Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Spell Rulings from DF Session 179 - Healing & Crippling, Panic, Stop Bleeding & toxic wounds, Mage Sight

Here are some spell rulings from Dungeon Fantasy Session 179.

Healing spells and Crippling Injuries

You must completely heal all injuries on a target before a crippled limb can be used again. You cannot "target" healing on a crippled limb. Full HP back or any crippling remains in effect. We're not doing individual wounds, but rather single pool HP, for simplicity. This is a downside - the upside being you don't need as many healing spells on a given target to heal them back up or to track individual injuries.

Note: You can allow for localized healing on a target if you can touch the injured limb. In that case, healing more than HP/2 or HP/3 for a limb or extremity would be sufficient. I will not plan to do this in DF Felltower. I can already see how many questions it will cause and how many hairsplitting "can I touch his right arm from his back left flank hex in combat?" I expect a vote would be 100/0 in favor by the players as it only helps PCs and doesn't hinder them in any way shape or form, yet also allows them all of the upsides of single HP pools.


Panic is a maintainable area spell. Does this mean anyone who enters the area for 1 minute is subject to the effect? Or that you can maintain the effect on those in the original area of casting? The former is the only ruling that is consistent with other Area spells. Every subject who enters the area is subject to the spell and must resist.

Stop Bleeding

The spell cannot be used as "Bandaging" to heal 1 HP of injury from non-bleeding wounds. While the spell may sound much like a magical version of First Aid or Esoteric Medicine, the name and intent matter. It cannot be used to heal 1 HP from toxic injuries, direct injury from spells, HP loss due to depleted FP, etc. but only from effects that logically carry some bleeding - most, but not all, cases of cutting, crushing, impaling, piercing, corrosion, and burning injury. That it can also stabilize a Mortal Wound does not contradict this.

Mage Sight

Ruling: before anyone suggests casting this, they must read the spell entirely and not attempt to add additional powers on it. Seriously, that's my whole ruling. Silently reading the spell before saying, "Will Mage Sight tell us anything? Can I roll Thaumatology to see if casting Mage Sight would help here?" will save me lifespan.

And that's it for spell clarifications for last session.


  1. I feel like a possible umbrella ruling would be to answer all questions about whether a spell will do this or that thing with, "I guess you don't know. Cast it and find out." Let them find out that anyone entering a Panic area is still panicked or that Stop Bleeding doesn't work on Toxic damage. If they want to use Mage Sight for anything other than detecting magic items, let them cast it and get a negative result. It's their resources to waste,* and tends to reward player skill. Though I can for sure understand the desire to just cut off the timewasting from the outset.

    *I suppose that at default DF/DFRPG point levels you've got to worry more about an abundance of Skill 25 Mage Sight.

    1. It's that the timewasting also cuts into my gaming time that's the problem . . . and also leads to even more, "Okay, we need to find a place to rest" and "let's throw spells at this until one of them works, we won't know until we tried."

      That and a more collaborative approach to spell rulings has worked well for me. I just say, "Okay, let's figure out which ruling works, here." My players, for all I groan about them as rules lawyers, are usually highly effective rules legislators. Given a chance to collaborate on what the ruling should be, they're excellent. Giving them a chance to just try it and see, every time, encourages them to just try everything and see, every time.


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