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Old 11-26-2020, 10:27 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Shock Shield

Couple of simple questions about shock shield.

First, I assume that it must be cast on a living critter. If not, the spell would be subject to gross abuse. (You could cast shock shield on an opponent's weapon, for instance!)

I can't see any reason it has to be a human subject, but I'd omit plants. I'd probably be a bit pissy if anyone tried to cast it on an earthworm and I'd decide that the little bugger couldn't handle the power coursing through him and he'd blow into little, nasty bits.

But my real question is this: Suppose a wizard casts shock shield on a fella in HTH and he gets killed. Often, that will mean his killer is still in the hex at the end of the turn when the spell effects occur. Does the killer take a hit? (I assume so.)

In the odd event that the wizard keeps it powered the next turn, would it still be effective? (May be useful at a chokepoint, for instance.)
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:52 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

The Fire spell costs much less, has a higher effective range, imposes a DX minus on the victims, and does almost as much damage as a Shock Shield. The reason to use Shock Shield instead is to avoid damaging yourself and non-living items. If you are up against a heavily armored target then use the occult blast from your dagger staff instead.

If the wizard dies then the Shock Shield shall inflict the last burst of damage at the end of that turn then vanish at the start of the next turn when not maintained.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:21 AM   #3
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

I would think the subject would need to be a living creature, and would need to stay alive for the spell to work.

I would draw the line at whether the creature is combat-significant or not. Does it have a counter and stats? Not normal-sized ants or worms or flies. Probably not plants. Maybe a GM call on some other weird creatures and edge cases, such as undead or ghosts or whatever. As GM, I'd tend to invent a rule with a reason to make this something I can rule on consistently and quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But my real question is this: Suppose a wizard casts shock shield on a fella in HTH and he gets killed. Often, that will mean his killer is still in the hex at the end of the turn when the spell effects occur. Does the killer take a hit? (I assume so.)

In the odd event that the wizard keeps it powered the next turn, would it still be effective? (May be useful at a chokepoint, for instance.)
In original TFT, I would tend to say no, because the subject is dead and no longer a creature so the spell would end.

However, Legacy edition shifted the point where figures die to an hour after their ST goes negative, so that sort of undermines that logic I'm used to. For that reason, I think I'll have to sleep on it a bit. It seems kind of not-as-intended to me to be able to use Shock Shield to zap people by basing it on dead or even unconscious bodies. It would lend a whole other significance to dead bodies other than their terrain effect, at least when someone's using Shock Shield.

Consider, that you could even stack up three or four dead (or dying) bodies in a hex in a doorway or narrow passage, and if you had the fatigue for it, end up with a hex that does 3-4 dice armor-bypassing damage to anyone in the hex. At the moment I can't decide if that's neat or annoying. ;-)
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:37 AM   #4
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Shock Shield

My Wizards only ever cast shock shield on themselves so it was never an issue.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:42 AM   #5
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
My Wizards only ever cast shock shield on themselves so it was never an issue.
Seems to me one of the important uses is to aid a buddy who's in HTH. Far as I can tell, one can cast a thrown spell into HTH without any problem, but maybe I've missed something. Missile spells would surely be the same as missile or thrown weapons, where the target hit is random. Thrown spells don't usually have a roll to miss mechanic, so I presumed they can be cast on the right target in HTH.

Y'all let me know if you treat thrown spells cast into HTH differently.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:51 AM   #6
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I would think the subject would need to be a living creature, and would need to stay alive for the spell to work.

I would draw the line at whether the creature is combat-significant or not. Does it have a counter and stats? Not normal-sized ants or worms or flies. Probably not plants. Maybe a GM call on some other weird creatures and edge cases, such as undead or ghosts or whatever. As GM, I'd tend to invent a rule with a reason to make this something I can rule on consistently and quickly.


In original TFT, I would tend to say no, because the subject is dead and no longer a creature so the spell would end.

However, Legacy edition shifted the point where figures die to an hour after their ST goes negative, so that sort of undermines that logic I'm used to. For that reason, I think I'll have to sleep on it a bit. It seems kind of not-as-intended to me to be able to use Shock Shield to zap people by basing it on dead or even unconscious bodies. It would lend a whole other significance to dead bodies other than their terrain effect, at least when someone's using Shock Shield.

Consider, that you could even stack up three or four dead (or dying) bodies in a hex in a doorway or narrow passage, and if you had the fatigue for it, end up with a hex that does 3-4 dice armor-bypassing damage to anyone in the hex. At the moment I can't decide if that's neat or annoying. ;-)
A thorough and thoughtful response. I hadn't even noticed the fact that almost always, a corpse isn't a corpse just yet and that dying isn't dead.

I'm leaning towards dying being the cutoff point for mumble-mumble reasons. Someone merely unconscious can still be a target, since I reckon a sleeping character can be a target. But as the life force begins to drain out, so does the ability to be target of a shock shield because of various Latin terms that are totally relevant but that a typical wizard wouldn't know. You know, post hoc, carpe diem, that sort of stuff.

Now, this does suggest a path for apprentice wizards who are tired of the guild grind. Rats are definitely critters with stats, so if you have enough strength, you could rid a building of a rat infestation by casting shock shield on one and wait for him to travel back to the nest. Real money could be made if you could cast it on a cockroach.

Obviously, I'm thinking a bit smaller scale than your three to four near dead chokepoint trap. I'd actually be okay with that one, just because the ST required is enormous.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:59 AM   #7
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
The Fire spell costs much less, has a higher effective range, imposes a DX minus on the victims, and does almost as much damage as a Shock Shield. The reason to use Shock Shield instead is to avoid damaging yourself and non-living items. If you are up against a heavily armored target then use the occult blast from your dagger staff instead.

If the wizard dies then the Shock Shield shall inflict the last burst of damage at the end of that turn then vanish at the start of the next turn when not maintained.
I'm not really looking for alternatives to Shock Shield, but I don't understand at all how Fire is relevant. Shock Shield is only for damaging critters in the same hex. I don't know many wizards who are willing to cast fire in their own hex for a similar effect.

Fire does two or four hits, but armor protects. That's a lot less damage. (Any GM who allows a guy in plate -- or, worse, half-plate! -- with no effect for an unlimited number of turns should have his license revoked, of course.)
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:37 PM   #8
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Shock Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Seems to me one of the important uses is to aid a buddy who's in HTH. Far as I can tell, one can cast a thrown spell into HTH without any problem, but maybe I've missed something. Missile spells would surely be the same as missile or thrown weapons, where the target hit is random. Thrown spells don't usually have a roll to miss mechanic, so I presumed they can be cast on the right target in HTH.

Y'all let me know if you treat thrown spells cast into HTH differently.
Every wizard I played was mostly interested in staying alive themselves. Although I agree that what you are saying is a reasonable use for the spell, it never came up in the games we played. If an allied hero was in HTH I just left them to it as I always had better things to do.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:32 PM   #9
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

Just use a Staff I occult zap on the enemy. As a special spell it can't hit your friend.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:22 PM   #10
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Shock Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But my real question is this: Suppose a wizard casts shock shield on a fella in HTH and he gets killed. Often, that will mean his killer is still in the hex at the end of the turn when the spell effects occur. Does the killer take a hit? (I assume so.)
According to Wizard 5 and ITL 102, all rewnewed spells last until the end of the turn OR until the wizard dies or loses consciousness. So, no, the killer would not take a Shock Shield hit in your example.
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