Light spell, really poor?

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Light spell, really poor?

Postby Harshlax » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:00 pm

The common magic light spell is a nonprogressive spell with magnitude 1. It greates a light that illuminates 1m radius with no illumination beyond that. Is it just me or is that really poor and a waste of a spell?

Or does this need errata?
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Chrönos
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Postby Chrönos » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:17 pm

It's 1 metre per point of magnitude, and lasts 5 minutes.

I'll agree, it's arguably poor. In our game, I find someone's constantly having to recast it as we explore darkened areas. Plus, many points of magnitude need to be invested before the spell becomes useful; 1 or even 3 metres isn't very far.

The old battle magic light spell gave 12 metres of illumination and lasted 10 melee rounds for 1 POW.
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Postby Harshlax » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:21 pm

nonprogressive, you can't add magnitude. that's the point of my query.
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:27 pm

Harshlax wrote:nonprogressive, you can't add magnitude. that's the point of my query.
The Progressive trait in the header was left out by accident. It was meant to be progressive as the spell description itself indicates.
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward
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Postby Harshlax » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:32 pm

Given thet getting any useful utility use out of Light means significant spend of mp, what would the design team, and other luminaries of the boards think of my making Light a 1 pt non progressive spell with duration 5 min, and illuminating a 3metre radius, identical to a torch or basic lantern?

are there any obvious problems or potential abuses to that, that you can see?
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Postby hector » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:40 pm

I'd probably go one step further, and make it a progressive spell with duration being 5 mins/magnitude. It's essentially the same as your idea, only without the inconvenience of constantly having to recast it. That way, there are still many advantages to using more mundane forms of light but at the same time magical light is still available as a backup without needing to be constantly recast.
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Postby Darran » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:53 pm

I would say that it still doesn't matter too much the illumination radius as whatever bad thing is out there in the dark will stay out of the range of the light anyway.
Well, it will if your GM is evil like me! :wink:
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Postby troy812 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:37 am

Sounds like a Mag 1 Light spell is just enough to make yourself a target...
third man on a match.... :o


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Postby kintire » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:35 am

I am suspicious regarding any mp using spell that can be grossly outclassed by a quick shopping trip...

How much does a lantern cost compared to a 1 magnitude spell?
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:48 am

kintire wrote:I am suspicious regarding any mp using spell that can be grossly outclassed by a quick shopping trip...

How much does a lantern cost compared to a 1 magnitude spell?
How much does a sling and a pocketfull of stones cost compared to a Disruption spell? You don't have to provide oil for the Light spell, and it doesn't go out if you drop it in a pool. Cast it on your shield, and you don't even need to use a hand to carry something that you can accidentally set fire to yourself with.

The effect is kind of bizarre, though. The area is illuminated, but outside it is not. From a physics point of view, that means that the light stops completely when it gets to the edge. Which means, anyone outside of the lit area cannot see the illuminated area, because the light doesn't get to them. Of course, a fantasy world does not have to obey the laws of physics. "Light" and "sight" may well be separate, independent effects in Glorantha.

On the Discworld, for instance, light is not very fast. You can see the light of dawn spreading across the landscape - your sight is near enough instant, but the spread of the dawn light is not.

I really need to stop thinking so much.
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Postby kintire » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:38 pm

How much does a sling and a pocketfull of stones cost compared to a Disruption spell?
Well quite. I'm not convinced by Disruption either.
You don't have to provide oil for the Light spell,
No, just magic points. Hmmm.
and it doesn't go out if you drop it in a pool. Cast it on your shield, and you don't even need to use a hand to carry something that you can accidentally set fire to yourself with
It does, however, go out of its own accord after a few minutes instead of an hour or two.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:04 pm

kintire wrote:Well quite. I'm not convinced by Disruption either.
These are Common Magic spells we're talking about here. They aren't supposed to be powerful, game-changing abilities. If you want something more punchy, use Divine or Sorcery (although I don't recall a divine magic equivalent of Light - Gleam and Extension maybe?).
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Postby kintire » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:06 pm

These are Common Magic spells we're talking about here. They aren't supposed to be powerful, game-changing abilities
Is that squealing noise goalposts moving?

Of course they're not. Who said they were? But they are supposed to be worth using, and worth the money people charge for them. Otherwise, why do they still exist?
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:50 pm

kintire wrote:Is that squealing noise goalposts moving?
I didn't realise that this was a competition, or that I had some particular "goal".
kintire wrote:...But they are supposed to be worth using, and worth the money people charge for them. Otherwise, why do they still exist?
I think Light is well worth the money. Sure, it doesn't mean "I never need to buy a lantern ever again", but if you do get captured and all your kit taken off you, or if you got caught out in a thunderstorm or fell in a lake and soaked everything, you have something to fall back on. Well worth 100sp, in my opinion.
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Postby Harshlax » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:50 pm

kintire wrote:
These are Common Magic spells we're talking about here. They aren't supposed to be powerful, game-changing abilities
Is that squealing noise goalposts moving?

Of course they're not. Who said they were? But they are supposed to be worth using, and worth the money people charge for them. Otherwise, why do they still exist?
Exactly, which is what prompted me to try and make light useful vs torches.

Re disruption, it seems quite good vs a sling as even at 2 mag its 1ca to do 2d3 damage ignoring armour. Enough to create a target location for an upcoming fight. Does it need to do more than that?

Incidentally, its not said explicitly, but is it right to say that common magic doesn't require a free hand to cast? Thats how I read the absence of a comment. Sorcery seems to require at least on hand free (or is that 2?), Divine also doesn't mention gestures, nor does Spirit magic.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Harshlax wrote:Incidentally, its not said explicitly, but is it right to say that common magic doesn't require a free hand to cast? Thats how I read the absence of a comment. Sorcery seems to require at least on hand free (or is that 2?), Divine also doesn't mention gestures, nor does Spirit magic.
That's why my Peacock Keet sorcerer uses Chakrams, he just loops them over his arms while he casts his spell, then slips them back down into his hands for an emergency parry.
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Postby kintire » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:13 pm

I didn't realise that this was a competition, or that I had some particular "goal".
Moving the goalposts is a rhetorical technique where you change the terms of the discussion half way through without notice: eg "light should be useful" to "Light should be a powerful, gamechanging ability".

I
think Light is well worth the money. Sure, it doesn't mean "I never need to buy a lantern ever again", but if you do get captured and all your kit taken off you, or if you got caught out in a thunderstorm or fell in a lake and soaked everything, you have something to fall back on
That seems rather... situational.
Re disruption, it seems quite good vs a sling as even at 2 mag its 1ca to do 2d3 damage ignoring armour. Enough to create a target location for an upcoming fight. Does it need to do more than that?


To be fair to disruption, it IS quite useful against heavily armoured targets.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:56 pm

kintire wrote:Moving the goalposts is a rhetorical technique where you change the terms of the discussion half way through without notice: eg "light should be useful" to "Light should be a powerful, gamechanging ability".
Not having to carry a lantern and oil and keep it dry and lit would be very significant. As it is, being able to create a light from nothing in a couple of seconds is a pretty damn powerful ability. It's also a perfect subject for Zistorite mass-produced items. (Are there any rules for Common Magic enchantments, either permanent or matrix-style?)
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Postby Harshlax » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:00 pm

PhilHibbs wrote: Not having to carry a lantern and oil and keep it dry and lit would be very significant. As it is, being able to create a light from nothing in a couple of seconds is a pretty damn powerful ability. It's also a perfect subject for Zistorite mass-produced items. (Are there any rules for Common Magic enchantments, either permanent or matrix-style?)
Yes, there are rules for enchanting Common Magic spells, but they are in Arms and Equipment, and only Divine Magicians and Sorcerers can make them.
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:36 pm

Common Magic are useful, but brief minor charms. They are not supposed to undermine the socio-economics of the society and/or world.
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward

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