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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dropping walls, falling rocks and other fun stuff

A tactic that often rises is the idea to create something over a target's head and let it fall on them.  It usually arises as a question with Runeweavers pretty fast and when the party's resident mage/psychic/priest gets access to magic that can  create a wall or mass of material.  Its not all that easy accurately estimating whether one object is over the other, especially if the target happens to be in motion or they are at some distance.  Effectively, the base TD is the difficulty to cast the magic/mental power/prayer, successfully.  If one is not defined, then its base TD 75.  So, here is a list of factors that influence the success of such an venture.

  • Every 10 ft distant from you, add +10 to the TD to make it harder to succeed.  If you can succeed at a PER check, using a quickened action on the same CF Action you cast the magic, with a TD 50 + total distance you can negate this penalty (see moving target)
  • For every increment of BODY larger your object is than your target, reduce the -10 from the TD to make it easier to succeed.  If you are using several smaller objects, then combine their BODY/Size to determine the different.  If targeting multiple beings, do the same for them.
  • Moving targets have a base TD 150 regardless of your magic requirement unless that requirement is a higher TD.  You can reduce this to TD 100 if you can make a PER check, using a quickened action on the same CF Action you cast the magic, against a TD 75 + their MOVE. 
  • Anything cast into the 10 ft space around the target is considered to be against their MD and subject to Eldtritch/Mental Dodge.   Their MD replaces the base if its higher, otherwise use the base 75 or 150 if they are in motion.
  • If a person's movement is enough that they could feasibly move out from under the object they can make a Dodge check against it, reducing their chance by the distance they would have to move.
  • Loose material, like sand or dirt, tends to knock down rather than damage.  This includes water, fire, and like non-solids.  For hard, dense and like materials that inflict damage, using their total BODY to determine damage, spread out across everything caught underneath.  For things that do not list damage or have a BODY score, use a rough estimate of 10 BODY per square foot for stone. 5 BODY for light stuff, and 20 BODY per square foot for heavier things like iron.  Unless you are dropping this on a completely flat surface, it will buckle and catch on things when it falls, so only 50-100% (d6+4) of the damage will actually be inflicted.  That's for square/rectangular/cloud/ objects.  Use 70-100% (d4+6) for round/cylinder objects but note they have a smaller footprint.
  • With multiple targets, figure a high-low range.  If you fail the TD for the low range, everyone is safe.  Otherwise you hit some while missing others.

Example:  Segreat the Red learns a Wall of Stone spell.  He casts it horizontally 20 ft above a stationary priest, 50 ft away, entreating a prayer.  The spell requires a TD 100 to succeed, so it becomes his base TD.  The priest is 50 ft away, adding another +50 TD, raising it to TD 150.  His wall is 20 ft by 20, so that's 4000 BODY equivalent of stone falling.  Segreat succeeds and the poor priest dies, reduced to a bloody splat.

Same situation but the priest attempts to dodge.  His movement is 27, enough to get out from under it but he would need to move 8 ft.  His dodge bonus is 39, reduced by those 8 feet, means he needs to roll a 69 or higher to succeed.

Runeweaver calls forth a mass of fire and glass and drops it on the heads of two targets 45 feet away.  The fire is called forth 15 ft above them, is and is a 42 foot cloud.  The fire has no real mass so its damage is dealt in the heat/fire while the glass is light (5 BODY x 42 = 110 BODY).  Still the heat is great enough that the GM rules its sticky (stays on doing damage).  The first target is fast, with a 55 movement, and he's running.  The other is slower, 18 movement and also running.  Running makes the base TD 150 though our runeweaver is smart enough to use a quickened action to decrease this as outlined above.  This makes it TD 75 + 55 + 45 or 165 for the faster target, and TD 75 + 45 + 18 or 138 for the slower one.  So the range is TD 138 - 165.  If he makes the 138, the slower target is situated so he can't feasibly get out of the cloud, so he gets no dodge.  The faster one could if the runeweaver makes the roll but he'd need to move 22 feet, lowering his dodge chances equivalently.

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