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Old 04-10-2024, 10:23 AM   #61
Otaku
 
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
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.
Some questions owing to my lack of knowledge:

How crazy difficult is it to Johnny One-Spell something like Wizard Eye? Or else, to enchant a magic item that is at least partially self-powered?

I'm just thinking of real-world experts, and also high cost real-world technologies, and how a magical setting might result in at least some kingdoms willing to dedicate a mage specifically to a useful spell like Wizard Eye. Assuming enough of magic is understood so that rulers and/or wizards are aware that "If I study long enough, I can maintain the spell longer." I could see it being worthwhile for a kingdom to strive for such a wizard. If not for Wizard Eye, then for various other key spells.

If Skill 20 is still too outlandish, then what of producing the Item form of Magic Eye* that was at least partially self-powered? A human knowing he's reached his limits is one thing, but if there's the Wizard Eye equivalent of a drone, with an established "battery life" and flight speed... well, that's more predictable. As in, plans can be made factoring it in, and determining wither it is worth the investment (massive as it could be).

If this line of reasoning isn't completely faulty, it may apply to other Spells. Decades of study aren't always possible, but neither are they always implausible.

*I remember there being one in Third Edition; if it no longer exists, apologies for wasting time
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Old 04-10-2024, 11:22 AM   #62
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
How crazy difficult is it to Johnny One-Spell something like Wizard Eye? Or else, to enchant a magic item that is at least partially self-powered?
Looking at the entry in the wiki, Wizard Eye calls for Apportation and Keen Sense. The former calls for Magery 1, but Wizard Eye doesn't actually call for this - I'm not certain if that means you can learn it with only Magery 0 (learning but not being able to use Apportation, bypassing the prerequisites with the Charm Perk, etc) or if the authors were like "Obviously you need Magery 1 for the prerequisite, so no need to list that here." Probably the bigger issue of trying to rely on it is that it has a casting cost of 4 and a maintain cost of 2 FP every minute. I think casting cost is reduced by 1 FP at skill 15, 2 at skill 20, 3 at skill 25, etc, but I'm not sure how this influences the cost to maintain - it seems like, with most spells appearing to have a maintain that is half the cost of casting (round up), this relationship should be retained, meaning you'd need skill 30 (!) to be able to maintain the spell at no cost. If it's instead -1 across the board at skill 15 and -2 at skill 20, you get to that point at skill 20, which is fairly achievable for a Johnny-One-Spell (I'd say it would mark you as a rarified prodigy if it were any other skill, but one of the things I dislike about College Magery is that it seems to treat skill 15 in a spell as the minimum professional level). And with it only lasting a minute at a time, you need a zero maintain cost to be able to use it on the battlefield (that, or do a Ceremonial Casting with you and a couple mundane assistants at a time; you supply an initial 2 FP and they provide 1 FP each to get it going, then you take 1 FP from each of them every minute to keep it fueled; when they get tired, you swap them out for two fresh assistants. Assuming you swap them out every 5 minutes, with them needing 50 minutes of rest to recover, you would need 20 (I had a math error previously) total assistants (but only two participating at a time) to keep it going indefinitely (note you get the same number if you swap them out every minute or every 9 minutes, 5 just seemed like a decent "You aren't swapping out quite as constantly, and none of your assistants/bodyguards will be too tired to fight if the enemy reaches your position").

For an item, that's mage only and rather expensive - 1100 energy, calling for 1100 mage-days (just shy of 3 mage-years straight) of S&S enchanting. There's also a $1000 ivory carving of an eye and $600 emerald for the iris/pupil, but I'd imagine that's chump-change compared to paying 3 years' wages for an enchanter (likely with a premium for no days off*). I'm not sure what sort of price boost being self-powered would add, but I'd imagine it isn't cheap (although it might be compared to the 1100 energy). Partially self-powered wouldn't work unless you only need it up in the air for a few minutes at a time (or if there's a "partially self-powered" option that increases the length of time between maintains).

*LTC3 has 25 workdays per month, for a 300-day work-year. Going off that, you'd be looking at 3.67 work-years, and I'd be inclined to boost that to 4 work-years to account for the mage(s) getting no days off during that long stretch of time. At TL 3, Average wage is $700 per month, or $8400 per year, so you're looking at $33,600... or you would be if an enchanter was of merely Average wealth. But enchanters should probably be Comfortable at a bare minimum, and their skill level suggests Wealthy or better**, so you need to multiply that by 2, 5, or even more.

**LTC3 wages work out roughly to Average with skill 12 in an Average skill, then +1 on the Size and Speed/Range Table to income per +1 to skill. Easy skills are treated as -2 to skill level; Hard (and presumably Very Hard) are treated as +1 to skill level. Requiring multiple skills typically boosts it a bit more, but we'll disregard that here. Minimum skill for enchanting is 15 in a Hard or Very Hard skill, so that's +4 SSR above Average. +4 SSR is typically around x5, which matches with Wealthy. But then again, as I noted above, College Magic seems to assume a minimum professional skill of 15 for magic, so you might be able to justify an Average wage, but that seems like a stretch to me.
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Old 04-10-2024, 11:34 AM   #63
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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"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.
You're right, "Create Fireball" is a mushed up linguistic accident. Thank you for correctly guessing and answering my real question.

I'm hearing that the create and then shape fire attack is slowed down and impeded by walls, but not as well as a wall-maker might hope, and you probably want a more complex structure than just a wall. Also, a floating wizard's eye might get around that if the wizard's eye caster controls the move fire.



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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.
I did specify planar summons, along with all sorts of alternative creatures that might be more inclined to cooperate with fighting on your side. Of course, that assumes that they exist.

Even if they don't, summoning demons won't leave them running around the countryside: they've got at most 1 hour. And yes, Elementals are more sure... but they're also double the cost, and nothing is really sure in war. Reckless, maybe. Never a good idea no matter what? I doubt that. Especially if you stand to loose everything if the battle goes wrong.
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Old 04-10-2024, 11:35 AM   #64
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post

How crazy difficult is it to Johnny One-Spell something like Wizard Eye?
Normal difficulty for raising a hard skill to 20? The commonness of extreme skill levels is mostly a world building thing. Note, however, that skill 15 will allow for ceremonial casting, and ceremonial casting lets you swap out assistants; 22 unskilled assistants (two actually assisting at any given time, the rest recovering fatigue) is sufficient for unlimited duration. Alternately, RAW a wand of lend energy does not require magery to use, which means you don't need ceremonial magic and with skill 15 can make do with 10 assistants.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:10 PM   #65
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post


Probably the bigger issue of trying to rely on it is that it has a casting cost of 4 and a maintain cost of 2 FP every minute. I think casting cost is reduced by 1 FP at skill 15, 2 at skill 20, 3 at skill 25, etc, but I'm not sure how this influences the cost to maintain..
Cost to maintain a spell benefits from skill level the same way cost to cast does. Skill 15 reduces cost to cast as well as cost to maintain by 1, skill 20 reduces the cost to cast as well as cost to maintain by 2, etc.

Wizard Eye can be maintained indefinitely at skill 20 for zero cost, providing the mage remains awake - as spell maintenance requires one to be awake.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:22 PM   #66
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Y

I did specify planar summons, along with all sorts of alternative creatures that might be more inclined to cooperate with fighting on your side. Of course, that assumes that they exist.

Even if they don't, summoning demons won't leave them running around the countryside: they've got at most 1 hour. .
Please check Planar Summons again. It specifies that some powerful entities can stay as long as they want. Also, the duration is listed as "One hour or untilt the task is done, Whichever is less. Usually". You are not promised that it will always be one hour max.

Even a simple failure on a Summon Demon should mean you didn't get the easy-to-boss around Demon with low Will whose True Name you carefully researched. A natural 18 probably gets you something with a sky-high Will, a Secret True Name _and_ able to stay as long as it wants. Summoning Demons is twice as easy as Summoning Elementals because Demons are expecting to take advantage of the process.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:31 PM   #67
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Summoning Demons is twice as easy as Summoning Elementals because Demons are expecting to take advantage of the process.
Summoning demons isn't twice as easy as summoning elementals anyway; both are 1 per 10 character points. Summoning demons is twice as easy as creating elementals. And the reason for that is pretty obvious: a created elemental automatically grants you an hour of service, and isn't limited by availability.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:37 PM   #68
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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A natural 18 probably gets you something with a sky-high Will, a Secret True Name _and_ able to stay as long as it wants.
If you do hidden rolls, or if your players are good at separating player knowledge from character knowledge, an 18 probably means a demon shows up disguised as the one you tried to summon and acting as though they are appropriately-cowed by your might and speaking of their True Name... right up until they see a good opening to unleash absolute chaos.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:45 PM   #69
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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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 you're holding your shield over your head, you're not holding it in front of you.

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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.
Shape Fire has the same problem.
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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.
1 hour is a long time in battle, and once the elemental is fighting, it's likely to keep going a long as someone's fighting back. (Assuming, as noted, it's not destroyed by an enemy summon, or banished by an enemy mage). There's also the possibility of negotiating with it, but that means having something an Elemental wants. Was it Bill whose campaign had black powder be like cocaine for fire elementals? Fireworks are TL 3, maybe you drug the elementals to get them on side.
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Summon Elemental requires a Reaction Roil
Or another mage+ritual circle standing by with a Control Elemental spell. You persist in assuming 0-1 mages per army.


Quote:
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.
And you also persist in assuming 'adventuring mage'rather than 'military specialist'. Not correctly dismissing an elemental would be the equivalent of not correctly swabbing out a cannon for an IRL artillerist.
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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. :)
How many divisions do the Elemental Planes command? Legitimate question, really. Picture a history book: The Ifrit Wars and the Fall of the Old Empire, or Why We Don't Create War Elementals Anymore.
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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.
The Ally advantage isn't spell magic and is thus outside the scope of this thread.
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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.
It might be the other way around, and they're military officers who sometimes do civil engineering, as seen with the Roman Legions or the US Army Corps of Engineers

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"not seeing huge reasons why you couldn't move it straight up. /
That's an extremely generous reading, and one I think few GMs would accept.
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Old 04-10-2024, 01:19 PM   #70
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Default Re: Magic on the TL 3 battlefield

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Shape Fire has the same problem.

1t.
No, you cast the Shape fire right next to you and then move the fire where you want to. You only need to Maintain the Shape Fire at long distances and that's not a problem. Maintaining requires no roll.

You cast Rain of Fire right next to you and that's where it stays.
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