Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sorcery: Demon's Prank

Look at all that jest.
Support Spell Generates a loud sound in a far-off place. It has little direct effect, so the caster must think creatively to make effective use of it.
 This is an article on a support ability, specifically an illusion to distract enemies. I never used this power, but as it is one of the less straightforward abilities, I decided to give it a go.

So, this ability, on the surface is a simple one, but to make this article worth reading, I'm going to start with a "true to name" version, and then a version that functions more similar to the effect it has in game. The first part is throwing a sound, which by itself is an interesting distraction for enemies. In Dark Souls and Demon's Souls though, the enemy is given a compulsion to investigate the sound, even if it means running through fire, or falling from a great height.
To start with, we have the vanilla version
Demon's Prank (-75%): Illusion (Sorcery, -15%; Ranged, +40%; No Signature, +20%; Auditory Only, -70%; Static, -30%) [7]
This ability is 6.25, or 7 points for the vanilla version. When used, a sound can be made at a ranged location. Enemies have a contest of their Per versus the caster's IQ + Talent. If the caster succeeds, the target falls for the illusion. What this means is up to the GM.
A more gamey effect can be achieved by having the ability represented as a malediction that inflicts everyone within range with an obsession of finding the source of the sound.
Demon's Prank, Alternative (+180%): Affliction 1 (Per; Based on Per, +20%; Sorcery, -15%; Malediction 2, +150%; Disadvantage, Obsession (Investigate the source of the sound), Constant, +20%; Area Effect, 8 Yards, +150%; Selectivity, +10%; Sense Based, Auditory, -20%) [28]

This version is 28 points, but it has one specific advantage over the nominal version. It specifically compels those that succumb to the quick contest to investigate the sound. It also has selectivity to specifically make it not affect allies. When cast, the castor contests Will + Talent against the opponent's Perception. If it succeeds, the target is compelled to investigate the location from which the sound was emitted.

Other Notes

I like distraction spells. In video games, they come across as meh or a waste of resources, but in tabletops where stealth is a viable option, it becomes exceptionally useful. I based the alternative ability on some of the entirely irrational things that some enemies would do to investigate a sound. Some would fall off cliffs or burn themselves to death. The game almost has a purpose built area just for the latter. So the first is more subtle, "realistic", and cheap, but the second one has a lot more utility, but is also a lot more expensive. I added no signature, because as a stealth ability, not being seen casting it is paramount. Higher levels of the regular version might take off static, for an extra 7.5 points, which would allow a mobile illusion (maybe the sound of footsteps down a different hall), The 28 point version could be considered leveled, with each additional 5 points doubling the range of the spell. 8 yards sounds right to me in gamey terms, but it could become extremely powerful if it irradiated out tens of yards.

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