Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-24-2019, 03:45 PM   #1
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Probably many or even all of us have used the strategy of placing a Blast Trap spell on an arrow or crossbow bolt, setting the trigger condition to simply "when the arrow hits it's target", and gone into combat with this warhead at the ready.

Since the spell lasts 24 hours and can be cast multiple times on the same item (up to 5 per the Expunge spell example in the rules), you can build quite a "nuke" if you know you're going to use it the next day. Having overnight to prepare, my own favorite wizard once saved his party by placing 5 successive 12 ST Blast Trap spells on a crossbow bolt, resting 3 hours after each casting. It took him a half hour longer than 12 hours to do that, as he missed his DX roll twice and had to wait 15 minutes more each of those times to regain the wasted ST point. Yes, it did 10+10 damage. We were being sent after a really big monster, "was" being the operative word here. It turned a 21-hex Roc into fried chicken for everyone. In game time, the adventure lasted 1 melee turn.

But I have a question! I did that so long ago (20+ years) I cannot recall how that day's GM ruled on this.

Does the adjacent hex damage caused by a 12 ST or 24 ST Blast Trap spell count for every hex of a multi-hex creature (or multi-hex target of any kind such as a 3 hex wall) that's in the blast's range???

Say a 3 hex Giant steps on a gem with a 12 ST Blast Trap spell on it, set to go off when anyone but the wizard who created it steps on or touches it. This size Blast Trap spell does 2d6+2 damage to anything in the hex where it's touched, but it also does 2d6 damage to anything in each of the adjacent hexes.

The Giant takes the 2 dice +2 damage in the hex he steps on the gem, that much is for sure.

But would you charge the other 2 dice damage to the Giant for each of it's other two hexes? After all, those body parts are in adjacent hexes to the one taking the 2+2 damage.

If so, then in the case of a 3-hex Giant it would take 6+2 damage. A 4-hex Dragon would also take 6+2, with one of its 4 hexes unaffected (not that that would make any difference).

How would/have you played it?

Last edited by Steve Plambeck; 07-24-2019 at 03:51 PM. Reason: I'm an awful typist!
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2019, 08:46 PM   #2
tomc
 
tomc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Carrboro, NC
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

That looks reasonable to me. The rationalization being that those with more surface area toward the blast get blasted more. If you're small more of the explosion just passes you by.

I would, however, have taken great glee in applying harsh penalties to anyone who rolled an automatic failure when making such an adventure squashing device as a 12 die blast arrow. Especially if, as GM, I had invested a lot of time and effort in the adventure. :)
__________________
OgreMap2

Freedom of Speech is not Freedom of Podium

Last edited by tomc; 07-25-2019 at 05:59 AM.
tomc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

I would not allow using Blast Trap to buff a weapon. I would allow it to be used on a weapon if that weapon becomes a booby trap, e.g. putting an arrow with Blast Trap cast on it in a quiver and set to explode when a goblin touched it. Using the spell as suggested in the opening post violates the spirit of the spell.
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 06:04 AM   #4
tomc
 
tomc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Carrboro, NC
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

I agree that it violates the spirit of the spell, but I took it as the premise of the question.

Some GMs are wide open in their interpretations, and other are strict. As long as they are mostly consistent the players will have a feel for what to expect, and that leads to better games.
__________________
OgreMap2

Freedom of Speech is not Freedom of Podium
tomc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 01:50 AM   #5
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc View Post
I would, however, have taken great glee in applying harsh penalties to anyone who rolled an automatic failure when making such an adventure squashing device as a 12 die blast arrow. Especially if, as GM, I had invested a lot of time and effort in the adventure. :)
You and me both! The GM that day had on another day, as a player, completely derailed a very detailed and labor-intensive scenario I'd put together when I was GM. In that case it was a 10 dice lightning bolt that foiled all my well thought out plans. I took great satisfaction in charging him negative XP for that because in the process he accidentally killed all the innocent NPCs he was supposed to be saving -- LOL!

The day I blew up his Roc was just a time killer. The rest of the group couldn't make it for our regular game day, and he said come on over anyway and bring your favorite wizard, I have a suicide mission for him (oh, how nice). All he had to do to get ready was draw the giant Roc counter and assign its attributes. He gave it ST 100.

I fried the bird in one melee turn, and then we played chess the rest of the day :) Good times indeed.
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 09:28 AM   #6
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Does the adjacent hex damage caused by a 12 ST or 24 ST Blast Trap spell count for every hex of a multi-hex creature (or multi-hex target of any kind such as a 3 hex wall) that's in the blast's range???

Say a 3 hex Giant steps on a gem with a 12 ST Blast Trap spell on it, set to go off when anyone but the wizard who created it steps on or touches it. This size Blast Trap spell does 2d6+2 damage to anything in the hex where it's touched, but it also does 2d6 damage to anything in each of the adjacent hexes.

The Giant takes the 2 dice +2 damage in the hex he steps on the gem, that much is for sure.

But would you charge the other 2 dice damage to the Giant for each of it's other two hexes? After all, those body parts are in adjacent hexes to the one taking the 2+2 damage.

If so, then in the case of a 3-hex Giant it would take 6+2 damage. A 4-hex Dragon would also take 6+2, with one of its 4 hexes unaffected (not that that would make any difference).

How would/have you played it?
I would not give the adjacent hex damage to multihex creatures. Consider: for a 24ST Balst Trap, a 1-hex figure in the blast hex will take 3d damage, and a multihex creature with 2 of its hexes adjacent to the blast hex will take more damage than the unfortunate figure at ground zero. I don't think that explosions work that way. And, if you are a multihex figure who has one of your hexes at ground zero, the part of your body in that hex should absorb the energy of the blast--which is why damage is given at the full 3d.
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
xane
 
xane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: London, UK
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITL p31 Blast Trap
When the item explodes, it is totally destroyed.
The first Blast Trap would destroy the bolt, so the others would not go off as the bolt no longer exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITL p31 Blast Trap
There may be only one triggering situation per spell, though an object may have more than one Blast Trap on it.
The purpose of allowing multiple Blast Traps is to set multiple conditions, not deliver more damage.
xane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 01:27 AM   #8
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xane View Post
The first Blast Trap would destroy the bolt, so the others would not go off as the bolt no longer exists.
Hmmm, perhaps. Yet I see no reason to assume each of the spells wouldn't be triggered simultaneously, as long as each of the triggering conditions was met simultaneously.

Say one Blast Trap doing 1+1 damage is placed on an item with the trigger condition being it gets picked up by anyone with green hair. Then a second BT spell for 1+1 damage is placed on the same item, set to go off if it's touched by anyone with red eyes.

But if a green-haired person with red eyes happens to grab the item, wouldn't they take 2+2 damage?

Alas, no way to test it in reality! And maybe that's a good thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xane View Post
The purpose of allowing multiple Blast Traps is to set multiple conditions, not deliver more damage.
The rules forbid multiple triggering conditions for the same spell, while not saying anything against placing the same condition on each of the different spells.

It is after all a spell intended to cause an item do as much harm as the caster can put into it, so "more damage" is not inconsistent with the intent of the spell.
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
xane
 
xane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: London, UK
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
The rules forbid multiple triggering conditions for the same spell, while not saying anything against placing the same condition on each of the different spells.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ITL p31 Expunge Spell
Only one Expunge spell may be cast on an object; it counts as one of the five permissible spells. The Expunge spell may have up to five separate triggering” conditions – never more.
The Blast Trap may only have one condition, but may be cast five times, therefore give different conditions but only one spell (each).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
It is after all a spell intended to cause an item do as much harm as the caster can put into it, so "more damage" is not inconsistent with the intent of the spell.
This is achieved by putting ST into the spell, not by multiple castings.
xane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2019, 01:18 PM   #10
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Creating "nukes" with the Blast spell?

This seems to me like one of those things a GM needs to decide how they want the version of the spell known in their campaign to work, because it does have some fairly large implications.

Mainly "can a wizard with Blast Trap use it to make deadly exploding arrows, or not?" Because if they can, it's a rather deadly and efficient technique.

In theory, an army can employ a wizard with Blast Trap, powered by apprentices at $25/week for 25 ST/day, to crank out approximately one 3-die Blast Trap per day per apprentice - so something like $5 per 3-die blast trap.

That's definitely worth stocking up arsenals of 3-die exploding arrows and crossbow bolts, for anyone who can get access to them, which would be even more annoying than Hcobb's also-annoying idea that arrows with Brand on them do extra damage.

It's also rather a more powerful use of Blast Trap than using it as a trap, which further implies to me that no, you can't use it for that, or else it would say so, and/or be named differently.

As for how much damage an explosion does to a multi-hex creature, I think it's up to the GM to figure out. I would say it depends on where the explosion happens - if it's on the multi-hex figure or in its hands, I'd tend to think it just takes the "in the same hex" damage only, with the rest of its body being shielded by the part being hit up close. If the center of an explosion were away from a multi-hex figure, I'd tend to think each hex within range could get damaged separately, though of course any armor would apply to each roll.

And for the item mentioned above with two 1d+1 Blast Traps on it, both going off at once, that wouldn't be 2d+2 but two 1d+1 effects, which makes a big difference if armor is involved.

Blast Trap can still be ultra-evil though, as unless some restriction is added, you could cast it on multiple innocent-looking small objects in a single hex to make a very deadly hex.


(BTW, in my original TFT campaign, I had a single bow with an otherwise-unknown enchantment which would allow arrows fired from it to be charged for explosive damage - at age 12 or so, I thought it was very cool (it was inspired by a TV show) and it was fun to watch it lay waste to foes like nothing else, but it was clearly overpowered and got retired out of a growing desire for a game less about people getting easily wiped out by powerful magic items.)

Last edited by Skarg; 07-29-2019 at 01:22 PM.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.