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Old 01-22-2019, 06:01 PM   #11
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
No, but now I'm curious about it.
Well, don't want to spoil anything:
One character was created by what amounts to an Embody ritual which the unknowing caster didn't realise would simply allow a 'random' spirit to inhabit the host. In actual fact, not so much random as the strongest out of all those desiring a body and gathered around the ritual. Also, at the beginning, the spirit suffered from what functionally amounted to Amnesia, before it learned to deal with the complexities of bodies, spoken langiðuages, glands, etc.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Is a fusion of Techno and Death Metal even plausible?
Some people evidently think so. You can judge for yourself.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Some people evidently think so. You can judge for yourself.
Huh. OK. Well, if I ever have players who want to use the band idea (with that name, anyway), I now have a genre for the band. The music isn't bad so far, either, so thanks.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

Anastacios Tsakonas

Age: Unknown (appears 50)

Attributes

ST 11 [10]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 14 [80]; HT 13 [30]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 11; Will 18 [20]; Per 16 [10]; FP 13

Social Background

Languages: Greek (Native) [0]; English (Native) [6]; Italian (Accented/Native) [5]; at least three other languages appropriate to the game [13].

TL: 8

Cultural Familiarity: Orthodox [0]; Western [1].

Subtotal: 215


Advantages

Independent Income 20 [20]
Wealth (Comfortable) [10]

Magery (Blocked by traditional 'witch banes,' -20%) 3 [28]
Modular Abilities (Skinchange Rituals Only, -50%, Magic, -10%) 5 [20]
Path/Book Adept (Space) [10]
Path/Book Adept (Time, Material; Only for Paths of Form and Nature, -50%; Temporary Disadvantage (Disturbing Voice), -10%) [4]
Path/Book Adept (Material; Only for Path of Spirit, -60%) [4]
Spirit Empathy [10]
Unaging (Magic, -10%) [14]
Unusual Background (Natural Adept) [10]
Wild Talent (Retention, +25%; Focused: Magic, -20%) 2 [42]

Perks

Astrological Ceremonies. [1]
Improvised Weapons (Axe/Mace). [1]
Magical Style Familiarity (Hermetic). [1]
SOP (Check disguise). [1]

Subtotal: 176


Disadvantages

Bad Temper (15) [-5]
Callous [-5]
Delusion (Major: 'I am a son of Zeus.') [-10]
Megalomania [-10]
Obsession (Create the perfect hero and villain, and watch them fight) (12) [10]
Phobia (Traditional 'witch banes') (12) [-5]
Selfish (12) [-5]

Quirks

Affected by Thresholds. [-1]
Code of Honor (Keeps his word). [-1]
Likes cats. [-1]
Particular about his ouzo. [-1]

Subtotal: -54


Features

Fortune-Telling (Hermetic Astrology) is a Complementary Skill of Ritual Magic (Hermetic).

Skills

Acting [IQ/A] [4] 15
Artist (Body Art) [IQ/H] [1] 12
Astronomy (Observational/TL8 [IQ/A] [1] 13
Axe/Mace [DX/A] [2] 12
Brawling [DX/E] [4] 14
Diplomacy [IQ/H] [4] 14
Disguise/TL8 [IQ/A] [2] 14
Dreaming [Will/H] [1] 16
Driving (Automobile)/TL8 [DX/A] [1] 11
Fortune-Telling (Hermetic Astrology) [IQ/A] [2] 14
Guns (Pistol)/TL8 [DX/E] [1] 12
Guns (Rifle)/TL8 [DX/E] [1] 12
Guns (Shotgun)/TL8 [DX/E] [1] 12
Literature [IQ/H] [4] 14
Meditation [Will/H] [1] 16
Philosophy (Solipsism) [IQ/H] [1] 12
Religious Ritual (Hellenism) [IQ/H] [2] 13
Spirit Lore [IQ/A] [2] 14
Stealth [DX/A] [2] 12
Survival (Island/Beach) [Per/A] [1] 15
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 16
Survival (other) [Per/A] [0] 11
Theology (Hellenism) [IQ/H] [2] 13
Urban Survival [Per/A] [1] 15

Subtotal: 43

Ritual Magic (Hermetic) [IQ/VH] [8] 17*
Path of Cunning [IQ/VH] [2] 15*
Path of Dreams [IQ/VH] [1] 14*
Path of the Elements [IQ/VH] [2] 15*
Path of Form [IQ/VH] [8] 17*
Path of Gadets [IQ/VH] [1] 14*
Path of Health [IQ/VH] [2] 15*
Path of Knowledge [IQ/VH] [4] 16*
Path of Luck [IQ/VH] [2] 15*
Path of Nature [IQ/VH] [8] 17*
Path of Protection [IQ/VH] [4] 16*
Path of Spirit [IQ/VH] [8] 17*

*Includes +3 from Magery.

Subtotal: 50

Techniques

Cloud Memory (H) Path of Cunning-7 [8] 15
Guise (H) Path of Cunning-1 [2] 15
Obscurity (H) Path of Cunning-5 [6] 15

Dream Visitor (H) Path of Dreams-2 [2] 13

Conjure Flame (H) Path of the Elements-4 [2] 12

Reversion of Form (H) Path of Form-5 [2] 13
Skinchange (Crocodile) (H) Path of Form-7 [6] 15
Skinchange (Raven) (H) Path of Form-6 [7] 17
Skinchange (Wolf) (H) Path of Form-6 [6] 16

Slumber (H) Path of Health-2 [2] 14
Succor (H) Path of Health-4 [2] 12
Warrior's Blessing (H) Path of Health-6 [5] 13

Read Memories (H) Path of Knowledge-7 [6] 14
Read Thoughts (H) Path of Knowledge-7 [5] 13
Scry (H) Path of Knowledge-6 [4] 13
Veil (H) Path of Knowledge-3 [4] 16

Loyal Item (H) Path of Luck-4 [5] 15

Mist (H) Path of Nature-3 [2] 15
Thunderbolt (H) Path of Nature-7 [8] 17
Weatherworking (H) Path of Nature-5 [4] 15

Dispel Ritual (H) Path of Protection-6 [6] 15
Ghost Shirt (H) Path of Protection-7 [8] 16

Embody (H) Path of Spirit-5 [6] 17
Fetish (H) Path of Spirit-8 [9] 17
Ghost Sword (H) Path of Spirit-3 [4] 17

Subtotal: 121

Total: 551


Equipment

<Varies by disguise.>

Notes

He has a lot more rituals than I originally expected, considering that these are just the ones he thought important enough to raise above default. It helps that he's a lot older than he looks, though.

Anastacios Tsakonas is a fairly extreme (and expensive) example of 'the magician as monster,' and 'the magician as monster-maker,' as well as a rather twisted example of 'the magician as the hero's mentor.' This version is intended for a modern-day game, but it shouldn't be that hard to adjust him for earlier eras.

Anastacios was one of those rare and lucky individuals to be born with impressive supernatural powers: Magery (Blocked by traditional 'witch banes,' -20%) 0 [4], Path/Book Adept (Time, Space, Material; Only for Paths of Form and Nature, -50%; Temporary Disadvantage (Disturbing Voice), -10%) [4], Spirit Empathy [10], Unusual Background (Natural Adept) [10], and Wild Talent (Retention, +25%; Emergencies Only, -15%; Focused: Magic, -20%) 1 [15]. His current powers grew from there, though in the specific case of Magery, he went from Magery 0 to Magery 3 in the space of a year and a half, while the hormones of puberty sped through him. Being the son of an unwed (though fairly well-off), mildly alcoholic mother and an unknown father, all this power fed his ego, his need to see himself as better than those who mocked him. As he never learned his father's identity, he developed fantasies about who it might be, and why he wasn't around. With his love of books and the house's extensive library, it didn't take long for him to connect his power and his mother's attractiveness to a source that fit his self-image: Zeus really got around, and clearly Anastacios's mother was one of the women he got around with.

Unusual Background (Natural Adept) allows one to bypass any normal prerequisites the setting may have for being a Path/Book Adept. The cost likely varies, and as usual, GMs are free to forbid it entirely. Natural Adepts often attract jealousy from other magicians; they also attract teachers who see them as prodigies... or tools.

For his Modular Abilities advantage, note that Skinchange Curse rituals do count as Skinchange rituals; the difference in name is for convenience, not to declare it a separate category of ritual. Apart from the animals listed under Techniques, above, Anastacios has been known to transform himself or others into owls, sharks, swans, otters, bats, cats (including some types of Great Cat), and a few more fantastic creatures, like satyrs and shoulder-dragons.

'SOP (Check disguise)' means that he makes a habit of making sure his disguise is all in place, and that he's in the right persona for where he's going and who he's meeting.

I'm not sure if there's a specific name for the basic style from Thaumatology, so I'm calling it 'Hermetic;' he uses an Effect Shaping style, and it's both versatile and common enough to let him pretend to be more than one magician.

Anastacios's modus operandi is to design two or more personae, and use each to empower and train a hero or group of heroes, and a villain or group of villains. Sometimes he will train one first and the other later, sometimes he will reuse a previous hero, villain, or group as adversary to a new one (and sometimes it's hard to tell which are the heroes and which are the villains). While working on them, he will frequently use Embody or Skinchange Curse to produce 'monsters' and other creatures as companions or minions for his students, or as target practice for them (in the latter case, without telling the heroes that he did it, and sometimes not telling the villains, either). He also makes frequent use of spirits to train his students in skills that he lacks. The text doesn't appear to say, but I'm of the opinion that Fetish can be used to 'permanently' bind a spirit to a form that they've been Embodied in.

Empowerments he grants consist not only of training, but of gifts of fetishes and mystic symbols (often with Loyal Item cast on them), and even the use of Embody to bind mindless or weak-willed spirits to more strong-willed humans (the description of the ritual doesn't say, but it's not unreasonable that the more strong-willed personality in a body will be dominant); a spirit with Slave Mentality depends on who the spirit is most loyal to. Spirits permanently absorbed by a host can be used to explain all manner of exotic advantages, or disadvantages (as long as the GM doesn't mind). Also, scars and tattoos can be made into fetishes (again, unless the GM feels it shouldn't work that way in that setting).


Thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

You would break even with Language Talent. You would also save points by upgrading to Independent Income 10 and Wealth (Wealthy) because you gain Status 1 for free.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

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You would break even with Language Talent. You would also save points by upgrading to Independent Income 10 and Wealth (Wealthy) because you gain Status 1 for free.
I wasn't trying to be efficient, point-wise (if I was, I'd've either made him an Energy Accumulating magician, or given him a less narrow Modular Abilities advantage).
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

I do not quite understand avoiding point efficiency. If I can do things more efficiently, I will.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

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I do not quite understand avoiding point efficiency. If I can do things more efficiently, I will.
OK, I think I phrased my response wrong, sorry: I was not intentionally avoiding point efficiency. I was simply not seeking it out (if you see the difference), as point-efficiency was not the point of the character.

I do find it rather sad that the lack of point-efficiency seems to be the only thing noteworthy about the character, though.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

For a 551 CP superhuman, he is pretty bland. Right now, you could 'save' points by increasing IQ to 16 and keeping everything else the same. At that point, you could probably increase Ritual Magic and the Paths to 20 and drop many of the rituals and still break even.

With his points, I would really consider upgrading his wealth to Filty Rich and Independent Income 5. In a TL8 campaign, that would increase his monthly earnings to $100,000 a month for just an extra 20 CP. Altenatively, sacrifice a few things and give him Multimillionaire 2 and Independent Income 5 (justified by the Path of Knowledge), allowing him an income of $10 million per month. At that point, he should also have Secret (Magician) and/or Reputation (Eccentric Billionaire).
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] Monsters as Magicians... or vice versa

Independent Income shouldn't be used at the higher levels to represent investments. Fairly low Wealth levels and high Independent Income represents people who receive a welfare payment or pension and live hand-to-mouth.

After all, Independent Income 20 represents a situation where the character owns total assets worth about five monthly paychecks. That's realistic for pensioners who do not own real estate or typical welfare recipients, but it's not suitable for any character who is supposed to be receiving an income from prior investments.

The only plausible way to do that is to take the Wealth level that suits the assets the character owns (noting that a nominal value might be two or three times higher than what the character could realize by selling immediately, which is what the starting assets of Wealth represent) and then taking Independent Income 1.

That means a return on investment from 3% (using the highest estimation of nominal assets) to 12% (the liquid assets available on short notice), which is within norms for income from investment. Anything higher than that will feel very implausible in any kind of campaign with a connection to the real world, as RoI that is so much higher than the assets owned will not usually be entirely hands-off and risk-free.

Making several times your total capital assets in a year is generally not leisurely Independent Income. If it's not a pension or welfare for a character essentially without capital assets, it's probably the proceeds of investments so risky that they amount to adventuring.
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