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Old 10-11-2015, 08:09 PM   #21
Bruno
 
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
If I remember correctly, there are armors in Basic Set, Ultra-Tech, and High-Tech that have different DR scores if the damage type is impaling as opposed to piercing. I don't have my books open right now to check, though.
There's a bunch of examples in the Basic Set on the High Tech armor table, that's the [1] footnote. I'm pretty sure on the Ultra Tech armor table too, but I'm away from my books and PDFs right now.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:04 PM   #22
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

GURPS Magic as written can't be "fixed" because the underlying engine powering it is incredibly faulty and prone to abuse. It needs to be retooled and redesigned from the ground up.

IQ+Magery
Nobody thinks that is okay once they've used GURPS Magic as-is.

Magical Spells are not Skills
But they use the skill system! Sort of. Most of the skills in GURPS are broad and cover a large amount of knowledge or physical skill. The narrower the field, the EASIER the skill becomes. GURPS Magic is not this way; as you have noticed, you need to consolidate the skills in order to make them more appropriate. There are few skill-penalty analogues in GURPS Magic. And the ones that do exist, like he -1 per hex distance penalty, result in a heavy skewing towards spells that AREN'T reliant on distance. Like missile spells, pre-combat buffs, and spells that can be controlled at a distance but not CAST at a distance. There aren't "deceptive" casting techniques to make your resisted spell more likely to penetrate your subject's resistances, or "All-Out Concentration" maneuvers, or "Telegraphing" to make your spells easier to cast. And skill prerequisites. . .

Where Are the Tools?
GURPS Magic had no tools or framework to teach you how to design your own spells or colleges. Worse, one can't even derive a consistent framework because the spells themselves are inconsistent from spell to spell, even between similar spells. What makes a spell VH as opposed to H? What is the difference between expending 1, 2, 3, or more energy? Why do some spells require more prerequisites than others? Why do I even NEED a prerequisite? None of the skills in GURPS have prerequisites. . . But I need them in GURPS Magic?

Comparison to Advantages
People say you can't compare Advantages and Spells. Well, maybe not in terms of outright costs, but you CAN compare them in terms of the flexibility each one provides. Advantages have a huge advantage (heh heh) with the number of building blocks you have. You have the advantage list, enhancements, limitations, and the myriad ways they all interact accordingly. There is very little that you cannot create. Further, since it uses a well-documented set of tools, you can be reasonably assured that it is fair. Spells don't have that flexibility. They just don't, and they should have from the get go.

---
I am sure there is more, a lot more. It needs retooled. It won't be, probably not for a very, very, very long time. But I imagine that it will someday.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:40 PM   #23
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
OK Magic gets a lot of flack, most of the time it's for having too many spells, others it's for being too cheap in light of Powers (A nonsensical argument) and even people upset about the way it makes you spend only a single point of each spell and pour points onto the core stat. While fixing the whole system is too much for a forum post I can make an attempt at fixing a single college.
To me, the main problem is that that there's no way to create new spells like you can with RPM or Sorcery. So if I have specific spells in mind (for example, creating spell lists from a specific setting), then I'm stuck with house rules and wild guesses.

A lot stems from that. Magic as written is one of the few systems that has an identity all its own, with a unique if rather bland feel-- IMO a departure from the general GURPS approach of allowing you to simulate other settings' features. Your best bet is usually to take a close-enough spell, drop all other effects, and try to make up the difference with fluff. Or chain spells together, itself a problem. The spells you do get have some minor inconsistencies with how they integrate with other 4e systems. There's also the damage scaling problem, but I think that's going to be intrinsic to any GURPS magic system. Spell creation lets you bypass this by tuning your spells for a given setting, so this doesn't affect RPM or Sorcery as much.

The niche protection problem is important, but IMO a GM can engineer around that with the tools he already has. The limited and inflexible nature of GURPS Magic is to me a much harder problem to solve.

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I hope this proves to people that it is possible to fix Magic. Please note however that this was just something that I threw together in about 3 hours and should only be taken as a proof of concept and starting point and not a finished version a a fixed Fire College. If this process of merging multiple smaller spells and very similar spells together is applied all across Magic I can see it's spell count shrinking from the 450 it is now to around 250-300, it may even end with Fireball and Lightning become the same spell
Since obviously you and I disagree about what the core problem with Magic is, your particular solution won't scratch what I consider to be the most important itch. But it's still an interesting approach. My own idea was to find a way to use Powers-to-Skills with the Sorcery system and try to rebuild the spells in GURPS Magic that way, but obviously that doesn't address any of your concerns. That thread was going pretty well but kind of trailed off.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:02 PM   #24
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by Desthro View Post
IQ+Magery
Nobody thinks that is okay once they've used GURPS Magic as-is.
"IQ costs way too much! How can I ever make a mage with decent levels in all these skills he needs to function in the party?"

Will+Magery would fit a lot of fictional sources better.

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Magical Spells are not Skills
Yes they are.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
"IQ costs way too much! How can I ever make a mage with decent levels in all these skills he needs to function in the party?"

Will+Magery would fit a lot of fictional sources better.
THuam29 allows this, and I wonder how much the Based on ... from B102 would need to be changed (That's probably in Powers somewhere)
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:56 PM   #26
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
"IQ costs way too much! How can I ever make a mage with decent levels in all these skills he needs to function in the party?"

Will+Magery would fit a lot of fictional sources better.



Yes they are.
Part and parcel of the problem is that IQ and Will are interchangeable because Will equals IQ unless you buy it up or down from IQ. An IQ 12 person starts with IQ 12 Will 12. Upping Will as its own attribute makes "Easier" to get higher skill levels, but then one runs the risk of others saying "This is too easy to abuse".

Lets face it. GURPS MAGIC was written for GURPS 1st thru 3rd edition. GURPS 4th Edition is a whole different beast.

What I find illuminating is the fact that someone will say "This is the problem" and someone else will chime in saying "no no no, THIS is the problem". Then you get into design philosophy where the Game attempts to follow a set paradigm only to discover that one approach does not satisfy everyone. Hell, something as simple as a "Turn Undead" power when built by GURPS POWERS ends up such that my wife turns her nose up at it saying "It is WAY too expensive". That is why I sort of chuckle when I listen to people argue over whether or not GURPS MAGIC is too cheap for what it achieves, or that people claim one advantage is improperly priced (too high or too low). It is like anything else that has a "market mechanism". It has a price, and if the market (the players who design characters) feel the price is too high, the product isn't purchased and languishes on the shelves (so to speak). If someone likes it - they use it. If someone dislikes it, the don't. So those that like GURPS MAGIC as written, like it, Those who don't, will try to find something else to use instead (Ritual Path Magic, Sorcery, etc).

What people don't realize is that the end product of GURPS MAGIC for 4th Edition GURPS is not the same beast it was when GURPS MAGIC first came out. The Mechanism for the point costs were different as well. For me, GURPS MAGIC jumped the Shark (how many people even know the source of that phrase I wonder?) when it introduced GURPS GRIMOIRE (a product that had troubles of its own getting to the market in the first place, as the product is a bastard child if you will).

When GURPS MAGIC for 4e came out with brand new spells that had never been published before, I just groaned, palmed my face with a huge sigh, and never permitted those spells in my campaign world. Essential Wood is one of the worst offenders for me to the game philosophy first established by GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. ACID RAIN and other spells like it just made me think of all those spells I LEFT Dungeons and Dragons for back in the day when it was simply AD&D. This isn't to KNOCK Dungeons and Dragons. It was a fun game in its time, but my tastes for role playing engines were such that I left D&D and searched through the various games like RUNEQUEST, DRAGONQUEST, CHIVALRY & SORCERY, TUNNELS AND TROLLS, HARNMASTER (1st through 3rd and HARNMASTER GOLD editions). If it was out there, I played it - hoping to find something that I'd REALLY like.

The thing is, those of you who are knocking GURPS MAGIC for 4e - have a right to do so, and I won't argue against you for doing that. I would however, suggest that you return to the roots of GURPS MAGIC and try THAT on for a bit before you shoot the horse and bury it forever as "unusable". I'd allow SOME of the spells from GURPS GRIMOIRE in my campaigns, but I'd never have permitted GURPS MAGIC for 4e to be used in my campaigns had that been the first and only book I'd ever seen for use with GURPS. Hell. Had I met up with GURPS 4th edition FIRST instead of say, GURPS 2nd edition - I would have kept searching for a new game system to use for my game sessions. My gaming crew has been using GURPS since 1986. Even with the GURPS 4e material, we still play what amounts to GURPS 3.5 for the most part. There are times when I STILL wish that We had GURPS 3 edition revised as the main vehicle for GURPS. I understand however, that the flavor of GURPS that I desire isn't the flavor that the younger generation wants to play.

So, I buy the PDF's of the classics so that I don't have to worry much about losing my books. I can put the PDF's on my smartphone or on my Kindle and carry my library about without having to lug a ton of books. But even so...

GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition remains my true love over that of the Ritual Path magic. And if it weren't GURPS that I was using for my group, I'd be using CJ Carella's (yes, the author of GURPS VOODOO) Eden Studio WITCHCRAFT and ARMAGEDDON.

Now if you want to see a concise Magic system - THAT one is one people should look at. Why? Because as the original Poster tried to do - they took a spell skill, and grouped a bunch of spells WITHIN it. The thing is, each special effect of that spell would cost different amounts of Essence, and have different difficulties involved with the casting of the spell. THAT is how PATH MAGIC should have been done in my opinion. :)

That having been said? Some people like corvettes, some like sedans, some like SUV's and some even like convertibles. If people can enjoy buying the car of their choice based upon their personal likes and avoid buying other cars due to their dislikes - can role playing games be any different? *shrug*
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:15 PM   #27
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post

Probably, but GURPS Magic has very little to say on the subject. A mind-control ray-gun would come with an LC rating - spells don't.
Ironically enough, GURPS FANTASY does have that concept where spells would have a legality rating. Problem is, GURPS FANTASY for GURPS 4e, has been out ALL this time, and NO ONE, and I do mean NO ONE, has picked up the ball on this one and run with it.

I started to create a Magical Control rating and a legality rating for spells - based on the premise of Magic Guilds and the like. I used the guidelines set in GURPS FANTASY. Then I ran into issues where a given spell itself would qualify for a less strict legality rating, but its prerequisite would have had a harsher control rating. How does one resolve the issue of Legality issues if the requisite spell is worse than the current spell? Under those circumstances, outlawing a requisite spell also outlaws any subsequent spell that uses it as a requisite. I really wish that SJGames had thought this one through a little better. If any given requisite is rendered illegal, then perhaps a "second requisite could have been generated to get around that particular issue.

it was an inherent contradiction that I could not resolve - that and the fact that there are essentially some 800+ spells in GURPS MAGIC for 4e, that makes the entire task a tedious one.

In the end, if I were to rewrite the Requisite system for GURPS, I'd pare down on a fair number of them (as has been attempted by the original poster of this thread), and then toss in the following:

Each "College" has its Thaumatological lore. This Thaumatology(College) should have been usable as a requisite substitute - allowing one to learn how to cast fireballs without first learning to ignite fire - but only because they have the College Lore that teaches them the theory behind lighting a fire even if you can't actually LIGHT the fire.

GURPS MAGIC in its initial publication did not suffer from requisite creep. GURPS MAGIC over time, suffered requisite creep in a big way. Perfect example? DESTROY MANA. Because Destroy mana's requisite chain was already published before GURPS GRIMOIRE came out, the authors had to use the original pre-existing chains and any new spells had to add on requisites to what already existed. Why for instances, didn't GURPS MAGIC for 4e make it such that Drain Mana was a requisite for Destroy Mana instead of the original "vice-versa" set up that currently exists for GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition coupled with GURPS GRIMOIRE 1st edition?

So, yes, I see why so many people are DOWN on GURPS MAGIC. It is an arthritic survivor of aging, with an accumulation of issues that have never been cleaned up - Magical control ratings/legal ratings being one of them. :(
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:25 PM   #28
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Ironically enough, GURPS FANTASY does have that concept where spells would have a legality rating. Problem is, GURPS FANTASY for GURPS 4e, has been out ALL this time, and NO ONE, and I do mean NO ONE, has picked up the ball on this one and run with it.
I've tried. Oh, I have tried. It's tough to separate spells by LC given the very breadth of the spells involved.

I've got a few guidelines. Direct damage and what can be called "battlefield control" spells are LC2, of course, same as most military weapons. Personal travel spells, lots of "finding my way" spells, and basic healing spells are LC4; more complex spells are LC3. Stuff like Volcano, Possession, and the like are LC1 if not LC0.

Mind, the sheer number of spells makes getting a definitive list of LCs tough to figure out.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:42 PM   #29
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
Instead of saying "Advanced versions of the spell unlock at skill 20", how about, "Advanced versions of the spell are available as Hard Techniques with a -5 default to skill"?
That's always the more sophisticated approach, to avoid the ugliness of breakpoints.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:12 PM   #30
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Default Re: Partial Fix of Magic: Fire College

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Each "College" has its Thaumatological lore. This Thaumatology(College) should have been usable as a requisite substitute - allowing one to learn how to cast fireballs without first learning to ignite fire - but only because they have the College Lore that teaches them the theory behind lighting a fire even if you can't actually LIGHT the fire.
In one game I've been running I did something similar. I tossed Prerequisites and instead gave each spell a difficulty rating based on how much prerequisites they would have otherwise of had (tweaked here and there to make them line up a bit easier). Then you just needed a Thaumatology level equal or greater to the spell's difficulty. Though this game world only had Fire, Lightning, Ice and Healing magic, with each one pruned considerably (I think roughly 8-10 spells each college).
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