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Old 04-22-2015, 02:47 AM   #11
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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Originally Posted by Modric View Post
My thought was to designate certain advantages to be selected only by clerics/ priest and forego spells. I'm not sure if anyone has used this or if it works. I've picked up Divine Powers and giving that a read through. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Well, an alternative to Divine Powers would be a pure GURPS Powers-based approach, implementing the suggestions from me and Polydamas in this thread. That'll get you something a lot subtler than Divine Powers, and something with a lot more room for doubt and uncertainty as to where the supernatural effects are coming from, and even (keyword: subtle) in some cases as to whether anything supernatural is actually going on at all.
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Ritual Path Magic may not be a bad way to go, if you want to avoid magic being overly flashy. Slower casting times, even for Adepts, and the lack of spells being pre-determined by an author 20 years ago is not a bad thing. Just limit clerics of certain deities to certain Paths, and you're set.
That's not how I'd do it. I would make a Path of Thor, a Path of Odin, etc. And if I wanted subtle I'd limit them to Lesser Effects.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:22 AM   #13
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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That's not how I'd do it. I would make a Path of Thor, a Path of Odin, etc. And if I wanted subtle I'd limit them to Lesser Effects.
The problem is that distinguishing between Lesser and Greater Effects is non-trivial for the GM, when it's done during play.

In the pseudo-world in which a standard Monster Hunters campaign takes place, or the like, it doesn't matter if the GM gets it wrong and 1% of the time designates an Effect as Lesser even though it should have been Greater.

But if the world is defined by the absence of non-subtle magic then an error rate of 1%, heck even 0.1%, is unacceptably high.

That's why going with a GURPS Powers-based approach, where everything is decided in advance of actual play, will help to maintain the world 100% as it has been defined.
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
But if the world is defined by the absence of non-subtle magic then an error rate of 1%, heck even 0.1%, is unacceptably high.

That's why going with a GURPS Powers-based approach, where everything is decided in advance of actual play, will help to maintain the world 100% as it has been defined.
Normal mortal GMs make mistakes, Peter. And Powers doesn't nail things down as tightly as you claim, although it is more precise than RPM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:58 PM   #15
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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Normal mortal GMs make mistakes, Peter. And Powers doesn't nail things down as tightly as you claim, although it is more precise than RPM.
You missed my point.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

If it is supposed to be subtle, I'd probably be looking at a Divine or Pact limitation on various, non-overt Advantages. Luck based Advantages have been mentioned, probably with an additional Limitation to aspect the Luck to a particular gods' sphere of influence. There are plenty of subtle things like Intuition, Danger Sense and even perhaps Talents (unless there's a rule against that =P) which could easily demonstrate how a god has favored a particular follower.

Many mundane Advantages work as well; something like Very Fit (especially if allowed under circumstances where it normally wouldn't), mundane Resistances, etc. all make sense for a god to bestow upon the faithful if it can be justified as a part of that god's domain. I mean, keeping your followers healthy and helping them live longer isn't flashy but it seems like a good way to grow your worshiper base not just by giving a benefit, but giving a practical one ("Followers of the god of health seem to live longer, heal a bit faster, have more energy, take ill less often and be a bit more virile than others", at least while they perform the rites that demonstrate their dedication to their god.").

Heroic Feats don't have to be flashy, do they? I mean if periodically someone seemed far healthier, better coordinated or stronger than they look but only for at most 18 seconds, if you aren't trying to be flashy with it, it won't be obvious. I mean, even from a metagame perspective a lot of what you could accomplish with Heroic Feats you also could accomplish by simply being fortunate in real life with your die rolls.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:54 PM   #17
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Alternative Clerical Magic

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
If it is supposed to be subtle, I'd probably be looking at a Divine or Pact limitation on various, non-overt Advantages. Luck based Advantages have been mentioned, probably with an additional Limitation to aspect the Luck to a particular gods' sphere of influence. There are plenty of subtle things like Intuition, Danger Sense and even perhaps Talents (unless there's a rule against that =P) which could easily demonstrate how a god has favored a particular follower.
Sure, but you don't have to stop at a Pact and a PM. If you take it further, adding additional Limitations on top of that (as well as the rare Enhancement) you should be able to built some quite interesting religious powers. Also, the powers will be cheaper, which means players are more likely to actually buy a few of them.

As for Luck, it should usually be Aspected to the portfolio of the god granting it (noting that historical polytheistic gods tend to have sprawling and confusing portfolios, rather than the clear-cut ones that D&D type gods have - it's my vague impression that Catholic saints are comparable to polytheistic gods in terms of portfoliolic inelegance), with gods of monotheistic faiths tending to grant unAspected Luck, and probably tending more towards Modular Ability, i.e. flexibility rather than specific effects.

Although the ideas in my posts in the thread I linked to are meant to be used in a polytheistic framework and often won't be very exciting for monotheism since that tends to boil down to one humonguous perform-any-miracle-needed Modular Ability - both expensive and boring.

(Note also that Modular Ability will have the same potential-but-devastating problem that using RPM has, if used in an improv fashion, instead of all possible types of effects being decided ahead of time. Deciding ahead of time should be perfectly doable for polytheism (once for each god), but strikes me as requiring a lot of effort for monotheism.)
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