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Old 07-29-2020, 07:11 AM   #51
Dustin
 
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
I am curious as to why Ack (p. 7) is name Ack.
It's short for "Acknowledgment" and is used in computer networking. A system that has received a packet of data successfully sends back an ACK signal to the sender.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transm..._establishment
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:00 AM   #52
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

A lot of good material, a lot of spells I know would be used commonly.

The two stand-out spells (to me) are Aide (p.10) and Thaumatomancy (p.12).

Allowing an Aide spell for each college really amps up ceremonial casting, every farmer triples their contribution to the Bless Plants ceremony for example. The existence of the spell just really provides a ton of worldbuilding opportunities.

Thaumatomancy has similar world building potential, an amped up version of prayer for the determined or foolhardy, or get horrible insights in a horror game.

This book makes me want to put together some "Hedge Magical Styles" that laypeople might learn growing up.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:17 PM   #53
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

So if you use the Ritual Magic system (not to be confused with Ritual Path Magic) I would suggest giving these a prerequisite count of -1, so you cast them at College skill (or Path skill, because god knows there's not enough confusion about this already) +1.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:54 PM   #54
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

I have to ask are these spells "powerful" enough to start playing havoc with the ETL ie your TL3 world starts looking more like an ETL(3+1) or even ETL(4+1) one?
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:04 AM   #55
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

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I have to ask are these spells "powerful" enough to start playing havoc with the ETL ie your TL3 world starts looking more like an ETL(3+1) or even ETL(4+1) one?
I tend to think it doesn't take much functional magic to play havoc with history. Some of these can probably make the cut.

Ritual of Reaping and Ritual of Sowing are pretty big, reducing the labor needed for the two main labors of (European-style) farming by 20%.

Birth Control is a potential world-shaker of course, if people choose to use it.

Test is also a pretty big deal.

Analgesic could make an enormous difference for people with chronic pain - some of whom are royalty or otherwise high-impact figures. Mostly when trained to skill 15+ for cost reduction, since at 1 FP per minute it's hard to apply long otherwise.

Mer-Speech, Sink, and Diver's Blessing add up to a lot of improvement to low-tech underwater activities.

Sorcerous Signal is actually pretty powerful for first-contact situations with no established common language...assuming you actually care about establishing communication!

Patience is low-key, but a powerful study aid.

Cushion could save some lives - maybe most significant if used to mitigate potentially deadly falls from horseback.

They definitely won't raise the overall TL though. They don't increase productivity in enough areas for that.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:44 AM   #56
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

I don't think Birth Control would have as much effect as one might think, the roman empire had well known and popular herbal contraceptives, so popular they drove the plant to extinction. You had 12 kids so you could have 6 make it to adulthood, and it isn't until TL 7 or 8 that children become a net economic detriment to families, before then more children meant more labor and thus more money. It would help cut down on scandals and problematic royal bastards, however.

Ritual of Sowing would improve the planting process, but you still have to wait for things to grow. Convenient, but only saving a few days of labor per year for each peasant.

Ritual of Reaping would be fantastic for orchards and other inconvenient to harvest crops. Less wastage, fewer ladder related injuries.

Test is great if you have some sort of treatment once you know what you have.

Insect Repellant would be wildly popular and possibly short circuit some plague outbreaks. Magical trinkets with Insect Repellant and Power 1 would be wildly popular among anyone who can afford them.

I don't think these spells have enough effect to change the effective TL, even if widely known. They do do a good job of removing some rough edges of life and help get that idealized medieval image going.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:08 PM   #57
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Sorcerer's Stand-In and generalized Aide could be the catalysts that shift a magical setting's approach to large-scale magic toward the "industrial," with knock-on effects for . . . pretty much everything.

Analgesic and some of its variants might well significantly retard drug development, if widely known and used.

Teachers with Image could totally circumvent the expense and trouble of books, and very likely increase literacy rates rather quickly.

But I think Insect Repellent would have the most profound effects. Put that and Test (Malaria) or whatever in the same society, and death rates would plummet.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:59 PM   #58
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Sea Legs would be a humble but highly practical tool for lowering barriers to sea voyaging. It doesn't even need that pt of Power. Being down 1 FP per hour would be way better than being seasick.

It might not reach its' full effect til late TL4 or so but its' usefulness would persist well through TL6.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:08 PM   #59
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

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I don't think Birth Control would have as much effect as one might think, the roman empire had well known and popular herbal contraceptives, so popular they drove the plant to extinction. You had 12 kids so you could have 6 make it to adulthood, and it isn't until TL 7 or 8 that children become a net economic detriment to families, before then more children meant more labor and thus more money. It would help cut down on scandals and problematic royal bastards, however.
Seems less true for landless people (who likely will only get paltry market rates for their child's labor) or wealthy people (who don't put their children to labor, at least before they're educated enough for labor befitting their class). And for the latter group not having too many children helps with inheritance troubles...though of course there is always the countervailing concern of unexpectedly having too few.
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Ritual of Sowing would improve the planting process, but you still have to wait for things to grow. Convenient, but only saving a few days of labor per year for each peasant.
Assuming the savings include plowing where normally required, you can either cultivate 25% more land with the same labor, or cultivate the same amount of land and keep 20% of the people at some other work. A big help if you want to have levies in the field during planting time but not starve!
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Insect Repellant would be wildly popular and possibly short circuit some plague outbreaks.
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But I think Insect Repellent would have the most profound effects. Put that and Test (Malaria) or whatever in the same society, and death rates would plummet.
I expected that at first, but Insect Repellent says it is no better than known substances. Not a big difference unless you're in a position where casting the spell is much more accessible than procuring and applying the substance, and at 1 FP per hour I don't see that holding on a societal level rather than for isolated individuals.
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Teachers with Image could totally circumvent the expense and trouble of books, and very likely increase literacy rates rather quickly.
Image costs 1 FP per minute to maintain. A teacher needs skill 15+ to be able to play projector for long enough to be a good book stand-in, and you still need the book (or Photographic Memory) to store the information in between presentations, and the students will need to take notes or to have excellent recall.

It's much easier than handouts (before cheap paper and printing), but for simple text a blackboard is potentially better (because you can change it without having to spend a whole FP and recast the spell).
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:16 PM   #60
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Default Re: GURPS Magic: The Least of Spells

Yeah, remember that the average professional will have a skill around 12. 15 would be for exceptional people.
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