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Old 05-07-2019, 08:03 AM   #1
Bestial Warlust
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Explosive gem spell

This seems to be easily abused. There's nothing stopping a wizard from making dozens of grenades in between adventures. Besides not allowing this spell has anyone had to deal with this spell in game? How have you handled this spell?
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:39 AM   #2
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

Explosive gem is a pretty good one (mitigated by the fact that its serious damage applies only to one hex). As is Hammertouch. And a few others. Non magical characters have a few similarly effective one-shot kills. A petard. A well aimed arquebus shot. A lance charge. You can rein these in with house rules, but there are so many of them that I prefer to just accept it's part of the game that some very dangerous things find their way onto the playing field. Just note that many of them also have clear defenses. The first time your wizard throws a 6d Explosive Gem at someone protected by reverse missiles, he or she will experience a frisson of regret just before getting jellied.

The best control on abuse of most other magic item creation rules is a carefully maintained calendar and strict enforcement of the rules governing material components and ST expenditures.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:13 PM   #3
JLV
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

On occasion, I've been known to require additional *special* ingredients for certain magical items that seem to be unbalancing the game a bit -- something that makes it far harder or more expensive to make the item in question. That usually helps if you've got someone who has sat down and calculated some way to "break" the game by building a cheesy "explosive gem factory" or something. Plus, you can always introduce plot issues -- thugs trying to hijack the week's production, "industrial" accidents, city fathers raising taxes on a highly lucrative (and potentially very dangerous) industrial project underway within city limits... You get the picture. ;-)
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

Hire an IQ 14 wizard and seven apprentices for a week to make 25 eight-die gems. That's $1250 in material costs and $500 in labor costs which totals $1750 or $70 each.

I suggest hitting the halfling armed with a sling and 25 explosive gems with a lightning bolt. (ITL 167)
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:53 PM   #5
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

The most egregiously 'gameable' element of the magic item creation rules is the price list. I just shut that down completely in my campaign: If I'm in the captain's chair there just isn't an option of tossing a few hundred gold pieces at the local wizard's guild in exchange for whatever item you would like. My default rule is the same one good parents apply to children who want a boost onto a tree branch: 'You can do it if you can do it'. Want a flaming sword or teleportation ring or whatever it is you covet? Fine. Learn the relevant spells, build the lab, accumulate the supplies, find and hire (and keep happy) the apprentices and/or assistants, and invest the time. Of course I also have the occasional magic item scattered through the world, but there is no ordering for same-day deliver off of the Wizard pages of amazon.com.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:21 PM   #6
FireHorse
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
…there is no ordering for same-day deliver off of the Wizard pages of amazon.com.
Drat. There go my plans for the invasion, and I guess my would-be World Conqueror's highly overpriced Prime Membership was a complete waste. :D

I'm not yet thoroughly versed in the system's math, or its implications; are the prices much too low? (Or conversely, is Gold too easily acquired?)
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:12 PM   #7
tomc
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Tbut there is no ordering for same-day deliver off of the Wizard pages of amazon.com.
You can play in a world of high magic item availability, but if should cut both ways. The halfling with the sling and bag of explosive gems is going to cross paths with reverse missile rings, teleporting kung-fu shadow monks, and flying gargoyle assassins dropping casks of oil and shooting flaming crossbow bolts.

As if the game isn't deadly enough... :)
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
You can play in a world of high magic item availability, but if should cut both ways. The halfling with the sling and bag of explosive gems is going to cross paths with reverse missile rings,
What exactly is the modifier to target the ground in the wizard's hex?
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:45 PM   #9
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Explosive gem spell

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
What exactly is the modifier to target the ground in the wizard's hex?
In GURPS, +4. But this isn't GURPS.

In TFT, it's +0. (Miss the DX roll with a molotail, it lands in a different hex; there's no chance of landing in the same hex, hence no little margin where you can miss the figure but hit the hex. Grenades get no bonus to hit. Using the rules for hitting multihex creatures, hitting a 1-hex target is +0.)
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