Speed in combat runs on several tracks, all highest Rank first:
Endurance is fastest but pretty much confined to things like Suck It Up or All Out Effort. Actively resisting some Power Words is an Endurance action, the equivalent of getting punched when you are ready for it vs. not.
Psyche is next given opportunity. That means already in contact by spell, Trump, very close eye contact, solid skin to skin touch or (short) Power Word range.
Power Words are Psyche actions.
Giving short mental orders is a Psyche action.
Resisting Psychic contact is a Psyche action, the mental equivalent of evading a grab — you can feel the spell grabbing at your mind.
Strength is next if in hand to hand (or very short weapon) range. Dodging is a Strength action.
Warfare is last and Warfare actions are also regulated by range/reach; with a longer weapon (knife-sword-polearm) you go first.
Spells are weapons.
Defensive spells are usually ongoing and ablative (automatically in place once activated) and can be momentarily bolstered with PW: Surge or Burst of Magic.
Giving short verbal orders is a Warfare action.
You can carry all the spell rack items you can acquire.
With 15 points in Conjuration you can make SRs capable of surviving shadow travel intact (about 20 hours for a basic moveable SR.).
Florimel’s staff will supply a reasonable number of SRs to any of you and an unreasonable number to Lisette; there are two staffers capable of making shadow mobile SRs, taking 2-3 days each. Some of the Imperial Thaumaturgical College’s conjurors can make them as well.
Racking spells takes time but not so much as to be significant so far. Keeping multiple racks filled will start eating into your time — you will start to know Lisette’s pain.
Carrying conjured elementals cross shadow requires 15 pts in Conjuration and 10x the normal conjuring time. It doesn’t hurt to give them an Alternate Form so that they can be carried in a convenient form like a ring or a stone. When let out they take a little time to form a body out of local matter. Elementals can be to detect and move along Shadow Paths.
Conjuring many at once:
You can use the Named and Numbered Multiplier — x2 time for up to 12 nigh identical critters/items. (x 10 time for permanent, shadow moveable ones.)
I’ll also allow the Horde Multiplier (x3, up to a gross of ‘em) in special circumstances: in a graveyard for zombies, next to a big fire for salamanders, a storm for sylphs, that kind of thing.
But for carrying them around each one needs it’s own receptacle.
LITTLE RED’s: Combat Magery Briefing:
After Queen Moire walks the Tir fo Thune Pattern and drags William off to her apartments, LR is approached by the Queen’s agent Kelamon, a mid-sized, black haired woman of indeterminate but probably considerable age. She has orders to offer her advice or even training to any or all of the group
-Having a quick, basic spell racked for magical perception is useful. You can see sneaky things like Psyche Contact spells before they touch you and then Negate or Snuff them. Makes it a lot easier to detect magic traps, lurking elementals, enchantments on people and such.
-Conjure yourself some goggles for the same thing. Her good ones have: Psyche Sensitivity 2, N&N (Detect, tunable to several different subsets of magic, allows mental contact/control of the device); Intelligence 1; Armor 2 (durable).
-Goggles or spells for night vision are nice too.
-Use stealthed, preferably trained, elementals for recon and perimeter guards.
If a known foe had access to your blood, semen, hair, flesh or bone he/she can automatically hit you with spells and can bypass some of your defenses, though it burns a sample per spell. Make items containing samples, configured as spell magnets (Magic 2), armored to suck up damage; maybe boost them with a PW. Strong spells will destroy them but you can’t run out of samples.
-Armor your Racks.
-Stealth all your important gadgets from magical detection (Magic 2, equivalent to Psyche Neutral); it’s not 100% but it helps. Maybe make some non-stealthed dummy gadgets.
-Non-static concealment generally works best with conjury: Camouflage (Shapechanging 2) is very useful, either applied to a cloak or Empowering yourself or your allies.
-If you’ll be using a mount for a while Empower it. Armor, Combat, double speed, more damaging teeth/hooves, psychic resistance; maybe keep a defensive spell handy for it - it sucks to be doing 60 mph and have the enchantments blown off your mount.
-If you are using a palisade for a while, armor it.
-If you make camp have your elementals turn the local plants or rocks into obstacles.
-Don’t rely too much on your elementals’ attack abilities, especially individually; they’re not that good.
-Consult war master allies about fields of fire, where to put area defenses.
-Increased speed (Mobility 2 Empowerment for double) is generally better than flight unless you have good cover.
Targeting a wizard’s spell racks works some of the time.
-Swarm him with elementals. Swarm him with elementals who block his sight and hearing as well as doing damage, one of which you can use for eyes (Psyche Sensitivity 2 on you and it), sneak up and stab him in the kidney. Or one elemental covers his face and you zap him.
-With big creatures take out a wing or a leg first, immobilize it and kill it with Surged arrows, or spells if it’s important enough.
-Make yourself a bow that folds up (Alt Form) and is armored. Or a speargun for underwater.
-If you can’t wear armor, elementally armored cloth usually doesn’t protect you much (it isn’t rigid) but if you do it carefully - train an elemental or make a spell to tell it instantly what to do — it can be rigid except for the joints; good in a pinch; also doesn’t ablate.
-If you use more than one Rack keep a basic selection of spells on each.
-Teleports are great. They’re also very easy to detect in most worlds. Kelamon likes to keep an escape teleport and a utility teleport racked. Her utility teleport has several useful options built into it (affects self, other or both; destination defined by marker, by coordinates, by vision…) but therefore takes multiple seconds to use and much longer to rack. Teleporting a half-ton rock to a point a mile over an enemy ship is a bitch to calculate but oh so satisfying when it works. Dropping a big hive of hornets into an enemy camp is a hoot. [The maximum weight you can teleport is your Psyche-minus-one-as-Strength, distance doesn’t matter.]
-Slippery area spells are hilarious. Slippery person spells are funny too. [Slippery spells surround the target with a force field; Conjured slipperiness is elementals taking the form of oily substances.]
-Practice conjuring disguises. Learn to recognize the nuances of clothing and demeanor. Getting the details right pretending to be a peasant or servant is easier than being an aristocrat or a general… and they’re halfway invisible already.
-Practice getting your spells off fast. Train your elementals to respond to a short set of one-syllable commands.
-What are your allies’ weak points? What is the most effective and efficient way too help shore them up? How can they help you? Plan in advance.
-If you’re going to be in one world for a while beware of greater spirits, demons and gods.
BENEDICT’S TEACHING MOMENTS
He doesn’t go around offering unsolicited advice. OTOH if he’s got you to consent to helping out with one of his military operations it will be a learning experience. Learning by doing mostly; he’s not a big lecturer. He will have critiqued your assault on Oberon only if asked to do so.
BOOTING PEOPLE AROUND
Your strength far exceeds your weight. If you are unable to brace due to a nasty PW or getting punched hard in the gut or something you can be shoved or kicked around. Kicking someone for distance doesn’t do them much damage unless the Strength difference is really extreme. So if, say, Oberon were momentarily unable to resist Lisette could boot him across a small room.
Re: WOUNDS, DEBILITATION AND RECOVERY
In Session 6 William, recovering from being shot through the chest was basically at full Psyche; about 5 lifting (that involved his torso, -3 otherwise – 200lbs and 400 lbs respectively), -0 to -5 toughness depending on if/how the shock affects his wound; -5 stamina but full healing; -3 to -5 combat depending on type; full strategy/military awareness. A wound to his arm or leg would be different.
Martin, with damage to his skull is messed up in every way.
Brand, starved, was debilitated all around, say -7, and his healing didn’t improve until he received proper (massive) food and liquids. His Psyche is halfway back to normal by the end of the session, his healing mostly back, but his stamina and strength and combat capability are shit.
Kynwyl’s [kin will] (Moire’s physician) patch speeds up healing of the patched area around 2 Ranks worth and lets William function almost normally. (Full effects take about an hour to kick in as the patch integrates with the host) Any Blood Creature patch is limited to the shapeshifter’s own strength and stamina. It might be tougher if it is something they can reasonably armor but then the surface looks like rhino hide or chitin. Kynwyl is not as strong as William.
Re: Trump Artistry
Initiation is only required for the bolded abilities, anybody with Ranked Psyche can learn the rest.
3 pts Sense Trump
..2 pts Trump ID, need Trump of sender on hand
….5 pts Make Trumps of people on site
……5 pts Make from memory
……..5 pts Make place Trumps
……….5 pts Make T Sketches (fast, 1-use)
…………2 pts ea. for first 5, then 1:1 Memorized Trump Image: you need no Trump. Also, if you are somewhere you can mentally/magically control paint, you can duplicate that image in a couple of minutes.
….2 pts Trump Block or Jam — either make Trumps unusable in an area or block one
person from using or receiving Trump calls.
….2 pts Trump Gate — someone Trumps you and you hold a portal (a bright shining
portal) open. Quite tiring — like running a marathon every ten minutes.