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Old 11-04-2014, 08:43 AM   #1
Graey
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Longmont, CO
Default aiming missile spells

Hi. New to GURPS, not new to RPGs, long time reader, almost first time poster, etc. I have no gaming group, so I have tons of questions. I'll try to keep to one topic at a time though, heh. (I am the GM, so any advice involving "ask your GM" may not be as helpful as one might think.)

Do you have to aim a missile spell at a person/creature, or can you aim at an object (or the ground)? It's rather bothersome having your missile spells blocked. Could you, for example, aim Concussion at the ground amongst a group of baddies, avoiding any chance of it being blocked, and go straight to them all having to make HT -3 checks to avoid stun?

If so, can you aim at someone's shield? If that's the case, why won't it just simply go off if you're aiming at the person and they block it? Does a block somehow deactivate the spell, or does the shield physically block the blast?

If you Dodge a Concussion spell, does it still activate when it hits the wall behind you? Fireball?

What do you think about using a melee skill roll to hit with a "held" missile spell in melee combat? I realize this would be less than desirous for things like Fireball and Concussion, but that would be really nice for those Lightning spells that keep getting blocked or dodged, but would easily land in combination with Feint or your mage/martial artist's high Staff skill.


Thank you very much.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #2
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: aiming missile spells

You can opt to simply aim at a hex, at +4 IIRC, in which case the only defense the enemies have is to Dodge and Drop to put some distance (and maybe some cover) between themselves and the explosion. Aiming at a shield and a foe successfully Blocking an explosive attack should have the same effect - the spell explodes, but the shield grants the target Cover DR (equal to the shield's DR + HP/4).

As for striking a foe in melee with a held missile spell, I'm actually not familiar enough with Basic Magic (the system you find in Basic Set and GURPS Magic), but being able to use a held missile spell in melee is a normal thing in Ritual Path Magic, and I don't think it will really break anything to allow it with Basic Magic as well.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
Hi.
Hey.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
New to GURPS, not new to RPGs, long time reader, almost first time poster, etc. I have no gaming group, so I have tons of questions. I'll try to keep to one topic at a time though, heh. (I am the GM, so any advice involving "ask your GM" may not be as helpful as one might think.)
Congratulations for choosing GURPS.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
Do you have to aim a missile spell at a person/creature, or can you aim at an object (or the ground)?
All of the above.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
It's rather bothersome having your missile spells blocked. Could you, for example, aim Concussion at the ground amongst a group of baddies, avoiding any chance of it being blocked, and go straight to them all having to make HT -3 checks to avoid stun?
Sure. Aiming at a hex is at +4 for size and immobility by RAW.

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If so, can you aim at someone's shield?
Yes, but it probably won't do much unless there's an attached area effect, as with Concussion.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
If that's the case, why won't it just simply go off if you're aiming at the person and they block it? Does a block somehow deactivate the spell, or does the shield physically block the blast?
For a spell with an AoE, it will simply go off, though any direct non-AoE effects will probably be deflected unless they penetrate the DR of the shield.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
If you Dodge a Concussion spell, does it still activate when it hits the wall behind you? Fireball?
Absolutely.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
What do you think about using a melee skill roll to hit with a "held" missile spell in melee combat? I realize this would be less than desirous for things like Fireball and Concussion, but that would be really nice for those Lightning spells that keep getting blocked or dodged, but would easily land in combination with Feint or your mage/martial artist's high Staff skill.
No way. When allowed by RAW, this is always treated as a separate "Touch" spell. At best, you're throwing a Missile Spell at point-blank range here. I'd allow the rule for Parrying ranged attacks within melee range, but otherwise treat it as normal.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:19 AM   #4
Terwin
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Plugerville
Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
No way. When allowed by RAW, this is always treated as a separate "Touch" spell. At best, you're throwing a Missile Spell at point-blank range here. I'd allow the rule for Parrying ranged attacks within melee range, but otherwise treat it as normal.
When in melee range, all out attack(Determined) with a gun can get you the +4 bonus usually given to melee attacks instead of the +1 for ranged attacks.
Not sure if this includes the 'barrel placed against the target' bonus or not, but I suspect that both of those may be applicable for a missile spell, or any pother self propelled weapon.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:13 AM   #5
T.K.
 
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Default Re: aiming missile spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graey View Post
Hi. New to GURPS, not new to RPGs, long time reader, almost first time poster, etc. I have no gaming group, so I have tons of questions. I'll try to keep to one topic at a time though, heh. (I am the GM, so any advice involving "ask your GM" may not be as helpful as one might think.)
Sup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graey View Post
Do you have to aim a missile spell at a person/creature, or can you aim at an object (or the ground)? It's rather bothersome having your missile spells blocked. Could you, for example, aim Concussion at the ground amongst a group of baddies, avoiding any chance of it being blocked, and go straight to them all having to make HT -3 checks to avoid stun?
Yes, you can aim at object or ground. Attacking ground/wall is at +4.

Remember that a Missile spell or projectile that passes through a square with someone with a shield, that person can still make a Block attempt.

Also, some Blocking spells can be used, even if you're targeting the ground. (With a penalty to the Blocking spell as the distance between the Blocking mage and the target ground hex)

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
If so, can you aim at someone's shield? If that's the case, why won't it just simply go off if you're aiming at the person and they block it? Does a block somehow deactivate the spell, or does the shield physically block the blast?
You can aim at someone's shield, but that's simply using the rules of attacking someone's weapon afaik...which for you won't do much in this case.

Keep in mind that even if you target the person shield, the person can choose to dodge, for example, evading the missile instead of blocking it.

A physical block doesn't deactivate the spell, but a shield provides cover to the explosion/frag damage although in this case being an explosion effect, I'd believe it affects the target normally.

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If you Dodge a Concussion spell, does it still activate when it hits the wall behind you? Fireball?
Activates normally, even if it hits a person, wall or whatever.

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Originally Posted by Graey View Post
What do you think about using a melee skill roll to hit with a "held" missile spell in melee combat? I realize this would be less than desirous for things like Fireball and Concussion, but that would be really nice for those Lightning spells that keep getting blocked or dodged, but would easily land in combination with Feint or your mage/martial artist's high Staff skill.


Thank you very much.
The skill used for throwing missile spells by the basic is "Innate Attack" with a specialization "Missile Spells". It's normally a ranged skill.

You can only use Feint with it if using advanced combat rules found in Martial Arts, since by the Basic only melee can Feint.

That said, the "bonus" for using such attacks at melee range is simply no distance penalty.

If you want to go close and personal with spells, try Melee Spells that you can charge a Staff as well and some inflict direct Injury (going straight through DR) instead of damage.
There's also the option of Imbuements, found in "Power Ups 1: Imbuements", where rules for powers/spell-like abilities to use with any weapon you use are presented.

Hope this gives you some help.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:28 AM   #6
simply Nathan
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Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
The skill used for throwing missile spells by the basic is "Innate Attack" with a specialization "Missile Spells". It's normally a ranged skill.
If I may be pedantic, the specialization is "Projectile", not "Missile Spells"

Innate Attack (Projectile) for Missile spells

Innate Attack (Beam) for Jet spells

Innate Attack (Gaze) for Lightning Stare or whatever it was called

Innate Attack (Breath) for the breath weapon spells


I hear some people like attaching some of the missile spells like Sunbolt and Lightning to the Beam specialty for style reasons. Myself, I'm apt to just drop the specialization requirement for the skill entirely.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:16 AM   #7
Culture20
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: aiming missile spells

As an aside, keep in mind that the GURPS Fireball spell would be more aptly named as Firebolt since it is not an area affect attack (and the term fireball does evoke certain visuals of explosion even outside RPG circles). Explosive Fireball is the spell more germane to this discussion.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:40 AM   #8
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by Terwin View Post
When in melee range, all out attack(Determined) with a gun can get you the +4 bonus usually given to melee attacks instead of the +1 for ranged attacks.
Not sure if this includes the 'barrel placed against the target' bonus or not, but I suspect that both of those may be applicable for a missile spell, or any pother self propelled weapon.
Yes, that's what I meant by "point-blank range," sorry if that wasn't clear. It also works with Telegraphic Attack: you're basically putting the fireball or whatever to the target before letting it go, same as with a gun.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
sir_pudding
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Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Yes, that's what I meant by "point-blank range," sorry if that wasn't clear. It also works with Telegraphic Attack: you're basically putting the fireball or whatever to the target before letting it go, same as with a gun.
Close Contact Shots doesn't let you use a melee skill though, you are still rolling against Guns. So by analogy you'd just be rolling against Innate Attack at +4 or +8 and the target gets +2 to defend (and you lose active defenses if you chose to AoA). It might be a reasonable style perk to allow close contact missile spells with an unarmed striking skill, or Staff or a sword skill (for magical staves and wands) though.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #10
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: aiming missile spells

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Close Contact Shots doesn't let you use a melee skill though, you are still rolling against Guns. So by analogy you'd just be rolling against Innate Attack at +4 or +8 and the target gets +2 to defend (and you lose active defenses if you chose to AoA). It might be a reasonable style perk to allow close contact missile spells with an unarmed striking skill, or Staff or a sword skill (for magical staves and wands) though.
I do not disagree at all.
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