Tuesday, July 1, 2014

GURPS101: Ritual Path Magic Material Enchanting

Sean Punch's The Material Difference from Pyramid #3/66: The Laws of Magic is an exciting new system looking at a common videogame trope: "Resource Farming." Though the article is geared toward the basic magic system it could be easily adapted to Ritual Path Magic.

The Basics
First, a few assumptions. Let's assume that enchanter's work the same number of hours as those from GURPS Magic do (i.e., 22 days a month) and also that being a enchanter is a Comfortable job. So a TL3 Ritual Path Magic enchanter earns $1,400 a month and a TL8 one earns $5,200. This means that each (eight-hour) day of a enchanter's time is worth about $236 (for TL8) and $64 (for TL3). Of course, unlike GURPS Magic, ritual path magic enchanted items are typically built by those who are going to use them - not from a shop or the like. But for the sake of argument, lets use these numbers. It takes 200 hours to get 1 character point to put towards a magical item.

Provided Energy
The energy provided per point changes:
  • Mundane Valuables: Use the chart below to determine how much each hour's worth of enchantment costs. Numbers were rounded to the the nearest whole number.
           TL         Energy Provided
           0           $7/hour
           1           $59/hour
           2           $61/hour
           3           $64/hour
           4           $73/hour
           5           $100/hour
           6           $145/hour
           7           $191/hour
           8           $236/hour
           9           $327/hour
           10         $509/hour
           11         $736/hour
           12         $964/hour
  • Dangerous Substances/Monster Parts: Provide the same amount of hours equal to 1/10th the energy they would otherwise provide.

Use the same skills for identification as listed on page 30 of the article, but change the extraction method for intangible spiritual residues to either a Path of Spirit or Path of Undead roll. Distilling essences requires one hour per 200 hours involved. Enchanter's Labs can be used to make charms and vice versa at only a -2 penalty for improvised equipment.

Recycling Magic Items
Use the following process to recycle a magical item:
1. Multiple the item's final character point cost by 200.
2. The distillation skill is the lower of Path of Magic or Thaumatology.
3. Use the same step as indicated in the article.
4. Use the same step as a indicated in the article (i.e., halve the total hours).
5. Use the same step as indicated in the article.

Ignore all other steps - Ritual Path Magic isn't as complicated as the basic magic system.

Example: The Staff of Serpents
Eligor the Scaled is a ritual path magic caster who has a tendency toward snake-themed magic. Deciding he wants a staff to increase his power further, Eligor's player comes up with the following:

Staff of Serpents
312 points

This orange bronze staff allows the weilder to converse with serpents of any kind and use influence skills on them normally. It also allows the weilder to control them as if he had Mind Control. Finally, it can launch up to three semi-solid magical construct that resemble snakes which can bite targets and cause them to fall asleep for several minutes in addition to any FP loss.

Statistics: Animal Empathy (Magic, -10%; Specialized, Ophidians, -50%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [1] +
Conjure Serpent* [179] + Call of the Wild [1] + Magery 10 (Limited Scope, Serpent Magic, -20%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [30] + Mind Control (Based on IQ, +20%; Decreased Immunity, immune for one hour, +50%; Long-Range 2, +100%; Magic, -10%; Specialized, Ophidians, -50%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [80] + Ritual Adept (Limited Scope, Serpent Magic, -20%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [12] + Speak with Animals (Sapience, +40%; Specialized, Ophidians, -50%; Staff, Protected, -50%; Universal, +20%) [9].
* Conjure Serpent: This spell conjures a semi-solid glowing snake that hurls itself at the target, biting them and injecting them with a mystical toxin that causes FP loss due to lack of sleep. The serpents can continue to attack 3 more times, but fade away afterwards. Though the additional attacks allowed by the Impaling Attack are resistible - the first one is not. Further attacks may be resisted using the better of a grappling skill to grab the serpent and through it off or DX - not HT. This is a feature of the attack.  Impaling Attack 2d-1 (Accuracy 2, +10%; Affect Substantial, +20%; Cosmic, Cyclic on a Impaling attack, +100%; Cyclic, 3 1-second intervals, resistable, +150%; Increased Range, Line of Sight, +40%; Magic, -10%; RoF 3, +70%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [56] + Fatigue Attack 3d (Extended Duration, 300x, +100%; Follow-Up, Impaling attack, +0%; Hazard, Missed Sleep, +20%; Magic, -10%; Side Effect, Unconsciousness, +250%; Staff, Protected, -50%) [123]. 179 points.

If Eligor were to try to create this item using the Slow and Sure method it would take him over 21.25 years! But luckily, he recently destroyed a avatar of Surmush the Lord of the Scale that'd gone mad. Since it was the real Surmush (his god) who asked him to do it he was allowed to keep the remains of the dead avatar to do with as he wished. The GM agrees that the remains are worth 30,000 hours in "dangerous substance" essence alone, and 30,000 hours for the bones, teeth, etc. (he awards a special bonus multipler of x30 for the fact that it's a god's avatar!) with only 2,400 hours needed Eligor uses up the reminder of the spoils from quest to kill the mad serpent god to garner another 2,000 hours in jewels, gold, and other precious items. He then spends 50 days using the Slow and Sure enchantment to finish his new item.


  1. I think you have a math error: $1400/month divided by 22 days = $64/day, not /hour. Or am I missing something?

    1. Actually, it left out some words. :-/ Fixed it.

  2. TL 5 is supposed to be 100 per hour, right? Not 10 per hour?

    1. Aye. I've fixed it in the original post as well.