Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Magical Style: Royal Firefighter

Interesting article on historic
fire fighting.
I was thinking the other day about doing a series on over-the-top cinematic representations of everyday heroes and how they might be represented in GURPS. I've never done a full magic style before, and though there is a firefighter in Urban Magic, it is a very meager background character of a firefighter, rather than a PC, or even, an important NPC. So, this is my first attempt at building up a style, let's see how far I can take it.

What Makes a Good Firefighter

I mean, I'm a layman, so I don't know everything, but I assume that a good firefighter is fit, strong, and perceptive, which turns into prioritizing HT, ST, and Per in GURPS terms, and if they were magical, then they'd either be pretty smart as a requisite or start using spells based off of one of those other important stats. I mean, when you think of it, they probably use all of the core GURPS attributes and characteristics in some measure on the job, but to me, it just seems like those are the most important.

Using the Tools that We Have

So, there is a firefighter template in Urban Magic as I just said, so we have a decent start already. The template does a better job of listing important mundane skills than spells, but anything is a good start.
Among mundane skills, it is recommended a firefighter has:
  • Area Knowledge
  • Urban Survival
  • Forced Entry
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Professional Skill (Firefighter), but for an adventurer PC, I might break out these useful skills in addition or maybe instead
    • Climbing
    • Running
    • Lifting
    • Axe/Mace
So we have some good prerequisite mundane skills, we also have the following for spells:
  • Extinguish Fire
  • Ignite Fire
  • Seek Fire
Nothing shocking or surprising in that huge list of three spells, but maybe we can make something even longer?

Finding Ranks

Well, using Google, I found these. That seems easy enough. So let's work from there.

The Style Proper

So, with all the information laid out, let's see what a style might look like:

The Royal Firefighter

8 Points
Style Prerequisite: Magery 0 (Not one college)
The royal firefighter needs to be capable and responsive in any emergency in whatever city, town, or community she is stationed in. He needs to be able to overcome the physically demanding environment and carry people that may be unconscious in stressful and dangerous conditions. This demands a lot and tears her in many different directions. The following may be one regimen of training in a fantasy setting.
Required Skills: Climbing, Forced Entry, Hazardous Materials, Lifting
Required Spells: Extinguish Fire, Ignite Fire, Seek Fire
Perks: Attribute Substitution (HT, any spell), Intuitive Cantrip (Aid, Filter, Rinse), No Gestures (Climbing, Might, or Vigor), Permit (Consume Fire), Reduced Footprint (Hold Breath or Resist Fire) Secret Material (Fire Shell)
Secret Spells: Hold Breath Other, Mass Resist Fire, Consume Fire

Optional Traits

Attributes: Improved HT, ST, Per, Will
Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Fit, Social Regard
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Professional), Sense of Duty (Town or Citizens)
Skills: Axe-Mace, First-Aid, Liquid Projector (Water Cannon), Professional Skill (Firefighter), Running, Urban Survival

Spell List

Each rank has access to progressively more advanced spells to better help save the lives of the people they serve. As Probationary officers, those that don't meet the minimums for the style, but are deemed to be potentially suitable candidates are trained until they acquire at least one point in each of the minimum skills, spells, and the style familiarity. From there, they proceed to the next stage.

Firefighter/EMT or Paramedic

Here, the mage firefighter hones his ability to protect himself while doing dangerous work. At this stage she learns the following:
  • Climbing
  • Might
    • Which Requires Lend Energy
  • Vigor
    • Which Requires Lend Vitality
  • Hold Breath
    • Which Requires Vigor and Magery 1
  • Coolness
    • Which Requires Cold, the prerequisite of which is waived.
  • Recover Energy
    • Which requires Lend Energy
Once at least 3 of these spells are learned, including Hold Breath, and they are proven worthy, they may go to the next step.


After a firefighter learns how to protect herself from the harsh conditions, the next step deals with being able to better help the people they are trying to rescue.
  • Minor Healing
    • Which Requires Lend Vitality
  • Purify Air
  • Air Vision
    • which requires Purify Air; the prerequisite chain is modified as a small perk for Firefighters.
  • Hold Breath Other
    • Which requires Hold Breath and the secret spell (Hold Breath Other) perk
  • Major Healing
    • Which Requires Minor Healing
  • Sense Life
  • Resist Fire
    • Which requires Fireproof
Among these is the special spell Hold Breath Other, which is like Hold Breath but can be cast on other subjects besides the caster.


Once he knows how to protect the people he serves, and how to protect himself, he learns how to fight the fire.
  • Mass Resist Fire
    • Which requires Resist Fire and the Secret Spell (Mass Resist Fire) perk.
  • Rain
    • With only the prerequisite of two air spells and two water spells
  • Consume Fire
    • Which Requires Extinguish Fire, and the Secret Spell (Consume Fire) perk.
At this level there are two important secret spells. Mass Resist Fire. This has the same stats as Resist Fire, but may be cast as an area spell instead. anyone within the area is granted the benefits of the Resist Fire spell.
The other is Consume Fire.

Consume Fire

Consume fire absorbs mana from fire, and in the process extinguishes it. This is the ultimate spell of a fully fledged and vetted fire fighter, extinguishing his target while replenishing his life saving reserves. The trick is that the spell dies quickly if there is not enough fire to maintain it, and it needs a decent amount of energy to prime. Traditionally, the caster herself is the target, but nothing stops targeting anyone else. The target is protected with a 2 yard radius area, any fire within this area is extinguished in one second, and the caster recovers 1 energy (regardless of how much fire is extinguished.) If the spell cannot consume fire for a consecutive five seconds, the spell consumes itself and ends. Casting the spell also requires access to the Secret Material Fire Shell.
Duration: 1 hour, or 5 seconds when not in the presence of fire.
Base Cost: 10 to cast, 1 to maintain.
Prerequisites: Extinguish Fire, Recover Energy, achievement of the captain rank, and the Permit (Consume Fire) perk.

Secret Material: Fire Shell

It is called fire shell because it looks like a seashell, though it is rarely found in beach environments, instead it is retrieved from near active volcanos. Indeed, it is not actually difficult to come by for a mage that has all the abilities to scour a volcano, which might not be especially difficult for any particularly skilled Fire college initiated caster, but it is government controlled. No one has found an especially dangerous use of it yet, but as many scientists think it is organic in source, they would like to discourage the disturbance of volcanic biomes, and while there is no known directly sinister application, a stone that can be applied to the near perfect conversion of energy to mana does not take any measure of creativity to imagine unusual abuses in the wrong hands. Therefore, besides certain power applications, only vetted firefighting institutions have access to the raw material. Incidentally, this means there have been quite a few maniacal attempts at robbing fire stations.

Other Thoughts and Conclusion

Obviously, I can go deeper and wider with this subject, but I think I did ok for a first try. Amusingly, it doesn't seem like extraordinary levels of Magery are necessary for even the best spells. Secret spells are a little scary for me in the basic magic system because I have no balancing tool to tell me if a spell is too weak or powerful for the cost it has. I'm hoping guarding a very powerful spell behind what might seem like three perks absolves me of responsibility.

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