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Green Dragon

Spell Shield vs Impressed Spells

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Spell Shield and Ward Arcana increase the difficulty of using a spell against the cleric and his allies.  But what about spells that were already cast before the miracle is invoked?

example 1) Mage has an Impressed Conjured Fireball.  The spell was already successfully cast at the time it was impressed.  So Even on a Spectacular success (DN+9 for SS, DN+20 for WA) neither of these miracles will affect the spell when it is released. 

example 2) Mage casts Lightning (which produces 4 bolts usable over 4 rounds).  The next round the Cleric puts up the defense.  Too late, does nothing, because the spell was already cast.

 

Suggested fix) When Spell Shield or Ward Arcana is activated, any such spells are affected thusly: the DN modifier is subtracted from the bonus number generated when releasing the spell.  If this results in a negative number, the spell fails, with the usual results.

 

Side note: I notice that these both only affect the Difficulty.  So these prayers would not affect a Mathematics/Astronomy total, or Backlash for standard spells.

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There are a couple of possible approaches. The easiest one would apply to spells like Lightning which state that the caster must make an attack roll to hit a target with a lightning bolt, simply add the spell's modifier to the Difficulty Number of hitting the target. That description of Ward Arcana even supports this since it says that the modifier is applied to "the difficulty number of using magic to harm a character", it doesn't specifically mention increasing the DN of casting a spell.

(Spell Shield is a bit different since it does specify "spells cast" at the protected individual(s). It's also odd that it requires a higher Spirit axiom but is a weaker miracle in the amount of protection is provides. I might avoid this particular problem by simply getting rid of one of the miracles!)

Another possible approach would be to stretch the definition of "difficulty number" to affect a target in cases like the impressed Conjured Fireball which has already been cast and doesn't specify that the mage has to roll again to hit a target. One could say that damaging the target goes against a difficulty number of the target's Toughness, so the miracle's bonus could be applied to his defense that way. This would be similar to what you suggest, only with the modifier being added to Toughness instead of subtracted from the rolled bonus number.

I might even be willing to stretch the definition further and say that since Conjured Fireball can be disbelieved as an illusion the miracle would boost the target's chance of successfully disbelieving it. But I'd probably only allow one or the other, not both.

 

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