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kirezemog

Elemental magic.

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Hello. New to the boards, and I've got a question about magic. 

 

In the setting that my group is playing in, we have broken Primal into the four different elements and made elemental magic. my wife is a fire elemental, and my brother in law's girlfriend is an earth elemental. In our last session, the Earth Elemental wanted to create quicksand below the wolves that they were fighting. I ended up ruling that she could use the curse magic action even though Primal does not have access to it because it seems to fit the best. However, now that I have time to research I would like to get some more ideas as to what I could have done.

 

To be clear, her request was to create quicksand under the wolf pack to try and trap it. She did not want to inflict wounds, she just wanted to even the odds as the players were well outnumbered by a pack of wolves. I heard on the dice pool podcast that to summon a wall of fire they suggest The Conjurer action. So now I am thinking perhaps conure quicksand would be the correct route, but then her intention was to use it as an instant effects to capture the wolves in the quicksand. That makes it seem like two different things. First conjure, then the attack roll to see if the wolf is captured in the quicksand. Otherwise it would seem to be a bit unfair to summon quicksand under people in there automatically trapped. Maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing. All ideas and suggestions are welcome. We are playing again this upcoming Sunday so I would like to have an answer for her by then. This was typed out on my phone, so if there any typos I do apologize.

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5 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

Mechanically, you're looking at difficult terrain and/or the immobilized condition.

Otherwise, wing it. Don't let the charts shackle you, just go with what you think works. If you think that such an action should be average or hard, do so.

You ever have one of those "click" moments? You just triggered one. Not going to swear, but I just said "Holy sh..". You totally reset the frame I was using to view magic through. Thanks!

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You do not need to follow the Dicepool Podcast's recommendations. The beauty of the system is that you can do what you want with it. I have not yet included Magic in my game, but it is on the horizon. When it does, I am not using a specific magic "school" like Primal, Divine or Arcane but more of Wood, Water, Fire and then let them use anything like Attack or Barrier but they need to skin it to fit that element. 

PC: I use my Wood to do an Attack.
Me: How?
PC: A vine raises up and flings thorns at the enemy.
Me: (Never have mentioned there are vines on the ground or on trees but only have mentioned that it is a forested area) Ok, roll. Your difficulty is.........

You should rarely say no to things. If you reward the player's creativity by giving them the option to do something, then they are more than likely to try to outdo themselves in terms of ingenuity and that makes the game even more exciting than before. I have found it also empowers players in this system if you allow them to do things that you never thought of before. 

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Am I too critical of the original post and questions when I would say turning solid groud into quicksand is more of an "Element - Water" type of magical alteration? As in adding or conjuring a whole lot of water to the (assumed) dirt already there?

Other than that, I see some good suggestions. Podcasts aren't the be-all and end-all for a lot of people, and to simply wing it so that everybody is having fun creates that win-win feel that I think the narrative dice system is so good at. Like thedonnie says, you should rarely say no, and kudos to the players if they come up with ideas that surprise you. However, I would like to add that I run games in which both my players and I like to keep things consistent. Not just mechanically (a hard check in session 3 isn't an easy check in session 5 for the same thing under the same circumstances) but also thematically. And that's what triggered me to put my two questions up top here. Thematically (Earth), the request to trap wolves isn't unreasonable. But without adding water, the character could have opene a rent, rift or tear in the earth below the wolves; could have raised a stone/dirt wall around them; could have had earth/stone lumps of matter cling to the wolves' paws to slow, or even immobilize them; could have...; could have...; could have... I guess there are plenty of things that can be suggested. I feel that a ruling of using curse magic isn't a bad call at all, at first glance. Curse Additional effects even lists the option to paralyze targets. However, by "pack of wolves" I would assume at least three wolves. A curse check being Average to start (2 difficulty dice) and gaining the Additional Target  (+2 dice) and Paralyzed (+3 dice) additional effects leaves the player with a total difficulty of 7 (which is against the rules for being too high) and would still need the player to roll enough Advantage results to affect all wolves.

Note that the Curse magic affects targets directly. Using other magic to manipulate the surroundings is a different matter.

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