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Old 11-09-2021, 06:21 AM   #1
Kesendeja
 
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Default How would you make this spell? D&D edition

My player comes from a D&D background and is enamored with a few spells. Right now heís asked me to create Phantom Steed for his mage. The best I can come up with is a reskin of Create Mount, with maybe lowering the difficulty or raising the duration, since itís so specialized. Is there a better option?
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Old 11-09-2021, 07:05 AM   #2
maximara
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
My player comes from a D&D background and is enamored with a few spells. Right now heís asked me to create Phantom Steed for his mage. The best I can come up with is a reskin of Create Mount, with maybe lowering the difficulty or raising the duration, since itís so specialized. Is there a better option?
When I first tried to convert D&D spells to GURPS back in Classic I ran into similar issues. I found that the best solution was to use the GURPS spell as written.

Phantom Steed (at least in D&D 3.5) takes 10 minutes to cast and lasts 1 hour/level.

Create Mount by comparison takes 3 seconds to cast, lasts 1 hour but can be maintained.

At a base of 8 to cast, 3 to maintain Create Mount is insanely easy to maintain even without Recover Energy. At a base of 1 energy/10 minutes the wizard will have regained 6 energy by the time they have to maintain the spell.

Now the more exotic ones (double or triple cost) will effectively require the wizard to know Recover Energy to make maintaining the spell and have energy to cast spells practical.
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Old 11-09-2021, 07:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
My player comes from a D&D background and is enamored with a few spells. Right now heís asked me to create Phantom Steed for his mage. The best I can come up with is a reskin of Create Mount, with maybe lowering the difficulty or raising the duration, since itís so specialized. Is there a better option?
That's the closest equivalent in Magic. Should be a slightly easier variant of Create Mount. The duration already matches the 5E spell, and since it is creating a 'living' thing, you should probably keep the prerequisites the same. Have it just create a Stock Horse or Saddle Horse with no upgrade options, and you can justify lowering the energy cost a bit.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post

At a base of 8 to cast, 3 to maintain Create Mount is insanely easy to maintain even without Recover Energy. At a base of 1 energy/10 minutes the wizard will have regained 6 energy by the time they have to maintain the spell.
l.
I would be very dubious of the idea that riding a horse counts as "resting". The mage could actually rest while someone else was riding the horse.

<shrug> D&D magic is higher powered in many respects compared to Gurps Magic. Huge area effects and no concerns about maintenance costs. You'd need a fairly exotic mage with a largish Energy reserve and probably 50 pts of FP Regeneration to really match the capabilities of a D&D Phantom Steed.
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Old 11-09-2021, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

While riding the horse may not be 'restful' as it were, simple overland traveling without meaningful encounters certainly can include rest periods that satisfy recovery of FP/EP.

With Recover Energy the Wizard needs 15 minutes in that hour to recover enough FP to maintain the mount. Those can come in 5 minute chunks, so stopping to rest for five minutes three times in an hour is pretty reasonable. Everyone's going to need these breaks, not just the wizard, to get a snack, drink some water, stretch fatigued limbs, see men about horses, that sort of thing.

Oh yeah, and if Create Mount is known at skill 15 or greater then the energy discount reduces the maintenance cost to 2 which is now only 10 minutes in an hour or two five-minute breaks.

So unless the Wizard is going all-out hell bent for leather riding non-stop (ironically something that the created mount can do being an entity of magic and not a real animal) then using Create Mount indefinitely for overland travel is very feasible. Given they have reasonable skill levels in Recover Energy and Create Mount, assume that during any given random encounter they'll start down the FP used to maintain the spell (or roll a 1dX, where X is the FP to maintain and pay accordingly).
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Mount, assume that during any given random encounter they'll start down the FP used to maintain the spell (or roll a 1dX, where X is the FP to maintain and pay accordingly).
They'll be down the FP used to _cast_ the spell and any spent on maintence. With a cost of 8 (7 w/Skiil-15) there's 35 minute rest period in there intitially along with the maintence costs.

Considering that what you get for that is a pony (albeit a tireless one) buying a real horse looks like a better idea on balance.
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
They'll be down the FP used to _cast_ the spell and any spent on maintence. With a cost of 8 (7 w/Skiil-15) there's 35 minute rest period in there intitially along with the maintence costs.

Considering that what you get for that is a pony (albeit a tireless one) buying a real horse looks like a better idea on balance.
How often (and how long) does a real horse need to rest? Assuming a cost of 7/3 and 5 minutes rest per FP, you're looking at needing to cast, rest 35 minutes, travel 25 minutes, rest 15 minutes, travel 45 minutes, and so forth, potentially up to until you need to sleep. Assuming you either eat during your breaks (I think GURPS usually assumes 30 minutes per meal, so you'd generally be breaking your meals up into smaller portions over the day) or while on the move, and need an hour each for making and breaking camp, that allows for up to (45*13 + 25)=610 minutes - 10 hours, 10 minutes - of travel in a day. A quick look online indicates that a highly-fit horse trained for endurance competition can manage around 100 miles in a day. Your horse can theoretically go full-speed* for a bit over 10 hours in a day, which would likely blow that 100 mile value out of the water. Heck, going 100 miles in a day while laden with Medium or even Heavy encumbrance is probably doable for your magically-conjured horse, and you don't need to bother with bringing extra food (and either bringing extra water or having to make detours to go to watering holes en route).

Granted, I think under default GURPS rules, a horse only needs 10 minutes of rest for every hour (5 minutes each hour with Fit, 5 minutes every 2 hours with Very Fit) of hiking, same as a human, and can hike up until it's time to make camp without any consequences, letting it travel further than the magically-conjured one. But such a horse would actually take 4 times as long to recover if under Heavy encumbrance (which costs 4 FP per hour of hiking), dropping it further down. And, of course, if the mage actually has an Energy Reserve, which recovers without rest, you may only need to break for meals and the like.

*Realistically, I think riding a horse going full-speed should probably cost FP for the rider. However, I think Move 5 - to match that ~100 miles per day figure - should be doable without FP loss.
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Old 11-09-2021, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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H going 100 miles in a day while laden with Medium or even Heavy encumbrance is probably doable for your magically-conjured horse, .
Complicating things greatly is the fact that Create Mount does not conjure you a "horse". It can look like anythign you want but it has the stats of a pany.

The importance differences between a pony and a horse are ST 18 (BL65lbs) at Move 14 v. ST21(BL88lbs) w/Move 12. At many reasonable encumbrance totals the horse is goign to be one category more lightly Encumbered and will be faster than the pony (usually by 1).

The table looks like this:

ST 18 ST 21
None 65lbs 88lbs
Light 135lbs 176 lbs
Medium 200lbs 264 lbs
Heavy 265 lbs 352 lbs

I'm getting visions of a fantasy pony express where all the riders are halflings.
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Old 11-09-2021, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

Oh yeah, energy reserve!
That almost trivializes energy cost for maintaining Create Mount. The wizard will fully recover the maintenance cost and then some during travel, and incidental rest along the way can make up lost FP used to help cast the spell initially.

For a chocobo that you don't have to feed, stable, or worry about at night that's definitely worth the cost.

So, this kind of points at the versatility but also the complexity of GURPS vs. TOG. One has a pre-packaged spell that does one thing with no real options for adjustment or customization to a situation.
GURPS here, we can see the opportunity costs of doing something similar at various skill levels, and various amounts of attention to detail to either make it work freely or costs if there's time or hostile pressure.

There's definitely some synergy so a wizard doesn't have to be a Create Mount specialist. Energy reserve is universally useful, so putting more points in that certainly isn't unreasonable. Same with Recover Energy, there are few bad reasons to put spare points into the skill in order to reach 20. Create Mount is all about managing initial and ongoing costs, and considering the situation. Starting out from the friendly village without a firm timeline gives ample space to cast and keep a magic riding rabbit for the day.
Lower skilled wizards may struggle to get to an easy break-even point, possibly costing a bit of travel time to devote to recovery. Nevertheless, for a wizard on a budget who has time and need of a frog to carry their stuff Create Mount is definitely worth it.

e: Great opportunity to do the math and then package it into a "trademark move" or SOP sort of thing. Say, "15 minutes before we fully break camp and hit the road I create my mount and meditate to recover [some|all] of the casting cost."

e2: I love that idea, a cadre of trained riders (halfing sized) with optimization for fast moving, magical flying mounts. Definitely something a fantasy nation with wizards could invest in.

Last edited by Polkageist; 11-09-2021 at 12:18 PM. Reason: additional info / reply
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: How would you make this spell? D&D edition

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I would be very dubious of the idea that riding a horse counts as "resting". The mage could actually rest while someone else was riding the horse.

<shrug> D&D magic is higher powered in many respects compared to Gurps Magic. Huge area effects and no concerns about maintenance costs. You'd need a fairly exotic mage with a largish Energy reserve and probably 50 pts of FP Regeneration to really match the capabilities of a D&D Phantom Steed.
IMHO D&D is best simulated in GURPS with Wild Mana: "any success on a spellcasting roll counts as a critical success, and costs 0 FP, while any failure is treated as a critical failure, with the spellís full normal energy cost."

This is different from Very High Mana where, a mage who spends FP (Fatigue Points) to cast a spell on his turn gets those FP back at the start of his next turn. Second, all failures are treated as critical failures Ė and actual critical failures produce spectacular disasters! In settings with Continuous Mana, High Mana cover the +8 to +10 to skill range. It should be mentioned that originally Very High Mana was "Anyone can cast spell, if he knows them. Mages can do so at no energy cost!" but was changed by Magic during Classic.

Yes, when a spell fails in Wild Mana it is a spectacular disaster (even more so when an actual critical failure is rolled) but GURPS Magic in a Wild Mana setting is not only on par with most D&D spells but has more utility spells to work with.
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