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 03-16-2008, 03:40 AM   #1
Stephen Day
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Hi, I've been lurking for awhile since I signed up. I posted one message, but this is the first thread I've started.

I've found the biggest problem with trying to use the information from GURPS Cabal in Infinite Worlds is that Cabal was written with the idea that the universe the book described was the only one. As a result I've had to come up with some house rules to make the two sources work together.

There is No Such Thing as a No Man Area

That all existence flows from the Decans (and originally from the realm of Briah) and that everything is made of magic is one of the main thoughts that Cabal magic is based on. This simply isn't campatible with the thought that places can exist where there is no magic.

I decided that Infinity only thinks that these place are without magic. They are instead areas of extreme low mana. Magic will work, but all spells work only at a basic ritual level. The magic user must also have at least one correspondence connecting him to the decan that corresponds to the appropriate spell college. Something the Cabal of course knows.

The Cabal Seeks to Control Magic

This is the strongest theme in GURPS Cabal and one I've struggled with in trying mesh with Infinite Worlds.

The first decision I made is that everyone is naturally attuned to only two colleges. Everyone may cast spells from all colleges, but any spell from outside the character's natural colleges requires that the character have at least one correspondence in his possession. This seems to satisfy the theme that the Cabal understands how magic works in ways that outsiders don't

The second decison I made was that given it's 5000 year history in the Infinite Worlds, the Cabal would have plenty of time to control and hide the existence of any colleges they deemed to be dangerous. Gate spells and Communication and Empathy spells are therefore unavailable to PCs outside of a Cabal based campaign.

I just wanted to get an idea from other more experienced GMs about all of this. Will this work? Is there anything I might have overlooked?
Stephen Day is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

It was 3e but when I/we worked Infinity and the Cabal (as they were then) into a multi-dimensional campaign the basic theme that covered both of them was that they were geographically minor players who didn't know nearly as much as they thought they did.

In short, neither of them had much of a window into "universal" ("multiversal?") truth. There's no particular need to reconcile their worldviews. Both were only correct on a very restricted basis.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
transmetahuman
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

If I ever did this, I'd probably go with something like Fred said. It's too limiting to the feel of IW to force Cabal's system of magic on every world - Technomancer's Merlin, for example, has Oz particles tied to radioactivity and necromancy.

I think it's better if the set of worlds that IW can access parachronically, and the set the Cabal can access magically, are overlapping but not identical.

I've thought about the implications of having a different physics in each world - what happens to the molecules in your body when you translate to a world where the rules of nature include phlogiston and steampunk gear, for instance? I've got the beginnings of an overarching "meta-metaphysics" framework that can explain it all, but it wouldn't be to many peoples' taste I think - I intend to use it only as deep background that the characters will never know, only to help rule on the effects of genre mish-mash.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 03-16-2008 at 10:47 AM.
transmetahuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
Stephen Day
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin
It was 3e but when I/we worked Infinity and the Cabal (as they were then) into a multi-dimensional campaign the basic theme that covered both of them was that they were geographically minor players who didn't know nearly as much as they thought they did.

In short, neither of them had much of a window into "universal" ("multiversal?") truth. There's no particular need to reconcile their worldviews. Both were only correct on a very restricted basis.
True that would be easier, but having a powerful Cabal adds a certain back ground flavour to the Infinite Worlds that I really like. I've used them as background pieces in a couple of one night games I've run and my players have mentioned that they like it as well.

Of course having made that choice, I then had to come up with these house rules. I don't want them or what they can and can't do to become inconsistant. I already see that that could be a problem even after only having used them in such a limited way.
Stephen Day is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 01:20 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Day
True that would be easier, but having a powerful Cabal adds a certain back ground flavour to the Infinite Worlds that I really like.
<shrug> We didn't use Infinite Worlds much. It was much too restrictive a framework for what we were doing.

We didn't go much for the Cabal as being "powerful" either. They may have come close to controlling magic on a Low Mana World where it was a secret, but there were all these loons trying to become immortal and none of them even knew the Halt Aging spell.

Decanic magic was fascinating but the Cabal itself was largely pointless.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
isf
 
isf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Jacksonville, AR
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

I've been thinking about how the Cabal interacts with worlds with mana levels and will probably use the following model.

The Cabal's magic system relies on creating a resonance between the caster and the decanic field in Briah; I'm interpreting this to mean that for cabalistic purposes, the base mana levels for the different realms are integral to the realms (Assiah is always considered Low Mana even on worlds that have a higher or lower mana level) except when changed as per Cabal. [this is comparable to drawing on the Pattern in Amber or the Logrus in the Courts]

Some denizens of the higher Realms (Qlippoth, Demons, Eikones) can grant powers to individuals or groups that will also work in most places [like the Broken Patterns].

The Aethyrs can grant cosmic powers that work everywhere [lke the Primal Pattern].

Worlds (in Assiah) with mana present (low to wild) often develop magical traditions and techniques that may be unique to their particular world (or more likely to a similar set of worlds). This would be like using native sorcery or a source like the Keep of Four Worlds. Game mechanically, a mage travelling to worlds with similar power structures (ie magery and spells) would take familiarity penalties.

If the local magic is expressed differently (magery and Ritual Magic, Ritual Magic 3E, CF magic as examples of different powers structures); the mages might have to learn the new magic system.

Mana Enhancer would work differently for different types of magics and I'd probably require a version of specialized for most games that would feature world hopping. A Cabalists ME would usually represent an innate connection with a higher realms [like being present on both realms at once] or a strong attunement to a specific decan or planet.
__________________
Travis Foster
isf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 11:34 AM   #7
quarkstomper
 
quarkstomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: The Enchanted Land-O-Cheese
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Back when I was running an INFINITE WORLDS campaign, I had my group encounter a member of the Cabal who wound up becoming a regular NPC; (my wife's character thought he was cute). But he was from a world where the American Revolution was being fought with magic and I could not decide whether the Cabal that the NPC came from was actually a trans-dimensional conspiracy, or rather this world's analogue to a conspiracy that exists independantly on other worlds. It never became a big plot point, so I never had to resolve the question.

I decided that the NPC would be able to use magic on Homeline, but only by performing a ritual involving the shedding of some of his own blood -- basically burning a hit point -- to temporarily raise the mana level in his immedeate area. He kept this a secret from the PCs as long as possible; he didn't want them to know that he was not completely powerless on Homeline.

The world he came from was an interesting one. He'd been sent to accompany General Gates to America in order to kill Benjamin Franklin who had stolen sorcerous secrets from the Cabal during his stay in England. Great fun. I probably should develop that world a bit more someday...
quarkstomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2008, 08:33 AM   #8
demonsbane
 
demonsbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Spain —Europe
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Day
I've found the biggest problem with trying to use the information from GURPS Cabal in Infinite Worlds is that Cabal was written with the idea that the universe the book described was the only one. As a result I've had to come up with some house rules to make the two sources work together.
Why do you want to mix that? The result can't be coherent.

Kabbalah's (and I guess GURPS Cabal's) cosmos emanates directly from the absolute (the Godhead, Ain Sof . . .) splitting the different states of the being (worlds or cosmic regions) along The Great Chain of the Being, from upwards to downwards. It is an absolute cosmos, not having any room for the innumerable relativities of an infinite worlds approach.

Quote:
I just wanted to get an idea from other more experienced GMs about all of this. Will this work?
Not for me.

Quote:
Is there anything I might have overlooked?
It is possible.

Kabbalah's cosmology is the traditional one of Worlds Within Worlds, lacking of relation with science fiction and its many worlds hypotesis. These are two mutually exclusive takes. Indeed, the modern day sci fi parallel worlds is a sort of substitutive horizontal "cosmology" regarding the earlier vertical Worlds Within Worlds one: one is the denial of the other.
__________________
"Let's face it: for some people, roleplaying is a serious challenge, a life-or-death struggle."
J. M. Caparula/Scott Haring

"Physics is basic but inessential."
Wolfgang Smith

My G+
demonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
Stephen Day
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonsbane
Why do you want to mix that?
Why not? Its a fictional multiverse.

Quote:
The result can't be coherent.
They're coherent enough for my purposes. The Cabal, although powerful in my campaign multiverse, is never going to be more than a background factor. I'm going to bring in it in on a case by case basis, using mostly individual Cabalists.

I do have to decide what they can and can't do as a group so that these appearances are at least consistant.

Quote:
Kabbalah's (and I guess GURPS Cabal's) cosmos emanates directly from the absolute (the Godhead, Ain Sof . . .) splitting the different states of the being (worlds or cosmic regions) along The Great Chain of the Being, from upwards to downwards. It is an absolute cosmos, not having any room for the innumerable relativities of an infinite worlds approach.
This is where the GM's ability to fudge things comes into play. I never said I was going to be using a encyclopedically accurate version of Kabbalah and its concepts and for that matter, neither does GURPS Cabal really. I'm going to use what is written in GURPS Cabal and even then only what works for me in my campaign. I'm not going use what doesn't fit in with what I'm doing.
Stephen Day is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
demonsbane
 
demonsbane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Spain —Europe
Default Re: House Rules for Working GURPS Cabal With Infinite Worlds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Day
Why not? Its a fictional multiverse.
Well, if you are aware of not seeking internal consistency, then you will do whatever you like most ;)

No problem with that.

(My situation is, most times the end result of what is internally consistent is by far superior to my own initial tastes.)
__________________
"Let's face it: for some people, roleplaying is a serious challenge, a life-or-death struggle."
J. M. Caparula/Scott Haring

"Physics is basic but inessential."
Wolfgang Smith

My G+
demonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cabal, cosmology, fantasy, infinite worlds

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 05:29 AM.


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