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Old 03-16-2021, 10:52 PM   #11
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
A Revival spell can be cast within 24 hours. Very minor correction, but I happened to look it up today because of this thread, so I thought I'd show off my newfound and strictly temporary knowledge.
Oh, right... if you're looking at the latest PDF or the errata.

The original printing of the Legacy rules has it at an hour, as did original TFT. Apparently it depends on which spellbook (or potion recipe) your magic is based on. ;-)


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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I lean towards wounds. He had a Death Spell cast on him, so he's more than tuckered. Of course, that means that a wizard casting a Death Spell on a weaker foe would suffer wounds, but I think that just sounds right for such a powerful spell. I could be convinced otherwise.
Yeah, I waver too. I'm currently thinking damage (more thematic for the Death Spell, as you wrote), and it's only been a few hours since I thought the opposite. :-)
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Old 03-17-2021, 03:27 AM   #12
Senturian
 
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Location: Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Whataboutism self-Aiding ST (from mana) before casting the Death Spell?
I'll go with that but only if it was in effect prior to the Death Spell.
then it wouldn't be 7 each would lose, but the whole amount of the lesser Strength character, which would be at most (12?) for these 2.

While the Gargoyle may will feel weak, light headed and see stars, the Goblin will be meeting her maker.
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:30 AM   #13
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, I waver too. I'm currently thinking damage (more thematic for the Death Spell, as you wrote), and it's only been a few hours since I thought the opposite. :-)
I think the Death Spell ST loss to the victor is fatigue. This spell states "the stronger one loses that much ST." Throughout ITL damage is described as either "damage" or "hits". Fatigue is describes as "loses" or "costs". This would also mean you do not fall down when taking 8 or more fatigue from the casting.


BTW, I like Skarg's take on this: still costs ST equal to the weaker's ST at the moment (not +1 to go -1). And dead is very dead (not -1).

BTW, there is a reason we never see any one use Death Spell over 40 years of game play. Compared to Lightning it is inferior in nearly every way: DX modifier to hit (M vs T), damage per ST cost, can not be used verses a stronger foe and very risky when ST is unknown. The only reason to even learn it is to cause a sneaky death but then you will need enough IQ to gesture quietly.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:21 AM   #14
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Oh, right... if you're looking at the latest PDF or the errata.

The original printing of the Legacy rules has it at an hour, as did original TFT. Apparently it depends on which spellbook (or potion recipe) your magic is based on. ;-)
I had no idea that had changed.

Quote:
Yeah, I waver too. I'm currently thinking damage (more thematic for the Death Spell, as you wrote), and it's only been a few hours since I thought the opposite. :-)
Well, on the plus side, we're still leaning to the opposite sides of the fence, since I thought the use of a manastaff pushed me to fatigue. But Henry raised a good point that a wizard could cast aid, converting mana to ST, which really would be necessary to pass the ST v St test anyway.

Damn, now I'm back to damage and we're on the same side of this. Not 15 seconds ago, we could've had a proper row.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:29 AM   #15
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by Senturian View Post
I'll go with that but only if it was in effect prior to the Death Spell.
then it wouldn't be 7 each would lose, but the whole amount of the lesser Strength character, which would be at most (12?) for these 2.

While the Gargoyle may will feel weak, light headed and see stars, the Goblin will be meeting her maker.
The goblin could have more than six mana. The limit on a staff is based on IQ and is double IQ for Staff IV.

Of course, it's a lot of XP to get to such high levels. I was just making an NPC gate-making wizard and gave him 18 Mana in his staff, but when I realized that bumped him effectively from a 37 attribute character to 39, I backed off. That was too stacked a character. I fixed my mana needs by giving his one non-wizard companion the Aid spell.

Still, the non-wizard plus the two apprentices must make their rolls to cast Aid within one turn of each other. If all of them have DX 10, the odds are only 27/64 if I figger right. Failure to make the roll means everyone has a nice nap while those who made it regain all the ST they passed to the big guy. Repeat in about three hours.

Last edited by phiwum; 03-17-2021 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:32 AM   #16
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
I think the Death Spell ST loss to the victor is fatigue. This spell states "the stronger one loses that much ST." Throughout ITL damage is described as either "damage" or "hits". Fatigue is describes as "loses" or "costs". This would also mean you do not fall down when taking 8 or more fatigue from the casting.


BTW, I like Skarg's take on this: still costs ST equal to the weaker's ST at the moment (not +1 to go -1). And dead is very dead (not -1).

BTW, there is a reason we never see any one use Death Spell over 40 years of game play. Compared to Lightning it is inferior in nearly every way: DX modifier to hit (M vs T), damage per ST cost, can not be used verses a stronger foe and very risky when ST is unknown. The only reason to even learn it is to cause a sneaky death but then you will need enough IQ to gesture quietly.
There is another reason to learn it. There is a certain gravity to proclaiming, "I cast the Death Spell." I'm pretty sure that when you say it, there's an echo in the room, but I dare not test that hypothesis.

Oh, and a minor reason for not using Lightning is the desire not to damage magical possessions. But both your scenario and this are pretty darned rare.

Last edited by phiwum; 03-17-2021 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:08 AM   #17
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

This feels to me like one of several cases where what obviously happened is they did a small adjustment to the general death rules and never thought to update the spell - one of the hazards of revising a rules system, particularly a rule as central as hit points and death.

There is no right answer to how you solve a quantitative error in a rules set - you just have to make a table ruling and live with the ambiguity of knowing the author hasn't weighed in (yet) and others might rule something else.

Personally, I'll follow the logic of the original spell - the combatant with fewer ST points above the death threshold dies and the survivor loses ST equal to however many points were needed to kill the other. I interpret the ST loss of the survivor as wounds, but the cost of a failed spell (either due to a bad roll or casting vs. Spell Shield) as a Mana cost.

The role of the Aid spell is an interesting wrinkle; so long as the caster got the timing right, I would allow the Aid modification to ST in the comparison, but also consider the wound points suffered as its own thing that applies after the Aid spell has worn off. This is a case where a table ruling is needed to get the details as you want them, but I would follow the principle that any player suggestion that uses a plausible reading of the rules should be permitted, though the GM adjudicates the details that aren't concretely specified in the book.

I.e., if you have ST 9 and a friend raises your ST to 14 using Aid, and you immediately cast the Death Spell on someone with ST 12, then your foe dies and you take 13 wound points. You stagger for a turn at ST 1 and then collapse, dead at -3 ST after the Aid spell dissipates.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:49 AM   #18
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

Lars's suggestion makes sense, but I'm worried about the death after the Aid spell wears off. The only wizard who could cast Death Spell is one with lots of natural ST. It's a totally natural reading of the spell, but thematically it makes one of the baddest sounding spells nigh useless.

When a wizard with 15 ST + mana casts a 20 ST spell with Aid from an ally of 6 points ST, he's at 21 ST at the time he casts. He takes 20 fatigue damage, bringing him down to 1 ST and then the Aid spell wears off. Is he at 1 ST or -5 ST due to fatigue at that point? I'd say 1 ST rather than stone cold dead (stone cold dying, whatever).

I think that an ST-aided wizard who suffers wounds should be played the same. If you were at 21 ST due to Aid and suffered 20 points of damage, after the Aid spell wears off, you're at ST 1.

To be clear, it all depends on whether the ST loss (wounds or fatigue) comes while aided or prior. Aid isn't a cheap healing spell. It's damage taken while one's ST is aided that I'd wipe off when the Aid ends. Whether this applies to an Increase ST potion or not is unclear to me. Probably says something in the rules about this, right?

Last edited by phiwum; 03-17-2021 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:48 AM   #19
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

A low ST wizard can cast Death Spell on a stronger foe - just do it when they are injured or drained (the comparison is between ST at that moment)
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:07 PM   #20
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

Sure.

But take a 40 point wizard with ST 10 and buckets o' mana in his staff. He's a proud man and, while there are lots of ways to dispatch an ST 12 grunt, I think the Death Spell oughta be a real option, even if the grunt is unharmed. An IQ 16 spell with that awesome name really should have some oomph.

So, aiding himself with his staff and then casting Death Spell seems reasonable to me.

More importantly, it's consistent with using Aid to cast spells beyond ones ST and mana reserve. After the Aid spell switches off, the wizard doesn't die or go into a coma. Some of the fatigue he expended comes off with those Aided points. Same ought to be true if (as seems the consensus) the Death Spell produces wounds instead of fatigue.
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