Get it at Lulu for $24.99! The thing is loaded with my art!
Get it at Lulu for $24.99! The thing is loaded with my art!
One of the things that sold me on GURPS as a system back in ’88-’89 in addition to the cool advantage and disadvantage write-ups and the way skills were treated, was the magic system. I had issues with Vancian magic at the time, although I keep Tales of the Dying Earth in a special place on my shelves, near The Magicians, The Name of the Wind, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
Also occupying a sizeable portion of myh shelves is my collection of occult books. I am a practicing pagan, and my assorted collections of folk magic have a personal meaning to me. One of the authors in the world of neopagan poblishing happens to be Isaac Bonewits , the only known person to have graduated UC Berkeley with a BA in Magic. He also wrote a gaming supplement publushed by Steve Jackson Games called Authentic Thaumaturgy . I had seen it at a game shop years ago, but only picked it up in the last few years.
Some of his concepts about the Laws of Magick made it into very popular book The Master of the Five Magics, by Lyndon Hardy. Traces of them show up in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books, and in David Edding’s Belgariad. Some of them are dealt with neatly in Fritz Lieber’s ConjureWife, and Robert A Heinlein also approached them in Waldo and Magic, Inc.
The GURPS “vanilla” magic has little to do with these narratives. There was a hint of something in the improvised rules, a little in the Rune magic system in Magic, and some bits I don’t recall well from a White Wolf Adaptation of Mage (there weren’t enough pre scripted spell effects for my taste). When GURPS Voodoo came out, we saw the birth of what would later become Ritual Path Magic . It was interesting, but my game operated at a much lower point range.
Technomancer was an awesome addition to the field; I used a lot from this.
A few years later, there was Unlimited mana magery, or umana, which in some ways echoed aspects of the spell failure system from Mage the Ascension. A major campaign event in my game was the result of a catastrophic umana event.
There are a lot of in depth discussions about Thaumatology; some of the better ones are on Psedobobo’s blog Let’s GURPS.
There have been a number of alternate systems for magic since then; Sorcery, which does a magic as powers thing, precedented with the introduction of Magic Bolt in DF 11: Power Ups, and in keeping with GURPS Powers, but not holding a flavor I really like. There is also Ritual Path Magic, which has heavy fan support, but is a little mathy and sparse on the Grimoire end for my preferences. I am muchmore of a plug and play kinda guy; I am not trying to design advantages and rituals; I have too many munchkins in my game to not be checking the math, and it isn’t my strong suit. Ymmv.
One of Bonewits’ criticisms of Vancian (and most roleplaying game depictions of magic) is the ideas that spells, once cast, are forgotten, and, that they can be cast quickly. Heroposedthat one might, through a careful, lengthy, and preplanned ritual, build an “astral machine” designed to generate a magical effect, and store energy for the effect, that the practitioner could then release later with a ritual shortened by autohypnotic trance; effectively building a spell in reserve before the adventure, and rapidly releasing it with an abreviated casting during it.
Not too far fromt he charactersin the Dying Earth who would arm themselves witha few spells, and feel them buzzing about intheir heads until released.
Not far at all from Incanters attaching prepared and extensive rituals to their auras and quick casting later. I checked with Ghostdancer, and AuthenticThaumaturgy was not on his list of researched books for DF 19; great minds thibk alike, it would seem. Incantation magic has it’s casters preload spells to cast later, and are limited to otherwise weak improvised magic. It sounds like classic dungeon wizardry, and should appeal to those who find the standard system too vanilla. Go pick it p!
This most recent commission, for Erik Tenkar’s blog, is the most complicated piece of inkwork I have created to date. It is also the last piece I will sell at the rates I was working with. This went through 5 drafts and took over six hours.
The characters are not new, as almost all of them come from my stock art
(Available here) The characters come from Wizards, Characters, Dungeon Scenes, and Rise of the Lich.
Whle I have had characters meet up in a tavern (The Rusty Marlinspike, The Leather Mask, and The Wastrel’s Hope) and produced a 125pt barkeep (watered down Inkeeper) that I should post at some point, the primary meetup for my game is at the Adventurer’s Guild. Guilds have some rules already in DF, although I add a perk of membership, that functions as a benevolent society, allowing free lodging at status -1 conditions, and counts as proof of “employment” to keep you out of indentured servitude (the local penalty for vagrancy). Most of my players tick it off as a License.
I just just commissioned this for Erik Tenkar‘s podcast. Trying to get all Sutherland… but it’s not the first time.
Other Recent work of mine includes this
My last featured image seemed to be overtaking the blogs of those who feature a link to mine, so I decided some deep ones might go down a little easier.
Last night I met up at a Lovecraft themed bar with an artist friend from college, you can see the works I showed here, and my friend Andrew’s art here. I didn’t sell any work, gained two instagram followers, and got to see some other artists do well.
So from my last post making it to instagram, I was asked to drop 3 pieces of my art into a show at a Lovecraft themed bar, this Saturday August 20th at 6pm.
Naturally I went to my go to Lovecraft story, Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath, (Discussed further here ),and painted the scene where Randolph Carter and the Ghouls he borrowed from Pickman first encounter Ghasts and a Gug.
The third piece is this:
This is Walter Richard Sickert, an English Impressionist painter who was Whistler’s student and probably was Jack the Ripper. I think he makes a good Pickman.
For the first time in a few months, I have picked up a brush to work with color. Within a few days of posting on instagram, I get an inquiry about an art show in a venue I like. Maybe, 26 years out of art school, things are finally starting to happen? We will see.
Yesterday I met up with the mind behind the Brasileño gaming blog, Pontos de Experiencia .
Diogo Nogueira, fresh from GenCon, and the Goodman Games booth, passed some time with me at the Compleat Strategist and the hall of arms and armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We talked about Dungeon Crawl Classics, my DF game and Appendix N.
I had thought about a funnel adventure, and liked the idea of adventure being thrust upon one, rather than it being a carreer path.