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Wednesday 18 May 2016

RPGPundit Answers YOUR Questions, pt.4! On Death, and Non-Vancian Magic Systems

Some time ago over on this blog entry, I invited readers to ask me questions, and I would gradually get around to answering them in future blog entries!

So today, I'm going to deal with another couple of these.  Remember, if you want to ask me a question, go to the blog entry above, and I'll eventually get to answering whatever you want to know.  

First question:

Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, what do you conceive that to be?

It's not so much a question of belief for me as of experiences.  In both Magick and Tantrism there are practices that can allow one to have experiences of previous incarnations, and I've done these.  Now, some might argue that this is a subjective experience, that it doesn't 'prove' anything, scientifically or what have you.  That's fine.  My own experiences were powerful enough that it's resolved whatever doubts I had.

Now, the bigger point is also that I've been through initiations that are meant to bring one through the experience of death while still alive.  This is a common theme in most esoteric traditions, and it is something very different from the standard religious (as opposed to esoteric) method of creating a sense of comfort in an afterlife to subvert fears of death. So the bigger answer is that if my understanding of my experiences were wrong after all, it would not matter to me very much anyways.  What matters is what you do right now, right here, in this life, not whatever might come after (or, for that matter, what came before).  Death holds no terror to the initiate, who can engage with the infinite in this very life.

Second Question:

I'm interested in seeing what you would do to change OSR magic system, from Vancian to a new method not using spell points.

Well, to a certain extent, I've done that, twice. Neither Arrows of Indra nor Dark Albion's Appendix P rules make use of 'spell point' systems, and neither are strictly Vancian. 

Now, I quite like the Vancian system, I don't have any problem with it.  I think that generally it's a much better system than any "spell point" system I'm familiar with.  But I do like to experiment with other systems. 

I would be tempted to at some point go for something that even further decouples from the D&D-style of magick, and closer to what I did with Dark Albion's 'demonology' rules.  I'd quite like a system where magick involved having to do a lot of research, and then ritual magic that grants temporary or permanent powers. 

That's it for today; but again, if you have questions for me, post them in the comments section of the original blog entry in this series. 


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  1. Which methods did you employ to learn about your path lives?

    1. Is that the same as past lives?

    2. Generally magical techniques, which are covered by Crowley in Liber Thisarb. However, I also practiced Tantrist meditations for a similar purpose with similar results.

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  3. As someone whose understanding of the occult is at the level of 'not knowing enough to know how little I know', where would you tell a neophyte to start studying? What would you have told your younger self to look into?