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Old 01-17-2023, 02:20 AM   #1
white_dog
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Default A new spellcasting power resource

Hi all, I've been away from the GURPS system for a while, and I'm happy to see it's still got an active community. And it's still in its 4th edition! I'm so used to systems feeling like they need to update every couple of years and make everyone buy a bunch of new rulebooks and/or models (coughing in games workshop's direction) that GURPS feels like a really nice breath of fresh air, like it's made by enthusiasts, and not just a money spinning endeavour. Anyway....

I'm currently putting together a fairly traditional fantasy game and something that struck me with the rules as-written is that using FP to power spells didn't quite sit right with me. If you build a spellcasting character you'll want them to have a lot of mystic/arcane resources to draw upon, so buffing their health, or FP specifically would be the obvious route. But then you'd have a wizard who's super fit and healthy, and can run or hike for hours on end or whatever. Nothing wrong with that of course, no reason you couldn't have a really fit wizard, but I felt like there should be something separate. I browsed the Fantasy book but didn't quite find what I was looking for. I did see in the Magic book there was an option for FP that has the restriction of only being usable for spells at -10% cost but this wasn't quite working for me either - it did get me thinking though.

Here's what I've come up with; an additional character resource called Magic Points, or Mana points, or something like that. This starts at zero for each character, and you get a certain amount - 3 or 5 or something - for each IQ point over 10 you have. This can be used only to power spells, and certain spell-like/supernatural abilities other characters may have. Once drained to zero, MP cost starts to come off FP, then HP, like normal.

I'd love to know other people's thoughts, and I'm open to a suggestion of what increasing MP independent of IQ might cost in terms of character points. since it's like FP but less useful I suppose it might be 2 points per +/- or something like that.
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Old 01-17-2023, 03:03 AM   #2
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

In the campaign I'm currently playing (Confessions of a Forked Tongue), we have a house rule where mages can spend some time before spellcasting to gather mana from the surroundings. I don't currently play a mage, but I seem to remember that the rule is that you can gather one mana per second, up to Magery+1.

In the campaign I'm running myself, we're using Energy Reserve (Mana). This is what I think you refer to in the Magic book. It costs 3 per point and is only usable for spellcasting, but it regenerates in parallel with FP, and doesn't require that you rest. Some of this may be houseruled; we've played with it for so long, I don't recall what the books say.
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:04 AM   #3
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

GURPS Powers introduced Energy Reserve. It costs [3] per point and functions like FP, but with the following modifications:
  • It must be linked to some Power source - so it needs to be Magical, Psionic, Biological, etc, and only abilities of the same source can use it (so you can't use ER (Psionic) to cast spells, or ER (Magical) to use psionic powers).
  • It recovers at a rate of 1 ER per 10 minutes, regardless of activity, rest, Advantages such as Fit, etc. ER (Magical) does benefit from the Recover Energy "spell," however.
  • It cannot be reduced below 0.
  • There are no penalties for being below 1/3 of your maximum ER - a mage who has expended all of his or her ER (Magical) simply no longer has the ability to draw on it for casting spells until (some of) it has recovered.
  • It can be used to pay both for powering abilities/skills with a built-in FP cost, as well as using Extra Effort and Stunts with those abilities/skills, but not for normal use of Extra Effort (or other normal uses for FP, like running).

There are further modifications you can make to ER, such as only recovering under certain conditions, recovering more slowly, not working for Extra Effort/Power Stunts (or only working for such), etc. If you wish to give mage characters some free amount of it based on their IQ and/or Magery, you can certainly do so as GM - but note that's arguably a bit unfair to players who are playing non-mages who have high IQ, which - unless you give the option for them to get points back for not having this free ER - might result in anyone who opts to make a high-IQ character going ahead and making them a mage while they're at it so they get full use out of their points.
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:47 AM   #4
Calvin
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

Varyon has already mentioned Energy Reserve, which is very nice, but the other two sources I suggest seeking out are Powerstones and Inanimate Sacrifice from Thaumatology 55.

Powerstones are like rechargeable batteries, and I have two main strategies for their use:

First is to buy the largest two I can afford and hide one in my shoe and the second somewhere on my head. (They need to be six feet apart to passively charge properly.)

Second is to buy tons of powerstones with signature gear and use Charge Powerstone with No Nuisance rolls to keep them topped up.

Inanimate Sacrifice is a different way to get energy out of objects. Divide campaign starting wealth by 250, and that's how much value of goods you need to sacrifice to get 1 FP. Your GM might set certain rules around how that might be done, so I recommend reading about it in Thaumatology 55.
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Old 01-17-2023, 10:04 AM   #5
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
Varyon has already mentioned Energy Reserve, which is very nice, but the other two sources I suggest seeking out are Powerstones and Inanimate Sacrifice from Thaumatology 55.
ER is the closest to what white_dog suggested (in fact, it's basically identical, with the exception of not getting any free with high IQ), but another option would be the Power Items in Dungeon Fantasy. These can be mundane or magical items (doesn't matter) that can store a set amount of energy based on their monetary value. Each character can only have one such Power Item, and it can only be recharged "in town" by paying a monetary fee (although I'd be inclined to have roadside shrines or similar sprinkled across the world, where a character can sacrifice some value of money/goods to recharge their Power Item; this would probably be a bit higher than what it costs to recharge in a big city), but said fee is fairly small and the Power Item can serve to give you a little extra oomph when you need it.
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Old 01-17-2023, 10:07 AM   #6
Calvin
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
ER is the closest to what white_dog suggested (in fact, it's basically identical, with the exception of not getting any free with high IQ), but another option would be the Power Items in Dungeon Fantasy. These can be mundane or magical items (doesn't matter) that can store a set amount of energy based on their monetary value. Each character can only have one such Power Item, and it can only be recharged "in town" by paying a monetary fee (although I'd be inclined to have roadside shrines or similar sprinkled across the world, where a character can sacrifice some value of money/goods to recharge their Power Item; this would probably be a bit higher than what it costs to recharge in a big city), but said fee is fairly small and the Power Item can serve to give you a little extra oomph when you need it.

Sure, but there are other options for non-FP sources, so I presented them.

Powerstones with Charge Powerstone and No Nusiance Rolls are also the next best thing if you want a powersource for spellcasters that doesn't just mean buffing FP or buying ER. Generally it's also the most efficient when it comes to turning character points into spellcasting energy.
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:15 PM   #7
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
GURPS Powers introduced Energy Reserve. It costs [3] per point and functions like FP, but with the following modifications:
  • There are no penalties for being below 1/3 of your maximum ER - a mage who has expended all of his or her ER (Magical) simply no longer has the ability to draw on it for casting spells until (some of) it has recovered.
By RAW, anyway. It is certainly possible to set penalties (e.g. the less ER you have left, the drunker you get), I'm just wondering whether they should be limitations or setting switches.
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:24 PM   #8
Calvin
 
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Location: Calgary
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
By RAW, anyway. It is certainly possible to set penalties (e.g. the less ER you have left, the drunker you get), I'm just wondering whether they should be limitations or setting switches.
I think the choice between those two depends on who gets them. If it's everyone with ER then usually it's fine to be a setting switch, unless it's drastically shifting the balance relative to non-caster/non-ER users. But if it's just your one mage who has a hard time casting from ER while tipsy then it would be a limitation.
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:27 PM   #9
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
I think the choice between those two depends on who gets them. If it's everyone with ER then usually it's fine to be a setting switch, unless it's drastically shifting the balance relative to non-caster/non-ER users. But if it's just your one mage who has a hard time casting from ER while tipsy then it would be a limitation.
That makes sense. If anyone is curious, link to the Notes section of a character that uses the setting switch, with somewhat more detail about the effects.
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Old 01-17-2023, 02:16 PM   #10
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Default Re: A new spellcasting power resource

I'm a big fan of the threshold limited / tally system from GURPS Thaumatology. I'd recommend looking into it.
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