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Old 03-24-2021, 03:18 PM   #1
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

I am working on a slight variant of the Ritual Magic system found on Page. 242) of the Basic Set. In this Variant I would like to set it up so that Casters need to choose between several Magical Traditions each with it's own limited list of spell Collages. For instance Animism would mostly have Animal, Plant, Body Control, & Healing, while Glamor would mostly have Communication Empathy, Illusion & Creations, Mind Control, & Movement, ect.

In a sense they are like soft "Classes" for spellcasters (in a theory a Mage could have multiple Traditions but doing this would be quite point intensive).

The Traditions are Currently
Animism: "Druidic" Magic
Elementalism: Your typical Pew-Pew Elemental Wizard type Magic.
Glamour: Your Enchantment/Illusionist or Mesmer style magic.
Mysticism: "Spirit" Magic, more for Cleric's and Necromancers. (Though I may split the two more for Balance than ought else)

Each currently get's around 6 collages.

Can I get some suggestions on how to tweak the System to better suit my needs, without screwing my players over?
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:29 PM   #2
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

Consider using a different core skill for each tradition. Ritual Magic is particular to invoking spirits, so it's most suited to druidic animism. Clerical magic based on invoking spirits is best governed by Religious Ritual, while religious magic based on knowledge of one's faith and traditions is best based on Theology. Thaumatology is good for what you're calling Elementalism as well as Glamour.
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Old 03-24-2021, 05:09 PM   #3
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

You will need all traditions to be able to learn Recover Energy, or to have some other way to improve energy recovery.

Will Magery be tradition-specific?
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Old 03-24-2021, 05:23 PM   #4
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Consider using a different core skill for each tradition. Ritual Magic is particular to invoking spirits, so it's most suited to druidic animism. Clerical magic based on invoking spirits is best governed by Religious Ritual, while religious magic based on knowledge of one's faith and traditions is best based on Theology. Thaumatology is good for what you're calling Elementalism as well as Glamour.

Alternatively, just make each tradition a distinct specialty of Ritual Magic.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:36 PM   #5
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
You will need all traditions to be able to learn Recover Energy, or to have some other way to improve energy recovery.

Will Magery be tradition-specific?
Yeah I figured I would have exceptions where some Traditions could learn certain spells as part of one of the collages they do know. For instance the Elementalist gets Lend and Recovery Energy as "Aether" Spells.

The intention is for Magery not to be Tradition Specific, it should not be impossible for a caster to know multiple traditions, this is GURPS after all. That being said I might allow players to take a discount on Magery for "One Tradition Only", the only issue with that is that Magery (One Collage Only) is -40%, so I'm not sure how to price that limitation in a way that is reasonable. -10% lines up with a lot of Power Modifiers which is the closest thing I can think of in GURPS, but even that is fiddly as technically Magery already has the Magic modifier built in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Alternatively, just make each tradition a distinct specialty of Ritual Magic.
Yeah that's what I was thinking I'd do.

Last edited by Pbuckley; 03-25-2021 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:05 AM   #6
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

With so many colleges available I think it is a feature, not a real limitation, so no discount on Magery needed.

If anything a quirk like disadvantage if the character doesn't want to learn any other tradition (eg.: Traditionalist Elementalist (-1)).

Also for a character to start with more than one tradition may be an unusual background.

You may give more flavor by adding advantages and disadvantages to the traditions, social advantages/disadvantages fit perfectly for the traditions, but you may also have some available advantages for each tradition. For example Temperature tolerance and other "elemental adaptability" advantages for Elementalism; something related to true seeing, mind control, subterfuge or appearance for Glamour; green thumb, animal empathy or other nature related advantages for Animism; medium, special senses and similar for mysticism.
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:42 AM   #7
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

Per Thaumatology, Limited Colleges is a limitation on Magery worth -30% if it only benefits two colleges, -20% for three, -10% for four (more than four and a mage is considered able to do so much that it doesn't amount to a limitation)- these should work just fine for Ritual Magic if the "core skill" is boosted for the purpose of limits and defaults on those colleges but not for others. If each "tradition" is required to take such a limitation on their Magery, this would be an easy way to differentiate different sorts of mages. Note that the usual method is to take these limitations on higher levels of Magery but have Magery 0 without limitations, so that all casters can attempt most spells but are significantly better with spells in their "sphere of influence" and are barred from even attempting spells from other colleges where they have a higher Magery prerequisite. You can decide if you wish things to play like this, or if you wish Magery 0 to be similarly limited so that mages are blocked from even attempting spells outside their focus- Thaumatology p.21 has some discussions of corner cases for limited Magery 0.
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Last edited by ravenfish; 03-25-2021 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 03-25-2021, 12:20 PM   #8
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Per Thaumatology, Limited Colleges is a limitation on Magery worth -30% if it only benefits two colleges, -20% for three, -10% for four (more than four and a mage is considered able to do so much that it doesn't amount to a limitation)- these should work just fine for Ritual Magic if the "core skill" is boosted for the purpose of limits and defaults on those colleges but not for others. If each "tradition" is required to take such a limitation on their Magery, this would be an easy way to differentiate different sorts of mages. Note that the usual method is to take these limitations on higher levels of Magery but have Magery 0 without limitations, so that all casters can attempt most spells but are significantly better with spells in their "sphere of influence" and are barred from even attempting spells from other colleges where they have a higher Magery prerequisite. You can decide if you wish things to play like this, or if you wish Magery 0 to be similarly limited so that mages are blocked from even attempting spells outside their focus- Thaumatology p.21 has some discussions of corner cases for limited Magery 0.
Hmm... I could cut some of these traditions down to four collages...

Animism could be just: Animal, Body, Healing, & Plant. Cutting out any of the weather magic I wanted them to have access to.

Elementalism would be just: Air, Earth, Fire, Water. Cutting out the "Aether" (Meta-Magic) school, as well as any derived schools (metal, sound, weather) I was allowing, though I suppose I could make Elementalists specialize further to unlock more niche colleges... So Earth Would grant Earth, Metal, & Protection for instance.

Glamour could be: Communication/Empathy, Illusion/Creation, Knowledge, & Making/Breaking. Cutting out the Movement and Knowledge Collages (Probably still let them have Mage Eye/Ear/ect. As Illusion/Creation Spells though.

Mysticism would definitely have to be split between;

Mysticism: Healing, Knowledge, Meta, & Protection/Warning. (Though even then I have to give up on Communication and Light & Darkness the both of hurt a lot mechanically)

&

Necromancy: Communication/Empathy, Knowledge, Meta, Necromancy. Again no light & darkness, but this one doesn't hurt as much thematically or mechanically, aside from loosing some of those sweet Protection Spells.

This certainly protects niches a lot more, but does hurt a few of these both thematically & mechanically.
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Old 03-25-2021, 12:39 PM   #9
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

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Originally Posted by Pbuckley View Post
This certainly protects niches a lot more, but does hurt a few of these both thematically & mechanically.

If you're willing to more work as a GM, you could, rather than limit by college as such, assign spells by "theme", estimate how many "colleges-worth" of spells each theme is, and assign a limitation equal in value to that many colleges. E.g., say that Glamor gets only the Illusion half of Illusion-and-Creation, and the "clouding men's minds" part of Communication-and-Empathy but not the "boosting mental abilities" part, so maybe that's one college worth of spells between them rather than two, Mysticism gets only the anti-magic-protection and not the anti-physical part of Protection and Warding and the Light half of Light and Darkness and call that one college worth of spells, and so on. This could either augment the limited college selection (as you already thought of in a few cases) or replace it completely. If your college selections come out to different sizes, but you want all mages to pay the same amount per level, you could throw on some limitations or enhancements to make up the difference (see Thaumatology for more modifiers to Magery than you could ever want).
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Last edited by ravenfish; 03-25-2021 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-25-2021, 01:23 PM   #10
khorboth
 
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Default Re: Magical Traditions via the Ritual Magic system (Not RPM)

I created a similar system for a different world. Some options to consider:

A VERY small list of universal spells. Since the tree is gone, PRC is just a number, and you can move spells freely between colleges. Either cast them at highest skill or at core "ritual magic" skill. This would include anything truly universal. Recover Energy. Detect magic. Detect Evil. Maybe a half-dozen depending on your world-building. Stuff that EVERY spellcaster does.

Also, consider a +1 to one college, maybe two if they get fewer. It's just enough specialization to give real flavor. Sure, lots of casters CAN heal, but these guys are better. Or THOSE guys are more in tune with animals.
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