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TerryTee

RQ3: Targeting items on an enemy with a spell

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I know everyone is on the RQG roll right now, but not my group…

For RQ3, are there rules regarding targeting weapons, armour, equipment and clothing of and an enemy? Will the spell automatically take effect, or will the person holding/wearing the item use their MP to resist the spell?

Some examples:

  1. Cast form/set on an enemy’s weapon to bent it
  2. Cast Flight on an enemy’s weapon to make it fly away or make it difficult to use
  3. Cast Dispel on an enemy’s weapon to remove combat spells
  4. Cast Flight in a person’s pants to lift the person
  5. Cast Glow on a person’s jacket to make it impossible to hide in the dark

My ruling as a GM has been that the target holding/wearing the item can resist, but I cannot find any rules describing this. Am I missing something, or is it simply not described?

What I have found:

  1. Ignite will give the target a resistance roll if hair/fur is targetd, but that is PART of the target, not an Item.
  2. Touch spells does not require skin to skin contact and toughing the targets armour/clothing is enough since it is close enough to affect the aura of the target

Any thoughts?

-Terry

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Hi Terry,

One rule I have found for 'inanimate' objects held by a character is for Dullblade back in RQ2. If a weapon has a spirit in it, the spirit can resist the spell. That suggests that the person holding the weapon cannot resist. This description does not however get into RQ3. 

In RQ3, it does say casting Fly on an unwilling target requires a resistance roll, but that is on the person themselves, not necessarily their clothes/pack/weapon etc.

Neutralize Magic pits itself against the magic points in the spell, presumably even if that is a spell cast on a weapon carried by a person. It does not have to overcome the magic points of the person who is carrying the weapon.  

As ever, things are open to interpretation, but I think inanimate objects are fair game to effect without having to overcome the magic points of their owner. 

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I guess it's up to what you want to see in your campaign.

Personally, I think giving attackers the ability to essentially destroy anything the character has without any resistance roll would be too powerful, and would rule on that basis that if someone's wearing or using it, it uses their resistance.

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On 7/29/2018 at 11:14 PM, TerryTee said:

I know everyone is on the RQG roll right now, but not my group…

For RQ3, are there rules regarding targeting weapons, armour, equipment and clothing of and an enemy? Will the spell automatically take effect, or will the person holding/wearing the item use their MP to resist the spell?

There is no "rules" about it but in RQ3 "Gods of Glorantha" (french edition), Eurmal divine spells list mention a "breaking" spell which destroy any targeted object, weapon or piece of armor. but all Eurmal spells are always border line in term of rules. Crack is spell name in GOG n' RQG.

YGMV

and I  prefer the heroquest/herowars principle : Everything in possession of a hero is like a part of him, thus protected by his "aura".

But if you don't play in an heroic gameplay style, targeting a worn object should be authorized ! Like a crack "panties" or clothing should be very fun XD.

The choice is up to you...

Edited by MJ Sadique
a bit drunk, a bit of error in typing... (Monkey shoulder+Cola is very good.... slurp)

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I see no reason why a person holding an item could resist a spell targeting the item with their MP or POW.

"Magic resistance" spells would protect anything the caster is touching, however.

Also, if the holder of the target is moving, it would change the chances of the sorcerer to cast his spell in a way or another. It might be a slight modifier to the casting skill, or even a dodge roll to avoid the spell if he's explicitly making moves to lower the caster's concentration.

Also, for the specific example of the Fly spell cast on pants, I would consider it to have STR equal to the spell's Intensity. Now, try to move a SIZ 13 person with STR 1...

 

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3 hours ago, Mugen said:

I see no reason why a person holding an item could resist a spell targeting the item with their MP or POW.

"Magic resistance" spells would protect anything the caster is touching, however.

Also, if the holder of the target is moving, it would change the chances of the sorcerer to cast his spell in a way or another. It might be a slight modifier to the casting skill, or even a dodge roll to avoid the spell if he's explicitly making moves to lower the caster's concentration.

A person's magical aura isn't limited to that person's skin, but should extend a few inch outward. That makes most clothing a part of the person's magical self control, excepting long robes or cloaks.

3 hours ago, Mugen said:

Also, for the specific examle of the Fly spell cast on pants, I would consider it to have STR equal to the spell's Intensity. Now, try to move a SIZ 13 person with STR 1...

That spell might better be called "wedgie". Given the proximity of private parts, it is not so much about lifting an opponent but about distracting him (or her) significantly.

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Dullblade cannot be resisted in RQ3, either. All spells that allow for a resistance roll have this detail described in the text, and Dullblade does not. Therefore, it cannot be resisted.

I think all the above methods of restricting magical attacks on enemy items are not appropriate. There are two reasons why.

1. Many of these considerations are hardly realistic. If targeting your sword is more difficult because you are moving it, then there should be dozens of cases when casting on living beings is impaired, too. Too big a can of worms to open it.

2. Discouraging creative use of non-attack spells is contrary to MGF. If the player has a good idea, the GM should allow it to work, not make a ruling that persuades the player to revert to Befuddle and Demoralize next time.

Note also that most spells that can harm or impair an item are either divine, and thus very powerful, or sorcerous and requiring concentration, in which case it is easy to break the magician's concentration. Bending a sword takes the time needed for casting, and then one round of concentration to shape it. It is not trivial.

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Game mechanics aside, I have to agree with Rosen's second point.  The examples listed in the OP are creative and fun uses of magic, distracting without necessarily being debilitating.  Giving a foe a wedgie, causing his cloak to flip over his head, jerking a loosely held item out of his unsuspecting grasp, tying his shoelaces together are things I can see magicians (and especially their ornery young apprentices) attempting to do.  I'd let them give it a shot and not get too worried about the rules.  If you can't have fun with magic what's the point?

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4 minutes ago, seneschal said:

Game mechanics aside, I have to agree with Rosen's second point.  The examples listed in the OP are creative and fun uses of magic, distracting without necessarily being debilitating.  Giving a foe a wedgie, causing his cloak to flip over his head, jerking a loosely held item out of his unsuspecting grasp, tying his shoelaces together are things I can see magicians (and especially their ornery young apprentices) attempting to do.  I'd let them give it a shot and not get too worried about the rules.  If you can't have fun with magic what's the point?

I get both yours and Rosen's points, but there also has to be some consideration of balance.  If the players can do it, so can the NPCs.

Should a PC be able to Form/Set Count Julan's magical sword to uselessness without any ability for him to resist/avoid?

More importantly, should any of the waves of enemies faced by PCs be able to destroy/remove important pieces of the PCs gear without any defense?

YGMV but it's easier (and fairer) for me to assume that everything "on" a person is not just physically but METAphysically "theirs", and thus gets their protective aura.

It was the same in D&D.  RAW everytime someone got fireballed, lightning bolted, or even a long fall, you were supposed to roll saving throws for every meaningful piece of equipment.  Maybe realistic, super not-fun.  I don't know anyone who did that usually, aside from quasi-sado/masochistic campaigns where everything was RAW for the giggles.

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7 minutes ago, styopa said:

Should a PC be able to Form/Set Count Julan's magical sword to uselessness without any ability for him to resist/avoid?

More importantly, should any of the waves of enemies faced by PCs be able to destroy/remove important pieces of the PCs gear without any defense?

Count Julan should be able to defend himself from this tactics in other ways than a POW vs POW roll: Shield cast on weapon (it happened quite often in my games), decapitation of the unlucky fella while he is concentrating on the form/set (remember, one round without defending to shape the item), and so on.

Oh, and Julan has his allied spirit in the scimitar: in THAT specific case, it should be able to resist. In other words, you picked the wrong example :)

As for NPCs using this tactics, well, a NPC using sorcery is not a faceless enemy. And PCs are more likely to find a "creative" defense against this kind of attack than NPCs - a thrown dagger will likely break the pesky sorcerer's concentation even when it does not hit.

 

Quote

YGMV but it's easier (and fairer) for me to assume that everything "on" a person is not just physically but METAphysically "theirs", and thus gets their protective aura.

If this were true, then Dullblade would be listed as requiring a resistance roll. It is not. I have not read its description in RQG, but in RQ3 it does not.

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50 minutes ago, styopa said:

More importantly, should any of the waves of enemies faced by PCs be able to destroy/remove important pieces of the PCs gear without any defense?

Item-affecting spells aren't all that common, particularly item-destroying ones.

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NPCs pull dirty tricks on the good guys all the time.  Darth Vader snatching Han Solo's blaster from across the room.  Maleficent luring Princess Aurora into an isolated tower room via ghost light.  Circe turning Odysseus' men into pigs during dinner.  It's time to turn the tables on 'em.

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Thanks for lots of good input. I'm not quite decided yet which way I want to have this in my campaign yet.

I do like creative use of magic, and we have house rules to encourage more use of magic. But I also like the idea of a person's aura etc protecting equipment... Maybe I need house rules for connecting important equipment to a person's aura?  

I'll have to think a bit more on this until our next session, an in the mean time please feel free to provide more thoughts and comments.

-Terry 

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45 minutes ago, TerryTee said:

Thanks for lots of good input. I'm not quite decided yet which way I want to have this in my campaign yet... I'll have to think a bit more on this until our next session, an in the mean time please feel free to provide more thoughts and comments.

I think it's ok for some spells to operate by special rules. I'm quite sanguine about allowing Dullblade to work without overcoming POW, because by the nature of the spell it pretty much has to work on an item that someone else is using. I think I'd be less happy with Crack, because that spell is just as useful for items that aren't held by another person. Affecting a held item is not as fundamental to its use as it is to Dullblade.

In other words, "does this spell make sense in a context that does not involve held items" - if the answer is "no", then it probably works without a POW vs POW roll.

It's hard to encode something like this into a rule system though.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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On 7/29/2018 at 10:14 PM, TerryTee said:

I know everyone is on the RQG roll right now, but not my group…

For RQ3, are there rules regarding targeting weapons, armour, equipment and clothing of and an enemy? Will the spell automatically take effect, or will the person holding/wearing the item use their MP to resist the spell?

We played that if an item was held or worn, then you had to overcome the POW of the wearer/holder. If an allied spirit was in the item then you had to overcome the Allied Spirit's POW. Otherwise, the spell just works without a Resistance Roll.

 

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On 8/1/2018 at 5:19 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Item-affecting spells aren't all that common, particularly item-destroying ones.

True. We have used Crack and Vomit Acid to destroy weapons. The Krarsht Sweat Acid is similar but involved touching an item to destroy it, so not so useful, but makes a great weapon for Krarshti Courtesan Assassins, though. 

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