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A sandstorm spell

posted Mar 10, 2013 20:08:45 by chryckan
Are currently making a desert themed sorcerer and I've managed to tweak a several spells to fit the theme but I would like some way to create some sort of wind or storm effect to make a sandstorm spell.
I'm not talking about a genuine huge sandstorm in the dessert more something localized to be used in a smaller area, like making a small whirlwind push back enemies and obscure their sight.
Just can figure out how to create such a spell as neither animate nor sculpt seems to fit the bill.
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8 replies
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AmazingOnionMan said Mar 10, 2013 21:32:16
Summoning a Sylph might work? Very well, even.
It would literally be a dust-devil.
[Last edited Mar 10, 2013 21:32:38]
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PatHenry said Mar 10, 2013 22:26:44
I agree that Summoning Elemental seems to provide the mechanics and effects. Call it a djinn for your desert campaign.
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lawrence.whitaker said Mar 10, 2013 22:34:51
How about Evoke (Sand Devil) for a localised sandstorm? Sculpt does work too - sculpting a sandstorm from the material around, and then using Animate (Sand) to give it life. Transmogrify (something to sand) coupled with Animate would also work, and Wrack (Sand) can be used to flay opponents with whirling, scarifying, waves of sand designed to strip the flesh from the bones.

So there are several different alternatives out there: all that's needed is a little creativity!
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bluefenix42 said Mar 11, 2013 01:30:39
Lawrence's answer shows one of the things I love about Runequest: the spell lists are very flexible and the flavor of each spell is easily re-written to match any particular caster or theme. You may notice that there's only one direct-damage Sorcerer spell, Wrack, for example, but that one spell can be a fireball, a lightning strike, a sandstorm, a crushing ball of gravity, tendrils of shadow, etc. And it can be single-target, multi-target, long range, touch range, weak or strong, all depending on who is casting it. Compare that to some other games where there's a dozen different spells just to light your foes on fire, and another dozen or so to freeze them with cold, and so on, taking up sooooo many pages and rules (especially since each of those has slightly different mechanics!).
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chryckan said Mar 11, 2013 12:38:47
How about Evoke (Sand Devil) for a localised sandstorm? Sculpt does work too - sculpting a sandstorm from the material around, and then using Animate (Sand) to give it life. Transmogrify (something to sand) coupled with Animate would also work, and Wrack (Sand) can be used to flay opponents with whirling, scarifying, waves of sand designed to strip the flesh from the bones.

So there are several different alternatives out there: all that's needed is a little creativity!


I should probably have said that I had already discounted wrack because I wanted a wind spell that worked like a sort of smoke bomb and which maybe bowled foes over in the process. Not one which stripped the flesh from their bones.
(Btw how do I make a spell that trips people? Hinder?)

As for Animate and Sculpt, maybe I'll have to reread them but animate just screams Golem to me. That using it creates a sand elemental, not a gust of wind. While scuplt on its own is just static (but awesome). I did originally consider combing sculpt and Haste but haste to me just seem to increase the existing movement rate so combining it with sculpt seemed to fail due to Newtons first law.

Evoking a sylp doesn't really solve the fundamental problem. I get a living wind but I still don't know how to apply that wind.
To quote the rule book on page 402, 5th paragraph under Elemental Spirits;
"...and send out jets of wind to pummel opponents."

Now assuming I don't want to use wrack to inflict harm but instead just make an opponent stumble around like a TV-reporter reporting from a hurricane. How do i do that? How do I send out jets of wind to pummel opponents to make them stumble about?




Finally a bit off-topic follow up question. How do you write out the spells on the character sheet? If you have a sorcerer that belongs to a magical school that contains 10 spells but only know 3 of them from start. Do you write out all 10 on the grimoire on the sheet and mark which he knows or do you only write out the ones he knows and keep a record of the other 7 spells somewhere else?
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RangerDan said Mar 11, 2013 14:36:25
Evoking a sylp doesn't really solve the fundamental problem. I get a living wind but I still don't know how to apply that wind.
To quote the rule book on page 402, 5th paragraph under Elemental Spirits;
"...and send out jets of wind to pummel opponents."

Now assuming I don't want to use wrack to inflict harm but instead just make an opponent stumble around like a TV-reporter reporting from a hurricane. How do i do that? How do I send out jets of wind to pummel opponents to make them stumble about?

Maybe you can rig something from the Call Winds Divine Spell and the weather table on p. 130?
Perhaps Shape/Animate (Sandstorm) could simulate Call Winds?

Call Winds         Rank             Sorcery Skill Equivalent
Strong Breeze      Acolyte          70% skill
Moderate Gale      Priest           90% skill
Storm              High Priest      110% skill


This is just pulled out of a hat here at work so I'm not sure if it's even remotely balanced :-)
Finally a bit off-topic follow up question. How do you write out the spells on the character sheet? If you have a sorcerer that belongs to a magical school that contains 10 spells but only know 3 of them from start. Do you write out all 10 on the grimoire on the sheet and mark which he knows or do you only write out the ones he knows and keep a record of the other 7 spells somewhere else?

Generally the 2nd. Actually, players don't even know all spells which fall under a particular Grimoire, only the ones that they've encountered. That way the don't know the full capabilities of another practicioner (ie their master).

I have not had the issue yet where a player has more spells available to him than he can store in his INT, but if it happens I would probably do as you say - list all spells available on his character sheet and make a note of which are 'active' at the moment.
[Last edited Mar 11, 2013 14:38:21]
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lawrence.whitaker said Mar 11, 2013 14:38:55
Evoking a sylp doesn't really solve the fundamental problem. I get a living wind but I still don't know how to apply that wind.


You can Evoke an elemental as described in the Creatures chapter, pages 351-352. It doesn't need to be a spirit. A Sylph's size would depend on the spell's intensity. Let's say you Evoke a 4 cubic metre Sylph. It would have a Brawn of 66%, which represents the strength of wind others would need to resist using Athletics, in an opposed roll. If they fail, they are blown backwards, impeded, or whatever effect needs to be applied. Its quite straightforward.

I do suggest you re-read the Animate and Sculpt spells, too. They're designed to be very, very flexible so that you can create all manner of effects. They might scream Golem, but that's not their only application. A little creativity can go a long way to creating the kind of effect you're after. All the tools are there in the different spells; just apply some imagination and try not to get bogged-down in the obvious.

How do you write out the spells on the character sheet? If you have a sorcerer that belongs to a magical school that contains 10 spells but only know 3 of them from start. Do you write out all 10 on the grimoire on the sheet and mark which he knows or do you only write out the ones he knows and keep a record of the other 7 spells somewhere else?


This is entirely up to you. A character might know that a grimoire contains 10 spells and obviously he overtly knows 3 of them, but he might not know what the others are because he hasn't reached a level within the order where such information is revealed to him.
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chryckan said Mar 12, 2013 18:09:52
Hadn't considered using brawn for that. Sneaky.
Gonna try that and see how it works.

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