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Old 06-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
dataweaver's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: the frozen wastelands of Southern California
Default [Thaumatology] Ritual Tree Magic

In designing some elements for an upcoming game, I decided to look into other ways of dealing with Tree Magic. One of my goals was to get rid of the blatant ties between the magic and the Druidic Order while still preserving enough of the implicit structure so as to make it reasonably easy to arrange for the same sort of monopolizing of Tree Magic. Another closely related goal was to streamline the purchasing scheme.

I also decided that I wanted Tree Magic to be a bit more flexible than regular spell magic is. To this end, I decided to combine Tree Magic with Ritual Magic. Right off the bat, this provided me with my first bit of streamlining: Ritual Magic already uses a Core Skill model; so limiting Tree Spell by means of Thaumatology isn't an extra restriction. (OTOH, I prefer to use Herb Lore as the core skill for Ritual Tree Magic, rather than Thaumatology. Herbs and Trees, both being botanical, are a close enough fit to suit me. I also plan to expand the Tree Mage's repertoire further by granting him access to the Herb Lore rules in Chapter Four.)

I went ahead and worked out what the default counts are under the Tree Magic system (if anyone wants to know what I came up with, let me know). Much to my delight, most spells have default counts of 5 or less, and there are only fifteen spells with default counts higher than 10:

Four of them are Consonant spells: Charm (12), Emotion Control (12), Loyalty (11), and Prehistory (11). I can live with these.

Four of them are Vowel spells: Suspend Curse (Heather-13), Remove Curse (Heather-14), Delay (Silver Fir-16), and Disintegrate (Yew-39). I might be able to tolerate the Delay default count, although it feels high; but all of the others strike me as excessive. Heather has only one other spell - Delayed Message (Heather-0) - as such, I'm disinclined to place its only remaining capabilities virtually out of reach; and the -39 penalty for Disintegrate is a bit much, period.

The remaining seven are Mixed spells, which I'm not concerned about for reasons that will become clear shortly. For the record, they are: Resurrection (75), Instant Regeneration (74), Dispell Magic (11), Permanent Forgetfulness (12), Stone to Flesh (16), Earthquake (41), and Deathtouch (40).

In every case of excessive default counts, the culprit is either that the spell requires "X skills from all trees" (or sometimes "from all Consonant trees"), or that the spell is based off of another spell with an excessive default. Resurrection is based off of Instant Regeneration, which requires 4 spells from every tree; Earthquake and Deathtouch are based off of Disintegrate, which requires 2 spells from every tree. Remove Curse is based on Suspend Curse, which requires one spell from each consonant tree.

The second bit of streamlining came from the "Strange Paths" box (Thaumatology p.72). Tree Mages don't have to learn a Hidden Lore skill in order to be allowed to learn Vowel colleges. Instead, each Vowel college counts as a Hidden Lore for the purposes of what you need to do in order to learn it.

The final step of streamlining was to ditch the Mixed Spells entirely. Instead, any Tree Mage who has Cosmic (+50%) Ritual Magery has access to Noun/Verb Syntactic Magic using his tree skills. Magery still acts as a bonus to Tree Magic casting; but only those levels with the Cosmic modifier count when using Syntactic casting.

To tie this back in to the Druidic Order, should I decide to go that route: the Order has access to all of the Vowel trees, and makes them available to its Bards (Rank 1). Its Druids (Rank 3) can acquire the Cosmic enhancement to their Magery through a process not unlike the ordeals involved in becoming Trained By a Master.

That leaves me with one open question: what should I do about those excessive default counts?
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: [Thaumatology] Ritual Tree Magic

Take the square root of the absolute value and add... four? Should do the trick.
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magic, thaumatology

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