Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nasty and Skany Do Something Nasty and Skanky

My latest madness (compulsive rules tinkerer) -

Whiskers is a human warrior, L6 - he's done pretty well for himself. His WIZ is 22 so he feels well protected against low level magic BUT one night he has the misfortune to come across two BAD elves in Khazan (never should have gone there!). Nasty is a L1 wizard. He has INT of 14 and WIZ of 24 (being an elf, he got modifiers - he rolled a low 9 for INT and a reasonable 12 for WIZ).
Nasty is saving hard for a shiny new spell and figures Whiskers is  a well off fellow. Casting a TTYF would likely just sting the warrior and if he cast Hold That Pose by the time he was ready to strike the spell would have worn off. BUT - he has a mate. Skanky is a L1 rogue elf. His adds are zero but he has a poniard. Whiskers has mail armour but when Nasty casts HTP, Skanky rushes up and drives his rusty poniard through Whiskers eye and into his brain killing him instantly. Poor guy never had a chance!
So - is that fair? If not, how should the odds be changed? Anyone out there?


  1. My first thought is that poniard is 2D weapon and Whiskers mail armor gives him 24 hits of protection (assuming 7th edition rules). So Whiskers should be able to withstand the attack. If you want to say that Skanky is going to bypass the armor because Whiskers is frozen, then Skanky needs to make at least a L1 SR on DEX or LK to make a one-strike kill (i.e. dagger in the eye).

  2. Thanks, Dan - I am going with the frozen armour bypass. I think Skanky can place his poniard against poor Whiskers eye and bank it hard with the heel of his hand, an action simple enough not to require a saving role.
    I sometimes GM large groups and one attacks another; we also have more and more city encounters where there needs to be a degree of logic to the actions of NPS and PCs alike so I'm experimenting with solutions. 2 possibilities involving the Warriors' Guild (who I think are controlled by the establishment just like the Wizards' Guild):

    1-As a warrior progresses levels, so he can buy protective charms from the Guild to ward off spells of certain levels e.g. for 3,000 gold a warrior can buy a charm protecting against L1 magic, for 4,000 he gets protection against L2 magic - i.e. he has to be 2 levels higher than the magic he wishes to ward off and it costs

    2-The Guild sells rings that add to a warrior's WIZ, just as a protection - same cost/level relationship as above

  3. OK - take 2!! My problem really is with Hold That Pose. It's a great spell but too powerful. Nasty shouldn't be able to kill a griffin with a MR of 200 by casting THAT spell and making it crash to its death!!! It needs a check like Oh Go Away has - maybe STR, INT and CHR to mix it up a little.
    Other than that the advice would be: only go to towns with a police force, make sure you're not out alone and run from elves...

  4. You have hit the nail on the head! HTP is far too powerful a spell to be L1. The ability to stop an opponent dead in his tracks should be L5 or 6. I know low level mages have a hard time but this particular enchantment shifts the balance of power too far in favour of the magic user.

    Darrgh Tarrrho (Sid Orpin)

  5. Yes, HTP is a powerful spell indeed against one single foe.
    In fact, I started a thread about HTP on the TrollBridge not so long ago (see

    Don't forget that Nasty has to make a L1 SR on his INT to cast the spell successfully (and his INT is only 14)... A failure could well prove fatal...