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(TFT) Environmental Magics in TFT. - Meg's comments.

Hi Meg,
  Thanks for the great feedback.  My comments are inline.

On 2016-03-08, at 9:32 PM, Meg Tapley wrote:
> I like this a lot - they probably are better from the GM's perspective than the players',
> but I can also see an ingenious player putting these to good use.

I've had other people say things like that and I confess I don't totally understand it.
The spell list is out there, and my PC's delight and finding neat things to do with
the spells.  Saying "THIS spell is obviously an NPC spell", makes me go, "really?"

> Here are my quibbles and questions:
> - I have a philosophical problem with IQ7 spells, in general. Magic is supposed
> to be hard, and IQ7, in real world terms, is what they used to call "retarded", and
> now refer to by some more politically correct term like "learning disability". If you're
> intellectually challenged to the point where you can't even learn to read, then sorry,
> no spells for you. Maybe as a GM, you want your less intelligent races to be able to
> cast spells, but personally I'd rather handle that by giving them intrinsic magical
> abilities that don't have to be learned.

I agree.  But if magic was hard, we would not have IQ 8 spells either.  
I think I got some IQ 7 spells from interplay, and expanded the number of
them.  (I now have about 10 of them.)  One, "Light Candle Flame", is 
obviously something you teach kids learning to be magicians.  And a kid
with an IQ of 7 is not retarded.  The novice (a step down from an apprentice)
is still growing his or her brain.

> -  Most times, doubling fST cost doubles radius (thus quadrupling area of effect), but
> with Shape Growth, doubling fST doubles *area*. Is this intentional? If so, why is this
> particular spell different?

Typo, I will fix that within a few days.  It will double the radius like the 
other spells.

> - The Quietude categories only make sense from a game-mechanics perspective.
> Why would a spell differentiate between an arrow shot from a bow, and a spear
> thrown from a hand? Why would it differentiate between a dagger and a claw, or
> a club and a fist? I'd probably have just two Quietude spells: one for melee /
> unarmed attacks, one for thrown/missile weapons. Then a separate spell that vastly
> weakens missile spells passing through its area of effect, or causes them to fizzle entirely.
>    Also in the Quietude spell description: " Each doubling of the cost doubles the radius.
> Each doubling of the cost increases by one, the amount of protection given. So x4 cost
> would stop 3 hits, and x16 cost would stop 5 hits."
>    So if you double the base 1-minute cost, spending 20 fST on the spell, does it cover a
> radius of 12 MH, AND stop 2 points of damage, or do you have to choose? What if you
> want it to be radius 6 MH but stop 4 points of damage?

True.  Might be better to just dump them.

You would specify which doublings you would use.  You think "I want double radius."
and cast the spell that way.  The spell does not look at fST spent and try to figure out
what effects you want from the cost.

I do have the spells MIssile Shield, Missile Wall, and Missile Dome which reduce 
missile damage with out the whole sale power of Reverse Missiles.

> - If I ran a campaign with Tindempt's Hex, I'd probably describe it as arcing electrical
> currents dancing over the wizard's skin, doing damage, just because it's a cool image
> and seems less random somehow than an invisible giant hammer. 1 die of damage,
> doesn't increase or decrease (less record-keeping), cloth and leather armor protects,
> as do Stone/Iron Flesh, metal armor and Spell Shield don't.

In my campaign, one of the biggest problems is PC's with wildly different 
armors levels.  Some stop a tonne of damage, other PC's are running around
with only 3 armor.  This makes finding dangerous situations that are not TOO
dangerous very tricky.  So having the damage scale up if it does not penetrate, 
(and then scale down if it does do something) has a certain appeal.  That said, 
it does seem a bit gamey.

> One thing I expected to see, and didn't, is a "zone of sleep", which would make any
> character sitting still/lying down very likely to accidentally fall asleep, and once asleep,
> very difficult to wake up. Wouldn't affect combat, but if someone made camp there...
> A neat trap for GM's to set, but I can also see players getting good use out of it, by
> casting it on a sentry post they know they'll have to sneak past later.

That is a slick idea.  Would you like to write it up, or should I take a crack at

> - Meg
> P.S. In the description for the zone of lingering, you mention a "torturing table", implying you've got detailed rules for torturing information out of characters?!

Yes, in one of the interplay magazines they had questioning rules.  I never
felt 100% comfortable with them, but added them as official to my campaign.
However, telepathy is 1000% better for getting information, so the only guys
taking the questioning talents are evil NPC.  (As far as I'm concerned, if you
are torturing anyone you are a bad guy.  Period.)

> On 3/5/16 4:30 PM, David Bofinger wrote:
>> These environmental spells are mostly anti-magic in nature. Unfortunately
>> that means they tend to be a couple of steps removed from on-map effects.
>> As Andreas points out, they would be a lot more useful to NPCs than
>> PCs.None of that sounds like a lot of fun.
>> It seems like natural magical abilities, like the ability of a demon to
>> teleport, or of a gargoyle or dragon to fly, should be affected.
>> To me the most interesting spells are those that actually affect people -
>> the zone of lingering, for instance. I would like to see more spells like
>> that: a spell that makes the atmosphere resistant to missiles so that range
>> penalties are increased and/or damage reduced by range; a spell that
>> reduces or increases everyone's MA; a spell that affects pain and hence
>> knockdowns and DX mods due to damage; spells that make melee attacks more
>> difficult; spells that make some or all damage inflicted of the non-lethal
>> kind; spells that once a turn move everyone one hex in a random direction
>> and change their facing one hexside.
>> --
>> David
>> On 6 March 2016 at 07:35, Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>   Here is my long delayed article on Environmental magics in TFT.  This is
>>> a new class
>>> of spells like Thrown Spells and Creation Spells, etc.
>>> http://tft.brainiac.com/RicksTFT/SpellsTFT/Environmental_Magics_TFT.html
>>>   If you have ideas for your own Environmental spells, I would be
>>> interested in knowing
>>> them.  I would not mind adding a few more to my campaign.
>>>   Comments are welcome of course.
>>>   I was sorry no one had anything to say on my gnome article.  I rather
>>> liked the special
>>> abilities given in that article.
>>>   Warm regards, Rick.
>>> =====
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