Thursday, June 5, 2014

Revised GURPS Magic: Flight and Hawk Flight

1/23/2020: I revised these again. Short version, movement rates are fixed at 10 and 40 base move.

Here is another spell I've merged in my game.

Right now, Flight and Hawk Flight are separate spells. I've merged them into one spell.

These two spells don't really do anything different, and they had some odd holdover mechanics from 1e-3e.

Instead of calculating Encumbrance with this slightly odd effect (normal for Flight, x4 for Hawk Flight), you can just calculate it normally. The wording doesn't really make sense for 4e, with a multiplier instead of a flat subtraction for encumbrance.

So a person with Light Encumbrance (x0.8) flies at 8 with Flight, and 32 with Hawk Flight. With Heavy (0.2!) you're at 2 and 8, respectively.

They do have different Time to Cast, but really, is it worth charging an extra second to cast the spell? I don't think so.

So here is what I did to it:

Flight (VH)

Gives the subject the Flight advantage (p. B56), with an air move equal to 2xBasic Speed. For an extra cost (see below) you can fly at an air move equal to 8xBasic Speed. Encumbrance reduces flight speed normally. Flying characters may have a combat advantage (see p. B402).

Cost: 5 to cast, 3 to maintain. 8 to cast, 4 to maintain for 4x speed!
Time to cast: 2 seconds.
Prerequisites: Magery 2 and Levitation.


Hawk Flight is also extremely maneuverable - it's not Enhanced Move (Air) but just a flat speed increase. This is pretty damn powerful. Another way to modify the spell is to say you can add levels of Enhanced Move (Air), but you'd want to reduce cost as this reduces its utility and effective speed in combat. Probably change the 8/4 to 6/3 or 7/3 in that case.

It would probably be fair to just say 4x move is x2 cost, but 10/6 is brutally expensive for what you get out of it. So I'm leaving that alone.


  1. Increasing the energy cost isn't a bad idea. Hawk Flight Sumo Minotaur Slam is a hell of a thing.

    1. Maybe so, but 8 energy on a SM+1 subject is cost 16 already. I'm not sure you get 10 worth of value out of it. It's great, but +5 DB or +10 Magic Resistance worth? Maybe not.

    2. I keep forgetting they aren't all SM+1. Mine are, so I forget the base DF3 ones aren't.

      Still, I'm fine with that for 8 points.

  2. These spell revisions are great. They make me wonder if there's space for a Dungeon Fantasy: Magic book/series (or Magic: Dungeon Fantasy, or Thauma... ok, you get the idea). Focus on the genre-appropriate spells and make some stealth updates/revisions while they're split from the main Magic book.

  3. Is the speed for the extra cost version of Flight supposed to be 4x or 8x Basic Speed? It's listed as both in different places above. I'm sure it's 4x, but I wanted to clarify.

    1. I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand where it's throwing you off. It's Basic Speed x 8, as written up in the new spell description. There isn't any Basic Speed x 4 version up there, only a "normal" spell - Basic Speed x 2 - and a "x4 speed" version - Basic Speed x 8 (x2, x4 = x8).

  4. My bad. I was unclear if "8 to cast, 4 to maintain for 4x speed" meant "4x the base spell, which is already 2xBasic Speed" or actually meant "4xBasic Speed" and perhaps the "8x" in the description was a typo. I had it figured wrong. Thanks for the clarification.


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