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Old 05-23-2018, 07:22 PM   #11
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
I think you are confusing High Magic with High Fantasy

High Magic fits the Norse quite well. It is the magical equivalent of home remedies. Under this falls things like Craft Magic where special rituals while crafting an item imbues it with magical power. Oaths, knacks, and True Faith all fall under High Magic.

Next up is Formulaic Magic ie magic via secret knowledge and elaborate rituals. This is where mystics will be.

Low Magic combines High and Formulaic Magic. Spells are easy to learn but produce very potent.
I have no idea where any of this terminology comes from. I've never heard it before.

It occurs to me that I may be approaching this from the wrong direction. Instead of making players choose a caster type and telling them what spells it's possible for that type to know, I can just write up a couple of actual caster characters and the spells they know. New player characters have only had the opportunity to learn spells from these characters, so that's their list. It's not limited, for instance, by what cunning men and wise women know; it's limited by what Solvi the Cunning Man is able to teach you. That has the added benefit of not putting player characters into a spell caster "class": they might pick up a few spells from various places (and whatever stigmas go along with that).
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:51 PM   #12
hal
 
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Default Re: Viking magic

Having NPC teachers is definitely one way to go. In order to balance that approach, you would need to offer the ability to learn new spells in game play. Learning new spells once game play starts, tends to be problematic however...

In addition, make note of the fact that GURPS MAGIC pre-requisite chains predate the invention of magery 0, and that nothing prevents you from changing things around for use with your game universe. In addition, GURPS MAGIC already allows for mundane advantages to act in lieu of magery where healing spells are concerned.

You can also play with spell list styles so as to further customize MAGIC in your campaign...
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I have no idea where any of this terminology comes from. I've never heard it before.
They are used in GURPS Fantasy.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
In addition, make note of the fact that GURPS MAGIC pre-requisite chains predate the invention of magery 0, and that nothing prevents you from changing things around for use with your game universe. In addition, GURPS MAGIC already allows for mundane advantages to act in lieu of magery where healing spells are concerned.
IMHO GURPS 4e Magic is the weakest of the 4e books being more a consolidation of 3e Magic, the Grimoire, and Magic Items then an actual update.

Last edited by maximara; 05-23-2018 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Learning new spells once game play starts, tends to be problematic however...
Why?

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In addition, make note of the fact that GURPS MAGIC pre-requisite chains predate the invention of magery 0
I should have said, does not require Magery. So given that we're talking about no more than normal mana, it must be expected that all of these casters have at least Magery 1. It's only in high or very high mana zones that non-mages can cast non-Magery-prerequisite spells. That fixes a few things.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
High Magic fits the Norse quite well. It is the magical equivalent of home remedies. Under this falls things like Craft Magic where special rituals while crafting an item imbues it with magical power. Oaths, knacks, and True Faith all fall under High Magic.

Next up is Formulaic Magic ie magic via secret knowledge and elaborate rituals. This is where mystics will be.

Low Magic combines High and Formulaic Magic. Spells are easy to learn but are learn via direct story.
They produce very potent results. Your average D&D campaign has Low Magic.
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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
They are used in GURPS Fantasy.
GURPS Fantasy defines High and Low magic the other way round.

p147 - Low magic is the magical equivalent of home remedies.
p151 - High magic is the kind of spellcasting found in many roleplaying games.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:27 AM   #16
hal
 
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Default Re: Viking magic

Depending on your GMing style, 200 hours of instructed training can be difficult for story continuity. In general, it needs to occur during down time for the most part.

If the pc can't get a teacher, then the time doubles to 400 hours.

Then, because of the requisite chains, getting a spell you want, may require subsequent study in sequential order, making it such that a four spell requisite chain to get the fifth desired spell ends up taking 2000 hours of self-study.

I've GM'd medieval fantasy that required a fair bit of down time, as well as what I call "modern fantasy". If you want, get in touch with me via email, and I'll discuss some of the other issues.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Viking magic

Downtime won't be a problem; this will be a fairly sandboxy game, and it won't particularly focus on magic-using characters. (But someone will want it, so it'll be available in its Nordicly limited form.) It's the reminder that third edition GURPS didn't have Magery 0, so all the spellcasters will have at least Magery 1 anyway, that's really made the difference. Thanks for that.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
GURPS Fantasy defines High and Low magic the other way round.

p147 - Low magic is the magical equivalent of home remedies.
p151 - High magic is the kind of spellcasting found in many roleplaying games.
Yep, confused (whatever) Magic with (whatever) Fantasy:

High Fantasy: Magic in general is rare...in some settings so rare that many may not even believe magic even exists. What magic that does exist will be concentrated in gods, other mythic beings, powerful magicians (who are themselves rare) or in a handful of artifacts. It also tends to be unpredictable. - p6 Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are examples of High Fantasy.

Low Fantasy: Magic is common and evenly distributed in the world rather then being concentrated in certain places, people, or beings. Magic is just another tool that people use. - p6 Warcraft is an example of a Low Fantasy setting.

High Fantasy does fit the Norse (with regards to mortals) as magic items are generally very rare either produced by the Gods or the Dwarves. What magic is in the hands of mortals is mysterious.

Last edited by maximara; 05-24-2018 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:36 PM   #19
hal
 
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Default Re: Viking magic

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Downtime won't be a problem; this will be a fairly sandboxy game, and it won't particularly focus on magic-using characters. (But someone will want it, so it'll be available in its Nordicly limited form.) It's the reminder that third edition GURPS didn't have Magery 0, so all the spellcasters will have at least Magery 1 anyway, that's really made the difference. Thanks for that.
Gotta love the Sandbox environment. :)
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: Viking magic

So it took a perusal of the first edition of GURPS Vikings to figure out what to really do.

I'd forgotten how GURPS was created, before the modern obsession with templates and alternative systems and "toolkit-iness." When GURPS Vikings was first written, GURPS books each had a section in which various character "types" were discussed. Traits were mentioned, roles were described. But it was always kept vague because these are not classes. You're not expected to be restricted to these character types. That's not how these books were written.

So when GURPS Vikings comes along and gives you a bunch of character types like mystic and skald and priest of Thor and so on, it's not telling you to pick one of these and then build your character. Your choice of traits is generally as wide open as the setting allows, and you can construct your character to conform to one of those types... or not.

This is why the description of spells seems so vague. It's not telling you "these are the spells allowed a hedge-wizard; these are the spells allowed a mystic," and so on; it's telling you that if you construct your character along the lines of a hedge-wizard, mystic, or whatever, these are the sorts of spells you'll want to pick. You can pick ANY available spells, and it's up to you which spells you think make sense. A decent GM will ask the player to justify his spell selection according to his background, and the player might reasonably come up with a background that doesn't conform to one of the spellcasting types, yet makes sense. And if a player chooses a fireball/illusion/flying selection of spells, he's obviously automatically a dangerous enchanter that should be shunned. The GM must force a Social Stigma, or any other disadvantages, on such a character.

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.

With that in mind, here's my solution, based on the restrictions mentioned in GURPS Vikings, some of which only show up in the first edition:

The Norse lands have normal mana. Magery above level 1 must be approved by the GM (have a good background ready).

All spells from GURPS Magic are allowed except:
  • The various Elemental Spirit spells (Summon, Control, Create)
  • Enchantment spells, but Enchant, Staff, and Talisman are allowed
  • Movement spells that deal with teleportation
  • Necromantic spells, but Death Vision, Sense Spirit, the Steal spells, Age, Pestilence, and other spells that harm the health of living beings are allowed

If a spell appears in an allowed and a disallowed college, it is allowed and counts as being in both colleges.

Spells should be chosen according to where you learned to use magic. For instance, if you learned magic from a wise woman, you should only choose spells appropriate to the rural spellcaster. If you know any spells, you must take Social Stigma 2 (Spellcaster) [-10] or else a Secret (Spellcaster) [-10]. Spells that only an enchanter would know will be rejected if they can't be justified.

In addition to standard magic, Norsemen may also use the Futhark for symbol magic, as per GURPS Magic. It does not carry the usual Social Stigma for being a spellcaster.

Last edited by Stormcrow; 05-24-2018 at 12:51 PM.
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