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Old 09-22-2018, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default Defending against magic attacks

If you have a PC or NPC that does not employ magic, but knows magic and magic users exist, how can such character defend from magic?

Can this character for example, parry a fireball or deflect a lighting strike?

Where do I find the guidelines to fight against magic if you are a melee fighter, or an archer or a gunner?

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Old 09-22-2018, 02:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

They can block some missile spells with a shield, cinematic could try Parry Missile Weapons, Mind Shield might be a Chi, psi or exotic training thing.
Mundane wards may be available and if they know how magic works they can use tactics like staying out of sight or at range to increase skill penalties.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

And you can always dodge.

... magic missile attacks are not treated different from mundane missiles.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

But for example, parry missile weapons, does it work against fireballs? Basic book says you cannot parry liquids; how is a ball of fire different from that?

Are there advantages to absorb a magic attack? Some games have items to do so and they work as magic DR.

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Old 09-22-2018, 07:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

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Originally Posted by Hide View Post
But for example, parry missile weapons, does it work against fireballs? Basic book says you cannot parry liquids; how is a ball of fire different from that?
Notice how Fireball does Cr (inc) damage? That's because it's a rock that is somehow on fire. So, yeah, you can parry that just fine.

As for advantages for fighting mages, you can buy DR with Accessibility: Vs Magic Only, Magic Resistance helps your resistance against non-missile spells, anybody with Static: Magic is unaffected by all spells except missile spells, and, characters without Magery can still buy and use most enchanted gear.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

Missile spells in GURPS Magic are often considered as conjured things that you then physically throw (as opposed to being magically propagating energy). They're ranged missile attacks not very different from a bow or bullet, after they're cast, at least as far as how you defend against them. (Difficult, for mundane characters, just as it's hard to stop bullets and blasters unless you're a speedster or Jedi.)

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Originally Posted by oFAQ
4.3.1 What exactly is a fireball?

According to Steve, an orange-sized bolt of magical force that hits like a bullet and which quickly vanishes in a blast of fire on impact, detonating any flammables it actually strikes.

...

What kinds of wounds does a Fireball cause?
It is largely an impact weapon; a baseball-sized bolt of pure magical force. This is why it's damage is stopped by the DR of the location hit. It is hot, and it does vanish in a gout of flame when it hits the target, but that's more of a special effect than its primary mode of doing damage.

How does a Fireball interact with armor?
This "hard" bolt of magical force hits the armor just like a bullet, staff thrust or fist, doing damage on impact, and either denting it a little or punching a hole straight through. It then goes "Poof!" and vanishes in a cloud of fire. It will only heat up a breastplate as much as a baseball-sized globe of 300-degree air would; i.e. not much.

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/faq/FAQ4-4.html#SS4.3.1
Sunbolt seems even more inclined to be "just energy" -- but even then, you could still parry it, at least if you have the skills and Advantages to parry missile weapons in the first place.

You could argue that Parrying Lightning with a metal weapon would be counter-productive, given the way it mostly ignores metal armor. (Or you could argue that the wooden, leather-wrapped grip is sufficient insulation, at least to count as DR. The point of tweaks like that is to lend some flavor so that not everything is just the same 3d6 Ranged Killing Attack, not to try to inject real physics.)
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

Even though you "throw" missile spells, they function more like a "shot" bow/crossbow weapon in terms of shields-only non-dodging options?
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:28 AM   #8
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Even though you "throw" missile spells, they function more like a "shot" bow/crossbow weapon in terms of shields-only non-dodging options?
Unless you have Parry Missile Weapons, yes.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Notice how Fireball does Cr (inc) damage?
Fireball doesn't do Cr (inc) damage, it does burning damage. The Missile spells generally don't do "magic crushing damage", they use appropriate damage types.

Anyway, though, I'd still allow Parry Missile Weapon skill to parry a Fireball spell. The Missile spells are made up of "real" stuff of whatever they're shooting (that's why they work when thrown into no-mana areas), but there's clearly something holding them together in the missile shape, and that can be disrupted. Parry the fireball, and the fire contained in it will start behaving like normal fire - i.e., it will quickly rise away from you, and also go out with nothing to sustain it.

Now, area-effect Missile spells would be a bit trickier. Explosive Fireball, for instance. I'd probably treat those as detonating at the point of impact - in other words, on your weapon's blade if you parried them, or on your shield if you blocked. The block might still be somewhat useful there, effectively giving you a bit of cover against the blast, but the parry probably won't help much.
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Old 09-22-2018, 12:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Defending against magic attacks

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Fireball doesn't do Cr (inc) damage, it does burning damage. The Missile spells generally don't do "magic crushing damage", they use appropriate damage types.
Huh. Either Mandela Effect, or, I'm getting game systems highly confused due to a severe shortage of sleep.

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Now, area-effect Missile spells would be a bit trickier. Explosive Fireball, for instance. I'd probably treat those as detonating at the point of impact - in other words, on your weapon's blade if you parried them, or on your shield if you blocked. The block might still be somewhat useful there, effectively giving you a bit of cover against the blast, but the parry probably won't help much.
Just because Rule of Cool applies, I'd be inclined to treat your margin of success on the parry as scatter for where the explosive missile impacts. Anything less than a critical success on blocking is going to be damaging the shield (if you're using shield damage rules).

Last edited by Nereidalbel; 09-22-2018 at 12:21 PM.
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