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Old 01-25-2015, 03:02 AM   #11
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

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Originally Posted by Qhaysh View Post
Ars Magica is a great game: it has a wonderful system for spellcasting and spell-design, and the setting is interesting and quite well-written. The problem is that the rest of the system is kind of low-resolution. So, being the GURPS fundamentalist that I am, I decided I'd try to convert the AM's magic.
Compared to Ars Magica's high-simulation character advancement rules, GURPS' low-resolution ones are a complete joke.

And this is important, given that an emergent effect of Ars Magica's high-simulation character advancement rules is that spellcaster player characters, as well as spellcaster non-player characters, spend a lot of time worrying about how they can advance themselves most efficiently.

That's much of what makes Ars Magica great. That it's not about killing monsters and dragons because the GM tells you to, but about seeking to become a better scholar, facilitated by rules that actually acknowledge that some learning processes are much better than others.

A magi character, whether PC or NPC, can expect something like 400-700 seasons of lifespan, total, after apprenticeship. Most seek to spend those wisely.

Why waste a season being taught by a fellow Covenant member, in a skill you find valuable, when you can gain 30% or 40% more XP in that same skill, per season, if you can get a more skilled teacher, from another Covenant, to teach you instead? He won't spend a season teaching you, let alone two or three, out of the goodness of his heart, of course, but those Faeries he'd like you to deal with, in exchange for teaching you, can't be that dangerous, can they...?

Same with books. The primary kind of treasure in Ars Magica is the high-Quality book, because when you have it, you can study from it more efficiently. Covenant libraries are filled with trash books that noboy wants to read, but dangle a supreme-Quality book in front of a magi character and you'll have instant motivation. Instant in-character motivation.

What are your plans for drastically improving the simulativeness of GURPS' character advancement rules, so as to achieve an emergent effect that is at least somewhat comparable to what Ars Magica's rules achives?
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

I am happy that people are converting Ars MaMagica to GURPS because I really like to take the cool stuff from Ars Magica and use it in DF.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

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Ivalero is right. Consider the following, where

F = Form skill
T = Technique skill
X = The result of a single 3d6 roll
Y = The result of a different 3d6 roll
Z = The result of rolling 6d6

and understand that

(X+Y) = Z, because rolling six dice together is no different than rolling three dice twice and summing it

Given the above, your system adds the margin from two rolls, so:

MOS = (F - X) + (T - Y)

MOS = F - X + T - Y

MOS = F + T - X - Y

MOS = (F + T) - (X + Y)

MOS = (F + T) - Z

See, Qhaysh, what you're missing is that you are rolling 6d6 for this spellcasting -- you're just doing it in two batches, but it's still effectively "one roll" because you're summing the margins.
But you have two chances of failing with 2-dice rolls. With onlyone roll you only have one.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

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But you have two chances of failing with 2-dice rolls. With onlyone roll you only have one.
Correct, but that wasn't the point I was addressing. I was explaining why breaking it into two 3d6 rolls doesn't fix the "clumping" issue.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

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But you have two chances of failing with 2-dice rolls. With onlyone roll you only have one.
Not the way he was describing it. In his example, the caster failed and just got a -1 MoS. You do have two chances for critical successes or failures, but otherwise it is the same.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

Another option that occurred to me was to simply clump two relative skill levels to one attribute and have the magus roll against that.

So let's go back to Blastius in the first example. Let's say he has an IQ of 14. Since all skills are VH, he has Creo 14/+0 [8] and Ignem 18/+4 [24]. If he were to cast that same spell upthread, his base Creo Ignem roll would be 18 (IQ 14, plus 0 from Creo and +4 from Ignem); further modified by the spell's energy cost of 42 (-5), for an effective skill of 13.

But this just sounds weird to me, so I'd gladly welcome another way of dealing with the whole "one feat, two skills" thing
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

I wonder if you could treat the techniques as Path Realms (see Pyramid #3/66: The Laws of Magic). It would need a little modifying, of course, but seems like it could be workable and that removes the need for making two rolls, while keeping the flavor of Ars Magica.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

So... I kept considering all options and it seems that what makes the most sense is to treat each technique as an attribute, which is bought up from 10 normally (and probably can't be any lower). For regular spellcasting it is combined with HT (since for formulaic spellcasting Stamina is used in Are). And on top of that calculated base we add the skill, which represents the Form.

Having the two things be mechanically different is the only option, since in GURPS you can never have two skills affect a single feat (except for supporting skill rolls, but the bonus is tiny). In a skill roll the only two necessary elements are attribute and skill (even if said skill is at default), so these are the only two things techniques and forms could be.

Now, the only thing I can't decide is how to price the Techniques (mechanically treated as attributes). My initial feeling is to just go with 5/level. This means that a +1 to rolls costs 10. Not really sure about this, though. Thoughts?
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

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Originally Posted by Qhaysh View Post
Ars Magica is a great game: it has a wonderful system for spellcasting and spell-design, and the setting is interesting and quite well-written. The problem is that the rest of the system is kind of low-resolution. So, being the GURPS fundamentalist that I am, I decided I'd try to convert the AM's magic.
The strength and wonder of Ars Magica is not the magic system but in the society they built around being a mage. GURPS Magic is close enough in the broad concepts that it function as a replacement. Ritual Path Magic is a even a better fit although I never used it.

(what you can do, the limits, the length of time it takes to make magic items)

This is how I adapted it for my campaign.

http://www.batintheattic.com/wilderlands/magic.html

These are the rules

http://www.batintheattic.com/wilderl...agicRules.html

Granted they are for 3rd edition but they worked for 4th edition as well.

Magery grants Parma Magica at +5 modified magic resistance per level. So a Mage with Magery 3 has the equivalent of +15 Magic Resistance against any spell against them. Doesn't effect the Mage's own spell.

The magery for Mages outside of the order is at a reduced cost of 10 initial and 8 per level afterwards.

This effectively replicated one of the defining aspect of the Order of Hermes in relation to the magical world of Mythic Europe. The rest what I did was background material and roleplaying.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:30 AM   #20
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Default Re: [RPM] Adapting Ars Magica into GURPS

RIIIISEE FROM YOUR GRAVE, ATTEND MY SUMMONS!

Sorry for the necromancy. I've gone back to pondering how to adapt Ars again, now that I finally have time for myself.

So one of the things about the magic in Ars is that a magus can choose to focus on either the verb (Technique) or the noun (Form) when increasing his powers. A magus wanting to fling fireballs around could choose to focus on Fire (Ignem) or Creo (Create), or maybe both. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's say I have Creo 5 and Ignem 10, I'll be casting with a 15; it could just as well be Creo 10 and Ignem 5, and I'd be casting as effectively. There are side benefits for each case: focusing on Techniques means more spellcasting flexibility (since there are only 5 verbs/Techniques and 10 nouns/Forms); whereas focusing on Techniques/nouns gives you some resistance against things of that type (e.g.: having high Ignem/Fire will give you some resistance agains fire).

Although I'm not one for translating the mechanics directly, I do think this particular bit of rules should be translated into the adaptation.

The best option still is, to my mind, using the verbs as semi-Attributes (raised from 10). Another option did occur to me, though: both Techniques /Verbs and Forms/Nouns are skills, and effective casting skill is calculated by adding both relative skill levels onto the attribute.

Let me give you a worked example: Blasty the Battle-magus, a Flambeau magus, knows Ignem/Fire (an IQ/H skill) at +3, which cost him 16 CP; he also knows Creo/Create (an IQ/VH skill) at +0, which cost him 8 CP. When casting a Fireball Spell, we add BOTH relative skill levels to his attribute (which we'll say is his IQ 12); which in this case means he rolls against an effective skill of 15 (12 base attribute level + 0 from Creo +3 from Ignem).

Let's say he now wants to put out a fire; that requires Perdo Ignem (Destroy Fire). His Ignem is +3 [16], and his Perdo is -2 [2]. So to put out said fire Blasty would be rolling against an effective skill of 13 (12 base attribute level -2 from Perdo +3 from Ignem).

Does this sound any better?
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