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Old 08-23-2018, 02:23 PM   #1
Shadekeep
 
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Location: Aerlith
Default Open Tunnel

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something fundamental about the Open Tunnel spell, but as I've always read it it seems like a very powerful spell. Basically it is 1-hex Disintegrate by another name. That seems crazy dangerous and not a bit unfair. One failed saving throw and a whole being is potentially vapourised, along with all their possessions. Not to mention it's a cheap get-out-of-trouble gimmick if whatever is vexing the players can be turned into a happy little cloud.

I recalling nerfing the heck out of this spell back when I ran TFT. It (1) only worked against inanimate matter, and (2) took a long time to take effect. Basically it was handy if you wanted to dig an underground lair over a
long period of time without hiring miners, or had hours in which to escape from a sealed room. But it was worthless as a combat spell.

Am I getting something wrong about this spell? Or do other GMs constrain it as well?
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:52 PM   #2
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel

I think either:

It should only work on inanimate objects

Or

The saving throw should be 3DX
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel --> Too powerful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something fundamental about the Open Tunnel spell, but as I've always read it it seems like a very powerful spell. ...

Am I getting something wrong about this spell? Or do other GMs constrain it as well?
Hi all, Shadekeep.
I nerfed it by saying that if you threw yourself prone, the saving throw to escape from its effects were two dice easier. The tradeoff was that you ended up prone.

Also if you failed it by one, you just lost some equipment. If you missed by 2 thru 5 you lost body parts. If you missed by 6 or more, you died instantly. (Altho if you missed by 4 or 5, you likely lost so much mass that you were bleeding to death.)

These rules went a long way to prevent it from being an auto death spell on lower DX figures.

I agree that the spell could be nerfed in the new TFT.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel --> Too powerful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something fundamental about the Open Tunnel spell, but as I've always read it it seems like a very powerful spell. ...

Am I getting something wrong about this spell? Or do other GMs constrain it as well?
Hi all, Shadekeep.
I nerfed it by saying that if you threw yourself prone, the saving throw to escape from its effects were two dice easier. The tradeoff was that you ended up prone.

Also if you failed it by one, you just lost some equipment. If you missed by 2 thru 5 you lost body parts. If you missed by 6 or more, you died instantly. (Altho if you missed by 4 or 5, you likely lost so much mass that you were bleeding to death.)

These rules went a long way to prevent it from being an auto death spell on lower DX figures.

I agree that the spell could be nerfed in the new TFT or made a higher IQ spell.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:22 PM   #5
Shadekeep
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel

Good suggestions! If it remains unchanged in the new edition then I'll just keep my house-rule nerfing. But the change I'd most prefer to see if they do mod it is restricting it to inanimate inorganic matter. Otherwise any living thing that cannot escape the affected hex, be they backed into a corner or ROPE-spelled or an ancient and venerated magical tree, is still liable to disintegration.

People talk about speccing out killer hobbits in TFT with high DX exploits, but I can see a wizard with Open Tunnel + Giant Rope + a strength battery being a real terror as the rules stand. Even more dangerous than someone running around with two squirt pistols, each of which is filled with one half of the Universal Solvent mixture. ^_^
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:32 PM   #6
Anomylous
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel

If Open Tunnel weren't intended to be usable in combat, they wouldn't have given it a saving throw!

That said, the 10 ST price tag keeps it from being a popular tactic easier, and usually just as lethal, to throw a 5 or 6 die lightning bolt.

We might see that change though, with the new ST-battery staffs, and the potential cap on missile spells.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:19 AM   #7
ecz
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomylous View Post
If Open Tunnel weren't intended to be usable in combat, they wouldn't have given it a saving throw!

That said, the 10 ST price tag keeps it from being a popular tactic easier, and usually just as lethal, to throw a 5 or 6 die lightning bolt.

We might see that change though, with the new ST-battery staffs, and the potential cap on missile spells.
this.
in fact my players, expert masters in finding weak spots in the rules to gain abusive advantages, never considered to use open tunnel as a combat spell.
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:59 AM   #8
Shadekeep
 
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Default Re: Open Tunnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomylous View Post
If Open Tunnel weren't intended to be usable in combat, they wouldn't have given it a saving throw!
Yes, which is why I nerfed it. Having a single saving throw that doesn't take into account anything else (armor, enchantments, magical wards) makes this just too damned powerful. A properly prepared character might be able to offset some effects of a potent missile spell. But this wholesale disintegration is just too absolute. Imagine Conan or Sauron failing his throw and being vapourised. Pretty much sucks the air out of the legend (pun intended).

Folks are of course welcome to keep the spell as-is in their campaigns. It is in the core rules, after all. But I don't allow it in my games without further constraints.
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