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Combining Diminish (SIZ) and Shapeshanging

posted Apr 06, 2013 09:16:00 by ErikSharma
For my next adventure I need a dragon that can shapechange into an elf. My first thought was that the dragon would use Shapechange (Elf) for that since dragons often have access to higher magic. But reading the description I realized that he would need a very high amount of intensity to be able to pull that off since the SIZ difference is so huge. If I understand correctly the Intensity needed would be 28 requiring a very high Invocation skill. Higher than I had planned for the dragon. He is supposed to be very old and powerful but not that powerful. But then I figured what if he combine it with Diminish (SIZ) to reduce the needed Intensity but at a higher Magic Point cost.

That is the only way I can think of without resolving to a magic item or something which I want to try to avoid. There are some considerations on how to rule the use though so I will give an example on how I was planning. Let's say that the dragon instead have an Invocation skill 120% making it possible to cast spells up to Intensity 12. For example the Dragon casts a Dimish (SIZ) combined with Shapechange (Elf) and reduces the SIZ of 50 down to 26 with Intensity 12 Diminish (SIZ). Then the Intensity needed by to take the Elf form would be 12 for the Shapechange (Elf). Just within reach of his Invocation. 120% is a skill value I can live with for the dragon.

I am still curious what others think of this ruling though.
[Last edited Apr 06, 2013 09:19:27]
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9 replies
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Antalon said Apr 06, 2013 09:30:25
I think, from a quick scan of the sorcery rules, that would work.

But, why not just allow the Dragon access to Dragon magic or a unique spell that simple allows it to change shape. The key points are: does it detect as magical, and what type; and what magnitude is the spell cast at (i.e. how easy is it to see that a spell is in place and to dispel it?).

It depends upon your setting. If dragons can take on very specific humanoid forms, then allow it as an innate ability that can be detected but perhaps not dispelled. If this is unusual or unknown among Dragons, then the convoluted use of 'human' sorcery may be the only way?

Antalon
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DanTrue said Apr 06, 2013 09:53:59
Your ruling is fine, and a good example on how flexibility and creativity can open new alleys in sorcery :)

- Dan
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RangerDan said Apr 06, 2013 10:17:02
I think it's a valid take on the Sorcery rules.
* Diminish SIZ from 50 to 26 is 12 Intensity
* Shapechange a SIZ 26 to SIZ 16 is also exactly 12 Intensity.

The only question-mark I would have is this: Combining spells increases the difficulty of the cast by one step.
Does that affect the maximum Intensity possible? I couldn't find a definitive ruling in the book in my quick skim, and I could see reasons for going either way with it.

In any case, if that's an issue, the spells could be cast separately for a higher MP cost.

Assuming Draco McElfshape has a Shaping skill of 120% as well, and let's say POW 20, he would have to spend 4 MPs (3 if you assume the Combine thing does not affect Intensity) every 3-4 hours to keep his shape.
Alternatively, if you take the extended durations from the sidebar, he can spend those same 3-4 MPs and keep his shape for decades :o
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DanTrue said Apr 06, 2013 10:25:01
if you take the extended durations from the sidebar, he can spend those same 3-4 MPs and keep his shape for decades :o


I work with a simply sorcery spell Extend, which when combined with a casting, changes the duration to the extended duration. That could be an option also.

Or combine with enchant for a long-term infiltration.

- Dan
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ErikSharma said Apr 06, 2013 12:04:33
That is a valid question RangerDan. I haven't considered the increased difficulty! But I was planning to use the optional durations from the sidebar since I have found that they suit my campaing better than the normal durations so a separate the spellcasting for a little higher cost instead is no problem for me. I want the shapechange ability to be a rare ability for this dragon that is why I went with the sorcery option since it is an easy way to customize each dragons ability. I also forgot to mention that my campaign is i a Medium Magic one taking 1 day to recover 1 Magic Point. So I can see how Combine is useful for skilled sorcerers to save magic points and reduce recovery time.

As DanTrue says and also one of the reasons why I have fallen in love with RQ. Basically anything is possible with the sorcery system and a little imagination making sorcery a very interesting skill set depending on what spells you have.
[Last edited Apr 06, 2013 12:10:31]
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jjwdrake said Apr 06, 2013 17:35:53
I work with a simply sorcery spell Extend, which when combined with a casting, changes the duration to the extended duration. That could be an option also.


One of the sorcery changes I have written into my setting is very similar. To bridge the durations gap between Age of Treason (as it was presented for Legend) that has long term durations and RQ6 RAW is use Combine and an Enchant or Charm spell with any other to skip to the long duration form. That's exactly what Dan has done with Extend. I still want permanent enchantment to require personal sacrifice and outlive the caster however, so even my long duration table tops out at a year and a day.
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DanTrue said Apr 07, 2013 11:57:57
One of the sorcery changes I have written into my setting is very similar. To bridge the durations gap between Age of Treason (as it was presented for Legend) that has long term durations and RQ6 RAW is use Combine and an Enchant or Charm spell with any other to skip to the long duration form. That's exactly what Dan has done with Extend. I still want permanent enchantment to require personal sacrifice and outlive the caster however, so even my long duration table tops out at a year and a day.


Ah, yes. Of course, the extended duration table should be altered a bit to cut off the longest durations.

- Dan
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mixster667 said Apr 08, 2013 19:09:00
Alternatively you could use Enslave and Switch Body to have an elvish follower that you can switch bodies with and your elf-servant could guard your hoard in your body, while you run around doing what you need to do in disguise.

This would also enable mr. Dragon a "get out of jail free card" to simply switch bodies back with the poor elf by ending the switch body spell.

Doing it this way would only require the dragon to have around 70% in it's invocation skill, and about the same in shaping to have a proper range on both spells (or all three if it needs to combine with enchant as well).

Alternatively, whether you could use a Theism cult revering elves to use Beast Form and turn into an elf is debatable, but probably against Rules as Written.

Also @Dan I don't really get why you'd want to use the Extend spell over Enchant?
Enchant makes the spell permanent, and doesn't require extra shaping. Extend can make it last decades, but you wont get the magic points back till the spell expires anyway, so it'll just be worse.
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DanTrue said Apr 08, 2013 19:49:21
Also @Dan I don't really get why you'd want to use the Extend spell over Enchant?
Enchant makes the spell permanent, and doesn't require extra shaping. Extend can make it last decades, but you wont get the magic points back till the spell expires anyway, so it'll just be worse.


Because I might want to design a sorcerer who can keep a curse on his victim for months on end, or a shapechange active for months - but without the ability to put his offensive spells into a staff or something similar. I can do this by giving him Extend, but not Enchant.

And I want my party to be able to end said curse or shapechange by killing the sorcerer ;) If it's enchanted, it continues after his death.

- Dan
[Last edited Apr 08, 2013 19:50:36]
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