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Old 05-12-2020, 12:37 PM   #21
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Try thinking of it not in terms of physics with a modern mindset, but in terms of the laws of magic. The arms and armor of a warrior are intimately connected to him in magical terms, symbolic of his role as well as borne by him in long association (the law of contagion). Touching any of that stuff is magically equivalent to touching his body.
I'd absolutely go with this. The warrior and the weapon are one; therefore the spell affects the warrior.

Quote:
* Mundane materials, that is. Materials with magical properties might become valued for just this reason. Shields get made with a thin layer of lead under the covering or behind the shield precisely to block Deathtouches. Any amount of lead will do. Maybe the holy symbols painted on the crusader's shield have the same effect. Sword pommels have crystals to buffer and disperse such effects, because pure crystals are much more attractive to corrupting mana than an already impure physical body. Imagine your own details with a magical explanation, and add the color and flavor you like.
I'd probably allow a meteoric iron shield to block Deathtouch.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Note that the DB of a shield does help you dodge deathtouch.
Well, unless using Damage to Shields, in which case anytime you succeed due to the DB of the shield it basically instead grants you DR, which it sounds like touch spells specifically bypass. If going with my suggestion above to allow for a penalized Block to avoid it, I'd be tempted to apply that same penalty (or maybe a fraction of it) to the shield's DB when using Dodge/Parry... but that can readily get complicated.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:13 PM   #23
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
the thickest battleship armor that I could find was the 660mm armor of the Yamato's turret face . . . still less than a yard!
For the physical "limit the range" interpretation, I was thinking that the GM just rules that Melee spells in fact have a range of, say, two or three inches, not zero. Not long enough to reach to the next hex or through walls -- or battleships -- and probably not with parries with anything longer than a dagger; long enough to get through reasonable humanoid armor and shields if you could actually touch their outer surface.
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:18 AM   #24
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
I had figured that was an extension of the "ignores armor" clause. If the spell can affect you through a helmet, gauntlet, breastplate, etc., which are all touching you, then it seems reasonable that it should affect you through a shield which is directly touching your hand or arm.
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It's exactly that.

You can dodge, of course!

You can parry, just not with an unarmed parry. A weapon parry is fine.

You can't block because that's really just parrying with an exceptionally well-armored hand.....
Thing is that is what makes a block with a shield not work, how does a parry with a weapon work?

I.e if a shield a metal/wooden/ leather thing you hold in your hand and interpose between the attack and yourself is dis-qualified in this context because it's really parrying with an extremely well armoured hand. Then how does that significantly differ from a weapon a metal/wooden/leather thing you hold in your hand and parry by interposing between the attack and yourself?

Not wanting to get into an esoteric discussion on the nature of shields and weapons*, but just by the defined reason given for shield/block not working I don't think weapon/parry should either?

(Or I guess is the weapon/parry does work than so should the Shield/block)





*although FWIW a shield to me is more weapon than amour
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-14-2020 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:20 AM   #25
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Try thinking of it not in terms of physics with a modern mindset, but in terms of the laws of magic. The arms and armor of a warrior are intimately connected to him in magical terms, symbolic of his role as well as borne by him in long association (the law of contagion). Touching any of that stuff is magically equivalent to touching his body.

(Still doesn't help explain allowing Parry to get away with things Block can't. But it's a reasonable rationale for Dodge-only which renders details about thicknesses and materials* and distance irrelevant. Plus, possibly more interesting way to think about it in a game that has magic in the first place. Realistic magic is the kind that doesn't exist.)

--
* Mundane materials, that is. Materials with magical properties might become valued for just this reason. Shields get made with a thin layer of lead under the covering or behind the shield precisely to block Deathtouches. Any amount of lead will do. Maybe the holy symbols painted on the crusader's shield have the same effect. Sword pommels have crystals to buffer and disperse such effects, because pure crystals are much more attractive to corrupting mana than an already impure physical body. Imagine your own details with a magical explanation, and add the color and flavor you like.
That sounds good to me too
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:08 AM   #26
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

There’s also a pretty big difference between different types of shields. A heater strapped to the arm is used more passively than a center grip bossed Viking round shield, both are different than bucklers, and cloaks can allow a block as well. The differences are real, but beyond the scope assumed by the game. While I agree that a center grip using edge blocks should probably not let the deathtouch flow, a block from a heater, buckler, or cloak likely should.
I’m completely fine with the edge case of edge blocks being disallowed, especially since blocks are usually the best defense option available and the defense bonus from the shield will also apply to dodges and armed parries.
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:50 AM   #27
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Imbicatus View Post
There’s also a pretty big difference between different types of shields. A heater strapped to the arm is used more passively than a center grip bossed Viking round shield, both are different than bucklers, and cloaks can allow a block as well. The differences are real, but beyond the scope assumed by the game. While I agree that a center grip using edge blocks should probably not let the deathtouch flow, a block from a heater, buckler, or cloak likely should.
I’m completely fine with the edge case of edge blocks being disallowed, especially since blocks are usually the best defense option available and the defense bonus from the shield will also apply to dodges and armed parries.
and similarly if it going to be matter of how big the object is or how far from your hand etc, there's a range of weapon being used to parry as well.

Ultimately I guess a lot of this is going to come down to how you envision death touch (and touch spells in general) working in setting.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:19 PM   #28
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
M11 does, though.
Yipes...
If the spell is one that ignores armor, neither an unarmed parry
(even with an armored limb) nor a block can protect the target from the
spell. Even if such a defense wards off the melee attack, the spell arcs
through the target’s armor or shield and affects him.
I somehow missed this until now, they should probably call this something cooler-sounding than ignores armor like "unblockable" and "only weapons can parry it"

It just seems rude to shield users, normally they can block stuff that can't be easily parried (like fireballs/arrows) not the other way around...

Some shields are actually thicker/bigger than some weapons, after all, a reach-1 shield compared to a reach-1 dagger or something...

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
For what it's worth: Technical Grappling, p. 22


Dodge
see pp. B374-375

A successful dodge means the attack failed to connect at all. Dodging is the only way to create a “clean” miss without contact, important if you want to avoid effects transmitted by touch, such as some spells, electrical attacks, or cooties.
MA122 tho...
Not every parry involves contact. A parry against an attack on your weapon or your hand represents yanking the target out of harm’s way,
It seems like if someone is trying to use Deathtouch on your hand means you should be able to no-contact parry it, but you couldn't no-contact parry it if it was the limb (arm) rather than extremity, or a non-arm extremity like the foot.

I don't really understand why you can't unarmed parry either. You can parry a knife via grabbing the arm rather than the knife, so why not be able to do that by touching the wizard's arm instead of his "death hand".

Especially with a staff, can't you in theory parry a staff swing by reaching past the staff to hit the arm holding it? "the item must touch the subject" is a requirement for if you make it a magic item and I assume also if you use a Staff w/ a melee spell...

It's not like 'death touch' is a 'death aura' where it automatically hits anyone who otherwise attacks you (or even your arm, or even your hand) so long as the spell is active...

Conceptually doesn't it seem odd that I can bite the hand of a guy w/ Death Touch active and be fine, but if I use my shield to stop that hand from poking me, it arcs and gets me? It feels like there should be some kind of limited variant of this spell created...
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:42 PM   #29
Evil Roy Slade
 
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I'd probably allow a meteoric iron shield to block Deathtouch.
I'm pretty sure I would, too. Maybe I play with players who are less creative than most about magicking opponents' weapons but meteoric iron always struck me as priced out of sync with its utility.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:19 AM   #30
Kromm
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Default Re: Avoiding Deathtouch? (or touch spells in general?)

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Originally Posted by Evil Roy Slade View Post

I'm pretty sure I would, too. Maybe I play with players who are less creative than most about magicking opponents' weapons but meteoric iron always struck me as priced out of sync with its utility.
I'd certainly rule that meteoric iron shields can block Melee spells that bypass armor! That said, the high price of the stuff for shields and armor is mostly based on the assumption that, as in old-school times, the first thing any self-respecting dragon, lich, or necromancer will do to a hero with powerful gear is toss a few cheap-and-easy Shatter or Disintegrate spells.
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