Thursday, March 31, 2016

GURPS Magic Notes 26: 2016 Update

So I'm listening to Kenneth Hite's GURPS Cabal using @Voice. I bought the book few months ago and only now had the time to listen to it. Its 93k words so it would be 3 hours with Google's Text To Speech at x3. Its a testament to his writing that the ideas are well understood even with a TTS system is reading it.

So it got me thinking of all the Challenges I had running a complicated Kitchen Sink pseudo Africa setting of The War Under Heaven Campaign.


GURPS Magic, the Orphaned magic system in GURPS because it is in dire need of an update they created Ritual Path Magic System. Like in any complex project without Any Game Design Goals and Documentation - its better to start from scratch and rebegin the Design Goals.

Gaming Card Heuristic. I want the Magic System to be compatible to my Index Card System. This means that a spell or the mechanics is easily hand written to fit an index Card (A7 paper). The Index Card System is my metric for Game Concepts and Character Sheets. If I can fit the description in a Hand Written Index Card - thats good design. This is to pursue more Portable Gaming, for running games in Cafes, Parks, and places of work.

Some Arbitrary GCH.

  • A character should be able to fit one side of 7 index cards. 
  • the smallest mechanic should fit a hand written index card. Any over all system should fit 3-7 index cards. These systems should be modular and optional, people can physically take it or leave it. The thickness is a tangible reminder of complexity. 


GURPS Basic Set Magic April 14 2014 Spell Sheet this is my cliff notes. It would take me a year to remake all the Spells as well as remake all the Design Goals of the Alternate GURPS  Basic Set Magic System.

Alternate GURPS Basic Set Magic System

I dont know when I can get to do this, but right now this is the first draft of design Goals and its open to comment and revision as I'm trying to figure things out. 

  • Rework all the Spells. Following the Index Card principle and the spells are fairly open to imagination and creativity in use. 
    • Using a Spreadsheet (Libreoffice Spreadsheet) recreate all the spells to make more sense. F*ck sacred cows and make them internally consistent and well designed. 
    • Currently experimenting with scientific values like Horsepower or Watts of work to explain what can be done. 
      • Example- what if Move earth was measured in Horsepower of work. moving certain volumes of earth or accelerating a small amount of earth to dangerous velocities. 
      • Example - the implications of being able to fuel fire and what energy ratings of fire. What KW of fire means per unit of Fatigue. 
      • Example - growing plants and being able to convert X amount  of matter for plants. 
      • Its a bit more sciencey but its a great opportunity to understand what goes into the reality we take for-granted. 
  • No Spell Roll. You only roll spell skill on Quick Contests, otherwise spells automatically work. 
    • This follows the Less Rolls Design Philosophy. 
    • Elaborate on Techniques and Manuevers. 1-2pt perks that give a minor bonus to a limited circumstance, or a significant bonus to a very narrow circumstance. 
  • Rescale the Spell Skill levels. Instead of Skills of 15 and every 5 (so the rules are for incredible Skill Inflation) leaving an open ended level system of up to 50.
    • Making Spells from 8 to 18, beyond 18 is diminishing returns. 
    • Make levels Count and recalibrate what each level means. 
    • See Changing Skill Threshold.  
  • Relevant Write up on the system. Outside the Cards Heuristics there will be the following Notes per spell and School of magic. 
    • Doctrine Notes and Spell Design Goals. Opportunity Cost or Strategy guide. How this spell was designed and what was its goals. Aka Best Practice notes. When designing a magic system as to the combat system the design is meant to achieve a particular effect and how closely the system meets its desired goal needs all assumptions present so that outside view can correct for errors. 
    • Market Effect. How this affects the Market and the Economics of the Setting. 
  • Easily Printable Sticker Layout for all the Spells so the GM running it can easily give it to players. 


Previous GURPS Magic Research and Tools

  1. GURPS Magic Notes 01 Initial Review
  2. GURPS Magic Notes 02: Basic Set Spells Strategy Guides
  3. GURPS Magic Notes 03: Review Basic System Mechanics
  4. GURPS Magic Notes 04: Reviewing Enchantment Process
  5. GURPS Magic Notes 05: Enchantment, meta spells, and basic magic economics
  6. GURPS Magic Notes 06; Doctrine 01 - The Most High Use spells
  7. GURPS Magic Notes 07: Doctrine 02 - Magical Defense
  8. GURPS Magic Notes 08: Doctrine 03 - Information Gathering
  9. GURPS Magic Notes 09: Sample Mages for Haven (Campaign)
  10. GURPS Magic Notes 10: Energy Reserves, Extra Fatigue, Modular Abilities, and Magery
  11. GURPS Magic Notes 11: Changing the Skill Threshold
  12. GURPS Magic Notes 12: Power Inflation (inspired by Fate Zero)
  13. GURPS Magic Notes 13; Using Magic Items
  14. GURPS Magic Notes 14: Familiar Templates
  15. GURPS Magic Notes 15: Earth Spells
  16. GURPS Magic Notes 16: Ritual Magic Basics and High Magery
  17. GURPS Magic Notes 17: Spirits
  18. GURPS Magic Notes 18; Zombies
  19. GURPS Magic Notes 19: Ghouls
  20. GURPS Magic Notes 20: Darkness Aspect and Shadow Path Mage
  21. GURPS Magic Notes 21: Swarm Familiar
  22. GURPS Magic Notes 22; Demonic Ally
  23. GURPS Magic Notes 23; Ghostly Companion
  24. GURPS Magic Notes 24: Side Effects that Affects the Time Stream
  25. GURPS Magic Notes 25: Magic Items in Haven (Campaign)
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