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Hi All,

I'm returning to Magic World and the Southern Reaches and this time have two dedicated sorcerers in the group. I see the use of sorcery ramping up over the coming sessions. My question is about Undo Sorcery.

It seems pretty clear that a spell of lower level is undone, that is, a Level 4 Undo Sorcery spell will completely dissipate a Level 3 Unbreakable Bonds spell. It's also pretty clear that if a Level 2 Undo Sorcery spell is cast at a Level 3 Unbreakable Bonds spell, the Unbreakable Bonds is weakened but continues "running" at Level 1.

How would you handle this weakening of the Unbreakable Bonds? Or, indeed, any other spell weakened in this way?

Perhaps the spell's duration could be reduced? Or perhaps the STR vs. MP (in the case of Unbreakable Bonds) would be against one third of the caster's MP (the Bonds are weakened by 2-out-of-3 Levels, so it seems reasonable that the Bonds are now "powered" by 1/3 of the caster's power).

This is just one example of the spells Undo Sorcery affects. How have my fellow GM's handled these sorts of situations? Is it a case of winging it, based on the circumstances?

Thanks,

Colin

 

 

 

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I usually go with duration being affected as my default "winging it" rule, but I like the idea of reducing a spell's power; making resistance easier. I guess it all depends on the type of effect about which direction I'd go. Or maybe I could let the player decide how he wants to weaken the hostile magic?

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:07 PM, colinabrett said:

How would you handle this weakening of the Unbreakable Bonds? Or, indeed, any other spell weakened in this way?

Perhaps the spell's duration could be reduced? Or perhaps the STR vs. MP (in the case of Unbreakable Bonds) would be against one third of the caster's MP (the Bonds are weakened by 2-out-of-3 Levels, so it seems reasonable that the Bonds are now "powered" by 1/3 of the caster's power).

Given that duration is pretty consistent with standard Sorcery spells in MW (and Elric!), and Undo Sorcery "weakens" target spells it, I generally favour reducing the effective power (so an Undo Sorcery 1 would reduce Unbreakable Bonds to 2/3rd caster power, an Undo 2 would reduce it to 1/3 caster power, and a 3 point Undo would eliminate it) rather than duration... but I can see arguments either way...

Actually Nick J's suggestion is probably best - when casting the Undo Sorcery one has to specify either shortened duration OR reduced power. An Unbreakable Bonds on a mighty-thewed barbarian type one would go with power (they get a chance to break free every round, and you'd expect a Conan type to be able to pull that off in short order); but a sacrificial victim (say a child...) held in place with an Unbreakable Bonds? Might be better to just cut short the duration.

Cheers,

Nick

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I like both ideas and explanations.

But (and there's always a "but", isn't there?) how does the caster of Undo Sorcery know what he or she is trying to Undo? Is it an Unbreakable Bonds spell holding the mighty-thewed Barbarian in place or something more mysterious? This is one of the greatest things about Magic World (and BRP in general) sorcery (or powers): there are no, or few, explicit descriptions of a spell or power's appearance. Does Unbreakable Bonds manifest as a glowing set of handcuffs, a ball and chain, or a patch of quicksand (minus the drowning in the slurry, because that would be a different spell)?

At this point, maybe the sorcerer should think about using Witch Sight on the victim of Unbreakable Bonds to divine what is affecting the Barbarian, before casting Undo? Sorcery is not a predictable power. But while the sorcerer dithers over whether to Undo the spell affecting the Barbarian, the Bonded character is rendered powerless. Of course, the caster of Undo might make the wrong choice.

This then becomes an in-game decision by the sorcerer's player, which needs to be adjudicated by the GM. And this brings us back to the original question: is the adjudication based on the circumstances, the rules, or just "winging it"?

I don't really want to cause a stir here but some of my players have D&D experience and are kinda used to "definite answers".

Colin

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I tend to favor an Idea roll to ID a spell being cast or its effects. I save witch sight for detecting non-obvious spell effects (enchantments, glamour, illusions, invisibility, etc.).

As for players needing a definitive answer, I can't help you there; I'm firmly in the "rulings over rules" camp of game running. As long as you are consistent and logical in your judgements then that's all your players should really expect.

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