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Old 06-23-2019, 12:35 PM   #21
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Anyone else think Staff to Snake is rubbish?

It seems to me so specific as to be pretty limited in application, not to mention you lose your staff, which may have things like powerstones embedded in it, and now you cannot even defend! And when its all over you have to spend a turn picking the thing up...

I am in agreement with you. This is a summoning spell with a big downside to it. Specially now with Staff2+ spells, you do not want to risk loosing your staff.

The only reason for taking the spell that I can see is: it is useful in a full retreat situation. For only cost of 1 ST with no continuing cost, you sacrifice your staff to become your rearguard as you run away. It engages foes and is hard to kill (-3 DX to strike it); so it should help you gain a couple turns of running away.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:46 PM   #22
Scintillant
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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Anyone else think Staff to Snake is rubbish
Actually I think it is brilliant, especially for a starting Wizard: for a flat 1 ST it gives you another party member who lasts 12 turns, is very hard to hit (-3 DX), can engage a foe, does a little damage (and bypasses armor if you have Staff III, for no additional ST cost, so take that you plate-mail turtles!).
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:46 PM   #23
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

So far no one has come to the defense of Slow Movement and Confusion spells. Maybe there really is no good use for these. Certainly not enough to justify taking a spell slot.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:07 PM   #24
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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:-)
As a side topic: do you run Mage Sight at a continuation cost of 1ST/turn (Wizard) or 1ST/minute (ITL)
In the old rules it was 1ST/Turn in both Wizard and AW, I didn't realise AW had changed. To be honest, 1 turn is enough to scan a room or a creature/object so I never saw it cast in a continued manner.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:47 PM   #25
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Least Useful Spells

A court wizard with sufficiently high IQ can cast Confusion discreetly in a diplomatic meeting to enormous effect.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:51 AM   #26
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Anyone else think Staff to Snake is rubbish?

It seems to me so specific as to be pretty limited in application, not to mention you lose your staff, which may have things like powerstones embedded in it, and now you cannot even defend! And when its all over you have to spend a turn picking the thing up...
Staff to Snake is a bad spell if you use it to cast on an expensive staff and then send it at the enemy. Or if you expect the snake to be stronger than it is.

It's also bad if you thought you could use it as a long-range scout, and then find it has MA 6 and your GM makes you re-cast the Thrown spell on the snake to continue every minute.

Staff to Snake can be a good spell if you use it cleverly.

In combat, if you keep low expectations and are using a disposable staff, 1 ST/12 turns to get another fighter that can engage foes and is hard to hit can be a tactically useful good deal.

A snake's shape, climbing ability and DX can be useful (scouting, fetching or delivering objects/notes to/from inaccessible places, leading ropes around distant/high things, etc), and/or used for concealment or deception. (Especially if the GM interprets it that you can see through the snake's eyes and have it do whatever you want.)

It can be used to get your staff to come to you from a distance, if you're somehow apart from it.

It's much cheaper than a summoned myrmidon or wolf for sending forward to try to set off traps.

It lets you draw staff mana without actually having to carry your staff, which can make an important difference in some situations.

If you have an enemy who routinely picks up things you can cast Staff on, you may be able to combine this spell into your schemes to arrange to get the person to casually pick up your staff thinking it's just something they'd usually pick up (the snake can be used to get it someplace they wouldn't expect you to have access to, reducing their reasons for skepticism).

And it's very good if the GM lets you make ranged Staff III+ arcane attacks with it, because then instead of the wizard having to be two hexes from a foe, the staff/snake can be the one cruising around behind the wizard's warrior friends, doing DX+3 armor-bypassing attacks at whoever the fighters are fighting. (I think however I'd take the description literally, that the snake just does the arcane damage in bite form, but needs to bite things to do it - but still it's a way to stay farther from danger while getting 12 turns of combat service out of a disposable staff/snake for 1 fatigue).
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:52 AM   #27
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
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In combat, if you keep low expectations and are using a disposable staff,
Ah. I always imagined that a wizard could have (attuned) ONE staff, not a main staff and a pocketful of wands, rods, toothpicks, silver knives etc, any and all of which he could turn into multiple snakes and or leave lying around as 3 dice bombs...
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:15 PM   #28
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

I'm enjoying the fact that the 'best spells' and 'worst spells' threads are almost indistinguishable (!). It feeds my internal narrative that it's always a waste of time and energy to micro-manage your supposedly ideal combat 'build'.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:46 PM   #29
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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Ah. I always imagined that a wizard could have (attuned) ONE staff, not a main staff and a pocketful of wands, rods, toothpicks, silver knives etc, any and all of which he could turn into multiple snakes and or leave lying around as 3 dice bombs...
You are correct about that. You can only have one staff at a time. Per ITL 148, you can only have one, but you can make another, at which point the previous one stops being your staff. It also loses all the stored ST in a staff charged with mana (but it doesn't affect the mana stat which governs how much a staff can be charged).

So, wizards who don't invest much in their staffs risk much less and so might tend to do more with using their staff for disposable purposes and schemes, compared to wizards with impressive and/or highly-charged staffs.

It would seem foolish for a wizard with a powerful staff to risk casting Staff to Snake on it.

But that also makes it less expected that such a wizard would fool around with such low-powered hijinks. (And less likely to be suspected and/or accused of having done so...)

However, especially when they have used the mana stored in their staff for other things, they might consider casting Staff on some other object to use it for some disposable purpose, and then later re-cast Staff on their good staff. That does add two 5-ST castings of Staff to the cost, but in a peaceful non-combat situation, that just means a couple of extra 75-minute rests. Meanwhile your disposable staff to snake goes and does its covert mission, and you're an unlikely suspect because your ostentatious signature "staff" has been with you the whole time.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:24 PM   #30
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Least Useful Spells

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I'm enjoying the fact that the 'best spells' and 'worst spells' threads are almost indistinguishable (!). It feeds my internal narrative that it's always a waste of time and energy to micro-manage your supposedly ideal combat 'build'.
It's also very amusing!

I remember back in the 1970s and 1980s we used to see similar debates over the low level D&D spells; only to discover that every time someone said X was a "bad" spell, they just weren't thinking outside the box. ANY spell can be devastating if it's used in a clever way and under the right circumstances (which can vary quite widely, even with a single spell) for that use. Someone over on Dragon Magazine back then even came up with some clever uses of "Purify Food" that changed everyone's opinion on that one as well!
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