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Old 08-31-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Eh, as long as it follows the same rules as powerstones you can just cast it for 4x cost without using a gem; an extra $20 per point of energy fits nicely...
That requires 2 Enchanters or a revolving horde of 10 pt Powerstones. Doable but possibly not that attractive. Certainly not simple.
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Old 08-31-2020, 02:02 PM   #12
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Eh, as long as it follows the same rules as powerstones you can just cast it for 4x cost without using a gem; an extra $20 per point of energy fits nicely...
I had thought of using Manastone with a Scroll before but forgot about it when replying here.

I'm pretty sure it's canon that Manastone follows the same rule as powerstone, so you could spend 5x4=20 energy to make one from anything.

There doesn't however seem to be a canon "One College Manastone" like there is for Powerstone. But it seems reasonable enough to extrapolate it as 60% of the cost (like Powerstone does) so that it's 3 or 12 energy.

Using my idea of a "one spell manastone" (since One College Powerstone basically matches up with applying the -40% One College magery limitation to energy cost...) of -80% would make it 1 energy to create a 1-spell manastone from an expensive object, or 4 energy to create a 1-spell manastone from any object.

It's pretty cheap, but you're still limited to the 60-minute manufacturing time minimum for enchantments unless GM also allows you to fiddle with that using various "Time Spent" or "Long Tasks" rules.

Long Tasks is intended for 8+ hours (more the Slow and Sure method) but it might be interesting to do something along those lines on a "per minute" basis.

if Time Spent discounts were also allowed then 60 minutes could be reduced to 6 minutes for -9 to skill...

Or just extrapolate "max 100 energy enchantment per 60 minutes" to "max 5 energy per 180 seconds" or "take 36 consecutive concentrate maneuvers per 1 energy your enchantment costs".

Being able to put 1 energy into a "one-spell pebble manastone" per 4x36=144 seconds (2 minutes 24 seconds) might seem pretty powerful (you'd probably have mages stockpiling these) but I kinda like the idea... is it really THAT powerful?

Maybe as a balancing factor we could invert the usual rules for "more energy to cast magic on big SM things" where instead, it's actually EASIER to store magic in big objects, and HARDER to store magic in small ones?

The simplest would probably be just to apply SM as a skill penalty or skill bonus to manastone/powerstone.

This would help deal with issues like "my manastone is a grain of sand, I carry thousands of manastones in my hourglass". It'd be POSSIBLE, but really hard to set up due to the skill penalty.

Whereas something like "my manastone is this big SM+10 boulder" would be more common since it'd be easier, but also less convenient to port around.

An additional limiting factor would be to actually force mages to roll to observe/hit/find their manastones. It would be harder to notice / touch smaller manastones/powerstones, which would be an additional incentive to use larger ones.
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Old 08-31-2020, 03:06 PM   #13
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

Another issue with manastone/powerstone exploits is the x2 and x3 tricks...

These "attach to a magic item" things on M70 are basically FREE ... but I'm wondering if maybe we could require some kind of enchantment ==sto actually get that relationship between them. I'm thinking two-sided, one to modify how manastone/powerstone works, the other to modify how the spell linking to them works.

These would be sort of like "Limiting Enchantments" since they restrict what either spell can normally do, but also a boosting enchantment since the end result is it makes the output of powerstones/manastones more efficient.

step 1: two variations of "Dedicate Stone to Enchantment" which will create a "Dedicated Non-Attuned Stone". Only the stone needs to be present (range penalties are calculated to it). You must know the spell you're dedicating it to, but it can work for any particular item holding that enchantment. UNLESS the other is present, in which case you can dedicate it solely to that.

"Dedicate Powerstone to Enchantment" (cost 5% of enchantment + 5 per energy in Powerstone, or 200 whichever is less) prevents a powerstone from being used in any way except to power a particular enchantment in an item that it is touching. It will usually be ATTACHED to keep it constantly touching.

"Dedicate Manastone to Enchantment" (cost 1% of enchantment +1 per energy in powerstone, or 40, whichever is less) same as above except you're using a limited power supply so it's 1/5 the cost
NOTE ONE: for stones with 2+ energy you can cast it ALL AT ONCE to limit the entire stone, or you can cast it in levels. It is more energy efficient to do it all at once, but the lower per-casting cost for divided casting is more feasible for many mages

NOTE TWO: this prep gives no added efficiency, but is rather a prerequisite for the followup enchantments which then endow the efficiency. The only advantage to this is if you don't want your powerstones to be usable for purposes other than powering a magic item, in case someone got access to it. They could still use it, but only if they knew specifically which item to use it for. That's why the option of it being cheaper than Limit's usual 200 is proposed.
NOTE THREE: this must be cast multiple times for each enchantment you want to link the stone to. This allows it to fuel multiple spells in the case of an item carrying multiple enchantments. These spells do not interfere with one another.
The 200 cap is based on the cost of the "Limit" enchantment, since that's really all it's doing at this point. Applying 20% of the cost (40 energy) seems reasonable for Manastone since you're only limiting how a non-rechargeable source can be used.
Another (canon?) option might to just apply the 85% "Temporary Enchantment" discount to Limit: this would reduce Limit to 30 energy and is actually canon BUT: this means the limit only applies one time and then leaves, so it would leave your Manastone un-limited for future use if you didn't use up all the energy.
It is not legal to apply the 85% discount to Manastone/Powerstone themselves as they are not among the list of opted-in exceptions to the baseline ban on applying TE to meta/enchantment college. That said: there probably isn't any game balance problem with allowing that for Powerstone at higher levels.

1) Powerstone 1 usable 1 time is equal to Manastone 1, so you should pay the usual 25% cost (5 instead of 20, or 20 instead of 80) instead of 15% cost
2) Powerstone 2 usable 1 time is INFERIOR to Manastone 1: it can only fuel a single spell of 1 or 2 energy, while Manastone 2 has the option of fueling TWO spells costing 1 energy apiece.
3) the flexibility of Manastone (maximum uses = level of manastone) vs one-use powerstone grows with extra levels, making 15% cost vs 25% cost a lot more logical.
As for the first level: I actually think it's okay to allow the creation of a 1-use powerstone (so long as the ENTIRE stone is gone, not just levels equal to whatever amount of energy you used) for cheaper, because where paying 5 energy for manastone 1 instead of 3 energy for OUPS is valuable is when you aspire to later upgrade that to a more-flexible multi-use powerstone.

It seems wrong to allow the -85% Temporary Enchantment discount on Manastone though since it's energy is already temporary (doesn't recharge) so that ought only to be based on the higher powerstone costs...

There is still technically a drawback to it (Manastone 10 could be used to power 10 spells, OUMS can only cast 1 spell of 1-10 energy) but the end result is equal to something you'd get by limiting a powerstone to finite uses, so it shouldn't be allowed.

To be worth only 15% cost it seems necessary to make powerstones "all or nothing" because "only the levels I use expires" for powerstones would just make it equivalent to manastone but costing less.

Or actually WORSE because powerstones start off empty ("becomes an uncharged powerstone") whereas manastones presumably starts off fully charged (M127 says Charge Powerstone "does not work on Manastones" so if it didn't begin charged, there's no plausible way to charge it)

What might actually be interesting is if we actually altered the spell tree a bit. Manastone would be the baseline ("give an option capability of holding mana") and then make "Charge Manastone" a very expensive spell (much worse than the 3:1 ratio for CPS)

Then to upgrade manastone into powerstone it'd be something like "Draw Mana from Hex"

Then if you had that, you could cast the cheaper version of Charge Manastone (classic Charge Powerstone) which costs less since in addition to your own personal energy it is drawing upon future mana-draws to create a sort of point-debt.
With this approach, I am suggesting we do away with this usual policy:
If a dedicated Powerstone is removed from a magical item, the
magical item is automatically broken and loses its enchantment, but the
Powerstone is intact, and becomes a “normal” Powerstone again.
Anyway getting back to the "Dedicate Stone" stuff: if that becomes a problem later on (mage who made it wants to use the stone for generic use like casting his own spells by hand) then they can just do "Remove Enchantment". But anyway the followup (to get the x2 or x3 efficiencies) would then be to target the enchantments in the item to match up to the powerstone, so that both spells in synergy create the discount.

step 2: two variations of "Attune Enchantment to Stone":
"Attune Enchantment to Powerstone" (same cost as Dedicate Powerstone to Enchantment)
"Attune Enchantment to Manastone (same cost as Dedicate Manastone to Enchantment)
This step is done to prepare for the followup spells. It requires both the enchanted item and the stone it's attuning to to be present.
If enchanter is not touching one or either item, sum the distance caster is from each item respectively to calculate penalties.
They do not need to be touching or attached, although if they are not, ALSO add the distance between the items as a skill penalty (ie it is easier to enchant a staff+stone both 1 yard in front of you at -2 to skill, than to enchant a staff 1 yard in front and a stone 1 yard behind at -4 to skill.

step 3: two variations of "Synergize Stone to Enchantment" (Synergize Powerstone and Synergize Manastone)
cost is DOUBLE either of preceding 2 pairs, effect is getting the +100% output (1 energy from stone = 2 for spell)
step 4 "Exclude Non-Stone Enchantment Power" : this limits an enchantment in an item (must be cast multiple times for items with multiple enchantments) so that spells cast by it (per other colleges) or through it (per staff) cannot draw energy from the caster's HP/FP, only from manastones or powerstones which have been attuned to it as in step 1.

This follows the usual rules so they cannot be used in concert (maximum 1 powerstone or manastone can be tapped to fuel a spell at a time) but the item can, for either maintaining a spell or casting new spells, switch which powerstone or manastone it draws upon. This is effectively equivalent to "No External Energy" limitation from Thaumatology on the item's magery.
same as steps 1 or 2, half of step 3
step 5 "Synergize Enchantment to Stone" is a followup pair to ENSEP above. When cast on an enchantment which can only be powered by stones dedicated to it, that enchantment gains +100% efficiency.

This stacks with "Synergize Stone" so the +200% creates a 1:3 ratio, although it would be possible to skip step 3 (synergizing a stone) to just get x2 (a new option).

This costs the same as step 3 (double the cost of 1/2/4) so getting x2 from 1/2/3 is cheaper than going the 1/2/4/5 route, making the latter mostly just appealing for stacking the benefits.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:18 PM   #14
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

I find that it just simplifies things to have the Scroll spell store the energy in the scroll.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:09 PM   #15
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I find that it just simplifies things to have the Scroll spell store the energy in the scroll.
It does but it also makes it much better than it was intended to be, and it makes Spell Stone created with Slow and Sure a lot more niche
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:42 PM   #16
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

I have never used Spell Stone in my games, so I do not think that is actually a bad thing. Of course, each to their own, but I think that it is a simple and effective solution to both the scroll problem and the enchantment economics problem. It also allows a scroll mage to be a legitimate threat, as a scroll mage that is carrying around two dozen scrolls could easily have 360 points worth of energy available to them.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:26 AM   #17
thalcos
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

Did Scroll ever get clarified how the "you don't have to roll" works with standard -1/yard distance modifiers? I generally like the idea that scrolls are more reliable than in-the-moment casting.

I also like that the burning of the paper provides some of the energy for the spell. Maybe the caster's Scroll skill permanently reduces the energy of the written spell (e.g. Scroll-15 writes spells that are -1 FP)
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:30 AM   #18
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Is there a fixed version of the Scroll enchantment?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I have never used Spell Stone in my games, so I do not think that is actually a bad thing. Of course, each to their own, but I think that it is a simple and effective solution to both the scroll problem and the enchantment economics problem. It also allows a scroll mage to be a legitimate threat, as a scroll mage that is carrying around two dozen scrolls could easily have 360 points worth of energy available to them.
I love the idea of them carrying around charged scrolls, I just think it should still be possible to create uncharged scrolls with more ease than it is to create charged ones, so we should have a mechanic for making the uncharged scroll then a mechanic for charging it.

I did sort of wonder if Energy Cost reduction for high skill might apply. M57's "the mage reading the scroll pays the normal energy cost" sounds like it doesn't. I guess "the energy cost to cast the spell originally" makes it sound like maybe it did though... but due to parenthesis "base cost for area spells" I think 'base' just refers to "before multiplying for radius" rather than "before subtracting for skill"
This is of course sort of a problem for spells which don't have a "base" casting cost at all, which we see in Healing (Recover Energy / Share Vitality) and Necromancy (Steal Energy and Steal Vitality) and Technological (Conduct Power+Steal Power+Draw Power)
M20 values Buying Magic Items at 33/energy point so I guess that'd be 33 dollars per the base cost of the spell on the scroll, IF you can only make scrolls using the daily "Slow and Sure" method and not Quick and Dirty (if latter works, then scrolls would just be valued at $cost. If looking at sum value we'd also need to take into account the value of the parchment it is written on, but that's probably just 1 dollar.

To use the "just make the scroll a manastone" approach we would want the scroll to be valuable enough that we don't need to pay x4 energy to cast manastone. Manastone is only worth $1/energy point (you can make it with Quick and Dirty) so that doesn't increase the value much.

If you can manage to enchant 34+ energy worth of stuff into an object via Quick and Dirty then this would be a faster way of increasing that object's value than using S&S-only means.

The first tier of value we need for Manastone is $50 so after you have a 1+33=34 dollar scroll you need to add 16 dollars of value to it (16 energy of enchantment) to make Manastone cheaper to cast.

M58 Talisman could be one cheap way to do that: it only costs 15 energy to enchant. To cover the one-dollar difference you can buy slightly fancier parchment for 2 dollars per roll I guess.

That will at least let you create a one-energy manastone out of the scroll for merely 5 energy. A two-energy manastone will be trickier though, because the next tier is 40+80=$120.

One possible house rule one could consider is not using the same M69 guidelines for Powerstone as a Manastone requirement, instead since Manastone is 1/4 the casting cost, maybe the final result of that formula could be 1/4 too? So $12.50 then $30 for example.

Another as mentioned previously is the idea to lower Manastone's casting cost if you limit what it's energy can be used on (like One-College Powerstone) so 3/12 for 1cMS and 1/4 for 1pMS. This also would have the advantage of preventing the energy in the manastone-scroll (manascroll?) from being used to power spells other than the one written on the scroll.

This would also of course reduce the value of the resulting items (since they took less energy to make). M20's "Powerstone Costs" for example assume an all-colleges powerstone ($20 for labor at $1/energy) so you'd have to adjust that chart to find "One College Powerstone Costs" or my posited "One Spell Powerstone Costs" or to adapt it to Manastones.

I don't like the idea of just getting already-costly fancy-gems though (might be hard to find) if you really want to get the item valuable enough for a discount then you can just make it valuable by stacking on other stuff like Talisman.

M60 Ensorcel at -90% (20x instead of 200x) on a 1-energy spell would be another way to tack on $20 worth of value to an item.

As might Impression Blocker (also M60, also 20 if 1lb) if you put it on a shuttable-container. Since it is rated by "pounds" rather than "volume" you don't actually need to make it big, you might have a tiny purse capable of blocking an impression from a chunk of dwarf star should the need arise. (realistically though, the market value of that probably won't be as in demand as larger containers capable of blocking impressions)
M97 "Inscribe" is also a neat trick: it's 20 energy to enchant minimum, so that's worth $20, and you could probably use this to write your scroll, which avoids the need for buying quills/ink or estimating their costs and what value they add to the cost of your parchment.
This is one area where I begin to question the "assumed market value" of enchantments though: if you make awful-looking pictures (bad art roll) then should it really be worth a minimum of $20? Should this even be worth much more than standard art at all? About the only feature of it that I can think is that it's words/images that vanish in No Mana zones... unless of course you combined it with limiting enchantments like "only hobbits are able to see my artwork".
M119 "Mystic Mark" is only 30 energy so there's another option. It's more time-efficient to go as close to 100 energy (max enchanted in 1 hour) if using the default '1 hour minimum' for Quick and Dirty.

Manastone seems like the cheaper path to take here compared to using 15% of "Power".

We might also look at how certain "free to power" enchantments are priced as some kind of guideline on how to design that for other spells...

M78 spell "cook" for example. Normally 5 seconds to cast, 1 energy per meal. 30 energy can create a "one meal per day" pot which costs NO energy to use, but it takes 60 seconds (instead of 5) to take effect. It doesn't mention if it requires a roll against Power like usual, I like the idea of it requiring that personally.

Based on that, it would seem reasonable to say that you can get "Power 1" (normally 500 energy) at 6% of it's usual cost (even lower than the 15% you can pay for it using Temporary Enchantment: 1 time only) so long as it has "usable once per day" and "spell takes 12x as long to cast" balancing it out.

That's being conservative since I'm assuming here a cost of 0 for "object which lets me cast cook" and thinking that 30 purely comes from the 'Power'. Realistically that's not going to be the case. It's realistically probably going to cost at least 5 energy for something like that, so "5% of usual cost" is probably a better guideline for modifying Power this way.
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