Monday, May 10, 2010

Mages and Cantrips and Reverse Engineering

So a couple weeks ago I was musing about mages and cantrips and their relationship to higher level spells and I thought I'd expand on the ideas a little more.

Most cantrips from UA are kind of nuisance/utility spells - not powerful (good) but also not terribly related to upper level spells (bad...at least for what I want to do).

So I found some "Secondary and Residual Effects" for spells from Trollsmyth based in part on this and I thought that could be a cool addition to the magic using class...

So then I thought that I could "reverse engineer" cantrips based on these "secondary effects" (the residuals are just color for the most part). One question is how do the various higher level spells relate, and if they are related, how do they relate to learning some of these very basic magic...skills?

Or...since I might be overhauling the magic system (completely new spells - at least new names - loving the Vancian spell name generator I found online...) I could take current cantrips - and some new/original ones - and simply create new spells (yeah, "simply", I know...). Or...some combination of the two...

Plus, I have GURPS Magic that one commenter suggested...but it's pretty...complicated (yeah, I like things simple, honest...) so I don't have a real grasp on how it works, but I'd like to plow my way through it soon, just to get an idea.

So, here's a spell with secondary and residual effects:

Advanced Illusion Range: 180’

Illusionist 4 Duration: 1 minute/level

This spell functions like the spell spectral force, except that the illusion follows a script determined by the caster. The illusion follows the script without requiring the caster to concentrate on it. The illusion can include intelligible speech if the caster wishes; however, such speech is likewise scripted, so the illusion will not respond if spoken to.

Secondary: the illusionist can create a small 3-D illusory effect (no more than 3’x3’) that is a single color and translucent.

Residual: the illusionist glows slightly and makes inexplicable noises (jingling bells, sniffing sounds, etc).


Here's an idea for grouping it:

Cantrip: Bend Light (illusionist can create a small 3-D illusory effect - no more than 3'x3' that is a single color and translucent). Prerequisite for: Advanced Illusion, Blur, Color Spray, Dancing Lights, Hallucinatory Terrain, Illusory Wall, Invisibility, Improved Invisibility, Invisibility 10'r, Mass Invisibility, Mirror Image, Permanent Illusion, Programmed Illusion, Projected Image, Spectral Force, True Seeing, Wizard Eye)

Hmmm, okay, that's WAY too many spells - unless...perhaps some have more than one prerequisite...thus more than one "cantrip" needed to cast the spell (and available to the mage).

So...Advanced Illusion could be renamed:
Edditzi's sophisticated immaterial occultation

5 comments:

Rob Conley said...

I am knowledgeable about GURPS Magic. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

David said...

Interesting... I think I like where this is going, but I worry about complexity.

Word Verification: colope - a tusked reptilian herbivore that really likes melons.

Daen Ral Worldbuilder said...

David: Yeah, I'm pretty worried about complexity, too - but provided that it doesn't get too overwhelming, I'm willing to move ahead with this and see how it plays out

Rob: Thanks - I may take you up on that - I'll have to check on which GURPS Magic I have... What I remember from flipping through it was that it seemed REALLY complicated...

Rob Conley said...

I will see about doing a blog post on it. The main thing is that there are a lot of spells. But the basics are pretty easy to explain.

Daen Ral Worldbuilder said...

Hey Rob, that would be great. If it matters, I have GURPS MAGIC 4e. I'm a GURPS newbie - really, the only GURPS item I've ever read through and through was the Horseclans sourcebook - and I could ignore most of the crunchy stuff in that... So, I'm trying to get a handle on it. Do I need to read GURPS Basic to understand GURPS Magic?