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Apart from Stormbringer...


dracopticon

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...has there been any other only-ritual-magic-system in the worlds of BRP?

I'm talking the first version of Stormbringer here, it's a favourite of mine.

Spells in FRPs tend to be "flash bang nonsense" as (Greg Stafford was it?) so aptly put it once, in Pendragon. I myself really like ritual magic, and what I mean with the phrase is this: there are no real "spells", only creatures that can be summoned and bound, and who gives spell-like effects. When these creatures are "spent" (have returned to their natives planes), the supply of "spells" is ended, and the magician has to sit down (or stand up) and go through the whole summoning/binding ritual again. I think: NICE!

Anyone else like this too?

Erik.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

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I for one.

I've never really liked point-and-click type of magic but much prefer rituals and ceremonies of various kinds. I've actually asked for a game using BRP on rpol.net using sorcery (a few interested players but no volunteer GM yet, so if anyone feels the urge...) as I think that kind of game would work fine on a board or via email.

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I've actually asked for a game using BRP on rpol.net using sorcery (a few interested players but no volunteer GM yet, so if anyone feels the urge...) as I think that kind of game would work fine on a board or via email.

Hmm, rpol.net? What's that, have to check. Anyhow, yes as you say, point and click-magic sucks and, quite frankly, should not be something incorporated in the "true" BRP tradition.

I'd volunteer did I not live in Sweden... It's a long way to walk.

Erik.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

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I think it depends on the style you play. click & bang magic is handy if you need ad hoc effects like in dungeon crawl or other very combat oriented adventures. The price the players must pay for such an technical approach is of course the demystification of magic.

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Are we talking about the battle spells from Elric!/SB5 as point and click magic?

See, I view that as the secrets that the grizzled veteran hands down to the terrified newbie. "Invoke the Lords of Entropy in this way and they'll aid you in battle. If you're good, they'll turn your blade into a blazing inferno."

Or, I think of the gnarly, tattered beggar focusing on the first time he bit the head off of a rat. This focusing his mind and allowing him to see through the nearest rat's eyes.

It's folk magic, and doesn't need the complicated rituals that summoning does.

That said, it's been awhile since I've read Liber Ka, (and I believe I know have two copies of it if anyone wants one). It was definitely more hermetic than most systems, but I didn't have the main rule book to give me perspective the first time I read it, and it's been about three years since I've picked it up.

70/420

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The price the players must pay for such an technical approach is of course the demystification of magic.

That is my main complaint. But I should probably qualify my comment a bit by saying that point-and-click magic can be fun to play, it's just not very interesting.

I really should try to avoid making sweeping statements like that ;)

Are we talking about the battle spells from Elric!/SB5 as point and click magic?

I haven't played SB since 1st ed I'm afraid so can't comment.

Edited by jarulf
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But I do find magic that's slightly more subtle than your average fireball more interesting. Something that puts the magic back into spells.

Ah, I think I see what you mean. An Elric! suppliment, The Unknown East, has a system similar to Ars Magica. You basically have two wheels of magical discipline. One is composed of Actions, one is composed of Effects. A mage is skilled is skilled at one of the disciplines on the Action wheel and one on the Effects wheel. Things that the mage is skilled at take fewer magic points to effect than things that are farther away on the given wheel.

So, let's say the mage was skilled at Diminution and Fire (keep in mind, I'm traveling and I don't have my book in front of me). This mage is good at minimizing something and with things having to do with fire. He can put out a fire with very little effort. He can Control fire with a bit more effort, as Control is down the wheel from Diminution. He can stop a flood with considerable more effort, as water is on the other side of the wheel as water. He can control the path of water with a substantial effort as Control is down the wheel from Diminution and Water is opposite of Fire. He can make someone pass out with a little bit of effort using Diminution and Spirit (or Flesh?).

Anyway, you get the point.

Another system that's more interesting than 'point and click' is the Chaos Melds from the Corum book. Basically, the mage has certain effects that they know. They combine these effects into Melds to cast a spell. The resulting spell is determined by what the individual effects do when they're combined. This can result in some pretty flashy stuff, but it's more interesting than utilizing a list of spells.

If you can track down a book called Maelstrom, you may also want to just steal it's magic system. It's very low key. It involves the principles of Sympathy, Ritual, and... and, um, all those other magic theories that I can't remember right now (again, the books not in front of me here). It has four ranks. the first subtly plays with probability. You're running from a mob, say. What's the chance that the people in front suddenly trip up, giving you those extra seconds you need to get away? The fourth rank is much more along the lines of, what if my arch nemesis just happened to have a massive brain hemorrhage. Fourth rank magic is also a lot harder to pull off.

Nice thing about Maelstrom is it's very easy to just plug it into the BRP system.

70/420

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I have to note that the issue of whether magic is ritual (that is to say in the context of this thread, relatively slow and non-tactically relevant) or not, and whether its "mysterious" are orthogonal; you can have ritual magic that scientific and precise, and off-hand magic that's a somewhat unpredictable art.

(I think on the whole the latter is hard to handle in a game in a way that does anything but make it annoying, but that's neither here nor there).

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