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 Post subject: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:53 pm 
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I don't really see a mechanism in ERP to create permanent spell effects. The Transmute effect doesn't specifically address the duration, and most of the listed spells seem to be dependent on Maintenance (possible exception: Warp Wood). There are lots of classic spells in D&D that produce permanent effects . How can these be converted to ERP? This question arose from trying to convert a basilisk. It has a petryfying gaze. I guess it could be modelled with some level of "pertification attack" (maybe D8, D10?) and when Resilience is reduced to zero, the target is petrified. But what about classic PC spells, like Rock to Mud, or Polymorph Other, or Wall of Stone? Or even Create Water?

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:28 pm 
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I'm new to Eldrtich so my knowledge of the system is shaky at best but I have been running fantasy rpgs since 1985 so I do at least have a thought. ;)

What about adding a new effect (or perhaps spell, not sure which would be best) specifically for making certain other effects permanent? I've no idea how it would be integrated but that's the solution that springs to mind first.

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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Bump. Any thoughts on this, Dan?


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:58 pm 
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Most spell effects made permanent should remain in the realm of ritual. Most rituals last as long as the casting time (1 round casting time equals one round duration). With permanent effects, that's not going to work. Like ... flesh to stone ... would be a ritual the equivalent of 'incapacitation"...only lasting forever. The requirements would need to be different. That's scary stuff to PCs, no? ;-)

Obviously, "Effectiveness" ( in terms of Potential-Harm or the result of the Ability roll) would not be so much an issue once Resilience was bypassed. Magic of that sort must be cast as rituals by an "Adept" one who has D12 in Arcanum, D12 in the relevant specialization, and D12 in the appropriate mastery school. The GM may also require special components or objects.

Non-harmful permanent effects as ritual could simply require a minimum rank in the power source and mastery. Harmful permanent spell effects and like powers, like the gaze of a basilisk, should need to bypass Resilience AND an opposed roll versus Willpower or something. That's a case where an extra "save" should be allowed. The Resilience DP would give a character at least a round to run away from such a terrible creature...LOL

I'll have to think about this a bit more...


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:31 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Most spell effects made permanent should remain in the realm of ritual. Most rituals last as long as the casting time (1 round casting time equals one round duration). With permanent effects, that's not going to work. Like ... flesh to stone ... would be a ritual the equivalent of 'incapacitation"...only lasting forever. The requirements would need to be different. That's scary stuff to PCs, no? ;-)

Obviously, "Effectiveness" ( in terms of Potential-Harm or the result of the Ability roll) would not be so much an issue once Resilience was bypassed. Magic of that sort must be cast as rituals by an "Adept" one who has D12 in Arcanum, D12 in the relevant specialization, and D12 in the appropriate mastery school. The GM may also require special components or objects.

Non-harmful permanent effects as ritual could simply require a minimum rank in the power source and mastery. Harmful permanent spell effects and like powers, like the gaze of a basilisk, should need to bypass Resilience AND an opposed roll versus Willpower or something. That's a case where an extra "save" should be allowed. The Resilience DP would give a character at least a round to run away from such a terrible creature...LOL

I'll have to think about this a bit more...

OK, so it seems like there are three situations: 1) creating a permanent magically-enchanted object, 2) creating a permanent non-magical effect on an object, and 3) a permanent non-magical effect on a creature.

1) There are already rules in place for creating permanent enchanted objects (bonuses to weapons, etc.) (snipped form an earlier thread):

"MRV range or static bonus / Minimum Arcanum Rank / Difficulty to cast Enchant Ritual (with permanency)

1-12 effectiveness or +1 / D4 arcanum / vs 2D4 (or target 4)
13-18 effectiveness or +2 / D6 arcanum/ vs 2D6 (or target 6)
19-24 effectiveness or +3 / D8 arcanum/ vs 2D8 (or target 8 )
25-30 effectiveness or +4 / D10 arcanum/ vs 2D10 (or target 10)
31-36 effectiveness or +5 / D12 arcanum / vs 2D12 (or target 12)"

These permanency rituals require a component that is difficult to obtain, and require days of preparation.

2) A spell that creates a permanent non-magical effect or object (non-harmful) should also require costly (and non-reusable) material components. The nature of the component could be specific to the spell. for example, a "Create Water" spell would be relatively inexpensive (but the expense could scale with the voume of water created...), while a "Wall of Stone" spell would be more expensive (and also could scale). For these types of spells (making permanent but non-magical items), I don't think the time requirement of days should apply to thses spells, however. The result is a non-magical effect, so it should net require days, but should be instantaneous. The expenssive material component would limit its use. There should be some guidelines for the components, such as "twice the value of the created object" or something like that.

3) Spells that create permanent effects on creatures (flesh to stone, polymorph other, etc) should require high levels of Specialization and Mastery in the applicable School, and should allow some sort of "save" by the target. Again, because the result is non-magical, the casting time should be instantaneous. The high die-rank requirement, and the save should keep this in balance. Maybe a costly component as well?

Just some thoughts...


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:12 am 
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This discussion is interesting because it brings up a design decision that nearly went unspoken, except in the information within the Conjure Effect (see below, "Qualities of Energies"). That is almost all magic in the assumed Eldritch RPG campaign setting (and thus the game itself) is either instantaneous or ephemeral. Why that and low spell points? Because I thought it was dramatic having to maintain spells, even dip into ones own Resilience to keep going, and that creating permanent effects (like magic weapons and items) should be very difficult. That's okay, and it opens the door for some further development!

We do have three situations, I agree, although all results are due to magical effects, even if the result is a non-magical state or substance. Just a semantic nit-pick there. So #1 is dealt with in the rulebook (and with the expanded table here on the forums). #2 deals with the conjuration of substances. There are some rules in place for that (in the main book), before permanency is considered, so I should reproduce them here for this discussion:

With the Conjure Effect, the arcanist is able to conjure one useful, small object to his hand, with no difficulty. In fact, a simple object is handled as a cantrip, with a cost of 1 spell point. Also, if an arcanist conjures an object for entertainment purposes only—like a colorful explosion of flowers—treat the spell as a cantrip (see cantrips, pp. 52).
Larger or more complex objects usually require rituals. An object bigger than what the caster can hold in one hand requires a round to cast, while huge objects (a boulder or wagon) require two rounds, and three rounds for enormous object (a small ship). It requires four rounds for a massive object (a tremendous siege engine). The preparation time used in the arcanist’s ritual determines the frequency of the conjuration’s maintenance cost. If the conjurer spends two rounds to conjure a small horse, he must spend spell points in upkeep for the spell every third round.
Conjuring objects requires a difficulty roll against 1D6, regardless of size or complexity (unless the GM decides to treat the spell as a cantrip). However, conjuring objects larger than those easily held in one hand, does require higher Power Source proficiency—large items require a D6 in Power Source, huge a D8, enormous a D10, and massive a D12. For intricate items, like a clock, the GM might decide on a higher minimum Power Source rank on an “ad hoc” basis; there are too many varieties of objects to have a single, comprehensive list. In the case of conjuring a piece of armor, it is simple; the requisite Specialization Die-Rank equals the protection afforded. However, the GM should not lose sleep over arbitrating conjuration effects. Judge minimum requirements based on the utility an item grants to the character at the time, within the context of the ongoing story.

The object is normally one of the following: one piece of regular armor, a weapon, a container, tool wheeled vehicle or mount, a plant, money (copper, silver, gold, platinum, mithral, adamantine, gems), one ration, or clothes. Objects must be mundane in nature and common to the experiences of the average human. The caster’s knowledge of how an item works does not color the effectiveness of his spell. For example, if he conjures a padlock, it will work (so long as he conjures a key to accompany it). He does not need to be a locksmith to do this. Of course, this leads to interesting questions; how hard would the lock be to pick? What if a conjurer wants to create a silver dagger rather than one made of steel? How heavy is a conjured boulder? How hot is a conjured campfire? How much money can a conjurer create out of thin air? These sorts of questions are answerable with standardized parameters:

Size: requires one hand (no minimum Die-Rank), two-hands D6, large D6, huge D8, enormous D10, massive D12. The GM should judge size based on description and relative comparisons; it is not an exact science. Remember, we define an island as such only in comparison to larger surrounding landmasses. Likewise, if the largest ship in the land is a two-masted vessel, like a brig, then a ship like a galleon might appear “massive.” Use common sense and creative license.

Quantity and Proximity: the spells generally allow one object per conjuration. For every additional item required to make a “set,” increase the final spell point cost by one, or the conjurer can cast two separate spells, risking a failure on the second attempt, and likely spending even more spell points (unless it is a cantrip). This prohibits an Arcanist from generating large amounts of money. Therefore, a conjurer creating “fools gold” had better materialize a platinum coin if he wants to impress the locals. This effect works to create the appearance of copper, silver, gold, platinum, mithral, adamantine, gems, or silk, but remember when the spell ends, all of the materials vanish. For another example, an arcanist creating a set of clothes will expend extra energy with a fancy, complete outfit.

Alternatively, a lock and key would require an extra spell point, or two conjurations. Any conjured item will remain in existence, regardless of the distance of the originator of the spell, so long as the caster continues to pay the spell point maintenance cost.

Qualities of Energies: almost all conjured objects are illusory. Fire will not actually burn, although it feels real. Cold feels like winter but cannot cause frostbite, etc. Light and shadow are perceptible but not blinding. To turn these magical effects into something more powerful, a multi-effect spell would be required. For instance, a magic user who wants to conjure fireball-launching cannons might develop an artificer spell—possible only by combining Conjuration with the Harm effect. You will find rules for creating multi-effect spells on page 52.

An arcanist can summon real, unique items to his hands if owned for at least a year, but he must first carve his personal sigil into the object. This effect cannot be used to cause objects to drop onto (or materialize within) any space occupied by a sentient being. Hence, the effect is not an adequate means of direct attack. Summoned objects possess structural hit points equal to the result of the casting roll.


So, from this, we can go with the rule "To turn these magical effects into something more powerful, a multi-effect spell would be required". And we DO have an Effect that can handle this; the "Enchant" Effect. As written, the Enchant Effect spoke only of Enchantment rituals, but we can expand this to include Enchantment incantations. We'll do this, with some changes to the object based permanency table to make it apply to incantations:

Enchantment Incantations: An arcanist may wish to write an incantation with the quality of permanency for the chosen Effect. With Enchantment rituals, this is a matter of days spent in ritual preparation (one day per rank, and per die, of each magical Effect). But for an incantation, it turns it into a multi-effect spell, with a spell point cost of 1.5 (x number of Effects), with Enchantment always listed as the last Effect (with the same range). This is the only Effect that can break the normal limit of 2 Effects max in a single written spell, increasing the total number of possible Effects in a spell to 3 (and a max of two targeted aspects).

The difficulty to create a multi-effect permanency spell is the same as for any other:

There is no spell point cost to create a spell; just roll Arcanum + power source + school versus Extreme Difficulty (2D12). Repeat for any additional effects added to the spell. Skip the difficulty roll if it is a newly created character or a bonus spell (or require a single roll in such cases for a multi-effect spell). Failing the roll means a waste of resources, but grants a +4 to the next attempt in an equal amount of time. Automatic success does not apply to spell creation. Record the spell in the character’s Grimoire, not exceeding maximum number of spells known for that Power Source Specialization

But casting a permanent Effect it is different. The caster must beat an opposing roll of difficulty based on range, and on the effectiveness of the permanency Effect, and meet the minimum requirements for mastery in the specific school. The secondary difficulty is based on the result of the ability roll (so ironically, the lower the caster's ability roll, the easier it is to make it permanent, but the spell also has a greater chance of failing the set difficulty). If the caster wants to ensure his spell becomes permanent, he'll have to drop ranks when rolling the ability check to ensure it falls within the mastery range.

For example, an arcanist wants to create a permanent fog. A druid, he has Arcanum D8, Primoridal D8, and Druidism at D6. He knows only a "fog" spell, using the Obscure Effect, and so sets out to expand his knowledge, and find or create a new multi-effect Enchantment version of the incantation. After hard study and a few adventures, he finds what he needs. After creating the spell, it looks like this:

Permanent Fog
Source: Primoridal
School: Druidism (required mastery D4 or above to cast).
Effect: Obscure - Enchant (sub-effect permanency)
Manifestation: Air
Range: Area
Aspect: Scrutiny (and affects attack rolls by natural consequence)
Cost/Difficulty: SP cost equals the ADC roll, x1.5. Difficulty is vs. 2D6 for area effect, and then cross reference the ability roll result with the table below to find difficulty of achieving permanency for the fog. The GM then rolls that difficulty against the ability roll result. Note the arcanist still only rolls once for cost and effectiveness, but the GM rolls opposing dice twice, once for range and once for the permanency effect. Failure of the secondary Effect does not cause the primary effect to fizzle, but does mean the spell reverts to standard maintainable cost (1/2 initital casting cost per round).


Permanency Chances:
1-12 ability roll result / D4 mastery min / vs 2D4 (or target 4)
13-18 ability roll result / D6 mastery / vs 2D6 (or target 6)
19-24 ability roll result / D8 mastery / vs 2D8 (or target 8 )
25-30 ability roll result / D10 mastery / vs 2D10 (or target 10)
31-36 ability roll result / D12 mastery / vs 2D12 (or target 12)


So, the elementalist creates his new ritual, and then one day decides he wants a permanent fog around his team's "adventuring base", say a hut in the wild. He rolls his Arcanum D8, Primoridal D8, and Druidism at D6 vs. 2D6 for the area effect, and beats a 10 (the range difficulty result) with his own result of 12. The GM cross-references the result of 12 on the cart and sees that the permanency of this spell requires a check against 2D4 (or target 4), which he cannot fail, and a minimum mastery rank of D4 (in druidism). He has a D6 in Druidism, so he's good. The fog is permanent, at a total cost of 18 SP. However, if he rolled a 19 or above, the fog would not be permanent, but maintainable.

The next day the druid starts to study an incantation for turning a man to stone. It's really an "influence effect", and one of total incapacitation, but potentially permanent. The incapacitation sub-effect requires a minimum rank in D12 in Power Source, and the transmute at least a D10 in Power Source. The spell also requires mastery in Elementalist. So, he waits until his ranks are Arcanum D8, Primoridal D12, and Druidism at D6 and then writes it into his spell book:

Permanent Flesh to Stone
Source: Primoridal
School: Elementalist (required mastery D4 or above to cast).
Effect: Transmute (D10 power source) - Influence (sub-effect incapacitation, D12 power source) -
Enchant (sub-effect permanency; mastery in school required)
Manifestation: Primoridal Beam
Range: 1 Creature
Aspect: Resilience then target turns to stone.
Cost/Difficulty: SP cost equals the ADC roll, x3. Difficulty is vs. 2D4 for single creature, and then cross reference the ability roll result with the table below to find difficulty of achieving permanency against the target. The GM then rolls that difficulty against the ability roll result. Note the arcanist still only rolls once for cost and effectiveness, but the GM rolls opposing dice twice, once for range and once for the permanency effect. Failure of the secondary Effect does not cause the primary effect to fizzle, but does mean the spell reverts to standard maintainable cost (1/2 initital casting cost per round).


So one day he casts the spell, rolls a 20, and get's a good hit against his target vs. Resilience, and can maintain the spell, but the permanency fails, and the cost is dropped to 1.5, rather than x3. If he lowered his ranks for the ability roll (like rolled 3D4), he'd have a better chance of creating a permanent effect, but it would take longer to punch through his target's Resilience, and he may fail the check against range.

Permanency Chances:
1-12 ability roll result / D4 mastery min / vs 2D4 (or target 4)
13-18 ability roll result / D6 mastery / vs 2D6 (or target 6)
19-24 ability roll result / D8 mastery / vs 2D8 (or target 8 )
25-30 ability roll result / D10 mastery / vs 2D10 (or target 10)
31-36 ability roll result / D12 mastery / vs 2D12 (or target 12)


...

more later.

This needs to be playtested.


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Any thoughts on my feedback?


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:12 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Any thoughts on my feedback?


Trying to make sure I get this straight before commenting. I think I have it all just mulling it over.

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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:30 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Any thoughts on my feedback?

I've been away from the computer for a few days. I'll look this over tonight...


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:28 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Any thoughts on my feedback?

A question and a comment:
Question: Are these "rituals" (that take days) or spells (that are immediate)?

Comment: I have read through this twice, and am still confused (although the 2nd time did help). It seems overly complicated, and it goes against the grain of "more spell points is better".
Maybe another mechanism for limiting the use of permanent spells would be to increase the spell point cost (but not the effectiveness). So a permanent spell that was cast with D8 > D10 > D10 (for a roll of 7, 4, 9) would be effective for 20 SP of "damage" to Resilience, but would cost, say 2x the spell point cost (so it would cost 32 SP instead of 16). Just off the top of my head...


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:50 am 
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I like that the permanent Fog spell is a complete spell unto itself. I am not sure if the casting process might not become a little to complicated. Meaning that during game play,you now have another table you may have to consult and the GM is rolling twice against the caster. Though the way you have shown allows the spell to still function even if the permanency fails at a reduced cost which is cool. Sorry about rambling but trying to think it through.

The simple double cost solution seems a little to easy actually, which could cause for more instant kills. You know...Throw magic bolts at d12>d8>d6 until they penetrate the victims resilience and then hit them with a d4>d4>d4 flesh to stone that costs the PC (or NPC) from 6 to 24 SP and stops the PC forever (or until a stone to flesh spell is used).

So maybe a school based multiplier might work better but how to separate them? Stone to Flesh and changing wood to bread would be in the same school but then the former should be significantly more SP or difficult to cast than the latter.

Maybe just use the Prerequisite requirements in place already? So Flesh to Stone would have prereq of School d10 where wood to bread would have a prereq of school d4? Permanent Fog would have a prereq of school d4 while a ever burning fire would have a school d8, etc..

And the costs would follow the core spell rules about multi-effect spells and cost.

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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:25 pm 
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StormPatriarch wrote:
The simple double cost solution seems a little to easy actually, which could cause for more instant kills. You know...Throw magic bolts at d12>d8>d6 until they penetrate the victims resilience and then hit them with a d4>d4>d4 flesh to stone that costs the PC (or NPC) from 6 to 24 SP and stops the PC forever (or until a stone to flesh spell is used).

So maybe a school based multiplier might work better but how to separate them? Stone to Flesh and changing wood to bread would be in the same school but then the former should be significantly more SP or difficult to cast than the latter.

Maybe just use the Prerequisite requirements in place already? So Flesh to Stone would have prereq of School d10 where wood to bread would have a prereq of school d4? Permanent Fog would have a prereq of school d4 while a ever burning fire would have a school d8, etc..

And the costs would follow the core spell rules about multi-effect spells and cost.

Maybe a combo of Prerequisite die-ranks and expensive material components. So Flesh to Stone would require D10 in Elementalism plus a small stone figurine costing 5000 gold (the figurine disintegrates upon successful casting of the spell--even if it does not exceed Resilience!)


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:22 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
StormPatriarch wrote:
The simple double cost solution seems a little to easy actually, which could cause for more instant kills. You know...Throw magic bolts at d12>d8>d6 until they penetrate the victims resilience and then hit them with a d4>d4>d4 flesh to stone that costs the PC (or NPC) from 6 to 24 SP and stops the PC forever (or until a stone to flesh spell is used).

So maybe a school based multiplier might work better but how to separate them? Stone to Flesh and changing wood to bread would be in the same school but then the former should be significantly more SP or difficult to cast than the latter.

Maybe just use the Prerequisite requirements in place already? So Flesh to Stone would have prereq of School d10 where wood to bread would have a prereq of school d4? Permanent Fog would have a prereq of school d4 while a ever burning fire would have a school d8, etc..

And the costs would follow the core spell rules about multi-effect spells and cost.

Maybe a combo of Prerequisite die-ranks and expensive material components. So Flesh to Stone would require D10 in Elementalism plus a small stone figurine costing 5000 gold (the figurine disintegrates upon successful casting of the spell--even if it does not exceed Resilience!)


Could be a good additive.

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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:09 pm 
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StormPatriarch wrote:
dunbruha wrote:
StormPatriarch wrote:
The simple double cost solution seems a little to easy actually, which could cause for more instant kills. You know...Throw magic bolts at d12>d8>d6 until they penetrate the victims resilience and then hit them with a d4>d4>d4 flesh to stone that costs the PC (or NPC) from 6 to 24 SP and stops the PC forever (or until a stone to flesh spell is used).

So maybe a school based multiplier might work better but how to separate them? Stone to Flesh and changing wood to bread would be in the same school but then the former should be significantly more SP or difficult to cast than the latter.

Maybe just use the Prerequisite requirements in place already? So Flesh to Stone would have prereq of School d10 where wood to bread would have a prereq of school d4? Permanent Fog would have a prereq of school d4 while a ever burning fire would have a school d8, etc..

And the costs would follow the core spell rules about multi-effect spells and cost.

Maybe a combo of Prerequisite die-ranks and expensive material components. So Flesh to Stone would require D10 in Elementalism plus a small stone figurine costing 5000 gold (the figurine disintegrates upon successful casting of the spell--even if it does not exceed Resilience!)


Could be a good additive.

The use of an expensive component eliminates the need for "extra" spellcasting rules (extra tables to roll off of, extra spell point costs, etc.) while still making the use of such powerful spells a rare event. How rare depends on the availability of the component (which could be an adventure in itself...). I just made up the value of 5000 gp--whether this is too high depends on the campaign. It would probably be better to set the price lower, but make the component a specific kind of item, so that the GM could determine its rarity (and thus its actual price).


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:11 am 
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I agree rules bloat is to be avoided. That's what Randy was for...I'd throw out a hundred ideas and he'd shoot down all but one. Game design for us was like two branches of government deciding on a bill... :lol:

Fact is that spells and rituals can be controlled by the flow of information in the game world, and how rare such knowledge really is. Restricting and/or requiring certain components can turn the spell into an adventure unto itself, and prevent repeated abuse of powerful incantations.

I can create sub-systems until the cows come home, but there's much to be said for keeping it simple. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Permanent spell effects?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:23 am 
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dancross wrote:
I agree rules bloat is to be avoided. That's what Randy was for...I'd throw out a hundred ideas and he'd shoot down all but one. Game design for us was like two branches of government deciding on a bill... :lol:

Fact is that spells and rituals can be controlled by the flow of information in the game world, and how rare such knowledge really is. Restricting and/or requiring certain components can turn the spell into an adventure unto itself, and prevent repeated abuse of powerful incantations.

I can create sub-systems until the cows come home, but there's much to be said for keeping it simple. :)


Yeah I think the rules in place using your Permanence sub effect may work out though, I think the table for whether the spell works perm or not might be to much additive. I like using the cost structure already in the core rules as suggested because of course the permanent version of any spell should have a higher SP cost. But Dunbruha's suggestion of leaning on the components could help balance a perm spells uses as well.

For my group i think I will use the SP cost ratios you described above for perm spell usage deterrence for now. None of my group have the power to cast them at this point anyway. Though I think I might add the component cost of Dunbruha as well if a problem arises.

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"...I was the lesser evil." --Bleys to Corwin, Nine Princes in Amber


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