Bell Digest vol05p01.txt

Subject:  Is Frothing at the Mouth a Storm Bull Skill?,  Volume 5,  Number 1

First Distribution:  June 6,  1990

This issue:
	RQ Sorcery Quick Fix Correction			(Andrew Bell)
	Re: RQ III Sorcery				(Michael Colligon)
	Re: New Sorcery					(Jeff Okamoto)
	New Sorcery:  Absorb Magic and Absorb Spell	(Andrew Bell)

Ed's note:  If you mail me an article and you never see it in the Digest,
please mail it to me again;  I'm afraid I have the bad habit of misplacing
articles every once in a while.

From: (Andrew Bell)

Subject:  RQ Sorcery Quick Fix Correction

A correction to my quick fix for RuneQuest sorcery:

A sorcerer needs 5% in Intensity skill,  and in the spell,  for each point
of intensity in his spell *above* 1.  The base 1 intensity requires no skill
in intensity at all.


From: (Michael Colligon)

Subject:  Re:  RQ III Sorcery

In response to Dirk Walls  and Andrew Bell
( RQ Digest.4#11:

dw = Dirk Walls
ab = Andrew Bell

dw> I know it is possible to get [a] spell to last at least a month.

Yes, a sorcerer can cast spells that last a long time, but the more free int
he puts into duration, the less he can put into intensity.

dw> Can a mage cast another dmg resistance the next day and stack it on
dw> top of the week long spell he cast the day before?

No, you cannot stack the kind of sorcery magic spells you are talking about.
However, there is no reason the spells cannot coexist.  For instance, a
sorcerer with a free int of 18 may cast one of the aforementioned spells
adding 13 points to duration and 5 points to intensity.  This gives him
a 6 point spell that lasts for about a month (this may not be accurate as I
don't have the book handy, but you get the idea).  Now he gets into trouble
and wants to increase the intensity.  He cannot adjust the previous spell,
but he can cast a new spell with as much intensity as he wants and as little
or no duration manipulation as he wants.  This allows him to have some sort
of magic working all the time, and just cast a new spell when he needs more
intensity for short period of time.  Basically, the theory is the two spells
coexist, but the only one that has any effect is the one with the greater

I don't like the way the sorcery treat wounds spell works.  The spirit and
divine heal spells are instantaneous.  The sorcery treat wounds spell takes
one hour per point to be healed.  There is no manipulation of duration.  The
caster just puts the number of points into the spell that he wants to heal.
The target of the spell receives one hit point back each hour up to the limit
of the number of points put into the spell.  I actually thought about changing
the spell somehow, but decided against it.  The only thing I do is interpret
the casting of the spell to stop all ill effects that can be caused by not
getting healed within some time frame (say 10 minutes).  So, as long as the
spell is cast on a person with 10 minutes (or whatever), the person will not
suffer the penalties they normally would for not getting a serious wound

ab> The sorcery system as written allows even neophyte sorcerers to cast very
ab> powerful skills[sic],  with the limit being free int,  not casting skill.
ab> The simplest set of fixes I've come up with is:
ab> [Fixes -- see issue 4#11]

Your system has several drawbacks:

  Sorcerers already start and usually stay as the worst spell casters in the
  system.  Casting of divine magic is 95% successful and casting of spirit
  magic is successful on POWx5%. [less encumbrance penalty -- ACB]  A
  sorcerer starts much lower (I think it's 5+1d6% or worse). [1D6 + magic
  bonus -- ACB]  Also, if you manipulate the spell you are limited to the
  lowest manipulation skill used or the spell skill whichever is lower.  I
  do not like to further limit the abilities of sorcerers.

  Your system makes palsy a completely useless spell until the caster gets
  to be at least 40%, because you have to manipulate the intensity to
  overcome the target's location hit points, then you probably want to use
  range as well (unless you like getting within 10 meters of your target).

A few questions:

Have you modified the chance for successful casting to offset this handicap?

How do you handle multispell?

[I'll put my response in Digest 5#2.]

I personally like the sorcery spell system for the most part.  There are
several spell descriptions that need to be cleared up or slightly changed,
but the system as a whole works for me.


From: Jeff Okamoto 

Subject:  Re: New Sorcery

>Subject:  I Woulda Made a Great Rune Lord,  Volume 4,  Number 12
>From: (Paul Reilly)
>The first spell to be discussed is the grossest (sorcery) spell:
>	Damage Boosting
>We changed it to: Damage Boosting "stores" an amount of Death Rune
>Magic in something which already contains an aspect of the Death Rune.
>This Death magic goes into the target along with the "regular" Death
>carried by the weapon and the spell is used up.  Any number of Damage
>Boosts may be stored in a single weapon, but they "come out" one at a
>time, starting with the Boost of greatest Intensity.

I like this idea, but I certainly hope there's some kind of limit to
how much Damage Boosting an object can store.  I can just see my
sorcerer, wandering around the Wastes, storing an 8-point Damage Boost
every day for a year....

[Only one?  Given a decent POW spirit or two,  or a familiar,  you could
be putting up multiple damage boosts a day.  It seems like with this
method,  you get bigger damage per boosted blow,  but fewer strikes.
If your combats are reasonably small,  and your party usually has time
to rest for a few days between fights,  it seems like this method would
be *more* powerful.  Need to kill a dream dragon?  Wait until you've got
damage boost 12 or so on every arrow and weapon,  and off you go... -- ACB]

>New Spells:
>Set Phase to A (Ranged; Temporal, Passive)

I'm confused about this spell.  Call the base "phase" of an object
phase zero.  Now I cast "Set Phase to A" on something.  Can I still
touch/interact with it?  Now I cast "Set Phase to B" on something else.
What happens when I bring the two objects together?  Do they "merge"?
What happens then if I cancel one or both of the two spells?

>Sympathetic Targeting (Ritual Ceremony; Ranged, Instant)
>It allows a sorcerer to cast a spell on a target he has never seen if
>he has appropriate materials or symbols relating to the target.
>In addition to the requisite Intensity, both the Sympathetic Targeting
>spell and any spells "carried" with it in a Multispell must have
>sufficient Range to reach the target.

Does the sorcerer casting this spell know ahead of time what the
range is?

>Procedure for Use:
>The Intensity of the Targeting spell must overcome a special
>Resistance to Targeting.  If the spell's Intensity fails to overcome
>the Targeting Resistance three things can happen:
>Thus Dufus must overcome a difficulty of -5 to Target his spells.
>To make sure, he casts an Intensity 5 Range 10 Sympathetic Targeting
>multispelled with a Venom 8, Venom 7, Palsy 6, Neutralize Magic 4
>(on spell defenses), and Smother 3, each with Range 10, for a total
>of 93 magic points*.

Umm, perhaps I'm counting wrong, but unless you've got some matrices
for these, not only will you need 93 MP, but a 93 Free Int....

[I believe use of the multispell skill allows you to use your full
free int on every spell multispelled.  Thus he "only" needs 18 points
of free int. -- ACB]

>Note:  The most common spell to Multispell with Sympathetic Targeting
>is (Sense) Projection.  Once you get the Projection up, you can cast
>another spell "through" it, or another Projection now that you've seen
>the place.

Why waste points?  Why not just cast the spell you wanted to in the
first place?

[With sense projection,  the range is calculated from the projection,
not the caster.  Thus you can cast a higher intensity spell. -- ACB]

While I am familiar with the concept of Sympathetic magic, I'd want to
seriously test this before even playtesting it.  It has the potential
of SERIOUSLY unbalancing a campaign.  I think it makes an already
seriously powerful mage even more so, while doing little for the
less-skilled apprentices.  This may be desirable, but then, after
looking at the sorcerer in Griffin Island (can't remember his name),
I'm not so sure.



From:  (Andrew Bell)

Subject:  New Sorcery:  Absorb Magic and Absorb Spell

This spell is an expansion of the brief description of the spell Absorb
Magic given in Supplement 1#1,  contributed by
(Dave Martin).

Absorb Magic
ranged,  temporal,  passive

When this spell is in effect,  spells cast at the target must make a
resistance roll against 1/2 (round down) the intensity of this spell.
If the spell succeeds,  it is treated as normal.  If not,  the magic
points in the spell are "absorbed" by the target,  who then has these
magic points available as if he/she had them in a magic point storage
matrix or the like.
     Spells cast by the target upon himself are not affected unless he
desires them to be.  Those cast by people in Mindlink with the caster
or that travel through Mindlink are not affected.
     All absorbed magic points are lost when the spell duration ends or
if it is dispelled.  Otherwise,  these points are lost at the rate of one
point every ten minutes per ten points or fraction stored.  Thus,  if a
person with absorb magic has absorbed 150 points of magic,  he/she has
135 points (15 fewer) after 10 minutes,  121 points (14 fewer) after 20
minutes,  108 points (13 fewer) after 30 minutes,  and so on.

Absorb Spell
ranged,  temporal,  passive

When this spell is in effect,  spells cast at the target must make a
resistance roll against the intensity of this spell.  If the roll
succeeds,  the spell is treated as normal.  If not,  the spell is
absorbed by the target,  and no further spells can be absorbed.
    The caster can then retarget that spell at someone else.  Retargetting
takes one strike rank.  If the spell is not retargetted within the
duration of the spell,  it disappears.  Note that time spent absorbed
counts against the duration of the captured spell,  so a spirit magic
spell captured must be retargetted within five minutes,  and so on.
    Retargetting a spell that normally gives the caster a chaos taint
will give the retargetter a chaos taint.  Spells can be released with
no penalty,  terminating the spell.
    While multiple spells can be stored by multiple spells,  the spell
is not stackable;  a new Absorb Spell can only be cast once a spell is
absorbed by the old one.

[Note:  these spells have not been playtested;  use at your own risk.
Let me know if you see major holes in these spells.]

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