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    Canonfire :: View topic - Runes, Tattoos, and Marks
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Runes, Tattoos, and Marks
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    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
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    From: Houston Texas

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    Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:01 am  
    Runes, Tattoos, and Marks

    I realize many have written (or in Argons case are writting) articles about various runes, tattoos, etc.... and then a thought has occured to me.....

    Say a wizard has runes apon her body or an obelisk bears rune marks or a door has a mark cast on it, etc.
    Next, the wizard suffers damage (say fireball spell) or the obelisk is shattered.....
    Then they are healed, restored, repaired, etc.....do the Runes or tattoos, etc retain their shape if healed or restored in some manner? If the runes or marks possess a magical quality, do they become restored as well?
    OR
    The reverse.... do the magic user, the obelisk, door etc suffer additional damage due to the magics being damaged? ie destroying a magical item.....Thoughts...

    DLG Channelling his inner Lanthorn the Inquirerer.....
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:40 pm  
    Re: Runes, Tattoos, and Marks

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:

    DLG Channelling his inner Lanthorn the Inquirerer.....


    That condition is more of a curse, my friend. Laughing

    OK, I will offer my two cents, given you so mentioned my infamous moniker.

    Nonmagical writings (tattoos, for example) could go either way, depending upon the DM's perspective about curative spells. Does it merely mend damaged tissue ONLY, or does it mend marks as well that are imbedded in such? That's a DM call, I'd say. Personally, I'm apt to allow it.

    Now, say a mage has tattoos on his arm that is subsequently severed by a sword. If a cleric's Regenerate spell were employed, in that case I'd say, "No," because you are not dealing with an intact set of tissue, but regrowing one from 'scratch.'

    In the case of magical writings or runes, I think that is also a DM call. Some items do release magical energies when destroyed (like a Staff of Magi as per a retributive strike). I also recall reading somewhere that destroyed magical items can also unleash their stored arcane energies and may cause damage to those in close proximity (likely determined by you, the DM).

    If I come upon something written down, as a fellow Inquisitor, I feel it is my duty to impart such a finding. Wink Maybe I am working on that "research" proficiency after all!

    -Lanthorn, fellow Query Master
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
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    Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:55 pm  

    DLG,

    Yes, DM adjudication is key. However, When a part is amputated like Lanthorn has stated one should treat it like a minor magical weapon unless the magic is a one shot use. Then I would treat is like a scroll. Since technically speaking the wizard has turned a part of his body into a permanent magical item. Damage should be 1d4 per spell level and number of uses per day. So a third level spell use once a day would cause 3d4 points of damage if the body part which held the spell was destroyed or amputated. Should that spell or rune have three uses per day at third level then 6d4 points of damage is possible. Note the weapon which caused the damage would be susceptible to the same amount of damage as the person who's arm was amputated. The attacker would need to make a reflex save or in 2E a dexterity check for half or no damage.

    One could argue that an erase spell simply removes the tattoo or rune safely. Like I said a temporary tattoo or a rune that has a one shot and done affect expires with no additional damage to the bearer of the tattoo or the rune.

    I would rule that damage that does not destroy or amputate a body part that bears a rune or tattoo would simply dispel the ability to use said tattoo or rune until the wound is healed. Otherwise wizards are going to go pop very often.

    Later

    Argon
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:11 am  

    This is a fairly general question, so it can stay here.

    Believe it or not, the tattoo issue on a lost limb actually came up in my campaign many years back, so I have already considered this question.

    Answer: No. Restoring the flesh will not also include the restoration of tattoos/runes. For example:

    A fighter wearing a ring of regeneration has his tattoo-covered arm hacked off by a sword of sharpness, and said arm just so happens to fall into a lava pit and is lost (hey, it is the fighter's fault for fighting near a lava pit, but isn't it always? Laughing). The fighter survives the encounter, and his ring starts doing its thing. The arm grows back...but there is no tattoo on it, because tattoos are not OEM, and neither is that moody black fingernail polish on the fingertips. If the fighter's head had been hacked off and lost, and it regrew, no, it wouldn't still have its Flock of Seagulls hairdo either. In either case, the fighter will have to go back to the chair for some replacement ink, and polish, or a hair style. Razz Any warts, moles, or birthmarks on the original body part will of course be present on the restored version.

    As to damage, I would just say that the magic is merely ruined and lost. I would only rule there being damage if the magic was for some reason extremely unstable, volatile, and/or powerful. If there were to be damage, no doubt an author or DM wrote the effect to purposely be that way, and included what would happen should the writing somehow become damaged. Think of any magic where damage to it will cause damage (staff of power/magi for instance) and you will note how rare such things are, and how the effects are purposely noted. Snap a particular staff, and it will go super nova on you; tear up a flame strike scroll and you just lost a scroll (but it didn't fire bomb you on its way to uselessness at least). Save damage for the crazy stuff, not the everyday stuff.

    As usual, it is the purview of each DM to decide how things will work in their particular campaign.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:20 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:

    The arm grows back...but there is no tattoo on it, because tattoos are not OEM, and neither is that moody black fingernail polish on the fingertips. If the fighter's head had been hacked off and lost, and it regrew, no, it wouldn't still have its Flock of Seagulls hairdo either. .


    LOL....priceless! Laughing
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    Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:13 pm  
    Re: Runes, Tattoos, and Marks

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    I realize many have written (or in Argons case are writting) articles about various runes, tattoos, etc.... and then a thought has occured to me.....

    Say a wizard has runes apon her body or an obelisk bears rune marks or a door has a mark cast on it, etc.
    Next, the wizard suffers damage (say fireball spell) or the obelisk is shattered.....
    Then they are healed, restored, repaired, etc.....do the Runes or tattoos, etc retain their shape if healed or restored in some manner? If the runes or marks possess a magical quality, do they become restored as well?
    OR
    The reverse.... do the magic user, the obelisk, door etc suffer additional damage due to the magics being damaged? ie destroying a magical item.....Thoughts...

    DLG Channelling his inner Lanthorn the Inquirerer.....


    In the absence of any sort of rules, all this is speculation of course, but...

    I would say it is not the runes or glyphs themselves that contain the magical energy. Taking the semi-Vancian nature of D&D magic in general as a guide, and the process of creating spell scrolls, it would seem logical that the act of carving/inking the sigils themselves imparts the magical energy which activates them.

    Just as every swineherd with a needle and a bottle of ink couldn't go around inscribing magical tattoos on everyone he meets, because he lacks the metaphysical knowledge that goes hand-in-hand with the physical form of the runes (or whatever the symbols are), so too would that magical energy be dissipated should the runes themselves be destroyed.

    So, even if the obelisk was recreated, or the severed arm regrown with the (mundane) ink in the proper shapes, unless some magic-using type was around to "recast" the glyphs and re-imbue them with magical energy, I'd say they would not have any enchantment.

    Of course, if in your world it is the shapes themselves that imbue the magical power, then that analysis doesn't work. But unless they can be created in the first place without the casting of a traditional spell, I don't see why they should be able to be recreated without the casting of another spell.

    Joe / GG
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    Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:38 pm  

    Bah, coolest idea wins. There's no single ruling: imagine a curse tattoo which *does* re-grow even after hacking off the limb... sorry, but, but no simple physical removal will overcome such curse! ... Happy
    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
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    Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:19 am  

    ek wrote:
    Bah, coolest idea wins. There's no single ruling: imagine a curse tattoo which *does* re-grow even after hacking off the limb... sorry, but, but no simple physical removal will overcome such curse! ... Happy

    Fiendish.... I like it Evil Grin
    Paladin

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    Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:43 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    This is a fairly general question, so it can stay here.
    That was the goal Laughing Wink Thought about making specific to a rule set, as some variants would be treated subtly different. But was looking more for the pulse of the "readership" on what they interpret.

    Cebrion wrote:

    A fighter wearing a ring of regeneration has his tattoo-covered arm hacked off by a sword of sharpness, and said arm just so happens to fall into a lava pit and is lost The arm grows back...but there is no tattoo on it, because tattoos are not OEM, and neither is that moody black fingernail polish on the fingertips.
    OEM lol .... I agree
    Cebrion wrote:

    If the fighter's head had been hacked off and lost, and it regrew, no, it wouldn't still have its Flock of Seagulls hairdo either.
    I'll let my barbarian know he can't retain his haircut should such an event occur. Wink

    Cebrion wrote:
    As to damage, I would just say that the magic is merely ruined and lost. I would only rule there being damage if the magic was for some reason extremely unstable, volatile, and/or powerful. ......Snap a particular staff, and it will go super nova on you; tear up a flame strike scroll and you just lost a scroll (but it didn't fire bomb you on its way to uselessness at least).

    Can see your point, but kinda disagree on the has to be powerful slant... there are spells (runes etc) that are not that level of "powerfulness" yet reveal the same explosiveness by design.... arcane mark?
    And it would also seem reasonable (IMO) that IF creation of a scroll is conclusive of all of the Verbal, Semantic, and Material components "distilled" into the scroll (or potion) excluding the "triggering", that destruction of such contained magics may release unexpectedly. This is indirectly covered within all versions under potion and spell researches yes? I realize with rune and arcane type marks that the research / application is slightly differing, but the results can be similar, couldn't they?
    It would certainly make the user (and his opponents wishing to recover said items) more cautious of damaging them. Does not the damage of the Item make the magic unstable?
    Cebrion wrote:
    Save damage for the crazy stuff, not the everyday stuff.
    What fun is that??? Evil Grin
    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
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    Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:46 am  
    Re: Runes, Tattoos, and Marks

    GreyhawkGrognard wrote:

    Just as every swineherd with a needle and a bottle of ink couldn't go around inscribing magical tattoos on everyone he meets, because he lacks the metaphysical knowledge that goes hand-in-hand with the physical form of the runes (or whatever the symbols are), so too would that magical energy be dissipated should the runes themselves be destroyed.

    Joe / GG

    I agree, which is why I am leaning in the direction of the possibility that the dissipated energy could be released violently.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:53 am  

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    Can see your point, but kinda disagree on the has to be powerful slant... there are spells (runes etc) that are not that level of "powerfulness" yet reveal the same explosiveness by design.... arcane mark?
    And it would also seem reasonable (IMO) that IF creation of a scroll is conclusive of all of the Verbal, Semantic, and Material components "distilled" into the scroll (or potion) excluding the "triggering", that destruction of such contained magics may release unexpectedly. This is indirectly covered within all versions under potion and spell researches yes? I realize with rune and arcane type marks that the research / application is slightly differing, but the results can be similar, couldn't they?
    It would certainly make the user (and his opponents wishing to recover said items) more cautious of damaging them. Does not the damage of the Item make the magic unstable?

    No, otherwise item saving throws would be feared not for the usual "Aww man! My awesome +1 plate mail just failed its saving throw against that lightning bolt!" reason, but for the "I'm encased in magic +1 BOMB plate mail, and it just failed its item saving throw! Ahhhh!!!"BOOOOOOM!!!

    [Drifting serenely in Greyspace, the crew of the spelljammer Hawk's Fury notes a blast on the surface of Oerth.] Razz

    You will note that I allow for such repercussions, just that they are not common, and definitely not what normally happens with something like this that becomes damaged/ruined. Any rune/tattoo could go thermal nuclear on you? Nope. Very specific ones? Yes, maybe they could.

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    Cebrion wrote:
    Save damage for the crazy stuff, not the everyday stuff.
    What fun is that??? Evil Grin

    I do hope that your are not eluding to not having very much "crazy" stuff in your fantasy world. Happy

    As to ek's mention of a cursed tattoo, oh yes, that one would definitely be a candidate for growing back (depending on its power of course), as that is sort of the nature of a curse to begin with, and this would be a rather unique form for a curse at that. Even those trying to remove the cursed tattoo might gain their own cursed tattoo if they were to fail (kind of like contracting a virus), though that would be some kind of powerful curse to be able to do that. Cool
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:19 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:

    No, otherwise item saving throws would be feared not for the usual "Aww man! My awesome +1 plate mail just failed its saving throw agaisnt that lightning bolt!" reason, but for the "I'm encased in magic +1 BOMB plate mail, and it just failed its item saving throw! Ahhhh!!!"BOOOOOOM!!!


    True indeed. Maybe this could be DM call should the item critically fail its saving throw...

    -Lanthorn
    Paladin

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    Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:44 pm  

    Man you guys must think I'm vicious!!! lol
    As Lanthorn suggests, I see this as a critical failure for SOME magic items...
    For any of my players peaking in,,, I don't foresee any magical chainmail nor swords and shields going "nuclear".... but do think it may be reasonable for a ring of spell storing to release its stored spells (whether they do damage or not depends on what was stored hehehe). Or that Runemage that has a fireball rune,,,, might want to invest in a fire resistance ring.... Evil Grin

    Big C wrote:
    "I'm encased in magic +1 BOMB plate mail, and it just failed its item saving throw! Ahhhh!!!"BOOOOOOM!!!

    My local paladin will be glad to hear your opinion... she just survived an avalanche of falling debris and her armor was damaged. Laughing
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:51 pm  

    For those of you with 2e supplements, check out The Complete Druid's Handbook . The Savage druid (kit) has tattoos and markings on his/her body that acts as that druid's holy symbol (holy, oak, mistletoe, etc.) instead of those materials.

    My main player liked this idea so much that I permitted him to use a similar idea for a Flan mage (who was mentioned, methinks in one of my Online Campaign Journals) to inscribe magical tattoos onto his body instead of a spell book. The mage still used material components to cast his spells, and still needed to 'memorize them' (meditation in this case) after appropriate rest time (as per DMG), but it was such a novel idea that it gave his PC a very unique style and 'flavor.'

    It's a side note that poor Kai-tel was 'toasted' by a Call Lightning spell cast by a lizard man shaman of Semuanya... Shocked

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:34 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    It's a side note that poor Kai-tel was 'toasted'


    First name Harvey? Happy
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    Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:01 am  

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    Man you guys must think I'm vicious!!! lol
    As Lanthorn suggests, I see this as a critical failure for SOME magic items...
    For any of my players peaking in,,, I don't foresee any magical chainmail nor swords and shields going "nuclear".... but do think it may be reasonable for a ring of spell storing to release its stored spells (whether they do damage or not depends on what was stored hehehe). Or that Runemage that has a fireball rune,,,, might want to invest in a fire resistance ring.... Evil Grin

    Big C wrote:
    "I'm encased in magic +1 BOMB plate mail, and it just failed its item saving throw! Ahhhh!!!"BOOOOOOM!!!

    My local paladin will be glad to hear your opinion... she just survived an avalanche of falling debris and her armor was damaged. Laughing


    Got it boss Razz

    -redtail
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    Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:05 am  
    Amputate

    ...Maybe putting the cursed tattoo on the neck would solve the easy curse removal problem.
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