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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:49 pm 
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Not a fan of raw power myself. Something more interesting like minor elemental summoning would've been nice.

Players' Guide (pages 82 and 83) provides a limited version of Raw Power (which works a lot better) and the creation of Elemental Essences (which are available at Rank 8)...


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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:16 pm 
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Yeah, it's an ill-thought spell.

A Mystic needs to be 4th rank to make basic +1 items, and a single arrow takes 25 days and has a 40% chance of being flawed.
So even if a group has both Mystic & Elementalist, assuming they are the same rank, the poor old druid needs to wait until at least a further rank before his Fire Arrow spell can be used, if the Mystic agrees to make him a magic arrow. Which will take a month or more.

Also, how long does the spell last? There is no expiry listed. Does this mean the arrow is 'permanently' a fire arrow now? Does it go out on hitting the target? Furthermore, the 'Darkness' variant seems no different, but has vague wording. Does the Darkness one set things alight?

The whole Elementalist book was shoddy in my opinion. Seemed rushed or not well edited.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:06 pm 
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Also, how long does the spell last? There is no expiry listed.

Same for Candle and Pyrotechnics which precede it. Almost as though it was forgotten about...
(There is only a note on page 11 that Spell Expiry Rolls apply "to most durational spells".)

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The whole Elementalist book was shoddy in my opinion. Seemed rushed or not well edited.

I'm going to agree with that assessment. It's not my favourite book of the series by a fair margin (and always surprises me it fetches so much on eBay).

Another omission was the stipulation that Elementalists can only cast spells of their Rank or less (all other Professions have that mentioned). This gets corrected in the new edition, but I've preferred to play around a bit...

...Elementalists are often mentioned as being the weakest of the Professions (until they get the high Rank spells, that is). Now... What if the above omission was intentional? You'd have a Rank 1 Elementalist able to cast a Level 3 spell in his specialist element. Admittedly it drains all his MPs in one go, but suddenly a Rank 3 Elementalist becomes someone to be feared (having access to very high level magic indeed)...
Not sure it works, as an idea. I'd certainly not use it now that Raw Power has been added to their abilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:37 am 
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That certainly throws a new light into Elementalists and certainly gives them a significant edge. Does mean a 4th Rank Elementalist of Darkness can summon Balor.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:51 pm 
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Does mean a 4th Rank Elementalist of Darkness can summon Balor.

Potentially, yes.*
Although the adventure in Book 5 strongly suggests that spell isn't available to be used without some serious defrosting activity beforehand...

* I have some serious reservations on this interpretation of the rules. It was probably just another omission...


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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:26 pm 
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This question raises a few questions - what constitutes an "enchantment", can arrows be re-used, and does enchanting an item increase its durability?

The rules as-written require a 4th rank mystic (minimum) to spend 25 days to create a single +1 magical arrow that would enable the elementalist to use this spell (at least, but maybe only, once). The rulebook does not comment on the durability of enchanted items that I can remember, nor does it mention whether arrows can be re-used. 3% of those +1 arrows will be flawed, but let's assume that even a flawed enchantment is sufficient an enchantment for the Fire Arrow spell to work.

Let's think through some guidelines for durability/reusability. If the arrow misses, it could easily be lost in the undergrowth - if a Mystic is on-hand with a See Enchantment spell, let's say the stealth of a missed arrow is only 13 because it would be relatively easy to find from its magical aura. Otherwise, let's assume the stealth of an arrow that has missed and become lost in undergrowth is closer to 23 (equivalent to a gnome - why not?).

But what if it hits? Well, the rulebook does not say that enchanted items are more durable than their unenchanted counterparts. Except for a few item descriptions that imply enchanted items resist the corrosion and decay of time, I would suggest they are otherwise "normal". And arrows get damaged easily when hitting armour or bone. Let's assume that if an arrow hits but fails to penetrate armour, it becomes damaged - it bounces of armour and breaks. Otherwise, if it hits and penetrates armour (or the opponent is unarmoured), there is a 50% chance it hits something hard (like a bone) - which I'm taking from the +2 AF of a skeleton against stabbing weapons and factoring that into a normal bow's 1d6 armour bypass die. Then let's say striking bone has a 50% chance to damage the arrow - so that's a 25% chance of the arrow becoming damaged if it hits.

Let's now look at whether it's reasonable to expect a 3rd rank elementalist to need an enchanted weapon to use a spell.

Checking the NPCs tables on p133 of the main rulebook, a 3rd rank elementalist (sorcerer, in this case, as elementalists still don't get their own entry in this table...) has a 1% chance of having 1 magical weapon. The distribution of magical items implied by the table on p137 of the rulebook would suggest only 10% of all magical items are arrows, meaning only 1 in 1,000 3rd rank elementalists will have come across a magical arrow in their adventures. With only 1 in 1,000 of an already very rare profession able to cast this spell, any display of this spell would likely be a once-in-a-generation event!

So, in my view, requiring an enchanted arrow is too high a bar for the spell. Unless you house-rule the nuts out of the game to make magical arrows MUCH more common, durable, and reusable, there's no way this spell is a "common" fire elementalist spell!

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 Post subject: Re: Fire Arrow
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:32 pm 
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wimlach wrote:
Also, how long does the spell last? There is no expiry listed. Does this mean the arrow is 'permanently' a fire arrow now? Does it go out on hitting the target? Furthermore, the 'Darkness' variant seems no different, but has vague wording. Does the Darkness one set things alight?

The whole Elementalist book was shoddy in my opinion. Seemed rushed or not well edited.

For the elementalist's spellbook quick reference, I had to make up a lot of the numbers for range, duration, etc. (all indicated with asterisks). For the Fire Arrow spell, I'd suggest it's a one-shot only.

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