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 Post subject: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:16 pm
Posts: 12
I play (primarily) and Elorii arcanist, and I see a loophole in the rules that a spellcaster can use that feels too powerful to me.

If the 'sacrifice a Wound' option is used, the next Action Skill roll is an automatic success. If I use that option in conjunction with the Action Skill roll to succeed in casting a spell, I can give that spell an infinite amount of Adaptations. In many cases, that means the damage die of that spell becomes infinitely large. So any target in the area of effect is essentially vanquished due to stamina damage and takes a wound.

I would recommend an errata to this, and if it were me I would make it so the user gets 3xHero Tier added to their Passive Arcanum. This keeps it useful (there is a wound being sacrificed after all), but not potentially overwhelming.


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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:47 am
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Location: Central Alberta
Remember, a CTN and an attack roll are two different rolls. As such, you might be able to adapt it, but there is no guarantee you'll it.

I need to look at the ability again to remind myself more for the fine print.

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Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


Last edited by Nierite on Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:18 pm 
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Both previous posters have good points. The loophole on infinite adaptations is potentially big, but casting a spell vs. hitting someone are two different rolls.

Still, going with the original posting concept, infinite adaptations on area-effect spell means that a miss still does some damage. Take Elemental Bolt, adapt it to become a 10' radius spell, and add infinite adaptations to give a die bump to the damage die. That second adaptation may explicitly be applied multiple times to that spell, and that's the part of damage that everyone in range suffers even on a "miss" attack roll. However, a standard die bump arguably caps at d12+2 (see ARPG, pp.91,170,238), and thus it's not really infinite and IMHO not really a problem. (I say "arguably" since the rules aren't fully clear IMHO on pp.91 & 170 as to whether multiple +2 bonuses would stack.)

Beyond damage, though, there are probably other situations of abuse with infinite adaptions. Some spells allow multiple stacking of range increments. Ward of Shielding can stack damage absorption. Summon spells (e.g., Elemental Guardian, Summon High Elemental, Summon Lesser Infernals, Summon Steed, Summon Sarish's Own, Graveblight) can stack bonuses to all defenses and attack rolls of the summoned creature; and thus a Tier I binding spell can potentially summon something unstoppable.

With some spells, though, that potential abuse exists in the rules system anyway as long as someone doesn't mind casting the spell 100 times to get that critical success roll. For example, Clairvoyance and Shadow Stride each allow for increasing range. Eventually, someone could use Clairvoyance and then Shadow Stride to go to any Shadow at any range anywhere in the world they've been before as long as there was no time rush. That's less true for binding spells like the summon spells since they can be cast only once a scene, but if one pushed the RAW [Rules As Written], someone could eventually summon that unbeatable creature on a critical success even though that's clearly not the RAI [Rules As Intended].

One possible solution both the Burn the Soul auto-success and the repeating castings aiming for a critical success is to add a rule limiting how high at CTN a caster can even try to cast. For example, rule that no one can even attempt to cast a spell with a net CTN 10 points higher than their Passive Arcanum skill. (I don't know what that maximum should be, and I'm just picking an arbitrary number. I can count ways to get up to +12 bonus for some spellcasting since bonuses to Action Rolls usually don't affect the Passive skill.)

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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:16 pm
Posts: 12
In the case of an area of effect spell, the roll to hit wouldn't matter as the spell still deals the spell damage die even in the case of a miss. The primary die that is lost in the miss doesn't matter, hence why I am so concerned for the abuse potential. As single target spell I agree there is still an attack roll that is meaningful, but I am most worried about an area of effect.

Unless there was an errata to the rule that I missed (and I have missed some). The original rule is on pg. 347 of the ARG.


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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:52 pm 
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Okay, looking at the situation more (Matt? You are the final word on most rules stuff):

The sacrifice of a Wound would allow you to succeed on a single roll, ONCE PER SCENE, so in theory you could carpet-bomb an area with a single elemental bolt. This sacrifices a wound, so all subsequent rolls you make are at a -1 penalty, which means that while you could adapt it greatly.

I see your statement in regards to the potential for abuse, and an errata could be considered. At the moment we have not had any major issue with the Talent so ultimately errata will need to be tested first to see if the risk of abuse is sufficient to hurt gameplay significantly.

I should point out that there are some practical limitations on this ability: While you are correct that you could in theory adapt an elemental bolt to such an extreme to incinerate a creature, the absolute largest area you can (by my math) affect is a 15' radius (with Expand Area, which cannot stack). While this can end some combats in a single roll (assuming you hit), at best you can only exclude 4 (by my read) 5' squares from it (with Selective Spell). Other spells will change this somewhat, but the way the magic system is listed there are some self-correcting systems in place.

As I say, though, I ask Matt to take a look at this as he is the Rules Guy, and his word takes priority over mine.

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Cody Bergman
Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
Initial Author Contact/Adventure Vetting

Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:41 am
Posts: 486
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
This is a powerful ability, to be sure. That is why it costs a Wound. But I think people might be overlooking the limitations.
1) although your can throw in any number if Adaptations, you are still limited to the spell's base adaptations or the adaptation talents you have taken.
2)you are using 2-3 out of your 5 Path choices to get the Talent.
3) you are taking a Wound. Now that people are hitting T3, they are thinking that is no big deal. But a -1 to all other action skill rolls is another mitigating cost. Oh yeah, and I have personally designed foes that have a potential to deliver 3-4 Wounds in a single hit. Can't Mend wounds if the Target is dead.
4)For spells with "bump the damage die"...that caps out at d12+2
5)you could technically get infinite range with a spell....which is pointless when you are targeting something out of line of sight.
6) John Foos (very few Arcaniacs will understand this and I will not explain it)
7) "I bring out an uber-elemental"!(someone mentioned infernal as an option...Elorii can't summon infernal) or "I bring forth an uber-Ward"! (although, I would think that a Divine caster of Belisarda would be a bit opposed to burning a portion of their soul away). That's nice....Unravel the Thread....thanks for taking a Wound. In cases where the bad guys don't have a caster...congrats...you/it will wreck some shop. But, I will/could just either ignore the elemental or the shielded person and dogpile on everyone else...or I will just run away. Depending on mod/situation...that might mean you fail.
8) Even if you are an Elementalist doing a mega-AoE-nuke where you produce a 15' AoE elemental spell with Elemental Empowerment/Elemental Influx/Delaying Strain/Piercing....you had better hope you are way out in the open with no civilization around. Because, otherwise, you just destroyed a fair patch of real estate (or possibly killed bystanders) which will get town officials upset, townspeople talking, Harvesters listening, etc. oh you were investigating a cave when you did this?....cave in!
9) you are still taking Strain for those Adaptations. Which means you are not casting a spell until next week, or using a Fate (which is a relatively Limited resource) to clear it.
10) you could be potentially be pushing the Speed of the spell to way above 7....making the spell both interuptable and potentially pointless, depending on how long it takes to activate.

In short, yes it is a tasty treat. if I were playing an Elorii caster, I would take it. But I wouldn't use it Willy-Nilly or in every situation.

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 Post subject: Re: To Burn the Soul
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:16 pm
Posts: 12
Cool. If spell damage dice cap as a hero's die bump instead of growing like weapon damage, then everything is cool as far as I can see too.


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