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Old 09-18-2017, 06:35 PM   #1
robertsconley
 
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Default Dance Limitation on Magery

Why is Dance is a -40% limitation on Magery?

A player did this in trying to build a type of sword mage. Is there some implication I missing beyond the obvious if you are immobilized you can't cast a spell with Magery?
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

High skill never eliminates the need for dancing. So, a Dance mage can never get away with "stealth" casting. That's often been important in games I've been in, and sometimes mages buy up their skill levels just to hit level 20 (the lowest "concentrate only" level). So part of the cost is "Skill doesn't reduce ritual requirements as per RAW".

Even at lower levels, the normal casting rituals are pretty minor ("a word or two" or "a small gesture (a couple of fingers are enough)" at level 15, which is a pretty typical base skill level even for 150-point mages.) So dancing is already more obvious.

Also, dancing is more restrictive -- you need some area around you. (Though you might allow a single hex if it's clear, GMs might rule you need even more room than that, as in these real or fictional examples, where the dancer takes up at least 2-3 yards of space, even though they're both pretty sedate.) And the dancer needs a reasonable floor surface on which to dance, lest you need DX rolls to avoid falling (or worse). Being able to dance is more limiting than simply "not paralyzed".

It also implies your hands are free for expressive use (and when not free, often because they're occupied with ritual props).
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

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Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
Why is Dance is a -40% limitation on Magery?

A player did this in trying to build a type of sword mage. Is there some implication I missing beyond the obvious if you are immobilized you can't cast a spell with Magery?
It is a bigger limitation than similar Accessiblities are, for sure ("only while flying" or "only while swimming" are both listed at -30%, for example). I think the fact that it also means that high skill never eliminates the need for gestures is probably worth bumping up the limitation value a bit, though.

I would say, however, that to qualify for this, you actually have to be dancing, and you can't just handwave the dance as being part of the normal foot gestures spells require. So, you've got to a have a decent clear floorspace, or make a DX roll to avoid falling if you don't, and the movements will be obviously a dance, you can't pass them off as just some shuffling or fidgeting to someone watching. For a "sword mage", I'd be inclined to say that, if they want to be casting spells while fighting with a sword, they've got to be wielding the sword as a dance. At minimum, they'd have to have Dancing skill at some level, and I'd be inclined to cap their effective weapon skill at their Dancing skill.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
It is a bigger limitation than similar Accessiblities are, for sure ("only while flying" or "only while swimming" are both listed at -30%, for example). I think the fact that it also means that high skill never eliminates the need for gestures is probably worth bumping up the limitation value a bit, though.

I would say, however, that to qualify for this, you actually have to be dancing, and you can't just handwave the dance as being part of the normal foot gestures spells require. So, you've got to a have a decent clear floorspace, or make a DX roll to avoid falling if you don't, and the movements will be obviously a dance, you can't pass them off as just some shuffling or fidgeting to someone watching. For a "sword mage", I'd be inclined to say that, if they want to be casting spells while fighting with a sword, they've got to be wielding the sword as a dance. At minimum, they'd have to have Dancing skill at some level, and I'd be inclined to cap their effective weapon skill at their Dancing skill.
You might even require they use the appropriate Art skill instead of the combat form if they are attacking or defending while maintaining spells.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

Appreciate the responses been very helpful.

So to throw another curve ball here the character is going to rely on Flight and Hawk Flight

So what skill combo would it take to come up with a flight dance :-)
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

Cap Flying and Aerobatics.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

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Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post

So what skill combo would it take to come up with a flight dance :-)
I think I'd call it another specialization of Dancing, actually - just like Acrobatics is "ground-based movement" and has an aerial counterpart in Aerobatics, I think it's reasonable to declare that the Dancing skill is really "ground based dancing" and another specialty exists for "air-based dancing". I'd have them default to each other at -4, but Dancing (Air) should probably get a bonus from 3D Spatial Sense, just like Aerobatics does.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

Again thanks guys, my ruling to the player.

OK so the deal is this with the dancing it is allowed but you need to take the dancing skill. At -40% it is actually dancing as opposed to must be able to move.

To maintain a spell you must be dancing the whole duration.

If you are dancing then your melee skill will be capped the lower of your weapon skill or your dance skill.

And to dance during flight you will need a Dance (Air) skill.*

And you will need at least the majority of the six surrounding hexes clear (4 out of the 6). Or you will need to make a dancing roll to keep on dancing.

Now you don't technically need the dance skill to do magic but if you are going to maintain spells with dancing only magery AND attack in melee (or ranged weapons) then you are going to need know how to dance. Time to get footloose!

Last edited by robertsconley; 09-18-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

On the plus side, if you break out in interpretive dance in the middle of a battlefield, you might be able to argue it as a Dirty Trick the first time as you confuse the crap out of your enemies. :)
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dance Limitation on Magery

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Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post

To maintain a spell you must be dancing the whole duration.
Everything else you suggested seems fine, but this one seems a bit overly-harsh. I'd suggest instead that the mage has to dance when the maintenance comes due. So if you've got a 1-minute duration spell, and the mage wants to maintain it, they have to be free to dance for a few seconds (I'd just use the original casting time) at the end of the minute. It's still limiting, because a spell can easily come due at a time it would be inconvenient to break out the old soft-shoe, but it's not as crippling for long-duration spells.
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