Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

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Cendorn
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Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Cendorn » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:34 pm

I am rather new to Legend, now having ended my second session ever. In the party we have a sorcerer with Grimoire skill of 65%.

He uses Damage Enhancement and Damage Resistance with an efficiency that makes me wonder if we are interpreting the rules correctly, or if these spells are just broken.

The way I figure it, using Damage Enhancement, he can use one CA and one MP to make a weapon strike with full damage for 18 minutes (which is like an eternity). OK, so he needs to succeed with the spell-check, but at 65% that would require like 1.5 attempt per success.

Damage Resistance is even worse, creating a force field of 7 AP around the warriors he is boosting, also for just one CA and one MP. Most enemies will have a very hard time bypassing this (granted that the spell doesn’t protect at all if 8 or more points of damage is delivered).

So, if the party is anticipating a battle within 18 minutes (he has 18 power), he can easily buff the warriors up to godlike status, delivering maxed out damage all the time, not having to bother much about their defence if the enemies are using normal weapons with +D2 damage bonus at best.

Obviously one could argue that the enemies will also use the same technique, and sometimes that may be true, but for the average run of the mill fight it will not make sense that every group they encounter are boosted with the same powerful magic.

So, am I overly sensitive? Have I got it wrong? Does anyone use some house-rule to make these spells less efficient?

It is so hard to find premade adventures, so I have a hard time understanding how hard an encounter “should” be.

As the question may reveal I’m used to the over-polished rules of DnD… and getting out of the board-game feeling was one reason for changing rule set, so maybe I’m just getting what I asked for here.

What do you think?
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Deleriad » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:02 pm

Cendorn wrote:I am rather new to Legend, now having ended my second session ever. In the party we have a sorcerer with Grimoire skill of 65%.

He uses Damage Enhancement and Damage Resistance with an efficiency that makes me wonder if we are interpreting the rules correctly, or if these spells are just broken.

The way I figure it, using Damage Enhancement, he can use one CA and one MP to make a weapon strike with full damage for 18 minutes (which is like an eternity). OK, so he needs to succeed with the spell-check, but at 65% that would require like 1.5 attempt per success.

Damage Resistance is even worse, creating a force field of 7 AP around the warriors he is boosting, also for just one CA and one MP. Most enemies will have a very hard time bypassing this (granted that the spell doesn’t protect at all if 8 or more points of damage is delivered).

So, if the party is anticipating a battle within 18 minutes (he has 18 power), he can easily buff the warriors up to godlike status, delivering maxed out damage all the time, not having to bother much about their defence if the enemies are using normal weapons with +D2 damage bonus at best.

Obviously one could argue that the enemies will also use the same technique, and sometimes that may be true, but for the average run of the mill fight it will not make sense that every group they encounter are boosted with the same powerful magic.

So, am I overly sensitive? Have I got it wrong? Does anyone use some house-rule to make these spells less efficient?

It is so hard to find premade adventures, so I have a hard time understanding how hard an encounter “should” be.

As the question may reveal I’m used to the over-polished rules of DnD… and getting out of the board-game feeling was one reason for changing rule set, so maybe I’m just getting what I asked for here.

What do you think?
What you are experiencing is something that has been common in Legend and its precursors which is that the aim of fighting is not to fight fairly. The system is not optimised to provide balanced, challenging fights. Sorcery is a good example of that. If the sorcerer gets time to get their spells off and the opponents have no counter then, yes, the opponents really ought to surrender.

That's another culture shift that the players might not be used to. If a bunch of bandits try to ambush some travellers only to see their weapons suddenly take on an unholy sharpness while their amour grows a shadowy malevolence then sensible bandits run away.

It's a really different mindset and it's worth thinking it through yourself first. In a world where encounters can't be easily measured then the characters in it respond to what they can see. If one side has magic and the other doesn't then the other probably runs away.

Although you can look at skill levels and equipment to get a feel for 'balance' the bottom line is that in Legend, far more so than in d20/D&D, surprise and advantage can tip the scales massively. It usually only takes one hit to cause a serious wound so a fight can be over in seconds if one side gets to attack while the other is surprised.

So the best way to balance encounters is actually in how you play the NPCs. Are they cowardly, disorganised, not expecting an attack and so on? Are they defending their home and families with a smart, charismatic warrior-leader?

If you start thinking in those terms rather than balanced, tactical challenges you will be going much more with the flow of the system.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby PeteN » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:27 pm

Cendorn wrote:Damage Resistance is even worse, creating a force field of 7 AP around the warriors he is boosting, also for just one CA and one MP. Most enemies will have a very hard time bypassing this (granted that the spell doesn’t protect at all if 8 or more points of damage is delivered).
As you said this does rely on preparation to work so cheaply. If the group is caught flat footed then it will take more actions and Magic Points to cast since he will need to add Range as well as Targets.
So, am I overly sensitive? Have I got it wrong? Does anyone use some house-rule to make these spells less efficient?
Not at all. You are simply allowing the players to define the encounter in their favour. ;)

Let them get away with this technique a few more sessions, then start turning the tables as word gets around about the group and their pet sorcerer. For the next few encounters have more alert enemies ambush the party instead, using ranged weapons to inflict a few Serious Wounds before the sorcerer gets Damage Resistance up. After that have the enemy specifically target the sorcerer who will gain a reputation for his powers.

If this has little effect, simply have foes run away from them (since there's no point fighting if sorcery is involved) or perform a series of hourly hit and run tactics till the sorcerer runs out of Magic Points fruitlessly casting Damage Resistance.

By this time the party will probably be so famous that opponents will seek out their own magical support. The best weapon to use against any sorcerer is a counter-magic spell of some sort, since sorcery is as fragile as a house of cards unless the caster adds the Magnitude manipulation (making the spell yet more MP costly and slowing the casting time).

So its just a case of having the world slowly adapt to them and their strategies. There are dozens of other ways to take out a sorcerer or annoying magic, which folks here will quite gladly offer. Traps, slow poisonings, exposure, placing encounters in environments difficult to reach, using magic back, and so on.

The best GM strategy of all is to introduce social consequences, especially if the party use their sorcery to inflict unnecessary death and atrocities. All sorcerers are impotent if society stonewalls them out of fear or disgust.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:25 pm

PeteN wrote:sorcery is as fragile as a house of cards unless the caster adds the Magnitude manipulation (making the spell yet more MP costly and slowing the casting time).
It might be worth pointing out that this accurately reflects the way that sorcery is depicted in the swords and sorcery fiction of the pulp era - sorcerers are extremely potent if they keep armed opponents at a distance and have sufficient time to prepare their incantations, but go down quickly whenever a mighty-thewed barbarian warrior gets within striking distance with his sword. A smart sorcerer uses summoned minions to keep potential assailants at bay while he builds his spells - popular choices seem to be animated stone idols, semi-sentient beast-men, and animated plants of a vampiric disposition. And smart sorcerers always have some form of defences against arrows and other non-magical missiles.

One thing that Legend / RQ doesn't simulate well is the fact that sorcerers in pulp fantasy often use a variety of rare magical ingredients when casting spells in such situations. Personally, I'd be tempted to allow such ingredients to reduce the MP cost (but not the casting time!) of applying Manipulations to the base spell. So if a sorcerer uses a pinch of dust from a purple lotus harvested in the depths of the black jungles of Qool during a solar eclipse, the cost of applying Manipulations to the magnitude of the base spell might be reduced. The idea is to make the size of the MP reduction dependent upon the cost or rarity of the spell ingredient so this isn't something that a sorcerer could do all the time, but would be forced to save for special occasions (such as when his life is in immediate danger from a rampaging barbarian).
PeteN wrote:The best GM strategy of all is to introduce social consequences, especially if the party use their sorcery to inflict unnecessary death and atrocities. All sorcerers are impotent if society stonewalls them out of fear or disgust.
I suspect that this cuts both ways - I suspect that many sorcerers will deliberately cultivate a reputation as a badass because this gives them far more social influence than their powers might otherwise allow. In older fantasy stories, there is often a wizard or sorcerer who acts as the power behind the throne that everyone is terrified of - but who turns out to be a bit of a paper tiger when confronted by the hero. It seems that many sorcerers use a mixture of intimidation and manipulation rather than raw might to achieve political power or social influence.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Cendorn » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:59 am

Thank you!
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:10 pm

See that Sorcerer??? BURN HIM! (500 people attack the sorcerer... how's that magical defense now???)
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby DamonJynx » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:See that Sorcerer??? BURN HIM! (500 people attack the sorcerer... how's that magical defense now???)
+1
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Bifford » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:49 am

One other thing - Sorcery is from within. Internal power.

What consequences does drawing that power forth bring?

In the more hard-hitting LARP system I play in (Company of the Helm or CoTH for short) all magics need phys-reps and proper acting.

Therefore in order to create a fireball for example the magician/sorcerer would require a ball of cotton-wool covered in 'sulphur' (any yellow dust would do in larp of course) and a small flame. They then draw forth their magic and use that lit sulphur ball to expand and intensify what is already there.

Power takes energy. Energy takes it out of the sorcerer. Small spells like the fireball would only drain the player slowly, but something more powerful like boosting the magical armour of an entire group is going to severely knacker the sorcerer. What use will he be then? He gives everyone armour, has to sit down and rest while the others go into battle. Meanwhile two of the baddies sneak around behind the main group and kidnap the sorcerer.


So I would start to impose penalties on the sorcerer - the more he casts (especially the stronger magnitude spells) the more the difficulty goes up - impose circumstantial -5% penalties on him somehow.

That will teach him to be more frugal with his magic.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Faelan Niall » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:02 pm

Neutralise Magic, Countermagic, I have a feeling your Sorcerer is dumping nothing into his Magnitude which makes his spells a house of cards begging to be blown away by the first hint of magic.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby JP42 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:48 pm

Yes, definitely look into Countermagic and Neutralize Magic. A simple and cheap common magic sepll can give a sorcerer a bit of trouble and force him to drain himself significantly to prevent the spell being countered almost immediately. Thankfully, Legend allows this - still trying to figure out the right response in RQ6.
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Re: Damage Resistance and Damage Enhancement too effective?

Postby Simulacrum » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:14 pm

JP42 wrote: Thankfully, Legend allows this - still trying to figure out the right response in RQ6.
It's broadly the same other than the lack of an effective Countermagic under Folk Magic spells. But at least let Avert affect all Mag 1 spells, so the sorcerer can't get away without allocating a point or two of shaping and another MP to Magnitude.
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