatever the players come up with) on level 5-6, but maybe it’s better to say level 2 instead (especially if I go with the more expensive option of not counting the weakness above). I also improvised and said that each level below gives -2 per die (so 1D6-4 at level 1, for sparks and the like) I’m using the 6-level descriptions as per the suggestion (1 detection, 2 control, 3 command, 4 authority, 5 complete, 6 transcendent).

A bit more background, my Realms are based on the 6 infinity stones’ powers from Avengers Infinity Wars (space, mind, reality, power, time, soul) as I think they a) cover much of what magic could be about and b) lend themselves to my vision of flexible yet stereotypical fantasy magic (illusion being largely mind, elementalists being power, necromancy mostly soul, etc), and c) it’s an amazing and inspiring movie that really creates a credible yet fantastical feeling through these powers. Also, they make enchanting somewhat arduous but potentially lucrative and magic items rare, because it requires both reality and power (to imbue physical matter with energy) in addition to whatever other spell is needed. What I’m trying to do now is emulate some carefully chosen spells that I anticipate the PCs will want to have (and certainly some NPCs as well), such as fireball, and then let the PCs loose on the whole system.
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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
To address this, I introduce the concept of the relative level: relative level = 6×(level/maximum level). Casting time and casting cost are based off of the relative level, addressing the first issue; and your relative level also enhances the result on the same scale that margin of success uses. For damage, it takes two points of margin of success to add one die of damage (if using that approach); so every two points of relative level also adds a die of damage to the total.

I apply this before applying energy cost, difficulty penalty, or margin of success, and independent of those factors: for energy cost, this means that the basic energy cost gives you two dice of damage at a relative level of 2, and three dice of damage at a relative level of 4; doubling the energy cost doubles the number of dice you get; tripling it triples the number of dice; and so on. So instead of 6 or 8 energy for 1 die of damage, we're talking about 6 energy for 2d(+2?)* or 8 energy for 3d. Those are more reasonable numbers, IMHO.
Wow, that’s neat! I really like “relative level”. Basically, you’re giving out a free die and setting the Realm (relative) level bonus to margin of success increments?
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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
As an addendum to my last post: I implicitly go with the notion that every effect has a primary parameter: that one parameter, and no other, benefits from margin of success and Realm level. It might also benefit from energy cost or, less likely, skill penalty* (in which case you need to work out how the two contributing factors interact), so that the caster has some means of choosing to enhance the parameter further.

If you think the above is too powerful for a given effect, you can tone down the benefit granted be the Realm Level by saying that only levels above the one where the Effect first becomes possible count. That said, that approach would put us right back to square one where damage is concerned; so I'm inclined to stick with what I originally proposed for damage, even if I use “excess levels” for everything else.

* I say “less likely” because imposing a skill penalty has a negative impact on the margin of success, and thus is a less reliable way to enhance the result. In fact, because margin of success is so generous with its boost, combining the two only really stands a chance of giving you a net boost when the skill penalty has a real impact on your overall chance of success. As such, I do not recommend trying to combine the two: energy cost and margin of success, sure; but not skill penalty and margin of success.
So, what you mean is, because this is more powerful than standard Realm Magic, the caveat is that margin doesn’t have it’s usual “applies to all categories” perk? I’m not a huge fan of margin of success when it comes to magic anyways; I want to have magic more reliable.

Based on my own aspirations and your input, it makes sense that Realm relative level works with the same bonuses as margin but only affects one aspect (primarily damage) and other parameters are regulated by energy cost and skill modifiers (especially in conjunction with Techniques, for “signature moves”).
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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Recover Energy isn't really a spell, at least in my mind. It's a skill most mages learn along with their esoteric art, to better tap into the surrounding mana and draw it into themselves. It's listed among all the other spells in the book, certainly, but spells are skills, and it'd work the same way if you just broke it out into an intro section about skills for mages.

It could of course be a spell if you liked, as still be at least as sensible as any other magic. Clearly spells tap into far more energy than the couple of FP the mage himself is providing. If you can pull energy from somewhere and make 9d Explosive Fireballs or change the weather for miles around, or pull energy to instantly regrow tissue, then there's no reason you can't pull some of that energy and put it back into your own body. That would only be done if you can pull more energy than it costs to control it -- which is why there's no net cost for Recover Energy, only the net benefit -- but that's routinely done in most spells.

"Counterintuitive" is of course a question separate from whether or not you want that ability in a game.
Yeah, that’s really a good point. It would also enable “dramatic pauses” between battle scenes, much like when Obi-Wan rests before facing off with Darth Maul when Qui-Gon is dead (he’s recharging his abilities to throw a few more “fireball” swings (ie force powered attacks) at Darth Maul.

I guess it would make sense to have it, as some sort of meditative skill, at least from for the arcane mages (as opposed to the divine; sorry, I come from DnD). Divine magic is a clerical/druidic threshold story, but they might have a more ritual-like version, where they can sacrifice or pray really, really hard to remove some of their “sins” (tally).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Whether or not a "skill that lets you manipulate mana" is a "spell" is one of this bits of semantics that the magical philosophers probably spend a lot of time arguing about in their academies. (And boy do some of those arguments get vicious. The stakes are so small, after all...)
Hahaha, for some reason I picture the staff at Unseen University when reading this…
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm fond of Realm magic, but as I look over what I've done, I realize that I've never used the proper casting costs. I've used it as an alternate price for standard magic, I've used casting costs that must come from outside of the mage, and I've floated games in which the FP cost is ignored.
Interesting; how did you do that, specifically? You mean you started out with a “standard magic fireball”, looked how much it cost, and just said “then I can multiply the damage by the factors in Realm Magic”, or how?
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
And the costs for realm magic do seem just a touch high to me.
Agreed.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Realm magic power level?

You may also want to look at my Alternate Realm Magic thread, which is designed specifically to provide an examination of and hacks for Realm Magic.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:13 AM   #13
FeiLin
 
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Default Re: Realm magic power level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
You may also want to look at my Alternate Realm Magic thread, which is designed specifically to provide an examination of and hacks for Realm Magic.
Great, I'll have a at that.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Realm magic power level?

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Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post

Interesting; how did you do that, specifically? You mean you started out with a “standard magic fireball”, looked how much it cost, and just said “then I can multiply the damage by the factors in Realm Magic”, or how?
I had characters buy colleges as realms instead of having a spell list, and then they could cast any spell that fell into their college/level combination. As I said, I mostly just used it as an alternate cost.

When I'm modifying standard magic spells, I generally use the mygurps rules.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Realm magic power level?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I had characters buy colleges as realms instead of having a spell list, and then they could cast any spell that fell into their college/level combination. As I said, I mostly just used it as an alternate cost.

When I'm modifying standard magic spells, I generally use the mygurps rules.
For something similar, my Affinity Magic system is pretty much Ritual Magic with Realms as a booster shot.
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