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Old 10-28-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
hcobb
 
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Default Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

Should Sally's Serpent Torcs count against her five active magic items or can she maintain countless summoned serpents for centuries? What are the aging rules for the summoned snakes anyway?
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

I wouldn't expect it to count as a magic item being used, because it's not being used in the same way items on the person are used. Instead, it's an item thrown on the ground that acts by itself, even though the thrower is in control of the items.

They seem to just be limited by the cost/materials of making the torcs, the ST/damage of the snakes (which does not heal except by healing potion or re-stringing), and how many you can effectively carry and how fast you can ready and deploy them (which are sort of GM calls - it might take one turn to ready and one turn to deploy them, for the few torcs you can wear ready-to-hand without entangling them, and then more turns to ready ones in pouches).

It'd be up to the GM to decide whether they age if you leave them active all the time - maybe just look up how long the type of snake lives - not to mention what they might want/need to eat - but usual practice seems to be to keep them in torc form, where they seem to be in statis.

Or course, the GM could have the torcs in their own games work however the GM likes.


Reminds me of a variation of the Summon Myrmidon item we invented, where instead of letting you cast that spell, it involved one particular myrmidon who lived in a magical space through the item, and would retain wounds, equipment, and experience rather like a serpent torc, except we let it heal at the usual 1 point per 2 days while in the item.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

I'm house ruling a one minute limitation on each summoning.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

I don't understand the question. The Rule of Five has to do with wearing magic items -- or more generally, having them active. Just owning magic items isn't limited, so all the ones sitting in a shop don't count. And I wouldn't think that turning a serpent torc into its snake form means that it stops counting as a magic item. It's just in a different form.

That leaves the aging of the snake. Personally, I wouldn't bother tracking the number of combat turns it was active. The persistence of damage suggests that it could be the same snake, so if you wanted to limit the item, you could track the age of the snake. Given that big snakes can live for 20 years (or even 50), you're talking about a hundred million turns of activity or more. Your players are probably going to die of old age in real life before you play out that many turns with their serpent torc active.

Or if you really want, you could have the snake grow old and die even if it's in torc form -- but then you ought to at least let the snake heal normally while it's in torc form. But that doesn't seem as much of a natural fit to the description of the item, or fit in with the usual magic item lifespan.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

The abuse is that this is the only summon and control critter item with no ST cost or time limit. What keeps the sorceress from having millions of pairs of eyes she can see through forever? And it's a cheap magic item.

The seaside setting is so as to make it easier to transport complete Apep skeletons.

Of course only Shadowight Sorcerers avoid the -6 DX adjustment for doing the enchantment in the complete darkness it takes to preserve an Apep skeleton so that it doesn't crumble into ash from exposure to light.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

Are you similarly worried about Zagu's 'zillion zombie rings? They're only a little more expensive/difficult to make, but can be rather more dangerous than snakes.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

A zombie ring takes an IQ 20 wizard over two years to make. In the same time around three dozen Serpent Torcs can be made by an IQ 18 wizard and each of the three dozen monster snakes has a one third chance of crushing your lone ST 60 Skeleton with a single bite. The Skeleton's two handed telephone pole has a much smaller chance of crushing the weakest monster snake with a single blow, but will finish one off in two hits.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
What keeps the sorceress from having millions of pairs of eyes she can see through forever?
The Rule of Five.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

Errata for page 153. The Zombie Ring doesn't take 100 weeks to make.

Anybody ready to play out the corrected scenario?

In the blue corner we have two monster snakes and in the red corner we have a skeleton wielding a telephone pole and wearing her tattered ballerina dress. Cue up the Blue Danube Waltz and fight!
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Last edited by hcobb; 10-29-2018 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sorceress Sally's Seaside Serpent Torc Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Errata for page 153. The Zombie Ring doesn't take 100 weeks to make.

Anybody ready to play out the corrected scenario?

In the blue corner we have two monster snakes and in the red corner we have a skeleton wielding a telephone pole and wearing her tattered ballerina dress. Cue up the Blue Danube Waltz and fight!
We could, but it gets silly.
Depending on when the fight is scheduled, it might be cheaper to forgo the zombie ring and just put the ST used to make the zombie ring into the zombie, since there is no limit. Really you want to go one-shot one of those ST 4 DX 17+ halflings to create the ST 200 zombie, who with a club should be able to one-shot the giant snakes.
;-)
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