Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   GURPS (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Spell categories by Magery (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=170409)

Stormcrow 09-26-2020 09:19 AM

Spell categories by Magery
 
I haven't used magic a lot in GURPS, but once in a while I find myself wondering about the capabilities of wizards by Magery level. It seems like there are several broad categories that emerge.

For instance, the entire field of magic-item-creation (except the Scroll spell) seems to be dependent on Magery 2. So you've got to have Magery 2 to be an enchanter.

I haven't looked at every possibility, but it seems that the traditional offensive spells like Lightning and Fireball require Magery 1. It seems to me like Magery 1 is the threshold for using magic offensively.

Are there any other broad categories that emerge from spell prerequisites, either minimums you need to be in a category or maximums that limit you to a category?

(Not interested in talking about anything but the standard spell system, thanks.)

johndallman 09-26-2020 09:27 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Being a generalist requires Magery 3 or more, simply as the most cost-effective way to get a high skill in each spell for the minimum 1 character point investment.

Stormcrow 09-26-2020 09:57 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
"Generalist" just means having access to everything. I'm not looking for character-building strategies, just the sorts of broad descriptive categories enabled at various levels.

For instance, besides simply access to everything, is there a particular theme of magic-use that becomes possible at Magery 3?

Tyneras 09-26-2020 10:06 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
A really quick glance through my Spell Charts PDF gives a theme of shape shifting. Either oneself, like Body of Air or Great Shapeshift, or other things, like Move Terrain or Enlarge Object.

Stormcrow 09-26-2020 10:13 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Thanks, Tyneras, that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

Refplace 09-26-2020 10:21 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Yeah, M2 is really key to a lot of builds, higher levels help you either as a generalist or just better at your specialty. While level 1 is good enough for utility or most combat builds.
What I found more interesting was college or goal themes.
Many focus on fire for combat, I think Air is often a better choice.

Ejidoth 09-26-2020 10:35 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
At a glance, it looks like Magery 3 is necessary for some advanced shapeshifting stuff, most of the temporal manipulation stuff, and most (all?) of the ways to achieve pseudo-immortality. Other than that, it's just a collection of random-looking high powered spells.

Tyneras 09-26-2020 10:46 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ejidoth (Post 2345537)
At a glance, it looks like Magery 3 is necessary for some advanced shapeshifting stuff, most of the temporal manipulation stuff, and most (all?) of the ways to achieve pseudo-immortality. Other than that, it's just a collection of random-looking high powered spells.

And weirdly enough Spit Acid in the Water College. Nothing about that spells feels Magery 3 worthy.

maximara 09-26-2020 11:29 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Refplace (Post 2345533)
Yeah, M2 is really key to a lot of builds, higher levels help you either as a generalist or just better at your specialty. While level 1 is good enough for utility or most combat builds.
What I found more interesting was college or goal themes.
Many focus on fire for combat, I think Air is often a better choice.

One of the things I did for the GURPSwiki was to see what you could do with just Magery 0. Surprisingly a decent amount. Of course spell based enchantment is out (but alchemic charms can be an option for such mages(

Ejidoth 09-26-2020 11:30 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyneras (Post 2345539)
And weirdly enough Spit Acid in the Water College. Nothing about that spells feels Magery 3 worthy.

I think it's indirectly a result of Acid Jet being Magery 2. Most of the breathe/spit spells are +1 Magery beyond their Jet equivalent.

That is, the way to build one of those spells seems to be to take the jet and bump the damage up a bit higher, increase the casting time, have (Substance) Jet and Resist (Substance) as prerequisites, and increase the Magery prereq. by 1.

David Johnston2 09-26-2020 11:54 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
I have a style, the Dog Brothers who are notable for not requiring Magery from their members. They just require Animal Empathy and "train" their applicants to acquire it in a process that involves spending a lot of time transformed into urban animals.

hal 09-26-2020 09:43 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
The thing to keep at the back of your mind when discussing broad categories of GURPS MAGIC as it was originally written is this:

In the beginning, before Magery 0 as an advantage was created - you either had Magery 1, Magery 2, or Magery 3. The ONLY way you could cast a spell that didn't require Magery 1 - is if you were casting spells in a mana high zone and you were mundane. Otherwise, you started at Magery 1 to be able to cast spells in regions of less than Mana High.

That being said, with the advent of Magery 0 allowing for "mageborn" to cast spells that did not require Magery 1+, that opened up a lot of jobs for largely NPC mageborn characters.

Which brings me to my next point:

In the beginning (Ie GURPS 2nd edition on up), Magery was not something that normally could be improved save by means of Wishes or Godly intervention (Ie GM total control). The issue was contentious enough, that over time, GURPS 4e philosophy was "What ever the GM desires".

I've never really understood WHY players or GM's argued the point that the mere expenditure of experience points permits a magery 1 character to be capable as a magery 2 character. When you upgrade from 1 to 2 - what exactly happened? Did the mage character absorb a body of knowledge that permitted him to suddenly be capable of casting enchantment spells that he otherwise could not? Did the constant exercise of magic suddenly burst open some paths of resistance to being able to cast spells that the mage is now more capable?

If Magery is "knowledge" based - then it would be a skill. If it is an innate capability, one you have to be born with, then that implies something else. If it is a mystical set of muscles that can be made stronger and more capable by exercising the use of magical spell casting - then that is something else entirely. But if that were the case, you would expect that those who don't have magery at all, casting spells in a High Mana region, would acquire such an ability just by casting spells.

So - It might be best to decide what precisely Magery is before you go too far.

Me? It is an innate spiritual capability that one is either born with - or achieves by means of wishes or by means of a Diety like being who messes with your psyche. It doesn't improve with use, and per GURPS MAGIC, as well as GURPS GRIMOIRE (and because GURPS MAGIC for 4e largely uses those two sources without much in the way of changes, the concept remains largely the same) - magery can be LOST.

Me? I STILL use GURPS MAGIC, but largely use GURPS CLASSIC MAGIC rules over those of GURPS MAGIC for 4e. I also largely dislike the spells introduced in GURPS GRIMOIRE as more than a few were unbalanced (in my opinion) and didn't fit GURPS Classic Magic. EARTH TO METAL is one spell I don't permit in my games, and many of the newer spells introduced in GURPS MAGIC for 4e aren't viable either (Essential Wood for example).

I also have my own limitations for spells in GURPS MAGIC. For instance, repeated use of Bless Plants will lower the quality of the soil over time. ENLARGE has an additional limitation of Magery+1 for how many sizes one can enlarge something past its natural size.

I almost NEVER permit Magery 4 in my games, and never 5+ Why? Because Magery in the beginning, had the following effects:

Limited what spells you COULD cast. You will find Magery 0 spells, Magery 1, Magery 2, and Magery 3. What you won't find are Magery 4 spells etc.

Lowered the time required to study for a spell. Me? I permit a 10% reduction in time for every Magery level you have over that of the required Magery level. Thus, someone with Magery 3 studying a Magery 1 spell, gets a 20% redution in study time required for magery 1 spells. For magery 2 spells, only a 10% reduction in time, and for magery 3 spells - NO reduction in time. But that's just me...

GURPS BANESTORM remains for me, the worst GURPS Book I ever purchased. GURPS MAGIC for 4e, remains one of the biggest disappointments for me - despite my high enjoyment for GURPS MAGIC back in 3rd edition days. So - I'm still a fan of GURPS MAGIC for my fantasy campaigns - just not GURPS MAGIC for 4e.

**shrug**

AlexanderHowl 09-26-2020 10:11 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
I generally avoid spell-based magic in favor of more flexible systems such RPM. By comparison spell-based magic is mediocre. For example, it is easy enough for RPM to give a character +3 IQ for a month, a feat that would be ludicrously difficult and expensive under spell-based magic. The magical items are also more balanced because they are gadgets.

David Johnston2 09-26-2020 10:36 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2345663)
I generally avoid spell-based magic in favor of more flexible systems such RPM. By comparison spell-based magic is mediocre. For example, it is easy enough for RPM to give a character +3 IQ for a month,

Aaaand...that's a good thing? Speaking as a GM I really preferred to have some idea what the capabilities of my player characters were going to be.

Rupert 09-26-2020 10:46 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Refplace (Post 2345533)
Many focus on fire for combat, I think Air is often a better choice.

Fire's good for mass destruction like burning down towns, because it's self-spreading. For fighting other people, especially those with any magical support it's fairly terrible because absolute resistance to fire is fairly easy.

Imbicatus 09-26-2020 11:11 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Magery 1 is needed for missile spells, but a magery 0 character can get a lot of mileage out of create fire and flame jet.

Plane 09-27-2020 01:06 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Imbicatus (Post 2345677)
Magery 1 is needed for missile spells

not a prereq for concussion, and I think mods mentioned Magery 0 could still pump 1 energy into it somehow.

If we give +1 cap to mag 0 then +1 should be for all (ie 2 energy at mag 1, 3 at mag2, etC)

Rupert 09-27-2020 05:25 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Plane (Post 2345682)
not a prereq for concussion, and I think mods mentioned Magery 0 could still pump 1 energy into it somehow.

If we give +1 cap to mag 0 then +1 should be for all (ie 2 energy at mag 1, 3 at mag2, etC)

It'll be allowd because the rules for missiles spells say "On a success, you may invest one or more points of energy in the spell, to a maximum of a number of energy points equal to your Magery level" and "If you opt to enlarge your missile, you must concentrate for another second. At the end of your turn, you may invest more energy in the spell – anything from one point to points equal to
your Magery level."

At the very least this allows 1 point on the second turn, and a second point on the third turn. What it does not do is allow 1+Magery points per turn - at best is allows max(1, Magery) points per turn (to use a spreadsheet formula).

This is like saying that missiles spells have a cap of 1-point per turn, with Magery granting an increased cap, as normal.

Gnome 09-27-2020 06:03 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2345663)
I generally avoid spell-based magic in favor of more flexible systems such RPM. By comparison spell-based magic is mediocre. For example, it is easy enough for RPM to give a character +3 IQ for a month, a feat that would be ludicrously difficult and expensive under spell-based magic. The magical items are also more balanced because they are gadgets.

This is part of the reason I abandoned RPM: having one RPM mage in the party meant that basically every PC had +3 to everything all the time. Tons of bookkeeping for all those buffs, and the overall effect was to make everyone blandly more powerful. I just didn’t see the gain. There’s an irony here where you’d think a “flexible” system would lead to more creativity, but it’s the restriction of having to choose from the spell list that seems to breed more creativity in our group.

Stormcrow 09-27-2020 07:15 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Imbicatus (Post 2345677)
Magery 1 is needed for missile spells

Ooh, that's very specific. Makes sense.

AlexanderHowl 09-27-2020 07:41 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gnome (Post 2345721)
This is part of the reason I abandoned RPM: having one RPM mage in the party meant that basically every PC had +3 to everything all the time. Tons of bookkeeping for all those buffs, and the overall effect was to make everyone blandly more powerful. I just didn’t see the gain. There’s an irony here where you’d think a “flexible” system would lead to more creativity, but it’s the restriction of having to choose from the spell list that seems to breed more creativity in our group.

A +3 ST, DX, HT requires a minimum of a 130 energy Lesser Strengthen Body ritual for anything with any decent duration (+3 IQ is much easier because it is a 70 energy Lesser Strengthen Mind). With an effective skill of 20, 130 energy is possible with 20 gathering rolls, though it would result in an average of one quirk. That is either the result of very might level characters (since a character needs Magery 6 plus Thaumatology-18 to get Path of Body-18 plus Ritual Magery) or the availability of grimoires for the specific ritual, so it is likely only an issue in high powered campaigns like MH.

Rupert 09-27-2020 02:53 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2345735)
A +3 ST, DX, HT requires a minimum of a 130 energy Lesser Strengthen Body ritual for anything with any decent duration (+3 IQ is much easier because it is a 70 energy Lesser Strengthen Mind). With an effective skill of 20, 130 energy is possible with 20 gathering rolls, though it would result in an average of one quirk. That is either the result of very might level characters (since a character needs Magery 6 plus Thaumatology-18 to get Path of Body-18 plus Ritual Magery) or the availability of grimoires for the specific ritual, so it is likely only an issue in high powered campaigns like MH.

So settle for +3 DX for all the physical types and +3 IQ for the intellectuals. Obviously the Mages start with their own IQ. This gives everyone in the party the equivalent of +60 Character Points. Sure, they're temporary (but not really in most adventures) and can be removed because they're magical, which might matter sometimes, but that's still a ton of capability that's gained by use of something (RPM and the points put into it) that is also very useful in other ways.

Magic has spells that boost attributes. Boosts to IQ don't affect spell casting. Funny, that.

Anders 09-27-2020 03:53 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rupert (Post 2345780)
So settle for +3 DX for all the physical types and +3 IQ for the intellectuals. Obviously the Mages start with their own IQ. This gives everyone in the party the equivalent of +60 Character Points. Sure, they're temporary (but not really in most adventures) and can be removed because they're magical, which might matter sometimes, but that's still a ton of capability that's gained by use of something (RPM and the points put into it) that is also very useful in other ways.

Magic has spells that boost attributes. Boosts to IQ don't affect spell casting. Funny, that.

IQ boosted by RPM won't benefit RPM. You can't use magic to get better with magic.

But this is off topic. There's another category of spells - those that require high IQ, Per or other stats. What about those?

Stormcrow 09-27-2020 05:14 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anders (Post 2345782)
But this is off topic. There's another category of spells - those that require high IQ, Per or other stats. What about those?

If there are any themes or patterns behind those, I'd be interested in hearing about them.

maximara 09-27-2020 05:44 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 2345657)
If Magery is "knowledge" based - then it would be a skill. If it is an innate capability, one you have to be born with, then that implies something else. If it is a mystical set of muscles that can be made stronger and more capable by exercising the use of magical spell casting - then that is something else entirely. But if that were the case, you would expect that those who don't have magery at all, casting spells in a High Mana region, would acquire such an ability just by casting spells.

GURPS has always had what would logically be skills as advantages.

Combat Reflexes comes to mind.

Other examples are Cultural Familiarity, Innate Attack (which is both a skill and an advantages), Less Sleep (via learn meditation techniques), Eidetic Memory, and Language.

In fact, Language went from being a skill in Classic to an advantage in 4e

Anders 09-27-2020 08:02 PM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
You could make a case for craft skills as advantages, too. "You can reliably produce work of 'x' quality", where x goes from novice to masterwork or even legendary.

Plane 09-28-2020 08:41 AM

Re: Spell categories by Magery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rupert (Post 2345720)
one or more points of energy in the spell, to a maximum of

On possibility here, if one opts to read "maximum" as describing "more points" rather than the collective statement "one or more points", then that could at least be ground to allow 1+Magery on the 1st turn, if sadly not the extra ones.

This would at least give one small damage benefit to that first 0>1 improvement for Concussion.

I don't even know why we need the 'minimum 1 per turn at magery 0' policy now that Magical Styles introduced Power Casting. We don't need the rule to allow missile damage w/o magery 1+ if we just require them to get the Power Casting perk.

Another option is to just borrow Thaumatology's magery-free suggestions for penalties for Ritual Magic: be -1 to your roll per 10 points advantages you are missing. This lets magery 0 guys cast 1/turn missile spells at -1 to skill or 10/turn missile spells at -10 to skill.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.