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Author Topic: Questions on embedded spells  (Read 9287 times)
Stephen
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Posts: 172


« on: October 23, 2002, 06:59:16 AM »

1)  Is there any limit to the number or power of spells that can be embedded in a particular person or thing?

2)  Can you embed spells in substances which can endure for incredible amounts of time, like diamonds or corundum crystal or ceramics?  How does "aging" affect inorganic items which don't naturally decay or erode?

3)  If you embed a spell in yourself, rolling to resist aging at the time the spell is cast, do you have to resist aging again when the spell goes off?  Or can you use your entire Pool on the casting and embedding and skip the aging roll at time of casting, because the spell doesn't actually "go off" and burn through you until you release it?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2002, 07:18:50 AM »

Hi Stephen!

Oh boy, based on your previous two threads, I cannot wait until you put all this together in the context of actual play. You may end up being the TROS sorcery expert for the rest of us to learn from.

Regarding your question #1, I can only say, "Yeah, Jake. Is there?" (Hey, waitaminute, I think there is ... I'll check out the rules tonight, if I remember ...)

Regarding your question #2, my Seneschal-call would be to extrapolate a month-equivalent for these items. That is, insofar as a month is a given fraction of a human's typical life-span (assuming death by senescence), then apply an equivalent fraction to the thing. Also, since I do not consider any material object to be immune to entropy, the final phrase seems a non-issue to me.

Regarding your question #3, you've managed to puzzle me slightly. As I understand it, the way to cast an embedded spell has two steps. (1) You cast the spell and deal with the aging-resistance at that time. (2) Under the conditions of the spell's release, it goes off, and no further rolls are necessary (it's good to record the original number of successes and so forth, in order to deal with resistance rolls and other relevant conditions at the time of the spell's release, if necessary).

Your option of saving the spell's aging-effect until its release seems backwards to me; it removes one of the most important aspects of embedding the spell in the first place - casting it under conditions which lower the TN, thus allowing more dice to be allocated to the aging-resistance roll.

As you describe it, the sorcerer would suffer every victory in the spell-casting roll as aging, because the entire Pool had been spent on the casting, which seems bizarre to me. The only way it would make sense is if the refreshed Pool could be used to resist aging, which I don't think is part of the system - as I understand it, the only dice you can use to resist aging are those you set aside from the spell-roll from your Pool at the time of casting.

However, I could be misunderstanding any number of things, and especially if I'm misinterpreting the rules themselves, someone let me know.

Best,
Ron
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Shdwjack
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2002, 07:38:37 AM »

As I understand it, when you embed a spell in an object, you set aside the dice used to actually cast it.  When you want it to take affect you basically have a spell pool of those dice you set aside to cast it, which can be split normally to cast/resist aging.  I believe there is an example of this in the book. But here's a quick one.  You cast Armor of Air into a rock.  Your normal spell pool is 14, you use 4 for the casting and 10 to resist aging. All you have to do is succeed at casting and write the dice that you used to cast with down.  So when you want to use the Armor of Air spell that you have stored you have 4 dice to roll, you can divide them up for casting, or resist aging rolls as normal.  I use rocks or sling bullets for the most part, stuff that aging a couple of months won't bother.  If you embeded the spell on your self then you are effectively rolling aging rolls twice on yourself, once when you originaly cast it (with 10 dice to resist), and second when you activate it (up to 3 dice to resist aging).
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Stephen
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2002, 08:45:22 AM »

The reason I'm asking is because in my previous questions about addressing the limitations of casting speed and high-frequency use, embedded spells have been cited as the answer to these situations.  Yet the rules for embedded spells, if Shadowjack is right, seem to be in some ways even more restrictive than spontaneous magic.

Yes, you can cast the original spell in CTN-minimized conditions to minimize aging, but the usefulness of this is lost when the embedded spell goes off -- every die you save to resist aging in the embedding reduces the dice you can use to resist aging in the casting, so there's no real "aging break" to make it worth the tradeoff of time and planning.  And if a second casting roll is required at time of "setoff", that reduces the reliability as well.  Furthermore, if there are limits to the number of spells that can be embedded in any one person or thing, this reduces or eliminates the traditional pulp phenomenon of casual use of magic in a sorcerer's lair -- one of the things embedded spells were supposed to help reproduce.  So either embedded spells aren't nearly as useful as they've been painted or I'm missing something.

Just out of curiosity, what is the "official" explanation as to why magic ages you?  Is it the strain of wrestling with these energies to make them do what you want (in which case aging rolls should be made at the time of casting embedded spells) or is it the backlash from the energy once it actually surges through you and out at its target (in which case aging rolls should be made at the moment the embedded spell goes off)?
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Bob Richter
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Posts: 324


« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2002, 09:04:30 AM »

Quote from: Stephen
1)  Is there any limit to the number or power of spells that can be embedded in a particular person or thing?

2)  Can you embed spells in substances which can endure for incredible amounts of time, like diamonds or corundum crystal or ceramics?  How does "aging" affect inorganic items which don't naturally decay or erode?

3)  If you embed a spell in yourself, rolling to resist aging at the time the spell is cast, do you have to resist aging again when the spell goes off?  Or can you use your entire Pool on the casting and embedding and skip the aging roll at time of casting, because the spell doesn't actually "go off" and burn through you until you release it?


1) Hm. Not that I know of. You can't use more spell pool than you have, but that seems to be the extent of it. I could be wrong.

2) Everything ages, erodes, fades to dust and then to nothing. It's the Second Law of Thermodynamics, after all. From order must come disorder, and all that rot. Aging would effect a diamond or ruby proportionally to its effect on a human, even as it does the ageless fey.

3) Yes. Embedding a spell in yourself and then casting it will cause you to age twice. So don't embed spells in yourself, silly. :)

The only advantage I see to this is giving yourself some kind of zero-casting time spell for when your gnarled staff isn't around. Particularly if it's a spell of three or many.
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Shdwjack
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2002, 09:13:38 AM »

Well, what my sorceror has Embeded are 9 Fling Spells Ritualized, and put into sling stones, That gives me a SP to cast of 26 (14 SP, 5 form, 5 discipline, 2 for the time of the spell) with a CTN of 2.  Since I have a familiar I spend 2 dice on aging roll (just in case) and the rest on the spell itself.  This give me a spell that has line of sight and does 4+(24 rolls CTN 2) in DR.  Enough to blow a hole through anything.  Do have to make a Missle pool roll to hit, but that's ok.
Other spells I have Embeded are 2 Armor of Air(which is much better cast as a ritual spell) and Flight (both in stones on a necklace).  
Then I leave a couple slots open for other spells.  (That's 12 of the 14 that I can have embeded)
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Bob Richter
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2002, 09:53:52 AM »

Quote from: Stephen
The reason I'm asking is because in my previous questions about addressing the limitations of casting speed and high-frequency use, embedded spells have been cited as the answer to these situations.  Yet the rules for embedded spells, if Shadowjack is right, seem to be in some ways even more restrictive than spontaneous magic.

Yes, you can cast the original spell in CTN-minimized conditions to minimize aging, but the usefulness of this is lost when the embedded spell goes off -- every die you save to resist aging in the embedding reduces the dice you can use to resist aging in the casting, so there's no real "aging break" to make it worth the tradeoff of time and planning.  And if a second casting roll is required at time of "setoff", that reduces the reliability as well.  Furthermore, if there are limits to the number of spells that can be embedded in any one person or thing, this reduces or eliminates the traditional pulp phenomenon of casual use of magic in a sorcerer's lair -- one of the things embedded spells were supposed to help reproduce.  So either embedded spells aren't nearly as useful as they've been painted or I'm missing something.

Just out of curiosity, what is the "official" explanation as to why magic ages you?  Is it the strain of wrestling with these energies to make them do what you want (in which case aging rolls should be made at the time of casting embedded spells) or is it the backlash from the energy once it actually surges through you and out at its target (in which case aging rolls should be made at the moment the embedded spell goes off)?


So don't embed spells in yourself. A good sorceror always has items to hand. A gnarled staff. A pouch full of stones. A rusty old sword. A floppy hat. You can embed a spell in just about anything and IT ages when the spell is cast.

The only reason you would ever embed a spell in yourself is if you needed a spell to cast instantaneously when buck naked. I can't really imagine there being many such scenarios. :)

My read on aging starts with "magic is life-force without direction" and follows that down the path to "If you're not careful, it drags off some of your life-force when it goes." or something like that.
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Brian Leybourne
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Posts: 1793


« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2002, 11:53:24 AM »

Quote from: Shdwjack
Well, what my sorceror has Embeded are 9 Fling Spells Ritualized, and put into sling stones, That gives me a SP to cast of 36 (14 SP, 5 form, 5 discipline, 2 for the time of the spell) with a CTN of 2.  Since I have a familiar I spend 2 dice on aging roll (just in case) and the rest on the spell itself.  This give me a spell that has line of sight and does 4+(34 rolls CTN 2) in DR.  Enough to blow a hole through anything.  Do have to make a Missle pool roll to hit, but that's ok.
Other spells I have Embeded are 2 Armor of Air(which is much better cast as a ritual spell) and Flight (both in stones on a necklace).  
Then I leave a couple slots open for other spells.  (That's 12 of the 14 that I can have embeded)


14+5+5+2 is 26, not 36 :-)

And, I have to say that as Seneschal I would never allow a spell that only uses Movement 1 to do successes as damage bonus. The description of fling is to lift a light object into the air. At the very least I would make you up the movement requirement to 3, making it a CTN3 spell.

Still very lethal though, I must admit. However, the other thing I would consider as Seneschal is how long the spell stays embedded in the target. There are no rules for it in chapter 6, but I don;t see that an embedded spell should stay indefinately. IMG, I would make you add a duration component and the spell could stay embedded for as long as your successes determine (times minutes, hours or days, as per the duration component you use)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2002, 03:35:15 PM »

I'm not going to answer any questions (not yet at least), because I (1) think what you need is in the book and (2) I didn't write the sorcery system (allthough I did revise it pretty heavily).

I will address "why does magic age you," though. My take on it is that as you channel all of this directionless life-force through you and then funnel it out into your "spell" you have to really wrestle for control over it, or it will injure you. How does life-force injure you? It tears some of yours away as it passes. Another way of looking at it is that you're using your own life force and giving it direction via the spell, and if you maintain good control than you don't over-use your own batteries; if you do, then it comes out of your life, because you over-worked your "generator."

The answer could be either or neither.

Continue hacking.

Jake
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Lyrax
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2002, 08:51:12 PM »

Quote from: Bob Richter
So don't embed spells in yourself. A good sorceror always has items to hand. A gnarled staff. A pouch full of stones. A rusty old sword. A floppy hat. You can embed a spell in just about anything and IT ages when the spell is cast.

Much as I hate to say it, I agree with Bob here.  Don't do something as stupid as embedding spells into yourself.  Other people, sure.  Clothing, fine.  Rocks, great.  Gems, wonderful.  Yourself...? Bad idea.
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Lance Meibos
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Silanthous
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Posts: 16


« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2002, 09:01:11 PM »

Never doupt the usefullness of embedding spells, observe a Highly useful and deadly spell my sorcerer once cast. My sorcerer hates the Inquisition, to a point of wanting to eradicate them, and i found a oppertunity i couldn't pass up. i cast an imbedding spell and embedded the Spite spell in an inquisition guard from long range, i also added a conqurer effect to the embedding that forced him to release it immediately if he failed to resist my conqurer 2. dice used? 15 to cast, 5 to resist aging and i had a familiar. the result? an Extreamly large explosion at the gate of a inquisition barracks, leveling half of the building and decimating everyone inside, also leveled a bit of the surrounding area and took off half of the fort's front gate. the army i was working for had a much easier time taking this fort becouse of that. i love embedding spell. now for spells on yourself, there is a different way to cast them, merely use summoning magic to give a duration of weeks(+3 to CTN) and cast it as a ritual, that will give you axcess to useful spells like fly when you need tham, without double aging knocks.
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Rick
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2002, 01:32:12 AM »

The official reason magic ages you is this:  "There is a moment, a space in time where what you realize is accelerated past what is happening around you.   While events occur around you, you peer on detached and puzzled, as the revelation of what is strikes you as odd.  You understand what could be and will be, if only you take the time to guide the space as it flows through matter and its leftover, energy.  In that instant you harmonize with nothing and cease to be, terrifying your soul as you die and are confronted with your petulant insignificance in time and history.  You realize the true strain of nonexistence, of using yourself as a fulcrum, of defying perception and forcing your life to mean something other than the trivial pursuit of your own happiness only to awaken to the swallowing void of inevitable entrophy.  In an eternity, the seconds you spend understanding the simplicity of the pivotal nature of escapism in relation to human philosophy sap from you the will to be, and burn from you the price for your heightened awareness.  To guide space through time and matter takes negative energy, a gift that the death of a cosmic entity permeated the matter of the Weyrth with.  Those that came first, they who were created of what was and of what is possess the greatest concentration of what may only be describes as the path along which reality (or the understanding of physical matter imbued with energy) must flow.  To change that path requires an indomitable force of will, and the understanding of not only what was, but what is and what may yet be.  This understanding can be used to alter the flow of existence, but only at a great cost.   The fool who casts himself confidently into the stormy sea only to realize in a gasping breath that the battle for his very life hinges solely on his reserves of strength and his resolve to survive.  In short; you battle yourself, your desires your abilities and your understanding in an attempt to bring about what you can only hope is the best result for everyone involved.  To achieve this goal, your body must eat itself in order to maintain its existence. Negative energy is an enormously complicated thing to direct, and requires an equal amount of positive energy in order to maintain the symmetrical balance of existence.  To generate an excess of positive energy requires some expenditure of physical material.  Unfortunately, negative energy only has only to reside and pool, drawn into infinity while flittering against itself and coalescing into space with time.  For it to be directed requires energy that must be diametrically synchronized to attract the negative energy along a positive path.  It is this path that guides the course of the negative energies action, and if done with enough care and time it can be forced to alter its path without adversely affecting the conductor.  If done hastily, the positive energy needed to draw the energy along is burned from the accelerated molecules as they split and reproduce whilst devouring themselves to shed what little excess heat and electricity they can offer to aid in maintaining their existence.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2002, 08:44:43 AM »

Nice. That'll be in SatF.

Jake
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2002, 09:05:45 AM »

Quote
Nice. That'll be in SatF.

Jake


Hopefully followed by a plain-english translation. I'm really good with words, but I found that a little difficult to follow...

I followed it, but my metaphorical feet and legs are killing me from following that tortuous path.
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Lucien Black
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2002, 11:35:26 PM »

Oddly enough, as mystical as that explanation was, I think I can work it into the pseudo-"scientific" explanation I had been working on, based on recent reading of Scientific American back issues.  I think I can use some of the quantum physics articles to work in with Rick's description and make an almost coherent whole (although I may have to make some slight modifications to Rick's description, I think I can keep the feel of it)....  ah, the power of pseudo-science!  It's almost as strong as cheese!

Later on when I'm more sober, perhaps I'll post what I've come up with, if anyone's interested.

Lucien
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