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Old 07-20-2017, 09:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Default [Sorcery] Doctor Strange (2017 movie) Mystic Arts

I recently saw the new Doctor Strange movie. Superficial Hollywood/Disney/MCU trappings aside, it seemed to really get magical thinking, or at least new-age occultism - it's all kaleidoscopic visions, mind-expansion, parallel worlds, neoplatonism meets eastern spirituality, John Dee meets Maharishi Yogi, and even the soundtrack mixes baroque chamber music with psychedelic rock. It also devoted a lot of time to fleshing out the magical rules of its setting, enough that the spells can be statted out Sorcery-style.

Now, I'm no PK, but I'm going to be making Sorcery spells for a space-opera-with-reality-hacking campaign anyway, so I thought I'd make a GURPSification of the mystic arts seen in the movie. The only change from standard Sorcery assumptions is that every spell in Doctor Strange requires full-body gestures (less extravagant for skilled practitioners, like the Ancient One, while Strange himself seems to do katas to conjure even a rudimentary shield), but no incantations. Hence, this "setting" wouldn't use Alternative Rituals, but a Sorcery power modifier of -25% (Costs 1 FP, -5%; Magical, -10%; Requires Gestures, -10%).

Reality Warping
Keywords: Area (Special).
Full Cost: 130 points for level 1 + 26 points/additional level.
Casting Roll: IQ.
Range: 100 yards.
Duration: Indefinite.

By far the most spectacular display of magic in the movie, and the one given the most trailer real-estate. A sufficiently skilled practitioner of the mystic arts is said to be able to "fold space and matter at will"... but only in the Mirror Dimension. This parallel plane, reached by way of spells like Mirror Plunge, appears identical to our own reality, but any changes made in it will not be perceived in the real world. In essence, every journey to the Mirror Dimension creates a malleable "instance" copying the real-life location, except everything - people, cars, city streets - are nothing but images, easily crumpled, stretched and folded.

At level 1, you are capable of affecting a cylinder 5 yards in radius and 4 yards tall (or an area of similar volume) within 100m. The spell only affects inanimate matter. Make an IQ + Talent roll; on a success, you may reshape the geometry of the area by 50% in any direction. You may widen or compress rooms, rearrange structures or furniture, or create openings. Shaping the floor forcefully moves any creatures standing on it at Move 5. You can also create shifting, unstable surfaces to cause up to -5 combat penalties. Stretching space, curiously, makes all inanimate matter "duplicate" itself, following already existing patterns, to fill the newly created space; e.g., a corridor can be elongated by 50%, at which point it gains new walls and windows. (Note: this is a cool visual for the movie, but we can keep it as it makes no mechanical difference. For instance, a facade affected by this power wouldn't stretch itself into blurriness, but divide into churning fractals of itself.) Alternatively, gravity in the area can be adjusted by +/-50% or its direction can be shifted by 90.

Statistics: Control Reality 5 (Accessibility, Only in the Mirror Dimension, -50%; Ranged, +40%; Sorcery, -25%) [130]. Additional Levels add Control Reality +1 [+26].

Note: "Reality" as depicted in the movie would be a combination of Space and Gravity, and priced at 40 points/level. 30/level is suggested by Godlike Control, in Powers, and I've added a +10 surcharge for the sheer diversity of effects. Also, followers of Dormammu have the ability to Shape Reality in the real world, a feat that surprised even the Ancient One. They would replace "Accessibility, Only in the Mirror Dimension" for "At Half-Level Outside of the Mirror Dimension, -20%" and a Pact (-30%) tied to Duty (Serve Dormammu; Almost Always; Extremely Hazardous) [-20] and Fanaticism (Dormammu) [-10]. The cost remains the same. The fact that Kaecilius seems to be folding an area the size of Manhattan (which would be ridiculously expensive) can be abstracted by assuming that every Mirror Dimension "instance" is like a house of cards, and starts to collapse as soon as some major reality-shaping is used in it. After all, much of the cityscape folding into itself seems to be random and undirected - when faced with the Ancient One later on in the sequence, Kaecilius and the Zealots seem to only be able to shape reality locally, much like they did in the Sanctum.

EDIT: Oh, and the Ancient One is depicted several times using reality-warping to avoid attacks, so I suppose the spell could be used as a Power Defense. Succeed on a defense roll, the floor beneath the enemy's feet gets swept away. It also seems to cause them to fall prone, but given that only mooks fall for this trick, that could be a special effect.

Mirror Plunge
Keywords: Area (Fixed).
Full Cost: 60 points/level.
Casting Roll: IQ.
Range: Self.
Duration: Instantaneous.

You break the dimensional barrier, drawing everyone around you into the Mirror Dimension - a one-way trip, unless any of you possesses a Sling Ring. In the movie, Strange uses this spell just as Kaecilius is preparing to destroy the New York Sanctum in order to trap him there.

The casting of this spell takes 10 or 11 seconds, as opposed to the usual 1 or 2; you can speed up the casting process by accepting -1 to skill for each second omitted. at the end of the casting, you make an IQ + Talent roll. If you succeed, targets within 8 yards of you must make a Will roll, at a penalty equal to your Mirror Plunge level, or be sucked into the Mirror Dimension alongside you.

Statistics: Affliction 1 (Will; Advantage, Mirror Plunge, +400%; Area Effect, 8 Yards, +150%; Emanation, -20%; Sorcery, -25%) [60]. Additional levels add further levels of Affliction [+60]. Note: Mirror Plunge is Jumper (World; Limited Access, Earth to Mirror Dimension, One Way Only, -60%) [40].

Off to bed for now, but I'm preparing stats for the whips and mandalas that the characters in the movie use to fight. I'll post them later on. Right now, I'd like to see what the hive-mind thinks about these spells - especially the first one, as Control is one of those fuzzy, multi-purpose abilities that always invite munchkining.

Last edited by Seneschal; 07-20-2017 at 09:57 PM.
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mcu, sorcery, supers

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