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Shaman Magic Defense

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On page 360 of the Runequest Glorantha rulebook, it states that by Shamanic Ability Magic Attack, “Each point adds +1 to the shaman’s effective POW towards overcoming an opponent’s POW when casting a spell, in addition to the normal benefit of the fetch’s POW being added to the shaman’s for such rolls.” Magic Defense is the same.

My question is - what exactly is the benefit of adding the fetch’s POW to the shaman’s effective POW? Is it is a straightforward as it reads? Simply add the two POW’s together for magical attack and defense? Are they added if the shaman is discorporate and the fetch is guarding the shaman’s body?

On page 358 the shaman is given a Second POW as a benefit of being a shaman. But it says nothing about adding the two POWs together for spell casting or defense on page 358.. To me that is a big deal and there is no mention of it until one gets an offhand reference under shamanic abilities.

An clarification on this would be helpful.
 

 

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I have been confused about this part as well, it is never stated outright (at least not that i can see) but yes, the POW (and MP) of the fetch should always be added to the POW (and MP) of the shaman but if the fetch is acting independently it only has access to its own POW and MP. 

Another way to see it is that the fetch is part of the shaman, so its POW is also the shamans. But if the fetch acts on its own it is only the fetch part acting so the rest of the POW is not avaliable.

Edited by OxygenO2

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5 minutes ago, OxygenO2 said:

I have been confused about this part as well, it is never stated outright (at least not that i can see) but yes, the POW (and MP) of the fetch should always be added to the POW (and MP) of the shaman but if the fetch is acting independently it only has access to its own POW and MP. 

Another way to see it is that the fetch is part of the shaman, so its POW is also the shamans. But if the fetch acts on its own it is only the fetch part acting so the rest of the POW is not avaliable.

We interpreted it this way as well.  Our shaman was absolutely egregiously strong. Shaman multi-cast ability plus Multispell Rune Magic with like 34 combined POW or something obnoxious. Almost nothing can win a POW stroggle versus that. I was having trouble finding ANYTHING in the rules that would make him afraid enough to try and bargain with it and not just start taking Spiritual Swings at it. 

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I’m very concerned about stuff like Sleep spells with virtually always 95% chance of success in the future, when a PC qualifies for shaman.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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32 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I’m very concerned about stuff like Sleep spells with virtually always 95% chance of success in the future, when a PC qualifies for shaman.

Depending on how you interpret the interaction of the Shamanic Special Ability to cast multiple spells and Runic Multispell a shaman can cast absurdly stacked Disruptions. A new shaman with 3 RP and 2 ability points(?) in multi-casting could spend all their RP and cast either a Disruption 6 every round or 3 castings of Disruption 4. There are LOTS of ways of trying to figure the interacrion of Multispell and Shamanic multicasting. Even conservatively just add all bonus castings together, a Shaman with some MP stored away can liquify almost any single locatiom on a target with a 95% chance. 

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On page 260, it says:

Quote

Magic Attack
Each point adds +1 to the shaman’s effective POW towards overcoming an opponent’s POW when casting a spell, in addition to the normal benefit of the fetch’s POW being added to the shaman’s for such rolls.

and

Quote

Magic Defense
Each point adds +1 to the shaman’s effective POW towards resisting an attack spell, in addition to the normal benefit of the fetch’s POW being added to the shaman’s for such rolls.

which strongly imply that a Shaman adds the fetch's POW to the Shaman's for both defensive and offensive purposes.

 

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21 minutes ago, soltakss said:

which strongly imply that a Shaman adds the fetch's POW to the Shaman's for both defensive and offensive purposes.

I agree about this interpretation, but it’s pretty obscenely powerful and I strongly doubt it was playtested at any higher power level.

One unexpected thing about it - shamans will routinely have 95% to win POW vs. POW, which means they don’t get a check. They will have to pick up the checks in other ways, such as Spirit Combat.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Although on the other hand:

”Spells cast by the fetch have the POW and magic points of the fetch behind them instead of the POW and magic points of the shaman.”

Which might point in the other direction.

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   Some (nasty) ways to neutralize defence magic (instead of the old wooden fork in the butt)

52 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

There are LOTS of ways of trying to figure the interaction of Multispell and Shamanic multicasting.

Maybe a good idea to you but it's far from effective. Apart from the fact I don't like multispell and I don't allow it, Chamans don't need Multispell nor Rune Magic anymore :

-First using Multispell is a limited use joker because your runes points are very limited and the more RP you buy, the less POW you fetch get !
-Second, Shamans with their taboo and abilities are stronger than ever and you have now the ability "Spell Barage X". Spell Barage 3 may cost 6 POW but unlike Multispell (temporal) it's permanent so if you have multiple fights the same season/year you don't have to replenish your Runes Points.

Runic-Shaman POU 18 + Fetch 18 + 11 RP & Multispell (cost 6POW) vs Full Spirit-Chaman POU 18 + Fetch 18 + Spell Barage 3 (cost 6POW)
1 / Long Run challenge : Runic shaman cast Disruption x3 during 3-4 fights per season / Full spirit-Chaman cast Disruption x3 during every single day
2/ Best performance challenge : Runic-Shaman could cast Disruption x12 three times (12D3 x3) / Full spirit-Chaman could cast Firearrow x4 four times (12D6 x4)
3/ Combinations : Can only stack Disruption / Can stack Every spirit spell

Best protections against problems : The "Run and cover until runic spell wear off" does not work with spell barage !

11 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

We interpreted it this way as well.  Our shaman was absolutely egregiously strong. Shaman multi-cast ability plus Multispell Rune Magic with like 34 combined POW or something obnoxious. Almost nothing can win a POW stroggle versus that. I was having trouble finding ANYTHING in the rules that would make him afraid enough to try and bargain with it and not just start taking Spiritual Swings at it. 

Let's your shaman meet the "Grenade Chaman" : A man who always have some relaxations stones in hands ... and the moment he feel secure, let him see the power of Spell barage of Fire rain (fire-arrow x4 : 12D6); And the moment you rolls the dice (secretly), tell him "oh oh oh critical roll, only 1PM cost for so much firepower..." don't tell the spell name nor the cost, only ROLL YOUR 12D6... 1MP for 12D6, anyone will be afraid !

If your are very nasty, you can call for Fire-Wolvy : a not very know Chaman of the Wolverine tribe (tribe mentionned in hero wars), make him draw three Bone-claws in each hands and then Spell Barage : Double fireblade x3 (9D6 per hands, 18D6). As usual don't explain the spell used but ony ask your players for some extra D6 to borrow because you don't have all the dices you need 😈

 

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12 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I agree about this interpretation, but it’s pretty obscenely powerful and I strongly doubt it was playtested at any higher power level.

One unexpected thing about it - shamans will routinely have 95% to win POW vs. POW, which means they don’t get a check. They will have to pick up the checks in other ways, such as Spirit Combat.

The Sleep spell argument seems valid. Perhaps this should be brought up with the designers for further expanding and de-powering of the rules in supplements, like the spell book. I created a thread for it.

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5 minutes ago, Fred said:

The Sleep spell argument seems valid. Perhaps this should be brought up with the designers for further expanding and de-powering of the rules in supplements, like the spell book. I created a thread for it.

I think I will go with the RQ3 version (IIRC) - fetch’s POW added to defense but not offense.

And on top of that, include some restriction to the classical Sleep & Slit Throats, either by Chalana Arroy being unhappy about it or by Sleep inherently containing a geas that you don’t get to hurt the victim afterwards. Befuddle at least includes a balancing element, while Sleep is an “I Win” button.

(Honestly, Sleep should be a Rune spell in the new system. With shamans being able to easily learn any Spirit Magic and then teach it, the idea of secret cult-specific Spirit Magic is risible)

Edited by Akhôrahil

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5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

With shamans being able to easily learn any Spirit Magic and then teach it, the idea of secret cult-specific Spirit Magic is risible

That's why I house rule that Cult special spirit Magic is not commonly available to Shamans.

I did ask the question in the Rules Clarification thread but have not had a response.

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17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

That's why I house rule that Cult special spirit Magic is not commonly available to Shamans.

This is a challenge I came up against recently myself. In playing one of Chaosium's recently published adventures, the party came up against ghosts which know Sleep, and those which beat the ghosts in spirit combat chose it as their free stolen spell for victory. The adventure is

"Gloomwillow's Hollow" in 

The Pegasus Plateau, for those who were wondering.

25 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Honestly, Sleep should be a Rune spell in the new system. With shamans being able to easily learn any Spirit Magic and then teach it, the idea of secret cult-specific Spirit Magic is risible

I'd personally be cool with Sleep being a 1-point Rune spell restricted to followers of Chalana Arroy. Overpowered still, maybe, but Chalana restrictions are perfectly adequate. If I ever do a hard reset on our game, I may introduce that as a house rule.

44 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I agree about this interpretation, but it’s pretty obscenely powerful and I strongly doubt it was playtested at any higher power level.

On a related note, a complaint from one of my friends (who plays RQ and is more experienced w/ it than me, but with which I haven't been able to play anymore due to schedules) about the new rules is that shamans in particular, and sorcerers to some extent, can scale infinitely, whereas Rune magic is capped by the adventurer's CHA. Definitely something that only pops up at high-power play, but relevant.

On the other hand, you can still continue scaling via saccing POW into enchantments—in particular, Rune magic matrices—but it's not quite on the same power scale as a shaman's growing fetch.

I think the "Hero Soul" portion of the forthcoming heroquesting rules, hinted at in "The Grove at Green Rock" in 

The Smoking Ruins, is meant to ameliorate this discrepancy. That depends on how Hero Soul & a fetch interact; I think I saw a designer comment that the adventurer basically has one or the other, but I can't recall location, or any more specific information.

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34 minutes ago, Crel said:

On a related note, a complaint from one of my friends (who plays RQ and is more experienced w/ it than me, but with which I haven't been able to play anymore due to schedules) about the new rules is that shamans in particular, and sorcerers to some extent, can scale infinitely, whereas Rune magic is capped by the adventurer's CHA. Definitely something that only pops up at high-power play, but relevant.

It's crucial not to forget about the Allied Spirit - it all but doubles your Rune Point cap, and is a really big deal in general these days. Still, the cap is still there, just later. (You can milk some more out of being an initiate in multiple cults, but even then, it's just a matter of time before you run out of space for new rune points. Except perhaps barring illumination, at which point you can go wild with cults.)

By the point you're up to 40 Rune Points or so, the GM Book should be out with Hero Level abilities, too. That will remove much of the cap. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

 

I’m very concerned about stuff like Sleep spells with virtually always 95% chance of success in the future, when a PC qualifies for shaman.

 

This was pretty much the story of my life while I was running my last campaign. And for the record I think shamans are supposed to have two POW scores for attack and defense, with rules as written. Our shaman was a powerhouse, although when she went into the spirit world alone, it was a different story. Those were the times when I could really make her player sweat. 

Edited by Gallowglass

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

This was pretty much the story of my life while I was running my last campaign. And for the record I think shamans are supposed to have two POW scores for attack and defense, with rules as written. Our shaman was a powerhouse, although when she went into the spirit world alone, it was a different story. Those were the times when I could really make her player sweat. 

Perhaps only half the POW of a fetch should be added. Still powerful.

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