beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Living or once living

I had an idea for the use of the Staff spell, which in GURPS is a spell that can enchant a wizard's staff so anything the staff touches the wizard is touching. Which sounds too simple to be worth it, but it means an much expanded touch range, and that a powerstone set into the staff is the same as one being held. (touch limitations logically mean some gem settings are more useful to mages than others. interesting if a simple Jeweller check could filter for magic items.)

problem is I'd misremembered two key points about the spell. It can only be cast on long thin rod shapes up to six feet in length, and it has to be made of organic, once living, material.

I'd remembered it as living or once living.

And obviously it's my universe so I can party that way if I want to.

But also saying it has to be a straightforward stick shape is just... the most boring version.

I know in Technomancer they had power conduits, so there's no particular reason not to invent such things, except they're a game changer.

But the once living can get fun anyway. It says bone, wood, ivory and coral, but there's a bunch of sorts of rock that are really squished dead things. Some of them look like they've got tiny screaming mouths in. Go full geiger with your mage aesthetic, have the tower walls be made of long fossilized screaming things, so spells can be transmitted through the whole building.

Or if just any wood item can be made to transmit magic, you could have a row of hospital beds, or maybe more sort of benches, and a healer who could transmit healing spells down the line by holding the bedpost at one end. I mean even if you could link Staffs and transmit in six foot straight sections you could get that, with a bit of fiddling about.

But noooo. Spell is supposed to make a wizard's staff with a knob on the end, and nothing else.

Well boo to that.

And if I'd remembered right about using actually living things, then you get magic plants really come into their own. Full on wood elf aesthetic. Nouveau with actual plant forms. Or maybe chimeras like the tree kittens the haut made in Bujold's Cetaganda. Can be pretty or disturbing as you like. But if one sort of magic only deals with alive things, which I decided already, then its equivalent of 'staffs' and magic items all have to be alive too. Enchanted trees where you eat the fruit to get the benefit of the spell. Enchanted trees where you just have to touch the branches. And yeah, this is how you get Fangorn, or Mirkwood, but it's so much more fun.

Vines as living conduits for power from a central source. Probably the Cone of Power spell, since that raises powerstone plus levels of energy but all involving living beings putting forth effort. You'd get familiars too, but small animals can logically only be tapped fr small amounts of fatigue, and then they'd have to sleep it off. Unless there's a Powerstone equivalent spell to create a Fatigue reservoir in a living being. But then people would cast it on themselves? Except crit fails quirk or destroy powerstones, so accidentally making it so you can only regain farigue under very specific circumstances probably doesn't seem like a great tradeoff, let alone risk of death. ... powerstone quirks may include only recharging in a bowl of blood. ... this is how you get vampires, isn't it.

But it's annoying realising the lines that inspired me aren't quite as I remembered them.

But I still like the idea of mages in spell inscribed sedimentary/fossil towers and dungeons, or in super nouveau vine hung living spaces made of mostly spell conduits.

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Tags: fantasy
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