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Old 11-05-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
Skarg
 
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Default Casting spells on large figures

It occurs to me I don't know if I know all the TFT rules (or common interpretations) for what it takes to cast spells on large (multi-hex) figures.

* If I want to cast Freeze on a 2-hex horse, or Invisibility or Iron Flesh on my summoned 7-hex dragon, does it cost the normal amount, or is it multiplied per hex size of the subject?

* Clearly if I want to enchant 2-hex horse barding, it's a double-size object that takes twice as many wizards to enchant. But what if a dragon picks up an ordinary Stone Flesh amulet - can it use it, or does it need to be enchanted for use by multi-hex creatures of its size or less? What about a Mage Sight item, or Spellsniffer? To me, it looks like those items themselves aren't large, and I'm not remembering a size limit or scaling factor rule other than the one about enchanting an object that itself is large, which would not seem to apply, but hcobb seemed to think an item usable by a 14-hex dragon would require a 14xWizards enchantment.

Am I missing a rule reference or two?
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

A dang good question, and one which a single rule of thumb may not cover. I can see at least three ways to look at the reasoning behind the magic.

1) For magic that covers a volume, like Invisibility, then I think it has to have a per-hex cost. Otherwise if the cost is the same for a person and a large dragon, then you should be able make a crowd of people (14 hexes worth) invisible for the same cost too.

2) For magic that might be classes as "holistic", in that it effects either the whole being or none of it, like Stone Flesh or Freeze, then one could argue the cost is on per-target basis rather than the per-size basis. Or one could argue the opposite as well, on the grounds that the more matter you have to affect, the greater the cost. These occupy the middle-ground of the rule argument.

3) For magic that is an enhanced sense or effect, like Far Vision or Mage Sight, it acts independently of the target's volume and should cost the same for all sizes.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

All thrown spells multiply by figure size as per page 140.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
All thrown spells multiply by figure size as per page 140.
Aha! There it is, hiding as if it were a part of the Continuing Spells section... or if we're being extremely literally-minded, maybe actually only applying to continuing spells (e.g. not Sleep or Freeze?). Interesting it specifically mentions Eyes Behind, even though (like Shadekeep above) I would've thought that might logically not increase per body size.


Ok... so that sort of answers it for the first part (question remaining exactly which spells it applies to - I guess all that target a multi-hex creature itself - so e.g. not probably not Break Weapon, but not sure about Drop Weapon).


But for enchanted items, I don't see that it involves more wizards to create an item that can affect larger creatures.

Many items put a spell effect on a wearer, but most of those have zero ST cost. Some do have a ST cost, and I don't know of anyplace that says that cost would be multiplied, but it seems very logical that it would be like cast spells are.

So for a Reverse Missiles item, an ordinary $5000 item would work on a 14-hex dragon, but it would cost 14 ST per turn for it to use, and making a fully self-powered one would cost 140 wizards with Lesser Magic Item Creation - you'd really get a guild's attention to create such a thing (if there even exist any in your campaign who could, let alone would), and the list price would be $700,000, or probably actually millions, or the political equivalent...

But for the many enchantments that don't list any ST cost, 14 x 0 = 0. So dragons could use human items for quite a few things, and or consider whether to eat the ST cost for others.

Last edited by Skarg; 11-05-2018 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

By the way, I found another reference to the multiplied cost for casting spells (not enchantments) on ITL page 18:

Quote:
Remember that the cost to keep a thrown spell in operation is based on a 1-hex figure; a 2-hex figure costs twice as much, and so on.
"Remember" is funny since it's in the very first paragraph on spells. However the wording is a little different from the section on Continuing Spells referenced above, referring instead to Thrown spells.


As for Enchantments, I've looked several times in Legacy ITL and while there's no reference there, there is reference in The Fantasy Trip Companion in Steve's errata article, in a part he attributes to Draper Kauffman, where the per-hex enchantment costs of valid targets are called for for Note-B enchantments, and the errata calls to add Note B to:

Trip
Blur
Slow Movement
Sleep
Freeze
Fireproof
Stone Flesh
Iron Flesh

What I really hope we some time learn from Steve (I asked in the Hexagram 3 errata feedback) is why he included practically everything else from that errata article in the Legacy edition ITL, but not these changes.

If this is being used, then I would tend to expect it to apply to other spells that seem to me to be in the same type categories for conceptual and balance purposes, i.e.:

Speed Movement
Silent Movement
Invisibility
Flight
Unnoticeability
Insubstantiality

and maybe (?) also:

Shock Shield (??)
Reverse Missiles
Curse
Spell Shield
Glamour
Teleport & Long-Distance Teleport
Cleansing
Little Death
Geas
Shapeshifting
Charm (?)
Increase Attribute (?)

I suppose it comes down to whether the GM wants giants and dragons and such to have access to these items or not... from their perspective, or those fighting them, it could make a massive difference in terms of balance.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

You can't make an amulet without specifying how big the protected figure can be?

"You determine that the ring of invisibility only has a Halfling sized enchantment on it..."
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
You can't make an amulet without specifying how big the protected figure can be?
Doesn't seem inherently absurd. Items of clothing are certainly sized.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:45 AM   #8
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
You can't make an amulet without specifying how big the protected figure can be?

"You determine that the ring of invisibility only has a Halfling sized enchantment on it..."
According to you in posts a few month ago, yes.
According to original Advanced Wizard as printed, no.
According to Legacy In the Labyrinth as recently printed, no.
According to Steve's 1980 errata article, in the section attributed to Draper Kauffman, that was one of the few errata there not included in Legacy for some unknown reason (about to be revealed when we read Hexagram 3?), yes.
According to how I used to play, not having seen that errata until recently, no.

And its not just specifying, it's multiplying the number of wizards or time used by the hex size of the largest figure that it is powerful enough to have effect on.


That errata also still doesn't mention whether the magic item powering costs are actually to be multiplied by size or not. It's a logical extension, but not one that's spelled out anywhere.

If it is multiplied, it makes me wonder about another good question about this that I don't think is defined (naturally since the multiplication of item costs is never mentioned), is how to calculate self-powered ST cost for items used by a large figure which multiplies costs? That is, if you have a self-powered item that would cost 1 for a human but costs zero, which a 4-hex dragon is allowed to use, does it cost 1 x 4 -1 = 3 per turn to maintain, or does it cost (1 - 1) x 4 = 0 to maintain? Self-powering "draws its ST from outside energy" ... so I could see that working either way, and again it makes a huge difference for how powerful large creatures with magic items might tend to be.


Oh, and I notice another interesting detail of Kaufman's explanation. It says that while a Trip item with a one-hex-strength enchantment couldn't trip a 3-hex giant, three one-hex Trip items could. Which means a large figure could collect a bunch of human-sized items... although they'd tend to run into the Rule of 5... unless it only counts each type of enchantment once in such cases... "Oh no, the 14-hex dragon has 13 iron flesh items, and is hunting down Brad who has one too!"


BTW, it occurs to me that another house-rule option could be to allow items to work but only affect certain hexes (or a random fraction) of the subject at a time. Maybe only the head hex of the dragon has Reverse Missiles on it... And/or maybe if you activate a one-hex Stone Flesh on your two-hex horse, it only protects it from 50% of hits (roll a die).

Last edited by Skarg; 11-07-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
That errata also still doesn't mention whether the magic item powering costs are actually to be multiplied by size or not. It's a logical extension, but not one that's spelled out anywhere.
ITL 155: "It takes four wizards (for a third spell) times ten (for 1 ST/turn self-powered ability) times three (a 3-hex item). It will take 120 wizards in cooperation to do that spell."

So it's X of the 1-hex self-powered enchantments for an X-hex item.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Casting spells on large figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
ITL 155: "It takes four wizards (for a third spell) times ten (for 1 ST/turn self-powered ability) times three (a 3-hex item). It will take 120 wizards in cooperation to do that spell."

So it's X of the 1-hex self-powered enchantments for an X-hex item.
No, because that section is talking about enchanting a large object, like a bed, not about enchanting a normal-sized item which can put its effect on a large target. That later concept isn't in AW or ITL, only in a change in that errata in the The Space Gamer article republished in the TFT Companion.
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