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Old 01-06-2020, 08:12 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Basically, a set of alternate magical categories for various magic systems (inspired by, but not the same as, the Colors of Magic from Andre Norton's Witchworld books, as interpreted by GURPS Witchworld), with examples from the main GURPS system, the Path/Book Magic system Thaumatology (4e), and the Ritual Path Magic system from Monster Hunters and Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic. (Some of these are denser than others, making me wonder if changes should perhaps be made.) If I were to use this set as a Realm style, the cost would tend to be 10 points per level, per Realm, with five normal levels, and a sixth that would be much harder to obtain, if allowed to mortals at all.


Red is the magic of the body, of animals and healing.
(Colleges of Animals, Body Control, and Healing; Paths of Health and Form, and animal aspects of Path of Nature; RPM Path of Body)

Orange is the power of Fire and Smoke, of Light and Shadows.
(Colleges of Fire and Light & Darkness, illusion spells from College of Illusion and Creation; Path of Cunning, Fire and Light/Shadow aspects of Path of Elements; Light and Fire aspects of RPM Path of Energy)

Yellow covers spells of Air and the Mind, and of fortelling the future and observing the past and present.
(Colleges of Air, Communication & Empathy, Knowledge, Mind Control, Sound, and Weather, Warning spells from Protection & Warning; Paths of Dreams and Knowledge, Air aspects of Path of Elements, Weather aspects of Path of Nature; RPM Path of Mind, Electricity and Sound aspects of RPM Path of Energy)

Green sings of the magics of the Earth, of plants and the works of Man.
(Colleges of Earth, Food, Making & Breaking, Plant Control, and Technology, creation spells from College of Illusion and Creation, and Protection aspects of Protection & Warning; Paths of Gadgets and Protection, Earth aspects of Path of Elements, Plant aspects of Path of Nature; RPM Path of Matter)

Blue is the magic of Water and motion, and of other planes.
(Colleges of Gate, Movement, and Water; Kinetic (if any) and Water aspects of Path of Elements; RPM Path of Crossroads, Kinetic aspects of RPM Path of Energy)

Indigo, more than any other colour, speaks to the Spirits, and to Magic, itself.
(Colleges of Enchantment and Meta-Spells, Spirit and Demon spells from the College of Necromancy; Path of Spirits; RPM Paths of Magic and Spirit)

Purple is a matter of Fate and Destiny, but also of Death and the Undead.
(Bless and Curse from College of Meta-Spells, Wish spells from College of Enchantment, Undead spells from the College of Necromancy; Path of Luck, Embody from Path of Spirits; RPM Paths of Chance and the Undead)


Thoughts?
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:12 AM   #2
Gef
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Well, color schemes are useful. My fantasy campaign incorporates multiple sources of magic power, some with different mechanics frex standard, threshold, path/book, and psi or chi. For anyone who can sense magic, color indicates its source, not what a particular application does.

Your scheme sounds like a good fit for realm magic in thaumatology. -GEF
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:44 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

GURPS Witch World had nine colors of magic: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, indigo, Violet, Purple, and Brown (Shadow would form a tenth forbidden color). That would actually not be a bad framework for a RPM system...
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:00 PM   #4
Culture20
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Woe to the colorblind mage!
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

And of course there's Warhammer's Winds of Magic, each of which has a color:

White: Wind of Hysh, Lore of Light
Gold: Wind of Chamon, Lore of Metal (and Alchemy)
Jade: Wind of Ghyran, Lore of Life
Celestial: Wind of Azyr, Lore of the Heavens
Grey: Wind of Ulgu, Lore of Shadows
Amethyst: Wind of Shyish, Lore of Death
Bright: Wind of Aqshy, Lore of Fire
Amber: Wind of Ghur, Lore of Beasts

(In addition there are non-colored magics, like necromancy, Skaven magic, etc.)

Magic has the classic Red, Green, Blue, White, and Black.

The DC universe has the various Lantern Corps, who really might as well be magical sometimes. (And Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott actually was a magic user, of sorts.)

I think using colors as an organizational scheme is one that works well for getting a good hook on things; you can tell the players, "So-and-so is a red mage, so watch out for blood magic and poor impulse control," or "She's a green mage and is protected by the spirits of the plains."

The other nice thing about the concept is its flexibility, as the OP demonstrates.

It also ties into something I've been thinking about lately; universal magic systems where everything and anything can be accomplished by the magic are good and all, but I'm finding myself more intrigued by limited magic, where some things simply aren't possible in magic - whether that's an ironclad law of the universe or just a lack of knowledge among the magical community. If some colors are impossible for humans to use, or using them carries a heavy price, I think it makes for some fun gameplay.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

And then there's MtG colors (Black, Blue, Green, Red, White) (I somewhat wonder if there's a connection between MtG and the PC game Master of Magic, which uses the same colors).
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:30 AM   #7
Culture20
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
And then there's MtG colors (Black, Blue, Green, Red, White) (I somewhat wonder if there's a connection between MtG and the PC game Master of Magic, which uses the same colors).
And for essentially the same effects. Life/Good, Death/Evil, Metamagic/wind/water, Chaos/Fire, Nature.

If I remember correctly, MoM came first, then MtG. Of course I might just be remembering my exposure order.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
If I remember correctly, MoM came first, then MtG. Of course I might just be remembering my exposure order.
Publication date was MtG Aug 1993, MoM Sep 1994, though given lead time on software and time of MtG through the distribution chain it would be pretty challenging to have based MoM on MtG.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post

Thoughts?
Colors are nice and useful, quick to grasp. The arrangement seems to make sense. But the point cost seems to mean most mages will specialize, save dabblers who might be decent at many things (and thus be advantaged if they achieve surprise) but masters of none. Serious professionals will probably choose two colors, and true specialists will choose one - being masters at that but incapable of anything outside that scope.
If this is the intention, then fine.

Somewhat surprising that there's no black magic, considered that that seems the main color attributed to magic in this world.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Somewhat surprising that there's no black magic, considered that that seems the main color attributed to magic in this world.
black magic is purple in the above system.

Green seems a little odd to me, in that it covers "The works of man". Is this because metal, pottery, and so forth come from "earth"?
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