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Holding actions (to interrupt spells)


Gandalf970
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I recently ran a Pillars of Eternity inspired campaign and we used spell casting times to allow for spell interruption and some selectivity when picking spells at each "level".

 

Spells with a cast time of 3 segments or 4 segments were more powerful, but left you vulnerable to getting interrupted.  Quicker spells (1/2 phase) could not be interrupted unless someone had a held action ready to deal with you.  Sounded great, turned out to be a time tracking hassle in actual game play.  The idea that you could go later in a segment or on a different segment than someone channeling a powerful long cast spell and interrupt them with a quick cast spell played out pretty well.

 

I suppose one simple option would be to allow Dispel to be used with an Aborted action.

 

If you can find a simple enough implementation it is a great thematically appropriate option.  It feels right in a fantasy setting to try to interrupt a priest or wizard before they can finish their spell.

 

Aragorn- "Do not let him speak, he will put a spell on us... We must be quick."

 

 

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5 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I recently ran a Pillars of Eternity inspired campaign and we used spell casting times to allow for spell interruption and some selectivity when picking spells at each "level".

 

Spells with a cast time of 3 segments or 4 segments were more powerful, but left you vulnerable to getting interrupted.  Quicker spells (1/2 phase) could not be interrupted unless someone had a held action ready to deal with you.  Sounded great, turned out to be a time tracking hassle in actual game play.  The idea that you could go later in a segment or on a different segment than someone channeling a powerful long cast spell and interrupt them with a quick cast spell played out pretty well.

 

I suppose one simple option would be to allow Dispel to be used with an Aborted action.

 

If you can find a simple enough implementation it is a great thematically appropriate option.  It feels right in a fantasy setting to try to interrupt a priest or wizard before they can finish their spell.

 

Aragorn- "Do not let him speak, he will put a spell on us... We must be quick."

 

 

 

That sounds great in theory. But having yet another thing to keep track of as a GM isn't appealing. And having another thing to gimp my spellcasting as a player isn't appealing to me either.

 

But for anyone specifically looking for a way to simulate easily interruptible spells, you've come up with a straightforward and elegant solution.

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58 minutes ago, archer said:

But for anyone specifically looking for a way to simulate easily interruptible spells, you've come up with a straightforward and elegant solution.

 

Firstly, thank you.

 

Secondly, we added a CON roll with a penalty of STUN Damage / 5 rounded up to maintain the spell so it was not a guaranteed interrupt by any stretch.  It worked out OK.  Honestly, just tracking the timing of spells going off was the big issue.

 

I wouldn't do it again in a Pen & Paper setting, but for PC games - love it.

 

Even in the LOTR example - the heroes turn around and all attack simultaneously and Gandalf is all, "I was holding my phase, guys!" and proceeds to defeat all 3 of them at once.

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