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Old 04-22-2021, 11:28 AM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

Originally Posted by maximara View Post
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).
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