beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Magic and demons and GURPS and math and fail.

I looked at an old entry on GURPS magic and I epic, epic failed at maths.
epic. fail.
my math is bad and I should feel bad.

now I have remembered how to math, that whole line of speculation is rubbish.
so I have private locked it so only I can see my fail.
I mean it remains an interesting what if, as in what if demons were a frequent result from magic, but my math missed some zeros somewhere somehow and then it's orders of magnitude more frequent than it should be.

one spell in two hundred and sixteen crit fails at high skill levels, or one in 108 at slightly lower skill. a critically failed spell does something you don't want to do. possibly painful or a problem for bystanders. but it's another roll of 18 on 3d6 to get a demon. so demon only happens when you roll six sixes in a row.

1 in 6*6*6*6*6*6 is one time in 46,656.

that's a lot more spells between demons than last time I worked it out, and I don't know how I failed so bad last time.

but of course I might be failing again.


So then you have the opposite story problem, where it's really unlikely a given mage has accidentally a demon, so why would they even believe they exist?

I mean a mage might cast ten spells a day but in a year that's still only 3,650 spells so they'd have to keep going at that rate for like twelve, thirteen years before they hit demon. And there's few reasons to do that many spells in a day anyway. Granted they can do more if they recover between uses, but again, for what cause?

But mage school would only need a class of thirteen to get a probable demon every year, if mage school makes you cast ten times a day for practice.

which is still unlikely.

I mean they need hundreds of hours to even learn one spell.

but a school with 130 mages in it says interesting things about the demographics of magic, in a medieval setting, as I have frequently poked before.

I think I liked it more when poking holes into thaumic dimensions frequently allowed Things to get in. That's more fun. So I can make up a story for those numbers, even if fail as game.

But if it's frequent enough then the existence of Control spells will make the accidental summoned Things into a really eldritch workforce.

Yesterday I read GURPS Technomancer, which puts a Magic Comes Back event at the first nuclear bomb test and has a whole atomic horror thing going on. I haven't re read it for ages and some of the bookmarks I suspect I borrowed twenty years ago. I has some interesting ideas about how a sudden influx of magical races, elementals, undead, and demons would reshape the world. It also has industrial magic, where a single production line might have 400 mages spending all day churning out magic carpets for home use. Magic on that kind of scale would demon up often enough to be noticed. So there are demons, and stats for four distinct types, who will react to accidental summoning in four different ways. All likely fatal, but still, different.

I had in mind a demon who hangs out near the border to a magic school and, upon accidental summoning, tries to tempt students into dark pacts to pass their exams quick and easy. The teachers would all know him by name and he'd get banished several times a year. But that's his patch, so he's always back.

He'd look sort of like that one frazzled grad student who remains perpetually surprised he passed in the first place, or maybe like the guy who ends up teaching high school because what else do you do with his degree. Students would feel he was a more sympathetic ear than the teachers. And really, what's a dark pact between friends? And you can give it up any time!

Technomancer had mages be something huge like one percent of the modern population, in some areas, or one in a thousand where it's rarer. On a planet that had discovered Cure Disease and potions of Youth and any number of agricultural spells, and was experiencing a demographic boom and a half. That is very plenty many students. And given urbanisation they're much more likely to meet, and with standardised printed grimoires and plentiful university courses they're going to be able to get trained. Whole different effect to the medieval stuff.

Medieval magic should still pretty rapidly change the world to look not medieval, unless mages are very scarce and cannot get the training. a society that only progresses as rapidly as our history did is one that found really large disadvantages really often. otherwise cure disease is more effective than antibiotics and the collected agricultural spells can feed a lot more people for a lot less work, even if magic cauldrons that create food aren't in common use.

you're pretty much left with war, out of the horsemen.

mage war is epic bad though. it might be plenty. and it would try and take out mages first.

anyway, demons not as much of a problem as previously calculated, what was I thinking, ugh.

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Tags: gurps, magic
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