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Old 12-21-2016, 12:26 PM   #1
philosophyguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default [Thaumatology] Effect shaping Path/Book questions

I have several questions about where the numbers come from in the effect shaping variant of Path/Book magic. Some of these questions came up in the Bought Thaumatology but not Magic thread, but I didn't want to take over that thread with a list of questions.

1. On Thaumatology 127, it says, "Each Path or Book has a number of rituals, each of which produces a specific effect. In an Effect Shaping system, these are Hard techniques (see p. B230) that default to the appropriate Path or Book at a penalty between 0 and -8, as specified in the ritualís description." If I am creating new rituals, how can I determine what the appropriate penalty should be?

2. Also on Thaumatology 127, it describes the time required for a ritual: "How long a ritual takes to work depends on the magic involved. In the Effect Shaping system, each ritual has a standard, listed time (treat this as a rough estimate; rituals arenít entirely predictable). This is typically between 10 minutes and an hour, with the ritual either succeeding or failing at the end of that time." Again, if I am creating a ritual from scratch, what information is available to guide the GM in determining the appropriate time length?
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Effect shaping Path/Book questions

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Originally Posted by philosophyguy View Post
1. [...] If I am creating new rituals, how can I determine what the appropriate penalty should be?

2. [...] Again, if I am creating a ritual from scratch, what information is available to guide the GM in determining the appropriate time length?
The answers to these two questions are the same: estimate it, comparing it to other, similar rituals for balance, and tweaking for how you think the ritual should "feel" - if it's a basic effect for the Path/Book, that every practitioner of that type of magic should be able to pull off, give it a lower penalty than the obscure ritual that only masters regularly perform. Note that several rituals in Thaumatology have different penalties for defaulting to different Paths, so it's definitely not a fixed thing.

All that said, it's certainly possible to fiddle up some guidelines, at least for the penalties. As a quick rule of thumb, look at the energy costs for various Verbs in the Syntactic Magic system (Thaumatology, p. 185), add one to each, and double it. Then add more penalty if it produces more than just a "basic" effect for that type of magic. So if you wanted a ritual to transform someone into a frog, you'd look up Transform, determine the "base" penalty was (3+1)X2, or -8, and tack on an extra -4, because radical body transformation is pretty big, for a final penalty to the ritual of -12. You could use the "Time to Cast" from Syntactic Magic as at least a guideline for how long the ritual should take, too - since Transform has a time to cast of 2, the highest of the Verbs, I'd go for something high for a ritual, too, using something like an hour.
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