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Old 04-23-2023, 08:28 PM   #11
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

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Originally Posted by Silverblade View Post
I've got that. :)

What I want to do though is combine Ritual Magic (not Ritual Path Magic),
Thaumatology: Sorcery, and Realm/Syntactic Magic into one advantage with comparable point costs to the separate systems.
Do you have Pyramid 66? Because I already did most of the work for doing this using RPM as a base.
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Old 04-24-2023, 12:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
Do you have Pyramid 66? Because I already did most of the work for doing this using RPM as a base.
I do. It's one of my favourite Pyramids.

I just don't like Energy Accumulating that much, and the lesser/greater effect distinction. Path Realms take them out, but that's again a bunch of advantages.

Turning it into effect shaping just encourages extremely high skill. That's why I'd like "Magery caps skill" for syntactic magic.

What I try to achieve is:

1. Use a single Magery advantage for all spellcasting.
2. Use Ritual Magic (not Ritual Path Magic) (low level) for spellcasting.
3. Rearrange College skills into something that is also useable for Syntactic Magic -> As "nouns"
4. At the higher levels, Syntactic Magic becomes available (or effective)
5. When using Syntactic Magic, College skills are capped by Magery, it doesn't add to it - like for "low" level spells
6. What verbs the mage can use is determined by his Magery similar to Realm Magic -> Higher level, more difficult Verbs.
7. Use Margin of Success for all Parameters, disregard Energy costs for now.
8. At some point, extended workings (repeated attempts, but not for Energy Accumulation, you gather Margins of Success to achieve greater range, area effect and so on as described in Thaumatology)


Bonus: I can work Sorcery in there, too.

More Bonus: Eventually, there needs to be some limit to keep Extended Workings somewhat sane - as suggested by Thaumatology under extended workings. So spellcasters have to pay some cost. I think Threshold Magic would fit nicely there. Since Mages can use Threshold casting at the high levels, I'd also like to use it at low levels - but make it less effective there. Thus, Lowbie Mages could use it as well but add a random number in addition to the full cost of their low level spells.

Ideally, characters would pay for all this in one single advantage.
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Old 04-24-2023, 10:30 AM   #13
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

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Originally Posted by Silverblade View Post
I do. It's one of my favourite Pyramids.

I just don't like Energy Accumulating that much, and the lesser/greater effect distinction. Path Realms take them out, but that's again a bunch of advantages.

Turning it into effect shaping just encourages extremely high skill. That's why I'd like "Magery caps skill" for syntactic magic.

What I try to achieve is:

1. Use a single Magery advantage for all spellcasting.
2. Use Ritual Magic (not Ritual Path Magic) (low level) for spellcasting.
3. Rearrange College skills into something that is also useable for Syntactic Magic -> As "nouns"
4. At the higher levels, Syntactic Magic becomes available (or effective)
5. When using Syntactic Magic, College skills are capped by Magery, it doesn't add to it - like for "low" level spells
6. What verbs the mage can use is determined by his Magery similar to Realm Magic -> Higher level, more difficult Verbs.
7. Use Margin of Success for all Parameters, disregard Energy costs for now.
8. At some point, extended workings (repeated attempts, but not for Energy Accumulation, you gather Margins of Success to achieve greater range, area effect and so on as described in Thaumatology)


Bonus: I can work Sorcery in there, too.

More Bonus: Eventually, there needs to be some limit to keep Extended Workings somewhat sane - as suggested by Thaumatology under extended workings. So spellcasters have to pay some cost. I think Threshold Magic would fit nicely there. Since Mages can use Threshold casting at the high levels, I'd also like to use it at low levels - but make it less effective there. Thus, Lowbie Mages could use it as well but add a random number in addition to the full cost of their low level spells.

Ideally, characters would pay for all this in one single advantage.
I see what you're trying to do (sorta), but you're trying to mix too much stuff together and it's just not going to work the way you want. In GURPS you can either settle for good enough to work in game and achieve your visions or you can get something that works great in game but doesn't work for your vision or something that doesn't work but does perfectly achieve your vision.

Good is the enemy of done and if you ever want to actually use something in a game it must be done.

This just seems like effect-shaping RPM with Path Realms at higher levels.
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Old 04-24-2023, 11:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

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Originally Posted by Silverblade View Post
I've always wanted to have a Magic System that included "lesser" and "greater" magic. [...]
Thoughts?
Honestly, my first thought upon reading this was:

Magery 0: magic-sensitive

Magery 1: lesser magic

Magery 2: greater magic

Magery 3: greatest magic

No need for alternative systems and special rules interlinking them. Just make sure each of your magical traditions has its practitioners at the correct Magery level.
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Old 04-25-2023, 03:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

I have considered the possibility of a variation of Sorcery that uses Realm Magic as its core Advantage instead of Sorcerous Empowerment: basically, you'd use Sorcery as is, except that you'd replace hardcore improvisation with access to the Syntactic Magic rules.


But for your original goal, I wouldn't bother with Sorcery at all. Stick to something like the standard Magic system, with one tweak: Meditative Magic is a thing. It's not something you're required to use, mind you; but it is an option.

That said, Meditative Magic is slow: you're effectively using the Study rules from Basic Set and spending the resulting “learned character points” on magical effects. Why do that when you have an energy reserve to work with? And for the most part, that's a fair point. The answer to it is to introduce spells (or variants of existing spells) that can only be fueled with the points generated by Meditative Magic — because they're powerful enough to warrant it. This is where you get your Greater Magic: spells that have permanent durations, and/or drastically increased scale (such as area effects that cover entire kingdoms) exist; but you simply can't spend points from a regular old energy reserve to pay for them. In effect, such epic spellcasting is a form of Amazing Feats from Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys. Sure, you can use Points for Energy (pp 12–13) in a pinch; but that's wasteful. The real value of Meditative Magic operates in the spirit of Changing the World (pp.13–15), but applied to spells rather than Advantages.
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Old 04-25-2023, 06:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

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The additional 30 points - which would turn into a type of Sorcerous Empowerment 3 [30] - Improvise Sorcery spells up to level 3, or "hardcore improvise" Sorcery spells up to a cost of 30. At Magery 3 also unlock the ability of "Variable Energy Access" from Thaumatology, you can either use personal FP/Energy Reserve or add it to your tally using Threshold Casting, although with a drawback of "add 1d6 (2d6/3d6) to your tally on top of the full spell cost.
Emphasis mine

I am not sure I would take the Threshold bolt on even if instead of costing me 30 points, you were giving me 30 points instead.

Some day I might just be feeling lucky enough, stupid enough, and desperate enough to USE IT.

YMMV but no thanks for me...
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Old 04-25-2023, 08:02 AM   #17
johndallman
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Default Re: Lesser and Greater Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverblade View Post
1. Use a single Magery advantage for all spellcasting.
2. Use Ritual Magic (not Ritual Path Magic) (low level) for spellcasting.
3. Rearrange College skills into something that is also useable for Syntactic Magic -> As "nouns"
4. At the higher levels, Syntactic Magic becomes available (or effective)
5. When using Syntactic Magic, College skills are capped by Magery, it doesn't add to it - like for "low" level spells
6. What verbs the mage can use is determined by his Magery similar to Realm Magic -> Higher level, more difficult Verbs.
7. Use Margin of Success for all Parameters, disregard Energy costs for now.
8. At some point, extended workings (repeated attempts, but not for Energy Accumulation, you gather Margins of Success to achieve greater range, area effect and so on as described in Thaumatology)
You have a lot of moving parts here. I anticipate your players finding some interesting exploits at the boundaries. On the subject of players, some questions:

1) Is this going to be the sole magic system in your game? If not, you're at considerable risk of your players avoiding it, since it is complex, and will require years of play for characters to make use of the higher-level parts.

2) Are all the player characters meant to be magicians? If not, you may well end up with all your players deciding to leave the complex magic system to someone else.

If the answers to (1) and (2) are both "yes" then you need to think about the starting character point levels for your game, and the rate of character growth. You may well find that the high cost of Magery makes the players feel they "aren't getting anywhere."

I've GM'ed a character who used Ritual Magic, and found that it has some problems. The character was run by a very detail-orientated player, which is necessary to use the system effectively. He found after a certain amount of character growth that he could meet all of the challenges of the campaign, and lost interest. That campaign started on 150 points plus up to 75 points of disadvantages and quirks. Since it was basically Call of Cthulhu under GURPS, I had to keep the challenges somewhat constrained to avoid wiping out the characters.

I've GM'ed and played alongside characters who used a threshold-limited syntactic magic system that is intended to model mystic Zoroastrianism. They just don't use it much, and stick to their other abilities. The comments other people are making about players preferring to avoid Threshold magic have some truth to them.

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Bonus: I can work Sorcery in there, too.
I'm afraid there are no prizes for this.
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