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Old 12-03-2013, 08:48 PM   #21
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Default Re: GURPS Magic Flavor

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Originally Posted by Angle View Post
SHould we make a thread for brainstorming magical styles? For that matter, while we're at it, we may as well brainstorm martial styles, and maybe a few other things while we're at it. What you say, forums?
There are some of both already on the forums.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:54 PM   #22
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After having run fantasy campaigns under every edition of GURPS over the past 27 years, I can honestly say that the generalist whose player flicks through a book or a stack of index cards every damned time he wants to cast a spell is the source of far more annoyance than the specialist who does a couple of things well, if a little too well. The first wizard holds up play, has so much scope that he invalidates and invades the niches of other characters, and can't be challenged by anything less ham-fisted than a no-mana area. The second is easily challenged by a situation or a foe that isn't susceptible to her best tricks, leaves vast swaths of competence free for other PCs, and is a blessing because she knows what she wants to do.
Then it's stupid that GURPS Magic's magic system so strongly encourages the creation of generalist casters.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:10 PM   #23
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Default Re: GURPS Magic Flavor

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Then it's stupid that GURPS Magic's magic system so strongly encourages the creation of generalist casters.
I disagree, I loved playing a geenralist and in my group we hd few problems with them. When we did we used a house rule that you had 1 minute when your turn came up or you would be declared using a wait maneuver.
Most though had a few good combat spells they favored so was not a problem. The rest were great out of combat spells.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:11 PM   #24
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OK, so it sounds like the smart build is to sink character points into ER (Magic). But I didn't see that on the Battle Mage template in Banestorm so I had forgotten about that advantage. Did it not make that template because of RL timing issues (Didn't Banestorm come out before Powers, which is the first mention of ER I can find in my books?) or was there another reason?
The smart built is to sink 1-6 points into Ally(Familiar) and stick Granted by Familiar -40% on your ER (Magic) and a few other Exotic advantages you might want like extra levels of Margery, Compartmentalized Mind (Spells only) etc
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #25
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Default Re: GURPS Magic Flavor

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post

Then it's stupid that GURPS Magic's magic system so strongly encourages the creation of generalist casters.
I don't really think it does. It's neutral on the subject, to be honest. What encourages generalists is a system where the big investment is in an attribute or a Talent, and each added capability is a cheap skill. That's GURPS in general, not some special property of the magic rules. Whether it's "stupid" is utterly subjective; it's a workable model that's withstood 27 years of actual play.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:21 PM   #26
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Then it's stupid that GURPS Magic's magic system so strongly encourages the creation of generalist casters.
Yes, well, it's a system that dates in significant measure back to GURPS 2nd edition. It's not hard to discourage generalist casters -- I suggest an unusual background cost of 1 per spell known.
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I don't really think it does.
Well, the change in skill cost curves with 4th edition significantly altered the math on the generalist vs the specialist, as did eliminating the max skill points based on age and the general increase in point values. When your mage is built on 100+45 (spending 80 on IQ 14, Magery 3) there's less room for generalizing than when your mage is built on 250 + 105.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #27
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That said, I'd love to see a book of magical styles with advice for tailoring them to your campaign.
To offer another point of view: Some customers talk about wanting worked examples, catalogs, collections, etc., but sales show that's mostly words, and that the actual money goes toward tool kits. We have to follow the money – this is a business, after all! While some might take away a snarky interpretation of my words, snark isn't my intention here . . . One of the practical problems with a generic, universal game is that people play in any number of genres, at any number of power levels, tech levels, realism levels, etc., switching huge numbers of options on and off as fits their campaigns. A decent tool kit can be adapted to almost any such configuration, but examples are perforce a whole lot narrower than that. That's why they're a hard sell.

Despite what I just said, we've certainly made the desire to publish sample magical styles very clear to our regular freelancers. If one of them wants to risk mediocre royalties working on examples instead of systems, we'll publish it. In fact, we have at least one possibility in the works right now, but it's too soon to talk about that. In the meantime, Pyramid has offered a number of magical styles, and we stand by our stance that Pyramid is real GURPS support that counts every bit as much as something with "GURPS Foo" on the front page.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:52 PM   #28
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Default Re: GURPS Magic Flavor

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When your mage is built on 100+45 (spending 80 on IQ 14, Magery 3) there's less room for generalizing than when your mage is built on 250 + 105.
I fully agree that when players have more points to spend, they're more apt to create generalists. GURPS Fourth Edition pitches to a higher power level because that's the overall lean of the hobby. Roleplaying has definitely drifted away from "zero to hero" and toward starting out with a character who can do the amazing stuff you want to be able to do right out of the gate. To paraphrase an often-seen criticism of low-powered starts: "Why should I put up with playing a putz for session after session so that I can eventually do what I signed up for? That's holding me hostage. I have only a little time for gaming, so I want to be able to do the cool stuff from the first session!"

Again, we're following the money.

But nothing prevents the GM whose players don't feel that way from running a 100-point campaign with as few disadvantages as make him comfortable, or even something like a 75 + 25 campaign. It's just that if the GM goes with high points, throwing the books at the players and saying "Make characters!" is doomed with or without magic. That's why worked examples like Dungeon Fantasy and Monster Hunters accompany high power levels with restricted trait lists, near-mandatory templates, and structured task rules that make clearer what levels of skill are needed to succeed.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #29
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But nothing prevents the GM whose players don't feel that way from running a 100-point campaign with as few disadvantages as make him comfortable, or even something like a 75 + 25 campaign.
In fact, I've been doing a 75 + 37 campaign the past year and a half, set in Worminghall. The players seem to be having a great time. Their characters started out knowing only a handful of spells—two knew none at all—and they've been taking classes, and studying, and gaining skills as the campaign progresses. GURPS works just fine for that.

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Old 12-04-2013, 12:50 AM   #30
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Default Re: GURPS Magic Flavor

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
To offer another point of view: Some customers talk about wanting worked examples, catalogs, collections, etc., but sales show that's mostly words, and that the actual money goes toward tool kits. We have to follow the money – this is a business, after all! While some might take away a snarky interpretation of my words, snark isn't my intention here . . . One of the practical problems with a generic, universal game is that people play in any number of genres, at any number of power levels, tech levels, realism levels, etc., switching huge numbers of options on and off as fits their campaigns. A decent tool kit can be adapted to almost any such configuration, but examples are perforce a whole lot narrower than that. That's why they're a hard sell.

Despite what I just said, we've certainly made the desire to publish sample magical styles very clear to our regular freelancers. If one of them wants to risk mediocre royalties working on examples instead of systems, we'll publish it. In fact, we have at least one possibility in the works right now, but it's too soon to talk about that. In the meantime, Pyramid has offered a number of magical styles, and we stand by our stance that Pyramid is real GURPS support that counts every bit as much as something with "GURPS Foo" on the front page.
I know. I totally appreciate that you've got to follow the money. And if I'm honest, I can't buy anything new Until march even though I want to catch up on pyramid. But I can dream. Could you refer me to the pyramid issues and supplements with magical styles in them? I'll use that to write my Christmas wish list...
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