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Old 06-09-2017, 02:27 AM   #1
ajardoor
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

So this thread will be about what we want players to know about Ritual Path Magic's systems for conditional rituals, charms, and elixirs.

Inspired by, and following on from, this blogspot; http://www.ravensnpennies.com/2017/0...l#.WTo3jOvCarU

Not just stuff about helping your GM manage the book-keeping, but also the right tactics concerning your spell slots. Add your thoughts.
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General Advice
First, be sure to note the effective skill levels (margin of success when appropriate), spell effects for stacking spells rules (note Lesser/Greater then effect type then Path), energy (for meta-magic), form (conditonal, charm or elixir?), what the spell does, any triggers (gestures, words, events?) for the conditional spells, and where you're storing it (in a backpack, in your pocket, hidden compartment?). Keep all this info written on a separate sheet, and be wary if your GM requires you to prove your character remembers this IC. (You DID take the Photographic Memory advantage, didn't you?)

In-character, label your charms and elixirs (in code if OpSec requires secrecy) so ignorant allies can identify them.

The Fast-Draw skill is your friend, know it's modifiers. Remember that good hiding places for your Holdout and Smuggling skills will conversely penalise your Fast-Draw. The appropriate specialty for charms and elixirs (I believe) is Ammo, Wand, Potion or Device.

Conditional Rituals
Be aware stacking spells rules limit your conditional rituals the most - no multiple copies of the same spell and any centred on your person are likely to clash with buffs. A healing spell set to trigger if you suffer injury or your HP drops below a certain point might be good as a conditional ritual, as might certain defensive spells (turning invisible or teleporting you out of there) set to trigger if someone attacks you. Keep in mind, triggers are sarcasm blind, literal minded, and "dumb-fire".
The best use for conditional rituals is on objects and places, not people - such as alarms, traps and remote operating. Be aware some gesture/words triggers for on-person conditionals could be prevented by gagging and/or bindings. A combination gesture-AND-words trigger can prevent accidental triggers, but is the most vulnerable to foiling. A two-handed gesture trigger is just dumb - doors, car driving, ladders, rifles, human shields, regular shields, Chinese finger traps...

Regular charms
Attack spell charms are best used for assassination, not heated combat because they need to be Readied (or Fast-Drawed). Utility spells and spells with long durations are the best choices for regular charms. Stuff for allies to carry around (e.g. buffs, instantaneous no-duration effects, spell wards, tools for doing a single task) is the next best choice, but be wary of thieves. If you have a job that requires casting one ritual in particular regularly, normal charms are probably your standard equipment.

Ammo charms
Revolvers are probably what you want to shoot ammo charms with, since you can "dial a round" by rotating the cylinder while the magazine-loading semiautomatic gun is "dumb-fire" in that regard. Crossbows and bows make selective ammo charm use easy - just use separate quivers - but are less deadly weapons.

Tattoo charms
Multiple copies of the same spell on the same tattoo should be used for attack spells, that is what you'll be casting repeatedly and fast as possible, after all.
A spell to get you free of capture (wherein your hands are bound and your mouth is gagged) is a great choice for a tattoo charm. You only need a mental command, after all, not a gesture or spoken word. It is harder to remove a tattoo than to confiscate a potion, too.

Scroll charms
Scrolls are more secure than regular charms (write them in an obscure language that your allies know but your enemies do not), but are more cumbersome to use in combat. Spells that need long durations or out-of-danger use (Control Machine) are a good fit for scroll charms.
Remember that stealth will be compromised by speaking aloud when using the scroll, not to mention it requires two hands AND knowing the language. There's also harder to conceal or pass off as harmless than regular charms.

Elixirs
Expiration dates are great, but label them so you know what is still good and what's a dud. Limited by slots instead? Then all the various advice for charms is probably good here as well.
Buffing, healing and poisons are all good effects for elixirs, since they also need to be Readied (or Fast-Drawed) and therefore a little cumbersome in combat.
Grenades are almost always AoE weapons - usually explosives or acid. Have a solid way to transport the grenades - they're meant to have fragile containers, after all. A carefully compartmentalised chest with shock absorbing measures is what you need, test it out with eggs first. In combat, be aware that holding a grenade elixir makes you a tempting target for ranged attacks. Just like actual military grenades, an elixir of this type can trap a door or other mechanism with careful placement - put it where it is set to be dropped or stepped on.
Pastilles are similar to grenades, but easier to safely transport and harder to actually use, because they need fire to work. Carry matches or use fire spells. Their vectors are smoke, not explosions, though - so watch out for wind and enemies with gas masks.
Ointments are the least useful elixirs in combat - too slow and cumbersome. Healing during lulls in the action and pre-battle buffs are the best fits for ointment elixirs.
Potions are classic - use travel mugs (plastic cups with flip lids and screw tops) if you have them, to prevent spills and allow easy drinking.
Powders should be used for poisonings, I reckon. They're otherwise a poor substitute for potions if you haven't got a blowgun (which makes them semi-viable for combat)...unless you REALLY need to administer healing or buffing through air currents rather than fluids, for some reason.

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Did I leave anything out?
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:52 AM   #2
Kalzazz
 
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

This is great and I'm glad you got something from my article. I won't have PC access until Monday but I will definitely think on this
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
Keep all this info written on a separate sheet, and be wary if your GM requires you to prove your character remembers this IC. (You DID take the Photographic Memory advantage, didn't you?)
I'd probably allow a Perk to let a character keep track of all the Charms he has on his person (although this wouldn't let him know when one was stolen). Alternatively, I'd argue that a simple Lesser Sense Magic ritual (with appropriate Duration), cast on the character, would be enough to give him a real-time map of all the Charms on his person. So long as he already knew what each did, that would also be included (so with the spell up he won't mix up his Repair Wounds and Your Head Asplode Charms).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
Attack spell charms are best used for assassination, not heated combat because they need to be Readied (or Fast-Drawed).
While the issues with using them do mean you probably shouldn't rely on using them exclusively, do note that doing so is actually faster than using a bow, and archer is a viable role in the party, even without Heroic Archer (with Heroic Archer, they are roughly equivalent in speed). Due to harshly limited ammunition, however, you'll probably want these to generally be one-hit kills/KO's. Another good use for regular charms, if you are often up against other mages, are powerful Dispel charms (Lesser Destroy Magic, possibly a small Area of Effect, and all the energy you can manage pumped into Meta-Magic).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
Revolvers are probably what you want to shoot ammo charms with, since you can "dial a round" by rotating the cylinder
This can be extremely difficult to keep track of in the heat of battle, and I wouldn't even let the Perk from above help him here (he'd know which charms are in the revolver, but not necessarily which is currently loaded). The above ritual would probably work, however. I've seen a few instances of fictional firearms that this would work well with, even without the ritual. In Antihero for Hire, the titular character uses a handgun called the Silver Arrow or similar, which uses normal bullets in a semi-automatic configuration, but with the flip of a switch can change to use a single bullet that is loaded elsewhere - he uses special ammunition (energy bullets, tangler rounds, etc) here. Perhaps a better one is in Sanderson's new Mistborn series, where the main character has a revolver called Vindication. It has 8 chambers, but is actually designed so that it will skip two of them in normal use. Press a lever and spin the chambers, however, and you'll be able to access the other two. Again, the main character uses special rounds here, designed specifically to fight the various flavors of mages in that setting (typically each only has one ability, so there are bullets to mitigate/counter each).

The point is, without some magic assistance (or a clear revolver with clearly-marked rounds), you'll need to limit access to the magic bullets and probably only have one or two loaded at a time or you are very likely to get them mixed up.

...

Another option are what I refer to as Wands, which I think are in Pyramid #3/66. Like tattoos, these are single Charms that can have multiple copies of the same ritual enchanted into them for use. A Wand of Fireball (and possibly a complementary Wand of Iceball for those fire-resistant foes) can be of great use for offense, and a Wand of Healing for keeping your frontline fighters up and going.
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:27 PM   #4
Kalzazz
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

The gunslinging hero could easily carry several tiny derringers with 1 bullet each

Or allow the dial a round revolver perk

For LARP arrows with different effects I put a bit of appropriately colored electrical tape to help secure the nock, a RPM archer could do likewise
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:19 PM   #5
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Use paint or nail polish to put a different color on each chamber ridge coding what is in the chamber that will fire. Probably want to offset the markings so you can see it for the one firing not the one it is on.
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
The gunslinging hero could easily carry several tiny derringers with 1 bullet each.
So that's what guns like the 2mm Kolibri or the Liliput were for! The point wasn't to do damage, but to deliver charms at range. You could carry several low-capacity pistols easily.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:20 AM   #7
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Or allow the dial a round revolver perk
I could certainly get behind a Perk that did just this. It would need to separate from the one that lets you keep track of all your Charm locations, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
For LARP arrows with different effects I put a bit of appropriately colored electrical tape to help secure the nock, a RPM archer could do likewise
Yeah, Charm arrows are much easier to keep track of - you could even carve/paint (shallow carving for the former) a symbol on the shaft to tell you what it does, and possibly be able to see that while aiming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Use paint or nail polish to put a different color on each chamber ridge coding what is in the chamber that will fire. Probably want to offset the markings so you can see it for the one firing not the one it is on.
That's a pretty good idea. If you've the ability to do the detail work without too much trouble, a symbol could work even better.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
evileeyore
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
Keep all this info written on a separate sheet, and be wary if your GM requires you to prove your character remembers this IC. (You DID take the Photographic Memory advantage, didn't you?)
Are you honestly trying to convince me that you routinely forget which pocket your keys are in, how much money is in your wallet, where you stowed your stuff in your tote bag, which wrist your watch is on, etc?

These are all things most people easily keep track of. Now if the Characters has more than 20 conditionals/charms running.... then yes, I can see maybe requiring memory rolls or an SOP Perk to keep it all sorted character wise.

Maybe. Considering I keep track of far, far, far more objects than that on my person (between pockets and backpack)... but I probably also have an SOP Perk (Everything In It's Place and a Place For Everything).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This can be extremely difficult to keep track of in the heat of battle, and I wouldn't even let the Perk from above help him here (he'd know which charms are in the revolver, but not necessarily which is currently loaded).
Seriously? Have you ever fired mixed rounds? It's not that hard. If you always load in a specific manner (EG: Dispelling Round, then Hollow Point, then Tracer, then Silver-Anti Shifter, then Fireball, lastly Explosive Fireball) and you always start one the same round (Explosive Fireball), then "two clicks over" is always the same round (Hollow Point). From there you know what charmed bullet is where.

Now, if they have to load in a hurry, or just begin blazing away? Sure. But since we don't generally force Players to make rolls to see how many bullets are left, this would fall under the same umbrella. If you're enforcing harsh Situational Awareness rules, then oh yes, definitely make rolls to remember how many charms you've fired off, and what is currently loaded.

Otherwise, I wouldn't get that into the nitty-gritty on this.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:06 PM   #9
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
So that's what guns like the 2mm Kolibri or the Liliput were for! The point wasn't to do damage, but to deliver charms at range. You could carry several low-capacity pistols easily.
This whole thread is pretty awesome, but this post right here? This is solid gold.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: [RPM] Advice on Charms and Elixirs

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Are you honestly trying to convince me that you routinely forget which pocket your keys are in, how much money is in your wallet, where you stowed your stuff in your tote bag, which wrist your watch is on, etc?
For me, YES. All of the above. All the time. Except the wrist-watch thing, usually - if I have to move my watch to my right wrist because my left arm is braced (it happens) then I never remember.

I'm also a stellar example of Absent Minded, due to drain bamage. That said I see people doing the keys dance all the time, and finding things in purses is notoriously difficult.
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