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Old 09-26-2020, 10:43 PM   #12
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default 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.

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