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Old 05-02-2022, 04:41 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

I got wondering about this when flipping through Least of Spells and noticing on pg 7 that "Flexible" lacked a "Resisted by HT" note like it's surrounding spells (Blend In and Stand Out) did.

So it seems like if your enemy wizard did not want to get Flexibility bonuses to their skills, they probably couldn't prevent that, unless they just instinctively cast Ward as a blocking spell when they notice you targeting them with an unspecified spell they assume must be threatening.

If they failed to Ward to stop Flexibility then I guess they could cast Counterspell to nullify it. It'd mostly be a waste of energy, but unless they use Identify Spell to realize it's a harmless Flexibility spell, they may not realize this and assume it's something more insidious.

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Anyway, on to the strategy (aside from getting htem to waste energy/time on Ward/Counterspell) of doing this.

If you were trying to keep track of an enemy mage via casting an Information spell that is not normally resistable (like M105's Seeker) they might use a meta spell like Scryguard (M121) to make it resistable (info spells must win a contest w/ Scryguard to work)

Info spells like M102's "Seek Magic" can seek "active spells" though, so wouldn't you be able to use this to detect your Flexibility spell that you tagged that mage with? Since it is sensing the spell (and not the mage) it doesn't seem like Scryguard would give your information spell a resistance roll in this case.

M121's description of Scryguard doesn't mention the 'subject' needs to be a person, so I guess you could cast Scryguard on Flexibility so that Scryguard will resist the Seek Magic info spell via a Quick Contest too, but that would require knowing that you're buffed with Flexibility in the first place.

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To realize someone is buffed w/ Flexibility (ie which spell are you targeting with Scryguard) seems like it might require either Identify Spell or Analayze magic? Something like Magesight tells you a person has spell(s) on them but I don't know if that actually allows you to target a spell.

In terms of penalties, I would figure the person enchanted w/ Flexibility would have no penalty (as they are "touching" a spell affecting htem) but if a 3rd party wanted to Scryguard that Flexibility spell then they might be at -5 since they aren't touching it and they can't see it (spells are invisible) ?

Probably a similar policy if the Flexible-buffed enemy (or his 3rd party ally) wanted to Counterspell the Flexibility instead of putting a Scryguard on it. That could be more economic if you have a high skill in Counterspell and it's a low-skill Flexibility, but if you can't win that Counterspell contest then slapping a Scryguard on Flexibility might be the only feasible approach?

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Scryguard itself doesn't note any possibility of resisting it. If you didn't want a Scryguard placed on you then aside from actively blocking an incoming Scryguard w/ Ward (or Counterspelling it if the Ward fails) I think there's two routes:
1) subtracting from the skill of the incoming Scryguard casting via M123's Magic Resistance

2) standing behind a Spell Shield (M124) since it resists ALL non-missile spells
A workaround for spell shield might be to combine "Throw Spell + Scryguard" which I imagine also prevents using Ward against it, instead you'd need to use B143's "Deflect Missile". It's cheaper (1 energy instead of 2) but that's inconvenient if you specialize in Ward for non-missiles and don't have a high DM skill.

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Assuming this all works, does this mean mages who venture outside the safeguards of their Spell Shields or spend time not enchanted with Magic Resistance (to avoid penalties) might regularly be casting Analyze Magic on themselves to check for undesired "magical ticks" (so to speak) that other casters might've tagged them with (ie 1-energy Flexibility) that act like tracers/GPS to work around their normal Scryguard protections (ie they need to be counterspelled or given a supplementary Scryguard) ?

Seems like to avoid such paranoia people would be massively specializing in skills like Analyze Magic to bring down that massive 60min casting time. To bring 8 energy down to 0 energy for casual repeat use would require skill 50 which would halve time seven times so >30>15>7.5>3.75(225s) is four times, then >113>56.5>28.25 is three more, so that probably rounds up to a 29-second casting time, still pretty massive.

I guess another option is just habitually cast skill-20 (zero energy) Identify Spell every five seconds. That'd make it really hard to cast other spells though. Maybe that's one good reason to have apprentices since you can have them take up the duty of monitoring you w/ Identify Spell during moments you need uninterrupted casting time for other stuff?

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Flexibility is also probably not the best spell for this (high maintenance cost of 1 per second) unless you're high skill. There's probably better longer-duration non-resisted buff spells that might serve this purpose. Longer duration is also more useful if you're wanting to Maintain Spell your GPS buff so it isn't a spells-on penalty.

For example maybe you cast "Climbing" (1 energy per 1 minute)... though come to think of it, Scryguard itself might be ideal for this purpose since it's a mere 1 energy per 10 hours investment : if you can maintain that for 0 energy it's only 1 energy per 50 hours via Maintain Spell.

Is "Identify Spell still detects that the Scryguard is present" possibly intended to mean that Scryguard (unlike other spells) can be detected beyond the five-second window?
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