[Runequest] Multispell (RQ 3)

Gary Sturgess gazza666 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 21:02:57 EST 2010

On 12 February 2010 17:46, David Cake <dave at difference.com.au> wrote:
>> 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.
>        Yeah, its problematic.
>        Though actually, in Sandys system having both those spells up at once
> would still require a Presence of at least 16, which would be more or less
> unachievably high for a student, and still quite high for an apprentice.

Erm, no, that's trivial. Free Int of 16 would give you that with the
Vessel, and that's without the high vow (which will quite possibly be
16 on its own). Students are better than apprentices - apprentice is
the lowest rank, student is higher. (At least in the version that I

>        I don't necessarily think that is an issue - the other magic
> specialists get their own various advantages. For example shamans can quite
> quickly build up an enormous effective MP total vs offensive magic when at
> rest (as they add their fetch MPs to their own).

Yes, but that doesn't do much against a Boost Damage spell. And
sorcerers can simply have Resist Magic to block a lot of the shaman's

>  And divine magic is  generally effectively instant cast while sorcery spells are very slow (which Hold obviously helps overcome somewhat if you are using Sandys system).

Sorcery spells are "better than instant". They're precast. A divine
magician still has to cast his spells in round 1; a sorcerer has his
from last week.

> Swings and roundabouts where the various types of magic have very different
> advantages and disadvantages are, in my opinion, a feature not a bug.

YMMV. That hasn't been my experience.

>        This is why I, at the time, much preferred the (closely related) idea
> of Paul Reillys ideas, in which Presence was replaced by the very similar
> Vessel, which rather than being a number that started out moderately high
> and then was gradually pushed up with Vows and various learned achievements,
> was in rules a lot like a shamans fetch without INT. So the Vessel would
> start with just a handful of points (the POW donated to it at creation) and
> gradually creep up as the sorcerer donated his POW gain rolls to it, just as
> a shamans fetch does. So in this system you can't maintain permanent spells
> without a significant investment of POW - to maintain 16 points of spells
> permanently is possible, but requires as much investment as a 16 point Fetch
> or 16 point of Rune spells, which seems ok to me (though a bit of a rip off
> for the shaman, really).

That does sound like a far better idea, at least. I'll look into it.

>        I don't think sorcerers having some access to long
> duration/effectively permanent spells available is intrinsically broken, any
> more than having Enchantments in the system is.

If enchantments could mimic spells, then I would say that enchantments
were exactly as broken as sorcery is. They cannot, however - an
enchantment can give you more magic points, a new caster (via magic
spirit, or conditions, or whatever), more spells (directly or via INT
spirits), and so on. They can't give you the equivalent of a permanent
Bladesharp 5.

Unless it's a Boost Damage matrix, of course, and wielded by a
sorcerer with enough Presence... ;)

> The problem I think is the way the number of such spells available leaps up so very quickly. If you can maintain 1 permanent spell on yourself, then 1 point more and you can maintain 2, 2 points more and you can maintain 4, 3 points more 8, etc.

Via Multispell, you mean?

> It gets to the point where you pretty much have to assume that most soldiers etc in sorcerous cultures are going to have a bunch of permanent spells on them - which generally more or less is necessary for game balance in the RQ3 system as well, as a 'student' or even apprentice level sorcery user will usually have considerably worse spell casting ability. Sandys system tries to reverse this a bit, where long duration/permanent spells are less common, but the spell casting ability of average sorcery using mooks is a bit higher.

Yes, Griffin Island is an interesting illustration - it goes into
detail about all the spells that all the sorcerers maintain on
everyone. From a background perspective at least Sandy's ideas limit
this to the big guys rather than the rank and file.

Unfortunately that's of little use to me as a GM, since the PCs are
the ones that are going to be taking advantage. I basically found
Sandy's rules unplayable in practice - and I was running Kralorelans,
not Malkioni (where it is even more broken). Which was a shame because
they're a delight to read, and they have a strong underlying logic.

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