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Old 05-11-2021, 03:16 AM   #51
maximara
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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Originally Posted by StevenH View Post
But if you assume the 1 in 50 incidence for Magery, of which only some are capable of learning (as in a decent IQ), of which only some are trained (due to finding a teacher, or just having the desire to learn that stuff), there aren't a lot of mages. At all. And enchanters are even more rare. So rare that magic items won't have the chance to disrupt economies simply because there aren't enough of them to make a difference. Locally, perhaps, and for a short time, but not on any macro level.
The problem there is the trope of magic items being "easily" findable in the neighborhood dungeon. Given how fragile most are there has to be somebody or a group of somebodies making these magic items at a reasonably pace. I mean there are more non cursed magic items in an entry level dungeon that can become the PCs than in Tolkien's works.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:44 AM   #52
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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The problem is easily used common magic (Low Fantasy) is incomparable with a realistic fantasyland (High Fantasy).

Unless magic is curtailed in someway (like can only be done ceremonially) is is going to FUBAR a TL3 society to the point that as far as ETL is concerned it isn't TL3 anymore.
This is why I started up a new thread in the ROLEPLAYING in General forum titled:

Mageborn are like Coins - World Building TL 3

My suggestion is to go with the original Demographics for mageborn, then go with the general historical demographics (ie about 1/3rd of your population was younger than 15 with 1 in 2 children historically dying before reaching age 15), and dealing with the general demographics of:

Roughly 24 to 25% of a rural population were free born
roughly 74% of the rural population were serfs

Overall, roughly 2% of the population were wealthy, and while I can't remember the precise ratio of Nobility to the rest of the population, I think it came close to the 2% value over all.

In that thread, there will be 10 "landed Knight" families with each village owing fealty and other obligations to the 10 landed knight families. I'm torn between using a base figure of about 50 families per village and allowing up to more like 75 to 100 families in other villages. But if I go that route with variable villages having variable numbers of families instead of each village having only 50 - well, that will make it all "cookie cutter like".

None the less, the intent is to give people concrete NUMBERS. Concrete ages for each of the mageborn vs non-mageborn. Give people an idea of just how much "available wealth" there is to support various "crafts" such as Alchemy and/or spell casters. If potions are priced at $1200 and discretionary spending for the bulk of the serfs is less than $100 per month - those serfs will NOT be supporting the alchemist unless the alchemist can sell goods/services the general population can afford.

Keep in mind, my next step will be to get a full listing of all of the spells in GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition like I did for GURPS FANTASY 1st edition. I will try to list those spells that came into being AFTER the publication of GURPS FANTASY 1st edition so that people who read this thread later on, might begin to understand why people say that you can't have Low Fantasy game worlds with GURPS MAGIC. This may be 100% true with GURPS MAGIC for 4e - but maybe not entirely true with GURPS FANTASY 1st edition spells listed, or even perhaps GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition. And yes, I will eventually create a list of those spells introduced in GURPS GRIMOIRE.

GURPS MAGIC for 4e's evolution is such that sequentially, it is like this:

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition spells + additional GURPS MAGIC spells + additional GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition spells + GURPS GRIMOIRE spells + a select handful of spells that were introduced for the first time in GURPS MAGIC for 4e as unique spells.

Those who want to pare back the "over the top" genre-breaking spells from the spell list might have a chance to see why the evolution of GURPS MAGIC does matter.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:50 AM   #53
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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D&D settings are an example of irrational high fantasy with common magic which would change the world if they were rational settings. The Magic Goes Away is a famous example of rational fantasy where the magic affects societies.
THE MAGIC GOES AWAY is one of my favorite books actually. And yes, the difference between an irrational High Fantasy vs a Rational one is largely why I enjoyed looking at the GURPS MAGIC spells the way I did back when all we had was GURPSNET.

I would LOVE to see a product line much like Dungeon Fantasy, but instead, goes for a Low Fantasy tone with guidelines for how to build such a society for campaign use.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:16 AM   #54
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
It describes Magery as "usually hereditary" with magic capable parents more likely to pass on their ability than non-mages. It specifically says nobody born without "some kind of potential" can become a mage. It says magery is probably genetic but not in a simple way. If all your parents and grandparents were mages, you are very likely to be one as weell.

Additionally it describes people who are non-mages as such but are born with other supernatural gifts such as Medium and Oracle. There is some indication that these things can also be mastered with great dedication by the mystically inclined.
Nice Catch.

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition predates the invention (or conceptualization) of Magery 0 and a few other things. This had an effect on how magic worked within society. Once you introduce Magery 0, then you end up with a different "slant" that becomes possible. Me? I don't mind working with EITHER of magery 0 or Magery 1 - largely because the only difference between a magery 0 character and a magery 1 character is this:

Low and normal mana regions only permitted spell casting of spells that required magery 1+ to cast. In effect, this meant ALL of the spells. Those spells that did not list Magery 1 as a prerequisite - could be cast by non-mages in Mana High regions.

All magery 0 did, was limit mageborn to casting spells that lacked magery 1 as a requisite. If anything, Magery 0 made it so that there would in theory, be LESS mages able to cast magery 1+ spells.

The general rule in GURPS FANTASY 1st was each level of magery was 10x more prevelant than the next better level of magery.

Thus:

10 Magery 0 for each magery 1 mageborn out there.
100 magery 0, 10 magery 1 for each magery 2 mageborn.
1000 magery 0, 100 magery 1, 10 magery 2 for each magery 3 mageborn

Now, some might talk about Magery levels 4+ - which is distinctly a GURPS 4e concept. Me? I don't generally ALLOW magery 4+ in my games for only ONE reason...

We have Magery 0 spells (by default, any spell not requiring magery 1+)
We have Magery 1 spells that require magery 1 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 2 spells that require magery 2 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 3 spells that require magery 3 as a requisite to learn

Where are the magery 4 spells that require magery 4 as a requisite?

Magery was not only the ability to cast spells in low/normal/high/very high mana regions, it was also, essentially a way of differentiating how so terribly complex a spell was so as to be incomprehensible to a mind to study.

Without Magery 3, no one can learn a magery 3 spell regardless of how much time and effort that goes into studying the spell.

Until there is a systemic method for denoting what spells are complexity 4, 5, 6, 7, etc - we really shouldn't have Magery 4+ in the campaign.

Now - someone privately asked me why I don't let GURPS GRIMOIRE into my campaigns without being HEAVILY Vetted? I'm gong to give one example here, and possibly someday open a thread on the topic another day...

Alter Terrain: As a spell, it can affect an area that is up to 24' HIGH for an energy cost that is cheaper than the spell "Move Earth". Alll area spells up to this point in time - defined a hex as being 3' from side to side in a hexagonal shape, that was 6' tall. If you wanted a 3 hex radius spell of fire, it costs 2 energy per hex radius, or 6 energy (less any discount for skill level) final energy cost. If you want that same radius to have flames that reach to 12 feet in height, you had to pay 12 energy.

Alter Terrain does not conform to the basics of GURPS MAGIC rules, and energy wise, does not match what I would call the metaphysics of GURPS MAGIC as whole. Likewise, most missle spells cost 1 energy per 1 die of damage inflicted. Acid ball however, does not do this. It not only inflicts 1 die of damge per 1 energy, but does damage as ACID damage.

It is those inconsistencies within various spells that make me ban them for the most part.

GURPS MAGIC for 4e went so far as to make a spell called Essential Wood, that effectively permanently enchants wood with properties approximating armor enchantments or invulnerability to fire types of enchantments - for FAR cheaper energy than the enchantments themselves. So, I don't let it in my games as written. **shrug**

The thing to keep in the back of your minds when discussing whether or not one can have a medieval TL 3 society with some of these spells is that not only do they violate genre conventions, but also in some instances, violate the basic framework of GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:26 AM   #55
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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From the description Magery would seem to follow basic Mendel genetics while the level follows the rules for things like eye and hair color.
There are some "issues" that can be raised with the Mendel genetics that prove to be interesting for contemplation by a world builder. ;)

For instance, is Magery linked to a single site of genetic pairs? Is it a genetic sequence that only expresses itself in the absence of specific traits? Does it depend on an absence of FIVE sites? With three states possible: Dominant, Recessive, or incomplete (such as happens when you breed a red flower with a white flower and get pink) - just what is necessary for the Mageborn trait?

In the end, the incidence of magery within society is as others have noted, a world builder's decision.

Ultimately? As originally presented, YRTH was presented as a TL 3 society with elements of magic incorporated that allowed society to more or less continue as it did in historical context, to where we have knights, serfs, free born, etc. We don't have complex machines outside of simple clockwork and/or mills. Yes, there were exceptions to where we might have inventions that were built in antiquity well before they become more common in society, but the theory of something and the implementation of something can be really STRANGE.

So - my goal next in THIS thread, will be to cultivate a list of spells for GURPS MAGIC 2nd edition, and possibly determine which spells already existed in GURPS FANTASY 1st so as to say "these spells may have changed what the original Yrth background would have become had these spells been part of the game from the start."

I also now have to write code that will determine marital status for each "Family" in my other thread, then assign ages to the head of family and his/her spouse (if any) and the ages of subsequent children.

Glad I've got something to keep my creative mind occupied on something other than day to day survival at work. ;)
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:52 AM   #56
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
The problem there is the trope of magic items being "easily" findable in the neighborhood dungeon. Given how fragile most are there has to be somebody or a group of somebodies making these magic items at a reasonably pace. I mean there are more non cursed magic items in an entry level dungeon that can become the PCs than in Tolkien's works.
are we talking about Yrth or about something else? Yrth is not a dungeon fantasy setting littered with networks of caves and tunnels filled with monsters and loot.

And which kind of 'entry level' dungeon? In 1e and 2e AD&D, you could spend months on a dungeon full of orcs or goblins who had a tiny chance of one magic item. Its 3e and later which makes potions as common as in video games.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:01 PM   #57
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Nice Catch.

GURPS FANTASY 1st edition predates the invention (or conceptualization) of Magery 0 and a few other things. This had an effect on how magic worked within society. Once you introduce Magery 0, then you end up with a different "slant" that becomes possible. Me? I don't mind working with EITHER of magery 0 or Magery 1 - largely because the only difference between a magery 0 character and a magery 1 character is this:

Low and normal mana regions only permitted spell casting of spells that required magery 1+ to cast. In effect, this meant ALL of the spells. Those spells that did not list Magery 1 as a prerequisite - could be cast by non-mages in Mana High regions.

All magery 0 did, was limit mageborn to casting spells that lacked magery 1 as a requisite. If anything, Magery 0 made it so that there would in theory, be LESS mages able to cast magery 1+ spells.

The general rule in GURPS FANTASY 1st was each level of magery was 10x more prevelant than the next better level of magery.

Thus:

10 Magery 0 for each magery 1 mageborn out there.
100 magery 0, 10 magery 1 for each magery 2 mageborn.
1000 magery 0, 100 magery 1, 10 magery 2 for each magery 3 mageborn

Now, some might talk about Magery levels 4+ - which is distinctly a GURPS 4e concept. Me? I don't generally ALLOW magery 4+ in my games for only ONE reason...

We have Magery 0 spells (by default, any spell not requiring magery 1+)
We have Magery 1 spells that require magery 1 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 2 spells that require magery 2 as a requisite to learn
We have Magery 3 spells that require magery 3 as a requisite to learn

Where are the magery 4 spells that require magery 4 as a requisite?.
Well sticking to Banestorm, since a person with Magery 4 comes along less than once a generation there are simply no teachers for spells that require Magery 4 and any grimoire counting such a spell would extremely rare. They would have to invent such a spell for themselves.

I am incidentally inclined to move Alter and Move Terrain to Magery 4.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:19 PM   #58
hal
 
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Well sticking to Banestorm, since a person with Magery 4 comes along less than once a generation there are simply no teachers for spells that require Magery 4 and any grimoire counting such a spell would extremely rare. They would have to invent such a spell for themselves.

I am incidentally inclined to move Alter and Move Terrain to Magery 4.
That would be an interesting way to handle the spells. :)
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:31 PM   #59
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

One thing which strikes me is that GURPS Banestorm implies that the average mage is something like IQ + Magery 11 or 12, whereas its 17 for the average player character mage. There is no reason to assume that the 1/50 of the population with magery also has above-average levels of the "talent for too many thinky skills to bother listing." The ones who are sent to formal education might get +1 Intelligence on average. Trying to model the distribution of attributes in a population is icky, especially the talent with an unfortunate acronym, but just that affects how we envision mages in society. Most need to invest a lot of time to learn a spell at 12 and need to focus a long career to get one spell at 15.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:26 AM   #60
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Default Re: Discussing Yrth History & Evolution of GURPS MAGIC

I was looking through my much-thumbed-through 1st Ed Fantasy book. And I found out something interesting about mages in Yrth. Pg 15 states: "On Yrth, one person in 100 has magical aptitude, and one in 500 is a practicing wizard. One out of 1000 might have Magery 2; one in 10,000 might have Magery 3." It does go on to say that some areas wizards are much more common. Which I interpret as more of the mageborn are trained, rather than a higher incidence of magery.

Those rates would make mages and wizards even more rare.

2nd Ed Fantasy is different (Yrth got an upgrade?)
"For most inhabitants of Yrth, magic is part of their daily lives. Perhaps 1 human in 50 might know a spell or two or have a knack in a high-mana area; 1 in 100 in a normal mana area or 1 in 500 in a low-mana area such as Caithness. In a high-mana area, perhaps half of the magic-users will actually possess Magical Aptitude. Of course, some people with Magical Aptitude, especailly in low-mana areas, will never learn magic or even become aware of their talent."
"The number of trained mages (or mages in training) is much lower--approximately 1 for every 10 'amateurs'."

Then it goes on to mention that in a town of 10,000 could expect to have 100 inhabitants who had some magic, and an additional 10 people who were fully practicing mages.

So that's a bit more confusing. The wording is not very clear. But it seems that the knowledge of spellcasting is more common than the ability to actually cast them. Which seems stupid, considering that the time it takes to learn a spell, only to not be able to cast it, is basically time wasted.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting. I hadn't realized that the numbers varied so much between editions. At least I think they vary. 2nd edition doesn't really specifically state how much of the population has Magery.
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