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Old 04-30-2017, 04:58 PM   #1
TruNightmare
 
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Default 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

I'm in need of some help. We recently switched to 4e, To start I'd like to say I've searched, combed, perused, and otherwise scavenged these forums, and the books, up and down multiple times, in an attempt to find my answer. I'd found one old discussion but it wasn't resolved.

I need help to understand this clause which states.

"TIME REQUIRED
Most spells take one second to cast.
Take the Concentrate maneuver for
one turn and attempt your skill roll at
the end of your turn. *If you succeed,
the spell takes effect instantly.*
Whether you succeed or fail, your turn
ends as soon as you roll the dice. No
one can interrupt a one-second spell
unless he took the Wait maneuver on
his own turn before the caster began
concentrating. -GURPS: MAGIC, pg. 7"

To me that says "I concentrate on the Spasm spell. Then I roll for it, which ends my turn and the result, either way, occurs before anyone else gets to act. Unless they used a Wait.

There's a disagreement in my group and I've been charged with sorting it out. Some argue it's like 3e's psionics, where the spell goes off at the beginning of my next turn. That doesn't seem to be the case with the wording, otherwise it would be worded that way.

Can someone explain it better in terms I could possibly share to make sense of it to the rest of my group?
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

I don't know how better to word it - it is instant, it says NOTHING about waiting another turn, I don't know what they want. It is not like 3e's psionics at all, which is why it doesn't use wording like 3e's psionics. This is a change from how Magic worked in 3e, which might be where they're getting the confusion from. It was changed because it seemed really needlessly cruel to wizards, and also just that little bit of annoying. Better to have the spell go off on the same turn.
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Right? That's what I said, 'Instantly' doesn't mean later.

Maybe we'll need to discuss what constitutes a turn more >.<

While I have your attention, Is the subject declared when you do the concentration or when you do the roll?

I found on, I believe page 17, using the quarterstaff to point out a subject you would declare it on concentration then, but it also referenced ritual magic. So I'm not sure what that means about a non-staff pointing situation.

But in general would you declare the subject, let's say with a two second casting spell, in the 1st or 2nd second? Before during or after concentration?

Last edited by TruNightmare; 04-30-2017 at 05:58 PM. Reason: proofreading
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Old 04-30-2017, 06:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

FAQ:

4.1.6 When does a mage have to specify his spell's target?

When he rolls the dice. In fact, the only thing you have to declare when you first start to concentrate is what spell you're concentrating on. The exceptions are spells like Divination and Seeker, which are worded so as to imply that one must start out meditating on a specific target object or question.

In general, the following things can be left up until the instant the dice are rolled:

Area affected (Area spells)
Content (spells like illusions, Voice or Delayed Message)
Energy source (i.e., ST, HT or Powerstones)
Level of effect (spells like Shield or Teleport Shield)
Destination (Gate magic and Teleport spells)
Dice of damage (spells like Deathtouch or Flame Jet, but not Missile spells, which have their own special rules)
Hit location (spells like Paralyze Limb and Wither Limb)
Subject (most spells)
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruNightmare View Post
To me that says "I concentrate on the Spasm spell. Then I roll for it, which ends my turn and the result, either way, occurs before anyone else gets to act. Unless they used a Wait.
Exactly right.

It's no different from, say, attacking someone. If I swing a sword at you, I declare my action, roll against my skill, and if you don't defend, I hit you. You can't interrupt me or stop me from doing this unless you had previously taken a Wait maneuver to do so.

In general for Regular and Area spells, only those that take longer than one second to cast are easily interrupted. If a spell takes only one second, it means that it's a single combat action to cast and resolve it.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Thank you both of you, I have been in my own head about this so long I've started to feel a little crazy. That's right I read the part on divination and knowledge, thank you for posting that link to make it easy to pull up!

Thank you so much! I hope I can show them this and it will put their 3e minds at ease... And thank you for explaining it that way, PK!

This forum community is on top of it :D

Last edited by TruNightmare; 04-30-2017 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Proofreading
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Okay, well I hope someone is still listening, because now we have a question on the semantics of the turn, and the phrasing.

So this constitutes a turn,
"3.4.1.3 In combat, when does your turn end?
Your turn ends after you've chosen, executed, and ended a maneuver Attack, Concentrate, etc. For the sole purpose of active defenses, your turn has consequences that extend past that period, until you choose your next maneuver. Thus, one could say your turn doesn't end until your next one begins."

This is when a Spell went off in 3rd Edition.
"6.2 When does a spell go off?

For a standard one-second spell, the mage takes the concentrate maneuver one turn, and the spell goes off at the beginning of the mage's next turn. This is when the player announces the target, rolls the dice, etc."

And In 4th it says one-second spells go off instantly.

Does that mean in combat, my turn: Concentrate, Cast one second spell successfully. Spell affect applies to target. Next character goes.

OR

My turn: Concentrate, Other characters go, before my NEW turn, Cast one second spell successfully, affects subject, my new turn begins.

Thanks in advance to anyone reading. We would love to hear varied opinions and of course, an official ruling would be great.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruNightmare View Post

Does that mean in combat, my turn: Concentrate, Cast one second spell successfully. Spell affect applies to target. Next character goes.
This one. As Bruno pointed out it was a change from one edition to the next.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Refplace, thank you!
I'll get specific as we are a stubborn, tenacious, and "Arrogant" bunch (Someone else's words, not mine).

Because Casting Spells on page 7 of GURPS Magic says things like, "At the end of the last second of concentration, make a success roll for the spell."

Some persons take that to apparently mean, there is a lull between Concentration and Casting the spell for its effect, they cite things like

"Take the Concentrate maneuver for one turn and attempt your skill roll at
the end of your turn. If you succeed, the spell takes effect instantly." and "This uses his entire turn. He then rolls the dice for his spell."
-Example top of page 8.

to mean that 'End of your turn' leads to the beginning of your next one, (and therein supersedes the 'instantly') because of how turns are defined. Your turn ends so there's nothing left for you to do but wait for your next turn for the spell to go off.

I find that mentality overrides the purpose of the noninterruptable one-second spells, but I suppose if you just wing it and say, "Even if someone hits you during their turn it doesn't stop your one-second spell cast."

That's essentially the root of the discussion now. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you can break down the fixed ideal of what a turn is that may help. I'd read one forum on here that addressed that, I'll try to dig it up...
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: 4e Magic one-sec spell need help / discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruNightmare View Post
Some argue it's like 3e's psionics
Seems like a weak argument, since 4e Magic doesn't even operate like 3e Magic, much less other 3e systems.

(And it was a quite deliberate change. As PK says, it makes combat spells more like other attacks, as well as cleaning up the turn sequence by not having all those resolutions of prior turns carry over into turns where the mage is actually doing something else. Note that instantaneous casting also went away in 4e. Blocking spell exist, and are their own case. But any 1-second spell is now "instant" in the sense that it's not hanging around for a complete round of turns from every other character to try the kill the mage before the spell goes off, or take their turn to react to the fact that they were successfully targeted. As you say, to interrupt a mage you need to take a Wait for that purpose.)
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