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Old 11-20-2016, 09:01 PM   #1
JasonByrne
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Default [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

Hello GURPS forum! Long-time player, first time posting. Any advice on forum etiquette would be greatly appreciated.

I've seen this forum debate the finer points of stopping a Lich from rising during the two-day period of death before the spell takes hold. My question concerns whether you have encountered a player that tried to use Remove Enchantment to destroy a Lich, after arising in all its strength.

We had a character facing an NPC Lich, who used Ogham symbol magic to word a syntactic "Lich-Buster" spell, essentially Identify, Isolate, and Destroy Enchantment (Control-Control-Weaken-Magic). This allowed the symbol magic to identify its own target, negating the penalty for the caster not knowing the Lich Enchantment, as well as independently disentangling it from other Enchantments that might be present, removing the stacking penalties for removing one Enchantment of several. 9 magic to cast, with the noun "Magic" doubled by the verb Control, 42 seconds time to cast finger-drawing.

We let the Lich Enchantment resist Lich-Buster in a quick-contest. Finger-drawing was at -3, with another -2 for four Words. All the same, with a well-timed Luck, Lich-Buster won the quick-contest, and the Lich was returned to death instantly.

Syntactic magic can be hard for the GM to wrangle. Would you assess anything further to hinder the effectiveness of this spell, if it were your game? Lich takes a good two years to achieve; it seems uneven to allow it to be diffused in 42 seconds.

Any advice would be welcome! Thanks very much, and a pleasure to meet you all!
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:00 AM   #2
Gnomasz
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

I'd say RAW you can't destroy a Lich by removing an enchantment that spell only prepares the body for the transformation which is not an effect of the spell, but of the elixir that not even Alchemical Antidote can counteract.

That being said, I might be willing to let destroy a lich by using the Ogham symbol but I have no experience running syntactic magic. I can only compare it to standard system's save or die spells those take 12 FP and three seconds to cast. So 42 seconds doesn't sound bad to me.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:45 AM   #3
JasonByrne
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

That's a very good point...

The reasoning was that without the Enchantment to support the overlying Elixir of Lichdom, it would revert to the Elixir of Death effect it would have had if the Enchantment was never present. But the Elixir would have long since been metabolized, and the Lich would have been imbibing its monthly Elixir to negate the Fragile (Unnatural) disadvantage.

This character was also magically-exhausted, Teleported far enough away to buy time for the finger-drawing, and used this as a last-ditch effort. So... rules were bent, I'd guess.

Last edited by JasonByrne; 11-21-2016 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:25 AM   #4
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

I don't think I'd let this work on the Lich itself, but, it could possibly work to nullify the Lich's phylactery. You know, in case you found a Lich smart enough to use an object that can't be shattered with a simple hammer.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #5
JasonByrne
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

That's actually a really good idea, and I feel like more "within the rules."
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:52 AM   #6
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonByrne View Post
This character was also magically-exhausted, Teleported far enough away to buy time for the finger-drawing, and used this as a last-ditch effort. So... rules were bent, I'd guess.
That was the main rules problem. Per Syntactic magic, "Most syntactic spells are Regular or Area spells" and "All usual modifiers for range, touching, concentration, and so on apply to syntactic spells." If he was far enough away to not get ganked during a 42 second casting, he would have had skill penalties in the hundreds. Also, syntactic magic generally uses standard magic as models for effects, so remove enchantment is an enchantment type effect that takes a minimum of an hour (Symbolic inscriptions have the normal casting time for an enchantment).
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
JasonByrne
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

Balls.
Close enough at least 294 yards to close, at move 7. That's a -13. Final to cast -18.

Our intrepid supervillain cast the spell and held it in Reflex, and then released it at close range and avoided the distance penalty. Would this fly?

I think in the future, we'll restrict it to a quick-and-dirty syntactic Enchantment on the phylactery based on the point value of the Lich (462), or nothing.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:19 PM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Remove Enchantment to end a Lich?

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Originally Posted by JasonByrne View Post
Balls.
Close enough at least 294 yards to close, at move 7. That's a -13. Final to cast -18.
Regular spells are -1/yard unless you have a rule that specifies otherwise (using the range/speed chart is not a terrible plan for regular magic).
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonByrne View Post
Our intrepid supervillain cast the spell and held it in Reflex, and then released it at close range and avoided the distance penalty. Would this fly?
Assuming Reflex works for syntactic magic (the rules don't really address that), it should.
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