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Old 04-24-2021, 08:18 AM   #31
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Leofflęd of the Tendrils, 256 BCE

Age: 22

Attributes

ST 12 [20]; DX 14 [80]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 13 [30]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 12; Will 12; Per 12; FP 13

Social Background

Languages: Third Century BCE Germanic (Native) [0]; Northern Tradetongue (Accented/No Writing) [2].

TL: 2^

Cultural Familiarity: Third Century BCE Germanic [0].

Subtotal: 172


Advantages

Legal Enforcement Powers (Trade routes and towns along them; Informal, -50%) [5]

Extra Attack (Spirits, -10%; Single Skill, Tentacles, -20%) 3 [52]
Spirit Empathy (Specialized: Celestials, -50%) [5]
Spirit Talent 1 [10]
Path/Book Adept (Space) 1 [10]
Path/Book Adept (Time, Material; Path of the Elements Only, -40%) 2 [12]

Perks

Body Discipline (Judo Art). [1]
Courtesy Religious Rank 1. [1]
Rules Exemption (Number of charms per ritual is uncapped). [1]
SOP (Tops up useful charms during downtime). [1]
Special Exercises (Extra Attack). [1]
Style Familiarity (Hexenringen). [1]

Subtotal: 100


Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Duty (Protecting travelers; 9 or less) [-5]
Enemies (Bandits; Hunter, Large disorganized group, Appears on a 9 or less) [-20]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]
Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]

Quirks

Beer snob. [-1]
Dislikes being alone. [-1]
Fond of dogs. [-1]
Likes smart men. [-1]
Responsive. [-1]

Subtotal: -50


Features

Religious Ritual is a Complementary Skill of all Paths. [0]


Skills

Area Knowledge (Germanic Trade Routes) [IQ/E] [2] 13
Boxing [DX/A] [2] 14
Diplomacy [IQ/H] [4] 12
Fast-Draw (Charm) [DX/E] [2] 15
First Aid/TL2^ [IQ/E] [2] 13
Hiking [HT/A] [3] 13
Knife [DX/E] [1] 14
Occultism [IQ/A] [2] 12
Religious Ritual (Harvest Goddess/Beer God) [IQ/H] [2] 11
Staff [DX/A] [4] 15
Stealth [DX/A] [2] 14
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 12
Theology (Germanic) [IQ/H] [1] 10

Subtotal: 29

Judo Art [DX/H] [12] 17*
Path of the Elements [DX/VH] [16] 17*
Path of Form [DX/VH] [2] 13*
Path of Health [DX/VH] [4] 14*

* Includes +1 from Spirit Talent.

Techniques

Judo (A) Judo Art-3 [3] 17

Reversion of Form (H) Path of Form-5 [6] 13
See the True Face (H) Path of Form-1 [0] 12
Succor (H) Path of Health-4 [3] 12
Tentacles of Air (H) Path of the Elements-6 [7] 17
Tentacles of Earth (H) Path of the Elements-6 [3] 13
Tentacles of Fire (H) Path of the Elements-6 [2] 12
Tentacles of Water (H) Path of the Elements-6 [4] 14

Subtotal: 62

Total: 284


Equipment

Clothes
Boots
Knife
Staff
Moneybag
Personal basics

Notes

Some of you are probably thinking this character should be Japanese, or are otherwise associating the Elemental Tentacles with a genre that is somewhat popular in Japan, but isn't safe to browse at work. That's not actually the source, though. The original version of the character was male, was going to be either a Roman named Octavius or a German named Otto, and would have specialized in Tentacles of Metal. He might also have had a rather spider-themed enemy, and might not have been heroic.

Leofflęd is built for a hypothetical 'historical with mainly Path/Book Magic' setting. Spirit Empathy replaces Magery 0 for the spiritual 'magic' of this setting, and the Magery talent is replaced by various spirit-related Talents (unspecialized Spirit Talent, as Leofflęd has, was set at 10 points per level for convenience). 'Celestials' refers to the servitor-spirits of the gods (or at least, the gods that are generally friendly towards humanity), with less of the Christian associations of calling them 'angels.'

She's technically a minor priestess, but it's a bit more accurate to think of her as a rather martial deaconess or a traveling beadle, hence the low religious skills and lack of Clerical Investment or real Religious Rank. Joining classic 'dungeon-delving' adventuring parties is sometimes within her remit, as the sort of beings that nest in caves and abandoned fortresses do often include or act like bandits, threatening the safe flow of trade and the lives and livelyhoods of traders. She might even be the one gathering the group, at the behest of concerned merchants, lords, or priests.

Her people do have writing, and she is fairly literate, but they tend to write on birch-bark and other perishable materials, leaving little evidence for later generations to find. Northern Tradetongue is a common trading language in Northern Europe at this time; it doesn't have a written form, nor the vocabulary to be learned above Accented.

Leofflęd rolls critical failures on the "Clerical" Table (p257). Those who do not have a close relationship with the gods (meaning most casters in this setting) are more likely to roll on the Spirit-Oriented Magic Table (Thaumatology p260), instead.


Thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:19 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Too much for the character limit:

Hexenringen
5 points

This is a Germanic martial/magical style using Effect Shaping Path/Book Magic; Judo Art is the core skill, and all Paths are based on DX. The priesthood of the Harvest Goddess and her husband (the God of beer, among other things) created this style to protect travelers on the roads. It is a composite style, created from several others, partly due to one member of the priesthood a century before being both athletic and very well-traveled. Stylists prefer to begin with Diplomacy, to de-escalate the conflict, and sometimes this even works; when it doesn't, they're likely to open with a Defensive Attack, and then Wait and Evaluate, if practical.

In the context of this style, Extra Attack and Compartmentalized Mind represent levels of training in multitasking (treat Extra Attack as a prerequisite for Compartmentalized Mind). I'm using the houserule that Judo is technique of Judo Art (and vice-versa).

Skills: Diplomacy; Fast-Draw (Charm); Judo Art; Staff
Techniques: Arm Lock; Breakfall; Counterattack (Judo or Staff); Disarming (Judo or Staff); Finger Lock; Head Lock; Judo; Knee Strike; Retain Weapon (Staff); Trip.
Perks: Alcohol Tolerance; Body Discipline (Judo Art); Clinch; Neck Control; No Hangovers; Rules Exemption (Number of charms per ritual is uncapped); Special Exercises (Compartmentalized Mind); Special Exercises (DR with Ablative); Special Exercises (Extra Attack).
Paths: Path of Cunning; Path of the Elements; Path of Form; Path of Health; Path of Luck; Path of Nature; Path of Protection.
Typical Rituals: Blight; Endure Elements; Obscurity; Reversion of Form; See the True Face; Slumber; Spirit Arrows; Succor; Tentacles of <Element>; Traveler's Blessing; Weapon Blessing.

Optional Traits:
Advantages: Compartmentalized Mind (No Mental Separation, -20%); Extra Attack; Spirit Empathy; Spirit Talents; Path/Book Adept.
Skills: Boxing; Broadsword (Light Club); First Aid; Hiking; Religious Ritual (Harvest Goddess/Beer God); Running; Theology (Germanic); Shortsword (Baton); Survival.
Techniques: Any other rituals for the listed Paths.


Blight
Effect Shaping: Path of Health-5; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
This ritual causes nausea and dizziness (see Nauseated, Basic Set p428), and does 1d-1 tox damage if the target fails to resist, or 2d-2 if the target critically fails their resistance roll; the margin of failure adds to damage in the latter case. It is resisted by the lower of Will+Magery or HT+Magery (or an equivalent, such as a Spirit Talent in this setting); a critical success on the resistance roll means that the ritual has no effect beyond warning the target that someone tried to attack them with magic (or the nearest equivalent in the target's belief system, if any: psi powers, alien technology, hypnosis, et cetra).


Spirit Arrow
Effect Shaping: Path of Spirit-4 or Path of Health-6; 20 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
The caster summons a spirit to attack the target, or binds a spirit to an arrow-shaped charm and later designates a target by pointing the arrow. When activated, the target makes a Will roll: the target takes no damage or stun on a critical success, 1d-1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 1d+1 HP & physical stun on a normal failure, and 2d-2 HP & unconscious on a critical failure. The HP damage type varies by the type of spirit: spirits of Poison (used by Path of Health) do tox on living targets, and cor on unliving targets (if the spirit will attack them at all); spirits of Exhaustion or Sleep (which may also be summoned by the Path of Health) do only FP damage (1d+1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 2d-2 FP & unconscious on a normal failure, and 2d+2 FP & unconscious on a critical failure). Most other spirits will do cr damage, although spirits of Fire or Ice will each do types of burn damage, and it is not unusual for spirits of Hunting or War to do cut or imp damage. Regular DR offers no protection, nor do normal dodges, parries or blocks (it's only metaphorically an arrow; really, it's a Malediction: the spirit is attacking 'you,' not 'whatever is in the space that you happen to be occupying'), though items that defend against magic or spirits do.


Traveler's Blessing
Effect Shaping: Path of Luck-4; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This ritual works much like Journeyman's Blessing, but is focused on travel - on having a safe & swift journey (the two are tied together a fair bit, as many things that are dangerous on the road or at sea will also delay travelers, and vice versa). The ritual produces a charm that the traveler must carry with them on the journey. The effect lasts for one journey, though if the journey is already planned to be a round trip, it will normally last until you get home.


Tentacles of <Element>
Effect Shaping: Path of the Elements-5 or Path of <specific Element>-4; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This magic shapes 1d-2 tentacles (minimum 1) from any available material of that element (generally meaning material that is in the environment or that the user is touching or carrying, but not material that someone else is touching or carrying when the ritual is activated). You may use these tentacles as extra limbs with which to attack, bind, defend, carry items, or anything else you might use tentacles for. When attacking, the tentacles normally do cr damage, apart from Tentacles of Fire, which do both burn and cr. Casters may make a number of optional modifications to the rituals: accepting a worse penalty or higher energy cost lets you increase the number of tentacles (each -1 to skill or +2 to energy cost allows one more tentacle), change the damage type, or add damage modifiers (fire always does burn damage, but may also do other types), e.g. Cutting Earth Tentacles, Ice (Freezing Water) Tentacles, Impaling Fire Tentacles, Suffocating Air Tentacles, et cetra. To determine the altered cost, work out the final percentage bonus or penalty from modifiers, and apply it to the energy cost or skill penalty.

The DX and ST of each tentacle will be equal to those of the user, plus one-third (round down) of the margin of success; damage dice are based on that ST's swing or thrust. The HP & DR of each tentacle will be equal to the base material, or the full margin of success, whichever is higher.

The various 'Tentacles of <Element>' rituals (techniques) are similar enough to count as a single skill for the purposes of the Single Skill limitation on Extra Attack, though the rituals of Path of the Elements in general are not ('Single Skill, Path of the Elements,' is not nearly limiting enough for -20%).


Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 04-24-2021 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 04-08-2022, 09:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

This is probably one of the weirder specialist mages I've done, though the setting might be more interesting:

Sally the miller's daughter, 1011 CE

Age: 9

Attributes

ST 8 [-20]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 11 [20]; HT 10 [0]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 8; Will 11; Per 11; FP 10; SM-1; ER (Magic) 10

Thrust: 1d-3; Swing: 1d-2

Basic Speed: 5; Move: 5; Dodge: 8

Social Background

Languages: Old English (Native/Broken) [-2]; Twentieth-century English (Accented) [4].

TL: 3^

Cultural Familiarity: Eleventh-century Germanic [0]; Twentieth-century Western [1].

Subtotal: 3


Advantages

Charisma 3 [15]
Pitiable [5]

Magery 0 [5]
Magery (Two Colleges Only: Healing & Necromancy, -30%) 2 [14]
Magery (One College Only: Necromancy, -40%) 3 [18]
Reawakened [10]
Recover Energy [5]

Perks

Alcohol Tolerance. [1]
Corpse Smart. [1]
Good with Churchfolk. [1]
No Hangovers. [1]
Soothing Touch. [1]

Subtotal: 77


Disadvantages

Duty (to parents, Nonhazardous, 12 or less) [-5]
Social Stigma (Minor & Valueable Property) [-15]
Watcher (Parents; 15 or less; less powerful) [-4]
Watcher (Village cunning-man; 9 or less; as powerful) [-3]
Wealth (Poor) [-15]

Quirks

Avoids her siblings. [-1]
Distractible. [-1]
Has 'tea parties' with her dolls (even though tea is unknown in this part of the world). [-1]
Likes cats. [-1]
Mild Curiousity. [-1]

Subtotal: -47


Features


Skills

Area Knowledge (Village Surroundings) [IQ/E] [1] 11
Faerie Lore [IQ/A] [1] 10
Hiking [HT/A] [1] 9
Housekeeping [IQ/E] [1] 11
Naturalist [IQ/H] [1] 9
Professional Skill (Dollmaker)/TL3 [IQ/A] [2] 11
Professional Skill (Miller)/TL3 [IQ/A] [1] 10
Religious Ritual (Anglo-Saxon Christian) [IQ/H] [2] 10
Running [HT/A] [2] 10
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 11
Theology (Anglo-Saxon Christian) [IQ/H] [1] 9

Lend Energy [IQ/H] [1] 11*
Lend Vitality [IQ/H] [1] 11*
Minor Healing [IQ/H] [1] 11*

Death Vision [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Sense Spirit [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Summon Spirit [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Animation [IQ/VH] [24] 20**

*Includes +2 from Magery (Life & Death Aspected).
**Includes +5 from both Magery (Life & Death Aspected) and Magery (Death Aspected).

Techniques

Subtotal: 45

Total: 78


Equipment

Clothes
Dolls
Knife
Sewing kit
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Old 04-08-2022, 09:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Notes

When people hear the phrase 'powerful Necromancer,' the image in their heads is generally not a cute little girl playing with homemade dolls, even if the dolls move on their own. Her Reawakened memories (mostly manifesting in the form of dreams) appear to come from some sort of alternate GURPS Technomancer setting. It's possible that this is all happening because the fae think it's funny.

While a little girl with a knife seems odd to modern eyes, things worked differently a thousand years ago. A knife is a standard tool that everyone has unless they're too poor to afford it (in which case they might steal one), or rather younger than Sally is. Her equipment list lacks shoes because those were fairly expensive, especially for a small child who might rapidly outgrow them; in winter, she would be likely to use simple footwrappings, and might fashion disposable shoe-like or snowshoe-like items from bark or basketwork (part of Housekeeping and Survival). Her Wealth, or lack thereof, is likewise because she is a child; her father, as the village miller, is rather better off; she'd have him as a Patron if he weren't less powerful than she is.

An older Sally might be a cunning woman, midwife, or a nun or other church figure.

Children with Alcohol Tolerance or No Hangovers are not too uncommon (there is no drinking age, and practically everyone drinks at least small beer), though they're not extremely common, either (the water isn't as bad as you might think, and fruit juices and such are sometimes available). 'Good with Churchfolk' applies to priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and others who make their living or do significant volunteer work for the church (rather important for medieval cunning-folk). Soothing Touch is a Psychic Healing perk from GURPS Psionic Powers p48, here powered by magic instead of psi, but working the same.

I use 'Eleventh-century Germanic' for England before the Norman conquest because the people were to the best of my knowledge culturally closest to the Northern Germans and the Scandinavians (mostly Scandinavians), and 'Eleventh-century Anglo-German-Scandinavian' seems a bit clumsy. I considered using 'Eleventh-century Christendom,' but that would be much too broad in this era. One important religious and cultural difference for England specifically is that the business of government and the church (including prayer and religious instruction) is done in Old English there, not Latin. This seems not to have been the only difference between Anglo-Saxon church practices and what the Pope wanted, though I'm unclear on the details.

'Recover Energy' as an advantage is suggested in this post, with the first level being 5 points and being equivalent to the Recover Energy spell at skill 15, and the second level being 10 points and being equivalent to the spell at skill 20. The Energy Reserve in these settings is derived from the lower of Will and HT, oddly enough, and seems to be based on drunkeness - spending points of ER is like drinking beer or wine, resulting in penalties to DX & IQ (but not Will or Per) when ER gets too low - at 1/2 ER, the caster takes a penalty of -1 to both IQ and DX, and may appear a bit tipsy; at 1/3 ER, the penalty is -3, and any failed roll on either (or skills based on same) will have you seem drunk to observers; when ER is reduced to 0, the penalty is -5, it is no-longer possible to fake sobriety without a very good Acting roll, and you must roll Will or HT to avoid losing consciousness.

Both this worldline and the one that Sally's 'magic dreams' come from use the Spell Defaults rule (GURPS Magic p202), with some modifications: Spells in a style or large substyle default to each other as defined for colleges on that page, and the colleges from Magic are the default, absolutely-no-frills set of interconnected magical styles (or you might call them one huge style with a lot of substyles) available in most places on the worldline which Sally's memories come from - though some specific spells within those colleges are unknown, secret, or legally quite restricted. Also, if you are a mage, the spells which have no other spells as prerequisites will generally default to (IQ+Magery)-6, unless you already know a spell or spells in a style which includes that spell; if you're not a mage, spells only default to other spells in the same style. Unknown or secret spells normally have no default, as you haven't been told that they are possible or been taught anything about them; at best, you can make a Thaumatology or IQ+Magery roll with a penalty set by the GM to theorize about the spell, and if successful, get the default from there.

Celtic Tree Magic (GURPS Thaumatology pp42-47) is a relatively no-frills set of interconnected magical styles native to this worldline, common in Celtic Europe, though it is belived that the Druids used a more advantageous version of the style (the Consonant Tree spells and Vowel Tree spells are known, the Mixed Tree spells are not, and the Druids had a number of perks and other secrets which they did not share with non-Druids). Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, has a few rune-based interconnected styles (each rune is roughly like a college, but Futhark and Futhorc are subtly different sets of styles). The Jewish Diasopra and some Christian communities also have interconnected styles based on early Jewish mysticism. Narrower, less interconnected styles are more numerous, including the surviving styles of some Greek and Roman mystery cults (now mostly named for saints and angels), and various minor styles associated with the teaching lines of individual village cunning-folk. The British Isles have a broad mix of the Celtic and Germanic styles, and those teaching lineages and other narrow styles (including some of the Christianized mystery cults). The Village cunning man follows a teaching lineage with a few Animal, Plant, Food, Weather, and Healing spells, mostly fairly low-level ones - though he does get to Cure Disease and related spells easier than the Healing College (instead of Major Healing, the prerequisites are Minor Healing and Relieve Sickness).

Enchantment works somewhat differently from the standard system in these worldlines: Slow And Sure Enchantment, while still done ceremonially, isn't 'one point per mage-day,' instead being 'eight points per mage-day' and 'one point per non-mage per day.' It is thus significantly faster, while still being slower and safer than the Quick-and-Dirty version. Some spells in the Enchantment College/substyle have altered prerequisites or other modifications: The Enchant spell's prerequisites are Magery 2 and Temporary Enchantment. The prerequisites for Temporary Enchantment are Scroll and one spell each from nine colleges other than Enchantment. Scroll itself has its usual prerequisites, but scrolls are enchanted at one point per hour, rather than one point per day, and the FP cost can be added to the scroll if the caster is willing to take the extra time. The prerequisite for Manastone is Temporary Enchantment, and the prerequisites for Powerstone are Manastone and Enchant. Finally, the prerequisite for Spell Stone is just Temporary Enchantment.

Critical failures on both worldlines are rolled on the Comedy Table from GURPS Thaumatology p257 (despite not otherwise being Comedy Parallels), save that the small beings that appear on a twelve are usually pixies or gremlins, and the being that appears on an eighteen will be a faerie of equal or greater power to the caster. Ordinary failures are sometimes accompanied by tinkling laughter from no visible source.


What do you think?
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Old 04-09-2022, 05:56 AM   #35
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Defiantly not the normal necromancer.
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Old 04-09-2022, 06:10 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Eh, I've been using specialization for mages since well before GURPS was first published. To wit, all the wizardly orders specialize in three or four colleges of magic, and all wizards belonging to them are required to have at least 50% of their spells within those colleges. It works perfectly well.
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