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Thread: Time and Magic
10-24-1998, 03:25 AM #1Gary V. FossGuest
Time and Magic
> Heh... oups, try to find those 10 (?) 7th level mages needed.
> *and* cooperate. I'd think such a feat impossible.
> But if one takes the Emerald Queen for example, she could cast 4 'polymorph
> other' per day. = 120 per month. And I think a cavalry war card needs 50
> horses or something. (oups.. I've never thought of this idea before).
> And she would still be able to take normal actions, as it only takes a
> couple of minutes each day to polymorph them.
Yes, it only takes two 8th level mages to have the same spell casting effect (with
respect to Polymorph Other spells) as Isealie. My understanding is that there are
100 mounts in a cavalry/knight/flying unit, which means Isealie or the 8th level
mages could come up with 120 such creatures in under a month.
This does not, however, take into account the possibilty of creating a lower level
version of the spell with a much longer casting time and possibly a few material
components according to the Spell Law material published in Dragon magazine a
while back. Or a slightly more powerful 5th level version of the spell, for that
matter. If one had both these versions of Polymorph Other, and one could convince
two 9th level mages to do this, they could potentially cast twelve Polymorph Other
spells a day, for a total of 360 spells a month....
Another thing to note about this issue. Couldn't the same mages cast Stoneskin on
all 200 members of a military unit, making them immune to the first 5-8 hits on
that unit? The Improved Armor spell in the BoM also has an undefined duration, so
a mage casting that spell 200 times on a unit of archers should be able to make
them armored as if wearing plate mail.
There are a lot of issues along these lines. What about priests? Couldn't
priests with access to the Glyph of Warding spell effectively mine their temples?
How about a druid casting Giant Insect spells for a month or two to create a swarm
of locust the likes of which would give most real life farmers nightmares for a
decade? Shall we talk about Animate Dead?
> Hmm.. restrict the power of wish then. Anyway, 18th level character *does*
> have an impact on the world, no matter what world we are talking about.
This is very true. There are very few characters with that kind of power in the
published materials. Several are close, however, and see the following note
> >Well, what do you folks think? Am I nuts or could this kind of thing easily
> Nope! I'd say it won't happen.
> If he tries to do that, the Magian or the Gorgon would have taken notice of
> him, and would prolly try to slay such a character before their power brgun
> to rival their own.
Ah, but why wouldn't the Gorgon or the Magian be doing this themselves?
Especially the Gorgon. The guy has been around for a very long time. Oh, his
spell casting ability might not be all that incredible, but he could certainly
have spent a lot of time doing this sort of thing. Several other awnsheghlien
spring to mind as well. The Chimaera is basically immortal. Isn't the Raven
too? Most importantly, however, what about elves? I've argued that there are
potentially thousands and thousands of elven wizards on Cerilia. If they are
immortal then they have plenty of time to go up in levels, and Cerialian elves are
unlimited in level advancement as wizards.... Once an elf reaches 18th level
shouldn't he be able to just Wish himself into semi-godhood?
10-24-1998, 03:45 AM #2Bernardo79@aol.coGuest
Time and Magic
I have a question. Why does the wish spell have to exist on Cerilia? Plus,
as the gods would most likely put a stop to any being trying to become a demi-
god with magic. Its a nice senario but any DM worth their salt would see to
it, that first off no PC would have a wish spell, and second that they not
ever be allowed such a power on an already powerful enough world. I as a GM
not a MHGM (monty hall) feel that the roleplaying isn't in the levels but in
the fun. All of my players have fun, so the campaigns don't get boring. And
my characters rarely make it past 11th lvl. The usually grow too old, or die.
There is a reason that there are not big time adventurers a-plenty in gaming
worlds... the Death and Dismemberment policy : )
10-24-1998, 07:20 AM #3Ryan FreireGuest
Time and Magic
The wish spell puts a horrible horrible drain on anyone casting it,
aging them and causing them to take to bed for 2d4 days after casting
it. I believe it was overlooked in the PHB but Limited wish ages the
caster 1 year for every 100 years of lifespan, i imagine wish (which
says it ages the caster 5 years) should read 5 years for every 100 years
of lifespan, thats a LOT! I imagine that this was overlooked since
according to base d+d rules, only humans could reach a high enough level
to cast wish spells. And the Gorgon isnt immortal per se, he just ages 1
year for every century that passes, meaning he casts that spell and with
a lifespan of around oh..we'll say 3000 years, since he got the ability
during the mid range of his life, when he casts that spell he ages 150
years, OUCH! Elves, value living their lives to the fullest, and while
it may not have MUCH of an effect on them, giving up time in their lives
is NOT something elves would enjoy doing (too much like necromancy) so i
personally would penalize any player-character elf doing this for bad
roleplay. Also an interesting rule was that it takes 10 wishes to raise
a stat 1 point above 16. With the DM's twisting the wording to grant
the wish in the most expedient manner possible that requires the least
amount of power expended, using wishes becomes very risky as well.
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10-24-1998, 02:02 PM #4Gary V. FossGuest
Time and Magic
> I have a question. Why does the wish spell have to exist on Cerilia?
I don't know that removing the Wish spell from the list of available spells is
really the kind of solution I was looking for. The scenario I described is a
pretty limited one. I don't know that I want to take away the Wishes away from
the 99.99% of the game in order to deal with this situation. I may end up doing
that (no one has ever actually cast a Wish in my BR campaign, so it probably
wouldn't be much of a loss) but if someone has a better solution, I'd much prefer
to handle it in another way.
> as the gods would most likely put a stop to any being trying to become a demi-
> god with magic.
I would really rather avoid divine intervention whenever possible. Actually,
that's an understatement. I absolutely do not want to use divine intervention in
a campaign I am running. It seems like the worst possible cop-out as a DM, sort
of like that patronizing parental "because I said so" rationalization that never
worked on me as a child. I'd use it if there was no other alternative, but I'd
would prefer a more graceful solution.
If there is a "solution" at all. Maybe this is the way gods are created?
Somebody somewhere finds this kind of loophole and exploits it.
> Its a nice senario but any DM worth their salt would see to
> it, that first off no PC would have a wish spell, and second that they not
> ever be allowed such a power on an already powerful enough world. I as a GM
> not a MHGM (monty hall) feel that the roleplaying isn't in the levels but in
> the fun. All of my players have fun, so the campaigns don't get boring. And
> my characters rarely make it past 11th lvl. The usually grow too old, or die.
> There is a reason that there are not big time adventurers a-plenty in gaming
> worlds... the Death and Dismemberment policy : )
The highest character level reached in a campaign I DM was 14th, so I quite agree
with you. The problem is that in BR, unlike any other campaign world, the players
can start off playing quite powerful characters. IMC, the players make up
entirely new characters and play in the BR world with all the characters in the
published materials as NPCs, so this really has very little to do with my
campaign. I asked the question out of more curiosity than anything else. I am
still wondering why certain awnsheghlien would not be doing this sort of thing,
however. If the Magian is a lich, for instance, aging will have no effect upon
him. He's already undead. Why not cast Wishes and raise his stats like mad?
Given his current stats; S12 D: 18 C: 17 I: 22 W: 18 Ch: 15 isn't it possible he
is already doing this?
10-24-1998, 02:26 PM #5Gary V. FossGuest
Time and Magic
Ryan Freire wrote:
> The wish spell puts a horrible horrible drain on anyone casting it,
> aging them and causing them to take to bed for 2d4 days after casting
> it. I believe it was overlooked in the PHB but Limited wish ages the
> caster 1 year for every 100 years of lifespan, i imagine wish (which
> says it ages the caster 5 years) should read 5 years for every 100 years
> of lifespan, thats a LOT! I imagine that this was overlooked since
> according to base d+d rules, only humans could reach a high enough level
> to cast wish spells.
> And the Gorgon isnt immortal per se, he just ages 1
> year for every century that passes, meaning he casts that spell and with
> a lifespan of around oh..we'll say 3000 years, since he got the ability
> during the mid range of his life, when he casts that spell he ages 150
> years, OUCH!
Hmmm. I suppose I could rule this way if I were hard-pressed. I don't really
get this kind of feeling off the description of the Long Life ability. That
description makes it sound much more like lifespan is not being extended, but
that the effects of time on aging are slowed down. It's a subtle distinction,
but one that I think counters the lifespan argument.
I also have a problem in that I have ruled that blood abilities are generally
more powerful than spell effects. That is, if there is a conflict between a
blood ability and a spell, the blood ability wins. The power of the gods, I
figure, is stronger than a spell. For instance, a druid casts Charm Person or
Mammal on a cat controlled by a scion with the Animal Affinity, Brenna
(great). Both characters vie for control over the animal. I think the
character with the blood ability wins automatically.
The point is that Wish is a spell. I think blood abilities should have more
effect on characters than spells, so I would probably have to rule that the
Long Life blood ability takes precedence over the aging effects of the Wish
> Elves, value living their lives to the fullest, and while
> it may not have MUCH of an effect on them, giving up time in their lives
> is NOT something elves would enjoy doing (too much like necromancy) so i
> personally would penalize any player-character elf doing this for bad
I don't know. I admit no one wants to be in bed for 2d4 days. (Well, that's
not true, I'd rather like to spend that much time in bed.) But the payoff is
certainly worth it, even for elves. What's a week to an elf?
> Also an interesting rule was that it takes 10 wishes to raise
> a stat 1 point above 16.
Given the relative lifespans what is 10 wishes to these folks?
> With the DM's twisting the wording to grant
> the wish in the most expedient manner possible that requires the least
> amount of power expended, using wishes becomes very risky as well.
Twisting the wording of a Wish is certainly an option, but how is a DM to twist
the wording of a Wish used to increase an ability score? The player just says,
"I wish I was more intelligent." How am I supposed to twist the wording of
that wish in a way that isn't totally and ridiculously contrived? Say the same
character wanted to make the Protection from Normal Missiles spell that he had
just cast upon himself permanent. He would just say "I wish the Protection
from Normal Missiles spell I just cast upon myself was permanent." That's
pretty difficult to twist the wording on.
10-24-1998, 09:24 PM #6Craig DalrympleGuest
Time and Magic
- -----Original Message-----
From: Gary V. Foss
Date: Saturday, October 24, 1998 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] - Time and Magic
>Twisting the wording of a Wish is certainly an option, but how is a DM to
>the wording of a Wish used to increase an ability score? The player just
>"I wish I was more intelligent." How am I supposed to twist the wording of
>that wish in a way that isn't totally and ridiculously contrived? Say the
>character wanted to make the Protection from Normal Missiles spell that he
>just cast upon himself permanent. He would just say "I wish the Protection
>from Normal Missiles spell I just cast upon myself was permanent." That's
>pretty difficult to twist the wording on.
Actually, it's not all that hard to twist a wish into something that is less
what the caster/recipient intended. Even if it is a well worded wish wherein
the caster took many precautions on the phrasing to avoid ambiguities.
I kinda see the effects of a wish resembling that of any modern wonder drug.
All of em have some kind of side effects. Some are directly related to the
power of the drug/wish. Others just happen due to it, but don't seemed to
be linked directly.
Perhaps the person who wishes for and gets higher intelligence now
has migraines due to unnaturally inflated intellect. These migraines
could stop all spellcasting ability from being usable until they stopped.
A kind DM might just allow some kinda save (say vs.. petrifaction)
to cast a spell when a migraine is on, but even that is pretty rough.
The making prot from normal missiles spell can also have side effects,
though a dispel magic could counter it relatively easy anyway. Wish
based side effects might include some kinda change in the persons
physiology (sp) due to the nature of constant magic emanating from
him. These emanations might make him glow with a faerie fire or
something annoying like that. Perhaps it could be something less
obvious such as other "normal" objects avoiding the target. Kinda
like an uncontrolled reverse telekinesis.
Life can be fun, :) especially when you are punishing your players...
10-25-1998, 10:39 AM #7Pieter SleijpenGuest
Time and Magic
A simple solution to the abuse of wishes would be to make the aging
effect be on constitution. In stead of aging 5 years the person will
lose an constitution effect that is not recoverable by a wish spell.
This would certainly stand for the draining effect of the spell. I think
this is much better anyway, since the mage that is able to cast a wish
probably can develop potions that reduce the mage in age. For liches and
other undead the drain in constitution could show itself in a hastened
rotting or desintegrating of the body and reduce an ammount of the
maximum hit points that the creature can have.
Remember that a wish spell can copy any other spell and in the case of
the spell made permanent, this can be dispeled with a simple dispel
magic (this is just a simple combination of a permanency and an other
10-25-1998, 01:25 PM #8Gary V. FossGuest
Time and Magic
Pieter Sleijpen wrote:
> I am not sure if polymorphing creatures is a viable tactic. First of all
> a simple 'dispel magic' reverses it, if this is cast as a 'war'-spell
> then you suddenly have a unit of 100 horses crushing to their deaths
> (with a little bit of luck above their own units). Since the sudden
> appearence of such large pegasus units is rather strange, people are
> bound to suspect this. An other problem is that the polymorphed
> creatures become the creatures not only in body but also in mind. This
> means that they will have to be trained again and everyone knows how
> difficult this can be. The riders will also have to be trained. In the
> end creating a flying unit through spells might be still very expensive
> and the results are unit with a dangerous weak spot. It would be much
> simpler to create the mass fly spell and it has got the same risks.
This is true. Creatures polymorphed into flying mounts would require extensive
training, so would their riders, and the unit would be very vulnerable to a
Dispel Magic battlespell. Personally, I don't really like battlespells. I
don't use them in my campaign, so this is not a problem, but if such a spell
were available you're quite right that it would be very effective against such
a unit. I'm not quite sure if I would rule that such a unit would be effected
by Dispel Realm Magic. I'm inclined to think it would, however, which also
makes the unit vulnerable to such an attack.
I think the amount of training required and the vulnerabilities would probably
be worth it for such an incredibly advantageous tactical weapon, though, don't
you? Even if the unit were employed under very restricted conditions, such as
having them "stand off" at an altitude out of range of that Dispel Magic
battlespell, but could still drop stones or other projectiles on enemy units.
As far as I can tell there is no range limit on gravity.... :)
The other important effect such a unit would have is what has euphemistically
been called a "terror weapon" since the 1930's. A flying unit would be more
effective against cities and castles than against individual units because of
the necessity to stay out of range of Dispel Magic which would limit their
accuracy. But against a town, accuracy isn't such a big concern. I really
think such a unit would be more of a threat than cannon. The thing that scared
people about cannon wasn't really that they were antipersonnel weapons but that
they could bring down a city's walls and leave it vulnerable. A flying unit
would just bypass a cities walls and begin bombarding the city directly. That
should give anyone pause.
> As for skeletons and zombies, you just pointed out one of the most
> dangerous aspects of a necromancer. The sole way to destroy an army of a
> necromancer is to kill that necromancer or to be equiped with certain
> quest spells. The problem is that for the spell a reasonable complete
> body is needed and these are not very common. the bodies also can not be
> reused for that reason.
Dead bodies are, however, a renewable resource . It is rather
frightening that the biggest stumbling block that a necromancer might have is
access to enough corpses....
Anyway, this is the sort of thing that lies at the heart of my dislike of
battlespells. First, I don't really like the idea of giving a magic user a
much more powerful version of his low level spell as simply and easily as
that. I've argued that wizards are under powered in BR terms, but giving a 1st
level wizard the power to hit 200 guys with a magic missile isn't exactly what
I had in mind. Second, I don't quite get the rationalization for a middle step
between regular spells and realm magic. Third, I don't see why it is
necessary. If a mage wants a spell that effects an entire unit he should
invent such a spell. That spell could either have a very large area of effect
or be of unlimited duration so that he could cast it on all 200 members of a
unit over a month or two. Why bother with a battlespell at all?
One last point regarding spells. Is it just me or is the Improved Armor spell
in the BoM (p92) too powerful? AC 2 with an unlimited duration? None of the
players in my campaign have quite hit upon the realization that they could cast
this spell on all their mounts and eliminate the need for barding, or that they
could cast it on all the party members and give them an unarmored AC 2 whenever
they are just hanging out at the castle. This spell in combination with a
Stoneskin could make characters pretty near invulnerable for the first several
rounds of any hand-to-hand fight.
10-25-1998, 05:16 PM #9HSteiner1@aol.coGuest
Time and Magic
In einer eMail vom 24.10.98 20:38:27, schreiben Sie:
Punishing? For what?
I would be quitting playing with you, if you did this thing to my character.
If you dont like any spells in the PHB disallow them in your campaign, but
this kind of "player bashing" is just stupid.
The players have worked hard to get their characters high enough to cast
some powerful spells, so whats the punishing for?
Its absolutely normal for a wizard of 18th level to have some permanent
spells on them, they ARE arch-wizards after all.
Every time somebody talks about wishes in an AD&D context some fool
shouts "PUNISH THEM". If the characters made it that far, they SOULD be able
to exert their power, they have earned it.
Maybe we should punish fighters for having more than one attack per round
in higher levels?
Lord Mage of Roesone
Programmer & Object-Technology Consultant
Only the code gets executed, not the intentions...
10-25-1998, 10:22 PM #10Pieter SleijpenGuest
Time and Magic
There is a difference between punishing and between some logical power
limits. If these spells were as easy as you suggest you want them, then
current arch-mages allready have them. There are not that many
arch-mages around, but lets take a look at the Khinasi area (my
favorite). First lets define arch-mage as 12th level or higher. That
creates the following list (had this list ready since my players needed
a 'stone to flesh' spell):
*The sphinx (12th lvl) - awn
*El-Sheighul (19th lvl) - awn
*The Swan Mage (16th lvl) - human/good
*el-Sirad (exact lvl unknown, but concidering his autamatons/golems and
other magical feats he is high lvl) - awn
*Caelcorwynn (13th lvl) - elf
*High Lady Fiona (13th lvl) - elf
*The Serpent (12th lvl) - awn
*The Magian (20th lvl) - awn/lich
*The White Soceress (17th lvl) - human/good
I count exactly 2 powerfull mages for the forces of good and maybe 2
extra (the elves of Rhuanach are friendly to humans). The rest are all
very evil and dangerous. The Serpent even managed to destroy a complete
culture (the Masetians). If these spells had no limitations as we are
discussing in this message thread, then the world would be a terrible
place to live in. There would be nothing to stop the Magian or the
Serpent (the two most dangerous forces in the Khinasi lands at moment,
though one should not underestimate the Sphinx), except maybe each
other. Since these wizards do not rule the world, there are some limits.
Limits that are not only there for the PC's, but for the NPC's as well.
That is were this discusion is about, because not many DM's have got
players whoes PC's will ever reach these levels. As a DM we want some
serious opposition, but we want to give the PC's a chance. Besides, even
the gods would not want unlimited wizardly power. The Forgotten Realms
have got some good examples of what will happen if there are this kind
Besides, if an 18th lvl wizard needs a permanent spell (with a wish) to
mean something against an 18th lvl warior. Then he needs some better
spells in his spell book...or use his brains better.
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