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Old 04-12-2020, 04:43 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

This is a 'Reawakened' setting, that is to say, one where the 'Reawakened' advantage is important enough that most or all of the PCs should probably have it.

In this instance, people have very recently as of campaign start (meaning some time in 2020 if you don't want to fudge the dates) begun remembering past lives as masked 'mystery men' and 'mystery women' (heroic and otherwise) in the 1930s and '40s - and earlier, in a few cases. With those memories have come the skills and abilites that they once possessed, including some who were quite powerful. Some of these people remember dying (and in certain cases, coming back and adventuring as ghosts or undead), but a few do not, either due to the circumstances of their deaths, or because they were alive in mid-to-late 1950. No-one whose memories go past about mid-June of 1950 remembers dying, and no-one has any Reawakened memories that go later than about early November, 1950. During that period, a number of seers and other precogs reported that something was coming, that something big was going to happen, but they didn't know what. There are very few physical records of these people from that era, though, outside of comic books and other fiction... and sometimes not even then. In a number of cases, the cities and other regions that they remember do not exist, or are very different, and the records of people they knew are often likewise missing, or have strange alterations, like dates of death that are earlier or later than they should have been (e. g. the politician that you saved from an assassin died then, because you weren't there). It's as if some great and terrible power erased them all from existance.

What really happened:
Spoiler:  

Because these powers are so new, they have yet to have much effect on law, politics, or culture, and may even be believed to be hoaxes or urban legends at the time the campaign starts - not even that, if you start the first session with the first people who woke up with powers and new memories. Your actions may well shape how the world, or at least your part of it, responds to people with strange powers running around.

(I may be going too far in trying to avoid the character limits, but that is, I hope, better than doing too little and then needing to divide posts in illogical places. Also, I'm sure that I've seen spoiler tags working on this forum, so the above apparently not working is weird.
EDIT: Apparently you can't label the spoiler box inside the spoiler tag on this forum, like you can on some others.)
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 08-07-2020 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

I suggest creating two characters first: the 'past life,' and the present, pre-powers self. Then decide with the GM how much from the past life should be transferred to your modern self now, and what you'll work up to over time (and whether you'll go in a different direction than your 'past life' did). Depending on the game, you might start out with only vague memories of the past, or with complete detail, or anything in-between. Your past life should be something your present self is compatible with, which is to say that they should have similar personalities, and at least not wildly different body-types (a character who is transgender or otherkin might have a past life with a body-type that better matches their mind than their current body does, though). That doesn't mean that they should have the same personality in both bodies, though, just that they should be similar enough that you could believe that each was a version of the other. Likewise, one could be a villain in the past and a hero in the present, or vice versa.

You can choose to have an older character who was an adult or older child in 1950, with memories that partly match the past that they remembered before people started Reawakening, just with strange abilities and adventures added (Reawakened folk who were children or teens at the time would most likely remember being kid sidekicks, possibly to someone who is now much younger). The younger the character was in 1950, though, the more it makes sense for them to instead have the memories of some other powered person, who died before they were born. I recommend that older modern characters (anyone much over fifty at campaign start, in this context) have abilities that improve their health and restore to some degree attributes and abilities lost to aging, but that's not an absolute requirement.

Depending on the GM and the players, the past life might be an original character, or your adaptation of a character written by someone else (since you're presumably not trying to make a profit off of it). In case it matters to you, here's a wiki of Public Domain Super Heroes. The Free Universe is similar, but not a wiki. You might also find the Wold Newton Universe a useful resource, along with some related websites (that's just a sample, there are a number of others).

Pointwise, these Golden Age supers tend to be 250-point characters or higher, with sidekicks mostly being in the 100 to 200 point range (though some sidekicks were rather more powerful than that, sometimes beyond even the 'main' hero). Generally, I suggest that 500 point supers are uncommon, 1,000 point characters are rare, and 2,000+ point characters are very rare. Not all of them are human, as animals, aliens, robots, plant elementals, and other such beings have been seen.

Most active supers (and some who don't get out that much) will tend to have some form of Injury Tolerance (usually Damage Reduction), Damage Resistance, Enhanced Defences, Hard to Kill/Subdue, and/or some other means of not dying and not getting seriously wounded when people are shooting at you. 'Piercing Only' and 'Ranged Only' are reasonably common limitations to DR and IT: DR, though they tend to be on top of a less powerful variant that is less limited (because you can take a punch pretty well, too). Rapid Healing and Regeneration are also fairly common, and Luck-related advantages are very common. Even 'Super Normal' mystery men will tend to have these (generally under 'Savant' or 'Cinematic').
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

Power Modifiers:
  • Biological: Exists, but is uncommon.
  • Chi: Exists (subset of Magic).
  • Cinematic: Exists, and is fairly common.
  • Cosmic: Does not appear to exist.
  • Divine: Exists (subset of Magic).
  • Electronic: Exists, but is rare.
  • Elemental: Exists (subset of Magic); usually written as a specific Element, e.g. 'Fire Elemental, -10%.'
  • Magical: Exists, comprises the majority of powers.
  • Mechanical: Exists, but is uncommon.
  • Moral: Does not exist. Absolute morality is not part of this setting.
  • Mutant: Does not exist by itself (falls under Biological).
  • Nanotech: Does not exist (yet).
  • Nature: Exists (subset of Magic).
  • Psionic: Does not exist as a single Power, but individual Psi Power Talents do.
  • Savant: Exists, and is fairly common (sometimes a subset of Magic or various Psi Powers).
  • Spirit: Exists (subset of Magic).
  • Super: Does not exist as a separate Power.
  • Superscience: Exists, comprises most technological powers.

Cinematic and Savant powers comprise most abilities of 'Super Normal' characters. The latter comes from GURPS Supers p34 (in the Power Modifiers text box), while the former might be something that I came up with, or something that I saw elsewhere and forgot. The Cinematic power modifier is +0%, and covers all the implausible abilities that allegedly normal-but-well-trained humans in fiction are shown to be capable of - nothing too exotic, just things that are significant exaggerations of what normal people can do: IT: DR is reasonable at lower levels, as is Damage Resistance up to maybe 10; Regeneration (Slow) is the limit of HP Regeneration for Cinematic powers (and should be rare; it's more appropriate for Savant or more exotic powers), though Regeneration (Fast) is acceptable for FP Regeneration. Luck-related advantages and Recovery mostly make more sense under Cinematic than they do under Savant, though Enhanced Defences work well for both, as do Striking ST and possibly Elastic Skin; Regrowth doesn't fit either very well. IT: DR as a cinematic advantage is best justified as luck-related, IMHO: you were lucky that you didn't get as badly injured as you should have been. Note that mundane advantages don't generally need the modifier, though specific forms of them might, especially at higher levels (Will Eisner's The Spirit probably has both Hard to Kill (Cinematic, +0%) and Hard to Subdue (Cinematic, +0%) at 10, for example). Some Mystery Men/Women who are seen as 'Super Normal' types do have more exotic powers, but use them more subtly.

Magic will be explained in more detail in another post (or set of posts), but options include Magic As Powers, Path/Book Magic, Spirit Magic, and possibly Realm Magic for the really high-level magic-users.

Note that if your past self has Biological, Electronic, Mechanical, or Superscience abilities, how they manifest in your modern self may be tricky. Gadgets and such (especially Signature Gear/Assets, Named Possessions, and so on) can be found, likely having been placed somewhere that your modern self can easily access (which varies by Wealth and Status), or recreated if you have Gadgeteer or something similar, but something that was part of your past body is another matter. In general, if the 'past' body and the 'present' body are significantly different, especially if the 'past' character's powers are fully or partially due to that difference, the 'present' character may have an Alternate Form advantage, even if the 'past' self did not. Undead beings would generally count for this, unless the 'present' self Reawakened upon or shortly after death. If the 'past' self was a ghost or other spirit and the 'present' self is alive, the 'present' self might have Insubstantiality, some form of 'Astral' or 'Etherial' Projection, and/or some variant of Possession (depending on the abilities of the 'past' self), rather than an Alternate Form.

Gods and such exist, but do not have character sheets at their full power, nor do they ever manifest completely in the world (and you can't measure the power of one pantheon against the power of another; theologists can speculate all they want as to why Pantheon A doesn't wipe out Pantheon B, but they'll never get a clear answer). They do manifest avatars with a fraction of their power in the physical world, and those may have character sheets. 'Avatars' cover two different concepts: a body created just for the purpose of letting the god or goddess interact with mortals (Zeus does this occasionally, mostly to cheat on his wife), or a mortal with a compatible personality channeling some fraction of the power of a god (though some dispute whether this is all that different, or if the mortal was born for that purpose and just allowed to live their own life when not 'in use'), or of several gods, like Fawcett's Captain Marvel. In the case of mortal channelers, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if the mortal or the god is the one talking. Created bodies often have only a brief existence, being created, used for a few hours or days, and then dissipating. Some avatars straddle the line, like Doctor Fate, where the Helm of Fate serves as the wearer's connection to the Helm's creator, the ancient Mesopotamian god Nabu. There is some theological dispute about whether Jesus should be considered a demi-god or an avatar, and such disputes have sometimes gotten quite violent, including a sort of proto-crusade in the early 10th century CE that some of the 'past' characters might recall reading about (or witnessing or participating in, if you're using immortals or serial reincarnation, or if a godly avatar had been involved), but the present characters can find no records of.

Most creatures from GURPS Horror may be assumed to have existed (and some of them have also been Reawakened), but few are quite as threatening, due to PC capabilities. If you want to use vampires from GURPS Third Edition (e.g. GURPS Blood Types, GURPS Vampire the Masquerade, GURPS Vampire Companion, et cetra), I recommend using the 3e templates as inspiration and creating new 4e templates, rather than trying to faithfully convert them, but that's up to you. The same for werewolves and other such beings.


As it might matter for the PCs' modern lives, there are in fact people in real life who dress up in costumes and try to 'fight crime' (mostly social injustice, calling attention to building code violations, and so forth, but some are more like neighborhood watchfolk or actual vigilantes). The websites I was going to reference appear to be gone, but here's the Wikipedia article. Your present self (if going out in costume) might well have already been one, and if not, could be mistaken for same by those who have heard of them.

Nonhumans on the modern Earth can be Reawakened, but apart from dogs, cats, and similar animals, this is rare - Reawakened animals have an increased Unusual Background cost of 20 points instead of the usual 10 if their base template has IQ 4 or higher, or 25 if they have IQ 3 or less. Reawakened plants, fungi, and such have a Reawakened cost of 30. Non-living Reawakened that are capable of something like thought, such as computers, some modern vehicles, and some robots, have a Reawakened cost of 40, or 35 if the GM judges that they are highly 'intelligent' without Reawakening (like a mainframe or supercomputer). Non-living Reawakened that don't have anything resembling thought, like most cars, remote-controlled toys, guns, crowbars, or rocks, have a Reawakened cost of 50. Reawakening often increases the intelligence of otherwise non-sapient or presapient beings, and always increases the intelligence of entities with IQ 0. For computers, assume that Complexity is increased by at least half-again (round up), and may be doubled or more. In general, a Reawakened character should be intelligent enough that you can play them believably, while still having fun, and not preventing the rest of the group from having fun.

My default assumption is that the modern supers will be less powerful than their 'past selves,' generally having 75% to 90% of the past self's power levels or points-spent-on-powers, and having skill levels similarly lower (unless the past and present self share a skill).
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

Magic

Mana Levels

The world the Reawakened remember had mostly normal mana with variations, though a lot of it was Aspected and there were ley lines in many places. The modern world seems to be mostly low mana with variations, though again, there are many ley lines, and a lot of areas of Aspected mana (some at higher levels). Also, there is some evidence, according to those able to determine this, that the world had no or very low mana immediately before people started getting Reawakened.

The Mana Enhancer and Mana Damper advantages are fairly rare, but are not unknown.


Magery and Magic Resistance

Magery 0 works pretty much as normal, and rarely has limitations other than as part of a Gadget, or granted by a Familiar. The Magery talent is normally accompanied by the same level in Magic Resistance (Switchable, +50%) [3/level], Magic Resistance (Improved, +150%) [5/level], or Magic Resistance (Improved, +150%; Switchable, +50%) [6/level]. Magery being accompanied by unmodified Magic Resistance wouldn't make a lot of sense, and Magery combined with Magic Susceptibility would be especially odd in this setting, Magery with no form of Magic Resistance added is rare, but not unheard of. Either way, the Magery talent boosts skill with most variants of magic:
Magery is the Power Talent for Magic As Powers, Path/Book Magic, and Spirit Magic. Normal Magery has no effect on Realm magic; Realm Magery is a separate talent, though it has the same cost (alternatively, you can double the cost of Realm Magery, and have it act as both Realm Magery and normal Magery). Realm Magery is likewise often accompanied by some form of Magic Resistance. Note that there is no 'Realm Magery 0' advantage; that's covered by the individual Realms.

Limited Magery talent is rather more common than Magery talent without limitations added. 'Emergencies Only, -30%' is pretty common, as is 'Uncontrollable, -30%' if accompanied by an appropriate Wild Talent; 'Useless Under Stress, -60%' is somewhat common, especially for users of Path/Book Magic. One College Only does not appear due to the standard Spell-based system not being used, but Aspected Magery is a fairly close equivalent (choose an Aspect or Aspects, like an element or a concept, and the GM decides what the limitation is worth - mostly, it should be close to the cost of One College Magery), and is quite common.


Types of Magic

* Magic As Powers

This works pretty much the way Magic As Powers usually does. The other forms of magic are sometimes the origin of Magic as Powers, whether as a Gadget, or as a spell that has become a part of you. Critical failures are normally applied as normal Powers critical failures, except as otherwise noted.

Sorcery is probably not available in this setting, though magical Modular Abilities or sets of Alternative Abilities with various limitations are.

Divine Favor falls under this heading, but is pretty rare. Demi-gods tend to have it at high levels (12 or better), though they may also or instead have Realm Magic (which will be in a later post or posts). Divine avatars just have Realm Magic, as they don't need Divine Favor (unless the GM doesn't want to use Realm Magic at all, in which case they just have Divine Favor at 16 or higher). Normal mortals may have Divine Favor, but this is very rare; they're more likely to use some other power that they think is Divine Favor (or know isn't, but claim it is), or to have a power or set of powers with the 'Divine, -10%' limitation. In general, Divine Favor will tend to be specialized based on the portfolio of the specific deity.

While the powers of pantheons cannot be compared to other pantheons, it is possible to vaguely compare power levels within a particular pantheon; see the 'Totem Spirits as Patrons' and 'Divine Favor and Totems' sections of this article on Totem Spirits. You could also use this and GURPS Powers: Divine Favor to create a 'Demonic Favor' power, though I suggest that something like that should have a 'Corrupting, -20%' limitation.

Divine Favor critical failures are normally rolled on the "Clerical" Table (GURPS Thaumatology p257), unless specified otherwise - e. g. 'Demonic Favor' would tend to be rolled on either the Diabolic/Horrific Table (Thaumatology p258) or the Black Critical Table (GURPS Magic p157), and a Trickster God's follower might well roll on the Comedy Table (Thaumatology p257).

I recommend that GMs and players think VERY carefully and have an honest discussion about it before using any faith that the GM or players (or anyone likely to be observing) actually follows.

Powers based on Alchemy or Herb Lore are reasonably plausible. I suggest that in addition to the 'Magic, -10%' limitation, you add 'Pact (Ritualism), -5%' and/or some level of Preparation Required. A more versatile Powers-based alchemist/herbalist might have some form of Modular Abilities with Preparation Required, or perhaps have Gadget Slots. Gizmos could also be useful. Gadgeteer limited to a single skill works fairly well with Powers-based Alchemy or Herb Lore.

(I hit a point where I should have divided it further.)
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

* Path/Book Magic

This is the most common form of magic in-setting, because anyone can use it: You don't need any advantages to make it work, just skill and rituals. You do need Magery 0 to have other advantages that relate to it, such as Path/Book Adept or the Magery Talent (though you can have a Gadget made by someone else that grants Path/Book Adept without needing Magery 0); fortunately, Magery and related advantages are Learnable. This type of magic is one way that a character might develop powers without being Reawakened, and is a way that some of the past lives did get their powers: Apart from using the Fetish ritual to create a Gadget, frequent use of any specific ritual greatly increases the probability that a critical success will result in the caster gaining a magic-based power that works roughly like that ritual (if you have the points for it, or are willing and permitted to go into point debt).

The Gizmos advantage could be useful to pull out just the right charm for the job, or at least something close enough to work.

Path/Book Adept is relatively common among high-level mages and highly-skilled specialists, mostly with limitations of some sort (Aspected, One Path Only or One Book Only, Moon-phase limited, part of a Gadget, granted by a Familiar, and so on). In the absence of Path/Book Adept, it is common for adventuring Path/Book magicians to take a Rules Exemption perk removing the limit of having only one charm of a given type on one's person.

A few of the more common Path styles refer to the Paths as 'Colleges,' and have between twelve and twenty-three of them. Generally, use the Colleges of the standard spell system, but treat it as an Energy Accumulating Path style in which the energy cost for a ritual is equal to (spell's prerequisite count + 2). The Enchant spell is replaced by the Fetish ritual.

Symbolic Path/Book Magic uses the skills from Symbol Drawing Magic, with most of the system from Path/Book Magic: You still have Time, Ritual Space, and Material and Symbolic Components, but the symbolic components tend to be Symbol Tokens or related items, the core skill is Symbol Drawing, and the rituals (in Effect Shaping) default from the lowest skill with the Symbols involved. In Energy Accumulating styles, the skill roll is still that of the lowest Symbol. The use of this set of styles with Path/Book Adept generally involves drawing the symbols in the air with a finger or handheld implement, though with practice, one might do this with one's tongue.

Ritual Alchemy is Path/Book Magic that uses Alchemy or Herb Lore as the core skill. Most forms of Ritual Alchemy do not allow Path/Book Adept (Material), even if the other forms of PBA are available - you must have appropriate material components to use it. The one exception to this is Alchemy (Neidan), or Chinese internal alchemy.

Ritual Path Magic as written may exist in this setting if the GM wishes, but I suggest that it should be rare if it exists at all. Styles that work similarly, or that have some or all of the same Paths, might be more common.

There is no default critical failure table for Path/Book magic, although the Illusory Magic Table (Thaumatology p258) is oddly common, despite Path/Book magic not being all that illusory compared to other forms.


* Spirit Magic

This could be described as Magic As Allies, in that rather than doing the magic yourself, you have one or more spirit Allies who perform it. Generally, the spirits will have Magic As Powers. A Spirit-Magician with a lot of Allies might have them as a Modular Abilities advantage, like so: Allied Spirits (Cosmic Modular Abilities; Magic, -10%; Only for Allies with Summonable and Minion, -50%; Requires <Attribute> Roll, -10%) 1 [3]. The variants in 'Spirit Magic' as a psi ability could work in this setting, as long as the power limitation is switched out for something like 'Magic, -10%' or 'Spirits, -10%.' Ghostdancer did a helpful chart for ally/familiar/dependent costs in his blog (scroll down a little), which I highly recommend. Spirit Allies with Minion may be thought-forms created by the magician (see 'The Tulpa,' GURPS Horror p81). These tend to be less powerful than other spirits (even other sorts of spiritual Minions), or more limited in other ways.

Assisting Spirits (Thaumatology pp90-94) also falls into this, though instead of the spell-based system, the caster has a Spirit-Assisted version of Path/Book Magic or Magic as Powers (but generally not Realm Magic); it shares the same risks as the Spirit-Assisted Magic in that section.

The default critical failure table for most Spirit magic is of course the Spirit-Oriented Magic Table (Thaumatology p260), though depending on the type of spirits one normally contracts with, other tables are plausible.
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

Realm Magic

Realm magic is said to be the highest, deepest, most pure form of magic. This is true reality manipulation, independent of mana levels, and conceptually superior to other forms of magic - meaning that when Realm magic comes into direct conflict with other forms of magic, Realm magic tends to win (see below). Indirect conflicts work as if magic were not involved, e.g. no matter how it was obtained, a bucket's worth of water will generally still put out a small campfire, even if the fire was started, or conjured, by Realm magic. Few are the mortals that wield this power (and the GM may want to forbid it to PCs, outside of high-level games, or charge an Unusual Background for it, the sixth level especially); it is primarily the domain of godly avatars, demi-gods, fae lords, greater demons, and others of that nature, and most mortals who can use it learned it from one or another of them.

When a Realm magic attack is directed against a defence generated by another power source, or an attack from another source is directed against a Realm magic defence, the effectiveness of Realm magic for the purpose of penetrating or resisting penetration is multiplied: Armor Divisor 10 or Hardened 10 against 'lesser' magics; AD 5 or H 5 against psi; no Divisor nor Hardened against anything else (including other Realm magic, unless the user specifically modifies the effect to have it). The same is true for directly creating changes, e.g. using Realm magic to shape weather in opposition to a psychic weather manipulator.

In this setting, Realm Magic has no FP or ER costs. Margin of Success determines how powerful the result is. If you get more than you need, you determine in what way the result is better, as long as the GM finds it acceptable. If the result is less than you intended, the GM determines in what way the effect is weaker. In terms of damage, the MoS is the number of dice of damage done (e.g. a roll that succeeds by 2 can do 2d damage, success by 5 does 5d damage, et cetra; success by 0 does either 1d-3 (minimum 1) damage or 1d(0.5) damage), before any modifiers are applied. MoS*3 is the normal DR of defences, before any modifiers are applied. For equivalent power levels of other advantages, MoS*1 is equivalent to the given power level unless the GM decides otherwise, and a MoS of 0 is equivalent to a more limited version of the first level, with the limitation or limitations normally being determined by the GM. You may choose to make several rolls over the course of multiple turns (or the same turn with an appropriate advantage at sufficient level, like Altered Time Rate), to build up a greater MoS; see Extended Workings, GURPS Thaumatology p184.

Optionally, FP, ER, or Threshold-Limited magic may be used to multiply the effective margin of success:

1 point for MoS *1.5
2 points for MoS *2
4 points for MoS *3
8 points for MoS *5
16 points for MoS *7
32 points for MoS *10
and so on.

This cannot save you from a critical failure, nor create a critical success.

I suggest using Threshold-Limited magic for mortals who have Realm magic, and FP or ER for demigods and divine avatars (possibly FP for demigods and ER for avatars, but either way they will likely have it at high levels, and may have some level of Fatigue Regeneration or ER Regeneration).

Casting time varies from style to style and user to user, but in all cases, the rules for Modifying Casting Time (Thaumatology pp183-184) apply. It's generally believed that the more powerful you are, the less time you need, though that is more a factor of high skill and high levels of Realm Magery. Mortal Realm mages are sometimes limited to casting times of minutes rather than seconds, and have a limitation applied to their Realms to account for this (e.g. some variant of Immediate Preparation Required). If you have some Realms with a limitation and some without, note that in any working that uses a limited Realm, the limitation applies, even if that is not the highest Realm used in the working. If Realms in a working have different limitations, all limitations apply. If this means that some Realms cannot be used together, then they cannot be used together. Think carefully before adding limitations to Realms.

The critical failure table for Realm Magic is nearly always the "Reality-Warping" Table (Thaumatology p259).


Realm Magic styles:

Most Realm styles are unique to the individual, or nearly so, though they do have things in common: The Realms are generally divided into five regular levels, with a sixth, Transcendent level that even among Realm mages is rarely seen; in a few cases, the fifth and even fourth level is also rarely seen. Avatars might have one or two Realms at the sixth level, those being the Realms most associated with that god, but it would be quite surprising if a demi-god did (some experienced demi-gods, near to becoming gods themselves, might have it). Mortals with a sixth level would be legendary.

The number of Realms per style varies widely. While it is theoretically possible to have a style with only one Realm and no Weaknesses, no such style has ever been observed. The fewest known Realms to a style is two, generally opposites (Yin and Yang, Angra Mainyu and Spenta Mainyu, et cetra), and is is rare to see a style with less than four Realms. Likewise, while there is no upper limit to the number of Realms a style may have, styles with more than thirteen or fourteen are extremely rare.

A few Realm styles can be considered somewhat common, in the sense of more than one or two practitioners being alive at a time (not counting temporary avatars), though it's more like the styles are similar enough to be treated as the same style for gaming purposes. Path styles with similar philosophies, and Paths that embody the same concepts as these Realms, are far more common.

One of the more common of these (meaning that there are usually more than a dozen users alive or manifested at any one time) is a nine-Realm style with a variety of names including 'Music of the Spheres,' 'Realms of Yggdrasil,' and several others:

Realm of Energy
Realm of Life
Realm of Luck
Realm of Magic
Realm of Matter
Realm of Mind
Realm of Space
Realm of Spirit
Realm of Time

The character point cost per level per Realm is 10.

The names of specific Realms also vary from user to user (e.g. the Realm of Luck being called Chance, Probability, or even Entropy).

The normal casting time for this style is the standard from Thaumatology p183: (highest-level Realm involved + 2) seconds.


There are two elemental Realm styles that are fairly common:

Eastern:
Realm of Earth
Realm of Fire
Realm of Metal
Realm of Water
Realm of Wood

Western:
Realm of Air
Realm of Earth
Realm of Fire
Realm of Water
Realm of Ether

The traditional Japanese elemental style uses a similar list of elements to the Western style, though 'Ether' is instead called 'Void,' and the philosophy of the style is different.

In both cases, the character point cost per level per Realm is 20.

There is no standard casting time for either of these styles, although (highest-level Realm involved * number of Realms involved) seconds is somewhat common.


Hedge Realm Magic (inspired by dataweaver's idea here) is both the most common Realm style (there may have been as many as a thousand practitioners alive in 1950, though there are far fewer on the 'modern' Earth), and the only known Realm style with an uncertain (though very large) number of Realms. Each Realm corresponds to a mundane skill (e.g. Carpentry or Shortsword) or a slightly esoteric skill (e. g. Fortune-Telling or Esoteric Medicine), and some say that every skill has an associated Realm, though this is uncertain. Generally, the only skills that do not appear to have Hedge Realms are those that already have an associated magic system or systems: Alchemy & Herb-Lore, Ritual Magic (and associated Paths or Books), Symbol Drawing (and the individual Symbols), and Thaumatology are the most obvious examples; they may have their own Realm styles, but are not part of this one. Like most of the other known styles, there are six levels per Realm in theory, but unlike the others, Hedge Realm mages with levels above three in any Hedge Realm are so rare as to be practically non-existent - you're more likely to encounter two people with about a dozen Hedge Realms at up to the third level than one with any Hedge Realm at level four.

The character point cost per level per Realm is 5, unless the GM wishes to fudge the rules to make it even lower, due to the large number of possible Realms.

The normal casting time for this style depends on how long it takes to use the base skill normally, but in the absence of other factors, tends to be around (highest-level Realm involved) seconds. In general, assume that using Hedge Ream Magic takes longer than using the base skill, or is harder in some other way, or both.


Neo-Jacksonian Realm Magic:

Not the most common style, nor the least, this style is notable for being connected to the College Path styles, above.

Realm of Air (also includes Sound)
Realm of Earth
Realm of Fire
Realm of Illusion and Creation
Realm of Life and Death (Body Control, Healing, Death & Undead aspects of Necromancy)
Realm of Light and Darkness
Realm of Making and Breaking
Realm of Magic (Enchantment and Meta-Spells, spiritual/demonic part of Necromancy)
Realm of Mind (Communication & Empathy, Knowledge, and Mind Control)
Realm of Movement (also includes Gate)
Realm of Nature (Animal, Food, Plant, Weather)
Realm of Protection
Realm of Technology
Realm of Water

The character point cost per level per Realm is 5.

The normal casting time for this style is (highest-level Realm involved) seconds.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:23 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

I am not sure if Realm Magic will get you the effect that you want. When talking about MoS, that is a pain in the rear, especially for 250 CP character, as you need skill 12+ for minor effects, 16+ for moderate effects, and 20+ for major effects. Each Realm Skill is IQ/VH, which means that efficiently designed magicians would favor very high IQ (14+ for dabblers and 16+ for practitioners). Then you have the cost of the Realms, which generally require level 3 for optimal utility.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

In one of the later issues of Pyramid, I think the one on epic gaming, I offered a setting where supers emerged from reality tectonics. Like you, I didn't use the Super modifier as such. I made up a few more modifiers, including Trained, a 0% modifier specifically designed for "super normals."
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I am not sure if Realm Magic will get you the effect that you want. When talking about MoS, that is a pain in the rear, especially for 250 CP character, as you need skill 12+ for minor effects, 16+ for moderate effects, and 20+ for major effects. Each Realm Skill is IQ/VH, which means that efficiently designed magicians would favor very high IQ (14+ for dabblers and 16+ for practitioners). Then you have the cost of the Realms, which generally require level 3 for optimal utility.
Given that Realm magic is mostly supposed to be very rare and powerful anyway, limiting it mainly to the high-point-value characters is not a downside, nor is requiring high skill levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In one of the later issues of Pyramid, I think the one on epic gaming, I offered a setting where supers emerged from reality tectonics. Like you, I didn't use the Super modifier as such. I made up a few more modifiers, including Trained, a 0% modifier specifically designed for "super normals."
I'll have to look for it. Sounds interesting, and now I wonder if I read it at some point.
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 04-13-2020 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Pulp/Supers] Reawakened Heroes of a Golden Age

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
I'll have to look for it. Sounds interesting, and now I wonder if I read it at some point.
While I'm without broadband at the moment, it's in my downloads: Pyramid 3 102. There are half a dozen new or variant modifiers, including Trained.
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