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Old 07-11-2018, 10:31 PM   #12
John Brinegar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Detect Enemies - Tweak?

Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi all,
The simple spell Detect Enemies is IQ 10, and costs only 3 fatigue ST to cover a wide area. It finds life with "general or specific hostile intent".

The way this is worded it could be used by a Dictator to find out if Joe is loyal. There is no chance of getting incorrect information.


I prefer that loyalty spells are difficult and unreliable.

I suggest that this spell will only detect imminent violence. So if Joe is not loyal to the Dictator the spell misses him. But if Joe is currently planning immediate violence, (say within the next minute), then the spell would kick in.

With this one tweak, I am happy. I don't feel further adjustments are needed to the spell.


Warm regards, Rick.
A few observations: First, it's not true that there's no chance of getting incorrect information. The GM rolls for spell success, and if the spell doesn't succeed, the GM says, "You detect no hostile intent." The caster doesn't know whether there really is no hostile intent or whether the spell failed. The spell description also explicitly says that you don't get specifics: all you get is "You sense something hostile." So unless you target Joe's hex specifically (which you can do), you can't tell if he's the hostile one. You'd have to get him alone and either cast the spell on him yourself or have your wizard do it. This could be done unnoticeably if the caster has IQ 15 or greater, but Joe may still suspect something is up. Even then, it's not clear that disloyalty means hostility. I could, for instance, plan to sell your secrets, which is disloyal but not clearly hostile. Finally, what will it look like if a dictator bumps someone off and justifies it by saying, "I discovered by magical means that Joe was disloyal"? Since he can't prove it, it could well be a false pretext, and people might well regard it as such. If he doesn't care what people think, he probably would just dispose of Joe to start with and avoid all this hassle.

Last edited by John Brinegar; 07-11-2018 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Typo remival
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