Magic Resistance

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Banesfinger
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Magic Resistance

Post by Banesfinger »

We were wondering about the following overlap(?) in ability chains:
  • Resistance > Magic Resistance > Specific source
    Willpower > Resist Magic > By type
    Willpower > Resist Control > Mind, body
The Resilience PDP uses all three, so we know they are all a defense against magic, but what are the specific differences?

What about a situation where you must resist Magic that takes control of your feet, making you walk away from an object? All three ADC seem to be applicable...?
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

Banesfinger wrote:We were wondering about the following overlap(?) in ability chains:
  • Resistance > Magic Resistance > Specific source
    Willpower > Resist Magic > By type
    Willpower > Resist Control > Mind, body
The Resilience PDP uses all three, so we know they are all a defense against magic, but what are the specific differences?

What about a situation where you must resist Magic that takes control of your feet, making you walk away from an object? All three ADC seem to be applicable...?
Since you've converted the game into using all opposed rolls, then yes, any one of those ability branches might work, sans the masteries for some. You might have Resistance > Magic Resistance do it alone, or Willpower > Resist Control to control your own feet against a spell like the one you mentioned.

With the core system these descriptions are by and large "flavor" because the MRV of each die-rank goes toward the Resilience DP.
EvilCat
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by EvilCat »

I had an issue with magic resistance too.

Imagine a character with Arcanum d8 > Mystic study d4 > Pyromancer d4 and Arcanum > Psychogenic d8 > Mentalist d8. He's better at psi than at wizardy, and both Influence and Harm effects first deplete Resilience... So, he's better off bombarding a foe with weak Influence mantras, any mantras, even simple Distracts, and _then_, when foe's Resilience hits zero, switching to fireballs. This tactics enables him to eliminate his foe much faster - and sometimes you just have to. As they say, you can't roleplay when you're dead.
Also think of skillful mage who has greatest poison, disease and climate resistance in the party - because whole Arcanum tree adds to Resilience defense.

If the GM assumes special laws of magic for the setting and explains them to players, then it's ok, it even allows for some crafty squad tactics. But this concept is not what player expect in the first place. It's artificial (on the contrary to active defenses, which are natural as hell, and that's what makes 'em so great %) . Some games and setting may require more familiar magic resistance.

I thought of some houserules to fix that, albeit I don't know yet which I will use (probably 1+3 to preserve backward-compatibility):
  • Spells that do Harm by means of matter do half of that harm straight to Toughness (for energy-based spells, such as fireball) or even 100% of harm to Toughness (for physical spells, such as earth grip, icicle shower; armor applies).
  • Magic resistance is separate passive defense pool called Antimagic. With that houserule, Resilience would be sum of Resistance tree (except Magic branch) + Willpower tree MRVs, and Antimagic = Arcanum tree + basic Resistance + Resistance's Magic branch MRVs. Magical effects would require Antimagic mowed down to zero, and mundane would have to deal with Resilience.
  • When Resilience reaches zero, negative effects still require an opposed roll to affect the target, such as Resistance > Magic > School for magic resistance and Resistance > Poison for poison resistance. Roll is made against spell result or effect's die-rank.
  • Spell resistance works like armor to Toughness harm: resistance roll reduce threat points before they deplete Resilience. This roll can be basic Arcanum, Magic branch of Resistance (excluding basic ranks), Willpower for mind-affecting spells...
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

EvilCat wrote:I had an issue with magic resistance too.
Imagine a character with Arcanum d8 > Mystic study d4 > Pyromancer d4 and Arcanum > Psychogenic d8 > Mentalist d8. He's better at psi than at wizardy, and both Influence and Harm effects first deplete Resilience... So, he's better off bombarding a foe with weak Influence mantras, any mantras, even simple Distracts, and _then_, when foe's Resilience hits zero, switching to fireballs. This tactics enables him to eliminate his foe much faster - and sometimes you just have to. As they say, you can't roleplay when you're dead.
The fireballs would do 3 to 16 damage, not too bad, bypassing armor. However, I don’t know that the tactic really allows the caster to eliminate foes that much faster, because as you say, sometimes those Resilience scores are fairly high, and Harm spells deplete that first. Once the target is depleted of Resilience, it may actually be faster to fell him with an “incapacitate” Influence sub-Effect. Or make the target practically incapable of inflicting harm with a Curse spell that reduces all Potential-Harm up to 16 points per round.
Also think of skillful mage who has greatest poison, disease and climate resistance in the party - because whole Arcanum tree adds to Resilience defense.
Yes, I’ve thought about making that an optional rule, or shifting the ability to add the whole Arcanum tree to a unique advantage. I liked it because it allowed magic users to drop magic “bombs” at their own feet, walking through the effects unscathed, which was sort of cool and scary to the opposition. But it does make some awfully resistant to non-standard types of damage once they get deep into a focus in the arcane.
If the GM assumes special laws of magic for the setting and explains them to players, then it's ok, it even allows for some crafty squad tactics. But this concept is not what player expect in the first place. It's artificial (on the contrary to active defenses, which are natural as hell, and that's what makes 'em so great %) .
It was actually a campaign consideration, which is why I've considered "officially" making adding the Arcanum tree to the Resilience DP optional.
I thought of some houserules to fix that, albeit I don't know yet which I will use (probably 1+3 to preserve backward-compatibility):
  • Spells that do Harm by means of matter do half of that harm straight to Toughness (for energy-based spells, such as fireball) or even 100% of harm to Toughness (for physical spells, such as earth grip, icicle shower; armor applies).
Half the harm by means of “matter based” spell effects may be more difficult than the current rules for spell casters, and 100% basically makes Harm Effects the equivalent of an attack that bypasses active defense and armor every time, but costs only 2 CPs more to purchase. Dieter Zimmerman suggested allowing Active Defenses against Harm Effects, like Evade or Dodge, when it makes sense. The only drawback to that is it relies more on DM fiat and circumstance, which some GMs really don’t like. So, in all, I think the answer may be to scale back how Resilience is calculated before canceling it out. It really is a simple mechanic. However, I do see the “frustration factor” with mages trying to cast “control mind” spells at a creature that still has plenty of Resilience left. There is a bit of “built in” failure for a time with such spells, even though the points DO deplete a Defense Score, and therefore is productive.
[*]Magic resistance is separate passive defense pool called Antimagic. With that houserule, Resilience would be sum of Resistance tree (except Magic branch) + Willpower tree MRVs, and Antimagic = Arcanum tree + basic Resistance + Resistance's Magic branch MRVs. Magical effects would require Antimagic mowed down to zero, and mundane would have to deal with Resilience.
That makes sense, though I wonder how the average player would appreciate the addition of another DP. I’ve been leaning toward reducing the number of DPs in play (mostly collapsing evade and dodge together, because most don’t seem to care about the semantic differences between them).
[*]When Resilience reaches zero, negative effects still require an opposed roll to affect the target, such as Resistance > Magic > School for magic resistance and Resistance > Poison for poison resistance. Roll is made against spell result or effect's die-rank.
I’d allow that if the spell is maintained into a second round.
[*]Spell resistance works like armor to Toughness harm: resistance roll reduce threat points before they deplete Resilience. This roll can be basic Arcanum, Magic branch of Resistance (excluding basic ranks), Willpower for mind-affecting spells...[/list]
Another good house rule, except that I’d allow a maximum of one die rolled as an ‘armor’ type damage reducer, like maybe the power source tier if it matches the originator’s spell type.
Still, what I’m leaning toward is this:
Eliminate the Arcanum Tree from Resilience (also, increase base spell points for casters to x 1.5 of ability tree MRV). Calculate Resilience as Resistance basic x2, but don’t double the MRV of specializations or masteries in that Ability. So, for example

Resistance basic D8 x2 plus specializatin in "whatever" D4 MRV
Willpower basic D4

= 24 Resilience Points.

Resilience DP would still subsume magic resistance in general, but introduce “Spell Resistance” as an optional advantage, purchased for 2 CPs per die-rank in a specific power source (which must match a power source already known). That would be your “Armor” like roll to resist magic, but it comes at a price.
I resist the idea of arcanists being able to bypass resilience for any Effect with a simple opposed roll, because the results are more powerful than it may first appear. I play-tested the system once without calculating Resilience at x2 Resistance (just Resistance tree MRV alone), and characters dropped like flies from area-effect Harm spells. A slight change can really affect gameplay with this part of the rules.
Don’t forget about the “Eldritch Focus” advantage either.:

Optional Advantage: Eldritch Focus (2 points per die-rank, up to 3D12). Must possess Arcanum basic Skill to purchase, and no die-rank may exceed Basic Arcanum. Each instance of Eldritch Focus must be in a single power source. So an arcanist with D8 Arcanum and D4 Supernatural and D6 in Mystic can purchase an Eldritch Focus of up to D8+D4 (8 CPs) in Supernatural, or D8+D6 (10 CPs) in Mystic. In combat, penetrating a target’s Resilience can take more than a few rounds, especially frustrating enchanters and psychics.
With Eldritch Focus advantage, the arcanist adds one or more die-ranks, rolling the extra dice after the first ability check. Add up the results and compare against the target’s remaining Resilience, without actually inflicting Potential-Harm. If the result exceeds the target’s score, the magic spell takes full effect (as if the victim’s Resilience score were at zero). The drawback is that every use of this advantage depletes the caster’s own Resilience score, which gets dangerous
StormPatriarch
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by StormPatriarch »

EvilCat wrote:
Imagine a character with Arcanum d8 > Mystic study d4 > Pyromancer d4 and Arcanum > Psychogenic d8 > Mentalist d8. He's better at psi than at wizardy, and both Influence and Harm effects first deplete Resilience... So, he's better off bombarding a foe with weak Influence mantras, any mantras, even simple Distracts, and _then_, when foe's Resilience hits zero, switching to fireballs. This tactics enables him to eliminate his foe much faster - and sometimes you just have to.


Also think of skillful mage who has greatest poison, disease and climate resistance in the party - because whole Arcanum tree adds to Resilience defense.
Wouldn't the influence spells need difficulty rolls since they are not harm spells? Thus making it less likely to succeed...


Also I would say, I haven't had a problem with the dodge/evade differences but to make it easier:

Evade and Dodge combined into one.
Keep Deflect & Weapon as is.
Add Resistance for poison, falls, disease,etc.
Leave Resilience for magic though maybe modify the numbers along with the spell points pool calculations. It always seems to me that a mage has to go to the resilience pool way to often for extra spell points in combat.
"I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things." Corwin to Dara, The Guns of Avalon

"...I was the lesser evil." --Bleys to Corwin, Nine Princes in Amber
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

StormPatriarch wrote:
Evade and Dodge combined into one.
Keep Deflect & Weapon as is.
Add Resistance for poison, falls, disease,etc.
Leave Resilience for magic though maybe modify the numbers along with the spell points pool calculations. It always seems to me that a mage has to go to the resilience pool way to often for extra spell points in combat.
I'll need to update the master FAQ file and present these as optional rules.
EvilCat
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by EvilCat »

I liked this variant better than separating _magic resistance_ from Resilience, too. Less stray from core rules, more initial balance.

I also wanted to add various houserules (including this one) from this forum to Eldritch Wiki, but I don't have rights to edit the sidebar. Can you add "Races" and "Houserules" pages to it? I'll fill them then. For now, I put Felids race to Creatures.
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

EvilCat wrote:I liked this variant better than separating _magic resistance_ from Resilience, too. Less stray from core rules, more initial balance.

I also wanted to add various houserules (including this one) from this forum to Eldritch Wiki, but I don't have rights to edit the sidebar. Can you add "Races" and "Houserules" pages to it? I'll fill them then. For now, I put Felids race to Creatures.
Sure, I'll go in there and fix the sidebar. :wink:

Your unicorn page is amazing. A stampede indeed.
EvilCat
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by EvilCat »

Well, even for me it's an overdose... %)
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

Banesfinger wrote:We were wondering about the following overlap(?) in ability chains:
  • Resistance > Magic Resistance > Specific source
    Willpower > Resist Magic > By type
    Willpower > Resist Control > Mind, body
The Resilience PDP uses all three, so we know they are all a defense against magic, but what are the specific differences?

What about a situation where you must resist Magic that takes control of your feet, making you walk away from an object? All three ADC seem to be applicable...?
Also, even if Resilience is depleted, I'd allow a Resistance or Willpower ability roll opposed by the caster's spell ability once the effect becomes maintained. I wouldn't allow such in the first round of the spell's effect.

That is, in fact, in the core rules as it is. For example, under control mind and body (sub effect of Resilience) it states, "If the spell lasts into a second round, the victim can attempt to break free of the effect by rolling Willpower versus the caster’s Arcanum ADC".

That also answers how specializations in specific things can still help you, even after Resilience is depleted.
rpetras
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by rpetras »

I like a lot of what evilcat has to say here.
EvilCat wrote: I thought of some houserules to fix that, albeit I don't know yet which I will use (probably 1+3 to preserve backward-compatibility):
  • Spells that do Harm by means of matter do half of that harm straight to Toughness (for energy-based spells, such as fireball) or even 100% of harm to Toughness (for physical spells, such as earth grip, icicle shower; armor applies).
I thought harm spell always did their damage to toughness? If a caster casts a fireball, is it really any different being hit with a torch? Obviously the intensity of the fire would vary based on the strength of the caster. But should not all harm spells be resisted by the physicality of the person? Of course resistance plays it's part as a passive DP.
EvilCat wrote:[*]Magic resistance is separate passive defense pool called Antimagic. With that houserule, Resilience would be sum of Resistance tree (except Magic branch) + Willpower tree MRVs, and Antimagic = Arcanum tree + basic Resistance + Resistance's Magic branch MRVs. Magical effects would require Antimagic mowed down to zero, and mundane would have to deal with Resilience.
This is a neat idea, but I think I like the next thing better .....
EvilCat wrote:[*]When Resilience reaches zero, negative effects still require an opposed roll to affect the target, such as Resistance > Magic > School for magic resistance and Resistance > Poison for poison resistance. Roll is made against spell result or effect's die-rank.
This is sensible, and I like the way it follows the melee mechanic. The further suggestion where the base resistance may not apply, just any applicable specials or mastery makes sense.
EvilCat wrote:[*]Spell resistance works like armor to Toughness harm: resistance roll reduce threat points before they deplete Resilience. This roll can be basic Arcanum, Magic branch of Resistance (excluding basic ranks), Willpower for mind-affecting spells...[/list]
Like above, this is sensible, but applied before the resistance is depleted. I like this idea too, but I think the above suggestion may be more balanced.

Any feedback from play tests of these house rules?

RJP
EvilCat
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by EvilCat »

At the moment, no. Currently I run play-by-email game (a werefox hunt), it requires, like, one roll per 2-3 days. Knowledge, gather information and scrutiny checks work fine, as well as real-life based pricing. Soon one more player will join in - as psionic character. _Then_ we'll see. I'll post about it then.
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

EvilCat wrote:At the moment, no. Currently I run play-by-email game (a werefox hunt), it requires, like, one roll per 2-3 days. Knowledge, gather information and scrutiny checks work fine, as well as real-life based pricing. Soon one more player will join in - as psionic character. _Then_ we'll see. I'll post about it then.
Evilcat, have you tried using a virtual game table like "maptool"? It is the ONLY virtual table that support's adding up different die types when rolling an ability branch (like D6+D6+d4). Besides that it's a neat, free, Java based program with a good support network.

If you run a game on that, I'll join in some night and take over an NPC!

http://rptools.net/doku.php
dancross
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by dancross »

rpetras wrote:
I thought harm spell always did their damage to toughness? If a caster casts a fireball, is it really any different being hit with a torch? Obviously the intensity of the fire would vary based on the strength of the caster. But should not all harm spells be resisted by the physicality of the person? Of course resistance plays it's part as a passive DP.
Ummm...er, well, I rewrote that part when I nixed the ability checks for Harm spells. I thought since the attack always "hits", and bypasses armor, that it should be subject to Resilience. But perhaps it would make more sense to reintroduce the ability check for Harm spells, affecting toughness directly, and still Harm spells to bypass active defense and armor.
Our friend "Mythfish" on these boards was also suggesting allowing Harm spells to go straight to Toughness, but allowing active defense rolls when it makes sense. Both ways work, but I'd want things more codified before making anything "official".
rpetras wrote:[*]Quoting Evilcat: When Resilience reaches zero, negative effects still require an opposed roll to affect the target, such as Resistance > Magic > School for magic resistance and Resistance > Poison for poison resistance. Roll is made against spell result or effect's die-rank. Rpetras: This is sensible, and I like the way it follows the melee mechanic. The further suggestion where the base resistance may not apply, just any applicable specials or mastery makes sense.
There are rules for this in place in the core book, as with most Influence spells, but usually the opposed roll isn't allowed unless the original caster decides to maintain the spell into a second round.
EvilCat
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Re: Magic Resistance

Post by EvilCat »

Really nice link! Maptool will be useful for battle, so the players won't have to keep track of movement in Paint...
dancross wrote:If you run a game on that, I'll join in some night and take over an NPC!
I was excited about that possibility... until I realized that my game runs in russian and other players don't know english that well. (Actually, basing in-game pricing on rubles is even more realistic than on dollars, as there is medieval-like centralized economy here.)

(Sorry I haven't made promised updates to Eldritch wiki yet. I had a busy week and the next one is going to be like this, too... -_- )
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