Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

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cz1234
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby cz1234 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:45 pm

One thing I pushed back on in my game with chain casting was the Resist Element (I can't remember the name off the top of my head). Even with all five in a single matrix it seemed a bit excessive to maintain all five elements at all times, though you may disagree in your game.

The Undying
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby The Undying » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:27 pm

I agree, CZ. While it overmechanizes things, I think there's a need to limit chain casting to reasonable amount. I think the Resist Element is a severe edge case (how often can you fit 5 low level buffs in a single matrix), characters will eventually get access to Shared Matrix. Spellcasting Step / 5, rounded up, seems reasonable to me - sticks with the 5 theme, which players should be comfortable using, has some reasonable scaling, and is difficult to get out of hand. The other option would be based on number of extra threads available to their Circle, but 1x multiplier (1/2/3/4) seems too little and 2x (2/4/6/8) seems to high at the end.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby ChrisDDickey » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:56 am

The Undying wrote:As for consistent penalties outside of combat due to the chain casting, I personally don't think it's necessary, but it could be an interesting mechanic. I wouldn't over-mechanize it, though: maybe GM rolls a 1d6 (again, assuming casting every ~5 minutes), and on a 1, the character is distract for that event and suffers -2 test penalty for that test.

What I do is make a chain caster keep a note of exactly how they are casting each spell (how many threads, which optional threads, etc.) (I do allow them to cast touch spells on each party member) and to calculate what percentage of his time is spent maintaining his chain cast spells.
So if he has 2 three thread spells (48 seconds) that he needs to cast every 5 minutes, and 5 two thread spells (90 seconds) he needs to recast every 8 minutes, then he is spending almost 35% of his time chain casting.
When combat starts roll 1d5 and 1d8 to see where in the cycle these two are.
And while I don't give him a penalty to everything else he does, if the group is all conducting a sustained activity, I give him a penalty of -1 per 10% of his time spent chain casting. For example if everybody is spending 15 minutes searching somewhere, the chain caster's -4 is due to the fact that he only spends 10 minutes actually searching. I also give him the penalty on most awareness rolls due to the fact that he is tuned out 35% of the time.
I also only usually allow chain casting during actual dungioneering. When the party is resting, so is the chain caster.

The Undying
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby The Undying » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:51 am

Sounds very crunchy, but again, different strokes for different folks.

As for Sustained Actions, my opinion would be sustained actions don't allow for chain casting. Sustained Actions are a series of Standard Actions, and since Spellcasting is a Standard Action, the magician can't do those, they've already spent their Standard Actions. Same with with Dedicated Time, like one of the hours necessary to pull off an Item History test. During that Dedicated Time, the magician is not maintaining their chain casting - otherwise, it's not Dedicated Time.

So, if a magician gets jumped during a Sustained Action or Dedicated Time, tough for them, no effects from chain casting.

Dougansf
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Dougansf » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:32 pm

Mataxes wrote:A popular house rule in the wake of this has been to return the option, but rule that regardless of the result, the effect is based on a single success on the spellcasting test.


This issue came up in discussion at tonight's game.
I was thinking to use this house rule, but increase the max successes by 1 per Tier of the caster (1 Novice, 2 Journeyman...)

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Mataxes
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Mataxes » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:41 pm

Dougansf wrote:
Mataxes wrote:A popular house rule in the wake of this has been to return the option, but rule that regardless of the result, the effect is based on a single success on the spellcasting test.


This issue came up in discussion at tonight's game.
I was thinking to use this house rule, but increase the max successes by 1 per Tier of the caster (1 Novice, 2 Journeyman...)


That's actually not a bad way to go either.
Josh Harrison -- The Lore Merchant
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Tattered Rags
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Tattered Rags » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:19 am

Dougansf wrote:
Mataxes wrote:A popular house rule in the wake of this has been to return the option, but rule that regardless of the result, the effect is based on a single success on the spellcasting test.


This issue came up in discussion at tonight's game.
I was thinking to use this house rule, but increase the max successes by 1 per Tier of the caster (1 Novice, 2 Journeyman...)


Perhaps a better balance would be to increase the number of successes by the difference in tiers between the caster and the spell.

Edit: Doing this method would allow a minimum threshold, too. Perhaps 1 success minimum, allowing higher tier spells to be chain cast, or 0 minimum, disallowing that.

Utsukushi
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Utsukushi » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:23 pm

Chain Casting is a different issue, really. Related, but different. I don't actually see a problem with Chain Casting -- I agree with Ethereal that having to keep a Spell Matrix devoted to the spell should allow for its effect. That's a Talent, after all. Sky Raiders have a Talent slot totally devoted to having Great Leap, and they can use that whenever they feel like it. Spell Matrices work out to be.. variable Talent Slots, which is awesome, but that's also why so many spells (especially in 4e, because I gather Josh and Morgan twigged to this a long time ago) are expressly balanced to be less powerful than a Talent.

So, yes, if your Elementalist is keeping Air Armor in one of their precious Matrices, I don't have any problem with, really, everyone in the party, having Air Armor most of the time... but as much as I kind of adore ChrisD's system, it does, indeed, feel unnecessarily clunky, compared to just sort of... eyeballing it and being reasonable. For which I'll take as evidence the fact that almost everyone seems to agree within a pretty small range: Spells that can last for Minutes are OK, spells that measure in Rounds might be maintainable on "self-only" especially when you have a high enough Rank and those `rounds' cover more than a minute, but that seems to be a sort of upper limit. And you most definitely have to keep the Matrix devoted.

...No, when it bothers me is:
1) That "Imminent Danger" point -- when you know you're about to be in combat, so the Elementalist weaves a Thread and then casts Air Armor on everyone... `from behind' to get the bonus;

and 2) For totally out-of-combat spells, particularly things like healing. '

I guess mostly it just starts to bother me when I see it included in virtually every casting of every spell. I don't believe it was meant to work like that.

And I suppose if you regularly do allow "Blindside" to apply all the time, and you know they're "blindsiding" their party with Air Armor every five minutes, then there is an argument that chances are they'd have at least one bonus Success most of the time, isn't there?

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Tattered Rags
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Tattered Rags » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:16 pm

I've never liked the idea of static vision arcs when simulating combat in an RPG. A round is 6 seconds, and I'm expected to believe that a character is casting quick glances all over in that time? Considering the focus grabbing effect of having a sword swung at you, perhaps I'm being unreasonable, but there's my opinion. The rules clearly suggest attacks from the rear as an option for GM's to consider when determining blindsided penalty.

Regardless, I would generalize it to unexpected attacks (e.g.: ambushes, against blind person, etc.). The rules also refer to "attacker" and Blindside "attacks". So ask the following questions:
(1) Is it an attack?
(2) Is it unexpected?

Buffing spells answer no to both. They aren't attacks (not aggressive in nature), and the player expects his ally to cast something on him, so he's not really caught off guard by it.

Edit: to make Telarus_KSC look strange
Last edited by Tattered Rags on Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Telarus_KSC
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Re: Magicians Casting Buffs On Teammates `From Behind'

Postby Telarus_KSC » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:36 pm

Just a note, as it had caused me a headache for a few weeks in the Airship re-design: A combat round in ED4 is 6 seconds, 10 per minute.

Otherwise, I agree that these kind of house rules can get messy. I'd say if you really want to implement this, a soft-rule would be fine: In any non-combat (i.e. non "Roll initiative") situation, if the caster has the target of a beneficial spell "prepare themselves" by meditating (on the energy of the spell, or what ever), they get an extra success on successful spells. Still have to hit the base MD though. This kinda mirrors the "Illusion/Disbelieve" rules without having to declare that the MD is now 2 for purposes of the next spell.


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