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Author Topic: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks  (Read 623 times)

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Offline Glenn_Gould

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Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« on: December 08, 2015, 03:41:50 PM »
Dear fellow harpers,

I'm currently struggling with how to handle the numbers and triggers for elemental aura spells (CoM):

Elemental aura is classified as an attack type spell, so instead of rolling higher than 70 to successfully cast it, I'd only have to avoid a fumble and the elemental aura would be active, correct?

The aura is described as affecting an area with a 1 foot radius around the caster. Anyone entering the auras area of effect has to pass a resistance test (resist magic) or suffer an elemental critical.  I guess, one should check the maneuver table with the total elemental aura skill roll when creating the aura and memorize the resistance roll that needs to be passed, right?

Let's say the character has 8 ranks in the elemental aura spell, good for a +40 skill points, additionally he possesses the talent lesser focused eloquence for an additional +10 with and gets +15 from is attributes for a total skill of 65. Let's say the caster rolls a 50 for a total roll of 115, requiring the intruder to reach at least 130 with his resistance check.

In a situation when the resistance check is failed, the intruder is going to suffer a "tiny elemental critical" (in the base form of the skill). How do I calculate the attack? With a 1d100 roll only, modified by the size of the attack, or based on the roll which created the aura (rather strong, considering it can hit several intruders for a duration of several rounds!).

What's the correct way to handle it?

Additionally: What events would trigger the aura? I'd guess several guards which are trying to grab the character and hold him, would all be affected by the aura.

What about attackers in a regular fight: On first thought, I'd say attackers hitting with a meele weapon won't be affected by the aura while attackers which attack with parts of their body (like zombies or animals) would be affected. Of course you could get into trouble considering how a short dagger or a kick with an armored foot would be handled ...

Unfortunately a benevolent barmaid hugging a character with an active aura from behind or a bunch of helpful healers, running for rescue might burst into flames, too ...

To cut the long story sort:

Memorizing the original result to calculate all resistance rolls during the duration of the spell?
Calculate the attack from the original result (modified by attack size) or with a simple roll?
Consider body contact (including from enemy attacks) as triggering events, but exclude contact with weapons? What about armor?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Offline Glenn_Gould

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 04:13:55 PM »
One more question: does an intruder have to resist every single round while inside the auras area of effect, or is the effect done on first hit/first resist?

Offline Bruce

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 09:43:42 PM »

Quote
Anyone entering the auras area of effect has to pass a resistance test (resist magic) or suffer an elemental critical.  I guess, one should check the maneuver table with the total elemental aura skill roll when creating the aura and memorize the resistance roll that needs to be passed, right?

Yes that is correct.

Quote
Additionally: What events would trigger the aura?


Once someone steps into the area of effect they will have to make a RR, if failed they will suffer the critical. Which is resolved on the appropriate attack table using the appropriate attack size modifiers. Only those entering the area of effect would get affected. To reiterate, it is not affected by touch at all. All someone needs to do is enter the area of effect then they take the damage.

The description of the spell is somewhat confusing:
Quote
However anyone else who comes within the radius of the aura or touches the caster must make a RR versus Magic or suffer a Tiny Elemental Critical.

I would think that if you someone tries to touch you they will be within the area of effect, this would include creatures with really long appendages (like a giant octopus) when they attack you. Though the critical would only apply to the appendage that made the attack.

A GM may rule that once they enter the area of effect they take a crit but take another one when they touch the individual protected by the aura.
But that can be somewhat unbalancing

FYI, each round the opponent is within the area of effect they would take an additional critical, which would normally be based on the original roll. But some GM's may rule that you can make a new roll each round. Which could increase your chance for an open ended roll, but also your chance of fumble.
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Offline Glenn_Gould

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 12:45:19 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Bruce! That helps a lot!

I like your example with the octopus, because it could be extended to an attack with a longer weapon: the aura might affect the weapon which would affect most weapons made of metal but might add some black-spots to a wooden quarterstaff :-).

One additional thought: When calculating the DB against a hit from the elemental aura, would you allow to include a parry? First I thought, it wouldn't make sense, but the rules state an elemental attack (if not resisted) should be treated like a normal melee attack. I think, that'll make sense against an elemental bolt; not so sure about an area of effect so ...

Offline Bruce

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 04:08:04 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Bruce! That helps a lot!

I like your example with the octopus, because it could be extended to an attack with a longer weapon: the aura might affect the weapon which would affect most weapons made of metal but might add some black-spots to a wooden quarterstaff :-).

One additional thought: When calculating the DB against a hit from the elemental aura, would you allow to include a parry? First I thought, it wouldn't make sense, but the rules state an elemental attack (if not resisted) should be treated like a normal melee attack. I think, that'll make sense against an elemental bolt; not so sure about an area of effect so ...
Glad I could help! :)
Elemental aura is an area effect, you can't parry area effects. Also a 1' area is not very big so it seems that most attacks with weapons would not be affected by the AOE. Some GM's may rule that the weapon creates a channel for the elemental aura and so the individual will still take the crit.
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Offline Glenn_Gould

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 11:19:56 AM »
It's been a while, but I'd like to revisit this topic after discussing it with a fellow player. We both couldn't avoid to get the feeling that resolving the effect of the elemental aura, like we've lined out here in the thread might be really overpowered.

Unfortunately, the description of the spell remains relatively unclear to me: It's described as an attack spell, resulting in a Skill VS Resistance Roll to check, whether it actually hits, but lacks a description how to resolve the damage of the attack itself.

Here, we've lined out a way like it's done for an elemental attack, like casting an elemental bolt. But is it really balanced to have one successful aura spell creating the same effect like a large number of elemental bolts, so an elementalist could cast his powerful aura, and than run over a battle field hugging enemies to death over a very long time (scalable to 1 minute/rank) generating one critical equivalent to an elemental bolt with the power of a high casting roll vs the enemies DB per round?

An alternative way might be, to resolve it like the fire wall spell in the core book: Do the resistance roll to check whether the aura strikes, roll 1d100 - (attack size modifier) to determine the damage. Parts of the DB might count (probably no quickness, no shield, no ...?).

Maybe Nicholas could comment on how it was officially meant to work out ... Thanks in advance!

Offline pyrotech

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 12:27:10 AM »
Hello,

My interpretation of the spell(s) would go:

As an attack spell the caster should take note of the RR needed to resist the spell when they cast it (thus any result of 11 or higher is a successful casting of the spell to some extent).  Also as an attack spell any targets' DB is largely irrelevant.

If a target fails the RR then they suffer an elemental attack of 1d100 +/- the size mod of the spell.  This number would be rolled for each instance the damage triggers.  Again DB probably won't matter here.  Unless there are a bunch of attackers this should not typically be too many rolls - but you could have the caster roll the result at casting and keep it for the duration (I probably wouldn't unless I had a good reason to).

When the spell triggers is the trickiest part of the spell.  I would go with once a round per target irregardless of who caused the target to enter the AoE.  Thus it would not matter how many times the target punches the caster, or how many times the caster punches the target, or even if either of them held the target in the AoE the entire round - it is still just one triggering of the spell.  But any round a target enters the AoE they need a RR - even gregarious barmaids and healers who insist that this is a good touch and not a bad one.  Unfortunately Harp doesn't necessarily specify how long all the melee weapons are, so the GM is going to have to make some decisions on which weapons would put a target in the AoE during an attack.  In general medium and larger weapons won't while tiny and smalls typically do - but that isn't true in all cases.  Unarmed attacks will, as will natural weapons - but very large natural weapons may be an exception.

In the event that a target remains in the AoE for multiple rounds then they would need one RR per round in the AoE.  So a wrestler with this spell on him could grapple a target and force one RR per round on each of their targets (if they can grapple more than one in a round, or others enter the AoE while they are grappling).

I'm not sure what the official ruling is on this, but that is how I would run it right now.

Regards,


 

-Pyrotech

Offline NicholasHMCaldwell

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2017, 10:16:50 AM »
Cast the spell and look up the result on the RR table of the maneuver table. Note down that result as that is the RR target

Any creature or being who touches the caster or comes within 1' of the caster makes an  RR. If they meet or exceed the RR target, they are fine. If not, they take a critical. If Tiny, roll d100 - 20, if Small roll d100-10, and so forth.

Every round an attacker touches or comes within 1' of the caster, they must make an RR. One RR per round and only one crit per round.

The spell is most effective against animals, monsters, martial artists, and attackers with short weapons. Folk with proper longswords, spears, polearms will not be within the area of effect, although their weapons will be.

(Unless of course, the caster learns how to increase the area of effect as a scaling option. If casters can go to 5'R or 10'R area of effect,  you probably should allow opponents to use their armor/shield DB against this attack).

best  wishes,
Nicholas
Dr Nicholas HM Caldwell
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
Publisher of Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Shadow World, Cyradon, HARP & HARP SF, and Cyberspace, with products available from www.rpgnow.com
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Offline Glenn_Gould

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Re: Reslolving Elemental Aura Attacks
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 05:18:50 PM »
pyrotech, Nicholas: Big thanks for your clarifications! Sounds reasonably balanced and still like a spell one could have a lot of fun with!

 

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