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Doubt about sorcery spells


Jose Luis

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Hello,

I have a doubt concerning a sorcery spell.

One of my players has a sorcerer with "steal breath", and unless I am understanding the spell wrong, this spell seems completely broken and overpowered.  Basically, my player activates it, with no enemies around, just obtaining lots of magic points in the process.  He keeps the spell activated for a whole day, which he can do easily by spending 8 additional MP (he knows the runes and techniques for not paying double), and he gets a ton of MP.  Then, for any other spell thrown in the same day he has an extensive amount of MP so he becomes a powerhouse with his other spells, because he can intensify them immensely, almost with no limit.

For example, by doing this he uses "enhanced INT" to raise several points the INT of the whole team for a huge amount of time.

This is greatly unbalancing the games, so I do not know if he is using the spell "legally" and if he is correct, how can I compensate this situation.

Or maybe it is intended to be like this, so in this case I shall try to adapt.

Also, in the description of "steal breath" it is stated that it can be used as an attack against a PERSON.  The player wants to use it against much bigger oponents (as a dream dragon, for instance).  Would it work the same?  How would it go?  Also, if the opponent simply moves away form the area where the vacuum has beed created, wouldn't that easily cancel any damage?

Thanks and regards.

 

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Well you need to overcome their POW to cast it on an enemy. Dream dragons can be pretty tough.

And any Tap spell is a big problem socially, especially tapping the air in Orlanthi lands. Air is sacred, you are literally tapping Orlanth. I feel that the rules should have made this more clear. It would be a bit of a bait-and-switch to let a player take this spell, and then hit them with devastating social consequences that they had no warning of.

But yes, the spell is utterly and completely overpowered.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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Have a look at the Q&A. especially what Jeff says. Then note that it's an Active spell:

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Such spells require the concentration of the caster to remain in effect for their full duration. If the caster tries to throw another spell, is attacked in spirit combat, takes physical or magical damage, or has something unexpected happen, then the caster must make a concentration roll (INT×3 as a percentage) or the effects of the spell cease and the spell must be recast for the effect to again apply. Spell casters trying to maintain an active spell are limited to a movement rate of 4 meters per melee round and they can do no fighting.

RQG, page 247.

 

48 minutes ago, Jose Luis said:

Also, in the description of "steal breath" it is stated that it can be used as an attack against a PERSON.  The player wants to use it against much bigger oponents (as a dream dragon, for instance).  Would it work the same?  How would it go?  Also, if the opponent simply moves away form the area where the vacuum has beed created, wouldn't that easily cancel any damage?

As it's active, they can stay on the target, if they have the range. The sorcerer needs to keep this up until the target is dead.

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there are a lot of limits

(but yes this spell is very powerfull)

1) active spell

Quote

Only sorcery and spirit magic can be active spells. Such spells require the concentration of the caster to remain in effect for their full duration. If the caster tries to throw another spell, is attacked in spirit combat, takes physical or magical damage, or has something unexpected happen, then the caster must make a concentration roll (INT×3 as a percentage) or the effects of the spell cease and the spell must be recast for the effect to again apply. Spell casters trying to maintain an active spell are limited to a movement rate of 4 meters per melee round and they can do no fighting

so there is a lot of issue to have it, you cannot flee, cannot fight, cannot run, etc.. i would add cannot discuss/seduce/... (or with penalty as they must stay focused

2) range

the spell is ranged. It means that if the sorcerer is too far from the designed location , the spell is broken. So having the spell for a day means stay all the day at the same place

 

3) magic limit

Quote

If the sorcerer’s total magic points exceed their normal maximum, the extra points are only available for use until the duration of the Steal Breath spell expires.

here the point is "duration" For me there are two notions :

  • the duration defined when the sorcerer casted the spell, that is the first limit. Once it is done, the extra mp are gone.
  • the spell is an active one. If you break the spell (second point) the extra mp are gone  (breaking the spell is breaking the duration of the spell)

4) casting on a person

if the sorcerer wants to cast the spell on someone it means for me to cast another spell. That is not the "daily" spell you want to "change" the target.

52 minutes ago, Jose Luis said:

The player wants to use it against much bigger oponents (as a dream dragon, for instance).  Would it work the same?

i consider that any(thing/one) with a breath can be victim of the spell. So the question, for me, is more "does a dream dragon breathe ?" (for me yes) than "is a dream dragon a person" (for me yes too but not important for this: i accept to cast the spell against a beast living in/on air (so not a gloranthan fish if you face the question one day).

5) background

as @PhilHibbs answers, there are the mechanic but there are too some social issues. Destroying a little air is not noticable, destroying too much air will alert a lot of people ennemies

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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5 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:
  • the spell is an active one. If you break the spell (first point) the extra mp are gone  (breaking the spell is breaking the duration of the spell)

Interesting... that implies that you can't ever use the MPs that you have gained, because as soon as you start to cast another spell, the Steal Breath drops and you lose the MPs. The spell clearly says that the MP can be used to cast spells though.

I would treat it like a passive spell once concentration stops, so you keep the MP for the rest of the duration but you stop gaining MP.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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Jeff Richard says:

Using Tap [Steal Breath] against humans, is going to mark the caster as an outlaw by pretty much all other Malkioni. That means no allies, no cult support, nothing. If he is a Lhankor Mhy cultist, his temple is going to get plagued by angry wind spirits and maybe even get a visit from the local Orlanth Rex. The kin of his victims may complain – even if they are nonhumans like dark trolls, that is the sort of “evil magic” that might get you outlawed from your tribe or city.

It is the sort of spell that identifies you to everyone as an Evil Sorcerer – the sort of bad guy that adventurers get hired to kill.

This is my bait-and-switch concern. There is nothing in the Sorcery chapter that says that Tap is in any way frowned upon. It might be reasonable to expect someone to conclude that the Air-worshipping Orlanthi would have a big problem with it, but clearly nobody did in this case, neither player nor GM. I don't envy you this problem.

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44 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Interesting... that implies that you can't ever use the MPs that you have gained, because as soon as you start to cast another spell, the Steal Breath drops and you lose the MPs. The spell clearly says that the MP can be used to cast spells though.

I would treat it like a passive spell once concentration stops, so you keep the MP for the rest of the duration but you stop gaining MP.

This is how I play it.

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1 hour ago, Jose Luis said:

Hello,

I have a doubt concerning a sorcery spell.

One of my players has a sorcerer with "steal breath", and unless I am understanding the spell wrong, this spell seems completely broken and overpowered.  Basically, my player activates it, with no enemies around, just obtaining lots of magic points in the process.  He keeps the spell activated for a whole day, which he can do easily by spending 8 additional MP (he knows the runes and techniques for not paying double), and he gets a ton of MP.  Then, for any other spell thrown in the same day he has an extensive amount of MP so he becomes a powerhouse with his other spells, because he can intensify them immensely, almost with no limit.

For example, by doing this he uses "enhanced INT" to raise several points the INT of the whole team for a huge amount of time.

This is greatly unbalancing the games, so I do not know if he is using the spell "legally" and if he is correct, how can I compensate this situation.

Or maybe it is intended to be like this, so in this case I shall try to adapt.

Also, in the description of "steal breath" it is stated that it can be used as an attack against a PERSON.  The player wants to use it against much bigger oponents (as a dream dragon, for instance).  Would it work the same?  How would it go?  Also, if the opponent simply moves away form the area where the vacuum has beed created, wouldn't that easily cancel any damage?

Thanks and regards.

 

To be able to cast steal breath with a duration of 1 day, you need 9 points of Intensity, just for the duration, which means minimum 9 points of Free INT.

To cast 'Enhance INT' for long duration, you need lots of MP (that 'Steal Breath' can provide) AND lot of Free INT: To cast 'Enhance INT' for a duration of 1 week, with a STR enough to add 3 points of INT, you need a duration of 12 and a strength of 9, meaning a Free INT of 21. I am not counting the amount of MP needed to do it, but it is high.

You can try to attack a dream dragon with it (I agree he should be affected), but just try to win the POW vs POW (when used as an attack vs a person/creature).

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Just a nitpick. Strength 9, Duration 12 requires 19 points of Free INT, as the first point is free. Our Sorcerer PC has effective INT 23, (18+2 Fire rune +3 Enhance INT 1 season) and 25 when he casts the long term spells 

In my game the technique Tap is socially limited, except in a few cases that is unlikely to be player characters (Brithini, Vadeli, Boristi and a few others). But I agree that Gloranthan reality is not presented in the rulebook, and I agree that as written it is a wonderful spell, even with the active limitation. However, unless strength is increased, 1 point dispel magic dispels it. 

For me it highlights how powerful spells you can get using Tap, but any Malkioni will remember Malkion's interdiction against Tap. I am not surprised anyone without the background will make it their first spell, and possibly, after reading the spell development criteria, proceed with development of Tap Earth (Instant digging with MPs!) and Tap Water. I would be happier if the social limitation of the Tap technique appeared in the rulebook and no spells using Tap appeared as examples.

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Interesting... that implies that you can't ever use the MPs that you have gained, because as soon as you start to cast another spell, the Steal Breath drops and you lose the MPs. The spell clearly says that the MP can be used to cast spells though.

I would treat it like a passive spell once concentration stops, so you keep the MP for the rest of the duration but you stop gaining MP.

not exactly my thought

 

first point : only extra mp may be lost => so there is an interest to use steal breath before casting another one

second point: the rules says you can use mp (extra included) to cast another one. That is not an issue, but a question of sequence, in my opinion :

until the next spell is cast, it doesn't exist so

let's say you have:

POW15; MP 10

you cast steal breath and after some times you are now POW 15;  MP 40

you want to cast ZZ for 20 mps

you start your cast (rules say you can do it still under steal breaht) => POW 15;  MP 40

it is a success (double, success of concentration, success to cast ZZ)

you burn your 20 mps => POW 15; MP 20

but if you are not anymore under steal breath, as the new spell is effective *

 => POW 15; MP 15

 

now, if you fail your concentration roll, you will not be able to cast ZZ 20 as you have not enough mp (15) as you are not under steal breath when the mp should be used

 

* I have now a doubt :

can you have more than one spell active ?

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The way I understand this active/passive nature of the spell is that it is active while you drain a volume of air of its magic, but the magic acquired that way will remain without the magician needing to concentrate on the spell for the rest of the duration.

I would rule that once concentration is lost (or given up), the draining ends. The magic points remain available without having to use any storage while the spell lasts.

No idea what happens to the magic points if the spell gets (temporarily) neutralized, other than that the Tapper cannot access the MP. Do the MP disperse?

While the spell description doesn't say so, I am inclined to limit the maximum amount of MP that can be held by the caster in excess of his personal MP max from this spell to the magnitude of the spell.

And while we don't have any rules for that yet, I would treat "Worship Invisible God" similarly, with the officiating wizard using the spell that directs the sacrificed MP in the rite to the Invisible God, perhaps via the next instance of his school, is allowed to syphon off ("tap") that energy to the magnitude and duration of the spell the wizard applies. There might be wyters involved in collecting and forwarding those MP, too.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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27 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Sounds terribly complicated. Not sure I understand.

probably my words more than my idea.

in other words, if you succeed every thing

 

POW 15, mp 40

you cast zz for 20mp

 

if zz is active (as you say only one active spell, I think the same butnot sure) you have now min(15, 40-20) = 15 mp

if zz is passive you are still under steal breath, you have now 40-20 = 20pm

 

hope is more understandable 😛

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

This is my bait-and-switch concern. There is nothing in the Sorcery chapter that says that Tap is in any way frowned upon. It might be reasonable to expect someone to conclude that the Air-worshipping Orlanthi would have a big problem with it, but clearly nobody did in this case, neither player nor GM. I don't envy you this problem.

Yes this was my big concern about the societal aspects of the Tap technique. People would say "Tap is evil! Don't do it!" on forums or Facebook, but there is indeed no information on that in the rulebook (you need the Guide to know about it). In fact, the example sorcerer Damastol even learns the Tap technique! (RQG page 384)  The only hint that Tap may be bad is that Chalana Arroy forbids it (RQG page 290)

 

4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Interesting... that implies that you can't ever use the MPs that you have gained, because as soon as you start to cast another spell, the Steal Breath drops and you lose the MPs.

The OP was saying that the sorcerer PC was keeping the spell active all day to leech massive amounts of MPs. So because it's an active spell, it means the PC can't do much (if at all) during that day.

The way I read it, I think the spell is intended to be used as "leech MPs and then use them right away for a big spell". If I'm in a nice mood as the GM, I would let the player roll to cast that one big spell (which uses the leeched MPs) with no penalty, just as Steal Breath ends. If I was a mean evil GM, I would make the player roll for concentration in order to cast that spell, otherwise all the leeched MPs are dissipated. This would be your classic montage where a character tries and tries again until they finally get it.

Of course, this means that the sorcerer can't rely much on using this stuff in the heat of an action scene -- and to me that's the whole point. Sorcery isn't good with that. Sorcery is good with spending weeks and months in research and experimentation and preparation. So the PC would cast that big spell into a grimoire or enchantment or whatever. And then they carry it around and can unleash it any time.

 

4 hours ago, Jose Luis said:

This is greatly unbalancing the games, so I do not know if he is using the spell "legally" and if he is correct, how can I compensate this situation.

The first thing that comes to mind is that the sorcerer is effectively creating a vaccum -- destroying air to turn it into MPs. This will, at the very least, create wind blowing straight in the direction of the PC. Let the player do that for a few days, and then have some Air spirits and Storm Voice priests show up to see what's up. One of the Air spirits complains that the PC killed its little Air elemental cousin. Hijinks ensue.

 

4 hours ago, Jose Luis said:

Also, in the description of "steal breath" it is stated that it can be used as an attack against a PERSON.  The player wants to use it against much bigger oponents (as a dream dragon, for instance).  Would it work the same?  How would it go?  Also, if the opponent simply moves away form the area where the vacuum has beed created, wouldn't that easily cancel any damage?

As mentioned by others, casting any spell (spirit, Rune, sorcery) against someone requires a POW vs POW roll unless that person is cooperative. A Dream Dragon usually has pretty high POW, so this is going to be tough. Also, ask yourself: does a Dream Dragon breathe?  (personally: I think not)

 

Edited by Lordabdul
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Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Interesting... that implies that you can't ever use the MPs that you have gained, because as soon as you start to cast another spell, the Steal Breath drops and you lose the MPs. The spell clearly says that the MP can be used to cast spells though.

You need to make a concentration roll. INT x 3. If this is part of a larger ritual, where the sorcerer has prepared everything in advance (including ritual preparation and their ) I would allow an auto success concentration roll (or just add the prep bonus). So a day of ritual prep, cast the Increase INT, cast the Steal breath, cast summon entity, give the entity magic points...

I had a player with a lunar sorcerer, who had Steal Darkness, they used it to put lots of spells on the other adventurers. Worked very well.

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40 minutes ago, Lordabdul said:

The first thing that comes to mind is that the sorcerer is effectively creating a vaccum -- destroying air to turn it into MPs. This will, at the very least, create wind blowing straight in the direction of the PC. Let the player do that for a few days, and then have some Air spirits and Storm Voice priests show up to see what's up. One of the Air spirits complains that the PC killed its little Air elemental cousin. Hijinks ensue.

I don't think vacuum is a thing in Glorantha, but the rest of that situation is fine - although the player created the character without knowing that this would inevitably happen, which is a little unfair. Gloranthans would know this stuff. Unless he's a foreign sorcerer to whom worshipping the air is an alien idea.

You might not be able to breathe the dead air left behind by the spell, but other air would mingle in and refresh the area fairly quickly if it's outside. The spell description doesn't say anything about suffocation other than when the spell is specifically targeted, so I would not allow it to be used offensively by tapping all the air in a room as a trap. There might be another similar spell that does that.

If the character discovers that tapping the air with impunity is regarded by violent barbarians as a bad idea, but still wants to use the spell, then I would suggest learning some means of detecting the presence of spirits (e.g. Pierce Veil, or trade for a Second Sight matrix) and cast that prior to the spell to make sure he targets a patch of air with no active spirits in it.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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Oh and in case you didn't spot it, The Well also offers this correction:

Quote
Change
Correction

(i.e., they can be used to cast spells, boost spells to help overcome defensive magic, etc.)

So the text "add to the sorcerer’s chances of their spells overcoming a target’s resistance" is gone. MP are not used to overcome resistance, POW is.

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11 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

So the text "add to the sorcerer’s chances of their spells overcoming a target’s resistance" is gone. MP are not used to overcome resistance, POW is.

Outside of using spirit magic, wearing an Absorption or Reflection rune spell, or (just maybe) Castback or Drain Soul, a sorcerer never has to overcome a target's POW with his own POW. It is always the MP in the spell attacking the target that need to overcome the target POW (or MP), minus those for Range, Duration and (rarely) boosting past magical defence. That renders the reference rather useless, too.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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34 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

the player created the character without knowing that this would inevitably happen, which is a little unfair.

The GM should definitely clarify what the player character knows, and that the player might not. Sometimes this includes doing a bit of retcon'ing (including re-allocating a few points on the character sheet) and although I don't like doing it, it's occasionally necessary.  However, I personally don't think that "sucking mana out of the environment for free without repercussions" is ever something a player should take for granted. Especially in 2022 😑  Consequences for cutting trees or diverting water in order to make energy are obvious to anybody who has an ounce of environmental consideration, or watched a Ghibli movie for that matter. Thinking that "air" gets a pass because it's free and all around us is... short sighted. Someone needs to play a space horror/survival game. Or see how climate change has been affecting us in western Canada, where air quality regularly goes to shit in the summer because of the alarming number of forest fires now compared to 10 years ago.

Generally speaking, it touches upon gameplay styles. In my games, there is "no such thing as a free lunch". If a player thinks they've found a cool new thing (rules-wise or story-wise) and wonders why nobody else is doing it, well, there's definitely a reason why (even if I, the GM, don't know yet what it is... but I've got a week or two to find it!)  So no, I don't think it's unfair, and I'm lucky because I know my players would eagerly wait for the hammer to drop (some of them even do this kind of shit on purpose to see what kind of hammer it is, and because it's fun). YMMV of course... different play styles and all that.

Edited by Lordabdul
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Steal Breath - and in fact all the Tap spells - are really powerful. Their restraints are largely social - many Malkioni sects ban it on the grounds that one should not ruin that which you love. Most non-Malkioni figure anyone casting a spell that destroys air, water, or whatever is an evil sorcerer. And what the heck is an evil sorcerer doing in Dragon Pass?!

But if I have my breath being stolen by a sorcerer, I have a few options:
1.  I attack the sorcerer. This is an active spell and if the sorcerer takes damage they need to make a concentration roll. 

2. Cast Dismiss Magic. That's a common Rune spell. 1 point will get rid of the base Steal Breath spell. Then I go on and kill the sorcerer.

Now maybe Jorjera the Sage has gotten her hands on such a spell and is using it to overcome a giant. That's cool and great. Why penalise the character for having done so? If she starts to abuse the spell, then go on and let her find a text explaining that this is a Vadeli/Mostali spell that nearly broke the world, aided Chaos, and turned entire lands into lifeless and spiritless ash. And then arrange for her high priest to meet with her...

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2 hours ago, Lordabdul said:

The GM should definitely clarify what the player character knows, and that the player might not. Sometimes this includes doing a bit of retcon'ing (including re-allocating a few points on the character sheet) and although I don't like doing it, it's occasionally necessary.  However, I personally don't think that "sucking mana out of the environment for free without repercussions" is ever something a player should take for granted. Especially in 2022 😑  Consequences for cutting trees or diverting water in order to make energy are obvious to anybody who has an ounce of environmental consideration, or watched a Ghibli movie for that matter. Thinking that "air" gets a pass because it's free and all around us is... short sighted. Someone needs to play a space horror/survival game. Or see how climate change has been affecting us in western Canada, where air quality regularly goes to shit in the summer because of the alarming number of forest fires now compared to 10 years ago.

Generally speaking, it touches upon gameplay styles. In my games, there is "no such thing as a free lunch". If a player thinks they've found a cool new thing (rules-wise or story-wise) and wonders why nobody else is doing it, well, there's definitely a reason why (even if I, the GM, don't know yet what it is... but I've got a week or two to find it!)  So no, I don't think it's unfair, and I'm lucky because I know my players would eagerly wait for the hammer to drop (some of them even do this kind of shit on purpose to see what kind of hammer it is, and because it's fun). YMMV of course... different play styles and all that.

I think that this depends fairly strongly on what Tapping is metaphorically connected to, though, in terms of whether it is as metaphysically evil as it's generally assumed to be. Tapping as environmental destruction is one metaphor, but Tapping as a return to raw firmament or whatever, a kind of primordial substance full of possibility, is another metaphor entirely. There are of course Malkioni sects that have various thoughts about Tapping, some of which are very hard to instantly reject as self-serving. 

Which of course gets us to the ethical considerations around sorcery generally, and to cut that short, it's why "lore" justifications are somewhat frail compared to "this spell allows you to do things well outside the scope of what the rest of the party can do, let's tone it down and limit the benefits" or a similar kind of "mechanical" answer. 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Outside of using spirit magic, wearing an Absorption or Reflection rune spell, or (just maybe) Castback or Drain Soul, a sorcerer never has to overcome a target's POW with his own POW. It is always the MP in the spell attacking the target that need to overcome the target POW (or MP), minus those for Range, Duration and (rarely) boosting past magical defence.

Not true. They still need to overcome POW vs POW as well.

Oops I'm wrong.

The Well:

Quote

If it says the spell uses the Strength of the spell in the resistance roll, then use that. Otherwise it’s POW vs. POW where necessary.

 

Edited by PhilHibbs
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On 9/12/2022 at 6:55 AM, French Desperate WindChild said:

2) range

the spell is ranged. It means that if the sorcerer is too far from the designed location , the spell is broken. So having the spell for a day means stay all the day at the same place

I don't play this way. I play the range moves with you as you move - at up to 4m/round. For example, if you cast Animate Dead on a corpse, and the corpse moves with you, it remains in effect. If you cast Boon of Kargan Tor on your knight's weapon, you don't have to continually touch the knight's weapon. If you cast Attract Missiles and walk toward the enemy, it follows you. If you cast buffs like Ward Against Weapons, Solace of the Logical Mind, Pierce Veil, or Disappear the targets must stay within the Range of the caster, not the original location at which they were buffed.

Even spirit magic like Mobility. According to your logic, the person affected by Mobility could not run farther than 50 meters from the casting point. 

If you cast Create Image, the illusion can move along with you, it just cannot leave the radius away from the caster. It would be obviously weird if Hasten Vessel didn't allow the vessel to continue to move (as long as the sorcerer was on board). Or Move Across Water for the same reason. I presumed that all the creatures would have to stay within 10 meters of the caster (or larger if points are added to Range), not that you would have to cast a sufficiently large Range as well as Duration for the entire desired travel.

Likewise, Steal Breath's radius would move with the caster. Destroying Air within the new space. That obviously has little limitation in the open field. But it does have the limitation when cast upon a person who may be inclined to run away - much faster than the caster can.

Forcing the caster of Steal Breath to stay at the same place is not consistent with how other spells work with Range.

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51 minutes ago, Dragon said:

I don't play this way. I play the range moves with you as you move - at up to 4m/round. For example, if you cast Animate Dead on a corpse, and the corpse moves with you, it remains in effect. If you cast Boon of Kargan Tor on your knight's weapon, you don't have to continually touch the knight's weapon. If you cast Attract Missiles and walk toward the enemy, it follows you. If you cast buffs like Ward Against Weapons, Solace of the Logical Mind, Pierce Veil, or Disappear the targets must stay within the Range of the caster, not the original location at which they were buffed.

Even spirit magic like Mobility. According to your logic, the person affected by Mobility could not run farther than 50 meters from the casting point. 

If you cast Create Image, the illusion can move along with you, it just cannot leave the radius away from the caster. It would be obviously weird if Hasten Vessel didn't allow the vessel to continue to move (as long as the sorcerer was on board). Or Move Across Water for the same reason. I presumed that all the creatures would have to stay within 10 meters of the caster (or larger if points are added to Range), not that you would have to cast a sufficiently large Range as well as Duration for the entire desired travel.

Likewise, Steal Breath's radius would move with the caster. Destroying Air within the new space. That obviously has little limitation in the open field. But it does have the limitation when cast upon a person who may be inclined to run away - much faster than the caster can.

Forcing the caster of Steal Breath to stay at the same place is not consistent with how other spells work with Range.

I may be wrong of course however :

The target of the spell must be in the range. 
if it is a passive spell, once the spell is cast within the range, I don’t care about the range: the spell is done the effect is on the target

if it is an active spell, the target must be in the range of the caster 

if the target moves in the same direction than the caster it is not an issue the caster can move  for sure

But , in our case the target of steal breath could be

- a being but once dead there is no more breath, but i agree the being may move

- an area: this area cannot move. And that is my point. The sorcerer must stay in the range of the source of mp.

As I understand the target area is not a radius around the sorcerer or anything able to move. It is « there » and nowhere else

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