Bell Digest vol02p06.txt

Subject: The Zine has no Title,  Volume 2,  Number 6

This issue:
	Re: Spell Crit/Fumble rolls		(Jeff Okamoto)


From: Jeff Okamoto 

Subject: Another submission

> Subject:  The RQ Digest,  Volume 2,  Number 5

> From:    Steven A. Schrader

> Subject: Spell Crit/Fumble rolls

> While in one of my early GMIng sessions one of my players rolled a 00
> for his spell success roll(He knew Sorcery).  He groaned aloud and
> asked "Ok, what happens to me know?"  After looking at the rules and
> trying to find some fumbles for spells and not finding any,

In RQ3, fumbles cause failure of the spell and loss of all magic points

Criticals mean that only 1 MP is spent.

[If you're in a "be kind to sorcerors" kind of mood,  you could make specials
cost only 1/2 (round up) the magic points...- AB]

> Soldifying/Weakening Life Force
>   Armoring Enchantment
>   Damage Resistance

> Fumbles
>   01 - 20    Force can not leave body. Force(FOR) is equal to POW.
>                  Caster must expend one point of POW for every point
>                  of FOR in his body.  Any FOR that is left in the body
>                  at the end of that melee round will cause 1 point of
>                  Damage per point of FOR to a random hit location.

Do you realize that could kill a character?  If I cast a
15 point Damage Resist (not unusual for a sorcerer), and I fumble and
roll 01-20, I lose 15 POW.  If you mean magic points, then I fall
unconscious and am sure to be killed by whatever I was fighting.

[If you're spending 15 MP on a spell,  you almost certainly have an outside
source of magic points.  15 more MP shouldn't drain you completely,  unless
you were totally eliminating your chances to succeed with offensive magic.
The force also shouldn't concentrate in any single part of the body,  each
point should be rolled for (missile table) to see where it affects. - AB]

>   21 - 50    Spell is reversed at half strength

What's half of one point of Armoring Enchantment?  Or the reverse of
a Damage Resistance?

[Reversed damage resistance might boost the damage coming in by a factor of
1/2 on a successful roll - nasty!  But these are supposed to be *fumbles*...
1/2 a point of something is what somebody of another race can heal with
healing 1! :-) -AB]

> Criticals
>   91 - 100   Spell causes a backlash of force affecting the attacker
>                  with one point of POW for every point of POW the spell
>                  had.  Spirit combat ensues, however, the caster can
>                  not raise his POW by this means

Huh?  Allowing a character to go into spirit combat against another
character?  There's a spell in RQ3 for this -- Subere's Attack Soul.
I dislike this immensely.

[No,  Steve's proposing the SPELL attacks the character -- a rather bizzare
concept. - AB]

> Using Life Force to cause the changing of identity
>    Create Basilisk
>    Create Vampire
>    Form/Set
>    Phantom Senses
>    Shapechange Species to Species

> Fumble
>    61 - 80   Effects halved(Thing is only half changed)

Sorry, I just can't buy this.  What SPECIFICALLY does half or a quarter
of these spells do?  What's the effect of a half or a quarter of a
shape-change?  And which half of a vampire do you get?  The top half or
the bottom half?

[This is where the GM can have fun!  Change it to "partial effect,  GM
specifies details",  and you can have weird results. - AB]

> Moving/Slowing something with Life Force
>    Binding Enchantment
>    Glue
>    Hinder
>    Summon Species
>    Teleport

> Fumble
>    01 - 25   Move the wrong object

What does a Binding Ench or Summon have to do with moving?

>   26 - 50   Lose control of the object until another succesful spell
>                  is made(Dir 8 sided die)

What do I lose control of when Gluing?

>   51 - 75   Object held for duration

Does this mean a fumbled Hinder freezes the object in place?  Neat!
Let me cast a 1-point Hinder on you and fumble.  It gives the effect
of a 6-point Hinder (double movement for running all-out).

>   76 - 00   The wrong object moved, but out of control

Again, what does moving have to do with Binding or Summoning?

> Critical Success
>    01 - 70   Effects are doubled

Does this mean I get something twice the size of something I summoned?
Then I could be killed by a (supposedly good) critical.

[Or you could be teleported twice as far...perhaps "effects doubled if
desired and applicable" would be better - AB]

> Using Life Force as a recepticle
>    Homing Circle
>    Magic Point Matrix Enchancement
>    Spell Matrix Enchancement
> Fumble
>     01 - 20   Recepticle is made, Access is denied

Why not just say, "Spell failed"?

>     21 - 80   Object has 1 point of damage for every point of POW used

Eh?  Would you like to explain that?  Does that mean when I touch it,
it damages me?  Not a bad weapon to use in combat....

>     81 - 00   Object "Eats" POW.  Acts like spell combat.  Objects POW vs
>                    defender's POW.  Is resistance fails, then 1 POW is
>                    "Eaten" by the object and added to its total.  This
>                    Will continue until the place is sealed with another
>                    succesful spell of this type.

"This will continue" how often?  Once a minute?  Once a day?  Can I
give it to someone else and have it eat their souls too?

> Using Life Force to Stop/Start Reactions
>    Ignite
>    Immortality*

> Fumble
>    01 - 20  Opposite effects are done

Does this mean an Ignite will put out the fire I was trying to start?

>   81 - 00  Wrong Vocal Point


> Critical Success
>   01 - 70  Double Strength

Am I twice as Immortal now?

[Again,  "where applicable":  for immortality,  you could go a month without
oysters perhaps?  Must get tiring eating 150 pounds of oysters every 30 days...

> Using Life Force to Affect another's mind
>    Dominate Species
>    Shimmer
> Fumble
>   01 - 20    Wrong Target

How do I determine this?

>   21 - 40    Half opposite effects

How am I half Dominated?

>   81 - 90    Affect yourself

Neat, I Shimmer myself (which I may have wanted to do in the first

> Transfer of Information from One Source to Another
>   Apprentice Bonding
>   Visibility

> Fumble
>    01 - 20   Wrong Information given

What information do I gain from an Apprentice Bonding?

>   21 - 40   Wrong Sense used

What sense is a Visibility spell?

> Critical Success
>    01 - 70   more Detailed information given than is usual

What information do I gain from an Apprentice Bonding?
   71 - 90   Double effects
   91 - 00   Treble effects

I don't want to be too harsh, but I think that not enough thought was
given in thinking about the effects for each spell for the fumble and
critical effects.

I think that the current rules for fumbles and criticals are fine.
There is no need to add insult to injury or hand out Monty Haul effects
just because of a single die roll.

[Perhaps,  but a bit of a problem with RQ magic is that it is so mundane
and mechanical.  While I propose making sorcery spells a bit more colorful in
their effects,  Steve has proposed adding some color via fumbles. - AB]

The rules say nothing about crits or fumbles for Ritual Magic.  My
guess would be to use the same type of rule for Spirit Magic and
Sorcery: one POW for crit, expend all POW uselessly for a fumble.
(Note that Rune Magic, bought earlier, generally does not need critical
and fumble rules, except when using MP's to break through Countermagic
or for Heal Wounds.  In the former, I would not let criticals mean only
1 MP was used -- you needed it to affect the target at all.  In the
latter, I would allow the critical).

Jeff Okamoto


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