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  1. Dueling Magics Magic is a match winner in many a RuneQuest conflict, and for this reason there are a couple of magics to avert this. It is necessary to define a few terms here. Penetration strength of a spell: This is relevant for magical barriers like the Countermagic effect, Neutralizing effects, or Reflection/Castback. The penetration strength is the sum of all magic points put into the intensity of the spell plus all boosting magic points and twice the sum of the rune points put into the spell effect (not area or duration). Sorcerous spells cast with the help of an inscribed spell also add all points of POW in the inscription put into the intensity of the spell (though not points of POW for duration or range). Spell intensity or spell strength is the number of points for the spell effect, and is the value that is relevant for attempts to dispel or neutralize the spell. As usual, one rune point counts for two magic points. In the case of rune spells which require a boost with magic points to have an effect, there are two measures: the bonus of the spell is dependent on the boosted magic points, which are instantly used up to create that bonus for the duration of the spell (if applicable, Heal Wound for example has an instant effect). For dispelling, only the number of rune points need to be removed. One such magic is a magical barrier, also often referred to the Countermagic effect, which comes in a variety of flavors. This basically prevents all spells below the threshold set by the Countermagic effect spell to affect their target. The caster of the incoming spell has the possibility to boost the spell with additional Magic Points during the casting, adding to the penetration of the incoming spell (only). The effect is named after the spirit spell Countermagic, a variable spell (i.e. limited by the number of points the caster has learned. Within its duration (2 minutes unless extended by a shaman or stacked with the Extension rune spell), it will absolutely block/dissipate any incoming magic 2 points less than its strength, and persist. If the incoming magic is within one point of the Countermagic strength, both the incoming magic and the Countermagic will disspipate. Spells stronger than the Countermagic will simply disspiate the Countermagic spell and take effect. There are rune spells which impart a Countermagic effect as part of their effect, most notably Shield. Unlike the Spirit spell, this Countermagic effect will dissipate any spell with a penetration strength up to the value of the Countermagic effect and remain in effect until the end of the duration or until dispelled. The tricky part is that the Countermagic spirit spell will stack its effects with these rune magic Countermagic effects. However, due to the ephemeral nature of the spirit spell, the rune magic effects need to be in place before the spirit spell can be placed on top of that effect. The other way around, the rune magic would either be blocked by and/or dissipate the Countermagic spirit spell. (This is somewhat clumsily worded in the description of the Shield spell, and not at all in the other instances of the Countermagic effect for rune spells). Another tricky topic is the interaction of the Countermagic effect with detection spells, area-affecting spells and targeting spells. More about this below. A similar effect with an added bonus is the Absorption rune spell which converts incoming spells of any type onto the target of this spell (needn‘t be the caster) into magic points for the caster of the spell as long as the penetration strength of the spell doesn‘t surpass the Absorption effect. Special cases like interaction with detection spells or area-effect spells like warding are discussed below. There are sorcery spell which provide their target with a similar barrier against specific incoming spells: Neutralize <Rune> and Neutralize Spirit Magic. In typical sorcery manner, the barrier is fuzzy and requires that the penetration strength of the incoming spell overcomes the intensity of the barrier spell. The Neutralize Spirit Magic spell first needs to dissipate all existing temporal spirit spells affecting the target by overcoming the sum of their spell strength and will then remain in effect for its duration, but will dissipate when it fails a resistance roll (if the incoming spirit spell takes effect), the Neutralize <Rune> spells will stay in effect for its duration regardless whether incoming spells penetrate it. It isn’t clear whether a Neutralize <Rune> spell will protect from a sorcerous spell using that rune. (And if so, whether the substitution for the Magic rune in undefined spells by the specified rune makes a spell susceptible to Neutralize <Rune>.) The interaction of Neutralize Spirit Magic with the Countermagic spirit spell is slightly complicated. Obviously, to take effect, it has to overcome the stacked Countermagic effect on the target with its penetration strength, which is the sum of its intensity (whether from manipulation or inscribed POW) and any magic points piled on top to boost it. The instant this has happened, Countermagic the spirit spell dissipates, and hence doesn‘t count to the sum of the points of temporal spirit magic in effect, as far as I interprete the rules. Not quite a barrier, but still interacting with the penetration strength of the incoming spell is the reflection effect of the rune spell Reflection and the sorcery spell Castback. Again obviously it has to have penetrated the stacked Countermagic effect already for this spell to come into action. Another such magic is dispelling magic that already has taken effect. The spells applicable here are the Spirit spell Dispel Magic, the common Rune Spell Dismiss Magic and the sorcerous Neutralize Spirit Magic (as the instant effect of this spell). Dispel and Dismiss have to be equal to or stronger than the points of the targeted spell. Boosts like Extension, points put into Duration or Range, or magic points that had been added to penetrate a Countermagic-like barrier don‘t count here. Sorcery matches the intensity of the Neutralize Spirit Magic spell (not the magic points put into Range or Duration, or as boost to penetrate a barrier) with the sum of all spirit spells currently affecting the target. (Not including any instant spirit spells that happen to strike the target simultaneously to this spell – since sorcery is slower than spirit magic, I would rule that instant spells take effect before this sorcery spell takes effect. Once this spell has taken effect, the barrier effect of it discussed above comes into play.) Both these spells can be cast on a Protective Circle to give them area-effect, taking care of the range condition. This is also the only way to cast Neutralize Spirit Magic on a target without affecting existing spirit magic (like that extended Bladesharp 3 that you might want to keep on your blade). A third variant temporarily suspends a temporal spell that is already in effect. This is (currently) limited to the sorcery spell Neutralize Magic. If the Neutralize Magic spell has an intensity of at least half the intensity of the spell already in effect, the intensity of the spell is matched against the intensity of the Neutralize Magic spell. The caster needs to be able to perceive the targeted spell (i.e. the target of the spell) in order to neutralize it. There are a number of debatable points here. Does the Neutralize Magic target a single spell, or does it target a stacked spell effect (say Shield plus Protection) if the caster cannot specify whether the magical protection is from spirit magic or rune magic? Finally there are special or additional such effects, like Reflection/Castback which return a spell whose caster didn‘t manage to win a POW vs. POW contest against the spell‘s target on the caster. And in this case, it is open to debate whether any magic points used for boosting the spell say past a Countermagic effect or the Absorption effect still are in effect when the spell is reflected. Probably yes, if you look at the description of the Absorption spell. The interaction between detection spells and the Countermagic effect and the Countermagic spirit spell fragility was discussed in this thread: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/8238-countermagic-complications/ I seem to recall a ruling that a Detect Magic (or Enemies) spell would not dissipate any Countermagic spells it encounters even if its boosted strength would allow it to. I am not sure whether the Countermagic effect shields additional magic or the quality of “Enemy” from being detected. A nifty tool a bit outside of these considerations is the sorcery spell Attract Magic which redirects any ranged spell within its range of effect to the designated redirection target if applicable. Applicable means: the caster must be able to see (or otherwise target) the redirection target. The redirection target must be susceptible to the spell. Mind-affecting spells cannot be redirected to objects, but can be redirected to people, beasts, monster (e.g. undead, automata, or spirits with Visibility on), or illusions thereof (that cover the sensory range of the caster used for targeting – usually sight, Sould Sight, or darksense, possibly earthsense). Spells causing physical damage cannot be redirected to a spirit with Visibility on, but can be cast on an optical or Darksense illusion or phantom (or hallucination, if the caster is affected by one, although in this case only the person who cast the Hallucination or anyone in mental connection with the hallucinating caster would be able to target the redirection target). A standard held high with a bound spirit inside or a beast (e.g. a bird) perching on it may act as such a redirection target, and only affects those who have line of sight towards this redirection target. Shielding their vision against this redirection target will allow casters to affect their intended target with ranged magic. (Note that a Lightwall or a Darkwall can render this distraction ineffective to casters using sight for targeting, and Lightwall possibly affecting Darksense, too. Not Soul Sight, though…) Selectively targeting active spells with dispelling (or neutralizing) spells Unless you know exactly what spells have been cast on a target, you have to guess at the spell or its function, and at its intensity. Let’s take an Arkati (Humakti and/or Zorak Zorani) as your opponent whose sword has that magic “glow” signalling that there is a magic spell active on it. Unless you use Soul Sight or Pierce Veil, you have no information about how strong the spell is, or whether there are several spells active on the blade. Let’s assume a worst case here. The blade could carry Bladesharp, Truesword, Blessing of Kargan Tor, Seal Wound, Pain Tooth, Protection or Countermagic, Shield, Absorption, Neutralize Armor, Ward Against Weapons and Castback (applicable if the blade has a bound spirit), Preserve Item, Protective Circle (with any number of Neutralize Rune and Neutralize Spirit Magic spells on it), and because nasty opponents did strike this worthy with de-buffing magic, a number of Neutralize Magic spells negating several castings of Dullblade, Dampen Damage and possibly even Glue (to the sheath it was in). The dispelling target declaration might simply be “the (or a) spell on that blade, in which case a random spell from the list of the protective spells above is chosen (Protection, Shield, Absorption, Castback, Ward Against Weapons, Protective Circle and its companions). (With the usual checks for whether the incoming dispelling spell overcomes a Countermagic and/or Absorption effect, and whether it overcomes the magic points of the bound spirit in order to avoid triggering the Castback, if within range of the Castback resistance ability.) “The (a) spell on that blade that is not a protective spell.” I don’t think I’d allow an exclusion clause in the targeting. That leaves a positive but not concrete pronouncement like “The (a) spell that enhances that blade.” Getting into tricky territory. Preserve Item qualifies, so does every Neutralize Magic with the spell it blocked still in duration. An obvious effect like Fireblade is easy to target, of course. (A Fireblade combined with a medium strength Absorption might become a veritable MP generator…) But I don’t think that Boon of Kargan Tor is really discernible from Truesword, Seal Wound or Bladesharp. Detect Magic will lighten up all potential targets within range. More reliable than just looking out for that magical glow or increased definition that accompanies active magic. Soul Sight or Pierce Veil will not be blocked by the Countermagic effect, and may tell how strong the magic on that sword is. The question here is whether the spells can discern between spells, whether they have enough resolution to determine single spells, and whether stacked spell effects (like Shield with Protection or Countermagic, or Protective Circle with various Neutralize spells) are perceived as a single amount of magic. The sorcerous Identify Spell spell can identify a single spell, either targeting an obvious spell effect, or targeting the target of a spell. The spell description gives no advice how to deal with an object that is the target of multiple spells, or how this spell deals with stacked effects like Countermagic or Protection, and neither does it tell us whether Countermagic or Absorption prevents such an identification. The sorcerous Reveal Rune spell gives a good guess at what rune spells the character may possibly have cast himself, although associate magic or Spell Trading might obscure that. Spells cast by supporters require a runic analysis of said supporters... Area effect magic and dispelling and Countermagic effects This is where things get tricky. Does the Countermagic effect on individual targets stack with the Countermagic effect of area effect magic? What happens if you are inside the effect of a Create Neutral Ground or Great Market and cast offensive magic? Does a sufficiently high Countermagic effect or Neutralize Harmony Rune spell protect you from the Disruption penalty for taking offensive action inside the area? How high a Countermagic effect is required? 1 point per Disruption, or 2 points per point of Warding? What about Create Market (a 3-point spell, although some of those points may explain the 8-week special duration)? What is the effect of several Protective Circles with the same Neutralize spells on them overlapping? Does only the strongest Neutralize effect interact with the incoming spell, or does the incoming spell ‘s penetration strength have to bypass each and every Neutralize spell it crosses or enters? Absorption and the Disrupt effects of Create Market or Warding: Does Absorption 2 prevent a 3 point Warding’s Disrupt effect to hit the target of the Absorption when triggering the Disrupt? Does the caster receive 3 magic points every time the Absorption target inside a 3 priests’ worth Great Market fires their bow, or crosses a hostile Warding border? That’s it for now. This post might be edited when I conceive or receive additions or necessary alterations to this version.
  2. Have a question on the shield parry rules on page 52 of 7e Cthulhu Invictus, under Defending with a Shield. It says the Shield user gains the Shield's armor rating even if they lose the bout of combat, and the shield can possibly take damage. Then on page 53 under Life of a Shield, it says when a Shield successfully blocks an attack, the shield itself takes damage. So my question is, what's the difference? It sounds like whether i successfully parry or not, my shield armor counts and my shield may take damage.
  3. Greetings, OQ2 explorers I thought you all might find a House Rule mod my players and I cooked up concerning shields interesting. Trying to be mindful of OQ2's simplicity, we still felt our game needed some shield tweaks. Weapons including shields are designated light, medium, heavy, and huge in the Close Combat Weapons table on page 45. The term “huge,” however, is only used in relation to shields and can be problematic as it is truly a size designation, in contrast to the light, medium, and heavy designations which seem to describe weight. This dichotomy is further exacerbated by use of the term “Large” in the passage on page 60 which reads: Shields with a size of Large or Huge (i.e. Medium and Large Shields) provide a cover modifier to the ranged attack of the attacker -25% and -50% respectively against arrows, sling shot and cross bow bolts. As there is no “Large” size designation in the table's Size column, “Heavy” is what was obviously meant, which is again more a reference to weight than size. After discussing further shield category concerns and rather than rename the column Weight, my players and I felt a re-designation of shield size was in order. Thus it was decided that, small shields (buckler, targe, etc.) would be sized “Light” rather than Medium; medium shields (heater, round, etc.) sized “Medium” rather than Heavy; large shields (scutum, hoplon, etc.) should be sized “Heavy” rather than Huge; and truly enormous shields, such as the pavise, should be termed “Huge.” Thus the above excerpt was revised in our game version to read: “Medium, Heavy, and Huge shields provide extra protection from arrows, sling shot and crossbow bolts. Archers, crossbowmen and slingers suffer a -25%, -50%, and/or -75% modifier to their attacks against targets armed with Medium, Heavy, or Huge shields respectively.” In addition to the above, it was decided to modify the Ranged Attack Situational Modifiers table and “Cover” section on page 59 to better reflect the House Rule addition and modification. The RAW passage reads: “For missile attacks the defender benefits from the best of the shield modifier in the table above and the cover modifier below,” but there is no “...table above.” Our version reads: “Against missile attacks, the defender benefits from the best of the shield modifiers in the table below...” To the “Target Visibility” section, we then added three rows: Target is armed with a Medium sized shield -25% Target is armed with a Heavy sized shield -50% Target is armed with a Huge sized shield -75% Sorry about the huge table there...something exploded in the translation from word processor to forum :-( A reminder of these penalties was suggested as an additional note under “Range” in the “Ranged Weapon” section on page 47. We also decided an addendum to Newt's excellent “Taking out Life Insurance” advice on page 54 would be in order: On Shields “Your shield is your friend. Regardless of character concept, get a shield and use it. It will prolong your character's life.” For new players, we wrote the following House Rule summary: Small shields sized Light, such as bucklers and targes, will block all incoming damage from Light weapons with a successful parry. Small shields will only block half the incoming damage from a Medium sized weapon and no incoming damage from a Heavy sized weapon.They offer no protection against archers, crossbowmen and slingers. Medium shields sized Medium, such as heater or round shields, will block all incoming damage from Light and Medium sized weapons with a successful parry but only half the incoming damage from Heavy sized weapons. Luckily, there are no Huge sized offensive weapons. Medium shields offer greater protection from arrows, bolts and sling-stones, levying a -25% modification against such missile attacks. Large shields, such as scutum and hoplon shields, sized Heavy will block all incoming damage from Light, Medium and Heavy weapons with a successful parry. They offer even greater protection from arrows, bolts and sling-stones, levying a -50% modification against such missile attacks. Huge shields, such as the pavise, levy a -75% modification against missile attacks. Nearly stationary and deployed for siege or large scale battle purposes (both offense and defense), they cannot be used in the quick of Close Combat situations like the above sized shields can. And don't forget: "Shield-carrying characters may attempt to Parry hand thrown missile weapons (daggers, darts, hatchets, rocks, etc.) if the target is aware of the attack" (58). Cheers!
  4. So how would you use shields with the 7e rules? I'm converting some of the Invictus scenarios to 7e and not quite sure how to address this since combat is an opposed roll with the better roll winning. I dont think dodge would be appropriate because i'm not dodging. I mean sure, i'm trying not to get hit, but with a shield i am purposely putting an object between myself and the attacker, and possibly moving to not get hit as well.
  5. Again, as a disclaimer I'm a newcomer to BRP about to run my first campaign, so apologies if I'm just missing a key point in both of these areas... But far as I can tell, the only benefit to using a shield as opposed to any other parrying "weapon" is the durability in HP (re: fumbled parries leading to broken weapon) and protection from missile fire. I guess you could throw in the knockback attacks. Otherwise a player's main weapon will be just as effective defensively, and probably moreso as they can concentrate their skill points there. What's the deal with that? I mean, for a combat system that's relatively realistic ("relatively" being the operative word here) this doesn't make sense. Attacking and parrying with a longsword alone, or attacking with a longsword and parrying with a shield - IRL that is a huge difference. Along those same lines - although I'll probably discourage any dual-wielding in my campaign - fighting with two weapons seems to be based on the same exact mechanics as striking twice with one. There's no real advantage. Is this just lazy mechanics? Or is there a subtlety that I didn't get the first few reads through? If the former, are there variants (I'm especially thinking of shield use here) that make a little more sense?
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