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Old 07-19-2019, 11:06 AM   #25
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
I have very mixed emotions about using a cap to solve that problem too, but there's no denying the Lightening spell was/is trouble!

One of the best (or so I thought) adventure scenarios I'd ever composed for our group, certainly the most elaborate in terms of making custom counters for it, was completely derailed in the first 5 minutes when the lone wizard in the player's party unleashed a 10 or 12 ST lightening bolt.

It would have been our first adventure with a battle at sea, I'd made detailed melee-hex scaled ships, and it was going to be glorious. The story opens with the PC's as passengers aboard a small ship, but it's overtaken at sea by a larger slaving vessel with a ton of well armed pirates. It was a deliberately overwhelming force -- once they boarded the passenger vessel the player's would simply have to surrender and then wait to see what happened next -- or so I thought.

And it was all a plot device to simply get the captured players to an unusual location, where they'd escape to make their way to freedom through an elaborate tunnel system that was going to bring them face to face with many new things I'd contrived (and for which I'd made like another 100 counters, most of them being a giant ant colony they'd have to figure out how to trick their way through). They were going to end up owning that warship as I recall, with the aid of the galley slaves they'd have an opportunity to liberate.

So we've only been playing 5 minutes and, now in melee turns, the pirate ship is almost close enough to start boarding... and the players' one wizard says he's leaning over the railing aiming a lightening bolt, a huge lightening bolt, just below the waterline of the pirate ship's side. Well I couldn't disallow it. We all agreed the hull had to be as strong as a heavy door. He hits and rolls some enormous damage and I have to agree he's blown a big hole below the waterline. The enemy vessel goes down in a few turns, completely ruining my story line. I improvised something, I don't remember what to trick the party into getting to whatever island I'd been taking them too, but the day was over before we'd barely scratched the labyrinth. One of the last times we played too, never got the right combination of players together again to resume it.

But as my beautiful classical bireme warship went under, I pointed out to the player who's wizard had spoiled everything that he'd just sent 100 galley slaves, chained below decks, to their deaths. And as he was an outspoken humanitarian, this wizard, I told him this was so out of character I was penalizing him 100 XP.

Oh the moaning and wailing! Oh the arguing! Hahaha. But I wouldn't budge, and the GM gets the last word. Minus 100 XP! LOL
That's a fantastic game story! I love it when unexpected developments during play turn the situation into something new and unexpected! (Even when it makes a bunch of my prep no longer relevant... )

I would suggest however that even a door-sized hole in a hull isn't going to sink or stop the ship - it's just going to add a flow of water into the hull... it sounds like they were close enough to still attempt to grapnel and board the players' ship, but now would be in the process of eventually sinking.

Also a pirate survivor might give some information that might lead the PCs to investigate that interesting place, just under different circumstances.
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