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Old 12-20-2018, 02:27 AM   #21
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
I assume he's got a limitation on his Magery and/or Ritual Adept (if he has that - though he likely doesn't need it given he isn't casting spells)?
He has the limitation on his Magery. PCs can't take Ritual Adept, it's reserved for powerful spirits, demons, Beyonders and the like.

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I've been using my rules from "What's In a Lair" from Pyramid #3/86: Organizations. You could likely map out a cost for one by figuring the cost using the Power Pool/Enhancer (p. 11) then using the trading points for money schema to determine a character point cost.
Right, that's where to find that!

Having checked it, I don't see any simple way to link 'Bases' with Status and Wealth level, i.e. determining what a settled lifestyle at a given Wealth and Status gives you.

Should I just assume that if the Creation Cost fits inside the 80% of assets for a PC's Wealth level, it's valid for the base to be his home? And that if Upkeep is less than Cost of Living that he maintains at his Status, that's part of his CoL?

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I tend to shove niggly bits into all my work. That's one of them.

I'll also suggest you consider using Magical Components (GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic, p. 18) if hunting for more bonuses. You can reverse engineer the costs for different TLs by simply dividing the TL3 Starting Wealth into those values. Should be straightforward.

The "Incanter's Grimoire" from Pyramid #3/114: Mind Over Magic is also very useful for doing weird stuff in a RPM-based system. It is specific to that magic system, but most of it should pass through to energy-accumulating RPM just fine.

"A Familiar Path" from Pyramid #3/75: Hero's Jackpot contains lots of little rules for RPM and, of course, rules for having familiars for a caster.

The Ritual Path Magic tag on my blog may be of some service as well.
I'll look at the above.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:06 AM   #22
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
He has the limitation on his Magery. PCs can't take Ritual Adept, it's reserved for powerful spirits, demons, Beyonders and the like.
Ahhh, ok.

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Right, that's where to find that!

Having checked it, I don't see any simple way to link 'Bases' with Status and Wealth level, i.e. determining what a settled lifestyle at a given Wealth and Status gives you.

Should I just assume that if the Creation Cost fits inside the 80% of assets for a PC's Wealth level, it's valid for the base to be his home? And that if Upkeep is less than Cost of Living that he maintains at his Status, that's part of his CoL?
I wouldn't. It's going to be used by the PC for adventures and thus should fall in the 20% of adventuring gear for his budget. I might toy with the idea a bit on my blog at some point and come up with some workable values. In any case, it likely should not cost less than Mana Enhancer (Place of Power) with appropriate modifiers attached. Actually, that's probably where you could start. Just treat the point value the way you would for Trading Points for Money.


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I'll look at the above.
I could likely suggest more, but I'm not really sure of the style and genre you're going for. Seems fairly low-magic horror.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:52 AM   #23
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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I could likely suggest more, but I'm not really sure of the style and genre you're going for. Seems fairly low-magic horror.
Well, 'low-magic' is one way of describing it. That is, the rules are set up to make magic use almost impossible, specifically in order for the world to resemble our own and enable me to use the Internet to look up everything.

Earth ranges from a No Mana Zone to a Low Mana Zone, with most of it hovering in the Very Low Mana Zone area of -10 to -7. I'm using the Facade from 'Mask of Humanity' and Thresholds from 'Safe as Houses'. I'm also using Assisting Spirits, Mandatory and Significant Modifiers, Ley Lines, Sacred Architecture and Spirit Vessels. The distinction between Greater and Lesser effects is largely determined by whether or not the effect could plausibly be rationalized as something other than a supernatural occurance, with blatant displays of flashy magic quickly becoming forbiddingly difficult.

Added to that, the language used for rituals is significant and common languages carry a penalty of -5, with languages like Coptic, Latin, Koine Greek, Old Norse or Gaelic being required to avoid a penalty (and even then, with a corresponding Cultural Familiarity, you're at a -3).

On the other hand, the PCs (and their foes) are powerful enough to be able to absorb all the penalties and actually use supernatural powers. They're 1000 point superheroes and while they cannot take Ritual Adept or obvious supernatural powers, they can be incredibly gifted, skilled and connected. Their Patron is a literal billionaire with extensive contacts and decades of occult study, for example.

But primarily, though, the PCs will encounter and make use of the supernatural in areas where other worlds are bleeding into this one, the Facade is weak, there is no Threshold and where the Mana Level might be 'only' Low Mana Zone for -5 or even, in catastrophic cases, approach Normal Mana. In the Vile Vortices or other Places of Power, linked by Ley Lines to the twelve areas of the Earth where the boundaries are weakest.

The PCs, obviously, want to repair such rifts in reality. Their Patron, J.R. Kessler, assures them that not doing so will eventually lead to the end of the world, at least as we know it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:24 AM   #24
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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Well, 'low-magic' is one way of describing it. That is, the rules are set up to make magic use almost impossible, specifically in order for the world to resemble our own and enable me to use the Internet to look up everything.
A good idea.

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Earth ranges from a No Mana Zone to a Low Mana Zone, with most of it hovering in the Very Low Mana Zone area of -10 to -7. I'm using the Facade from 'Mask of Humanity' and Thresholds from 'Safe as Houses'. I'm also using Assisting Spirits, Mandatory and Significant Modifiers, Ley Lines, Sacred Architecture and Spirit Vessels. The distinction between Greater and Lesser effects is largely determined by whether or not the effect could plausibly be rationalized as something other than a supernatural occurance, with blatant displays of flashy magic quickly becoming forbiddingly difficult.
Hmm. Well, well. :-)

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Added to that, the language used for rituals is significant and common languages carry a penalty of -5, with languages like Coptic, Latin, Koine Greek, Old Norse or Gaelic being required to avoid a penalty (and even then, with a corresponding Cultural Familiarity, you're at a -3).
I'm doing this in my current campaign. It works very well.

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On the other hand, the PCs (and their foes) are powerful enough to be able to absorb all the penalties and actually use supernatural powers. They're 1000 point superheroes and while they cannot take Ritual Adept or obvious supernatural powers, they can be incredibly gifted, skilled and connected. Their Patron is a literal billionaire with extensive contacts and decades of occult study, for example.
So spellcasting takes a least a minute then? If they have high enough skill levels they are going to be able to soak up the penalty for gathering faster. If they have high Magery low level spells will be able to be cast in a minute since they are simply tapping a source.

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But primarily, though, the PCs will encounter and make use of the supernatural in areas where other worlds are bleeding into this one, the Facade is weak, there is no Threshold and where the Mana Level might be 'only' Low Mana Zone for -5 or even, in catastrophic cases, approach Normal Mana. In the Vile Vortices or other Places of Power, linked by Ley Lines to the twelve areas of the Earth where the boundaries are weakest.
Interesting that you're using mana for RPM. I know there is an option to do it, but I've never seen it in the wild.

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The PCs, obviously, want to repair such rifts in reality. Their Patron, J.R. Kessler, assures them that not doing so will eventually lead to the end of the world, at least as we know it.
Magical apocalypse?
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:45 AM   #25
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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So spellcasting takes a least a minute then? If they have high enough skill levels they are going to be able to soak up the penalty for gathering faster. If they have high Magery low level spells will be able to be cast in a minute since they are simply tapping a source.
Note that you'll usually have to soak the -5 to -10 for Mana Level and a -1 to -5 for imperfectly consecrated space, when casting spells on adventures. They'll need the high bonuses from Mandatory and Significant Modifiers, Symbol Drawing and the like.

That being said, I don't really mind if spellcasting in their private sanctums, with all possible bonuses, takes a couple of minutes instead of a couple of hours, assuming they gather enough modifiers to have an adjusted skill level high enough to soak penalties for casting faster.

At the start, at least, no PC will have Magery higher than 3. So far, no one has opted for Magery without some pretty strict Limitations, but that might be because I stated that the more powerful someone is magically, the more his magic interfered with technology.

Spellcasting PCs experience problems with late TL8 devices, at minimum, with anything later than TL4 being suspect, really. It's expressed by traits like Aspected Unluckiness and Lifebane (Technology) and while the medium with minor Path of Spirit rituals and the magical artificer have fairly mild versions, a mage with unlimited Magery 3 would probably have to live as a Luddite to avoid major complications.

A side effect is that technological objects make magic use harder around them, with up to -4 possible for someone loaded up with late TL8 gadgetry. Of course, scientific laboratories and similar high-tech areas are generally No Mana anyway, unless something odd is happening.

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Interesting that you're using mana for RPM. I know there is an option to do it, but I've never seen it in the wild.
I figure a general -5 to -10 penalty that applies across the board most of the time will make the extra bonuses from Mandatory and Significant Modifiers and Symbol Drawing a lot more balanced.

In the strange realms where the Mana Levels are not so limited, I guess magic is a frightening force indeed, with all of these possible bonuses and no penalties to absorb, but that's a feature, not a bug.

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Magical apocalypse?
The other worlds will bleed into Earth until their eldritch energies and uncanny inhabitants have made it into something unrecognizable to us. And many of those who live in the other realms are hostile or at least callously indifferent to humanity.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:17 AM   #26
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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Note that you'll usually have to soak the -5 to -10 for Mana Level and a -1 to -5 for imperfectly consecrated space, when casting spells on adventures. They'll need the high bonuses from Mandatory and Significant Modifiers, Symbol Drawing and the like.
Are you using Natural Caster to help with those?

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That being said, I don't really mind if spellcasting in their private sanctums, with all possible bonuses, takes a couple of minutes instead of a couple of hours, assuming they gather enough modifiers to have an adjusted skill level high enough to soak penalties for casting faster.
Why not consider allowing practiced casters to purchase something like "Ritual Adept (Anchored, One Site, Movable, 1 minute, -50%) [20]" Anchored is borrowed from Warp and in this case would allow the caster to function as an adept in one place, but could move that to another place with concentration and such. If you wanted the time to go up more, figure the price as for Immediate Preparation Required and subtract 20 from the final cost.

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At the start, at least, no PC will have Magery higher than 3. So far, no one has opted for Magery without some pretty strict Limitations, but that might be because I stated that the more powerful someone is magically, the more his magic interfered with technology.
Interesting. I assume that is a feature of the setting vs. a limitation you've added to magic. This for all magic?

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Spellcasting PCs experience problems with late TL8 devices, at minimum, with anything later than TL4 being suspect, really. It's expressed by traits like Aspected Unluckiness and Lifebane (Technology) and while the medium with minor Path of Spirit rituals and the magical artificer have fairly mild versions, a mage with unlimited Magery 3 would probably have to live as a Luddite to avoid major complications.
You may wish to look at Pyramid #3/78: Unleash Your Soul (p. 30) - I wrote up a tech bane anti-talent that may be of use.

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A side effect is that technological objects make magic use harder around them, with up to -4 possible for someone loaded up with late TL8 gadgetry. Of course, scientific laboratories and similar high-tech areas are generally No Mana anyway, unless something odd is happening.
Where did you get that number from?

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I figure a general -5 to -10 penalty that applies across the board most of the time will make the extra bonuses from Mandatory and Significant Modifiers and Symbol Drawing a lot more balanced.
Also note that Symbol Drawing can be used to consecrate a space and let you ignore penalties for that. So it's a good investment.

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In the strange realms where the Mana Levels are not so limited, I guess magic is a frightening force indeed, with all of these possible bonuses and no penalties to absorb, but that's a feature, not a bug.
As it should be.


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The other worlds will bleed into Earth until their eldritch energies and uncanny inhabitants have made it into something unrecognizable to us. And many of those who live in the other realms are hostile or at least callously indifferent to humanity.
Nifty.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:44 AM   #27
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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Are you using Natural Caster to help with those?
If any PC wants it. So far, the two completed ones have specialised Talents from the 'A Talent for the Arts' sub-section in 'Ritual Path Specialists' in Pyramid #3/66 instead.

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Why not consider allowing practiced casters to purchase something like "Ritual Adept (Anchored, One Site, Movable, 1 minute, -50%) [20]" Anchored is borrowed from Warp and in this case would allow the caster to function as an adept in one place, but could move that to another place with concentration and such. If you wanted the time to go up more, figure the price as for Immediate Preparation Required and subtract 20 from the final cost.
If I allowed it, I'd want it to function only within a Threshold that the caster can treat as his own, either due to living there himself, or the owner taking part in the ritual and explicitly allowing whatever he was doing.

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Interesting. I assume that is a feature of the setting vs. a limitation you've added to magic. This for all magic?
It's informal, as I always assist players making their characters, and so it doesn't need a write-up and can be done by feel. But what I do is adding Disadvantages to characters who have magical powers.

And no, it's not for all magic, theoretically, in that there can potentially exist some strange magical effects that coexists with technology, but a) They are not available to PCs and b) The magic might instead warp reality in other ways.

Practically speaking, PCs can avoid most ill effects by having only fairly limited magical gifts, using them sparingly and tending toward somewhat tried-and-true technology, without any failure-prone electronics. Also, Signature Gear is somewhat protected (and exempt from giving TL penalties to casting), due to the attunement with the character and emotional attachment.

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You may wish to look at Pyramid #3/78: Unleash Your Soul (p. 30) - I wrote up a tech bane anti-talent that may be of use.
Ok, another Pyramid I shall buy instanter.

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Where did you get that number from?
I used -1 per TL above TL 4. In the past, I've used 1/3 (round down) penalty for a single small item, 1/2 (round down) for a few, 2/3 (round down) for a hefty assortment and full penalty for full battle-rattle of the latest gadgets.

Note that I mis-remembered what I did in the last campaign and it should be -1 per TL above TL 3 instead, so the maximum penalty is actually -5.

Environmental technology lowers effective Mana Level around it instead of being a penalty to the individual caster.

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Also note that Symbol Drawing can be used to consecrate a space and let you ignore penalties for that. So it's a good investment.
In baseline Ritual Path Magic, does Symbol Drawing do anything that Thaumatology cannot also do?

In my campaign, at least, it shall have its full Basic Set effects, with the bonus applying both to rolls to gather energy and to cast spells.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:49 AM   #28
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Default Faster Charms and Enchanting

Is there any legal way to hurry the 30 minute time it takes to prepare a Charm object, in exchange, obviously, for taking penalties during the rolls to gather energy and casting the spell?

It seems balanced to me to allow the Time Spent rules to apply in this specific case, with the penalty for the time reduction applied to all rolls to make the Charm.

Because it's both plausible and fun for PCs have to make a Charm, but not really having the full 30 minutes they need for proper preparation. Instead of disallowing it, I'd prefer massive penalties and, consequently, increased risks of critical failures.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:54 AM   #29
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Default Re: Can a Ritual Give a Bonus to Symbol Drawing or Alchemy?

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If any PC wants it. So far, the two completed ones have specialised Talents from the 'A Talent for the Arts' sub-section in 'Ritual Path Specialists' in Pyramid #3/66 instead.
Ah, that's usually a better deal if you are concentrating on specific magics anyways.


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If I allowed it, I'd want it to function only within a Threshold that the caster can treat as his own, either due to living there himself, or the owner taking part in the ritual and explicitly allowing whatever he was doing.
I'd call that worth -60% total. You can move it, but you got to own the place or squat there.

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It's informal, as I always assist players making their characters, and so it doesn't need a write-up and can be done by feel. But what I do is adding Disadvantages to characters who have magical powers.
Ahhh.

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And no, it's not for all magic, theoretically, in that there can potentially exist some strange magical effects that coexists with technology, but a) They are not available to PCs and b) The magic might instead warp reality in other ways.
Old Ones tech and such.

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Practically speaking, PCs can avoid most ill effects by having only fairly limited magical gifts, using them sparingly and tending toward somewhat tried-and-true technology, without any failure-prone electronics. Also, Signature Gear is somewhat protected (and exempt from giving TL penalties to casting), due to the attunement with the character and emotional attachment.
I like this bit with Signature Gear. That's not a bad idea overall when you're doing something like this.

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Ok, another Pyramid I shall buy instanter.
Sorry! I'm not shilling, I swear.

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I used -1 per TL above TL 4. In the past, I've used 1/3 (round down) penalty for a single small item, 1/2 (round down) for a few, 2/3 (round down) for a hefty assortment and full penalty for full battle-rattle of the latest gadgets.
Ahh, ok. That's pretty simple. I thought you might be doing something with TL penalties or such.


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Environmental technology lowers effective Mana Level around it instead of being a penalty to the individual caster.
That's actually pretty cool too. Hmmm. Hmmm I say.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In baseline Ritual Path Magic, does Symbol Drawing do anything that Thaumatology cannot also do?
Not really. It's oomph lies in preparing a space to boost your gathering rolls.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In my campaign, at least, it shall have its full Basic Set effects, with the bonus applying both to rolls to gather energy and to cast spells.
That may prove more powerful than you like. A compromise might be to give the full bonus to gather energy then a +1 to the casting roll (+2 for a critical success)
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:55 AM   #30
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Default Re: Faster Charms and Enchanting

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Is there any legal way to hurry the 30 minute time it takes to prepare a Charm object, in exchange, obviously, for taking penalties during the rolls to gather energy and casting the spell?

It seems balanced to me to allow the Time Spent rules to apply in this specific case, with the penalty for the time reduction applied to all rolls to make the Charm.

Because it's both plausible and fun for PCs have to make a Charm, but not really having the full 30 minutes they need for proper preparation. Instead of disallowing it, I'd prefer massive penalties and, consequently, increased risks of critical failures.
You can apply the Time Spent rules to create the charm, but not to the roll to cast the spell it's meant to contain.
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