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Old 05-24-2018, 04:21 PM   #21
DocRailgun
 
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Default Re: Viking magic

Magic (at least among the old Norse) was considered to be for women. That's not to say that men couldn't and didn't practice seidr but to do so was to be considered argr - unmanly (that's putting it nicely, Jackson Crawford at the U of Colorado uses the word "sissy", but he says it really is more of a suggestion that the argr person is a homosexual, or is otherwise "womanly"). Just being called argr was a legal reason for the accused to a duel. In fact, if they DIDN'T duel the insulter they may as well leave their community and exile themselves as they would have lost everyone's respect.

Knowing this, it makes one wonder about the modern concept of Odin as a mighty warrior god when he's the master of sinister, unmanly arts. Yes, he has a hall where half the fallen warriors go, but let's remember that Freya gets the other half for her own hall (and presumably army for Ragnarok).

Interestingly, a woman who took up weapons or even dressed up as a man to fight wasn't considered "unwomanly" or otherwise somehow a traitor to her gender, especially if she took up arms (in sagas) to avenge her father/brothers/sons We have archeological evidence of women warriors, or at least people buried as if they were warriors.

I guess times don't change much. It was fine to go against one's gender stereotype if one was a woman doing a traditionally (for the old Norse) male role but not for a male doing the opposite.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:56 PM   #22
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by DocRailgun View Post

Knowing this, it makes one wonder about the modern concept of Odin as a mighty warrior god when he's the master of sinister, unmanly arts. Yes, he has a hall where half the fallen warriors go, but let's remember that Freya gets the other half for her own hall (and presumably army for Ragnarok).
Odin earned his mastery of Runes in a manly way though and I think that helps with him being the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:47 AM   #23
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Odin earned his mastery of Runes in a manly way though and I think that helps with him being the exception rather than the rule.
Loki does mock him for using magic during Balder's funeral feast in Aegir's hall with a flyte, the irony of which is not lost on Odin who replies with his own mocking flyte of Loki's magic and various times giving birth (not just to Slepnir).
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Viking magic

There are so many interpretations, and we have so little solid fact, you can't make solid arguments about any of this. One site breaks down Norse magic very distinctly: seišr is the magic of women, involving witchcraft, prophecy, channelling, illusion, and mind-control, and it is the magic of runes; spį is the magic of seers (usually women), a high station, who can read the form of fate and the order of the universe, and its practitioners include the Norns and the völva of the Eddas; and galdr is the singing magic of men.

By this breakdown, GURPS Vikings only covers seišr, unless you want to consider good mystics to be employing spį.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:00 AM   #25
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Default Re: Viking magic

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By this breakdown, GURPS Vikings only covers seišr, unless you want to consider good mystics to be employing spį.
I know most of the Third Edition setting books dont really need an update but this could be one that benefits.
Or a nice supplement to the Thaumatology line.
GURPS Thaumatology: Viking Magic
A short work (maybe 12 pages) covering the different systems and converting them to current an appropriate current system with some classic mentions of major magical artifacts and beings. More a flavor based conversion than a generic structure.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: Viking magic

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This is what I forgot by reading the second edition of GURPS Vikings, with its templates and references to late-published books and dropped information. The spellcaster player isn't any more limited in character-creation choices than the warrior with an eclectic mix of skills.
GURPS Vikings 2e spells out the templates are designed for quick character creation "without neglecting important abilities or getting bogged down in the rules" (pg 27)

That said some 3rd edition books went totally nuts and effectively created what amounted to "classes".
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:30 PM   #27
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GURPS Vikings 2e spells out the templates are designed for quick character creation "without neglecting important abilities or getting bogged down in the rules"
I understand that. But between editions the book dropped the discussion of WHY a character type would have certain skills and traits in favor of simply declaring them in a template. Whether or not it tells you to think otherwise, presenting templates like that encourages character class–mentality. Reading the first edition of the book reminded me of that.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:15 AM   #28
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Default Re: Viking magic

One of the issues surrounding GURPS and MAGIC is that the initial structure for MAGIC was not really generic. Furthermore, if one is going to create other "traditions" of magic, then there should be some means of building a skeleton, or structural foundation - for which the rest of the magic system can be expanded upon.

Take for example, the ability to merge in say, the magic system from ARMAGEDDON for use with GURPS. That could be one tradition, or method on how magic works. Another tradition could be the use of D&D magic within GURPS. Another could be to use THE ARCANUM. Yet another would be the ability to use Ars Magica as a system that is fully compatible with or for use with GURPS - each of those would qualify as a different "Tradition" if you will, yet all needing to have some unifying basic game mechanic that conforms to GURPS in general. In other words - a means for how to determine your skill value to roll against, roll higher and you fail, roll lower and you succeed.

If you take a look at the Celtic Magic rules system, the Runic magic system for use with GURPS, you begin to see HOW one could create one's own tradition instead of having to rely upon GURPS MAGIC.

Me? I don't much like having to custom build spells. If I wanted to do that, I'd use HARN's magic system. And while the rune system of having to use verbs and nouns is nice to some extent, I find it difficult to create NPC opponents ahead of time or even on the fly, whose magical abilities might be overwhelmingly overpowering all because I didn't take into account what player characters may or may not have. But even GURPS MAGIC, which I've loved using since almost the day it first came out, has its warts.

I still recall to this day, the fun we had using MAN-TO-MAN coupled with THE ARCANUM. It worked. You paid a character point cost to have the "level" of magic casting mage, which in turn, gave you how many spells you could cast per day. It didn't matter if you cast a 1st level spell or a 5th level spell, because unlike D&D, the energy required to power a spell wasn't dependent upon the spell level of the mage per se. So, for example, a 3rd level spell caster could cast a total of 6 spells. They could all be 1st level spells if the mage desired it, or all 5th level spells if the mage desired it.

It appears, that what you as a GM wish to do, is customize a magic system/tradition to get the results you want. Sadly, as with anything that is home brew, you have to create it, eyeball it for obvious play balance issues, and then playtest it before you hammer out all of the issues/problems.

That is ONE thing I do appreciate in GURPS CLASSICAL MAGIC as opposed to GURPS MAGIC for 4e. At least with GURPS MAGIC for 3e, you had three separate systems you could use for creating custom traditions - four if you includ GURPS CELTIC MAGIC.

I don't much like the ritual magic system, although I have no issue with it being beloved by many others. It just isn't my favorite is all. Some players have enough problems with dealing with the GURPS MAGIC system that when they have 80 spells, they get paralyzed trying to determine which spell to use when. Some players hate having a limited list of which they can draw upon for creativity (DRAGONQUEST comes to mind). Some LOVE the versitility of creating their own spells from scratch - which is fine.

Different strokes for different folks is all I can say ;)
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:46 AM   #29
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I understand that. But between editions the book dropped the discussion of WHY a character type would have certain skills and traits in favor of simply declaring them in a template. Whether or not it tells you to think otherwise, presenting templates like that encourages character class–mentality. Reading the first edition of the book reminded me of that.
IMHO the designers thought that players could figure out the "why" on their own and figured any space that took up could be better used for something else.

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That is ONE thing I do appreciate in GURPS CLASSICAL MAGIC as opposed to GURPS MAGIC for 4e. At least with GURPS MAGIC for 3e, you had three separate systems you could use for creating custom traditions - four if you includ GURPS CELTIC MAGIC.
Normal magic, Improvised Magic, and Inherent Magic (ie knacks) all exist in 4e Magic.

Clerical magic in 3e Magic was nothing more than mages in a different outfit with a far more limited spell list (unless you used GURPS Religion which shook things up)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
I don't much like the ritual magic system, although I have no issue with it being beloved by many others. It just isn't my favorite is all. Some players have enough problems with dealing with the GURPS MAGIC system that when they have 80 spells, they get paralyzed trying to determine which spell to use when. Some players hate having a limited list of which they can draw upon for creativity (DRAGONQUEST comes to mind). Some LOVE the versitility of creating their own spells from scratch - which is fine.
Information overload can be a problem which is likely why they streamlined magic in that book.

Last edited by maximara; 05-27-2018 at 06:24 AM.
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