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Old 03-04-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
Xenophile
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New Hampshire: Home of the Pretty Leaves!
Default Magical Styles

Recently I stumbled across a very workable little concept: what if you combined the rules for martial arts styles with those for ritual magic? It's a good way to create different "schools of magic," and it's incredilby easy. I've hastly whipped up a few generic examples:

Paraphysics
4 Points
There exists a secret order of scientists (mostly from Europe and North America) whose members have discovered a dangerous secret: by completely understanding the laws of time and space, you can manipulate them. Currently their main priorities are keeping this knowledge secret and ensuring the stability of reality, but some within the group have become hungry for even more power…

Skills: Mathematics (Applied); Physics/TL8^; Path of Gate.
Spells: Teleport; Teleport Other; Blink; Blink Other; Timeport; Timeport Other; Timeslip; Timeslip Other; Beacon; Trace Teleport; Divert Teleport; Teleport Shield; Slow Time; Accelerate Time; Suspend Time.

Witchcraft
7 Points
Witches execute their evil deeds by calling upon spirits from another, darker world to do their bidding. However, these contracts work both ways, and many witches find themselves becoming mere puppets of their shadowy masters before long. Most witchcraft spells take the form of curses.

Skills: Ritual Magic (Witchcraft); Path of Animal; Path of Body Control; Path of Meta-Magic; Path of Movement; Path of Necromancy.
Spells: Beast-Rouser; Shapeshifting (Cat); Shapeshift Others (Frog); Clumsiness; Debility; Frailty; Agonize; Weaken Blood; Strike Barren; Curse; Flying Carpet; Swim; Age; Pestilence; Summon Demon; Steal Youth; Steal Beauty.

Way of the Dragon
8 Points
Dragons are terrifyingly powerful creatures, so it’s only natural that some people would want that power. Those who follow the Way of the Dragon seek to emulate this creature through magic and behavior. Some truly skilled adherents may even be able to finally transform into the objects of their worship.

Skills: Hidden Lore (Dragons); Philosophy (Dragon Mentality); Thaumatology; Path of Animal; Path of Body Control; Path of Fire; Path of Protection and Warning.
Spells: Partial Shapeshifting (Crocodile Jaws); Partial Shapeshifting (Feathered Arms); Might; Enlarge; Transform Body (Dragon); Resist Fire; Breathe Fire; Armor.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:45 AM   #2
The Benj
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

I dig it. I think it's a good way to express a magical tradition's precepts, just like a martial art's.

Nice.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:30 AM   #3
Der Wanderer
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Don't forget that with Ritual Magic you also have the Mysteries of the Trade option from Fantasy. So you could make:
Skills
Bow
Mysteries of the Bow
Spells
Spell Archery
Dehydrate, Deathtouch, Paralyze etc...
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
tylrlsaa
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Very Interesting...
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Hmm what exactly do you get for buying these styles with CPs? I assume yo dont get the spells - the costs would be too lov. Do you get a point in each of the skills or are the styles here just UBs that allow learning the skills/spells?

Do they allow getting around normal spell prerequisites?
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
Greg 1
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Indeed! And I like your examples. I take it that mages are only allowed to buy spells if they are part of a known style?

Here is a GURPS setting I worked up some time ago using 31 different magical styles. My styles assume that any skill or spell can be learned by the mage, but some are required to complete apprenticeship, so everything in the style is required.

http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/The_Gift:Main_Page

I'm working on another one right now (as in, I was doing it when I read your post). The new setting will only have 27 styles. :)

Last edited by Greg 1; 03-11-2008 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:48 PM   #7
Xenophile
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAW
Hmm what exactly do you get for buying these styles with CPs? I assume yo dont get the spells - the costs would be too lov. Do you get a point in each of the skills or are the styles here just UBs that allow learning the skills/spells?

Do they allow getting around normal spell prerequisites?
You have to buy the skills and spells seperately; buying the style reflects familiarity. It's all in Martial Arts. Also, ritual magery treats spells as techniques, with penalties equal to their total prerequisites.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:31 AM   #8
Greg 1
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Xenophile, I was really hoping that you would comment on whether a PC can only train up a spell in your setting if they know a style under which the spell is listed. This is an issue I had to face when developing my own magical styles.

Such a limitation would most closely follow the system used for martial arts techniques, where if you want to train a technique, you need to study a style that teaches it. On the other hand, it complicates magical training, since a mage generally wants to know a lot of spells.

As I mentioned, I ended up making some spells manadatory for each style (treating them as skills rather than techniques in the Martial Arts system), while allowing that the mage could still study any other spell they want.

Last edited by Greg 1; 03-12-2008 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Magical Styles

For close to the entirety of my campaign, I've forced wizards to specialize; I've always been disinterested in the cookie-cutter mentality that winds up as Major Healing + Fireball + Apportation + Powerstone + Daze + Blur etc.

One of my writeups might look like this:


SORCERERS OF MUIRCROINIM

The mages of this order specialize in mind control, body control and nature magics. The stronghold of the sect is in Altania, where many serve as tribal shamen. The Muircroinim are not popular outside of Altania, due to their outré habits and practices, but are certainly feared and respected nonetheless.

There is no schola central to the sect, per se, although Muircroinim sorcerers do not eschew scholarship and willingly patronize libraries in the city Chapters, if to the dismay of the other patrons. It is the practice, even more so than with most orders, for Muircroinim to take on apprentices and pass on their knowledge in that fashion alone.

There is a strong degree of mysticism in the sect, part of which are the odious habits (such as failure to bathe) that serve to stigmatize the order. The belief system seems to be a primitive nature- and ancestor-worship, in line with the pre-Invasion practices of the Altan Mengistu.

Symbol: A white circle charged with a golden “X”

Garb: Muircroinim sorcerors usually wear long leather or hide robes. They typically carry wooden staves (though not necessarily enchanted with the Staff spell) topped by an animal skull of some sort; the staves are heavily carved and decorated with feathers and strips of fur and hide.

Consonant Spell Colleges: Mind Control, Body Control, Animal, Plant
Prohibited Spell Colleges: Temporal, Illusion, Transformation

Required skills: Area Knowledge (Altania), Research, Occultism. Knowledge of Altanian is required.
Recommended skills: Thaumatology, Meteorology, Animal Handling, Naturalist

Magery/1, COM membership +20
Claim to Hospitality +5
Odious Personal Habit minimum -10
Disciplines of Faith -5
Reputation +2, Altania, all the time +5
Reputation -1, everywhere else, all the time -5

Pay 10 character points
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:50 AM   #10
Greg 1
 
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Default Re: Magical Styles

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTraynor
One of my writeups might look like this:

SORCERERS OF MUIRCROINIM
Looks very interesting! They are flavourful indeed with nice roleplaying hooks.

Quote:
Consonant Spell Colleges: Mind Control, Body Control, Animal, Plant
What is a "Consonant Spell College"?

Quote:
Prohibited Spell Colleges: Temporal, Illusion, Transformation
Can they overcome this prohibition by studying another magical style? In other words, are these simply abilities that their magic doesn't cover, or does their magical style actually prevent them from having these abilities?
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