Rule of Defense (Sorcery)

Deadpool

Mongoose
I have some questions about the Rule of Defense. It says that a sorcerer uses ALL of his power points and does 1D6 Fire Damage per power points expended (Fortitude DC = sorcerer's attack role, save for half).

1) Why Fortitude? Shoudn't it be Reflex?

2) If after hours of sacrficing and rituals they have their maximum power points (lets say 24) and the characters all approach within 10' and he unleshes the Rule of Defense - does that mean it does 24D6?????

3) I noticed that there isn't any DEFENSIVE spells - such as shield or some barrier. I would like for the sorcerer to be able to withstand damage (as per a DR value) utilizes power points instead of having an offensive blast.

Any ideas?
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Deadpool said:
I have some questions about the Rule of Defense. It says that a sorcerer uses ALL of his power points and does 1D6 Fire Damage per power points expended (Fortitude DC = sorcerer's attack role, save for half).

1) Why Fortitude? Shoudn't it be Reflex?

2) If after hours of sacrficing and rituals they have their maximum power points (lets say 24) and the characters all approach within 10' and he unleshes the Rule of Defense - does that mean it does 24D6?????

3) I noticed that there isn't any DEFENSIVE spells - such as shield or some barrier. I would like for the sorcerer to be able to withstand damage (as per a DR value) utilizes power points instead of having an offensive blast.

Any ideas?
1)Fortitude, because it's not REALLY a fireball exploding at point in space, it's more like a PSYCHIC blast coming from the sorcerer, not something you can jump away from.
2)I'm at work w/out access to my book, but that sounds right.
2a)The scholar in my group has only used this spell defensively once, every other time he's used it to kill someone he didn't like, once a dancing girl in an alley, once another scholar he didn't like. I've asked about this elsewhere, but couldn't really find a reason to forbid him to use it offensively.
3)I don't know-I'm just thinking out loud here at work, but scholar's aren't like DnD magic users who go dungeon crawling seeking to kill every slimy thing they can find, the scholar here is after power or knowledge. So he should seek to utilize other characters to take damage, without exposing himself. Other scholar type characters in the various stories have been taken down (by someone like Conan) because their magicks seek to overwhelm adversaries or blast their souls, if someone gets close enough to strike at the scholar, they probably will. So the scholar works to destroy his enemies before they get close enough to swing at him, this world doesn't delve in magics like shield. I'd guess a 3.x spell like deflect normal missiles might fit, but shield or other increase natural armor might not. Anyway, just my thought.
 
I too would be weary of allowing Conan sorcery to slip into the realm of 'every wizard has mage armor, shield, and magic missile'. It doesn't have the right feel the sorcery in Howard's world has.

I think one point about the defensive blast worth mentioning: It should be the last resort of a sorcerer. Once they use it, they have no more PP, which means that the next thing that gets up close and personal will have nothing to fear from the sorcerer.

Ever time a sorcerer uses a defensive blast offensively, I as a DM would strongly consider throwing in something else that the sorcerer will be at the mercy of. Only one or two such scenarios will have the sorcerer thinking twice about using the defensive blast.

This reinforces Bregales' point that sorcerers use their magic to keep things from getting close.
 

Deadpool

Mongoose
I was referring to NPC scholars (sorcerers) than PC scholars. So far, no one in my group wants to tackle the scholar class - but that may change soon.

So the "defense" is that if you get too close to a scholar - they can kill you. Fear works wonders - doesn't it.

I still don't agree with the Fortitude save. If it wasn't fire damage - then it would have been something else listed there.

Lastly, I am not looking to make Conan into a 3.x game. I love the magic system and how it is dark and fairly evil. I just think that you should be able to convert PP into some type of defense - especially at range.
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
Deadpool said:
3) I noticed that there isn't any DEFENSIVE spells - such as shield or some barrier. I would like for the sorcerer to be able to withstand damage (as per a DR value) utilizes power points instead of having an offensive blast.

Any ideas?

Yimsha's Carpet is exactly what you want. Very cool spell of Oriental Magic, though it is for higher level characters.

On a different vein, Boundary from SoS is also a good defensive spell, working against a particular type of creature, as specified by the caster every time. I wonder if the creture type could be humans? Being a higer level spell I'd say it could keep at bay humas of a limited HD as most Hypnotism spells do.

Maybe you could give existing spells from the Prestidigitation school new uses. Any of the telekinetic spells could well affect the movement of missiles aimed at your sorcerer, but Animate Swords seems to me like the spell to do it. I think burst barrier should work against anything, not just actual barriers.

Also, tPI had a new weather sorcery style, I don't remember the actual name, but I remember a spell that binds a gust of wind to a knot, and when you untie it it releases the eolic force. You could use something like that against enemies, to prevent them form firing ranged weapons at you. Or at least make it harder for them, like if a strong wind is geting intho their ayes, I'd say they could be at least partially blinded.

And in a place where there are plants, Sorcerous Garden could grow thick vegetation that grants defense and concealment. And along with Animate Statue, you could animate the vegetation to attack your enemies.

That's all I can think of right now, and I don't own all the books with spells on them, so maybe someone alse can give other ideas.
 

Turim

Mongoose
1) The Rule of Defense doesn't really describe its effects other than saying it is a blast that deals fire damage. This could for instance be interpreted as a fireball (traditionally Reflex), a near-transparent wave of infernal heat (possibly Fortitude), or an internal combustion in creatures within the area (Fortitude).

2) 24d6 is correct, and if the scholar spends 1 Fate Point on a Mighty Blow it will deal 144 damage. And why spend hours with sacrifice and rituals when Energy Drain can often do the job in minutes?

3) There are a few defensive spells, but they are generally weaker than in D&D. On the other hand many offensive abilities are stronger. To me this seems to be a conscious choice on the part of the author(s) to strongly favour the one who strikes first. Some defensive spells with long durations: Greater Warding, Rune of Jhebbal Sag, Calm of the Adept, Witch's Vigour (SoS), Unnatural Strength (SoS), and Dreams of Ecstasy (FC). There are also several other spells that can be used defensively, but they often have some kind of limitation, like costing a valuable combat round to activate.
 

LokiOne

Mongoose
I still think that the game could include some sort of defensive barrier - it needn't be so physical in the literal sense ...

There could be some spells (Maybe from the Oriental Magic style) that provoke a 'battle of wills', rather like the version used to combat other mages.
This strays towards the Hypnotism Style, where combatants trying to harm the sorceror have to beat a 'mental block' set by the defending sorceror. This could be a contest of wills, pitting the attackers determination vs the sorceror's 'mental block' that he/she raises before them. Could be as simple as Attackers Will vs the Level of the defending sorceror as a DC level. Those out of spell range could always 'ping' the sorceror with impunity (eg: missiles)

OR ...

Let's just have a spell or two raising a physical barrier. This could be:
-Immobile
- Block further spellcasting until dropped.
-Have 'defensive points' that can be hacked through.
-Be valid against only certain classes of creatures (IE: A progressive spell list)
-Require continuos Concerntration (IE: broken by personal damage, distraction, etc)

Just throwing in some ideas there. Obviously We don't want sorcerors to be TOO powerful. I intend to play NPC sorcerors at 'full tilt' from now on (As GM).
 
I scrapped Defensive Blast because it doesn't 'feel' right for the Hyborian world. If every sorcerer could do such a thing, one of those high level sorcerers Conan finds so many of would have turned him into goo a long time ago. Also, I reworked the sorcery system a bit to let there be a little more offensive/defensive magic in a sorcerer's retitiore(sp?), so each one has a bit of flexibility- you can never be sure what tricks they have up their sleeve. If they all have the same type of final defense though, it gets a little repetitive....["Oh no, he's on the ropes- get ready for the Blast"]

I did rewrite it a bit and make it 'Final Strike/Gift' as a RP experiment- essential the last great enchantment of a dying sorcerer, but since few survive such an experience it isn't exactly meant to be a regular combat manuever. 8)

Raven
 

LokiOne

Mongoose
Off the topic a little - again ...

But DO post your alternate Conan Sorceries there Raven ...

I recieved your last communique, but stuffed up the reply submission. I have several Sorcery ideas and submissions myself, in addition.

I find it interesting to note that there IS an alternate source of Power Points for mighty spells in the form of the Power Rituals (With accompanying tables).

It seems that Priests(Benevolent and Dark) or Sorcerous followers devoted to Off Worlders/ Demons could summon up a considerable amount of power for special castings. Esp. if used with the Cosmic Sorceries (The Time is Right, The Stars are Right, etc).

Seems that Defensive Blast CAN deal an awful lot of damage there to those who want to 'come to grips' with them. There should be some way to derail the final execution of the spell, so as to not make it so fatal to those willing to take the risk of closing on them ...

Or ... maybe that's the whole point (?!?). I could quite easily wipe out whole PC Parties with this spell - but I'm unsure about my continuing popularity with my regular gaming group ...

I know that there's been some discussion on this subject in former Postings ...
 
LokiOne said:
Off the topic a little - again ...

Nothing like dining off the menu. 8)

But DO post your alternate Conan Sorceries there Raven ...

I plan to- I have just been dealing with a s***storm of small details and crises lately, though they seem to be bottled up now. Plan on another download on 'Raven's Rules' come Tuesday.

I recieved your last communique, but stuffed up the reply submission. I have several Sorcery ideas and submissions myself, in addition.

That's good- I'd like to spark creativity. 8) As for the reply- the lines are always open. Just send another one.

I find it interesting to note that there IS an alternate source of Power Points for mighty spells in the form of the Power Rituals (With accompanying tables).

Some of the greater spells in both Mongoose and my sorcery system have PP costs that require rituals [or massive sacrifice] to provide the necessary power. The sorcerers in my group created a ritual though that allows them to pool their Power Points together, giving them a distinct advantage over the lone crazed sorcerers of the world. However, they have yet to meet a coven of sorcerers yet, so I imagine they'll be surprised to find their own tactics used against them. 8)

It seems that Priests(Benevolent and Dark) or Sorcerous followers devoted to Off Worlders/ Demons could summon up a considerable amount of power for special castings. Esp. if used with the Cosmic Sorceries (The Time is Right, The Stars are Right, etc).

That's more or less why sorcerers collect the cultist groupies- organic batteries.

Seems that Defensive Blast CAN deal an awful lot of damage there to those who want to 'come to grips' with them. There should be some way to derail the final execution of the spell, so as to not make it so fatal to those willing to take the risk of closing on them ...

Or ... maybe that's the whole point (?!?). I could quite easily wipe out whole PC Parties with this spell - but I'm unsure about my continuing popularity with my regular gaming group ...

The one time I used DB the way it was written, the sorcerer that just received a death wound killed one PC immediately and put two PCs into negative hit points and they died before First Aid could stabilze them. If it hadn't already been the great battle at the end of a one-shot campaign, the campaign would have been wrecked. This made me wish to rethink the manner in which I handled the matter of the final magical f*** you of dying sorcerers. Thus I created Final Strike as an alternative- which I will post on 'Raven's Rules' come Tuesday. I'm not claiming it's better or perfect [I'm still not fully happy with it yet] but it's at least less apocalyptic. 8)

Raven
 

LokiOne

Mongoose
I once had an NPC Sorceror cornered, with a barbarian and noble PC ready to do a Bull's Rush against him. I had the idea of using a Prestigation spell, telekenising a bunch of shields up around him (They were hanging up around the surrounding walls, alongside assorted weapons as well) ...

What would be the presumed Strength of a dancing wall of shields around my NPC sorceror ??? I ruled that the Strength of the wall was equal to the to the magical attack roll.

Thre PC's still managed to combine together to push through, and in the end the Nasty got a poniard critical into the groin area. He died fairly quickly - but I decided to do the 'Death Curse' spell (Whatever it is in the books - I have no reference at the moment) ....

I could have easily done the Defensive Blast, but I decided to 'go easy' on them, as it was their first Conan RPG session.

Next time - No more Mr. Nice Guy. There will be plenty of acolytes, lackeys, misguidance, misdirection, evasion, 'meat shields' and a few casualties in the Finale as 'collateral damage'.

I am trying to avoid Scenarios with an evil Sorceror at the end of everything. I feel that we still need some variety in the PC Templates, although quite a few have been offered up in the latest suppliments.

Raven - You've given Me an idea now for a witches coven setting (Due to the amount of potential power that they could raise collectively).
Which nation would be suitable for them to operate in ... Somewhere in the central Hyborian Kingdoms - Nemedia I think (?)

Also ... Does Anyone know when the Master of Yimsha meets his demise or undoing? Is it linked to the final surge westward of the Hyrkanians. I am still playing with the old besotted Turanian King on the throne ... imminently close to his son's takeover (Yezdigerd).

This Master sems to have some incredible hold of hypnotic power over the Priests on a nationwide level. Is it all from magical links, and the Rule of the Master ??? (From the Scrolls of Skelos - not in front of Me at present).
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
A witches' coven would probably make the most sense in any nation bordering Hyperborea -- it would fit in nicely, since their religion is built on a similar structure. The coven could be one of the cults (Louhi, Arawn, etc.) extending its reach through stealth.

The Master of Yimsha, canonically, died as a result of Conan and Yasmina Devi's actions in ... uhhh, whichever Howard story they appeared in (can't remember the title). :oops:

Edited once for spelling, 'coz the caffeine hasn't hit my bloodstream yet. :roll:
 
InsomNY said:
The Master of Yimsha, canonically, died as a result of Conan and Yasmina Devi's actions in ... uhhh, whichever Howard story they appeared in (can't remember the title). :oops:

I believe it was "People of the Black Circle".
 

Bregales

Mongoose
LokiOne said:
Raven - You've given Me an idea now for a witches coven setting (Due to the amount of potential power that they could raise collectively).
Which nation would be suitable for them to operate in ... Somewhere in the central Hyborian Kingdoms - Nemedia I think (?)
Sounds good, I'd also say Koth, even Aquilonia (a witch named Zelata saved King Conan in eastern Aquilonia in The Hour of the Dragon).
LokiOne said:
Also ... Does Anyone know when the Master of Yimsha meets his demise or undoing? Is it linked to the final surge westward of the Hyrkanians. I am still playing with the old besotted Turanian King on the throne ... imminently close to his son's takeover (Yezdigerd).

This Master sems to have some incredible hold of hypnotic power over the Priests on a nationwide level. Is it all from magical links, and the Rule of the Master ??? (From the Scrolls of Skelos - not in front of Me at present).
Conan was in his latter 20s when he dealt with the People of the Black Circle (according to Dale Rippke), and he was about 40 when he became king. So, if you have The Road of Kings sourcebook, you can open the back cover and go backwards from the events of The Hour of the Dragon to the events of "The People of the Black Circle" (or 40-27, say). I used the Year of the Dragon I think as a basis, and went back some 28 years to start my campaign. This calendar is not used in all stories, indeed various names for ages or months have been used depending on what land Conan was in for a story, but it's a good timeline to use.

Hope that helps. :)
 
I must be one of the few that is OK with the Rule of Defense. I look at it as a last resort for a sorcerer. My PCs only have a few characters that like to go toe-to-toe with anything and everything. The rest use alternative fighting styles, including an exceedingly deadly Shemite that is very good with a bow.

If the party gets close to the sorcerer, he has already used a lot of his PP in trying to prevent them from getting there, with the PP he has left, he will catch 2, maybe 3 PCs in the blast. The rest f the PCs will make the rest of his short life incredibly miserable, as he will be powerless.

It makes the PCs a little hesitant to approach the sorcerer true, but I think that is the point.

I think the fact that PCs use the Rule of Defense like a Palestinian suicide bomber is unfortunate. I think DMs using the Rule of Defense properly would fit Howard's words, (paraphrased as I don't have the source in front of me) 'Most sorcerers are more deadly in defense than offense.'
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
Voltumna said:
I think burst barrier should work against anything, not just actual barriers.

Exactly. Whose to say what a barrier is? I can blast the plank of wood hung on hinges with a knob, but not the piece of wood on the ground before it is installed on hinges? Makes no sense.
 

Turim

Mongoose
Voltumna, slaughterj: The Target line of Burst Barrier only mentions barriers, but the spell description says "some barrier or other object that for some reason merits the sorcerer's displeasure." The word object is then used two more times, and there is no more mention of barriers.
 
LokiOne said:
I once had an NPC Sorceror cornered, with a barbarian and noble PC ready to do a Bull's Rush against him. I had the idea of using a Prestigation spell, telekenising a bunch of shields up around him (They were hanging up around the surrounding walls, alongside assorted weapons as well) ...

What would be the presumed Strength of a dancing wall of shields around my NPC sorceror ??? I ruled that the Strength of the wall was equal to the to the magical attack roll.

The Wisdom or Charisma of the Sorcerer perhaps. Represents the psychic force the sorcerer possesses.

Also- I already put together a 'Armor of the Mage' spell to allow a sorcerer to create a personal forcefield to give him DR. A larger, more PP expensive 'Wall of the Mage' might be in order. Neither one will be ready for the next 'Raven's Rules' post on Tuesday. RL is still hectic.

I am trying to avoid Scenarios with an evil Sorceror at the end of everything. I feel that we still need some variety in the PC Templates, although quite a few have been offered up in the latest suppliments.

So far the baddies have been a mix in my campaigns- a lot of political stuff so Theives and Nobles are a lot of the ones behind the scenes. Also, a Zingaran pirate captain who planned to use the party's sorcereous abilites by shanghaing(sp?) them. And of course, since they are fugitives from the Mitran Inquistors and the Aquilonian army so all these Soldiers led by non-magical Scholars keep popping up. Then there's the Undead/Outsiders nibbling away at the edges of their reality.

Of course, the occasional sorcerer does show up too...8)

Raven - You've given Me an idea now for a witches coven setting (Due to the amount of potential power that they could raise collectively).Which nation would be suitable for them to operate in ... Somewhere in the central Hyborian Kingdoms - Nemedia I think (?)

Be kind to that cliche boy- I used to be a witch ere I moved onto greater things....8)

This Master sems to have some incredible hold of hypnotic power over the Priests on a nationwide level. Is it all from magical links, and the Rule of the Master ??? (From the Scrolls of Skelos - not in front of Me at present).

I think it was never specified in "People" if it was common intrege, sorcery, blackmail and/or promises of reward that had the Master moving events behind the scenes- or if he was just inhaling too much black lotus and was a lot less effective than he thought he was. 8) Perhaps he had lower level henchmen like the that acolyte that turns on him in "People" [can't remember his name] in other places, keeping track of things on a local level with him running the show from the Black Mountain lair. I mean if he had that sort of power to control them all directly would Conan have stood a chance? Magic is a lot of misdirection after all. Who can trust a madman's boasts?

Also, who says Conan kills the real Master? Yes, that giant vulture he kills seems to turn into the Master's body, but considering the Master's ability to alter perceptions, transform living matter and general sorcereous power, might it have been all a ruse to confuse his enemies, leaving the real Master to recooperate from the small set back Conan gave him? It certainly would fit in the genre, would it not?

Raven, who continues her foul plans hidden away in a remote lair......
 

LokiOne

Mongoose
Good responses - Thanks One and All.

I plan to run my next Conan Campaign right in amoungst the Heart of Hyboria, probably close to the Pictish border, but maybe right up North a bit as well.

I'm going to do some searching now on Witches in Conan's World, and see what I can 'dig up' (No pun intended).

I have a growing collection of version 3.5 Rules for D&D, and I'm picking out Conan suitable creatures/ demons/ Outsiders/ Aberrations, etc.

Hey there Raven, will see your continuing posts on v1.1 Rules Raven Sorceries when your good 'n ready ... I'm rebuilding up some nice RPG info and source material again, after an unfortunate computer crash. I was a member of a Dark ages re-enactment group here in Perth for quite a time ... So I have been quite immersed in Viking age lore, runes, historical sagas, Nordic Religion, festivals etc. Have a few comprehensive references on Norse Religion and Culture.

Some ideas and inspiration for input into the pseudo-culture of the Nordheim region, etc. Old Viking pagan religion was seen as quite brutal, with their sacrifices, etc (EG: The Blood Eagle). Can't wait to 'unleash' The Picts upon My Players ... although I'd love to make them more pseudo-European rather than American Indian.

I hope that Mongoose has been paying some attention to some of the collective talent here in The Forum - 'cos there's been some jolly good ideas aired here ...
 
Re: Witches

If I recall right one of Robert Jordan's pastiche's [can't remember the title, will see if I can find it again] referred briefly to a mostly beneficial witch like organization of priests and priestesses who worshipped the Earth Mother with heavy Celtic overtones right up to standing stones situated in Byruthia(sp?). They were the guardians of an ancient dragon slaying blade [i.e. Fire Drake bane weapon] that was given to a local lord in his attempt to slay the Drake meancing rheir borders. He didn't manage the kill himself. Conan got ahold of the blade and killed the Drake but hey- it's Conan's book. Like anything else would happen? 8)

I expanded on that idea myself, making a loose organization of Earth worshipping cults that safeguard those who respect the Old Ways from both supernatural threats and human ones. In fact one of my PCs is a member of said organization. It's a great adventure hook for those not into the 'thieves and wanderers' mode and they make great allies for parties who serve common goals. They also make great enemies for those parties that are 'morally challenged' and threatening their witches's charges. It's a bit of a shock when the PCs start facing hostile sorcery from 'good' sources. [Who needs a demon when you've got an Earth Elemental to crush your enemies without the need for magical compulsion? 8)]

A campaign set between a group of Corrupt sorcerers seeking to use the greed of Hyborian or Turanian nobles to conquer the witch protected lands and the Earth Mother's cult attempting to stop them would make an interesting game I think....especially when the PCs have to start picking sides.

Raven
 
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