Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-07-2020, 08:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Druid Magery

I had the idea of making druid magic be dependent on material (specifically related to the spell they want to cast, so seeds for entangling, perhaps, or a pinch of fur for shapeshifting, etc). I was looking for a good setup for this, based on the standard magic system with spells and it's normal procedure for casting etc, but probably somehow involving Herb Lore (or Alchemy?) as preparatory, and having some form of material limitation on magery, but couldnt find anything satisfactorily.

Are there any worked examples in this direction?

Are there any magery limitations that deal with material components in this way? Come to think of it, what are the limitations for non-consumed items for magery (such as staffs/wands/etc)?
FeiLin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2020, 09:45 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Druid Magery

Component based magery because quite complicated very quickly and, quite frankly, can be brutally unfair when combined with energy costs. I would suggest an abstract system that substitutes material components for energy cost, with the value of the material components being equal to the square of the energy cost of the spell (2 for VH spells), with the final energy cost being reduced by the base skill of the druid. For example, a druid with Major Healing-15 would need $0 worth of material components to cast Major Healing to heal 2 HP of damage but would require $18 worth of material components to cast Major Healing to heal 8 CP of damage.

As for collecting ingredients, a druid could collect $10 (margin of success on a Naturalism roll) for every hour gathering in a wilderness area (2 in a forested area, 5 in a farmed area, and 10 in an urban area). The ingredients would only be good for a day though, so they would need to gather them every day. Alternatively, they could use Herb Lore to preserve the ingredients for a year, but they would only be able to preserve $10 x (margin of success on a Herb Lore roll) in ingredients for every hour of work. Buying preserved ingredients triples the effective cost of the material components.
AlexanderHowl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2020, 04:29 PM   #3
William's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Default Re: Druid Magery

Here are a few simple systems, depending on your desires.

1.) Allow casting without material, but give skill bonuses for involving appropriate materials: +1 for wearing a bit of fur of the animal to be shapeshifted into (nonconsumed), +2 for drinking a vial of its blood (consumed), +3 for a well-made hood in the animal's form (an investment of much more time to create), etc. Assume that any mage can do this for various spells, but what materials are appropriate are secret knowledge. This is the underlying assumption of "decanic modifiers."

For some perhaps nice color, various druidic traditions would have various lists of spells, and your druid is no doubt proud of the secret knowledge of their own Order. A Perk might give four or five spells they can use this for, while Security Clearance or Rank in the appropriate organization might give them access to knowledge of a full list covering many spells of the Colleges the order focuses on.

2.) Give your Druid's Magery the Trigger limitation at -20% (saving 2 points per level above 0, and another 1 if you also apply it to Magery 0, though I wouldn't): each spell requires a "dose" of some material substance. The materials needed are common, but take some work to find, and may not be available in distant or alien locales. "An herbal preparation, created by a successful use of the Herb Lore skill with a specific spell in mind" would be very suitable for this, and the cost and time should be reduced drastically from the usual making of an elixir since it's not the alchemical preparation doing the spellcasting but the druid themself.

3.) To really sweep a lot of it under the rug, give their Magery the Pact limitation at -10% and require the druid to spend a few hours a week in a natural area: feeding birds in exchange for feathers from the nest, cutting mistletoe off of oak trees with a bronze sickle, etc. Assume their Magery works well for the next week as long as they have access to their usual gewgaws and let the player fluff it. However, the material loses its magical utility quickly and the druid must renew their stock weekly.

Alchemy and enchanted items, which have had a lot of work put into them, would maintain their potency indefinitely and the latter should probably be allowed as a substitute for at least a couple of particular spells -- for example, a wand of Fireball should probably also work as a nonconsumed, permanently available material component for perhaps Ignite Fire and Seek Fire.

Edit to add: that Pact limitation requires a 10-point Vow, which would include things like "protecting nature," "keeping the secrets of the Order," "regularly spending time communing with nature" to cover the materials requirement, and anything else appropriate for the tradition you have in mind.

Last edited by William; 09-08-2020 at 04:35 PM.
William is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2020, 06:26 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Druid Magery

Thaumatology has "Material Magic" (starting on p95), where the materials themselves -- in this case, holly, mistletoe, and no doubt other things -- have magical virtue released to cast spells. There are some example systems for spells appropriate for different types of wood and gems.

There's also the Magical Modifiers in Appendix A (p242-253). These include traditional materials, the decanic modifiers for astrology -- which also contain typical materials for each decan, so it's easy enough to ignore the astrology part and just use the materials -- as well as some summaries for Chinese elements, trigrams, or the Hebrew alphabet. It's really more a matter of just picking the ones you think give your magic that druidical feel and ignoring the rest as irrelevant.

Any detailed material component system has a record-keeping burden. The player will need a page of all these different mats, checking them off and constantly shopping or searching to replace them. If that's what you want in your game, great. If you find that gets to much in the way of the action, or you and/or your players really don't care in play about the difference between a sprig of mistletoe and an oaken twig, then just leave it as narrative color and settle for some more abstract measure of spells-worth of mats, or a cash figure.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote

component, druid, limitations, magery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.