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Old 01-03-2020, 12:51 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Am I missing something important, or is there no clear reason why birds are excluded from the type of animal that may be summoned as a scout?
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:20 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

This prevents a trivial exploit of the rule at ITL 54: "or a party with a flying scout".

Also the "small mammal" restriction excludes poison attacks of a reptile or insect.

Note that 90% of this can be achieved with an illusion of an eagle or giant poisonous snake, at twice the fatigue cost.
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Last edited by hcobb; 01-03-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
This prevents a trivial exploit of the rule at ITL 54: "or a party with a flying scout".
Bats are specifically allowed, so that doesn't seem to be the concern.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Blatant fur-bearing bias. I'd rather have a corvid scout any day.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Bats are specifically allowed, so that doesn't seem to be the concern.
And also specifically noted as having weird senses. Also they fly at night so shan't be much navigational help.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:12 PM   #6
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Bats are ideally suited to dark, twisty labyrinths, so can certainly be a great navigation aid. The bird ban still seems weird to me. I could see not being able to summon a hawk, which has superior vision, but why not a small songbird?
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

What snake senses does Staff to Snake (same cost as Summon Scout) bring?

Also you could just cast 1-hex image (same cost) for a hawk or whatever.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:42 PM   #8
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Also you could just cast 1-hex image (same cost) for a hawk or whatever.
I am aware of the possibility of sensing through an image. But I'm not interested in an alternative to Summon Scout.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
This prevents a trivial exploit of the rule at ITL 54: "or a party with a flying scout".

Also the "small mammal" restriction excludes poison attacks of a reptile or insect.

Note that 90% of this can be achieved with an illusion of an eagle or giant poisonous snake, at twice the fatigue cost.
I would think this would be the reason to want to have such a spell. It is supposed to be useful after all. I sure don't see it as an exploit.

I think of the movie Beastmaster as a reference.

Of course, it could be one of those scientific references. It has to be mammals, because of some magical reason. (like no iron for Wizards)

Overall, I'd allow it for the spirit of what the spell seems to be about.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Summon Scout Spell--No Birds?

I think the idea is to prevent super-easy aerial reconnaissance.

I like to rule/interpret/change that both Images and Illusions cannot reveal much that the wizard doesn't already know about unless they fool someone who knows something the wizard doesn't into reacting to them.

However, I think it's hard to logically hold my ground on this position without making some changes to the rules-as-written.

But I do think that must have been Steve's intention - I think he just didn't think it through hard enough to realize that. Or maybe he just didn't want the existing situation getting worse with a new spell that has even longer effective duration for the ST.

I personally do extremely dislike easy aerial observation. It destroys far too many normal observation, exploration, and tactical situations that I don't want destroyed that way, if a wizard can just create birds whose eyes he can see through.
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