Thursday, January 28, 2016

GURPS DF: Magical Questions in the Lost City

Here are some questions from my GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game. Most of them came up on Sunday. We don't allow hypothetical questions in play - actually we do, but you have to pay 1 xp for an answer - but between sessions and on breaks, sure. These came up on breaks (except for the Windstorm one, which was just a misunderstanding of what the spell could do) or during play setup/closing up.

Can I get one-spell Energy Reserve or FP?


For three reasons:

- Cost. I'd have to cost it, and that cost is probably 1 point. That's very low, especially since it would be used to power high-cost and high-utility spells, like Zombie or Great Healing, and thus get a lot more bang for your buck than 1 point per suggests. 2 points per wouldn't make sense to purchase.

- Recharge. We'd have to track recharge by "which comes back first, my one-spell reserve or my regular reserve?" Allowing concurrent recharging of them would not be an option, due to cost.

- I hate one-spell solutions. In fact, I hate one-approach solutions. One-spell Energy Reserve encourages that. I don't want to give a discount for players putting all of their eggs in one basket. Spend 3/level and be able to do a lot of different things, you'll need to, in order to succeed.

Do Permanent spells keep going after the caster dies?


Double yes!

Why wouldn't wizards do this? I joked that the first thing a caster did after discovering magic was think, how do I make sure stuff I do to my enemies remains after I die?

Besides, even a No Mana Zone won't break them, it just suspends them.

Temporary spells will last until the maintenance period comes up - and since the caster is dead, it won't keep going. That might be a rules change, but it's sure cool. Lasting spells will continue until the usual end point specified in the spell.

Effective skill, or base skill, for spell effects?

Certain spells use "caster skill" to determine effects - such as ST, for my version of Animate Shadow. Use the base skill the caster has in the spell. Effective skill only matters to see if you get the spell off, not how well it works.

Can Windstorms move up?

No, you can't fly a storm around. It's a ground-effect Area spell. You can cast it in mid-air. Conceivably, you could cast a taller one (just stack the area costs) or cast one on mid-air. But it isn't "flying."

What is the FP cost of a shortened Great Haste?

If you cancel Great Haste on someone before the spell's usual termination, they immediately pay the FP cost associated with the spell pro-rated. That works out to 1 FP per 2 seconds, round up. Cancelled after 7 seconds? The caster pays 1 FP (to cancel a spell early) and the subject suffers 4 FP. And no, you can't pre-shorten the spell on a tired friend to avoid the extra cost and time to cancel it yourself.

It occasionally comes up that people muse about casting Great Haste on a foe, then hiding out for 10 seconds and letting the take 5 FP. Repeat until he's unconscious. Cute, but no. I allow the better of Will or HT as resistance to any spell without a defined resistance. I don't mind cute spell usage, but warping a buff into an attack because it doesn't have a listed resistance? No, be clever, not a rules lawyer.

The other option, of course, is to say resistance is automatic for spells that don't list a resistance. They only work on willing or unconscious subjects.

Those are just some recent rules/rulings questions that came up.

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