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Fred

Spells that need clarification, or improvement

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Problem: Sleep is too powerful.

Fix: It's Chalana Arroy only.

Problem: Shamans can get it.

Fix: Impose some limit or restriction like a taboo.

Problem: The rules don't say you have to do that.

Fix: So what? Do it anyway, problem solved.

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33 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Problem: The rules don't say you have to do that.

Fix: So what? Do it anyway, problem solved.

Or even better, fix it in the actual rules, which is what this thread is about.

I buy rules in the hope that they are sufficiently well done that I don’t have to house-rule all over the place.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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28 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Or even better, fix it in the actual rules, which is what this thread is about.

I buy rules in the hope that they are sufficiently well done that I don’t have to house-rule all over the place.

I agree with this. Please make the rules as clear as possible in updates and supplements, and preferably even in new revised and re-edited editions. 
I appreciate it is a little extra work but... The rules should always aim to serve and clarify. Also, I don't think it would require much work, Chaosium could often just pick out solutions they like that players suggest. Or do something smarter.
Saves time explaining things online anyways. Time lost, time gained.

Edited by Fred

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11 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Fix: Impose some limit or restriction like a taboo.

Problem: The rules don't say you have to do that.

Fix: So what? Do it anyway, problem solved.

What you're missing is that the problem may not be obvious until you run into it in play. If I wasn't reading these forums, there's a whole bunch of little or big problems I could have run into without being prepared. I wouldn't know that I should add a taboo until I know that Sleep is overpowered until I've ever had a CA player (OK) or until I've had a Shaman player (bad, I've run into the problem!). The rules are often leaving a problem open, and the fact that it's easily fixed or not isn't the point. The point is that a further revision to the rules can address the problem in the first place -- this is the whole point of this thread. It seems totally relevant that this thread is the place to ask for such a revision.

(And to be clear: yes, the crunchier the rules are, the more potential problems there will be... the designers can't get it 100% right... that's what new editions are for.... if anything, maybe RQG should be advertised more as a modernisation of RQ1: this way it would be totally on point to release an RQG2 very soon after the first one to plug all the holes, just like the original game did :D )

15 hours ago, Crel said:

My experience of players is there's a tendency to see everything in core rulebooks for any game as "this is something I can expect to be able to do/use."

I learned a long time ago to be extremely careful of players who read the core rulebooks :)   The classic example for me is the point in the adventure where the PCs are having some downtime in a city or whatever, and one player invariably picks up his copy of some rulebook or sourcebook... 5 minutes later, he announces "so I refilled all my quivers, I bought a new 1d10+2 Broadsword, and a FooBar Helmet for 75 gold pieces". It makes me want to scream. "How do you know this kind of helmet is available at this city? How do you know it's available at this price? How do you know King Dragon's guards aren't patrolling the market? Aaagh!"

Of course, anything in the rulebook is expected to be used somehow, but it doesn't mean there's not going to be some obstacles and restrictions.

Edited by lordabdul
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11 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I learned a long time ago to be extremely careful of players who read the core rulebooks :)   The classic example for me is the point in the adventure where the PCs are having some downtime in a city or whatever, and one player invariably picks up his copy of some rulebook or sourcebook... 5 minutes later, he announces "so I refilled all my quivers, I bought a new 1d10+2 Broadsword, and a FooBar Helmet for 75 gold pieces". It makes me want to scream. "How do you know this kind of helmet is available at this city? How do you know it's available at this price? How do you know King Dragon's guards aren't patrolling the market? Aaagh!"

I feel like we're missing some context here, unless you're suggesting that it's unusual to allow players to do this when they hit a major city. Certainly I will occasionally run shopping expeditions as a roleplaying exercise, but honestly I'm totally fine with hand waving that in most cases, and I doubt I'm the only GM with that attitude.

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17 hours ago, Crel said:

I don't imagine the shaman is asking.

Heh. I wonder if there might be any repercussions for going out and attacking Chalanan spirits to steal their spells. It's not like you would ever get into spirit combat with these people without attacking them unprovoked.

12 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

I feel like we're missing some context here, unless you're suggesting that it's unusual to allow players to do this when they hit a major city. Certainly I will occasionally run shopping expeditions as a roleplaying exercise, but honestly I'm totally fine with hand waving that in most cases, and I doubt I'm the only GM with that attitude.

To clarify: it's not about hand-waving vs playing it out. It's about players who treat the rulebook as their personal shopping list. I might not play it out (although, frankly, I do roleplay it a lot more often than not), but at least I would expect the players to ask first ("can I buy a FooBar helmet? It should be around 25 gold pieces?"). I would either tell them yeah OK, go ahead, or "remember you're in a city of the Glababa Empire and they have armoury shortages because of the war in the North... roll to see if you find any, and then it might be double the listed price" (hand-waved, but with some caveats) or even "oh you're going to the market? It's going to be a bit more complicated, we'll play out the scene..." (roleplayed, because King Dragon's guard are lurking!).

Edited by lordabdul

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Heh. I wonder if there might be any repercussions for going out and attacking Chalanan spirits to steal their spells.

Oh, totally. I'd probably start my line of thought at "healing spells don't work on you" then tone it down a smidge, then back up, then chew on the idea for a while as I consider what's most fun for the actual game.

Like you pointed out, it's a spot where... not even "rules" support, but more "fluff" support would be helpful. It's why I felt so frustrated by Metcalph's "basic Gloranthan knowledge" comment; if it isn't stated in the book, then how can I know it? Like you, I've picked up tons of little tidbits and inferences from the forums, and I do think it's overall made my game better. But complications based strictly on a reading of the core rules are important to point out, for smoothing the new player experience.

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

What you're missing is that the problem may not be obvious until you run into it in play

True.

But, future rules writers and playtesters should always be thinking on the back of their heads:

"What if a Thanatari gets this spell?  How broken is it then?"

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11 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

"What if a Thanatari gets this spell?  How broken is it then?"

And, "Does it tell an interesting story if the Thanatari get it?"

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15 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Or even better, fix it in the actual rules, which is what this thread is about.

I buy rules in the hope that they are sufficiently well done that I don’t have to house-rule all over the place.

Fair point.

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7 hours ago, Crel said:

I'd probably start my line of thought at "healing spells don't work on you" then tone it down a smidge, then back up, then chew on the idea for a while as I consider what's most fun for the actual game.

Chalana Arroy withdraws her protection against Mallia. Disease spirits start plaguing you, perhaps even emerging from your focus for the spell.

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Fix Sever Spirit. An overwhelming majority feels this spell is broken and not flavorful enough for Humakt in its current form. It’s problematic in its current state both in use by villains (Pagasus Plataeu) and by heroes, as it can be a turn-off no matter who dies. Roll a dice or die is neither fun against super-villains (think giant) nor against a hero, but it would be if it is that nasty one-use, with ONE nervous roll. Every round for a few rounds? That’s boring and feels like a bad version of 5e.

So my suggested fix (that someone mentioned before) that seems to have support: Make it one-use even for Humakt in the upcoming cults/spell books, and in a revised rules edition. It becomes much more of an interesting choice this way. And fun.

But check a long discussion with a number of valid suggestions from the end of page 2 in this thread:

 

Edited by Fred

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58 minutes ago, Fred said:

Fix Sever Spirit. An overwhelming majority feels this spell is broken and not flavorful enough for Humakt in its current form. It’s problematic in its current state both in use by villains (Pagasus Plataeu) and by heroes, as it can be a turn-off no matter who dies. Roll a dice or die is neither fun against super-villains (think giant) nor against a hero, but it would be if it is that nasty one-use, with ONE nervous roll. Every round for a few rounds? That’s boring and feels like a bad version of 5e.

So my suggested fix (that someone mentioned before) that seems to have support: Make it one-use even for Humakt in the upcoming cults/spell books, and in a revised rules edition. It becomes much more of an interesting choice this way. And fun.

I have to say I don't like it being one use for Humakt, unless it becomes a Humakt only spell as well. If ZZ can cast Sever Spirit as well as Humakt, then Humakt is diminished; he's supposed to be the owner of the Death rune and able to do more with it than ZZ, BG, or others. It's similar to how CA gets Resurrect reusably as the owner of the Harmony rune.

Mind you I don't think removing the spell entirely from non-Humakti (or for that matter making one-use Resurrect a CA only spell) is problematic as such. I would, however, question whether or not this is actually a good fix, as it really only affects PCs. NPCs will throw their one use Rune spells willy nilly, since there's no point dying with them uncast. Only PCs have to consider the next encounter. (Yes, yes, I know a lot of NPCs are far more strategic than the simplistic throw away foes I'm outlining here, but the general point remains). I think if we don't want save or die effects - fair enough - then don't have save or die effects. Have it kill you at the end of the next round unless successfully Dispelled, or do 4d6 general hit point damage, or reduce your hit points to 0 (which still allows healing to work if applied quickly) - or plenty of other alternatives.

I don't think if a spell is broken reusably it becomes just fine and dandy by making it one use, personally.

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13 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

I have to say I don't like it being one use for Humakt

There is an ongoing discussion about this and your view is one of them. I do feel one use really works as a solution, but there will never be one view that everyone agrees with. For me, your solution looks too much like Sunspear, which is boring as it removes the uniqueness of that spell and Sever Spirit at the same time, same spell, sort of - which makes Humakt and the sun cults much less unique, that is, to my eyes. :)

It is a general consensus so far that the spell needs to be changed, and that is the important part, and Chaosium should definitely go into the mentioned House Rules thread and check for a number of suggestions.

Edited by Fred

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2 hours ago, Fred said:

Fix Sever Spirit. An overwhelming majority feels this spell is broken.

I don't think I do. Resurrection is readily available, there are plenty of other spells that are more or less "save or die" (Mindblast and Fly comes to mind, and oddly enough, Peace (because it doesn't allow you to fight back...)). Sever Spirit has nowhere near the problems Sleep does.

Maybe it should be a 3-point spell, but that's as far as I'd go. 

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47 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Maybe it should be a 3-point spell, but that's as far as I'd go.

It already is ;). But I do agree, I don't really have a problem with it. I think "no save or die spells" is a valid design choice, but it's not a choice which has been made in RQG.

That said, I did like the drawback idea over in the other thread that it ages the wielder. It's a trivial enough drawback if you're playing a young adventurer, but I think it's kind of cool that a Humakti who leans on Sever Spirit slowly becomes older and older. The player can manage risk how they see fit, as their adventurer naturally and unnaturally ages.

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4 minutes ago, Crel said:

It already is ;). But I do agree, I don't really have a problem with it. I think "no save or die spells" is a valid design choice, but it's not a choice which has been made in RQG.

That said, I did like the drawback idea over in the other thread that it ages the wielder. It's a trivial enough drawback if you're playing a young adventurer, but I think it's kind of cool that a Humakti who leans on Sever Spirit slowly becomes older and older. The player can manage risk how they see fit, as their adventurer naturally and unnaturally ages.

Huh, I was certain it was a 2-pointer! Has it always cost 3?

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35 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Huh, I was certain it was a 2-pointer! Has it always cost 3?

Yes.

I also don't think that it needs changed.   It IS powerful.  Far better than Sunspear. But higher level play should see serious risks, and the Rune + level Yelm follower can get a rez fairly easily, while a Humakti should be gone, gone, gone. 

In other words I think the real problem is not the difference in power level of the spells or cults, but the shielding from Death that the followers of Death tend to enjoy in our social, storytelling past time.  I think that a Humakti PC should take everything much more seriously than other PC's, because to him .... they might be.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

That said, I did like the drawback idea over in the other thread that it ages the wielder. It's a trivial enough drawback if you're playing a young adventurer, but I think it's kind of cool that a Humakti who leans on Sever Spirit slowly becomes older and older. The player can manage risk how they see fit, as their adventurer naturally and unnaturally ages.

It is a cool idea, but one that players may find annoying and feel they suddenly have a much worse spell than Sunspear, where before it was better. I think the main critique should be that it is a bit boring the way it works now to the point that some GMs forbid it.
Obviously, having lots of players support the idea the spell is a problem in the other thread and mentioning it here, drew out players who didn’t have much of a problem with it :) 

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I don't think I do. Resurrection is readily available, there are plenty of other spells that are more or less "save or die" (Mindblast and Fly comes to mind, and oddly enough, Peace (because it doesn't allow you to fight back...)). Sever Spirit has nowhere near the problems Sleep does.

Maybe it should be a 3-point spell, but that's as far as I'd go. 

Do you also resurrect your biggest villains a lot? And if you do, do the players find it tedious? It can ruin a lot of interesting fights in a way that other spells do not.

Being forced to have a character resurrecting others for point and kill spells is not nearly as dramatic and fun as I want my games to be. However, a one off roll.. Anyway, I guess I made that case:)

I agree with you that sleep needs looking into as well, something we mentioned in this thread.

 

1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

I also don't think that it needs changed.   It IS powerful.  Far better than Sunspear. But higher level play should see serious risks, and the Rune + level Yelm follower can get a rez fairly easily, while a Humakti should be gone, gone, gone. 

Again, spells that removes the excitement of the game with ease of regular use should be altered in my opinion. And are hard to use against players for the same reason (Pegasus). But I agree your argument is valid in terms of not being able to resurrect being a great disadvantage. I guess I find Humakt to be such an attractive and fun cult anyway.

I will leave you guys with this argument. It feels like the ones who wanted to change the spell are just looking at the other thread, or have made their arguments over there already ;)

 

 

Edited by Fred

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21 minutes ago, Fred said:

Again, spells that removes the excitement of the game with ease of regular use should be altered in my opinion.

Well, it remains to be demonstrated that it removes the excitement.   It really is just a fact of the game universe that you have to work with, like how if Giant lands a hit on you, you're pretty much dead.   The obvious solution is to just fight fire with fire -- which is why most Humakti duels do not feature this spell, but sword work instead.

I will totally grant, that if you are using this spell to defeat farmer Fred, then you did take the challenge out of that particular fight.  Good job, steal his cows as you would like.   But using it, or any Rune spell, on a powerful enemy should become harder and harder to pull off.  The minions alone should consume a lot of power and Rune points to get through, and anyone who is plot relevant as a major bad guy for a Humakti PC likely should be fairly bad-assed himself. 

Minions are always the right answer.  Why engage a full strength follower of death head to head? Death wish? There are always the "normal" soldier and mercenary types to oppose the death dealer.  And of course the specialists like assassins, poisoners, distractors and delayers.  If your bad guy lacks a handy death champion of his own, (and why so?, they are literally ubiquitous) you are likely looking at Shield, or his trickster friend casting Reflection on him, ideally at the last moment for maximum hilarity!  That's last ditch personal protection.  He can also get items to help win the POW vs. POW roll which can make this spell an extremely low-odds thing.  Typical initiate with 17 POW casting Sever Spirit versus a Rune Lord with 6 point crystal for defending against magic is 17 vs. 27 on the Resistance chart, or zero chance, not even the usual 5%, zero.   Suddenly the Yelmalio Rune Lord "bad guy" starts to take it to the Humakti PC.  How embarrassing!

If the bad guy and the Humakti are of equal power, and nothing has required the Humakti to spend his rune points before the big showdown *somehow*, then it will be 50/50% if they have equal gear, AND the Humakti can be expected to have to boost his Sever Spirit.  This gives time for the various surrounding people to interfere -- my favorite is with dispels and demoralizes.  Knocking down the Shield/Truesword leaves the Humakti very vulnerable, and if even one Demoralize lands -- he can't use offensive magic.   Remember that for this example we have given the Rune Lord Humakti a +6 crystal for OFFENSIVE casting.  If he has the defensive version then he is down to just a  20% to kill the big bad, even if he gets through a random sized Shield/countermagic/Spell Absorbtion/Reflection.   If for some reason this is one on one, then somebody screwed the pooch by fighting a full strength Humakti in a no-holds barred duel.  That's the ONE way they are superior to most everybody.  But even so, nothing prevents the use of Divine intervention to negate the effect of a successful Sever Spirit.  This has a 70% odds of being a worse trade in terms for Rune points for the opponent, but 1d10, losing from unused Rune Points first versus being dead.....not so bad if you look at it that way.   I would also expect anyone loyal enough to request a DI for someone this important as well, making it possibly an extremely magical duel of attrition. 

Any way you choose to handle the situation, my point is that it is HOW it is played that makes the tension and excitement.  The game mechanics are there for a full one crunchy magical duel.  It isn't one-sidedly all Humakti all the time -- unless the GM keeps allowing it to be.  I probably can't emphasize this enough.  The players should not be able to fully recover everything everytime, they should not be able to dictate the terms of the engagements all of the time, and they should not be able to avoid fighting their fair share of the most powerful and prepared opponents all of the time.  This may simply be another group of high level Humakti in your campaign.  So be it.  My chaos RLP's are far worse, as a general rule, but YGMV.

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1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

Typical initiate with 17 POW casting Sever Spirit versus a Rune Lord with 6 point crystal for defending against magic is 17 vs. 27 on the Resistance chart, or zero chance, not even the usual 5%, zero.

That would require the opposite Rune Lord to specifically have a Powered Crystal of the type "Spell Resisting" (2% chance of that happening when finding a crystal). But Spell Resisting crystals have only 1D4 POW so having a 6 POW Spell Resisting Crystal would require a special/unique "I'm ignoring the rules" kind of magical object. Also, does your Rune Lord have 21 POW? (not even NPCs like Leika have that kind of score) Am I missing something?

1 hour ago, Dissolv said:

Any way you choose to handle the situation, my point is that it is HOW it is played that makes the tension and excitement.

Which is why I value GMing advice and "lessons learned" posts on these forums (like "how to equip and tactically play your NPCs") far more than "house rules" posts.

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38 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

But Spell Resisting crystals have only 1D4 POW so having a 6 POW Spell Resisting Crystal would require a special/unique "I'm ignoring the rules" kind of magical object.

Ah, but you know the answer to this one already!   The big bad guy has done.....a heroquest.  Which is also why it won't work for the PC's if they eventually kill and loot him.  (Which might not be culturally appropriate.)   Any old farmer Fred won't have something like this, and so may be subject to random Sever Spirit out of the blue during whatever type of raid is going on, but someone worthy of being a menace of an entire party, who appear to contain optimized cults, spells, and skills -- possibly from reading the munchkin thread -- deserve a worthy foe.  A +2 to a crystal is pretty weak sauce for a heroquest reward, so if the players complain about it, make that their reward for when its their turn at bat 😛

39 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Also, does your Rune Lord have 21 POW?

For resisting spells, they all do.  See page 181 RQ:G.

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5 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

For resisting spells, they all do.  See page 181 RQ:G.

Oh I had never noticed this, thanks!   (p281, not 181, for anyone who wasn't aware either)

Edited by lordabdul

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50 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

That would require the opposite Rune Lord to specifically have a Powered Crystal of the type "Spell Resisting" (2% chance of that happening when finding a crystal). But Spell Resisting crystals have only 1D4 POW so having a 6 POW Spell Resisting Crystal would require a special/unique "I'm ignoring the rules" kind of magical object.

Yeah, I saw to this, so I’d just thought I’d leave the argument alone. Sort of dissolves itself right there with much of it.. 

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

(p281, not 181, for anyone who wasn't aware either)

Appreciate the fix.  I looked right at it and typed the wrong number!

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