Last Friday, with the death of the dreaded Fire Wyrm of Polch (a caterwaul actually; not really a dragon as Petrov was quick to point out), our cadre of players put the wraps on the Winter of Discontent storyline of our Witch Hunter game. All seven players were on hand for it, which is probably why the fight only lasted three rounds (and why I never really got the chance to retreat). So monster dead, human sacrifice averted, all in a good day for a group of witch hunters.
Now they head west for England and a whole new hot mess of trouble.
Funny though that when all your players show up, they find things to do that reveal problems in the rulebook.
I’ve heard that during one tournament round, it became popular to use the Eldritch Blast rite over a ship’s cannons in ship to ship combat. So it really doesn’t surprise me that there are big differences between 1st and 2nd edition when it comes to this Hermetic rite. The thing is, our resident hermeticist player (who is a pretty smart guy in his own right) and your’s truly (no comment) had a devil of a time working out some of the details of the rite. Don’t get me wrong, the rite isn’t broken. The description is just…lacking. Usually I find that blending the text of the two editions gives me satisfying results. So here are my revisions. Revised text is in red.
ELDRITCH BLAST (Basic; Hermeticism)
Time: 2 rounds/1 round
Roll Required: Yes
Description: For those with a meager understanding and control of the arts, this rite is by far the most dangerous and difficult to control. The magus opens herself to the mystical energies swirling around her and begins to absorb as much as her body can contain. This usually manifests as a bright nimbus of light surrounding her being. When she has as much she can possibly hold, she releases this power in a crude, unfocused blast into a shared or adjacent Area, aimed in the general direction of her target.
Make a Hermeticism (Education) roll against your target’s Avoidance. The blast has a DM of 2, plus any bonus successes rolled. Armor reduces damage from the blast as normal. All other beings within the same Area as the target (friend or foe alike) are also struck by the volatile energy and suffer 2 dice of damage as well.
- Increase the Mastery by 1 to ignore the target’s armor value.
- Increase the Mastery by 2 to increase the DM by 2.
- Increase the Mastery by 2 to focus the blast so as to target only 1 creature with this rite.
- Increase the Mastery by 2 to extend the Range of the blast from 1 area to a number equal to your Hermeticism skill rank (max. 5).
Can you intimidate a monster? The rules for this are…confusing at best. A target with Malice against you (you think?!) is actually damn hard (-6 dice penalty!) to intimidate. I get why it would be that difficult to charm someone, or command troops in battle who loathe you and everything you stand for. But intimidate? Yeah, that just doesn’t sit right with me. So…revised text is in red.
INTIMIDATE (PERSONALITY OR STRENGTH) (Command Foci; pg.110-111)
Where Charm and Command produce a desired action through reasonable words, Intimidate does so by instilling fear in the subject. Intimidate may simply be based on appearance or a certain mannerism, but it can also be a direct assault against a target, such as torture, physical abuse, or threats of either or death.
Intimidate rolls are made against your opponent’s Discipline Defense. Each bonus success rolled has the effect indicated on the Intimidate Success Table (Table 2-8, pg 111). If you do not roll enough successes to beat your target’s defense, the roll fails and complications may apply as indicated. If the target is a minion, or otherwise undefined, his defense is equal to his Threat Rating.
You may use Intimidate to affect multiple targets. To do so, roll as normal, but you need one additional success for every two members in the group.