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Old 09-22-2019, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Pact based Sorcery?

I'm trying to head canon different types of magic (based off of D&D), and a thought occurred to me about a way to distinguish Weave based magic (Forgotten Realms) and Moon based magic (DragonLance).

But I am a collector, not a gamer, so I'm not sure of the effects of my ideas.

For the Moon based magic, I was thinking of making it Pact based. The three gods of Moon magic offer different schools of sorcery (e.g., Solinari has an exclusive on Abjuration, or the effective GURPS schools translated into Sorcery). The Pacts are sealed with codes of conduct, with Nuitari being the loosest (with exclusive access to necromancy and mind control, he attracts the most unprincipled, but he isn't necessarily evil).

In terms of having multiple schools of sorcery (say, the GURPS Magic schools), what is the discount for limited numbers available? And what's the discount from a Pact limitation? And does it apply to the Sorcery or the individual spells?
I'm a collector, not a gamer. =)
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pact based Sorcery?

The discount for a Pact is the point cost for the disadvantage(s) required - so a school of Chivalry, requiring Code of Honor (Chivalric) [-15] is worth -15%. It applies to Sorcery and the base spells. You would also have to do some gymnastics to get the power to wax and wane as as the moons do. I suggest simply varying the effective mana level for the school - i.e., when Solinari is full, all Solinari casters are treated as one mana level higher and when Solinari is dark (?) they're one mana level lower.

If you have eight schools (the D&D default) and each moon has access to six of them (two unique per moon) that's probably a -5% to -10% limitation.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pact based Sorcery?

One College Only is a Limitation in Basic for Magery (-40%). Thaumatology extends that to "Limited Colleges", for either two, three, or four colleges, ranging from -30% to -10% -- no discount for access to more than four colleges.

GURPS Colleges aren't really equivalent to D&D schools. They're different ways to slice up the set of spells. Colleges are organized around elements, the thing affected (counting things like "body" or "mind" or "magic" as an "element", along with the traditional four). D&D schools are organized more around the purpose of the spell: summoning, protection, destructive energy (evocation), transmutation. But a D&D school cuts across many or all of the "elements" in the GURPS Magic sense -- evocation might be fire or water or lightning or air (gasses), transmutation might be stone or wood or people, and so on.

There are many more colleges than D&D schools, so you might have to think about the question in terms of the proportion of possible spells and effects a character has access to. If any effect is possible in any category, then it's just fluff text -- cool and worthwhile fluff, to be sure, but not a Limitation in the sense of not being able to solve problems with your magic.

If you use GURPS Sorcery as a mechanical base, then you'll need to categorize the spells into whatever classification scheme you wind up with. That spell list is already categorized into a system of colleges much like those in GURPS Magic.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pact based Sorcery?

Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If you use GURPS Sorcery as a mechanical base, then you'll need to categorize the spells into whatever classification scheme you wind up with. That spell list is already categorized into a system of colleges much like those in GURPS Magic.
True, but using the D&D schools of magic for Sorcery isn't that difficult, as long as you have the spells written up as powers in GURPS, which I'm sure I've seen for some D&D spells (blanking on which website, but I think they were AD&D First Edition spells).
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pact based Sorcery?

Using Accessibility pricing (6 schools out of 8 is 75%, or -10%) might not be horrible for only having access to specific schools, but note any price reduction to Sorcery will limit what spells can be set as alternate abilities to it (this doesn’t matter for your Pact, as that can arguably apply to the spells themselves, reducing their value by the same proportion). If you limit yourself to only Evocation, for example, that’s probably a -35% Limitation. IIRC, Sorcery is [20] for the first level, [10] thereafter. If you have Sorcery 5 (Evocation Only -35%) [39], you can’t learn an Evocation spell with a cost of [55] as an alternate ability, even though a generalist with unmodified Sorcery 5 [60] could. You can adjust for this by allowing the character to still learn the spell, but now it is the “master ability” (the one you pay full price for) in the AA set, with Sorcery as an AA to it.

As for having the ability wax/wane with the cycles of the moon, use Accessibility on some levels of it. Say, the character has Sorcery 3 during a new moon, Sorcery 4 during a crescent moon, Sorcery 5 during a half moon, Sorcery 6 during a gibbous moon, Sorcery 7 during a full moon. These phases last roughly 10%, 27%, 27%, 27%, and 10% of the month, respectively (3, 8, 8, 8, 3 days). Sorcery 3 has no further modifiers, as it’s available at all times. The next level is available 90% of the time, then 63%, then 37%, then finally 10%. These last four are at -5%, -15%, -25%, and finally -35%. If the only Limitation was the lunar cycle, you’d be looking at Sorcery 3 [40] + Sorcery 4 [9.5] + Sorcery 5 [8.5] + Sorcery 6 [7.5] + Sorcery 7 [6.5], for a total of [72]. I suggest writing it as Sorcery 7 (Lunar Cycle Restrictions -10%) [72].
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pact based Sorcery?

I don't have my resources with me but in brief what I did for arcane casters was:

Start with vancian magic and threshold magic from thaumatology.

No arcane caster got plant, animal, or healing.

Each color of robes got one college that was exclusively theirs and one that they were barred from learning.

Spells were divided into levels based on (prerequisite count)/2 with fractions dropped and max level was 9+. Each spell level was considered a different type for the vancian buying.

Then I created a "Package" of threshold enhancing advantages required to buy up to get access to the next level of spells with magery increased every other level.

Given the rarity of magic in world and the social reverence/fear a mage would generate, I just eyeballed it as a +0% on magery. I did separately require a vow for wearing robes and not using weapons, though.

Moons were just a feature of the world. It balanced out to 0, so no modifier.

I know this isn't quite the direction you were looking to go, but I hope it helps.
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