Carpe Blogiem: The Chronicles of Ceteri Primer – Intrinsic Magic

In The Chronicles of Ceteri magic is broken up into two forms: extrinsic magic and intrinsic magic. Extrinsic magic is essentially ritual path magic, while intrinsic magic (often called “rote magic”) encompasses everything else. This includes racial magical powers, chi skills, imbuements, logos (magical words of power), and wyrdling aptitudes (the ability to perform a specific ritual path magic skill innately). Magery (Intrinsic) adds to all of these powers as well other magical skills (e.g., Ley Line Recovery or Misting).

Cinematic Skills

Cinematic skills (e.g., Breaking Blow or Pressure Points) are used as is. It’s assumed that chi powers are simply another form of magic that is used internally and by habit. Game mechanically, I didn’t alter how these abilities worked at all, just their source’s Power Modifier. This was done intentionally, I didn’t want a dozen Power Modifiers running around the campaign setting. Truth be told, Conservation of Power Modifiers is something I tend to do no matter what I’m running. Less is always more when dealing with PMs.


Imbuements are just fun. They fill a nice niche in any campaign and do something that fiction often does in various source material. Concentrating magic in your sword or pistol is common enough in pop culture that I didn’t want to leave it out of the campaign. Of note, I’m using all imbuements found in GURPS including Pyramid except for Crafting Imbuements – I already had a method for the creation of magical items and I didn’t want to complicate it even more.


Logos or words of power is something that I’ve put on Patreon (see here) and they actually came from this campaign. So what are they? They are essentially the words of creation itself. A logos is a word in the language of God. Adamic is related, but still an earthly language. So what can they do? Well, damn near anything related to their idiom. For example, the logos “know” might be used to understand a magic item fully or know if someone is the child of a king, or any other knowledge related effects. It couldn’t be used to crush your enemies or see them driven before you. This comes at a cost: using a logos costs LFP (like most magic) and if used too often will kill the user. Mostly sorcerers (those with Adept for ritual path magic) use logos as they are used to channeling powerful energies.

Racial Gifts

Racial gifts can include just about any advantage found on a racial template with either the Magical or Mana-Sensitive limitations on it. Of note are the sidhe racial gifts. Sidhe are the nobility of the fae and like all fae have a weird racial makeup that enable odd powers. All sidhe possess one or two such gifts that are unique to them or their bloodline. For example, a sidhe might have Altered Time Rate 1 (Magical, -10%) [90] to represent blinding speed and skill.

Wyrdling Aptitudes

Wyrdling aptitudes are basically “static spells” or “knacks.” They are fairly common and allow for the use of a specific spell by a non-caster. Here is the except from the setting bible

Wyrdling Aptitudes

Wyrdlings are otherwise normal people (or animals, or more infrequently plants) that are born with one (or rarely more) magical powers. These are bought like any other advantage and like racial gifts have the Magical Power Modifier (-10%) and have the Wyrdling perk (p. 00) as a prerequisite. Most aptitudes are damaging attacks or physical in nature. Some wyrdlings possess extrinsic magic that has somehow been internalized (there are many theories – but no one knows why exactly). To create such abilities use the following method:

  • Determine the ritual normally using the standard rules for extrinsic magic.
  • Purchase Ritual Adept 5 (Limited Scope, One Spell only, -80%) [1], Discreet Ritual, and enough levels of the required Path skill to bring the spell up to IQ. Since this is a specific spell, casters can double specialize in a Path to make it an IQ/A skill rather than an IQ/VH. Optionally, buy a Rote Technique (p. 00), if cheaper.
  • Ignore the usual restriction on required languages or Thaumatology– no one knows why, but wyrdlings don’t seem to need a linguistic trigger and have never studied magical theory. They just do things with the smallest act of will! This comes at a price however – they cannot create conditional spells with their ability. Optionally, they can create a single form of conditional ability (e.g., an elixir), but cannot cast it normally.
  • Optionally, purchase Magery 1-4 (Extrinsic) (Limited Scope, One Spell only, -80%) [2/level], Focused Aptitude [1], Ritual Mastery [1], or Sorcerous Adept (Limited Scope, One Spell only, -80%) [2/level]. Higher levels of Magery are possible if the wyrdling purchases an Unusual Background (with Limited Scope). Purchasing Magery is the only way to get a skill roll higher than IQ.
  • Add up the final cost and treat the whole thing as advantage.

Example: Theia Mercado is a wyrding with the ability to drown a nearby target. The player decides that the Nixie’s Curse spell (GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, p. 47). Converting to Chronicles-style Ritual Path magic results in a spell that requires a Path of Matter-3 roll which takes 10 minutes to cast. Theia’s player then buys Magery 0 (Extrinsic) (Limited Scope, Nixie’s Curse only, -80%) [1], Discreet Ritual (Nixie’s Curse) [1], Path of Matter (Create Water) (A) IQ+0 [2], and Rote Technique (Nixie’s Curse) (A) Path of Matter+7 [7]. He then decides to buy Focused Aptitude (Nixie’s Curse) [1], Magery 4 (Extrinsic) (Limited Scope, Nixie’s Curse only, -80%) [8], Ritual Mastery (Nixie’s Curse) [1], and Sorcerous Adept 2 (Limited Scope, Nixie’s Curse only, -80%) [12]. This is written down on Theia’s character sheet as “Wyrdling Aptitude (Nixie’s Curse) [33]”  and allows Theia to cast Nixie’s Curse at IQ+8 in one second with merely an act of will.

Picking Over the Bones

And that’s Intrinsic Magic! Writing these reminds me that I didn’t do to bad a job shaping and fitting the powers to the campaign setting and that’s always a good feeling to have when you’re writing your campaign bible. I particularly like the lore around logos and how that seamlessly fits into the backstory of the campaign making it really pop and come alive. I have a few PCs who know words in my campaign and they’ve thankfully not used them willy nilly.

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