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Old 04-08-2024, 09:09 PM   #51
Dalillama
 
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post

Yeah, with most settings built with Standard Magic, Castles with bronze walls are pretty darn cheap. And if you've got a row of men four deep and 25 abreast with a mage, they can throw up a two yard high wall in front of them in about 12 seconds for 1 FP.


A lot of ancient attrition was disease, not war, and the healing mages are useful out of combat, so its a good investment either way. I'm not sure that faction with the healing mage is going to win out against the guys fighting the battle from dozens of impromptu fortifications though.
Those same Earth mages can do more than Healers to stop disease; the big killers were cholera, typhoid fever, and typhus. The last one is spread by insects, so you'd need an Animal mage to hit them directly, but cholera and typhoid are caused by the latrines (if there even are any) not being sufficiently separated from the drinking water supply. Shape Earth and Earth to Stone (turning it into clay would do, I can't find my copy of Magic and don't know that's good for an energy discount) turns every latrine trench into a septic tank.
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Yeah, that's the big question. What else besides wizards are running around? Trolls? Griffins? Dragons? Heroes built on 400 points?


Part of me wants to just try a few sample combats based on something silly like 500 62-point DF henchmen, 50 125-point DF henchment, and 5 Full 250-point combatants.
It might be that's what you need to survive on the magical battlefield.
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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Battle Mages of even modest sorts are 150 pt to 250 pt Characters. The Energy rEserve that would replace even one use of a Spectator group is 300 pts more. When considering the use of 500pt Mages you're starting to approach territory where you ask "What do they need armies for?".
No matter how strong the archmage, a spear through the face will ruin their whole day. You need an army to stop someone just walking up and stabbing you while you're focused on casting. You also need an army to occupy territory after the enemy is put to flight or destroyed, of course, but those troops could theoretically come behind. The actual battlefield might be reserved for mages, elementals, demons, and elite corps of support troops, equally trained in ritual and combat, who try to get to enemy mages and stop them the hard way or defending their own from same. One mage can only be in one place at a time focusing on one thing.
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Old 04-08-2024, 09:22 PM   #52
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
<shrug>We're probably assuming that the -14 to vision and Hearing at 600 yards makes it too far for proper "spectating". I wouldn't want seats in a football stadium that were 600 yards from the field. :)

As for interruptions, there is this army on your side. We've already established that 600 yards is beyond arrow range.

Also, even as Ceremonies the two spells only take 10 seconds each to cast. The fire will be Created and block line of sight from across the battlefield after the first 10.

One of the reasons I've gone on about it at this length is that it's a surprisingly easy thing to set up and do.
I see no limitations on what range a hostile observer is counted at by RAW. 600 yards is a -15 roll, however there's also the in plain sight modifier and the crowd of ceremonial magic folks is a multi hex target. These modifiers should make it relatively reasonable that keen-eyed or observant enemies would be able to detect your rituals and then ill wish them. It only takes twenty ill wishers to cancel out the mana effect. We're also ignoring the possibility of ST24+ archers in a setting with magic. Or that the other side could use a variety of scying methods to "observe" and then well wish.

I also question if create fire is the best use for 100 energy points. You said that you don't think communication is all that great, but: with 100 energy, you could have a "conference call" of 25 people, and have that maintained indefinitely. That's an absolutely massive amount of command and control that you can maintain. 100 spectators can sustain this comms system for 6 minutes and then be swapped out by fresh spectators who will continue maintaining until they have to be swapped out. While not maintaining, your spectators rest: they need an hour or 30 minutes if they're fit. With 1000 spectarors(500 if they're fit), you should be able to indefinitely maintain a 25 person telepathy session or zoom call. With a handful of powerful mages, you could set up a pretty impressive network of communication.
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Old 04-08-2024, 10:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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I also question if create fire is the best use for 100 energy points. .
<shrug> There are so many possible uses that the main function of Magic on the battlefield may be to add chaos.

Create/Shape Fire jsut got used as an example because it's one of the simplest possible examples. A Mage only needs to know 3 Spells to do it and one of those is the Ignite Fire that anyone who's ever struck flint & Steel wishes they knew and Create Fire is good for making roaring campfires that use no fuel.

By contrast, Telepathy is (VH) has a prereq chain 6 spells deep and every attempt made to add another person the conversation is going to add a -1 to the new Casting roll for "Spells already on". I wouldn't do all that to set upa committee meeting. The one way only nature of most of the other candidate Spells is probably onsidered a feature rather than a bug by the commanding General. :)

Setting up huge amount sof Comand Control is for people whose meme is "War Is Like Chess!" meaning they think it's a game of move and counter-move by the commanders.

My meme for this situation is "Amateurs Study Tactics, Professionals Study Logistics.". meaning you train and equip your troops properly, you get them to the right place at the right time with all the stuff they need and then you get out of their way and let them doi their jobs.

Long range intelligence gathering and timely conveyance of that back to HQ would certainly be critical but there are a lot of ways for Magic to do that and they wouldn't technically be "on" the battlefield.
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Old 04-08-2024, 11:39 PM   #54
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
<shrug> There are so many possible uses that the main function of Magic on the battlefield may be to add chaos.
That might also be the case.
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Create/Shape Fire jsut got used as an example because it's one of the simplest possible examples. A Mage only needs to know 3 Spells to do it and one of those is the Ignite Fire that anyone who's ever struck flint & Steel wishes they knew and Create Fire is good for making roaring campfires that use no fuel.
That's great for logistics, but it doesn't have much tactical flexibility. You'd be better off putting those energy points into a big fire elemental or a rain of fire ( which is harder to counter as well).



.




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Long range intelligence gathering and timely conveyance of that back to HQ would certainly be critical but there are a lot of ways for Magic to do that and they wouldn't technically be "on" the battlefield.
The thread in general is about overall military performance, not strictly the battlefield, despite the focus of the current subthread. I think it was widely agreed upthread that in Case 1, the battalion mages would hardly ever be in combat, they'd be using up to 100 energy on Message to tell the depot they're coming and to start stocking up now, or tell the garrison at Overthere 40 miles off your route when to start marching so they can link up with you before you meet the enemy at Border Pass or putting it into Seek Metal (which uses the long distance modifiers, and Trading Power for Skill lets you soak really heavy distance penalties if you have youe ceremonial group) to look for high concentrations of munitions steel and thus learn where General Otherguy's troops are, or Wizard Eye + Hawk Vision or an actual hawk for the same purpose. The counters are Scryguard (speaking of long prerequisite chains. Metamagic is hard, but if you have someone who can manage it you have a lot of advantages) for the first and Illusion Shell for the second. Earth Spells for fortifications and latrines (and maybe sometimes getting the landscape out of the way of the march route). It's not until Cases 2 and 3 and actual battlefield casting becomes likely, and at that point a large engagement will have dozens of active mages of various skillsets and levels.
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Old 04-09-2024, 04:30 AM   #55
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Yeah there is. Bullet point 5 says

"Once the spell is cast, the participants can continue to provide energy to maintain the spell. The composition of the group may change, as long as the ritual continues uninterrupted. Thus, ceremonial magic lets you maintain a spell indefinitely."

Spectators are participants. This rule doesn't say how much energy they can contribute, but given the granularity of GURPS Magic that value must be at least 1.
Fred seemed to be saying that the spectators could each contribute 1FP per second of casting the spell.
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Old 04-09-2024, 06:04 AM   #56
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Why would they do thay? Raising magical power for the battle is just one of those things armies in a magical setting do, the general will know perfectly well what they're doing, he just can't really stop them, anymore than they can stop his side's ritual (unless the two armies are close enough for the hostile observer effect to kick in, but they won't be, because that would hurt both sides.
Not quite. Raising magical power for the battle is one of those things that armies in a high-magic setting where battlemages who can cast spells with mass effect are ubiquitous and numerous is one of those things they would do.

This isn't necessarily the case. I don't need my communications mage to "raise magical power." I don't need my healers to do that, at least not before triage and cleanup. I don't need the wizard controlling three hawks giving visual intel to do that. I don't need the wizard tasked to counterspelling to do that. Even with 1:1000, we're not talking armies of Napoleonic size here: I might not have wizards capable of laying down mass damage on the enemy, and if I do, I might not be inclined to show my hand at the very beginning of the engagement.

Beyond that, if ceremonial casting is a known feature, I have every incentive in the world to practice battlefield deception. Let's deck out one of my gallopers -- preferably with a very loud voice -- to go stand over on that hillock, wearing fancy glittery robes, and wave and jump up and down, surrounded by a hundred camp followers loudly chanting nonsense syllables. (Heck, why just one? I'll do that on the left and right wings of my battle line.)
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:06 AM   #57
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
That might also be the case.

That's great for logistics, but it doesn't have much tactical flexibility. You'd be better off putting those energy points into a big fire elemental or a rain of fire ( which is harder to counter as well).

s.
It doesn't say Rain of Fire uses Large Area Injury and the fact that you can protect yourself from it by holding a shield over your head argues that it doesn't.

If so, armor is twice as effective against Rain of Fire because it won't be halved the way it would be against Large Area Injury. Armor DR would be halved for being in a Fire Hex. There are the environmental ahzards as well.

You'd need to be casting Rain of fire at 2x cost to get a probable damage advantage over Create Fire and that negates Rain of Fire's energy cost advantage.

Rain of Fire would also take a -1 to cast per yard to the edge of the Area. You won't be casting it 600 yards away.

Puting 100 pts into a Summon or Create Elemental is probably a very bad idea even if you have 100pts to put into a Control Elemental. Control Elemental is a Resisted Spell and the elemental uses the better of its' IQ or ST. The ST of a 1000 pt Elemental (500 pts for a Created one) is probably quite high.

Create does give you 1 hour of obedient service but then you're rolling Skill v. IQ+ST every hour and if've you've given the elemental a taste for destruction what it does when it wins that contest could be Very Bad.

Summon Elemental requires a Reaction Roil and if you're planning on using an Influence Skill you'll need the probably rare Advantage of Spirit Empathy. The GM will also very likely rule that Elemntals are one of those creatures where your Appearance bonuses don't apply. It might be that nothing but Charisma applies.

Maybe you can skate by with Created Elementals but if you want to depend on using the last minute of "obedient servitude" to dismiss theElemental your character should probably have Absolute Time Sense. :)

Also, realy, really check _everything_ with your GM (probably in the person of your Character's teacher). If you're counting on using that last minute on that Created Elemental you may not want to count on commanding him to "return to your native place". a Created elemental could say "But Master! I was born right here before you!". I think you'll want to be sure about the existence of an Elemental Plane and even a Created Elemental's ability to automatically travel there not to return unless Summoned.

If things do work that way the Elemental Plane could fill up with 500 pt Elementals who were Created but who no human can reliably Control. :)

Not a fan of this plan. If you really really want a summonable supernatural creature put that Enhancement on an Ally. It may be the only safe way.
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Old 04-09-2024, 02:04 PM   #58
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Many years ago I was involved in a PBeM focused on battle magics. It wound up dominated by earth magics (fortifications are good), information spells (wizard eye is a big force multiplier), and buff stacking to create superhero units (send out an invisible flying guy mighty guy with a halberd. Or summon a super powerful elemental and stack buffs on that).
That's just awesome!

wizard eye is an interesting spell. its 4 to cast and 2 to maintain... which becomes 3 to cast and 1 to maintain if you know it at 15. It gives instant communication, but only to the wizard who cast it, and it has move 10. Maintaining it per minute requires a lot of energy... but not an insane amount, though that is dependent on battle length. It can fly, so you can put it up in the sky for a good view.



Knowing it at 20 makes it maintainable indefinitely, but the ability to get skill 20 in a spell requires certain setting assumptions.


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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Those same Earth mages can do more than Healers to stop disease; the big killers were cholera, typhoid fever, and typhus. The last one is spread by insects, so you'd need an Animal mage to hit them directly, but cholera and typhoid are caused by the latrines (if there even are any) not being sufficiently separated from the drinking water supply. Shape Earth and Earth to Stone (turning it into clay would do, I can't find my copy of Magic and don't know that's good for an energy discount) turns every latrine trench into a septic tank.
The best part about those earth mages is they're probably civilians. When Hal ran the magecoin thread I came to the conclusion that earth magic and plant magic was were most the money and benefit is, so the earth mages don't need to be dedicated soldiers, just dedicated builders. You might want to give some of them a little training though.



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It might be that's what you need to survive on the magical battlefield.

...


The actual battlefield might be reserved for mages, elementals, demons, and elite corps of support troops, equally trained in ritual and combat, who try to get to enemy mages and stop them the hard way or defending their own from same. One mage can only be in one place at a time focusing on one thing.
I'm not 100% sure that's the way everything shakes out, its a cool paradigm to play in, and it looks at least mildly competitive with the other options.
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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Rain of Fire would also take a -1 to cast per yard to the edge of the Area. You won't be casting it 600 yards away.


You'd need to be casting Rain of fire at 2x cost to get a probable damage advantage over Create Fire and that negates Rain of Fire's energy cost advantage.
I'm curious, what happens if I send a create fireball at a wall on the other side of the battlefield? can it go over any size wall? If not, how tall does a wall need to be to stop it?



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Puting 100 pts into a Summon or Create Elemental is probably a very bad idea even if you have 100pts to put into a Control Elemental. Control Elemental is a Resisted Spell and the elemental uses the better of its' IQ or ST. The ST of a 1000 pt Elemental (500 pts for a Created one) is probably quite high.

Create does give you 1 hour of obedient service but then you're rolling Skill v. IQ+ST every hour and if've you've given the elemental a taste for destruction what it does when it wins that contest could be Very Bad.

...

If things do work that way the Elemental Plane could fill up with 500 pt Elementals who were Created but who no human can reliably Control. :)

Not a fan of this plan. If you really really want a summonable supernatural creature put that Enhancement on an Ally. It may be the only safe way.
I went to see if Elementals had a distinct advantage over, say, Demons. Planar Summons seems have the disadvantage of being slower to summon, and it becomes a big deal if you're ritually casting and want to summon 100 energy versions. Its twice as efficient energywise though.


So if I WANT battles to devolve into armies (or shall I say worshipers) summoning as many demons, angels, Valkyries, divine avatars, and so forth as they can, I know what number to tweak.

Long term issues with too many old elementals sounds like exactly the sort of problem you ignore in favor of winning the war right now and hope you can sort it out later.



*************************


I also looked into Zombies. There is pretty much no limit there, other than enemy necromancers showing up and stealing your troops. In which case you have this weird race to the top as people just buy control zombie higher and higher and higher.

Also, on a battlefield full of masses of flame, spontaneous walls, and Giant elementals, I'm not 100% sure what useful purpose hordes of undead footsoldiers are going to do.
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Old 04-09-2024, 02:41 PM   #59
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Long term issues with too many old elementals sounds like exactly the sort of problem you ignore in favor of winning the war right now and hope you can sort it out later.
And, of course, you only have to deal with the elementals that survive long enough for your control to run out. Against 0-25 point peasants, sure, a 500-point elemental probably isn't going to have much issue surviving - but you're probably going to wind up with summon-on-summon combat, and peer foes are unlikely to have both survive long enough for your control to lapse (if they do, that's a good reason to send natural enemies against each other, like water elementals and fire elementals or angels and demons, so that once your control lapses they're likely to keep fighting anyway).

And, of course, those summons who do survive and escape control can make for good adventure seeds.
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Old 04-09-2024, 10:00 PM   #60
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post


I'm curious, what happens if I send a create fireball at a wall on the other side of the battlefield? can it go over any size wall? If not, how tall does a wall need to be to stop it?




I went to see if Elementals had a distinct advantage over, say, Demons. Planar Summons seems have the disadvantage of being slower to summon, and it becomes a big deal if you're ritually casting and want to summon 100 energy versions. Its twice as efficient energywise though.


So if I WANT battles to devolve into armies (or shall I say worshipers) summoning as many demons, angels, Valkyries, divine avatars, and so forth as they can, I know what number to tweak.

Long term issues with too many old elementals sounds like exactly the sort of problem you ignore in favor of winning the war right now and hope you can sort it out later.



*************************


I also looked into Zombies. There is pretty much no limit there, other than enemy necromancers showing up and stealing your troops. In which case you have this weird race to the top as people just buy control zombie higher and higher and higher.

Also, on a battlefield full of masses of flame, spontaneous walls, and Giant elementals, I'm not 100% sure what useful purpose hordes of undead footsoldiers are going to do.
"Create Fireball" is mushing a couple of things together. "Fireball" is a Missile Spell that's 1/2D 25 yards Max 50 yards and would probably not be seen often on a battlefield.

Using Shape Fire to move a Created Fire is a different thing. I know of no particular limit on moving with Shape Fire but I would impoise one at line of sight. I don't remember any discussion about limits on moving Created Fires with Shape. MNaintainign the Create means it needs no fuel and Fire is nearly weightless so I'm not seeing huge reasons why you couldn't move it straight up. It'd still be limited to Move 5 so it's not much oif a threat to flyers. As mentioend earlier I'd ahve you lose control if you sent over the top of the wall and lsot line of sight.

Summoning/Creating/Controlling Eleemntals has the advantage over Summooning Demons is that Elementals will sometimes be neutral or maybe even friendly. If they stay on their Elemental Plane even large numbers of 500 pt Elementals might nt be a problem. There isn't always an Elemental Plane though. In pre-Gurps versiosn of The Fantasy Trip Eleemntals stayed in remote parts of the Material Plane appropriate to the Element. If Elementals in your world do that there may not be enough active volcanos for all the 500 pt Fire Elementals and things could get rough if they have a housing crisis.

Demons will always be malicious and always cause trouble if you lose control. <shrug>Maybe you're an Evil Chaos-worhipper and _want_ to spread death and destruction. Those are the only people who can be sure of getting what they want out of Summoned Demons (unless the Demons kill them too).

The only thing dumber than Summoning Demons is Summoning Things Man Was Not Meant To Know but i don't know of any particular number to tweak if you want dumb people to Summon stuff that they can't control..If you want Summoned supernaturals to be securely controllable you'll have to re-write the rules about their control.

Raising Zombies, Skeletons and even Mummies is almost benign in comparison unless you do it on an industrial scale for a long time. That tends to make the local Mana Death-aspected but maybe you're alread a Lich and don't mind that. Living Necromancers will rapidly be pushed in that direction.
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