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Old 09-17-2009, 03:58 PM   #1
The Sundered Sky
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default Novel based Improvised Magic

Well, novel and movie INFLUENCED magic, I should say. It's not based off of any particular thing.

I had an idea of a couple of high schoolers who have lived fairly normal lives, until the paranormal breaks in. Maybe they notice odd things at first. Poltergiest phenomenon, "synchronicity", etc.

Then during a threat, something almost obviously happens that tips them off to their innate magical nature. Something that can be "coincidental" maybe, but uncanny. Like a really good mannequin seen in low-light perhaps...it looks like a real person, but it isn't. It looked like a lucky break, but it wasn't. Very coincidental the way Mage: The Ascension magic sometimes was. I've followed Donald Tyson's opinion that "magick" takes the path of least resistance, the easiest route. So I imagine that magic will work in small ways WITH the laws of nature, bending rather than breaking. Adjusting the laws rather than raping the entirety of physics. Of course with enough power, brute forcing reality to your Will will be possible in this game too.

The nature of this magic may become less "coincidental" as time goes by, and more forceful as they practice, learn, and grow. No spells as you think of them though, this will have very little "occult" in it. It's an innate ability, more like having several psionic powers than traditional witchery(I only point this out because another campaign I have in mind will be heavy on real world occult beliefs using regular GURPS magic).

The players will be kept in the dark as much as the characters. Initially, I may describe the successful effects of the magic for them to capture the right feel, before giving more control over to them. Instead of a fireball, tree roots might grab a foot to slow someone down, or the movie cliche of a pipe bursting close to someone's face to hurt or blind them, etc.

After I had the idea, I began to be influenced by Darren Shan's Demonata series. Juvi fiction I know, but it surprised me sometimes. Some things like the interdimensional demons, and how most people can only really cast magic in the presence by summoning them, etc. That's easy to model though, just give bonuses to magic when demons are around, etc. And these characters won't really NEED them to be present anyway. They're "special".

It's the other stuff I have a hard time modeling. I've got GURPS Mage: The Ascension, and Magic and Thaumaturgy, so I'm NOT hurting for options in the slightest.

I look at the syntactic and improv magic in Magic/Thaumaturgy and find it hard to settle on a system, and none QUITE for this particular campaign anyway, at least how I envision it. Whatever I settle for I'll have to play with, even if I narrow it down. The problem is that their power is low-level at first, but pervasive. Unlike "Realm magic"(or the Spheres) where one has power over certain realms like birds, the earth, air, cars, etc. They have low/subtle power over ALL realms.

And I've realized as I write this, for this initial bit I may simply have to wing it and narrate it rather than leave it completely to mechanics, but I don't even know what I'd roll for success even then. Maybe I'll throw in some Mage mechanics like Paradox and the Spheres.
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