Jump to content
Akhôrahil

The Problem Rune Spells (and a quick-fix for most)

Recommended Posts

Which are the Rune Spells that can tilt the game due to dubious design? This isn't so much about spells that are merely very powerful, but ones that disrupt how the game works. This is my list - please add any i missed (but keep the usage reasonable - out-and-out twinkishness should go to the Egregious Munshkinnery thread instead):

Extension: Obviously. The list of issues caused by this spell goes on forever. It probably shouldn't even exist above 3 points effect, and even then, it can be spectacularly powerful. The house rule that Rune Points for ongoing effects cannot be regained should also become a standard rule as soon as possible.

[Weapon] Trance: As has been noted elsewhere. The problem isn't so much that you increase your own skill, as that you depress your opponent's. When you have 200% - easily achievable, especially with some magic point crystal - whole slews of opponents become completely trivialized, with only a 5% chance of hitting you. A newly-created Humakti can take down a 10 meter giant or a dinosaur like it's nothing (barring very bad luck). This isn't really a problem with the spell, but with the percentage reduction rule. My house rule is that you can't get your skilled reduced below half (this is a pretty ugly hack, and becomes stupid at extremely high skill percentages, but it's at least functional).

Impede Chaos: With no POW vs. POW roll, a large Impede Chaos will trivialize many even very large chaos monsters, as long as their combat skills are not extremely high. While Storm Bulls should of course be good at fighting chaos, this tends to just nullify things. Perhaps once again, a combat skill can't be more than halved?

True [Weapon]: With regards to spirits, which can be affected by it. Simply having a high weapon skill and casting True [Weapon] means that you can easily match or exceed a Shaman when it comes to combat with spirits. Add in [Weapon Trance] as per the above, and you can essentially take on anything (even the Bad Man only has Spirit Combat 175%, something you should easily exceed) . It's not obvious how to handle this.

Shield: The idea about Rune Magic, clearly expressed in the rules about Dispels and the like, is that a Rune point should be something like double magic point. Then here comes Shield, first off being four times as powerful, and then actually being better yet than this because the Countermagic part doesn't go away. With no ablative effect or the possibility to dispel parts of the Shield, if you can cast a Shield so big the opposition can't dispel it, you have an enormous advantage with no real weaknesses (outside of being engaged in Spirit Combat). It should be enough to win almost any fight. Shield is incredibly overpowered, and needs some kind of rewrite.

Thunderbolt: First off, the limitation to cloud cover isn't a giant deal, and only crippling when you're indoors - you have some amount of clouds 90% of the time (p. 160) in the first place, and there is always Cloud Call (it adds insult to injury that you somehow get the cloud cover instantly with Cloud Call). Second, Thunderbolt isn't such a huge deal at 3 Rune Points, but it escalates dramatically with more. The problem with Thunderbolt is that it has no weaknesses and there are almost no defences against it (except for a large Shield as per the above). Armor doesn't help. There is no POW vs POW. Even Countermagic is unlikely to work, as whenever you're casting Thunderbolt, you're probably including as mony opponents as you can, so if you cast it on six opponents, it will be a Thunderbolt 8, requiring an unlikely Countermagic 17 to block. One casting will take out a fair number of human-sized targets. Two - if you have a second character who can cast it - will very likely take out a regular opponent. And on top of everything, the bolts strike with perfect precision - it would be one thing if it was an area spell that hit everything it, but you can even cast it when people are engaged in a chaotic melee. It's also really cheap to add additional targets - one Rune point for an additional target is a steal. As long as you're outdoors, it's utterly devastating. (Note that I'm not listing Sun Spear in this posting, because being allowed even limited armor makes a huge difference, and it doesn't escalate with size the way Thunderbolt does.)

Morale: In any even very small military force, Morale gives a simply unbelievable bang for the buck. A sensible ruling would be to demand that the "regiment" is a formalized regimental unit with a Wyter and so on, and not just any random bunch of warriors, but even so, it's... astonishing.

Spirit Block: Has a tendency to trivialize Spirit Combat, as it's not very hard to ensure more armor against spirits than their top Spirit Combat damage, and even if you can't make yourself completely immune, the swing is still enormous.  

Bless Crops: Okay, so this isn't at all like the spells above, but it's still a spell that negates an important part of the game system. Farming skill is supposed to matter, and penalties like -10% or -20% are clearly supposed to be a big deal. But just one yearly casting of Bless Crops will give at a bare minimum +60%, enough that you should basically always succeed, and just as with Thunderbolt, additional targets are dirt cheap. In my game, our Ernaldan makes sure to cast a giant 9-point Bless Crops for half a dozen families (the day before a holy day, naturally!), guaranteeing that no matter how bad you are at farming, or how bad the omens are, and whether anyone got raided, success is all but guaranteed. This trivializes the entire system of earning money from your livelihood skill, if you're a farmer. This is perhaps less of an issue for traditional adventurers, but is an enormous deal if you're running a homesteading campaign. And since we can assume that most Orlanthi Free farmer households will have someone with three Rune Points in Ernalda, you have to wonder why anyone would ever fail at the income roll and have a hard time.  

*

As can be pretty easily seen, most issues emerge either with the casting of very large Rune Magic spells, or with the expenditure of a lot of Magic Points. One more generalized solution I have toyed with as a house-rule is to implement some kind of "casting cap", dependent on some character stats, that creates a ceiling on how large spells that character can cast. Simply saying that you can only expend half of your permanent rune point level in a cult on a casting of a variable-size spell (perhaps with the same limit on boosting Magic Points as well) solves a lot of problems all in one go! Even some things not listed here, like pre-cast 21-point Thunderstones or (worse yet!) Woad.

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I may give Yelmalio Morale, gods know he needs something a little OP....

Edit: also it makes no sense to me why Humakt of all people has it and not the actual organized military god.

Edited by Richard S.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I think I may give Yelmalio Morale, gods know he needs something a little OP....

This is exactly my thought. It's just what's needed to make the Yelmalio phalanx credible.

Perhaps only to Light Sons if you still want the rank and file to suck individually. But at least it's now understandable how they can fight cults and units with actual magic, while still being mostly about resilience and organization.

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree as to just about every "Problem Rune Spell". These spells are written as we at Chaosium intend them to work. If you want to house rule them to reflect how you want things to be, go for it. But you are unlikely to see ANY of these spells "corrected".

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I disagree as to just about every "Problem Rune Spell". These spells are written as we at Chaosium intend them to work. If you want to house rule them to reflect how you want things to be, go for it. But you are unlikely to see ANY of these spells "corrected".

It's obviously a question of play aesthetics - I personally find that when spells trivialize combats, it leads to a sense of anticlimax. Someone else might think that this is great and just how it's supposed to work, giving the players a chance to short-circuit the encounter through game knowledge. Meanwhile, I find that too "gamey", and I strongly dislike "I Win"-buttons. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Someone else might think that this is great and just how it's supposed to work, giving the players a chance to short-circuit the encounter through game knowledge. Meanwhile, I find that too "gamey".

I see it more as world knowledge. You want to ensure that lots of enemies die in a combat, bring along a Humakti. From there, it's pretty easy to figure out how that is done in game terms. Truesword and Sword Trance. Of course you can take the reverse approach, learn all the mechanics and pick the most powerful ones, but you wouldn't find many munchkins like that on this forum.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I see it more as world knowledge. You want to ensure that lots of enemies die in a combat, bring along a Humakti. From there, it's pretty easy to figure out how that is done in game terms. Truesword and Sword Trance. Of course you can take the reverse approach, learn all the mechanics and pick the most powerful ones, but you wouldn't find many munchkins like that on this forum.

My issue though isn't merely being very good at stuff, though - this is why I don't really have a problem with things like the doubling of Truesword damage, the Slash spell, and so on. These are very powerful, but their power doesn't lie in invalidating the opposition. My problem is the spells that just hard-counter the opposition - where's the drama in that? With multiple Orlanthi in the party, they can easily conclude one even combat per season on Strike Rank 1 on the first round of combat by casting multiple Thunderbolts. Don't get me wrong, this is great fun... the first time it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

giving the players a chance to short-circuit the encounter through game knowledge.

What do you mean here? If you mean "players are more effective when they know how to use their skills/weapons/spells", then...errr.. yes, obviously?

31 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

My problem is the spells that just hard-counter the opposition - where's the drama in that? With multiple Orlanthi in the party, they can easily conclude one even combat per season on Strike Rank 1 on the first round of combat by casting multiple Thunderbolts.

You're talking about spells that "invalidate" the opposition, but then talk about Thunderbolt, a spell that very much doesn't do that. Just like Truesword and other offensive spells, it just makes you temporarily over-powered.... shouldn't it then be OK in your view?

Also, do you have actual-play experience to support that those spells are a problem? I don't, but it seems like the economics of Rune Points play a big part here. Using your Thunderbolts to quickly end a combat means spending 3 RPs or more -- that's not a lot of RPs left for anything else in the current adventure. Being awesome once over half a dozen encounters isn't so bad IMHO, and come at a risk. In my experience, my players tend to go the other way: they hoard those RPs until the end, only using Rune Magic when they feel that the end of the adventure is near. They rely mostly on Spirit Magic. But my current players tend to be a lot more cautious than the average player, I think.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

What do you mean here? If you mean "players are more effective when they know how to use their skills/weapons/spells", then...errr.. yes, obviously?

You're talking about spells that "invalidate" the opposition, but then talk about Thunderbolt, a spell that very much doesn't do that. Just like Truesword and other offensive spells, it just makes you temporarily over-powered.... shouldn't it then be OK in your view?

What I mean is that I don’t like it much when the players have an ”I win”-button.

And let me unpack what I think is the important difference between Truesword and  Thunderbolt. Truesword makes you hit really hard, but it’s not a win button. You still have to hit, still have to not get parried, still have to pass through armor first (physical and magical). The Truesword is vulnerable to dispelling, and a canny opponent can attempt to keep you at range. You become a lot better, but it’s still a challenge.

Meanwhile, Thunderbolt does its damage, to multiple targets, and there’s virtually nothing to be done about it. You have alright odds of surviving one Thunderbolt, but a second will most likely take you. It does it at range, it does it at Rune Spell speed, and there are few defenses short of hiding in a cave.

This is what I mean when I say it invalidates the opposition, where Truesword doesn’t.

44 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Also, do you have actual-play experience to support that those spells are a problem? I don't, but it seems like the economics of Rune Points play a big part here. 

Yes. Specifically, the Scorpionman Raid in D:LoD. I was aware of the potential, but I didn’t want to nerf the PCs in advance, especially not as that is a hella nasty fight with several ways for PCs to get killed in unexpected ways. 

What happened was that the PCs quickly found out about the incredible armor the Scorpionmen have (several have 16 pts of armor after their own chitin, normal armor, and the Bagog Carapace spell. At that point, after throwing some Disrupts, they went Cloud Call/Thunderbolt 7/Thunderbolt 5. There were only two survivors - the Scorpionman with a CON over 50, and one who ran into hiding after the first Thunderbolt. It was pure devastation with no real possibility of defence, and even my veteran players were surprised when they didn’t have to roll POW vs POW. This was a fight that the module itself warns is a highly dangerous even to veteran PCs, and the Scorpionmen basically had nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, this was great, with the players glad that they could pull out a win without any casualties by finding a weakness. But now they know how it works, and I’m not particularly looking forward to a SR1 instakill when they decide to pull that out.

Regarding the Rune Points, two PCs were drained - that still left four who weren’t. And with seasonal adventures and emphatically not an average of six fights per adventure, this wasn’t a huge problem.

 

 

Edited by Akhôrahil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is what I mean when I say it invalidates the opposition, where Truesword doesn’t.

Fair enough. It's actually interesting that Lightning (1pt) requires a POW resistance roll, while Thunderbolt (3pts) doesn't. It's 3 times more expensive, and therefore does 3 times more damage (3D6 vs 1D6)... but the absence of POW resistance roll makes it indeed more than 3 times more powerful. I wonder if the authors meant to make both spells consistent here (either both have POW resistance, or none of them have it), or if that's on purpose.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes. Specifically, the Scorpionman Raid in D:LoD.

Thanks for sharing! This kind of stuff is always good to know. I'm not sure what to think of this, but:

  • Blowing a combined amount of 13 Rune Points to smite enemies is pretty hard-core so yeah, they probably deserve to kill 3 or 4 scorpion men with that. You might have a bit of room to nerf the spell since you said the players were surprised to see it work so easily... but now that they've experienced it, they might oppose nerfing :) 
  • As far as I can tell, D:LoD's campaign assumes low-to-mid-level PCs. IMHO, PCs with 7 or more RPs to spare are not really "low-to-mid-level", so maybe the encounter might have benefited from more enemies, or more powerful ones? It's hard to balance encounters though, and I suck at it, so I would probably have made the same mistake.
  • One thing I would have modified though was the number of enemies. You seem to have 6 players. Unless noted otherwise, I assume that published adventures are made for 4 players.

 

Edited by lordabdul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

IMHO, PCs with 7 or more RPs to spare are not really "low-to-mid-level"

Actually, checking back on some NPCs stats in the RQG GM Pack, I guess 7 RPs is right on spot for mid-level, since 14 RPs and above are definitely "high-level" (on par with Leika for example).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Fair enough. It's actually interesting that Lightning (1pt) requires a POW resistance roll, while Thunderbolt (3pts) doesn't. It's 3 times more expensive, and therefore does 3 times more damage (3D6 vs 1D6)... but the absence of POW resistance roll makes it indeed more than 3 times more powerful. I wonder if the authors meant to make both spells consistent here (either both have POW resistance, or none of them have it), or if that's on purpose.

This isn't even the biggest problem. One Thunderbolt costing 3 Rune Points is potent, but at cost - 3 Rune Points for 3D6 damage. But the scaling is wild - when you target five enemies, it's 7 Rune points for 5 x 3D6 with no POW roll.

19 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • Blowing a combined amount of 13 Rune Points to smite enemies is pretty hard-core so yeah, they probably deserve to kill 3 or 4 scorpion men with that. You might have a bit of room to nerf the spell since you said the players were surprised to see it work so easily... but now that they've experienced it, they might oppose nerfing :) 

My philosophy is the opposite - they get to have their fun, once. 🙂 Then after they have seen how crazy good it is, they are primed to accept a nerfing.

19 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • As far as I can tell, D:LoD's campaign assumes low-to-mid-level PCs. IMHO, PCs with 7 or more RPs to spare are not really "low-to-mid-level", so maybe the encounter might have benefited from more enemies, or more powerful ones? It's hard to balance encounters though, and I suck at it, so I would probably have made the same mistake.

Not 100% sure, but my impression is that it expects somewhat experienced PCs (and also, it expects combat adventurers, not the farmers and herders who make up much of my group). It's just that RQG characters are significantly better at their skills, and vastly better at their magic.

I didn't want to boost this one, because it has stuff like a Scorpionman with POT 53 poison (meaning it will kill anyone, even if they somehow save against 53!!), a Scorpionman who explodes for 5d6 at death, and so on - I was more concerned about multiple deaths! But yes, RQG characters are shockingly powerful when they pull out the stops and burn through their Rune Points.

They PCs don't have a lot of experience, really (they were even started at less experience than standard RQG) - it's just that three of them were created at age 41+, meaning 9 Rune Points... but the idea is that they usually stay or do clan stuff at the farm while the younger generation goes on adventures. This time, their neighbours were raided, so they were out in force. In retrospect, I should have cut down on Rune Points to 2/4/6 for the age ranges... 9 Rune Points can get pretty crazy!

Age really hurts, though - one character aged out of his damage bonus after the very first year, and had to pass his bronze armor off to another PC when he couldn't handle the encumbrance any longer.

Edited by Akhôrahil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think the biggest change that should be made to Rune Magic is restricting which special spells are available to initiates. For example, I don't agree that things like Thunderbolt or Flight should be available to initiates of Orlanth and thus available, and probably known, to roughly 80% of Heortling men.

Edited by Richard S.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Not 100% sure, but my impression is that it expects somewhat experienced PCs

Nah, check the title on page 85: "The Riskland Campaign: A Campaign Setting for Low- and Mid-Level Adventurers". And yeah you're right that it seems RQG makes adventurers a bit more powerful than RQ2/3, so it means having to modify old modules. Again, good to know.

Edited by lordabdul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Honestly I think the biggest change that should be made to Rune Magic is restricting which special spells are available to initiates. For example, I don't agree that things like Thunderbolt or Flight should be available to initiates of Orlanth and thus available, and probably known, to roughly 80% of Heortling men.

Another thing that surprised me in RQG was how easily Rune Points are regained for initiates. When the new Rune Magic started to be discussed, I thought you might regain your Rune point perhaps yearly. In practice, it's at least seasonally, sometimes more (it's super easy to regain 3D6 Rune Points even in an off season, even with just a minor Orlanth & Ernalda temple, even when discounting lesser holy days). If you want to make initiates a bit weaker, cutting down on Rune Point regaining might be one of the easiest options. Or perhaps do something about Worship so that it's not always at 95% success (this is one of the weirder effects in the game).

But also yeah - there are remarkably few spells that are limited by cult rank. It would not strike me as unreasonable to restrict Flight, Lightning Bolt and Thunderbolt to rune levels. It's remarkable the things the PCs can do with easy access to Flight.

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

In practice, it's at least seasonally, sometimes more

Yeah I think the goal is to mostly get everybody back to full RPs before the next seasonal adventure. As an alternative to making house rules, you could also make PCs go through 2 adventures per season, or have adventures that require being out in the wilderness for longer.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Or perhaps do something about Worship so that it's not always at 95% success (this is one of the weirder effects in the game).

Are you talking about how sacrificing all your magic points (which are regained by the next day) gives you an almost guaranteed success?

There was also some discussion on the Facebook group recently about how the "offering" tables for Worship bonuses were not totally making sense to everybody, with small/medium/large offerings between the 2 tables not being remotely equivalent, and being mostly irrelevant since MP spending gives you almost the maximum percentage anyway. I don't remember there being any consensus on the matter though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah I think the goal is to mostly get everybody back to full RPs before the next seasonal adventure. As an alternative to making house rules, you could also make PCs go through 2 adventures per season, or have adventures that require being out in the wilderness for longer.

Above all, I try to keep them guessing. I don't have to run two adventures in a season very often for them to start at least considering the possibility and then not burn through everything they got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Are you talking about how sacrificing all your magic points (which are regained by the next day) gives you an almost guaranteed success?

Well, not all. With temple bonus, skill and holy day bonus, it should only take a handful of MP. But it's a weird effect that everyone always has 95% to succeed, and the only reason anyone cares about the Worship skill is to qualify for Rune Levels.

Edited by Akhôrahil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Nah, check the title on page 85: "The Riskland Campaign: A Campaign Setting for Low- and Mid-Level Adventurers".

That was always crazy. Riskland is tough even for rune lords.

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

And yeah you're right that it seems RQG makes adventurers a bit more powerful than RQ2/3, so it means having to modify old modules. Again, good to know.

Maybe with decent RP pools and a good choice of spells, they might be able to take on some of the tougher encounters. Maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did the Riskland with a single player.  I let him be a Rune Priest (of Yelm), but that was to help balance out that he was all alone with a bunch of desperate NPC's in one of the most terrible places in Glorantha.  Risklands is awesome because the odds are so crazy stacked against normal PC behavior (swagger up to the bar and slaughter everything after weeks of munchkinery).  It just forces different ways of playing the game, getting everyone out of their usual habits. 

The player enjoyed the mini-campaign very much, and it was pretty much survivor-horror where the player more or less gave up on basic survival and recon.  But this was more than a handful for him, also considering that the vast bulk of the "settlers" were Orlanthi. 

It's just a great concept, and any CoC player will understand right away that you aren't meant to hack and slash your way through it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sword Trance is awesome because it draws **every** enemy Dismiss Magic spell.  My next character may be a Trickster who dresses like a Humakti and casts illusions on his sword.

This assumes the opposition can even tell who is the Humakti with Sword Trance and who is a mere Issaries dressed in black with Bladesharp 2 on their sword.  By RAW that's a challenge for most.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the original topic, I don't see the spells above as problems at all.  No, things aren't balanced.  That's a MMORPG thing that doesn't need to exist in a paper and pencil RPG.  Also the "bad guys" get the same tools, so that's a level playing field right there. 

I'm not fond of the current incarnation of Sword Trance, but if a close combat monster like that shows up -- missiles, Rune magic, Dispel, or heck, Divine Intervention if you need.  Humakti are supposed to be bad assed.  I don't want to take away from the front runners for combat power, as they are thematically supposed to be that good.   What's that?  A critical arrow hit?  The broo blew up for 4d6 when you hacked him down?  Shame.  Roll up a new guy.    Your cultural leaders will be forever reaching for their most powerful warriors to deal with the most dangerous of crises,  meaning a much greater risk to the Humakti, by my way of thinking.  An Orlanth worshiper may decide to steal, lie, cheat, or kill his out of danger, and if he can't, he is eligible for resurrection.   That's no small potatoes.

I do agree that Morale would have been better thematically with Yelmalio, but I can also see that being something that they have to accomplish with non-magical means, while Humakt just sort of blesses his power into the masses. 

Shield has always been a crazy powerful spell, and was automatically the first four points of Rune magic that my players took, in multiple long running campaigns.  However once the 15 minutes of fame was up, do they quit for the day?  What if someone has Dispel 8?  Are they one encounter wonders that can be shied away from an inner sanctum by a couple of layers of guards?  Magical endurance is even more of a factor in RQ:G, and I strongly favor forcing the players to work hard to manage their Rune points.  The worst way to do that is to have one major combat per season and then the players safely retreat back home, which is perpetually un-threatened until the Rune points are back.  The best way is to have an uncertain number of encounters, but always multiples, and sometimes a serious extended, multi-session marathon.   Having long drawn out adventures where they cannot always hit a holy location or make it to a temple (like an extended time in Vulture Country, ducking Lunar authorities) can really drive home that they need to conserve the Rune points for when it really matters.   In my campaign(s), this sort of series of Spartan sessions is very much a sign that the players are "making it", and are ready to step away from the Tula for some hardcore adventuring.   Typically at the end there is a newfound appreciation of skills, battle magic, and allies.  People discover all manner of things on their character sheets, or in the world they are gaming in, if stressed. Old school RQ2 was a bit of a let down in that the players would just sanctify (and often ward), and be ready to roll at full power the next day.  I LIKE that the players can be extremely powerful, but also depleted situationally. 

Take the classic Troll tactics of using Trollkin and/or Undead to wear the opposition down.  Are you really going to throw Shield or Swordtrance now?  Yet we all know that Trollkin kill.  One lucky spear critical in the head and you are in a bad way.  Sure someone else in the party may be able to heal you, but you may not all be together, or the healer may be tied down fighting a cave troll, or other non-optimal circumstance.  But if you blow your Rune magic, then the best move for the Trolls is to just wait a bit, maybe cast some darkness spells mixed with Shades, sling some rocks at the players, or even just chill out of human sensory range.  The trollkin have accomplished their mission, good job survivors.  Now the trolls can either attack in deep night conditions, continue to harass, or even tail the players, looking for an opportunity to pick one off.    And say the players prevail.  They are down 4-6 divine magic points each, and not necessarily any closer to resolving the scenario.  Heck, the trolls might just be some random encounter while the players were on the way to Snake Pipe Hollow. 

Now your Glorantha may vary.  Mine have always used the core rules as the "physics" of the universe.  And things like Multispell 4 + Disruption have been there since the beginning, so maybe I just got used to the way it is.  But I do like the current system where magical endurance is a thing, or at least can be a thing if the GM wants it to be.  The players get their time on the stage to shine, and the GM can introduce more complex tactical scenarios as they become more accomplished. 

The Bless Crops is the same deal for me.  None of my current players is Ernaldan, and only one is currently married to anyone who is even semi-potent, magically.  So they have to use straight up skill for their farms (if they own them).   If someone went with Ernalda, I'd be thrilled that they were playing the game to help crops and keep everyone rolling in the Winter phase. 

Just my opinion here.   I hope that your sessions are all great times, changes or no, and you certainly brought up something that I hadn't considered in like, forever. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be a group style thing, but our group typically has more fighters (and fewer casters) than most i've read about online.

When the Humakti PC shows up, the Orlanth, Yelmalio and Storm Bull fighters feel very outclassed and borderline pitiful.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Extension: Obviously. The list of issues caused by this spell goes on forever.

That's because someone has a Heroic Casting of it, and dropped a lot of MPs 😛

(I don't know if you were trying to be punny about this.. )

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Even Countermagic is unlikely to work, as whenever you're casting Thunderbolt, you're probably including as mony opponents as you can, so if you cast it on six opponents, it will be a Thunderbolt 8, requiring an unlikely Countermagic 17 to block.

According to the WoD errata, this is not the case:

Quote

Thunderbolt (page 346)

If you blast 8 Lunars with a 10p Thunderbolt how much Countermagic do they need against it? Is each Lunar hit by a 3p runespell or a 10p?

You’re casting a 3-pt spell and spending 1 point per additional target, for a total of 10 points for eight targets.  

Nowhere in the wording of the spell does it say that the additional points are added to the relative power of the spell.

Each target is hit with a 3 pt. Thunderbolt spell.

But, until I read that errata I had thought the same as you—stackable means stackable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...