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Old 10-28-2010, 06:02 PM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnej View Post
This confusion has been popping up about this particular phrasing for over a decade.
Well, it may have been confusing some people but I never made this assumption, not even back in the 80s. Dedicated (and Exclusive) Powerstones only work for spellcasting Items.

Indeed, the terms only mean anything when a Powerstone is built into an Item. Once you've done that the stone's energy only goes into that Item.

You don't really cast spells "through" a Staff. It;'s just that the Staff always counts as a part of the Mage's body when figuring ranges.

Also for touching things generally. If you haven't turned a Powerstone embedded in a Staff into a Dedicated (etc.) version you can tap the stone by touching any part of the Staff.

I can't really think of any case where "casting spells through a staff" has a _functional_ meaning in Magic.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I can't really think of any case where "casting spells through a staff" has a _functional_ meaning in Magic.
It's a rather common trope in the genre, so not casting spells through a staff means messing up the setting.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
It's a rather common trope in the genre, so not casting spells through a staff means messing up the setting.
What does that even mean? The regular GURPS magic system is a poor match for any fictional magic anyway. At any rate a GURPS mage doesn't "Cast magic through his staff", the staff merely acts as a touch/reach extension. Dedicated and Exclusive Powerstones only power spells that are enchanted into the item. A mage can use normal Powerstones connected to a staff to cast any spell.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #14
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
What does that even mean? The regular GURPS magic system is a poor match for any fictional magic anyway.
It means that in various types of settings you need to cast spells through an item, like a staff or a wand, and that in many of those settings the energy which powers the spell resides within said staff or wand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
At any rate a GURPS mage doesn't "Cast magic through his staff", the staff merely acts as a touch/reach extension.
A GURPS mage casts magic through his staff if the setting calls for it, that's what Generic and Universal mean after all.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Dedicated and Exclusive Powerstones only power spells that are enchanted into the item. A mage can use normal Powerstones connected to a staff to cast any spell.
Exclusive Powerstones are different, they limit an item so that it can only be powered by the energy in the stone itself and renders the item useless until recharged.

It's also badly priced holistically when looked in for the final enchantment, but then again so are most Limited Enchantments.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
It means that in various types of settings you need to cast spells through an item, like a staff or a wand, and that in many of those settings the energy which powers the spell resides within said staff or wand.
The regular magic system allows the entire staff to be a powerstone. Otherwise it could be an ER with gadget limitations, or a staff is a ritual focus, or dozens of other possibilities for "casts through the staff" depending on how magic works.

Quote:
A GURPS mage casts magic through his staff if the setting calls for it, that's what Generic and Universal mean after all.
Generic and Universal generally mean "customized magic system" in this case. There's nothing about the unmodified "standard" spell system that is either.

Quote:
Exclusive Powerstones are different, they limit an item so that it can only be powered by the energy in the stone itself and renders the item useless until recharged.
A difference of degree not of kind:
  • Dedicated: The stone can only power a spell that the item is enchanted to cast.
  • Exclusive: As above but the spell can only be powered by the stone.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by korbeau View Post
I've read (again) Magic recently and for some strange reason, I read something and for the first time, i'm confused about something.

We can read about powerstone that: "If a Powerstone is attached to an item before that item is enchanted, the Powerstone becomes a part of the magical item. It is then a “dedicated” Powerstone. The item’s user may tap its energy – but only to power the spells cast by or through that item"

I understand the first part; if I build a staff of thunder, the energy for the spell will be taken from the powerstone but what about the second? Did it mean when you cast using a magic staff (the one mage can take to increase their reach) then the powerstone will fuel the spell instead of the mage?

If yes... then Magic staff, combine with powerstone is VEERRYY powerful!!
I vaguely recall reading a ruling on that issue. no can cite however. IIRC the ruling went that casting a spell through the item that wasn't enchanted in the item would NOT let you tap the powerstone.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

As I've always read it:

Powerstones by themselves, act as an energy reservoir for the use of casting spells.

Powerstones that are created first, then used as a part of an enchantment process for other enchantments, become powerstones with an additional property. This additional property is that for those enchantments that the powerstone was a part of, and ONLY those enchantments that the powerstone was a part of, will the powerstone have twice the energy reserve for those spells than it would have had otherwise.

Example: A mage enchants a 30 point unquirked powerstone. He can use it to power any and all spells he wishes to cast, where the 30 point powerstone can only power 30 points worth of spells.

Example 2: A mage takes that 30 point unquirked powerstone, and embeds it into a heavy oaken staff. The enchanter then enchants the staff with the powerstone such that it has not only the fireball spell enchanted into the staff, but also the sleep spell. He then sells that staff to another mage, who doesn't have the spell fireball, nor the spell sleep. This new mage however, does have the spell FLIGHT.

The mage can cast the flight spell against his 30 point powerstone, but the flight spell uses energy from the powerstone on a 1 for 1 basis. However, the mage needs to cast the fireball spell. He can't cast it on his own, but his staff can, so the spell is cast through his staff - and because the fireball enchantment was enchanted while the powerstone was present in/on the staff proper, it gains the 2:1 energy efficiency. The same holds true when the mage attempts to strike someone AND cast the spell "Sleep". While he doesn't know the spell sleep, the staff can cast it for him. Again, it (the staff) gains the 2:1 capability with the powerstone.

Now we get to have some fun with the STAFF enchantment. Since the powerstone is present while the STAFF spell is being enchanted, the STAFF enchantement gains the benefit of the energy efficiency.

Problem is...

What effects of the STAFF enchantment, require energy to activate? The ability to


Touching a subject with your staff lets you cast spells on that subject
at no distance penalty.



Pointing with a staff reduces the range to a distant subject by the
length of the staff.



A staff can carry Melee spells.

None of the above mentioned capabilities imparted by the enchantment of "STAFF" require energy, and thus, none of those abilities gain a x2 modifier for their capabilities by means of STAFF enchantment. Don't confuse the ability to conduct (ie act as a conduit) spells with the outright casting of spells from the magic item itself.

Note: if you enchant the staff with SLEEP and with FIREBALL, and you remove the gem from the staff, it automatically destroys the enchantments SLEEP and FIREBALL. In a nutshell, the wording has been such, that although you can argue that spells cast through the staff via STAFF enchantments count as gaining the "Doubling of efficiency for energy", none of the spells being cast through the STAFF enchantment really are "enchantments" themselves. In reality, the wording for STAFF enchantment, really only states that the physical "item" (in this case, called a staff), is really a conduit.

Note too, that were you to create a magic item that could only be powered by the powerstone - where you could NOT use your own personal energy to power the item, the energy efficiency increases threefold, not twofold.

So, casting your spell through a staff enchanted with STAFF, is itself, not an enchantment casting a spell, but you using the enchanted staff as a conduit, to cast the spell. Magic items that cast spells on the other hand, are enchantments casting spells through the item itself, not as a conduit of your own abilities, but as a conduit of the enchantment's ability.

Now for the last piece of advice on this discussion...

YOU as the GM, will always be right when running your own game world. If you want it to work such that Casting STAFF on a powerstone embedded in an oak staff makes it act like a X2 energy multiplier, so be it, and enjoy the effects in your game world.

Ok, one final thought and it is off to bed for me...

If you have a person who happens to have the magery advantage, but doesn't know a single spell what so ever, how would you handle the following magic item?

Simple Oak Staff that weighs 6 lbs
Gemstone with 30 points of Powerstone enchanted into it
SLEEP enchantment
FIREBALL Enchantment
ASTRAL VISION Enchantment
BLESS PLANTS Enchantement

Note that each example above, the mage isn't casting a spell. It is the staff itself. When you determine the success for spell casting, you're not casting it as a default from the IQ of the wizard with the enchanted staff, but using the rules in GURPS MAGIC for casting spells by magic item. THAT is how you cast spells THROUGH a staff - or so I've always understood it to mean <shrug>.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:38 AM   #18
fschiff
 
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

Wozers. Holy house rules.

The rules are pretty clear.
"The item's user may tap its energy -- but only to power the spells cast by or through that item."
That means you can't use the powerstone in your blasting rod, to power your healing spell.

____________ Efficiency ______ Usage in object
Powerstone
"Dedicated" ___ 1:2 _____________ Optional
"Exclusive" ___ 1:3 _____________ Required

For a "dedicated" powerstone in a magic object, once you've used all of the energy in it, you can still cast the spell(s) in it from other sources. For an "exclusive" powerstone, once you've used up all of the energy, you have to wait until the mana regenerates in the embedded powerstone.

The staff spells doesn't mean you are casting a spell "through" the staff. Its just extending your reach.

Last edited by fschiff; 10-30-2010 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnej View Post
If you want to argue that the intent of the author has somehow changed when the books got a 4e stamped on them, go ahead, although I think it unlikely.
The problem I see is that if it was intended to adhere to Kromm's 3e ruling, then why wouldn't it have been made clear when 4e was published? The problem was obviously known since Kromm had to make an official ruling, and it wasn't a pure cut & paste job as the text changed slightly. The only options are that it was an intentional change, or that it was overlooked yet again. Even with the problems Magic has, I like to give SJG more credit than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You don't really cast spells "through" a Staff. It;'s just that the Staff always counts as a part of the Mage's body when figuring ranges.
I don't see how the two are different. If the mage can cast a touch spell by touching the target with the staff, the spell is being cast "through" the staff. Same if the range is figured from the end of the staff instead of the caster himself.

With these points in mind I have to agree with Ze'Manel Cunha and the OP, unless of course someone can find a 4e clarification by Kromm

Last edited by DreadPirateLynx; 10-30-2010 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Magic] Casting trought item with powerstone

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Originally Posted by fschiff View Post
The staff spells doesn't mean you are casting a spell "through" the staff. Its just extending your reach.
I think that's where a great deal of the confusion comes from.

The range to the target is calculated from the end of the Staff, so the spell is being cast by the caster, 'through' the Staff in a manner similar to how electricity passes from the generator through copper on it's way to the device.

This is distinct from spells cast by items that have been enchanted... and why specify both 'by' and 'through' unless there's a significant distinction that needs to be made?
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