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Old 09-27-2022, 05:51 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

This IQ 13 Thrown spell creates a megahex area so slick that it requires those standing in it to make an adjDX saving roll to avoid falling. It has obvious offensive uses, but can be cast defensively, too. It demands a moderate expenditure of ST, but delivers effects for a full twelve turns. It is, of course, susceptible to cancellation by Remove Thrown Spell. Slippery Floor shines most in situations where those falling down might also fall into some hazard, such as a pit, river, fire, etc.

Back in the days of pitting teams of wizards against each other in arena combat, I saw more use of this spell than I do in longer campaign play in which combat is not the sole or even prime activity PCs engage in. Most players seem to favor more overt ways of overcoming their opponents.

What's your experience? How often do you see PCs in your games learning this spell, and what are some memorable uses of it from sessions at your table?
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

It's an interesting point that Slippery Floor and its cousin Sticky don't come up much. I've had an NPC use Sticky Floor to quite good effect, although when I was creating the NPC I didn't have any particular use in mind. As it happened, he and his ne'er-do-well compatriots were holed up in a cave when the do-good buttinskis showed up. A Sticky Floor can be a pretty darned effective deterrent when an ally has a missile or thrown weapon.

As I recall, the cave hideout was simply the most natural option. I didn't choose a cave just because the wizard's spell would be particularly useful there. More likely, I chose it because I have a few handy maps of caves.

I haven't seen a PC with this option so far. Most of the PC wizards I see struggle to start with IQ 13. That will leave only 19 points to distribute between the other two attributes, so IQ 11 or 12 is a more common starting point. Most characters begin using XP to buy talents and spells at around the 36th attribute point, but wizards often seem to postpone it, since they have Staff II+ improvements to make. Mana is pretty useful stuff.

Obviously, my players have no idea about average goblin witches and their stats. Or perhaps they don't put much stock in the strategy.
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

One NPC design I've been working on has a slippery floor enchantment on the bottom of his sailboat to sail across the desert.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
One NPC design I've been working on has a slippery floor enchantment on the bottom of his sailboat to sail across the desert.
You can't be serious. LOL!

However, you may have just given phiwum an idea in sail boat optimization.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

When building a wizard, I always look at Slippery Floor spell but it never seems to make the final cut.

If one wants to take the risk of a lower ST and DX beginning wizard, Elves and Goblins tend to fill that niche for starting characters. There is a human wizard that took that risk starting at IQ15. It was rough for him at first but he seems to be over that some after a couple of attribute bumps.

I have a two elf wizards (2 different games) that started with the same attributes and slightly altered spell lists. It is easier for Elves and Goblins to start at high IQ but, due to low ST, they are 1 or 2 shots characters in battle. Fortunately, at IQ 15, they have some good spells and Staff 4 to use.
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Old 09-28-2022, 08:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

The big problem with the IQ 13+ spells is the high fatigue cost for the effectiveness.

The advantages for an IQ 13 wizard are:
  • Staff III (the good staff spell, turn your DX 11 into a 14)
  • Cast one-hex Illusion silently
  • Scrying (but success is unlikely)
  • Flight, Summon Gargoyle, and Telekinesis are all expensive, but useful for a lift. (Just know a hero who is a climber.)
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

Slippery Floor costs 3. Given that it lets you put up to seven adversaries on the ground and perhaps keep them there for up to twelve turns, the ST investment seems very reasonable.
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

Whataboutism casting multi-hex Fire on the victims of your slippery or sticky floors?
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

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Whataboutism casting multi-hex Fire on the victims of your slippery or sticky floors?
That's absolutely a great follow-up spell, if you plan for the range carefully.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spell/Talent of the Week: Slippery Floor

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That's absolutely a great follow-up spell, if you plan for the range carefully.
Slippery Floor past Fire range is at -6 or so.
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