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Old 05-14-2021, 05:39 PM   #61
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
I agree but things are kind of muddled with Yrth.

First there is the really bizarre 1988 errata: "P. 51. Since Caithness is a low-mana area, the example given for the number of people to know spells is wrong. 1 in 50 might know a spell or two in a high-mana area, 1 in 100 in a normal-mana area, 1 in 500 in a low-mana area. Perhaps half these people possess Magical Aptitude. Of course, some people with Magical Aptitude, especially in low-mana areas, will never learn magic or even become aware of their talent."

A strict reading of that means you have 1:100 mages in high mana, 1:200 mages in normal, and 1:1000 in a low-mana for the classic version of Yrth.
Firstly there's "perhaps" so nothing is strict at all :)

Secondly I think "these people" refers collectively to to the total "people on Yrth who knows one or two spells", not that there's going to be an identical halfish of spell-knower who have magery. So the GM could spread them out how he likes.

Namely because if I don't have Magery my spell knowledge is worthless if Low/Normal so I'm probably either going to be in High Mana or else nearby to it so I can make use of it.

The rare folk who hang out in Low Mana regions and know spells are likely the archmages whose Magery allows them to cast magic so frequently (anywhere) and whose higher magery level talent bonus offsets the -5 penalty.

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
More over, Banestorm reveals that Ritual Magic exists on Yrth. Now one of the options for Ritual Magery is being able to cast spells at -5 with the ability to learn Fractional Magery (Technomancer pg 123)
Nothing in 3e's Technomancer I can see about that, but page 123 of 4e's GURPS Thaumatology has "Limited Non-Mage Ceremonies" and "fractional Magery 0" for Book/Path Magery.

Book/Path is distinct from Ritual Magery, though the mixup is easy since Book/Path in 4e is basically what "Ritual Magic" used to be in 3e.

Fractional Book/Path Magery 0 is roughly to the first four levels of "Ritual Aptitude" in 3e (Spirits 84) while non-fractional is all 5 levels.

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
-10 to skill in low mana is nuts
Thaumatology 126 gives the option for applying mana penalties to Path/Book magic, although it says in Low Mana (-5) that only those with magery can cast the spells, only highlighting "Limited Non-Mage Ceremonies" as an option for Normal Mana.

I don't see a problem with allowing non-mage ceremonies in low mana (-10) as you say though.

Thaumatology even has Very Low Mana which would create -15 if allowing non-mages to try. You'd need a lot of bonuses to offset that.

T58's "Non-Mages Casting in Lower-Mana Areas" is an interesting alternative (though I think it's intended for standard magic, not path/book) where instead of doing a penalty you just do 10x the base energy cost +1 FP.

That wouldn't really adapt well to the "Effect Shaping" system since there aren't any energy costs to multiply, but perhaps it's feasible for multiplying the Energy Accumulating versions?

You could perhaps try an either/or, like you could take a -5 penalty for Effect Shaping or a x10 for Energy accumulating?

T58's entry about Continuous Mana also has a note for standard magic similar to T123 except it's a -6 penalty instead of -5.

To make muggleborn magic super-rare there's also the idea of applying BOTH notes to standard magic: x10 the base cost AND -6 to skill. This kind of soft double-cap will take it off the table in the vast majority of situations.

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Of course we could always throw in the Least of Spells to address this issue.
Yeah the '1 or 2' population I'd just assume 99% of them have the LOS.

Also excludes those with 'ritual magery' since they never just know '1 or 2'.

Given mages don't suffer the -5 for Low Mana for IQ/A spells and non-mages can cast IQ/A spells in normal mana, it gives a weird situation like mages aren't more skilled than non-mages in Normal Mana with them. Made-for-muggles basically.

For more consistency in Continuous Mana it's probably something like "ignore up to -5 in mana penalties".

Interesting thing about the LOS rule too...

It doesn't seem to say that these rules would only apply to IQ/A spells introduced in this book...

So in theory if we had a means of which to generate IQ/A spells from IQ/H spells these rules might apply to them too... if so then only the IQ/VH ones couldn't be reduced.

B167 "Optional Specialties" doesn't say you couldn't apply them to spells, it emphasizes applying it to IQ skills but does say you need GM permission.

It sounds reasonable enough just so long as you narrowed the field adequately.

Like for example if you knew the spell "Recover Energy" but specialized it to work best in a certain type of aspected mana?

Or you knew "Counterspell" but specialized it for countering spells of a single college?

If that reduced IQ/H to IQ/VH then it wouldn't just be 1 higher for casting but perhaps even higher than that in low-mana zones by offsetting up to -5 in penalties (possibly +6 higher).

What'd be cool about that is emphasizing more specialization, because there's definitely still too much draw in being a generalist.
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:50 PM   #62
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
I agree but things are kind of muddled with Yrth.

First there is the really bizarre 1988 errata:
I propose to ignore that reference for the discussion in this thread for 3 reasons.
  1. As you point out, it's bizarre.
  2. It's 3e (2e?). We have a 4e book, so we have no need to worry about pre-4e text from 1988. Much less "strictly read" them.
  3. Though it may affect a discussion of a "can a non-mage cast spells in Yrth?" question, it does not directly relate to the issue of "can you purchase Magery post character creation?".

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More over, Banestorm reveals that Ritual Magic exists on Yrth.
Please provide a page reference. The only reference I could find is that the talent "Close to Heaven" (p.184) includes the "Ritual Magic" skill, but saying that "reveals that Ritual Magic exists on Yrth" is a stretch. The Ritual Magic skill exists in worlds without working ritual magic (Characters p.218), and Banestorm ("the appropriate worldbook") does not provide "details" on how it works.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:13 AM   #63
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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Please provide a page reference. The only reference I could find is that the talent "Close to Heaven" (p.184) includes the "Ritual Magic" skill, but saying that "reveals that Ritual Magic exists on Yrth" is a stretch. The Ritual Magic skill exists in worlds without working ritual magic (Characters p.218), and Banestorm ("the appropriate worldbook") does not provide "details" on how it works.
I disagree about it being "a stretch" and the heading under Ritual Magic says nothing about it existing in worlds without working ritual magic. What it actually states is "In worlds with working ritual magic, Ritual Magic skill is the primary skill of sorcerers. All rituals of power default to it! See the appropriate worldbook for details."
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:03 AM   #64
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

If ritual magic as an actual functional skill didn't exist than why even mentioned it is what the talent does? Also instead of "wizard" Banestorm uses "magician" in a lot of places.

Thaumatology defines "magician" as "Anyone with the Ritual Magic skill" and the term goes back to Voodoo (1995) and one of the options was for some magicians to have been transported to Yrth (pg 116).

"There are few mighty goblin wizards, but the race produces a remarkable number of hedge magicians and dabblers. "

"If people have occasional dealings with magicians or goblins, that makes life more varied, but they donít see it as truly strange."

"Wazifi magicians are much concerned over the rising animosity towards magic in al-Haz, fearing that someday they will be forbidden access to Gebíal-Din."

Why would any spell caster (Wizard) learn a skill that would be effectively useless to them?
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:09 AM   #65
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

After seeing some of the responses, I figure I'll weigh in one more time and then this beastie rest.

The primary intent wasn't to ask for rules supporting whether one could or should allow magery to be upgradable trait - but to have a good rationale for WHY it is upgradable within the scope of the story.

Having to undergo a major trial that has either a physical component or a mental component or both - that severely jeopardizes the well being of the character in a gamble to improve the existing magery trait - would be a reasonable rationale. Having it be a simple "Throw points at it and it improves" is not. Saying that one simply improves it by use - implies that Magery is a Trait. Saying that mere knowledge is what is involved in raising it from Magery 0 to Magery 1 - is NOT implied to be true with GURPS MAGIC as it is currently set up.

You can not learn a spell if you do not have the requisite magery to learn said spell. It has nothing to do with the IQ of the character, which is the attribute you turn to for determining how well a skill functions. Even the dumbest of Humans can learn Abstract Mathematics in GURPS just by being patient and training them up from their IQ 7 level to where they can perform abstract mathematics. Yet, a character without the Mageborn 1 advantage, can not even try to learn the spell that requires Magery 1 as a prerequisite.

So - Old school that I am where each level of Magery is "Inborn as a trait, separate from each other" - I wanted to at least have a rationale for allowing Magery to go from Magery 0, to Magery 1, to Magery 2 to Magery three. Something that isn't already covered by the Skill Thaumatology, something that isn't covered by Skills of any kind, nor Treat Magery as an Attribute.

So, arguing the merits of what Ritual Magic is - missed my original point with regards to GURPS MAGIC.

Sadly, Magery is a catch all for not just GURPS MAGIC, but for other forms of Magic used with the GURPS system.

Frankly, I rather LOVED the system in GURPS SPIRITS - an outgrowth of GURPS VOODOO. If I had my choice, I'd lift the ENTIRE magic system devised by CJ Carella for use within his EDEN STUDIOS books WITCHCRAFT and ARMAGEDDON. Unfortunately, GURPS does not have a way to easily describe the ability to channel "energy reserve: Magic only". But CJ Carella's magic system combines (in my opinion) the BEST of GURPS RITUAL MAGIC and GURPS MAGIC (the book).

But, at least now you can maybe understand why I asked in the first place. Too many of the responses were not based on the "World building design" but on the "Because players LOVE being able to improve".

When playing with the rules, beware the Domino effect: Change one thing, and it affects something else further down the line of dominos that get toppled.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:44 AM   #66
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
If ritual magic as an actual functional skill didn't exist than why even mentioned it is what the talent does? Also instead of "wizard" Banestorm uses "magician" in a lot of places.

Thaumatology defines "magician" as "Anyone with the Ritual Magic skill" and the term goes back to Voodoo (1995) and one of the options was for some magicians to have been transported to Yrth (pg 116).
Thank you. You are crediting me with far more semantic scrupulousness than I am actually capable of.

(Or are we talking Death of the Author here? In which case, oh well, arrgh thud.)
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:50 AM   #67
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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The primary intent wasn't to ask for rules supporting whether one could or should allow magery to be upgradable trait - but to have a good rationale for WHY it is upgradable within the scope of the story.
Okay. (1) Magery 1+ is, essentially, a Talent - a general ability to be good at a bunch of skills or skill-type things. (2) Sufficient study or practice can, arguably, make one more competent in a fairly broad category of things. (3) Therefore, practice with magic-in-general might plausibly make one better at magic-in-general, which is represented by more levels of Magery.

Alternatively, assume that Magery is a gift of the gods. If the gods wish to augment their gifts, who are mortals to argue with them?
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:08 AM   #68
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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When playing with the rules, beware the Domino effect: Change one thing, and it affects something else further down the line of dominos that get toppled.
Very true. There was a reason Draw Power got a serious revamp. In classic is made low TL mages insanely powerful and higher TL mages even more so.
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:47 AM   #69
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

My thought was including the phrase "In worlds with working ritual magic,” implied that the skill can exists in worlds without working ritual magic. Re-reading it, I concede that your reading is also valid.

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
If ritual magic as an actual functional skill didn't exist than why even mentioned it is what the talent does?
There are a couple of possibilities. In the order that I think is likely:
  1. The Talent "Close to Heaven" included Ritual Magic in case the GM decides to introduce the Ritual Magic (with Ritual Magic as the core skill), as defined in Characters (p.242) and Magic (p.200) , which is just an alternate mechanic to access and cast standard spell magic.
  2. The Talent included Ritual Magic in case it is used in other settings that has working ritual magic.
  3. The Talent included Ritual Magic in case the GM decides to introduce other types of working ritual magic. (such as those that might appear in future GURPS books, like the Path Magic in Thaumatology)
  4. The Talent included Ritual Magic to cover non-functional uses.
  5. The inclusion of Ritual Magic was not well thought out.

If your argument was that "Close to Heaven" mentioning Ritual Magic implies or suggests that there could be working ritual magic in Yrth, I would agree that that reading is valid. But, Banestorm does not use the term "Ritual Magic" anywhere else and is silent on what that ritual magic actually is, or what the mechanics might be.

I propose we agree to disagree here, since it is not really related to the topic: “can you acquire of improve Magery after character creation, and if so, what should the rational be?”
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:25 PM   #70
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Default Re: Magery as an improvable advantage?

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As an afterthought...

If one can simply spend 10 character points in game play and undergo an initiation or any other process in which one improves magery through game play...

Why would anyone ever WANT to utilize a Greater Wish to gain Magery levels?
In my games, you always need an in-game reason for why you can suddenly spend points on something.

If it's an existing skill, that's usually fine, we just assume that your character has been using the skill and learned something new about it. Same for an ability, or an attribute.

But something completely new, like a new advantage? If it's something like CR, and the character has been in combat several times, it probably makes sense. For the rest, well have to weave something into the story to have it make sense, eh?
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