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Old 02-06-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

I thought I had every permutation of spellcasting in combat down at this point, but I came across a situation that gave me pause in a recent battle.

The spell in question was Dehydrate (Spells, p. 68). Caster had it at level 20, so it could be cast in one second. If it is cast from a distance, it affects the whole victim. That's no problem: apply the usual range penalty and roll for casting and resistance.

Cast by touch, however, it affects only the part touched. In play, the wizard wanted to cast the spell in the arm (or tentacle) of an attacking monster. I wasn't sure how to adjudicate this. The wizard had a staff in one hand and the other hand was free. At first, I thought it would be like a melee spell: cast it first and then try to touch the subject. But it's not a melee spell, so that's not right. Is it possible to use touch against an active opponent when casting a regular spell? Grapple and then cast? (How would this affect the effective skill?) Touch with staff somehow and roll something to try to maintain that contact while also casting the spell? In this case, the tentacle in question was already grappling another PC, so maybe it would be easier in this case than if the tentacle were loose.

How would you run this?
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:41 AM   #2
Taneli
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

Most likely as casting the spell on turn n and trying to touch the subject on turn n+1 with failure to touch meaning that the spell was wasted.

Against friendlies at reach I would allow the touch to be part of the casting rituals.
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:41 AM   #3
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

the way I run instantly-cast-touch-regular-spells in regular GURPS, like the case of touch attack dehydrate is as a regular casting and then, instantly, a DX (or brawling or karate) skill roll to touch the target.

The touching is part of the spell for me. It is not an attack to hurt the target, so it is easier and can be faster than a regular punch or staff attack, it is just a quick touch or the target.

If the DX roll fail the spell is cast as if at a distance with a range of 1 (I use that as a minimum).
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Old 02-08-2021, 06:54 PM   #4
InexplicableVic
 
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolando View Post
the way I run instantly-cast-touch-regular-spells in regular GURPS, like the case of touch attack dehydrate is as a regular casting and then, instantly, a DX (or brawling or karate) skill roll to touch the target.

The touching is part of the spell for me. It is not an attack to hurt the target, so it is easier and can be faster than a regular punch or staff attack, it is just a quick touch or the target.

If the DX roll fail the spell is cast as if at a distance with a range of 1 (I use that as a minimum).
I can check, but this is basically the way I think we have done cast by touch spells in Peter Dell'Orto's Felltower game. To be more specific, it is always a -1 for range casting a spell on an enemy or buddy who is not in the same hex as you unless you are touching the adjacent subject with a wand or staff. See Spells, p. 12: "Regular spells work best if you can touch or see the subject (if you are the subject, you’re casting by touch!)."

I think that by that logic, if it is a one second spell and all regular spells can be cast by touch, that touch has got to be part of the spell's action...we have never made it in two separate actions, as best I can recall. Of course, running Ulf Sigurdson in that game, he often will touch a buddy of his during combat to cast a healing spell or Faith Healing ("Good God, let him have it!"). But that's on a buddy.

I can't recall what spell specifically came up recently, but it was a one second spell (either because it was Skill-20 or it was ordinarily a one second spell) that either Gerry (our necromancer) or Varmus the Hanged (a wizard ally who is legally not required to tell you about how he got his name) cast that required a touch, and it was done in the same exact turn.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

Yes, the touch is automatic in a friend or any willing target. I make a DX or hand to hand attack roll if the target don't want to be touched by an enemy.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:04 PM   #6
LokRobster
 
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

With the specific “tentacle grappling a buddy” situation, I’d rule the touch automatically part of the casting if you’re in an adjacent (or same!?) hex.

The tentacle is already grappling one puny human and ain’t gonna care if a second fella pokes at it ;)

For other cases, maybe a DX roll? The random goblin or bandit doesn’t want you to touch his hand, I’m guessing. You don’t live long letting strange wizards go around touching you on your extremities!
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:54 AM   #7
Rolando
 
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

the situation sure may make a roll unnecessary, but sometimes a roll is what makes things interesting.

The tentacled friend is shaking and trying to force their way out, and the tentacle monster may also be moving and fighting something else and the grabbed friend. So a roll to hit the tentacle and not the friend is maybe a good idea.

Combat is chaotic, I usually don't grant free stuff, if there is not complete cooperation you roll. A friend may still try to dodge out of habit a friendly touch spell, unless the wizard first tel the friend it is for something good or the wizard usually heals them by a touch during combat for example, for example, and that will take a turn or two extra.
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Old 02-12-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

Aside from edge cases like the tentacle, I would also generally allow an active defense from the target. They should have the option to dodge, block, or parry. And, of course, a block might still work as a touch. Not as sure about a parry, but I would certainly roll to see if the attack injured the wizard's arm.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:36 AM   #9
corwyn
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Default Re: Regular spell with touch versus an opponent

That's why you should only cast melee spells on your staff.
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