Thursday, May 1, 2014

Revised GURPS Magic: Body of Wind

Here is another spell we changed in my game.

Body of Wind, as it stands, is Body of Air with none of the vulnerability to wind, removal of the Fixed ST and ST 0 limitations, and with the addition of a ST multiplier and becoming a human Windstorm spell.

Oh, and it's 2 seconds to cast, 5 minutes duration, unaffected by the SM of the subject.

No, no, no.

Let's go top to bottom:

Effects: Body of Air minus the vulnerability to wind, and a storm ST equal to 2x the ST of the subject is really impressive. But the ST of a Windstorm is a fixed effect. Hmmm. How about just allowing the subject to keep his ST? That's a big advantage over Body of Air.
The other option is ST 0, but you're a Windstorm spell in effect. No punching people or what have you, but you can knock them over with force of wind. No blowing doors down by getting a 2x ST Barbarian to kick doors down with No Fine Manipulators hardly limiting him. I'm leaning toward "You're a Windstorm spell."

The oddly specific 2-4 yard radius, no change in cost, has to go. By default you should be area equal to SM +1, Min 2, so a pixie or a human is Area 2 (SM 0, +2) and a SM+3 giant is Area 5.

Duration - 5 minutes is too long, especially since all the other Body Of spells are 1 minute - and Body of Wind is 1 minute in the back of the book but 5 minutes in the description. One is in error - my vote is the 5 minutes is the error.

Cost - 8/4 is fine, but not with an exception for ignoring SM. With the nerfing of its effects, though, the cost should drop. I think 6/3 is fair.

Time to Cast. 2 seconds is short, especially since Windstorm takes so long to come up to full power and most "Body of" spells are 5 seconds.

Prerequisites - I'm not sure the 16+ is needed for the prereqs. Magery 3, Body of Air, Windstorm, and 1 spell from each of 5 other colleges is fine on its own.

Here are the revised stats:

Body of Wind
Regular, Resisted by HT

The subject gains Body of Air, but without the vulnerability to wind or air spells but is still subject to the vulnerability to vacuum. In addition, the subject is equal to a Windstorm spell with no safe "eye." The windstorm has an area equal to (Subjects SM +2, min 2). Thrown and low-tech missile weapons, and physical spells, against the subject (or through the subject's hex) are at -10 to hit.

Duration: 1 minute
Cost: 6 to cast, 3 to maintain. For double cost, the character is a Tornado-strength Windstorm.[Note the deletion of the not affected by SM clause]
Time to Cast: 5 seconds
Prerequisites: Magery 3, Body of Air, Windstorm, and 1 spell from each of 5 other colleges.

One spell at a time, we're cleaning up the ones we don't like so much.

If you're wondering how I find these - one of my players has Wild Talent (Spells Only), and comes to me with the spells he's decided must be broken. We talk it over and either I rule on the spot or I take it off to think it over. Whatever you can say about my group, you can say this - we've established a culture of spotting problems and solving them collectively before they disrupt the game. I've got rules lawyers who use their powers for good.


  1. Do you think Dr. Kromm will ever revise GURPS Magic?

    1. I don't expect so, but you never know if the economics might make it worth a rehaul.


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