Spell Force

From Sagataflwiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Spell Force, SPF, is a statistic that has a default value of 3, but which can be higher for some characters for some or all Spell Realms or Categories, or can be lower than 3; when it is lower than 3, it is almost always lower for all cases. SPF cannot be temporarily increased or decreased.

Spell Force is used for only a few things. First of all, ther is voluntary Spell Pushing, which is a roll to attempt to cast a Spell with a longer-than-normal Range and/or Duration (or Range Increment for attack spells), or for some special applications such as casting a spell while touching or wearing iron.

Secondly, a character attempting to cast a spell while wearing or touching something made of of a ferrous material (iron or any kind of steel), must also make a Spell Force Roll. There's no roll required for a dagger or for small incidental pieces of iron, but the RD is 7 for a larger weapon, 8 for wearing metal-studded armour, or 10 for wearing chain mail (or plate armour). There are multiple ways that this can be avoided, though, including Enchantments and Mysteries.

This article contains separate Advantages and DisAdvantages that can affect a character's Spell Force value, but in addition to this, SPF is also affected by the Strong Magic traits. All such Advantages and DisAdvantages that modify SPF are cumulative.

Spell Force, and its acronym SPF, is not to be confused with Speed Factor and its acronym, SF.


Spell Force traits

Increased Spell Force

Modified Spell Force Cost Notes
Increased Spell Force I 20 DP Increases Spell Force by 1
Increased Spell Force II 70 DP Increases Spell Force by 2

Insert note about how the cost of other traits are affected, here.

Reduced Spell Force

Modified Spell Force Cost Notes
Reduced Spell Force I -MF/2 DP Lowers Spell Force by 1
Reduced Spell Force II -MF DP Lowers Spell Force by 2

(This is based on the assumption that MF gets fixed and normalized to 0.3 or so.)


Ask yourself this: Does your character need to Push his Spells? Pushing can significantly increase Range, Range Increment or Duration, but at some risk, with this risk being lowered by having a higher Spell Force.

How often does your character need to Push? Is it worth the DPs? Also be mindful of the increased cost of Increased Spell Force if the trait overlaps with Strong Magic. The cause of the cost multiplier is Strong Magic, so there's no extra cost penalty for having Increased Spell Force that overlaps with a Spellcasting Talent.m

On the other hand, if being magically powerful is part of your character concept, and you want more Spell Force than you get from Strong Magic, then do take Increased Spell Force especially if it is for a fairly narrow subset of Spellcasting, such as a Realm, which makes the cost affordable, even with the doubling.

You should be wary of lusting after the benefits of Very Strong Magic, though. The extra effect is - usually - only for 6th level Spells, and do you really want to try to Push a 6th level Spell? Higher level Spells generally have better Ranges or RIs to begin with, and also sometimes better Durations, and the consequences of Fumbling a Spell Force roll for a 6th level Spell will be unpleasant.

Even normal Strong Magic, without the Very prefix, gives the increased effect only to 4th, 5th and 6th level Spells, and you probably don't want to routinely Push 4th and 5th level Spells either.

So, Pushing is mainly done for lower level Spells, for the sake of safety. Still, Strong Magic (and VSM) does increase Spell Force, and even if the bonus is relatively small it stacks with the bonus from the Increased Spell Force Advantages, so you shouldn't rule out taking both of Strong Magic and Increased Spell Force.

An alternative is to take both, but for different Realms. Strong Magic for Divination (where you get some nice extra benefits) and Increased Spell Force for Fire Magic.

Iron Casting

Another use for Increased Spell Force is the rolls required when casting a spell in iron. Those rolls are generally a huge nuisance, though, and almost all casters will either just not cast under those conditions, or else find a solution to the problem, such as a useful Mystery, or putting a nifty Enchantment into the weapon or suit of armour.

Please note

Clarify, elaborate, try to predict and answer questions that are somewhat likely to be asked during character creation or during play.


Put in sub-sections (three ='s) each containing multiple Q&As, and insert a blank line between each individual Q&A.




The world

World impact

The Spell Force stat serves to make the Ranges, RIs and Durations of Spells somewhat unpredictable. The normal values for such stats are known, but sometimes casters will Push one or the other, or dual-Push one, or dual-Push one and Push the other. This gives a nice lack of predictability; you cannot count on being out of range, unless you are more than four times further away from the enemy than the Spell's normal range. Likewise you cannot count on a Spell expiring.

The Ärth setting

Spell Pushing is rare in the Ärth setting, and with this and the Spell Force stat being recent addition to the rules system, the "older" important NPCs will tend to have SPFs of 3, and so be strongly disinclined to Push. Then again, that just makes the exceptions all the more impressive.

Design Notes

The origininal idea was to change Spell writeups, so that Range and Duration became formulae instead of fixed values, in all cases being derived from SPF in some way. That idea was somewhat unattractive because of the added complexity (and even worse because 99% of all Spells cast will be cast by a character who is SPF 3 for that Realm) and it occurred to me (The Designer) that SPF could be used as a random roll instead, as a "gambling choice" made by the character. Inspiration is clearly from Quest FRP, where spells could be Pushed for Range and Duration, but also for effect, which is a separate phenoemenon in Sagatafl and handled as a fixed non-random thing (Strong Magic traits) and also avoiding the rounding circus of Quest FRP (where Pushing a spell giving a +1 bonus for increased effect is hugely desirable, since +1.5 rounds up to +2 - this mainly affected low-DoM spells).

So it's a gamble. Push when you need it. How important is it to you? Are you willing to take the risk? Often, of course the tactical situation dictatates increased Range or RI. The enemy is too far away, so you have to Push for Range. Sometimes you even have to dual-Push for Range. Other Spell types and other situations instead dictate or at least strongly suggest the need for increased Duration. Combat buff Spells usually last long enough already. If you can't kill it in 6 Minutes, you probably won't be able to kill it in 12 Minutes either.

Spells of exploration, Spells helping you cope with hostile enviroments, can be nice to Push for Duration, though, and also sometimes Spells of Shapechange or Illusion.

Divination Spells are particularly attractive to Push, since the Range and Duration multipliers are higher. Originally the idea was to use multipliers of x2.5, x6 and x15, and then allow triple-Pushing (but with a maximum of 4 Pushes total per Spell) of either Range or Duration, but instead I decided to use multipliers of x3 and x10. The lowered SPF RDs also helps, and the lowered cost of traits.

The consequences of this Pushing mechanic are not entirely clear, but the probabilities have been subject to some analysis, and they look appropriate: Characters with SPF 3 should Push only very rarely, whereas characters with SPF 5 can single-Push almost as a matter of routine.

Quick mini-glossary

Explain terms of great relevance to the subject matter of the article here, but not terms that are of generally great importance (e.g. RD).

See also

Include links here, to other articles that are highly pertinent to the subhject matter of this one. Remember
linebreaks before or after (but not both!). Spell Pushing
Strong Magic

Table to use

1 2 3
4 5 6
Personal tools