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Old 07-04-2014, 02:41 AM   #1
PTTG
 
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Default Machine Summoning Errata/Discussion

Machine Summoning/TL is a spell from the Technological college that replicates various other summoning spells. Among other things, range explicitly does not matter for this spell, and it can call "one machine of a named type," and it compels the item to travel in a very direct route until it reaches the caster.

Importantly, it doesn't grant any special intelligence to the machine (and only works on those of IQ 6 or less), and doesn't let them move if it can't otherwise do so.

Soo...

Wizard: "I summon a 'Boeing-747 designated Air Force One.'"
GM: "Erm, the spell succeeds, and the closest machine of that type is directly on the other side of the planet. It will take at least a day for it to get here."

Meanwhile, Air Force One flies straight down... and since the target is the plane itself, nobody aboard gets to resist the spell.

More generally, should attended vehicles (including vehicles such as sailing ships which might be left unpiloted even while being "manned,") be automatically excluded? My gut says probably, but a really good wizard probably should be able to take control of something being piloted by a novice without trouble.

Hmm... there's still the problem when someone stands in front of an enemy corporation's headquarters or whatever and summons an ICBM. Give it five minutes of spell maintenence for it to launch, and then teleport away from the soon-to-be-crater

This is still a fun (and quite powerful) spell for any TL; it can summon a reed boat to you up a river, and possibly drop a bucket down a well to you or slide a ladder along a bookshelf too. Not to mention allow you to duplicate Seek Machine for immobile gadgets.

One last thing, I think the spell could be made to work with attended, otherwise immobile objects in some cases; I imagine a wizard casting it in on some fellow's pocket watch in order to cause it to drop out of the mark's pocket as he passes the mage on the street. It seems reasonable that something that could manipulate the controls of a car could jostle someone's pocket somewhat subtly.

Last edited by PTTG; 07-04-2014 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:55 AM   #2
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Machine Summoning Errata/Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Wizard: "I summon a 'Boeing-747 designated Air Force One.'"
GM: "Erm, the spell succeeds, and the closest machine of that type is directly on the other side of the planet. It will take at least a day for it to get here."

Meanwhile, Air Force One flies straight down... and since the target is the plane itself, nobody aboard gets to resist the spell.
I'd rule this fails on two counts - you can summon a machine of a particular *type* not a particular *name* - in the same way you can't use an animal summoning spell to summon just your horse, useful as that would be - and that fly through the Earth isn't a legitimate movement option for a plane, so it doesn't attempt that, any more than summoned animals attempt to dig through hills or the horizon.

Quote:
More generally, should attended vehicles (including vehicles such as sailing ships which might be left unpiloted even while being "manned,") be automatically excluded? My gut says probably, but a really good wizard probably should be able to take control of something being piloted by a novice without trouble.
I'd say it works fine on attended machines but if somebody is sitting at the controls you'd use the rules for the prerequisite - Machine Control - to resolve who got to decide which way it goes this second.

Quote:
Hmm... there's still the problem when someone stands in front of an enemy corporation's headquarters or whatever and summons an ICBM. Give it five minutes of spell maintenence for it to launch, and then teleport away from the soon-to-be-crater
It retargets on wherever you teleported to. Unless you let the spell lapse, in which case it no longer attempts to home in on the target you wanted it to hit either and you'll be lucky if it hits the right city. Note that Machine Summoning doesn't let you arm the warhead either, so the final crater won't be too big.

Quote:
This is still a fun (and quite powerful) spell for any TL; it can summon a reed boat to you up a river, and possibly drop a bucket down a well to you or slide a ladder along a bookshelf too. Not to mention allow you to duplicate Seek Machine for immobile gadgets.
The prerequisite chain includes Seek Machine, so it's a waste to use it for that.

Like most of the Tech college it's not very well thought out. Technically I suppose it doesn't let you move anything that doesn't have controls that cause it to move, so sliding that ladder is out, and the bucket is at best iffy - it might work if there is a release control on the winch - which frankly is ridiculous. On the other hand the ICBM launch controls aren't part of the missile either....

I suppose "the spell is almost always totally useless" could be said to conform to the description, but it's a pretty unfair thing to do to characters who paid points for it. If you allow any of the Tech spells into your game, you need to expect to have to decide what they do yourself - the "official" descriptions are all pretty poor.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:32 PM   #3
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Machine Summoning Errata/Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Wizard: "I summon a 'Boeing-747 designated Air Force One.'"
GM: "Erm, the spell succeeds, and the closest machine of that type is directly on the other side of the planet. It will take at least a day for it to get here."
I think "type" in this case is "passenger airliner" not "Air Force One" or even "Boening-747".
Quote:
Meanwhile, Air Force One flies straight down... and since the target is the plane itself, nobody aboard gets to resist the spell.
"Most direct route" only includes possible routes (just as with Animal Summoning spells).
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