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Old 05-02-2022, 03:41 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

I got wondering about this when flipping through Least of Spells and noticing on pg 7 that "Flexible" lacked a "Resisted by HT" note like it's surrounding spells (Blend In and Stand Out) did.

So it seems like if your enemy wizard did not want to get Flexibility bonuses to their skills, they probably couldn't prevent that, unless they just instinctively cast Ward as a blocking spell when they notice you targeting them with an unspecified spell they assume must be threatening.

If they failed to Ward to stop Flexibility then I guess they could cast Counterspell to nullify it. It'd mostly be a waste of energy, but unless they use Identify Spell to realize it's a harmless Flexibility spell, they may not realize this and assume it's something more insidious.

- -

Anyway, on to the strategy (aside from getting htem to waste energy/time on Ward/Counterspell) of doing this.

If you were trying to keep track of an enemy mage via casting an Information spell that is not normally resistable (like M105's Seeker) they might use a meta spell like Scryguard (M121) to make it resistable (info spells must win a contest w/ Scryguard to work)

Info spells like M102's "Seek Magic" can seek "active spells" though, so wouldn't you be able to use this to detect your Flexibility spell that you tagged that mage with? Since it is sensing the spell (and not the mage) it doesn't seem like Scryguard would give your information spell a resistance roll in this case.

M121's description of Scryguard doesn't mention the 'subject' needs to be a person, so I guess you could cast Scryguard on Flexibility so that Scryguard will resist the Seek Magic info spell via a Quick Contest too, but that would require knowing that you're buffed with Flexibility in the first place.

- -

To realize someone is buffed w/ Flexibility (ie which spell are you targeting with Scryguard) seems like it might require either Identify Spell or Analayze magic? Something like Magesight tells you a person has spell(s) on them but I don't know if that actually allows you to target a spell.

In terms of penalties, I would figure the person enchanted w/ Flexibility would have no penalty (as they are "touching" a spell affecting htem) but if a 3rd party wanted to Scryguard that Flexibility spell then they might be at -5 since they aren't touching it and they can't see it (spells are invisible) ?

Probably a similar policy if the Flexible-buffed enemy (or his 3rd party ally) wanted to Counterspell the Flexibility instead of putting a Scryguard on it. That could be more economic if you have a high skill in Counterspell and it's a low-skill Flexibility, but if you can't win that Counterspell contest then slapping a Scryguard on Flexibility might be the only feasible approach?

- -

Scryguard itself doesn't note any possibility of resisting it. If you didn't want a Scryguard placed on you then aside from actively blocking an incoming Scryguard w/ Ward (or Counterspelling it if the Ward fails) I think there's two routes:
1) subtracting from the skill of the incoming Scryguard casting via M123's Magic Resistance

2) standing behind a Spell Shield (M124) since it resists ALL non-missile spells
A workaround for spell shield might be to combine "Throw Spell + Scryguard" which I imagine also prevents using Ward against it, instead you'd need to use B143's "Deflect Missile". It's cheaper (1 energy instead of 2) but that's inconvenient if you specialize in Ward for non-missiles and don't have a high DM skill.

- - -

Assuming this all works, does this mean mages who venture outside the safeguards of their Spell Shields or spend time not enchanted with Magic Resistance (to avoid penalties) might regularly be casting Analyze Magic on themselves to check for undesired "magical ticks" (so to speak) that other casters might've tagged them with (ie 1-energy Flexibility) that act like tracers/GPS to work around their normal Scryguard protections (ie they need to be counterspelled or given a supplementary Scryguard) ?

Seems like to avoid such paranoia people would be massively specializing in skills like Analyze Magic to bring down that massive 60min casting time. To bring 8 energy down to 0 energy for casual repeat use would require skill 50 which would halve time seven times so >30>15>7.5>3.75(225s) is four times, then >113>56.5>28.25 is three more, so that probably rounds up to a 29-second casting time, still pretty massive.

I guess another option is just habitually cast skill-20 (zero energy) Identify Spell every five seconds. That'd make it really hard to cast other spells though. Maybe that's one good reason to have apprentices since you can have them take up the duty of monitoring you w/ Identify Spell during moments you need uninterrupted casting time for other stuff?

- -

Flexibility is also probably not the best spell for this (high maintenance cost of 1 per second) unless you're high skill. There's probably better longer-duration non-resisted buff spells that might serve this purpose. Longer duration is also more useful if you're wanting to Maintain Spell your GPS buff so it isn't a spells-on penalty.

For example maybe you cast "Climbing" (1 energy per 1 minute)... though come to think of it, Scryguard itself might be ideal for this purpose since it's a mere 1 energy per 10 hours investment : if you can maintain that for 0 energy it's only 1 energy per 50 hours via Maintain Spell.

Is "Identify Spell still detects that the Scryguard is present" possibly intended to mean that Scryguard (unlike other spells) can be detected beyond the five-second window?
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Old 05-02-2022, 03:53 PM   #2
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

Seek Magic at any significant range will probably just find some random lasting spell or minor enchantment.
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Old 05-02-2022, 04:38 PM   #3
Plane
 
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Seek Magic at any significant range will probably just find some random lasting spell or minor enchantment.
True, though if you keep casting it over and over, each time you learn about them and can opt to exclude them from future castings. Those -1 penalties (M13) would add up though...

This makes me wonder, if the nearest thing is somehow protected by resistance, would the info spell go on to detect the next nearest thing, or does having a single highly-resisted thing in your viscinity basically ruin your ability to Seek other things of that nature since it will always target the nearest guarded thing?

If you fail to detect that guarded thing (a resist) then you couldn't even opt to exclude that thing to bypass it... sounds rough.

I'd almost think "detect the next nearest" should be a policy, as otherwise a constant failure to sense magic (when you know you have a magic thing nearby, say your own spell) would actually tip you off "there is a magic thing closer than my spell which must be scryguarded" if it didn't skip to telling you the next-closest thing.

- - -

I'm also just noticing M102's specification of a "significant" magical item which makes me wonder what would warrant and "insignificant" one that wouldn't be picked up by this spell...

Also wondering how this Info spell's "Regular" prereq (Detect Magic) works different from Magery...
that ability only detects permanent magic items, while Detect
Magic detects items, spells, magical creatures, and any other ongoing
magical effect.
M11's Regular category I think maybe you could specify something like "Detect the nearest spell to me" but then you'd be at -1/yard away that nearest spell is, plus the extra -5 for not being able to see/touch that spell?
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Old 05-02-2022, 08:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

It seems like a pretty cheesy trick to me, especially for such weak spells.

The reason why many spells aren't given Resistance is because they're mostly used as buffs or otherwise benefit the subject.

If someone doesn't want a spell cast on them, even if its effects would benefit them, then they should be allowed a roll to resist (e.g., someone who wishes to resist a Bless spell to avoid accusations of cheating, or any spell which could be used to track or otherwise identify them).

I'd say resisted with HT for spells with physical effects on the subject's body, resisted by IQ for spells with purely mental effects, or Will for spells which alter the subject's gear or which create other magical effects.
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:07 AM   #5
Lovewyrm
 
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

Could be dangerous if words gets around from that practice.
What if the enemy wizard notices (They can detect magic too, right?), eyes widening going: Those cheeky bastards! This is genius!

Rings up all his friends to tell them the news.

And then YOU get GPSed by them.

Based on such a possiblity, I'd potentially allow it, of course without telling the players that this could backfire on them.
Would that be fun though? To be on the receiving end?

Would it devolve into a tedium where every wizard, after the cats out of the bag has to incorporate a GPS cleansing ritual in the morning routine?

Things like that.
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:27 AM   #6
Plane
 
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovewyrm View Post
Could be dangerous if words gets around from that practice.

What if the enemy wizard notices (They can detect magic too, right?), eyes widening going: Those cheeky bastards! This is genius!

Rings up all his friends to tell them the news.

And then YOU get GPSed by them.

Based on such a possiblity, I'd potentially allow it, of course without telling the players that this could backfire on them.

Would that be fun though? To be on the receiving end?

Would it devolve into a tedium where every wizard, after the cats out of the bag has to incorporate a GPS cleansing ritual in the morning routine?
Yeah basically, seems like wizard espionage tech wars, you'd balance your desire for privacy and managing the competition vs other potentially better uses of your FP.

Scryguard layering is also an interesting question - if I cast Scryguard on my enemy, does that prevent him placing his own Scryguard to protect himself until after I cancel mine?

Or if they coexist, does that mean there's two separate resistance rolls, or is it just whichever of the two is better?
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

My go to for most of these is have "self" (or "person" generally) be their aura, rather than their skin. Casting Scryguard or Spellshield would include spells already enmeshed with that. This also explains why casting spells on internal body parts doesn't normally work and how spells cast on clothing can be resisted. Always exceptions, of course.
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

It is probably not RAW but in my campaings any spell/power that is benefical and it is not resisted (or at least the rules don't show if it resisted or not) the target can choose to reject the spell/power. In that case she gains automatically the resistance roll and the spell/power has no effect.

Let's suppose you are going to be healed (as in "Healing" advantage) BUT you really hate the cleric or god that is going to heal you. Or you really really want to die. Then, if the healing power don't have a resistance roll, you automatically resist and the power fails.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

I'm with Pursuivant; a subject who would reasonably be unwilling should get a resistance roll, however passively. (That notion of a beneficial spell being used hostilely, in order to provoke an accusation of cheating, is a good one -- given that my gameworld has a strong code duello that forbids the use of magic except in wizard duels, that might crop up -- thanks!)
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Magic - could you buff an enemy wizard with a non-resistable spell to track them?

Well, that kind of stuff can probably be cheesed anyway, especially if plants count as living things (and therefore buffable)

Cast a buff on some arctium minus (louse bur? those tiny hooked burdock ball things) pods.
Flick them onto a wizard robe.
Track the bur.

The more common such plants are, the less suspicious they are.
but again, a wizard could probably sense the magic anyway.
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