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Old 12-15-2019, 06:56 AM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

This works mostly as the spell-based magic system in the Basic Set 4e and GURPS Magic for 4e, with the following exceptions:
  • Spells do not normally have other spells as prerequisites, and by default do not have prerequisites at all. Optionally, Magery prerequisites and other non-spell prerequisites might remain (e.g. Simple Illusion might still require the caster to be able to see, and/or to have IQ 11 or higher, or Recover Energy could till require Magery 1). Optionally, Very Hard spells might have one or two Hard spells as prerequisites (e.g. Enchant having 'either Temporary Enchantment or Scroll' as a prerequisite).
  • Spells may default from other, similar spells at smallish penalties (e.g. Explosive Fireball defaults to Fireball-2), or from appropriate College skills (which should be Very Hard) at -6, or -7 for Very Hard spells. Optionally, the spells from the basic set (pp243-253 & 480-481, or perhaps only the ones from pp243-253) can also default from Occultism at -8, or -9 for VH spells.
The Charms perk is still useful, as it allows you to instinctively know a spell without having other means to learn it; Shortcut to Power makes rather less sense, though, and thus might not exist.


Thoughts?
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:10 AM   #2
Taneli
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

What's your aim with this?

Making a spellcaster does become marginally easier, and the main drive for magical styles is pretty much lost.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:31 AM   #3
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

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Originally Posted by Taneli View Post
What's your aim with this?

Making a spellcaster does become marginally easier, and the main drive for magical styles is pretty much lost.
Well, I wasn't thinking about magical styles, so that doesn't change anything (they're interesting, but aren't needed for every game). I think my main aim was to do away with long prerequisite chains, as well as making spell skills a bit more 'skill-like.' I suspect these were not my only aims when I started, but I'm not recalling others at the moment, as I started work on this some time ago (less than a month, I think, but long enough that combined with being tired a lot and having many other ideas, I'm not sure).
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:56 AM   #4
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

This seems fairly similar to Ritual Magic, replacing the variable penalty with a fixed (but typically higher) one, so it seems like it should work out alright. You may want to have individual spells be purchasable as Techniques of the skills they default to rather than only as individual skills. For example, Explosive Fireball could be purchased independently as a stand-alone skill, as a Technique to buy off the -2 from Fireball, or as a Technique to buy off the -6 from Fire College.

For Magic Styles, an idea that might work (given proper curation) would be to allow a Magic Style skill instead of a College skill, and possibly even have spells default to it at a better rate. Alternatively, you could base the penalty on the breadth of spells in the style; one that only covers a portion of the Fire College might have them default at -3/-4, while one that covers nearly every spell in existence might have them default at -20 or worse.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This seems fairly similar to Ritual Magic, replacing the variable penalty with a fixed (but typically higher) one, so it seems like it should work out alright. You may want to have individual spells be purchasable as Techniques of the skills they default to rather than only as individual skills. For example, Explosive Fireball could be purchased independently as a stand-alone skill, as a Technique to buy off the -2 from Fireball, or as a Technique to buy off the -6 from Fire College.
Except for the mention of College Skills and Defaults from them I saw nothing even related to the concet of prequisite count. That would be a good thing. Prerequisite count is crit fail of an idea. It tends to make Ritual Magic more complex thna default.

Generaly, given the usual IQ+Magery levels it will always be cheaper to buy a spell as a standalone than to buy it as a Technique of anything else. Fpr example, even if Explosive Fireball is an _average_ Technique based off of Fireball it would cost 2 pts to buy off the penalty from Fireball as compared to spending the 1 pt you did to get Fireball.

Spells as Techniques isn't going anywhere as an idea for repalcing Spells as Skils _unless_ you are doing it to raise the cost of learning Spells.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:52 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

It is relatively easy for a character to purchase the College Skill and default from that spell. Basically, it is a much cheaper version of Ritual Magic because you lack a Core Skill that serves as a maximum on the College Skill. For example, an IQ 14 character with Magery 3 can purchase College of Fire-27 and default the entire College of Fire at skill 21/20 from that one skill (the build would cost 163 CP).
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
Plane
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Spells do not normally have other spells as prerequisites, and by default do not have prerequisites at all.
You mean like how 1st-tier spells such as Ignite Fire, Light, Detect Magic and Apportation do not have prereqs?

Speaking of "default" .. magic spells are among skills which can't be used at default (like the hand to hand combat ones) but what would you think of allowing them to be?

If we compare Wizardly Dabbler (Magical Styles page 33) to Dabbler (Power Ups 2 page 16) having Hards at penalties of 6/5/4 works out to the pricing pattern of getting a bonus of 1/2/3 to default, implying that there would be a default of -7 to IQ for Hard spells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Spells may default from other, similar spells at smallish penalties (e.g. Explosive Fireball defaults to Fireball-2)
A lot more generous than how Thaumatology 38 treats "Spell Defaults" which is at least -4 even if the spell you're defaulting to is the only direct prereq (and casting/energy cost is double)
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:34 AM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

I don't think Prince Charon was using the word "default" in the sense of the GURPS term of art, but rather just colloquially, to say that usually / typically / normally spells wouldn't have a penalty.

Nothing wrong with the general concept of prereq count as an attempt to have an objective means to try to sort spells into a gradient of easier to harder without resorting to classifying them into "levels". But it runs into a lot of practical difficulties applying it to the actual spell lists, trying to actually count every prereqs down all the possible paths. The published count is notoriously inaccurate because it's hard. (You'd probably have to throw the spell list into a graph and let software do the counting.) A GM could instead just establish their own list of difficulty values for spells, maybe glancing at the existing count just to get a ballpark idea, and then tweaking from there as needed to suit themselves.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:23 AM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

There is something to be said about using a system similar to RPM where spells would be cast against the College Skill and College Skills would be limited by Thaumotology or Ritual Magic. In that case though, I would use the RPM rules to cap Thaumotology and/or Ritual Magic at (12 plus Magery) rather than having Magery add to skill, and I would also limit College Skill defaults (Thaumotology or Ritual Magic - 6) to a maximum level of '12', both to limit munchkins. In compensation, I would include the RPM rules for energy reserves and conditional spells.

Within the standard magic system, that would mean that practitioners would have one Core Skill and ~25 College Skills. A practitioner with Magery 3 could have a maximum Thaumotology/College Skills of '15', would have an energy reserve of 9 points, and could potentially have up to 18 conditional spells. I would have enchantments being magical gadgets though, as the system would otherwise be too open to abuse.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:05 PM   #10
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Magic] A simplified version of the standard spell system

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I don't think Prince Charon was using the word "default" in the sense of the GURPS term of art, but rather just colloquially, to say that usually / typically / normally spells wouldn't have a penalty.
This is correct. I probably should have been clearer, but it seemed obvious before I got an outside perspective on it. There are probably other things I should reply to here, but I'm tired, and confirming this seemed like a good idea.
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