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Old 04-19-2021, 06:56 AM   #1
TGLS
 
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Default Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

I'm wondering how to price Magery (Low Mana Only). Given that it reduces or possibly cancels the penalty of Low Mana but is largely useless for any other use, it seems like the full 5 shouldn't cost 50 pts (compare with Mana Enhancer, which is useful in other areas).
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

What percentage of your game world has low mana? Assuming it's equally spread out, that's the percentage you give to Accessibility. If the low mana happens to be in convenient or inconvenient areas, adjust the percentage by however convenient or inconvenient you think it is.

For example, if your game is all about dungeon crawls and all dungeons are normal mana, make the Accessibility on Magery equal to -80%: it's useless while adventuring, but you can set up shop in some low-mana area to make magic items, use knowledge spells, and so on.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
What percentage of your game world has low mana? Assuming it's equally spread out, that's the percentage you give to Accessibility. If the low mana happens to be in convenient or inconvenient areas, adjust the percentage by however convenient or inconvenient you think it is.

Yep, that's how I would tackle the question. Figure out how common low mana areas are and apply the accessibility limitation from the table in powers.



I personally suspect that 1/2 of the time is too high, so you have at least -20%, and 1% is probably too low, so at most -40%. My guess is that counting low mana as coming up 1/10th of the time is more than high enough, as so your limitation is -35% or -40%.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

Mana Compensation from GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles (p. 27) lets you ignore -1 in penalties from low and specializes by style. It doesn't help you if there is no mana to begin with and it only removes penalties - you can't gain a net bonus.

Assuming you could get the GM to allow you to make it a leveled perk (and I've done this in the past without anything breaking) that means 5 levels ought to let you treat low mana as if it were regular mana for a 40-60 spells for a style.

Next, get a Cosmic Power modular ability with "Mana Compensation perks only, -50%" to compare to Magery. That says to me that Magery with "Accessibility, only to offset low mana penalties" ought to be worth -50%. Maybe even less. It's useful, but it's better to just buy as much Magery as the GM allows.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

As Magery (low mana only, -xx%) would cut into your maximum Magery allotment, that might be a rough way to go if there are Magery limits in your game world.

You could do this as a limited enhancement on your Magery... (Reliable +5, +25%, limited (Only to offset low mana penalties, -40%), +15%): For 12 points per odd level and 11 per even level.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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As Magery (low mana only, -xx%) would cut into your maximum Magery allotment, that might be a rough way to go if there are Magery limits in your game world.

You could do this as a limited enhancement on your Magery... (Reliable +5, +25%, limited (Only to offset low mana penalties, -40%), +15%): For 12 points per odd level and 11 per even level.
You can't add a modifier to Magery and then have it affect its skills. I think it would be worth +50% as an enhancement since ignoring penalties from Low Mana is worth about 5 points per -1 ignored.
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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You can't add a modifier to Magery and then have it affect its skills. I think it would be worth +50% as an enhancement since ignoring penalties from Low Mana is worth about 5 points per -1 ignored.
Hmn, I guess it gets muddy since Magery is so Talent like... That would totally work with the Imbue advantage!

I'm not really fond of the Magery adjustment anyway, as it increases the cost of all levels of Magery for a fixed effect.

So the most obvious solution is probably best:

Mana Enhancer (Accessibility, Only in Low Mana Areas, -60%) [20]

I think -60% is fair, given that it removes the possibility of obtaining that Very High Mana fun and doesn't let you cast spells in a no mana area.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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Originally Posted by the_matrix_walker View Post
H

So the most obvious solution is probably best:

Mana Enhancer (Accessibility, Only in Low Mana Areas, -60%) [20]

I think -60% is fair, given that it removes the possibility of obtaining that Very High Mana fun and doesn't let you cast spells in a no mana area.
No effects in NMZs is significant but anyone who thinks casting in VHM is fun has never rolled a Crit Fail there (or used Summon Spirit to talk to someone who has).

Low Mana is by far the most common mana variant and High Mana doesn't directly matter to Mages. It's mostly useful to users of self-powered items and Powerstone rechargers.

I wouldn't give you -60% but might be talked into -40%.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
I'm wondering how to price Magery (Low Mana Only). Given that it reduces or possibly cancels the penalty of Low Mana but is largely useless for any other use, it seems like the full 5 shouldn't cost 50 pts (compare with Mana Enhancer, which is useful in other areas).
I'm not trying to get in the way of the original poster's intent to "experiment" with the rules - as I whole heartedly applaud them for being WILLING to try. But I will point out a few possible issues with the approach to the discount and limitation and show there are ramifications not being considered.

Per the actual rules on Mana, Low mana and normal mana are such that those without the magery advantage, can not cast spells. By making this a "Low Mana only" advantage, the mage loses out on the ability to cast spells in 1/2 the original environments that he could cast spells before changing the advantage. That seems to require a pretty HEFTY discount for that fact alone.

Why?

If you want to learn to cast a Magery 1 spell, he can't learn that spell in a normal mana area, nor can he learn that spell in a mana high zone, etc. Why? The spell requires Magery 1 for him to be able to learn it. If he is never in a low mana zone, he can't learn the spell.

Next implication: Sensing magic items and/or Mana boundaries. If the Magery only functions in low mana zones, our mage is not able to recognize by sight, then by touch - any magic items they come into contact with in normal mana zones, High Mana zones, Very High Mana zones, and Mana dead zones.

That's TWO Strikes against the player who has this advantage with the limitation "Low Mana only".

Now comes the other issue - if he doesn't have Magery 3 unless in a low mana region, he doesn't get his +3 bonus in the same regions that he doesn't get his magery benefit.

So, we're killing THREE aspects of the advantage and severely limiting it. If that isn't call for a more hefty discount, I don't know what is.

Now, for a comment that has been in my mind since the start of GURPS 4e.

There is the "Book price" for advantages and disadvantages, and then there is the REAL price for advantages and disadvantages. What is the real price vs Book price?

Rules as written Book price is just that - what the rules say they should cost. Real price is what the players are willing to pay or take (in the way of Disadvantages) for their player characters. Take a good HARD look at the builds of your player characters. IF there are really NICE advantages to be had, but the players never buy them because to them, the advantage is over priced - then the real price is LOWER than the book price.

A lot of advantages and disadvantages were changed in 4e from 3e values - largely because people clamoured that the prices were not balanced. Problem is? By making many advantages higher priced, GMs are now forced to give their players MORE character points in order to BUY those new higher priced advantages. Players who have total freedom to spend those extra points can really BREAK the game by buying higher levels of wealth plus higher stats in lieu of buying a 50 point advantage that maybe comes into play once per game session, or once per 10 game sessions (turn Undead is an example of what I mean).

My only advice to people who want to experiment with GURPS rules and modifications? ALWAYS remember to look for the cascade/domino effect of making that change.
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pricing Magery for Low Mana Only

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Per the actual rules on Mana, Low mana and normal mana are such that those without the magery advantage, can not cast spells. By making this a "Low Mana only" advantage, the mage loses out on the ability to cast spells in 1/2 the original environments that he could cast spells before changing the advantage. That seems to require a pretty HEFTY discount for that fact alone.
I think the assumption here is that the caster already has "enough" Magery to function just fine in Regular Mana and the like (so meets prerequisites and the like), such that he/she is in the region where Magery functions entirely as a Talent. A Limitation that actually makes the character worse off in Regular Mana than Low Mana should indeed call for more of a discount. This comes into one of those weird GURPS breakpoints, where a Limitation's value should be dependent on other traits, but typically just gets set as is appropriate for what the writer thinks of as a typical character with the trait. For example, Backlash: Heart Attack (Resisted by HT) is a pretty hefty Limitation on an Innate Attack for most characters, but causes only a temporary inconvenience for one with Unkillable 2 and Extreme Regeneration. Or Cannot Wear Armor is a serious problem when applied to DR 1, but much less so when applied to DR 30.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
My only advice to people who want to experiment with GURPS rules and modifications? ALWAYS remember to look for the cascade/domino effect of making that change.
This is very good advice. Rules that make something better (cheaper, more effective, etc) will result in it being more common in play, and rules that make something worse (more expensive, less effective, etc) will result in it being less common, and this isn't necessarily obvious. Toning down ST-based damage makes ST less attractive and firearms and the like more attractive, of course, but it can also have unforeseen consequences on armor (relatively light armor is now nearly proof against melee attacks, so players will be more likely to want it if melee is still a thing in the setting).
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