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Old 12-31-2020, 01:12 PM   #1
thrash's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: traveller
Default Does Seek Gate work on nexus portals?

As described, magical gates and nexus portals are similar but distinct phenomena:

"A gate can take nearly any shape or color; but the "default" gate is a rectangle of softly shimmering energy .... As long as a gate is large enough, an object or willing being need only step into it to be transported. If an unwilling (or unwitting) person sticks a hand into a gate, removing it can be difficult.... Only one try is permissible; if the [attempt] fails, the victim has no choice but to either stay stuck in the gateway or to pass through.... [Gates] are also opaque to light and nonparticulate radiation in general."
-- Magic, p. 80.

"A "nexus portal" is a hole leading from one dimension to another. It is usually circular and less than 10 yards across, and allows light to freely pass through from both ends (that is, you can see its destination).... Most portals are two-way: you can enter or leave at will. Some, however, are one-way: you can enter but you can't leave. If you stick a limb or object partway through, you can't retrieve it -- it's stuck until you or the object go all the way through."
-- Basic, p. 534.

That is, gates are opaque but nexus portals are transparent; escaping a one-way nexus portal is impossible while there is a chance to escape a partially entered magical gate (which appear to be one-way by default).

Are these entities the same? If so, why the inconsistencies?

Does the Seek Gate spell detect nexus portals? If so, a Seek Gate magical item with a high enough (20+) Power would be a very useful tool in an Infinite Worlds campaign.

If not, what (if anything magical) does?
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Old 01-01-2021, 05:05 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Default Re: Does Seek Gate work on nexus portals?

This is a campaign decision, so it's a GM (or world builder) call.

Edit: So, if the GM decides that these are two distinct phenomena, and that magic can detect nexus gates, they could also introduce a spell to detect nexus gates.
AotA is of course IMHO, YMMV.
vincit qui se vincit
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:30 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Default Re: Does Seek Gate work on nexus portals?

M80 is about Magical Gates and Portals. IMO that means that they are magic (need mana). Nexus Portals do not have such a requirement, so can exist on worlds without magic.

Seek Gate detects Gates. So one could argue that they only discover Gates, not Portals. OTOH M80 does not explain whether there is a difference between (magical) Gates and Portals and Create Gate creates a "magical portal" which implies that for G:Magic Gates and Portals are the same.

IMO Gates and _Nexus_ Portals are two different things, with the Nexus Portals being independent from the existence of magic and working a bit different.

I would permit Seek Gate to discover both, though the spell would require magic even if the Nexus Portal does not.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:34 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: traveller
Default Re: Does Seek Gate work on nexus portals?

Hmmm. Here's more information that adds to the issue without clarifying much:

GURPS Banestorm (p. 25) introduces three spells.
  • Detect Banestorm "confirms or denies any current Banestorm activity within the specified range."
  • Seek Banestorm "tells the caster the direction and approximate distance of the nearest banestorm."
  • Identify Newcomer, "when cast on a person or object, tells the caster whether a banestorm brought it to Yrth within the specified period."
All three are in the Gate College, although other Gate spells are "rare and unreliable" on Yrth-1. Many of these others (though not Seek Gate) are subject to a -25 penalty (!) due to the effects of the Banestorm (p. 26).

Detect Banestorm has Magery 1 as a prerequisite. Seek Banestorm has Detect Banestorm; Identify Newcomer has Seek Banestorm. In contrast, Seek Gate requires Magery 2, Seek Magic, and one spell each from 10 other colleges.

I infer from this that big, hairy, unnatural phenomena like banestorms are relatively easy to detect with magic; gates are subtle and require correspondingly more finesse. Nexus portals are (mostly) natural phenomena and about as flashy as gates, so probably do fall in the same level of difficulty.
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