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Old 01-20-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

Hello Folks,
For those who might be interested - there was a provision in GURPS MAGIC for 3e (ie GURPS CLASSIC_MAGIC) that stated you could not pull people off the street, pay them money, and expect to be able to use them in a ritual spell casting.

Problem is - what does this mean in game play. It was never really stated, and the rules don't give any specific guidelines on how to implement that. All the GM knows is that if someone is opposed to the process, the energy gathered during the ritual was penalized by -5, otherwise the caster would gain +1 energy per spectator.

So, what game mechanism does GURPS have for determining the mindset of NPC's if the GM hasn't already decided on his own what it is? How do we know if a mage is about to cast Bless Plants, that Farmer A isn't feuding with Farmer B and emotionally wishes the spell would fail even if mentally he's hoping it will succeed?

Well, wonder no more. :)

Roll a reaction roll:

Bad = "Opposed - wants the spell to fail, lose 5 energy"
Neutral = "Doesn't care - doesn't help or hinder for zero energy"
Good = "Sincerely wishes to help and wants the spell to succeed."

Some of you might end up rolling reaction rolls for 100 people at a time, but some might rather not, and use an excel spreadsheet to do it for you - or write code to do it for you.

If anyone wants the spreadsheet that permits you to enter how many people are spectators, along with a "General Disposition" modifier - and then give you a final total of how much energy was provided for that ritual, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Let's say you have a mage who has charisma 2, is respected by the village because he has a duty to friends and has always been friends with everyone. That's good for another +2 bonus. Last but not least, you as GM might say that in general, people want the spell to succeed, so I'm granting a +2 bonus.

Overall, General Disposition has been set to +6.

100 people: 85 points

why? Out of 100 people, 2 got a natural 3 reaction roll. Even with a +6, that becomes a bad reaction, for -10 energy. Of the remainder 5 got a modified neutral reaction result of 10 or 11. So they contributed 0 points to the ritual.

Now, if I entered in 50 people, the energy returned was 48 this time. Same 50 for the next spell cast, resulted in 49 energy (all with a general disposition of +6). Now, suppose the mage doesn't have a reputation with these people, doesn't have charisma or anything else? With a Disposition of 0, the results for 50 people were for 5 attempts:

-101
-94
-95
-107
-96

This is why you don't just take people off the street and ask them to help.

If it were me? If you use this method for your own games, I would suggest reducing the -5 penalty to something more manageable. Alternatively?

Award a different penalty based on the reaction level itself

Disastrous: -5
Very Bad: -3
Bad: -2
Poor: -1
Neutral: 0
Good: 1
Very Good: 2
Excellent: 3
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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Hello Folks,

For those who might be interested - there was a provision in GURPS MAGIC for 3e (ie GURPS CLASSIC_MAGIC) that stated you could not pull people off the street, pay them money, and expect to be able to use them in a ritual spell casting. (...)
Sounds very nice!

Do you think this could work for say... that anime series Genki Dama or WH40K's Slaanesh's mind-warping powers?

I would like to see that spread-sheet, thanks in advance!
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:09 PM   #3
hal
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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Sounds very nice!

Do you think this could work for say... that anime series Genki Dama or WH40K's Slaanesh's mind-warping powers?

I would like to see that spread-sheet, thanks in advance!
I must confess that I've little experience with either of Anime or Warhammer 40K.

Why not describe it a little more? I'm always willing to help create spreadsheets for people.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:14 PM   #4
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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Originally Posted by hal View Post

Overall, General Disposition has been set to +6.

100 people: 85 points

why? Out of 100 people, 2 got a natural 3 reaction roll. Even with a +6, that becomes a bad reaction, for -10 energy. Of the remainder 5 got a modified neutral reaction result of 10 or 11. So they contributed 0 points to the ritual.
Of course that assumes that all those people who don't want to help won't take some alternative course like saying no, or punching the witch in the face for daring to suggesting they would help with a blasphemous defiance of God's law.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:26 PM   #5
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

I think I might set the zero a little lower. Most people do desire to help others, or to do a good job, as long doesn't actually cost them anything. So it seems to me Neutral is probably good enough for 1 point.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:20 PM   #6
hal
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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I think I might set the zero a little lower. Most people do desire to help others, or to do a good job, as long doesn't actually cost them anything. So it seems to me Neutral is probably good enough for 1 point.
Part of the problem if you will - is why is it a -5 penalty for energy when someone actively wants the spell to fail?

The phrase "because we said so" comes to mind. Ironically, that answer works for me either way! But if this is going to be an "alternative methodology" - it might be good to have a reasoning behind why things are as they are.

If we went strictly with a three state set up - if you resist, you offset energy by your own PERSONAL resistance (worth -1). If you don't care either way, then you don't help either way. If you care, then your personal energy goes into the pot (so to speak) worth +1.

The people off the street who don't care, aren't helping, but not hindering either. They may make the noises, mutter the words, but their hearts just aren't in it.

Now, were we to go the route of "You have your HEART set on the result" then we might go to a five state set up...

-2 (absolutely hate it)
-1 (resisting it, but no passion)
-0 (don't care either way)
+1 (want it to succeed, but no real passion)
+2 (want it to succeed passionately)

We could go the route of specifying that a critical failure will affect those who are passionate?

In any event, that's why I had a "General Disposition value" for the spreadsheet. If it is planting time, and the people genuinely love the land, genuinely want to help their neighbors, a +1 bonus might apply on the reaction table. If they are really of a mind to help others (selfless perhaps?) then perhaps a +2 bonus on the General Disposition.

Now for the other thing...

Suppose you have a small village - with a mage who is beloved (charisma) but the spell being cast is on the Village Reeve, whom people dislike because he collects the Lord's taxes AND he's brutal about it. Whose "charisma" applies in this case?

If the spell caster is trying to cast Rain - largely because the fields are wilting and people are desperate - as the GM, you might assess a +5 bonus.

Note: Rolling 3d6, the lowest roll possible is a 3. The lowest "Bad result" possible is a 9. I can't help but wonder if the General Disposition of the crowd should never be set above a +6? Likewise, 18-6 = 12, which is the lowest good reaction possible.

Part of me is of a mind to see if I can tinker with the spreadsheet to permit the GM to set specific reactions ahead of time for "known" NPC's and such. Reaction rolls are supposed to be for those NPC's the GM hasn't predetermined the mindset for.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:34 PM   #7
hal
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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Of course that assumes that all those people who don't want to help won't take some alternative course like saying no, or punching the witch in the face for daring to suggesting they would help with a blasphemous defiance of God's law.
There is that. But let's take this a step further...

What if the issue of not being able to be paid money and made to participate in a ceremony represents something more basic...

Emotion.

What if - in this game universe (because the GM said so!) - any attempt to cast circle magic will result in spell backfires affecting EVERYONE who participates.

If you're a kid named Abner (sorry, picking Abner from the comics - not to slight anyone named Abner!!!) who lives in a medieval village. You've heard wanderers talk about the great miscast of Wentworthington. It was there, that fifty villagers took part in helping a mage cast a spell, and it instead, resulted in 55 demons showing up and carrying off all 55 participants in the circle casting - all to HELL!

Abner is just plain nervious about it. Nothing that anyone tells him allays his fears, and when asked to handle the candle, he bravely smiles and tells his mom "I can do this Mom!". Deep down, he's afraid, even if rationally, he's all for helping.

Then there is the joker who is having a fight with the person for whom the spell is being cast. He knows that if he resists, the spell will be less effective or maybe not even work. He is emotionally angry with the guy, and he's actively resisting. THAT might be how he's able to sap 5 points of energy for the spell casting, because he's sort of working a common hedgewitch's spell - using anger to cause a wish fulfillment kind of thing.

It all depends on how you want magic to work. Magic may be rational - it may be emotional, or it may be the control of emotions with the rational mind - or something else entirely. <shrug>
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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I must confess that I've little experience with either of Anime or Warhammer 40K.

Why not describe it a little more? I'm always willing to help create spreadsheets for people.
Very (very) roughly:

The Genki Dama is a ball of energy (some sort of spell if you wish), build by gathering the energy of the creatures in the universe. The "caster" usually asks all the beings in the universe for their energy. IN exchange, the "caster" saves the world (i.e. defeats a boss with the spell, provided it hits)

Slaneesh feeds from the lust of the “Dark Elves” from WH40K. If you are his “disciple”, he empowers you to gather such energy to cast magic (buffs, de-buffs, attacks, etc.).
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:59 PM   #9
hal
 
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Default Re: Sincere belief and desire to help is required - how I handled it

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Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Very (very) roughly:

The Genki Dama is a ball of energy (some sort of spell if you wish), build by gathering the energy of the creatures in the universe. The "caster" usually asks all the beings in the universe for their energy. IN exchange, the "caster" saves the world (i.e. defeats a boss with the spell, provided it hits)

Slaneesh feeds from the lust of the “Dark Elves” from WH40K. If you are his “disciple”, he empowers you to gather such energy to cast magic (buffs, de-buffs, attacks, etc.).
The Genki Dama sounds like something I'd hate to have to roll reaction rolls for. How many sentient beings are there in this Universe anyhow? *teasing grin*

My guess is that you may want to model Slaneesh more on something else, maybe a pact or something. If the power availability is capricious - then you might model that more as an "availability" number for powers kind of thing.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:16 PM   #10
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My guess is that you may want to model Slaneesh more on something else, maybe a pact or something. If the power availability is capricious - then you might model that more as an "availability" number for powers kind of thing.
In fact, the way these "powers" actually work, is by torturing people. And so, the pain of the victims and the joy/lust of the torturer start providing "energy points" to Slaneesh. And then Slaneesh grants you powers. Maybe all I need is rely on the "negative reaction" rolls.

By the way, your tool also seems pretty nice to model the RAW ability of a potentially "face" character.
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