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Old 05-10-2021, 11:49 PM   #48
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

Originally Posted by maximara View Post

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 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!)
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