Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Postcards from the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly
Denizens
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Stoneskin spell
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Stoneskin spell
    Author Message
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2470
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:11 am  
    Stoneskin spell

    Query:

    The duration is Special, stating that a predetermined number of (non-magical) attacks are protected by this spell. However, does this mean that until the spell recipient suffers potential injury that the spell is, essentially, perpetually in effect? That implies the duration could last minutes, hours, or even days, depending on whether or not the wizard is under attack.

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3836
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:10 am  

    Yes, it lasts until fully used up, meaning it lasts forever until used up. Note that attacks do not need to actually hit the character affected by the stoneskin spell to use it up, only that such attacks be targeted at them.

    Yes, that's right. A bunch of baby kobolds can eradicate a character's stoneskin spell by throwing pebbles at them, and missing badly, in but a single round.

    There goes 100 gp* worth of diamond dust! Laughing

    (*I think that suggested component cost comes from a Dragon Magazine issue somewhere in the 70's or 80's, but in any event diamond dust ought not to be cheap!)

    While useful, the stoneskin spell is by no means game breaking in any way whatsoever.
    _________________
    - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2470
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:18 pm  

    Cebrion, thanks for your response, as you only confirmed what I suspected.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
    Posts: 290
    From: The Pomarj

    Send private message
    Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:43 pm  



    Last edited by BlueWitch on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:11 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2470
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

    Send private message
    Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:36 pm  

    BW, agreed that the 'hit' should cause damage, though, technically, even 1 hp of damage should 'count' against the Stoneskin spell.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 12, 2014
    Posts: 172
    From: Maryland, USA

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:14 am  
    Re: Stoneskin spell

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Query:

    The duration is Special, stating that a predetermined number of (non-magical) attacks are protected by this spell. However, does this mean that until the spell recipient suffers potential injury that the spell is, essentially, perpetually in effect? That implies the duration could last minutes, hours, or even days, depending on whether or not the wizard is under attack.


    Sage Advice and DM's Option: High Level Campaigns clarified that for all the spells that essentially "lasts until discharged" type spells with no fixed duration (invisibility, stoneskin, etc.) last for 24 hours.

    BlueWitch wrote:

    As for kobolds throwing pebbles, they'd at least have to hit, to count.
    My opinion: They should at least hit hard enough to cause damage. Otherwise, where do we stop? Take this too far, and the wizard's clothing could theoretically count. Someone tapping him on the shoulder could count. Take it this far and Stoneskin is barely a cantrip.


    It's a valid tactic, but it's also a fairly stupid one. Attackers can't know WHEN it will run out, so they may as well just make normal attacks; for example, as soon as an arrow embeds itself in the wizard, you know the spell expired, whereas if the wizard is especially stoic, attackers may not realize the pebbles have caused the spell to expire (a DM could let a player make a Constitution or Wisdom check or something to not react). At the same time, a single creature throwing multiple projectiles at once would count as just one attack for any reasonable DM. The spell would also protect against someone trying to slit the wizard's throat while asleep or held, so it's not just based on attack rolls or actual hits. However, a simple touch doesn't cause it to lose a charge, because that isn't a "blow" (the word used in the spell description); a friendly punch probably would however. Individual DMs can determine for their own games where the cutoff between "blow" and "touch" is.

    Jeff
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3836
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:57 am  

    Read the Spell, and note the example. It only takes *attempts* to hit the individual to remove the stoneskin protection. The spell only protects against potential hits, but is taken down by misses as well. It lasts forever, until used, and it is only used up by attacks, which should classified as anything done against the effected individual that will do damage them. A playful buffet from a companion will not scratch off a "hit" of protection, but a thug looking to punch them out will. We always ruled that potential attacks must be capable of causing at least one point of damage (subdual damage also counts for this) to activate the spell's protective effects.

    But I've already been through all of the interpretive abuses of this spell, and what you both propose (i.e the hit needing to be successful to remove protection) is a recipe for disaster. Like I said, "Been there; done that.", and here is the real example as to why you both should think a bit more on it.

    That the attack need not be successful is a very important part of why the spell is only 4th level. Think of what it would mean if the hit actually needed to be successful. Wizards can actually get decent ACs through the use of bracers of defense, cloaks of protection, ring of protection, good Dexterity, and a variety of protective spells that bump up AC. But one must be a moderately powerful wizard to have most or even all of that (and good quality versions of them), and sure, that may be true, but even some of those thing can be enough when combined with mostly simple spells to improve AC. But I am not even going to go there. (HERE IT COMES!!!)Laughing

    How about I just forget all of those things and simply elect to be a total fudge master by applying a very common 2nd level spell to make this 4th level spell many, many times better than you already think it should be. That very common spell? Mirror image. As you would have it, not only does the enemy now have to successfully hit to remove any stoneskin protection, but they also have to successful hit the *right* image to do so.

    Enter "Chumly", my humble example 9th level wizard. He is Old School, and rolled a Dexterity of 4. Yes, 4. Laughing That's right, he has an AC of 13. He's as easy to hit as the broad side of a barn. He is so ungainly that it almost seems as if he veers towards attacks. The other PCs don't even allow him to carry sharp objects after he nearly killed himself with a melon baller. The word "coordination" is not one that immediately leaps to one mind when thinking of Chumly, but his is apparently just good enough for him to be able to cast spells. Barely. But, the PCs keep Chumly around because he is INSANE when it is Fight Club time. Yes, that hill giant pointing to the right field bleachers as he steps up to Chumly will only need a 2 to hit Chumly (because a 1 always misses; most people continue to play that way at least), but Chumly has little fear because he not only has a stoneksin spell active, but also a mirror image spell. He doesn't have any magical items of a protective nature, as Chumly has an irrational fear of wearing or being draped in anything magical (perhaps he gained the irrational fear that they might somehow explode if they ever failed an item save while being worn Laughing), and so he only carries those magic items which can be easily cast away at a moment's notice.

    Even though the hill giant will hit nearly all of the time, Chumly's mirror image spell has generated 6 images. As you would have it, Chumly's stoneksin spell protects him from about 7 successful hits. The minimum number of attacks that a hill giant must make against Chumly before damaging him is 8, and that is only if every single one of them hits, and hits Chumly rather than a mirror image. I'll leave it to some statistical madman to factor in what the 6 images do to the number of hits required to actually begin to hurt Chumly, but suffice to say, you can see how stupid good stoneskin would then be if opponents had to hit successfully.

    Now, let's say that Chumly is not such a schlub, and is instead a badarsed individual with a Dexterity of 18, bracers of AC 4, a ring of protection +2, and a cloak of displacement, and he also has blur and protection from evil spells going when the cloud giant steps up. Now, the hill giant actually needs to roll a 17 to hit, let alone hope to hit the right image and so then do the best that he can in scratching off just one bit of the stoneskin spell that Chumly is protected by. Except that the cloak of displacement automatically make the first attack miss! Suck it, hill giant! Why waste any more spells? Chumly pulls out his +2 dagger, and prepares to kill the hill giant slowly. Oh so slowly. Evil Grin Laughing

    You will have to trust me when I say that the stoneskin spell is perfectly good as written, and (and as we have played the cost) utterly worth 100 gp per casting. I gave you an example of how easy it is the bring down the spell (I actually pulled off something similar once), but you both know that without the enemy specifically knowing that the spell is there (and knowing what it does), they won't react that way to an individual protected by a stoneskin spell. The spell is merely a contingency plan to avoid damage, but it isn't what you want it to be because it is only 4th level spell. You also need to remember that a stoneskin spell can be cast on characters other than the caster, and they will usually have much, much better ACs. As such, the spellcaster can cast stoneskins on every PC (another reason for the 100 gp cost, which keeps this under control to a great degree).

    Overall point: consider all of the above before opening the can of worms. Wink
    _________________
    - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
    Posts: 290
    From: The Pomarj

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:38 pm  



    Last edited by BlueWitch on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:14 am; edited 1 time in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3836
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:31 am  

    No cheap shot intended, as I said "think a bit more", meaning I assumed you actually did think about it. Also, the spell is not going to go "pretty fast" in my example. The only way that happens with a low AC wizard (or other likely even lower AC character who has the spell cast on them) is if they are getting targeted by a bunch of attacks and are being successfully hit by a decent amount of them. Considering most adventures, that isn't all that likely, not to mention that there are probably a half dozen PCs other than the wizard that any attacks are also being divided up among too. This also assumes that the wizard hasn't also cast stoneskin on every other party member as well, as why wouldn't they? We used to do it all the time, notably during GDQ which foiled many a drow sleep poison dart/bolt, among other heavier hitting attacks from various monstrosities found therein. So, what would then constitute the spell being used up "pretty fast"? The spell will probably only last half an adventure, only last a full adventure, only last a few full adventures? The latter options are much more likely with your version of things. Do you not think that this is, just perhaps, a bit more than "Wicked awesome!" for a 4th level spell?

    The stoneskin spell is effectively a long term contingency plan to protect the wizard for a few rounds of combat (particularly close combat, should they find themselves in such an undesirable situation), during which time they will be relatively free to safely unleash magical DEATH upon their enemies without fear of physical harm. Anything more than that falls outside the power limit of a 4th level spell. For what it can do, its duration, and that it can be cast on targets other than the caster, the stoneskin spell is among the best protective spells in the game for its level, especially for when PCs are of middling to high level and begin to encounter critters that have physical attacks that do massive amounts of damage, like giants, dragons, etc.

    Even working as the spell does (which is not the way you play it), it is still hard to think of any higher level protective spell that I would rather have on all of the PCs in a group at one time, considering the duration of those higher level spells, how many such spells could even be memorized by the party's spellcaster(s) in the event that they needed replacing, or even if they can be cast on characters other than the caster to begin with. That right there says quite a bit about how good the stoneskin spell really is for a 4th level spell.
    _________________
    - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 228
    From: Gulf Breeze, Florida

    Send private message
    Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:24 pm  

    Ok, I agree with Cebrion's points about the ways a Stoneskin spell can get out of hand or become too powerful for a Wizard, but I still have a problem counting attacks that miss completely against the Stoneskin's protection. For example, say a fighter was preparing to fire an arrow against a Wizard protected by a Stoneskin, but a die roll of 1 indicates he misses (as he shot his arm was hit by a sword blow from the Wizard's friend or he just really made a bad shot). It doesn't make much sense for the arrow to trigger the Stoneskin spell when it hits the wall several feet away from the Wizard. I agree, against mle attacks a Wizard protected by a Stoneskin can avoid numerous hits, and will probably turn his enemies to ash, but he is also still vulnerable to all spells (including area spells). I have also seen Stoneskin spells run out within 1-2 rounds when the Wizard's party is facing several enemies capable of multiple attacks so at best it buys the Wizard another round to cast a spell.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3836
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:03 am  

    That is what the spell is for- to give the wizard a few rounds of time to cast spells in relative safety. After that, exactly how many of those multiple enemies will be left standing? Many, if the wizard used that time to cast non-attack spells, but they probably had a good reason for casting those spell instead. All missed attacks count though, not just those from melee attacks. Besides, a melee attack can miss by several feet as well.
    _________________
    - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 12, 2014
    Posts: 172
    From: Maryland, USA

    Send private message
    Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:32 pm  

    xo42 wrote:
    Ok, I agree with Cebrion's points about the ways a Stoneskin spell can get out of hand or become too powerful for a Wizard, but I still have a problem counting attacks that miss completely against the Stoneskin's protection. For example, say a fighter was preparing to fire an arrow against a Wizard protected by a Stoneskin, but a die roll of 1 indicates he misses (as he shot his arm was hit by a sword blow from the Wizard's friend or he just really made a bad shot). It doesn't make much sense for the arrow to trigger the Stoneskin spell when it hits the wall several feet away from the Wizard. I agree, against mle attacks a Wizard protected by a Stoneskin can avoid numerous hits, and will probably turn his enemies to ash, but he is also still vulnerable to all spells (including area spells). I have also seen Stoneskin spells run out within 1-2 rounds when the Wizard's party is facing several enemies capable of multiple attacks so at best it buys the Wizard another round to cast a spell.


    The spell is anticipatory. It anticipates an attack, regardless of whether it will be a hit or a miss, regardless of whether it can harm the protected creature or not, and loses a charge by doing so. That is why it loses a charge even when it can't protect against something, and even when the attack roll fails (which represents a variety of situations in addition to an actual miss).

    Keep in mind a successful attack roll will still disrupt a spell. The caster is not immovable, he just takes no damage. A mace to the forearm is still going to cause him to fumble the somatic components, a blow to the head is still going to screw up his concentration, etc., even though he takes no damage. The same applies to other sorts of protections (a lich's spellcasting can be disrupted by a nonmagical weapon for example).

    Jeff
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.39 Seconds