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Old 08-14-2009, 10:13 AM   #61
Langy
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: CA
Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
If you are in a dungeon crawl and you might be ambushed at any time (enough to justify constant vigalance) than you ARE in danger.
Except you can't be ambushed if there are not, in fact, creatures ready to ambush you. Nothing indicates a Bless spell needs to know about a danger in order to respond to it, and nothing indicates it will respond to a danger you only think you are in. Therefore, it doesn't respond to percieved danger - which is what you are talking about, no matter how hard you deny it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:18 AM   #62
hal
 
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Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Suppose you have a high moutain pass in spring-time with an extreme avalanche danger. Suppose you hike across that pass anyway.
Ok, lets go with your example above.

Suppose you're about to enter the pass mentioned above. The situation being what it is, you realize that you have no choice but to go through that pass. As fate would have it, the pass is filled with thigh high snow, impeding your movement by an additional +1 cost per hex moved. Thus, with a movement allowance of 4 down from a 6.25 base speed due to encumberance, your character's max speed while running will be 2 hexes per turn - and nasty GM that I am, knowing that racing through snow is equivalent to running over uneven ground, I will require (as GM) an extra DX saving roll for every 5 seconds worth of running (I'd hate to make players roll once every second's worth of running through the snow - as that wouldn't really model reality now would it?). Ok, so now you're about to enter the snow field with a party of NPCs and PCs. As fate would have it, there are moments where it is possible for a character to fall into deeper snow than a mere 2.5 feet's worth. One player character, not yours, enters into an unexpected pocket of snow, which will have a depth equal to 2+ 1d6/2 feet. Rolling a 4, the player character who stumbled into the pocket is asked to make an IQ saving roll. The player fails the saving roll (and thus is surprised). Being a devious bugger, I ask for the player to make a Will saving roll to avoid shouting out in surprise.

Now here is the rub...

If any loud noise is made, there is a chance that there will be an Avalanche. The snow pits are mid-way through the field, and the avalanche, will hit with a frontage of 200 yards in width. I've determined based on the height of the mountain, that it will take roughly 25 seconds for the avalanche reach the bottom and fan out (hence the 200 yard frontage bit). Where the pit is that the player character stumbled, is precisely 100 yards into where the Avalanche will hit. No matter what happens, if that Avalanche is triggered while the party is where it is, they will not be able to outrun the avalanche when and where it will hit.

I've already determined in advance, that an avalanche will occur on a roll of a 13+ if someone yells or screams. Now comes the crunch time regarding the use of your "Bless" at level 2...

Assuming a perception of 11, an IQ of 10, a DX of 13, a HT of 12, and a ST of 11 and your character's movement dropped from a 6.25 down to a 4 due to encumberance - what would you expect to happen:

A) when the original player character (not yours) rolls to avoid being surprised, missing their IQ roll by 3?

B) When the original player character (not yours) rolls to avoid yelling in surprise - missing their Will roll by 1.

C) when I as the GM, rolls against the probability of an Avalanche occurring - and I roll a 15 on 3d6?

If you believe that your blessing comes into play in any of those rolls, then you and I would be in opposition in our "opinions". Why? Bless only affects the rolls of the subject - or foes directly arrayed against the subject of the bless spell. During item A, your character is not in direct danger of any specific event happening the moment item A occurs. Event A will TRIGGER a specific danger against you to be sure, but it won't directly intervene on your behalf at that precise moment - as you are not the subject of the roll itself.

Event B follows the same path as Event A.

Event C has some wiggle room, as it does directly effect you, and you could argue that it is "Nature" that is doing the rolling. I on the other hand, look at it as being an issue of determining a random event, not nature itself - by means of the die roll itself. Otherwise? I could state flat out, that ANY noise above a given sound level automatically triggers that avalanche. At that point, there is no roll, and thus, Bless could not affect it. Therefor - if it can't affect an automatic event of the Avalanche, it can't affect the die roll either. That would be like having an encounter table you use as a GM, and a player arguing "If you roll a 100 on your encounter table, that will bring about a Dragon that will kill us all. My Bless will modify all rolls on your encounter table by +2 in my favor". Um. No.

Ok, moving onwards (see next post)
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:18 AM   #63
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post

Your carried gear is most definately part of your person. If it weren't, then MR would be useless and it's not.

Yes you do. Read page 401 of the GURPS main rule book.

No. The GM is obligated to replace it. It says so right in the entry under Signature Gera.
1. Sometimes Magic Resistance doesn't protect your gear. Your MR won't protect your weapons from Disintegrate for example.

2. "Sunder" is a very specific term of art in D&D 3.x. That word is not used on p.401. Instead there is text about breaking or attacking weapons.

This may generally be equivalent to D&D's Sunder action but the terminology is different. You keep talking about Sunder and people are going to assume that you're talking about D&D rules or don't know how things are done in Gurps.

3. Why don't you actually read the rules you keep citing? B.85, fourth paragraph of the Signature Gear entry, second sentence.

"If it is truly lost through no fault of your own, the GM will give you back your points (or replace the item with another of equal value)."

Note that the next sentence points out that there are circumstances where even Signature Gear can be lost forever.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #64
Polaris
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
1. Sometimes Magic Resistance doesn't protect your gear. Your MR won't protect your weapons from Disintegrate for example.
Disintigrate is a regular spell, and if you look at the description of a regular spell, an attended weapon is not a valid target (since you can't use hit locations with a regular spell). An unattended weapon is a valid target, but no one is claiming that an unattended weapon would have your personal MR.

Ergo your example doesn't work.

Hal,

I still think this is sophistry. If you are in danger, then bless works. If you aren't it doesn't. If you are crossing a minefield, defusing a bomb, etc etc, then you are IN DANGER and thus any failure of a skill roll will cause the secondary effect of bless to kick in.

This has the unfortunate side effect of also making bless not last very long in dangerous situations.

-Polaris

Edit: To be clearer about what I mean by "attended weapon", in order to target a held weapon, you explicitly have to make a "hit location" attack roll and that is forbidden with a regular spell. So if you are holding a weapon, the disintigrate spell has to target all of you (and be invalid because you are a living target) or be invalid because you are attempting to use a hit-location.

Last edited by Polaris; 08-14-2009 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:33 AM   #65
Polaris
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Powerstones

Hal, you said:

If you roll a 100 on your encounter table, that will bring about a Dragon that will kill us all. My Bless will modify all rolls on your encounter table by +2 in my favor". Um. No.


Why not? That is how bless would work.

-Polaris

Edit: Bless certainly would apply to all rolls you make to prevent the avalanche.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:38 AM   #66
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Powerstones

The avalanche has begun thanks to the shriek of surprise.

As GM, I've outlined that the sequence of events are such that:

A) All characters get a roll versus Observation to determine that the Avalanche has begun.

B) player characters and NPCs need to roll versus IQ or be mentally stunned (ie surprised) at the developing situation.

C) anyone not stunned, can attempt to run for their lives, or look for a way to survive the incoming avalanche in the hopes that there is a cluster of rocks they can shelter behind, or failing that, determine the best route to run to avoid the worst of the Avalanche itself.

D) anyone who runs for more than 5 seconds through the snow needs to roll a DX saving roll as they run through uneven terrain. As the players have only 25 seconds of time available, that will be a total of 5 saving rolls before the Avalanche hits under the best of circumstances, or more likely 4 saving rolls.

E) anyone caught in the avalanche, needs to make various saving rolls versus DX and/or HT to determine how deeply they will be buried, plus an IQ orientation roll to determine which way is up or down even. So plenty of saving rolls will be involved. The closer to the edge of the Avalanche the characters are, the better their saving rolls will be.

At which point of the list above, will the +2 blessing come into play, and/or be lost on a failure?

As GM? I'd have it that the blessing works at all times as a +2 bonus for all rolls made by the player or against the player directly (on behalf of an active foe), and only be disappated during phase E of the die rolling, as those rolls directly impact on taking damage, or surviving a given situation.

A crit failure during Phase A, and being negated by the Bless, means our poor player character (ie YOUR player character) will have no blessing to save their lives when the Avalanche finally hits. If that's how you'd like it, by all means, we'd use your interpretation Polaris ;)

During Phase B, it directly impacts on how quickly you can act to get to the edge of the Avalanche. But again, your character's life is not in direct danger of taking damage, dying, etc. The loss of your blessing to avoid being stunned is of course, very important, but again - no damage is being taken nor any possibility of damage being inflicted. A loss of the blessing here and now will result in no Blessing for phase E.

Phase C? An IQ saving roll to best assess your survival chances might be important, but again, not directly life threatening at that moment. Same with Phase D - running full out to avoid the worst of the Avalanche is a survival trait to be sure, but the Blessing's loss at this point likely will be catestrophic for the player character.

Only in Phase E, where a Crit failure could result in massive damage or even Death - should the blessing be expended in an effort to miraculously spare the blessed's life.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #67
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Hal,

I still think this is sophistry. If you are in danger, then bless works. If you aren't it doesn't. If you are crossing a minefield, defusing a bomb, etc etc, then you are IN DANGER and thus any failure of a skill roll will cause the secondary effect of bless to kick in.

This has the unfortunate side effect of also making bless not last very long in dangerous situations.

-Polaris
It would seem then, there we will have to agree to disagree, as your stance and mine appear to be diametrically opposed with no hope of resolution. <shrug>
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:42 AM   #68
Witchking
 
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Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Disintigrate is a regular spell, and if you look at the description of a regular spell, an attended weapon is not a valid target (since you can't use hit locations with a regular spell).
It is valid. The caster is not trying to hit a location on you. He is casting at your weapon...a totally seperate target. I cant recall but if there are modifiers on the hit location chart for targeting "weapon" I am fairly sure they are just meant to represent the smaller size.

You and your weapon ARE NOT ONE. Unless you are a martial artist fighting unarmed of course....

Edit:
Bless might proctect such a weapon gods are an interpretive agency.
MR would not unless the weapon has its own.
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Last edited by Witchking; 08-14-2009 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #69
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Powerstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Disintigrate is a regular spell, and if you look at the description of a regular spell, an attended weapon is not a valid target (since you can't use hit locations with a regular spell). An unattended weapon is a valid target, but no one is claiming that an unattended weapon would have your personal MR.
I have no idea where you're getting any of this.

I did just look at the description of Regular spells on p.11 of Magic and did not see one word about the inability to target specific locations.

It did say that Regular spells are best cast by touching the subject. If you can't touch it there will be a range penalty of -1 per hex.

The specific spell description of Disintegrate does say that the subject must be an inanimate object. Also an Item Enchanted with Disintegrate must be a wand,staff or glove and that this item must touch the subject.

There isn't one word about Disintegrate not working on items being held by another person and I would think this was a limitation worth mentioning.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:43 PM   #70
Polaris
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: Powerstones/Getting Back on Topic

Guys,

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on bless. The wording seems clear enough to me. I will conceed the point about items though. Fred is right about disintigrate.

Regardless, it does not diminish my original point (which we've lost track of).

The point is that Charge Powerstone is a reasonable way to keep powerstones charged and with far less risk than Fred is willing to admit.

Here are the numbers (and remember that at the skill levels we are assuming for this discussion, Charge Powerstone is entitled to a cost reduction of one PP):

Assuming the Mage has 11 fatigue available (likely), it takes three castings of charge powerstone to recharge a powerstone of size 9-12 and only two to recharge a powerstone from 5-8 (the most likely starting size for a wizard of modest means).

Now, let's look at the math:

The chance of destroying a 12 pt stone per casting is 1/216 (again for the purposes of this discussion we assume the skill is 16+). That means the total chance per recharge of destroying the stone is:

(1/216)^3+3*(1/216)^2*(215/216)+3*(1/216)*(215/216)^2

This is easily approximated to first order as 3/216 or about 1.4%

That means that the expectation value for the number of recharges before destruction is 72 times which is going to be much longer than any reasonable adventure.

It is fairly easy to factor in luck to a first order approximation (since it effectively negates one of the critical failures). With luck, the first order probability is 0.0064% chance with an expectation value for the number of recharches of 1552 times. [3*(1/216)^2] Again this is far more than any reasonable length of campaign/adventure.

If you reject quirked stones, it's harsher but not overly so. In that case you replace in the above formulas 1/216 with 4/216 but otherwise the math is identical. In this case the chance of quirking your stone per recharge (for a 12pt stone) is 5.5% which means you have an expected 18 times before you quirk it. That isn't so good, and if it really bothers you, then use luck (either your own or 'bottled alchemical luck'). With luck the odds go down to 0.1% with an expected 972 recharges which is much, much better. [Again all calculations done to first order.]

This is with 9-12 point stones which are very large for starting characters. For more normal starting stones, the numbers are even better. For a 5-8pt stone, the chance of destruction per recharge is 2/216 to first order or about 0.9% with an expected number of recharges of 108. With luck this becomes 2*(1/216)^2 with an expected number of recharges of 46,656 which is obviously far more than you'll likely ever need. If you reject quirks, then again replace 1/216 with 4/216 everyone. To first order, that gives a probability of quirking per recharge of 1.9% for an expected number of recharges of 54 which isn't bad at all. If you use luck this number shoots up to 916 expected recharges or .0034% chance of quirking per recharge.

So there you have it. Fred is incorrect. Recharge powerstone is a very low risk option for the skilled wizard to recharge moderate powerstones. It's also obvious that for larger powerstones, luck makes a huge difference (and if you wanted to do it commericially, luck either by natural talent or potion) would be a good investment.

-Polaris
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