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-   -   Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=173020)

hal 04-22-2021 10:45 AM

Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Hello Folks,
Having come across another thread in which someone posted a comment about the differing mana zones and the "Errata" to GURPS Fantasy that, after careful research through original sources - to wit:

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition
GURPS MAGIC 1st edition
GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition

I can find no particular reason that the so called "Errata" even makes sense. Rather than let this particular debate derail the other thread, I am opening it here.

In addition, I thought it might be useful to discuss how the evolution of GURPS MAGIC since it was first introduced in 1986 (Via GURPS FANTASY 1st edition) on through to GURPS MAGIC for 4e, might affect the narrative of Yrth.

So - some basic facts:

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition: Published in 1986. It contains a total of 136 spells.

GURPS MAGIC 1st edition: Published in 1989. It contained a total of 413 spells.

GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition was published in 1990, and had subsequent upgrades over time. I'll leave the spell count to someone who wants to count them from the GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC PDF.

GURPS GRIMOIRE: Published in 1994. If I recall correctly, it was a project that had multiple authors and a fair bit of its own troubles, but that's just my recollection (imperfect as it may be). It was here that we begin to see spells like RAIN OF STONES, RAIN OF FIRE etc. These are spells of mass damage that would be more appropriate on a battle field. Prior to this books publication, there weren't all to many spells possible where mages could inflict massive amounts of damage.j

GURPS MAGIC for 4e: Published in (I believe, 2004) - don't quote me on that. It has somewhere in the vicinity of 883 spells (if my excel spreadsheet is anything to go by) but some of those are duplicates as they are spells that exist within more than one college.

Addenda:
Looks like I missed a page from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. Corrected Spell count should now be 304 spells. This number includes the fact that Summon, Control, and Create Elemental is really 12 spells, not 3 - one for each element.

hal 04-22-2021 10:51 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
I invite people to discuss how the spells as they were added to the "world of Yrth in various publications, would have affected the narrative in GURPS YRTH from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, GURPS FANTASY 2nd edition, and ultimately, GURPS BANESTORM.

If the powers that be do not object, I can try and make the spell list (not actual spell descriptions or anything else, just a listing) of all available spells from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition available in this thread, but to get that permision, that requires I contact someone from the Powers that Be department. Perhaps send a few prayers, offer a few sacrifices etc...

OK, kidding aside, I really would like to see a serious discussion here that outlines how GURPS MAGIC evolved, how spells would have affected the Narrative as originally given in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, Second edition, and BANESTORM.

maximara 04-22-2021 11:55 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376595)
I can find no particular reason that the so called "Errata" even makes sense.

I think it was to address the weird way Clerical Magic worked in Classic before Religion came out in 1994:

"A simple clerical advantage is to allow non-mage clerics to use spells of one (or a few) colleges as though they were mages. So, even in normal and low-mana areas, a cleric of (for instance) a healing-oriented power can cast Healing spells. Any cleric with magical abilities can also learn Recover ST. Appropriate cost is 10 points for one college, 12 for two, 15 for three. Spells of other colleges can be learned, and used as prerequisites, but not cast except in high-mana areas." Classic: Magic 2e p 95

Of course if you sit down with it you realize that this mechanic still had problems as it limited Clerics to spells that didn't require magery to learn (like Major Healing and Cure Disease) effectively crippling them.

hal 04-22-2021 12:28 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2376606)
I think it was to address the weird way Clerical Magic worked in Classic before Religion came out in 1994:

"A simple clerical advantage is to allow non-mage clerics to use spells of one (or a few) colleges as though they were mages. So, even in normal and low-mana areas, a cleric of (for instance) a healing-oriented power can cast Healing spells. Any cleric with magical abilities can also learn Recover ST. Appropriate cost is 10 points for one college, 12 for two, 15 for three. Spells of other colleges can be learned, and used as prerequisites, but not cast except in high-mana areas." Classic: Magic 2e p 95

Of course if you sit down with it you realize that this mechanic still had problems as it limited Clerics to spells that didn't require magery to learn (like Major Healing and Cure Disease) effectively crippling them.

Which is why the errata made no sense then, and in light of what you're saying now, makes no sense now.

When anyone discusses "demographics" they are essentially attempting to give numbers out as guidelines for "world building" GM's. If you get right down to it, those Knacks themselves will skew how many "spell casters" there are unless those with Knacks were part of the original 1 in 50 might know a spell or two.

I'm not worried about Demographics as written in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, because I recognize it for what it is - a guideline that the GM can either follow or not. I also know that Magery 0 for example, did not exist prior to Compendium I's publication date. It was a "well, I suppose it makes sense" addition, which frankly, I have no problem with. It doesn't violate the material - but retconning things after the publication of older material seems a bit - shall we say, untidy and not true to form.

That however, is the VERY point of this thread. :)

Changes that were made later on, affects the History of Yrth - some in subtle ways, some in not so subtle ways.

Likewise, in GURPS 2nd edition (and yes, I still have THOSE books somewhere about my house), certain "advantages" were inborn in that you either had them at start of play, or you could not GAIN them save through divine intervention or by means of a Greater Wish. Now, there are those who allow players to increase Magery from 1 to 2 to 3 without limit, simply by spending earned Experience points. But, Yrth and the early days of GURPS, did not have that feature of migrating Magery values that could be improved. If that were the case, the original demographics rule would never have been presented.

Now, let's say for the sake of argument, that someone who was serious about demographics, began to detail a given region of say, 10 villages, each with a population of between 100 to 400 people (averaging maybe 250 people). 1/3rd of the population might be about 1 to 15 years of age, maybe 1/4th might be aged 40+ and the rest, in between those two ages. In addition, some 51 to 52% will be female, the rest, male. If one in 2 children born die (disease, malnutrition, accidents etc) as was historical right up until 1900 AD, that is a fair number of young adults who will never procreate. Take me for example. I'm the fifth born of parents with opposing Rh blood factors. Without TL 6/7 medical technology, I would have died the day I was born. That is STRICTLY genetics, nothing that magic in GURPS MAGIC could have fixed (unless you use GURPS BIOTECH spells).

So, let's say you're a GM. You know that roughly 1/3 of your mageborn will be under the age of 15, half of whom will die before they reach age 15. So, that leaves you with roughly 66% of your total possible mageborn in society to spend as "mages" assuming that they ALL become wizaardly mages. As pointed out in GURPS FANTASY 1st and 2nd editions, not all become wizards.

So, 10 villages, 250 people per, for a population of 2,500. Using only the numbers from GURPS FANTASY 1st born - calculate which are actual wizards, and then determine their magery levels (which limits what spells they may have). Now determine how magic will aid/hinder the Yrth society based on those numbers. Too much work? THAT is what went on in my mind when I would do world building. That is what goes on in my mind for the Alaconius lectures I used to do until GURPS MAGIC for 4e came out.

My wife (a gamer since 1986) cut her teeth on GURPS. She doesn't read books, but she STOLE my GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition and read it front to back because she loved how creative spell casting was. Conversely, she dropped D&D because it lacked the flavor that GURPS allows entirely.

If you have access to the old Pyramid articles, look up the one titled "Magus Imperius" by Jeremy Davies. There, someone tried to build up a structure for use with GURPS MAGIC and GURPS FANTASY (presumably 2nd edition).

Once you build a mage using only GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC (ie GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition), then try building the same mage using unrestricted access to GURPS 4e using BANESTORM guidelines. Watch how much more the newer style mage can wreak havoc on a Yrth society that the older version of Magic did not or could not.

I think you may find yourself surprised in a big way. Alternatively? Here is another challenge. Using the Demographics of GURPS FANTSY 1st edition, detail the mages for the 2,500 people, then try and build the mages all on 100 to 150 points 3e style, or 150 to say, 225 in 4e style (using only GURPS CLASSIC spells).

David Johnston2 04-22-2021 01:03 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2376606)
I think it was to address the weird way Clerical Magic worked in Classic before Religion came out in 1994:

"A simple clerical advantage is to allow non-mage clerics to use spells of one (or a few) colleges as though they were mages. So, even in normal and low-mana areas, a cleric of (for instance) a healing-oriented power can cast Healing spells. Any cleric with magical abilities can also learn Recover ST. Appropriate cost is 10 points for one college, 12 for two, 15 for three. Spells of other colleges can be learned, and used as prerequisites, but not cast except in high-mana areas." Classic: Magic 2e p 95

Of course if you sit down with it you realize that this mechanic still had problems as it limited Clerics to spells that didn't require magery to learn (like Major Healing and Cure Disease) effectively crippling them.

Nothing in the quoted material suggests that the clerics would be limited to spells that didn't require magery to learn. Just the opposite when it says "as if they were mages"

maximara 04-22-2021 02:34 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2376617)
Nothing in the quoted material suggests that the clerics would be limited to spells that didn't require magery to learn. Just the opposite when it says "as if they were mages"

"Use" and "cast" are not "learn". The problem is earlier on in the book there is this:

"Most spells can be learned by anyone (though remember: in some worlds they can only be used by mages). Some spells can only be learned by mages — being a mage is a prerequisite for the spell." sic (Classic Magic 2e pg 4)

Later on we get this:

“Magery” is a prerequisite for most of the stronger spells. This means that no one but a mage — a person with Magical Aptitude — can learn them." (Classic Magic 2e pg 5)

Classic: Magic 2e p 95 effectively gave Clerics what in 4e amounts to a limited form of Magery 0 and effectively locked them out of spells that required Magery 1 or higher to learn.

maximara 04-22-2021 03:23 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376615)
My wife (a gamer since 1986) cut her teeth on GURPS. She doesn't read books, but she STOLE my GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition and read it front to back because she loved how creative spell casting was. Conversely, she dropped D&D because it lacked the flavor that GURPS allows entirely.

I loved GURPS Magic so much I even wrote guidelines on how to use it in D&D. I have continued to update and expand those guidelines as I consider the various GURPS magic systems far more flexible and while not as powerful in terms of raw damage even the standard system is insanely powerful from a cultural point of view.

Willy 04-22-2021 04:12 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
If we speak about GURPS and Magic, we should still have in mind that a lot of Pyramind issues, and several supplements, like urban magic, death spells etc; have added a whole bunch of spells. So if we want to speak about magery we would need a new grimoire to collect all that stuff, alone the DLCs I have add more than 60 extra spells for a lot of situations, that was before the last 2 GURPS Kickstarter campaigns.
A big problem is by adding some spells now and than we have no stringent line about it, itīs imho even worse than the old classic Ed, before the Grimoire was published.

Kromm 04-22-2021 04:20 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
You know, it doesn't actually matter what spells or even what magic systems exist in the setting. What matters is what the GM permits PCs to learn, which is a personal decision at each gaming table. The mere existence of weird-and-wonderful magic needn't affect the setting at all if it isn't widely taught and used. Doubtless there are guild secrets, stuff researched by loner wizards in towers, stuff guarded by the dark elves, etc., but those amount to plot devices.

I've never understood the logic, "Well, if it exists then the genie is out of the bottle and everybody will do it." It's completely possible for hundreds of potent spells to be the one-off tricks of selfish people, and die with their discoverers. The basic magic system doesn't even require written grimoires . . . some weird theory in the mind of one person might never be reproduced.

Rupert 04-22-2021 05:44 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2376635)
Later on we get this:

“Magery” is a prerequisite for most of the stronger spells. This means that no one but a mage — a person with Magical Aptitude — can learn them." (Classic Magic 2e pg 5)

Classic: Magic 2e p 95 effectively gave Clerics what in 4e amounts to a limited form of Magery 0 and effectively locked them out of spells that required Magery 1 or higher to learn.

As Magery 0 didn't exist then, all Mages had at least Magery 1, and thus 'as a mage' meant at least all spells in their available colleges requiring Magery 1 were available to them.

maximara 04-22-2021 08:56 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rupert (Post 2376667)
As Magery 0 didn't exist then, all Mages had at least Magery 1, and thus 'as a mage' meant at least all spells in their available colleges requiring Magery 1 were available to them.

I know Magery 0 didn't exist then but another way to look at it is Clerics "used" and "cast" spells as if they were in a high mana area and high mana did exist back then.

In fact, Classic: Magic 2e p 95's "Spells of other colleges can be learned, and used as prerequisites, but not cast except in high-mana areas." reinforces this view.

Now what spells can a non-mage learn but not use (cast) in low and normal mana areas? Spells that do not require Magery 1 or higher.

This may have been the inspiration for Mana Enhancer which didn't appear in Classic until Conpendium 1 in 1996.

hal 04-22-2021 09:39 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2376656)
You know, it doesn't actually matter what spells or even what magic systems exist in the setting. What matters is what the GM permits PCs to learn, which is a personal decision at each gaming table. The mere existence of weird-and-wonderful magic needn't affect the setting at all if it isn't widely taught and used. Doubtless there are guild secrets, stuff researched by loner wizards in towers, stuff guarded by the dark elves, etc., but those amount to plot devices.

I've never understood the logic, "Well, if it exists then the genie is out of the bottle and everybody will do it." It's completely possible for hundreds of potent spells to be the one-off tricks of selfish people, and die with their discoverers. The basic magic system doesn't even require written grimoires . . . some weird theory in the mind of one person might never be reproduced.

I have to agree with Kromm here on this in that "what the GM allows" is the route many GM's did end up going. A fair number of the "healing spells" from GRIMOIRE made it into my games, but not Earth to Metal. In my current 4e games, the Essential Wood spell never made it into the campaigns. As for the "Rain of" spells - those were kept out as well.

I did experiment with the Terrain spells in an "Atlantean" campaign, but found the ability to transport entire regions of physical space for the energy costs (again, going by recollection here) made the full use of that particular spell forbidden in subsequent campaigns.

On a seeming seque...

GCA creator Armin deserves a LOT of Kudos for the work he had done with GURPS MAGIC and GCA. I remember thinking how neat it would be to re-arrange all of the prerequisites for spells by use of GCA such that, for example - Suspend Mana was a prerequisite for Drain Mana.

Ultimately? With over 800+ spells versus 400+ and prior to that less than 200 spells - things can get a wee bit different with each iteration of spell knowledge increase.

maximara 04-23-2021 03:46 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376697)
GCA creator Armin deserves a LOT of Kudos for the work he had done with GURPS MAGIC and GCA. I remember thinking how neat it would be to re-arrange all of the prerequisites for spells by use of GCA such that, for example - Suspend Mana was a prerequisite for Drain Mana.

Ultimately? With over 800+ spells versus 400+ and prior to that less than 200 spells - things can get a wee bit different with each iteration of spell knowledge increase.

I agree that is a lot of work which makes GCS (I use a Mac so GCA is not useful without WINE) even more impressive. While GCS pulls from the official books (and a handful of unofficial ones such as Historical Folks) it like GURPS is fully customizable.

GCS gets somewhat regular updates with the last being April 12, 2021.

hal 04-23-2021 12:45 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
OK, I'm going to reserve this spot for a table of Spells as given in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. I will have to experiment with how to format it so that it looks ok. I'll also have to keep track of the numbers of characters in the list so as to not go over the hard limit of 5,000 characters per post.

David Johnston2 04-23-2021 03:17 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2376635)
"Use" and "cast" are not "learn". The problem is earlier on in the book there is this:

"Most spells can be learned by anyone (though remember: in some worlds they can only be used by mages). Some spells can only be learned by mages — being a mage is a prerequisite for the spell." sic (Classic Magic 2e pg 4)

Later on we get this:

“Magery” is a prerequisite for most of the stronger spells. This means that no one but a mage — a person with Magical Aptitude — can learn them." (Classic Magic 2e pg 5)

Classic: Magic 2e p 95 effectively gave Clerics what in 4e amounts to a limited form of Magery 0 and effectively locked them out of spells that required Magery 1 or higher to learn.

There was of course no such thing as Magery 0. And yeah "use" and "cause" aren't the same thing as "learn". But clerics don't learn the spells in the first place any more than a knack user or someone with a racial spell. The only thing they learn is the correct prayer to ask their gods to help them in a spell-like manner.

That's why the next clerical magic system dispensed with prerequisite spell chains. Because clerics may cast magic, but they don't know magic. They leave knowing it to the gods and possibly reluctantly to the mages. In that particular proto-system for clerical magic , they would spend 10 points for access to just one magical college but they were getting access to the entire college for the ten points.

maximara 04-23-2021 04:08 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2376818)
There was of course no such thing as Magery 0.

Other then a house rule that came out in 1997 pretty much.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2376818)
And yeah "use" and "case" aren't the same thing as "learn". But clerics don't learn the spells in the first place any more than a knack user or someone with a racial spell. The only thing they learn is the correct prayer to ask their gods to help them in a spell-like manner.

That's why the next clerical magic system dispensed with prerequisite spell chains. Because clerics may cast magic, but they don't [I]know[I] magic. They leave knowing it to the gods and possibly reluctantly to the mages. In that particular proto-system for clerical magic , they would spend 10 points for access to just one magical college but they were getting access to the entire college for the ten points.

Not exactly:
"The GM may also “customize” a spell list for a religion, as he deems fitting for the Power served, removing inappropriate spells from the college(s) and adding appropriate ones from other colleges. He may even create spells that are available only to certain clerics. The cost should be based on the number and power of spells available; 40 spells, for 15 points, is about the maximum." - Classic Magic 2e pg 95

Regarding Religion you can see the pro-version of Power Investiture in Classic Magic 2e on pg 95: "A Power may grant its clerics a bonus to effective spell skill. Increase the cost of the advantage by 5 points for each +1 bonus, up to a maximum of +3. Bonuses for healing skills cost 2 points for each +1, up to a maximum of +3. Other sorts of bonus may be allowed."

Religion also fixed a problem with Magic's version of Clerics: their spells casting was still dependent on mana. So they were in the same boat as the mages in a no mana area even if that place was a temple dedicated to the very deity they served.

maximara 04-24-2021 04:44 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376785)
OK, I'm going to reserve this spot for a table of Spells as given in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. I will have to experiment with how to format it so that it looks ok. I'll also have to keep track of the numbers of characters in the list so as to not go over the hard limit of 5,000 characters per post.

The GURPSnet archives' sub directories (including Magic) still exist (even if the main intro page is long gone) though ironically they are too new (2007). However, Internet archive does have the older (sjgames.com) GURPSnet directory but no Magic spell list I can see and coming into being 1999 I don't know how much use it would have been.

Would be great sources of how GURPS looked for much for the last Third edition era though.

maximara 04-24-2021 06:49 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Found Roleplayer #16 (October 1989)'s Spell Dependency Charts.

Given that GURPS went from 1st to 3rd in the space of two years (1986-1988) and the Grimore didn't appear until 1994 unless there were major changes from Fantasy 1e (1986) to Magic 1e for GURPS 3e (1989) we should be able to use that.

hal 04-24-2021 08:59 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
As fate would have it, I can't put all of the 304 spells of GURPS FANTASY 1st edition in a list that will fit on a single "post", so I will divide it into two posts
Code:


Earth Spells:
Seek Earth                  Shape Earth                  Earth to Stone             
Stone to Earth              Create Earth                Flesh to Stone             
Stone to Flesh              Stone Missile                Earth to Air               
Earth Vision                Entombment                  Earthquake                 
Volcano                      Summon (Earth) Elemental    Control (Earth) Elemental   
Create (Earth) Elemental                                 


Air Spells:
Purify Air                  Create Air                  Shape Air                   
Air Jet                      No Smell                    Body of Air                 
Predict Weather              Destroy Air                  Walk on Air                 
Breathe Water                Clouds                      Rain                       
Earth to Air                Lightning                    Summon (Air) Elemental     
Control (Air) Elemental      Create (Air) Elemental                                   


Fire Spells:
Ignite Fire                  Create Fire                  Shape Fire                 
Extinguish Fire              Heat                        Cold                       
Resist Fire                  Fireball                    Exploding Fireball         
Flame-Jet                    Phantom Flame                Flaming Weapon             
Essential Flame              Flaming Missile              Summon (Fire) Elemental     
Control (Fire) Elemental    Create (Fire ) Elemental   


Water Spells:
Seek Water                  Purify Water                Create Water               
Destroy Water                Dehydrate                    Breathe Air                 
Shape Water                  Essential Water              Walk on Water               
Fog                          Water-Jet                    Icy Weapon                 
Ice-sphere                  Ice Dagger                  Rain                       
Summon (Water) Elemental    Control (Water) Elemental    Create (Water ) Elemental   



Sound Spells:
Sound                        Voices                      Thunderclap                 
Silence                      Wall of Silence              Hush                       
Mage-Stealth                Far-Hearing                                             


Making & Breaking Spells:
Find Weakness                Weaken                      Shatter                     
Restore                      Rejoin                      Repair                     
Shatterproof                                                                         


Light & Darkness Spells:
Light                        Continual Light              Colors                     
Flash                        Darkness                    Blur                       
Hide                        Invisibility                Infravision                 
Night Vision                Dark Vision                  See Invisible               



Illusion & Creation Spells:
Simple Illusion              Complex Illusion            Perfect Illusion           
Illusion Disguise            Control Illusion            Dispel Illusion             
Create Object                Create Animal                Create Servant             
Create Warrior              Control Creation            Dispel Creation             
Know Illusion                Independence                                             


Communication & Empathy Spells:
Sense Life                  Sense Foes                  Sense Emotion               
Truthsayer                  Mind-reading                Hide Thoughts               
Soul Rider                  Mind Search                  Mind-Sending               
Telepathy                    Persuasion                  Control Person             
Possession                  Permanent Possession        Exchange Bodies             
Exorcism                    Lend Language                Borrow Language             


Protection & Warning Spells:
Shield                      Armor                        Sense Danger               
Watchdog                    Missile Shield              Reverse Missile             
Iron Arm                    Magelock                    Weather Dome               
Utter Dome                  Nightingale


hal 04-24-2021 09:00 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
And this is the second half of that list...

Code:

Healing Spells:
Lend Strength                Lend Health                  Recover Strength           
Awaken                      Minor Healing                Major Healing               
Sterilize                    Suspended  Animation        Cure Disease               
Restoration                  Instant Restoration          Regeneration               
Instant Regeneration        Halt Aging                  Youth                       
Resurrection                                                                         


Necromancy Spells:
Death Vision                Summon Spirit                Zombie                     
Control Zombie              Turn Zombie                  Resurrection               
Animation                    Skull-Spirit                Soul Jar                   
Steal Strength              Steal Health                Age                         
Steal Youth                  Pestilence                  Summon Demon               


Mind Control Spells:
Fear                        Bravery                      Foolishness                 
Drunkenness                  Sickness                    Forgetfulness               
Permanent Forgetfulness      Daze                        Mass Daze                   
Sleep                        Mass Sleep                  Madness                     
Loyalty                      Charm                        Enslave                     
Wisdom                      Emotion Control              Lesser Geas                 
Great Geas                  Keen  Eyes                  Keen Ears                   
Keen Nose                    Alertness                    Rear Vision                 


Knowledge Spells:
Detect Magic                Aura                        Seeker                     
Trace                        History                      Divination                 
See Secrets                  Wizard Eye                  Invisible Wizard Eye       
Mage Sight                  Mage Sense                  Analyze Magic               
Earth Vision                Glass Wall                  Far-Hearing                 


Animal Spells:
Beast Soother                Beast Summoning              Insect Control             
Fish Control                Reptile Control              Bird Control               
Mammal Control              Rider                        Rider Within               
Beast Possession            Beast Speech                Shapeshifting               
Shapeshift Others                                                                     


Food Spells:
Test Food                    Preserve Food                Seek Food                   
Decay                        Purify Food                  Poison Food                 
Cook                        Create Food                  Banquet                     
Monk’s Banquet                                                                       


Movement Spells:
Haste                        Great Haste                  Apportation                 
Locksmith                    Lockmaster                  Air-Golem                   
Levitation                  Flight                      Hawk Flight                 
Teleport                    Teleport Other              Winged Knife               



Body Control Spells:
Itch                        Spasm                        Pain                       
Clumsiness                  Dexterity                    Climbing                   
Strike Blind                Strike Deaf                  Strike Dumb                 
Curse-Missle                Paralyze Limb                Total Paralysis             
Wither Limb                  Deathtouch                  Fatigue                     
Hinder                      Rooted Feet                  Tanglefoot                 
Resist Pain                                                                           


Meta Spells Spells:
Link                        Spellbreak                  Conceal Magic               
Scryguard                    Scrywall                    Magic Resistance           
Spell Shield                Counterspell                Dispel Magic               
Ward                        Great Ward                  Pentagram                   
Bless                        Curse                        Remove Curse               
Drain Mana                  Restore Mana                                             


Enchantment Spells:
Enchant                      Scroll                      Suspend Enchantment         
Power                        Hex                          Lesser Wish                 
Great Wish                  Golem                                                   


Weapon Enchantments Spells:
Accuracy                    Puissance                    Quick-Draw                 
Dancing Weapon              Loyal Sword                  Cornucopia                 
Bane                                                                                 

Armor Enchantments Spells:
Fortify                      Deflect                      Lighten                     


Limiting Enchantments Spells:
Password                    Limit                        Link                       
Spellbreak                                                                           

Wizardly Tools Spells:
Staff                        Powerstone                  Crystal Ball


hal 04-24-2021 09:17 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
If anyone would like - you can always send me an email or a private message asking "is this advantage/disadvantage available in GURPS 2nd edition", as I have booklets still.

Eventually - whether in this thread or in a different thread - I'd like to discuss what "Things" mages can do to help or hinder their armies in battle using ANY of the three different versions of GURPS MAGIC (ie GURPS FANTASY 1st edition - where we have Yrth first introduced), GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, as well as GURPS FOR 4e.

If there is sufficient interest, I can perhaps put a summary post towards the end of the thread, that advises GMs who want to be largely able to stick to the original timeline/history of Megalos and Caithness etc - and point out those spells that were introduced after GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, that may very well make it VERY difficult to keep the original written history as detailed in either of GURPS FANTASY 1st or 2nd editions. BANESTORM, is largely a rewrite of GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, although it VERY strongly tries to retain the original material where it could (this is my opinion, and is worth what you paid for it - ie, nothing).

One other thing I'd like to point out as far as Differences between GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition - and its Newer cousin GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

In the first two version of for GURPS MAGIC, an Enchanter with a skill of 12, could STILL craft a Power 20 Magic item. The problem was - they had to trade TIME for skill in enchantments. Spending twice as long to enchant an item increased the power of the item by +4. Each "base time" beyond doubling of time, added +1 to the power.

For example:

We have a single enchanter with Enchantment 12, Fireball 11. Enchantment is treated as a power of 11 for the Item in question (presumably a rod). If it takes 800 days to create the Rod, then 1600 days enchantment will increase the power of the Rod from 11 to 15. 2400 days will increase the power to 16.

Note that in the Books for GURPS FANTASY 1st edition and GURPS MAGIC, the key phrase is (under Slow and Sure enchantment)

"This method can be combined with "Power for skill," to let a mage take a very long time and make (almost) sure he has enough skill to do the job."

Be aware that this differs from the rules in GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

The reason I point this out is because magical items will likel play a role in making armies better or worse on the battle field.

maximara 04-24-2021 09:52 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
[QUOTE=hal;2376894]Note that in the Books for GURPS FANTASY 1st edition and GURPS MAGIC, the key phrase is (under Slow and Sure enchantment)

"This method can be combined with "Power for skill," to let a mage take a very long time and make (almost) sure he has enough skill to do the job."

In Magic 2e it bacame "This method can be combined with “energy for skill” (p. 15/B151), to let a mage take a very long time and increase his effective skill."

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376894)
Be aware that this differs from the rules in GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

The reason I point this out is because magical items will likel play a role in making armies better or worse on the battle field.

While the trade time for skill mechanic was in the 4e basic set (B346) it only implied this could be applied to enchantment. It wouldn't be until GURPS Thaumatology (2008) that this formally became an option for enchanters. (p 104)

I might add that GURPS Thaumatology was effectively a sea change regarding GURPS Magic as they system could be tweeked into something barely recognizable. That work also changed how limitations affected Magery (Partially Limited Magery) effectively invalidating all the examples of limited magery in the Basic Set.

hal 04-24-2021 11:16 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
[QUOTE=maximara;2376900]
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376894)
Note that in the Books for GURPS FANTASY 1st edition and GURPS MAGIC, the key phrase is (under Slow and Sure enchantment)

"This method can be combined with "Power for skill," to let a mage take a very long time and make (almost) sure he has enough skill to do the job."

In Magic 2e it bacame "This method can be combined with “energy for skill” (p. 15/B151), to let a mage take a very long time and increase his effective skill."



While the trade time for skill mechanic was in the 4e basic set (B346) it only implied this could be applied to enchantment. It wouldn't be until GURPS Thaumatology (2008) that this formally became an option for enchanters. (p 104)

I might add that GURPS Thaumatology was effectively a sea change regarding GURPS Magic as they system could be tweeked into something barely recognizable. That work also changed how limitations affected Magery (Partially Limited Magery) effectively invalidating all the examples of limited magery in the Basic Set.

To be sure of what you're saying, even 4e now permits what Earlier versions of GURPS MAGIC permitted prior to 4e?

maximara 04-24-2021 11:45 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
[QUOTE=hal;2376909]
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2376900)

To be sure of what you're saying, even 4e now permits what Earlier versions of GURPS MAGIC permitted prior to 4e?

Yes and it allows even more. The expansion to limitations and enhancements to Magery is kind of ridiculous and that is not counting perks like stable casting

For example, here is how, in 4e, Power Investiture is "built" from magery:

Magery (Functions as a Different Talent ą0%; Sanctity Replaces Mana: ą0%; No Zero-Level Requirement +10%; Inspired Learning +20%; No Spell Prerequisites +30%; Pact -10%; No Magic Item Sensitivity -20%; Limited spell list -30%) - Thaumatology pg 67

I should mention that in their base form Ritual Magic in Classic and 4e are different in terms of their power source. Classic is annoying vague on it but it is clear ist is not Mana.

StevenH 05-03-2021 05:48 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376894)
Eventually - whether in this thread or in a different thread - I'd like to discuss what "Things" mages can do to help or hinder their armies in battle using ANY of the three different versions of GURPS MAGIC (ie GURPS FANTASY 1st edition - where we have Yrth first introduced), GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, as well as GURPS FOR 4e.


I've put a bit of thought into this. Not as much as I need to, but sometime I am going to sit down with some friends who have been in the military and go over all the spells and try to see how useful they would be.



But until then....


The best spells I have found for military use are various Comm&Emp spells, mainly for communication, and Illusion/Creation spells to A) hide your forces from the enemy; B) make the forces the enemy sees larger or smaller (depending upon the tactics used); C) change up the appearance of the terrain to hide nasty surprises; D) change the apparent force type of your army (so that the enemy doesn't know how many archers you have, for example); E) Augment any other casters to make their magic seem bigger and badder and nastier. Even Simple Illusion can hide a group of soldiers by using an image of what's behind them as a camouflage screen.



Glen Cook does a lot of this kind of thing with his Black Company wizards (Goblin and One Eye, who are barely more than charlatans, but what they lack in power they make up for in panache, chuzpah, and devious cleverness). Smoke and mirrors.



Circles can also be easy to get in an army; most soldiers will be willing to be spectators for a big spell, especially if it's helpful. Such as a Q&D enchant of a Cook pot (a decent hot meal? what soldier doesn't want that?) or Umbrella spells, or a big Mud to Earth spell to get rid of the mud in the camp and make it solid earth. There's plenty of grunts who will gladly aid a spell like that.



Create Food: fairly easy to learn (few prerequisites). Castable by Magery 0 mages. Favorite people of the common soldier. Weevils in your hardtack? No problem. Cast Create Food on it, and your problem is now a sandwich with more protein. And again, with plenty of spectators willing to help power it, large amounts of good food can be made.

hal 05-04-2021 05:03 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
What I probably should do, is compare the spell lists from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition against the spell lists from GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition and see what is "new" relative to the first spell list. Those new spells add additional "functionality" of sorts - but they also further separate out "paths" required for mages who want the extra spells.

Put another way - by expanding out with more spells, each mage who can cast the really desirable spells, may have to spend another 50% extra points in spells - those same extra 50% that either could have been used to improve spells to higher levels, or to diversify their portfolio.

hal 05-04-2021 10:06 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2378079)
I've put a bit of thought into this. Not as much as I need to, but sometime I am going to sit down with some friends who have been in the military and go over all the spells and try to see how useful they would be.

<snipped stuff for sake of brevity>

Hi Steven. :)

If you would, just for the sake of interest - flesh out the bare bones of a GURPS MAGE for purposes of the discussion - assuming you like the challenge. ;)

By bare bones, All of the Attributes in GURPS 3e values (ie 100 point characters) along with pre-magery 0 and post magery 0 (assuming you even want to go that route), plus a simple "X points in spells".

The reason for this is to simply compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges as to "mage capabilities".

For instance - per the rules in Spell backfires, in a circle casting, all who participate are subject to critical failures. Having a Demon show up is of course, the worst nightmare, but too, having the spell produce the reverse of the intended effect can also prove to be nightmarish. Having a spell that cripples the right arm of all who participate for a week can also prove to be "interesting". Taking damage equal to a sword stroke (ie 1 die of damage) may very well make participants in a spell casting circle cringe about being asked to join in a ritual casting. The following phrase was present in both GURPS FANTASY 1st edition and GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, yet somewhat lacking in GURPS MAGIC for 4e:

"Sincere belief and desire to help is requred; you cannot collect a crowd off the street , pay them a fee, and use them for spectators."

4e changed it to:

"A spectator must support the ceremony of his own free will. A mind-controlled subject cannot focus sufficient will to contribute energy."

As a consequence of this - Prior to GURPS MAGIC for 4e, getting Ceremonial help with spectators was somewhat problematical. I developed a spreadsheet that allowed the user to randomly determine reaction rolls of all participating spectators - with the ability to modify the reaction roll by a given value (positve or negative) to reflect how much people wanted or believed in the ritual ceremonial spell being cast. For instance, two farmers who hate each other, watching the mage cast Bless Plants for their hated rival could very well choose to oppose the spell simply on an emotional level, not necessarily a conscious decision to oppose the spell.

None the less - Ceremonial spell casting is slightly harder in the earlier editions of Magic vs the Newest edition.

So - what spells did you have in in mind for Illusions etc, and presume that such mages only have access to maybe a total of 20 energy for spell casting at any given time. If you want to get "creative" - if you have three mages who know Illusion College spells at skill 15+ for their bulk of spells and each have 1 ten point power stone, what could they do then?

Please note: Earlier versions of GURPS did not have Energy reserve for spell casting only, and it wasn't until just before GURPS COMPENDIUM I that we had the ability to purchase Extra fatigue for spell casting only at 2 fatigue per level.

When comparing mages builit using GURPS 2nd edition rules or early GURPS 3rd edition (ie pre-revised edition version), extra fatigue was not generally available.

Just interested in seeing what you can do with the concepts you just put forth in your post. :)

(this is an attempt to draw people into both a world building mindset and/or a challenge to build mage characters for others to enjoy.)

hal 05-04-2021 10:50 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Just for giggles:

Illusion Mage using strictly only GURPS FANTASY 1st edition spells.

ST 10, DX 10, IQ 13 HT 10 - costs 30 of 100 character points. Magery 3 costs another 35 character points. Net cost for this character is 65 points. Assuming 30 points in spells, another 5 points elsewhere - we're able to buff up the character by taking up to 40 points in disadvantages and 5 in quirks.

For now, relative IQ is 16, and we have 30 points in spells. Note - per original "demographics" in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, Mages with Magery 1 were more common than mages with magery 2, who in turn were more common than mages with magery 3. In general, Magery 3 mages are more valuable for other spells and tasks, but not everyone goes the route of learning the best spells... ;)

Spell list where 1st value before the slash is points spent, send value after the slash is skill level:

Illusion 2/15
Sound 1/14
Complex Illusion 2/15
Perfect Illusion 2/15
Illusion Disguise 2/15
Control Illusion 1/14
Dispell Illusion 1/14
Create Earth 1/14
Create Object 2/15

Create Animal 2/15

Seek Water 1/14
Purify water 1/14
Create Water 1/14

Seek Earth 1/14
Shape Earth 1/14
Earth to Stone 1/14
Create Earth 1/14

Sense Foes 1/14
Truthsayer 1/14
Mind-Reading 1/14
Mind-Sending 4/16

So, this character is capable of participating in ceremonial spell casting. Let's further stipulate that each of these mages has a 10 point powerstone. I almost mentioned "Wizard's staff" but it appears that Wizard's staff wasn't "invented" until GURPS MAGIC came out.

So, what can you do with Illusion that three mages in a circle can cast with a combined energy of 27 fatigue (9 points from each of them) plus 30 from three power stones? Note that All illusion spells have a duration of 1 minute, half that to maintain. A 7 hex diameter illusion would have a cost equal to 3x the base cost of the spell less 1 fatigue (due to skill being 15). So, if Base cost is 1 per hex radius, a 3 hex radius would cost a total energy of 2 instead of 3, and only cost half that to maintain. The rules also specify that the maintenace cost is also reduced by 1, so that would drop our cost to mainain down to 1 fatigue per minute.

I suspect that Black Company use of Illusions to hide a large region of battlefield would not be practical in GURPS MAGIC, but it could be used to hide a relatively small number of pit traps, caltrops, etc. But for t his example, 3 mages couldn't really engage in that level of magic use with illusions.

Now the Mind Sending spell. That has good applications. For 4 energy, the character has a 50/50 chance of getting their spell off for where they can send a message to someone within 100 miles. This permits one to converse one way, for a message of 60 seconds worth in duration. Any army that learns to communicate in code, could easily enough pack a fair amount of information in such a tightly packed code.

Being able to create pure water from nothing permits the soldiers to have potable water providing they do not journey into a mana dead region. However, it should be noted that critical failures can strike under unexpected circumstances. Forgetting the spell as a result of a crit failure is bad enough, but having pure water become tainted as a result of a critical failure could also be bad.

StevenH 05-07-2021 02:44 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Given the mana costs, your three illusionists would be better served in scouting squads: smaller number of allies to hide/camouflage, and easier to influence enemy scouts. You don't need to fool an entire army; just make the data coming in from scouts incorrect.

Depending upon the local politics, changing some banners (assuming you don't have access to plain old cloth in the correct colors/design) might be useful by making it seem as if an ally changed sides or is at least aiding the enemy. It might throw confusion into the enemy camp. (A Dye spell could do the same, perhaps more easily).

While a Purify Water spell might go awry, a Purify Water Ring won't. It only costs 50pts to enchant, and takes an hour. And it would be easy to get enough soldiers in camp to help be spectators ("Who doesn't want dysentery? If you don't want watery bowels, focus on the success of Mage Bob over there, hold this candle, and chant 'oogabooga' over and over until Bob says stop.") Of course, smart militaries will have been doing this for decades, and have a big box of them in a warehouse somewhere, ready to hand out to each squad/platoon. Perhaps built into the fill opening of a 5 gallon jug that everyone fills their canteens from. (Filling it might require that each soldier put in 1-2 gallons every day.)

Darkness and Blackout also come to mind (although those are Light and Darkness spells, not illusion). Darkness exists in 1st Ed Fantasy; Blackout doesn't. They cost about the same as Illusion spells per hex, but the enchantments are by square foot (1st Edition Darkness is by hex, so it isn't as useful). If you allow enchantment by the square foot, then you can have a roll of cloth 6" wide and 12' long for Darkness for 72 pts with a Q&D enchantment. That gives you useful way to hide half a dozen archers. Blackout is a bit more expensive, at 90 pts for the same size, but it's slightly more effective at hiding the troops behind it.

Power is an issue with any war mage. There just isn't enough mana available to them for any real battlefield effects. It's got to be buffs, debuffs (if an enemy is in range), maybe some healing to get soldiers back in the fight, and maybe the occasional Missile Shield on an officer or two.
I haven't really been able to come up with anything that could affect a battlefield easily. Mages are outranged by missile weapons, since they take a -1 to skill for each yard of distance. Missile spells are spendy in the mana department, especially those that have a decent chance of going through armor. It was not uncommon for a professional soldier/mercenary in the 15th century to have gambeson+chain shirt+brigandine vest for armor, which is a pretty damn good combination that was only bested by the much more expensive full plate harness.


Doing the math, the basic magic system isn't really battlefield-ready. It's better for support. I still think it's one of the best magic systems out there*. Staff of Power helps, as do large powerstones and Paut potions. But battles can last all day, and even with several powerstones, a mage can be tapped out in less than 10 minutes. That means that an army can't count on a mage to be very helpful. So they have to be surgical. Perhaps as a stealthy, invisible assassin that sneaks into the enemy camp and kills the officers or poisons the water/ale supply or something.



*Context: I used to play Rolemaster, and loved it. When I saw GURPS Fantasy 1st ed, I rewrote the RM spells to the GURPS way, and used the GURPS magic system in my RM game for several years until I finally got tired of Chartmaster and went full GURPS.

StevenH 05-08-2021 02:53 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
So I revisited Simple Illusion. And Ceremonial casting. And I was thinking about using Simple Illusion as a wall in front of a group of soldiers, projecting the terrain behind them, effectively making them invisible. In this case, I am imagining a company of archers, just for the sake of argument.

How likely is it that the soldiers would want that invisibility screen? Would they want it enough to spend an hour helping the mage set it up?

If so, it could provide a screen about 200 yards wide, enough to hide said company, perhaps more if the soldiers are stacked 3 or 4 deep (or more, theoretically). My guess would be that it wouldn't be hard to find the 100 volunteers to do it. Just move the non-volunteers away from the casting area to avoid the -5 for non-compliant people (just in case; most non-volunteers would likely not be totally against the plan, just not interested in helping it).
The question then comes down to "how is it maintained?" Ceremonial magic states that "the participants can continue to provide energy to maintain the spell. The composition of the group may change, as long as the ritual continues uninterrupted. Thus, ceremonial magic lets you maintain a spell indefinitely." Okay. Does that mean that the participants can't do anything else? Which means that the 100 spectators can't loose their arrows, since they are busy holding candles, dancing around, and chanting. And if that's the case, the people most likely to want that spell to succeed can't take advantage of it.

Which means it's time for some logistics. And more than a company of archers (here I am assuming that a company is about 100 soldiers). Let's assume 4 companies of archers. One is a reserve unit, perhaps the one with the greenest archer recruits. I will also assume that since this Illusion screen is in all the archers' best interests, and that they realize this, that they would be willing to help. The reserve company becomes the ceremonial spectators.

The mage casts the spell: Simple Illusion, 100yard radius (which he turns into a wall 200 yards wide), costing 100 mana, powered solely by the spectators. They can maintain that spell for about 10 minutes, which gives a total time of 11 minutes. Even if you rotate the companies every 5 minutes or so, that only gives another 30 minutes, or 41 total. Although while it's working, the archers can loose arrows without the enemy being able to see exactly where they are. If they get clever with some practiced maneuvers, they could shift the screen and move around, making it even harder for the enemy to attack back. Although I would think that an arrow barrage from hidden enemies for 10 minutes would still be a useful tactic.



Still not terribly useful on a set piece battlefield. It just doesn't last long enough, and the soldiers will be fighting, not resting. Grrr.



Or maybe hide your troops on the flanks, and set up an illusion of a fat juicy target in the center, in order to draw the enemy into attacking the center while your forces come in from the flanks. Use the illusion to look like a bunch of lackadaisical warriors who aren't ready for battle, perhaps. That way the enemy might think they have an advantage and can catch you unawares. For it to work, though, you would either need to maintain that illusion for a very long time or the enemy has to already be coming for you, (out of some fog or something) and just before they get in range, you pop up the illusion, so you won't have to maintain it for too long. (Still requires ceremonial casting, which in this case requires some pretty damn good timing.) If tactics get too overly complicated, they tend to not work too well....


Mystic Mist, on the other hand, lasts 10 hours. Base cost is 1, same to maintain. Enemies are limited to a 2 yard visual range, move in random directions due to being disoriented, requires a Fright Check to enter, allies get a +1 to defense rolls, and enemies have a -1 to their defense rolls. The only downside is that ceremonially casting this spell takes 50 minutes. Still worth it. And again, it wouldn't be hard to find volunteers to help cast it, knowing how much it will help them fight the battle. The size of the area would be about 220 yards diameter. In fact, this also acts like the illusion screen, as anyone outside of it can't really see in, although those friendly to it can see out. And keeping it up, even for days, would be doable.

hal 05-08-2021 08:03 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Hi Stephen,
Many MANY years back, before even the dawn of the Forums, we had GURPSNET (Which still exists I might add) as our fix of GURPS fans of the time.

In it, we had an exercise in which we had Rome Vs Carthage with two different styles of magical learning methods. One, a style in which mages were taught at schools, the other, mages were taught by the Master/Apprentice system. The ONLY spells that were available at that time, were from GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, and you would be surprised at some of the innovative thinking that went on behind the scenes. It is because of some of these participants, that I had to adopt a certain mindset about the use of Divination spells when used in warfare, along with circle casting of spells and other such issues. The Carthaginians had a fleet of ships (oared propulsion and such). They were the invading force. And when I say "I" had to adopt a certain mindset, I ran this as an "Exercise" where I did all the die rolling, answered all of the divinations as best as possible, in something I called "MAGE WARS". Both sides had equal access to character point for builds, and equal numbers of mages.

I'm not going to get into the entirety of the war or its results, but to say, that for each tactical/strategic use of spells in GURPS MAGIC, there were counters.

So, I VERY much like where you're going with this, and I hope this conversation encourages you to go FURTHER rather than cause you to stop. You would not believe the FUN that can be had when you get a GROUP of players over the net, discussing how they will use their spell lists in aid of their war efforts.

But here is a hint for you: Animal spells provide for the perfect way to scout out formations of enemies, the lay of the land, and provide real time intelligence of aerial reconnaissance. Beast Possession, has an energy cost to maintain by the minute, but if you know it to a skill level 15, your energy cost is such that it will cost no more fatigue than walking at light encumbrance would inflict during an hour's walk. So, ST 10 mage, should last no more than 10 minutes right? Well, yes and no. In those days, a healing potion, when not used to heal actual damage, would provide 2d6 energy per drink. An assistant with Lend energy could also help extend that spell's duration. If said spell caster knew it to skill 20, they could use Beast Possession for hours at end with no energy cost.

You are doing what SHOULD have been done by the authors of the original GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, GURPS FANTASY 2nd edition, and subsequently, GURPS BANESTORM.

Mages as characters are limited by the rules of GURPS MAGIC in what they can do. What they're not limited by is the imagination of human ingenuity. With luck, each proposed use of a spell for the use of the Military, will be accompanied by the mindset of "Ok, if Side A does X, what will Side B do to counter it?"

By definition - an area spell that affects a HEX by volume, is a 3' wide hexagonal column that is 6' high. If you want to have flames shoot 12' into the air, you have to double the cost of what an ordinary 1 hex high layer would cost. If you cast a spell that requires a circle to cast - then it can't be within reach of charging infantry or archers. If a rain of arrows pours down on a position, and suddenly, areas of flame strike nearby - it won't be because a mage cast it from up close, it will likely be because a linked spell was designed to inflict an area casting of Essential Fire where the arrow head impacts against the ground after the words "Ignium" were said prior to launch. If a cavalry force starts to charge against an enemy and suddenly, all of the horses swerve and head towards a beast master mage summoning all horses within a given radius to him - well, that's going to happen.

GURPS MAGIC has quite a few spells, and the entirety of that spell list has to be looked at to see whether or not the history of Yrth's warfare can unfold as the authors said it did or no.

hal 05-08-2021 08:22 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Continuing on a theme...

Megalos was said to be highly organized and had its mageborn integrated well within its legions. But here is the rub. In the early incarnation of Yrth, Low mana inflicted a -6 penalty to spell casting and power levels of magic items. One needed a magic item rated at Power 21 to function in a Low mana region. Later editions of GURPS MAGIC would set this penalty to -5. But think about that for a moment. Magic swords, if crafted by mages with a skill 15 in enchantment and <magic property to be enchanted> - then such an item that required 200 days to enchant would work in all areas/regions save for one, Caithness. In order to get this item to a power level of 20 (21 originally), the mages would have to invest a total of a +6 bonus to skill. Time for Skill rules as they were, would require x2 for a +4 bonus, x3 for a +5 bonus, and x4 for a +6 bonus.

The implications of this is such that it takes between 600 to 800 days to enchant that blade (using a generic 200 days to illustrate for this purpose, a single enchantment) instead of 200. For what it took to create 1 enchanted sword that would work in ALL enemy and home battle grounds, Megalos could have 4 blades enchanted that would work in MOST enemy and home battlefields - just not in Caithness.

Willy 05-08-2021 02:54 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
The low mana level in caithness is of course why megalos hasnīt overrun them yet, there legions rely heavy on battlemages and attached wizard corps.

By the way here is a discussion on discord I started when musing on what would happen if a larger modern army would clash with a magically supported Yrth army aka megalan legion, which is in defence and had time to prepare. I wanted an open battle so I stacked the cards and didnīt took mind spells into account, the idea needs a lot of fintunin though but may still be worth a read for the differend standpoints. I was mostly on the fly because I lost my old notes about it which included several math examples and the possible outcome of certain other spells. I still thought i had my notes when I started it. Save early save often, but what do you do if your USB sticks got lost?

https://discordapp.com/channels/2285...46639612182560

StevenH 05-10-2021 03:01 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Regarding making magic swords....

It's an inefficient way to win wars. Takes too long, and ties up too many mages for too long a time.

My guess is that Megalos would make magic tools that made their "mundane" armies more effective. A magic sword under most circumstances isn't much better than a mundane sword. (Or, more likely spear, as spears beat swords in most cases, as history has shown since the Stone Age.)

So: Quality of Life items, food, anti-disease, healing, communication, movement. Logistics. Engineering (bridges and roads, perhaps rails). Air Golem (1st ed, now called Dancing Object I think) works great on a hand-pump rail car (or a pedal-powered one).

The point is, why make an item that makes only 1 person slightly more effective, when you can make items that make large groups of soldiers more effective? Besides, you need to get the biggest bang for the buck out of your enchanters. And if you can beg, borrow, steal, or sacrifice to do it with Quick and Dirty, you will. And if talismans of Paut are available, pair up an enchanter mage with an alchemist (I don't think Yrth has Paut as an option, especially with "1st Ed only" as a rule).

Speaking of alchemy, that's also a pretty cost effective way to get better effectiveness out of your soldiers. Not terribly expensive in many cases, and if you have any special forces squads they can definitely get access to even the more expensive ones.

Battle lasts an hour, adds 1d to DX, and only costs $350. Give it to your infantry in the van, and they can do some major damage.

Endurance lasts for 1d hours, and you don't lose FP. You can sprint several miles to get to a battle, far far sooner than your enemy might expect. It's expensive, though, at $1400.

Fetching and Carrying, though, only costs $300, and multiplies what you can carry by 4. So that heavy pack that was slowing you down isn't, anymore. It lasts 1d+1 hours. Similar to Endurance, but much cheaper.

Invulnerability is expensive, at $2100, but it lasts for 1d+1 hours and gives you an extra 3 DR. Worth it for the officers (might be necessary, as most magic is better used as an assassination tool rather than on the battlefield).

Stealth raises Climbing and Stealth skills by 1d points, for $550. Useful for special ops groups and scouts. A rich army might be able to afford to give it to an entire company for use as a sneaky flanking attack.

Death (mainly in pastille form) at $500 is a pretty effective attack; it does 4d damage (2d if HT save). 3 yards diameter cloud. Launch these into a massed group of infantry and knock big holes in the line. Use special crossbow bolts with the burning pastille fitted on the tips to get some range.

Fear only costs $225. Toss these randomly into the enemy's line. If the panicky troops don't mess up the maneuvers, it will at least destroy the morale of the group.

Hatred could be interesting. Especially if they group of soldiers are patriots who love their country. At $300, it could theoretically make soldiers turn on their compatriots. Even after it wore off, would the "turncoats" be trusted?
Madness might also be useful, especially if the alchemist is good enough to be able to choose the psychological disease given. PTSD would be a good one (I've seen what that can do...it's not pretty, and it at least makes the soldier an unhelpful casualty).

Odium (especially on an officer) can destroy unit cohesion and disrupt the chain of command. Expensive, at $1000.
Weakness ($400) as a pastille only lasts 1d minutes, but that might be long enough to douse the front ranks of an infantry line just before you engage. Give your side good armor, and it's possible that when the enemy is weakened, they can't damage you. Reducing the ST by 3 drops their damage by 2-4 points on average.

Pain Resistance ($600) sort of expensive, but might be good in the hands of elite troops or special ops groups. Or, perhaps, if there are popular members of companies that are looked at sort of as champions or mascots, giving them this might be good for morale. Everyone will see them shrugging off hits, not stopping, and generally being a bit more bad ass than normal.

Water-Walking ($700) would be useful to get soldiers into positions that could surprise an enemy; being able to run over the water without slogging through it will get you into position much more quickly (and quietly). It's a bit expensive, but not horribly so.

Healing and Health are both cheap, and their usefulness is obvious. In-camp diseases and infections go way down.

Sleep is cheap ($120) Pastilles will make anyone in the 3 yard diameter area have to roll HT-4 or fall asleep for at least a few hours. If you assume that most soldiers have a generous HT 11 (lots of BT) that means they need to roll a 7- or nighty night. Heck, launch a bunch of these into the enemy formation and go to town. (I've got Aarakocra in my world...I think I just thought of their favorite attack. Bombs away, sleepyheads!)
Charisma would be good for officers (and NCOs) and only costs $350. Good for unit cohesion and morale.

Hearing and Keen Sight for sentries. Or Special Ops.



(I used to run an Yrth campaign, although it was modified and likely very different from what eventually made it into the Banestorm world book years later. I stopped when the inconsistencies in it overwhelmed the playability. I think I let the "rule of cool" out of the box a little too often, and the plot holes ended up larger than the underlying tapestry. Still, it ran from '87 to sometime in the mid 90's. So not a bad run!)

hal 05-10-2021 05:15 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379090)
Regarding making magic swords....

It's an inefficient way to win wars. Takes too long, and ties up too many mages for too long a time.

My guess is that Megalos would make magic tools that made their "mundane" armies more effective. A magic sword under most circumstances isn't much better than a mundane sword. (Or, more likely spear, as spears beat swords in most cases, as history has shown since the Stone Age.)

Largely agree with you there. I just used Swords as an example. The whole process overall however, does require 4x longer to make for ALL regions than for most regional theater items.


Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379090)
So: Quality of Life items, food, anti-disease, healing, communication, movement. Logistics. Engineering (bridges and roads, perhaps rails). Air Golem (1st ed, now called Dancing Object I think) works great on a hand-pump rail car (or a pedal-powered one).

Air Golem is especially useful as you note. So, I'd vote on that as well. In theory, one could link the air golem to oar butts and used them for oared powered galleys. One could also in theory, use it in lieu of oxen for plows, etc.

As a player, working out how to use some spells effectively based on how they are written, I can say a lot of things are good in GURPS MAGIC in general. As a GM, I would have written some of those spells a little differently. More on that later. But in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, AIR GOLEM did not exist. With the introduction of that spell in GURPS MAGIC - that is one "milieu changing" spell right there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379090)
The point is, why make an item that makes only 1 person slightly more effective, when you can make items that make large groups of soldiers more effective? Besides, you need to get the biggest bang for the buck out of your enchanters. And if you can beg, borrow, steal, or sacrifice to do it with Quick and Dirty, you will. And if talismans of Paut are available, pair up an enchanter mage with an alchemist (I don't think Yrth has Paut as an option, especially with "1st Ed only" as a rule).

If you mean Paut as the alchemical equivalent of power stones, then no, GURPS FANTASY 1st or GURPS MAGIC 1st and 2nd did not have that. Being able to recover energy by means of being unwounded and drinking Healing potions is kind of nice when you get down to it. No need for Lend Energy if you can simply drink Health Potions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379090)
Speaking of alchemy, that's also a pretty cost effective way to get better effectiveness out of your soldiers. Not terribly expensive in many cases, and if you have any special forces squads they can definitely get access to even the more expensive ones.

<snipped some good comments about Alchemy>

The only thing I'll say about what you've pointed out as being worth the while is that Alchemical production ramped up as you suggest means that Alchemy will become the new "munitions" industry in that era.

But what you pointed out - would require some "comparisons" between GURPS FANTASY 1st vs GURPS MAGIC 1st and 2nd editions, vs the final form of GURPS MAGIC for 4e. What wasn't possible in the first incarnation of Yrth may have become possible in the 2nd incarnation of GURPS MAGIC 1st edition. Does it change the narrative a bit? Sure. But it also means that when you take "Potion" based warfare into Caithness - that those potions only have half the duration/effect in low mana than they do in normal mana.

But what you touched upon in passing, and needs to be mentioned up front is that any kind of enchantment assembly line is going to require what few enchanters you do have, be available on hand for long term training. Why long term? Each "Item" being made requires that the Mage enchanter be facile in both Enchantment and the Underlying spell being enchanted. In addition, regardless of the Enchanter's skill with Enchantment, the "Power" of a magic item is the lower of both Enchant and the Underlying spell. Thus, Enchanters who can make MULTIPLE different items are going to have to branch out.

GURPS 3rd edition (and I can check 2nd edition later on after I finish writing this) had a specific limitation on the number of points that could be invested in a starting character based upon character age.

"And note that a beginning character may not put more than (2 x age) points into skills; a 12-year old child could have a maximum of 24 points in skills."

GURPS 4th edition did away with that entirely. But - getting back on my original point:

Enchantment as a bottleneck, was initially based upon the fact that only 9% of the "Mageborn" population could have magery 2+. If Magery 1 was 10 times more prevalent than Magery 2, and Magery 2 was 10x more prevalent than magery 3, that means that for every 10 magery 1 - we had 1 magery 2+

That's 1/11th of the entire mage born population, which was stated initially to be 2% of the general population (ie 1 in 50).

Which brings me back to the overall initial thought - Enchanters were a major limit upon who or which mages could even begin to study Enchantments, let alone craft them. Then the prerequisite system of spells meant that enchanters had to diversify from the start, into multiple colleges of spells, which meant that they would have to specialize in with those spells deemed most commercially viable (ie worth learning in order to sell your services to your employer).

Mageborn - in terms of Society, are "Coins" to be spent. Translation: Each mage is essentially a specialist, that once put to use in society by their specialization, can't be spent elsewhere.

What opened my eyes as a GM running a campaign using ALL of the GURPS rules in say, GURPS 3e revised, was this:

Tracking which spells YOUNG mages learn in order to track their educational progress means that many of the "Good" spells take time before the mageborn can learn them, let alone use them.

Part of me wants to start up a thread, not in the GURPS area, but in the GENERAL ROLEPLAYING area or even in the play by post area, where - I set up a general TL 3 model containing 10 "Landed Knights" at TL 3, with 25,000 people inhabiting some 10 villages. Going STRICTLY by demographics as existed by social class in Historical Earth Circa 1200 AD in England, assign various "NPC" types by social class break down, and from there, by demographical breakdown by magery. From there, break them down by gender as well as by age.

Then the entire THREAD would be based on a joint "world building team" making suggestions on how to spend those mageborn. Some mageborn won't study magic because they're not born to the right family perhaps (Ie social class opportunities). Some just don't have the intellectual capacity to enjoy magery based activity. Some may very well specialize in things simply because they love being a crafter despite their inate ability with magic.

Some "enlightened Lords" may very well tell one of their "Serfs" that in lieu of having to pay the Lord in free labor for their responsibility, they can pay some of that labor in kind (ie substituting specialized things the lord wants instead of tax money, or best animal, or what have you). Then there is the Church that demands 1/10th of your income/labor/food as its Tithe. If your Goose lays 10 eggs, by right, 1 of those eggs belongs to the Parish Priest.

The idea here is to say "hey, let's detail 10 villages and see where it takes us".

Once you start to spend your mages on various pursuits, then you can REALLY see just how prevelant or how rare those mages doing what they do, really are. We can also perhaps see what kind of spells are going to be needed by the professional mage within a community of over 2,550 people (assuming roughly 550 families total and about 5 people per family average).

The only problem I see with this kind of effort is having the interest level to actively pursue it.

For instance? GURPS makes the presumption that a given "worker" earns X amount of income, pays Y amount of upkeep, and the rest of the income is discretionary. But in the case of the Alchemist, whose potions retail for $1,200 (just picking a number out of thin air), isn't going to have a lot of low income (aka struggling income) customers. Claiming that there will be one Alchemist per X number of farmers is going to require justification for their business, let alone how MANY there are.

That however, is a thread for a different time, different topic.

And yes, this is a WORLD BUILDER style thread rather than a GURPS thread - as KROMM is wont to say...

"This is a role playing game, not a Simulation" (or words to that effect) It is however, this very STRUCTURE that makes thinking "What if" that made me enjoy those Alaconius lectures in the first place. I LOVE the implications of the spells in GURPS MAGIC, and I especially love to put my love for History to use. Had someone told me at age 21, that I'd purchase a translation of the Domesday Book (from Latin to readable English) I would have told them they're nuts! But I did.

LOL

On that note, time to bring this to a close. If anyone WOULD Be interested in my taking the time to do that set up, please private message me, or better yet, email me. If I get at least three people interested in this, then I'll take the time to detail those 10 villages.

hal 05-10-2021 05:27 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Willy (Post 2378927)
The low mana level in caithness is of course why megalos hasnīt overrun them yet, there legions rely heavy on battlemages and attached wizard corps.

By the way here is a discussion on discord I started when musing on what would happen if a larger modern army would clash with a magically supported Yrth army aka megalan legion, which is in defence and had time to prepare. I wanted an open battle so I stacked the cards and didnīt took mind spells into account, the idea needs a lot of fintunin though but may still be worth a read for the differend standpoints. I was mostly on the fly because I lost my old notes about it which included several math examples and the possible outcome of certain other spells. I still thought i had my notes when I started it. Save early save often, but what do you do if your USB sticks got lost?

https://discordapp.com/channels/2285...46639612182560

I wish I had saved my Magewar notes and emails as well, but my drive got corrupted when my daughter's friend broke certain "protocol rules" and went to sites that were laced with malware. I still burn with resentment at the kid who did that even after all these years (lost a lot of valuable pictures and other valuable files darn it!).

One of the tactical saving graces of GURPS MAGIC is the -1 penalty per 3 feet of distance from spell caster. It means that mages don't automatically overwhelm "Mundane" defenses with their spells. Some spells that permit a mage or fighter to bypass physical mundane barriers are toublesome - but a mundane defense was feasible in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, that became more problematical in GURPS MAGIC 1st and/or 2nd edition. By the time of GURPS MAGIC for 4e, Mundane Defenses became impossible to defend. Cheap "Rain of <insert method of destruction> spells made it highly improbable for Mundane defenses to survive unless they were housed in no mana regions or protected by insanely huge pentagrams etc.

Here is a thought for you Willy:

Create a scenario, and set it up either in General Role playing or in Play by Post. If you can get at least TWO players to join in, one for the Defender side, one for the Offense side - why not "run" such a thing again here at the Forums? All of the stuff you write will be archived and you can start up your notes again. Burn the notes onto a CD as well as placing it on your Flash drive. ;)

Heck, share your notes via email as an attachment and you can even have off site storage!

Willy 05-10-2021 02:14 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379099)
Here is a thought for you Willy:

Create a scenario, and set it up either in General Role playing or in Play by Post. If you can get at least TWO players to join in, one for the Defender side, one for the Offense side - why not "run" such a thing again here at the Forums? All of the stuff you write will be archived and you can start up your notes again. Burn the notes onto a CD as well as placing it on your Flash drive. ;)

Heck, share your notes via email as an attachment and you can even have off site storage!

thanks for the proposal, but there are several problems.

First I never GMed 4 Ed, and even actively PLAYED since 5 years because after there was no german translation of 4th Ed new players wandered of to other systems and the old stuck to 3 rd ED. And die out from lack of content.

Second actually I search for links in my free time about GURPS for some friends and send most what I find to a Wiki. Being the person that I am I tend to stick to a task until I consider itīs done.

Third I may have time now and than but to say it bluntly a lot of health issues so I canīt plan upfront when and if I have time so Iīm not reliable in that point.

Fourth and thatīs a promise to a certain time I will ask some friends what the thinks about my Yrth ideas, not all are miltiary but most deal with newcomers and there reactions and vice versa, Iīm personally a big fan of Banestorm and portal scenarios or what happens if magic comes into a industrialy developped world. Just PM me and I add you to the list.
Some of this scenarios ripe in my head since decades, but I too had no more the written down ideas and I want them at least not completely against canon, so I have to look where the official description of YRTH ends and whatīs the condition of Yrth than.
And yes once, if my friends say itīs not completely rubbish, IīI will share my ideas, whatīs the fun of developing scenarios who are never played ?

StevenH 05-10-2021 03:42 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
This next bit isn't specifically Yrth, but the reasoning could be similar.

Mage population

1 in 50 humans has magery 0. One in ten of those might have Magery 1; one in ten of those might have Magery 2; one in ten of those might have Magery 3. Of those, one in 100 might have Magery 4. That means that in Farsskal, with an area of about 90000 square miles and a population of 8700000: 174000 people have the aptitude to learn/cast magic; 17400 have Magery 1; 1740 have Magery 2; 174 have Magery 3; and 2 with Magery 4. Just because someone has the aptitude doesn’t mean that they realize they have it, or have the resources to put it to use. So actual practicing mages are less common than the above numbers would indicate. Assume (optimistically) that 1 in 5 mages has realized and utilized their gift, and know some spells. Increased levels of Magery have higher utilization chances: 1 in 10 for M0; 1 in 5 for M1; 1 in 3 for M2; and 1 in 2 for M3. That gives Farsskal 2 M4 Wizards, 87 M3 Wizards, 579 M2 Wizards, 3480 M1 Wizards, and 17400 M0 Wizards.

That's an example for an entire country, albeit a smallish one. (Also note that in my world, different species have different rates of incidence of Magery; what's listed above is only the notes on Human rates.) For those that want more info on this, here is the link to the full article.

Here is my example of the main area of my campaign, the city of Port Karn, which is part of the Tondene Empire, a much larger polity than Farsskal.

Different races have different rates of magical ability. The first number is the total number of people that are born with the ability to manipulate mana (aka "Magery"). Numbers in parentheses are the numbers of mages actually trained to use magic. For clarity, people born with Magery are "mages". People with Magery who are actually trained in spellcasting are "wizards", "spellcasters", "sorcerors", or any number of other terms. Not all mages know how to cast spells; Magery is an inborn talent; spells are skills that need to be learned.

Orcs--58(6)M0, 6(1)M1, 0M2, 0M3, 0M4
Humans--466(47)M0, 47(9)M1, 5(2)M2, 0M3, 0M4
Goblins--164(33)M0, 16(5)M1, 2(1, Joraaki)M2, 0M3, 0M4
Hobbits--96(10)M0, 10(2)M1, 1M2, 0(1, Daisey Dubrow)M3, 0M4
Elves--91(30)M0, 18(9)M1, 4(2)M2, 1(1)M3, 0M4
Dwarves--17(6)M0, 3(1)M2, 0(1, Harald)M3, 0M4
Aarakocra--0M0, 0M1, 0M2, 0M3, 0M4


Port Karn is a major city; one of the largest in the Empire. But this shows how rare mages, and by extension, enchanters are.



In a city of 68,500 people, there are a total of 13 people who could be enchanters (two of which I know aren't: Joraaki and Daisey). That leaves 11 trained mages with enough Magery to possibly (but not necessarily) be enchanters.

As Hal notes, the educational requirements to be an enchanter are steep, about the same as a Masters Degree or PhD. Considering that each spell is roughly the equivalent of Physics in game terms, having to learn at least 11 courses of study with the same difficulty as Physics is daunting. (A better analogy might be the different disciplines of medical school; with each spell being the equivalent of, say, Otolaryngology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Radiology, Surgery, etc.)

In any case, it's one hell of a course-load.

Polydamas 05-10-2021 03:54 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2376596)
I invite people to discuss how the spells as they were added to the "world of Yrth in various publications, would have affected the narrative in GURPS YRTH from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, GURPS FANTASY 2nd edition, and ultimately, GURPS BANESTORM.

Before we start, lets collect statements in those books and the setting books about which spells exist and are commonly known on Yrth. Because since GURPS Grimoire, the GURPS Magic spell list has never been intended to be a list of every spell which is common in a specific setting, Its more of a spice cabinet where you can search for ingredients and inspiration.

Kromm remembers that GURPS 4e Banestorm says that only the spells from the 4e Basic Set are common ... is that in the text of the book? What did earlier versions of the setting and the magic rules say?

Willy 05-10-2021 04:54 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379203)
Before we start, lets collect statements in those books and the setting books about which spells exist and are commonly known on Yrth. Because since GURPS Grimoire, the GURPS Magic spell list has never been intended to be a list of every spell which is common in a specific setting, Its more of a spice cabinet where you can search for ingredients and inspiration.

Kromm remembers that GURPS 4e Banestorm says that only the spells from the 4e Basic Set are common ... is that in the text of the book? What did earlier versions of the setting and the magic rules say?

Well you also need to take into account, unless SJG wants a reboot of Yrth, and since they literally wrote the story from Fantasy 3rd Ed forth, that didnīt make sense. Also there were publications that made the available spell list a lot bigger.

And if Dr. Kromm says common that means by his own words only that the knowledge is widespread enough that you can learn it openly and in a lot of places, it doesnīt mean that a eremite in the great desert or the whitehood mountains doesnīt knows spells otherwise unknown.

The 3rd Ed fantasy lists a number of PCs / NPCs with there spell list, as well the supplements Tredroy and Harkwood, also a location called orc town is given in one of the 3rd ed or older Pyramid / Roleplayer issues. If a spell is known also at least the prerequisites are canon too, there are of course different ways to fulfill the prereqs. Than there are some 4th Ed supplements that add to this spell lists a lot namely Abbydos. Also there are in the Pyramid a detailed picture of a arratere city and the surroundings, the last publication that list explicitely something about YRTH and not only magic was GURPS city stats. Or is there supplement Pyramid Iīm missing, if yes donīt hesitate to tell me.

Further the Banestrom book adds also some YRTH only spells to deal with and find newcomers.

There must be at least a spell/ magical artifact or gate nexus that allows to leave Yrth even if itīs a quantum saragossa. A patrol man escaped that way from Yrth.

The no go spells are of course all spells that deal with technolies that on Yrth not exitst radiation spells for example.

Anyway that this spells donīt exist on Yrth now doesnīt mean that the didnīt work there and thanks to the multiple worlds that brought beings to Yrth, some with magic itīs all ways a possibility that a mage knowing such spells is banestormed.

If you read between the lines there are hints in 4th Ed Banestorm that there are newcomers with fairly advanced knowledge like the centauer knowing more of metallurgie than he should.

So the first mission is to read every Yrth book supplement note the spells and search for the prereqs. Which is a lot of work.

maximara 05-10-2021 05:08 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379098)
If you mean Paut as the alchemical equivalent of power stones, then no, GURPS FANTASY 1st or GURPS MAGIC 1st and 2nd did not have that. Being able to recover energy by means of being unwounded and drinking Healing potions is kind of nice when you get down to it. No need for Lend Energy if you can simply drink Health Potions.

Paut was limited to Classic: Egypt (1996) and Cabal (2001) and was insanely expensive: $700 a dose (Egypt pg 92)

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379098)
But what you touched upon in passing, and needs to be mentioned up front is that any kind of enchantment assembly line is going to require what few enchanters you do have, be available on hand for long term training.

Enchantment assembly lines (ie industrial magic) didn't appear until Technomancer (1998) and wasn't generalized for other TLs until Magic Items 3 (2003)

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379098)
Enchantment as a bottleneck, was initially based upon the fact that only 9% of the "Mageborn" population could have magery 2+. If Magery 1 was 10 times more prevalent than Magery 2, and Magery 2 was 10x more prevalent than magery 3, that means that for every 10 magery 1 - we had 1 magery 2+

Ignoring the wonky way the 1998 errata is written (which as written has twice as many people knowing spells than have magery at all mana levels) 1 in 100 people had some form of magery in normal mana areas and in low mana areas that cratered to 1 in 500 people.

Technomancer kept this 1 in 100 ratio but only for those born in Trinity's Shadow which is high mana. Even with organized Mage Guilds Enchantment in general is going to be insanely rare on Yrth and only seen in the larger cities.

Polydamas 05-10-2021 05:13 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Willy (Post 2379213)
Well you also need to take into account, unless SJG wants a reboot of Yrth, and since they literally wrote the story from Fantasy 3rd Ed forth, that didnīt make sense. Also there were publications that made the available spell list a lot bigger.

And if Dr. Kromm says common that means by his own words only that the knowledge is widespread enough that you can learn it openly and in a lot of places, it doesnīt mean that a eremite in the great desert or the whitehood mountains doesnīt knows spells otherwise unknown.

Before we try to interpret, lets lay out the actual data and not just our third-hand memories of the data.

The whole idea of being "mage-born" is another can of worms, I don't remember any hints that magic works like that in GURPS 4e products. Nobody assumes that people are Combat Reflexes born (or doomed to forever lack that advantage) or Green Thumb born (or doomed to forever lack that advantage) in GURPS settings. GURPS 3e had some restrictions on buying attributes and maybe advantages after character creation which GURPS 4e changed.

Common spells are the ones which affect society. The one lich who develops something horrible is a disaster, not a system. Junior mages specializing in Earth to Stone and building marble or iron palaces change the world.

Edit: a fundamental aspect of Yrth is that it has not, as far as I know, ever claimed to be a rational setting (a setting which is the logical outcome of assumptions made in advance). It tries to do many different things, like allowing "my SCA buddies in fantasyland" and allowing different types of adventures and different tropes. So to make a rational version, I think you would have to work hard to choose the magic rules which allow fantasyland adventures. Reducing child mortality and allowing more towns and goods is probably helpful, cheap mage-iron or agricultural magic which allows a population of only 10% rural farmers is probably not.

maximara 05-10-2021 10:01 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379220)
Edit: a fundamental aspect of Yrth is that it has not, as far as I know, ever claimed to be a rational setting (a setting which is the logical outcome of assumptions made in advance). It tries to do many different things, like allowing "my SCA buddies in fantasyland" and allowing different types of adventures and different tropes. So to make a rational version, I think you would have to work hard to choose the magic rules which allow fantasyland adventures. Reducing child mortality and allowing more towns and goods is probably helpful, cheap mage-iron or agricultural magic which allows a population of only 10% rural farmers is probably not.

The problem is easily used common magic (Low Fantasy) is incomparable with a realistic fantasyland (High Fantasy).

Unless magic is curtailed in someway (like can only be done ceremonially) is is going to FUBAR a TL3 society to the point that as far as ETL is concerned it isn't TL3 anymore.

Polydamas 05-10-2021 10:18 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379261)
The problem is easily used common magic (Low Fantasy) is incomparable with a realistic fantasyland (High Fantasy).

Unless magic is curtailed in someway (like can only be done ceremonially) is is going to FUBAR a TL3 society to the point that as far as ETL is concerned it isn't TL3 anymore.

I think that really depends on the nature of the magic (love spells powered by fickle spirits, or enchanting untiring men of bronze to do the work?), and fantasyland is not a historical medieval society. Its a mish-mash of tropes from the Bronze Age to the 19th century. I already gave one example of a change from historical societies which can help make fantasyland, and one example of a change which can hurt.

D&D settings are an example of irrational high fantasy with common magic which would change the world if they were rational settings. The Magic Goes Away is a famous example of rational fantasy where the magic affects societies.

David Johnston2 05-10-2021 10:21 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379220)

The whole idea of being "mage-born" is another can of worms, I don't remember any hints that magic works like that in GURPS 4e products.

There are no new GURPS 4E fantasy settings. Dungeon Fantasy isn't a setting. It's something you plug into D&D settings.

Quote:

Nobody assumes that people are Combat Reflexes born (or doomed to forever lack that advantage) or Green Thumb born (or doomed to forever lack that advantage) in GURPS settings.
All together now: That's a world building decision. Settings do exist where any rando can learn Clinging, Extra Mouth, Hermaphromorph, Mind Reading or Penetrating Vision but there are far more where it would at least require exposure to something very rare and exotic to make acquisition of traits like that possible. And there are plenty of settings where magery is a heritable trait unavailable to those who did not win the genetic lottery. There never been any indication in Yrth that there's a way short of a Wish for an adult human to acquire Magery.

Polydamas 05-10-2021 10:25 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379266)
There are no new GURPS 4E fantasy settings. Dungeon Fantasy isn't a setting. It's something you plug into D&D settings.

There is one in GURPS Fantasy ("Roma Arcana"), several in GURPS Thaumatology. Oh, and Infinite Worlds! And the Collegio Januarii, and Bill Stoddard's "students in the college of magic at a medieval university" setting ... I think one was published as a series of articles in Pyramid #3 ... and GURPS Thaumatology: Age of Gold

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379266)
There never been any indication in Yrth that there's a way short of a Wish for an adult human to acquire Magery.

Does GURPS 4e Banestorm say anything at all about who has magery, how they get it, or how common it is? GURPS 3e Yrth had some passage like that.

Lets put the sources on the table before we try to draw conclusions from them.

Edit: GURPS 4e Banestorm pp. 23-26 has carefully weasel words about genetics, magery, the demographics of mages, and available spells. To this published writer, this section seems to have been worded so GMs can interpret in different ways. It does warn that some unnamed spells in GURPS Magic do not exist or are known by only one wizard.

Edit: my rule of thumb is that a starting character or minor NPC should not be able to destroy your setting. So I am much more concerned with the ability of journeyman earth mages to replace miners and stonemasons and destroy castles than I am about estoeric issues. Few adventure settings are plausible (there are way too many interesting murders in Brokenwood, NZ!) but a game setting should be able to resist one character whose player feels mischevious, and that resistance should flow naturally out of the setting and not feel like the plot hammer coming down. If a setting can survive that kind of pushback, most players and GMs can suspend their disbelief. So I would work out rules of thumb of what magic can do on Yrth which pass this test while preserving as many core ideas of old GURPS Fantasy as possible. Creating a completely rational setting with magic is a red herring, when at the table, the biggest issues are creating a shared sense of how the world works and keeping the Brian van Hooses of the world from seizing power.

StevenH 05-11-2021 12:31 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Re: spells available in different areas of Yrth....

Let's introduce something I call "Ethnothaumatololgy". That is, the collection of spells that a culture has access to. In other words, their spell list. Each different group/culture will likely have different spell lists, or, if using "basic magic", which spells are available to learn in that culture. Gate spells may never have even been developed.

For a world I built (and never got a chance to run, dammit) I went through with the prerequisite charts and figured out which spells each culture had, based upon their needs and requirements.

A culture will only really use what works for them (not including edge cases and outliers). So the spells they teach their mages will not (under most circumstances) be the full spell list. A culture whose settlements are all high up in the mountains may not have discovered/figured out any spells related to the ocean. An underwater species won't typically develop fire spells, because fire doesn't work underwater. It's not a tool in their tool box.

So Megalos will have one set of spells, Caithness another (likely severely truncated, since they live in a low mana zone*), and al-Wazif yet another. Everyone has different priorities, although there will obviously be a lot of common spells and overlapping uses.

* Which also implies that since magic is less reliable, they will likely focus on other means of solving problems. Means that will be reliable anywhere. (And I always considered their low mana zone to be their best defense, especially against Megalos and their reliance on magic.)

StevenH 05-11-2021 12:49 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379261)

Unless magic is curtailed in someway (like can only be done ceremonially) is is going to FUBAR a TL3 society to the point that as far as ETL is concerned it isn't TL3 anymore.

Any world with magic in it to any noticeable degree will not look like our TL3. The existence and use of magic would have changed it.

But I get your point. But if you assume the 1 in 50 incidence for Magery, of which only some are capable of learning (as in a decent IQ), of which only some are trained (due to finding a teacher, or just having the desire to learn that stuff), there aren't a lot of mages. At all. And enchanters are even more rare. So rare that magic items won't have the chance to disrupt economies simply because there aren't enough of them to make a difference. Locally, perhaps, and for a short time, but not on any macro level.

Mages, selling their spell skills, on the other hand....

Here we have a different story. Spellcasters are still exceedingly rare, but most people would have heard of them, and someone living in a big city will likely have seen one or two. Because the wizards will go to where they will be compensated for their abilities, and the Powers That Be will want control of or access to them. And the PTB will most likely be in the cities.

Commoners won't really have access to wizards. They wouldn't be able to afford them, even if the wizards realized the commoners were there. The rich and powerful get to play with the wizards, and all of the wizards' time will be taken up by the needs and requests of the PTB. (In this case, the rich are lumped into the PTB, even if the rich aren't an official part of the government...money is power.)

Even then, wizards are still so rare and valuable that 1) the PTB won't risk them (too much), and 2) most of the moving and shaking in the world won't be due to the mages--it will still be mundane actions. The mages might nibble around the edges, but unless there are some very powerful magics then what they can do is pretty minimal, on a national scale.

Unless assassination becomes a commonly used tool of the State. In which case it won't be about nationally scaled actions, it will be small ones in secret. And it turns into an arms race of magical or magically augmented attacks vs magical defenses. Who has the best security? How do you bypass it? How do you find out what it is in order to try to bypass it? Instead of armies, you have the magical version of the IMF. Or, more accurately, you have armies acting as a diversion for the magical IMF. (Ethan Hunt, stealth mage extraordinaire!)

David Johnston2 05-11-2021 01:16 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379267)

Does GURPS 4e Banestorm say anything at all about who has magery, how they get it, or how common it is? GURPS 3e Yrth had some passage like that.

It describes Magery as "usually hereditary" with magic capable parents more likely to pass on their ability than non-mages. It specifically says nobody born without "some kind of potential" can become a mage. It says magery is probably genetic but not in a simple way. If all your parents and grandparents were mages, you are very likely to be one as weell.

Additionally it describes people who are non-mages as such but are born with other supernatural gifts such as Medium and Oracle. There is some indication that these things can also be mastered with great dedication by the mystically inclined.

maximara 05-11-2021 02:47 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379278)
It describes Magery as "usually hereditary" with magic capable parents more likely to pass on their ability than non-mages. It specifically says nobody born without "some kind of potential" can become a mage. It says magery is probably genetic but not in a simple way. If all your parents and grandparents were mages, you are very likely to be one as weell.

From the description Magery would seem to follow basic Mendel genetics while the level follows the rules for things like eye and hair color.

maximara 05-11-2021 03:16 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379276)
But if you assume the 1 in 50 incidence for Magery, of which only some are capable of learning (as in a decent IQ), of which only some are trained (due to finding a teacher, or just having the desire to learn that stuff), there aren't a lot of mages. At all. And enchanters are even more rare. So rare that magic items won't have the chance to disrupt economies simply because there aren't enough of them to make a difference. Locally, perhaps, and for a short time, but not on any macro level.

The problem there is the trope of magic items being "easily" findable in the neighborhood dungeon. Given how fragile most are there has to be somebody or a group of somebodies making these magic items at a reasonably pace. I mean there are more non cursed magic items in an entry level dungeon that can become the PCs than in Tolkien's works.

hal 05-11-2021 08:44 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379261)
The problem is easily used common magic (Low Fantasy) is incomparable with a realistic fantasyland (High Fantasy).

Unless magic is curtailed in someway (like can only be done ceremonially) is is going to FUBAR a TL3 society to the point that as far as ETL is concerned it isn't TL3 anymore.

This is why I started up a new thread in the ROLEPLAYING in General forum titled:

Mageborn are like Coins - World Building TL 3

My suggestion is to go with the original Demographics for mageborn, then go with the general historical demographics (ie about 1/3rd of your population was younger than 15 with 1 in 2 children historically dying before reaching age 15), and dealing with the general demographics of:

Roughly 24 to 25% of a rural population were free born
roughly 74% of the rural population were serfs

Overall, roughly 2% of the population were wealthy, and while I can't remember the precise ratio of Nobility to the rest of the population, I think it came close to the 2% value over all.

In that thread, there will be 10 "landed Knight" families with each village owing fealty and other obligations to the 10 landed knight families. I'm torn between using a base figure of about 50 families per village and allowing up to more like 75 to 100 families in other villages. But if I go that route with variable villages having variable numbers of families instead of each village having only 50 - well, that will make it all "cookie cutter like".

None the less, the intent is to give people concrete NUMBERS. Concrete ages for each of the mageborn vs non-mageborn. Give people an idea of just how much "available wealth" there is to support various "crafts" such as Alchemy and/or spell casters. If potions are priced at $1200 and discretionary spending for the bulk of the serfs is less than $100 per month - those serfs will NOT be supporting the alchemist unless the alchemist can sell goods/services the general population can afford.

Keep in mind, my next step will be to get a full listing of all of the spells in GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition like I did for GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. I will try to list those spells that came into being AFTER the publication of GURPS FANTASY 1st edition so that people who read this thread later on, might begin to understand why people say that you can't have Low Fantasy game worlds with GURPS MAGIC. This may be 100% true with GURPS MAGIC for 4e - but maybe not entirely true with GURPS FANTASY 1st edition spells listed, or even perhaps GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition. And yes, I will eventually create a list of those spells introduced in GURPS GRIMOIRE.

GURPS MAGIC for 4e's evolution is such that sequentially, it is like this:

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition spells + additional GURPS MAGIC spells + additional GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition spells + GURPS GRIMOIRE spells + a select handful of spells that were introduced for the first time in GURPS MAGIC for 4e as unique spells.

Those who want to pare back the "over the top" genre-breaking spells from the spell list might have a chance to see why the evolution of GURPS MAGIC does matter.

hal 05-11-2021 08:50 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379265)
D&D settings are an example of irrational high fantasy with common magic which would change the world if they were rational settings. The Magic Goes Away is a famous example of rational fantasy where the magic affects societies.

THE MAGIC GOES AWAY is one of my favorite books actually. And yes, the difference between an irrational High Fantasy vs a Rational one is largely why I enjoyed looking at the GURPS MAGIC spells the way I did back when all we had was GURPSNET.

I would LOVE to see a product line much like Dungeon Fantasy, but instead, goes for a Low Fantasy tone with guidelines for how to build such a society for campaign use.

hal 05-11-2021 09:16 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379278)
It describes Magery as "usually hereditary" with magic capable parents more likely to pass on their ability than non-mages. It specifically says nobody born without "some kind of potential" can become a mage. It says magery is probably genetic but not in a simple way. If all your parents and grandparents were mages, you are very likely to be one as weell.

Additionally it describes people who are non-mages as such but are born with other supernatural gifts such as Medium and Oracle. There is some indication that these things can also be mastered with great dedication by the mystically inclined.

Nice Catch.

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition predates the invention (or conceptualization) of Magery 0 and a few other things. This had an effect on how magic worked within society. Once you introduce Magery 0, then you end up with a different "slant" that becomes possible. Me? I don't mind working with EITHER of magery 0 or Magery 1 - largely because the only difference between a magery 0 character and a magery 1 character is this:

Low and normal mana regions only permitted spell casting of spells that required magery 1+ to cast. In effect, this meant ALL of the spells. Those spells that did not list Magery 1 as a prerequisite - could be cast by non-mages in Mana High regions.

All magery 0 did, was limit mageborn to casting spells that lacked magery 1 as a requisite. If anything, Magery 0 made it so that there would in theory, be LESS mages able to cast magery 1+ spells.

The general rule in GURPS FANTASY 1st was each level of magery was 10x more prevelant than the next better level of magery.

Thus:

10 Magery 0 for each magery 1 mageborn out there.
100 magery 0, 10 magery 1 for each magery 2 mageborn.
1000 magery 0, 100 magery 1, 10 magery 2 for each magery 3 mageborn

Now, some might talk about Magery levels 4+ - which is distinctly a GURPS 4e concept. Me? I don't generally ALLOW magery 4+ in my games for only ONE reason...

We have Magery 0 spells (by default, any spell not requiring magery 1+)
We have Magery 1 spells that require magery 1 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 2 spells that require magery 2 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 3 spells that require magery 3 as a requisite to learn

Where are the magery 4 spells that require magery 4 as a requisite?

Magery was not only the ability to cast spells in low/normal/high/very high mana regions, it was also, essentially a way of differentiating how so terribly complex a spell was so as to be incomprehensible to a mind to study.

Without Magery 3, no one can learn a magery 3 spell regardless of how much time and effort that goes into studying the spell.

Until there is a systemic method for denoting what spells are complexity 4, 5, 6, 7, etc - we really shouldn't have Magery 4+ in the campaign.

Now - someone privately asked me why I don't let GURPS GRIMOIRE into my campaigns without being HEAVILY Vetted? I'm gong to give one example here, and possibly someday open a thread on the topic another day...

Alter Terrain: As a spell, it can affect an area that is up to 24' HIGH for an energy cost that is cheaper than the spell "Move Earth". Alll area spells up to this point in time - defined a hex as being 3' from side to side in a hexagonal shape, that was 6' tall. If you wanted a 3 hex radius spell of fire, it costs 2 energy per hex radius, or 6 energy (less any discount for skill level) final energy cost. If you want that same radius to have flames that reach to 12 feet in height, you had to pay 12 energy.

Alter Terrain does not conform to the basics of GURPS MAGIC rules, and energy wise, does not match what I would call the metaphysics of GURPS MAGIC as whole. Likewise, most missle spells cost 1 energy per 1 die of damage inflicted. Acid ball however, does not do this. It not only inflicts 1 die of damge per 1 energy, but does damage as ACID damage.

It is those inconsistencies within various spells that make me ban them for the most part.

GURPS MAGIC for 4e went so far as to make a spell called Essential Wood, that effectively permanently enchants wood with properties approximating armor enchantments or invulnerability to fire types of enchantments - for FAR cheaper energy than the enchantments themselves. So, I don't let it in my games as written. **shrug**

The thing to keep in the back of your minds when discussing whether or not one can have a medieval TL 3 society with some of these spells is that not only do they violate genre conventions, but also in some instances, violate the basic framework of GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition.

hal 05-11-2021 09:26 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379282)
From the description Magery would seem to follow basic Mendel genetics while the level follows the rules for things like eye and hair color.

There are some "issues" that can be raised with the Mendel genetics that prove to be interesting for contemplation by a world builder. ;)

For instance, is Magery linked to a single site of genetic pairs? Is it a genetic sequence that only expresses itself in the absence of specific traits? Does it depend on an absence of FIVE sites? With three states possible: Dominant, Recessive, or incomplete (such as happens when you breed a red flower with a white flower and get pink) - just what is necessary for the Mageborn trait?

In the end, the incidence of magery within society is as others have noted, a world builder's decision.

Ultimately? As originally presented, YRTH was presented as a TL 3 society with elements of magic incorporated that allowed society to more or less continue as it did in historical context, to where we have knights, serfs, free born, etc. We don't have complex machines outside of simple clockwork and/or mills. Yes, there were exceptions to where we might have inventions that were built in antiquity well before they become more common in society, but the theory of something and the implementation of something can be really STRANGE.

So - my goal next in THIS thread, will be to cultivate a list of spells for GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, and possibly determine which spells already existed in GURPS FANTASY 1st so as to say "these spells may have changed what the original Yrth background would have become had these spells been part of the game from the start."

I also now have to write code that will determine marital status for each "Family" in my other thread, then assign ages to the head of family and his/her spouse (if any) and the ages of subsequent children.

Glad I've got something to keep my creative mind occupied on something other than day to day survival at work. ;)

Polydamas 05-11-2021 11:52 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379283)
The problem there is the trope of magic items being "easily" findable in the neighborhood dungeon. Given how fragile most are there has to be somebody or a group of somebodies making these magic items at a reasonably pace. I mean there are more non cursed magic items in an entry level dungeon that can become the PCs than in Tolkien's works.

are we talking about Yrth or about something else? Yrth is not a dungeon fantasy setting littered with networks of caves and tunnels filled with monsters and loot.

And which kind of 'entry level' dungeon? In 1e and 2e AD&D, you could spend months on a dungeon full of orcs or goblins who had a tiny chance of one magic item. Its 3e and later which makes potions as common as in video games.

David Johnston2 05-11-2021 12:01 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379311)
Nice Catch.

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition predates the invention (or conceptualization) of Magery 0 and a few other things. This had an effect on how magic worked within society. Once you introduce Magery 0, then you end up with a different "slant" that becomes possible. Me? I don't mind working with EITHER of magery 0 or Magery 1 - largely because the only difference between a magery 0 character and a magery 1 character is this:

Low and normal mana regions only permitted spell casting of spells that required magery 1+ to cast. In effect, this meant ALL of the spells. Those spells that did not list Magery 1 as a prerequisite - could be cast by non-mages in Mana High regions.

All magery 0 did, was limit mageborn to casting spells that lacked magery 1 as a requisite. If anything, Magery 0 made it so that there would in theory, be LESS mages able to cast magery 1+ spells.

The general rule in GURPS FANTASY 1st was each level of magery was 10x more prevelant than the next better level of magery.

Thus:

10 Magery 0 for each magery 1 mageborn out there.
100 magery 0, 10 magery 1 for each magery 2 mageborn.
1000 magery 0, 100 magery 1, 10 magery 2 for each magery 3 mageborn

Now, some might talk about Magery levels 4+ - which is distinctly a GURPS 4e concept. Me? I don't generally ALLOW magery 4+ in my games for only ONE reason...

We have Magery 0 spells (by default, any spell not requiring magery 1+)
We have Magery 1 spells that require magery 1 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 2 spells that require magery 2 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 3 spells that require magery 3 as a requisite to learn

Where are the magery 4 spells that require magery 4 as a requisite?.

Well sticking to Banestorm, since a person with Magery 4 comes along less than once a generation there are simply no teachers for spells that require Magery 4 and any grimoire counting such a spell would extremely rare. They would have to invent such a spell for themselves.

I am incidentally inclined to move Alter and Move Terrain to Magery 4.

hal 05-11-2021 12:19 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379359)
Well sticking to Banestorm, since a person with Magery 4 comes along less than once a generation there are simply no teachers for spells that require Magery 4 and any grimoire counting such a spell would extremely rare. They would have to invent such a spell for themselves.

I am incidentally inclined to move Alter and Move Terrain to Magery 4.

That would be an interesting way to handle the spells. :)

Polydamas 05-11-2021 01:31 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
One thing which strikes me is that GURPS Banestorm implies that the average mage is something like IQ + Magery 11 or 12, whereas its 17 for the average player character mage. There is no reason to assume that the 1/50 of the population with magery also has above-average levels of the "talent for too many thinky skills to bother listing." The ones who are sent to formal education might get +1 Intelligence on average. Trying to model the distribution of attributes in a population is icky, especially the talent with an unfortunate acronym, but just that affects how we envision mages in society. Most need to invest a lot of time to learn a spell at 12 and need to focus a long career to get one spell at 15.

StevenH 05-12-2021 01:26 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
I was looking through my much-thumbed-through 1st Ed Fantasy book. And I found out something interesting about mages in Yrth. Pg 15 states: "On Yrth, one person in 100 has magical aptitude, and one in 500 is a practicing wizard. One out of 1000 might have Magery 2; one in 10,000 might have Magery 3." It does go on to say that some areas wizards are much more common. Which I interpret as more of the mageborn are trained, rather than a higher incidence of magery.

Those rates would make mages and wizards even more rare.

2nd Ed Fantasy is different (Yrth got an upgrade?)
"For most inhabitants of Yrth, magic is part of their daily lives. Perhaps 1 human in 50 might know a spell or two or have a knack in a high-mana area; 1 in 100 in a normal mana area or 1 in 500 in a low-mana area such as Caithness. In a high-mana area, perhaps half of the magic-users will actually possess Magical Aptitude. Of course, some people with Magical Aptitude, especailly in low-mana areas, will never learn magic or even become aware of their talent."
"The number of trained mages (or mages in training) is much lower--approximately 1 for every 10 'amateurs'."

Then it goes on to mention that in a town of 10,000 could expect to have 100 inhabitants who had some magic, and an additional 10 people who were fully practicing mages.

So that's a bit more confusing. The wording is not very clear. But it seems that the knowledge of spellcasting is more common than the ability to actually cast them. Which seems stupid, considering that the time it takes to learn a spell, only to not be able to cast it, is basically time wasted.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting. I hadn't realized that the numbers varied so much between editions. At least I think they vary. 2nd edition doesn't really specifically state how much of the population has Magery.

maximara 05-12-2021 02:31 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379311)
Nice Catch.

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition predates the invention (or conceptualization) of Magery 0 and a few other things.

Did the pre-Religion way of Clerical magic exist in GURPS Fantasy 1st edition as it did in Classic: Magic? If so by a strict RAW it was Magery 0 in all but name. It would go a long way on explaining why the Errata for GURPS Fantasy 1st edition is written the way the way it is.

"A simple clerical advantage is to allow non-mage clerics to use spells of one (or a few) colleges as though they were mages. So, even in normal and low-mana areas, a cleric of (for instance) a healing-oriented power can cast Healing spells."

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379311)
Now, some might talk about Magery levels 4+ - which is distinctly a GURPS 4e concept. Me? I don't generally ALLOW magery 4+ in my games for only ONE reason...

We have Magery 0 spells (by default, any spell not requiring magery 1+)
We have Magery 1 spells that require magery 1 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 2 spells that require magery 2 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 3 spells that require magery 3 as a requisite to learn

Where are the magery 4 spells that require magery 4 as a requisite?

IIRC they only exist in Pyramid 3/76: Dungeon Fantasy IV. (2015) meaning they are a very late comer to 4e and aimed at Dungeon Fantasy which is not Yrth.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379311)
Magery was not only the ability to cast spells in low/normal/high/very high mana regions, it was also, essentially a way of differentiating how so terribly complex a spell was so as to be incomprehensible to a mind to study.

Without Magery 3, no one can learn a magery 3 spell regardless of how much time and effort that goes into studying the spell.

Until there is a systemic method for denoting what spells are complexity 4, 5, 6, 7, etc - we really shouldn't have Magery 4+ in the campaign.

I agree. As I stated a while back GURPS 4e Magic could have eliminated the need for things like Least of Spells by having "requires Magery 0" for some of the spells.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2379311)
The thing to keep in the back of your minds when discussing whether or not one can have a medieval TL 3 society with some of these spells is that not only do they violate genre conventions, but also in some instances, violate the basic framework of GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition.

Well that "framework" includes non-magery/non-Power Investiture Clerical magic, Rune Magic, and Alchemy so there is still a lot on the table.

maximara 05-12-2021 03:11 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2379354)
are we talking about Yrth or about something else? Yrth is not a dungeon fantasy setting littered with networks of caves and tunnels filled with monsters and loot.

And which kind of 'entry level' dungeon? In 1e and 2e AD&D, you could spend months on a dungeon full of orcs or goblins who had a tiny chance of one magic item. Its 3e and later which makes potions as common as in video games.

I meant "dungeon" in its broader sense (module) ala Mordag's Little Finger (Classic: Fantasy Adventures)

Also 1e and 2e AD&D adventurers were scaled to the level of the "dungeon" they were in. Much of the time was waiting around for the spell caster to relearn/prayer for their spells and what speed bumps were in the module were tailor made to burn through their limited resources.

Take a 6 member 50 point GURPS party through Keep of the Boarderlands, like I did back when all there was GURPS 1e and be stunned how fast they go through the thing.

hal 05-12-2021 08:48 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379437)
Did the pre-Religion way of Clerical magic exist in GURPS Fantasy 1st edition as it did in Classic: Magic? If so by a strict RAW it was Magery 0 in all but name. It would go a long way on explaining why the Errata for GURPS Fantasy 1st edition is written the way the way it is.

The only reference to clerical magic in GURPS FANTASY 1st edition was "How Religion Works" sidebar on page 70. It lists the possibilities as:

Non-intervention
Occasional intervention
Magical Aid
Active Deities

The Magical aid simply states that magic is a divine power. It, like GURPS MAGIC page 84, or GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition page 94, suggests granting a bonus of +1 to +3 depending on the deity and the college of spells etc.

Unlike GURPS MAGIC or GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, where we have perhaps the first recorded instance of magery 0 (ie, Clerical investment for spell casting is made more expensive per college of spells, but also an additional +5 cost per +1 bonus to spell casting) - GURPS FANTASY 1st edition doesn't go that far with Clerical Investment at all. Looking at GURPS 2nd edition, Clerical Investment was not even invented as an advantage yet. GURPS 2nd edition books I have in my possession show a copyright of 1986.




Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379437)
"A simple clerical advantage is to allow non-mage clerics to use spells of one (or a few) colleges as though they were mages. So, even in normal and low-mana areas, a cleric of (for instance) a healing-oriented power can cast Healing spells."


But - as best as I can tell, even with GURPS MAGIC or GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, such "Miracle casting" was still subject to the penalties of low mana. Only later did GURPS draw away from Mana for clerical powers by calling it sanctity or some such.


Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379437)
IIRC they only exist in Pyramid 3/76: Dungeon Fantasy IV. (2015) meaning they are a very late comer to 4e and aimed at Dungeon Fantasy which is not Yrth.

I could grow to hate you for pointing out yet another Pyramid issue I don't have. LOL

<snipped stuff>




Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379437)

Well that "framework" includes non-magery/non-Power Investiture Clerical magic, Rune Magic, and Alchemy so there is still a lot on the table.

The good news is - that absent any specifics in "Rune Magic" and Clerical powers etc - we can either do one of two things:

Merge in with the original 2% population figure, EVERY style of magic that can be cast, which includes Runemagic, knacks, clerical magics etc - or we can make the presumption that the original 2% was geared for specifically, the spell slingers from GURPS FANTASY 1st edition, and for those who still want to use that 2% guideline - everything that GURPS MAGIC introduced subsequently.

As was discovered in the other thread (Mages are coins) - I did a test run of code I created for use with VB.NET that would essentially use the full 2% value of a general population as an "entered manually" bit of data. It would then spit out what the magery values were based on each lower level of magery was 10x more common than the next highest. I did 5 test runs for each version (magery 1-3 only and the newer magery 0 to 3) and found an interesting pattern emerge...

Here is a sample of five runs that generate the Magery using non-magery 0:

Magery 1: 44 Magery 2: 7 Magery3: 0
Magery 1: 42 Magery 2: 9 Magery3: 0
Magery 1: 44 Magery 2: 6 Magery3: 1
Magery 1: 41 Magery 2: 9 Magery3: 1
Magery 1: 46 Magery 2: 5 Magery3: 0


This is what I generate when allowing for the new fangled Magery 0 instead:
Magery 0: 47 Magery 1: 4 Magery 2: 0 Magery3: 0
Magery 0: 44 Magery 1: 7 Magery 2: 0 Magery3: 0
Magery 0: 47 Magery 1: 4 Magery 2: 0 Magery3: 0
Magery 0: 41 Magery 1: 9 Magery 2: 1 Magery3: 0
Magery 0: 41 Magery 1: 10 Magery 2: 0 Magery3: 0


Note that in those runs, I was basically rolling a random number between 1 to 111 for the more traditional pre-magery 0 table of results, and from 1 to 1111 for the Magery 0 to magery 3 results. The idea was that each person born with Magery, would get a randomly generated Magery value that was in line with statistical expectations.

Magery 0 as part of a 2% population limit, results in 90% of all mageborn having only magery 0. The pre-magery 0 method results in 90% of the mageborn population having Magery 1 instead. So that is a relatively huge difference right there.

In the end? The prevelance of magery within a population is strictly a world building decision. If you make this a genetic issue, assuming that Magery is a recessive gene, then to obtain a roughly 2% population with a purely recessive gene sequence, you would have to have Magery depend on 6 genetic factors. The value would be 1/2^6 which is 1.5% of the population.

If on the other hand, you wanted to go with Magery 3 depends on a purely recessive gene set up for 10 sites, the odds of having a pure Magery 3 type of individual would be 1/2^10 or .097 percent of the general population. You could then monkey around with the idea of saying that variations in sites 7 through 10 determine various effects such as Magery 0, Magery 1, Magery 2 and even one college magery etc. But that is a detail that I really don't want to get into. If you really wanted to be nasty, one could easily make it that Genetically speaking, to have a pure magery 3 character, the magery genes are also linked with genetic disorders that MUST be present for it to express itself (ie become functional). Frankly? Genetics make me want to run and forget numbers at all... Statistical analysis is NOT my forte. I'm fine up to pre-calculus. ;)

Polydamas 05-12-2021 05:32 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maximara (Post 2379440)
I meant "dungeon" in its broader sense (module) ala Mordag's Little Finger (Classic: Fantasy Adventures)

Dungeons are a subset of adventures and a subset of published adventures (modules). "Explore this disabled space-ship" might count as a dungeon.

But to avoid getting distracted with semantics, can you give me an example of a modern adventure for Yrth which you feel has an implausible number of magic items? Mordag's Little Finger is very old (1991) and centred around an enchantress, a necromancer, and a vampire. I can't make a quick list of magic items in it.

You cited "the trope of magic items being 'easily' findable in the neighborhood dungeon. Given how fragile most are there has to be somebody or a group of somebodies making these magic items at a reasonable pace."

David Johnston2 05-12-2021 06:03 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
[QUOTE=hal;2379467]

Quote:

The good news is - that absent any specifics in "Rune Magic" and Clerical powers etc - we can either do one of two things:
There is still no indication in Banestorm that sanctity based spell casting exists on Yrth although advantages like True Faith and Healing do exist and are not included in the 2%.

Quote:

In the end? The prevelance of magery within a population is strictly a world building decision. If you make this a genetic issue, assuming that Magery is a recessive gene, then to obtain a roughly 2% population with a purely recessive gene sequence, you would have to have Magery depend on 6 genetic factors. The value would be 1/2^6 which is 1.5% of the population.

If on the other hand, you wanted to go with Magery 3 depends on a purely recessive gene set up for 10 sites, the odds of having a pure Magery 3 type of individual would be 1/2^10 or .097 percent of the general population. You could then monkey around with the idea of saying that variations in sites 7 through 10 determine various effects such as Magery 0, Magery 1, Magery 2 and even one college magery etc. But that is a detail that I really don't want to get into. If you really wanted to be nasty, one could easily make it that Genetically speaking, to have a pure magery 3 character, the magery genes are also linked with genetic disorders that MUST be present for it to express itself (ie become functional). Frankly? Genetics make me want to run and forget numbers at all... Statistical analysis is NOT my forte. I'm fine up to pre-calculus. ;)
Pray allow me to mess up your calculation by pointing out that while Banestorm does explicitly say that you have to have inborn potential to be a mage, it doesn't explicitly say that people who are mageborn can't train up their level of magery. (Although it does indicate that 90% of mageborn are left at 0) I would say levels of one college magery are probably the product of personality and training and not purely genetic.

StevenH 05-12-2021 08:25 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379544)


Pray allow me to mess up your calculation by pointing out that while Banestorm does explicitly say that have to have inborn potential to be a mage, it doesn't explicity say that people who are mageborn can't train up their level of magery. (Although it does indicate that 90% of mageborn are left at 0) I would say levels of one college magery are probably the product of personality and training and not purely genetic.

I like the idea that you can train up a level in Magery, personally. It also simulates what I read in L.E. Modesitt's Recluce series--those mages can increase their power and range by practicing. His Order and Chaos mages get better skill-wise as well, but I like the mechanism of being able to train both skill and power.

Since the Recluce series was originally written to demonstrate that magic has economic effects (and can't just be simply "grafted on" to an otherwise mundane world), it might be useful to keep that in mind. (As, I think, we are.)

As for increasing the amount of magic items in the world (using the basic magic system) we can make the average mana level High instead of Normal; we can lower the difficulty of spells from "Astrophysics" to "Algebra" (that is, VH-->H, H-->A, or even knock them down 2 levels); change how spells are bought from separate skills to techniques based on your skill in a College; we can change the prerequisites to have shorter chains. I suppose we could also just knock a zero off of the amount of mana it takes to enchant. There are likely other ways in Thaumatology, but I haven't had the chance to read through that yet.

But I don't think we need to do that. I don't think Yrth was ever supposed to be a D&D equivalent, which I sort of equate with a world with magic items lying around all over the place. I always saw Yrth as a more realistic attempt to come up with a world that had a slew of different sentient species, magic, supernatural creatures, and all the rest. It's debatable how well they succeeded, but it was at least a good attempt.

Willy 05-12-2021 10:27 PM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StevenH (Post 2379564)
I like the idea that you can train up a level in Magery, personally. It also simulates what I read in L.E. Modesitt's Recluce series--those mages can increase their power and range by practicing. His Order and Chaos mages get better skill-wise as well, but I like the mechanism of being able to train both skill and power.

That would make a lot of sense, you are born with the talent to be able to cast magic i.e have the magic advantage, but without proper training this talent isnīt worth much.

Compared to for example sports that would fit to the semirealistic approach GURPS takes mostly. It is amazing to see what people who are nearly bare of any talent can reach if the only train hard enough for a long time and have a trainer who is worth the name. Sometimes they beat even in local championships folks with a lot of talent i.e. both parents former athlets, who lack this zeal.

maximara 05-13-2021 12:42 AM

Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379544)
There is still no indication in Banestorm that sanctity based spell casting exists on Yrth although advantages like True Faith and Healing do exist and are not included in the 2%..

Actually, Banestorm clearly states that Power Investiture "is unknown on Yrth. Priests who can cast spells are almost always born with Magery. Those with specifically “god-granted” powers usually don’t cast spells as such, having other supernatural abilities; see p. 26." (pg 183) So sanctity is basically DOA as far as Yrth goes.

But it is actually page 84 that interests us: "This setting includes some new talents. (...) Close to Heaven: Exorcism, Meditation, Religious Ritual, Ritual Magic, Symbol Drawing, and Theology. Reaction bonus: “religious professionals.” 5 points/level."

This means that Ritual Magic, in some form, does exist on Yrth; and with all the changes and options GURPS Thaumatology who knows what form it takes. The Fractional Magery option (-5 to skill if you don't know magery in normal and low mana but magery can be learned) really messes things up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 (Post 2379544)
Pray allow me to mess up your calculation by pointing out that while Banestorm does explicitly say that you have to have inborn potential to be a mage, it doesn't explicitly say that people who are mageborn can't train up their level of magery. (Although it does indicate that 90% of mageborn are left at 0) I would say levels of one college magery are probably the product of personality and training and not purely genetic.

With ritual magic out and about perhaps the mageborn are actually Fractional Magery 1 [1] and they have to improve up to Magery 0.


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