Friday, August 19, 2016

Thoughts on Adapting Published Magical Styles

Since the first publication of GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles there have been a number of styles published in Pyramid and other books, and many of those fit into my gameworld, though many need revising.  Here's are my thoughts on how to make them fit.  (I'll cover the styles from Dungeon Magic in another post.)

The Onyx Path

(GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles, p. 34)

This school fits right in with no mechanical adjustments needed.  The Onyx Path isn't good for PCs, in most cases, because it's essentially a College of Necromancy style.  As alluded to in my last post, Necromancy is considered a Dark Art in most civilized areas, and knowing spells from that college normally means a character qualifies for a -20 point Secret.  However, I did have one PC recently who knew the style, so it's not forbidden, it just normally comes with some serious complications.

Six Strengths of Siegecraft

(Pyramid #3/4: Magic on the Battlefield, p. 4)

The style of the Society of Siege Sorcerors, a group of mercenary mages, this one fits right in to my gameworld.  There are a number of established mercenary organizations running around, and lots of wars, so it makes perfect sense that there would be a company of "sell-spells" to go with the sell-swords.

Yellow Goblin Magic

(Pyramid #3/28: Thaumatology II, p. 11)

I use the Yrth version of goblins in my own gameworld, mostly because they were in GURPS Fantasy Folk.  Their spells and philosophy are a bit odd, even for goblins, but it works.  The notion of Colors as the major groupings of magic, instead of the College structure, is also one I find interesting.  I've seen the existing college structure as a fundamental aspect of magic, but it doesn't have to be the Only Truth, and it makes me think that maybe the college divisions could be more of a matter of habit and tradition.


(Pyramid #3/43: Thaumatology III, p. 4)

"Wine Magic" is a great idea, but unfortunately for me Dionysus as a god isn't appropriate.  To use this style, I need to rewrite it a good bit and change Dionysus to another God of the Grapevine, and I've never written one up.  It's still a good style, so I'll do that the moment a player shows interest.  I have no real reason to put in the work otherwise.

The Way of the Keepers

(Pyramid #3/48: Secret Magic, p. 10)

This is a modern-day style, and there are some juicy bits to swipe, but I'd need to revise it a lot to get it to fit.   Plus, magic is anything but a secret in my gameworld. 

Perfecting Rites of the Shaded Woodlands

(Pyramid #3/68: Natural Magic, p. 8)

I don't use the Yrth-style Dark Elves any longer, so this style isn't an obvious fit, but I do have Druids who are themselves mages, and so I can certainly make it fit.  It would work as the signature style of a Druidic Crusader-type order (that's an idea worth thinking about.) The only other thing I should do with this one is add some spells from GURPS Magic: Plant Spells to its spell list.

Also, I've been considering writing up an Animal College and Plant College based set of styles for Druids, and this could work as the (or maybe a) Plant-style.


Pyramid #3/4: Magic on the Battlefield, "The Society of Siege Sorcerors," by Sean Punch
Pyramid #3/28: Thaumatology II, "Yellow Goblin Magic," by Mark Gellis
Pyramid #3/43: Thaumatology III, "Adelphos Dionysos," by Sean Punch
Pyramid #3/48: Secret Magic, "The Way of the Keepers," by Michele Armellini
Pyramid #3/68: Natural Magic, "Magic of the Shaded Woodlands," by Paul Stefko

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