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PhilHibbs

Vishi Dunn

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The player who took on this character was deeply disappointed that he has no viable options whatsoever in a fight. No ranged weapons, no offensive spells, no Protection, no armour so a single hit is likely to take him straight out of the fight. Sure, he's not a warrior, but sitting back and doing exactly nothing was frustrating.

I told him he could rearrange his spells, I think he's going to give Cousin Monkey Protection 4, instead of Countermagic and Spirit Screen.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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Why not just give them all to him if it's just a one shot, or toss in a ring with Befuddle/Demoralize, etc. offensive spell for him to cast?

 

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I feel like this was done to compensate for how incredibly good his sheer stat roll is; rules as written, the odds of getting such a good roll is absolutely tiny.

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31 minutes ago, CBDunkerson said:

Vishi Dunn can Discorporate and use Spirit Combat to take out most enemies.

If he has an hour to prepare... and anyway, I don't think a discorporate person can initiate spirit combat with people in the middle world. He'd be in the spirit world. He could then cast Visibility, but he doesn't have that spell.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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In general, I looked at playing an Assistant Shaman, but changed my mind because I couldn't see how it would work in typical adventures. Does anyone have any notes from actually playing Vishi Dunn or another such character in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha?

 

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My STR 7 CON 6 POW 20 Assistant shaman has just been knocked cold by a single dagger blow to the head (serves him right for casting distraction on the dagger weirder to get him off someone else) I'll post some updates here on how long he survives.

So far, the idea is to befuddle opposing muscle from the back and let the warriors deal with the real combat. It's not going to be easy to keep anti-combat discipline judging by two encounters I've had so far. Maybe I need to learn Vigour or at least buy some head-armour. Even combatting disease spirits could be deadly.

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1 hour ago, Byll said:

My STR 7 CON 6 POW 20 Assistant shaman has just been knocked cold by a single dagger blow to the head (serves him right for casting distraction on the dagger weirder to get him off someone else) I'll post some updates here on how long he survives.

Distraction only affects spirit combat.

Just been looking at the options for Waha spirit magic. Nothing offensive apart from Slow. Speedart is no use since High Llama tribe get no missile weapon skills. I told the player that, yes, he can have Befuddle or Demoralize, but going by the book he can't.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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He is NOT a front line fighter. In one of the games I ran he was devastating with the dagger-axe so long as he remained in a supporting role. Perhaps the player in question should have picked Vasana or Vostor.

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8 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I don't think a discorporate person can initiate spirit combat with people in the middle world. He'd be in the spirit world. He could then cast Visibility, but he doesn't have that spell.

pg 366, "Spirit combat may occur between two discorporate entities (entirely within the Spirit World) or between a discorporate entity and an embodied entity (such as a human being) in the Middle World."

"A shaman wishing to engage in spirit combat must first discorporate to begin spirit combat."

Also, the description of the Possession shaman ability: "While any shaman can discorporate and engage others in spirit combat, this ability lets the shaman possess the body of a victim and control it as desired."

My understanding is that spirits automatically become visible when they initiate spirit combat with someone in the Middle World. The Visibility spell is used to make spirits visible w/o spirit combat.

3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Distraction only affects spirit combat.

Just been looking at the options for Waha spirit magic. Nothing offensive apart from Slow. Speedart is no use since High Llama tribe get no missile weapon skills. I told the player that, yes, he can have Befuddle or Demoralize, but going by the book he can't.

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

All Assistant Shamans get two points of spirit magic which they can choose (plus Second Sight). Also, the 5 points of cult spirit magic each character gets can come from associated cults... so a Waha follower could get Demoralize through Storm Bull that way too. So yeah, no reason he couldn't have those spells.

For the record, I played Vishi Dunn at a GenCon scenario last year and was pretty much the 'combat machine' of the party. Of course, that scenario was a Mallia cultist infecting the entire town with disease spirits... so heavy on the spirit combat. Still, he has plenty of abilities that should be useful in combat. Heal, Shield, charge with lance (+4d6 damage). Cousin Monkey also has Mobility and Countermagic.

Edited by CBDunkerson
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12 minutes ago, CBDunkerson said:

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

Yes, when cast on a corporeal enemy during spirit combat, they are drawn away from their current target. It has no effect on physical combat, only spirit combat.

 

14 minutes ago, CBDunkerson said:

All Assistant Shamans get two points of spirit magic which they can choose (plus Second Sight). Also, the 5 points of cult spirit magic each character gets can come from associated cults... so a Waha follower could get Demoralize through Storm Bull that way too. So yeah, no reason he couldn't have those spells.

Ah, good point. Thanks.

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I'm getting ready to run some RuneQuest this weekend (DunDraCon) - this thread was super helpful for me preparing for that given I do have Vishi in the pregen set. Thanks!

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On 2/12/2019 at 10:41 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Yes, when cast on a corporeal enemy during spirit combat, they are drawn away from their current target. It has no effect on physical combat, only spirit combat.

I'm now very confused by this spell.

if as p366 says 'a normal corporeal being may not initiate spirit combat' how can last part of the distraction spell 'if used against a corporeal enemy the effect is identical' only apply to an enemy for spirit combat purposes? 

If the caster is corporeal, and the (corporeal) target of distraction can switch spirit combat targets, you then have two corporeal entities in spirit combat which I don't think is supposed to be possible. A shaman has to discorporate before they can initiate spirit combat with a corporeal entity. 

Can you only cast this on a corporeal entity if you are discorporate?

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1 hour ago, Byll said:

Can you only cast this on a corporeal entity if you are discorporate?

That makes sense. I think the wording could be clearer, I saw this misunderstanding coming when I first read the spell.

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I think you are reading it wrong.

Corporeal creatures can't normally break off spirit combat with a spirit OR initiate spirit combat. Thus, I see no reason that the Distraction spell would suddenly give them the ability to do both of those things.

Rather, it seems to me that it is intended to cause a corporeal creature to physically attack the caster. In short, whether it is cast on a corporeal or incorporeal creature the effect is the same... they stop attacking their current target and start attacking the caster.

That seems a reasonable effect for a 1 pt spirit magic compulsion... as compared to the 2 pt Befuddle or 3 pt Sleep compulsion type effects.

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1 hour ago, CBDunkerson said:

Rather, it seems to me that it is intended to cause a corporeal creature to physically attack the caster. In short, whether it is cast on a corporeal or incorporeal creature the effect is the same... they stop attacking their current target and start attacking the caster.

That seems a reasonable effect for a 1 pt spirit magic compulsion... as compared to the 2 pt Befuddle or 3 pt Sleep compulsion type effects.

I think considering that the physical combat use would be much more common than the spirit combat use, then that would be mentioned first. And that only Daka Fal gets it...

Edited by PhilHibbs

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5 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think considering that the physical combat use would be much more common than the spirit combat use, then that would be mentioned first. And that only Daka Fal gets it...

Daka Fal and Waha both get Distraction as a common cult spirit magic spell... but anyone, even those not associated with ANY cult, can learn it or any other spirit magic spell.

Clearly the spell was primarily introduced as a means of aiding characters who are being attacked by spirits they have little chance of beating. The effect on corporeal creatures seems tagged on as an afterthought, and thus I'd doubt the authors would even have considered the relative likelihood of use of each... let alone that they'd have then agreed with your assessment and rewritten the spell accordingly.

In any case. Corporeal creatures cannot break off spirit combat. How would this spell allow them to do that? Nor can corporeal creatures initiate spirit combat. So how would the spell allow them to do that either? Both of those things seem more powerful than a 1 pt spirit magic spell. Such a reading would also mean that any time an ally is attacked by a spirit you could cast Distraction and they'd be suddenly free of the attacking spirit, initiate spirit combat with you, and you could then both agree to drop the combat. The party would be all but immune to attack by spirits... from a 1 pt spirit magic spell.

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1 hour ago, CBDunkerson said:

Such a reading would also mean that any time an ally is attacked by a spirit you could cast Distraction and they'd be suddenly free of the attacking spirit, initiate spirit combat with you, and you could then both agree to drop the combat.

...leaving the attacking spirit free to engage again right away. Or, I suspect, still engaged.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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1 hour ago, CBDunkerson said:

Daka Fal and Waha both get Distraction as a common cult spirit magic spell... but anyone, even those not associated with ANY cult, can learn it or any other spirit magic spell.

I didn't mean to say that nobody else can get it, just that the only two cults (yeah I was wrong) that are listed as getting it are spirit interaction cults.

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7 hours ago, CBDunkerson said:

... any time an ally is attacked by a spirit you could cast Distraction and they'd be suddenly free of the attacking spirit, initiate spirit combat with you, and you could then both agree to drop the combat. The party would be all but immune to attack by spirits... from a 1 pt spirit magic spell.

AFAIK, multiple entities can engage a single target in Spirit Combat.  If you cast "Distraction" on your ally to save them ... It doesn't, it just means they are engaged with both their original attacker and with you (primarily with you, until the next round when they can declare a new SoI).

If being already-Engaged was a solid defense against Spirit Combat it'd be a VERY popular defensive method!

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If he is disappointed why not let him create a new character more to his liking? Vishi Dunn is a good character but, as a shaman assistant, he is indeed not very combat oriented.

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6 hours ago, jps said:

If he is disappointed why not let him create a new character more to his liking? Vishi Dunn is a good character but, as a shaman assistant, he is indeed not very combat oriented.

We didn't have time. We didn't even notice there was a problem until half way into the first session. And I dread to think what a new player at a convention game would think when this dawns on them.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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48 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

We didn't have time. We didn't even notice there was a problem until half way into the first session. And I dread to think what a new player at a convention game would think when this dawns on them.

I don't see any issue with Vishi. Yanioth is just a poor combatant (but one of my favourites), Nathem is just as bad at melee (basically artillery support and my least favourite PC) and Sorala is only moderately better. There is much more to running a RQ game then how well your character can fight.

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4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

We didn't even notice there was a problem until half way into the first session. And I dread to think what a new player at a convention game would think when this dawns on them.

A lot is going to depend on the scenario. If it's combat heavy, with few opportunities for spirit interaction, than Vishi Dunn will seem like a poor choice. 

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On 2/17/2019 at 10:29 PM, Psullie said:

There is much more to running a RQ game then how well your character can fight.

This cannot be emphasized enough. 

If you want to play a combatant, then Vishi Dunn, an assistant shaman, is a poor choice.

His preferred ranged combat tactic is to point at something and say "Cousin Monkey, go kill that."

His best combat option is to entangle a foe with his pole lasso and have Cousin Monkey take that foe out with his spear. 

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