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Author Topic: Call Lightning Question  (Read 599 times)
Bhurano
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« on: April 12, 2012, 04:20:47 AM »

Hi there,

the spell Call Lightning is supposed to have a distance of remote (up to 1.000 feet) and the lightning called down strikes "local".

Am I right in defining local that anyone who can hear and see the lightning is affected by the stress damage effect? My impression is based on the fact that the Save for the effect is quite low and the investment of 3 Spellpoints would be quite high if the effect would be more limited... especially if I consider the fact that it feels more like an shock&awe spell and leaves the victims essentially alive but shaken.

As always any help is appreciated. Smiley
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 04:58:40 AM »

There's a bit of a disconnect sometimes with Distance and Area. Allow me to explain and perhaps it will answer your question...

Distance is how far away the caster can position the spell's point of origin (that is, its center of effect).

Area is how the spell's effect expands out from that point of origin.

So in this case we have a spell that the caster can center up to 1,000 ft. away that creates a Local Lightning Strike at that position. Make sense?

As to who would be affected, I would rule at my table that anyone likely to be unnerved by the strike's proximity to them would have to make the save. Yes, I realize that's a fuzzy rule. That's intentional, as hard and fast rules would dramatically dilute this spell's effectiveness in many situations, especially when a map and minis are involved.

Hope that helps!
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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 06:41:55 PM »

I'd treat it just like any other spell.

It has a Distance of Local and an Area of 60 ft. Sphere.  So in a 60 ft sphere within Local range, you apply one of the Lightning strike effects listed on page 369.  A Local Strike does stress damage to everyone in the area, a Near Strike does stress and flash damage and a Direct Strike does damage and sprawls the target.

The only thing not immediately clear to me is if the Direct Strike hits everyone in the area of effect.  If I was running it, i would just rule it a near strike for the others in the area of effect.
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magustoad
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 01:36:45 PM »

Perfect timing... wife-unit was looking at the spell yesterday and wondered the same thing.
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Bhurano
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 04:22:14 AM »

Thanks for the answers, they helped me to grasp these spells better.

@Crafty_Pat

I understand the desire to rule the spell a bit fuzzy... especially since I run the game the last several rounds without minis... which leaves the group with a more time to contribute to the narrative by describing their actions... something which they left more or less in my hands while they focused on the minis and the map.

The only thing I throw around is the area in which the stress damage is applied, which in turn is dependent on the situation. My reasoning is that it would unnerve me to see coming down a lightning in some hundred feet - especially without a building over my head. A more or less medieval fantasy peasant would probably think that nature or a higher power is gunning for him.

Also the spell is a damn nifty way to impress the common folks. "Dare to touch me!", dramatic pause, lightning strikes behind the wizard, rumbling thunder "And heaven himself will strike you down!".

@Bill Whitmore

I would even with a direct hit apply that 60 ft. area anyone suffers a direct hit. So it wouldn't hit only 1 being... my reasoning goes into "It's a damn lightning" Grin territory. Also it is a 5th level spell... so it seems fine.

To top it of... I would also apply a morale penalty throw. I do this as a rule of thumb with most area spells. Seeing some of your friends, relatives or general other sentient beings at least, burned by fire, acid that smelts parts of the victim or shocks them with electricity... this will erode anyones will to fight and leave many beings with permanent mental scars.

Thanks again for the help. Smiley

P.S.: You Crafty Guys did a terrific job with the Reaper and the Infernalist. I had a mighty fine time with a Reaper 10/Infernalist 10. I was allowed to buy the undead state and since I had access to level 9 spells we ruled that Dark Pact I would just be added to Dark Pact II. The character was a blast to play - despite the limited spells for now. Tainted hits very, very hard... especially because we play with corrupting magic.

The scenes were hilarious. The "dreaded" necromancer helping out repairing a palisade with undead mules and horses to haul logs. Check. Killing beavers with Cause Wounds I, Mass to aquire undead lumberjacks to bring down the trees in the first place. Check. Getting hanged by pissed off peasants. Check... and finally getting freed by his mini-pit fiend (his Imp). Grin And weirdest of all, he wanted to genuinely help and was in general the nicest being in the whole group. He just happened to be undead and in league with the forces of hell... and was steadfast about it. Smiley

P.P.S.: I could also say the same about the Chaneller and the Conjuror... the first a half elf with charge mastery and wrestling supremacy. Weak as he was, thanks to athletics he ripped through them like a scythe through wheat. Smiley The other a grizzled human conjuror/alchemist hunting down exotic components (read: dragon bones, demon blood and so on). He had quite a weak spot for elementals and would often bottle them in his fancy flasks to unleash them on short notice in dangerous situations. Its quite easy to pick a fight with the old, mumbling man... until the same old guy crushes nonchalantly a tin flask ornamented with runs... and the whole things goes down south fast when the trouble maker stares into an swirling sentient entity made of fire.

I love this game... so many points to drive home that narrative and rules sit on the same side of the fence. Smiley
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 05:46:39 AM by Bhurano » Logged
Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 06:38:56 AM »

I love this game... so many points to drive home that narrative and rules sit on the same side of the fence. Smiley

 Grin
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Patrick Kapera
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