Thursday, May 3, 2018

Entombment with no Suspended Animation?

A question came up about using Entombment on the Black Reaver in the last session. If you've got a subject which cannot be placed in Suspended Animation due to some magical immunity, can you use Entombment on it?

We had two schools of thought.

All or Nothing.

This school of thought said that if part of the spell couldn't work on the subject, none of the spell could work on the subject. In other words, spells are non-severable.

Partial Immunity.

This school of thought said that the parts that cannot affect the target, do not affect the target - but the parts that can, do. So a being which cannot be placed in Suspended Animation can be sucked into the ground with Entombment, but then is stuck in the ground.

I prefer the latter - there are very few two-part spells in GURPS, and I'd prefer to err on the side of letting spells do something if they encounter a specific immunity. But one of my players, at least, prefers the former, because spells should either work or not work.

I haven't really decided yet. Any opinions from my fellow delvers here?


  1. I'm definitely on the side of partial immunity.

  2. I'm also with let the spell do something. However, when you say "stuck" you mean until it "digs it's way out and then begins methodically hunting the Wizard until the unwise Wizard is caught and killed", yes?

  3. I’m with Eeyore. It’s not a get-out-of-Reaver free, but it’s not giving free immunities to already amazingly difficult monsters. “Sealed but will return” is a pretty cool, classic take on undying evil.

  4. You can already choose to use Entombment on yourself without using the Suspended Animation part of it, so the spell clearly already has optional "code" as it were. I'd say partial immunity makes a lot of sense in this case.

    You couldn't even have it would the other way around, as anything immune to magical movement would cause it to not be dragged into the floor, but the Suspended Animation half wouldn't trigger either because its end condition is being "dug out"... which it would do automatically having never been entombed in the first place.

    So partial immunity works fine for this spell. Can't recall any other two part spells though, but I think its fair as a global ruling.

    Assuming you ever use custom "mass buff" spells, or just AoE damage spells that don't conjure a thing that does the damage (a theoretical Parch spell that casts Thirst on everyone in the area, for instance) then the all-or-nothing approach causes the entire spell to fail even if *one* person in the area is immune too, which seems wrong. So also in terms of future proofing, partial immunity seems like the right way to go.

  5. I am totally for partial, just so the Black Reaver digs its way out in 50 minutes. And they hear it chopping. In Felltower it depends on what's below. You'd need to lure it out of that high place and Entomb it, then you might have some time to root through the chests and see what it guards...

  6. As for other two-part spells, I can think of Great Haste, when cast on beings with No Fatigue (or even yourself, for that matter).


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