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Old 04-24-2021, 09:18 AM   #31
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Leofflæd of the Tendrils, 256 BCE

Age: 22

Attributes

ST 12 [20]; DX 14 [80]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 13 [30]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 12; Will 12; Per 12; FP 13

Social Background

Languages: Third Century BCE Germanic (Native) [0]; Northern Tradetongue (Accented/No Writing) [2].

TL: 2^

Cultural Familiarity: Third Century BCE Germanic [0].

Subtotal: 172


Advantages

Legal Enforcement Powers (Trade routes and towns along them; Informal, -50%) [5]

Extra Attack (Spirits, -10%; Single Skill, Tentacles, -20%) 3 [52]
Spirit Empathy (Specialized: Celestials, -50%) [5]
Spirit Talent 1 [10]
Path/Book Adept (Space) 1 [10]
Path/Book Adept (Time, Material; Path of the Elements Only, -40%) 2 [12]

Perks

Body Discipline (Judo Art). [1]
Courtesy Religious Rank 1. [1]
Rules Exemption (Number of charms per ritual is uncapped). [1]
SOP (Tops up useful charms during downtime). [1]
Special Exercises (Extra Attack). [1]
Style Familiarity (Hexenringen). [1]

Subtotal: 100


Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Duty (Protecting travelers; 9 or less) [-5]
Enemies (Bandits; Hunter, Large disorganized group, Appears on a 9 or less) [-20]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]
Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]

Quirks

Beer snob. [-1]
Dislikes being alone. [-1]
Fond of dogs. [-1]
Likes smart men. [-1]
Responsive. [-1]

Subtotal: -50


Features

Religious Ritual is a Complementary Skill of all Paths. [0]


Skills

Area Knowledge (Germanic Trade Routes) [IQ/E] [2] 13
Boxing [DX/A] [2] 14
Diplomacy [IQ/H] [4] 12
Fast-Draw (Charm) [DX/E] [2] 15
First Aid/TL2^ [IQ/E] [2] 13
Hiking [HT/A] [3] 13
Knife [DX/E] [1] 14
Occultism [IQ/A] [2] 12
Religious Ritual (Harvest Goddess/Beer God) [IQ/H] [2] 11
Staff [DX/A] [4] 15
Stealth [DX/A] [2] 14
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 12
Theology (Germanic) [IQ/H] [1] 10

Subtotal: 29

Judo Art [DX/H] [12] 17*
Path of the Elements [DX/VH] [16] 17*
Path of Form [DX/VH] [2] 13*
Path of Health [DX/VH] [4] 14*

* Includes +1 from Spirit Talent.

Techniques

Judo (A) Judo Art-3 [3] 17

Reversion of Form (H) Path of Form-5 [6] 13
See the True Face (H) Path of Form-1 [0] 12
Succor (H) Path of Health-4 [3] 12
Tentacles of Air (H) Path of the Elements-6 [7] 17
Tentacles of Earth (H) Path of the Elements-6 [3] 13
Tentacles of Fire (H) Path of the Elements-6 [2] 12
Tentacles of Water (H) Path of the Elements-6 [4] 14

Subtotal: 62

Total: 284


Equipment

Clothes
Boots
Knife
Staff
Moneybag
Personal basics

Notes

Some of you are probably thinking this character should be Japanese, or are otherwise associating the Elemental Tentacles with a genre that is somewhat popular in Japan, but isn't safe to browse at work. That's not actually the source, though. The original version of the character was male, was going to be either a Roman named Octavius or a German named Otto, and would have specialized in Tentacles of Metal. He might also have had a rather spider-themed enemy, and might not have been heroic.

Leofflæd is built for a hypothetical 'historical with mainly Path/Book Magic' setting. Spirit Empathy replaces Magery 0 for the spiritual 'magic' of this setting, and the Magery talent is replaced by various spirit-related Talents (unspecialized Spirit Talent, as Leofflæd has, was set at 10 points per level for convenience). 'Celestials' refers to the servitor-spirits of the gods (or at least, the gods that are generally friendly towards humanity), with less of the Christian associations of calling them 'angels.'

She's technically a minor priestess, but it's a bit more accurate to think of her as a rather martial deaconess or a traveling beadle, hence the low religious skills and lack of Clerical Investment or real Religious Rank. Joining classic 'dungeon-delving' adventuring parties is sometimes within her remit, as the sort of beings that nest in caves and abandoned fortresses do often include or act like bandits, threatening the safe flow of trade and the lives and livelyhoods of traders. She might even be the one gathering the group, at the behest of concerned merchants, lords, or priests.

Her people do have writing, and she is fairly literate, but they tend to write on birch-bark and other perishable materials, leaving little evidence for later generations to find. Northern Tradetongue is a common trading language in Northern Europe at this time; it doesn't have a written form, nor the vocabulary to be learned above Accented.

Leofflæd rolls critical failures on the "Clerical" Table (p257). Those who do not have a close relationship with the gods (meaning most casters in this setting) are more likely to roll on the Spirit-Oriented Magic Table (Thaumatology p260), instead.


Thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:19 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Too much for the character limit:

Hexenringen
5 points

This is a Germanic martial/magical style using Effect Shaping Path/Book Magic; Judo Art is the core skill, and all Paths are based on DX. The priesthood of the Harvest Goddess and her husband (the God of beer, among other things) created this style to protect travelers on the roads. It is a composite style, created from several others, partly due to one member of the priesthood a century before being both athletic and very well-traveled. Stylists prefer to begin with Diplomacy, to de-escalate the conflict, and sometimes this even works; when it doesn't, they're likely to open with a Defensive Attack, and then Wait and Evaluate, if practical.

In the context of this style, Extra Attack and Compartmentalized Mind represent levels of training in multitasking (treat Extra Attack as a prerequisite for Compartmentalized Mind). I'm using the houserule that Judo is technique of Judo Art (and vice-versa).

Skills: Diplomacy; Fast-Draw (Charm); Judo Art; Staff
Techniques: Arm Lock; Breakfall; Counterattack (Judo or Staff); Disarming (Judo or Staff); Finger Lock; Head Lock; Judo; Knee Strike; Retain Weapon (Staff); Trip.
Perks: Alcohol Tolerance; Body Discipline (Judo Art); Clinch; Neck Control; No Hangovers; Rules Exemption (Number of charms per ritual is uncapped); Special Exercises (Compartmentalized Mind); Special Exercises (DR with Ablative); Special Exercises (Extra Attack).
Paths: Path of Cunning; Path of the Elements; Path of Form; Path of Health; Path of Luck; Path of Nature; Path of Protection.
Typical Rituals: Blight; Endure Elements; Obscurity; Reversion of Form; See the True Face; Slumber; Spirit Arrows; Succor; Tentacles of <Element>; Traveler's Blessing; Weapon Blessing.

Optional Traits:
Advantages: Compartmentalized Mind (No Mental Separation, -20%); Extra Attack; Spirit Empathy; Spirit Talents; Path/Book Adept.
Skills: Boxing; Broadsword (Light Club); First Aid; Hiking; Religious Ritual (Harvest Goddess/Beer God); Running; Theology (Germanic); Shortsword (Baton); Survival.
Techniques: Any other rituals for the listed Paths.


Blight
Effect Shaping: Path of Health-5; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
This ritual causes nausea and dizziness (see Nauseated, Basic Set p428), and does 1d-1 tox damage if the target fails to resist, or 2d-2 if the target critically fails their resistance roll; the margin of failure adds to damage in the latter case. It is resisted by the lower of Will+Magery or HT+Magery (or an equivalent, such as a Spirit Talent in this setting); a critical success on the resistance roll means that the ritual has no effect beyond warning the target that someone tried to attack them with magic (or the nearest equivalent in the target's belief system, if any: psi powers, alien technology, hypnosis, et cetra).


Spirit Arrow
Effect Shaping: Path of Spirit-4 or Path of Health-6; 20 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
The caster summons a spirit to attack the target, or binds a spirit to an arrow-shaped charm and later designates a target by pointing the arrow. When activated, the target makes a Will roll: the target takes no damage or stun on a critical success, 1d-1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 1d+1 HP & physical stun on a normal failure, and 2d-2 HP & unconscious on a critical failure. The HP damage type varies by the type of spirit: spirits of Poison (used by Path of Health) do tox on living targets, and cor on unliving targets (if the spirit will attack them at all); spirits of Exhaustion or Sleep (which may also be summoned by the Path of Health) do only FP damage (1d+1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 2d-2 FP & unconscious on a normal failure, and 2d+2 FP & unconscious on a critical failure). Most other spirits will do cr damage, although spirits of Fire or Ice will each do types of burn damage, and it is not unusual for spirits of Hunting or War to do cut or imp damage. Regular DR offers no protection, nor do normal dodges, parries or blocks (it's only metaphorically an arrow; really, it's a Malediction: the spirit is attacking 'you,' not 'whatever is in the space that you happen to be occupying'), though items that defend against magic or spirits do.


Traveler's Blessing
Effect Shaping: Path of Luck-4; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This ritual works much like Journeyman's Blessing, but is focused on travel - on having a safe & swift journey (the two are tied together a fair bit, as many things that are dangerous on the road or at sea will also delay travelers, and vice versa). The ritual produces a charm that the traveler must carry with them on the journey. The effect lasts for one journey, though if the journey is already planned to be a round trip, it will normally last until you get home.


Tentacles of <Element>
Effect Shaping: Path of the Elements-5 or Path of <specific Element>-4; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This magic shapes 1d-2 tentacles (minimum 1) from any available material of that element (generally meaning material that is in the environment or that the user is touching or carrying, but not material that someone else is touching or carrying when the ritual is activated). You may use these tentacles as extra limbs with which to attack, bind, defend, carry items, or anything else you might use tentacles for. When attacking, the tentacles normally do cr damage, apart from Tentacles of Fire, which do both burn and cr. Casters may make a number of optional modifications to the rituals: accepting a worse penalty or higher energy cost lets you increase the number of tentacles (each -1 to skill or +2 to energy cost allows one more tentacle), change the damage type, or add damage modifiers (fire always does burn damage, but may also do other types), e.g. Cutting Earth Tentacles, Ice (Freezing Water) Tentacles, Impaling Fire Tentacles, Suffocating Air Tentacles, et cetra. To determine the altered cost, work out the final percentage bonus or penalty from modifiers, and apply it to the energy cost or skill penalty.

The DX and ST of each tentacle will be equal to those of the user, plus one-third (round down) of the margin of success; damage dice are based on that ST's swing or thrust. The HP & DR of each tentacle will be equal to the base material, or the full margin of success, whichever is higher.

The various 'Tentacles of <Element>' rituals (techniques) are similar enough to count as a single skill for the purposes of the Single Skill limitation on Extra Attack, though the rituals of Path of the Elements in general are not ('Single Skill, Path of the Elements,' is not nearly limiting enough for -20%).


Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 04-24-2021 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-08-2022, 10:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

This is probably one of the weirder specialist mages I've done, though the setting might be more interesting:

Sally the miller's daughter, 1011 CE

Age: 9

Attributes

ST 8 [-20]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 11 [20]; HT 10 [0]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 8; Will 11; Per 11; FP 10; SM-1; ER (Magic) 10

Thrust: 1d-3; Swing: 1d-2

Basic Speed: 5; Move: 5; Dodge: 8

Social Background

Languages: Old English (Native/Broken) [-2]; Twentieth-century English (Accented) [4].

TL: 3^

Cultural Familiarity: Eleventh-century Germanic [0]; Twentieth-century Western [1].

Subtotal: 3


Advantages

Charisma 3 [15]
Pitiable [5]

Magery 0 [5]
Magery (Two Colleges Only: Healing & Necromancy, -30%) 2 [14]
Magery (One College Only: Necromancy, -40%) 3 [18]
Reawakened [10]
Recover Energy [5]

Perks

Alcohol Tolerance. [1]
Corpse Smart. [1]
Good with Churchfolk. [1]
No Hangovers. [1]
Soothing Touch. [1]

Subtotal: 77


Disadvantages

Duty (to parents, Nonhazardous, 12 or less) [-5]
Social Stigma (Minor & Valueable Property) [-15]
Watcher (Parents; 15 or less; less powerful) [-4]
Watcher (Village cunning-man; 9 or less; as powerful) [-3]
Wealth (Poor) [-15]

Quirks

Avoids her siblings. [-1]
Distractible. [-1]
Has 'tea parties' with her dolls (even though tea is unknown in this part of the world). [-1]
Likes cats. [-1]
Mild Curiousity. [-1]

Subtotal: -47


Features


Skills

Area Knowledge (Village Surroundings) [IQ/E] [1] 11
Faerie Lore [IQ/A] [1] 10
Hiking [HT/A] [1] 9
Housekeeping [IQ/E] [1] 11
Naturalist [IQ/H] [1] 9
Professional Skill (Dollmaker)/TL3 [IQ/A] [2] 11
Professional Skill (Miller)/TL3 [IQ/A] [1] 10
Religious Ritual (Anglo-Saxon Christian) [IQ/H] [2] 10
Running [HT/A] [2] 10
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [2] 11
Theology (Anglo-Saxon Christian) [IQ/H] [1] 9

Lend Energy [IQ/H] [1] 11*
Lend Vitality [IQ/H] [1] 11*
Minor Healing [IQ/H] [1] 11*

Death Vision [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Sense Spirit [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Summon Spirit [IQ/H] [1] 14**
Animation [IQ/VH] [24] 20**

*Includes +2 from Magery (Life & Death Aspected).
**Includes +5 from both Magery (Life & Death Aspected) and Magery (Death Aspected).

Techniques

Subtotal: 45

Total: 78


Equipment

Clothes
Dolls
Knife
Sewing kit
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Old 04-08-2022, 10:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Notes

When people hear the phrase 'powerful Necromancer,' the image in their heads is generally not a cute little girl playing with homemade dolls, even if the dolls move on their own. Her Reawakened memories (mostly manifesting in the form of dreams) appear to come from some sort of alternate GURPS Technomancer setting. It's possible that this is all happening because the fae think it's funny.

While a little girl with a knife seems odd to modern eyes, things worked differently a thousand years ago. A knife is a standard tool that everyone has unless they're too poor to afford it (in which case they might steal one), or rather younger than Sally is. Her equipment list lacks shoes because those were fairly expensive, especially for a small child who might rapidly outgrow them; in winter, she would be likely to use simple footwrappings, and might fashion disposable shoe-like or snowshoe-like items from bark or basketwork (part of Housekeeping and Survival). Her Wealth, or lack thereof, is likewise because she is a child; her father, as the village miller, is rather better off; she'd have him as a Patron if he weren't less powerful than she is.

An older Sally might be a cunning woman, midwife, or a nun or other church figure.

Children with Alcohol Tolerance or No Hangovers are not too uncommon (there is no drinking age, and practically everyone drinks at least small beer), though they're not extremely common, either (the water isn't as bad as you might think, and fruit juices and such are sometimes available). 'Good with Churchfolk' applies to priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and others who make their living or do significant volunteer work for the church (rather important for medieval cunning-folk). Soothing Touch is a Psychic Healing perk from GURPS Psionic Powers p48, here powered by magic instead of psi, but working the same.

I use 'Eleventh-century Germanic' for England before the Norman conquest because the people were to the best of my knowledge culturally closest to the Northern Germans and the Scandinavians (mostly Scandinavians), and 'Eleventh-century Anglo-German-Scandinavian' seems a bit clumsy. I considered using 'Eleventh-century Christendom,' but that would be much too broad in this era. One important religious and cultural difference for England specifically is that the business of government and the church (including prayer and religious instruction) is done in Old English there, not Latin. This seems not to have been the only difference between Anglo-Saxon church practices and what the Pope wanted, though I'm unclear on the details.

'Recover Energy' as an advantage is suggested in this post, with the first level being 5 points and being equivalent to the Recover Energy spell at skill 15, and the second level being 10 points and being equivalent to the spell at skill 20. The Energy Reserve in these settings is derived from the lower of Will and HT, oddly enough, and seems to be based on drunkeness - spending points of ER is like drinking beer or wine, resulting in penalties to DX & IQ (but not Will or Per) when ER gets too low - at 1/2 ER, the caster takes a penalty of -1 to both IQ and DX, and may appear a bit tipsy; at 1/3 ER, the penalty is -3, and any failed roll on either (or skills based on same) will have you seem drunk to observers; when ER is reduced to 0, the penalty is -5, it is no-longer possible to fake sobriety without a very good Acting roll, and you must roll Will or HT to avoid losing consciousness.

Both this worldline and the one that Sally's 'magic dreams' come from use the Spell Defaults rule (GURPS Magic p202), with some modifications: Spells in a style or large substyle default to each other as defined for colleges on that page, and the colleges from Magic are the default, absolutely-no-frills set of interconnected magical styles (or you might call them one huge style with a lot of substyles) available in most places on the worldline which Sally's memories come from - though some specific spells within those colleges are unknown, secret, or legally quite restricted. Also, if you are a mage, the spells which have no other spells as prerequisites will generally default to (IQ+Magery)-6, unless you already know a spell or spells in a style which includes that spell; if you're not a mage, spells only default to other spells in the same style. Unknown or secret spells normally have no default, as you haven't been told that they are possible or been taught anything about them; at best, you can make a Thaumatology or IQ+Magery roll with a penalty set by the GM to theorize about the spell, and if successful, get the default from there.

Celtic Tree Magic (GURPS Thaumatology pp42-47) is a relatively no-frills set of interconnected magical styles native to this worldline, common in Celtic Europe, though it is belived that the Druids used a more advantageous version of the style (the Consonant Tree spells and Vowel Tree spells are known, the Mixed Tree spells are not, and the Druids had a number of perks and other secrets which they did not share with non-Druids). Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, has a few rune-based interconnected styles (each rune is roughly like a college, but Futhark and Futhorc are subtly different sets of styles). The Jewish Diasopra and some Christian communities also have interconnected styles based on early Jewish mysticism. Narrower, less interconnected styles are more numerous, including the surviving styles of some Greek and Roman mystery cults (now mostly named for saints and angels), and various minor styles associated with the teaching lines of individual village cunning-folk. The British Isles have a broad mix of the Celtic and Germanic styles, and those teaching lineages and other narrow styles (including some of the Christianized mystery cults). The Village cunning man follows a teaching lineage with a few Animal, Plant, Food, Weather, and Healing spells, mostly fairly low-level ones - though he does get to Cure Disease and related spells easier than the Healing College (instead of Major Healing, the prerequisites are Minor Healing and Relieve Sickness).

Enchantment works somewhat differently from the standard system in these worldlines: Slow And Sure Enchantment, while still done ceremonially, isn't 'one point per mage-day,' instead being 'eight points per mage-day' and 'one point per non-mage per day.' It is thus significantly faster, while still being slower and safer than the Quick-and-Dirty version. Some spells in the Enchantment College/substyle have altered prerequisites or other modifications: The Enchant spell's prerequisites are Magery 2 and Temporary Enchantment. The prerequisites for Temporary Enchantment are Scroll and one spell each from nine colleges other than Enchantment. Scroll itself has its usual prerequisites, but scrolls are enchanted at one point per hour, rather than one point per day, and the FP cost can be added to the scroll if the caster is willing to take the extra time. The prerequisite for Manastone is Temporary Enchantment, and the prerequisites for Powerstone are Manastone and Enchant. Finally, the prerequisite for Spell Stone is just Temporary Enchantment.

Critical failures on both worldlines are rolled on the Comedy Table from GURPS Thaumatology p257 (despite not otherwise being Comedy Parallels), save that the small beings that appear on a twelve are usually pixies or gremlins, and the being that appears on an eighteen will be a faerie of equal or greater power to the caster. Ordinary failures are sometimes accompanied by tinkling laughter from no visible source.


What do you think?
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Old 04-09-2022, 06:56 AM   #35
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Defiantly not the normal necromancer.
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Old 04-09-2022, 07:10 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Eh, I've been using specialization for mages since well before GURPS was first published. To wit, all the wizardly orders specialize in three or four colleges of magic, and all wizards belonging to them are required to have at least 50% of their spells within those colleges. It works perfectly well.
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Old 01-10-2023, 08:30 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Another specialist, this one a dedicated healer from late pre-Roman Gaul:

Ariosmert the Healer, 87 BCE

Age: 31

Attributes

ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 10 [0]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 13; Per 13; FP 16 [18]

Thrust: 1d-2; Swing: 1d

Knife Parry: 8
Staff Parry: 8

Basic Speed: 5.25; Move: 5; Dodge: 8

Social Background

Languages: First century BCE Gaulish (Native) [0].

TL: 2^

Cultural Familiarity: First century BCE Gaulish. [0]

Subtotal: 98


Advantages

Magery 0 [5]
Magery (Aspected: Healing, -40%) 2 [12]
Recover Energy 2 [10]
Sensitive [5]
Wealth (Comfortable) [10]

Healer Talent +1 [10]

Perks

Cheaper Medical Ingrediants (-40%). [1]
Dirty Fighting. [1]
No Hangovers. [1]
Special Exercises (FP can exceed HP by 100%). [1]

Subtotal: 56


Disadvantages

Bad Temper (15) [-5]
Charitable (15) [-7]
Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Guilt Complex [-5]
Misspent Youth [-5]
Overconfident (12) [-5]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]
Sense of Duty (Patients) [-5]

Quirks

Likes cats. [-1]
Loves to read. [-1]
Nervous about large fires. [-1]
Proud. [-1]

Subtotal: -51


Features

Fortune-Telling (Celtic Astrology) and Occultism are complementary skills of Symbol Drawing (Ogham) and the symbols thereof. Esoteric Medicine (folk remedies), Pharmacy (Herbal)/TL2^, and Poisons/TL2^ are also complementary skills of Symbol Drawing (Ogham) and the symbols thereof, but only when it is used for healing or poisoning. [0]


Skills

Area Knowledge (Ley lines in Gaul) [IQ/E] [1] 13
Brawling [DX/E] [1] 11
Diagnosis/TL2^ [IQ/H] [4] 14*
Esoteric Medicine (folk remedies) [Per/H] [4] 14*
First Aid/TL2^ [IQ/E] [2] 15*
Fortune-Telling (Celtic Astrology) [IQ/A] [2] 13
History (Gaulish) [IQ/H] [2] 12
Knife [DX/E] [1] 11
Literature [IQ/H] [4] 13
Natural Philosophy/TL2^ [IQ/H] [2] 12
Naturalist [IQ/H] [4] 13
Occultism [IQ/A] [2] 13
Pharmacy (Herbal)/TL2^ [IQ/H] [8] 15*
Physiology [IQ/H] [2] 13*
Poisons/TL2^ [IQ/H] [2] 12
Research/TL2^ [IQ/A] [1] 12
Staff [DX/A] [2] 11
Surgery [IQ/VH] [4] 13*
Veterinary/TL2^ [IQ/H] [4] 14*

Symbol Drawing (Ogham) [IQ/H] [8] 14/16
-Uath (Body/Cleanliness) [IQ/A] [2] 13
-Coll (Sense/Knowledge) [IQ/A] [2] 13
-Ruis (Healing) [IQ/A] [4] 14/16
-Onn (Amplify/Animal) [IQ/H] [8] 14/16
-Idho (Spirit) [IQ/H] [2] 12

*Includes +1 from Healer Talent.

Subtotal: 77

Total: 180


Equipment

Boots
Clothes
Knife
Pouch
Staff
Symbol tokens
-Uath
-Coll
-Ruis
-Onn
-Idho

Notes

Ariosmert is built for a 'historical fantasy with Symbol Drawing magic' setting. His name is a combination of two Gaulish name-elements: arios, meaning 'noble,' and smert, meaning 'purveyor' or 'carer.' He was partly made using the Physician template from GURPS Historical Folks p87 (and the 4e conversion hosted at RPK's MyGURPS.com, p36).

As a youth, he was a rather worse person (Bad Temper (9), lacking Guilt Complex, Charitable, and Pacifism, and with somewhat different CoH and SoD, and a few Enemies), with higher combat skills, and a nasty Reputation. He has changed a lot since then. 'Misspent Youth' is a catch-all disad covering the rare instances of his past catching up with him. That might be an old enemy, a favor he owes, a disreputable 'friend' who is more trouble than they're worth, or just people being reminded of his old reputation at the wrong moment.

His style of Symbol Drawing uses the Ogham Alphabet table from Thaumatology p171. His main healing spell uses Onn in the reading of Amplify, and Ruis in the reading of Healing (the terms in parentheses by the Symbol skills are the readings he most frequently uses for that symbol, not all the readings he can use). Magery with 'Aspected: Healing' (for purposes of Symbol Drawing magic) gives its bonus based on what effect you're using, not just to specific skills, hence the split levels on some skills. Esoteric Medicine (folk remedies), in the absense of a cultural identifier, should be assumed to be one's native culture, as it is in this case.

Ariosmert rolls critical failures on the "Celtic" Table, Thaumatology p256.

'Recover Energy' as an advantage is suggested in this post, with the first level being 5 points and being equivalent to the Recover Energy spell at skill 15, and the second level being 10 points and being equivalent to the spell at skill 20.


Thoughts?
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Old 07-31-2023, 09:57 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

A couple of spirit-magic specialists (who aren't a couple... yet):

Arnulph le Tempestaire, 987 CE

Age: 36

Attributes

ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 13; Per 13; FP 14 [9]

Thrust: 1d-2; Swing: 1d

Staff Parry: 8

Basic Speed: 5.25; Move: 5; Dodge: 8

Social Background

Languages: Old Occitan (Native) [0]; Latin (Broken) [2].

TL: 3

Cultural Familiarity: 10th century Western Europe [0].

Subtotal: 81


Advantages

Appearance (Attractive) [4]
Contact Group (Local Elementals; skill-15; Supernatural Abilities; 12 or less; Somewhat Reliable) [30]
Path/Book Adept (Space, Time; Weather magic only, -40%) 2 [12]
Path/Book Adept (Material; Environmental (open to the sky), -20%; Weather magic only, -40%) 1 [4]
Empathy [15]
Spirit Empathy (Specialized: Elementals, -50%) [5]

Cunning Folk Talent 1 [10]

Perks

Autotrance. [1]
Forecast. [1]
Spiritual Awareness. [1]
Static Control. [1]
Ignition. [1]

Subtotal: 85


Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Shaman's) [-5]
Curious (12) [-5]
Enemy (Marie; Rival; built on 100% of points; 9 or less) [-5]
Obsession (12) (Defending humanity against evil spirits & spirit-workers) [-10]
Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]
Stubbornness [-5]
Truthfulness (12) [-5]
Vow (Always help a Storm Elemental who asks for aid) [-10]

Quirks

Careful about his drinking. [-1]
Fond of crows & ravens. [-1]
Mild Claustrophobia. [-1]
Minor OHP (Enigmatic). [-1]
Suspicious of necromancers. [-1]

Subtotal: -55


Features

Fortune-Telling (Augury) is a complementary skill of Book of the Tempest, especially when using the Augury ritual. [0]


Skills

Animal Handling (Corvidae) [IQ/A] [2] 14*
Area Knowledge (Comtat de Tolosa) [IQ/E] [1] 13
Brawling [DX/E] [2] 11
Diplomacy [IQ/H] [1] 11
Fast-Draw (Charm) [DX/E] [2] 11
First Aid/TL3^ [IQ/E] [1] 13
Fortune-Telling (Augury) [IQ/A] [2] 14*
Herb Lore/TL3^ [IQ/VH] [4] 13*
Knife [DX/E] [2] 11
Literature (Oral: Old Occitan) [IQ/H] [2] 12
Naturalist [IQ/H] [1] 12*
Occultism [IQ/A] [4] 15*
Poisons/TL3^ [IQ/H] [4] 14*
Public Speaking [IQ/A] [2] 13
Religious Ritual (Western Christianity) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Savoir-Faire (Servant) [IQ/E] [1] 13
Spirit Lore [IQ/A] [4] 14
Staff [DX/A] [4] 11
Theology (Western Christianity) [IQ/H] [2] 12
Throwing [DX/A] [4] 11
Veterinary/TL3^ [IQ/H] [4] 14*
Weather Sense/TL3 [IQ/A] [4] 15*

Book of the Tempest [IQ/VH] [12] 14

*Includes +1 from Cunning Folk Talent.

Subtotal: 66

Techniques

Predict Weather (H) Book of the Tempest-0 [0] 14
Summon Storm Elemental (H) Book of the Tempest-0 [0] 14
Calm the Winds (H) Book of the Tempest-0 [0] 14
Inexorable Breeze (H) Book of the Tempest-1 [0] 13
Mist (H) Book of the Tempest-2 [0] 12
Augury (H) Book of the Tempest-3 [2] 12
Bind Elementals (H) Book of the Tempest-3 [4] 14
Command the Waves (H) Book of the Tempest-4 [0] 10
Weatherworking (H) Book of the Tempest-5 [6] 14
Thunderbolt (H) Book of the Tempest-6 [5] 12
Cloud's-Eye View (H) Book of the Tempest-6 [6] 13
Ride the Winds (H) Book of the Tempest-8 [0] 6

Subtotal: 23

Total: 200


Equipment

Clothes
Boots
Knife

Notes

'Western Christianity' is used for Religious Ritual and Theology instead of 'Catholic' due to this being several decades before the East-West Schism.

Arnulph was built partly using the Shaman template from GURPS Historical Folks p101 (and the 4e conversion hosted at RPK's MyGURPS.com, p42), as well as taking inspiration from the Scholar template (p41 in the 4e conversion), and the (much more expensive) Shaman template from GURPS DF9: Summoners, pp16-19. His home/usual adventuring area is within the Comtat de Tolosa, currently under Count William III Taillefer, in about the nineth year of his reign.

Arnulph is one of the Tempestarii from a 'historical fantasy with Path/Book Spirit Magic' sort of setting (like most spirit-workers in this setting, he uses Effect Shaping magic). Spirit Empathy (or alternatively, Medium or Channeling) replaces Magery 0 for the spiritual 'magic' of this setting, and the Magery talent is replaced by various spirit-related Talents. The tempestarii use a single-Book style, so the core skill is also the Book skill (Book of the Tempest). Storm Elementals (aka Weather Elementals, Cloud Spirits, and other names depending on culture), the spirits that the tempestarii work with almost exclusively, are related to Air Elementals, Water Elementals, Sky Spirits, and so on. While many are spirits of weather in general, others are more specialized: Rainstorms, Windstorms, Thunder, Lightning Elementals (ball lightning), et cetra. Some dust devils in this setting are the natural phenomenon, others a manifestation of a minor spirit that is both a type of Air elemental and a type of Storm elemental; a few (very few) appear to be lesser demons (and thus are not covered by his Vow).

Herb Lore replaces Pharmacy (Herbal) in the Cunning Folk Talent.

'Spiritual Awareness' is the Astral Awareness perk from GURPS Psionic Powers p29, but sensing things that would interfere with spirit magic instead of Astral Projection. 'Forecast' is likewise an ESP perk from Psionic Powers p42. 'Static Control' and 'Ignition' are also from Psionic Powers, pp35 and 56 respectively; fluffwise, they are a single, permanent gift from a lightning spirit, with Ignition using an electrical spark to start fires, rather than just directly heating up a spot.

In regard to his Vow, note that 'help' does not automatically mean 'do exactly what the spirit asks for' (especially as not all Elementals can communicate what they want all that clearly), and may include 'help the spirit to understand why humans need to do certain things.'

Arnulph rolls critical failures on the Spirit-Oriented Magic Table (Thaumatology p260), as do most other casters in this setting. Those who have a closer relationship with their god or gods will sometimes roll on the "Clerical" Table (p257), instead.

The actual penalty for Summon Storm Elemental depends on the power of the spirit being summoned, as usual; only fairly weak storm elementals like dust devils can be called at no penalty. The Augury ritual is basically Vision of Luck using weather divination, and thus the ritual must be performed (or the charm activated) outside or at a clear or open window, where the weather can be observed. Questions relating to the weather, directly or indirectly, will tend to be easier and get more detailed results.

Cloud's-Eye View is a weather-based scrying ritual (crunchwise, see Scry, Thaumatology p152): If you can see a cloud, you can see what that cloud 'sees.' It's not much use in heavy rain, sleet, or snow, nor is it much use for relatively small things like a single person or horse unless the cloud is low to the ground. It's great for seeing in fog, but you can only concentrate on so much at once.


Ride the Winds
Effect Shaping: Path of the Elements-9 or Book of the Tempest-8; 20 minutes
Energy Accumulating: 12 points

The subject can fly in about the direction and speed of the wind (which is not too horrible a limitation for one who has Inexorable Breeze or Weatherworking prepared, or a friendly Storm Elemental helping out); flight at an angle to the wind's direction is possible, at -1 to skill for each 5 degrees of angle. Changes in altitude are done by angling one's flight 'up' or 'down,' or by finding an updraft or downdraft and using that. Moving slower than the wind may be done at -1 to skill per -2 to Move, making landings somewhat less difficult.

If becalmed, you may still fly at Move 1 by blowing hard (tiring enough to cost 1 FP per minute), with the 'wind direction' being the the opposite of the direction you are exhaling in; you may also choose to fall at Move 1 regardless of whether you are blowing or not (treat 'down' as the wind direction for purposes of changing your angle of flight), again subject to the effects of updrafts and downdrafts.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 07-31-2023, 10:01 PM   #39
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Specialist Magic-Users

Marie la Nécromancienne, 987 CE

Age: 29

Attributes

ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 12 [20]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 12; Per 13 [5]; FP 11

Thrust: 1d-2; Swing: 1d

Knife Parry: 8
Broom Parry: 8

Basic Speed: 5.25; Move: 5; Dodge: 8

Social Background

Languages: Old Occitan (Native) [0]; Old French (Native); [2] Frankish (Native/Broken) [3]; Latin (Accented/Broken) [3]; Gaulish (Accented/None) [2].

TL: 3

Cultural Familiarity: 10th century Western Europe [0].

Subtotal: 75


Advantages

Ally (ghost-wolf; built on 105% of points; appears on 15 or less) 1 [17]
^Ally Group (Alternate Ability of Allies; pack of ghost-wolves; built on 105% of points; appears on 6 or less) 9 [3]
Appearance (Attractive) [4]
Charisma +1 [5]
Contact Group (Local Ghosts; skill-15; Supernatural Abilities; 12 or less; Somewhat Reliable) [30]
Medium (Specialized: Ghosts, -50%) [5]
Night Vision 5 [5]
Path/Book Adept (Time; Death magic only, -40%) 1 [6]
Path/Book Adept (Material, Space; Death magic only, -40%; Environmental: places of death, -20%) 2 [8]
Sensitive [5]

Thanatologist Talent 1 [5]

Perks

Chill Factor. [1]
Dabbler (Current Affairs/TL3^: Headline News 9, People 9, Politics 9, Regional (Tolosa) 10, Spiritual 11). [1]
Good with Churchfolk. [1]
Licensed Exorcist. [1]
Postmortem. [1]
Simple Defense. [1]

Subtotal: 99


Disadvantages

Curious (12) [-5]
Enemy (Arnulph; Rival; built on 100% of points; 9 or less) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Village) [-5]
Stubbornness [-5]
Vow (Always help a ghost who asks for aid) [-10]
Wealth (Struggling) [-10]

Quirks

Crosses herself when nervous or annoyed. [-1]
Distrustful of horses. [-1]
Likes dogs. [-1]
Macabre sense of humour. [-1]
Nocturnal. [-1]

Subtotal: -45


Features


Skills

Area Knowledge (Comtat de Tolosa) [IQ/E] [1] 12
Body Language [Per/A] [2] 13
Book of Necromancy [IQ/VH] [8] 13*
Detect Lies [Per/H] [2] 12
Expert Skill (Thanatology) [IQ/H] [4] 13*
Fast-Draw (Charm) [DX/E] [2] 11
Fast-Talk [IQ/A] [2] 12
Herb Lore/TL3^ [IQ/VH] [2] 10
Hidden Lore (Ghosts) [IQ/A] [2] 12
Hidden Lore (Undead) [IQ/A] [1] 11
Knife [DX/E] [1] 10
Meditation [Will/H] [1] 10
Occultism [IQ/A] [2] 13*
Public Speaking [IQ/A] [1] 11
Professional Skill (Mortician)/TL3 [IQ/A] [2] 13*
Religious Ritual (Western Christianity) [IQ/H] [1] 11*
Singing [HT/E] [1] 11
Staff (Broom) [DX/A] [4] 11
Stealth [DX/A] [4] 11
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [1] 12
Theology (Western Christianity) [IQ/H] [4] 13*

*Includes +1 from Thanatologist Talent.

Subtotal: 48

Techniques

Lay to Rest (H) Book of Necromancy [0] 13
Summon Ghost (H) Book of Necromancy [0] 13
Bind Ghost (H) Book of Necromancy-1 [0] 12
Exorcise (H) Book of Necromancy-2 [3] 13
Cold Spot (H) Book of Necromancy-3 [3] 12
Empower (H) Book of Necromancy-3 [0] 10
Bind Undead (H) Book of Necromancy-4 [2] 11
Locate Undead (H) Book of Necromancy-4 [3] 12
Ward (H) Book of Necromancy-5 [6] 13
Ghost Sling (H) Book of Necromancy-6 [6] 12

Subtotal: 23

Total: 200


Equipment

Clothes
Boots
Hooded cloak
Knife
Moneybag
Ritual ingredients
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 07-31-2023, 10:02 PM   #40
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Notes

Marie was built using the Diviner template from GURPS Historical Folks p44 (and the 4e conversion hosted at RPK's MyGURPS.com, p19), and elements of the Necromancers template from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 14: Summoners pp12-15 (particularly the psychopomp, exorcist, and medium lenses on p14).

'Western Christianity' is used for Religious Ritual and Theology instead of 'Catholic' due to this being several decades before the East-West Schism. Old Occitan and Old French are closely-enough related that I think two points is enough for someone with Native comprehension of one to have equal comprehension of the other. Frankish is likewise closely related, but has a rather different alphabet (which she generally doesn't use with ghosts), hence her poor understanding of its written form.

Her ghost wolves were a pack that became trapped in a large hollow during a flood, and drowned. When a watermill was built over the site of their deaths, they haunted the place, becoming very inconvenient for the miller. Marie gained their loyalty (and got them out of the mill) by summoning a horde of ghost rabbits for them to chase; one of the wolves, whom she calls Louis, likes her more than the rest do, and thus is available much more often (the full pack is an Alternate Ability because if the rest are available, Louis will be there as well, and the only difference between Louis and the others is Frequency of Appearance). The ghost-wolves' template is based on the wolves from Pizard's Canids in GURPS page, and the Phantasm from GURPS Horror (pp79 & 78), plus 'Terror (howling; Only at night, -20%; Spiritual, -10%) [21]' and 'Gestalt Familiarity [1],' and all abilities with the 'Magical, -10%' limitation replaced by 'Spiritual, -10%' (their IQs are those of typical wolves, rather than typical Apparitions, which did alter the templates a little). According to Designer’s Notes: A Familiar Path on the Ravens N' Pennies blog, a character built on 105% of your points should cost 5.5 points as an Ally. Mostly, the ghost-wolves are used against hostile spirits, not mortals, but if needed, their terrifying howls will see most folk off fairly quickly. Note also that their Gestalt Familiarity affects all their Spiritual abilities.

'Postmortem' is a Psychic Healing perk from GURPS Psionic Powers p48, here representing a spiritual rather than psychic ability. 'Simple Defense' from Psionic Powers p24, and 'Chill Factor' from Psionic Powers p56 are likewise adapted. 'Good with Churchfolk' applies to priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and others who make their living or do significant volunteer work for the church (rather important for medieval cunning-folk, especially necromancers).

In regard to her Vow, note that 'help' does not automatically mean 'do exactly what the ghost asks for.' In some cases, it may mean helping them to move on, even if they don't want to (though she is reluctant to force a spirit to 'go beyond' who isn't ready).

'Hidden Lore (Ghosts)' is a specific variant of Hidden Lore (Spirits), appropriate for a Necromancer; 'Hidden Lore (Undead)' deals with knowledge of corporeal undead, which she also needs to be aware of, but is less focused on. Using a broom with the Staff skill is something that I've done with other characters, but not one that I've played, as yet. It seems to fit most brooms better than Spear, Two-Handed Axe/Mace, or Polearm.

The Book of Necromancy is based on and capped by Occultism. This Book should not be confused with the Scrolls of Undeath or the Tome of the Necromancer (which are each more concerned with corporeal undead than with the incorporeal), nor with the Book of the Names of the Dead (which is more dangerous to the user than any of the other three). Skill with the the Scrolls of Undeath and Tome of the Necromancer are both aided by Thanatologist Talent, but the Book of the Names of the Dead is not. Like a lot of other spirit magics in this setting, this style uses Effect Shaping. 'Environmental: places of death' covers graveyards, battlefields, gallows, abattoirs, and locations where at least one human has died in the past year, or an animal within the past (species IQ+2) months, or where a dead body was left for a long period.

Marie rolls critical failures on the Spirit-Oriented Magic Table (Thaumatology p260), as do most other casters in this setting. Those who have a closer relationship with their god or gods will sometimes roll on the "Clerical" Table (p257), instead.

The actual penalty for Summon Ghost depends on the power of the spirit being summoned, as usual; only fairly weak ghosts like apparitions can be called at no penalty. This is in many ways the core of the style, since Necromancy is the divination by the dead, and summoning ghosts to gain information is a large part of the point (especially when and where her Contact Group is unavailable). Bind Ghost is the usual ritual, just somewhat specialized, and named to distinguish it from Bind Undead, below.


Cold Spot
Effect Shaping: Path of Necromancy-3; 10 minutes; gives levels of effectiveness equal to margin of success (minimum 1).
Energy Accumulating: 4 points, +1 per level of effectiveness.

A common ability of ghosts, this ritual allows you to lower the temperature in an area by about 10° per level of effectiveness, over a period of a few heartbeats (1d+5 seconds). Note that if you want to lower the temperature of a living being quickly enough to cause immediate damage, you're better off summoning a ghost and asking for a specific service, as this ritual is neither that fast nor that precise.


Bind Undead
Effect Shaping: Book of Necromancy-4; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 6 points.

This ritual is based on and functions basically like Bind (Thaumatology p160), but is specialized against corporeal undead, whether they move the corpse via the Embody ritual, Possession, or something else; non-free-willed undead are rarely able to resist. While technically, this can be used against other types of Embodied spirit, the less like a corpse the body is, the greater the penalty. The more the caster knows about the type of undead, or the specific individual undead, the easier this ritual is. Frequently, this is used to force a moving corpse to hold still for an exorcism or destruction, or to 'return to your grave.'


Locate Undead
Effect Shaping: Path of Necromancy-4; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 7 points.

This is a specialized form of Locate (Thaumatology p151), and functions similarly; the caster can find corporeal undead in a defined area - either undead in general or of a specific type (chosen when the ritual is performed). This includes determining if someone or something the caster is looking at or has seen in the past few minutes is undead (in which case the target counts as a symbolic representation of itself), though multiple castings (or a different ritual, not found in this Book) might be needed to determine which type. Note that just being buried would not count as being 'hidden' for purposes of this ritual, unless the grave is Warded or otherwise protected magically.


Ghost Sling
Effect Shaping: Path of Necromancy-6; 5 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.

Ghost Sling is basically the psychokinetic ability 'TK Bullet' (Psionic Powers pp53-54) as a spirit magic ritual: a small object like a pebble, sling bullet, or bit of ice is flung into the target at great speed by spiritual force. The ritual (usually applied via charm or other conditional effects) grants dice of damage equal to margin of success/2 (minimum 1d). The projectile must not be iron, nor iron ore, and indeed has an additional -2 penalty if metallic at all. Damage type is normally going to be piercing, though a stone too large for pi++ (but light enough for the caster to throw one-handed) would also probably be so heavy that it would travel slowly enough for the damage to be crushing (cutting or impaling is possible, but it should be rare; keeping the thinnest edge forward applies an additional penalty of -1, and keeping the point forward requires an additional -3).


Thoughts?
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Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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