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Old 09-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
Landwalker
 
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Default [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

So, I'm gearing up to potentially employ Monster Hunters' Ritual Path Magic system in an upcoming pseudo-DF game. However, this being my first exposure to RPM, there are a number of questions that I'm running across and/or elements of the system I don't feel that I quite understand. Any assistance from the collective mind would be much appreciated, as always.

1) Spell Resistance
For direct-target spells, "Every potential subject who is not a willing participant resists with the better of his HT or Will, plus any Magic Resistance."

Does this mean that, assuming a Malediction-type spell that doesn't allow an active defense, all spells are resisted straight-up against HT or Will? Are there any modifiers the caster can apply that can make that resistance roll easier or more difficult?

For example, let's say I wanted a spell to briefly stun a target: Lesser Control Mind (+5), Range up to 20 yards (+6), Subject Weight 300 lbs (+3), for a total energy cost of [14 Energy]. So I cast the spell, and off it goes, and the beefy, HT 14 target just goes out and rolls a 13, then smashes my head in with a mace.

Surely there must be some option to give the target a penalty to their resistance roll? I don't see anything in the Modifiers section, but it seems like it should be a pretty obvious option.
2) RPM and the DF Bard
Bards, that icon of sword-and-sorcery games across many systems, use their magic through songs. How would one reflect this in the RPM system? Would Magery (Song, -40%) even exist, considering that Magery pretty much only exists to determine the effective skill cap and the mana reserve? What about Ritual Adept (Song, -40%)? Would that mean that the spellcaster can enjoy the benefits of Ritual Adept as long as he's singing, but is treated as a non-adept when he isn't?
3) "Ghost Sound"
One of the NPC adversaries in the d20 module I'm basing this campaign off of has the spell Ghost Sound. And I have no idea how to render this in the RPM system, or what its effects might be.

For constructing the actual spell, all I can come up with is Lesser Create Energy (+6) to fabricate the sound, Range up to 10 yards (+4), Duration up to 10 minutes (+1), for a total cost of [11 Energy].

But what happens then? How much sound does that actually create? How loud is it? How can I add and subtract energy to determine the sound's volume? If someone hears it, do they get any rolls to identify it as real or fake?


So, that's what I've got for now. Any input from the enlightened masses?

Last edited by Landwalker; 04-20-2015 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Regarding Question 1)

The spell resistiants is a contest versus the spell skill, so higher skill will help (but limited by the rule of 16).

Basically, this is the same deal as with regular Spells in the default magic system.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinlor View Post
Regarding Question 1)

The spell resistiants is a contest versus the spell skill, so higher skill will help (but limited by the rule of 16).

Basically, this is the same deal as with regular Spells in the default magic system.
Ah, I see. I don't think that was ever made explicit in MH (or even that it explicitly said that there was a quick contest involved), so I'm not surprised I didn't pick up on that. Is there anywhere that makes that clear, or is that just assumed to be "common knowledge"?
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
Ah, I see. I don't think that was ever made explicit in MH (or even that it explicitly said that there was a quick contest involved), so I'm not surprised I didn't pick up on that. Is there anywhere that makes that clear, or is that just assumed to be "common knowledge"?
Mmm, I just reread MH1 Page 36 and you are right, this isn't made explicit. I just always read it that way because of it says "The spell must win ..." and the analogy to the default magic system.

Usually "Resistance" is a Quick Contest in GURPS ...
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinlor View Post
Mmm, I just reread MH1 Page 36 and you are right, this isn't made explicit. I just always read it that way because of it says "The spell must win ..." and the analogy to the default magic system.

Usually "Resistance" is a Quick Contest in GURPS ...
That makes sense. I think I got stuck on the Affliction rules, where the target just gets a straight-up HT+1-[Affliction Level] roll to resist, and I just extrapolated that to all of RPM's resistance rolls as well.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
Does this mean that, assuming a Malediction-type spell that doesn't allow an active defense, all spells are resisted straight-up against HT or Will?
No, it's a Quick Contest vs. the spell, like most magic. Sorry for not making that explicit enough; with RPM, space constraints required me to be as frugal with words as possible.

Quote:
Bards, that icon of sword-and-sorcery games across many systems, use their magic through songs. How would one reflect this in the RPM system? Would Magery (Song, -40%) even exist, considering that Magery pretty much only exists to determine the effective skill cap and the mana reserve?
Magery can have limitations -- it just means that when you aren't following the rules for your limitation, your path skills are limited and you lose access to that chunk of your mana reserve. (Technically, it should affect your conditional spells as well, but as a GM I'd let that be a gray area, only to be enforced if I felt you were abusing the system, only because tracking multiple conditional-spell limits isn't fun.)

So let's say you have Magery 3; Magery 3 (Song, -40%); Path of Energy-18; Path of Matter-15; and Thaumatology-18. When you're singing, you have a mana reserve of 18 and your Path skills can be as high as 18. When you're not singing, you have a mana reserve of 9 and your Path skills can be as high as 15. So your Path of Matter isn't affected by whether you're singing, but your Path of Energy drops significantly when you don't. You don't get any point break on the Path skills for this; it's strictly a function of Magery.

The upcoming RPM book doesn't go into the specific example above, but it definitely goes into the details of limited Magery and Ritual Adept, as both are commonly combined with custom limitations when you use the rules for en . . . wait, I don't think I've leaked that yet. Never mind.

Quote:
What about Ritual Adept (Song, -40%)? Would that mean that the spellcaster can enjoy the benefits of Ritual Adept as long as he's singing, but is treated as a non-adept when he isn't?
Exactly. Limited Ritual Adept is generally a lot simpler in play than limited Magery is; in practice, it basically boils down to, "Without my focusing trick, I cast spells much more slowly."

Quote:
One of the NPC adversaries in the d20 module I'm basing this campaign off of has the spell Ghost Sound. And I have no idea how to render this in the RPM system, or what its effects might be.

For constructing the actual spell, all I can come up with is Lesser Create Energy (+6) to fabricate the sound, Range up to 10 yards (+4), Duration up to 10 minutes (+1), for a total cost of [11 Energy].
Sure, that looks right, assuming the sound is something indistinct and generic, like "a lion roaring" or "a crowd babbling." If you want useful speech or anything controlled enough to convey information, it's a Greater effect.

Quote:
But what happens then? How much sound does that actually create? How loud is it? How can I add and subtract energy to determine the sound's volume? If someone hears it, do they get any rolls to identify it as real or fake?
RPM isn't nearly as legalistic as d20 things are. There are no rules for determining the volume of the spell . . . because the volume is whatever you want it to be. Casting a whisper is as difficult (and the same energy cost) as casting a shout. You only have to pay more if you want some sort of game effect, like a shout loud enough to stun people.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

On question 2, I like the idea of limiting Adept instead of Magery. Limited Magery can get messy, with a different skill cap and "split" ER pool depending on the circumstances. Adept is a single package that should be easier to keep track of.

EDIT: Ninja'd by the Reverend. =P
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
No, it's a Quick Contest vs. the spell, like most magic. Sorry for not making that explicit enough; with RPM, space constraints required me to be as frugal with words as possible.
Got it, and thanks again for the clarification. I should have thought to look at Magic to see what it had to say on the subject of resistances, but at least now I know what's going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK
The upcoming RPM book doesn't go into the specific example above, but it definitely goes into the details of limited Magery and Ritual Adept, as both are commonly combined with custom limitations when you use the rules for en . . . wait, I don't think I've leaked that yet. Never mind.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. Whoa. There's a whole RPM book on the up and coming? This is good news to have indeed. I don't read the occasional GURPS News updates on the home page, but now I know why I should. I'm looking forward to this, I am.

Quote:
Sure, that looks right, assuming the sound is something indistinct and generic, like "a lion roaring" or "a crowd babbling." If you want useful speech or anything controlled enough to convey information, it's a Greater effect.

RPM isn't nearly as legalistic as d20 things are. There are no rules for determining the volume of the spell . . . because the volume is whatever you want it to be. Casting a whisper is as difficult (and the same energy cost) as casting a shout. You only have to pay more if you want some sort of game effect, like a shout loud enough to stun people.
Excellent, and good to know. I always associate "volume" with "oomph," but I can understand the argument that it doesn't necessarily correlate with spell strength.

I greatly appreciate the help, and I'll be eagerly awaiting the RPM supplement.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

New question, regarding Charms:
When "loading" an attack spell into a charm (e.g. "Spontaneous Combustion"), how is the target of the spell determined? The text never really addresses it, but the fluff at the beginning of Chapter 3 suggests that the target is determined at the time the charm is broken simply by "willing" it, and further implies that the target is "selected" by whoever breaks the charm. Is this correct?
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: [RPM] Various Questions on Ritual Path Magic

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
New question, regarding Charms:
When "loading" an attack spell into a charm (e.g. "Spontaneous Combustion"), how is the target of the spell determined? The text never really addresses it, but the fluff at the beginning of Chapter 3 suggests that the target is determined at the time the charm is broken simply by "willing" it, and further implies that the target is "selected" by whoever breaks the charm. Is this correct?
That's up to the person who casts the original spell. What's the trigger? Most people set a trigger/spell combo like, "When this charm is smashed, deal 5d of internal burning damage to whomever the smasher is pointing at." But there's no reason you couldn't cast it as, "When this charm is smashed, deal 5d of internal burning damage to the nearest nonhuman," or, "When this charm is smashed, deal 5d of internal burning damage to whomever the smasher is looking at," or any other specification.

(And yes, the RPM book goes into way more detail on conditional spells, their triggers, and the differences between charms and normal conditional smells. Kind of a ridiculous amount of detail, but it seemed to be a FAQ so I went ahead and rambled a bit.)
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