Here’s another installment of Ritual Path Magic Miscellany – today I’m talking about area buff/debuffs, alternate spell modifiers, draining spells, and suspendable spells.
Area Buff/Debuff Spells
Having a spell that allies you to enhance your allies and weaken your enemies is a classic sort of magic – but RPM cannot natively handle it. You cannot with the same spell cause one effect for one group and another spell for another group. To do this, first, determine the total size each group or the maximum number of targets you can hit with your spell. Note that three SM 0 beings can occupy a single hex when taking this into account! For example, a spell that had a 2 yard radius could theoretically have up to 21 SM0 targets in the area. They’d be all smushed and bunched together, but it’s possible.
Next, consult the Multiple Target Modifiers Table (GURPS Thaumatology, p. 243) and read the maximum number of targets you can affect in an area then add the modifier value as energy to the cost of the spell. For example, a spell that caused up to 10 foes to suffer Unluckiness and up to 5 allies to gain Luck would add 12 energy. This is instead of excluding targets in an area.
Suspendable Afflictions/Altered Traits
Spells that inflict afflictions or add traits can be made so that their effects can be ended or began by the caster for as long as the duration lasts. If multiple effects were involved then the caster may choose which of them he has active at any one time. This adds +4 energy to the total cost of the spell.
Non-Damaging Vampiric/Draining Spells
Some spells in fiction take something from a target while bestowing it upon the caster or the subject of the spell. This is commonly a damaging effect (which is covered elsewhere), but what about non-damaging effects? The easiest and most straightforward method is to follow the example of damage – the spell effect will always be a Transform effect (e.g., use Transform Mind to drain your target’s IQ and boost your own) along with pay for the full effects. This is the only way to break the rule of “one effect, one modifier.” For example, you could use Lesser Transform Mind to drain a target of -2 IQ and boost your own by 2, but you’d have to pay for the full cost of the IQ bonus and penalty.
Alternate Spell Modifiers
When setting up a spell for the purposes of a specific definition it may be useful to have the ability to “tune” a spell’s effect given the situation instead of improvising a whole new spell since it would not be covered by things like Ritual Mastery. Instead, when designing a spell you can create a series of alternate spell effects much like alternate abilities for character traits. Simply pay full cost for the most expensive spell modifier and 1/5 the cost for the rest. For example, a caster might create a fire spell that allows the spell to switch between a projectile, jet, or cone whenever it’s casting.
Picking Over the Bones
And this is the last one. What have y’all thought of this little series. Yes? No? Maybe? I want to know.