Table talk (Bibracte)

To disguise your casting is clearly the Obfuscated Casting Mastery Ability. I guess you could allow doing so without the mastery but at a -5 or -10 penalty.

Does this mean that most/all Dimicatio finalist will look the same? yep.

Wasn't tryint to be sneaky or contraversial. Made an honest mistake. I had originally planned to use a different spell that was not voice range. I forgot. The shout idea was Fixer's idea. I just went with it. But really, I don't understand the problem. If players want or don't want a certain way, then go with the majority.

And I'm just giving my opinion which is no better or worst than anyone else. We can all just learn from it and move on.


Marko, then put yourself in my shoes...
You've been resistant to certain things in this saga since day one. You rejected my suggestion for remaking your character. You've made comments about conspiracy theories being overplayed, which is really a huge indirect comment on what you think of the overarching saga. And finally, there was this:

I don't operate from mandate, I operate from consensus. So when you try and do something that is "secret" from me or the troupe, you're really doing all of us, including yourself a disservice. You could have had comments from the entire troupe on why or why not what you had planned would work. Further, you might have had a reminder to actually do it from the gallery, in the event you forgot. But, I was operating from the mistaken, I admit it, belief that you were trying to be sneaky. So, I took what I thought to be your interpretation of a rule (and your an SG, so your actions carry some weight), and ran with it. Namely, that if Voice range was different from hearing the voice, then PeIm cannot affect Voice range. And now we're where we are at, trying to deal with an inconsistency within the RAW.

In the future, if you have a "trick" you would do well to share it with everyone. I'll become less paranoid, and you have to trust me, that as an SG, that I can compartmentalize my knowledge from reasonable knowledge a character can be expected to have.

I knew this would come up again. Please remember, I wasn't trying to joiun your game. I was trying to play this character. I wanted to revive Novus Mane, the Novus Mane players invited me to bring this character to this game. Remaking the character would mean a different character, which I didn't want. I offered several times to just go away, but you wanted me to stay.

Just telling it like it is, keeping it real.

And I had intended to use a different spell. I forgot, I admit that. The contraversy is not with the plan, it is in how the mistake was resolved.

We should have a private discussion about that, but I worry that it will lead to animosity between us, so maybe we should not.

Not true. I did pass it by another player. Two actually. And I was not trying to be sneaky, just trying to keep the competition from copying my idea

I didn't write the RAW nor try to cast a PeIm spell, so it is unfair to pin that on me.

Perhaps so, but you are dragging this contraversy out way past where it needs to be. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and we can all move on.

No, you didn't offer to "go away." I said we could try to make it work, if you'd like, which is not the same as me insisting you stay. You're a big boy, you can decide whether or not you can make it work. Since he's your character, I'm going to defer to your judgement on the matter. My issues have not necessarily been with the character, though.

Fine, that is a comment, that you, as a player, are making about this saga. That says a lot about how much enjoyment you can derive from it. Is that a fair understanding?

Yes, but you didn't trust me, bottom line. See below.

Why, because you disagree with my methods? They have generally worked well.

That, right there. You're calling me, the as the SG, the competition. I am not your competition. I am different from the characters I portray. I work hard to come up with a reasonable premise of what the characters I run would reasonably know, and also how they would know it. If your idea passed muster with the rest of the troupe that it was so unique as to have never been used before...then I would have run with it, and no one in the dimicatio would have realized what was going on until it was too late.

I'm not pinning anything on you about what's going on currently, but all of this happened at one time. Events unfolded, and you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time, you're decision. You, by dint of your actions in the Dimicatio raised this question, and now it's a deeper rabbit hole. I probably wouldn't have thought too much about it, but you do have something to say about what goes on here, if you're a player in this saga.

I disagree with this interpretation (and the claim that it's unambiguous). The worst part of the RAW here is the juxtaposition of the two statements "... targets under the influence of PeIm spells that stop sounds from reaching them can all be affected at the normal range." and "However, if the caster is silenced or quieted by magic, the range is reduced. Such a spell must penetrate the caster's Magic Resistance." I think there's a difference between "no one can hear me" and "I've been silenced": the first does not necessarily imply the second.

In the specific case in "Once More Into the Breach", I think the matter is solved by noting that Tranquillina's PeIm spell managed a Penetration score of all of 3 or something (or she could just cast it forcelessly), and so none of the casters in the room would be magically silenced; the sounds would still not leave the room, indeed couldn't be heard more than an inch or whatever from the caster's mouth, but by the first of the above sentences the spell would still affect the giants. That is my interpretation anyway. I'm not saying it's not weird, I'm just saying I think it's what RAW implies.

((Meta comment: it seems to me that all these problems with RAW's Voice/range stem from the desire to include a correspondence between the distance a voice travels and the targets it can affect. Which makes sense of course, but then all kinds of special cases needed to be addressed. If Voice range were replaced by CoupleDozenPaces range (not very cool I admit), all these problems would go away.))

And now, with trepidation about poking bears, allow my to comment on one issue in the other ongoing discussion:

Without making a judgment on either side, I just want to comment that these remarks really demonstrate two different approaches to gaming groups. Jonathan's style as expressed in his last sentence above seems to be "players + SG playing together". Marko's style as expressed in his last sentence above seems to be "players vs. SG", as evidenced by conflating the opponent NPCs together with the SG in the phrase "the competition".

I think that unless this dichotomy is discussed and resolved, more disputes of the same nature will arise. Just my opinion.

Fair enough. But I roll with it, because it is my only option if I want to play Roberto and be in a game with my old Novus Mane buddies. And there has been fun, and there can be more fun. Willing to go with the flow

You managed to create a saga that has grown larger than mine and there is no hope of catching up. Your post rank now exceed mine. I must conceed that something is working for you. But I am still unhappy with the way the Fast Cast debate was handled. Not the outcome, what the troupe decides is fine. But the debate itself was unpleasently conducted

I say just brush it off and move on. Errors were made, none too grevious, so the issue at hand is theoretuical and non-existant.

Good point. I will admit that the idea came on the heels of the Fast Cast debate, which left a bad taste in my mouth. After I already conceeded and just wanted to talk western analogies (I really like watching Gunsmoke reruns), the threat to lock the thread if we didn't halt discussion really bothered me. And repetively in the debate it was said the NPC competitor would do the same thing, so I made the presumption that NPC magi do whatever the PC magi do.

I don't want to fight. Just let it go. One of my issues is that "Letting it go" seems to cause just as much contraversy as advocating a contrary position.

How may peace be achieved?

You are over thinking this. By RAW a voice ranged spell the CASTER must make a sound. The range of the spell will the the distance that the CASTERS voice WOULD carry. If all sound is destroyed in a room and the CASTER can not make a sound and thus they can only cast on themselves. If the CASTER can make a sound and the target can not hear it then the range is normal for voice. No one is talking about effect of the spell just the range and the range is effected by the caster being able to speak/make sound. That is why the RAW gives an example of a device that must make a sound to cast a voice ranged spell.

So, by your example, if Isen is not effected by the spell because of his parma then he can make sound and his range would be normal.

Maybe peace is actually the default state here, despite my worries, and these disputes are just anomalies. :slight_smile: Everyone involved seems to be able to understand everyone else's viewpoints (allowing for the perhaps inevitable hiccups of text communication).

((More meta-discussion - I'm not trying to open up rules debates with these comments:))
In terms of strategies PCs will use vs. strategies NPCs will use, there are two issues that sort of need to be separated. One is just "what's possible in the game world?", meaning (for the most part) what do the mechanics actually allow or prohibit (or make easy or hard). The second is "what tactics will people think up?" and that requires a different sort of judgment call. Obviously we don't want to play a game where the NPCs unerringly predict the PCs' actions; but they can reasonably predict some actions.

For example, with the issue of shouting nonsense to carry a Voice-range spell to the opponent, there are two decisions a troupe needs to make. One, is it allowed according to the game mechanics? Ars Magica, as is so often the case, isn't clear on this. So the troupe makes a decision.
Once it's decided that it is allowed, we come to two: is it a strategy that NPCs would have thought of on their own? Now this is impossible to answer definitively (fictional people, fictional world). But in my opinion, I think that this tactic would be commonplace in Dimicatios and probably serious Hermetic combat as well.

So when a SG says something like "decide whatever interpretation of the rules you want - but then the NPCs will do that too", I don't take that to mean "I'm lying in wait for you and will then screw your plan over". I take that to mean "let's get Issue One resolved clearly first. Then, assuming that the tactic is allowed by the mechanics, I'm making the Issue Two judgment that the NPCs will also know that this particular tactic is allowed".
I could imagine a different situation where the answer is "let's get Issue One resolved clearly first - but if the mechanics are actually allowed, then damn that's a good idea, because (Issue Two judgment) there's no way the NPCs are gonna be ready for that!"

Um ... I ran out of things to say. Here's Mr. Green. :mrgreen:

To me the "shouting something else while casting" = Obfuscated Casting Mastery Ability. otherwise make it a -10 casting penalty. That would be my simple ruling. You can do it. It is difficult but with practice, you can do it well.

I'm procrastinating solving a very very tough problem just before I go on vacation. Thanks for helping :mrgreen:

"Working for me." Mark, I can't help but get over your tone in light of your other comments that came immediately before it, quoted above, seperately. It's generally working for everyone here. You're making something a competition when it should not be. Your comments quoted above really say more than anything else, you believe you're in competition with me, for some reason. You need to get that notion out of your head, or you're not going to be happy here. You will ascribe motives to me that do not exist.

As to how the debate was conducted? Now I understand, you think I threatened to lock the thread to snuff out further discussion. No, you're incorrectly assigning a motive to me that I did not have. I asked if I should lock the thread, because, as I saw it, you and The Fixer were continuing to discuss (argue?) with jebrick. Like I said, I didn't give two shakes about how it came out. If you wanted it that way, it means NPCs can do it that way (see gerg's post for exactly what it means, which I hadn't explained quite as well as he just did). I made some additional comments about not worrying about treated unfairly as a player in combat, if that's why this was so highly desired. I didn't threaten to lock the thread, I asked if I needed to lock the thread (in the interests in moving on, because the discussion was devolving into comparisons of cinema, and weren't related to RAW, or even a HR derived from RAW, IMO). I'm not having fun unless everyone else is having fun. That's my motto. I did not have fun in the Dimicatio. I was feeling manipulated, and now I see I shouldn't have been and have just come out and asked what was going on. There's some distrust here that needs to be overcome, distrust on both sides. Certain comments you make haven't helped you with respect to me.

Sure, and I made several of them. Gerg does raise a valid point, you need to trust me to act as a relatively impartial SG, while letting the nonplayer characters be right nasty gits. I was kind of crying when I killed Apollodorus. I almost killed Ra'am in Alexei's story (thought about it, letting Tranquillina take on Ulrich, but I wasn't ready for that). Praxiteles was a character I made to play in another saga, and when I brought him over here, I knew he had to die. Alas poor Praxiteles, I never knew ye. What's going on here is not a competition. As an SG, I can hit the "I WIN!" button at any time, meaning my NPC can beat your PC. That's not the point of this saga at all. When Valerian dies, by whomever's hand, I'll be cheering for it as loudly as you are, believe me. He's a right nasty piece of work[1].

I've received comments and constructive criticism from my players, and other observers of this saga, and have taken them to heart. I've left subtle clues as to what's going on, and it's up the the player to either figure it out, or come out and ask what's reasonable to know, because they can't figure out the clues. If a player isn't feeling a story, or doesn't get what's going on in the story, they are free to say, help me out, and I do help them out. Done it for Peregrine, Qcipher, Jebrick, not sure if I've done it for gerg, and I'm certain I haven't done it for The Fixer or you. Simply this: I am not your competition. Despite what you've heard, I do not make choices or rulings that severely limit what the PCs can do. This world is wide open, there are characters more powerful and less powerful than the PCs. Certain events will unfold whether the PCs are involved or not, but that doesn't prevent the PCs from getting involved. Some of that is going on now in the Tribunal thread and in Stop, Collaborate and Listen. Several of the players have been handed pieces of information, pieces of the puzzle, it's up to them to put it together, and also inform their sodales within the covenant.

I'm explaining all of this, in an effort to get you, and anyone else, to understand that I've done a lot of thinking about what's going on in this saga, in the world that it represents. This is more than just a game. This is interactive fiction we're writing, and it's hung on the framework of a game, Ars magica. If you, as players want certain capabilities, you have to know that those capabilities become unlocked to the NPCs, when you unlock them for yourselves. Things you think you want could end up being something that you really don't want. And since I'm on your side, the players' side, when I'm telling you that you probably don't want it, because it gives your opponents more capabilities, capabilities in excess of what you have, then you should take that to heart. Valerian was taught Finesse, extensively by Praxiteles. He does not have Puissant Finesse, but he has a ridiculously high score. Valerian will out Fast Cast any other magus by miles. He's fricken Magneto, man. Do you get it? :smiley: You do not want him reacting at your first intake of breath. You want him reacting to the spells you're casting.

[1]Petronius will never disclose this, the PCs will never know this, but Valerian is experiencing erectile dysfunction, and Petronius was contracted to perform a ritual that would basically restore full erectile function. Of course, there isn't a problem with Valerian's body, and he still has his little problem, hence his not wanting to pay for the rituals performed. Praxiteles was killed in a fit of pique, Valerian's impotence has caused him to lash out in the only manner he could, at the only person he thought he could get away with it (and who also knew his secret). Valerian knows he can't get away with killing Petronius, yet. Praxiteles was an oops...I botched. Yes, it's a lie. Yes, the Quaesitores (of Guernicus are complicit, because they know his strengths), so they brought in patsies, Quaesitores of other Houses, who couldn't even come to imagine Valerian's true power, and took it as true, because, the arts involved suggested 20 magnitudes of power, and no magus can pull that off without having some kind of focus! It's the only reasonable conclusion, and Valerian does not have a focus, which was confirmed by Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie.

So, how do we settle the inconsistency of PeIm destroying sound in a room (or area) work? If we say that it must penetrate a magus to destroy the sound, then, when it doesn't, all of that magus's sounds will carry, not just his Voice, and not just for casting spells.
If PeIm does destroy sounds in a room, including a magus's voice, then I don't see how Voice spells can reach (otherwise we have the issue that cropped up in the Dimicatio, essentially, that voice range is as far as you can throw your voice, not necessarily that you do throw your voice). The events of the Dimicatio highlighted the problem with Voice and specifically PeIm. The sound exists independent of the magus, after he has spoken.

Personally, I'm fine with a magus speaking a spell, and then touching the intended target in situations like this. Yes, it violates the "Voice Range" part of the chart on page 83 of the main text, but I'm generally ok with that. I don't know if it will ever come up again, but if it does, we should have a HR on how to handle it, since it seems to be unclear. This is one of those examples where being resistant to magic is contrary to the interests of the players. If Isen isn't silenced, he's heard, and would wake up the giantess and the giant, and it would probably alert others, because the giantess just has to get out of the room, and someone shouting in Latin and making running noises might be noticeable. You guys tell me how to play it and after these events, we'll play it that way. If I don't care, I'll just go with what I'd outlined above. Voice range is destroyed, but can deliver spells of Voice range by touch.

I'm of a mind now to reverse my interpretation. I'm now of the mind that

must be that the voice must carry. If the giant had a PrIm spell cast on him and the rest of the room could let sound travel then it would work. Destroying spells in a room would prevent voice range spells from entering the room as the voice can not "carry" to the target.

So could I stand within a circle, on which I had cast a PeIm spell that destroys auditory species, and thus be immune to Voice range spells?

I dunno, I'm trying to figure this out. As it is written under the Voice description, the answer to your question is no.

The way I see it, if Isen's spell could carry to the Giant, because the PeIm spell didn't overcome his MR, then all of Isen's sounds could be heard, and it changes the dynamic of possible action...

No. Unless the circle also encompassed the caster. Voice range is the range that the voice carries. Whether you can her it or not makes no difference if the target is in range of the voice.

As I read it the voice must carry. Which is why there are different ranges for whispering vs shouting. The target room PeIm spell will destroy all sound in the room so the voice can not carry. If the Giant were in the circle then you would effect hm eventhough he could not hear the voice. But the other Giants might hear it as well.

How far does the voice have to carry before being squashed by magic, before it "counts" and can affect a target to which the sound doesn't reach?
I'm trying to construct a general "law" that encompasses both your examples. Maybe the caster has to hear his own words?
Are we considering discarding the rule that a spell that silences the caster has to penetrate his magic resistance?