[PnP] Elf Shot questions

Albert Sales drite_mi at yahoo.com
Wed May 7 00:10:34 CEST 2008

This has always been an awkward spell.  It is extremely powerful.  I have always used the EL+1 Arrows per bow limit, and just now noticed that it isn't in the original book (oops).  I put the same limitation on each person carrying them.  Having a high EL sidh dedicate them does not allow a weaker druid more arrows.  Preparing the bow and arrow, I handled as any other permanent magics.  This includes that it must be crafted by the caster's own hands.  I also required the arrows to be re-dedicated if they were ever "repaired".  And remember, the maximum arrows to be dedicated was set at EL+1; I would not allow easy replacements.  
     Once they are prepared, treat them as magic weapons (or poisoned weapons, perhaps), with one slight exception.  Mana allocation phase- spend the mana to activate them (this is the difference).  Missile fire phase- Fire them, and resolve all effects.  Magic Phase- Nothing here, they are magic weapons.  Movement phase- None. 
     I handled the success effect two different ways.  First was to record the margin of success when the arrows and bow are dedicated.  Using the smaller of the two, I would determine if the shot "took effect".  The second way was to roll the spell success as a magic weapon.  On this part, I must admit, I am "stingier" than most.  Still, as a BMC 1 spell, some additional limitations seem appropriate.  Also, the expertise gain is a benefit that my players were happy to accept for the extra limits.   
     I also percieved this in the spell: The arrow is "one with the victim" while the spell lasts.  Killing the creature destroys the arrow (the spell paralyzes them).  The caster can end the effect at any point.  Since the arrow deals no true damage on success, the arrow is undamaged unless the spell fails.  If the spell fails, dedication is NOT broken, even though damage is dealt normally.   (For one setting, I went against a little of this.  Killing the victim or failing any success roll - Any harm done to the target of the bow, essentially, would shatter the magics.  A fatal spear was meant for drawing blood, elfshot was for capture only.)
  Err... I just realized. There is no set structure for a failed roll.  Since success is determined in dedication, I suppose it would count as failing any permanent magic.  Perhaps on an abysmal, have the arrow tie up a slot for the bow as well as any other effect.  With the success at creation being all that is needed, this is a grossly powerful spell for the BMC.  Once prepared, the arrows, if strong enough, automatically neutralize the target on a hit (modified by MDV).  Compare the effect to any other type of permanent magic, and you will see what I mean. Also, MEP and EP gains will be very small without study.  I think that the target's resistance should be considered against the magic (and not the hit).  This has also lead to an additional interesting situation: The elf has rolled a deadly hit.  When rolling the success of the spell (to capture a PC for a percieved crime), the PC opted not to apply their MDV.  The individual was a trained magician, and probably could
 have faught off the spell, but, in a sense, the spell was "protecting them" from certain death.  This, I thought, was an interesting aspect.  It gave the target the choice between capture or death.  Choosing capture was used in their favor later, and they were allowed to "set right" what they had allowed to happen.
  Sorry for rambling there.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.  Also, the clarifications to intended use are appreciated.  Also, I am brought to thinking; how do you  handle Fatal Spear?

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