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Old 06-12-2022, 08:33 AM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Default [Thaumatology] Magical Engineering

Engineer (Magical)/TL^ is basically the technically-mundane design skill for magic items that are built out of components (some of which are probably magical to start with), rather than enchanted, bound with spirits, or similar things. Alternative names include 'Engineer (Thaumaturgical)/TL^' (or 'Thaumatronics' if electronics is involved or closely related to that form of the skill), or if it's based on a specific type of magic, a name relating to that, such as Engineer (Alchemic)/TL^ (or 'Alchemical,' or just 'Alchemy'), Engineer (Orgone)/TL^, Engineer (Quantum Mysticism)/TL^, Engineer (Decanics)/TL^, et cetra. Prerequisites vary by setting and type, but Thaumatology is plausible for most. The magical components might themselves be enchanted, or might be Alchemical Charms, or just magically-potent materials - or materials that are 'strong in the Force,' or 'rich in Chi,' or 'have a significant psionic resonance,' or 'interact usefully with subspace fields,' since for literary and gaming purposes, all of those are basically magic (which is why I'll put a link to this thread in the Five Earths thread). Things like this appear in various fictional settings, such as the Imp-powered devices in Discworld, the chakra-tech in Naruto, or the magic-and-steam-powered mecha in Sakura Wars.

Related skills most likely include specializations of Machinist and Mechanic, and if the skill is sufficiently related to electronics, Electronics Operation and Electronics Repair. If it doesn't involve electronics, I suggest that Magic Item Operation (<specialization>) and Magic Item Repair (<specialization>) are appropriate IQ/A skills (depending on setting assumptions, Operation might be IQ/E, or based on another attribute). Of course, it might make more sense for the Repair skill to be a required specialization of Mechanic or Machinist, instead.

Engineer (Magical) was first described in 3e GURPS Discworld p57, as far as I can tell, though that version was specific to the Disc. It doesn't get used much (it was at best only hinted at in Thaumatology, which is disappointing), but it seems pretty interesting to me. Have you used it, or seen or been in a game that did (apart from Psychotronics, of course)? If not, what sort of effects do you think it would have on a setting? What ideas can you think of for this concept?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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