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Old 08-18-2015, 10:57 AM   #11
Anders
 
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Or rather than base everything on a single core skill like Thaumatology or Ritual Magic, go the "Skills For Everyone" route, and require a skill per spell to use it, much as was done for Psionic Powers. Define those skills as something that requires book learning to improve, not just repeated casting of the spell. Some such individual spell-skills might well have some that can be learned only from lost or ancient books, as they're unknown to the academic wizard community.
That will be very expensive, points-wise, though. Might be difficult to be balanced with the other people in the party.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:04 AM   #12
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

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That will be very expensive, points-wise, though. Might be difficult to be balanced with the other people in the party.
Skill-per-spell is a bad idea. I've never seen an RPG system or an RPG magic system where that worked well. E.g. GURPS Magic, or the Danish version of Draker och Dæmoner.

One solution is skill-per-College. Another is skill-per-sub-College. But trying to go more fine-grained than per-sub-College gets wildly expensive.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:08 PM   #13
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

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That will be very expensive, points-wise, though.
Yes. You do get the Requires (Attribute) Roll discount to help pay for the skill. But you get that same discount even if all spells use the same skill, or you have path/college skills, and have to sink fewer points into the skill(s). On the bright side, most skills will need only reasonable activation-roll levels, rather than having to be raised into the 20s and 30s to soak difficulty penalties a la Ritual Magic. But skill-per-spell is going to be the priciest option in most cases.

But then, some people find the expense of spells-as-powers to be one of the attractions.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

Require a prerequisite for various levels of Sorcery. You can't have more levels in Sorcery than you have in Thaumatology-12. Or some other skill. You need a grounding in magic theory before you can use the more powerful spells.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

The decanic modifiers system is excellent for making thing seem complicated and academic. Unfortunately, it does this by being fairly complicated, but it could be useful if spells are learned with limitations which are gradually paid off.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Making Thaumatology Sorcery feel academic

You could swipe some ideas from GURPS Arabian Nights. The rules for mages required scholarly training - you had to have skills in appropriate ancient languages or scholarly knowledge totaling at least 50.

(For those not familiar with 3e, Languages used to be bought as skills rather than Advantages, e.g., you could have Latin-13.)

So require would-be sorcerers to buy whatever skills you consider appropriate - Research, Philosophy, Naturalist, obscure languages etc. Limit points in Sorcery advantages to the total of relevant skills, counting each level of Language as 4 or 5 points. Possibly require relevant skills as prerequisites for spells, e.g. Physician for healing magic, Naturalist for animal magic, etc. That would play up the academic element without forcing character to buy skills that are basically point sinks.
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