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Author Topic: Low CTN spells?  (Read 9708 times)
Spartan
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« on: October 14, 2002, 03:55:33 PM »

I was wondering if anyone has developed some interesting spells for TROS that are relatively low in CTN... say 5 and lower.  With successful gesture and dialogue checks, and formalization, the CTNs acould be brought to ridiculously low levels, which is what I think any Arcanist without a deathwish would do... use the least amount of force to achieve the greatest possible effect.

Any takers?

-Mark
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Brian Leybourne
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Posts: 1793


« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2002, 04:25:28 PM »

Hmm.. how about these (off the top of my head, so maybe a bit rough):

T3 (human), R1 (touch), V1 (skull), D0, L0 (Growth 2, -2 for formulisation).

Total CTN5, targets skull shrinks to a tenth of it's former size, crushing his brain and killing him instantly. Of course, you have to touch him. Far better to make it CTN6 and then it's line of sight and still only takes 6 seconds to cast (less with gestures etc).

Or:

T1 (inanimate object), R1 (touching it), V1 (small stone), D0, L0 (movement 2, -2 for formulisation).

Total CTN3, stone flies out of casters hand and drives itself through targets skull at a speed of 1 mile per second (or thereabouts). Insert squishy sound effect here. In this case I would make the caster use his MP to actually hit with, but if you added say vision 2 (making the CTN5) it could be guided to its target. Of course then it's a spell of three so it takes 50 seconds to cast, so it's not as useful.

Then theres:

T3 (human), R1 (touch), V0, D0, L1 (Conquer 3, -2 for formulisation)

Total CTN5, targets mind is instantly and irrevocably wiped. Hope you have some nappies handy. By making the TN6 you can make it be line of sight and thus negate the need to actually touch him.

and finally:

T3, R1, V0, D0, L0 (Conquer 2, -2 for formulisation)

Total CTN4, target stabs himself in temple. He's not happy about it, but he does it. Make it TN5 for line of sight, yadda yadda yadda.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
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RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2002, 06:25:18 PM »

The skull-shrinking spell is easier if you do it to a helmet instead (assuming he's wearing one). Drops the TN by 2.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Bankuei
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2002, 06:48:40 PM »

Quote
The skull-shrinking spell is easier if you do it to a helmet instead (assuming he's wearing one). Drops the TN by 2.


Ah, my favorite use of the 1st level Reduce spell from D&D that pissed off more than a few people.  Also good for boots, belts and codpieces depending on the gear and your viciousness.

Chris
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Brian Leybourne
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2002, 06:59:24 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
The skull-shrinking spell is easier if you do it to a helmet instead (assuming he's wearing one). Drops the TN by 2.


Nice!

And, of course there's even a better benefit than the lower CTN - if you cast it on his head, he gets to resist it (and the lower the CTN, the lower the TN to resist), but he can't resist it if it's on his helmet (except with countermagic, perhaps) so he's squishy.

Nice Jake, very evil.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
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RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Lyrax
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Posts: 268


« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2002, 10:35:59 AM »

Then there's a few self-conquer spells.  CTNs 1,2, and 3, respectively.  Good for a sorceror who needs to be really brave for a few moments, or simply doesn't want to remember something.

Banishment is also usually really low in terms of CTN.  A Banishment shield around the sorceror is CTN 3, to drain someone else's magic is CTN 5 at most.

Conquer spells (when done on someone else) are always high target numbers (range 2, target 3 = 5 + Level), because they effect another person directly.  Glamour, on the other hand, can be very easy.  A simple illusion of an empty corridor is TN 3 if you can touch the area of the illusion.  A more complicated illusion is only 1 TN higher.

Vision spells, of course, can be *REALLY* easy.  Looking into one's own future or past is only TN 1-3, determined by how far you need to see.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

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Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2002, 11:05:39 AM »

This is why I've always been a fan of magic that works by defining the result and leaving the FX up to creative description rather than a system that defines the FX and then allows you to resolve the effects from that.

Example of spell where FX is defined and results derived:
Reduce:   Defined FX:  Object shrinks some pre-determined volume in some pre-determined amount of time.  Used against worn helmet.  Derived Result:  skull crushed...huge effect from minor spell.

Example of spell where results are defined and FX is derived:
Reduce:  Defined Results:  Target suffers Level 2 wound.  Derived Effect:  cast on a helmet which shrinks in size just enough to inflict a level 2 wound....cast directly on someone's skull, inflicts level 2 wound...cast on someone's boot, inflicts level 2 wound.


The advantage of method two is that result and "cost" are so much easier to balance in game terms.  Want to kill someone instantly, you'll need to cast a spell capable of inflicting 5 (or 6) levels of wounds...regardless of whether the FX is a stone being flung from the hand, a shrinking helmet, a bolt of fire, or ravageing disease.  Avoids the whole "hey I found a way to destroy an entire city for virtually no cost at all" min-maxing effect.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2002, 11:42:45 AM »

Quote
The advantage of method two is that result and "cost" are so much easier to balance in game terms. Want to kill someone instantly, you'll need to cast a spell capable of inflicting 5 (or 6) levels of wounds...regardless of whether the FX is a stone being flung from the hand, a shrinking helmet, a bolt of fire, or ravageing disease. Avoids the whole "hey I found a way to destroy an entire city for virtually no cost at all" min-maxing effect.


Very true, although I think part of the appeal of wizard type characters is using innovative tactics to acheive goals, as opposed to the brute force method.  Although I think in the case of ROS this kind of thinking fits perfectly with the style of play intended.

Chris
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2002, 11:48:49 AM »

I love how people always focus on whacking folks with magic. OK, we know that can be done. What's the most impressive constructive thing you can imagine being done with a low CTN? What can you do with, say a 5? Now that's a challenge.

Mike
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Brian Leybourne
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2002, 01:04:18 PM »

Define constructive. i.e. in what manner?

Do you mean like this:

T3, R1, V1, D0, L0 (Growth 2, -2 formulisation) = CTN5, target plate of food (up to 20 pounds of meat, say) grows tenfold, feeding a great number of people. Maybe this is what Jesus did to the wine and fishes...

Or

T2, R1, V1, L0 (Growth 1, -2 for formulisation) = CTN4, target door grows just enough to wedge itself in its frame, meaning that the baddies on the other side can't force it open (and whatever size you don't use can increase the thickness, making it harder to chop through).

Or

T3, R1, V0, D0, L0 (Repress 2, -2 for formulisation) = CTN4, target loses all memory of a traumatic event in their past. Primative psychology at work.

Those kinds of things?

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2002, 01:31:37 PM »

Sorta. I'm thinking of stuff with permenant effects. The second example is right out (actually damages the door). The first example solves the hunger only temporarily. The last one is permenant but not very physical. You don't see the results.

I'm looking for something permenant, creative, and really felt by a lot of people.

Mike
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Lyrax
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2002, 02:06:50 PM »

T:0 V:0 R:0 D:0 L:4 (Conquer 3 + Summoning)

You summon a Demon into yourself.  Now THAT'S gonna be felt by a lot of people!
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2002, 08:24:25 AM »

Sigh.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2002, 09:30:55 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Sigh.


I think that Mike's posed an excellent question. I want to hear more on it. Answer, monkeys!

;-)

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Lyrax
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2002, 10:44:10 AM »

Ohhh... you said constructive... I didn't see that earlier.  My bad.

Well, the most constructive thing I can think of is, well, construction.  You take movement and make a stone wall out of a bunch of stones, then use Sculpture to meld it all into one big stone.  The movement spell is TN 5 (Target 1, Range 2, Volume 1, Level 1) unless you formalize it to TN 3.  The sculpture spell will be even easier (TN 4) because you'll be touching the wall (presumably).  Of course, these take time, but they are seen or felt by lots of people, it's something that not everyone does, and the effects will last much longer than the average PC's lifetime.  You can use this to build a wall, a tower, a house, or even a castle.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
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