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 Post subject: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:06 pm 
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I just noticed (while working on a concept), that both Ritualistic Casting (Arcanum skill option) and Assist Ally note to refer to Cooperation pg.136

Quote:
Cooperation
When not in combat, Heroes may combine their efforts on a single Skill Action. The assisting Heroes forgo any Action Skill Roll of their own. Instead, they grant the Hero they are assisting a +2 bonus per assistant to their Skill Action.


As Ritualistic Casting refers to taking damage during the skill action and Assist Ally is specifically used in combat, it appears the "When not in combat" clause is ignored for these two options.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:25 pm 
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I assume it is a case of "this is the rule unless specifically noted otherwise."

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:57 pm 

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Interestingly, this is appears to be a case where a caster of the same tradition could help you precast a spell that they don't have, or even a self only spell. The trade-off being of course, that it might go from a 4 tick spell to cast, to a 7 tick action to assist. But it seems as if there were three divine casters in a party (pretty common, in my experience), two could assist one in casting "divine protector" at the beginning of the day, thus allowing it to be more powerful. If all were all tier III, then the one assisted could then assist, etc. Or two divine casters could then assist the only follower of the fire dragon in the party in casting "scales of the dragon," despite not being familiar with the spell.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Yes. That is part of the concept (taking all four allowable Arcanum skills for a val; the Elorii can <bleep> themselves).

Less useful in combat due provoking free strikes and being disrupted by taking damage. A well-timed assist can be a big boost against larger creatures or part of a combination (Unbalancing Strike/Brittle Bones/various Smites).

There is that opportunity cost, though. As a primary caster concept, I have to give up casting my own spells to boost someone else (handy while bleeding strain). Its also only their next Action Roll, so if they are trying to cast an Advanced Spell the bonus isn't going to be there for the attack roll (where it may be more important).

Having a think about it; the assister should probably suffer the same Strain as the caster, as they are 'casting' the spell. Something for the next errata.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:06 pm 
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[1] It would be nice to get a clarification as to whether or not ritualistic casting can be used in combat. On the surface, the ritualistic casting and skill cooperation rules are contradictory. It's possible that someone could take damage outside combat, though, and maybe ritualistic casting can't be used outside combat.

[2] If ritualistic the spell is cast How does the timing work on the clock with the spellcaster and assistant? If the spell takes less then 7 ticks, it's not interruptible and thus should normally go off right away. However, a 7-tick Demanding Skill Action to assist is interruptible, and taking damage "before the spell is successfully cast" ruins the assist. Does that mean that taking damage has no effect if the spell is uninterruptible and that rule about taking damage applies only if the spell is interruptible? By rules as written (RAW), that seems to be the result. Or is the intention that the spell casting time changes somehow such that the spell casting and assistance can be interrupted? If ritualistic casting can't be used in combat, this question is less important.

Regardless of the original rule(s), the staff could always come up with a new rule that makes things clear and works well in the same while preserving the concept of ritualistic casting.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:24 pm 
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[2] is easy. Interruptible action means the benefit is not gained until the action is complete. Taking damage means automatically losing the Assist, so not something to attempt when fireballs are going off around you.

Best time to start this is right after an ally casts a spell and is counting down the speed/strain before their next spell. The Assist needs to be completed before they cast the spell that will get the bonus.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:37 pm 
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The wording of the description of Ritualistic Casting (Arcanum skill option) is vague as to the requirements. I could imagine that the requirement for assisting in spellcasting could be one, the other, or both of:
[list=][*]ability to cast spells
[*]ranks in appropriate Arcanum skill[/list]
The former is implied but not explicit ("share an Arcanum Tradition"). The later may be inferred, but the ARPG system allows anyone to try any skill untrained.

I also just realized that the Arcanum skill description uses the word "Tradition" in a way completely different from the way the rules on magic spells use the word "Tradition." In the Arcanum skill, a "Tradition" is Theurgy, Psionics, Primal, Eldritch, or Elder. In the magic chapter, those things are called "Sources," whereas the word "Tradition" means a category of spells such as Battle, Control, Corpus, Creation, Deity, etc. For ritualistic casting, it seems clear to me that the intention is sharing a Source, and it would be a shame if a player thought that an Elder caster could assist a Primal caster if they both know the Elemental Tradition; cheese-mongers could push the Rules-As-Written by claiming that an Elder caster who knows the Elemental Tradition could assist a Primal caster who knows the Elemental Tradition on a Necromancy spell that the Elder caster can't know, but that seems clearly against the Rule-As-Intended.

It's also unclear how much spellcasting ability is needed to assist. Is Prestidigitation sufficient? What about knowing a single spell from the talents Rudimentary Prayers, Rudimentary Spell Casting, or Spontaneously Awakened? Wearing my GM hat, I recommend that the talents Arcane Spell Casting or Divine Spell Casting should be a prerequisite for ritual spellcasting, but that presents a little issue for NPC adversaries since the ARPG NPC block doesn't always list Arcane Spell Casting or Divine Spell Casting even when the equivalent PC character would have that talent.

[Wearing my GM hat and trying to thwart players who want to misread rules.]

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Considering the vagaries of the wording of the description of Ritualistic Casting (Arcanum skill option on ARPG p.141) as discussed by several people previous in this thread, I propose the following errata change to the description in an attempt to clarify the language and intention:

Ritualistic Casting
Assist, Special: Characters who share an Arcanum Source may assist each other on Arcanum Skill Actions in a ritualistic form of spell casting. The +2 bonus from assistance applies to any Skill Roll to successfully cast the spell as well as any Skill Roll to resolve the spell's effects. Sustained spells receive the bonus only for the initial effects unless the assistant continues to assist, in which case the assistance bonus applies as long as the assistance persists at a sustenance tick.
The assisting character must have at least one rank in the same Arcanum subskill that the primary caster is using to invoke the spell. Also, the assisting character must have the spell casting talent (Arcane Spell Casting or Divine Spell Casting) corresponding to the source that the primary caster is using to invoke the spell. (For this purpose, the Sarishan Sorcerer-Priest source is considered the same as the Eldritch source.) NPC adversaries may instead have the Arcane or Divine archetype variation.
This ritualistic skill assistance is similar to assisting on any other skill roll (see Cooperation, p.136) but may also be used in combat. When used in combat, the assistant(s) must start their assist action at the same tick or 1 tick before the primary spell caster begins casting the spell. The character who is providing the assist must perform a Demanding (7 ticks) Skill Action to assist. If the assistant takes any damage while assisting before the spell has been successfully cast, the attempt to assist automatically fails.

[Wearing my GM hat and trying to thwart players who want to misread rules. It's a wordy description, but I've read too many discussion boards wherein RPG players disagree about rule intentions when things aren't explicit.]

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:12 pm 
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I like it! Looks like all the i's and t's are crossed. I think I may have to adapt this to Witch Hunter.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Ritualistic Casting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:00 pm 

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In general, I like it but I have a few thoughts:
  • I think Sorceror-Priest should be able to assist both Divine and Eldritch casting. I'm unsure if either should be able to assist a SP though (my first gut feel is no - only another SP can assist an SP).
  • I see no reason that someone without ASC/DSC should be excluded from assisting provided the spell being cast is in their single known tradition (and matching source and skill).

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