Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Q&A re Elementals.

1) Were you intending FG to be able to summon/control from all FOUR elemental planes, using the same list. Or will she have to know it separately for each? (Cos in the latter case, we can be 90% certain she’ll go with Fire and not bother with anything else, but if she can summon her choice of element from the same list, I think it might encourage her to be (at least occasionally) more imaginative).

Yes. All four. For exactly that reason. Now this might be a Sindalie thing, or a side effect of being an acolyte of the goddess of spell casting. Or a bit of both. Yes, I know, after all my rants about Harry Potter, I have to acknowledge that FG is "special". Harumph.

2) What sort of beings can be summoned (and/or controlled – the answer might be different for that)? Now I am sure you meant it to include ‘pure’ elementals (walking piles of rock, skipping pillars of flame, sentient waves, whirlwinds, etc.) (with their size and power going up with level). But what about more ‘humanoid’ sorts of elemental? You said you didn’t imagine it including ‘genie’ types. But I their general high power level might prohibit those (not quite sure, and maybe the tables could be fiddled). But there are many more ‘borderline cases’. KK herself, with no prompting, asked whether the Steam Mephits counted? And, I think, yes they would. They are minor elemental beings (from the Plane of Fire). And on my current version of the table, she could summon one as a 4th level spell, and Master it (so controlled without concentrating) as a 9th level spell. Basically both being pretty easy for FG.

Due to her super power of mastering all four elephantals, she will only be able to get 'vanillia' elementals; a conciousness in pure elemental form. So no para elementals (steam, lava, smoke, etc), no djinn (dao, marid, fruity) etc.

3) Assuming (for now) that the answer to (2) is at least a qualified ‘yes, a range of different elemental-beings are in scope’. How would the type of being be determined? Could she choose to summon a steam mephit, say, as opposed to a small ‘pillar of fire’ sort of elemental – perhaps in order to parboil someone/thing without the risk of burning down the building she was in? Or would it be largely random/GM’s whim. In which case the list is a lot less useful (because you just know she’ll get the wrong one quite often!)

Ha ! The answer is no...

4) Another point about summoning is the question of coercion. Are summoned beings compelled to arrive and then obey the caster? I think not, since for even vaguely intelligent beings that would be in effect slavery – which the PE is very against. (I believe KK concurs). Instead, I suggest that the summoning be conceived as like some sort of a inter-planar ‘job advert’: “wanted - one small fire elemental to come and burn something on the Prime Material Plane - transport here and back included - please reply immediately to Forgileill". This would, normally be the default for summoning spells. Even Ryz’s demon/devil summoning ‘works’ because the demons/devils/elementals WANT to come to the Prime, and are looking for a way to do so (even if it is only a short stay).

I like that idea. Make it so, No 1

5) It gets a bit more complicated with the Control/Master spells. These could be seen as some sort of ‘puppet like’ body control, or mind domination/spirit control. But this is heading to slavery again. How about them actually being ‘negotiation’ spells. Whereby FG offers the being something it wants in return for its services – basically ‘Pay’. The currency could just be Essence (i.e. power points). As a slight alternative, the ‘pay’ could be rather ‘fuel’ for its (continued) manifestation on the Prime Material Plane? This rather assumes that the being will want to stay if it can (presumably to burn/drown/crush/blow things), and if the fuel is not forthcoming it will be forced to go home; whereas the ‘pay’ version implies it is more an agreement to burn/whatever what FG wants it to – as opposed to whatever it feels like.

Yes, this idea sounds good. Also provides an elephant of uncertainty when it comes to "loosing control".

6) Revisiting the ‘can a summoned creature be dispelled’. The official D&D answer is ‘yes’ to simple summoning like this – because the manifestation on the Prime is not the real body of the creature and it is the magic that keeps it manifest here. Whereas more powerful portal magic (in D&D ‘Gate’ etc.) actually brings the real being to the Prime (possibly against its will), which is totally different. This and Qs 4 and 5 are closely related – if you know the answer to one it will probably tell us the others.

OK. What you get is the conciouness of an elemental of appropriate power (as advertised) crossing the planar boundries to inhabit a 'body' (composed of an amount of [fire, water, air, minerals]) provided by the summoner. So the thing that could be dispelled are the spell/advert/planar crossing (as an act of magic, a descrete spell in and of itself). Or the conciouness in the manifestation could be attacked (banished) as an outsider. Either of these would have to separately targetted and I think is perhaps harder to do than the glib AD&Dism of 'I dispell the elemental'.

The list attaches is very rough and subject to addition and modification and ‘fine tuning’. But I think it is pretty workable. (I am doing one of demons and devils and other things for Ryz too!)

And I like the list. The list should stay, even though FG might not be able to get 100% out of it herself.

(I tried posting the table, but it just turned out as a list - rah boo poo)

7) Erm... yeah~ what Chris just said... now, if the embodiment of an elemental can be dispelled by an anti-magic zapper (which beholders have...) can FG spell master the Magic portal and the summon elephentals to bring the actual elephental onto the Prime plane? But if it's just the 'containment' of the elephental that's magic, if you anti-magic zapp it, does that release the proper elephental to wreck havoc? Does this potentially also mean that Ryz's demon summons can also be dispelled by anti-magic zapper thing?

That's more than than spell mastery of the list she has; that is a 'planar gate' type list. The effect of the beholder's anti magic ray is dependant on the skill roll the beholder makes, just as it is for Player Characters.

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