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Old 05-13-2021, 07:50 AM   #11
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Very much so. This is a setting choice.

I do lean towards the "can improve magery" side of things when building my games. But then I also lean towards the camps "Treat Magery like any other Talent", "Don't cap Talent Levels", and "Use Talents for Everything".
At this point, yes - it is readily apparent that it is a "Setting" choice. But here is the rub in my eyes...

How do you justify the "Growth" in character, of an inborn trait, that is leveled?

The "knowledge" to use higher energies is a knowledge thing better handled by "Thaumatology" as a skill. The RAW ability to manipulate reality is what exactly? Is it to "reality" what Lifting muscular strength is to moving items with mass? You improve weight lifting by your muscles bulking up.

So, what does 10 character points represent in terms of real life (assuming magic were real that is!!!) when one wants to improve from Magery 0 to Magery 1?

Take for instance, the Novel series MAGICIAN by Raymond E Feist - Pug goes from a lesser magcian to one who can handle magic magic after undergoing a physical trial that almost leaves him insane.

In GURPS VOODOO, one can suddenly become an initiate level spell slinger after having a near death experience.

These are all EVENTS that can strengthen one's ties to the supernatural or perhaps to the abilities that through constant use, can somehow be sharpened.

Now, take for instance, the idea that before a mage character can improve his "Magery" advantage, he has to have 10 critical successes casting spells under stress. In this case, non-adventuring mages will never meet that criteria 10 times within their lifetimes - and thus, never improve their Magery. On the flip side, a player character will likely never amass 10 critical successes even while adventuring. So, let's try 3 critical successes while using spells whose magery level requirement is equal to the best the mage currently enjoys.

NOW we have a rationale for why his Magery level can advance. He's perhaps suffered a radical rewiring of his soul to where he can now touch/sense entropy level 3 energies (ie Magery 3 spells) that those who can only touch entropy level 2 energies can't.

THAT would make sense at both the player character level and at the non-player character level.

Addenda: In a way, what I've written above sort of does make the argument of allowing Magery to improve as a result of game play. But unfettered throwing of character points at this is what doesn't make sense to me as a GM. Having an in-story reason for it, makes more sense. Just because a player wants to buy off his disadvantage of an enemy worth 10 points and has 10 points to spend, doesn't mean the GM removes the Enemy. Spending the 10 points requires the GM to set up an adventure where the player CAN put finis to his old enemy and not have a new one spring up in its stead. Pug in MAGICIAN risked going insane to improve his magery level. If players had to worry about losing 1d6 IQ points after undergoing a Trial to strengthen their Magery from 0 to 1 - then most people might not risk it. This explains why most of the NPCs don't improve without risk taking. A player character who tries and fails? That's a STORY! A player character who gambles and wins? That's an even BETTER story right?

Last edited by hal; 05-13-2021 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Addenda
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