[Runequest] Multispell (RQ 3)

David Cake dave at difference.com.au
Fri Feb 12 13:46:04 EST 2010

At 11:25 AM +1100 12/2/10, Lev Lafayette wrote:
>Howdy people,
>The rare occasions that sorcerers have appeared in my various RQ games
>hasn't been a problem. They're very rare, sort of spooky and very

	Sorcerers are no problem at all as long as they are NPCs, and 
as long as competent NPC sorcerers decide not to provide the PCs with 
their services (such as buffing them up with a bunch of enhancement 
spells that lst for years). RQ3 sorcery sucks for PCs in multiple 
ways. Mostly, by not being much fun - getting an interesting range of 
spells and skills to a decent level is incredibly time consuming and 
tedious in the basic rules.
	I've tried to run games set in sorcery using areas under RQ3 
rules. I don't recommend it, and I'd absolutely go for some other set 
of rules if I was to do so again.

>But I've just started running the Artelan scenario from Strangers in
>Prax, which includes a duel between some pretty tough wizards and for
>the first time I find myself scratching my head over the RQ3 errata for
>the sorcery multispell skill. The errata seems to makes them
>significantly - and unreasonably - stronger than the core rules.
>The only reference (having searched through the archives of this list
>and its predecessors) that there is a potential problem was a remark by
>Paul Reilly in 1993 who wrote: "I think the RQ errata gave a good
>Multispell.  Certainly the old one needed to be fixed desperately - look
>at Phantom magics for an example."
>I am failing to see the problem. Can someone point it out to me?

	I think the issue is essentially that the old multispell was 
of very limited use, nearly but not quite pointless. If you combined 
two spells, the main effect of multispell was to delay the first 
spell so it went off at the same time as the first, which most of the 
time wasn't an advantage at all. There was a small advantage in that 
you only had to pay the Dex SR penalty once, but that certainly 
didn't seem really worth it - especially as the use of multispell 
would in many cases be reducing your cast chance unless you were an 
expert. So it didn't save you any MPs, and it saved you only a 
marginal amount of time on any decent power spell. The only real 
reason to have multispell in original RQ3 seemed to be to cast spells 
that required it, the only one of which I know of is Protective 
	The rules claimed that Multispell could also be used to 
combine spells that are specified to be incompatible - but I couldn't 
actually find any spells that were specified to be incompatible, 
which made that use of multispell seem a bit pointless.
	The reference to Phantom is that to create a reasonable 
multi-sense illusion with Phantom was absurdly time consuming and 
draining, because you'd pay the full manipulation cost for each 
sense. Though admittedly RQ3 illusions suck for all forms of magic.
	So, yes, multispell is significantly stronger than the core 
rules, because the core rules version was almost pointlessly weak. 
And yes, multispell is powerful under the errata. As it should be, 
sorcerous manipulations are supposed to be the reason why experienced 
sorcerers are a force to be reckoned with. And multispells are still 
generally very slow and consume lots of MPs compared to other forms 
of magic.

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