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2mn spirit magic


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I didn't have the pleasure to play with the latest Runequest edition yet. Browsing the RQG players' book,  I noticed that spirit magic spells have their duration reduced to 2mn. I am wondering, how does it affect gameplay?

Thinking about it, it seems that it probably has few consequences concerning spells used in combat. On the other hand, this is a big drawback for spells providing characteristics modifiers such as Charisma or Strength.  We used them to gain some advantage concerning characteristic rolls and ruled that the effect should be on for the duration of the action: bargain, lifting etc. 2mn seems to be pretty short. Same for Glue. The spell that seems the most affected by the duration change is Control Creature. 5mn was already very short, but 2mn, you can't even order your fire elemental to boil an egg!

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25 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

but 2mn, you can't even order your fire elemental to boil an egg!

Have to switch to fried eggs! 😉

26 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

I am wondering, how does it affect gameplay?

I've not found any issues yet.  Mostly it impacts combat, and limits it to 10 melee rounds. 

For actions such as Bargain or a Strength check which have an indefinite period but typically one roll, I'd just have it apply to that roll.  If you're getting into extended opposed rolls, I'd apply it to the first roll only.  If they need subsequent rolls, I'd have them recast the spell to continue to get a benefit. 

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44 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

how does it affect gameplay?

I never played the previous editions but one thing I can say is that I've been using, on occasion, this short spell duration as a tactic. Basically, combats generally last less than 10 melee rounds, but sometimes I just drop out of combat-time and back to narrative time for a bit. For instance, some trollkin might attack the PCs, realize that they're vastly outmatched by spirit magic buffs, and retreat for a while. They wait it out while hidden in tunnels or behind cover or whatever, and then carefully attack from a distance (throwing rocks and such) to test whether the PCs have more MPs to spend to keep the spells up. Players will of course realize what they're doing and a chase will ensue. Which is all fine, it makes combat dynamic... some melee over here, then some running, then some more melee over there, etc. Of course you can also ignore the spell duration completely, keep it simple, and roll attack/parry until one side surrenders or flees, even if it goes over 10 rounds. Depends on how important the scene is.

Edited by lordabdul
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6 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

I am wondering, how does it affect gameplay?

We played a combat-heavy RQ3 game, and then a combat-heavy-ish RQG game. It's pretty impactful. At the old 5min duration, you could stack a bunch of spells, and then jump into the fight. With 2min - ten melee rounds - you can't really cast more than two buffs before initiating a fight. If you try casting, for example, Strength, Protection, and Bladesharp, you may already be down to half duration remaining by the time you take your first sword-swing.

I don't know if I'd assign a value-judgement to this change. But it does cause a difference in how my players tactically approach combat.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:
8 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

I am wondering, how does it affect gameplay?

We played a combat-heavy RQ3 game, and then a combat-heavy-ish RQG game. It's pretty impactful. At the old 5min duration, you could stack a bunch of spells, and then jump into the fight. With 2min - ten melee rounds - you can't really cast more than two buffs before initiating a fight. If you try casting, for example, Strength, Protection, and Bladesharp, you may already be down to half duration remaining by the time you take your first sword-swing.

I don't know if I'd assign a value-judgement to this change. But it does cause a difference in how my players tactically approach combat.

This makes the Common Rune Magic Multispell such an incredible tool in Mid-High level play. With just 3 points you can cast all your buffs in one round and throw out a couple Disruption 4s once you end up slicing down your first melee opponents. Then you can have allied spirits and/or bound spirits that can cast spells on you in combat. 

 

My PC in one RQG campaign had put together a matrix with Coordination, Mobility, and Strength all linked together. So we would cast it as a 5 point spirit magic spell, makes it much easier to get the whole party spelled up. 

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11 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

This makes the Common Rune Magic Multispell such an incredible tool in Mid-High level play. With just 3 points you can cast all your buffs in one round and throw out a couple Disruption 4s once you end up slicing down your first melee opponents. Then you can have allied spirits and/or bound spirits that can cast spells on you in combat. 

 

yes indeed!

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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If you have players that are tactical, the combats are completely changed. One new tactic I have seen is to retreat, wait a bit, cast your spells and come back to the combat to have your spells up as those of your opponents are still up, but will soon finish: They will have to recast them while in combat. Of course, they can also use the same trick and it becomes a game of attrition of MP.

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I think it depends on your play, and the action

 

for a fight against few opponent, I let the players cast the spells, and the bonus are for the entire scene

I don't count rounds (the same reason i didn't follow the fatigue rules in previous version)

 

for a full battle (so much longer than 2min) I would (not yet done) split the battle into scenes, then apply the same system : a spell duration = a scene, it could be a single fight, a run to another position, etc...

Of course when a duel becomes too long (narratively and/or irl)  I would say after starting to be bored, that the spirit spell is finished when the rune spell, and maybe the sorcery spell, is still here. There is a time where someone have to die or surrender.

 

In the interesting case @Kloster describes (attack retreat attack) i would split the fight in 3 scenes (attacks time, retreat time, attack times), no matter how many rounds were done for each. So you could spend more mp than 2 min rules (if attacks time is 1 min for example) or less mp (if attacks time is 3 min)

 

Finally I use minutes like enc / size, etc. Not a fix point. And spirit magic basically as improvement of one intent

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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11 hours ago, lordabdul said:

 I've been using, on occasion, this short spell duration as a tactic. Basically, combats generally last less than 10 melee rounds, but sometimes I just drop out of combat-time and back to narrative time for a bit. For instance, some trollkin might attack the PCs, realize that they're vastly outmatched by spirit magic buffs, and retreat for a while. They wait it out while hidden in tunnels or behind cover or whatever, and then carefully attack from a distance (throwing rocks and such) to test whether the PCs have more MPs to spend to keep the spells up.

I see. It is always possible to cast the spell again after the 2mn duration, but then that's 2.5 times more magic points on average that have to be expended to reach the 5mn mark. So spirit magic has become more expensive and slightly less reliable. On the other hand, I see that magic point storage is cheaper. The sacrifice of one point of POW in a magic point enchantment now gives 1D10 MP storage! It was just 1MP in the previous editions.

Actually I was quite surprised to see Vasana start with a 10MP storage enchantment in the players RQG book, such an item was definitively 'Rune Lord level' before. This makes sense now. Thanks for all your answers.

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14 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I never played the previous editions but one thing I can say is that I've been using, on occasion, this short spell duration as a tactic. Basically, combats generally last less than 10 melee rounds, but sometimes I just drop out of combat-time and back to narrative time for a bit. For instance, some trollkin might attack the PCs, realize that they're vastly outmatched by spirit magic buffs, and retreat for a while. They wait it out while hidden in tunnels or behind cover or whatever, and then carefully attack from a distance (throwing rocks and such) to test whether the PCs have more MPs to spend to keep the spells up. Players will of course realize what they're doing and a chase will ensue. Which is all fine, it makes combat dynamic... some melee over here, then some running, then some more melee over there, etc. Of course you can also ignore the spell duration completely, keep it simple, and roll attack/parry until one side surrenders or flees, even if it goes over 10 rounds. Depends on how important the scene is.

The spell lengths are an important part of Gloranthan tactics, and NPCs in my campaign also pre-RQG used these same tactics.

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4 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

The sacrifice of one point of POW in a magic point enchantment now gives 1D10 MP storage! It was just 1MP in the previous editions.

This appeared in the RQ3 AH official errata.

4 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

Actually I was quite surprised to see Vasana start with a 10MP storage enchantment in the players RQG book, such an item was definitively 'Rune Lord level' before. This makes sense now. Thanks for all your answers.

Family heirloom RQG p82-83, roll 8-11 on D20.

1 hour ago, Brootse said:

Spirit magic gets used less. The character without allied spirits go to combat usually with only one spell on.

Same here. I'm wondering if going back to the old 5mn would restore the previous level of magic usage.

1 hour ago, Brootse said:

The spell lengths are an important part of Gloranthan tactics

Yes, true.

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Quote

Spirit magic gets used less. The character without allied spirits go to combat usually with only one spell on.

Quote

 

Same here. I'm wondering if going back to the old 5mn would restore the previous level of magic usage.

 

Yes, Rune Magic is a lot more common. With combats being short, people go all out. 

Quote

Actually I was quite surprised to see Vasana start with a 10MP storage enchantment in the players RQG book, such an item was definitively 'Rune Lord level' before. 

Very much a YGWV thing. Most of the games I played in have PCs with at least 15 extraneous magic points, either from spirits of magic point matrices. Same for NPCs who are initiates or above.  

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6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

for a full battle (so much longer than 2min) I would (not yet done) split the battle into scenes, then apply the same system : a spell duration = a scene, it could be a single fight, a run to another position, etc...

 

Odd. I am in a battle rich module, and have yet to have a combat last 2 minutes.

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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31 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Yes, Rune Magic is a lot more common. With combats being short, people go all out. 

Agreed, but I see this more a result of the Rune Points rule than a consequence of the shortening of Spirit spells.

 

13 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Odd. I am in a battle rich module, and have yet to have a combat last 2 minutes.

Probably becaue your players and GM don't have the habit of trying all kind of new tactics. The 1st time I GMed RQG, my players (all of them RQ3 grognards) instantly noticed that point and immediately looked for ways of having their spells before their opponents (for a quick finish) or to have their opponents spells finish before theirs (for prolonged fights). The retreat and come back 1 minute + casting time later was used in the 2nd combat.

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22 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

I noticed that spirit magic spells have their duration reduced to 2mn.

Since RQG is based on RQ2, it would be more correct to say "have had their duration maintained at 2mn", as RQ3 extended it from 2 minutes to 5. It's now back to how it was originally. I'm not sure I like it, we will see how it goes when my game resumes (on hold due to COVID), we will probably make it 5.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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14 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

My PC in one RQG campaign had put together a matrix with Coordination, Mobility, and Strength all linked together. So we would cast it as a 5 point spirit magic spell, makes it much easier to get the whole party spelled up.

A little hint for the Munchkinism thread. Those linked spells can have a MP pool linked and an Attack condition that says that when YOU touch the object, the spell is cast. No time, no roll (because the spell is self contained and nobody casts it) and no MP to spend (they are already in the reserve). At least, it worked that way in RQ3, and I see nothing in RQG that contradicts it (RQG p250). A little expensive on the POW, but you get instant buff (very practical to be the first one to have all spells up).

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Since RQG is based on RQ2, it would be more correct to say "have had their duration maintained at 2mn", as RQ3 extended it from 2 minutes to 5. It's now back to how it was originally.

Yes, and I seem to remember that the authors thought that the change (from 2 to 5mn) increase the usefulness of the spells.

1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'm not sure I like it, we will see how it goes when my game resumes (on hold due to COVID), we will probably make it 5.

I surely don't like it, but most probably because of the habit (I played much more RQ3 than RQ2). For the time being, I kept the 2mn, but will probably also go back to 5, because more magic is then used.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

No time, no roll (because the spell is self contained and nobody casts it) and no MP to spend (they are already in the reserve).

I'm confused about this... Multispell is a Rune Spell so you can't put it in a Spirit Matrix Enchantment AFAIK.

Also, Multispell doesn't speed up anything (it takes effect at the highest SR of all spells), nor does it prevent you from rolling (you still roll under your Rune to cast Multispell, and I *think* you need to roll POWx5 for each spell? I'm not sure about that).

A Spirit Matrix Enchantment likewise doesn't prevent rolling, you still need to roll POWx5 to cast the spell inside.

You can't store multiple spells in a matrix without doing multiple matrix enchantments AFAICT. I don't think you can put multiple enchantments on the same item anyway, either for having the matrix pump MPs from a storage automatically, or for having multiple spells (although of course a GM may rule that it's OK depending on the item... having an item with multiple "parts" that touch each other may help, but, again, depends on the use-case).

Did I miss something?

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6 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm confused about this... Multispell is a Rune Spell so you can't put it in a Spirit Matrix Enchantment AFAIK.

Also, Multispell doesn't speed up anything (it takes effect at the highest SR of all spells), nor does it prevent you from rolling (you still roll under your Rune to cast Multispell, and I *think* you need to roll POWx5 for each spell? I'm not sure about that).

A Spirit Matrix Enchantment likewise doesn't prevent rolling, you still need to roll POWx5 to cast the spell inside.

You can't store multiple spells in a matrix without doing multiple matrix enchantments AFAICT. I don't think you can put multiple enchantments on the same item anyway, either for having the matrix pump MPs from a storage automatically, or for having multiple spells (although of course a GM may rule that it's OK depending on the item... having an item with multiple "parts" that touch each other may help, but, again, depends on the use-case).

Did I miss something?

I was talking about using multispell to generally increase spell throughput per round/unit of time. It definitely will allow you to cast a ton more spells for the encounter. 

 

As far as the enchantment it was a single item, a set of Iron Segmented Plates worn by the Humakti. He had contributed most of the POW for the individual enchantments and a lot of the value of the object was from a big reward. Anyway, we used the Link Spell cindition from page 250 of the core rules to link the matrices for Strength, Coordination, and Mobility. This would allow him to cast all three at the same time as basically a big 5 point spirit spell. I had not had resources or time to add the POW crystals to the enchantment, though that was the plan. 

 

I had never considered the Attack Condition to construct buff equipment for the party, though it is brilliant. I must have glossed over it thinking it couldn't be munchkinized, bot was I wrong. 

Edited by HreshtIronBorne
Being quoted, thanks.
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The 2 minute duration is most difficult to work with for spells like Vigor and Strength, IMO. They sorta feel right on the cusp of being valuable enough to cast. Protection 4/6 and Bladesharp 4/6 or fireblade are almost always worth getting up if you can get the time before engaging. Strength, Vigor, Coordination, and Mobility are really good but, casting them all separately takes way too long to be viable unless you have support casters or allied spirits or you invest in RP or POW for enchantments. If you "fully buffed"  one weapon buff (Bladesharp, Bludgeon, or Fireblad), a defensive spell (Protection, Spirit Screen, or Countermagic), and then try to get the stat and speed spells up you will have spent almost half duration of your first spell just getting ready! That's where things like linked enchantments (matrixes whatever), Multispell, or the Shaman Ability to Multi-Cast spirit spells are really strong. 

 

RuneQuest combat does tend to be hella deadly but, I have definitely seen combats between evenly matched fighters last quite a while. Definitely long enough for us to track spells wearing off. Ten rounds comes surprisingly quickly in a duel for instance. 

Edited by HreshtIronBorne
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