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Air Blast, Bolt, and Burst

 
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GranFalloon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:13 am    Post subject: Air Blast, Bolt, and Burst Reply with quote

I've been talking with the mages in my 50 Fathoms game and we like the idea of really putting the trappings to use for their elemental magic. In particular, we're giving little tweaks to the base damage spells based on what element is used to cast them. A fire bolt can set you on fire, while a water bolt seems to work best if you form the water into blades of ice as it flies, which can have nifty ice effects (And yes, I've been watching a lot of Avatar. Way to go, Hercule Poirot).

In the case of air, I know what I want it to do, but not how best to do it. Basically, I want to make it almost non-damaging, but knock people around the battlefield. An Air Bolt should shake you just fine, but it's going to have a hard time wounding you unless it slams you into something hard enough. As Ron White put it, "It ain't that the wind is blowin', it's what the wind is blowin'." In this case the what is you.

My thought was this: Make your spellcasting roll, then roll damage as usual, but you can't do more than Shake your target (though, see later). The target also makes an opposed Strength roll against the damage. If you win, you push the target 1" for every success and raise. If he strikes a solid object, he suffers any wounds as usual for the damage.

What do you guys think? Is it a mess? I have a tendency to over-complicate things. More importantly, is it useful? Is the movement effect enough? Too much? I've been playing in a weekly D&D 4E game and learning that forced movement effects can make things really interesting. I don't want to make it too easy to blow people clean off the battlemat, but I feel there should be ample compensation for making the powers almost damage-free.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Air Blast, Bolt, and Burst Reply with quote

GranFalloon wrote:
In the case of air, I know what I want it to do, but not how best to do it. Basically, I want to make it almost non-damaging, but knock people around the battlefield. An Air Bolt should shake you just fine, but it's going to have a hard time wounding you unless it slams you into something hard enough. As Ron White put it, "It ain't that the wind is blowin', it's what the wind is blowin'." In this case the what is you.

My reaction is to do something similar but different.

Roll damage as normal. The first two (2) raises on damage do not deal wounds, instead each pushes the target 1d6" (go ahead and use the 4e definition of a "push").
This way people can still be wounded by it (as they often are by real life high winds) but can also throw their foes far along the battlefield. Sometimes too far. Twisted Evil However, the distance is capped at 12" (unless you let the dice ace Exclamation ), which is a lot but something they can run to overcome.

Regardless, that's cool and I wish you the best of luck.
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UmbraLux
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Air Blast, Bolt, and Burst Reply with quote

GranFalloon wrote:
My thought was this: Make your spellcasting roll, then roll damage as usual, but you can't do more than Shake your target (though, see later). The target also makes an opposed Strength roll against the damage. If you win, you push the target 1" for every success and raise. If he strikes a solid object, he suffers any wounds as usual for the damage.
Have you considered using this without the opposed roll? In other words, the air mage rolls 'damage' as normal, on a success the target is shaken, with one or more raises the target is also knocked away from the mage. You might even consider a 2" knockback per raise...else a single 2 PP bolt may not do much.

My reasoning for avoiding the opposed roll is three fold:
- First and most important, more rolls = more time = slower combat.
- Second, toughness is already based on Vigor and armor which should give some idea of how massive the character is - and how hard to push around. Presumably, the mage is directing the attack slightly upwards so mass is all that matters...strength won't if he's being pushed away from the ground.
- Finally, making it opposed makes it less useful than the other elements' unopposed bolts.

That does bring up another possible modifier for the air bolts - you could have them ignore non-physical armor. Basically anything which doesn't add to mass doesn't help defend against the attack.
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chugosh
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that, toughness representing mass, no damage but shaken, but all raises to knockback. 2" is twelve feet, let us remember, so that might be a bit much, but an inch per raise would be cool. Especially if you had already backed the foe against the ship's rail.
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No opposed roll, TN equals opponents Strength.
No damage* except Shaken, Success means 1d4" knockback +1" for each raise.
*Unless you hit something!


And I would have water bind or slow down people.


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robert4818
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts.

We wouldn't be talking about a light breeze here.

Since you are robbing the power of its primary purpose (damage) make sure that its replaced function is strong. Wind of this power isn't going to "push" someone 1d6" its going to handily throw them (No str num required) If it throws them into something hard (Tree, wall, mast) then the target takes normal damage.

If the ground is strewn with debris then have the spell do 1/2 normal damage upon hitting as the targets (before throwing) get blasted with little bits of dirt, gravel, straw, etc. Treat the two damages (debris/throwing) separate. For purposes of dealing wounds.

Lastly, since this is not telekinesis, the player can't control the "throw". Characters travel in a straight line drawn between the center of the player model/square, and the center of the target model/square.
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SlasherEpoch
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking at the Air Elemental's Push ability. Why don't you just tack that on as a trapping of the spell?
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77IM
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good ideas here, although I like GranFalloon's original idea the best. I like using Str opposed by damage (similar to disarm), because it means whatever damage modifiers and Str modifiers you have will apply, and that makes sense to me. And most people's Toughness is better than their Str result, so odds are good that if you Shake the target you will also be bumping them back a few inches (and possibly doing damage if you can orient the bolt properly).

-- 77IM
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

77IM wrote:
Lots of good ideas here, although I like GranFalloon's original idea the best. I like using Str opposed by damage (similar to disarm), because it means whatever damage modifiers and Str modifiers you have will apply, and that makes sense to me. And most people's Toughness is better than their Str result, so odds are good that if you Shake the target you will also be bumping them back a few inches (and possibly doing damage if you can orient the bolt properly).

-- 77IM


I would suggest droping the point cost of the power then.

Compare the effectiveness of the power to the standard (or other modified) bolt, blast, burst powers.

With this option you are lowering the oomph of the spell AND including a saving throw that for some spells, like bolt, don't exist.
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ogbendog
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or flip it over. Say of they are shaken, they are knocked off balance/down/back. If they are wounded, they were pushed into an object, or pushed down on a rock, or the wind picked up some rocks or debri as it flew at them

puching a foe away from you is good, but it can also be good for them, it might take them out of melee, so it's kind of a wash.
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Clint
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolt at its core is a damage causing power; I'm not sure if changing that underlying effect is perhaps the best option as opposed to using (or creating) a different power with closer effect that could be easier to adapt with trappings.

For a bolt with air trappings, I'd perhaps consider making it an innately nonlethal attack that moves the target 1d4" back with a raise on the attack roll. Only if the target would hit a solid object does the damage also gain the +1d6 for the raise (if the object is sharp, pointy, or the like, then the damage may be lethal in that case).

Either way, if the damage results in a success or better, then the target is also knocked prone.
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mac40k
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about something based on Telekenisis?

Air Blast
Rank
: Seasoned
Power Points: 3
Range: Flame Template
Duration: Instant
Trappings: A wave of the hand, magic wand, air propulsion gun

This power shifts objects with a powerful blast of air. The weight of objects the caster can potentially shift is equal to 10 lbs times his Spirit die type, or 50 lbs times his Spirit with a raise.

Living Targets: Occasionally a victim might manage to grab onto something solid to prevent itself from being lifted. When this happens, the victim may make an opposed Strength roll versus the casterís arcane skill. If the victim is successful, he manages to grab onto whatever was available and is not moved or otherwise affected that round.

Damage: Objects affected by this power are blown the casterís Smarts in inches directly away from the caster. Living creatures suffer falling damage as usual if blown off a cliff, bridge, building or other high terrain feature. Victims who are bashed into walls or other solid objects suffer the casterís Spirit+d6 as damage. If a caster with a d12 Spirit smashes an orc into a wall, for example, the orc suffers d12+d6 damage. Damage to creatures being hit by flyin debris propelled by this power is half that.

I decided to go with 3 for PP since this power is not as flexible as Telekenisis, but I could make a case for it being 2 as well.

I decided to use the cone template as the range rather than a fixed distance, but you could easily swap this out for Range: Smarts or Smarts x2. I figured that since there will often be cases where the caster doesn't get a raise and can't move enough weight to blast creatures away from him that half damage from flying debris from other objects under the cone would help make up for this.
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