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Strike rank for elemental attacks?

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This may sound like a stupid question, but I got caught co-GMing RQG at a con a few days ago armed with the Quickstart, and needed to rule the attack strike rank of the elementals available to the sample characters, and drew a blank. Which is why I sat down today to do my homework on elementals in the RQG rules or the bestiary. To my dismay, I still drew a blank. So I checked the Classic RQ rules book, to find basically the same text blocks as in the RQG descriptions, and again no strike ranks for their attacks.

I notice that two other creatures use "engulf" as an attack form, Brollachans and Gorp. Brollachans do so on SR9, Gorp on SR1. Not really helpful.

So, in my desperation, I turned to the Biturian Varosh narrative of the duel between Alain and Naimless at Tourney Altar, which has a fire elemental attack in the third melee round (though, as part of the narrative, no strike ranks given). Still, Naimless's fire elemental attacks before Alain can strike his third strike against Naimless. This seems to indicate a rather low Strike Rank for the elemental.

So, when exactly does the Elemental attack take place in the melee round in RQG?

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Good question. The entries for elementals are not clear on this except for Moon elementals. Both Lunes and Selenes have attacks that take place on SR 12 (Bestiary p.181-182 - Lunes also have a madness attack taking place 'on the SR that the victim is touched').

I'd apply SR12 to the other types of elemental as well. It also fits with standard fire damage which takes place 'at the end of each melee round' (p.157, RQG). I would assume that asphyxiation damage takes place at the end of a melee round as well.

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We were using miniatures at the time and how it worked out for us was the the engulfing took place when the elemental moved to the same space as the enemy.  Damage took place at the end of the round.  

In the Bestiary it states for Fire Elementals: "At the end of each round that the victim is engulfed, a roll of 3D6 is matched against the CON of the victim and, if the attack is successful, the character takes the 3D6 damage directly to their general hit points, as with a systemic poison attack."

By that thought we assumed that it would engulf a victim when it was able to move to the victim we also applied the rule to other elemental attacks.

FWIW, RQ3 had the attacks from elematals take place at the end of the round even if the engulfing took place sooner.

Some clarification in an updated Rune Fixes would be cool though.

 

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18 hours ago, Sumath said:

Good question. The entries for elementals are not clear on this except for Moon elementals. Both Lunes and Selenes have attacks that take place on SR 12 (Bestiary p.181-182 - Lunes also have a madness attack taking place 'on the SR that the victim is touched').

Yeah. "The SR that the victim is touched" is the problem.

 

18 hours ago, Sumath said:

I'd apply SR12 to the other types of elemental as well. It also fits with standard fire damage which takes place 'at the end of each melee round' (p.157, RQG). I would assume that asphyxiation damage takes place at the end of a melee round as well.

Basically, that's what our on the job decision in that situation did rule, too. And we didn't properly demand the command spells, either.

Then there is a problem with the use of a (small) Earth Elemental to intercept a charging foe.

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RQG Bestiary specifies the following:

Darkness: "on the first round a target is engulfed"

Fire: "at the end of each round" 

Lune: "when touched" for madness and "SR 12" for magic point drain

Selene: "takes place on SR 12 of the round the selene engulfed its victim"

 

Others don't specify when in the round the damage is inflicted, but I would probably do SR12 as the norm.

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This is how I handled this for water elementals. I would use something like this the other elementals, adjusting for the distinct types. Please also note this contains text from the Bestiary along with text I inserted, so it's not by any means official. 


Remember that movement occurs during the ‘Movement of Non-engaged Characters’ phase, and so adventurers will be engulfed by the elemental before any actions are taken by them. An adventurer may make a Dodge roll to leap out of the way, but that this will consume their entire round, as they must leap outside the area affected by the creature. They will also be left prone after a successful Dodge unless they also make a successful Jump roll.

The serpents attack by engulfing their foes and forcing themselves into the mouths and lungs of their victims. Adventurers expecting immersion can hold their breath for a single round without having to make a successful CON x5 roll.

On subsequent rounds, (or the first, if they are surprised) characters engulfed must make a die roll of their CON×5 or less on D100 or suffer 1D8 points of damage to the chest location from inhaling water each melee round they are caught within. This is assessed on SR 12 of the round. You should also note this is different from the normal drowning/asphyxiation rules.

If they make the CON roll, the target can try to roll the character’s DEX×5 or less on D100 to escape from the grasp of the water elemental. This places them outside of the area engulfed by the elemental (again, on SR 12).

Being engulfed prevents most attacks and spells, but if the adventurer makes the initial CON x5 roll, weapons such as daggers, fist, and kick may be used to attack while engulfed (using the standard SR +5 modifier for preparing weapons (in the case of the dagger) on the round the weapon is drawn), but the adventurer gives up the opportunity to make a DEX x5 roll to escape. Grapple attacks may not be attempted, because the elemental is too diffuse to properly hold. You are considered to be engaged when engulfed.

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n.b. Jason has recently specified (on the rules-clarification thread) that, without a DEX stat, all elemental attacks happen on SR12.

 

YGMV

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