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Old 10-22-2023, 01:12 AM   #1
Farmer
 
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Default Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

So, I really like the Threshold concept - let's you go big when you need to, keeps you in check for general casting, let's you go "beyond" at ever increasing risks and it creates a pool separate to FP.

We've got an upcoming game in which the "Sorcery" concept is a form of magic which is different to book learned (casting regular spells) magic. Regular magic (whether Threshold or otherwise) draws from various elements which might loosely match up with various colleges and there's not a lot of cross over (OK, basically, there's none).

Sorcerers also rarely cross over, but their power comes from below/above (depending on how you look at it) the elemental and similar groups used by regular mages. This means in theory they can dip into multiple areas and they do use "spells" as such - so, Powers.

The idea is to have more flexibility and capability, married to the Threshold concept to control how much/how often/etc.

But I'm really not familiar with doing this. I've read through Powers and Thaumatology and so on, but the concept of how to put in place some consistent guidelines of how you can do various things really isn't clicking.

What I'd like to do is build Powers for, say, the elemental groups and then you do "stuff" within that group. Create, destroy, find, protect, shape, throw, etc. etc., but then also for other areas perhaps roughly defined by the existing colleges (or variations we come up with) to include utility effects. I'd like to have something consistent, for example, that says X amount of power (Threshold tally) per 1d of damage, another amount for range versus touch, another amount for explosive effects or ongoing effects, and that sort of thing.

Does some example or level of this exist as a guide, or is someone willing to hit me up with a 15 minute tutorial (via text, here :-)) on how to go about this.

Key points:

* it should be reasonably self controlled via the Threshold pool

* there should be consistent costs for equivalent damage levels and types

* there should be consistent costs for defences (like a version of Iron Arm, for example)

* There should be skill checks with benefits for high or critical success and consequences for failures (basic energy cost) and critical failures (can probably just use spell crit failures and adapt)

* high skills (howsoever achieved, should have some benefits regarding energy cost *or* some other way to allow minor things (or even pretty reasonable things) to not cost heaps (like a skill level of 15 or 20 etc does for normal spells)

I know I'm asking for quite a lot - I'm very happy to do all the work, but I really need some direction and help to get my head around how to do it consistently. I have lots of books and PDFs and I'm happy to purchase more if they will directly contribute to doing this, so point me at such things by all means I'm happy to get stuck in.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, examples, guidance, etc.!
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Old 10-22-2023, 02:53 AM   #2
johndallman
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

I think there's an easier way to do this. Rather than a whole lot of Powers-building, create "Threshold Ritual Path Magic." That provides a lot of internal consistency, while letting you use Powers for detailed effect design where necessary.

The problem with this is that RPM energy costs scale very differently from ordinary Threshold magic. There are two obvious ways to deal with that:
  1. Revise the threshold rules, including the calamity table.
  2. Use the Speed/Range table. I think this is likely to be better, but I haven't worked through examples to check that.
For the Speed/Range solution, you use the RPM energy cost as the range, and read off the tally involved from the size column. So an RPM effect that costs 3 energy would cost 1 tally, and one that cost between 31 and 50 energy would cost 8 tally. This does let you do RPM effects that only cost 1 or 2 energy without adding to your tally, but those are so small that I think this is OK.
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Old 10-22-2023, 03:27 AM   #3
Farmer
 
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I think there's an easier way to do this. Rather than a whole lot of Powers-building, create "Threshold Ritual Path Magic." That provides a lot of internal consistency, while letting you use Powers for detailed effect design where necessary.

The problem with this is that RPM energy costs scale very differently from ordinary Threshold magic. There are two obvious ways to deal with that:
  1. Revise the threshold rules, including the calamity table.
  2. Use the Speed/Range table. I think this is likely to be better, but I haven't worked through examples to check that.
For the Speed/Range solution, you use the RPM energy cost as the range, and read off the tally involved from the size column. So an RPM effect that costs 3 energy would cost 1 tally, and one that cost between 31 and 50 energy would cost 8 tally. This does let you do RPM effects that only cost 1 or 2 energy without adding to your tally, but those are so small that I think this is OK.
OK - I'm aware of, but haven't used, RPM, but this seems really cool. The SSRT provides a way of reversing the logarithmic progression to get the tally.

I've found https://gurps-monsterhunters.appspot.com/ for RPM calculations (thanks, Jeff for such a cool tool!) and now I just need to dive into RPM fully.

But, again, thank you - this really feels straight up like a great option. I'm open to other feedback (on this or other options), but I'll be trying this out for sure.
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Old 10-22-2023, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

If you do it with Threshold, I would only charge Threshold for Hardcore Improvising. As long as you play it cool and stick to what you know, you don't add to Threshold. But if you go wild with it, you're on dangerous ground.
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Old 10-22-2023, 01:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
If you do it with Threshold, I would only charge Threshold for Hardcore Improvising. As long as you play it cool and stick to what you know, you don't add to Threshold. But if you go wild with it, you're on dangerous ground.
Yeah, you should get a solid benefit from paying for a Learned Spell. Since it includes Costs FP as a limitation though, charge 1 FP from Threshold for those. Improvised spells using RPM will cost more than that so there is incentive to use known spells.
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Old 10-22-2023, 09:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

In my games costing threshold is -20% on an advantage and gives 1/5th the base value of the trait it's own as tally. So "Warp (Threshold, -20%) [80]" would give 20 points of tally per 'port.
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Old 10-23-2023, 01:41 AM   #7
Farmer
 
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

Thanks for the additional feedback - very helpful.

I may have more questions as I work through it all :-)
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Old 10-23-2023, 04:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Threshold Sorcery...as Powers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Yeah, you should get a solid benefit from paying for a Learned Spell. Since it includes Costs FP as a limitation though, charge 1 FP from Threshold for those. Improvised spells using RPM will cost more than that so there is incentive to use known spells.
Nah, I'd just pay for that with Fatigue Points.
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