Re: Re: Duration table

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_...>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 10:10:22 -0800

> The problem is, how do you know the magic must last a week? Because
> durations are vague, this comes down to an arbitrary Narrator
> decision. Much more so than in a simulationist game where the Referee
> might, for example, take into account cross-country movement rates
> and distances. As this is HW, the Narrator should be deciding on what
> will be dramatically interesting. But as the table stands, she must
> deciding on a dramatically interesting penalty, reverse engineer this
> into a 'duration', state the duration, have the player look it up
> again in the table to arrive at the resistance that she first thought
> of. All rather silly.

"Okay, we're going to power up Oddi here to go trash the Lunar temple in Furthest. Hey Kathy, how long will it take for him to get there?" "A six days of walking, or two days flying" "Okay, Since we don't have a Vanganthi to give him flying, we'll need to give him at least a week's worth of boost". "Okay, that'll be a +40 resistance to all the magic used"

Kathy can now either allow the journey to take the six days, or less, or more, as is narratively appropriate. (Traditionally it will take 6 3/4 days, so that the magic is wearing off just as the Main Villain falls dead, or worse, just *before* he does...). She isn't deciding the penalty first, she's letting the players know what the requirements are and letting *them* decide what they want to do. They might decide to power up Oddi now, or get a lot closer to the Temple before doing so. If they power-up first, Oddi will be a Cleansing Wind of Orlanthi Goodness(tm) for the entire length of the trip, and the hazards of road travel (Outlaws, Trolls, Lunar Patrols, One-legged duck bandits wielding heavy crossbows with poison-tipped quarrels, etc) will be minor inconveniences at best. (of course, the word that a CWoOG is moving towards Furthest will be travelling to, so the heavy hitters will be ready for him with Blazing Beacons of Lunar Righteousness(tm), but hey...)

The Players should be telling the narrator how long they want the effect to last, and let her keep track of it. Which comes down to "drop the magic when its dramatically appropriate, or when common sense dictates that it has to be down by now (ie, a 15-minute effect won't last for an 8 mile hike).

Using magic during a contest means that the magic lasts as long as the contest does, and you need to re-do it for the next contest. The Duration chart was meant to be used outside of the contest structure. If you power up every morning with Armor of Woad, Flickering Blade and Leaping Shield with a 'day' duration (+20), you won't need to cast those again when you get into a fight. You've got the TN bonuses and AP already in place, meaning that you can attack before your opponent is through with *his* powering up, or take time to add even more feats to your arsenal. The narrator has nothing to do with your decision to power up - she just says "+20 resistance" (assuming you don't already know that :-) )


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