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Old 04-15-2018, 07:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Any spell that exists must be in some way learnable without a teacher or text. After all, who taught that teacher, and who taught his teacher? Someone had to be the first one to learn it. Such a character might be inventing or rediscovering magic that no one else can perform.
Well, one could use invention rules for making new magic spells. So if they are not normally available it may be possible to create them.

I personally envision that all the spells were basically invented with invention rules and then spread.

Bugs in spell invention can be specially "interesting"
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

Sorry for the delay in response. Two 12 hour work days plus a power outage will do that... ;)

Ok, having identified some of the issues involved with magery 3 spells, and the inherent issues of spell research/study etc. - let's place the show on a different foot as it were. To wit:

What would you do to attain limited immortality of you were a status 4 individual? How about status 7? What would you do if you couldn't get your hands on a magery 3 spell caster but your worst enemy did?

Now, for purposes of this thread, and the fact that we've done little to define the society involved so as to keep this thread generally generic - using only those spells listed in GURPS MAGIC for 4e, identify how mages would (absent divine methods!) determine who has magery at all, and how they'd go about determining the magery potential?

For example, in a pitch black environment, and having a magic item enchanted with CONTINUAL MAGE LIGHT allows those with magery to see - and any test involving vision in a dark room will potentially identify those with some level of magery. But how to identify those with magery 3 might be a bit more difficult.

Now, absent wild magic, where unlearned spells may be cast and learned, if the character has all of the requisite spells AND a free character point to memorize the wildly cast spell - what would be required (in your opinion based on the rules) to research any of the existing spells with a requisite magery 3, that the potential student wishes to learn, absent any books or teachers?

The idea here, is to explore the ramifications of GURPS MAGIC not only for the players per se, but upon the game world if you want to be a world builder?

If magery 3 characters are 1 in 10,000 people, and IQ 12+ is such that only 40% of the magery 3 population are that smart - what effect might that have on society?
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

Have you paid attention to what people have posted?

The existence of people with Magery 3 does not matter. You've asked the wrong question.

The questions that matter:
1. What spells or abilities exist in the setting?
2. How many people have those spells or abilities?
3. How many people know those spells or abilities exist?
4. How many people can find those who have those spells or abilities?

Once you've answered those questions, you can start to discuss ramifications, but not before then.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Originally Posted by edk926 View Post
The Death Spells are Magery 3 if you have that supplement.
Killing people is easy. You don't need to go out of your way to find people who can kill someone.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Hello Folks,
As promised in another thread, I thought I'd open this thread up to discuss the effects on life for a player character who takes Magery 3 in a game universe where Magery 3 is not a common affair.

Ok, let's presume for the sake of argument, that your character is a freeman (ie born to parents with status 0 but less than 2). Let's further suppose that the "kingdom" your character belongs in, does not have magical colleges - but uses a Master/Apprentice style of teaching. In other words, the only spells your character can gain, are those that your master knows, and once you are freed from being an Apprentice, the only spells you can gain afterwards are those you can teach yourself via books, or can hire a spell caster to teach (ie 200 hours of teaching with reference materials and the like).

Now, Look at all of those spells that require Magery 3 before they can be learned and cast.

What do you think would happen to your character if word got out that you had magery 3? Who would pursue you? Why would you be pursued? Who might your enemies be strictly because you have magery 3? Who might your friends be?

How difficult might it be to amass more Magery 3 level spells if the only way to learn them, is if you have magery 3? Put another way? The only TEACHERS you can find, will be those with Magery 3.

Gimmicks: Perhaps Magery 2 is your normal magery, but you also have 1 level of Healing College Magery (making you effectively Magery 3 in Healing magic college spells, but magery 2 in all others)?

The purpose of this thread in general, is to get creative juices flowing more in the vein of "World building" than anything else. It is designed to get you (the reader) to think "what if I were that character, and I had to live in that game universe like I do in reality?"

Next question to consider: what would happen if instead of being a freeman, you were a Serf? Then, what happens if you're noble born instead of either a serf or freeman?
One thing that needs to be looked out is how magic works in the setting. Does Ritual Magic exist? If so does it follow Path or Books quidelines?

For example, the Slayer anime series uses Ritual Magic with some aspects of the Power Investiture thrown. This set up allows mages to pick up spells really quickly (Lina is able to learn Ragna Blade from a incomplete book on the spell) but requires them to practice to be good with the spell.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post

Have you paid attention to what people have posted?
A mite confrontational wouldn't you agree?

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
The existence of people with Magery 3 does not matter. You've asked the wrong question.

The questions that matter:
1. What spells or abilities exist in the setting?
2. How many people have those spells or abilities?
3. How many people know those spells or abilities exist?
4. How many people can find those who have those spells or abilities?

Once you've answered those questions, you can start to discuss ramifications, but not before then.
So, let's look at the questions you want answered...

1) let's presume that we're using GURPS CLASSIC spell lists for now, for reasons that this particular individual (me!) largely disliked the spells introduced in GURPS GRIMOIRE as being over the top, and largely feels that GURPS MAGIC for 4e just made things worse, not better.

2) what spells or abilities exist in the setting. Unless one is talking about a SPECIFIC campaign universe, each game world can vary from the next by a wide margin. Two people running a GURPS BANESTORM campaign won't have the same viewpoints on what is what, let alone someone using GURPS FANTASY 1st edition or GURPS FANTASY 2nd edition (not to be confused with GURPS FANTASY for 4e as a genre book rather than a game setting world). But let's go with this shall we?

1 in 50 have any magery at all, generally speaking, magery 0. That's 2% for those inclined to do the numbers. Of those, only 1 in 10 might actively be trying to pursue a career in magic, casting only those spells that do not require magery. In GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, all that existed was Magery 1 through 3, and the only way spells that didn't require magery to cast, is if they were cast in a mana high area. Thanks to the evolution in GURPS MAGIC from the late 1980's on up to present day, we will have those who want to know "what about magery 0!". So, If only 1 in 10 individuals with magery will become actual practioners (for the sake of argument) and Magery 1 is 10 times rarer than magery 0, and magery 2 is 10 times rarer than magery 1, with magery 3 the rarest of all, at 1/10th the numbers of Magery 2 - we get the following ratios:
1000 Magery 0
100 Magery 1
10 Magery 2
1 Magery 3

If only 2% of the population has magery of any kind, that means that out of a population of 500,000 (1/4 the population of England circa 1200 AD), we're looking at 10,000 with mageborn talent. Breaking that down into numbers for each magery level...

10,000/1111 = 9.0009

Breaking it down to actual numbers, we get 9,000 with magery 0, 900 with magery 1, 90 with magery 2, and 9 with magery 3.

Demographically speaking, roughly 30 to 40% of a human population tends to be children. So, call it 6,000 adult magery 0, 600 magery 1, 60 magery 2 and 6 magery 3.

We're short by one mage due to the factions involved, so let's call it a magery 1 extra man just for giggles.

3) Let's presume that all spells known in GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC have been known to exist and history recorded them in one form or another. Mages who invented the spells wrote them down in books. Apprentices copied the master's books whether they could cast the spells or not. Enough copies of the spell books exist such that for magery 1 and magery 2 spells, all are available somewhere. For Magery 3 spells, a mage has to spend time searching for the spell books in out of the way places, ancient libraries, tombs, etc. Then a select few spells for magery 3 will exist as living knowledge for the 6 or so adult magery 3 mageborn that are out there in this mythical kingdom of 500,000 people. Of those 500,000, historical patterns indicate that roughly 50,000 will reside in cities and/or towns, the remainder will be in villages involved in raising food stuffs.

4) um, not certain what you're asking with #4. Are you asking how many are ever successful in discovering they have magery 3, and seek out masters with magery 3, and are taken in by their potential teachers? Or are you asking for something else?

Aura as a spell will suggest whether or not someone has magery. It also states that if the roll is good enough, about how powerful said magery is (I presume it means what level of magery). Aside from that, we're not looking at an awful lot of methods for determining who has what in a classic GURPS campaign.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

Now, the question arises - what effect does being a Mage with Magery 3 do in general?

As was pointed out, Magery 2 with Halt aging amulets might be more useful than a mage casting YOUTH spells left and right. On the other hand, being able to cast YOUTH on an old man willing to pay anything for said spell, is going to be very interesting - what would YOU do if you were dying of old age and could be made more youthful?

Now, hypothetically speaking, with 6 adult mageborn with magery 3, what might a King of our hypothetical kingdom do? How much would he pay to have such a mage on his staff? What spells would he be willing to subsidize as payment for the mage on his staff? Who might want to KILL said mage? Why?

What damage could such a mage do to the Kingdom with any of the spells (not just those in GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC, but GURPS MAGIC for 4e) that require Magery 3?

A Greater Wish produced by an IQ 15, DX 15 Mage would require roughly 5.5 years of said mage's life to create. But with a greater wish, he can cast any spell with up to 1,000 energy available for said spell. Pretty powerful no?

What about a mage who uses Exchange Bodies on innocents? He can simply switch his body for a younger one - and go from there right?

If people want to list every Magery 3 spell, and then say "if this were my character who had this spell, this is what I'd do" - by all means, go for it. If GM's want to ask "Ok, how can a Mageborn with Magery 3 be dangerous" it might be nice to list a few such characters built upon say, 150 points to say, 250 points (nod to Dungeon Fantasy point levels!).

In short? Discuss the implications of the spells, human nature, etc - and see what comes out of the discussion. Or - simply let this thread die. ;)
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
A mite confrontational wouldn't you agree?
Oh, perhaps a bit. You kept answering setting questions with game mechanics answers, and I wanted to jolt you out of that mind-set. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
So, let's look at the questions you want answered...

1) let's presume that we're using GURPS CLASSIC spell lists for now...

(SNIP)
Okay, that's a specific answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
2) what spells or abilities exist in the setting.

(SNIP)
Here, we might get to the crux of the communication problem.

GURPS is a toolkit, right? That means the game mechanics never dictate the shape of the setting.

Rather, the GM decides on a setting framework, and then uses the rules that give the results desired. That allows the GM and players to tell the stories they want to tell; play the game they want to play.

That's why the two GMs in your example have vastly different takes on their Banestorm campaigns. Fortunately, you get into more specifics with the next response.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
1 in 50 have any magery at all, generally speaking, magery 0.

(SNIP)

Demographically speaking, roughly 30 to 40% of a human population tends to be children. So, call it 6,000 adult magery 0, 600 magery 1, 60 magery 2 and 6 magery 3.

We're short by one mage due to the factions involved, so let's call it a magery 1 extra man just for giggles.
Okay, just to be clear, you know your numbers are purely arbitrary, right? And that no reason exists why someone couldn't pick completely different numbers, because they wanted completely different outcomes? And that, by picking those particular numbers, you've already begun to steer the setting toward a particular result?

(Also, you dropped a zero out of your initial numbers for Magery 0. It should've been 10,000, and not 1,000.)

So, the closest we get to a number model that works is probably the clergy. You had some archbishops, a dozen or so bishops in residence at any one time (with plenty of empty diocese seats), a fair number of abbots of various monasteries who are effectively bishops, and a reasonable number of ordained priests.

As with the clergymen (who could read and write, which was tremendously powerful), your mages have special abilities that nobody else does. Moreover, by the standards of the day, the clergy lived pretty well.

The vast majority of villages only saw a real priest every month or two, as he rode on a circuit through the lands of a particular noble. A friar or layman did most of the every-day work, in a parish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
3) Let's presume that all spells known in GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC have been known to exist and history recorded them in one form or another.

(SNIP)
Sounds perfectly reasonable. It means you have one practicing wizard with Magery 0 for every 83 people; one with Magery 1 for every 833; a Magery 2 wizard for every 8,333; and a half-dozen "bishops" or "archbishops" (Magery 3).

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the numbers are about right for our priest model, the rest of what you wrote causes that to break down.

In the priest model, everybody technically answered to the hierarchy of the Catholic church. Your model mentions no equivalent organizational structure. Moreover, while each mage can find at least some spells, the ones possessed by particular mages may vary by quite a bit.

A fortunate few may find all the Magery 1 and Magery 2 spells, but most mages have limited subsets. Additionally, the learning model is "master/apprentice," but you mention no guild or other central authority.

At this point, I think we need to shift away from our "clergy" model and look, instead, to Medieval or Renaissance alchemy.

The alchemists worked in isolation, and mostly pursued their arcane studies in secret, with perhaps a trusted helper. They wrote everything down in books they mostly kept hidden, because they didn't trust anybody else with knowledge they hoped to use for themselves.

As a consequence, understanding advanced only slowly, in fits and starts, because nobody shared information, ever. As such, no means existed to cross-check and validate discoveries by reproducing experimental methodologies.

Moreover, if the alchemist couldn't find anybody with similar interests or, even worse, he got discovered and was accused of witchcraft, all the work got lost. At best, he might have stashed his tomes away in an old trunk, in a cellar or tower room, somewhere, and then died without telling anybody.

At some point in the future, some descendant might find grandpa's moldy old tomes and try to sell them quietly, so he or she didn't have to deal with that whole "witchcraft" thing.

I think the alchemist model works best, for this scenario, given that (unlike alchemy), magic actually does something immediately useful.

And that brings us to the last question, which confused you, but is the most important of all. :)

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
4) um, not certain what you're asking with #4.

(SNIP)
Okay, here's the thing. The most important part of the term, "magical power," is not "magical," it's "power." Power to do things, to make things happen, to shape things according to the will of the person who holds it. And, by "things," I mean "other people's lives."

That's the key concept. Power such as this only matters in societies. A mage who lives as a hermit, and never interacts with other people, can chuck lightning bolts around to his or her heart's content, and make absolutely no difference.

That person is just another oddball natural phenomenon, not that much different from a storm, or a forest fire, or anything else. He or she doesn't matter.

That's why the game mechanics answers had such limited relevance, when people kept asking questions about the setting.

Now then, the only people who can find mages are other mages. Moreover, the only mages who can find other mages are those who have already learned some spells -- at least enough to get to "Aura."

Fortunately, Aura isn't that deep into the Knowledge college; it has only two prerequisites, "Detect Magic" and "Magery 1." That means almost every set of spell books owned by anybody will include it, especially given it's the only means by which to find apprentices.

However, the fact that it requires Magery 1 to cast means that Magery 0 types, who comprise nearly 90 percent of the entire wizard population, depend almost entirely on those with higher powers. They can never find apprentices of their own. Moreover, the mage who found them and took them as apprentices can almost certainly perform spells the Magery 0 person cannot.

Additionally, given the secretive and decentralized lack of structure of magical practitioners, the discoverer may be the only source of knowledge the Magery 0 folks have available. That gives the master tremendous leverage over the Magery 0 types, who will almost certainly spend their lives in subordinate roles -- which mirrors the rest of TL3 Medieval society, anyway.

At this point, how the mages live depend mostly on the exact content of the grimoires available to them. If the grimoires hold mostly general utility or entertainment spells, then the senior mage may take a position with the local nobility or wealthy merchant clan. He or she trades the security of sinecure for work that supports the status quo.

If a Magery 1 or higher wizard has access to spells that allow him or her to strongly influence the actions of others, then he or she may angle to become the power behind the nearest throne.

By "influence," I don't necessarily mean the "Mind Control" college, either. For instance, any mage exercises tremendous influence if he or she can help ensure that an arranged marriage between nobles will be successful, by seeing to it that the wife can conceive and survive childbirth, and the children all reach adulthood.

(At least, as long as said mage isn't afflicted with unadulterated stupidity worthy of Rasputin. Healing spells are game-changers when it comes to dynastic politics.)

Alternatively, if a wizard has access to spells that make him or her more combat-effective, then he or she has the potential to become the local power structure. A warrior who can't be hit, bearing armor that can't be penetrated, able to dodge the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and able to deal death at a distance, discretely or not, is a force to be reckoned with.

No mundane noble in his or her right mind will want to go up against a combat-effective magic user. The noble will either come to an accommodation, or will probably die.

That's potentially a big deal, depending on how you decide you want magery to work in your setting. Does it appear randomly, throughout the population, regardless of sex, social condition, or status of the family into which the mage is born? Does it follow bloodlines? If two mages have babies, do the children consistently inherit the ability?

If the appearance of magery is truly random, and never "breeds true," then combat-effective mages are never anything but a threat to a status quo in which access to wealth and power is normally determined by family, by rank, and by inheritance.

That said, a lot of this depends on the choices the GM makes. The game mechanics do not dictate the impact on the setting, because how that plays out wholly depends on the choices made.

When you made even the few choices you did, you steered the setting toward an outcome. Make different choices, and you get different outcomes, even with the same game mechanics.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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Now, the question arises - what effect does being a Mage with Magery 3 do in general?

(SNIP)
My answer to this, based on what I wrote above, is, "Just the same as any other mage, only moreso."

The fact that the Magery 3 guy can chuck spells like nobody else still requires that he have spells available to chuck, and the spells he has determines his relationship to the rest of the society.

A combat-effective or wish-slinging Magery 3 guy either makes himself a king, or makes himself a target (probably, both). We're talking spell-slinging Genghis Khan, here -- Dominator territory, straight out of the past of the Black Company.

A Magery 3 influencer starts to look a lot like Cardinal Richelieu, Cardinal Mazarin or John Dee, only with magic. If that doesn't scare you, you haven't thought about it, enough.

A Magery 3 utility guy with no particular mind for politics looks a lot like a William Shakespeare, only able to produce really amazing special effects for his plays. Or the guy who keeps the food from spoiling (a huge deal), or keeps the palace warm in summer and cool in winter (also a huge deal), or makes sure the king's (or duke's or earl's) lands produce bountifully (a really huge deal).
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Magery 3 in a TL 3 game universe

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That's possible too, but it means any spell that isn't known by an active wizard or recorded in a recoverable record doesn't exist as anything more than an archeological oddity, and without a guild or college structure, likely more spells make that transition every time an accomplished wizard dies or a library roof leaks.
That would be quite a flavour for a setting, wouldn't it? A struggle to preserve knowledge against the encroaching darkness?
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