Spell Casting “Cost”

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Spell Casting “Cost” GianniVacca's picture Submitted by GianniVacca on Wed, 17/10/2012 – 08:03

Hi

 

Is spell casting “free” under the HQ rules? With the RQ rules you are limited by your POW; other RPGs also use a points-based limitation, or a fire-and-forget limitation. I couldn’t find any such limitation in the HQ rules. Is this how it’s meant to work?

 

G.

‹ Daka Fal Multiple opponent penalty in group simple contests ›

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Limits in HQ magic

Submitted by David on Mon, 29/10/2012 – 06:03.

Magic is free until you fail…

A hero using magic in a simple contest suffers a minor defeat, suffering a State of Adversity of Impaired. The Penalty is -6 to appropriate abilities, which can be applied to magic use if it fits the story. Which has moderate resistance to be healed.

The extended contest rules cover this as well.

In Gloranthan games, I’ve had characters with a State of Adversity of Dying on their primary Rune, it does lend itself to dramatic action to sort this kind of thing out.

 

—–

David Scott

The rules? Or Glorantha?

Submitted by davecake on Wed, 24/10/2012 – 07:17.

It seems to be true that magical energy in Glorantha is something measurable, a quantity that can be accumulated and subsequently exhausted through use, and that is something that is simulated by the RuneQuest rules. 

But that doesn’t mean it appears that way in the HeroQuest rules – HQ isn’t trying to simulate the world of Glorantha in detail, it is trying to simulate stories set in Glorantha. HQ simply doesn’t normally track that sort of thing, because stories aren’t usually about resource management. So, if a character fails at a contest involving magic, maybe it is because they have run out of energy? But if they succeed, obviously they did have enough energy. If they have a bad roll in an extended contest, perhaps they are out of energy – but then they succeed, so maybe they have found a new source (perhaps grabbed a crystal). Or you could come up with a different explanation. Magical exhaustion handled the same way as physical fatigue – sure, it exists and makes a good explanation for success or failure (or a variety of other game results), but HQ doesn’t track it within the game system. 

 

 

Jeff's picture

>It seems to be true that

Submitted by Jeff on Wed, 24/10/2012 – 09:44.

>It seems to be true that magical energy in Glorantha is something measurable, a quantity that can be accumulated and subsequently exhausted through use, and that is something that is simulated by the RuneQuest rules.

I am not certain that is true, in fact I strongly doubt that is the case. Certainly the old POW and magic points resource depletion is NOT how magical energy works in Glorantha.

Jeff

Editor-in-Chief, Moon Design Publications

Yes and No

Submitted by Dreamstreamer on Wed, 17/10/2012 – 15:25.

I’d say, in a nutshell, yes. This is how it’s meant to work.

Spellcasting is as free as you wish it to be when you define it as an ability. Want it to be limited to a specific number of times per day? You can! Want it to require incantations and somatic components? You can! How the ability is described will determine when it passes credibility tests. (Pg. 74)

Now, as contests are treated as a whole, there is a sort of built-in limitation to any ability, and that is failure. Naturally, failure in a contest could easily mean that the spellcaster is too exhausted (or out of POW or spellpoints or whatever) to get the desired effect. It could even be described as part of a success with another ability, if you wanted to. 

How would you narratively describe someone exhausting their supply of magical energy?

A billion years is too short a time to accomplish everything you can imagine, for imagination is infinite.

GianniVacca's picture

“How would you narratively

Submitted by GianniVacca on Wed, 17/10/2012 – 17:37.

“How would you narratively describe someone exhausting their supply of magical energy?”

 

Er… something along the lines of ‘you feel strained by the effort you’ve put into casting that lightning bolt. You won’t be able to cast another spell for at least 3hrs’.

I’m convinced!

Submitted by Dreamstreamer on Wed, 17/10/2012 – 17:43.

Tada! That sounds great! Now, are you going to want to codify appropriate costs or cooldowns for different spells, or just wing it as the narrative dictates?

A billion years is too short a time to accomplish everything you can imagine, for imagination is infinite.

GianniVacca's picture

proportional

Submitted by GianniVacca on Sun, 21/10/2012 – 12:47.

Well I’d like the cost to be proportional to the effect. But I can’t see how to do that without introducing a POW-like characteristic.

Herve's picture

Why limit Magic Use?

Submitted by Herve on Sun, 28/10/2012 – 06:19.

Not a criticism, but I don’t understand people who want to limit magic use. A good party of RPGing in Glorantha is using Magics, lots of it, as often as we can, with as much mythological background as possible.

The myth (yes, including for Logicians) already limits Magic use. You can’t use a Spell for anything else than what it was precisely designed for. You can’t use a Spell if all conditions are not fulfilled (i.e. the caster being a Zzaburi). It takes time to cast a Spell, it’s more advantageous to do it in certain places at certain times, etc.

Who needs a mechanical game rule to limit the players’ and GM’s ideas and stories?

RoM's picture

different worlds – different magic

Submitted by RoM on Sun, 28/10/2012 – 15:23.

Well, this is a HeroQuest discussion board not a Glorantha board. I can imagine there are lots of different worlds where a restriction on magic use might actually be reasonable or even mandatory.

If a narrator wants to implement that in the existing HQ rules it is very easy to do so. However, in any case I still recommened using HQ’s narrative approach instead of the old simulative POW points system.

RoM's picture

use level of success, difficulty or supernatural effect

Submitted by RoM on Sun, 21/10/2012 – 16:25.

If you want to restrict the magic use, you can do that easily. The way to do it in the narration depends on the kind of magic. In sorcery you could say that the sorcerer needs large quantities of ingredients. And the exact amount of consumed ingredients is in relation to the level of success. So a complete victory (or complete failure) will waste all your components, while a minor victory/success will leave you enough to cast a second spell. In Theism and Animism the magic is not performed by the caster itself (at least not alone), but by the god or spirit. You could rule the character will never exhaust but the otherworld deity performing the magic will. Alternatively this is no exhaustion in the classical sense of the word. Instead on a complete victory (or on 2 major, 3 minor or 4 marginal successes) the deity simply says: “That’s enough! I helped you a lot. You can do the rest. Don’t bother me no more!”. In ritual magic the exhaustion can be easily described physically. People run around chanting and dancing, killing bulls for sacrifice and what not. All that is very fatiguing, you can’t do it all day long.

Instead or in addition to making the restriction after the roll, you can also do it before. Simply use A) the difficulty or B) the degree of supernaturalness. In A) you say players can use “almost impossible” only once a week, “very high” every hour, “high” any minute. In B) you can rule augmenting can be done any time. A somehow supernatural effect can be created only once per hour and a completely supernatural effect only once per week.

I see a lot of different ways to restrict magic use. The question is if you really want to do it. In a magic world like Glorantha I would not. However, if your world requires that restriction and magic can only be used once per generation, than go for it. My recommendation is: use any restriction you want but explain it to the players not in rule terms but within the narration.

Did that help?

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