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Old 10-27-2022, 04:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2014
Default Incantation Magic - Price of Damage

I really like the Incantation Magic system. It has spellslots that can be filled during offtime. It has versatility. And also makes it fun to play a "Spell Tinkerer". Really has a nice feel High Dungeon Fantasy with a smidge of Vancian magic (the slots). For everything outside of combat I find this system amazing and super fun to use. The people working on it did a good job in creating something unique and yet slightly familiar for Dungeon Fantasy. But then comes the combat. (I'm the GM if that matters)

My problem with is is the immense power (as in damage) for a ludicrously cheap price. And there is no reason at all ever to not go MAX DAMAGE ALWAYS.

Sure there are restrictions and technically it shouldnt be able to do anything a normal mage wouldn't be able to... but then the grimmoire immediately discredits that.

Lets a assume the standard Magery/Incantation Talent 3 Mage

Firebomb deals 3d burn damage over an area of radius 7, (thats a huge area). Now this basic spell in the standard grimmoire deals more damage any standard Wizard ever could. As area damaging spells take the formula of 1d-1 over an area or double damage for double cost. It is not a leveled spell so Magery 3 cant make this 3d-3. This basic spell costs 14 Fp to cast and would be probably the only major spell the Wizard casts this fight and be winded after it. meanwhile An Incanter can stack up 10 firebombs in his aura and laugh at the notion of Fatigue.

But this is the smaller problem. The bigger (and more general) problem is:
The scaling price of damage is ridiculously low. It is so low there is never ever any reason to not always use max damage.
That firebomb before costs 76 FP dealing 3d of indirect damage.
but 9d of indirect damage is just 8 points more. If somebody invests even a handful of points into casting it reliably, that one additional -1 (from from going 76 points to 84 points) is nothing. But now changes the spell to a 9d radius7 Room clearing spelll (that can still exclude about 6 people from friendly fire before costing more)

Now sure. Wizards could be capable of 9d of damage right? Just cast an explosive fireball for 3 seconds (and one to throw) but this not only takes way longer. It is also 9d of burn damage explosive. at radius 3 it is already down to 1d of damage and is basically not more dangerous than a candle a the 4th yard. This spell would also cost 18 FP to cast and would probably down the wizard for the rest of the fight.

The basic problem is. The difference in damage cost is so puny my players always default to "Add that additional -1 but deal max damage." for any spell they create grimoire or custom.

Now do this 10 times, with a 3 times shorter casting time without the need for FP expenditure and you have an Incanter.
And before anybody mentions that once all the spellslots are used the Incanter is useles... well.
After a wizard throws a 18 FP fireball, he needs to rest about 90 minutes (already accounting for Recover energy) or maybe 60 if he used some ER which refills independently.

In 60 minutes, with a field kit, the Incanter could prepare 6 additional Firebombs.
And even if the -8 to path skill would be so restrictive he needed extra time to prepare only a single firebomb in that hour. He is still much better of than the Wizard.

Once you reach Incantation Talent 6... well say goodbye to any form of combat as the Incanter is now capable of 18d 7rad firebomb every other second with probably at that point 30 available spell slots
I know I can say "No" but where is the limit. Since the book already caps damage at 3d Indirect per Talent Level. And seems that balanced for DF. And The grimmoire immediately dismisses the "Cannot do anything a Wizard couldnt do" by itself.

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to really not omit much of my thought process. I would appreciate any suggestions as i'd like to continue on using this magic System without it makin other players feel useless.

(Unrelated Sidenote: Wouldnt the Cone of Flame spell have a a 2 yard 1/2D range? I believe Cones still have 1/2D ranges right? And there is no Increased 1/2D range modifier on it)
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Old 10-27-2022, 09:15 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Incantation Magic - Price of Damage

I don't have Incantation Magic, but I am familiar with Ritual Path Magic, upon which it is based. That does indeed have a bit of an issue in that, because damage and area (and just about everything else) are each assessed separately for pricing, you can wind up with something where you can start with something with, say, a really large area effect being rather cheap to boost with more damage, or a really high-damage spell being rather cheap to add area to. So while a 3d firebomb with radius 7 may be appropriately priced, and a 9d firebolt (single target) may similarly be appropriately priced, the combination - 9d firebomb with radius 7 - may be rather on the cheap side.

That said, 76 energy sounds like a Greater Effect multiplier may be in play. Going off of memory, in RPM Create Energy is a 6 energy effect, a 3d external (which I assume maps to "indirect" in Incantation Magic) damage ritual wouldn't add any cost for the damage, and radius 7 would be +5 energy. You don't mention a Range, but let's say 20 yards; that's +6 energy. Toss on the Lesser Control Energy wrapper, for another +5 energy IIRC, and we're looking at a starting cost of 22 energy. Assuming I missed something somewhere (I am going off a faulty memory and some guesswork, after all), around a x3 multiplier (appropriate for 1 Greater Effect - appropriate, as a big firey explosion should probably call for Greater Create Energy) to get to around 76 energy would make some sense (there is the issue that 76 isn't a multiple of 3; maybe the "wrapper" only costs 4, and doesn't have the multiplier apply to it, making the base spell 24 energy, x3 for 1 Greater Effect).

With that in mind, while +8 to base energy would indeed be enough to have external damage go from 3d to 9d, that base would have the Greater Effect mutiplier in play, for a net +24 energy, or a total of 100 energy. It's still not a huge price bump - you're paying around 1/3rd again as much for x3 to damage - but not quite the no-brainer that ~+10% is. You may also want to consider increasing the multiplier beyond some amount of damage - maybe it's a Lesser Effect (x1) up to 2d, a single Greater Effect (x3) up to 5d, two Greater Effects (x5) up to 10d, three Greater Effects (x7) up to 20d, and so forth.

Originally Posted by MakDemonik View Post
(Unrelated Sidenote: Wouldnt the Cone of Flame spell have a a 2 yard 1/2D range? I believe Cones still have 1/2D ranges right? And there is no Increased 1/2D range modifier on it)
Cones do indeed typically have 1/2D Ranges. But IIRC, RPM doesn't generally build abilities quite the same as Powers, and typically there aren't 1/2D ranges involved at all* - I think a 10-yard cone in RPM would simply be built with a Range of 10 yards (+4 energy) and Cone put onto the Damage as an Enhancement (with the +% value applied to the base energy in Damage or 20, whichever is higher - a +50% Enhancement would always be +10 energy or more).

*If there isn't already, there should probably be an option to get longer range and half damage at a discounted price; an easy option would be that you build the spell with whatever Range you want it to have full damage out to, and any additional Range - beyond which the effect does half damage - is half price. So Range 10/100 would be +4 energy for Range 10, and +3 (Range 100 would normally be +10, or +6 beyond Range 10) to have half damage out to Range 100.
GURPS Overhaul

Last edited by Varyon; 10-27-2022 at 09:21 AM.
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote

damage, dungeon fantasy, incantation, incantation magic, magic

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