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A Variety of Mages

By Travis Foster (travisf@swbell.net)

I wanted to make magic a lot more varied and flavorful in my campaign so I'm considering the following changes:

General Notes

Magery can be bought at full price [works for all four types of magic] or at single college price [only for one of the four types] up to magery 3. Extended magery can only be taken for one of the four specific types of magic and is priced like single-college magery.

A default magic-user has a 0 thresh and recovery, gets a 1 per 5 skill over 10 reduction in fatigue and can convert their own fatigue into mana at a 5:1 ratio. They can enchant items at a rate of 1 mana per day for slow and steady enchantment.

Magic is normally taught through a varity of different traditions; most traditions have fairly restricted spell lists and unique spells and special abilities. Each tradition has a voodoo like system of college skills and spells that default off of the college skill.

There are four types of mages: Sorcerers, Wizards, Mages, and Alchemists:

There are a host of new advantages to simulate these styles of magic:


Wizards draw on more energy since they are drawing it from the source of magic [the ethereal plane]; they can draw up to 1 per 1 point of skill over 10 [i.e. 5 pts at 15 skill, 10 points at 20 skill] Wizardry costs 50 pts. Magery counts twice for purposes of spell limits [magery 3 allow for 6d fireball for a wizard with the fireball skill]. Sorcerers can use their own fatigue for spell casting at a 5:1 ratio and can use HT at a 1:1 ratio. They are less able to control their spells and must pay the maintenance costs for the spell out of the initial energy [i.e. a wizard with Missile shield at 19 can use 9 mana to pay for the spell, 5 for the initial casting and 4 for two maintenance periods: the spell will last three minutes] Wizardry is physically fatiguing and costs the sorcerer 1 fatigue per minute of spell casting; this is normal fatigue and not subject to Recover ST, though it is affected by Fit and Very Fit. Spell failures usually result in the caster taking spell cost/2 in damage.


Most of the power for their spells comes from an outside entity and is mediated through their own aura. They use a variant of S John Ross's Umana rules: for each spell that they cast they gain one tally for every fatigue that the spell would normally. When their tally goes past their threshold, they must make a roll to avoid being warped by the built up corruption. They can lower their tally by channeling their built up warp into another item or creature (since most creatures and object have a 0 threshold, they roll on the calamity table immediately), taking a penalty to their spell roll to try and avoid some of the warp [they still get at least 1 tally], and by their daily recovery. Some traditions have other ways of reducing tally through rituals and sacrifices. Sorcerers must buy their threshold [5 pts per +6 thresh] and recovery [5 pts for +2 daily recovery, 5+ pts for +1 ritual recovery]. Spell failures also force a sorcerer to roll on the calamity table.


This is essentially standard magery with the fatigue options from Gurps: Myth: extra fatigue [+1 magic-only fatigue for 2 pts], increased recovery, and extended magery. It costs 50 pts to be able to spend fatigue for mana at a 1:1 ratio. They are the only casters that can buy Recover ST.


Alchemy is a catch-all term for a variety of magics; standard alchemy, enchantment, and hedge magic are the three most common. Alchemists and enchanters can take Gadgeteer [25 pts can make items in hours instead of days], Quick Gadgeteer [50 pts can make item in minutes instead of days], and gizmos [5 pts each, max 15 pts] for alchemy and enchantment.

Hedge Magic [20 pts for full form, less for more limited skill choices] is the most common form of magic. Magery does not add to alchemical skills but may be a prerequisite for some higher level alchemy.

All items require costly ingredients; though players can usually just use a $x of generic ingredients for most items.

Each of the four types of magic can interact with the other three and allow for new types of magic [Wizard-mages can draw mana to start their spells as per regular wizards and can reduce their maintenance costs as per a magician].