Thursday, March 26, 2015

GURPS 101: Magical Styles - Demonology



My last installment of magical styles was almost a year ago. The post did prove popular, but I didn’t get back to this until now. Mostly because I’ve been really busy and this sort of intense article requires a lot of research and precise planning - styles take time to make the right way and anything worth doing is worth doing right. For now, this is only for Ritual Path Magic users, but I might do a sequel for standard magic if there is enough clamor for it. Like before, this might as well be a "GURPS301" because of the need for being grounded in GURPS basics - you're going to need the Basic Set,  GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles, GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, and Pyramid #3/66 The Laws of Magic to understand this post. GURPS Horror is suggested for demonic foes.


Demonology
16 points 
Style Prerequisite: Will 14+ and Magery 3.

Demonology is the study of demons (and in some places spirits), but it’s also the summoning, binding, castigation, and banishing of such forces. Practitioners are extremely adapt when dealing with such forces and often require a bad reputation (deserving or not). Anyone with a enough willpower can study to be a Demonologist, but the most skilled (high Path skills or Hidden Lore) or those with raw talent (high Magery or Will) tend to be the most successful.
The perk, Magical Exorcist may be bought as soon as the Style Familiarity perk is gained as it is intrinsic to the style.
To gain the energy reduction bonus for this style the spell must have something to do with demons, demonic forces, and Hell or the netherworld (or whatever place demons dwell). In some mythologies, spirits, demons, faeries, and so on are basically the same thing (consider the Japanese Kami and/or Oni) or closely related, in such cases this style also affects them. For games that have them, Physiology or Psychology (Demons) is added to the required skill list.

Required Skills: Exorcism, Hidden Lore (Demons or Spirits), Law (Esoteric), Occultism, Mental Strength, and Thaumatology.
Required Paths: Path of Crossroads and Path of Spirit*.
Required Ritual Masteries: Call Spirit, Lesser Ward (Demons), Pentagram Trap, and True Form.

Perks: Accommodating Magic; Attribute Substitution (Will-based spells involving demons); Banish the Slain†; Brute-Force Spell; Convenience Casting (Warding spells); Demonic Sense‡; Discreet Ritual; Gate Experience; Knower of Names; Limited Energy Reserve 1-10; Magical Exorcist¶; Obscure True Name; Path Variation (Spirits); Power Casting; Reduced Footprint; Rule of 17; Sanctum 1-5;
Secret Spell (any ritual related to demonic beings); Shaman’s Trance; Special Exercises 1-5 (Mana Enhancer (Place of Power) with Restricted Bonus, Path of Spirit); Special Exercises 1-5 (Will); Special Exercises 1-6 (Control (Path of Spirit)); Spirit Contract; Stabilizing Skill (Hidden Lore (Demons) for style spells);  Standard Operating Procedure (Magical Lawyer); Willful Casting.
* You must have put at least four points into this Path skill.
† Any demon or spirit that you personally kill is banished back to their home dimension.
‡ As for Corpse Smart (GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles, p. 26), but for demons instead.
¶ Allows the caster to exchange Magery for holy traits for the purposes of the Exorcism skill (p. B193).


Optional Traits
Attributes: Improved IQ and Will.
Advantages: Ally (Bound demon or familiar)*; Detect (Demons, Demonic Forces, Hell, etc.)*; Indomitable; Modified ST (Affects Substantial or World-Spanning, Hell)*; Resistant to Demonic Powers; Resistant to Spirit Powers; See Invisible (Demons or Spirit); Striking ST (Accessibly, Demons only, -60%); Unfazeable.
Disadvantages: Enemies (demons); Loner; Odious Personal Habits (Stoic or Enigmatic); Overconfidence; Reputation (demonic collaborator); Stubbornness.
Skills: Alchemy; Diplomacy; Hidden Lore; Intimidation; Interrogation; Knife; Meditation; Observation; Research; Speed-Reading; Teaching; or Writing.
* Must have the "Magic, -10%" Power Modifier.


New Ritual Path Magic Spells
The following new spells are available to any caster in the setting at the GM's option, but should probably be restricted to those with the Demonology magical style perk. They make excellent candidates for specialization via Secret Spell or multiple levels of Ritual Mastery.

Banishment
Spell Effects: Greater Destroy Crossroads.
Inherent Modifiers: Bestows a Penalty, rolls to spell resistance.
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

This spell causes any extraplanar being (demons, ghosts, etc.) who fails the resistance roll versus this spell (with a -5 on their roll) to instantly be sent to whatever their plan of origin is.

Typical Casting: Greater Destroy Crossroads (5) + Bestows a Penalty, -5 to rolls to spell resistance (16). 63 energy (21x3).


Reactive Warding
Spell Effects: Greater Control Spirit + Lesser Destroy Spirit + Lesser Sense Spirit.
Inherent Modifiers: Area of Effect + Damage, External Burning, Margin-Based (Affects Insubstantial).
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

As for per a typical warding (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, pp. 24-25), but causes damage. Creatures who fail to cross the ward result in them taking damage equal to the margin of failure (this affects insubstantial beings normally). This is priced as burning damage, but it technically is damage like that inflicted by the Weakness disadvantage (p. B161). This spell also includes the creation of four “ward tokens,” permitting the holder (usually a friendly caster or other supernatural creature) to bypass the ward, allowing entry within the borders of the spell. Additional tokens may be made at anytime by the original caster(s) for +1 energy per two tokens. Use the rules for creating charms to create a token (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, pp. 27). All types of warding are possible for a Reactive Warding and use an appropriate Lesser Destroy effect.

Typical Casting: Greater Control Spirit (5) + Lesser Destroy Spirit (5) + Lesser Sense Spirit (2) + Area of Effect, 20 yards, excludes 4 subjects  (14) + Damage, External Burning, Margin-Based (Affects Insubstantial, +20%) (4) + Duration, 1 month (11). 123 energy (41x3).


Reveal the Demonic
Spell Effects: Greater Sense Spirit.
Inherent Modifiers: None
Greater Effects: 1 (x3).

This ritual tells the location of all demons within 200 yards of him, what type they are, if they are bound to a particular purpose or master, and if hidden via a disguise, reveals the creature beneath if it fails to resist the spell.

Typical Casting: Greater Sense Spirit (2). 6 energy (2x3).

2 comments:

  1. I always like demonology; great post!

    Little cut-n-paste error: Banishment has the wrong path listed under "spell effects", but the right one under the typical casting.

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