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Old 01-28-2020, 05:39 PM   #11
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

A bit more on the Ashla style. I'm mostly working on this as an intellectual exercise in seeing how close I can get to 'a Magical style that works like the Jedi' using the spell-based system, without making too many house rules. I've already started thinking that I may need to either rule that the style doesn't need Attribute Substitution to have several spells be DX-based, or rule that they can have more of specific perks than the usual allowance... or just rule that they tend to put a lot of points in defensive spells.

Required Skills <possibly incomplete>

Force Sword; Hidden Lore (Ashla); Meditation; Thaumatology; Theology (Impetus)

Required Spells <possibly incomplete>

Sense Life; Sense Foes; Lend Energy; Foolishness; Apportation; Sense Danger; Purify Air; Seek Earth; Seek Fire; Seek Water;

Perks <incomplete>

Magical Style Familiarity (Ashla); Attribute Substitution; Blocking Spell Mastery (Deflect Missile, Catch Missile, Return Missile); Covenant of Rest; Fast Casting; Intuitive Cantrip (Aid); Melee Spell Mastery (<TBD>); Missile Spell Mastery (Poltergeist); No Incantations; Sacrificial Blocking Spell (<TBD>); Shortcut to Power (<a few of these>); Spell Duelist (Ashla); Stabilizing Skill: Hidden Lore (Ashla).


The Monks of Ashla, and indeed the faith of the Impetus of Life in general, is not a widely organized religion. There is no Space Pope or High Council that can legitimately claim authority over all followers of the Impetus, whether Ashla, Bogan, or other aspects. In some areas, the monks are not organized beyond the level of individual monasteries, temples, or shrines, while in others, there is some level of organization covering large regions, whole planets, or even a few systems. Specific monasteries and such of the Ashla (the more generally peaceful and selfless aspect of the Impetus) vary in their practices from ascetic monks to what are effectively orders of religious knighthood. Something similar can be said for the followers of the Bogan (the more aggressive and selfish aspect of the Impetus), though by nature, very few can be said to be ascetic in any but the most ironic sense. It should be noted that sincere followers of the Ashla are not automatically 'good,' and sincere followers of the Bogan are not automatically 'evil.' Likewise, the two categories, being followers of different aspects of the same entity, are not always opposed, and in many parts of known space, they answer to the same leaders. They do often tend toward opposition, however, and in many places the Ashla has a reputation for being good, and the Bogan has a reputation for being evil... but not always, and not everywhere.

Followers of the Ashla may roll critical failures on the "Clerical" Table (Thaumatology p257) or the Spirit-Oriented Magic table (p260), though many use the standard table. Most followers of the Bogan use the standard table for critical spell failures, though the ones that most contribute to the Bogan's negative reputation tend to roll on the Diabolic/Horrific Table (p258) or the Black Critical Table (Magic p157, boxed text).

In general, demons in this setting are far more often spiritual and mental threats, rather than physical.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Suggested Houserule: If your style has a bunch of related spells that all need the same perk to work as intended (e.g. Deflect Missiles and related spells based on DX), or all spells in the style need to have such a perk to work as intended, you may simply buy an Unusual Background ('<style> Trained,' or something like that) to apply them, rather than buying the perks individually. How much the UB costs depends on the GM, but I suggest 5 for only a few spells, and 10 or higher for all spells in the style (or you may want to make it more granular, perhaps pricing it like Talent advantages are).

(EDIT: The point of this is that it both reduced the amount of lines needed on the character sheet, and it bypasses the limit on the number of Magic Perks you can have per points in spells, in a way that makes thematic sense, as this is how you were trained.)

For example, the Muscle Wizard style only makes sense if all spells are based on ST, so Muscle Wizards buy a 10-point UB (All spells in this style based on ST), or the followers of the various Force Swordsmanship styles of the faith of the Impetus of Life have Deflect Missiles and related spells based on DX, and so they have a 5-point UB to that effect. Note that this is not limited to spells based on an alternate attribute, those are simply the examples that occurred to me. Any perk that the GM agrees makes sense, and that needs to be applied to each of multiple spells in the style for them to work as intended, could be taken as an Unusual Background advantage to cover them.


Thoughts?
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 04-14-2021 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

After some thought, I would actually give martial artists HT-based magic rather than IQ-based magic. I would also take a note from RPM and have Magery provide the following benefits instead of the standard bonus: a) ER equal to (Magery x 3), b) maximum skill equal to (Magery + 12), c) conditional spells equal to (Magery + Meditation). They could also purchase additional level of Magery after character creation.

I would also forbid them from spending FP/HP on spells and, instead, force them to use Corruption, though I would allow them to expel one point of Corruption per hour of meditation. They could not spend more Corruption per turn than their Meditation and would have to make Corruption checks.

That way, you would end up with a unique system of magic that feels different from the magical system of wizards, even if you kept the same Colleges and spells. Martial artists fuel their magic with mana, but channeling mana puts a strain on their very souls, and they may descend into darkness if they channel too much mana.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

I was tempted in writing a Witcher style martial art for my campaign: a cinematic heavy kenjutsu with three sub-schools: "wolf" (strong), "cat" (fast) and "griffin" (group) all based on being able to quick switch between broadsword, two handed attacks and "signs"...

...but it's a lot of work, so it's always in the "someday" folder.
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The turn required to cast standard spells in combat could be deadly against mundane fighter who focused on actual combat skills. The spell is cast at the end of the last second of concentration, not the end of the last turn of concentration, which means that people who go after you in the combat sequence can interrupt anything but a Blocking spell.
Actually, you cannot interupt a one second spell unless you Wait.

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/faq/FAQ4-4.html#SS4.1.9
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

A Path/Book magical and martial arts style, developed for a specialist magician posted elsewhere.

Hexenringen
5 points

This is a Germanic martial/magical style using Effect Shaping Path/Book Magic; Judo Art is the core skill, and all Paths are based on DX. The priesthood of the Harvest Goddess and her husband (the God of beer, among other things) created this style to protect travelers on the roads. It is a composite style, created from several others, partly due to one member of the priesthood a century before being both athletic and very well-traveled. Stylists prefer to begin with Diplomacy, to de-escalate the conflict, and sometimes this even works; when it doesn't, they're likely to open with a Defensive Attack, and then Wait and Evaluate, if practical.

In the context of this style, Extra Attack and Compartmentalized Mind represent levels of training in multitasking (treat Extra Attack as a prerequisite for Compartmentalized Mind). I'm using the houserule that Judo is technique of Judo Art (and vice-versa).

Skills: Diplomacy; Fast-Draw (Charm); Judo Art; Staff
Techniques: Arm Lock; Breakfall; Counterattack (Judo or Staff); Disarming (Judo or Staff); Finger Lock; Head Lock; Judo; Knee Strike; Retain Weapon (Staff); Trip.
Perks: Alcohol Tolerance; Body Discipline (Judo Art); Clinch; Neck Control; No Hangovers; Rules Exemption (Number of charms per ritual is uncapped); Special Exercises (Compartmentalized Mind); Special Exercises (DR with Ablative); Special Exercises (Extra Attack).
Paths: Path of Cunning; Path of the Elements; Path of Form; Path of Health; Path of Luck; Path of Nature; Path of Protection.
Typical Rituals: Blight; Endure Elements; Obscurity; Reversion of Form; See the True Face; Slumber; Spirit Arrows; Succor; Tentacles of <Element>; Traveler's Blessing; Weapon Blessing.

Optional Traits:
Advantages: Compartmentalized Mind (No Mental Separation, -20%); Extra Attack; Magery; Path/Book Adept.
Skills: Boxing; Broadsword (Light Club); First Aid; Hiking; Religious Ritual (Harvest Goddess/Beer God); Running; Theology (Germanic); Shortsword (Baton); Survival.
Techniques: Any other rituals for the listed Paths.


Blight
Effect Shaping: Path of Health-5; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
This ritual causes nausea and dizziness (see Nauseated, Basic Set p428), and does 1d-1 tox damage if the target fails to resist, or 2d-2 if the target critically fails their resistance roll; the margin of failure adds to damage in the latter case. It is resisted by the lower of Will+Magery or HT+Magery; a critical success on the resistance roll means that the ritual has no effect beyond warning the target that someone tried to attack them with magic (or the nearest equivalent in the target's belief system, if any: psi powers, alien technology, hypnosis, et cetra).


Spirit Arrow
Effect Shaping: Path of Spirit-4 or Path of Health-6; 20 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 10 points.
The caster summons a spirit to attack the target, or binds a spirit to an arrow-shaped charm and later designates a target by pointing the arrow. When activated, the target makes a Will roll: the target takes no damage or stun on a critical success, 1d-1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 1d+1 HP & physical stun on a normal failure, and 2d-2 HP & unconscious on a critical failure. The HP damage type varies by the type of spirit: spirits of Poison (used by Path of Health) do tox on living targets, and cor on unliving targets (if the spirit will attack them at all); spirits of Exhaustion or Sleep (which may also be summoned by the Path of Health) do only FP damage (1d+1 FP & physical stun on a normal success, 2d-2 FP & unconscious on a normal failure, and 2d+2 FP & unconscious on a critical failure). Most other spirits will do cr damage, although spirits of Fire or Ice will each do types of burn damage, and it is not unusual for spirits of Hunting or War to do cut or imp damage. Regular DR offers no protection, nor do normal dodges, parries or blocks (it's only metaphorically an arrow; really, it's a Malediction: the spirit is attacking 'you,' not 'whatever is in the space that you happen to be occupying'), though items that defend against magic or spirits do.


Traveler's Blessing
Effect Shaping: Path of Luck-4; 1 hour.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This ritual works much like Journeyman's Blessing, but is focused on travel - on having a safe & swift journey (the two are tied together a fair bit, as many things that are dangerous on the road or at sea will also delay travelers, and vice versa). The ritual produces a charm that the traveler must carry with them on the journey. The effect lasts for one journey, though if the journey is already planned to be a round trip, it will normally last until you get home.


Tentacles of <Element>
Effect Shaping: Path of the Elements-5 or Path of <specific Element>-4; 10 minutes.
Energy Accumulating: 8 points.
This magic shapes 1d-2 tentacles (minimum 1) from any available material of that element (generally meaning material that is in the environment or that the user is touching or carrying, but not material that someone else is touching or carrying when the ritual is activated). You may use these tentacles as extra limbs with which to attack, bind, defend, carry items, or anything else you might use tentacles for. When attacking, the tentacles normally do cr damage, apart from Tentacles of Fire, which do both burn and cr. Casters may make a number of optional modifications to the rituals: accepting a worse penalty or higher energy cost lets you increase the number of tentacles (each -1 to skill or +2 to energy cost allows one more tentacle), change the damage type, or add damage modifiers (fire always does burn damage, but may also do other types), e.g. Cutting Earth Tentacles, Ice (Freezing Water) Tentacles, Impaling Fire Tentacles, Suffocating Air Tentacles, et cetra. To determine the altered cost, work out the final percentage bonus or penalty from modifiers, and apply it to the energy cost or skill penalty.

The DX and ST of each tentacle will be equal to those of the user, plus one-third (round down) of the margin of success; damage dice are based on that ST's swing or thrust. The HP & DR of each tentacle will be equal to the base material, or the full margin of success, whichever is higher.

The various 'Tentacles of <Element>' rituals (techniques) are similar enough to count as a single skill for the purposes of the Single Skill limitation on Extra Attack, though the rituals of Path of the Elements in general are not ('Single Skill, Path of the Elements,' is not nearly limiting enough for -20%).


Thoughts?
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Thayvian Stickfighting
(Red Wizard Wand Fighting)__________________________________________________ _______________________ 5 points


Descended from Mulhorandi stickfighting techniques, the self-defence style of the Red Wizards emphasises defensive stances and circular movement. The stylist uses either a short, stiff wand or a longer wizard's staff; often enchanted with the Staff spell. Often, two sticks are used, one of them for parrying and the other for offence.

A Defensive Grip is the standard stance and most attacks are Defensive Attacks. The aim is to retreat from the opponent to be able to cast a spell or to injure him or sweep off the feet to gain more time. Most grapples are done with the weapons and usually only long enough to inflict damage, not until submission.

Missile spells or touch spells useful in combat are delivered with the wands with Staff spell, often as part of a rhythm of attack and defence with the weapons.

Skills: Judo; Main-Gauche; Saber; Staff.
Techniques: Arm Lock; Armed Grapple (Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Back Strike (Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Breakfall; Choke Hold; Countarattack (Judo, Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Disarming (Judo, Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Evade (Judo); Feint (Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Sweep (Judo or Staff); Trip.
Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength.
Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Attack (Main-Gauche or Saber), Dual Weapon Defence (Main-Gauche, Saber or Staff); Roll with Blow.
Perks: Grip Mastery (Staff), OHWT (Main-Gauche or Saber); Weapon Adaptation (Shortsword with Saber); Weapon Adaptation (Knife with Main-Gauche).


Optional Traits

Advantages: Compartmentalised Mind, Enhanced Dodge; Enhanced Parry (Main-Gauche, Saber, Staff or All); Magery.
Disadvantages: Enemies; Overconfidence; Reputation (Red Wizard).
Skills: Acrobatics; Aerobatics; Body Sense; Innate Attack; Judo Art, Main-Gauche Art; Parry Missile Weapons; Saber Art; Staff Art.
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Halruuan Magestaff __________________________________________________ __________________6 points

Halruuan Magestaff is a supremely flashy style that is usually practised only in Art form (remove all weapon skills for such styles). It does teach some useful defensive moves with a wizard's staff and advanced practisioners can be deadly if enhanced with magic. Some martially-minded battle wizard's among the Halruuans learn the full version of this style and the self-defence version of it is enjoying somewhat of a surge in popularity among the younger generation.

Attacks are more common than Committed Attacks, but both cautious defensive stances and all-out attacking ones see some use in demonstrations. Sweeping the staff in large defensive circles while using acrobatic dodges to stay out of harms way is one of the most recognisable moves of this style. It is an All-out Defense (Dodge) or All-out Defence (Parry) depending on how important the movement portion of the manuever is. Perfect form, as well as defending successfully from many attacks, can allow an Intimidation roll after such a manuever. It is popular to enhance the effect with an illusion or flashing lights spells.

Mobility is emphasised and a series of circular retreats/sidesteps prevent opponent's from closing. The style lacks any kind of close-combat element and teaches neither grapples nor any strikes beyond a few acrobatic kicks using the staff as a base for launching. Such common brawling is usually seen as beneath a powerful Halruuan mage.

Cinematic stylists use the staff to deliver touch spells as well as defend themselves from multiple angles. Haste and other Movement spells are used to improve the wizard's defence and offence is mostly spell-based.

Skills: Acrobatics; Staff; Staff Art; Two-Handed Sword; Two-Handed Sword Art.
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand; Breakfall; Disarming (Staff); Evade; Feint (Staff or Two-handed Sword); Retain Weapon (Staff or Two-handed Sword); Spinning Strike (Staff or Two-handed Sword); Sweep (Staff or Two-Handed Sword).
Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap; Light Walk; Mental Strength.
Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Defence (Staff); Grand Disarm (Staff); Roll with Blow, Timed Defence (Staff); Whirlwind Attack (Staff or Two-handed Sword).
Perks: Acrobatic Kicks; Form Mastery (Magestaff); Grip Mastery (Staff); Mobile Parry (Staff or Two-Handed Sword); Shtick (Spinning Flourish).


Optional Traits

Secondary Characteristics: Increased Basic Speed.
Advantages: Enhanced Dodge; Enhanced Parry (Staff); Magery; Perfect Balance.
Disadvantages: Overconfidence.
Skills: Aerobatics; Body Sense; Innate Attack; Jumping; Parry Missile Weapons.
Cinematic Techniques: Jump Kick (Acrobatics); Pole Vault Kick (Acrobatics); Spinning Kick (Acrobatics).
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It would be better to avoid spells and instead focus on powers if you wanted something fast enough for combat. The turn required to cast standard spells in combat could be deadly against mundane fighter who focused on actual combat skills. The spell is cast at the end of the last second of concentration, not the end of the last turn of concentration, which means that people who go after you in the combat sequence can interrupt anything but a Blocking spell.

There is also the question of the FP economy. Not only can the delay caused by casting spells be deadly, the FP cost could be deadly as well. For example, Vigor costs 2 FP per +1 HT per minute, meaning that a fighter that spent 10 FP to gain +5 HT would likely be so exhausted that they would die in combat before the minute was up.

If I wanted to have a martial arts style that used the standard system, I would focus on Blocking Spells that require only Magery 1 and a few spells at most in order to increase utility. For example, I would probably have a magical martial arts style include one of the following chains:

Ignite > Shape Fire > Defect Energy

Apportation > Deflect Missile > Catch Missile > Return Missile

With deflect energy, the mage would deflect lasers. With return missile, they could reflect bullets. Without having to worry about missile attacks, the martial artist could focus on melee combat.
I think you may not have noticed an important change from GURPS 3e. Spells in 4e take effect as soon as you're done concentrating (at the end of your turn).
Also, I'll mention here one of the most important and often forgotten spells: Delay. This spell allows you to do something similar to the "charms" of other magic systems, which is to say you can "pre-cast" your buff spells (like Vigor) and trigger the Delay when the action starts.

Having played many campaigns with standard magic, I can assure you that it's more than fast enough for combat if used correctly. Plenty of powerful offensive spells have a one second casting time, and with sufficiently high skill, you can learn to cast a few key spells for no energy in one second. For example, with Create Animal-20 you can create a wolf in one second for no energy. With Mental Stun-20 you can throw stun spells at your enemies all day (and if you're a martial caster, you can then proceed to pound the stunned foe with your staff--in DF games the party typically has some Weapon Master sword-swingers that will take care of that part for you).

If you can learn a few spells at 25, you're in godlike territory. Great Haste at 25 means that in one second, for a mere 2 energy, you can give yourself Altered Time Rate and turn into an ultimate fighting machine. Sleep at 25 means that you can put enemies to Sleep in one second for no energy! The list goes on and on.

And then of course there are the Blocking spells, chief among them being Blink. This spell is insane in the hands of a fighting wizard. Try Blinking behind an enemy during their turn, while they're attacking you. Now you're starting your next turn behind them...
And don't forget to buy Blocking Spell Mastery (Blink) so that you can Blink multiple times per turn!
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: [Martial Arts/Thaumatology] Magical Styles for Martial Arts styles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Thayvian Stickfighting
(Red Wizard Wand Fighting)__________________________________________________ _______________________ 5 points
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Halruuan Magestaff __________________________________________________ __________________6 points
These are quite interesting, and I'm glad to see more interest in the thread.

Any further details on the Red Wizards, specifically? The name has me thinking of the ones from D&D, but I've been mistaken about things like that on occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
And then of course there are the Blocking spells, chief among them being Blink. This spell is insane in the hands of a fighting wizard. Try Blinking behind an enemy during their turn, while they're attacking you. Now you're starting your next turn behind them...
And don't forget to buy Blocking Spell Mastery (Blink) so that you can Blink multiple times per turn!
High spell skill-levels are indeed scary, but yeah, Blink is an especially threatening Blocking spell. A specialist with Blink at 20 can cast it at no cost. Add a decent level of one or more combat skills and you have someone that's a nightmare in battle, even if they aren't terribly good at any other spells.
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