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Old 03-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
Kromm
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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Originally Posted by sn0wball View Post

What about affecting the leader of the enemy forces ? Reading his mind would be priceless and is less obvious than hurting him. Other Information spells can detect surprises or help you prepare yours.
To heck with reading the leader's mind . . . For all of these carefully delineated areas and lawyerly linking spell conditions to work, you absolutely need to drill the disposition of magic into the common soldier, or he'll be blundering into magical traps and caught in friendly fire. Mind-readers won't target the man who has the forcefulness to command troops, the will to defend or to conquer, and the protection of wizardly bodyguards. They'll go for the weak-willed spear-carriers who have failed a few Fright Checks already, who have been drinking for courage, and who feverishly repeat the wizard's lecture over and over so that they won't forget his instructions and stumble onto the Horrendous Fiery Death Trap spell. On the eve of battle, some of those guys will be standing sentry near the edges of the camp, where the range penalties from the shadows outside are much less severe than to the commander's tent in the center.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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What about affecting the leader of the enemy forces ? Reading his mind would be priceless and is less obvious than hurting him. Other Information spells can detect surprises or help you prepare yours.
Mind reading on a commander is relatively impractical since it's a resisted regular range spell. If you've got the ability to read his mind you might as well just cast permanent possession on him and lead his army into a trap. Spells that use long distance modifiers are more practical, but still tend to have big nasty penalties. Typically the best way to use mind reading (mind probe, really) is to kidnap some poor soldier.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #13
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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Mind reading on a commander is relatively impractical since it's a resisted regular range spell. If you've got the ability to read his mind you might as well just cast permanent possession on him and lead his army into a trap. .
....and if you can do that you (or your Evil Twin) cast Enslave on him and many other important people long before any battles begin.

It's not that realy powerful mages can't shape events powerrfully. It's that there isn't much reason to do it only in support of mundane troops and their battles.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Since a large number of the defensive metaspells require knowledge of the spell defended against, I think there will be some tendency for meta-specialists to also be broad generalists.

I also think there is a strong possibility that seeking magical supremacy would become the defining feature of military conflict.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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What about affecting the leader of the enemy forces ? Reading his mind would be priceless and is less obvious than hurting him. Other Information spells can detect surprises or help you prepare yours.
Countermeasures would become critical. In fact, it's likely that commanders would be accompanied constantly by protective mages (and/or be mages themselves as this would be even better proof against these tactics.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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Since a large number of the defensive metaspells require knowledge of the spell defended against, I think there will be some tendency for meta-specialists to also be broad generalists.
That generally means your skill level is too low to actually effectively counter things. It's generally more effective to just seek out those spells that don't require such knowledge.

I suspect the pentagram rug is very very common...
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

A big Spark Storm could plunge an enemy legion into disarray with its combination of knocking people over and dealing continuous damage. Force Wall might give you good battlefield control. Divide and conquer...

Suspend Mana (perhaps prepared ahead of time with Delay) would be a very important countermeasure.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

It might be useful to think about this in scenarios that are somehwat artificial but analytiically less complex.

For example, consider two well-known low-tech militaries that actually met competitively (e.g. Rome and the Parthians). Add ceremonial magic as a newly discovered technology to one or both sides and see what happens.

This way you can see some of the mechanics in action without having to speculate on the evolution of counter-measures, logistics and organization.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

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A big Spark Storm could plunge an enemy legion into disarray with its combination of knocking people over and dealing continuous damage. Force Wall might give you good battlefield control. Divide and conquer...

Suspend Mana (perhaps prepared ahead of time with Delay) would be a very important countermeasure.
We discussed this in another thread by snaps (It would have been useful for him to have provided that information). Basically no regular, or thrown, 'front line' spell will be of any use in cerimonial magic casting because:
-minimum casting time makes it observable and counter-able
-Hostile observers remove 10 energy each
-A battle will be thousands of meters deep on each end
-Indirect fire from bows has a range over hundreds of meters
-Even the largest or longest ranged spells will over cover ~100 meters

With that said- one mage with ceremonial casting, in the very middle of the combat formation (to prevent flanking) doling out healing/instant restoration/instant regeneration, and putting some linked 'when I cry out in agony' healing spells on your more important troops will be immensely useful.

Weather spells as mentioned will be supremely useful, divination as well.

Wizard eye+detect life+illusion could be used to project a real-time overhead map of the battle to the commander (with friendly units helpfully illuminated in blue, and known enemy units in red) and his tacticians, a capability we are trying very hard to achieve right now via computers- setting this up with power spell via ceremonial magic means that the wizard can just refresh this every now and again and keep doing there healing magic rather then being slaved to providing the map.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

I have seen some suggestions about having long range versions of magic available that utilize much lower range penalties at twice the normal costs. Obviously, this would be well suited for ritual magic, as a single mage, while able to throw a few spells to the far side of a battlefield, would quickly exhaust his FP stock. These long range mages would also have difficulty with normal up-close work, and all their spells cost more regardless of distance.

I am playing with the idea of it being two different specialties of war magic - Tactical (for close range, FP based) and Strategic (for long range, possible Thresh based powers). Ritual Magic probably does not apply to the strategic mages in this setting, though, because I don't think any amount of onlookers can mitigate an increasing amount of stress on the forces that hold the material plane together. :p
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