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 Post subject: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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Many spells effects may last long time, for instance a wizard spell like Animal Summoning may last up to 24h or a cleric spell like Word of Command up to 7 days. Every time the effects of a spell last twice the needed time to cast that spell the effects of the former and latter spell may overlap.

My question is:

In case I cast Animal Summoning twice in a row (optimal scenario: 2 rounds needed and at least one animal for each spell that may remain for up to 1 hour), and let's say that both times I achieve to summon a wolf (I have chosen wolves because they hunt in pack), what happen to the first wolf when the second one is summoned? I mean do they coexist or the first one will fade away?

Same question can be ask on every spell, but for instance considering Word of Command, if I command to a man to Jump and then, with a second spell, to bark, will I see a man that jump and bark?

Specific answers are welcome, but, even if I have stuck with the instances given above to ask my questions, if it is possible, I would like to understand a general operating mechanism of the magic system.


Last edited by Blakius on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:29 am 
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Yes spells exist entirely independent of each other and any number of spells may be in effect at the same time. They do not however 'stack' so you cannot repeatedly cast magic shield and benefit from the effect of several magic shields.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:55 am 
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Weisenwolf wrote:
Yes spells exist entirely independent of each other and any number of spells may be in effect at the same time. They do not however 'stack' so you cannot repeatedly cast magic shield and benefit from the effect of several magic shields.


Thank you Weisenwolf,

I have never questioned that different spells are independent each other, I was just wondering if I can repeatedly cast the same spell and 'stack' its effects. According to your answer I cannot do that.. can I ask you where did you find that info? Thank you again!


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:19 am 
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I can't say I've had to deal with it... but I would allow multiple animals from Animal Summoning.

Word of Command... hmmm... I'd think, maybe you can only cast that on a person to get one effect at a time, but you could extend the effect or change it up with a new casting.

As for the Shield thingy, that's interesting... I would think that the intention was that you can't create a bulwark of magical shields. On the other hand...

...Every time a caster casts, he's risking something. Loss of the spell, corruption, misfire, ire of his Patron, ire of targets, dangerous Mercurial effects... Maybe a Wizard should be able to cast multiple shields...! I'd have to look at the description to be sure; the wording of things might make all the difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:00 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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GnomeBoy wrote:
I can't say I've had to deal with it... but I would allow multiple animals from Animal Summoning.

Word of Command... hmmm... I'd think, maybe you can only cast that on a person to get one effect at a time, but you could extend the effect or change it up with a new casting.

As for the Shield thingy, that's interesting... I would think that the intention was that you can't create a bulwark of magical shields. On the other hand...

...Every time a caster casts, he's risking something. Loss of the spell, corruption, misfire, ire of his Patron, ire of targets, dangerous Mercurial effects... Maybe a Wizard should be able to cast multiple shields...! I'd have to look at the description to be sure; the wording of things might make all the difference.


Thank you GnomeBoy,

So in your opinion there is not a general rule.. I see your point but no offense to you, it seems very odd to me that such important point is left to subjective interpretations. It is true that often a master has to judge peculiar/unique situations but we are talking about a general mechanism and I think it should be defined.

To the best of my knowledge, just in few cases it is clear that it is not possible to cast the same spell a second time before the effect of previous one is over. For instance it is not possible to cast a second magic missile before the first one hit the target simply because each missile hit the target within one round.

Considering that just in few cases it is implicitly stated that it is not possible to stack multiple time the effect of same spell, in my opinion in all the other cases, especially when the effect duration may be very long (e.g. word of command may last for days), should have to be possible..

Finally, you are an expert player and I really value your opinion (I am just a newbie), but I would like to play being sure to use the actual DCC's rules (or the actual magic system mechanisms), so any further help would be very appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:08 am 
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The rules don't specify one way or the other but that's part of the DCC mindset. DCC is 'rules light' in a similar manner to D&D basic rather than 'rules heavy' like AD&D was.

It doesn't attempt to have a rule for every circumstance. In that sense a DCC ref has to make rulings on the fly, that doesn't mean you are not playing 'correctly' it means you are only dealing with issues that affect your group rather than learning a mass of rules you will never need :? . You are making it your own and that is encouraged (See the refs section at the back of the book)

Many Spells are simply cast and are resolved immediately so this isn't an issue. It is only and issue with spells like Shield, enlarge and so on and as GnomeBoy points out casting spells is a dangerous business so a Wizard would not generally cast a spell he already has up and running.

Also many DCC players have been playing related games for decades and it is generally the case that Spells don't stack in this manner. Why?
Well take the shield spell: if a Wizard is able to keep casting it very soon he is completely immune to melee and missile damage; just three results of 18-19 and he's got +12 a/c for 10-40 minutes :shock: and that's far too powerful for a 1st level spell. Also why bother Spellburning to try and get +6 a/c when you can just cast the basic spell twice and get +8?

Also what about the paperwork you would create? You now need to track the effect of three shield spells with up to three possible precise results which expire at three different times :roll:

And what about enlarge? Is +25% size +25% to the original size or to the size following the first enlarge spell? and when the first one wears off does that affect the size the second spell increase was based on :lol:

IMHO this isn’t explained because it’s not supposed to happen. I would suggest that recasting spells like these just replaces the previous spell with a new one.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:05 am 
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Looking again, for the "Shield" spell are we talking about Force Manipulation? By my reading, you should certainly be able to cast it multiple times. One casting creates a "thing" and additional castings just create more "things". Wizard's can be very limited in what they can cast at low levels (randomly determined and all), so saying "nope, you can't create another immobile wall" seems punitive. They may not even make the casting roll successfully multiple times. Let them try...

Sometimes Wizards kick-ass. Hard. Other times, Magic grabs them by the throat and rattles their brains. Let them kick-ass, because at some point the dice will turn against them and that'll be the trade off.

Also, this should be pointed out: Eventually a caster is going to have multiple Action Dice. Such a caster absolutely could cast a Magic Missile spell "before the first one lands".

The game makes great and vast allowance for things to possibly happen, and the mechanics in general make results uncertain. In other d20 games, if you've got the Trip feat, you can trip folks right, left and center all day long. The Warrior in DCC might try to trip someone along with an attack, but it's not guaranteed. The trade off is that they aren't a one-trick pony, but can try anything, not just Trip (and/or a few other tricks they may have).

The heart of the game says "try anything you can think of"... Imagination is your only limitation, not the rules. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:33 am 
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in my game shields do not stack. you can cast it again and hope for a better result.

as animal summoning goes, you have to ask yourself what really goes on when wizard casts it. does the spell, like its ad&d counterpart snatches unsuspecting animals from their lairs? does it summon platonic ideals of said animals living in some far corner of planes? is that a mechanical thing or is some negotiation involved? do cats have a lord that assigns them to such tasks?

in my game caster negotiates with the lord of the animal species that she wishes to summon. it is just like when elric summons birds due to the old compact between melniboneans and feathered species. i assign bonuses or penalities depending on prior relations and cirumstancial things. wantonly summoning and throwing against enemies won't sit well with that species overlord.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:04 am 
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Hi Gnomeboy, I wouldn't dispute that the spell can be cast again my issue is the assumption that the effects are added together.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:06 am 
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@Weisenwolf: my approach wants to be "light".. I am trying to understand a general mechanism instead of specific solutions for each spell (that would be "heavy").
Anyway, I do not fully agree with you, it is a good solution to say that a spell replace a previous one but I feel it a too restrictive solution.. I would let just the dice stop a character bravery or imagination. About the necessary paperwork to track the spell duration there are many ways to solve that point (you can simply turn some dice every round to monitor the spell duration)

@Gnomeboy [..] The heart of the game says "try anything you can think of"... Imagination is your only limitation, not the rules.

I totally agree with you, in my opinion masters, instead to invoke personal interpretation of the rules, should let characters try to do whatever they like. Beside the "dice trade off", they can always use their imagination to stop unwanted behavior such as to cast the same spell multiple times: it would be enough to set the spell caster into a scenario where he is forced to do other actions instead of casting the same spell over and over.

@catseye yellow: I appreciate your personal solution, but it seems to me that your approach is pushing the magic system toward a heavy rules system where every spell need specific additional rules, tables, etc..


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:33 am 
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If a player asked me if a wizard could stack shield spells, I'd grin evilly and reply, "You don't know until you try it."

But I think I'm kind of siding with GnomeBoy on this one. Each casting of the spell is a risk, and risk should have a reward. I'd let the wizard stack the spells, but add a little extra risk to each successive casting. A penalty of 1 on the spell check for each stacking, maybe, so each stacking has an increased chance of failure and corruption/misfire, due to "magical wave interference" or something.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:26 am 
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catseye yellow wrote:
as animal summoning goes, you have to ask yourself what really goes on...

A great area to play around with and define for a campaign. The rules specify that the caster is invoking animal spirits to bring forth a mundane animal. So taking the relationship with those spirits into consideration is a great area for exploration. And switching out that circumstance for another is cool, too.

But I don't see this playing around as 'adding rules'... It's more like rolling with the situation. If the characters wind up in a trap that's removing air from the room, acid is pouring in from the ceiling, and the ceiling itself is dropping to crush them, well, you just deal with that as it's happening, not invent a bunch of rules for it. But that's me, I'm fine with an on-the-fly ruling, and I also know that some players want the rules laid out in advance. Different folks have difference senses of what it meant by the "game" in RPG. To each their own.

Weisenwolf wrote:
Hi Gnomeboy, I wouldn't dispute that the spell can be cast again my issue is the assumption that the effects are added together.

In what sense? I mean, Force Manipulation can create two walls if you roll high enough. Why not create two walls with two castings, if that's how the dice came up? It's twice the risk for the equivalent of a slightly higher result.

And spamming Animal Summoning, could be overwhelming, but again, there are risks involved (especially if you play up the idea that you're communing with spirits to create this effect; they may get ticked off and decide your most recent casting is not going to obey you and just assault you instead... Or maybe something more insidious... :twisted: ).


• If my players needed rules up-front for their enjoyment, and I wanted to limit multiple castings, I'd simply say that subsequent castings while the first is in effect take a cumulative -2 to the spellcheck, or something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:21 am 
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Are you sure about stackability of spells effects?
No way such thing should be allowed!
Let's do this example of a cleric (level 2 +1 personality: spell modifier +3) who start casting blessings continuously. He is in his room in his temple so no incoming menaces. We assume that he always roll 11 (expected value of 1d20). Someone might argue that you might also roll lower scores and the spell won't work but, on the other hand, the cleric don't lose the ability to cast that spell so he can just try the following round.
T0 spell check 11+3= 14 get +1 on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T1 spell check 11+3+1=15 get +1 on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T3 spell check 11+3+1+1=16 get +1 on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T4 spell check 11+3+1+1+1=17 get +1 on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T5 11+3+1+1+1+1=18 get +2 on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T6 11+3+1+1+1+1+2=20 get +(1d3 + caster level) (let's assume +4 fixed) on spell check for 1 turn (10 rounds)
T7 11+3+1+1+1+1+2+4=24

Etc etc. Eventually you will arrive to have stacked bonuses up to +40 4 (1d3+ CL bonus) times 10 round


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:15 am 
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Every failed check increases the disapproval range, and thus the chance for disapproval (and making all subsequent casting for the day iffy, too). So there is a mechanic that keeps this from being 'normal'. Assuming that the caster just rolls 11s makes the case unreal. (That said, if somebody rolls the same number that many times in a row, I'm personally inclined to let exceptional things happen for them.)

On top of that, each casting is beseeching a god. To me, this looks like the equivalent of "does this bug you? I'm not touching you..." aimed at a god. If you're playing a game where the RP choices have consequences, this would be a bad thing to do...

Beyond that, the spells discussed above create something. And the discussion is "can you create multiple somethings?". Hypothetically: if you polymorph yourself into another form, can you cast it again? Yes, but you're not both a badger and an eggplant. The second casting can change your appearance into something else, just as the first one did. But obviously, they don't stack. Not everything is going to stack.

Arguably, a blessing is replaced by another blessing.

...Or not. It might be fun to see the blessed Cleric self-implode. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:35 am 
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just to clarify: i am not adding any rules (more often i am subtracting). i am just providing 'backstory' for the rules and then that 'backstory' sorta doubles back and helps me provide rulings in certain situations.

for example, i have ruled that invisible companions are malevolent lovecraftian creatures like dimensional shamblers and that they hate each others passionately. so no summoning more than one or you risk losing control and being part of the invisible battle royal. this is something that arose as an issue in my game and i sorta came up with that piece of lore on the fly (i also have magical swords try to eat each other and you have to chain them in order to prevent them from slithering to and eating nearest other magical blade).


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:42 am 
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catseye yellow wrote:
just to clarify: i am not adding any rules (more often i am subtracting). i am just providing 'backstory' for the rules and then that 'backstory' sorta doubles back and helps me provide rulings in certain situations.

for example, i have ruled that invisible companions are malevolent lovecraftian creatures like dimensional shamblers and that they hate each others passionately. so no summoning more than one or you risk losing control and being part of the invisible battle royal. this is something that arose as an issue in my game and i sorta came up with that piece of lore on the fly (i also have magical swords try to eat each other and you have to chain them in order to prevent them from slithering to and eating nearest other magical blade).

No offense to anyone here...


...but I want to play in that game.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:58 am 
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catseye yellow wrote:
just to clarify: i am not adding any rules...

My comment about "adding rules" was not directed at you, but at the OP (who was hoping for one rule to cover all cases, rather than a spate of case by case rules). I think you and I are on the same page, more or less: you can cast the same spell multiple times to overlap, but it just might not be a good idea... It's not about rules, it's about what multiple castings (narratively) call upon and create and how does all that play out for good or ill.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:32 am 
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At my table, FWIW, it usually depends on the spell. Generally speaking, if a spell has a mechanical bonus then a repeated casting replaces it on a given person (if it pre-exists) rather than stacking, i.e., it can go either up or down. If the spell creates a thing, then multiple things can exist (though replacement occurs on the same person), with possible repercussions.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:40 pm 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
catseye yellow wrote:
just to clarify: i am not adding any rules...

My comment about "adding rules" was not directed at you, but at the OP (who was hoping for one rule to cover all cases, rather than a spate of case by case rules). I think you and I are on the same page, more or less: you can cast the same spell multiple times to overlap, but it just might not be a good idea... It's not about rules, it's about what multiple castings (narratively) call upon and create and how does all that play out for good or ill.


yes, we are on the same page.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:07 pm 
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I am really digging catseye yellow's rp solutions to spell overlap- especially the animal lord thing...but I digress...
What if certain spells cast multiple times interfered with each other- like discordant ripples in water- and risked plogiston disturbance? Probably should be a small chance, due to the severity of the effects on the phlogiston disturbance table.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:01 am 
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Sounds cool. That'd be an interesting house rule (and article for Crawl!)

There's also Mercurial Effects, which we haven't dipped into, which could make multiple castings iffy or impossible, I suppose. But I'm not going to correlate the entire chart to tease out sample cases. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Maybe we can come up with a generic table of random magical phenomena that occur when spells overlap (barring a better rp solution already comes to mind) that gets more heavy handed as spells are spammed... honestly the idea of plogiston disturbance is just to neat a thing to restrict to spell duels, imho

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 Post subject: Re: Spells FX overlap
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:53 am 
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Blakius wrote:
@Weisenwolf: my approach wants to be "light".. I am trying to understand a general mechanism instead of specific solutions for each spell (that would be "heavy").
Anyway, I do not fully agree with you, it is a good solution to say that a spell replace a previous one but I feel it a too restrictive solution.. I would let just the dice stop a character bravery or imagination. About the necessary paperwork to track the spell duration there are many ways to solve that point (you can simply turn some dice every round to monitor the spell duration)


You misunderstand me, my approach is extrememly simple. It's all about when the magic ends.

As soon as the animal summoning has been cast the 'magic' has finished, the animal may well still be around for a while but the magic that summoned him is over so casting it again is not stacking.

In the case of the spells that protect for a limited period the magic is still active until the spell ends so casting it again is 'stacking'

The principal point as to Why is as I indicted above; if you allow these spells to stack why would anyone ever spellburn to get a better result when they can just cast it twice? spellburn is far more dangerous than casting another spell and allowing stacking renders it pointless for a whole stack of spells.

If I wear two suits of leather armour do I get double the a/c benefit?

At the end of the day things like this are always going to be a matter for the individual to decide, that's the whole point of Mr Goodman's statement about making it your own, do what you prefer old chap.


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