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Old 03-17-2021, 01:02 PM   #21
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

I get what you are saying. The text doesn't specify, so I'd say this is a table ruling with significant consequences - if the cost of the Death Spell is paid as Mana, they you use it often, with confidence, against a variety of foes. The tough one is then adjudicating the comparison of caster and target ST: is it the actual ST score (as the text implies) or the Mana reserves?
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:17 PM   #22
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

As written the Death spell drains the caster's Mana in order to wound the target into unconsciousness. The advantage over the occult zap is that it bypasses Iron Flesh.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:39 PM   #23
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I get what you are saying. The text doesn't specify, so I'd say this is a table ruling with significant consequences - if the cost of the Death Spell is paid as Mana, they you use it often, with confidence, against a variety of foes. The tough one is then adjudicating the comparison of caster and target ST: is it the actual ST score (as the text implies) or the Mana reserves?
I wasn't suggesting that you can pay it with Mana. I was advocating for Henry's suggestion that you could use Mana to cast a ST-enhancing Aid spell on yourself, take the hits and whenever the Aid spell wears off, so do the wounds you paid for with it.

I do not think that Mana reserves have anything to do with the ST comparison.

So, you see, I was taking a middle ground. A puny wizard with Mana reserves would have to cast Aid on himself to buff his ST and then cast Death spell. If he aided himself with, say, six ST and took 8 wounds from the Death Spell, then after the Aid spell wears off, he still has two wounds.

Damn, when this thread was opened, I thought the interpretation was easy. Put together a group of well-meaning sticklers for rules and look what a mess we can make.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:45 PM   #24
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
As written the Death spell drains the caster's Mana in order to wound the target into unconsciousness. The advantage over the occult zap is that it bypasses Iron Flesh.
That's not at all as written. The rules say "the weaker one immediately dies," which does not usually mean "the weaker one goes unconscious."

It's also not altogether clear that it drains mana. It says, "The stronger one loses that much ST." Does that mean as wounds or as fatigue? A case could be made for either interpretation and if it's fatigue, the caster can immediately recharge with mana (if he's still conscious?).

And, of course, it's not about caster vs. victim, but stronger vs. weaker. The recipient, if stronger, suffers the ST loss. If we think it's fatigue for the stronger caster, then it's also fatigue for the stronger recipient. I prefer actual damage personally.

(I'm also puzzled why you think the only advantage is that it bypasses iron flesh. Outright killing vs. 1d damage is a fairly notable difference, as is the difference in ST cost.)
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Old 03-17-2021, 02:11 PM   #25
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

I doubt I ever started a thread that got so many replies so fast it makes me dizzy. Or is that just a spell I feel coming on?

My takeaway so far from so many diametrically opposed opinions, every one of which has such strong supportive reasoning, is that I'll beleive the following until I change my mind:
  1. We could say the Death Spell is a free spell, it costs nothing to cast. Therefore neither Aid nor Staff mana figure in. That sure simplifies things. I like the suggestion it still costs 1 fatigue if the spell misses, that feels right as rain RAW.
  2. The effect of successfully casting Death is that someone always dies. Maybe both die, but at least one figure is really, really Dead as a doormat, and any hits on them are irrelevant (0 or -1 simply can't be allowed to matter.)
  3. The stronger figure is wounded by as many hits as the weaker figure had ST. If that's 5 or more hits, -2 DX; 8 or more hits they fall down as well, but both are better than dying. If the two figures were tied in ST, then both are really, really Dead. This spell don't mess around!
Sure a lightening bolt is better, if Reverse Missiles isn't a factor. Sure be nice if the spell was type (S) instead of type (T), then it just might get more use.

Although I never saw it come up, I think the real use of it would be altruistic. You sacrifice yourself to weaken a stronger enemy before they can kill your friends. Maybe you get lucky and survive, but don't count on it. It's called Death for a reason :)
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Old 03-17-2021, 03:48 PM   #26
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Death Spell - so how's it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
As written the Death spell drains the caster's Mana in order to wound the target into unconsciousness. The advantage over the occult zap is that it bypasses Iron Flesh.
This is definitely not what the text reads. It is a reasonable (if powerful) table ruling about what that text could be taken mean. The distinction is important because many readers come to these threads without a deep background in the game, and sending them inaccurate information, even if its meant tongue in cheek, doesn't do them any favors.
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