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Old 06-19-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
2.) How do you suggest I approach Magic (and Psionics) practically in the system to get the results I want above. This feels like the tough one.
You should have a clear and rational understanding of what you are going for and the potential player responses and then tweak you rule choices to achieve it. Things to consider are: Why/how are magic and psionics known on the new continent and not on the old one. How much power and influence on the setting do you want them to have and how/why are they limited to that. When the PCs become aware of them, can or should they turn the campaign into a powers quest and why or why not. Does the pantheon of tje old continent exist and grant powers? Are there different gods with different capabilities and objectives on the new continent?

Without knowing any of these things, I think an approach that might be best for what you have said would be to meld magic and psionics, have latency be relatively common but undiscoverable without triggering events, and require unique training/guidance to attain useability in highly divided subsets (it might all flow from the same basic source, but one master might teach only one ability or small category while another knows and teaches exclusively another).
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:56 AM   #12
Navaronegun
 
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

Thanks, all. I will respond to some responses above and then provide a bit more World/Setting Campaign background. I wanted some responses without my worldbuilding tainting or coloring any responses. But more background is probably necessary to elaborate on the dilemmas/decisions I need to make to enable what I want to do with the Campaign.

Anyway, the below will be:
1. Selected Responses
2. Background
3. State of Magic, Psionics. Current Rules/System Interpretations I am pondering


1. Responses
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Welcome!
Books that will be useful include, apart from the Basic Set:
On this I should have been clearer. Below are the Books I have at present. I agree with many posters here – I don’t think I want or need Martial Arts or Powers. But disabuse me if you disagree. On the latter portion, point taken – elaboration needed.

Direct link to Image Snapshot of Books I have - the display image permissions here are...arcane...

https://imgur.com/bSozYqv

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post

One issue I foresee will be the players affording their new/improved powers.<snip for post length>.

Another solution would be to simply allow the players to spend their points to develop their new abilities freely<snip for ppost length.
This solution I like in concept.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianLW View Post
Another possibility for ramping up would be to let players purchase psionic abilities or Magery but then have no skills or spells. <Snip for post length>.

I think this may be the way to go as well in concept.

2. Background
Warning: I am going to be a bit brutalist and ham-handed in my descriptions below. Best way to most efficiently describe what I am doing without writing a whole book here.

Maps.
OK, first some Maps. Again, I apologize for the direct imagur links

Cresce World Globe Map:
https://imgur.com/abA3LGF
This is to just give an overview of the entire world globe.

Cresce “Known World” Map:
https://imgur.com/Gak6mJ7
This is the world as known to the PCs culture/collective awareness.
Perspective.
From North to South the coast of Maltaha is 4,000 miles. The distance from Gentibus to Maltaha at the narrowest point is the distance from New York to London, 3,000 miles.

Why East from Gentibus?
So the settled, established continent is Gentibus to the West. It is the “old World”. Despite attempts to go west, that way is blocked on the globe as the overland route goes through waterless and in places lifeless wastes. An overland route to the other side of Gentibus’ land mass is impassable. As well sailing around the North or South of the Gentibus land mass is barred by perma-ice.

“Races.”
I prefer Species and sub-species. Anyway, there are three species and six sub species.
Species.
Species Homen (Humans)
Homen Sub-Species:
Gentibus Humans (They call themselves “Humans”)
Maltaha Humans (They call themselves “Bashreet”)
Species Frigor (Elves)
Frigor Sub Species:
Boreal
Tundar
Species Pumil (Small Guys)
Pumil Sub-Species:
Collis (Gnomes)
Vallis (Halflings)

On the above, in the Known World, only Bashreet and Pumil are found on Maltaha. Bashreet are *not* found on Gentibus. Species cannot interbreed. Homen live a normal IRL Human Lifespan. Frigor live 175-200 years maximum. Pumil live 90-120 years maximum. No accounting for disease of course. Humans live anywhere. Pumil can live anywhere though the sub-species differences revolve around upland Pumil (Gnomes) and Lowland Pumil (Halflings). Frigor prefer colder climes and have a natural temperature “comfort zone” within which they suffer no ill effects (such as FP or HP loss) due to heat or cold, which is 45° wide and falls between 30° and 75°. For Homen and Pumil, this zone is 55° wide and falls between 35° and 90° (from B. p. 93). This has an impact on the Campaign, Frigor are rare and have not made a serious effort to travel to Maltaha. As well, they prefer to stay in the colder climes on Gentibus.

Background - Gentibus.
In lore, for as long as anyone can remember, but for at least 6,000 years, the three Species above wrangled and battled in a world (Gentibus) with magic present. Think a DnD world. Kingdoms and Empires rose and fell. Goblins. Orcs. Dragons. Demons. Undead, the works. 6 different Frodo’s dropped 6 different rings in 6 different volcanos to defeat a world-threatening evil. 65 Vecnas were stopped in 65 different Critical role campaigns. Rinse and repeat. It never stopped. Gods of Light and Gods of Dark and Gods of Nature battled. The cycle perpetuated. Again and again.

Until The Redemption began. 2057 years ago the word of the redemption began to spread. Humans, Pumil and Frigor all had eternal life. They were battling and using not magic, but evil. There was really one God, The Light, and it manifested in the three species. Three Lights. The Light was opposed by corrupt forces of Shadow. Shadow deceived and lied and created falseness. This was how these cycles perpetuated. The new Religion took hold (all common dates are “P.R.” Post Redemption – the current game date is 2057 P.R.). The evil (and Magic) was defeated over a 500-ish year period. And at the end of it, the cycle was broken. But there was no magic. Yeah, sort of a Christianity/Monotheism thing.

After that there was an Empire, but it fell. No magic meant a drastic change to societies. A Dark age came. A Dark age went. The Redemption Church lived on. Nations coalesced. Feudal Medieval societies developed and matured. Now technologies and developing past the heights previously known. Gunpowder. A new printing technique. Sailing Ships. Navigation. Then a new world was discovered. Maltaha.

Background – Maltaha.
Maltaha was “discovered” by Gentibus 150 years ago. The Bashreet and the same Pumil were there. There are rumors of Frigor-like people who departed before living memory.
The area of Maltaha revealed so far was ruled by an empire of Bashreet for 3,000 years (until 600 years ago) who had a strict caste/class system (and slavery too), worshipped a Natural world fixed Pantheon, and was dominated by those who had Psionic Powers which were knit into the religious beliefs and centered around different schools affiliated with certain gods. There were schools of training (maybe there still are in a ramshackle less powerful form). There were high priests who made wall of fire, moved hills. There were mind-kings. Mind-Pharaohs, mini-gods on earth. That was 2-3,000 years ago. There was a civil war and rebellions by subject peoples 600 years ago and the Empire was a rump in the North of the continent when discovered 150 years ago. The Psionic levels rumored now are also a “rump” of those legends.
Currently there are a few subject holdings aligned with strong Great Powers on Gentibus, some states run by former subject peoples of their Bashreet overlords and the Rump empire was conquered by an Army from a nation on Gentibus which then declared itself the new rulers of that empire – and are now being “corrupted” by it (happened 75 years ago, think an Egypt freshly under the Ptolomies, or the Ptolmies freshly under Romans, etc.).
Other than that, Maltaha is completely unexplored.
The goal here is a land and sea crawlin’, jungle-hackin’, canoe-river explorin’, lost city and culture discoverin’ wondrous adventure setting for players. Players will be from Gentibus or newly arrived in Maltaha.

3. State of Magic, Psionics. Current Rules/System Interpretations I am pondering

So magic in Gentibus is dead. There are no wizards. There is no magic. There are no enchanted items.
There is religion. And there is lore.
Well, except for some clerical magic tied to the Church of Divine Redemption, Redemptionist splitter sects or outlier Frigor Shaman practices.
What I am contemplating is the use of things from GURPS Powers: Divine Favor for Redemptionist or other Gentibus clerical types. With a negative modifier when not in Maltaha and an increased prayer cost when not in Maltaha.

For Magery. A Max starting ability of Magery 0. Any spells brought from Gentibus would have to be in book form. A potential mage could be a scholar and/or an antiquarian. But Magery can’t be improved because it has no displayable effects. Maybe limited by a Hidden Lore Skill level and a Thaumaturgy Skill level too.

From GURPS Thaumatology I am thinking the best way to reflect all this for Gentibus Player Characters trying to become versed in magic is by using the concept for them of MAGIC AS ENGINEERING, Grimoires, but treated as equipment. Spells could be added if discovered on Malataha, but would need to be decoded/translated.

As well, using MANA LEVELS may be the way to go? Use baseline for magic on Gentibus as Very Low Mana (-10), Low ( -5) on the “Known” areas of Maltaha) and then ramp up the mana levels to a final level of maximum as the campaign progresses. Using p.58’s levels as a guideline I’d just have to make note of the level changes on the big campaign continental map as things move on.

Any comments or thoughts on all this? Suggestions on how to implement?

Regarding books, I think I’ll need a lot of bestiary stuff. Suggestions? Also, do I have what I need for ship combat/ as well as sea and land expeditions and survival stuff (the big expedition across the desert too 80% casualties and you have no food and water. You are eating the pack animals, desperately looking for food).

Now regarding Psionics, now that you all have heard more what do you folks think about how to approach it?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far and for reading all this, if you did.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:30 PM   #13
Navaronegun
 
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

Addendum.

I’m looking at 100 points with 50 max in disadvantages (non-species) to start. Might as well throw that into the mix as well.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:26 AM   #14
Emerald Cat
 
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

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Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
2. Background
This background looks solid. You did a good job outlining your setting concisely.

It sounds like Gentibus' Redemption Church was/is hostile to magic. This could be a challenge to your objectives of 1) having the PCs come from Gentibus and 2) PCs learning magic through their exploration. Banning PCs who are zealously opposed to magic is only half the issue. Would the PCs really want to study magic if it meant that they would be unable to rejoin society upon their return? Would their countrymen - NPCs joining the expedition - really stand idly by while the PCs corrupted themselves by learning magic? Do you trust the players to be able to keep their PC's magic secret from your NPCs? You will need strong answers to these questions.

One way to reconcile this is that the Redemption Church's position on magic is that mages are members of society and have a duty to use their magic for the benefit of society. And that they are only opposed to dark magic that is used to harm society. But that is a moot point in everyday life because magic barely works on Gentibus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
What I am contemplating is the use of things from GURPS Powers: Divine Favor for Redemptionist or other Gentibus clerical types. With a negative modifier when not in Maltaha and an increased prayer cost when not in Maltaha.
Divine Favor is a good system for representing clerical magic. Isn't your campaign going to take place entirely in Maltaha? If so, I wouldn't spend a lot of time on mechanics to make divine magic more difficult away from Maltaha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
But Magery can’t be improved because it has no displayable effects.
I'm confused. What do you mean by this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
From GURPS Thaumatology I am thinking the best way to reflect all this for Gentibus Player Characters trying to become versed in magic is by using the concept for them of MAGIC AS ENGINEERING, Grimoires, but treated as equipment. Spells could be added if discovered on Malataha, but would need to be decoded/translated.
Path/Book magic would be a good option to represent a magic system that works like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
As well, using MANA LEVELS may be the way to go? Use baseline for magic on Gentibus as Very Low Mana (-10), Low ( -5) on the “Known” areas of Maltaha) and then ramp up the mana levels to a final level of maximum as the campaign progresses. Using p.58’s levels as a guideline I’d just have to make note of the level changes on the big campaign continental map as things move on.
Is the objective of the campaign to fix the Very Low Mana level of Gentibus?

I'd recommend using large regions for the mana levels. That will give you less book keeping to wrangle with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
Regarding books, I think I’ll need a lot of bestiary stuff. Suggestions?
GURPS doesn't have a bestiary. Many templates for common animals are compiled in Campaigns. That should suffice for mundane creatures. Supernatural creatures could be built by adding Advantages/Disadvantages to the closest mundane ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
Now regarding Psionics, now that you all have heard more what do you folks think about how to approach it?
Again, Psionic Powers looks like it would be a good fit.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

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Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
I’m looking at 100 points with 50 max in disadvantages (non-species) to start.
Note that 100 points is on the low end for an adventurer. I'd build some sample characters under your constraints to determine their viability. You can reuse these characters as pregens later. Will they be able to meet your campaign's intended challenges, under the task difficulties you foresee? If not, you'll need to bump up the point value.

Are the PCs supposed to be the leaders of the expedition? If so, they should have the Skills and Advantages to justify this. Leadership and Rank come to mind. Duty to the sponsoring government/expedition would be a good campaign disadvantage to offset these costs. If you require them to take Duty, I would advise against counting that against the disadvantage limit.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:04 AM   #16
Navaronegun
 
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
This background looks solid. You did a good job outlining your setting concisely.

It sounds like Gentibus' Redemption Church was/is hostile to magic. This could be a challenge to your objectives of 1) having the PCs come from Gentibus and 2) PCs learning magic through their exploration. Banning PCs who are zealously opposed to magic is only half the issue. Would the PCs really want to study magic if it meant that they would be unable to rejoin society upon their return? Would their countrymen - NPCs joining the expedition - really stand idly by while the PCs corrupted themselves by learning magic? Do you trust the players to be able to keep their PC's magic secret from your NPCs? You will need strong answers to these questions.

One way to reconcile this is that the Redemption Church's position on magic is that mages are members of society and have a duty to use their magic for the benefit of society. And that they are only opposed to dark magic that is used to harm society. But that is a moot point in everyday life because magic barely works on Gentibus.
Thanks so much Yeah, I've put a lot of thought into it. It should be fun, but I also think it'll take a very particular sort of player to buy into the concept.

The Church is in a general sense hostile to magic, sort of, but there is no magic present really (Very Low Mana Levels). As you say, a moot point. So the study of such techniques is seen as the study of ancient historical artifacts/knowledge. So think the Catholic Church looking askance at "heathen texts" but also being generally supportive of studying/transcribing Ancient Greek texts. Now this could change in-campaign, and different members of the church could have very different reactions to the re-emergence of magic. But that is grist for adventure, really. And while there is a Chuch there are already the beginnings of Redemptionist Splitter Churches (grist for events "back home") who may have different reactions to a re-emergence. Heck different takes on that may spark different "Reformation" movements in Redemptionism. :)

The Gentibus-derived holdings on the coast are not deeply rooted there either, more like initial land grabs/trading outposts. Think early 1500s New world, Asia or Indian Subcontinent and the European presences there. Tenuous. Commercially-focused. In development and very dynamic. Travel times will limit information transfers back and forth across the ocean. The Printing Press has *just* been developed. Etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Divine Favor is a good system for representing clerical magic. Isn't your campaign going to take place entirely in Maltaha? If so, I wouldn't spend a lot of time on mechanics to make divine magic more difficult away from Maltaha.
Mainly agree. The islands are a different story though. If I gave Gentibus a -10 (Very Low Mana) The Islands (the probable starting point and certainly the closest thing to a "return to the Old World" that will occur in the Campaign for PCs) probably will be Low-end Low Mana (-6). The Coastal areas of Maltaha that are even seen on the map are about -4 or -3 Low Mana.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
I'm confused. What do you mean by this?
Improved beyond 0 *at Campaign Start*. How do you "Get good" at Magery when you can't see the results of what you are theoretically doing? You could conceivable have a scholar who has all sorts of hidden lore and other knowledge, but how to you improve Magery pre-start if it don't work. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Path/Book magic would be a good option to represent a magic system that works like this.
I'll dig into that train of thought more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Is the objective of the campaign to fix the Very Low Mana level of Gentibus?

I'd recommend using large regions for the mana levels. That will give you less book keeping to wrangle with.
By Fix do you mean Gentibus is the lowest level (Very Low) and the further east you go it goes up (special exceptions may exist for specific locales - lost temples and whatnot). Then yes.

Since the discovery of Maltaha will be a hex crawl at times with me making the map as it is discovered, changing mana levels as characters discover isn't so overbearing and nests nicely with that.

Agree on Psychic Powers.

Now the next thing I'm looking for are survival types of rules/ideas for GURPS. Food and Water and whatnot. Load bearing animals. Things you'd use for expeditions.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Note that 100 points is on the low end for an adventurer. I'd build some sample characters under your constraints to determine their viability. You can reuse these characters as pregens later. Will they be able to meet your campaign's intended challenges, under the task difficulties you foresee? If not, you'll need to bump up the point value.

Are the PCs supposed to be the leaders of the expedition? If so, they should have the Skills and Advantages to justify this. Leadership and Rank come to mind. Duty to the sponsoring government/expedition would be a good campaign disadvantage to offset these costs. If you require them to take Duty, I would advise against counting that against the disadvantage limit.

Sage advice re-point totals. I’m also thinking of having cultural/societal packages in addition to species/sub species packages where the disadvantages won’t count towards the overall total.
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Old 06-20-2021, 05:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

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Improved beyond 0 *at Campaign Start*. How do you "Get good" at Magery when you can't see the results of what you are theoretically doing? You could conceivable have a scholar who has all sorts of hidden lore and other knowledge, but how to you improve Magery pre-start if it don't work.
A common assumption is that the best mages are born with high magery. But that is game world specific. If higher levels of magery require formal training I'd recommend making this explicit in your campaign write up. That way your players will be on the same page as you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
I'll dig into that train of thought more.
In case you were wondering, Path/Book magic is described in Chapter 5 of Thaumatology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navaronegun View Post
By Fix do you mean Gentibus is the lowest level (Very Low) and the further east you go it goes up (special exceptions may exist for specific locales - lost temples and whatnot). Then yes.
I was taking the view that the Very Low Mana Level was caused by the events during the Age of Redemption. And that finding a way to reverse that damage could be a long term objective of the campaign.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:07 PM   #19
maximara
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Default Re: First Time Poster - need advice for fantasy setting

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GURPS doesn't have a bestiary.
Actually iGURPS does have bestiaries, three of them. The only thing is they are for the Classic version of the game and need a little tweaking to be in line with 4e.

They are Classic: Bestiary (the preview has the raw stats for all the creatures, over 150 creatures, within the book, ), Classic: Fantasy Bestiary (more than 250 fantasy animals and plants), and Classic: Creatures of the Night.

Odds are for what most people want to do this classic material will work in a 4e setting.

I wish people would stop saying GURPS doesn't have a bestiary at it has several that are insanely easy to convert.
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Help make a digital reference for GURPS by coming to the GURPS wiki and provide some information and links (such as to various Fanmade 4e Bestiaries) . Please, provide more then just a title and a page number.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:29 AM   #20
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[The Bestiaries] are Classic: Bestiary (the preview has the raw stats for all the creatures, over 150 creatures, within the book, ), Classic: Fantasy Bestiary (more than 250 fantasy animals and plants), and Classic: Creatures of the Night.

Odds are for what most people want to do this classic material will work in a 4e setting.

I wish people would stop saying GURPS doesn't have a bestiary at it has several that are insanely easy to convert.
Thanks, Maximara. I wasn't aware of these Bestiaries. I'll have to check them out.
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