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Old 01-04-2020, 01:09 AM   #11
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

At a higher IQ level, why not an all day air elemental to explore the entire volume of the dungeon that has living critters? Any place that air doesn't flow there are no complex life forms to encounter.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

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Any place that air doesn't flow there are no complex life forms to encounter.
An hallmark of old-school D&D (and others) modules were the tomb rooms sealed for centuries with a dozen critters inside...
Unless you want to accuse writers of not thinking about such mundane issues, clearly there are a bunch of secret spells know only by dungeon architects and providing fresh air and plumbing

Last edited by Celjabba; 01-04-2020 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

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I think the idea is to prevent super-easy aerial reconnaissance.
Thanks, Skarg. I agree, and also agree that seeing through an image's or illusion's eyes is a bit much.

But as for the question of bats birds, bats actually have pretty good vision, so aerial recon is going to be easy with this spell. Perhaps it would be better if the Scout had to be a small terrestrial critter.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

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At a higher IQ level, why not an all day air elemental to explore the entire volume of the dungeon that has living critters? Any place that air doesn't flow there are no complex life forms to encounter.
Is your desired game style to explore exploits? If so, the GM may allow this to work and be standard practice. Who needs to explore anything themselves? Only fools who take ST greater than 6!


In other game styles, a GM might notice that elementals don't let the wizards see through their eyes, AND it seems to me that, as elemental spirits, they don't think like munchkins or adventurers, AND it seems to me that they probably don't speak. A wizard who controls an elemental can command it, but getting much detailed information out of an elemental may be tricky.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

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Thanks, Skarg. I agree, and also agree that seeing through an image's or illusion's eyes is a bit much.

But as for the question of bats birds, bats actually have pretty good vision, so aerial recon is going to be easy with this spell. Perhaps it would be better if the Scout had to be a small terrestrial critter.
Yeah, being able to send a squirrel up a tall tree is about as much aerial viewing as I might want from that spell.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:52 PM   #16
warhorse11h
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Illusions and Images are of limited use for this long range recon work. Per ITL pg 139, renewing them outside of the MMH creation range costs double the ST and in any event can only be maintained for 5 minutes or less.
Summoned creatures should have some limitations though that aren't specified. Reference is made that no summoned creature can cast a spell or disbelieve, they have no will of their own and are under the control of the one who summoned them. I know that the caster can see through their eyes, but I'm inclined to believe they have to stay in sight and hearing of their summoner through his own eyes to be controlled. Looking though their eyes would show you what they see, but not show you where they are precisely.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:57 PM   #17
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

I only know of one RAW limitation to summoned X eyesight.

ITL 137: "The wizard must see this hex with his own eyes not through the eyes of a proxy, illusion, created being, etc."

Also actual summoned critters (unlike Illusions) still do stuff for up to five seconds after the wizard loses consciousness. (Same page)
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

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I only know of one RAW limitation to summoned X eyesight.

ITL 137: "The wizard must see this hex with his own eyes not through the eyes of a proxy, illusion, created being, etc."

Also actual summoned critters (unlike Illusions) still do stuff for up to five seconds after the wizard loses consciousness. (Same page)
The first seems to support my thoughts, if only by inference, as it is a limitation on where the figure can be summoned to appear.
A summoned creature remains until the turn following the death or unconciousness of his summoner, when the cost to maintain the spell can no longer be paid. I believe it ends instantaneously if the wizard wants him gone.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Trivia: Fruit Bats (aka Flying Foxes) do not use echolocation, are not entirely nocturnal, and have surprisingly good eyesight (by bat standards).

But regardless, if the exclusion of birds was intended solely to prevent aerial reconnaissance, then explicitly allowing bats certainly seems contrary to that intention.

Perhaps instead of "Summon Scout", the spell should be called "Summon Small Mammal". Then we could argue instead about what "small" means. I'd say it means "No bigger than a bread box" (or a Fruit Bat), and "with no combat value at all" (which is why it's only useful as a scout).

And we can leave it to the Sorcerers' Guild to explain why nobody ever invented a "Summon Bird" spell.
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