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A Sorcerous Enchantment


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I've been thinking about how to get sorcerous spells to non-sorcerers, and this idea hit me from the recent sorcery rant thread:

Sorcery Spell Matrix Enchantment [Magic], [Command]

2 points, Ritual (Enchantment)

This spells is used to create a storage for a non-ritual sorcery spell in an item. Each point of POW sacrificed in this enchantment can be used to store one point of Intensity for one specific non-ritual sorcery spell the caster must also know. This ritual takes one hour per point of POW sacrificed. The item can contain one or more castings of the spell, but their total Intensity may not exceed the Intensity limit of this enchantment. The enchantment can be later on expanded by another enchanter who knows both this spell, and the spell to be stored into the item. Anyone who can use the item and knows the spell may cast that spell into this item in a ritual that takes one hour per point of Intensity of the spell being stored into the item. For the purposes of sorcerous spell matrixes, a sorcery spell has an intensity of 1 plus 1 for each added level of intensity.

Activating a sorcery spell matrix in combat happens on the user's DEX SR + 1 SR for each point of intensity on the spell they attempt to cast from the item. The user of a sorcery spell matrix does not need to have any level of knowledge with the runes and techniques of the spell, does not need to have any Free INT, and has a chance of casting the spell equal to their POWx5%, or their skill with the spell in question (if better), modified by sympathetic magic modifiers, meditation and ritual practices. A failed attempt to use the sorcery spell matrix costs the user 1 magic point, while a successful use of the sorcery spell matrix costs the user 1 magic point per point of intensity on the spell they cast (modified for Lunar Sorcery as normal, if the spell includes the Moon -rune). Once a spell has been cast, it needs to be stored again into the item, before it can be recast. The user of the item decides how the levels of intensity are divided between the spell's strength, range, and duration.

A sorcery spell matrix cannot be used to increase a sorcerer's Free INT for any purpose. If you wish to cast a larger spell than what you have Free INT for, see Inscriptions.

Example: 

Moonfire Sorcery Matrix (5 points)

This item can store up to intensity 5 casting of the Moonfire -spell, or 5 separate castings of the Moonfire -spell with intensity 1 each, or any combination totaling up to 5 points of intensity.

When Gareth discovered The Amulet of Moonfire, it contained one casting of Moonfire at intensity 4, and another one at intensity 1. After finding the amulet, they later end up into a combat on a Fireday of the Disorder week of the Fire season  (a half-moon day) and decides to cast the intensity 1 -version of the spell from the item, first concentrating until the combat round advances to SR (their DEX SR + 1), then they roll against their POWx5% +15% for the appropriate weekday and season, and on a success pay 1 magic point and have the spell produce their base effect, doing 1d3 damage to everyone on a 5-meter circle within 10 meters of the caster for  5 minutes. Later on, they get into another fight, now on a Waterday of the Disorder week of the Sea season, (a dying/dead moon day) in a forgotten shire of a moon goddess, and decide to cast the remaining 4-point version of Moonfire from the item. Casting takes a total of their DEX SR + 4 to cast, and they roll against their POWx5% -15% for inappropriate weekday and season, but +10% for the location, for a net modifier of -5%. If they fail the roll, the attempt costs them 2 magic points (double the normal, because of the moon rune), and on a success it costs them 8 magic points (double the normal, again because of the moon rune), and they can choose how to divide the thee extra levels of intensity among the spell's strength, duration, and range. Assuming both casting were successful, the amulet is now empty, and Gareth needs to locate a sorcerer who knows the Moonfire spell and is willing to cast it into the amulet - Gareth would love to get a bit more range for the spell, and hopes to convince the sorcerer to cast the Moonfire twice into the item, once at intensity 2, and again for intensity 3.

 

Any thoughts? I tried to keep this worse than spirit spell matrices and rune spell matrices, so it requires elements from both (costing the user magic points, and requires recharging in a ritual after using it), but at the same time, keep it usable (hence the POWx5% chance to use it), and give it something that would make sense for a proper sorcerer to use it (faster casting, and being able to use their skill with the spell, if better than their POWx5%), and keep it more flexible (the option to put in several castings of the spell, with total intensity equal to the limit of the item), and still keep it tied to the sympathetic magic.

As a side note, I didn't include it in the example above, but would you count this amulet as being an appropriate sympathetic magical component for casting this spell? If you would, it would be good for +20% when casting the spell that is stored into the item, and maybe even when you cast the spell out of the item? Maybe that's too good, maybe lower the chance to POWx3% if going with this (in essence, the user would have the better of (their POWx3% +20% + other modifiers) or (their skill with the spell +20% + other modifiers) chance of casting the spell from the item)?

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in my previous version (oriflam french version)  there was this kind of enchantment

my main concern is the powx5 roll. Seems to me very munchkinable :

Let say a sorcerer with 20% chance to succeed in a spell ( because runes, etc,... all the rqg rules)

Then the sorcerer has just to create an enchantment, try again and again until he succeed to launch the spell and now, he has 90% (his pow 18) to use the spell.

 

In my previous version, the user rolls against his own spell skill.

I would like to see something intermediate : maybe the user rolls against the enchanter's skill (when he enchanted, he can be better now or be dead).

Maybe the enchanter sacrificed something (pow, skill %, ...) to add a bonus to the user skill

but transform sorcery skill in POWx5 seems to me too powerful
 

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5 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

in my previous version (oriflam french version)  there was this kind of enchantment

my main concern is the powx5 roll. Seems to me very munchkinable :

Let say a sorcerer with 20% chance to succeed in a spell ( because runes, etc,... all the rqg rules)

Then the sorcerer has just to create an enchantment, try again and again until he succeed to launch the spell and now, he has 90% (his pow 18) to use the spell.

 

In my previous version, the user rolls against his own spell skill.

I would like to see something intermediate : maybe the user rolls against the enchanter's skill (when he enchanted, he can be better now or be dead).

Maybe the enchanter sacrificed something (pow, skill %, ...) to add a bonus to the user skill

but transform sorcery skill in POWx5 seems to me too powerful
 

That is a really good point. I also considered writing it in the way of RQ3, where sorcery matrices are activated with your skill with the spell in question, and if you don't have it, you would start with a base chance of your magic skill category modifier (in RQG terms), which I find rather harsh, to be honest. So I went with the POWx5% chance as that is similar to how Rune and spirit spell matrices work. 

But, if you want to go that route, I'd give the user that +20% bonus, and also allow a non-sorcerer to learn the spell skill, but only for activating this kind of magic item (so the skill would apply to all items that store the same spell). Also, if that person would later on learn proper sorcery, they would still need to learn the spell properly, but could then use this skill percentage as the starting point for their spell. 

This item attempts to fulfill the role of what are called "amulets of power" in the Xeotam dialogues [0], which I understand to be tools which you can use to "precast" your spells in your stronghold, and then you can more easily release the magic on the field when there is need. 

[0] https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/glorantha/the-xeotam-dialogues/

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On 11/13/2020 at 9:16 PM, tnli said:

and also allow a non-sorcerer to learn the spell skill, but only for activating this kind of magic

I like the idea that a sorcerous magic item needs research to learn to use it.  Perhaps googling the instruction manual at the local Lankhor Mhy temple (if you just move the hs round until it's spelt properly, I can't be bothered to look up the spelling)!

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I like the idea, but do think it needs some tweeking

Definitely think the chance to cast should be the users skill with the spell, not POWx5.  But also think that the user should get the +20%.  In a sense, you're not "casting" the spell when you use the amulet, you're releasing it, and using your skill to control how the intensity is split between strength, duration, and range, and targeting the spell.

I think the creation of the amulet(using that term instead of matrix. A different name leads to less confusion about what we're talking about ) is both too expensive and not expensive enough( in terms of POW ).  Let me explain.  It seems to me that you should have to sacrifice 1 POW per Rune and Technique for the spell.  So, an Amulet of Moonfire would require a minimum of 4 POW to create( 2 Runes and 2 Techniques ).  For that initial cost, you could store a 1 intensity casting of the spell in the Amulet.  For each additional POW above the base cost, you would add an additional 1d6 intensity to the Amulet.  I'm basing that in part on the Magic Matrix spell, where each POW allows the storage of 1d10 MP.

It's not clear from the original description, but I would say that the ritual that "charges" the amulet, stores the MP required for that casting.  The spell already having  been "cast" into the amulet is why you can release the spell faster when you use the amulet.

I agree the concept needs testing.  I'm running a sorcerer in a game now, and I may try to convince the GM to let me try this out.

 

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On 11/15/2020 at 1:32 AM, Stephen L said:

Lankhor Mhy temple (if you just move the hs round until it's spelt properly, I can't be bothered to look up the spelling)!

I have no idea how many h's there are and where they go either :D It's possible that spelling that name correctly is the entrance exam for new initiates.

5 hours ago, Marc said:

Definitely think the chance to cast should be the users skill with the spell, not POWx5.

I think that's how RQ3 sorcery spell matrices worked? But anyway, it would kinda defeat the whole point of the OP, which is to give spells to people who don't know the spells. It's OK to rule that this can't ever happen in your Glorantha.

If it *were* possible in someone's Glorantha (I'm not sure yet about mine), I think I would base the roll on INT. I like @Stephen L's idea that you still have to study the sorcerous item to know how to use it, possibly read the hastily scribbled user manual provided by the sorcerer's apprentice when they sold it to you, and so on... in which case, maybe the roll is INTx2 if you want to use the item in a hurry (you have never studied the object), or INTx5 if you have spent at least 1 hour studying the thing.

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13 hours ago, lordabdul said:

It's OK to rule that this can't ever happen in your Glorantha.

If it *were* possible in someone's Glorantha (I'm not sure yet about mine), I think I would base the roll on INT. I like @Stephen L's idea that you still have to study the sorcerous item to know how to use it, possibly read the hastily scribbled user manual provided by the sorcerer's apprentice when they sold it to you, and so on... in which case, maybe the roll is INTx2 if you want to use the item in a hurry (you have never studied the object), or INTx5 if you have spent at least 1 hour studying the thing.

there are for me three things to define any rule about that


- who is able to manipulate the amulet ? (a sorcerer, anyone, anyone studying the amulet, anyone knowing the runes used for the spell, knowing at least one rune, etc...)

- how many time you can use the amulet ? (is there a notion of "charge", or you can use it indefinitely)

- what is (if there is) the roll to launch the spell ? (a dedicated skill, the true spell skill,

 

the "who" question is a question of background, and can be stored in the 'your glorantha' section (well unless a canon is defined about that, but even... canon is canon, your table is your table)

but the two other are game design and should be considered very cautiously.

From my perspective, you cannot give with this enchantment a possibility to "augment" the sorcerer skill artificially, that was my previous post purpose.

So that 's why I see 2 possibilities :

1) the user has a skill (don't care if it is knowing sorcery, or, as you propose, studying the amulet) and the skill base should be maybe INT, or INTx2 (better than POW you are right) or D6% or ... something ridiculous versus the initial sorcerer score

2) the user can use the amulet a finite number of times. After that, the amulet is over. Then, ok you can consider INT x 5 (or something better that the sorcerer score)

Of course the 2) should need a big sacrifce of POW (maybe  nb runes x nb charges or nb runes x D6 nb charges)

but leave in nature too powerful object too easy to produce is not good, and some spider will be angry

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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6 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

there are for me three things to define any rule about that


- who is able to manipulate the amulet ? (a sorcerer, anyone, anyone studying the amulet, anyone knowing the runes used for the spell, knowing at least one rune, etc...)

- how many time you can use the amulet ? (is there a notion of "charge", or you can use it indefinitely)

- what is (if there is) the roll to launch the spell ? (a dedicated skill, the true spell skill, <snip>

As the person who wrote that, let me clarify these as per what my intentions were:

- Who can use the item: my intent was that anyone who can touch the item can use the enchantment, except if there are user conditions on the enchantment that would bar any particular user from using it. 

- How many uses: my intent is that there are charges involved, and recharging involves casting that spell at the desired intensity into the item. The number of charges is a bit complicated: essentially the item has a number of points it can store, and each level of intensity of the spell being stored into the item takes one point. So a 10-point amulet can store 10 intensity 1 spells, 1 intensity 10 spell, or any variation within these parameters. 

- What roll to activate: my original idea was to use the user's POW*5, as the spirit and rune spell matrices use that. RQ3 went with spell skill, or dedicated skill if the user does not know the spell. I could also see it be something like INT*X. 

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19 hours ago, Marc said:

I like the idea, but do think it needs some tweeking

Definitely think the chance to cast should be the users skill with the spell, not POWx5.  But also think that the user should get the +20%.  In a sense, you're not "casting" the spell when you use the amulet, you're releasing it, and using your skill to control how the intensity is split between strength, duration, and range, and targeting the spell.

I think the creation of the amulet(using that term instead of matrix. A different name leads to less confusion about what we're talking about ) is both too expensive and not expensive enough( in terms of POW ).  Let me explain.  It seems to me that you should have to sacrifice 1 POW per Rune and Technique for the spell.  So, an Amulet of Moonfire would require a minimum of 4 POW to create( 2 Runes and 2 Techniques ).  For that initial cost, you could store a 1 intensity casting of the spell in the Amulet.  For each additional POW above the base cost, you would add an additional 1d6 intensity to the Amulet.  I'm basing that in part on the Magic Matrix spell, where each POW allows the storage of 1d10 MP.

It's not clear from the original description, but I would say that the ritual that "charges" the amulet, stores the MP required for that casting.  The spell already having  been "cast" into the amulet is why you can release the spell faster when you use the amulet.

I agree the concept needs testing.  I'm running a sorcerer in a game now, and I may try to convince the GM to let me try this out.

 

Oh, I like that! 1 POW for each Rune and technique of the spell, and this let's you store an intensity 1 spell, and then 1 POW per 1d6 added levels of intensity, probably up to the creators maximum at the time of creation. (So if the creator has Free INT of 15, then the item can have maximum of 15 levels of added intensity added, even if you threw higher on the dice). 

Recharging a used item requires casting the spell into it, so yes, you do have to spend the magic points at the time of recharging it. I would give the recharge-casting the +20% bonus for having a magical item related to the spell at hand. 

Releasing the spell from the item - I added the magic point cost to this to make it costlier to get faster sorcery, so the intent was that it costs magic points when you recharge the item, and again when you use it.

What skil to use the item? The relevant spell skill is an obvious one. Lacking that, if I was writing this thing now, I would probably go with a dedicated Activate (Spell) Item -skill, which would be separate for each spell, but different items with the same spell would use the same skill. This skill would start at 0% + the user's Magic category modifier.

For thematic and gamistic reasons, I would also give the user (whether using their actual spell skill or the Activate (Spell) Item -skill) the same +20% bonus that the recharge-casting gets, partially for the same reason and also in general to make using these items a little bit easier than in RQ3. 

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

From my perspective, you cannot give with this enchantment a possibility to "augment" the sorcerer skill artificially, that was my previous post purpose.

Yes good point, there could be a cap that the INT roll is maxed by the sorcerer’s skill score at the time of the enchantment?

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

there could be a cap that the INT roll is maxed by the sorcerer’s skill score at the time of the enchantment?

could be but what about another sorcer who has a better skill than our sorcerer in this spell ?

I think :

2 hours ago, tnli said:

Activate (Spell) Item -skill

Could be a good idea : you study the amulet, you understand that you can use a sorcery spell even if you don't know sorcery (the spell, the runes or just sorcery mechanic, warning for orlanthi and others 😛 ) but of course as any tool you need to gain experience to use it better and better. From my perspective it is more I know how to use the item (all spells with the same %)

Then we have sorcerer who already knows the spell and wants to use the amulet. I would say use the % you prefer: activate item skill or spell skill

I don't put the max of initial sorcerer skill for drama :

let's say our initial sorcerer uses the amulet more than his spell, after a long time (remember he started at x%), his score in "activate the overcheated amulet" is 80% when his own spells are just 50% (he choosed to focus on masterize this amulet because it is easier to raise one skill than the 3 different spells skills, yes he is a munchkin). No problem he his the master... until he loose the amulet , bless eurmal joke

 

 

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4 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

could be but what about another sorcer who has a better skill than our sorcerer in this spell ?

To me that would be a feature of the rules. The other sorcerer looks at the item, waves his hands around for a second and goes "who is the idiot who prepared this piece of junk? I could do better even in my sleep!". Most of the time, using someone's inferior stuff (or stuff that is limited to provide broader access, as it's the case here) makes it more difficult than it should.

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10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

To me that would be a feature of the rules. The other sorcerer looks at the item, waves his hands around for a second and goes "who is the idiot who prepared this piece of junk? I could do better even in my sleep!". Most of the time, using someone's inferior stuff (or stuff that is limited to provide broader access, as it's the case here) makes it more difficult than it should.

j'adore

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