Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Almost verbatim, you say? So you won't be able to parry?

If that's really the intention, I don't honestly see the point of Sword Trance/Axe Trance at all. Might as well just give them Berserk, perhaps with Humakt getting double against undead instead of Chaos. Note that Berserker RAW does not have any "will attack friends" or "cannot distinguish friend from foe" requirements, so that part of Arrow Trance is actually begging the question.

If you don't mean that they won't be able to parry with Sword Trance... then perhaps we'd better wait until that errata actually exists before we start celebrating, because it is not as clear as you imply in that case.

Yeah, that's why the "almost" is there...

It's slightly unfortunate that the only full writeup for Trance spells is a missile weapon :(

I do think that with melee weapons, parrying will be considered part of the trance - for that (type of) weapon only!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 255
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Yes.  Oh, very much yes. Our Storm Bull and our Humakti were the party main big hitters for a while.  The Humakti is tiny and fast, and breaks easily when hit.  The Storm Bull is SIZ 19 and can tak

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.

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"

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm not sure what the rules will say about using a shield. It also feels natural to me for a fighter to use a shield if they have a shield equipped on their arm already. Dropping the shield and going "attack only" feels too close to Berserking to me -- I would allow parrying and blocking at my table.

I don't think they'd drop the shield, unless it gets in the way... Large shields, possibly. Small shields might just hang around for the extra armour on the other arm...

(That's one thing I liked about Combat Styles... If you've always trained with a shield, you feel awfully naked and exposed without one)

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

Correct, it doesn't say that you will attack friends, for two reasons:

  1. That's fluff text. It is descriptive. It is not mechanical.
  2. If one wishes to interpret it as mechanical, then it would seem that if my friends are "my strongest loyalties" then they are not "forgotten in the rage to destroy". Especially in RQG where the other PCs are quite possibly in the same clan or tribe.

A RAW "you will attack friends" should look something like, "If the Berserker has no opponents in melee range, he will move towards the nearest foe. If there are no foes nearby, he will move towards the nearest friend and attack them instead." It doesn't say that, nor (IMO) anything that could reasonably interpreted as that.

However, there's a nice thread in the Glorantha section about a Humakti and ZZ in the same party... :D:D:D

So, if your party consists of a mixed bag of people who just met to get a job done, then it's probably not a good spell to be using 😛

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

However, there's a nice thread in the Glorantha section about a Humakti and ZZ in the same party... :D:D:D

So, if your party consists of a mixed bag of people who just met to get a job done, then it's probably not a good spell to be using 😛

(shrug) It flat out does not say you will attack your friends. I even gave you what the text should (IMO) look like if it was supposed to imply that. Evidently YMMV, but I do not agree that RAW says that the disadvantages to Berserker include danger to your friends. I don't see why it should, personally - a 2 point Rune spell that is barely better than the spirit spell Fanaticism unless you're up against Chaos doesn't need that sort of disadvantage to be balanced.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, GAZZA said:

(shrug) It flat out does not say you will attack your friends. I even gave you what the text should (IMO) look like if it was supposed to imply that. Evidently YMMV, but I do not agree that RAW says that the disadvantages to Berserker include danger to your friends. I don't see why it should, personally - a 2 point Rune spell that is barely better than the spirit spell Fanaticism unless you're up against Chaos doesn't need that sort of disadvantage to be balanced.

No, actually... It doesn't.

What it does actually say is: "all but the strongest loyalties are forgotten."

Which is significantly different...

Because sometimes you've got to tolerate those you'd rather not. Just because you're in the same party, working for a similar cause, in no way makes you "friends", and certainly not of the "strongest loyalties" variety... (could be a good way to find out who your *real* friends are 😛 ). Especially if there's always been an undercurrent of resentment and antagonism (with a few snide remarks and barbs thrown in), kept in check only by a party leader or other figurehead (or by some other command).

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s been some mention of Dismiss Magic tune spell as being a fix for Sword Trance. Certainly that was my first thought. If someone dismisses your sweet trance, you’re both down 1 rune point, but the would be sword trancer is down a round casting the spell (strike rank would be 1+ number of magic points -1) and a tonne of magic points.

However in the rules clarifications is this:

[\quote]

Heal Wound (page 330)

Do the extra MPs added to Heal Wound count towards boosting the spell? Eg, if I cast heal wound and spent 5mp on it , would it count as a 2 point spell or a 7 point spell for the purposes of countermagic?

I would say yes, just like other spells where magic points are spent. 

[\quote]

So my read of this is that a “big” sword trance is going to take a *lot* of rune point to dismiss (e.g. 6 rune points to dismiss a 10 magic point casting).

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tupper said:

There’s been some mention of Dismiss Magic tune spell as being a fix for Sword Trance. Certainly that was my first thought. If someone dismisses your sweet trance, you’re both down 1 rune point, but the would be sword trancer is down a round casting the spell (strike rank would be 1+ number of magic points -1) and a tonne of magic points.

However in the rules clarifications is this:



Heal Wound (page 330)

Do the extra MPs added to Heal Wound count towards boosting the spell? Eg, if I cast heal wound and spent 5mp on it , would it count as a 2 point spell or a 7 point spell for the purposes of countermagic?

I would say yes, just like other spells where magic points are spent. 

I actually agree with you about this line of reasoning, and the rules as written make it seem as though you can do this kind of "defensive boosting" to make a spell hard to dispel.

Jeff has said it's not intended to work that way, though. Up to you how you treat these designer intentions that don't quite come through in the rules.

What it definitely means, though, is that you can cast a big Sword Trance on yourself in order to penetrate your own Shield spell.

Edited by Akhôrahil
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Yes, exactly, thanks. And, conversely, if A (130%) gets attacked by B, C, and D (all 80%), then BA is 50% vs 100%, CA is 70% vs 100%, and DA is 80% vs 90% (as 130 becomes 110 becomes 90 with subsequent parries). I was under the impression that @Dragon was arguing for (respectively) 50% vs 100%, 80% vs 80%, 80% vs 60% (but I might have misunderstood it). Anyway, like I said, this has all been discussed in that thread I linked, so we can take it there -- discussions on >100% combat skills tend to get very long, and we don't want to hijack this thread.

You got the correct impression of my potential lessening of the Overpowering portion of X Trance.

Edited by Dragon
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Jeff has said it's not intended to work that way, though.

There are so many unclear points in the magic rules it's not even funny. We had endless discussions here already about these kinds of things (Stackable, boosting, etc.) :(  Do you have a reference for Jeff's statement on this? Does this mean Jeff and Jason actually disagree about how to interpret RAW?

FWIW I'm currently of the opinion (although that could change :)) that extra MPs/RPs spent to increase or improve a spell's effect do not count against the spell's "strength" for the purposes of dispelling and protection -- you have to spend "unallocated" magic points that go specifically towards the spell's strength for that. The idea is to basically make it easier for opponents to cancel each other's magic... because otherwise, casting Axe Trance 10 not only gives you +100%, but it also is super hard to dispel. That's a bit of double dipping so to speak, and potentially part of why the OP is having problems with these spells. Using this (Jeff's?) interpretation means the caster will want to spare some MPs to go towards boosting, which means allocating these 10 MPs differently: they might end up casting Axe Trance +60% with 4 points of boosting. Boom, Axe Trance is suddenly less over-powered and potentially less of a problem because it's also easier to dispel.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

There are so many unclear points in the magic rules it's not even funny. We had endless discussions here already about these kinds of things (Stackable, boosting, etc.) :(  Do you have a reference for Jeff's statement on this? Does this mean Jeff and Jason actually disagree about how to interpret RAW?

Search the Facebook group for Sword Trance - Jeff made it clear that he thinks magic point boosting doesn't make a spell harder to dispel.

And it's not a disagreement in this case - both would agree, I'm sure, that a boosted Sword Trance and a boosted Heal Wound both penetrate Shield/Countermagic as per the boosted value. Rather, this is about the unclear case of whether MP boosting makes a spell defensively stronger, i.e. requires more Dispel to get rid of.

7 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

FWIW I'm currently of the opinion (although that could change :)) that extra MPs/RPs spent to increase or improve a spell's effect do not count against the spell's "strength" for the purposes of dispelling and protection -- you have to spend "unallocated" magic points that go specifically towards the spell's strength for that.

I think this would make a lot of sense, but I don't think it's RAW. Boosting for different purposes could be pretty sensible useful, but if you don't stop yourself, you end up with the Sorcery rules. By the current rules, boosting is boosting, and some boosting is multi-purpose.

 

Edited by Akhôrahil
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Correct, it doesn't say that you will attack friends, for two reasons:

  1. That's fluff text. It is descriptive. It is not mechanical.
  2. If one wishes to interpret it as mechanical, then it would seem that if my friends are "my strongest loyalties" then they are not "forgotten in the rage to destroy". Especially in RQG where the other PCs are quite possibly in the same clan or tribe.

A RAW "you will attack friends" should look something like, "If the Berserker has no opponents in melee range, he will move towards the nearest foe. If there are no foes nearby, he will move towards the nearest friend and attack them instead." It doesn't say that, nor (IMO) anything that could reasonably interpreted as that.

So in a game with Mechanics specifically called Loyalty(x), you don't think that is a reference to mechanics.

"Especially in RQG where the other PCs are quite possibly in the same clan or tribe", and the Berserk likely has Loyalty(Sartar), Loyalty(Colymar), Loyalty(family), or similar; you don't take that as an indication that the Berserk should roll against his Loyalty Passion as a mechanic.

Now, RQ2 did say: "...Persons affected by this spell must make a roll of their INT on D100 each melee round to stop fighting before the 15 minutes is up. Should no foes be alive or visible then they will attack friends, mounts, trees, and each other." That was before they had a Loyalty mechanic. Now they have one, and have described how to pit one Passion against another, and implicitly referenced it in the spell description. So you need it explicitly referenced; that is your choice.

Now, in my games, I let the other characters yell out and point, "That one is still twitching!" (reminder of Gimli/Legolas after Helm's Deep. Sure Legolas was not Berserk. Point being the orc was dead). Once the Berserk has delivered a coup de gras to each enemy (not a nice subtle coup de gras mind you), while rolling his Loyalty Passions to break out, then he will attack his friends. YGMV. MGF!

I remember a night where our minotaur Storm Bull friend went berserk and we killed all the enemies but one. The rest of us all tried to hide, while he killed the last one. Our Lhankor Mhy didn't hide well enough. My character jumped out to intercept and had to spend a few rounds dodging and parrying to stop the rampage (BG Axe Sister) while the minotaur rolled against his INT. That was quite memorable, so I view that as MGF.

**edited for grammar.

Edited by Dragon
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Dragon said:

So in a game with Mechanics specifically called Loyalty(x), you don't think that is a reference to mechanics.

"Especially in RQG where the other PCs are quite possibly in the same clan or tribe", and the Berserk likely has Loyalty(Sartar), Loyalty(Colymar), Loyalty(family), or similar; you don't take that as an indication that the Berserk should roll against his Loyalty Passion as a mechanic.

Now, RQ2 did say: "...Persons affected by this spell must make a roll of their INT on D100 each melee round to stop fighting before the 15 minutes is up. Should no foes be alive or visible then they will attack friends, mounts, trees, and each other." That was before they had a Loyalty mechanic. Now they have one, and have described how to pit one Passion against another, and implicitly referenced it in the spell description. So you need it explicitly referenced; that is your choice.

Now, in my games, I let the other characters yell out and point, "That one is still twitching!" (reminder of Gimli/Legolas after Helm's Deep. Sure Legolas was not Berserk. Point being the orc was dead). Once the Berserk has delivered a coup de gras to each enemy (not a nice subtle coup de gras mind you), while rolling his Loyalty Passions to break out, then he will attack his friends. YGMV. MGF!

I remember a night where our minotaur Storm Bull friend went berserk and we killed all the enemies but one. The rest of us all tried to hide, while he killed the last one. Our Lhankor Mhy didn't hide well enough. My character jumped out to intercept and had to spend a few rounds dodging and parrying to stop the rampage (BG Axe Sister) while the minotaur rolled against his INT. That was quite memorable, so I view that as MGF.

**edited for grammar.

I'd go with your interpretation.

There wouldn't be much point Chaleena Arroy healers having an ability to calm Berserks if the Berserk could just switch it off at will.

I think I'd also let the Tame Bull spell calm an Uroxi since the spell description says it works on Storm Bull cultists.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that cults/magic is very unbalanced in RQ, and although I respect the fact that this is not done by accident, I do love me some balance.

An example is our very last adventure, where our entire party was completely naked in an abandoned Lunar prison. Our sorceror captor unchained us because he was terrified and had no other recourse. Everyone else in the whole prison had either vanished or died a gruesome death due to some powerful darkness demon. Anyways, fast-forward through us rifling through dozens of corpses everywhere and exploring prison cells, and we find ourselves face-to-face with said demon.

He had some sort of mass harmonize spell, which was pretty damn OP, and we had to resist every turn or be completely enthralled and paralized. I'll tell ya, after resisting round 1, my naked Humakti spend 3 of his 9 rune points and straight up ended the adventure. Huge darkness monster with giant claws/teeth that we probably were supposed to haggle with or something, dead on SR1 of round 2.

Best believe when I start GMing (soon), I'm house-ruling a hard Sever Spirit nerf. 

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

Rather, this is about the unclear case of whether MP boosting makes a spell defensively stronger, i.e. requires more Dispel to get rid of.

I'm not sure why anybody would be of the opinion that any boosting works for piercing defenses, but only some boosting works to defend from piercing? That seems inconsistent?

39 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think this would make a lot of sense, but I don't think it's RAW. Boosting for different purposes could be pretty sensible useful, but if you don't stop yourself, you end up with the Sorcery rules.

Yep I agree it's not RAW -- but it's a way to make spells less powerful if that's a problem (it's the theme of the thread after all). But hey, because the wording of rules in RQG isn't using strictly defined terms, if you tilt your head a bit to the side, you can actually consider it RAW -- for instance, "boosting" is originally defined explicitly as using "unallocated" MPs in order to increase a spell's strength with regards to defending/piercing, but the term is later (abusively?) used for other meanings. Don't @ me though :)  I'm perfectly fine with this being considered a house rule :) 

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

The caster must make a successful POW vs. POW resistance roll. If successful, the target dies.

What the fuck? Just like that? Wow.

That used to be the primary way my OG party dealt with Giants or singularly unpleasant Chaos monstrosities.  Typically shield 4 (in case of reflection), followed by Sever Spirit from the Humakti. If that failed, they started casting up a storm to do it the hard way.    There are a number of things in Glorantha that are overpowering physically, but still have a plain old 3d6 PoW. 

Even an 18 PoW nasty was still a 50-60% of "mission accomplished". 

The trick was to save the spell for something very dangerous to cross swords with, but also unlikely to have a lot of magical defenses. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's mind blowing that a Humakti can spend 3 RPs and kill any arbitrary big boss, while the poor Odayla initiate must spend a whooping 9 RPs just to be a bear for 15 minutes. Cults aren't supposed to be balanced, but that's something else!

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2020 at 7:10 AM, 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.

Without the mythic connection to the actual deity, you can't cast Rune Spells.  It doesn't matter who "knows" about the spell, this isn't sorcery; these are divine powers handed down to worthy worshippers in return for their faith and devotion.  In Glorantha EVERYONE has magic, so if 80% of Heortling males worship Orlanth enough, they too can fly and have thunderbolt, however it takes 2-3 points to get a person flying (more likely 3), and the same goes for Thunderbolt.  If you use up your miracle, you won't get it again any time soon, and can probably kiss it goodbye until next season.

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

It's mind blowing that a Humakti can spend 3 RPs and kill any arbitrary big boss, while the poor Odayla initiate must spend a whooping 9 RPs just to be a bear for 15 minutes. Cults aren't supposed to be balanced, but that's something else!

Correct.  Cults are not supposed to be balanced.  Balance was never supposed to be part of Glorantha.  Hunters powers are very different to war god powers. Hunters are about killing animals for food, not killing soldiers for money.  On the other hand, sureshot is a pretty weak spell, if it weren't for the point that you can take up any missile weapon and use it with 100% proficiency for one shot.  Rather than spending 9RP on turning into a bear, why not do the smart thing and man a ballista or arbalest?  Situations are about using your abilities in the most creative and productive ways available to you in the situation.  If all you can think of is turning into a bear...

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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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...