Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack?

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Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack?

Postby vonether » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:39 pm

Last night, we had a target hiding behind a horse, so the spellcaster could only see his legs.

Even though the spell is resisted by Resilience, not a parry, you have to roll on the Body Location chart. That give us two options:
  • The spell is like a mystic "projectile" and if the attack hit anything above the thigh, it's gone.
  • The spell is "Maaaagic" and you could hit any part of the body as long as you could see something.
More confusing is that if you concentrate with Wrack, you cause more damage that randomly goes to a Body Location. So you if you hit the feet the first time, the spell could travel up to the unseen arm, but now there's no spellcasting roll even needed.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Lemnoc » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:24 pm

Myself, I would probably use the Cover rules and consider the legs a small target at about -20% to hit. If you hit that small target, the Wrack is applied as described.

In the situation you describe, the beast might actually be the thing that accidentally gets Wracked. :shock:
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby alex_greene » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:55 am

"If Range is augmented beyond Touch then the caster automatically strikes his intended target,
unless the target is able to dive for cover or flee out of reach before the spell is completed."
-- Legend Core Rulebook, p. 192

If the sorcerer can see the target, it isn't cover. The target is the person being named in the spell (e.g. "I declare Wrack against the orc with the snaggle tooth who just tried to attack me last round" or "I declare Wrack against the pitiful creature whose legs I can see protruding out from underneath the horse") and is affected accordingly.

It's only if the target(s) can flee the spell's range, or drop completely out of line of sight such that the sorcerer cannot see any part of the target, that the spell will not affect it. But once the spell is completed, if the target is still visible, the spell will hit the target.

Magically.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby vonether » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:05 am

Myself, I would probably use the Cover rules and consider the legs a small target at about -20% to hit. If you hit that small target, the Wrack is applied as described. In the situation you describe, the beast might actually be the thing that accidentally gets Wracked.
The reason you have a "called shot" is because you trying to successfully hit a small area with a smaller weapon. i.e. an arrow or weapon's edge to the head.

So how big is a spell "projectile?" When the target uses Resilience, and not Parry to avoid magic. Is the spell as small as bullet or as big as a barn door?
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby alex_greene » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:40 am

The spell is not launched like a projectile. It takes effect "automatically," as the Legend Core Rulebook states.

I was, however, thinking of those spells such as Palsy and Common Magic spells like Disruption, which affect a random body part. The cause - the spell - automatically connects, but the effect - the change inflicted by the spell - affects a body part seemingly at random, as if it were aimed.

I'd rule it like this. The target has a chance to dive for cover, but the cover has to be total - no part of the target must be visible.

If the caster is in the process of casting the spell as the target dives for cover, and part of the target is still visible as the spell completes, the spell takes effect as if the target were still in full view, because the target has technically never entirely left the caster's line of sight.

If the target has headed for cover before the caster begins spellcasting, the caster has a chance to make a Perception roll with the penalties for cover applied to the check. If he spots part of the target, he can cast the spell and it will still automatically take effect.

If the spell affects the whole person, such as Diminish STR, then it affects the target as normal. If, however, the spell affects a random body part such as Palsy, then the hit location spotted is the part that is affected. If that was the head, that means instant and automatic unconsciousness for the poor guy who stuck his head up over the parapet to see if the bad sorcerer was still there, for instance.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby hanszurcher » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:14 pm

vonether wrote: So how big is a spell "projectile?" When the target uses Resilience, and not Parry to avoid magic. Is the spell as small as bullet or as big as a barn door?
I don't think it really matters how big the projectile, bolt, tendril or whatever is. You could use Evade to avoid magic if you want, the Wrack spell in RQ6 does.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby alex_greene » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:40 pm

Nope. "Automatically hits." Read it.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Lemnoc » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:22 pm

alex_greene wrote:Nope. "Automatically hits." Read it.
Page 208 of the Legend rules, yes? I don't see that it says "automatically hits."

Sayin'.

ADD:
hanszurcher wrote:You could use Evade to avoid magic if you want, the Wrack spell in RQ6 does.
Yes; and in the more elaborate description of the spell by the same authors, RQ6 says, “Wrack enables a sorcerer to harm opponents with deadly bolts or waves of sorcerous energy.” I read that to mean some kind of emanation that can be avoided. In my sense, if it can be Evaded it can conceivably be Covered, although it is clear armor does not serve here as cover.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Old timer » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:51 pm

Ah, a rules lawyer :) . Yes, your right, it does not say on that page that sorcery spells automatically hit, but they do. Read the entire section on sorcery, if you can see a target and the spell casting roll is successful, then the target either resists or not, no hit roll is made for wrack ( or that matter palsy, smother, tap and so on). It says clearly on page 195 that sorcery spells are binary, they work or they do not work, nothing about any other rolls to 'hit'. The target simple resists the spell, or not.
No magic in Legend requires a hit roll, if you can see a target, your spell can affect it, so getting back to the original OP, as Alex above said correctly, if the sorcerer can see the target, or any part of the target, the spell will effect the target.

Edit, what has RQ6 got to do with this?, this is about the wrack spell in legend, not RQ6.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Lemnoc » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Old timer wrote:Ah, a rules lawyer :)

...what has RQ6 got to do with this?, this is about the wrack spell in legend, not RQ6.
Old Timer, not trying to Rules Lawyer. Trying to understand the assertion.

And, as I said, RQ6 elaborates on similar material by the same authors. Is all. In response to hanszurcher.

ADD:

Page 195 says, "An offensively cast spell DOES NOT take effect automatically. The target may make an Opposed Test of their Evade, Persistence or Resilience skill (as specified by the spell) against the casting roll of the sorcerer, to avoid the effect of the spell entirely. To resist using the Evade skill, the Adventurer must expend a Combat Action."

My emphasis. But I see your point about binary effects there, too.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby hanszurcher » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Lemnoc wrote:Yes; and in the more elaborate description of the spell by the same authors, RQ6 says, “Wrack enables a sorcerer to harm opponents with deadly bolts or waves of sorcerous energy.” I read that to mean some kind of emanation that can be avoided. In my sense, if it can be Evaded it can conceivably be Covered, although it is clear armor does not serve here as cover.
Yeah, I noticed that. I think you could use the Cover rules just fine. I'd probably stick to the Evade resist just to keep it simple. Maybe give a bonus for partial Cover.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Lemnoc » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:38 pm

hanszurcher wrote:Maybe give a bonus for partial Cover.
Yes; as an Opposed Test (as described on page 195) I would assume the spell is also subject to certain situational modifiers, such as "small target."

Not trying to quarrel or quibble. An assertion was made that a spell "automatically hits," quote-unquote, with a declarative to go read the rule. Well, having been directed to do so I read the rule. Saw no such assurance or certainty. In fact, I rather saw the opposite, that while the effects of a spell are binary (Works/Doesn't), yes-yes-yes, the actual casting calls for an Opposed Test. That's all; wasn't prepared to call in a jury.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Fonso » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:03 pm

In this theme, I'm with Alex.

There are two different games, even they are almost 100% compatible. Wrack in both is a sorcery spell. In both too they are ranged attack spells. But there are two different rules and they do different effects.

In Legend Wrack is resisted with Resistance, not Evasion. I visualize it as a curse not a proyectile. Three examples. If I'm a pyromancer, I can make that the location explotes in flames. Or, If I'm a necromancer, the location decays after I cast the spell. Or plants emerge from the soil under the character and squeeze the target if my magic is plant based. No magic missile. I only need to see the target to "curse" it. The opposed roll isn't to hit.... It's to resist the curse.

In RQ6 Wrack is resisted with Evasion, not Resistance. It's a proyectile, and can be affected by things as covert or the winds. No matters if I cast a ball of flame or a dart of shadows, my attack must travel between me and the target. And the opposed roll isn't to resist a curse, it's to evade the attack, the same as an arrow.

RQ6 is an evolution of Legend, yes, but applying Legend's rules, Wrack strikes automatically the target if it's cast at ranged. If you want use the other rules instead, you're right.
Last edited by Fonso on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Greg Smith » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:21 pm

Reading the Legend rules:

Page 192, Range:
If Range is augmented beyond Touch then the caster automatically strikes his intended target,
unless the target is able to dive for cover or flee out of reach before the spell is completed.
So, a man hiding behind a horse will not be able to dodge the spell. However, since the casting time is at least 2CAs (one for the base spell, and an additional one to use Manipulation to change the range, see Range p192 and Casting Time 194) he might be able to get out of range or get completely behind the horse, thereby avoiding the spell.

Even if he can't:

Page 194, Casting Modifiers
Sorcery spellcasting tests apply the same modifiers as Common Magic spellcasting tests
and page 157, Common Magic modifiers.
Partially obscured target –20%
Heavily obscured target –40%
So the caster would get a penalty.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby GamingGlen » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:49 pm

I was (wish I could cast spells.. muhahaha), or rather, my fire-spelling character was, the caster.
I didn't mind the cover penalty. The Wrack(Fire) spell failed the first time, but then the fool got out from behind his horse brandishing a sword. He was toast :mrgreen: from then on.

Think I'll rename the spell as Agony of Fire for the campaign. Or does anyone know the Harnic Skeh-Pvar Peleahn version's name (if there is one)? I never got into Harn's magic system since I would always use RQ's.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby alex_greene » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:09 pm

Thanks for the p. 194 reference. I was wracking (no pun intended) my brains trying to remember where I read the rule about using the Common Magic situational modifiers.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Lemnoc » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:14 am

Greg Smith wrote:Reading the Legend rules:

Page 192, Range:
If Range is augmented beyond Touch then the caster automatically strikes his intended target, unless the target is able to dive for cover or flee out of reach before the spell is completed.
i.e., unless Evaded. :wink: As a general rule.
Fonso wrote:In Legend Wrack is resisted with Resistance, not Evasion. I visualize it as a curse not a proyectile.
Right. And I am happy to live with that. My point primarily is that situational modifiers apply in Opposed Tests that might/could mitigate the general rule of the caster automatically striking his intended target... per, as Greg Smith notes, page 157.
Greg Smith wrote:So, a man hiding behind a horse will not be able to dodge the spell.....

...So the caster would get a penalty.
EDIT: Hm.

In the case offered, I might decide that a normal success made unsuccessful by the -20% modifier Wracks the horse instead. If I was, y'know, feelin' cruel :)
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:16 am


In the case offered, I might decide that a normal success made unsuccessful by the -20% modifier Wracks the horse instead. If I was, y'know, feelin' cruel :)
Is the caster required to dismiss the Wrack spell, which requires concentration to keep going, with a Combat Action or can he just stop concentrating on it and do something else with his next CA?
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Fonso » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:54 am

Lemnoc wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:Reading the Legend rules:

Page 192, Range:
If Range is augmented beyond Touch then the caster automatically strikes his intended target, unless the target is able to dive for cover or flee out of reach before the spell is completed.
i.e., unless Evaded. :wink: As a general rule.
Fonso wrote:In Legend Wrack is resisted with Resistance, not Evasion. I visualize it as a curse not a proyectile.
Right. And I am happy to live with that. My point primarily is that situational modifiers apply in Opposed Tests that might/could mitigate the general rule of the caster automatically striking his intended target... per, as Greg Smith notes, page 157.
Greg Smith wrote:So, a man hiding behind a horse will not be able to dodge the spell.....

...So the caster would get a penalty.
EDIT: Hm.

In the case offered, I might decide that a normal success made unsuccessful by the -20% modifier Wracks the horse instead. If I was, y'know, feelin' cruel :)
I think we are confusing words.
Wrack can't be dodged. But it can be resisted.

Of course, if the target is behind a horse that provides cover, the caster skill will be reduced, acording to the sorcery general rules. If you can't see well the target, you'll have penalizations to cast the spell. But the spell, once cast, strikes automatically and must be resisted in a opposed roll (already affected by the coverage penalty in the casting roll) of Resistance, not Evading.
Different matter is get out during the casting when it takes more than 1 action to cast. Casting fails automatically if you cannot see the target. You could do this evading to jump behind a rock , walking, or even dancing if you want!.

I do not know if there will be something to cause confusion to english-speaking people that I don't undestand. As a user of another language, I see it pretty clear.

As for the other issue, concentration, that I have not so clear.
I let my players to do other actions without losing the spell, but they can only have an active concentration spell at the same time.
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Re: Wrack: Spellcasting and obscured. Or: Is spell an attack

Postby Deleriad » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:07 am

Lemnoc wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:Reading the Legend rules:

Page 192, Range:
If Range is augmented beyond Touch then the caster automatically strikes his intended target, unless the target is able to dive for cover or flee out of reach before the spell is completed.
i.e., unless Evaded. :wink: As a general rule.
What this is meant to mean, as I understand it, is that the spell automatically hits unless the target manages to get out of range before it is cast or get out of sight before it is cast. It does not mean that it can be Evaded. Going RAW, only spells with the Resist (Evade) trait can be Evaded.

RQ has a long tradition of spells that can't be dodged but which affect a random body part. Disruption was the obvious example. Being able to dodge *some* spells was new to MRQ (and now Legend.)

How Wrack is defined in Legend (not RQ6 which has a different take on it) is something like internal agony. Each time it is activated, a random part of the body is affected. The initial casting dictates whether or not you can resist the spell. If you fail to resist initially then the caster can now wrack you at will. At that point, because it requires concentration, the only way out is to get out of eye sight, out of range or to kill the caster. That first two don't end the spell but it stops the caster being able to concentrate on you.

I assume the RQ6 authors changed Wrack for RQ6 because they didn't like how it worked in Legend. So there is no harm in allowing a character to Evade the spell but that does change Wrack in various ways from what is written

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