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Old 03-18-2021, 09:13 AM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

Spinning off from a discussion of the Aid spell as it relates to the Death Spell, this thread is dedicated to the nuances of Aiding ST.

I've always interpreted the spell such that if, for instance, a ST 10 figure had their ST boosted to 15 with Aid, they could take up to 15 hits during the spell's duration before dying, with the caveat that taking more than 10 damage would kill them upon the spell's expiration. Example:
  • Zendas casts Aid on One Ton, boosting his remaining ST from 3 to 5. One Ton takes 3 hits of damage while the spell is on. When the spell expires, his ST goes to zero.
But, at the same time I have allowed wizards similarly buffed to expend ST provided by Aid essentially as a mana boost. This let wizards essentially transfer some or all of a spell's ST cost to the caster of Aid, which seems consistent with how apprentices are used to assist with spells with a high casting cost. Example:
  • Zendas casts Aid on Volto, boosting his ST from 3 to 5. Volto uses all of the boosted ST to cast Illusion. When the Aid spell expires, Volto's ST is 3.
Now that I think about it, that's inconsistent. However, I think it is in keeping with how the spell was envisioned.

How do you interpret Aid?
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

Aid is temporary negative fatigue that is used for fatigue costs borne during the duration of the spell.

Hence ITL 18: "that ST must be used within 2 turns, or it is lost."

If the Aided ST is used then this is used to pay for fatigue costs before hitting the wizard's other ST sources.

A figure can be Aid-ed to be conscious and active even when injured to more than their base ST.

Example: ST 6 Alan takes 7 hits from an arrow and collapses. Bob then uses his action to Aid Alan's ST by 11 points giving Alan net 4 ST (so he isn't weak from his injury).

Alan loses his action that turn due to falling over (and this counts as the first tick on the Aid clock).

On turn two Alan remains on the ground and casts an 11 point Aid ST spell on himself to recycle the Aided ST. He then keeps doing this until the end of the fight.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
... Now that I think about it, that's inconsistent. However, I think it is in keeping with how the spell was envisioned.

How do you interpret Aid?
I agree with your interpretation, but I do not think it is inconsistent.

It seems entirely clear to me that it must work as described for spell fatigue, because there are many places that explain that it's standard practice to use Aid to allow the casting of high-ST spells and for enchantments. If it were not the case, trying to use Aid such purposes would be much more limited and result in wizards collapsing (possibly dying) after doing so, and that's never mentioned.

As for wounds, I think it makes complete sense that Aid doesn't work the same way, because a wound is a physical injury - if you get hit injured, you've got a wound, and while raised ST from an injury may allow you to stay conscious with wounds that would normally knock you out, when that magic ST leaves you 10 seconds later, it's not going to magically make the hole in your chest heal up like you'd never been wounded. The physical wound you took is unchanged; the difference is that your ST went down. That seems entirely consistent with the situation, to me.
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Old 03-18-2021, 01:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

I think I was the one who raised the apparent inconsistency and argued for treating wounds the same as fatigue.

Skarg, fatigue is a physical condition just as wounds are, at least in the real world. There must be some physical difference that occurs when you exert energy. I'm not anywhere close to a chemical biologist, so I won't bother to make up a story of how fatigue changes your physical being but I'm confident it does.

Of course, first, this is a fantasy world, so it doesn't have to be a physical difference at all. Second, a wound is plainly visible, an apparent alteration of the flesh, whereas fatigue is something a bit more subtle than that, but both take time to recover.

Aside from a game mechanics argument, I don't see a good reason to treat the two so very differently. We all agree how fatigue works with an Aid spell, so I can't see a thematic reason that wounds should be different. Just as aid gives you the mojo to decrease the effects of fatigue, it must make physical changes that adds to one's muscle. When the spell wears off, the fatigue taken by the aided energy goes away and so do the wounds. Effectively, Aid puts stuff on the top, to be hit by fatigue or damage first, so to speak.
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Old 03-18-2021, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

I think of it like this: A wizard who gets Aid ST has magic spell energy for 10 seconds, that makes them stronger, able to use the energy for spells, and perhaps able to stay conscious in spite of wounds. If they cast a spell with Aid ST, the spell uses the energy of the spell rather than their own strength.

I am not at all able to imagine it as layering on physical muscle that would get neatly reduced by a wound such that after being hacked up, they're pristine after the spell wears off.
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Old 03-18-2021, 04:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Aid is temporary negative fatigue that is used for fatigue costs borne during the duration of the spell.

Hence ITL 18: "that ST must be used within 2 turns, or it is lost."

If the Aided ST is used then this is used to pay for fatigue costs before hitting the wizard's other ST sources.

A figure can be Aid-ed to be conscious and active even when injured to more than their base ST.

Example: ST 6 Alan takes 7 hits from an arrow and collapses. Bob then uses his action to Aid Alan's ST by 11 points giving Alan net 4 ST (so he isn't weak from his injury).

Alan loses his action that turn due to falling over (and this counts as the first tick on the Aid clock).

On turn two Alan remains on the ground and casts an 11 point Aid ST spell on himself to recycle the Aided ST. He then keeps doing this until the end of the fight.
I haven't thought through the more complicated parts of this argument, but why are you assuming you can deliver more than a +5 ST increase per Aid spell casting? That would seem to violate the strictly worded limits on attribute increases from all sources.
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Old 03-18-2021, 05:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I haven't thought through the more complicated parts of this argument, but why are you assuming you can deliver more than a +5 ST increase per Aid spell casting? That would seem to violate the strictly worded limits on attribute increases from all sources.
If you apply that to all Aid spells without attribute enhancers involved then five is the limit on physical ST, but we're going to need some other exception to cast the big spells.
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Old 03-18-2021, 06:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I think of it like this: A wizard who gets Aid ST has magic spell energy for 10 seconds, that makes them stronger, able to use the energy for spells, and perhaps able to stay conscious in spite of wounds. If they cast a spell with Aid ST, the spell uses the energy of the spell rather than their own strength.

I am not at all able to imagine it as layering on physical muscle that would get neatly reduced by a wound such that after being hacked up, they're pristine after the spell wears off.
Yeah, okay, perhaps my attempt to tie the effect to actual physical changes which take the wounds was a bit off the wall. I don't reckon I buy it either.

But I do think that a simpler picture where wounds and fatigue are treated similarly makes sense to me.

In the original context of the Death Spell, it's the only way a non-Conan wizard could kill a stronger character (in terms of ST) --- if we take the ST loss described in the text as wounds. And I think it makes sense that a powerful wizard with oodles of mana in his staff should be tougher with a Death Spell than a fledgling wizard with the same ST but no mana. The Death Spell should be useful, and not just to oddly bulky wizards.

That said, our interpretation of Aid probably shouldn't be justified in my desire that the Death Spell be useful.
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Old 03-18-2021, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I haven't thought through the more complicated parts of this argument, but why are you assuming you can deliver more than a +5 ST increase per Aid spell casting? That would seem to violate the strictly worded limits on attribute increases from all sources.
As Henry says, spells like Create Gate need 50 ST. Figure a pretty darned good wizard has 20 ST available. If each apprentice can boost him only by 5 ST, then he needs a minimum of six apprentices -- more, since some are bound to fail to cast twice in a row.

Can you point out that limitation? I see that the Rule of Five speaks of a limit due to magic items, but I don't know where the rules would suggest a limitation to the Aid spell. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2021, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Aid Spell, Damage, and Fatigue

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
A figure can be Aid-ed to be conscious and active even when injured to more than their base ST.

Example: ST 6 Alan takes 7 hits from an arrow and collapses. Bob then uses his action to Aid Alan's ST by 11 points giving Alan net 4 ST (so he isn't weak from his injury).

Alan loses his action that turn due to falling over (and this counts as the first tick on the Aid clock).

On turn two Alan remains on the ground and casts an 11 point Aid ST spell on himself to recycle the Aided ST. He then keeps doing this until the end of the fight.
Adjusted Dexterity: just a bit too late.
Since when does Aid cast AFTER death (6-7) work?
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