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Old 05-13-2022, 06:18 PM   #41
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Default Re: Alternate Mana Level Names

How about in terms of feeling or touch? Light, Steady, Firm, Strong, Forcible.
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Old 05-13-2022, 11:39 PM   #42
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I'll go one further. Middle-earth is high mana. Anyone can perform magic if they know how. If Sam had told the elves of Lothlórien that he liked making ropes, they say they could have taught him skill such as that which made the elven-rope they give him, the rope that comes undone when asked and which burns and freezes servants of the Enemy. The dwarves of The Hobbit cast lay spells of protection on the troll-hoard they seize. Even ordinary people singing songs in the right circumstances has power, which is why, for instance, Strider sings to the hobbits when they are trying to ward off the Black Riders, and why the hobbits can sing to summon Tom Bombadil.

The difference between Middle-earth and what you would typically imagine a high-mana world to be like is that "spells" are not simply known formulae that produce fixed effects. While anyone can use magic, most don't know how (i.e., haven't learned the skills), and the really powerful stuff requires Magery.

When deciding on mana levels, it's important to pay attention to the effects of each level rather than a stereotype of what each level looks like.
The "people singing songs" fits very well into Ritual Magic and there are several options that mess up back figuring mana levels:

*Limited Non-Mage Ceremonies: Non-mages are at -5 on all ritual rolls.
**“Fractional” Magery 0 (1 point/level; max 5): each point eliminates a -1 to skill. Only at 5 points are the other benefits (such as magic item detection) available.

For Mages:
*Ritual Adept (Connection), 10 points: May ignore the -5 for lacking a connection with the subject of your spell.
*Ritual Adept (Space): May ignore the -5 for performing a ritual in a non-consecrated space.
*Ritual Adept (Time): 10 points/level; 2 max: Can cast spells faster; level 2 allows energy to be accumulated without checking for skill
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Old 05-14-2022, 01:50 AM   #43
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Default Re: Alternate Mana Level Names

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If you think that is confusing, GURPS terms for High and Low Fantasy are the opposite of what would first come to mind.
I don't think it's confusing, I think it's unintentionally funny.

TV Tropes: GURPS Mana levels are misnamed because Normal Mana isn't the most common.
OP: You know what will fix this? Let's rename the most common one using a word that literally means "least common"!

"High Fantasy" meaning "secondary world" and "Low Fantasy" meaning "historical fantasy" is way older than GURPS. It's only very recently, I think within the last decade, that people, mainly gamers, started using "High Fantasy" to mean "Dungeons and Dragons", I think because of WotC ad copy.
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Old 05-14-2022, 03:07 AM   #44
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If you think that is confusing, GURPS terms for High and Low Fantasy are the opposite of what would first come to mind.

High Fantasy is where magic is highly is distributed unevenly concentrated in gods, other mythic beings, or in a handful of artifacts.

Low Fantasy by contrast is the standard D&D like world where wizards and magic items abound.
Those aren't actually how either is defined; rather, they're suggested ways of producing the literary/dramatic effects. The definition is that high fantasy is closer to myth, and low fantasy is closer to history or to realistic fiction. I don't think D&D as such is actually either; I think of the categories in GURPS Fantasy it's closest to sword and sorcery.
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Old 05-14-2022, 03:13 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
"High Fantasy" meaning "secondary world" and "Low Fantasy" meaning "historical fantasy" is way older than GURPS. It's only very recently, I think within the last decade, that people, mainly gamers, started using "High Fantasy" to mean "Dungeons and Dragons", I think because of WotC ad copy.
I don't think the "secondary world" definition is sound, and I didn't rely on it. C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength, for example, is set in a university town somewhere in northern or central England, one with a lot of political and bureaucratic conflicts of the most realistic sort; but its climax has the planetary intelligences of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter descend from the heavens to inhabit the body of the risen Merlin and annihilate the servants of Hell, and I don't think you can get higher fantasy than that. Conversely, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd/Grey Mouser stories take place entirely in an invented world, but they're about practical goals like making money and surviving and at least some of them are set in urban environments, and that feels really "low."
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:29 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
"High Fantasy" meaning "secondary world" and "Low Fantasy" meaning "historical fantasy" is way older than GURPS. It's only very recently, I think within the last decade, that people, mainly gamers, started using "High Fantasy" to mean "Dungeons and Dragons", I think because of WotC ad copy.
I think it may be older than that. I'm pretty sure it was more than 10 years ago when I disagreed with Bill's defintions and proposed that most gamers would expect that "High Fantasy" meant "Fantasy with a high incidence of fantastic elements" and "Low Fantasy" would mean the opposite.

I most see High Fantasy in ad copy on Amazon bt there it differentiates from "Urban Fantasy" and contextually means "traditional fantasy with elves and dwarves and dragons in a made up world".

Note that for practical purposes virtually any human's use of "traditional" is going to mean "The way things were done when I was young".

Said ad copy also isn't that distinct from "Sword and Sorcery" which term has become more common recently. IMHO it's used by people who have very little idea of what it "should" mean but there's very little to be done about that.
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Old 05-14-2022, 11:49 AM   #47
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Default Re: Alternate Mana Level Names

The names and definitions of genres change from year to year, let alone the eighteen years since GURPS Fantasy was published and the sixty-some-odd years since terms like "swords & sorcery" were invented. Heck, I disagree with the modern use of the term "sci-fi" (both the uncouth abbreviation and the meaning of anything to do with space or advanced technology). There's little point in getting worked up over how someone else defines high and low fantasy, since the terms don't mean set things. When talking about GURPS, it's useful to interpret these terms in the way GURPS defines them (that is, how GURPS Fantasy defines them, whether or not that's how you prefer to interpret them).
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Old 05-14-2022, 01:08 PM   #48
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The names and definitions of genres change from year to year, let alone the eighteen years since GURPS Fantasy was published and the sixty-some-odd years since terms like "swords & sorcery" were invented. Heck, I disagree with the modern use of the term "sci-fi" (both the uncouth abbreviation and the meaning of anything to do with space or advanced technology). There's little point in getting worked up over how someone else defines high and low fantasy, since the terms don't mean set things. When talking about GURPS, it's useful to interpret these terms in the way GURPS defines them (that is, how GURPS Fantasy defines them, whether or not that's how you prefer to interpret them).
This is why I had issues with people saying "Low Magic" meaning rare magic (such as in the [DF] Dragonlance thread) - that is not how GURPS defines it.

GURPS Fantasy defines "Low Magic" as home remedy magic that anybody might pick up, without systematic formal study, and used in everyday life or emergencies (p 147)

If we talk about GURPS we should be using terms in the way GURPS itself uses them — otherwise things get confusing real fast. Though with things like Ritual Magic the confusion is baked in. ;-)
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Old 05-14-2022, 01:36 PM   #49
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T

If we talk about GURPS we should be using terms in the way GURPS itself uses them — )
Restricting acceptable vocabulary is a recipe for some things not getting talked about.

For example we wish to talk about the possibilities of a setting where there is little magic but we can't call it a Low Magic setting because that's not one of the types of magic seen there. So what do we call it?

Tangential to this, Has anyone ever seen "Low Magic" used in a game?
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Old 05-14-2022, 02:01 PM   #50
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Restricting acceptable vocabulary is a recipe for some things not getting talked about.

For example we wish to talk about the possibilities of a setting where there is little magic but we can't call it a Low Magic setting because that's not one of the types of magic seen there. So what do we call it?
Rare, occasional, common, and very common?
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