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Old 04-13-2024, 10:39 AM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Path/Book Magic] On the Path of Metamorphosis

The Path of Form has rituals covering changing living things into other living things (or at least animals into other animals, as the Skinchange ritual implies that it only does that, not plants or other non-animal life), but has no options for changing objects into other objects, or objects into living things (whether truly alive or just appearing to be), nor living things into objects (whether truly dead or just in some form of suspended animation). Hence this idea, which might be a new Path, or a few new Paths, or just a bunch more rituals added to the Path of Form. Alternative names include the Path of Transformation, Path of Shaping, Path of Transfiguration, Path of Change, Path of Transmutation, Path of Alteration, or Path of Transmogrification (Path of Transubstantiation could be an option, but that depends on whether you have any players wouldn't be able to accept a game using that). Depending on the setting and style, several of these might be used for separate related Paths - for example, Path of Transmutation probably best fits changing one substance to another, such as spinning straw into gold wire, or turning glass into diamond; Path of Transfiguration might cover transformations between the animate and the inanimate.


Example rituals:

Bread to Beer
Effect Shaping: Path of Metamorphosis-1; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 3 points.

Transforms a loaf of bread into a similar mass of beer (hopefully in a container, else it will spill, being liquid), of roughly the same quality and made with the same grains and such. The ritual may also be reversed, converting beer into bread. In some cases, the beer will be poured through a clean cloth to remove stones, insects, and other unwanted inclusions that the bread had contained - some say that this was the whole reason the ritual was invented.


Transmutation of Metals
Path of Metamorphosis-3, otherwise as the entry in GURPS Thaumatology p165.


{material}-Shaping
Effect Shaping: Path of the Elements-5, Path of <specific Element>-4, or (probably) Path of Metamorphosis-3; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.

A range of similar rituals affecting specific types of material, most often the Elements or other important materials of your style's magical philosophy (e.g. 'Litter-Shaping' fits a style designed for an urban setting, but it could still work for random natural ground-litter in a forest; 'Cloth-Shaping,' if it exists, would apply to all fabrics, while 'Plant-Shaping' would work on most of them, as well as other plant-based materials, but fail on wool or nylon). Inspiration might be taken from the various Shape <Element> spells in GURPS Magic - e.g. for most solid materials, these rituals function rather like the Shape Earth spell, and for liquids (oil, mercury, sulfuric acid), like Shape Water, et cetra. Specific forms may have a higher or lower cost, skill penalty, and/or time requirement, based on both the difficulty of shaping the material, and factors within the style's philosophy. If you want to make more than just crude shapes, an Artist skill is very helpful.


Ectoplasmic Conjuration
Effect Shaping: Path of Metamorphosis-4* or Path of Spirit-3*; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 7 points*.
*Every further -1 to skill or +1 to energy cost increases the Area of effect as if levels of the Area enhancement were being applied to it, from a base Area of one hex.

This ritual creates quasi-solid, selectively-permeable structures by linking together particles of dust, vapor, and so on into shapes chosen by the caster. Light is refracted and reflected to match the image in the caster's mind. 'Artist (Illusion)' is very helpful in making the conjuration appear real and evocative, or in situations where precise shapes are important.

When it matters, the structure has ST and HP of 8 + Margin of Success, DR equal to MoS, Move of 3+MoS, and DX equal to the caster's effective skill with the ritual. If attacked by mundane items (that are not made of a substance that disrupts or otherwise interacts with magic in your setting), the structure normally responds as if it were a Diffuse cloud of small particles; however, the caster may declare that the structure is resisting, in which case it behaves like an object of its type with the DR and HP mentioned above. Living beings attacking with their own bodies will do damage normally to a 'resisting' conjuration, but to a permeable conjuration, attacks work as if ST were equal to Will, and the damage is halved; also, passing through the magical structure is stressful and tiring, resulting in the attacker taking Fatigue damage based on the construct's thrust-1 damage (even if the construct is immobile, like a wall or tree), occasionally with some appropriate form of Hazard or other additional effect (see below). When attacking, the construct may either do damage as it's appearance suggests (crushing, cutting, impaling, or piercing), or do only knockback and the FP damage (and other effects, if any) described above.

If attacking or attacked by other ectoplasmic forms, spirits, magic items, direct ritual effects, or anything the GM determines to be sufficiently similar, the construct does the normal damage its form would indicate, and resists with the HP and DR given. Substances that disrupt or otherwise interact with magic depend on how exactly they work in your setting (e.g. 'magically sensitive' materials may be damaged by contact with even an unresisting construct).

For Energy Accumulating styles, any energy aspect may be used with this ritual (unless the GM specifically forbids it, or the caster's Magery limitations prevent accumulating that energy aspect), but this can effect the appearance of the construct, and the Hazards and other effects mentioned for Fatigue damage, above (e.g. Pilar the Slayer creates an ectoplasmic panther to assist her in ambushing her pursuers; the nature of the swamp she's fighting in means that nearly half the energy she gathered was Poison-aspected, and so the panther's attacks will tend to have a Toxic follow-up, or have venom-like side effects or symptoms). With Effect Shaping, Aspected Magery can have similar effects, even if it does not directly help (e.g. Jonoh has unmodified Magery 0, and Magery (Fire-Aspected) 3; his conjurations tend to be 'firey-looking,' or appear 'burnt' in some way, and the FP damage is often accompanied by 'Hazard, Heat,' even though Fire-Aspected Magery gives no bonus to Ectoplasmic Conjuration). In either case, the GM has final say, but the caster should at least have some influence on how it turns out. In the absence of circumstances forcing this, the caster may take an additional penalty or spend an extra point to create specific Hazards and such; likewise, rituals may exist that can be used for this purpose.

These constructs may be possessed by spirits, or be targets for Embody or Fetish rituals, in which case the caster loses control of the ritual, and the spirit will have to maintain it (or not do so, which will break the Fetish or Embody effect when the Ectoplasmic Conjuration lapses) beyond that point, becoming the caster for all purposes described above. If the caster objects to this, the ritual resists possession with the higher of the caster's Will or effective skill.

(What exactly ectoplasm is varies from setting to setting. This is but one possibility.)


Crystalize
Effect Shaping: Path of Metamorphosis-4*; 15 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 6 points*.
*Every further -1 to skill or +1 to energy cost doubles the weight affected, from a base of one pound.

This ritual causes a targeted substance to shift into its crystalline state. The crystal thus formed has the natural shape of crystals of that material, though the caster may modify it to some degree within that limitation, including by forming multiple attached crystals rather than a single large one. The temperature of the material does not change, so if it cannot form a crystalline solid at its current temperature, the ritual normally will not work (though liquids within a few degrees if freezing, along with gels and similar near solids, may be affected at a further -1 to skill or +1 to energy cost). If the substance is stable as a crystalline solid under current conditions when the effect ends, then it will remain a crystal in the absence of the effect; if not, it will melt, or otherwise cease to be a crystal. (This may have some effect on the prices of certain materials in the setting, such as diamonds.)

Crystals formed by this ritual may be affected by Crystal-Shaping rituals (or other {material}-Shaping rituals that fit), though if the caster of this ritual does not approve and this ritual is still active, the structure resists with the higher of the caster's Will or effective skill.


Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 05-02-2024 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 04-16-2024, 07:46 PM   #2
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] On the Path of Metamorphosis

Thinking about a traditional power in myth and fantasy, that being turning people into statues. I've got two ideas, which might exist in the same setting, or separate settings, and as you will see, I'm really uncertain about a lot of the specifics:

<ritual name> (possibly 'Flesh to Stone')
Effect Shaping: Path of Metamorphosis-# (between -6 and -9); 1 hour or less?
Energy Accumulating: 8 points?

Much like the Flesh to Stone spell in GURPS Magic, this ritual transforms the subject into a stonelike state, from which they can be restored afterwards as if no time has passed, though if the stone is damaged, the restored person suffers equivalently.


Gaze of the Gorgon
Effect Shaping: Path of Metamorphosis-10 or worse; 1 or more hours?
Energy Accumulating: 13 points or more?

This version is a Save or Die effect, hence the increased difficulty. If successful (resisted by the higher of Will+Magery or HT+Magery), the target is turned to stone, and the soul moves on to whatever lies beyond death in your setting. Restoring the target to life requires some form of true resurrection, which the setting might or might not allow.


Any suggestions?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] On the Path of Metamorphosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
T
Any suggestions?
Those would depend on how you see a caster without Ritual Adept using these Rituals. The usual "attack" Rituals use soem means of bypassing needing to ahve the Target stand next to your circle for many minutes.
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Old 04-17-2024, 07:00 PM   #4
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Path/Book Magic] On the Path of Metamorphosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Those would depend on how you see a caster without Ritual Adept using these Rituals. The usual "attack" Rituals use soem means of bypassing needing to ahve the Target stand next to your circle for many minutes.
Charms and other Conditional Effects cover that (and are pretty standard for Path/Book Magic settings, AFAICT): You perform the ritual but don't have the effect take place until some specific event occurs, like the ritual paper being torn, or the target meeting the eyes of the painting on the caster's shield.

One alternative (or addition to the above) is to have a drop of blood, lock of hair, or other ritual link to a specific target as part of the Material and Symbolic Components of the ritual.
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Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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