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Tywyll

Capping Battle Magic like RQ2

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10 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with how easy it is to get a bound spirit that casts Healing on you on demand, as well as being able to draw on its MPs and cast its spells yourself.

I was recently trying to figure out how this works. I’m pretty sure that there’s a passage that says the spirit must be commanded with a Rune Spell to get repeated use. Otherwise you can use the spirit once and then it is released and you’d have an empty binding enchantment.

RQG pg 249 (emphasis mine):

Quote

Some entities have knowledge or abilities which the wielder can use while it is bound within an item. However, many entities are not very effective when so trapped and must be released to be useful (e.g., wraiths, healing spirits, elementals, etc.). Without the use of a control spell, an entity can be released from an item to perform one function, and then it is free. If a control spell is used before the entity is released, then it can be commanded to perform many actions and return to the binding item. Control spells automatically work against creatures while they are bound in items.

Not sure which entities must be released to function.

Edited by daskindt
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33 minutes ago, daskindt said:

I was recently trying to figure out how this works. I’m pretty sure that there’s a passage that says the spirit must be commanded with a Rune Spell to get repeated use. Otherwise you can use the spirit once and then it is released and you’d have an empty binding enchantment.

Control is a spirit spell. A pretty useless one for people unable to discorporate or otherwise initiate spirit combat, except for this one use to keep a bound spirit or other entitiy in the enchantment or crystal after it performed its service.

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1 hour ago, daskindt said:

I was recently trying to figure out how this works. I’m pretty sure that there’s a passage that says the spirit must be commanded with a Rune Spell to get repeated use. Otherwise you can use the spirit once and then it is released and you’d have an empty binding enchantment.

RQG pg 249 (emphasis mine):

Not sure which entities must be released to function.

Traditionally, and that might not apply in RQG, a character could use a bound spirit's magic points to power his spells, or it's INT (now CHA apparently) to store spells. However for s spirit to cast a spell itself, or initiate spirit combat it had to be released. Allied Spirits (and familiars) were an exception, as they were not  bound by their masters, but were with them of their own volition. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Control is a spirit spell. A pretty useless one for people unable to discorporate or otherwise initiate spirit combat, except for this one use to keep a bound spirit or other entitiy in the enchantment or crystal after it performed its service.

I’m thinking of Command (Cult Spirit), which I imagine would work for specific spirits depending on your cult. But yes, Control (entity) would be another option and Sorcery has its spells as well.

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4 hours ago, daskindt said:

I was recently trying to figure out how this works. I’m pretty sure that there’s a passage that says the spirit must be commanded with a Rune Spell to get repeated use. Otherwise you can use the spirit once and then it is released and you’d have an empty binding enchantment.

Very simply:

As long as the spirit is in the binding enchantment and you are in physical contact with the binding, you can give him orders. He can not perceive the outside world without magic, but can use his powers, including casting spell. For me, he simply needs to cast a spell like second sight to perceive the outside world, and he can cast his other spells either on somebody in contact with the binding or on target perceived through second sight. Of course, spells are not automatically usable or useful (casting repair on the wearer of a matrix is not a very efficient use of MP). But no need of spell to give orders.

On the other hand, if you release the spirit from his binding, you can give only 1 order, but all the limitations on targeting or use of powers/spells are lifted. A control spell, whether spirit, runic or sorcerous, is required to be able to give several orders (including a last one to go back to the binding), including changing targets. I have not checked in RQ2, but it is exactly the same rule as in RQIII.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

He can not perceive the outside world without magic, but can use his powers, including casting spell. For me, he simply needs to cast a spell like second sight to perceive the outside world, and he can cast his other spells either on somebody in contact with the binding or on target perceived through second sight.

For me, the casting of Second Sight would not be enough to permit perception outside the Binding. It is not the lack of 'sense organs' but the barrier of the Binding, to my mind, which prevents perception. I agree that someone in contact with the binding can have the spell cast on them, but only someone, not something. To have a spirit cast a spell, most of the time, they must be released from the Binding (whether constrained by a Command/Control/Dominate or not).

2 hours ago, Kloster said:

A control spell, whether spirit, runic or sorcerous, is required to be able to give several orders (including a last one to go back to the binding), including changing targets.

And it is worth stressing, I think, in this context, that any such controlling spell cast on an entity in a Binding will work automatically without the POW v POW roll or need to reduce to 0MP or SpellSTR vs POW roll.

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30 minutes ago, womble said:

For me, the casting of Second Sight would not be enough to permit perception outside the Binding. It is not the lack of 'sense organs' but the barrier of the Binding, to my mind, which prevents perception.

In that case, which spell would you use? RQG p249 says: An entity bound within an item has no natural senses and cannot perceive the world about it unless it uses magic.

32 minutes ago, womble said:

I agree that someone in contact with the binding can have the spell cast on them, but only someone, not something. To have a spirit cast a spell, most of the time, they must be released from the Binding (whether constrained by a Command/Control/Dominate or not).

Completely agree.

33 minutes ago, womble said:

And it is worth stressing, I think, in this context, that any such controlling spell cast on an entity in a Binding will work automatically without the POW v POW roll or need to reduce to 0MP or Spell STR vs POW roll.

Yes, this point is very important. This is also coming from RQIII. That means that the spirit coming from the binding has full MP to perform his duties, in addition to the fact you don't have to beat it.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

For me, the casting of Second Sight would not be enough to permit perception outside the Binding. It is not the lack of 'sense organs' but the barrier of the Binding, to my mind, which prevents perception. I agree that someone in contact with the binding can have the spell cast on them, but only someone, not something.

28 minutes ago, Kloster said:

In that case, which spell would you use? RQG p249 says: An entity bound within an item has no natural senses and cannot perceive the world about it unless it uses magic.

There isn't really anything. Visibility is sometimes seen as the inverse counterpart to Second Sight, but it isn't really, it's quite different. And the bound spirit is not in the Spirit World, it's in the binding. Since it's fairly niche, in that adventurers would never really have the need to learn the spell themselves, I guess you could just say that some spirits have a spell that lets them do it. Go find a spirit that has that spell, put it in an item, and bingo you have a bound spirit that can perceive the mundane world and cast spells. It's a fairly powerful ability though, and as I've said before, I'm reluctant to allow it without carefully considering the consequences.

As a general rule, don't give the players toys that you later have to take away from them.

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Ugh, this is all terribly confusing. I thought I understood it. But now I realize I'm overlaying my knowledge of RQ4, where bindings that allowed the spirit to see outside the object were specifically called out and cost an extra POW. I'll probably just got with that as its much simpler. Looking at NPCs in modules with their various write ups and the spells in their spirits and bindings, I don't believe it was ever intended for you to need to release a spirit to have it cast spells specifically, because most of the NPCs didn't have anything to control the spirits after release. But of course this is older editions, I'm not sure what they want in the new one. 

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In Mongoose Runequest 2 and Legend, common magic is capped at INT divided by 3, so if your INT15 the maximum Bladesharp you can get is Bladesharp 5. This avoided arbitrary limits and tied the spell magnitude to the characteristic. I like this approach best and will be using in my games.

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28 minutes ago, Carew said:

In Mongoose Runequest 2 and Legend, common magic is capped at INT divided by 3, so if your INT15 the maximum Bladesharp you can get is Bladesharp 5. This avoided arbitrary limits and tied the spell magnitude to the characteristic. I like this approach best and will be using in my games.

I like the mechanic, but I would (and might) use CHA instead of INT, given the changes in RQG. This feels more appropriate, and keeps it distinct from sorcery - both in terms of mechanics and setting.

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3 hours ago, Carew said:

In Mongoose Runequest 2 and Legend, common magic is capped at INT divided by 3, so if your INT15 the maximum Bladesharp you can get is Bladesharp 5. This avoided arbitrary limits...

It's still an arbitrary limit. It just varies. RPGs are basically collections of arbitrary limits: CHA for total memorisable Spirit Magic; CHA for Rune Point Cap, are two contextually relevant ones. Q: "Why isn't the Spirit Magic limit 2xCHA?"

A: "Because."

It's arbitrary.

I see zero need for arbitrary limits in this matter of Spirit Magic maximum variable spell. I'm perfectly happy with setting story-based ones that can be overcome: the overcoming creates story, and taking advantage of the opportunity means an opportunity cost in other aspects of opportunity.

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13 hours ago, Carew said:

In Mongoose Runequest 2 and Legend, common magic is capped at INT divided by 3, so if your INT15 the maximum Bladesharp you can get is Bladesharp 5. This avoided arbitrary limits and tied the spell magnitude to the characteristic. I like this approach best and will be using in my games.

That's just as arbitrary as any other limit. 

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11 hours ago, Jeff said:

We quite deliberately did not cap spirit magic as in RQ2.

Would you care to go into that a bit more? Why did you make that choice? I mean its obvious that you decided to go that way, but without understanding the rationale, it makes it harder to decide if one adopts the new thinking or not. 

Edited by Tywyll

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On 2/6/2019 at 9:05 AM, womble said:

Quite. They'd be rare, which is why not every Shaman knows where to find a spirit with such a high mag single spell for you to attempt to beat in spirit combat.

Of course. Absolutely. So the spirit you transfer your Bladesharp 10 to will need CHA 10, but that's not too much of a stretch. The eventual limit will be that you can have 6 or 7 spirits bound (as your CHA starts to get close to hu-Max), so you can theoretically have about 7 or 8 'big' Spirit Magic spells available. 

Why would you assume they are rare? I know they would be in RQ3, but I've not seen anything in the new rules (or RQ2) that dictates a random distribution of battle magic magnitude over a given spirit population. AS you say, CHA 10 isn't much of a stretch and unless I've missed a rule somewhere, every average (3d6) spirit could be carrying a single 10 point spell. 

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13 hours ago, womble said:

It's still an arbitrary limit. It just varies. RPGs are basically collections of arbitrary limits: CHA for total memorisable Spirit Magic; CHA for Rune Point Cap, are two contextually relevant ones. Q: "Why isn't the Spirit Magic limit 2xCHA?"

A limit that is based on a relevant characteristic is not arbitrary. It's pretty much the definition of "not arbitrary".

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Imo, capping is a sign of weakness from the DM.

Womble  gave so good advices. 

In my games I always let the characters go to a 4pt spell quite easily (but costly). Then there is a gap to get a 6pts spell, they need to find a shaman to make it done, or buy it pricelessly. To go above this 6pts, it will automatically be a quest reward or regalia. It may comes from a HQ or even from a big great powerful shaman as a reward, etc. Or even from a king. That kind of stuff. 

I also give one more option but far risky : they can either summon or spirit travel(shaman) to try to get a spirit with 6+, tame it and get the spell. But it's kind random and above all, it attracts Master Spirit ... (now that I'm writing it, even get a 5 or 6 pts spell would be risky).

The only thing you need is to let the option available, players need to know this is possible. But you should play around it. And  above all, it should be "kind of required" atm of the game. After all, you won't let your player face the Bat  with BS3 do you ^^' 

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Well, they are not going to face the Bat with BS3 twice for sure.  Over the years I have used a number of cap schemes, and now I just dont worry about it.  And that has not been a problem yet

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That's just as arbitrary as any other limit. 

Well, I always thought that arbitrary meant that a decision was based on a whim rather than a good reason. The INT cap in mrq makes sense (more than a CHA cap, but I guess that works too) and is making a game system reason for the cap. So in that sense its not arbitrary at all. Someone thought about the cap, looked at the math, put a system in place and explained the system. Like PhilHibbs said that seems to be the opposite of arbitrary.

But yeah, I guess its how you want to run your game.

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On 2/5/2019 at 7:39 AM, Tywyll said:

So a bunch of spells in RQ2 had a hard 4 point limit (Bladesharp, Protection, etc). This has been removed ever since RQ3. Is this a good thing? 

In my opinion, it is a good thing.

Don't forget that not all Battle Magic was capped in RQ2. Healing, Xenohealing, Countermagic, Dispel Magic and Detection Blank were uncapped, as I recall. It was mainly combat spells that were capped, spells like Bludgeon, Bladesharp, Protection, Parry, Ironhand, Shimmer and Spirit Shield, although I am not so sure about Spirit Shield.

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6 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

A limit that is based on a relevant characteristic is not arbitrary. It's pretty much the definition of "not arbitrary".

It remains arbitrary because there's no particular reason for it to exist; the levels at which it is imposed are figures plucked out of thin air. Why pick 3 over 2 or 4 or 5 as a divisor? To have a max that's consistent with RQ2, 4 is probably a closer fit: the best Humans will be able to learn [variable-spell]-4. Of course, that would be basing a selection on an previously arbitrarily-set criterion.

There are better ways of framing 'restrictions'.

9 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Why would you assume they are rare? 

Simple probability, really. I assume in my Glorantha that Spirits have knowledge of various spells, and the higher the magnitude of the spell, the less likely it is for a spirit to know it. Same as people, really. [variablespell]-2 is going to be fairly common, if it's a useful variable spell. The same spell at 10 isn't. It's probably some Maxwell-Boltzman shape on the frequency curve, with the peak at 3-4.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

Simple probability, really. I assume in my Glorantha that Spirits have knowledge of various spells, and the higher the magnitude of the spell, the less likely it is for a spirit to know it. 

Yeap, that's a way of seeing it. 

I would rather say spirits with higher spells tend to be stronger. Stronger spirits means more danger to tame. More danger rises prices or even leads to unavailable product.

Anyway, the effect is the same 😊

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25 minutes ago, RustK said:

Yeap, that's a way of seeing it. 

I would rather say spirits with higher spells tend to be stronger. Stronger spirits means more danger to tame. More danger rises prices or even leads to unavailable product.

Anyway, the effect is the same 😊

My current reading of the way Spirits in RQG happen (based on Bestiary and Core), I don't think the strength of the spirit has much to do with whether they have a 'focused' knowledge of (one big) spell or not. Bestiary seems to have most Spirits having a CHA-full of spells. I don't think Spirits get to choose their spells much, cos why would they ever pick anything other than Spirit Screen and Dispel Magic (and a few others); it's not like they have any actual use for Bladesharp or Repair... having such spells just makes them targets for getting mugged in Spirit Combat and potentially bound.

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9 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

A limit that is based on a relevant characteristic is not arbitrary. It's pretty much the definition of "not arbitrary".

It is an arbitrary limit in game design, but a non-arbitrary one within game.

What is the justification for the limit? And why INT/3? Because the game designers picked that value for some arbitrary reason, without any real justification for it. The limit could just as easily have been INT/2 or INT/4. It's not like how something like SIZ is limited by the mass of a given creature. . 

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