[Runequest] RQ III Sorcery Skills: Speedcast and Multitarget

Ashley Munday aescleal at btinternet.com
Fri Aug 31 16:16:44 EST 2012

Hi Peter,

I haven't run RQ for years now, but when I did we used Multispell exactly as you outlined but without a cap. So the sorcerer could target as many targets as they had MP or SR for with the cost of the combined spell being equal to the largest single spell cost + 1 per spell cast.

The variant I used for speeding up casting was allowing a caster to have the first couple of levels of most manipulations for free. We knocked off the (smaller of manipulation skill or spell skill) / 20 from the MP cost. This made high level sorcerers able to cast faster, cheaper and kept the whole "1 MP = 1SR" aesthetic that the rest of the rules have. Worked great for us. Your Multispell variant sound okay though - I'd just introduce it but reserve the right to change it if the sorcerer suddenly becomes the best thing since sliced bread.



 From: Peter Maranci <pmaranci at gmail.com>
To: RuneQuest Rules <runequest at rpgreview.net> 
Sent: Thursday, 30 August 2012, 16:12
Subject: [Runequest] RQ III Sorcery Skills: Speedcast and Multitarget

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 outright.

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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