Spellburn for 20

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Bilgewriggler
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Spellburn for 20

Post by Bilgewriggler » Sat May 13, 2017 6:06 pm

I imagine this has been asked before, so apologies if it's redundant to one or more longago threads ...

So there's the option to spellburn a whole 20 points to get a natural 20 for your spell-check roll. But do you also get the +20 for the points you burn? That would pretty much guarantee a maxed-out result and epic devastation even if you're just first level. OTOH, if you don't get the +20, a low-level wizard is going to be better off 95% of the time burning 19 points instead of 20. ("Natural" 20 from spellburn + 1 for level + 1 for level again due to crit = 22 ... versus any roll at or above 2 + 1 for level +19 points of spellburn is also 22, with the possibility of going as high as 40. True, the penalty for rolling that 1 is pretty bad, but if you're spellburning 20 points in combat, you're probably happier with a 40% chance of a 32+ but 5% chance of fumble than a guaranteed 22.)
Purple Planeteers:

Jingles Coinclink, Halfling, hag-hacked into haggis

Nurzual the Faceter – M Jwlr - Wiz - L
S 12 A 8 (-1) S 9 P 11 I 15 (+1) L 10
AC 9 HP 6 Mv 30 Init -1 Ref 0 Fort 0 Will 1
Chalk 1pc, 20 gp Gem, Backpack, 10’ chain, 10 sheets parchment, Kith pouch, small hammer, ray-gun, Rope 50', 5gp 10sp 274 cp
shortsword +0(1d6)
Ch Psn (no MM), Clr Spr 65, Force Manip 81, Rd Mag 12, Spidr Cl 69
Pl.Common (basic)

Snooth Inksplot Scribe RIP under cave-in, a crushing loss

Qort Quiddlegit M Hlr - Cler - N(C?)
S 11 temp 14 (+1) A 11 temp 14 (+1) S 6 (-1) P 5 (-2) I 6 (-1) L 5 (-2)
AC 10 temp 11 HP 8 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref t+1 Fort 0 Will -1
club +0 (1d4+1t) - hand mirror, holy wtr, wtrskin Kith drink 12 oz drunk, 31 cp
-2 Ms fire damage
Det Magic

Brandybland Shoetree F Coblr N
S 10 A 9 S 10 P 8 (-1) I 9 L 9
AC 14 HP 1 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref 0 Fort 0; Will -1
gldtr glaive +0 (1d10) - gldtr ch mail - Fe spike, shoehorn, 48 cp
Prof: dagger

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soulcatcher78
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by soulcatcher78 » Sun May 14, 2017 3:30 am

As far as I can tell you do get the 20 additional points. In most cases this is the only way to get some of these top results.

I would likely roll a 1 when doing something this devastating to a character so it's a tactic I'd only use on a one shot or Con game.

Bilgewriggler
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Bilgewriggler » Sun May 14, 2017 6:29 am

soulcatcher78 wrote:As far as I can tell you do get the 20 additional points. In most cases this is the only way to get some of these top results.

I would likely roll a 1 when doing something this devastating to a character so it's a tactic I'd only use on a one shot or Con game.
It seems like a real boss-killer. There are 5 or 6 first level spells that could mop the floor with the bosses of most of the Level One modules I've read, if spellburning for 20 guarantees the maximum result.

As for top results, they're pretty attainable by the time a wizard gets to 5th level (an admittedly difficult feat.) A naturally rolled crit becomes a result of 30 even without ability modifier or burning luck. It's not going to happen every dungeon or anything, but it's conceivable...especially if the party has a halfling with a decent Luck stat.
Purple Planeteers:

Jingles Coinclink, Halfling, hag-hacked into haggis

Nurzual the Faceter – M Jwlr - Wiz - L
S 12 A 8 (-1) S 9 P 11 I 15 (+1) L 10
AC 9 HP 6 Mv 30 Init -1 Ref 0 Fort 0 Will 1
Chalk 1pc, 20 gp Gem, Backpack, 10’ chain, 10 sheets parchment, Kith pouch, small hammer, ray-gun, Rope 50', 5gp 10sp 274 cp
shortsword +0(1d6)
Ch Psn (no MM), Clr Spr 65, Force Manip 81, Rd Mag 12, Spidr Cl 69
Pl.Common (basic)

Snooth Inksplot Scribe RIP under cave-in, a crushing loss

Qort Quiddlegit M Hlr - Cler - N(C?)
S 11 temp 14 (+1) A 11 temp 14 (+1) S 6 (-1) P 5 (-2) I 6 (-1) L 5 (-2)
AC 10 temp 11 HP 8 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref t+1 Fort 0 Will -1
club +0 (1d4+1t) - hand mirror, holy wtr, wtrskin Kith drink 12 oz drunk, 31 cp
-2 Ms fire damage
Det Magic

Brandybland Shoetree F Coblr N
S 10 A 9 S 10 P 8 (-1) I 9 L 9
AC 14 HP 1 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref 0 Fort 0; Will -1
gldtr glaive +0 (1d10) - gldtr ch mail - Fe spike, shoehorn, 48 cp
Prof: dagger

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soulcatcher78
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by soulcatcher78 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:36 am

Bilgewriggler wrote:
soulcatcher78 wrote:As far as I can tell you do get the 20 additional points. In most cases this is the only way to get some of these top results.

I would likely roll a 1 when doing something this devastating to a character so it's a tactic I'd only use on a one shot or Con game.
It seems like a real boss-killer. There are 5 or 6 first level spells that could mop the floor with the bosses of most of the Level One modules I've read, if spellburning for 20 guarantees the maximum result.

As for top results, they're pretty attainable by the time a wizard gets to 5th level (an admittedly difficult feat.) A naturally rolled crit becomes a result of 30 even without ability modifier or burning luck. It's not going to happen every dungeon or anything, but it's conceivable...especially if the party has a halfling with a decent Luck stat.
Monsters (not to mention intelligent foes) living in a fantasy setting should all have a good idea that the person in robes and a funny hat should be targeted early and often to keep from getting nuked. If you have players indulging in Spellburn to often you just need to introduce them to Tucker's Kobolds. Monsters can be deadly if even remotely organized so think of it as your Judge level Spellburn.

https://media.wizards.com/2014/download ... obolds.pdf I seem to remember the original story being longer but this illustrates the point rather well.

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GnomeBoy
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun May 14, 2017 7:38 am

Okay, so your Wizard has burned themselves heavily to instantly destroy that bad guy and his army.

...now he has to survive the spellburn! 20 points is not simple to bounce back from, especially if Luck is low, too. The stats only heal back 1 point per day, and Luck not at all (except for adventure rewards). :twisted:
...
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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Raven_Crowking » Sun May 14, 2017 7:51 am

Treating the check as a "20" is listed as an additional option, so at my table you choose which option you want: +20 with a chance of failing anyway, or auto 20.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

Bilgewriggler
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Bilgewriggler » Sun May 14, 2017 9:45 am

Yeah, it's an easy enough dynamic to account for if players start abusing it ... it's just an extremely different dynamic if you get the +20 than if you don't. And it seems like if you got the +20, the rules would just say that it equates to the top result, since that's the effective outcome.
Raven_Crowking wrote:Treating the check as a "20" is listed as an additional option, so at my table you choose which option you want: +20 with a chance of failing anyway, or auto 20.
This feels like what the rules are trying to say. In which case, I imagine it's a lot more useful for relatively high-level casters.
Purple Planeteers:

Jingles Coinclink, Halfling, hag-hacked into haggis

Nurzual the Faceter – M Jwlr - Wiz - L
S 12 A 8 (-1) S 9 P 11 I 15 (+1) L 10
AC 9 HP 6 Mv 30 Init -1 Ref 0 Fort 0 Will 1
Chalk 1pc, 20 gp Gem, Backpack, 10’ chain, 10 sheets parchment, Kith pouch, small hammer, ray-gun, Rope 50', 5gp 10sp 274 cp
shortsword +0(1d6)
Ch Psn (no MM), Clr Spr 65, Force Manip 81, Rd Mag 12, Spidr Cl 69
Pl.Common (basic)

Snooth Inksplot Scribe RIP under cave-in, a crushing loss

Qort Quiddlegit M Hlr - Cler - N(C?)
S 11 temp 14 (+1) A 11 temp 14 (+1) S 6 (-1) P 5 (-2) I 6 (-1) L 5 (-2)
AC 10 temp 11 HP 8 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref t+1 Fort 0 Will -1
club +0 (1d4+1t) - hand mirror, holy wtr, wtrskin Kith drink 12 oz drunk, 31 cp
-2 Ms fire damage
Det Magic

Brandybland Shoetree F Coblr N
S 10 A 9 S 10 P 8 (-1) I 9 L 9
AC 14 HP 1 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref 0 Fort 0; Will -1
gldtr glaive +0 (1d10) - gldtr ch mail - Fe spike, shoehorn, 48 cp
Prof: dagger

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GnomeBoy
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon May 15, 2017 2:20 pm

Bilgewriggler wrote:...the rules would just say that it equates to the top result, since that's the effective outcome....
Except that you could have some circumstance in a given case where some other effect was suppressing the result, so even with the big boost, you might not reach the top result. Saying the top result was automatic may not be the intention, given that...
...
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Bilgewriggler
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Bilgewriggler » Mon May 15, 2017 7:01 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:
Bilgewriggler wrote:...the rules would just say that it equates to the top result, since that's the effective outcome....
Except that you could have some circumstance in a given case where some other effect was suppressing the result, so even with the big boost, you might not reach the top result. Saying the top result was automatic may not be the intention, given that...
So you play it as 20 + 20 in your games?
Purple Planeteers:

Jingles Coinclink, Halfling, hag-hacked into haggis

Nurzual the Faceter – M Jwlr - Wiz - L
S 12 A 8 (-1) S 9 P 11 I 15 (+1) L 10
AC 9 HP 6 Mv 30 Init -1 Ref 0 Fort 0 Will 1
Chalk 1pc, 20 gp Gem, Backpack, 10’ chain, 10 sheets parchment, Kith pouch, small hammer, ray-gun, Rope 50', 5gp 10sp 274 cp
shortsword +0(1d6)
Ch Psn (no MM), Clr Spr 65, Force Manip 81, Rd Mag 12, Spidr Cl 69
Pl.Common (basic)

Snooth Inksplot Scribe RIP under cave-in, a crushing loss

Qort Quiddlegit M Hlr - Cler - N(C?)
S 11 temp 14 (+1) A 11 temp 14 (+1) S 6 (-1) P 5 (-2) I 6 (-1) L 5 (-2)
AC 10 temp 11 HP 8 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref t+1 Fort 0 Will -1
club +0 (1d4+1t) - hand mirror, holy wtr, wtrskin Kith drink 12 oz drunk, 31 cp
-2 Ms fire damage
Det Magic

Brandybland Shoetree F Coblr N
S 10 A 9 S 10 P 8 (-1) I 9 L 9
AC 14 HP 1 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref 0 Fort 0; Will -1
gldtr glaive +0 (1d10) - gldtr ch mail - Fe spike, shoehorn, 48 cp
Prof: dagger

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GnomeBoy
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue May 16, 2017 5:12 pm

Bilgewriggler wrote:So you play it as 20 + 20 in your games?
I've run few games where someone played a Wizard or Elf, and never had in come up in those where those Classes have been played...

...but yeah, it'd be 20+20. 20 points of spellburn is a HUGE sacrifice and I think it seems fine. I would have a lot of fun in an ongoing game with a Wizard who'd burned 20 points. In a one-shot, I'd have something follow on from whatever they thought it was worth burning that much for, so I'd still have fun...

It's not as if they'd get off scott-free for creating that huge an effect. :twisted:
...
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Bilgewriggler
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Bilgewriggler » Wed May 17, 2017 3:14 am

GnomeBoy wrote:
Bilgewriggler wrote:So you play it as 20 + 20 in your games?
I've run few games where someone played a Wizard or Elf, and never had in come up in those where those Classes have been played...

...but yeah, it'd be 20+20. 20 points of spellburn is a HUGE sacrifice and I think it seems fine. I would have a lot of fun in an ongoing game with a Wizard who'd burned 20 points. In a one-shot, I'd have something follow on from whatever they thought it was worth burning that much for, so I'd still have fun...

It's not as if they'd get off scott-free for creating that huge an effect. :twisted:
All very good points. I just find it weird that the rules would be so ambiguous about the effects of such a major sacrifice. But maybe that's just in the spirit of rulebooks from the good old days.

:)
Purple Planeteers:

Jingles Coinclink, Halfling, hag-hacked into haggis

Nurzual the Faceter – M Jwlr - Wiz - L
S 12 A 8 (-1) S 9 P 11 I 15 (+1) L 10
AC 9 HP 6 Mv 30 Init -1 Ref 0 Fort 0 Will 1
Chalk 1pc, 20 gp Gem, Backpack, 10’ chain, 10 sheets parchment, Kith pouch, small hammer, ray-gun, Rope 50', 5gp 10sp 274 cp
shortsword +0(1d6)
Ch Psn (no MM), Clr Spr 65, Force Manip 81, Rd Mag 12, Spidr Cl 69
Pl.Common (basic)

Snooth Inksplot Scribe RIP under cave-in, a crushing loss

Qort Quiddlegit M Hlr - Cler - N(C?)
S 11 temp 14 (+1) A 11 temp 14 (+1) S 6 (-1) P 5 (-2) I 6 (-1) L 5 (-2)
AC 10 temp 11 HP 8 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref t+1 Fort 0 Will -1
club +0 (1d4+1t) - hand mirror, holy wtr, wtrskin Kith drink 12 oz drunk, 31 cp
-2 Ms fire damage
Det Magic

Brandybland Shoetree F Coblr N
S 10 A 9 S 10 P 8 (-1) I 9 L 9
AC 14 HP 1 Mov 30 Init 0 Ref 0 Fort 0; Will -1
gldtr glaive +0 (1d10) - gldtr ch mail - Fe spike, shoehorn, 48 cp
Prof: dagger

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed May 17, 2017 7:09 am

I don't find it that ambiguous... though I can see how it might read that way.

But burning 20 is burning 20. That's +20 to your roll.

There a special bonus when you burn a full 20 points of physical stats, which is called out by the rule itself being in the rules: treat your die as if you rolled a natural 20.

There is no 'instead of" in there at all, as in "take the +20 OR treat your roll as a natural 20 instead of making a normal roll."
...
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ToddBradley
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by ToddBradley » Tue May 23, 2017 5:50 pm

This was the topic I submitted on the G+ group in the "ways to break the game" category that Spellburn Podcast turned into an episode. And they liked my technique enough to use it in the show:

http://spellburn.com/2017/01/10/episode ... -the-game/

My interpretation - both as a player and a judge - of the way the rule is written, is that when you spellburn 20, you get the natural 20 you "virtually" rolled + the 20 you burned + double caster level + Int bonus. So yeah, that's gonna be way over 40. But it's also gonna leave the wizard significantly weaker, and paint a big target on his face.

My friend who judges a game I regularly play in interprets it the other way - that you get whatever you really rolled + the 20 you burned + double caster level + Int bonus. So on average that'll be a result 10 lower than my way.

The band from Spellburn Podcast generally agreed with my friend, and disagreed with me, FWIW.

My main argument is this: If the rules intended for the result of spellburning 20 to be simply that the caster level is doubled, they would say just that. Instead, the wording (4th printing, page 107) is, "A wizard who sacrifices a full 20 points of ability scores in one fell swoop automatically treats his next spell check as a roll of natural 20." To me, "natural 20" means "as if you naturally rolled a 20 on the 20-sided die".

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed May 24, 2017 9:34 am

ToddBradley wrote:... If the rules intended for the result of spellburning 20 to be simply that the caster level is doubled, they would say just that....
'Zactly.
...
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 24, 2017 10:42 am

ToddBradley wrote:My main argument is this: If the rules intended for the result of spellburning 20 to be simply that the caster level is doubled, they would say just that. Instead, the wording (4th printing, page 107) is, "A wizard who sacrifices a full 20 points of ability scores in one fell swoop automatically treats his next spell check as a roll of natural 20." To me, "natural 20" means "as if you naturally rolled a 20 on the 20-sided die".
I think that context is key here. The section is:

Some spells and magical items require spellburn to function, as noted in their descriptions.

Automatic criticals: There is one additional option for spellburn. A wizard who sacrifices a full 20 points of ability scores in one fell swoop automatically treats his next spell check as a roll of natural 20.


If a spell requires at least one point of spellburn, does that spellburn count towards the spellcheck result? If you are of the school that says Yes, then you are likely to believe that the 20 points of spellburn count as both +20 and a critical. If you are of the school that says No, then you are likely to believe that the 20 points of spellburn grants either a +20 bonus or an automatic critical, but not both.

Note also page 126: Automatic corruption: Offering one’s own mortal shell for the consumption of supernatural powers can greatly aid a casting but is extremely painful. Any casting ritual where the caster offers to voluntarily accept corruption can add an extra +2 to +6 bonus to the spell check result, at the result of a mandatory corruption of minor (+2), major (+4), or greater (+6) variety. A really nice little option that may sometime be forgotten.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 24, 2017 10:47 am

GnomeBoy wrote:
ToddBradley wrote:... If the rules intended for the result of spellburning 20 to be simply that the caster level is doubled, they would say just that....
'Zactly.
Excepting that neither interpretation is spellburning 20 is simply that the caster level is doubled. If it were, that would be a good argument.

The wording, to be clear is "There is one additional option" not "There is one additional benefit". Option rather strongly implies that you are selecting between two or more possibilities. I think it is important to remember that, even with a +20 bonus, a spell check can still fail, and can do so with dire consequences for the caster. Gaining a natural 20 may be less spectacular than an automatic 40+ on the spell check, but it is definitely safer.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed May 24, 2017 3:55 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote:The wording, to be clear is "There is one additional option" not "There is one additional benefit"...
My take there is that the rules are giving the Judge an easy out to just ignore the "Auto-Nat20" of spending that much spellburn. It wouldn't be a houserule to deny this as an option, it'd be RAW (for those for whom it matters whether something is a houserule or RAW).
...
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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 24, 2017 4:43 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:The wording, to be clear is "There is one additional option" not "There is one additional benefit"...
My take there is that the rules are giving the Judge an easy out to just ignore the "Auto-Nat20" of spending that much spellburn. It wouldn't be a houserule to deny this as an option, it'd be RAW (for those for whom it matters whether something is a houserule or RAW).
And in any event......The Judge Is Always Right!

:lol:
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by ToddBradley » Fri May 26, 2017 3:18 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote: Note also page 126: Automatic corruption: Offering one’s own mortal shell for the consumption of supernatural powers can greatly aid a casting but is extremely painful. Any casting ritual where the caster offers to voluntarily accept corruption can add an extra +2 to +6 bonus to the spell check result, at the result of a mandatory corruption of minor (+2), major (+4), or greater (+6) variety. A really nice little option that may sometime be forgotten.
Definitely forgotten more than sometimes. I've been playing DCC RPG for 3 years and nobody has ever used this even once.

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Re: Spellburn for 20

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri May 26, 2017 5:48 pm

ToddBradley wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote: Note also page 126: Automatic corruption: Offering one’s own mortal shell for the consumption of supernatural powers can greatly aid a casting but is extremely painful. Any casting ritual where the caster offers to voluntarily accept corruption can add an extra +2 to +6 bonus to the spell check result, at the result of a mandatory corruption of minor (+2), major (+4), or greater (+6) variety. A really nice little option that may sometime be forgotten.
Definitely forgotten more than sometimes. I've been playing DCC RPG for 3 years and nobody has ever used this even once.
It came up at Gary Con at my table, and man was it fun!
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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