[Runequest] RQ III Sorcery Skills: Speedcast and Multitarget

Peter Maranci pmaranci at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 01:12:57 EST 2012

I've been running a multi-genre classic RuneQuest III campaign for a year
now, and one of the PCs is playing a sorceress. We've been using the
standard sorcery rules. I know all the objections to the standard sorcery
system, and my campaign has a number of alternate magic systems in use
(including ones that transcend the system, operating on a strictly
conceptual basis).

But the sorceress is basically crippled. It takes her more than a round to
cast a single spell, since a decent Venom or Palsy requires a fairly high
number of magic points. She stands there, trying to cast, and at best only
gets off one or two spells before the combat is over - and often, her
spells have no meaningful impact on the combat at all. Her long-term
enhancement spells are very helpful to the party, of course, but those
don't require her presence in dangerous situations. And she's not getting a
shot at power gain rolls.

So I recently added two new sorcery skills to try to balance sorcery. Both
are treated in the same way as the other standard sorcery spells; they
don't increase from experience, for example, and the casting roll must be
under the skill as well in order to apply the skill to the spell. We
haven't had a chance to test these skills out yet, but I'd be interested in
hearing opinions.

With one exception: I know that some people have no use for the RQ III
sorcery system. I don't need to be told once again about the many
alternatives. I use alternatives - hell, I wrote one, and have created many
others - but I'm interested in adapting THIS system, not replacing it

Here are the new skills:

Speedcast: Each magic point used in Speedcast halves the casting time of
the spell, with a minimum casting time of one strike rank. The maximum
number of points of Speedcast that can be used is limited to 1 MP per full
10% in the skill, so a sorcerer with a Speedcast of 37% would be limited to
no more than three points of Speedcast - allowing him to reduce casting
time to 1/8th of the original time needed. Of course, each magic point
spent on Speedcast does count towards the total casting time!

Example: A Venom spell is cast with Intensity 10 and Range 3 by a sorcerer
whose Dex SR is 1. By adding Speedcast 3 to the spell, he ups the total
cost of the spell to to 16 MP, but if his casting roll is under his
Speedcast percentage he halves the casting time (9 SR), halves it again (4
SR), and halves it again for a final casting time of 2 SR. If his roll is
over his Speedcast skill percentage but under all other skills used in the
spell, the spell takes 17 SR. The MP spent on Speedcast must still be paid
for even if the skill fails, and increase the casting time by 1 SR per MP.

Multitarget: Each MP spent on Multitarget increases the number of targets
by one. As with Speedcast, the points that may be spent are capped to full
10% increments of the skill, so a caster with Multitarget at 43% couldn't
target more than five enemies total in a single casting.

The spell being cast must be the same for all targets, including all
sorcery manipulations; in other words, Intensity, Range, Duration, and
anything else must be the identical. The full MP cost is required for each
target, i.e. if a Palsy spell is being cast on two targets with Intensity 6
and Range 2, the total magic point cast is 17 - 8 for each spell, plus an
additional MP for the Multitarget itself. The caster must designate the
primary target before casting, since if they fail their Multitarget roll
but succeed otherwise the spell will be cast on the primary target only.

[Is this too restrictive? Should Multitarget only require the MP in the
spell to be expended once? In that case, the spell above would cost 9 MP
rather than 17.]

Only one POW vs. POW roll is made. It is applied against all targets, so
it's possible that not all targets will be overcome.

If combined with Speedcast, the Speedcast skill is applied to the combined
spells rather than to each spell individually. [Should that apply to all
manipulation skills?]

Multitarget could be used to simulate an area of effect spell. A Glow spell
could be cast on five enemies simultaneously, for example.

Peter Maranci - pmaranci at gmail.com
Pete's RuneQuest & Roleplaying! http://www.runequest.org/rq.htm
The Diary of A Simple Man: http://bobquasit.livejournal.com/
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