Tuesday, January 28, 2014

GURPS Magic Notes 20: Darkness Aspect and Shadow Path Mage

Playing around with Darkness Aspect Mage and Shadow Magic. Again lets begin with some basics. Reading the definition of Darkness Aspect Mage (B67), it seems the mage can only cast spells in Total Darkness. I wonder if spells can "exist" outside darkness.

Basic Darkness Aspected Mage Template

73 points. 
IQ10
Unusual Background (Mage) [10]
Magery 15 (Asepct: Darkness -40%; Accessibility: Ally -40%) [35]
Thaumatology (VH) IQ+3 [20]-23 (-5 from low mana)
Special Familiar [8]
Maintaining Darkvision-20 and Scryguard-21

Shape Darkness (M113)

The character has 19 hexes of Darkness to Shape. The familiar typically maintains the darkness. Powerful Familiars are more adept in maintaining the spell and shaping it creatively in order to grant the mage a strategic advantage.


Special Familiar 
Familiar up to 75 points
(Ally 50% Point Value 2cp; Special Ability +50%; Sympathy, death of ally brings Character to 0HP -25%; Constant Frequency x4; Dependent Freq-6 -2cp, ) [8]. Typically these Familiars grant Mana Enhancer 1.

Powerful Familiar 
Familiar up to 112 points
(Ally 75% Point Value 3cp; Special Ability +50%; Sympathy, death of ally brings Character to 0HP -25%; Constant Frequency x4; Dependent Freq-6 -1cp) [14].  Typically these Familiars grant Mana Enhancer 2 .


Shadow Path Magic (house rule; non-RAW)

Ignore if your only interested in RAW.

Special Paths or Expanding the spells of a particular path is something I will go into greater detail. I just want to get Shadow Path out of the way. Shadow is a common go-to concept in many fantasy and even 4-color settings. Shadow Magic is one of my favorite in DnD 3e, of course after playing all these games shadow has a very flimsy and inconsistent definition. Shadow has substance, when in science its merely the absence of light that we can SEE (so its not really darkness because there is electro magnetic stuff going around). 

I like Shadow or Darkness as a concept taken from Science, the concept of there being something where there is nothing (one of lectures of Laurence Krauss Something from Nothing). Basically its impermanent matter.

So in this Concept (Dark Matter), Illusion Creation falls under Shadow Magic as well as Darkness (particularly only the Spells that Cause/Control/Manipulate Darkness). Because its that "Schrodinger" like sense of unstable reality, I want to put elements on Movement (particularly teleporting and blurring elements) in the Shadow Path Magic. 

Basically special Magical Paths (I will cover Blood, Flesh Crafting, Sacred Flame, in other posts) allow them to "default" certain spells from other schools at a "default" penalty. It requires an additional unusual background worth 10 points for special magical paths. The reason why i want to go over special magical paths is because the way concepts overlap in GURPS Magic, depending on your perspective certain spells should be in certain colleges/paths and certain things should be achievable by many colleges. 

Shadow Magic 

Certain Movement Spells are possible at a -2 penalty plus their prerequisite count (like Mage Hand, Teleport and Blink) but it is aesthetically pulled off as being shadow and darkness related.  
Certain Illusions and Creation spells can be done at -2 penalty  plus their prerequisite count but everything appears to be black featureless things and beings. 

Meta Spells dealing with Concealment (like Conceal Magic and Scry Guard) are done at -4 penalty.

I'm tempted to allow darkness themed elements like, Shadow stuff gust of Air feats or Liquid-Water Like Feats or Obsidian Earth to be created at a greater penalty (-4, -6, and -8 respectively adding to its prerequisite count). Black Fire or Shadow Flame being something possible at a -10.

The Darkness Aspected Mage can be easily converted or grow to become a Shadow Mage

Shadow Mage Template

83 points. 
IQ10
Unusual Background (Mage) [10]
Unusual Background (Shadow Path) [10]
Magery 15 (Asepct: Darkness -40%; Accessibility: Ally -40%) [35]
Shadow Path (VH) IQ+3 [20]-32 (high mana)
Special Familiar (Typically a Shadow Snake) [8]
Maintaining Darkvision-31 and Scryguard-28 

Shadow Raven, Special Familiar

The Shadow Raven is a Common Familiar for Darkness Aspected Mages. The mage need only to give it shade, in order to allow it to begin casting Darkness and Shape Darkness. It manages the Shape Darkness for the mage and is able to maintain it indefinitely. 
74/75 point template
Abilities and Characteristics [5]:
ST3 [-70] HP3 SPD6
DX14 [80] Will10 Move 2[-15]
IQ10 Per12 [10]
HT10 FP10 SM-4
Dodge10 Parry- DR-

  • Traits [-24]: Acute Vision 2 [4]; Telescopic Vision 2 [10] Night Vision 5 [5]; Sharp Beak [1]; Flight (Winged -25%; +3 Move; Air Move-12) [36]; One Arms (Uses Beak) [-20]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-15]; Dead Broke [-25]; Status -2 [-10]; Magery 0 [5]; Duty, Hazardous (Almost Always) to Master [-15]
  • Magery [35]: Magery +15 (Ally Accessibility -40%; Light and Darkness College -40%) [35];  
  • Affliction (B35) Granting Mana Enhancer 1 to its Mage [53] (Mana-Enhancer level 1 +500%; Optional Rule Limited Enhancements B111 applied on the Mana Enahancer) 53 points.
  • Skills [10]: Thaumaturgy-25 [8]; Scrounging-12 [1]
  • Class: Animal, Familiar

Shadow Snake, Special Familiar

The Shadow snake is a Special Familiar that grants a great amount of power to its mage (Mana Enhancer 2). It is fairly weak, but has the ability to slip through cracks and hide on the person of the mage. Note Unlike, the other Snake Familiar this familiar cannot manipulate at all. 
70/75 point template
Abilities and Characteristics [5]:
ST 7 [-30]  HP7 SPD5.75
DX12 [40] Will10 Move 4 [-5]
IQ10 Per10
HT11 [10] FP11 SM-0
Dodge10 Parry- DR-


  • Traits [-73]: Cold blooded (50 degrees) [-5]; Night Vision 5 [5]; Innate Attack Toxic (Blood Agent -40%; Melee Attack, Reach-C -30%; Onset -10%; Cyclic, every 10 seconds with 10 cycles +500% ) [21];  Sharp Fangs [1]; Magery 0 [5]; Vermin Form [-35]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-15]; Dead Broke [-25]; Status -2 [-10]; Duty, Hazardous (Almost Always) to Master [-15]
  • Magery [25]: Magery +15 (Ally Accessibility -40%; Light and Darkness College -40%) [35];  
  • Shadowform [-20]; Unusual background Shadow Path Magic [10]
  • Affliction (B35) Granting Mana Enhancer 2 to its Mage [103] (Mana-Enhancer level 1 +1000%; Optional Rule Limited Enhancements B111 applied on the Mana Enahancer) 103 points.  
  • Skills [10]: Shadow Path-25 [8]; Stealth-12 [2]; 
  • Class: Animal, Familiar

War Shadow-mare, Powerful Familiar

The Shadow-mare is a Powerful Familiar used by "Shadow Riders". 
110/112 point template
Abilities and Characteristics [65]:
ST21 (-10% SM+1, -40% no Fine Manipulators) [55] HP24 SPD5
DX9 [-20] Will11 [5] Move 6/12 [5] 
IQ10 Per12 [10]
HT11 [10] FP12 SM+1
Dodge9 Parry- DR-

  • Traits [-72]: Combat Reflex [15]; Quadruped (B263) [-35]; Chummy [-5]; Peripheral Vision [15]; Weak Bite [-2]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-15]; Dead Broke [-25]; Enhanced Ground move 1 [10]; Status -2 [-10]; Duty, Very Hazardous to Rider [-20] 
  • Magery [45] Magery +15 (Ally Accessibility -40%; Shadow Path -40%) [35];  Unusual Background: Shadow Magic Path [10]
  • Affliction (B35) Granting Mana Enhancer 1 to its Mage [53] (Mana-Enhancer level 1 +500%; Optional Rule Limited Enhancements B111 applied on the Mana Enahancer) 53 points.
  • Skills [14]: Mount-10 [4]; Shadow Path-25 [8]; Brawl-10 [2]
  • Class: Animal, Familiar
  • Note: Can Speak

Conclusion

oooo Shadow Mages ooooo. Its aesthetically and conceptually pleasing to see shadow mages and darkness aspected mages. So I had to write about them. I guess now that I have all this hashed out I can have some of these appear in my games.  Since all my notes are available hopefully you find it useful for your game, it takes little effort to adapt it to adapt it to other games.  

Blood Mages is another themed mage that would be cool, they would be drawing from Body and Water path spells. If you've watched Beyond Boundary, you might get the idea of shaping items out of blood (like Illusion Creation Spells). Blood Mage with a Mosquito Swarm Familiar Lolz (awesome and terrible at the same time)!

Themed mages are pretty cool conceptually, and with their limitations and costs hashed out make them hard to use since the circumstance they become very powerful is very limited. A Darkness mage is actually a bit more powerful than a Shadow Mage, since Thaumatology allows a blanket ability to cast any college at -6 vs the narrower themed focus of a given the costs a 150pt character as a Special Themed mage will not be so powerful as a generalist, and a little better off in flexibility as a specialist.


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