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    Canonfire :: View topic - Glyph effects...who is harmed?
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    Glyph effects...who is harmed?
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:52 pm  
    Glyph effects...who is harmed?

    This question spawned interesting discussion between my fellow DM/player and me a few days ago, and so I am tossing it out for everyone else to ponder and answer.

    When a glyph is triggered, does the effect only harm the individual who enacted its magical power, or does the glyph harm EVERYONE in the area of effect?

    Ex: A glyph is set against Evil with electricity or fire effect. An evil creature is battling a group and sets off the glyph when it crosses over the warded area. Does everyone get injured, or just the triggering creature?

    My gut tells me that the glyph is specifically keyed, and thus ONLY the triggering creature is harmed even if others (non-Evil) are in the area so warded, but I could be persuaded that anyone caught in the area of effect when it is triggered could be affected...

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:36 am  

    Also wondering if the item or area protected is harmed by the Glyph when it is discharged. Thinking not since that pretty much defeats the purpose of the spell in the first place if it destroys the thing/area it's meant to ward.

    opinions and comments welcome on this and previous questions...

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:46 pm  

    I would say that the area/item the glyph is on is not harmed, as the glyph has been set to protect said area/item (sort to pointless if the protection were to result in the destruction of the area/item).

    Seeing as conditions can be set as to what will set off a glyph, a dm could also rule that a glyph only affects those that would set it off (usually that will only be the creature who set it off to begin with), but I'd say that is a dm choice. A dm could easily choose to have a glyph only be set off by the right creature entering the area, but that the glyph damages everyone in the area when it does go off.

    I kind of like the idea that, if some raiders were to attack a holy site and one of the lowly faithful were captured and be forced to lead the invaders to where valuables might be, that a glyph might be set off by the raiders, harming them, and yet leave the lowly faithful unharmed. I like the idea of such...holy...retribution. Happy

    So, I would go with there being a variety of conditions (type, alignment, faith, number, etc.) that could be set within the confines of what will, and will not, set off a glyph, but also with regard to who will be affected by it if it does go off. In any event, the conditions should be on point and not overly convoluted.
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    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:32 am  
    Re: Glyph effects...who is harmed?

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Ex: A glyph is set against Evil . . . An evil creature is battling a group and sets off the glyph when it crosses over the warded area. Does everyone get injured, or just the triggering creature?-Lanthorn


    Oops! Shocked

    There you go. The glyph is "set against Evil" . . . so why would good creatures be harmed? At all? Dependent upon the nature of the "attack."

    Now . . . other evil creatures in the area of effect? Oh yeah. They're toast. That, of course, is once again dependent upon whether or not the glyph has a"area effect" that is specific to evil, such as a clerical spell. That's the "dependent upon" I'm talking about.

    Fireball, for example, is indiscriminate in its effect. Only fire resistance would offer protection for the damage imposed. In such a case, I would rule that only an evil creature can trigger the glyph, but everyone is going to suffer fire damage. (And that speaks to my "guidelines" position for "rule books.")

    In Cebrion's example, regardless of the form that the "attack" takes (fireball), we're actually discussing holy damage. And I agree with him, no "good" creature would be harmed. Neutral creatures would suffer half damage, evil creatures would suffer full damage. I believe that Cebrion's example would put it more in the realm of a clerical glyph, a priest's spell.
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    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:22 am  

    Soooo...what I am gathering from you gents is that...

    ...ONLY those of an alignment who trigger the Glyph are affected by it?

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:34 pm  

    As I said, ONLY if the spell effect is SPECIFIC to evil.

    The trap TRIGGER has nothing to do with the trap's spell effect. So, only an "evil" creature can set off the trap, that's all well and fine; "Good" creatures cannot set off the trap. But what about the spell released once the trap is triggered? Is that alignment specific?

    IF the spell effect of the trap is a Fireball, then EVERYONE is going to take damage, regardless of their alignment. Fireball is indiscriminate as to whom it harms. But, what if the spell released is Holy Smite?

    Holy Smite is only going to harm "neutral" (half) and "evil" (full) creatures, not "good" creatures.

    So it depends upon the SPELL EFFECT that is set off by the sprung trap. That's how I play it.
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    GreySage

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    Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:44 pm  

    My understanding is that glyphs don't duplicate spells, but trigger effects such as fire, force, cold, acid, paralysis, and the like.

    To be clear, then (sorry, bear with me)

    If a glyph were placed and set against Evil, with the effect of fire or cold or force, and an Evil creature triggered it, but non-Evil creatures were IN the area of effect (a close melee, for instance)...then EVERYTHING in the area is harmed?

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:46 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    . . . but non-Evil creatures were IN the area of effect . . .


    And therein lies the key. Yes, an effect that "covers" an area would affect everyone in the area. But that's just how I play it.

    In my game, my Player's Rogue has been min/maxed to the umpteenth degree. Yet, he could not dodge the Fireball. Why?

    Fireball -- Area: 20-ft.-radius spread.

    That's 20 feet wide, 20 feet long and 20 feet high.

    The Rogue is in a room that's 15 feet, by 15 feet, by 10 feet tall. The Fireball is going to fill the entire space and "spill" out of any doorway, or window. Just where does the Rogue think he's going? Under those circumstances, he's not dodging anything. The entire room will be engulfed in flame, including "under the table."

    The glyph being triggered only by "evil" simply means that "good guys" can pass back and forth and over and under all they want and nothing is going to happen.

    But if an "evil" creature is with them, the glyph will be triggered and the entire area is going to be filled with fire, or cold, or acid, et al. Anyone in that area is going to be harmed.

    Just because "evil" is the only thing that can trigger the glyph, doesn't mean that "evil" is the only thing that's going to suffer the consequences of the room/area suddenly being filled with fire, acid, or freezing cold tempers.

    But, again, that's just me. Because . . . they're just "guidelines." Cool Laughing
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:01 pm  

    This is another one of those topics where I agree with both points of view. The special nature of the spell (defending an item/door/area) seems to point to the fact that the damage caused by the spell wouldn't actually harm the item/door/area as Cebrion and Lanthorn pointed out. However, Mystic-Scholar makes several great points too, especially when it comes to the Fireball spell. You could have fire damage coming from the Glyph and it just affect one person, but if you actually tied a Fireball spell to it then, yes I think the damage would affect an entire area, not just a person. For me in the end I think it really depends on the nature of the spell. Unless it's a spell that affects an area, I think only the person able to trigger the glyph takes damage from it going off. Just my two cents.
    GreySage

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    Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:43 pm  

    xo42 wrote:
    You could have fire damage coming from the Glyph and it just affect one person.


    Flamestrike! -- Exactly. It's a "targeted" effect. Only one person is affected.

    xo42 wrote:
    For me in the end I think it really depends on the nature of the spell.


    Precisely.
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:28 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    xo42 wrote:
    You could have fire damage coming from the Glyph and it just affect one person.


    Flamestrike! -- Exactly. It's a "targeted" effect. Only one person is affected.

    Well, not exactly. Flamestrike is a targeted spell, but it targets a point...where it then drops down a 5'radius pillar of fire. Generic glyph fire damage could be set to conditionally target only a single person, that being whoever set off the glyph. If the glyph is empowered with a flamestrike spell though, the glyph doesn't alter the spell in any way and so the flamestrike spell goes off in a 5' radius area of effect at the targeted point, which could be a point in space within the area of the glyph outlined during the casting of the glyph, or at the location of the person who set off the glyph. Furthermore, the flamestrike effect will be just as indiscriminate as if the caster were to have dropped it into a massed melee of friends and foes, so allies beware. When a spell is put into a glyph, it is similar to a spell holding effect, but with a specific condition of activation.

    The activating condition is really the main thing regarding a glyph. I wouldn't allow too much leeway as to the finickiness of what will be affected. Most things in the area of the glyph will usually be affected, unless the condition is set only to harm whoever set it off. It is just a third level spell - decently powerful, but not overly intelligently discriminate.
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    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:00 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Flamestrike is a targeted spell, but it targets a point.


    My thoughts were focused upon a glyph drawn upon the floor and passed over, or stepped upon, by the "evil" creature in question.

    But as you point out, the conditions for setting off the trap are variable. Cool
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    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:10 am  

    Yes, my original question dealt with a glyph set against Evil, placed primarily on a floor. For instance, a Glyph of Fire (or Cold or Force, whatever) was traced on a floor, and would be triggered by an Evil being. Then a battle was joined wherein Evil-doers were fighting a group on non-Evil doers (even Good folk). The two factions are in the midst of a grand melee. Somehow one of the Evil-doers steps on the Glyph, thereby triggering it. Some of the non-Evil doers are in the area of effect when this happens. Basically, I was asking if they would be harmed AS WELL as the triggering Evil-doer.

    -Lanthorn
    CF Admin

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    Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:32 pm  

    I like the idea of a series of glyphs that do not harm/effect those of the same faith as the caster: an excellent idea!

    For some other good glyph ideas, see Larry DiTillio's "Glyphs of Cerilon" in Dragon #50.

    Allan.
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