Monday, April 15, 2013

Random thoughts from last session

Some random notes from yesterday's game.

XP for last session was 4 points. How did I figure that?

Using my house rules:

5 points for a profitable expedition
-2 for exploring nothing new, not much at all, and only one small portion of territory off of their map (even then, it was a previously explored area)
+1 for rescuing a stranded companion. Risking your life to save a fellow PC when it's easier to just leave him = behavior I want to reward.
Total: 4 each.

Busy room

One room on level 1 has become a nexus of events recently. The PCs have fought no less than three battles there, birthed a gargoyle, had an epic snatching of victory from the jaws of defeat, and fought at least four different kinds of foes there. The room wasn't really meant to be a highway from level 1 to level 2, nor a big combat zone. But it's become both.

Flesh to Stone vs. broken statues

What happens when you petrify someone, break the statue, and then turn it back? I ruled the whole body comes back, even the parts you haven't included (if they're nearby, that is), and you're in the condition that the statue was.

How about when they try to "fix" people with Stone to Flesh / Shape Stone/ Flesh to Stone - yeah, sounds safe. I'll rule when it comes but I wouldn't bet a PC on it.

Broken Minis and Accidental Minis

The tails keep snapping off of the war boars I use, originally from a Savage Orc Boar Boyz set. Everything else stays on, but the tails just snap even inside a hard-shell case in a padded cell.

The big blue guy from last session? He's the ogre mini I spiked into the dirt a year back. He's still gritty but I made it work.

Total spell abuse

So Dryst keeps summoning magical servants and using them as free disposable hirelings - scouting, testing doors, setting off traps, etc. Pretty much substituting mana and a single spell for a whole class of adventuring tasks.

Now in the main I think this is fine. It's a valid character concept. I don't really mind that they expend mana to solve problems, even if that mana is in the form of a dull-witted magical servant.

On the other hand, it makes me think that, yeah, folks who charge a minimum maintenance cost for spells have a point. If he had to keep paying for these guys, it would be a decision to make them not a no-brainer. Or perhaps there should be a limit on how many servants you can make and keep around - one per level of Magery, say, or based on relative skill (so up to IQ+1 in the spell is one, IQ+2 is 2, IQ+5 is 5, etc.) So you can't make that many of them.

Still, I have no intention to nerf Dryst, but putting an upper limit on how many servants you can make might be a good idea. Something higher than what he's done so far, for sure. Still, it's amusing to watch someone so thoroughly and morally-cleanly abuse the idea of a meatshield. Without reducing a person to a meatshield - after all, created servants aren't summoned, they aren't people, they are just mana in the shape of a being. It's "Create" not "Summon." We joke that they remember the past mis-uses of Dryst, though, and they all ask which number they are . . .


  1. Start calling them Scar, like the Cylon fighter that kept getting killed and reborn in Season, um, 1 I think.

    1. We keep calling them number one.

    2. After a while they'll need to develop the melancholy of a Marvin the Paranoid Android...

    3. Especially since the caster creates them, and he's got Weirdness Magnet. Dryst will need to go all Zaphod Beeblebrox on them.

      "Number one, how you doing?"
      "You want me to walk over and set off that bear trap, don't you?"
      "That's the spirit, go get 'em!"

      They already speak in a dull monotone . . .

    4. This is a case of purportedly "broken" rules being far more interesting than "balanced" rules.

    5. Yes, or more precisely a case of potentially ridiculous abuse of a spell being funnier than a more limited abuse could possible be. :)

      These servants must be related to the potted petunia of the Adamsverse.

  2. Well maybe if Dryst critically fails a the spell creating the magical servant then he could summon a mean one or even a demon disgised as a magical servant. Constant use of the spell ups the chances of a critical failure.

    1. Oh yeah, it does. And it's going to be really, really funny when it happens. A demon would be so much easier. :)

  3. I've been toying with replacing "maintain the spell for free" with "increase the duration" mechanics. So if you have a spell that normally costs 3 FP and lasts for 1 minute and you have -2 to the energy cost, you can sustain it for an hour at 3 FP. Not sure if it addresses the infinite servants concern you're experiencing, though.

    1. The penalty for spells on will limit it, but it's a softer limit than FP or energy, really. Spells On is really mostly useful because spells can be free to keep up, I think - if they aren't free to maintain, it's not as important of a control.


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