[Runequest] Multispell (RQ 3)

Gary Sturgess gazza666 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 19:10:33 EST 2010

On 12 February 2010 15:46, David Cake <dave at difference.com.au> wrote:
>        In practice, the support of both community and of your church
> organisation is a more crucial asset to sorcerers, who often absolutely
> depend on ritual magic, having huge amounts of MPs to burn, etc.  And you
> assume that Church sorcerers are likely to cast long duration spells on each
> other etc.

Well yes, but I'm not really as interested in what NPC sorcerers do as
what PCs do. I can hand wave the NPCs. From the perspective of a PC
adventurer, there is no mechanical reason not to grab the spells and
run. Sure, you can make a good adventure or even a campaign out of the
whole "fugitive from justice" sort of idea, but a shaman wouldn't
normally WANT to stop being a shaman (he'd lose his fetch), and a
priest wouldn't normally WANT to stop being a priest (he'd lose his
reusable spells). An adept seems to have no mechanical reason not to
stop being an adept. There's no suggestion that a familiar would
abandon such a character, for example - sorcerers can dismiss
familiars, after all.

>        I like the basic mechanism of Sandys system - I have never liked Free
> Int, and replacing it with skills as a limit on levels of manipulation seems
> to make more sense (albeit making very high powered sorcerers more
> intimidating, as in theory there is no limit to skill). And I really like
> the idea of dropping incredibly long Durations and replacing it with the
> Presence concept (I recall being a vocal voice in favour of this option back
> in the era of RQ4 debates in the 90s) . Presence makes the amount of ongoing
> magical power available to a sorcerer dependent on the amount of sacrificed
> POW makes them intrinsically more balanced with Shamans and Priests (whose
> power is based on the amount on sacrificed POW in their fetch or spells
> respectively) - whereas the logarithmic nature of the Duration system meant
> that while it took a lot of effort to reach a really useful level, it them
> fairly quickly flipped over to unbalancing.

Well, I prefer "fairly quickly" to "instantly". :)

A student level sorcerer in Sandy's system might have 30-40% in a
couple of spells like Boost Damage or Boost Armour, and a 30-40%
Ceremony skill. That gives him potentially Boost Damage 8 and Boost
Armour 8 pretty much all the time. And I get the impression - perhaps
wrongly - that such a character is supposed to be roughly the
equivalent of perhaps a skilled Initiate or Apprentice Shaman. This is
without any funky saint stuff, mind you.

If sorcerers are SUPPOSED to be awesomely more powerful than their
spirit magic and divine equivalents, fair enough, but I never got the
impression this was intentional. Granted, if you create characters
from scratch using the RQ3 professions and so forth sorcerers aren't
instantly unbalanced with Sandy's system. I'd still bet on it not
taking very long to get there though.

>        A lot of the details of Sandys system I'm not too keen on, though. In
> particular, its fairly easy for a sufficiently fanatic sorcerer to buff
> their Presence a lot through vows etc.

Yeah, I found that a lot less of an issue than the whole "shamans and
priests have to cast their spells; sorcerers have them up forever"
deal. I mean, sure, there are weaknesses - if you want an instagib
spell, it's hard to beat Sever Spirit - but their ability to buff is
lightyears ahead of what their supposed peers can manage. You'd need
to start seriously abusing stacking Extension to get close. Held
spells overcome the requirement to cast even attack spells in the
middle of combat.

I just think that the ability for sorcerers to have long duration
spells, regardless of the ruleset that permits it, is inherently
unbalanced (though I'd be more than happy to see suggestions for a way
to balance it - I love the flavour of sorcery, but I just cannot
permit it due to balance concerns).

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