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Old 02-07-2021, 01:49 AM   #1
ajardoor
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

I've got this idea for a GURPS Cold War secret magic campaign.
It's set in East Berlin, the year is 1970.
The magic system is Effect-Shaping Book Rituals (see Chapter 5 of GURPS Thaumatology). Magic is both secret and illegal - the Communists officially deny magic is real but they treat magic as basically SUPER contraband.

PCs are all partisans, criminals, rogues, hedge witches, hunted men and possible undercover spies (for NATO or the Stasi) newly initiated into a spiritualist cult/crime gang of underground magicians in East Berlin. The cultists must undertake illegal black ops on behalf of their occult conspiracy under the nose of the Communist state...or secretly pursue their own hidden agenda...

Have you got any general suggestions? Advice? Cool historical things to include?
In particular, any ideas for a Ritual Book? Like, who it was written by (one should definitely be authored by Rasputin), what Rituals it has, the title, and so on?
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:53 AM   #2
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Maybe this is of interest to you, a German TV documentary:

https://www.rbb-online.de/berlin-sch...jahr-1970.html

German Language, but a pictures says more than a thousand words. :-)
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:21 AM   #3
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Potential 'Books' authors to consider could be:

-Guiseppe Balsamo ('Count Cagliostro')
-the Golden Dawn Society
-Aleister Crowley
-Carlos Castaneda or his apocryphal mentor Don Juan Matus
-Pythagoras
-Dr. John Dee
-Edgar Cayce
-Helena Blavatsky

Many of them have published works already that could be adapted to have 'secret' versions containing additional magical knowledge that serve as effective magical rituals.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:47 AM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Howe's Primer was collected by Ellic Howe during the 1930s and early 1940s. It's not entirely clear how it showed up in East Berlin, but it is quite useful. All of its rituals create documents which affect the first person to read them after their creation and require a successful Forgery roll in addition to the casting roll. They can be about any non-technical subject.

It contains versions of Cloud Memory, Hallucination, Liar's Charm, Lust, Suggestion, Dream Shackles, Dream Visitor, Night Terrors, History, Scry, and Astral Projection.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:56 AM   #5
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
In particular, any ideas for a Ritual Book? Like, who it was written by (one should definitely be authored by Rasputin), what Rituals it has, the title, and so on?
Suggestion: Among several other rather potent rituals contained within the fabled Book authored by Grigori Rasputin, this one is believed to have been in effect during the final assassination attempt made against him, and possibly the first:

Dramaticheskaya Smert' na Steroidakh:
Effect Shaping: (As-Yet Untitled Book of Rasputin) -12, 1 Hour
Energy Accumulating: 20 Points


You can be killed while under this masterful and impressive enchantment, but your demise will be the stuff of legends! You suffer full effect from Stunning, Shock, and crippling injuries, but all rolls to remain conscious succeed automatically. Death checks are made when appropriate, but once one is failed you have 1d x 10 Minutes in which to continue to act, or until you reach -10 x HP, whichever comes sooner, at the end of which this enchantment ends and you drop dead immediately, even if you have regained HP by means magical or otherwise after failing the roll for death.
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:28 AM   #6
Michele
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Suggestion: Among several other rather potent rituals contained within the fabled Book authored by Grigori Rasputin, this one is believed to have been in effect during the final assassination attempt made against him, and possibly the first:

Dramaticheskaya Smert' na Steroidakh:
Effect Shaping: (As-Yet Untitled Book of Rasputin) -12, 1 Hour
Energy Accumulating: 20 Points


You can be killed while under this masterful and impressive enchantment, but your demise will be the stuff of legends! You suffer full effect from Stunning, Shock, and crippling injuries, but all rolls to remain conscious succeed automatically. Death checks are made when appropriate, but once one is failed you have 1d x 10 Minutes in which to continue to act, or until you reach -10 x HP, whichever comes sooner, at the end of which this enchantment ends and you drop dead immediately, even if you have regained HP by means magical or otherwise after failing the roll for death.
Heh. Is that "Dramatic death on steroids"?
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:39 AM   #7
Michele
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
I've got this idea for a GURPS Cold War secret magic campaign.
It's set in East Berlin, the year is 1970.
The magic system is Effect-Shaping Book Rituals (see Chapter 5 of GURPS Thaumatology). Magic is both secret and illegal - the Communists officially deny magic is real but they treat magic as basically SUPER contraband.

PCs are all partisans, criminals, rogues, hedge witches, hunted men and possible undercover spies (for NATO or the Stasi) newly initiated into a spiritualist cult/crime gang of underground magicians in East Berlin. The cultists must undertake illegal black ops on behalf of their occult conspiracy under the nose of the Communist state...or secretly pursue their own hidden agenda...

Have you got any general suggestions? Advice? Cool historical things to include?
In particular, any ideas for a Ritual Book? Like, who it was written by (one should definitely be authored by Rasputin), what Rituals it has, the title, and so on?
Well, it's Germany after 1945, the Communists are suppressing magic... definitely there will be secret magic books written by... Nazis (yeah, you saw that coming, but it's always effective anyway). Say by Willigut or some obscure (i.e., entirely made up) Nazi occultist.
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Old 02-08-2021, 06:09 AM   #8
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Well, it's Germany after 1945, the Communists are suppressing magic... definitely there will be secret magic books written by... Nazis (yeah, you saw that coming, but it's always effective anyway). Say by Willigut or some obscure (i.e., entirely made up) Nazi occultist.
Also a good way to drag Tibetan style occultism into the game as the Anherebe did quite a bit of poking about in that part of the world and its mystical traditions, partly due to their Aryan mythology and partly due to Mad Uncle Heinrich being a magpie.
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:54 AM   #9
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Heh. Is that "Dramatic death on steroids"?
Yes sir it is! :)
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Old 02-09-2021, 01:25 AM   #10
ajardoor
 
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Default Re: Secret Magic in 1970 East Berlin

Thanks, these are all useful suggestions.
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