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Old 07-17-2016, 04:27 PM   #21
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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Originally Posted by Rindis View Post
On an object, it does much the same thing to whatever was written on it, should they be notes, journals, monumental inscriptions.... In AD&D it's actually the reverse of Comprehend Languages, which lets a mage understand any one person or piece of writing (but not speak or write that language).
OK. Now I see what you were stabbing at. I would use Divine Curse(Can't be Read) [-15] for the afflicted Disadvantage. This makes the spell write up a lot more readable.

An out of the box option would be to give the Erase Writing spell a finite duration. I think that applying half of the discount for the Limited Duration limitation is the most logical way to handle this. (Applying the full discount is too generous, in my opinion.) By temporarily erasing the text you would effectively be making it incomprehensible for the duration. In fact, you could make it a special effect that the spell "scrambles" the text instead.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:59 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

Add a Cosmic modifier to Cannot Speak saying that it affects all modes of communication - written, sign language, telepathy, whatever. Probably worth +50%.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:08 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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Add a Cosmic modifier to Cannot Speak saying that it affects all modes of communication - written, sign language, telepathy, whatever. Probably worth +50%.
I'd go with +0% for just Verbal or Non-Verbal or +100% if one includes the other.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:17 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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OK. Now I see what you were stabbing at. I would use Divine Curse(Can't be Read) [-15] for the afflicted Disadvantage. This makes the spell write up a lot more readable.

An out of the box option would be to give the Erase Writing spell a finite duration. I think that applying half of the discount for the Limited Duration limitation is the most logical way to handle this. (Applying the full discount is too generous, in my opinion.) By temporarily erasing the text you would effectively be making it incomprehensible for the duration. In fact, you could make it a special effect that the spell "scrambles" the text instead.
I can't see why Divine Curse would be something to go to here. I suppose you're trying to avoid listing custom switches, but I'm not sure punting to a disadvantage with no fixed writeup is necessarily any clearer.

I was avoiding going straight off of Erase simply because you should still be able to deduce things about the writing. Basically, any kind of handwriting analysis should still work. This was written in haste; it was written in a clean hand; it was written in blood; someone kept underlying certain passages. Now, you could go truly metaphysical with Create Sense (Destroy only), but I think I'm happy with what I've come up with....

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I'd go with +0% for just Verbal or Non-Verbal or +100% if one includes the other.
Which is what I was thinking.

I also had a 'non-character' switch too, which thinking about it, isn't needed, and is actually a poor idea (why not cast Confuse Languages on the message tattooed on the head of the messenger?).

For the initial conundrums, I think I'm down to figuring out a 'Once Only' progression (something like x5 duration per step instead of x3; need to figure out what seems fair), and just how to put a 'cannot move' on Feather Fall. Modifying it with 'Air Move -10 [-20]' would do it for an average person....

Really, it should be 'Taboo Trait: Air Move 0'. Which is automatically true of anything without Flight. So mechanically it should be more a limitation on Flight saying you've still got the Taboo Trait. Which would keep from casting Feather Fall on a flying creature suddenly making it unable to fly. :P But what's that worth?

I need to get back to stating up spells to come up with more problems. :)
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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I can't see why Divine Curse would be something to go to here. I suppose you're trying to avoid listing custom switches, but I'm not sure punting to a disadvantage with no fixed writeup is necessarily any clearer.
My problem is that the intent of the spell is hard to deduce from the statistics as written. I'd call the Disadvantage "Illegible" or "Unreadable" to make it clear what the Affliction is supposed to do, and then add a note explaining what you did. See the spell Walk Through Earth (Sorcery p. 15) for an example of this. For your spell, I'd write up your inanimate object version as:

Affliction 1 (Disadvantage: Unreadable +15%; Costs Fatigue (1FP), -5%; Extended Duration, x10, +40%; Requires Gestures, -10%, Requires Incantation, -10%; Sorcery, -15%; Inanimate Objects Only +0%) [12]. Note: "Unreadable" is Cannot Speak (Written Communication Only, +0%) [-15].

I moved "Inanimate Objects Only" into the Affliction. It is plausible that a living being would have a "Cannot Write" Disadvantage. So it is not appropriate to put in the Disadvantage itself.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:10 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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Note: "Unreadable" is Cannot Speak (Written Communication Only, +0%) [-15].
Wait. Wouldn't Dyslexia be the disadvantage for Cannot Read/Write?
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:07 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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Which is what I was thinking.

I also had a 'non-character' switch too, which thinking about it, isn't needed, and is actually a poor idea (why not cast Confuse Languages on the message tattooed on the head of the messenger?).

For the initial conundrums, I think I'm down to figuring out a 'Once Only' progression (something like x5 duration per step instead of x3; need to figure out what seems fair), and just how to put a 'cannot move' on Feather Fall. Modifying it with 'Air Move -10 [-20]' would do it for an average person....

Really, it should be 'Taboo Trait: Air Move 0'. Which is automatically true of anything without Flight. So mechanically it should be more a limitation on Flight saying you've still got the Taboo Trait. Which would keep from casting Feather Fall on a flying creature suddenly making it unable to fly. :P But what's that worth?

I need to get back to stating up spells to come up with more problems. :)
Ya.

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Wait. Wouldn't Dyslexia be the disadvantage for Cannot Read/Write?
Possibly, but you can still gesture and use non-verbal means of communication.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

What you want is complete aphasia - expressive and impressive. I think an enhancement on "Cannot Speak" is the best way to do it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:43 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
My problem is that the intent of the spell is hard to deduce from the statistics as written. I'd call the Disadvantage "Illegible" or "Unreadable" to make it clear what the Affliction is supposed to do, and then add a note explaining what you did. See the spell Walk Through Earth (Sorcery p. 15) for an example of this.
True enough. I'm tending to think in terms letting the spell description (which I haven't been posting here) tell you what you need to know, especially as this has been a personal project (I know what I meant), but clarifying the mechanics is something that should be done.


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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
I moved "Inanimate Objects Only" into the Affliction. It is plausible that a living being would have a "Cannot Write" Disadvantage. So it is not appropriate to put in the Disadvantage itself.
I've dropped the Inanimate Only switch, as I figure you should be able to cast it on someone's tattoos and the like if you wanted (you just need to specify that message is your target).

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Wait. Wouldn't Dyslexia be the disadvantage for Cannot Read/Write?
Doh!

Though, I think I'll stick with Cannot Speak (Writing Only), since Dyslexia is the inability to understand writing, and Cannot Speak is the inability to make yourself understood.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:08 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Sorcery] Those Other Spells...

At this point, I'm breaking off to nail down what I think a magic system needs to have a generally D&D feel, and figure out what that needs:

1) Spells need to be reliable. In D&D, when you cast a spell, short of getting interrupted mid-way through, it works. Spells as powers, and therefore GURPS Sorcery does this very well.

2) Spells should have non-standard limits or restrictions on them. One of ways magic can feel magic is if there's a hint of the unknowable, or illogical about them, and a lot of the emblematic D&D spells have this. Spending some effort on spell/ability building helps with this.

3) Mages should be unarmored. Unfortunately, Sorcery doesn't support this, and the suggestions in Thaumatology don't help. My current thought is to increase spell fatigue expenditure by encumbrance level, or something similar. (Assuming this isn't just considered a setting switch, how big a modifier on Sorcerous Empowerment would this be?)

4) Spellbooks. I don't see any need to replicate the resource management system of D&D spell slots, but there should still be a reason for mages to need to lug these around, with loosing them becoming a problem, and an enemy mage's book(s) being important loot. (Also, the creator of Forgotten Realms loves them, so loosing spellbook utility would detract from the intended flavor.)

In an earlier version of these thoughts, my idea is that the spellbook was a reference for refreshing one's memory of exactly what to do, and a precompiled reference for changes needed as star positions and the like change. A mage should then recheck his book every day, but could attempt spellcasting without it at an increasing penalty to skill.

Any thoughts on spellbooks? The last paragraph doesn't work with Sorcery, but I still like the general explanation, if that ends up being salvageable.
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