Simultaneous Turns

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JoeCarr28
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:04 pm

Hehe ... with the rules as written you can imagine half a dozen kobolds rendering Gandalf magically powerless :lol:

He'd be better off trying to bash them with his staff than incinerate them with spells.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:55 pm

Well, you could find balance in that your archer has one shot at 1d8 damage and a disrupt, while the M-U has one shot at nuking your entire party. Also compare this to the "if you get hit in a round you are casting, you lose the spell" option of other editions. The disruption is about catching the mage (or cleric, I suppose we shouldn't leave our divine brethren out), during the activation - messing up the precise movements for the spell by making him duck mid-swish, or replacing that critical syllable with "OW! You shot me!"

Breaking it down, if the M-U has initiative, you are hosed.
If you match or beat the M-U, you have the option to disrupt spell casting.
And if the M-U is standing in plain sight of an archer, and doesn't run for cover, he deserves to get shot.

If you want to make casting a little less risky, Let a disrupted caster make a Int/Wis ability check, or a save vs Spells (Int or Wis Mod. only) to not lose the disrupted spell (reigning in the magic before it dissipates - maybe Wis for everyone?). I'm inclined more to using the spell save - it gives slightly better odds at low level (where losing your (possibly only) spell could ruin your day), with modest improvement as you advance (better control, but still not easy). Throw in a spell level-based penalty, to keep things interesting.

As another twist, you may get to keep the spell slot, but not the spell (the preparations are spent, but you didn't lose the energy itself). You may be able to 'reload' after battle, or use the juice for a channeling item, or any other house-ruled use for unprepared spell slots.
JoeCarr28 wrote:Hehe ... with the rules as written you can imagine half a dozen kobolds rendering Gandalf magically powerless :lol:

He'd be better off trying to bash them with his staff than incinerate them with spells.
It might explain why he didn't do more magic - he's only got a handful of combat spells prepared, and Saruman was bogarting the spell books.
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dymondy2k
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:52 pm

The rules say that if the MU/Cleric is casting and he is attacked the spell is lost, so it doesn't even have to hit. I read the rules on initiative but I can't remember if you have to announce your intentions to the DM before you know your initiative order? If you do then the rules as they stand make sense because you don't know your arrow is going to go zinging by wizards head just as he tried to cast. But if you announce the initiative before combat intentions then you could always keep one party member/monster waiting to go at the same time as the magic user to keep him from casting. Don't have a bow? Throw a rock at him, rolled a 1? Oh well.. He still wasted the spell. Seems kinda cheap.

Joe I do like the idea of using the save VS Spells as a concentration check.
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SmootRK
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:21 pm

I think some sort of Concentration Check would be nice. I would simply use a Formula or the Generic Ability Check found in the Core Rules (p141); simple enough (MU use INT for bonus, Clerics use WIS, optional classes use the appropriate Stat)...

...However, I would think that the amount of damage sustained might play a role in this. Massive damage should obviously negate any spell casting. Perhaps the 'situational bonuses or penalties' suggested in the accompanying section of p141 might be "for each point of damage sustained, the character is penalized by one on his roll (or if that seems too strict, the amount could be for each 5 points of damage equals -1 on roll).

Thoughts?
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:19 pm

Rather than adding additional house rules, I think I'm just going to delete the relevant sentence from my games ("If a spellcaster is attacked on the Initiative number on which he or she is casting a spell, the spell is spoiled and lost", page 15). It just seems plain unbalanced to me that the lowliest character or monster can prevent the most powerful Wizard or Cleric from casting just by beating them on the Initiative roll. By ignoring the sentence, spell casting is simply given initiative parity with other forms of attack, which seems fair to me.

It also occurs to me that the fact that the disruptor doesn't even have to hit the caster (just 'attack') goes somewhat against one of Solomoriah's previously stated game philosophies of 'not rewarding failure' (I think it came up previously during a discussion on the firing into melee rules). The higher initiative kobold can quite cheerfully miss Gandalf with his rusty dagger or flimsy shortbow, and our floppy-hatted friend's incineration attempt is thwarted for that round. Or, at the other end of the scale, how frustrating must it be for a 1st level Magic-User to see their one and only spell for the whole adventure wasted by vitue of this rule.

If I was to keep the rule in some form or other, I would at least require the disrputor to register a hit.
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SmootRK
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:33 pm

I think this could be an instance of poor choice of wording in the rules. I believe the intent was to spoil casting upon being struck. For minimalist tweak to wording, just modify the sentence to:

"If a spellcaster is Hit on the Initiative number on which he or she is casting a spell, the spell is spoiled and lost", page 15.

In this instance, I would say "HIT" means the caster was struck and takes damage (including subdual or non-lethal) or becomes subject to some effect that causes damage, significant distraction, or restriction of movement (Hold Person, blind, deafness, entangled, etc).

Regardless, Archers would still be very likely (even Kobold ones) to "delay" or "ready an action" to shoot when the spell caster starts casting.
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:43 pm

JoeCarr28 wrote:Rather than adding additional house rules, I think I'm just going to delete the relevant sentence from my games ("If a spellcaster is attacked on the Initiative number on which he or she is casting a spell, the spell is spoiled and lost", page 15). It just seems plain unbalanced to me that the lowliest character or monster can prevent the most powerful Wizard or Cleric from casting just by beating them on the Initiative roll. By ignoring the sentence, spell casting is simply given initiative parity with other forms of attack, which seems fair to me.
Spell casting is the nuclear option of a fantasy game; by definition, a higher-level magic-user is pretty potent. To spoil his spell, you must (a) get the initiative, and (b) hold your action until his round, and (c) perform a credible attack on him.

Certainly, if Gandalf is in melee combat with kobolds, they are going to prevent him from casting any spells. But that's why magic-users have meat shields (fighters) in the front row... they need them, to prevent the baddies from spoiling their spells. And for that matter, to prevent the baddies from sticking sharp objects into their unarmored hides...

You don't have to declare actions in BFRPG, at least not by the book. Therefore, a magic-user facing opponents who can credibly attack him may choose not to attempt a spell if anyone can potentially spoil it; in "real life" terms, he can see that they are standing ready to attack, whether by melee if he was fool enough to get in arm's reach, or by missiles otherwise. The sensible magic-user may choose to wait until the time is right before casting a spell. If he has fighters in front of him, facing the enemy, those enemy combatants are going to attack the fighters unless they are just really, really clever and really, really disciplined; only unengaged enemy combatants are going to throw spears etc. at the magic-user. When his number comes up, he can choose right then to cast a spell, or do something else, or even do nothing if that's the smart thing to do.

The attack does not have to hit to spoil the spell. After all, if I throw a spear at you, and you see it coming, you're going to flinch, even if it goes wide. It's human nature.

The rule as written arose from my own game, where the players were just sure they could spoil the enemy spell-caster's action, yet somehow were just as sure that their own spells couldn't be spoiled. By providing a hard-and-fast test, the BFRPG rules remove this as a point of contention.

NOW, having said all that: Do it however you feel you must. BFRPG won't fall apart because you choose to do this differently. But rest assured, I DID have a reason to write the rules that way, and I'll urge you to try it before you throw it away.
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