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Old 07-24-2020, 01:35 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

'Magery et al' in this context means all those advantages that let you do magic or make it easier to do magic (or something that might as well be magic, like Chi or Psi). So, Magery 0 and the Magery talent, Sorcerous Empowerment, Path/Book Adept (or Ritual Adept), Trained by a Master/Weapon Master, Power Talents, et cetra (even outliers like Gadgeteer or Illuminated could work for this, if you want to go there).


I don't recall seeing any of these used with temporary disadvantages in a game, but I think doing so could be quite interesting, and I'm wondering if anyone has done it, or is likely to. For example, you have Magery 0 and Magery 1 without limitations, but you also have Magery 3 (Fire College Only, -40%; Temporary Disadvantage: Pyromania (6), -10%); you're capable of being very good at Fire spells, but if you use that bonus (or use Fire magic at all, depending on how your GM decides this works), you have a lot of trouble not just setting things on fire for the sheer joy of it, rather than only igniting the things you really need to.

Path/Book Adept with 'Temporary Disadvantage: Megalomania, -10%' would allow the magician to cast more conveniently, while also changing their attitude towards the other characters, and which rituals they might want to cast (and if Time is on the list and you're using Effect Shaping, they may not have time to realize that you're performing the wrong ritual, if they even have the skill to know it), while Ritual Adept with 'Temporary Disadvantage: Weirdness Magnet, -15%' means that even if you don't roll a critical failure, something interesting is bound to happen if you need to use it.

In a setting where Temporary Disadvantages are common limitations on Magery, P/B A, and/or other such advantages, this could change the attitudes people take towards magi, especially if specific TDs are both common and inconvenient.

So, what do you think? Has it been done in your games? What effects do you think it might have in a setting?
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:51 PM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Backlash would also be an interesting modifier for Magery 1+ (it becomes problematic for Magery 0, at least if you ever want to use magical items). For example, you could have a setting with unmodified Magery 0 but each additional level is Magery (Nuisance Effect, Backlash, Ecstasy, Resisted by HT, -50%) [5/level]. As long as a mage refrains from drawing upon Magery above 0, they are able to cast without consequences, but they start having to resist being overwhelmed by ecstasy when they use their Magery 1+ (this also fits for settings where magic is additive). In the case of the above Magery, I would allow up to Magery 6 in a 'normal' fantasy setting, as it would offer greater temptation for the mage.
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Old 07-24-2020, 05:45 PM   #3
Gumby Bush
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Temporary Disads: Confused, Weirdness Magnet, and/or Phantom Voices
As you open yourself to the forces of the beyond...

Temporary Disad, Quadriplegic, could be interesting. I don't have in mind a particular explanation, but do note that it's a possibility. Perhaps better: One Arm, as you shake your fist full of magical power!

Temporary Disad, Lifebane, as you draw power from the living things around you.

Temporary Disad, Disturbing Voice, Ugly, and Unnatural Features 2 as your demeanor takes on the cast of a terrible being.

Temporary Disad, Partial Amnesia, where you never remember *why* you cast that last spell...

Yeah, there are a lot of possibilities here.
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Old 07-24-2020, 05:52 PM   #4
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

There were a couple fantasy books where mages used their own energy to power spells. A powerful spell meant the mage went from looking like a sumo wrestler to looking like the 98 pound weakling in the body builder ads. Hiring one for something major meant not just pay but months of room and board after to get back to casting weight.

Could work in a game but needs to have lots of time skips between adventures.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:31 PM   #5
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
There were a couple fantasy books where mages used their own energy to power spells. A powerful spell meant the mage went from looking like a sumo wrestler to looking like the 98 pound weakling in the body builder ads. Hiring one for something major meant not just pay but months of room and board after to get back to casting weight.

Could work in a game but needs to have lots of time skips between adventures.
I remember reading (part of?) a book like that; it was described as basically converting fat into *chemical? (I presume, at least!) energy, and then using that energy to Do Stuff.

* The effects I recall, mostly of the energy blast variety, were rather... anemic if they were supposed to represent conversion of mass to energy...

* This also left the problem of where all that fat *went*, since, as I recall, it basically just visibly disappeared as the mages cast. Mages were not described in the same terms as a smokestack, so...
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:27 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Robin Hobb's Soldier's Son series uses that premise.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:47 PM   #7
Say, it isn't that bad!
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Robin Hobb's Soldier's Son series uses that premise.
It was by an author I did not recognize and do not recall, for a book in a series whose names I also don't recall.

What I recall:

* The main character was a wizard.
* They had attracted some sort of political trouble.
* They were being chased/attacked by multiple enemies, some of them opportunistic.
* The setting seemed dark?, which I recall as the reason I stopped reading?

...Anyway, this is off-topic, so if you want to continue, please use PMs. :)
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:26 AM   #8
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Druid's Blood by Esther M. Friesner had a system of magic where mages had a set amount of mana. So that fireball you cast today could have been a spell to keep you youthful. Getting a mage to cast a powerful spell for you required a lot of convincing, like enough money to retire on for a decade.

It also means that putting a mage in a life or death situation means they can spend thousands of mana to get out and will really hate you if you live.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:17 AM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

C.S. Friedman also had a similar premise in her Magister series. Magic came from the lifespan of an individual (in GURPS terms, days of life were equal to points of energy). Witches performed magic through burning their own lifespan while Magisters used the lifespan of random human being.
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Magic] Magery et al with Temporary Disadvantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
*SNIP* ...while Magisters used the lifespan of random human being.
...Literally random, or do you mean by grabbing a nearby human?

Either way could be interesting; just wondering which it is. :)
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