Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

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Sharkforce
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Sharkforce » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:29 am

Lamoron wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:42 am
Sharkforce wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:45 pm
well, apart from a relatively small amount of legend points, you get a pretty reliably useful buff out of the other spell that fits into the same matrix. so it doesn't really need to be constantly useful. but i do think lots of times 10 yards will be sufficient. an aura of "don't come within 10 yards of me" isn't exactly bad on a nethermancer in combat either =P
I don't mind them coming close, I'm built for short but deadly melee fights if spells don't work. Problem is, that unless initiative is in the right order, having the Bone Spirit limits my movement a lot, or I've wasted an action summoning it. If it's on one side, 5 yards away, and an enemy shows up on the other side 10 yards away, and I win initiative, then I suddenly have to delay instead of just getting stuck into melee, or the BS goes Poof.

Sure I can sling spells instead, but melee is so much more deadly, and I have to declare stances (aggressive/defensive) before rolling initiative, which makes it even more fiddly. It's not useless by any means, but all things considered I'm beginning to think I could use that Matrix for something better.
i mean, you're a circle 5 nethermancer now. you can get a second enhanced matrix and keep astral spear locked and loaded, allowing you to use karma on the spellcasting test if you want. it won't be *quite* as much of a punch as you'd get from a melee weapon (assuming you've forged that weapon a few times), but it'll be pretty close, and i'd be surprised if your spellcasting was not generally speaking far superior to your melee weapon skill. or you could load spirit dart and hit 2 targets for lower damage, but overall probably deal more, now that you can get an enhanced matrix. or you could blind two targets. or cast pain on one for some pretty substantial penalties.

as a circle 5 nethermancer, i'm not so sure that melee is really going to be *that* much better than spellcasting any more. even on the damage front. you're looking at perception + spellcasting talent (and optional karma) instead of dex + melee weapon skill (with no option for karma) for the attack roll, and willpower + 4 on the damage test instead of strength +5 (assuming best one-handed weapon damage) + forging (i'm gonna guess you've managed maybe rank 4?). oh, and the melee weapon is against physical, while astral spear is against magical armour... which will sometimes be better, sometimes not i guess.

so... melee damage will have a step of like... 4 higher maybe? assuming your willpower step is at least 1 point better than your strength (if the difference is larger between those two, obviously it gets even closer). plus you can spend karma on your attack roll. plus your perception is probably better than your dexterity. plus your spellcasting talent is probably higher than your melee weapons skill. and since you can use astral spear, your damage scales with successes just like melee too.

are you really sure that *your* melee weapon damage is actually superior by a significant margin at this point? i mean, there are probably people in your group that do have melee damage that makes your current spell damage look bad, i'm just feeling a bit doubtful that *your* melee damage is that much better.

i'm also not at all certain that your melee damage is better than the non-damaging effects you could offer as a spellcaster (some of your 1-thread spells, including 0 thread spells with a bonus thread, can be pretty crippling and represent both a substantial damage to the damage from the rest of the group as well as extra protection for the rest of the group; blind enemies have -2 to their defence ratings, -4 to most of their action tests including attacking and dodging, and become subject to surprise strike, and you can do that to two targets every round. depending on GM interpretation, you might even be able to increase those penalties to -4 and -6 by spending karma, although it's at best debatable whether the 5th circle nethermancer ability is supposed to make magically blinded enemies more than 100% blind :P )

Lamoron
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Lamoron » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:28 am

Well, melee is a backup plan for sure, but you're forgetting a lot of things in your analysis.

Melee weapon skill yes, but also second weapon, and second attack come as skills. Then we have aggressive attacks, which don't work on spells, and don't detract from a Shield Mist enhanced avoid blow.

Finally there's an Enhanced Matrix Aspect of the Fog Ghost, if the situation and target allows it.

Astral Spear, 1 attack, Step 14 to hit (+ karma), Step 11 damage.

Vs.

Melee Weapon, 1 Forged, Aggressive, 3 skill, Step 7 Dex, Step 5 Strength.

- Melee, 13 to hit, 13 to damage
- Second A, 13 to hit, 13 to damage
- Second W, 13 to hit, 13 to damage

This is without blind side, harried, and other melee only buffs, and more attacks equals more chances for exploding dice. I also have Night's Edge, so sometimes there'll be another D4/D8 on top of that.

Now if the situation allows it, and I can pop AoTFG then those numbers look a LOT different, with step 18 to hit, and step 18 to damage. This has saved our group twice now.

The higher we get the less useful this will become, no doubt about that, but at Circle 5 our Sword Master can't keep up with a fully buffed skill based melee Nethermancer right now. I just started it because we kept running into things my little Spirit Dart just couldn't dent, but it's a waaay better backup plan than anticipated.

Sharkforce
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 am

well, i guess if eating a bunch of strain every turn on top of having a low physical defence and a low health pool is working out for you, i can't say it's wrong, but man... that looks like it is just going to backfire spectacularly to me. i could see that being viable as a last-ditch thing where only one enemy is alive (barely) and you need to finish it off, but as something where you do that on an even remotely semi-regular basis (sufficient to justify all that karma spent on skills... it looks like you're probably taking those 3 skills several ranks in, and where did you find all the time for the training for that matter?) it looks like suicide. all it takes is one good attack + damage roll and you're out, and seeing as you're the one with the last chance spell (or so i presume) that could be the end =S

Lamoron
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Lamoron » Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:42 am

Sharkforce wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 am
well, i guess if eating a bunch of strain every turn on top of having a low physical defence and a low health pool is working out for you, i can't say it's wrong, but man... that looks like it is just going to backfire spectacularly to me. i could see that being viable as a last-ditch thing where only one enemy is alive (barely) and you need to finish it off, but as something where you do that on an even remotely semi-regular basis (sufficient to justify all that karma spent on skills... it looks like you're probably taking those 3 skills several ranks in, and where did you find all the time for the training for that matter?) it looks like suicide. all it takes is one good attack + damage roll and you're out, and seeing as you're the one with the last chance spell (or so i presume) that could be the end =S
We have a lot of downtime, mainly because everyone really likes skills, and research takes forever on pattern items. The Legend Point investment isn't really that much, and the silver for a trainer has been a much bigger issue so far. I've been the last character standing in quite a few fights, as we're a three man group, so if the thing we're fighting is hard to damage with magic... well here we are.

I've killed three out of the three horrors we've fought, in melee, twice as the last man standing. I decided to try my hand at melee after spending an entire fight throwing Spirit Darts at something that ignored them (some lesser Horror, I don't know much about the lore, as this is my first EB campaign), and finally pulling my Dagger, going aggressive, and rolling really exploding on both hit and damage.

I don't have an issue with low physical defense, as I have Avoid Blow, Step 7 Dexterity, and possibly Shield Mist. I do have serious problems with strain when going all out, and the last fight I ended up putting myself to sleep, because aggressive, three attacks, and 3-4 Avoid Blows each round drained me right quick, but I did save us all... again... by doing it.

Using a mix of positioning, spells, summoning (Fog Ghost is super in an Enhanced Matrix), buffs, and when the shit hits the fan, going all in on melee, the only thing to ever take me down in combat is my own use of strain. I mean sure I would love to stand somewhere safe and throw spells, but until now all attack spells have been max 20 yard range, and my summons are ten yard range, so keeping out of melee is super hard. Astral Spear in an Enhanced Matrix, is certainly my new best friend, but it's still pathetic damage until I get Willforce at Circle 6.

It might seem suicidal, but it's quite solid, and we would have lost the entire party at least twice without it, and highly likely at least once more. I'm sure that a few sessions into Circle 6 I'll most likely never really use it again, but we would not have made it to Circle 6 without it.

Sharkforce
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:30 am

looks like at least 4200 legend points to get up to 3 in 3 skills (unless you started with melee weapons). that is literally enough to raise your willforce talent from 0 to 6. or to raise 5 of your existing talents to rank 6 (ie halfway to circle 6). or enough to have picked up an entire second discipline (including talent option) and circle up once, assuming there is *zero* overlap in the two disciplines, and even be a fair chunk of the way to circling up again afterwards. it's probably enough for a brand new adept to get to circle 3, if they don't keep all of their talent options at higher rank (depends a somewhat on how they spent their initial talent points).

i guess i just have a different perspective of what "isn't that much" than you do =P

i do find it odd that your swordmaster has been getting his butt kicked in melee while you are doing just fine apart from strain damage. avoid blow is usually not that reliable for me. i suspect this is just a matter of you being lucky a lot in melee (which can happen), while your friend is not. there's nothing wrong with that, but i do still feel like this is incredibly risky.

but ah well, it's your character, if you're having fun and nobody's getting hurt you're doing it right i suppose =D

Lamoron
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Lamoron » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:09 am

I have the luxury of staying mostly safe for most of a fight, often engaging on my terms, after evaluating the encounter (while the SM is getting his teeth kicked in) and chosing the right response.

I can fight a depleted encounter, while the SM fights the entire thing, often on the enemies terms, so I don't do better I just have much better terms and information before engaging.

If spells work then I do that. No real strain and much safer. If they don't or the situation is desperate, it's time to roll a TON of dice and pray for exploding damage rolls 😊

The Wizard and I are both support characters with some melee presence, but the SM does all the heavy lifting, with our buffs and support of course. There's no way either of us could pull the full weight of our SM.

Sharkforce
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:11 am

i still think in your situation, i'd at least go for ranged attacks of some variety instead of emphasizing melee :P

Lamoron
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Lamoron » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:49 pm

Alright, you have to explain how you're doing that. At the most you could be 40 yards away. That's two turns of running for most enemies.

I'm an elf so I can walk 14 back each turn, which means that I can fire and retreat for quite a while, shooting spells, if there are no complications and it's reasonable to assume I can do enough damage.

Last session... TL;DR at the end

I'm flanking the enemies, we're on a mostly open field, at night, we had time to buff but did not initiate the fight. The Sword Master felt he could deal with the 12 Cadavermen, as we've fought them before, and know to take down one at a time, so I was circling to deal with the 6 cultists, and our Wizard was trying to find the Illusionist we were sure called the shots.

Both casters were slinging spells to support the SM against his chosen target, and we're doing fairly well, having killed one and not taken any significant damage or strain, when the cultists all enrage a Cadavermen each. Now we're pretty sure we're all dead.

I'm on a flank, and I close in on a cultist, Summon a Bone Spirit that takes him out, and two of the Cadavermen stop moving.

Knowing what we have to do, the Wizard tries to buy me time, with his armor and his many Absorb Blow charms. The SM took four enraged Cadavermen to the face and is barely hanging on.

The following round the five remaining cultists enrage the rest of the Cadavermen. I look at the situation. We've spotted what we think is the illusionist, and the SM cannot take more than maybe one more round of that punishment. He's super fast so we send him hunting. If we're going to die, we'll take that Illusionist with us, and there's a horde of Cadavermen between the SM and the cultists.

The Wizard interposed himself between me and the horde, so I can deal with the cultists, and I think he might be able to stall for 1-2 rounds, and then I have one round before the horde reaches me.

Situation: have 2-3 rounds to kill five cultists, while a SM with three points left until unconscious chases a target the other way, and an armoured Wizard helps me kill the cultist while getting annihilated by the remaining nine Cadavermen.

The Cultists are rather weak, with around 25-30 rating, but that's still a lot of damage I need to deal, with one or two Aura Strikes from the Wizard before he goes down.

I have one round of movement needed as well, but the other cultists are standing together at least. I move up, and pop Aspect of The Fog Ghost on myself. The Bone Spirit is interposed to try and buy me another round after the Wizard goes down.

TL;DR - I kill all five cultists with two rounds of some rather spectacular dice, but what spell could I have used to kill five cultists in two rounds while staying safely at range?

sigfriedmcwild
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:59 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:38 pm

Everything else aside, why weren’t the cadavere butchering the cultists while you fled?

Lamoron
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Questions for movement: Summon Bone Spirit

Post by Lamoron » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:38 pm

We're not entirely sure how everything is connected, since we have at least two and possibly four villains at once, but one is a mind horror of some sort, and one is an illusionist, so possibly the other villains are just minions, and possibly the Illusionist and the horror are in cahoots.

At first we thought the Cadavermen were illusions, but it seems the horror cultists were working for the apprentice of the Illusionist villain, so we might be dealing with a villain team up...

Anyway, the Cadavermen were controlled by the Cultists, so they just stopped doing anything after the cultists died, but turning on their masters didn't seem like something in their play book.

Running wasn't really an option for RP reasons, but I most certainly advocated for doing just that, the second we found out the Cadavermen weren't illusions :D

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