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Old 04-08-2022, 08:49 AM   #1
Phil Masters
 
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Default Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

The Rotting Death spell has no casting time listed on p. 154 of GURPS Magic, so one would assume that it takes the default one second to cast. However, the spell quick reference table has it listed as taking 3 seconds (p. 233), so there's definitely an erratum for one of those pages.

Okay, GURPS Grimoire (for 3e) gives it three seconds, so that's probably what it should take., though I tend to feel that any Melee spell that takes more than a second has limited usefulness. Mind you, with this one being resisted by HT, then having to be maintained every second, then only doing damage on a failed HT roll (though it does also have the nausea effect), my dungeon fantasy necromancer* is beginning to think it's not that great a spell. Or perhaps he should just hoik it to level 20 ASAP.

* No, no, he's a licensed psychopomp, not some evil death magician. Just ask him.
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Old 04-08-2022, 03:18 PM   #2
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
The Rotting Death spell has no casting time listed on p. 154 of GURPS Magic, so one would assume that it takes the default one second to cast. However, the spell quick reference table has it listed as taking 3 seconds (p. 233), so there's definitely an erratum for one of those pages.

Okay, GURPS Grimoire (for 3e) gives it three seconds, so that's probably what it should take., though I tend to feel that any Melee spell that takes more than a second has limited usefulness. Mind you, with this one being resisted by HT, then having to be maintained every second, then only doing damage on a failed HT roll (though it does also have the nausea effect), my dungeon fantasy necromancer* is beginning to think it's not that great a spell. Or perhaps he should just hoik it to level 20 ASAP.

* No, no, he's a licensed psychopomp, not some evil death magician. Just ask him.
Looks like 3 sec. is supposed to be right. Definitely a spell of limited combat utility. Seems like it's more for show at the kinds of gatherings evil necromancers might enjoy.

Who gives out those licenses, anyway? 🤨
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Old 04-08-2022, 04:29 PM   #3
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
Who gives out those licenses, anyway?
The village elders back home. (It was a rather strange village. Donít ask who founded the place on top of a patch of death-aspected mana.)
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Old 04-08-2022, 05:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

Rotting Death isn't really meant to be a combat spell. It comes from the old Conan supplement originally and is meant to be used by the antagonist to dramatically kill hostages, prisoners, minions who screwed up, etc
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Old 04-08-2022, 06:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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Rotting Death isn't really meant to be a combat spell. It comes from the old Conan supplement originally and is meant to be used by the antagonist to dramatically kill hostages, prisoners, minions who screwed up, etc
I feel like Evisceration would be a more cost-effective way for dramatic execution. Worked in the Temple of Doom.
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Old 04-08-2022, 06:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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I feel like Evisceration would be a more cost-effective way for dramatic execution. Worked in the Temple of Doom.
That's as may be, but none of Conan's foes did that.
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Old 04-08-2022, 06:51 PM   #7
johndallman
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

A trawl through Magic: Death Spells might be worthwhile. Euthanize (p. 14) looks appropriate for a psychopomp.
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Old 04-08-2022, 06:08 PM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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The village elders back home. (It was a rather strange village. Don’t ask who founded the place on top of a patch of death-aspected mana.)
Isn't village "elder" kind of an odd term for those young adults ruling the place that seem never to age?

And where are all the village kids, anyway? They grow up so fast.
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Old 04-08-2022, 03:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Casting Time for Rotting Death (GURPS Magic 4e)

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I tend to feel that any Melee spell that takes more than a second has limited usefulness.
No worse than an attack with an unbalanced melee weapon, but given the other drawbacks of spellcasting in combat not a great choice.

About the only way that Rotting Death could be useful in combat is if the caster is behind the line of combat with another fighter protecting them until the spell is ready. Either that, or started several seconds prior to melee against a charging foe.

The latter approach might be very effective if the caster goes for a grapple, has sufficient close combat skills, and knows the spell at a high enough level.

Other than that, it seems more like an execution spell. Even then, unless the Death Gods demand it, save the time and FP and just use the scary-looking sacrificial knife.
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