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IndianaJoe3

Building a Light spell is harder than I thought

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I'm trying to convert d20 Vancian-style magic to Hero. I thought I had it pretty-well figured out. A wizard's spellbook is a Multipower with Delayed Effect as a common Advantage, and each spell is a slot in that pool. The DE limit is the size of the pool. (There's a discount if the character wants to memorize the same spell more than once.) Each spell takes a certain amount of Extra Time to prepare, based on the Active Point cost of the spell.

 

However, I get an unwanted effect when converting a spell with a Constant effect that would normally cost END (such as Light).  In those cases, Time Limit becomes an Advantage and the Active Cost skyrockets. I can work around this by creating the spell with 1 Continuing Charge, but I keep thinking that I'm overlooking a better way of doing it.

 

The spell as currently written:

Light:  Sight Group Images, +4 to PER Rolls, Area Of Effect (16m Radius Explosion; +1/4) (27 Active Points); Extra Time (5 Minutes, -2), Only To Create Light (-1), 1 Continuing Charge lasting 6 Hours (-0)

 

(Delayed Effect is a Common Advantage of the Multipower, so it doesn't show up in the spell description.)

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I don't see a problem with your build unless you need it to cost end.  At which point you build it with a -1/4 limitation Costs End to Activate.  You can also make the charge recoverable and set the recoverability as fairly simple.

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It doesn't. You built it with a continuing charge, so unless you take another limitation, the character does not pay END for the duration

 

I know how I built it. :) I think that continuing charges is a kluge, sp I'm looking for other ways to get the same effect.

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I would have thought a Light spell would be Change Environment.

 

I agree that Images, Only To Create Light is a horrible way to do things, but it is the rules as they are written.

 

 

Even worse, most versions of a d20 Light spell can be cast on an object, and it moves with that object.  Attaching Images to an object is Usable As Attack (+1).

 

Images can already move. Casting it on an object is just SFX.

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Adding light to an area used to be explicitly mentioned as a possible use of Change Environment in 4e, and it made perfect sense to do so. Why was this removed in 5e?

 

As I understand it, Steve Long is of the opinion that Change Environment cannot remove penalties, only impose them.

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Images can already move. Casting it on an object is just SFX.

 

 

Area effects can only be moved if they have the Mobile Advantage, which requires an Attack action to move the effect a limited distance each Phase.

 

The Mobile Advantage (6E1 324) says "Ordinarily a Constant Area-affecting power cannot move once established, unless it has the No Range Limitation so that it "sticks to" the character generating it and moves as he moves, or the Usable As Attack Advantage so a character can "stick" it to a target and have it move as the target moves."

 

Usable As Attack says the same thing on 6E1 358.  "Usable As Attack allows a character to "attach" a Constant Power to a target and have that Power follow him as he moves."

 

That doesn't appear to have made it into Champions Complete or Fantasy Hero Complete.  They just say that a Constant Area Power can't be moved unless it has Mobile added.

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Light is a lot easier if you just treat it like Raistlin's staff in Dragonlance - a light source that you carry in your hand.  The extra effects beyond that can really inflate the cost.  Pre-3e, it also included a Constant Flash vs. Sight if you cast it directly in someone's eyes.

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I believe, and that's how I play it, that if you target a subject and take the standard OCV vs DCV with an area of effect, the area moves with a target.  In effect, when you target a hex DCV 3, you are targeting the earth and the area of effect does not move of its own accord and stays in the same location of the target(earth).  If you target a PC or moving object, the area of effect does not move with regards to the target you hit but will move when the target moves.  Special effects can alter this (ex: a smoke grenade's smoke moving due to a breeze or a person picking up the canister and moving it to another location before the charge wears out).

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The current build:

 

Light:  Sight Group Images, +/-4 to PER Rolls, Area Of Effect (16m Radius Explosion; +1/4) (27 Active Points); Extra Time (5 Minutes, -2), Only To Create Light (-1), No Range (-1/2), 1 Continuing Charge lasting 6 Hours (-0)

 

I think I'm going to leave it here, barring a complete rethink. The AP cost is higher that I like for a utility spell, but I'm going to blame that on it being a really useful ability. I've built versions which were far more expensive for the same effect.

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Some conversions go with a rough scale of 15 Active Points for a cantrip, 30 for a level 1 spell, +15 Active Points per level above that.  At 27 Active, what you've got fits right into that scheme as a level 1.  

 

If you make it Costs END To Activate and Time Limit, does that run up the Active Points the way 0 END and Time Limit does?  Never mind, I just checked the book.  Has nothing to do with END cost.

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Ok, a bit more poking at it.  If you make it 0 END and Persistent, what does HeroDesigner do?  By my reading that should flip Time Limit: 6 Hours into a -1/2 Limitation, which sounds to me like what it should do. ... Of course, that then adds a +3/4 Advantage, running it up to 44 Active.  

 

If you make it Images to Normal Sight only, rather than the entire Sight Group, that brings the base cost to 17.  With the AOE that makes it 21 Active.  If you were to make it 0 END Persistent, that brings it to 34 Active; adding the -1/2 Time Limit: 6 Hours to the Limitations you've got makes the Real Cost 8.5, round to 8.  What you've got is 27 Active, 7.7 Real which rounds to 8.  I'm also not taking into account what Delayed Effect does to the final calculation.  

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Yeah, I tried those. :) Images doesn't seem to allow for a base effect of a single sense, only a sense group. (At least, HD doesn't permit it, and it's pretty good about enforcing RAW.) I remember a Limitation about affecting a single sense instead of a group, but that wouldn't change the AP.

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Does the "Images to Normal Sight" build take into account the "flashlighting" effect - that is, something outside if your radius you might not be able to see, but by god they can see you and you're a really juicy target for a ranged attack from surprise?

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That sounds like a reasonable use of the "loud" limitation - wasn't that -1/4 for making the ability easily detectable at a significant distance (or maybe -1/4 for limited perception, like only Users of the Force, and -1/2 for a sense virtually everyone has, like sight or hearing).

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Yeah, I tried those. :) Images doesn't seem to allow for a base effect of a single sense, only a sense group. (At least, HD doesn't permit it, and it's pretty good about enforcing RAW.) I remember a Limitation about affecting a single sense instead of a group, but that wouldn't change the AP.

 

It's pretty good about enforcing a certain interpretation of RAW.  (Said as delicately as I could.)  

 

Didn't Images used to explicitly allow you to choose a single sense instead of a group?  And up through 5e, didn't it used to have an area by default?  Its area (or, I guess, volume) in 6e is that of a single cubic meter.  That makes light -- simple, basic, light -- unnecessarily expensive, IMO.  

 

If I were the GM, I'd say use a Custom Power in HD, and work around it.  5 points for a single sense, +12 for +4.  But this also makes me seriously want to reexamine Images as the only Power to use to create light (probably Change Environment with the Light Levels idea a couple of us were working on).  I mean, even in a Champions game I'd let a character carry a flashlight for free, and the Power as you've designed it is a flashlight.  

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I always preferred the Change Environment method anyway, it made more sense to me to change the environment creating an area of light than to create an illusion of a lit up area.  The problem is, as written, CE doesn't have any rules for bonuses to perception or offsetting darkness, the 6th edition tome says "a -1 to the PER Roll with one Sense or Sense Group" for 3 points.  Thankfully Hero Designer allows bonuses, and personally I think CE should be allowed to create positive effects.  It kind of does already by letting you turn an arctic area into warm and comfortable, or shut off rain and snow.

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I always preferred the Change Environment method anyway, it made more sense to me to change the environment creating an area of light than to create an illusion of a lit up area.  The problem is, as written, CE doesn't have any rules for bonuses to perception or offsetting darkness, the 6th edition tome says "a -1 to the PER Roll with one Sense or Sense Group" for 3 points.  Thankfully Hero Designer allows bonuses, and personally I think CE should be allowed to create positive effects.  It kind of does already by letting you turn an arctic area into warm and comfortable, or shut off rain and snow.

The assumption is that CE makes dark places lit enough to kill any penalties. You COULD just limit the power if you want something dimly lit.

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