View Single Post
Old 05-11-2021, 08:16 AM   #54
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
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.


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 is offline   Reply With Quote