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Mundane Utility: Table Top Games
  • BattleTech
    • The BattleMechs. Mechs equipped with hands can be used in combat engineering and light construction duties, a high-power 6 ton military laser can be toned down for welding, and long ranged missiles can be used for clearing areas for civilian use.
    • Since IndustrialMechs exist in the universe, with civilian standard equipment, using the military grade stuff in this way is probably a bit overkill. Typically, it only occurs when a planet's local military unit is helping clean up a city after a battle or the like. That being said, a recent rule book has stats for turning a short range missile launcher into a harpoon launcher. For Space Whaling. There are also planets, such as Hunter's Paradise, where Battlemechs are used for big game hunting expeditions to take down the local dinosaur equivalents.
  • The New World of Darkness game Mage: The Awakening 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 Karma Meter. Okay, you have to be a practical saint to actually lose Wisdom over it (to the point where another action that will ding your Karma Meter 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, Mage: The Ascension 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 Geist The Sin Eaters, 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 Changeling: The Lost 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 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 Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting 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 Lightning Rail.
    • The zeroth-level spell "Prestidigitation" is a handy-dandy Swiss Army knife of a spell, allowing you to perform minor tricks that can accomplish things like cleaning and mending your clothes, warming and flavoring food, and sweeping the floor with tiny dust devils.
    • The long gone Imaskari civilization in the Forgotten Realms 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.
    • A surprising number of adventurers use any weapon "of Flaming" as torches.
    • 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.
    • Many players who have gone out of their way to find possible exploits to the numerous magic spells of the game, have come up with all kinds of schemes to use relatively simple and straightforward spells to create infinite amounts of money. The wall of iron spell creates a permanent wall of iron to serve as cover, block a corridor, or create fast fortification. It can however be broken up to be a much cheaper and less work intensive source of iron for making steel than to mine tonnes of iron ore underground.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff Dark Heresy, 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...
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game, there are a number of arcane and divine spells designed for mundane usage, from spotless cleaning, animal taming and locking/unlocking doors through to perfect cooking, infallible contraception and fertility treatments and gardening. And those are the spells specifically designed for such usage- the Lore of Fire spell 'Diadem of Flame' which creates a flaming crown above the wizard's head is described (in the spell's entry in the rulebook, no less) as being occasionally used for lighting cooking fires, although that requires the wizard to go through "extremely undignified contortions".
    • This despite the fact that the setting and rules enforce the idea that magic is really dangerous, with all but the weakest spells having at least 1/10 chance of Bad Things happening. This gets particularly nasty and amusing when the optional (and fan made) house rules for high-end Chaos Manifestations are used. It is possible to destroy the entire world with an unlucky minor spell to (for example) lock your door when you can't find your keys...
    • The High Elves are said to be much more capable of harvesting the Winds of Magic without the risk of things-go-boom, and as such, they teach their students by starting with spells to be used in domestic environments. Their book states that farmers who live around the schools of magic never have to plow their own fields, because every year's group of students wants something to test their skills on.
  • In GURPS: Magic, knowing really powerful magic almost always requires the knowledge of a bunch of simpler spells with more mundane uses (eg, to learn Volcano, you need to know things like Create Fire and Shape Earth).
  • In Blue Rose, this is explicitly stated to be the norm, at least in Aldis. Telepathy, in particular, sees a lot of use for things like ensuring honest testimony in trials, sending messages across the kingdom, and aiding in the rehabilitation of criminals.
  • Though the hideous Bio Punk Mons of Mortasheen are usually used for battling, there are actually quite a few made mainly for mundane uses, such as a lawnmower monster, a toilet monster, a narcotics-dispensing monster and a sewer-cleaning monster amongst many, many others. Of course almost all of these monsters have a use in fights
  • Vampire: The Masquerade provides quite a few mundane uses for the vampiric disciplines: for example, members of the Nosferatu clan can use Potence for construction, tunnelling through solid rock with their bare hands to create new warrens Beneath the Earth. The artistically-inclined among them, meanwhile, have been known to use it in sculpture.
    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. Children's bones are very malleable, but they don't bear much weight, 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 Eclipse Phase, humanity has reached a state where everyone carries a cortical stack, a form of Brain Uploading allowing them to be resurrected in a new body after they die. Some people use this to participate in extreme sports. Others have full-on pistol duels at ten paces just because they can.
  • Exalted: in "Shards of the Exalted Dream", Modern Age Dragon-Bloods have a Charm that allows them to control electrical devices at a distance - and one of the suggested uses is getting someone's digits by making their phone call yours. In the core setting, Solars have been known to use epic mind-whammying Charms like Husband-Seducing Demon Dance for casual sex. Hell, virtually everyone has at least one power that can be used for very mundane, creepy, or pathetic ends, be it wiring yourself into a vehicle to win a drag race or tracking down the bully from your schooldays and ruining his love life with Shun the Smiling Lady just to be a dick.
  • This trope is usually the case for Nobilis, since a Noble's abilities are basically Swiss Army Superpowers. When you manage an entire aspect of reality, stretching meanings and being imaginative can increase your power and versatility in incredible ways.
  • The Ninja Burger series has the deliverymen use their elite ninja skills to...deliver food. However, they need every bit of it.
  • Occasionally referred to in the flavor text of Magic cards. For example:
    • Inverted in the case of several equipment cards from Innistrad block, which are everyday tools and farming implements used by the otherwise helpless peasentry to defend themselves from the setting's zombies, werewolves, and vampires. As an added bonus, these equipment cards become stronger when wielded by humans.
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