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Old 10-26-2016, 04:42 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
You know I've never played (nor even noticed) the ruling that only the spells from the core book are commonly available. That may explain the difference in tone of my campaigns.
Because GURPS Magic has been around for a long time (and used to feature prominently in the Line Editor's home games) there seems to be a lot of 'headcannon' and things which the authors meant to include but did not spell out as clearly as they could have. In the GURPS 3e days there were a whole set of krommnotes which some people took as Holy Writ, and the earlier spell lists have an unwritten set of basic assumptions about how magic works which I find harder recognizing in later and larger lists. I still think that David Pulver's idea of breaking the core spell list down into a few modules, deleting prerequisites and boring spells, etc. was good.

And Yrth was designed as a setting for everything from epic high fantasy to low fantasy slice-of-life to "imagine if our SCA household was thrown into a fantasy novel" so some things are left vague. It sounds like CraigM has a clear idea of how things work in his Yrth, and hopes that he can make a rational fantasy setting with the right feel while including that big long list of spells, so I hope that others with more time will have suggestions for him!
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:10 PM   #32
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I just looked in Banestorm and it lists Tredroy as being a city of 200,000 not 500,000. It is described as definitely being the second largest city on the continent.
3rd Ed Tredroy has it as 550,000. Weird.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:13 PM   #33
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The weather spells came originally from GURPS Grimoire (3e), imported from I think GURPS Arabian Nights. In general things from Grimoire were taken as having lesser stature in than things from GURPS Magic (3e) though there are a fair number of overpowered or just broken spells in both books (a big difference is that Grimoire was basically a compilation of spells originally added from multiple worldbooks, pyramid articles, and the like, with multiple authors, and thus is extremely inconsistent).
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:12 AM   #34
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3rd Ed Tredroy has it as 550,000. Weird.
I forget what discussions, if any, we had about that - but the original material wasn't always internally consistent, and I don't think Tredroy and Fantasy always agreed with each other very well. Anyway, 550,000 would be ruddy huge for a medieval-style city. So we probably had our reasons there.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:49 AM   #35
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I forget what discussions, if any, we had about that - but the original material wasn't always internally consistent, and I don't think Tredroy and Fantasy always agreed with each other very well. Anyway, 550,000 would be ruddy huge for a medieval-style city. So we probably had our reasons there.
But it's not a medieval style city. From the map in Tredroy it's an unwalled city 10 or 15 miles across. Of course that map scale also indicates it sits on a river wider than the Amazon, crossed by 4 bridges longer than anything built on Earth until 1936, but hey making ridiculous canon numbers is part of the game, right? Works for Traveller.
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:58 PM   #36
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Thing is if that's true I don't see the mages being powerful enough to keep the Underground Engineers from overthrowing the Ministry of Serendipity and their equivalents.
Yeah, I don't think the setting can support both a magical conspiracy that has successfully prevented almost a millenia of technological, military and societal change and a low-magic feel where mages are not integral to the functioning of society. It's one or the other. If mages are successfully preventing society from adopting cannons, chronometers, steamships and canned food, they must be providing some sort of magical alternatives for seaborne trade and naval affairs. They might be inferior to the end result of adopting technology, but have to offer some benefits over the first few tentative steps.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:37 PM   #37
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Yeah, I don't think the setting can support both a magical conspiracy that has successfully prevented almost a millenia of technological, military and societal change and a low-magic feel where mages are not integral to the functioning of society.
There's no contradiction between "Only the spells in the Basic Set are common" and "The Ministry of Seredipity has access to powerful Mind-Control spells". Assuming that the Ministry only has access to commonly known magic seems baseless.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:06 PM   #38
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There's no contradiction between "Only the spells in the Basic Set are common" and "The Ministry of Seredipity has access to powerful Mind-Control spells". Assuming that the Ministry only has access to commonly known magic seems baseless.
I guess I don't believe that simply going around mind-controlling leaders would work to keep society unchanged for all these centuries. For me, plausibility requires some societal reasons that constrain the creativity, self-interest and greed of mercenaries, pirates, privateers, merchants, explorers and all the other people who have powerful reasons to adopt everything that makes their professions easier and more profitable. The mages need carrots, as well as sticks.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:34 PM   #39
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I guess I don't believe that simply going around mind-controlling leaders would work to keep society unchanged for all these centuries. For me, plausibility requires some societal reasons that constrain the creativity, self-interest and greed of mercenaries, pirates, privateers, merchants, explorers and all the other people who have powerful reasons to adopt everything that makes their professions easier and more profitable. The mages need carrots, as well as sticks.
Sure, it isn't an especially rigorous setting. It's basically a bunch of handwaves to make fantasy RPG tropes sort of plausible.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:49 AM   #40
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Sure, it isn't an especially rigorous setting. It's basically a bunch of handwaves to make fantasy RPG tropes sort of plausible.
There is definitely room for "high-magic, the MoS just focuses on a few conspicuous things" and "low-magic, low-tech" visions of the setting. I just am not sure that its possible to make a version of the setting with just the right feel without being very careful about how magic works, and since I don't have the books with me, I sure can't comment on specific spells. But lots of people find that fun and still have time for it, and good for them!

Trederoy can be a plausible city in a world with medieval technology plus magic and multiple intelligent species, or an excuse to have Arabian Nights tropes, swashbucking tropes, and Evil Theocracy tropes in the same place (and magic would help with the size and density of the city and the presence of plenty of bridges and stone buildings). It all depends on what the GM and players enjoy!
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