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Rune Spells vs. Spirit Spells


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With RQG rune pools, players sacrifice more POW than before, and they use more rune spells. The challenge is not the same, that's sure, there is no "real" sacrifice" of POW (as initiate)

However spirit magic is still usefull, when you have 4 or 6 or even 10 point in your rune pool, you may have an issue if you spend everything on the first encounter, so they use spirit magic for "daily" activity (oh a broo, protection 3 !) and runespell for "season" activity (oh a runelord, protection 3 + shield 4 !)

Of course it depends on the frequency of replenish: if you allow pc to regain their runepool every week (minor holy day) that may change the decision

Same for the frequency of opposition: if there are only 2 or 3 events (aka need magic to improve activity) in a season rune spell would be use always.

so that's the job of the GM (or scenario designer) to organize the campaign, give challenge and let runespells be a strategic decision

 

2 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

As a follow-up question. How often do you have encounters now where the NPCs Dispel PC's magic?

few, dispel magic is not an automatism for me, unfortunately,  but I m working on it, I m working on it ....

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9 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

That is exactly what I mean, Spirit Magic has become secondary. 

It really depends on situation, so I don't think of it as secondary but situational.

For Healing, it's usually spirit magic.  Bladesharp, Protection, etc. all get used.

Detect spells get regularly cast.

When fighting spirits, Spirit Block tends to be preferred over Spirit Screen as long as enough Rune points are available.

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7 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

few, dispel magic is not an automatism for me, unfortunately,  but I m working on it, I m working on it ....

Yeah, I know what you mean. It came as a bit of a surprise to the Humakti in the group when his Truesword kept getting removed. LOL

The other Common spell I am getting to love a lot is Multispell. 

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58 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

With RQG Rune pools, do you find that PCs now days almost ignore Spirit Magic?

No, for example in last nights game:

Rune : Leap, Heal Wound.

Spirit : Strength, Heal 2

Sorcery : Logician

Edited by David Scott

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We have used a lot of both Rune and Spirit magic. I prioritize filling out the CHA limit of almost all the party members with a useful array of spirit magic as soon as it can be afforded. The Ernaldan Noble party leader has Heal 6 and just found a Healing Focusing 2 crystal. She spends most of her time slinging Heal 4+2 around to slap limbs back on or casting Protection and buff spells like Strength. 

 

Like WindChild said above, as we have a fairly experienced crew of players they are a pretty good judge of lethality, so the random encounters often only involve spirit magic and mounted charges or some skirmishing with missiles then into melee. Big encounters against NPCs or Rune-Lords or Elder Races often onvolve bringing out Rune Points and trying to conceive more elaborate plans for attack or defense. Often taking much longer to plan than to actually execute. So many anticlimaxes from a lucky 01 after an hour of planning a perfect defense. *sigh*

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I enforce the calendar restrictions on holy days pretty hard so early season adventures get exciting if the players over commit there and I then run other  adventures later in the season. Enough so that one player has been sacrificing a lot of POW to maintain enough of a reserve for that.

One thing I don’t think I’ve seen really mentioned in this thread is the depth of flexibility offered by the common rune magics - as noted  (spoilers for Pegasus Plateau & Grove of Green Rock in this thread a sufficiently creative team can get a lot of tactical advantages from those spells.

(As an aside re Spirit Block though, it isn’t a spell you want if your goal is to defeat a spirit - there’s a clause in that spell (I forget the exact wording) that can cause a spirit to break off the combat which may not be desirable depending on why you're fighting the spirit in the first place).

That said, even with the (relatively) high access to Rune Magic, my players will use Spirit Magic all the time. Enough so that I've started adding decrementing counters to the Roll20 turn order to track when the spells will run out. When they do run out in long fights I have one player in particular who will choose to skip attacking for one round to recast - Bladesharp is integral to her fighting style and she's made the call that swapping one round of “attack and defend” for one round of “cast and defend” is worth it.

Edited by Arcadiagt5
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My PCs use alot of the same spells as Rodney indicated - although not Earthshield so much - Shield is probably the most used.  Command Cult spirit is another favorite as two of the PCs have POW storage crystals housing an Elemental each.  The use of Spirit Magic drastically increased, once three of the PCs received Allied spirits and realized they could ask the spirit to cast spells on their behalf, while engaging themselves in their own activities - that and the extra MP the allied spirit allowed them to use.

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A full year of campaign, and spirit spells remained fundamental.   The best combat PC was an Orlanthi, and he used Fireblade (matrix on an iron weapon taken from a Lunar officer) plus Strength every single encounter that he had a chance to prep for.  And some he didn't. 

A big part of this was that I didn't let the PC's conveniently rest to regain full Rune points just because they had spent them.  The world had a flow to it, and the players generally could tell when they weren't out of the woods just yet.  They tended to conserve Rune points in favor of spirit magic whenever and where ever possible.  Rune point exhaustion was a strategy used by many NPC's, and the PC's picked up on it very quickly.  Save the good stuff for when it is time to shine.

The non-combat PC's tended to use Rune points to Dismiss down enemy Rune Spells like Shield or Truesword, and the Lhankhor Mhy player famously saved three different PC's from spirits with a very timely Spirit Block. 

 

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8 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

We use Strength, Mobility, Bladesharp and Befuddle a lot.

Also Shield, Earthshield, Charisma.

I'd say about 50:50 overall.

I have one player testing out Earth Shield for the first time in the current fight. My current thinking is that if it stops a special or a critical hit cold on a normal* parry during this fight it will be a regular part of her repertoire from then onwards.

* If her shield has infinite hit points, then any level of successful parry stops any hit cold. Mind you it does cost 3RP, and you can still miss a parry, but you pays your points and you takes your chances.

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Spirit Magic seems to have the ”workhorse” spells that the PCs want up in every fight if possible. Rune Magic is more when they want to shift into a higher gear. My players are also very good at opening up a fight with some initial rune magic, hoping to bring it down to manageable quickly and finish it off the old-fashioned way.

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2 hours ago, Arcadiagt5 said:

I have one player testing out Earth Shield for the first time in the current fight. My current thinking is that if it stops a special or a critical hit cold on a normal* parry during this fight it will be a regular part of her repertoire from then onwards.

This is my reading too. It becomes better yet when attacked by very powerful creatures like giants, where stopping 10d6 DB gets pretty damned hard otherwise (barring degenerate tactics like skill tanking).

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Spirit magic is proving vital to my players. The scenario has been tough enough that they are counting down the days until the next worship ceremony. And desperately scrambling to complete the quest and get back to a temple. As a result they're hording rune magic like it's 1980. Spirit spells are their go-to magic ATM.

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is my reading too. It becomes better yet when attacked by very powerful creatures like giants, where stopping 10d6 DB gets pretty damned hard otherwise (barring degenerate tactics like skill tanking).

Skill tanking?

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9 minutes ago, Martin Dick said:

Skill tanking?

Pushing the skill of your parrying weapon up far enough that the opponent will be left with ideally only a 5% chance of hitting after the skills are adjusted. Works best against large and strong monsters with modest attack skills - like giants and dinosaurs - but Humakti can do it against essentially anyone else using a sufficiently large Sword Trance.

It's one of the easiest ways in the game to trivialize an opponent that relies on physical attacks.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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