Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-23-2016, 04:08 PM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

I'm wondering what modifications would have to be made to certain preexisting effects to make them line up, more or less, in terms of value, with the most standard Unlimited Mana system found in Thaumatology. I'm really open to other alternatives, but the three things I've thought of so far:

1. replace the calamity table with the Fright Check Table, Awe Check table, or Confusion Check Table to represent gradually driving yourself mad by straining your mind to cast the spell or use the abilities.
Issue: in a game that also uses the Stress and Derangement rules from Horror it seems like you should have spells cost Stress for this, right?

2. Casting spells costs years of your life, artificially aging you, instead of costing fatigue, energy, or racking up tally.
Issue: typically 1 HP of injury = 1 month of life (according to leach). This gives a much much larger initial pool of "energy" than unlimited mana would, but that "energy" is single use. Extended Lifespan, Longevity, and Unaging become much more valuable. Assuming Unaging doesn't just make all spells free is obvious, maybe instead it let's you "heal" age loss at a rate of say... 8 months per day back to whatever your "normal" age would be. Maybe you can then stack it with extended lifespan and longetivity to increase the size of your energy pool. Haven't done the math on how much energy that gives you to work with, whether the penalties that inflicts line up with the penalties that you get from calamities in a roughly equal way, etc.

2. Casting spells racks up radiation.
Issue: actually radiation is already roughly equivalent to HP and builds in a way that nicely mimics unlimited mana so this seems like it should b a pretty good candidate. Haven't worked the numbers.

Any thoughts anyone has on any of these three ideas or any other systems that might align with this I'd be very interested in hearing them, even if they aren't thoroughly worked out!
oneofmanynameless is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 04:41 PM   #2
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Wait, would corruption work? you'd need to find the right "exchange rate", but I suspect its a good currency for unlimited mana.

I'd personally give mages the ability to work corruption away, but that's just one knob on this switchboard.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 04:46 PM   #3
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Options 2 and 3 aren't really equivalent to umana, they're more equivalent to spells costing character points to cast, and they run into a problem of effectiveness scaling heavily with campaign duration (in a one-shot game, who cares if my character ages five years during the game? In a game that runs a hundred sessions, on the other hand...).
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 04:47 PM   #4
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Most canon versions of Spirit Contracts and Corruption are overly harsh and not very suitable to PC magic users, in my opinion.
A slightly more practical if not much easier method of shedding the bad juju or a more favorable conversion rate would go a long way to making it less "You're a mage? Oh, we're going to have to put down the monster you become by next issue."
And more akin to how many of us think of weasely defend anyone, no matter how guilty, lawyers. We loathe them until we need them, then want the most weasely, most morally bankrupt one we can find.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 05:01 PM   #5
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

1. For this, the strain comes from every failed spell cast, with a modifier on the table equal to the margin of failure. Critical failures are 3 rolls on the table, rather than the spell backfiring in a horrible manner. With a modifier of 10, of course.

2. Steal Youth becomes a VERY popular spell, especially among the less-than-good mage types.

3. Resist Radiation either doesn't exist, or, it becomes the best spell ever.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 05:15 PM   #6
Raekai
 
Raekai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bloomington, Indiana.
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
I'm wondering what modifications would have to be made to certain preexisting effects to make them line up, more or less, in terms of value, with the most standard Unlimited Mana system found in Thaumatology. I'm really open to other alternatives, but the three things I've thought of so far:

1. replace the calamity table with the Fright Check Table, Awe Check table, or Confusion Check Table to represent gradually driving yourself mad by straining your mind to cast the spell or use the abilities.
Issue: in a game that also uses the Stress and Derangement rules from Horror it seems like you should have spells cost Stress for this, right?

2. Casting spells costs years of your life, artificially aging you, instead of costing fatigue, energy, or racking up tally.
Issue: typically 1 HP of injury = 1 month of life (according to leach). This gives a much much larger initial pool of "energy" than unlimited mana would, but that "energy" is single use. Extended Lifespan, Longevity, and Unaging become much more valuable. Assuming Unaging doesn't just make all spells free is obvious, maybe instead it let's you "heal" age loss at a rate of say... 8 months per day back to whatever your "normal" age would be. Maybe you can then stack it with extended lifespan and longetivity to increase the size of your energy pool. Haven't done the math on how much energy that gives you to work with, whether the penalties that inflicts line up with the penalties that you get from calamities in a roughly equal way, etc.

2. Casting spells racks up radiation.
Issue: actually radiation is already roughly equivalent to HP and builds in a way that nicely mimics unlimited mana so this seems like it should b a pretty good candidate. Haven't worked the numbers.

Any thoughts anyone has on any of these three ideas or any other systems that might align with this I'd be very interested in hearing them, even if they aren't thoroughly worked out!
Using rads to cast spells is awesome! I've been running a system of magic like that for quite a while now with spells-as-powers (through Sorcery) and I've been doing Costs Rads, -10% instead of Costs FP, -5%. I've also used it for Psionics in an ATE campaign since the powers were mutations. Anyway, yeah, I really like it. I would look into the simplified radiation rules in After the End.
__________________
My links:
Magic to RPM Complete Conversion Version 2 (Stuck at 44%)
Perussinexian Magic 2 (Outdated)
My Blog! (Dead)
Raekai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Magical radiation is of a warping variety not mundane EM/beta/alpha/neutron types.
Carefully travel enough banestorms and eventually you'll age backwards. Woot! Free "time" for magic use. ;)
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2017, 10:50 PM   #8
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Magical radiation is of a warping variety not mundane EM/beta/alpha/neutron types.
Carefully travel enough banestorms and eventually you'll age backwards. Woot! Free "time" for magic use. ;)
Sorry for some necromancy. I needed to return to the topic. But this reminds me of the special rules for "Weird Radiation" from GURPS Powers: The Wierd. I think those rules are certainly appropriate for radiation accumulations as the result of magic! However, On the subject of radiation: I'm having trouble figuring out how much 1 FP should equal with normal radiation rules (I'd assume 1 rad?) vs. with the simplified ATE radiation rules (I'd... assume 1 RP?)

Also, I'm very curious at other options. And finally, anyone have any idea how much having access to an "alternative" energy pool to cast from should generally be worth?
oneofmanynameless is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 12:03 AM   #9
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
Sorry for some necromancy. I needed to return to the topic. But this reminds me of the special rules for "Weird Radiation" from GURPS Powers: The Wierd. I think those rules are certainly appropriate for radiation accumulations as the result of magic! However, On the subject of radiation: I'm having trouble figuring out how much 1 FP should equal with normal radiation rules (I'd assume 1 rad?) vs. with the simplified ATE radiation rules (I'd... assume 1 RP?)

Also, I'm very curious at other options. And finally, anyone have any idea how much having access to an "alternative" energy pool to cast from should generally be worth?
GURPS Thaumatology charges 50 points for switching between two sources (I think it was UMana and normal mana) and I find that expensive enough to keep it nontrivial.
__________________
Looking for group in my area
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 02:48 PM   #10
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Alternatives to Unlimited Mana

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Wait, would corruption work? you'd need to find the right "exchange rate", but I suspect its a good currency for unlimited mana.

I'd personally give mages the ability to work corruption away, but that's just one knob on this switchboard.
Actually, as far as I can tell: 1 corruption = 1 ER. Working out the numbers based on Impulse Buy's exchange ratio of 1 cp = 25 ER, and noticing that every 25 corruption = -1 cp... well, seems to line up. I'm using this as a secondary system for powers in my current game which is powers based and involves a LOT of power stunts: characters have a Unlimited Mana tally threshold (called Distortion, in game) and access to corruption. Power critical failures include rolls on spell critical failure tables depending on the energy source used (if both are used for a given stunt then the worse is rolled on!) Etc.

Ghostdancer once pointed out that corruption isn't very enticing at it's current ratio except to really desperate characters. In a short run game it's fine, but in a long run game there's little point to use it if you've got another option. To deal with that problem I give players advantages of my design equal in power to any disadvantages they accumulate. The disads are all supernatural weaknesses of various types (like weakness, vulnerability, dread, dependency, etc) and the advantages are all themed, so as they draw on more corruption they gradually turn into vampires, werewolves, demons, etc!

That actually feels pretty balanced in play. The corruption results in a change of your character into something that is less and less your character and less and less under your control, with more distinct and glaring weaknesses that enemies will take advantage of if they find out. Not necessarily weaker, per say, just... inhuman, evil, uncontrollable... one of the monsters you hunt.

Last edited by oneofmanynameless; 04-07-2017 at 02:52 PM.
oneofmanynameless is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
magic, unlimited mana

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.