History MundaneUtility / TabletopGames

7th Aug '16 5:11:37 PM Morgenthaler
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* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' spinoff ''DarkHeresy'', the Psyker's abilities allow them to do mundane things such as excel at basic tasks, cheat in card games, and plenty of other things you'd associate with telepathy, divination, pyrokinetics, telekinetics, and so on. Of course, this being 40k, it's risky enough that they usually don't bother...

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* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' spinoff ''DarkHeresy'', ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', the Psyker's abilities allow them to do mundane things such as excel at basic tasks, cheat in card games, and plenty of other things you'd associate with telepathy, divination, pyrokinetics, telekinetics, and so on. Of course, this being 40k, it's risky enough that they usually don't bother...
21st Jul '16 6:33:56 PM intastiel
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* In Polish RPG [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryszta%C5%82y_Czasu "Crystals of Time"]] most magic items are protected against tampering by unauthorized entities. The protection makes the device explode with equivalent of 1kg of TNT per magic point when used by a person it's not attuned to. Since the price of magic items rises exponentially with their power, the bottom tier ones are very cheap. Obvious abuse: a cartload of cheapest magic talismans used as a nuke (although you need to find a sucker to detonate it).

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* In Polish RPG [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryszta%C5%82y_Czasu "Crystals of Time"]] most magic items are protected against tampering by unauthorized entities. The protection makes the device explode with equivalent of 1kg of TNT per magic point when used by a person it's not attuned to. Since the price of magic items rises exponentially with their power, the bottom tier ones are very cheap. Obvious abuse: a cartload of cheapest magic talismans used as a nuke (although you need to find a sucker to detonate it).it).
* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'''s magic system allows a nigh-unlimited variety of helpful mundane effects, like magical umbrellas, self-pulling ploughs, indoor air conditioning, and books that hover at a convenient height. Pride of place goes to the ''Parma Magica'', a personal AntiMagic field that is the quintessential talent of the Order of Hermes: an immensely valuable defensive ability... and it blocks the innate discomfort that people and {{animals|HateHim}} feel in a Mage's presence. It's acknowledged as making the foundation of the Order possible, simply because they were free from irritating each other just by being nearby.
10th Jun '16 6:11:38 AM Chabal2
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** Depending on whether the GM allows it, it's apparently possible to do more damage than the many, many, ''many'' WMDs the setting is famous for with a tanker ship filled with promethium. Half a billion liters -> Fireball with more than 10 times the sun's diameter.
4th May '16 1:43:04 AM intastiel
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** {{Summoning Ritual}}s let a knowledgeable player recruit creatures with all sorts of special abilities that lend themselves to this. A notably bizarre scenario is calling down a Lantern Archon -- an immortal heavenly spirit of Good incarnate -- into your service; forcing it to spam its [[ColdFlames Continual Flame]] power endlessly; and selling the inexhaustible, unquenchable, 100% safe torches for a zero-effort MoneyGrinding scheme.
29th Apr '16 6:30:36 PM intastiel
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* The ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' game ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' subverts this -- while it's possible to use magic for everyday chores, doing so is considered an (extremely minor) act of hubris and dings the KarmaMeter. Okay, you have to be a practical saint to actually lose Wisdom over it (to the point where another action that will ding your KarmaMeter is ''selfish thoughts''), but magic is also inherently risky due to Paradox, so using it for mundane purposes is likely to sting you in the backside.
** The previous game, ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' played this straight, though. Doubly so with Sancta, small personal areas where a mage could perform ''any'' of their own magic without risk of paradox.
** In ''Awakening'', Demesnes allow the same paradox-free effect as Sancta (though if a Sleeper sees it, all bets are off).
** Over in ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'', there's a group of Sin-Eaters known as Bonepickers that use their powers to make money. The good ones simply charge for their "drive ghosts out of your life" services; the bad ones will bind a ghost to a Ferrari and then offer to take away the "haunted car".
** Several Contracts (groups of magical powers) in ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' would work for this, especially using the Contract of Artifice to fix minor broken things and using the lesser clauses of the Contract of Elements to make the weather suit you, but nearly every Contract has one or two clauses with mundane utility.
*** One particular [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique goblin contract]] basically guarantees that any guess you make will be right. And you can use it without cost if you're using it to win at gambling.
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign setting ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' is based on this: there's the Magewright, a special [=NPC=] spellcasting class designed to handle stuff ranging from city light poles to the [[CoolTrain Lightning Rail]].

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* The ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' game In the ''[[TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness Classic]]'' and ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
**
''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' subverts has a vast range of minor spells for this -- while it's possible purpose, from instant housekeeping and making phone calls without needing the recipient's number, all the way up to use magic for everyday chores, imbuing your car with the platonic ideal of automobiles to make sure it works ''perfectly'' without an oil change. However, doing so is considered an (extremely minor) a minor act of hubris and dings on the KarmaMeter. Okay, you have to be a practical saint to actually lose Wisdom over it (to the point where another action that will ding your KarmaMeter is ''selfish thoughts''), but magic is also inherently risky due to Paradox, so using (on par with "selfish thoughts"), and it for mundane purposes is likely to sting you in invites the backside.
chance of a MagicMisfire unless it's performed in a Demesne.
** The previous game, ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' played this straight, though. Doubly encourages players to grab the universe by the reins and make it do tricks for them -- doubly so with Sancta, small personal areas where a mage could perform ''any'' of their own magic without risk of paradox.
Paradox.
** In ''Awakening'', Demesnes allow the same paradox-free effect as Sancta (though if a Sleeper sees it, all bets are off).
** Over in ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'', there's a group of Sin-Eaters known as
''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters''' Bonepickers that are a group who use their powers to make money. The good ones simply charge for their "drive ghosts out of your life" services; the bad ones will bind a ghost to a Ferrari and then offer to take away the "haunted car".
** Several magical Contracts (groups of magical powers) in ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' would work for this, especially using the Contract of Artifice to fix minor broken things and using the lesser clauses of the Contract of Elements to make the weather suit you, but nearly every Contract has one or two clauses with mundane utility.
***
utility. One particular [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique goblin contract]] basically guarantees that any guess you make will be right. And you can use it without cost if you're using it to win at gambling.
** ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' provides quite a few mundane uses for the vampiric disciplines:
*** Members of the [[TheGrotesque Nosferatu clan]] often use their SuperStrength to dig out elaborate warrens BeneathTheEarth; the artistically-inclined among them, meanwhile, have been known to use it in sculpture.
*** When not using their power of [[LovecraftianSuperpower Vicissitude]] to transform themselves into [[OneWingedAngel armour-plated killing machines]] or [[BlobMonster puddles of animated blood]], the Tzimisce clan use it to build and decorate their havens. Of course, because this is a ''fleshcrafting'' discipline, and because the Tzimisce have a very sick sense of humour, [[PoweredByAForsakenChild the building materials are invariably live human beings]]- which ''remain'' [[AndIMustScream alive and conscious even after their reconstruction]].
----> ''"When you're safe in your own haven, surrounded by furniture you've built yourself that's Metamorphosis. Right now, I'm into working with lots of different materials. [[BlackComedy Children's bones are very malleable]], but they don't bear much weight, [[CrossesTheLineTwice so you have to use a lot of them]]. I'm very happy with this fainting couch I just finished; it cries when you sit on it, but I'll show it to you if you like.''"
----->- Ahriman Berney-Scott, feng shui enthusiast
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
**
The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign setting ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting is based on this: there's the Magewright, a special [=NPC=] spellcasting class designed to handle stuff ranging from city light poles to the [[CoolTrain Lightning Rail]].



** The long gone Imaskari civilization in the ForgottenRealms were rather fond of dimensional magic, to the point that one-way portals to the Elemental Planes of Water and Air for the sake of easy access to fresh water and air were common. In other words, they punched holes in space and time to other dimensions for tap-water and ventilation.

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** The long gone Imaskari civilization in the ForgottenRealms TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms were rather fond of dimensional magic, to the point that one-way portals to the Elemental Planes of Water and Air for the sake of easy access to fresh water and air were common. In other words, they punched holes in space and time to other dimensions for tap-water and ventilation.



** Many low-level 4th Edition rituals are like this, with a clutch of some useless in combat found in Dragon Magazines. Purify Water is one from the core rules. Repel Vermin is great for keeping away bedbugs (also handy if there's an outbreak of flea-borne disease), Fluid Funds (which breaks up change for you), etc.

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** Many low-level 4th 4[[superscript:th]] Edition rituals are like this, with a clutch of some useless in combat found in Dragon Magazines. Purify Water is one from the core rules. Repel Vermin is great for keeping away bedbugs (also handy if there's an outbreak of flea-borne disease), Fluid Funds (which breaks up change for you), etc.



** The same idea was defied in Baldur'sGate, which is based off D&D: One NPC mentioned the reason they don't use the spell to cover their iron shortage is because it could just be dispelled, depriving them of anything made from it.



** One of the better-regarded third-party books for 3rd Edition, ''A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe'', was all about building a proper medieval tone and background into a fantasy setting, including extended discussions on how magic can integrate into all layers of society for greater utility.

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** One of the better-regarded third-party books for 3rd 3[[superscript:rd]] Edition, ''A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe'', was all about building a proper medieval tone and background into a fantasy setting, including extended discussions on how magic can integrate into all layers of society for greater utility.



* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' provides quite a few mundane uses for the vampiric disciplines: for example, members of the [[TheGrotesque Nosferatu clan]] can use [[SuperStrength Potence]] for construction, tunnelling through solid rock with their bare hands to create new warrens BeneathTheEarth. The artistically-inclined among them, meanwhile, have been known to use it in sculpture.
** When not using their power of [[LovecraftianSuperpower Vicissitude]] to transform themselves into [[OneWingedAngel armour-plated killing machines]] or [[BlobMonster puddles of animated blood]], the Tzimisce clan use it to build and decorate their havens. Of course, because this is a ''fleshcrafting'' discipline, and because the Tzimisce have a very sick sense of humour, [[PoweredByAForsakenChild the building materials are invariably live human beings]]- which ''remain'' [[AndIMustScream alive and conscious even after their reconstruction]].
--> When you're safe in your own haven, surrounded by furniture you've built yourself that's Metamorphosis. Right now, I'm into working with lots of different materials. [[BlackComedy Children's bones are very malleable]], but they don't bear much weight, [[CrossesTheLineTwice so you have to use a lot of them]]. I'm very happy with this fainting couch I just finished; it cries when you sit on it, but I'll show it to you if you like.
--> Ahriman Berney-Scott, feng shui enthusiast
21st Apr '16 9:36:24 AM Nerrin
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** Some 2nd Edition books went out of their way to describe mundane uses for magic items, such as how many merchants desired to get their hands on BagOfHolding-style boxes, or the bureaucratic utility of self-writing quills.
** One of the better-regarded third-party books for 3rd Edition, ''A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe'', was all about building a proper medieval tone and background into a fantasy setting, including extended discussions on how magic can integrate into all layers of society for greater utility.
19th Feb '16 5:13:56 PM doorhandle
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**The same idea was defied in Baldur'sGate, which is based off D&D: One NPC mentioned the reason they don't use the spell to cover their iron shortage is because it could just be dispelled, depriving them of anything made from it.
6th Feb '16 1:25:13 AM Qube
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** In Polish RPG [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryszta%C5%82y_Czasu "Crystals of Time"]] most magic items are protected against tampering by unauthorized entities. The protection makes the device explode with equivalent of 1kg of TNT per magic point when used by a person it's not attuned to. Since the price of magic items rises exponentially with their power, the bottom tier ones are very cheap. Obvious abuse: a cartload of cheapest magic talismans used as a nuke (although you need to find a sucker to detonate it).

to:

** * In Polish RPG [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryszta%C5%82y_Czasu "Crystals of Time"]] most magic items are protected against tampering by unauthorized entities. The protection makes the device explode with equivalent of 1kg of TNT per magic point when used by a person it's not attuned to. Since the price of magic items rises exponentially with their power, the bottom tier ones are very cheap. Obvious abuse: a cartload of cheapest magic talismans used as a nuke (although you need to find a sucker to detonate it).
17th Sep '15 9:55:43 PM randomblank
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** Bo Levar, a minor [[PhysicalGod Planeswalker]] from the Invasion era, used his nigh-godlike Planeswalker abilities to smuggle goods.

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** Bo Levar, a minor [[PhysicalGod Planeswalker]] from the Invasion era, used his nigh-godlike Planeswalker abilities to smuggle goods.goods.
** In Polish RPG [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryszta%C5%82y_Czasu "Crystals of Time"]] most magic items are protected against tampering by unauthorized entities. The protection makes the device explode with equivalent of 1kg of TNT per magic point when used by a person it's not attuned to. Since the price of magic items rises exponentially with their power, the bottom tier ones are very cheap. Obvious abuse: a cartload of cheapest magic talismans used as a nuke (although you need to find a sucker to detonate it).
21st Jul '15 7:01:44 AM yunatwilight
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** The fairly mundane item ''Murlynd's spoon'' fills any bowl into which it is placed with a magically nourishing gruel, with no limitation on number of uses. Useless to a party of adventurers; ''priceless'' to a king or general.
** The ''Book of Marvelous Inventions'' is a collection of "inventions" bent on exploiting magical items and spells. These range from magical helicopters and cruise missiles ... to self-cleaning nurseries, enchanted bowling balls, and automated scrap metal dealers.
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