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Old 03-27-2016, 05:23 AM   #1
Wavefunction
 
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Default [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

Hey guys,

I'm going on an idea farming binge. Basically just looking at as many things as possible to trigger ideas then trying to filter them all down to something usable.

I'm currently looking for ideas on how to get some of the feel of Technomagic as described in GURPS Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology, i.e. making adjustments to the 'code' of reality, using a system akin to Sorcery rather than RPM. I'm not fixated on sorcery though, any similar 'magic as powers' systems will do.

It's specifically the feel of accessing some kind of code that underpins reality, then filtering through it and making adjustments, that I'm looking for.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

First of all, you need to decide how powerful this is, and why and how it can be resisted. That gets you some idea of what abilities and modifiers can be used. The trappings of the coding style can come later, and are somewhat dependent on what your players will find interesting and work with.

For example, you could construct a set of trappings styled after a real-world operating system's process control API. But not many players would be find that easy to work with (some of mine might) and there would be distinct game balance problems with being able to use, says, UNIX "kill -9" on opponents. (that tells the operating system to kills a process, by depriving it of processor resources, recycling the memory it occupies, closing all its files and windows, etc.)
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:41 PM   #3
Wavefunction
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
First of all, you need to decide how powerful this is, and why and how it can be resisted. That gets you some idea of what abilities and modifiers can be used. The trappings of the coding style can come later, and are somewhat dependent on what your players will find interesting and work with.
So what I'm currently thinking is that it can achieve essentially anything, but that some things are significantly easier than others. For instance, changing the velocity of an object to make it lift off the ground is relatively easy, but healing someone would require a vast amount more manipulation of code, since the internal workings of biological creatures are extremely complicated.

However, since I want to use a magic as powers system, the power of the abilities will inherently be limited by the amount players have to spend.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:47 PM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

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Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
However, since I want to use a magic as powers system, the power of the abilities will inherently be limited by the amount players have to spend.
Which means you need some rationalisation as to why things that are easy, if your universal code system is at all analogous to present-day computer code, are expensive under the actual power design system, and to make up some modifiers for the GURPS powers design system that implement your rationalisation.
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Old 03-27-2016, 11:21 PM   #5
Leynok
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

Hehe, my sister came up with a similar concept called "Glitchcraft".

I've never really seen any other Magic as Powers systems aside from Sorcery, however based on it's theming, you will want to be careful of some kinds of Limitations, since I think that programming something to be more specific is usually harder than more general (I'm not really a programmer so I'm just working of the limited stuff I do know/guess).

As for making it feel right, all you really need to do is build the Advantages that way. For example say an Affliction that grants Basic Speed that works by tweaking their "movement values". Most of it is just changing the fluff of the spells, and building them to fit your needs. Since Sorcery doesn't have that much spells written up yet anyway, you would have to build up most of your own spells in the first place.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:04 AM   #6
Wavefunction
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

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Originally Posted by Leynok View Post
I've never really seen any other Magic as Powers systems aside from Sorcery, however based on it's theming, you will want to be careful of some kinds of Limitations, since I think that programming something to be more specific is usually harder than more general (I'm not really a programmer so I'm just working of the limited stuff I do know/guess).
Well you can make an argument that Divine Favor or Psionic Powers are really just 'Magic' as Powers. As for certain kinds of Limitations? Yeah, that's probably true, and an interesting point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leynok View Post
As for making it feel right, all you really need to do is build the Advantages that way. For example say an Affliction that grants Basic Speed that works by tweaking their "movement values". Most of it is just changing the fluff of the spells, and building them to fit your needs. Since Sorcery doesn't have that much spells written up yet anyway, you would have to build up most of your own spells in the first place.
Well there are certain things you can do. Like you can include certain limitations on all powers, or modify the core advantage so that it works differently to the way it normally would.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Which means you need some rationalisation as to why things that are easy, if your universal code system is at all analogous to present-day computer code, are expensive under the actual power design system, and to make up some modifiers for the GURPS powers design system that implement your rationalisation.
Ah, I see what you're saying. In most cases this wouldn't matter, even if one technomancer is considered more skilled than another in game, but they've spent the same number of points, they'll be roughly equal in terms of power (in a perfect GURPS world), in some cases abilities might have to be artificially inflated in cost. For example Healing, that'll probably just be a case of adding full-blown Xenohealing, and a few other enhancements that PCs are unlikely to get full value out of.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:25 AM   #7
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Sorcery, MH 5] Hacking Reality as Sorcery

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For example Healing, that'll probably just be a case of adding full-blown Xenohealing, and a few other enhancements that PCs are unlikely to get full value out of.
You do need to warn players about that kind of thing before they get into character concept development. At that stage, it's quite easy: my Laundry campaign had no Healing or Food spells. They were possible in theory, but the recommended course of action if someone tried to cast one was "shoot them" because such magics were a swift route to possession.
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