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Old 05-05-2018, 03:49 PM   #1
Phantasm's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Default [THM] Realm Magic House Rules for Superhero Game

One of my players is making a sorcerer for my coming Marvel Reboot Shadowguard game. I've previously defined Reboot sorcerers - such as Dr. Strange - use Realm magic for their castings. However, in figuring out how this works in play, I've identified a few places where Realm magic falls lacking for fast-paced action movie combat: it is rather slow in casting, and the damage output seems geared more for sword-and-sorcery fantasy than it is modern superheroes. This slow time and low output may work for hidden magic/urban fantasy type games - such as the Mage: the Ascension conversion it was originally designed for - but not when facing the modern/ultra-tech mil-spec weaponry commonly found in superhero games.

So, here's a few house rules I cooked up. Thoughts and suggestions for tweaking are appreciated!

Changes to Realm Magic
For ease of reference, the word "energy" is substituted below for all energy sources, be it personal Fatigue Points (FP) or Energy Reserve (ER), energy from relics/objects of power (what GURPS calls a "powerstone"), provided by ancient entities, or Hit Points (HP) of the caster. These can also be provided by willing subjects. Black magic practitioners can draw energy from unwilling subjects.

While six main Realms are defined - Energy, Matter, Mind, Space, Spirit, and Time, all at 20 points per level - each Realm can be divided into a nearly infinite number of "sub-Realms", each of which is half price. For example, "Energy" can be divided into Fire, Cold, Electricity, Sound/Vibration, Kinetic, or any other energy type possible. As another example, "Matter" can have a Body sub-realm that deals with organic (living, dead, or undead) bodies, a Wood or Plant sub-realm, Luck for manipulating probabilities, or Machines for affecting non-organic matter.

Base Energy Costs
Higher skill casters can take a penalty to skill in order to draw power from the surrounding area rather than relying on their own FP/ER. This is generally a -2 penalty for a -1 FP/ER reduction.

Base cost for the spell is 2 energy per level of the highest level of a Realm used, plus 1 energy per additional Realm used. For example, Chelsea has Energy/4, but for a particular casting only requires her to use Energy/2 (a simple energy blast or shield), she spends 4 energy rather than 8.

Parameter Effects
Regular and Area castings have bonuses to range from the Margin of Success based on the Size/Speed/Range table, with up to 2 yards/meters (~6 feet) being at no penalty.

Duration of a lingering spell relies on the Margin of Success, using the Range in Time table on p. 182 of Thaumatology.

For damage effects (from Matter or Energy, or any of their sub-Realms), the base is Realm level used dice of damage per second of build-up, up to three or Magery seconds of build-up, whichever is higher.

Adding an armor divisor to an attack calls for either an additional energy expenditure per level of the Armor Divisor enhancement - 2 for (2), 4 for (3), 8 for (5), 16 for (10), 32 for (100), 64 for (∞) - or a -2 skill penalty per level of the enhancement added.

Armor spells give 10 DR per the highest Realm used.

Casting Time
Realm castings normally take only a single second for simple effects; more involved castings require more time as defined for castings in Thaumatology (highest-level realm involved +2).

Blocking effects done as a defensive action (a "power parry") take a -2 to the Realm skill used. You may only cast one Blocking spell per combat round.
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The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project A-G, H-R, and S-Z, and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
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Last edited by Phantasm; 05-29-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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