Weird Science in a fantasy setting

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Primus Magus
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Weird Science in a fantasy setting

#1 Postby Primus Magus » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:47 am

I want to add weird science into a fantasy setting, as written there is nothing wrong with it, but the name bothers me.

I imagine the gizmos like magical da Vinci devices, or magic items created using “magical geometry and or math” geomancy, feng shui, but so fare the best name for it I could come up with was Thaumaturgy.

So instead of weird science you would have

Arcane Background (Thaumaturgist)
Arcane skill: Thaumaturgy (smarts)

Is this a good name, or does anyone have any better suggestions!?

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#2 Postby UmbraLux » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:04 am

You could also reflavor it as Alchemy.

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#3 Postby Sitting Duck » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:14 am

Another take on Weird Science in a fantasy setting can be seen in Scrapped Princess with that minstrel fellow whose name I can't recall right off.
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#4 Postby Clint » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:52 am

How about...

Arcane Background (Arcanologist)
Arcane skill: Arcanology (Smarts)

Arcanology would be the actual science of magic. Not how to cast it, but how it works and interacts with the physical world (and objects). So they don't have the ability to cast magic themselves, but they can learn how to build devices that can channel magic (through the use of magic symbols, design, sympathetic magic, and so on).

Hmm, I may have to use that myself. ;)
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#5 Postby Spongly » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:07 am

I posted a thread about just this thing. I'm running a medieval fantasy homebrew which, while set in a fictional world, is meant to be more authentically "medieval" feeling than most fantasy worlds. The main form of magic is called "natural magic" which is what medieval people called the study of what was basically early science with a distinctly weird twist. Basically, a natural magician used the mystical properties of plants, minerals, chemicals, planets, inscriptions, geometry etc.

They believed that objects have hidden or "occult" properties which can be harnessed by the learned. Hence it is also sometimes called "occult philosophy". Basically instead of 'gizmos', these natural magicians in my setting have talismans, potions, and particular items whose occult properties they can invoke - for example a ring carved with prayers and magic symbols that allows you to become invisible, or a type of stone which, when bathed in pure water, glows with an eerie light.

Theurgy means "divine working" and usually involves rituals invoking gods or angels.

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#6 Postby Rambling Scribe » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:01 am

I had a thought about converting an existing Eberron campaign to Savage Worlds, and using weird science to replicate Artificers. Another fun and similar term from that setting is Magewright. Either could work.
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#7 Postby Primus Magus » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:30 pm

O.o I cant believe I actually missed Spongly’s thread. The topic said Alchemy, so I didnt think any more about it :oops:

For me alchemy suggests there are a lot of liquids involved, and that wasn’t what I had in mind.

Btw, great suggestion Clint

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#8 Postby ogbendog » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:25 pm

I just did it as Enchanting. instead of a lilghting gun, it's a lighting wand, etc.
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#9 Postby zeth » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:26 pm

He is a pet monster tamer. Each power/device is a small creature he keeps in his pocket or summons from thin ir to do his bidding.

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#10 Postby Squidfisher » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:49 am

Track down some of the Order of Reason stuff for White Wolf's excellent Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade for one of the best presentations of 'technomagick' anywhere, ever. I still pine for the campaign run by a mate of mine a few years back in which a man who built cathedrals according to Sacred Geometry could put the hurt on vampires with naught other than an understanding of God's Great Work and a hammer forged according to the Seven Rigorous Principles of the Master Matthias...

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#11 Postby Primus Magus » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:48 pm

A friend of mine has most of the Sorcerer's Crusade books, guess I’ll just have to borrow them then :twisted:

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#12 Postby Lord Inar » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:10 pm

AB(Artificer) was mentioned
Skill: Construction
Call devices Gizmos

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#13 Postby Demonicuss Krinn » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 pm

Since someone already mentioned Artificers, another similar style would be borrowing Rifts' concept of the Techno-Wizard (and if he's too high tech for you, the Eco-Wizard or Necromancer could fill the same role) - you build items/weapons/etc that are imbued with magic potential. The Eco Wizard uses living materials (tree bark, bone, animal remains) and the Necromancer uses dead material (less tree bark, more bone, sinew, and remains). Technically all three could be just the same class, just use different trappings.

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