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Author Topic: Dead Magic areas  (Read 2093 times)

Dorganath

Dead Magic areas
« on: June 13, 2008, 08:54:56 pm »
This question has seemed to come up quite a bit lately, both within the community and the GM Team. As such, it seems appropriate to clarify things for everyone so that there is no confusion.
 
First, let's define what, exactly, a Dead Magic area is.
 
 Dead Magic
Dead magic area is an area where there is no Al'Noth so you cannot cast anything. Also anything that requires activation by magic, or magic to maintain itself would not work, because there is no Al'Noth to support it.
 
So, the casting of spells, use of scrolls, activation of wands and other things that produce magical effects and any other sort of action that requires or calls upon the Al'Noth to activate, function or maintain simply do not work in dead magic, nor will they continue to work when entering such an area.
 
However, there are some things, items and spells, which, while magical in nature, are not affected by dead magic. For example, spells cast on weapons and armor prior to entering a dead magic area bring about physical changes and/or energize the objects such that they do not require the Al'Noth to sustain them but rather sustain themselves for as long as their energy holds out.
 
The same can be said for summons. A creature that is called to the caster will remain for a set amount of time. Entering an area of dead magic does not banish the creature.
 
Other examples are items such as jewelry and other worn items that enhance stats and skills as well as enhanced/enchanted weapons. Again, while magical in nature, their energy comes from within, not without. As such, the effects these kinds of items do not get removed when entering an area of dead magic.
 
Everything else should be considered to not function at all in dead magic areas. This includes supernatural abilities and feats that come as a result of class and/or subrace bonuses and which are linked to the Al'Noth in some way.
 
While this is not necessarily a comprehensive list, things such as Darkness, Divine Might, Divine Shield, Epic spells, Bless Weapon, Holy Sword, Deafening Clang, and Blade Thirst are examples of abilities that should not function in places of dead magic. To this list I also add the arrow-enhancing abilities of Arcane Archers and the weapon-enhancing abilities of Spellswords. They are very dependent on the Al'Noth and simply do not function at all without its presence.
 
One item-based example that I wish to point out is Ioun Stones. While possessing a power of their own to a degree, their energy to remain in the air around the user and impart their benefits comes from the Al'Noth. As such, Ioun Stones would not work within dead magic zones.  Any such active stones would fall from the air upon entering.
 

I'm sure this will raise a few questions as well as a disagreement or two based on what can be observed in-game, so I will continue.
 
 Mechanics vs. RP
Bioware, whether by design or oversight, has left us some mechanics which are often difficult to work around. On the same token, they have also left us some rather nice things, which make other things possible. Among the most relevant to this topic is the spell hook system. This nifty little system gets called at the beginning spells and spell-like abilities and lets us have things like dead and wild magic. However, and this is more often true for our custom content, not all such things are properly "hooked" for dead and wild magic. This unfortunately may leave some instances where something may appear to work mechanically even though the RP of it all says otherwise.
 
There are a wide range of things we can adjust and easily manipulate, but there are also some things which are needlessly difficult. Of the things I've listed above (and which will also be listed below for ease of reference), some can be corrected easily enough, while others cannot.
 
Regardless of whether they are possible to use in a dead magic situation (i.e. the mechanics permit it), in these cases, the RP limitations and denials shall take precedence. At the moment, we're aware of several abilities that should not function in dead magic but do. Whether these will be fixed and the timing thereof are not known at this time. It is currently a matter of available time and resources versus the benefit gained. So we ask for a bit of common sense in the decision as to whether or not something should work or be used in dead magic.
 
 The Bottom Line:
Now that the GM Team's position on this matter has hopefully been explained, here's a list of things which are and are not permissible in dead magic areas. Note that this list may not be comprehensive and that we may add to it or change it as new cases are found or as our opinion shifts on the matter.
 
 - Allowed -
 
The following are permitted uses of magic and magical items, effects and abilities in relation to dead magic zones. These things are not considered exploitive and are in fact considered acceptable.
  • Temporary weapon enhancements applied prior to entering a dead magic area. This may include, but is not limited to, spells such as Greater Magic Weapon and Flame Weapon and abilities such as a Spellsword's Imbue feats.
  • Temporary armor enhancements applied prior to entering a dead magic area.  This may include, but is not limited to, spells such as Magic Vestment.
  • Items that enhance stats, skills and/or saving throws that are worn or equipped (clothing, jewelry, accessories) and that provide a "permanent" benefit to one's attributes and bonuses.
  • Summons of any kind, provided the summoning is performed prior to entering the dead magic zone.
  • Permanent weapon and armor enhancements, such as elemental enhancements, silver and titanium coatings and elemental resistances.
As mentioned above, the key here is that these things do not rely upon the Al'Noth to sustain or maintain them, having received all their energy from either the casting itself or the energies inherent in the application of the enhancement.
 
 - Not Allowed -
The following are not permitted uses of magic and magical items, effects and abilities in relation to dead magic zones. Even if mechanically permitted to do so, the cases below are prohibited, and players should not knowingly engage in such practices.
  • Ioun Stones.  It does not matter whether or not these are activated prior to entering the dead magic zone or not, they are simply not permitted to be in use in dead magic...at all. They rely upon the Al'Noth to keep them circling around the character, and in its absence, they will fall to the ground. Bioware does not enforce this mechanically, but we will enforce it administratively.
  • Active magical and supernatural abilities that would draw upon the Al'Noth in some way, whether divine, arcane or natural. They may possibly persist when moving into a dead magic zone, but should not be activated or used from within a dead magic zone. These may include, but are limited to:
[INDENT]
  • Racially-granted feats and abilities (i.e. Darkness)
  • Class-based feats, abilities and powers (i.e. Divine Might, Divine Shield, Bless Weapon, Holy Sword, Deafening Clang, Blade Thirst). This also includes the abilities of Spellswords and Arcane Archers to imbue their weapons and/or ammo with special enhancements.
  • Epic spells (i.e. Epic Warding, Epic Mage Armor, Hellball)
Again, it is possible that these things may be activated or used prior to entering a dead magic zone, but they should not be activated while within a dead magic zone.
 [/INDENT]The basic gist here is that any ability or item that requires the Al'Noth to activate or maintain cannot be used within a dead magic zone.
 
The GM Team hopes that this clears up the various questions, for GMs and players alike, on the subject of dead magic and what should or should not be allowed. Especially in the "Not Allowed" list, there are probably a list of things that are not explicitly stated but which still fall into the category. Again, we ask that players apply common sense to these things and err on the side of caution, or at least ask about a particular case if it is unclear.

Stephen_Zuckerman

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 09:05:40 pm »
Thank you for clarifying all of this! :) However, I do have one question.

Mechanically speaking...

"Self" potions (that is, the Bioware-standard ones) do not function in Dead Magic Zones, as they cast the spell that they're associated with.

"Target" potions (that is, the nifty green, white, blue, and red ones that are Layo-specific) DO function in DMZs, as they're just a scripted boost of HP and a visual effect.

In the Game World, however, I imagine that the distinction between the two is "alchemical" versus "divine." How do these potions work, from an RP perspective, and should they, or should they not work in a DMZ?
 

Dorganath

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 09:20:43 pm »
This is a tough one to answer well, because both self-use and targeted potions can be made through alchemical and divine means.  All the self-use ones are default Bioware items and mechanically "cast" the corresponding healing/curing spell, while the targeted ones are our own creations and just work differently.

So...there's no single answer that presents itself neatly.  So for now, we'll go with how they mechanically work now is how it's intended.  Should this change, the above will be amended and we'll probably change things mechanically to match.
 

Stephen_Zuckerman

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 09:25:06 pm »
Perhaps an explanation could be that the "self" potions are made in such a way that they act as a spell trigger, much like a wand, while the "target" potions actually store the energy needed - in either method of creation.
 

Blackguy

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 09:33:11 pm »
Some Epic spells dont even work in dead magic zones. Tried and tested with Epic Mage Armor and Hellball.
 

Dorganath

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 09:33:37 pm »
Perhaps, but since it seems to be sort of ambiguous...and ambiguity tends to breed revision...I'm hesitant to offer any sort of solid explanation for it at the moment.
 

Marswipp

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 09:49:44 pm »
What about Turn/Rebuke Undead?
Playing D&D 3.5e, D&D 5e, Pathfinder, and exploring Starfinder through a VTT
 

stragen

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2008, 05:03:13 am »
What about Bard Song?  

I know Chongo intentionally made some of those dead magic area's as a region for Bards to shine.  As he stated this before the release of the Thunderpeak areas.  

Yet more recently Bard Song has been interpreted as a ability linked to magic.  Especially with regard to character creation.  The difference between a musician or performer and a bard is the magic.  A talented poet (high perform) can rouse a rabble.  But it takes a bard to imbue magical bonuses.

So does a Bards ability to sing require Al'noth or not?  Mechanically I think it would be fair to allow bards to be able to sing in dead magic.  RP wise they would still be able to sing.  But should their songs still create an effect, ie improve morale and such.  For a talented bard should be able to rouse his companions to fight with more vigor.
 

lonnarin

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2008, 05:34:52 am »
If supernatural abilities racially tied dont work, what gives with the supernatural abilities the werewolves had?  Howls of terror?  Death strikes?

I'm pretty certain bardsongs work, since one of the main spawns in the nomagic zones has a singing bard. ;)  Somewhere in the treehouse, wooden ramps area with the ugly dwarves and pygmie gobbos.  We were there tonight, Stragen.

I'm REALLY happy we finally have a bard enemy!  I want more of them for spawns across the map!  :D  It behooves us to have rogues sneak up and stab him!  Soemthign I always felt were missing fromt he AI that I finally see implemented, Kudos Chongo!
 

Dorganath

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 01:00:47 pm »
Bardsongs (and abilities tied to bardsongs) are not magic.  Bard spells are.  Many bards RP their spells as a kind of singing, which is fine, but these call upon magic, whereas bardsong is more of an inspirational sort of thing and work through the influence of sound/music.

The same applies to Skald abilities. While technically "supernatural" they're destructive sounds, not magical. The supernatural part is in the Skald's ability to produce those sounds, not in the sounds themselves.
 

Marswipp

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 11:51:56 am »
I wonder if my question will be answered...
Playing D&D 3.5e, D&D 5e, Pathfinder, and exploring Starfinder through a VTT
 

EdTheKet

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2008, 02:45:51 pm »
Quote from: Marswipp
What about Turn/Rebuke Undead?

That would not work.
 

SteveJW

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2008, 06:14:50 pm »
How about the Weapon Master's Ki Damage ability? The premise is that the WM channels his inner energy called Ki into one maximum damage strike 1x per level per day.

Is this natural ability part of the Al'noth?
 

EdTheKet

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2008, 06:37:17 pm »
Personally, I do not consider Ki to be any kind of magic or supernatural energy. I just consider it a type of extreme focus and concentration.

But I haven't really thought it through yet, but that's my initial thought.
 

Acacea

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2008, 07:09:06 pm »
As currently defined (like just the default stuff) I think it would be non-magical and work fine, but I never really liked the whole Ki thing either. :P My monk will most certainly not recognize the word! ;)
 

AeonBlues

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 06:29:32 am »
Vampire gaze?  I was thinking that it works on same theory as a snake gaze.  I want to make sure though.

AeonBlues
 

Weeblie

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 11:14:32 am »
What about other Paladin/Cleric related feats?

Divine Might? Divine Shield? Protection Domain Powers? Trickery Domain Powers?

As Turn Undead isn't allowed, one gets the feeling that logically, these others are banned also. :)
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 11:40:10 am »
Quote
Class-based feats, abilities and powers (i.e. Divine Might, Divine Shield, Bless Weapon, Holy Sword, Deafening Clang, Blade Thirst). This also includes the abilities of Spellswords and Arcane Archers to imbue their weapons and/or ammo with special enhancements.


I think they fit into the "they can remain working if activated before going in, but should not be activated after the character has already entered a no-magic area."
 

Weeblie

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 12:00:48 pm »
Aha... hehe... should have looked more closely before asking. My question was a spontentous one after the Turn Undead question...
 

Pen N Popper

Re: Dead Magic areas
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 12:02:22 pm »
I think the opening post says clearly that divine might and shield are not allowed.

Edit:  It is allowed if cast before entering.  I guess the rule is anything that is cast before you enter that stays around is allowed, you just can't reapply it even if it is mechanically possible.
 

 

anything