Herbalish magic



Hi August or Ian,

A conversation at tower of the sun's board's reminded of something I have been meaning to ask for a while:

Page 17 of the herbalish class states that herbalish circle powers are full round actions akin to supernatural abilities; as such, they may _not_ be counterspelled. Yet the end of the book, in the counterspell section, herbalish are listed as candidates for being counterspelled by either a brother or a vakeros.

Which is correct? If the second statement (end of book) is correct like I assume, can Tier 10 of the circle of earth(immunity to everything) be counterspelled? Thanks!

Oh and can psychic combat pierce Earthwarden?
Well, I'm neither August nor Ian but I think I can answer your second question.
Psychic combat won't work on a Herbalish with Earthwarden on.
The text is pretty clear in stating that you're effectively completely impervious to any harm as long as it's running and Psychic combat is just another form of hurting someone than swinging a sword at him.

Also, you may want to consider posting your first question in the Rulesmasters forum, you're probably more likely to get an answer there ; )
<quote>"Well, I'm neither August nor Ian but I think I can answer your second question.
Psychic combat won't work on a Herbalish with Earthwarden on.
The text is pretty clear in stating that you're effectively completely impervious to any harm as long as it's running and Psychic combat is just another form of hurting someone than swinging a sword at him.

Also, you may want to consider posting your first question in the Rulesmasters forum, you're probably more likely to get an answer there ; )"</quote>

Thanks for the reply fallen. However, earthwarden gives protetion from all forms of _endurance_ damage. Now, psychic combat first affects willpower, if the recipient of psychic damage has a willpower reserve. Thus, I am not so sure if earthwarden will protect against it.

If you look at the brother's words of power, the word of power for shield only grants protection against psychic attack at its grand iteration (i.e. level 20).
Yeah, but the Brotherhood Word of Power(the normal one) explicitly states that it doesn't stop endurance damage induced by Psychic Combat.
Earthwarden doesn't have this limitation stated so you'd naturally assume that ALL endurance damage gets reduced to 0, no matter from which source as the Earthwarden text just says "all endurance damage".
Also, Earthwarden is one of the most potent abilities a Herbalish can learn, making it ineffective against Psychic Combat would make it pretty much useless in my eyes.

Lots of people are hopelessly overestimating Earthwarden anyway.
They just read the part that all endurance damage gets reduced to 0 and think "Cool, I'll be an immortal combat-whore with this".
In reality the spell is pretty limited in what it can do.

Cast it on yourself and you're a sitting duck while using it, only able to stand there, twidling your invulnerable thumbs and falling unconscious due to exertion after a few rounds(Earthwarden leeches a hefty 8 endurance per round!).

Cast it on a friend and after your enemies recognize they can't hurt him(won't take more than 2 or 3 rounds at max for enemies of average human intelligence) and they'll change their focus to you, the strangely chanting suspiscious guy.
Needless to say that you'll be dead the very round they gang up on you.

It can be very useful under some highly specific circumstances but I'd take the Brotherhood Grand Word of Power: Force over Earthwarden any day.

In fact, I'd even say it can't be counterspelled when looking over the description for Circle magic on page 19.
They really go out of their way so much as to say how Circle magic is more a supernatural nature power than spellcasting and how it can't be counterspelled that I'm compelled to think that putting it on the counterspelling-list at the end of the book was probably an editing mistake.

Just my 2 cents though ; )
Well, I truly hope it is subject to being counterspelled, along with every other herbalish power, otherwise its even more munchkiny than before.

Apart from that, I am sure the herbalish can use psychic combat while he uses earthwarden, since its a free action. Earthwarden cast over himself is not as powerful as when cast on an ally, who then will be able to attack whilst being to protected.
How is it more munchkin than a high level Brotherhood mage casting Grand Word of Power: Force to get a shield that blocks 140 damage from every possible source(physical, psychic, magic, everything) that can't be counterspelled and leaves him free to do blast everyone on his subsequent turns?
Nevermind the fact then when his enemies somehow manage to tear the shield down after multiple rounds without being fried by the Brother during the process, he'll just cast the shield again.
That's ten times more powerful than Earthwarden in my opinion and as mentioned can't be counterspelled.

You see a Herbalish who can make himself effectively invulnerable for a few rounds(while draining his endurance like mad) and the ability to use the Psychic attack option each round for 2d6 psychic damage as a threat to the game balance?

Yet, a Brotherhood mage who can make himself effectively invulnerable for a few rounds(at a much cheaper price) too, and still retain the ability to totally blast everyone away with his ultra-potent battle spells(and keep his freedom of movement) is perfectly ok with you?

Every class gets really powerful in the later levels.
Brotherhood mages get Words of Power(+ Grand Word of Power) which kick major ass and can't be counterspelled.
Kai Lords get a lot of neat moves, great stuff like Ishir's regret for example.
Telchos get things like "I will not fail" or "Reap the Whirlwind".
Vakeros get the most insane Defense Value out of all the classes(they can get as high as DV 45+) and an ultimate Battle Magic spell that makes them the living Nightmare of every Darkspawn.

In the end, they all kind of balance out though.
At least, that's what I think ; )
Only one grand word can be chosen, and thats at level 20. Thats high.
A herbalish can get earthwarden at level 10. Not only is that 10 levels lower, it gives the herbalish 10 whole levels to play with his abilities; since the game caps at level 20 the brotherhood wizards player with only get to play around with his one, single, grand word for a little while befire his game ends. :)

Not to mention the host of other abilitites a herbalish gets; the class is as proficient in combat as any warrior clasas as long as path of the hunter is picked by the players. It also gets animal companion. Plus natures avatar/champion abilities. Oh and a d8 hit die. The brother gets a d4.

As for munchkiny(as if the above is not enough ;) ), I was referring to herbalish powers being counterspelled. It should be; since nearly all other magiks are subecjt to being counterspelled. Even the vilebolts cast by a darklord are subject to being counterspelled; a herbalish's circle abilities should be as well.
Multiple classes gain there greatest benefit only at level 20.
Are these classes bad, then? Achieving level 20 doesn't mean your adventuring life is over. Quite to the contrary, for some players the whole game only starts at level 20.
Fun new activities like Darklord-hunting or other sports which would be suicide in lower levels only become possible for the really REALLY high leveled guys ; )

As for the Herbalish getting a d8 hit die, Full Combat-skill progression with spears and stuff and an animal companion.
It ain't really all that much of a big deal I'd say.

A 10th level Dessi-Mage with his Wizard staff has full Combat-skill progression(+10/+5) too, in addition to a free +6 to his AC just by virtue of being a Dessi.
He can dish out 7d6+(!!!) damage per hit with his little Glowstick, has an enhanced critical range and will deal triple critical damage at level 12(Which basically means if you get hit by a critical, you're dead due to grievous wound rules).

A high level Dessi-Mage in rapid attack mode can make 5 attacks of 8d6+4(or more) damage per turn, each with a 15% chance to do triple (24d6+12) damage. He's practically Death with a stick :wink:
Wouldn't be all that bad if Dessi-mages were full-on melee fighters, but NO, their melee prowess is a completely secondary side-effect from their "normal" powers, the Elder magicks.
Add in that they're naturals with psionic combat too(and darn hardy at it due to their insane Willpower scores) and you could almost think Dessi-mages were too powerful eh?

In fact, when I got the Main rulebook and read it for the first time, I'd stop after every character class and think "Damn, this class is far too powerful! What were the guys at Mongoose thinking!?"
Well, then I bought Darklands and Magic of Magnamund.
Turns out all classes throughout the books managed to maintain this very high powerlevel.
In Magnamund, if you're powerful, you're REALLY powerful.
I'm cool with that, it kinda reminds me of playing the GreyStar gamebooks(or the later LoneWolf books).
You always somehow had the impression that Grey Star was larger than life. When he pointed with his Wizard staff, he could pulverize most normal people in an instant, when he entered into a large scale battle, the tide instantly changed to favor his side. He could summon elementals as means of transportation, destruction or distraction and speak with the ghosts of the deceased and tons of more stuff.

So yeah, basically ALL classes in Magnamund are really powerful, why shouldn't the Herbalish be powerful too?

Sure the Herbalish is pretty versatile with a d8 hit-die, full CS progression with a spear and his Circle magic, but then again, just take another class from Magic of Magnamund and compare them.

A Vakeros Knight with his Cobalt Equipment has very high base damage, full CS progression, a totally insane armor class, more freedom of movement in his Heavy Armor than a Sommerlund Knight could dream of, can cast Battle Magic, can counterspell, can use Mystic Manoeuvres, has a high Willpower score which can act as a psionic buffer if need be and can get access to Brotherhood Words of Power over a Specialist Ability(Keron college).
The real hooker is that a full-fledged Brother of the Crystal Star learns his first Word of Power at level 11 while a Vakeros who learns Words of Power through his Specialist ability gets his first word at level 9!
Not to mention that those guys from the Keron College have practically every single skill in Magnamund as a Class-skill(he has 18 of them, not counting sub-version of the Knowldge skill).
Oh yeah, almost forgot, Vakeros get a pet too(if you're willing to call an eagle that's as big as an elephant a "pet" that is).

I say let the Herbalish's magic be immune to counterspells, the poor sap needs some love :wink:
Besides, we only have 2 classes capable of counterspelling right now(Brothers and Vakeros) and it's pretty unlikely that a Herbalish would fight one of them so it doesn't really matter all that much wether his magic can or can't be counterspelled :D
Ok... :shock:

First, the dessi has only 4 attacks at most, and thats at level 20! I have no idea where you got the fifth attack. Second, a dessi can never dish out more than 5d6 with his 'glowstick' as you put it. :) I again have no idea where you got 7d6.

The vakeros analogy is also full of flaws that I don't really want to go into. Suffice to say re-read the keron college desc. Oh and keep in mind a vakeros can only choose one college for a special ability.

Lastly, since every other type of sorcery is subject to counterspelling, it makes sense the herbalish be subject to it as well. After all, combined with every thing else, (i.e. a fighters BCS, Kai lords hit die, psychich combat, psychic shield, special weapons, very powerful spells,) it beomce far far too much. :)
Well, apparently you didn't read your rulebooks carefully enough then :?

1. Quarterstaffs are double-weapons and can therefore be used to get an extra attack per round. At level 20, that indeed makes 5 and not 4 attacks.

2. A Dessi's Wizard Staff can inflict Willpower-fueled extra damage in close combat equal to his charisma mod +1d6. At level 20 your charisma can reach up to 23 through attribute gain which would equal a chrisma mod of +6.
That does indeed mean a Dessi can hit with his Wizards staff for
8d6+1(mastercrafted)+1(magical)+Strenght mod with each attack(1d6 staff and 7d6 Willpower fueled). So 8d6+2 per close combat attack for a Dessi with Strenght 10.
Blasts fired over range from a Dessi Staff can indeed only reach 5d6 maximum damage but we were talking about closing combat hits which are handled differently if you had taken the time to read the full description of a Dessi Staff.

If you really had "no idea" of this as you say, I suggest you read the Lone Wolf RPG Core book again and from cover to cover this time, not skipping pages.

3. My Vakeros "analogy" is completely acurate and not full of flaws as you seem to think, but seeing as you didn't know about rules for double-weapons or a Dessi's Wizard staff in close combat I think you probably misread the Vakeros description too so that explains some things...
The facts remains though, that a level 20 Vakeros from the Keron college has more class skills than every other class printed yet, his Cobalt equipment has insane damage and Armor Class values + full combat skill progression and more freedom of movement than other heavy armor, he's capable of casting 2 Lesser Elder Magicks as well as 2 Brotherhood Words of Power, has 3 Battle Magic spells, can Counterspell, has 5 Mystic Maouevres, a Huge Verrok with 12 HD as a pet and an ultimate Battle-magic spell that lets him eat Darkspawn for breakfast.

No flaws here. At least, not on my side of the argument.
So before you critizise someones logic, I'd be grateful if you were able to back it up and not just making assumptions :wink:

Oh, about your counterspelling comment.
1. Right-Handed magic cast by Deathlords can't be counterspelled.
2. Brotherhood Words of Power can't be counterspelled.

To name some examples of spells that can't be counterspelled.
A Herbalish's Circle Powers are even more removed from standard spellcasting than Words of Power are, so it'd make perfect sense if they can't be counterspelled.
The paragraph under Circle Magic also states it very explicitly that it can't be counterspelled, further fortifying my position.
In the end though, just handle it in your game like you want to.
Nobody is going to tell you how to play your game :)
No worries about getting drawn into a debate.
Xex has the answer he wanted and although I could certainly see Circle Magic as not being suspectible to counterspelling, it's not something that would affect my game at all(A Herbalish fighting against a Vakeros or Brotherhood Mage would probably never happen in my games and those 2 classes are the only ones that can counterspell at the moment), so I can deal with that just fine.

To sum it up
1. I'm fine anyways, counterspelling or not.
2. Xex is happy(probably)
3. Everyone is happy(or so they should be) :wink:
Well, too late for me. I've already been drawn into a massive debate. ;)

Anyhow, fallen, again, its you that needs to reread the wizards staff descp. Let me point a few things out;

1) When using a staff as a double weapon the dessi cannot use the other end to inflict willpower based damage. This was confirmed months ago.

2)In melee, the bonus damage from willpower cannot exceed 5d6! Please re-read the desc again, I'm too tired to argue it. The +2 from mastercraft/magic does applies ofcourse, but then it also applies in ranged combat. (just like a mastercraft bow would inflict +1 damage).

3) A level 20 dessi will not always have 23 cha; it depends on how much cha the dessi had to begin with.

As for the vakeros, agin, the keron college only allows the vakeros to cast 2 brotherhood spells (when he gets both) per day. Just two...plus he has to make a difficult occult check. Its not worth it.

Oh and...the herbalish circle abilities are subject to counter-spelling. It was just confirmed (see post above). :D
1. Ok, I stand corrected on this. Still 4 attacks with enhanced damage are still extreme.

2. I'll just quote the book:

"In melee combat, a Magician of Dessi can spend up to his charisma modifier +1 (minimum of 2 points) in Willpower each time he successfully strikes an opponent. The number of points spent is the multiplier of the staff's base damage (1d6) actually inflicted on its target."

To sum it up:
Ranged Combat: Spend 1-5 Willpower points for a 1-5 d6 blast of damage.
Melee Combat: Spend 2-(Charsima Mod +1) Willpower points to multiply your staffs base damage.
Thus, with a Charisma of 22(= mod of +6) you could multiply your staffs base melee damage by a factor of 7.

3. I said a Dessi can have "UP TO" 23 Charisma at level 20.
I never said all level 20 Dessi have 23 Charisma.
I was just stating the maximum possible.
You really DO have a problem with reading posts right?

4. Again, I never said he had more than 2 Words or could cast them multiple times. I still think that having 2 Words of power in ADDITION to everything Vakeros already have is VERY neat.
A Word: Force once per day could save your life and a Word: Energy ain't shabby either for the battles a Vakeros will find himslef in.

5. Did you by chance miss my reply to Ian's post just above your own post or what?
I already said I'm ok with Herbalish Circle's being counterspelled.
It just won't have an effect on my campaign anyways :)
I even said in my post that Xex(you) would probably be happy with Ian's answer so I don't really know ho you've come to the idea I didn't understand Ian's post :shock: .

Oh, if this is already a "massive debate" for you, I think you don't talk with a lot of people :wink:
I wouldn't call a few posts between two persons a massive debate.

Anyway, your question was answered so everythings just fine, right?

Alright calm down; :shock: I know two of your arguments have already been proven wrong, but frothing at the mouth does not a good sportsman make. :D

First, again, a dessi will not have 22 cha to begin with; where do you come up with this? Heck, the bonus ability points, which is the only way to pump up any ability score above 18 (apart from magic items) are far better spent on wisdom for the higher elder art dc's; if spent on cha with the intention of going into melee...well thats not a very good idea considering the dessi's d4 hit die. The ranged combat damage always remains 5d6, regardless of cha. :D

And _again_ a dessi will not always (if at all) have 23 cha. You cannot start with a score above 18, and few dessi players will pump every single ability score icrease into cha.

About the vakeros, re-read the class desc. :) He only gets the 2 words of power if he chooses the keron college at level 3; its not a very good choice and few will choose to do so. Heck, the second word is gained at level 15; a brotherhood mage will already have 5 words by then, with the ability to cast them multiple time per day with no need for an occult check.

As for the herbalish, see the posts above. (it _is_ subject to counterspelling.) :lol:

This debate keeps getting more massive post-by-post.
You apparently have massive problems acknowledging when someone is right and you aren't... and then claiming I'm "frothing at the mouth" while I never came even close to insulting you, pretty immature I'd say.
Again, try to actually READ what I write instead of just answering without reading my post.
Otherwise you would perhaps noticed, that what you write doesn't make a lot of sense. :wink:
Well, in any case, this is getting ridiculous. Unless you can actually make a post that refers to the ACTUAL things I said this whole thing never WAS a discussion ^_^
Well, as far as I can recall you suggested the herbalish powers are not subject to counterspelling; but then a dev took time out and stated here (a few posts above, just scroll up) that they are. Does that not make you wrong? :D
You must have somehow misread what I said then.
I said, I wouldn't be surprised IF Circle magic couldn't be counterspelled because the description under the Herbalish class so obviously says it can't.
Then I went on to say it wouldn't make a difference either way in my games, because a Herbalish wouldn't ever fight with a Vakeros or Brother(the only classes capable of counterspelling).
I can't exactly be "wrong" when I think both possibilities could be right, can I?

You however said(as just one example of you saying something nonsensible) a Dessi's Staff couldn't ever do more then 5d6+2 in close combat.
No matter what I posted you remained adamant on this.
Only when I quoted the actual passage in the book did you seem to understand.
Instead of admitting you were wrong(like I did with the 5th attack from the other end of the staff not benefitting from Willpower issue), you just replied that the bonus attribute points would have been better placed in Wisdom(which is debatable at best), backing out of the issue.
That was pretty childish I'd have to say, as an adult(if you are one, I'm sorry if I'm just assuming something and you are actually underage) you should be able to admit when you are wrong.