333, Chapter Three, Part 3

Magical Styles

See Pyramid 3/66 pages 9-12 for rules regarding adapting Thaumatology: Magical Styles to Ritual Path Magic.

Some worked examples of these RPM magical styles that exist in the 333 setting are detailed in Appendix B: Ritual Path Magic Styles.

Paut

Paut is a thick and silvery liquid believed to have been created or discovered by the Ancient Egyptians, drinking it restores 1 point of your mana reserve per ounce consumed. It can also be directly tapped into while casting a spell just like other energy sources. Stockpiling Paut might make the authorities suspicious of you, just as if you were to start stockpiling bullets or certain chemicals.

Paut costs 1/100 of Average Typical Monthly Pay times 3 per ounce, making it worth $78 per ounce at TL 8.

Creating one ounce of Paut requires the right Secret Materials magic perk, any one of certain kinds of mana found only in rare spots (usually mana gathered at a +5 place of power), one hour and a successful Path of Magic or Alchemy roll.

Among enterprising magi, coins made out of consolidated Paut are used as a kind of unofficial currency. Pressing the Paut into a coin shape can be easily done with mundane minting tools or a simple spell. Below are some stats for such coins in circulation;

  • The Circe (1 energy and $78/coin, diameter: 0.589″, -12 SM, weight: 0.01598351 lbs.)
  • The Prospero (3 energy and $234/coin, diameter: 0.559”, -12 SM, weight: 0.003990367 lbs.)
  • The Merlin (9 energy and $702/coin, diameter: 0.456”, ‑12 SM, weight: 0.003990367 lbs.)

Charms, Elixirs and Conditional Rituals

Conditional Magic and Charms are subject to the LC rules, as with other personal equipment. Anything that is too dangerous (presumably, anything unnecessarily lethal for self-defence) and/or with only criminal applications (lockpicking, mind control, creating false coinage, cheating at cards, computer hacking, etc.) typically gets restricted to only those with the right Permit. If a magical search of your person turns up such magic, you could get thrown out, shot or arrested. Just like driving a car or shooting a gun, it is illegal to cast a spell or operate an enchanted item while intoxicated. Magi suffering from Alcoholism or/and Addiction to the standard illicit drugs are in danger of losing their License unless they submit to rehabilitation measures put in place by the government – although Addiction to “magical drugs” (usually certain “flawed” types of elixirs like Buffout, Psycho, Mentats, Jet, Virtus, Scroll-Lock and Fire-Walk) is less well documented, checked for and treated, leading to Addiction displacement amongst magi. Rituals that inflict the Ecstasy condition (B428) are also popular magical “drugs” amongst both magi and mundanes, since they’re not as deliberating, random, or noticeable as mundane drugs.

Elixirs use expiration dates and cost extra. Modern thaumaturges often prefer elixirs delivered in the form of pills, bubblegum, cigarettes or cigars, aerosol sprays, injection syringes and smoke grenades instead of the more old-fashioned pastilles, powders and ointments.

Tattoo charms are available. Security forces get wary around people with many strange tattoos or scars as a result. The Observation skill spots tattoos and scars on bare skin, the Search skill finds them under clothes or bandages, and the Thaumatology skill will identify wherever they’re actually charms or not. See Pyramid 3/56 page 34.
Scroll charms are available. They are generally seen as the charm of choice for public works and for mundanes, a sign of wholesome spellcrafting that has no shady side, perhaps because their activation is fairly transparent (held in two hands and read aloud). Writing a scroll charm in a classical or ancient language grants an energy cost reduction, but makes it harder for others to use (which may be a feature, not a bug). See Pyramid 3/76 page 18.

It is common practice for multiple bullet charms to be “stored for use” in a shootist’s back-up revolver, rather than in a modern clip-load semi-automatic pistol. The idea is that the revolver’s cylinder can be rotated to set what charm bullet is ready to fire, and the individually loaded charm bullets are easier to keep track of and switch out of the cylinder than a magazine. Thus, the revolver’s weaknesses are turned into strengths.

It is, by default, assumed that no-one in the 333 setting can transfer a charm from a spell slot of its original caster to another person’s spell slots, as per Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology page 23 or Pyramid 3/56 page 30. This makes buying charms a less powerful option than it would otherwise be, occasionally necessitating a fallback to mundane solutions. Likewise, it makes selling charms less lucrative than it otherwise would be. If the GM wishes, Thaumatological scholars may discover or invent ways of transferring charms across personal spell slots, either in-play (by a PC?) or as recent events in the campaign’s background. Using the New Invention rules (B473), the process for transferring charms could be created through experimentation with Thaumatology (the required “invention” skill) and would be of Average Complexity. The process is a variant on an existing magical ability, giving +1 to +5 to the Concept roll.

Enchanted Items and Magical Foci

Making most magical effects permanent requires enchantment, rather than simply ritualism. In the 333 setting, enchantment does not use the rules on Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic pages 33-35.

Enchanted weapons, especially stuff like firearms with no sound, no smell and no muzzle flash effects, are restricted to militaries, police, intelligence agencies and similarly high level authorities. Not that such restrictions prevent the black market sales of them, of course. In the outer planes, there are a lot more enchanted weapons in the hands of mercenaries, gangsters, corporate security professionals and paranoiacs. LC 1 or 2.

Enchanting and paying Character Points (and probably money as well) is how you magically cure physical disability (e.g. One Eye) and mental illness (e.g. Phantom Voices) Disadvantages for good. Enchanting may also “install” positive Traits or magical powers into a character, increasing their point total. This category of enchantment typically incurs costs in parts and labour of $2000 per Character Point in Traits removed or added. See B294-296.

Variant Technological Battery: Magitek Battery (TL^)
A magitek battery is similar to a mundane battery or power cell, except that it can be recharged using magical energy. This doesn’t require any particular spell or ability, instead determine the mage’s “magical ST” by adding his Magery to his IQ. A full charge requires the mage to concentrate constantly for 3,600 seconds x (battery weight/”magical” Basic Lift). A Magitek battery costs twice as much as a normal battery or power cell of the same size. “Respooling” this energy into FP is possible, but not very efficient – magitek batteries yield FP equal to their weight x 3 to power spells, rituals, etc. LC4.

Magical Metatronic Generators

In 333 campaigns, the settings uses a magical variant of the Metatronic Generator rules (Pyramid 3/46 page 16-23) for enchanted items, rather than those given in Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic. The Ravens ‘n’ Pennies blog has the full write-up here; http://www.ravensnpennies.com/designers-notes-metatronic-generators/

The Basics
Instead of using Electronics Operation (Metatronics), use Thaumatology instead. GMs may allow Path skill rolls instead, if that makes sense. For example, a Wand of Fireballs might require a Path of Energy roll instead of Thaumatology.
Treat Critical failures as a botch on a spell and make a HT roll.
Use the Extra Effort rules normally, but make a Will-Based Thaumatology roll.
Ritual Path magic generators can be cumulative with the wearer’s abilities but only for Magical Tools (see GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 33).
Ritual Path magic generators use Magical as a standard power modifier.
Do not use the modifiers under Enchanted Limitations (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 33), the item’s “gadget” modifiers are already taken into account using the Power Table.

Designing and Building
Most Ritual Path magic generators are going to be apparatuses, for magical staves, swords, and the like, go through the regular design process.

New Modifiers:

Limited/Loyal: The device is loyal to a particular person or has a code to use and cannot be used by anyone other than the authorized user. This may be switched by the current authorized user. +1 CF. If it cannot be switched to a new user use the following table to determine its limitation:
Only for a specific nation, religion, or race: Add a CF of -0.2
Only for a specific type of creature, or folk of a certain city: Add a CF of -0.4
Only for all members of one specific family: Add a CF of -0.6
Only for one specific person: Add a CF of -0.8

Self-Healing: The device can heal itself, maybe it’s bioorganic or magically self-sustaining. Whatever the case the device heals 1 HP of damage per day without repair. This adds a +0.25 CF to the final cost. If the device must meet with certain requirements that are difficult to arrange or time consuming, than halve the final modifier. Examples include environmental needs (it has to be left in sunshine) or specific elements (needs to be plugged into house current). Higher levels are possible with the GM’s permission. If it heals at 1 HP per 12 hours then the CF is +0.5, if it’s 1 HP per hour then it’s +1 CF, 1 HP per minute is +4 CF, and 1 HP per second is +19 CF.
Reduced Battery: The device is a power hog, reduce operating duration or shots by half. -0.2 CF. Higher levels may be possible if the GM allows. For one-quarter duration or shots add -0.4 CF, one-eighth, -0.6 CF, and so on. Minimum operating duration is 1 second or 1 shot.
Resilient: The device is particular rugged, double both DR and HP. This costs +1 CF. GMs may allow higher levels, each level increasing the DR and HP by a further multiple. Triple DR and HP costs x3, Quadruple costs +4 CF, and so on. Halve this if it only doubles the DR or HP of the object.
Rugged: The device is particularly rugged. All generators start with a HT of 12, but each level of this modifier increases this by +1 and costs +0.5 CF.
Unique: The device is a one of kind (just like the gadget modifier on p. B117) and if broken or stolen cannot be reproduced. -1 CF.

New Size: Diminutive
Diminutive generators ar SM-10, weight 0.0015 lbs., require 1 AA cell per week, have a LC of 3, Bulk -0, and a negligible ST requirement. Cost is $4,500 x point cost and require either TL10 or higher technology or that they be self-powered.

Generator Size Examples:
Tiny generators: rings, circlets, etc.
Mini generators: wands, daggers, etc.
Small generators: staves, rods, etc.
Portable generators: armor, swords, etc.
Semi-Portable generators: cloaks, robes, etc.
Large generators: vehicles, golem horses, etc.

Interpolated Values
What if you don’t want a SM-6 Mini generator? What if you want a SM-7? This is possible with the current system, simply add the stats of the two devices together and then average them (rounding up) and use the best battery requirement. For example, a SM-7 Mini generator would cost $3,250 per point, need 2xAA/24 hours, weighs 0.17 lbs., be LC 3, have a Bulk of -2, and a ST of 2.

Using the Generator
This is pretty much the same. For “power rings” and the like, use the Innate Attack skill to hit instead of Thaumatology.

Powering a Generator
Energy may be accumulated to pay a generator’s FP cost using the following formula: 5 x normal FP cost. This uses the Path of Magic (exactly as if you were filling your mana reserve). For example, a generator that costs 1 FP to use, can instead be powered by 5 points of accumulated energy.
Capacitors buy Energy Reserve (Mana Reserve) at 3 points per level. If a given generator can only use a capacitor, use the rules for the built in ER. If a generator must use accumulated energy, add “Accessibility, FP costs must be accumulated normally, -5%.”
Self-Powered generators accumulate energy over time, assume a Path of Magic skill of 15 and roll each turn. This is exactly as if you were filling a mana reserve. For a Path of Magic skill of 20, quadruple, not double the final cost of the item. Alternatively, the item may recover 1 point of energy per 10 minutes as a feature (though it still costs double as a self-powered item).
It isn’t suggested that battery costs be used, but if the GM wants too he’ll need to figure out how much FP is in each battery type and shape. See magitek batteries above for an example.

Magical Foci

Magical foci are specific tools for casting spells that either give a bonus to skill, allow the wielder to use adept times, or both.See Pyramid 3/82 page 24 (Laser Focus for my Laser Spell) for rules on Magical Foci. The article uses TL 8 prices, for costs at other TLs, assume that just a skill bonus has a base cost equal to 2.5 x Average Starting Wealth. For an Adept Focuser, base cost is 12.5 x Average Starting Wealth. For a Dual Focuser, the base cost is 20 x Average Starting Wealth. Then apply the percentage discount (for how broad or narrow the scope of use) to the base cost (CFs for higher bonuses are then applied):
All Rituals: -0%
Broad Tradition: -15%
Typical Tradition: -20%
Narrow Tradition: -25%
Specific Path/Effect: -30%
Ritual Mastery Perk Only: -60%
One Ritual: -80%

Anti-Magic Powers

Magic Resistance and nullifying powers like Static (Magic) and Neutralise (Magic) typically only can be bought at character creation – the GM may allow PCs who started with these abilities to upgrade them with CP (more levels, enhancements, buy off limitations) and buy related powers. Visiting the outer planes, for instance, requires a character with Static to have the Discriminatory or Switchable Enhancement so they may travel through the interdimensional gates. Using magic nullifying abilities on an unwilling target or on the enchanted possessions of another without permission is, you guessed it, a crime. Depending on the circumstances (e.g. disabling a shaman’s personal ward just as a hostile spirit smashes into the room) and motive (e.g. you were just playing a prank and it got out of hand), the punishment may be as severe as if you had improperly used magic to commit a felony…or simply committed a misdemeanour. Anti-magic abilities are subject to particularly harsh laws compared to actual magic, but such abilities must be registered with the local government. This is nowhere on Earth or the outer planes that bans magic nullifiers. People with such abilities are nicknamed “Nulls”, “Zeros”, “Breakers”, “Untouchables”, and similar slang.

Grimoires

Typically, powerful grimoires with a rich history tend to be written in Ancient Egyptian, Tibetan, Latin, Sanskrit, Classical Chinese, Aramaic, Classical Greek, Pali, Sumerian, Classical Arabic, Norman French, Middle English and Etruscan.

As an Optional Rule, Collection Grimoires can substitute the shared Path requirement for skill prerequisites or required disadvantages. For example, instead of requiring that all the Rituals in a Collection be, say, Body effects, it can simply require the user to have the Sadism disadvantage, or the Mathematics (Applied) skill at 14 or higher. This kind of thematic requirement is set by the GM.

Digital Grimoires could be a future invention by Thaumatological researchers – if so, the cost is 20 times normal and requires (bonus X 100) GB for each individual ritual.

Technomagic

The default assumption is that Technomagic (see Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology page 14-23) is a rare variant of ordinary spell casting, if it even exists. Nobody can use both systems, you are either a Ritualist or a Technomage. If Technomagic exists in the setting, it may be a very recent invention, or it could’ve been secretly conceived by Alan Turing during the Second World War.

Religion and Magic

Generally speaking, most mundane religions are either neutral or some degree of hostile to the practise of magic. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the most visibly anti-magic faiths in the current times. Thaumaturges are usually stereotyped as atheists. It is generally believed that if a Thaumaturge IS religious, he or she will probably follow a religion less mainstream than the Abrahamic religions, like Neo-Pagan, Taoism, Shinto, Buddhism, or ancestor worship. (And the stereotypically atheist magi will be annoyed at such religious magi for believing in “mundane superstitions”.)

So far, any attempt to use magic to get answers to “the big questions” (“Does God exist?”) have resulted, mostly, in being pointed towards the atheistic worldview (“No, God does not exist.”)…although the questionable reliability of information gathering rituals muddy the waters, of course. Some divination spells have occasionally gave answers supporting a religious worldview (“God exists.”), but that may have been a botched ritual giving a false positive. Certainly, no ghosts or resurrected people have ever claimed to have experienced an afterlife, punitive or otherwise. Vampires are not repealed by any “holy” object. Angels and Devils are just subcategories of Spirits – stray aggregate human emotions and thoughts combining with Binah energies (spirits of Vices and Virtues are more probably named Daemons and Enochians, respectively). Technically speaking, there seems to be no such thing as a “soul”, either – the human mind (made flesh by brain chemistry and a nervous system) contains what are basically called memories and personalities, ghosts are simply human minds combining with Malkuth energies to manifest outside a physical body, and there is no way your personality or memories could be something transcendent, eternal and divinely gifted if drug abuse, head injuries, the passage of time and brain tumours are capable of altering or destroying them.

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