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Old 02-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #1
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

I just had an interesting idea from a player in a campaign I'm getting started.

In the basic set it mentions delusions being true. What if a character's delusion "the old gods have returned" is true... for HIM?

Would it be unbalancing in a modern day TL-8 campaign for a character to be able to "pray" for minor spell effects, and have it work?

I'm thinking Delusion because everybody ELSE will assume it's a delusion and react with penalties... at least, until they watch him actually Minor Heal somebody... plus Power Investiture and Blessed.

This was sparked by a short story on Imagur about aliens invading, and the old gods returning to fight them off.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-12-2018 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:04 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

This is why UB exists.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

I would possibly go with Divine Favor rather than the clerical variant of Magic for a modern-day variation of "the old gods are again granting powers". It could definitely be interesting if suddenly the neo-pagans who invoke Apollo, Asclipius, Sekmet, or other gods of healing - not to mention the Hindu, Shinto, and Chinese Folk Religion priests/shamans are suddenly able to heal and Abrahamic ones are not (unless YHVH also decides to become active as well, which could mean the Christians and Muslims both got it wrong!)....
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:30 PM   #4
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

Any demonstrably magical effect would be a big deal in the modern world.

Minor Healing is 'minor' in magical terms but literally miraculous in our world.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:03 AM   #5
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
This was sparked by a short story on Imagur about aliens invading, and the old gods returning to fight them off.
For one lunatic, it may be workable. For dozens or more, well there's a reason that story needs an alien invasion. Without that more immediate existential threat to humanity, the Old Gods are it - they are after all powerful aliens who are suddenly meddling in the world. The race is on between the scientific/atheistic effort to "study" the aliens or bind the weird forces to do things without actually worshipping them, and the elements of the majority faiths out do destroy the demons.

If most of the new miracle workers don't claim divine origins for their powers, the scientific view probably wins and you have something like an emergent supers setting. If they all are inclined to spread the faith in a serious minority religion, most likely the witch burners do, even in our modern world.
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Last edited by malloyd; 02-13-2018 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:38 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

I think that the more subtle effects of Path/Book Ritual Magic would work better in a 'no magic' world. If you remove the proprietary rituals from the Path of the Elements, the Path of Forms, and the Path of Gadgets, you have a very subtle form of magic that reflects many of the magical practices of the contemporary world. Since the effects might be a product of coincidence to an outside observer, they can easily be ignored by the larger world.

In the case of clerical magic, it would be Book Ritual Magic associated with the Holy texts of each religion. Perhaps the Bible, the Quran, the Tao Te Ching, etc each possesses the secrets of multiple Books of Ritual Magic. Each Book would contain a subtle, if useful, proprietary ritual.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:18 AM   #7
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
I just had an interesting idea from a player in a campaign I'm getting started.

In the basic set it mentions delusions being true. What if a character's delusion "the old gods have returned" is true... for HIM?

Would it be unbalancing in a modern day TL-8 campaign for a character to be able to "pray" for minor spell effects, and have it work?

I'm thinking Delusion because everybody ELSE will assume it's a delusion and react with penalties... at least, until they watch him actually Minor Heal somebody... plus Power Investiture and Blessed.

This was sparked by a short story on Imagur about aliens invading, and the old gods returning to fight them off.

Here is the important thing to remember about Delusion. Your Delusion may in fact be true. Shapeshifting aliens may be invading, the New World Order may be masterminding a scheme to reduce the world's population by 90%, your car may be self-aware or you may be the rightful king of Portugal. But if you have your delusion at greater than quirk level you're still crazy. The thing that defines the value of a Delusion is not how likely people are to believe the same thing you do, but how irrationally you respond to that belief. I had a Space adventure seed where a person had a Delusion that the there were lifelike robots living among humanity and pretending to be human. This was in fact true, but only coincidentally, and he reacted to this belief by standing on a street corner and assaulting random passers-by in the buttocks with a long pin to try to expose the imposters. He was right...but he was crazy.

When a person hasn't responded irrationally to their belief but they have a bad reputation because of it, then that's not Delusion. It's just a reputation as a crazy person/heretic.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:58 AM   #8
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Game Balance: Clerical Magic in a non-magic world

Well, many prophets were madmen.

However, looking at the replies so far I think mr beer has it right.

Even if the powers themselves aren’t unbalancing the character could quickly eclipse the others and we’d have a “ new Jesus” campaign.
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