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Thread: The srcy spell in Birthright
03-16-2004, 06:04 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
I wanted to bring this up becuase it caused a rift in my group along time ago.The scry spell lets a wizard take a espionage action. Heres where it gets foggy.
Do you need a ley line to the target province? or can you scry anywahere in all of cerilla.
The book is not clear on the ley line part and so the wizard was allowed to scry anywhere.I disagreed because this made the espionage way too easy.
03-16-2004, 06:41 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Are you talking about the Scry Realm spell or the Scrying spell?
The Scry realm spell requires 5 RP + 3 RP/province between the caster and the target. So you could scry anywhere on Cerilia but it would drain your RP pretty quick. Scrying in this way would take a month, and it only gains the information gathering part of the espionage action.
I don't think you need a ley line to the target province due to the requirements mentioned above.
Why would this cause a rift in your group? :unsure:
03-16-2004, 08:14 PM #3
I am in complete agreement with Ming on this one. The Scry Province spell has always been for the benefit of looking beyond a regent's source holdings/territory - it is simply the equivalent of other regents' mundane Espionage domain actions. Both take a month of time, success is never guaranteed unless the regent spends lots more RP...I'm not sure why you have a problem with that, unless you believe wizards are too powerful and are looking for ways to keep them limited. In general, though, I'd say that I've always found source regents plenty limited, more than any other regent in fact, because of their ever-present limits on how much they can accomplish in a month's time. Time is never on a source regent's side...and combine this with the fact that wizards are far more limited in their total domain power because in any civilized area, there are nearly always more province levels than source levels, and a landed regent isn't blocked by exisiting source holdings when he tries to rule that province up a level. So a wizard with full sources there just loses a level, with no real chance to defend.
03-16-2004, 09:16 PM #4
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- Aug 2003
Ok..regardless of my opinion why should the scry spell supercede all of the other realm spells by not needing a ley line? ALL of the other spells require it. You make it seem as the scry realm spell is useless,on the contrary it is very powerful if used corectly. In my games you will need a ley line because i dont want wizards scrying against people up in the vos lands and visa versa. This caused a problem becuase people took diferent sides of the argument. Can you imagine trying to defend against this? Its impossible without using a warding spell. The rp and gp cost dosnt even make up for the fact that you need no ley lines to see what kind of underwear the gorgon is wearing today. :lol:
03-16-2004, 11:11 PM #5Ok..regardless of my opinion why should the scry spell supercede all of the other realm spells by not needing a ley line? ALL of the other spells require it. You make it seem as the scry realm spell is useless,on the contrary it is very powerful if used corectly. In my games you will need a ley line because i dont want wizards scrying against people up in the vos lands and visa versa. This caused a problem becuase people took diferent sides of the argument. Can you imagine trying to defend against this? Its impossible without using a warding spell. The rp and gp cost dosnt even make up for the fact that you need no ley lines to see what kind of underwear the gorgon is wearing today.
Why should Scry Province not require a ley line? Because it's scrying, that's why. The very nature of scrying is to see beyond one's normal limitations.
Also...why would there be an RP cost based on the number of provinces of seperation between the source and target provinces? There should be no question as to interpreting the meaning of this. At this point, requiring a source or ley line in the target province is a house rule - and one that makes for an incredibly expensive spell, as the wizard must now pay for the ley line AND the spell itself!
I think the answer to your dilemma is what I first said...have priest or source regents cast Protection from Realm Magic on the places that matter. Also, don't forget that any sensitive folks have a chance to notice when someone is scying on them...which would tip them off when an enemy's using scrying. Finally, any personal spells like Misdirection or Nondetection should still protect against the Realm Spell as it applies to anything personal - like the Gorgon keeping the color of his underpants a secret.
03-17-2004, 12:08 AM #6
In other words, BulletMagnet, it seems you forgot that, however complex or powerful an offence may well be, any simple and effective defence will protect you just fine...
Consider this situation from your point of view, if the scried people do take up a defensive stance regarding divinatory magicks: the wizard pays an awful lot of RP, secures an additional ley line, spends another month of work on the spell, and then... his attempt gets foiled by a single, non-realm spell even a bard or magician can cast! Can you imagine the wizard? I would slit the throat of my familiar in and act of mercy, burn down my library and arcanabula, gulp down my robes with a little universal solvent, and drown myself in my spell components.
03-17-2004, 01:46 AM #7
I forgot to write this earlier. A perhaps fairer alternative for balancing the Scry Province Realm Spell, if you feel it is too powerful for a 1st level spell, is to make it the same level as the personal version - either a 3rd level spell (same as Clairvoyance) or 4th level spell (as Scrying)...
Also, keep in mind that Scry Province is just that - it is a broad-scale scrying effect, meant to spy on large things like total troops strengths, holding levels, etc. You could rule that trying to find really detailed specific intelligence is like trying to perform surgery with a greatsword - it's the wrong tool for the job, and Scrying would be a more appropriate spell for such work (and doesn't require a Domain Action, either!. Just some more ideas as to alternatives for you to use.
03-17-2004, 11:00 PM #8
I have given a lot of though to scrying in BR, although the scrying I have
had going on has been priestly scrying and since there are holdings to Erik
in every province (almost) ley lines are not an issue.
When I converted Hjalmar Helder to 3e, and fleshed him out a bit, I gave him
a ring of protection +1, and a crystal ball. The crystal ball is actually
an object that goes with his office as druidical advisor the to crown.
Hjalmar would use it to keep an eye on known hot spots and key figures. By
and large the people Hjalmar kept track of wouldn`t know they were being
scryed if they saw Hjalmar using the ball in front of them. They were
largely Rjurik nobles, no wizards or other clerics were under observation.
It lead me to concieve of a two-tiered scrying scenario. First off you
scry. If you do so unnoticed, all well and good. Use the standard scrying
rules based on the spell you are employing, whatever magical items you use,
and in my case, a seperate Scry skill. If the other end used protections to
conceal them, you could not get reliable scrying. Sometimes you might
penetrate their protection, but who knows when you would or would not,
hardly a reliable source of information. So, you would (again, thinking
about temples) call in some favors which would involve a number of things.
It could involve aquisition of a key object that would make scrying easier,
or setting up a second scrying possition hoping to double you chances, or
getting some gaps filled in with divinations of other kinds. It might also
involve collecting non-magical information and examining it in light of your
scrying, or the reverse, now that you know some temple gossip about X, what
does the scrying tell you. So that explains the RP expence that could be
seen as an intensive scrying attempt, beyond the hit and miss which is
likely with standard spells.
Another way to put it (and I prefer to leave realm actions abstract so I can
explain them by a number of means depending on the circumstances), is that
its a kind of large cooperative scry spell casting, with multiple pools of
water, and the one crystal ball, being used to maintain a sustained scrying
of the subject. I had allowed the PC`s to learn that Hjalmar had trusted
priests in each of the provinces that he could call on. Each of them, like
Hjalmar, did their own scrying of persons of local interest, so could either
pass on tidbits of knowledge (BTW, I should also mention that I made Hjalmar
Helder a 4th level Conspiracy Leader) or could join Hjalmar in a combined
scrying operation against a hardened target.
I also basically ruled Storm Holtson out of bounds -- utterly unscryable.
He has sufficient magical protections to force any wizard or druid to use a
realm action, and then he could just spend more RP than any scrying rival,
and would do so on principle. Holtson is the kind of guy who would have a
dozen rings of water breathing made, no matter the expence, so that if
neccesary he could carry on key guild meetings at the bottom of the Tael
Firth. A hypothetical situation, there are no moist meetings, but its a
statement of how far Storm would go to avoid being scryed. Holt could then
counter with his free espionage action against scrying rulers to turn their
own organizations into an information sieve, for as long as he wanted, just
to send a message. As a result, no one ever bothers to scry Storm Holtson.
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