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Thread: The control spell

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    Smile The control spell

    Hi,
    I'm reading through the magic section a bit more carefully and the control spell says nothing about attacking controlled creatures. Am I off point thinking that an attack should allow some kind of "save" for the target, perhaps an unmodified or difficult Idea roll? Otherwise it would be no problem for a group of characters with a high-POW wizard to hack away at fairly powerful creatures for 10 combat rounds, probably an easy kill. Thinking about Giants (POW 11-13), Dragons (POW 20 - still a 40% chance to control for a 18 POW wizard), Greater Deamon (POW 16-17), etc.

    I may be totally off base, haven't actually played the game yet...

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    Commands that are suicidal, such as being told to stand still while being hacked to death, get an Idea roll that is Easy. If it is made, and the roll is a special or critical, then the target has broken free from the spell. Thats what I get from reading the description on page 96, second paragraph.
    http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying.

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    Ok I get it. Still, allowing the subject to collapse will only grant a CON x 1 on a D100 each combat round after the round of collapse. Perhaps that's a bit unbalanced anyway?

    EDIT: Hmm, and a special is still only 20% chance for a 20 POW dragon, right? That would allow for at least 6 rounds of hacking on average if I'm thinking straight.

    EDIT 2: Or, does the easy modifier bring that up to 40%? If that's the case I think that might be quite fair.
    Last edited by keops; January 28th, 2014 at 10:19.

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    An average Dragon has Intelligence 10 (big golden book, page 341). His Idea roll is 50%. An easy idea roll is 100%. So, even if you decide that there is a possibility of failure, there is only 1 chance in hundred that it happens.

    The wizard must first succeed the POW vs POW roll. And then, the Dragon makes his easy idea roll. So, statistically, it gives our POW 18 wizard only 40% x 0,01 = 0,4% chance to succeed... Good luck!
    Last edited by Gollum; January 28th, 2014 at 13:04.

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    Ok, so I've studied the rules a bit more, sorry for my confused posts earlier.

    But, if I'm reading the control spell rules correctly a successful idea roll will only leave the subject "standing around idly", still an easy target? The dragon would need to achieve a special or critical success on it's easy idea roll to break free from the spell. This would require rolling below 20 on a D100, since the modified idea roll is 100%, correct? A one in five chance of success, while the wizard has a 2/5 chance to roll his POW vs. POW. Maybe I'm still confused, but that's how I interpret the spell.

    If that's the case I would houserule out the need for a special or critical success and just let the subject make another POW vs. POW to break free or something I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keops View Post
    Ok, so I've studied the rules a bit more, sorry for my confused posts earlier.
    Don't be sorry. Not understanding the rules at the first reading is normal. And forums are precisely made to ask questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by keops View Post
    But, if I'm reading the control spell rules correctly a successful idea roll will only leave the subject "standing around idly", still an easy target?
    Yes, but this is precisely here that there is a contradiction: standing around idly is exactly what is suicidal!

    So, the GM has to solve the problem differently: iIf the easy idea roll is successful, but not enough to break free, the dragon won't stay here without moving. Of course, he won't attack either, because he is still subject of the spell...

    In my humble opinion, he will instinctively flee away, far enough to be out of range and then wait, idly.

    The player characters will surely try to come close to him. Then, the dragon will have another idea roll and will probably flee away again... And so on, until he scores a 100 (in which case the player characters will have the opportunity to attack him) or until he breaks free (in which case they will have to run very quickly because he will be very angry!)...

    And this last option is probably what will happen.

    So, a wise wizard, who surely learned that while learning the spell, will avoid to try that strategy against a dragon.
    Last edited by Gollum; January 29th, 2014 at 07:42.

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    I just glance at the rules about success and failure again and noticed that I made a mistake. As you can see, understanding the rules is not always that simple (even if BRP rules are far much easier than the ones of some other roleplaying games).

    The dragon will miss his easy idea roll on a result of 96 to 100 (not just 100). "Unless an action is deemed automatic, there should always be some chance of failure: no matter how high the modified base chance, action rolls fail on results of 96 or higher." (big golden book, page 173, Failure paragraph).

    So, there is not 1% chance that the dragon stay there, stupidly, waiting to be hit without reacting, but 5% chance. But that is still not very big. Our very powerful wizard has only 40 x 0.05 = 2% chance of succeeding. Which also means 98% chance of having a very dangerous enemy because if the dragon breaks free from the spell (which is the more probable result) he will hate the wizard and will want a revenge...

    And don't forget that in most game worlds, dragons know magic too...

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