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Distraction spell


PhilHibbs

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Just noticed something new in the Red Book of Magic.

p.113, Distraction

The old wording, to me, implied that it only worked in spirit combat. You cast it on a spirit, or a corporeal creature that is in spirit combat, and it redirects the spirit combat to the caster. I argued this on this forum, that it only worked in spirit combat.

The RBoM wording makes it clear that it works in physical combat as well, which is a surprise to me. That sounds pretty useful! There's no wording about whether the target can break free of the results, so it's more powerful than Demoralize or Befuddle in that respect. All you need to do is make sure they can't hit or hurt you.

Interesting that there's no Well of Daliath correction to go with this one.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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Posted (edited)

It is, however, an instant spell. So I guess the target only has to attack for one round? No it says "It attacks the caster until the caster is unconscious or the spirit is defeated and returns to the Spirit World."

So... you can keep someone chasing you for ever! I'm sure there's a Trickster myth in there somewhere.

I think I'd make it a temporal spell, and give the same Befuddle chance for throwing off the effects.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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It worked liked that in the core rules as well:

"If used against a corporeal enemy, the effect is identical."

My Orlanthi thane has it as the rest of the party aren't tough in a stand-up fight (Yinkini hunter, Odaylan hunter, Chalana Arroy priestess, Kolati shaman and an Orlanth Thunderous herder), sometimes the guy with Shield and heavy armour and Protection has to get in the way and Distraction can really help with that. That's not to say that they aren't powerful

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Between unclear wording and "how does this actually work", and no POW v POW roll, we've decided this works on spirits only.  Note that elementals would qualify as a "corporeal" spirit and are a valid target .

Also, acquiring this spell is not at all easy.  Few cults teach it.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Martin Dick said:

It worked liked that in the core rules as well:

"If used against a corporeal enemy, the effect is identical."

I read that as "a corporeal enemy engaged in spirit combat", and the identical effect is that they are forced into spirit combat with the caster.

1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Between unclear wording and "how does this actually work", and no POW v POW roll, we've decided this works on spirits only.

Of course there's a POW vs POW roll. You can always resist spells unless it specifically says otherwise.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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14 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Between unclear wording and "how does this actually work", and no POW v POW roll, we've decided this works on spirits only. 

I don't understand why you would interpret it that way. Paragraph 1, basic effect. Paragraph 2, effects on spirits. Paragraph 3, effects on non-spirits. Sure, it would make more sense to have it on "corporeal beings" first, but if you do just change the order of those paragraphs 2 & 3, it's pretty clear what the intent is.

The "Instant" is problematic, as per the munchkinnery above... how long would the target try to go for the caster? While they're within range? While they're within eyesight? What if neither is true? Would they expend effort to get to them? For how long? (normally, spirit magic is only 2 mins)

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15 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I read that as "a corporeal enemy engaged in spirit combat", and the identical effect is that they are forced into spirit combat with the caster.

Of course there's a POW vs POW roll. You can always resist spells unless it specifically says otherwise.

Given how unusual the spell is to normal spirit magic spells and with it being a bit OP, I can understand why you would look for an alternative reading, but the RBoM makes it clear that the literal meaning that it works on spirits and corporeal beings identically in all of its effects.

And I don't think it has a POW vs POW roll either on my reading of the spell:

"When targeted at a spirit during spirit combat, if the spell is successfully cast, the spirit is automatically drawn away from its current target and now attacks the caster"

My emphasis, but to me automatically means no POW vs. POW roll, if there is a roll, then what does automatically mean? Now, if my GM had house-ruled that it was needed, I wouldn't have complained, but RAW seems to me to be no roll

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16 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Between unclear wording and "how does this actually work", and no POW v POW roll, we've decided this works on spirits only.  Note that elementals would qualify as a "corporeal" spirit and are a valid target .

Also, acquiring this spell is not at all easy.  Few cults teach it.

Not hard at all, if you have a shaman in the party 😈

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22 minutes ago, Martin Dick said:

"When targeted at a spirit during spirit combat, if the spell is successfully cast, the spirit is automatically drawn away from its current target and now attacks the caster"

My emphasis, but to me automatically means no POW vs. POW roll, if there is a roll, then what does automatically mean?

I see your point.

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3 hours ago, Martin Dick said:

Not hard at all, if you have a shaman in the party 😈

Isn’t it a bit surprising that a Taunt spell would be so rare and not in the warrior god cults? Anyone who’s looking to defend others couldn’t do better.

(And isn’t ”Distraction” an odd choice of name? To me, that sounds like something you would cast to sneak past a guard or something.)

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In the munchkinnery thread:

10 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Distraction is a fairly low powered spell with limited scope and applicability, as it should be for a 1 point spirit spell. The fact that it is Instant is the biggest give away. In a fight, after overcoming the target with a POW vs POW roll, you give them a quick nudge to attack you "by whatever means the target considers most effective and expedient". Now, because it is instant, if there is no effective and expedient way, the instant nudge won't be enough. The moment will have passed and the target will make their own decision. At best I would say the target loses 5 SR (or maybe skip a MR) while they are distracted and contemplate attacking the caster, realize they can't and move on.

It is most effective against foes that can attack you and that do not have a strong preconceived objectives. Distraction will nudge them towards you and after the instant nudge is gone, they have no real incentive to change target.

Now this part "... it attacks the caster until the caster is unconscious or the spirit is defeated...", I would apply to spirit or mindless creatures not to beings capable of reasons.

I think you're basically right. I won't say so in the other thread, because I wear my munchkin hat there, and my reply would have to be something like "get out of my thread and stop spoiling my fun". 😁

 

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25 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

In the munchkinnery thread:

I think you're basically right. I won't say so in the other thread, because I wear my munchkin hat there, and my reply would have to be something like "get out of my thread and stop spoiling my fun". 😁

 

So true! I did pause a moment wondering if it was the right thing to reply in the munchkinnery thread. Thank you for being gentle with me!✌️

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

In the munchkinnery thread:

I think you're basically right. I won't say so in the other thread, because I wear my munchkin hat there, and my reply would have to be something like "get out of my thread and stop spoiling my fun". 😁

Although you will have to decide whether "most effective and expedient" (my emphasis) implies that it must actually be effective and expedient - under one reasoning, something really dangerous and difficult could still be the most effective and expedient way, if nothing else is available. 🙂

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Although you will have to decide whether "most effective and expedient" (my emphasis) implies that it must actually be effective and expedient - under one reasoning, something really dangerous and difficult could still be the most effective and expedient way, if nothing else is available. 🙂

Yes, but as Dread said, it's a one-point spell. It's not supposed to be able to make someone leap to their inevitable death just for one slim chance to swipe at you on the way down.

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4 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Yes, but as Dread said, it's a one-point spell. It's not supposed to be able to make someone leap to their inevitable death just for one slim chance to swipe at you on the way down.

Another reasonable interpretation is that if they're up on a wall, they will just attack you with missile weapons, improvised if that's what it takes.

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30 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Another reasonable interpretation is that if they're up on a wall, they will just attack you with missile weapons, improvised if that's what it takes.

That depends on the situation, which was entirely in my imagination when I wrote that. It's possible to construct an admittedly contrived and unlikely scenario in which plummeting is the only option available.

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