Astral Wanderings : clarification on Duration

From page 174 of the core rule book

Usually awakening one or two meters above the ground, your astral form swims in the ether, invisible to mortal eyes. You can travel anywhere on the planet where the strange currents of the astral realm’s ebb and flow, but to awaken again, you must be able to journey back to your body.

The default duration for this spell is 1 round/scene per Momentum

Perhaps I’m asking the obvious here, but is the duration intended to denote that this can be used for 1 round or 1 scene per momentum, depending on the nature of the journey and the will of the GM?

I mean, if you can travel to another planet but can’t wake up until you travel back to your body, that would require a LOT of momentum spends at 1 round per momentum.

My player is using this spell as a means to shortcut a lot of work. I have no real problem with this; it is the nature of sorcery to take risks as a shortcut to results. I’m just trying to work through the application of the spell in order to better find the limits. I don’ t wan this to be the only way the party solves problems.

I beleive it is 1 moment per round in a situation where there are an astral combat. 1 moment per scene when there is no combatsituation.
Dont let them off easy to bypass things, let something evil come in Astralform and give them a good old fashioned whoping. :smile:

Outside of combat it lasts per scene.

Very interesting spell, that can do a lot of heavy lifting for the creative Sorcerer.

Unless I’m completely out of it, I belive you can even use it as a highly dangerous “teleportation spell”. Combining Rooted and the Greater Journey plus Precision of Journey momentum spends.

That said, if even just 1 failure is made, the DM has carte blanche to put whatever eldritch monstrosity at his tail or wash him up on some unknown hostile savage island.

Absolutely! Sorcery tends to generate quite a lot of Doom, that can be spent to inflict damage to reflect the hostile nature of other planes. As stated in the Book of Skelos, “Tales of ghosts and apparitions are attributed to the lost coming near to the world again, though few scholars of the age are even aware of such theories.”, some of such tales could be related to the entities sighted in “From Beyond” (H.P. Lovecraft).
They don’t need to be described as creatures, their mere sight could inflict mental damage, or some of these beings could tempt the PC in the Barter your soul talent.

1 Like

I know that technically, you could combine Rooted and Greater Journey but I wouldn’t advise you to allow teleportation. I don’t think there is any example of it in the canon, besides, it allows travel to any place on Earth for 3-7 successes, which can really trivialize a lot of challenges. In D&D, players are, past a certain level, free to hop from a point of the map to another and this radically changes the way challenges must be presented; I think the level of magic in a Conan game should not allow that. Now, of course, PCs can still astrally project themselves in a lair protected by Summon the mists of obscuration (Book of Skelos, p 120) but there is only so much they can do to act on their surroundings, and someone who could protect their abode may also be able to repel an astral projection.

EDIT: by the way, it seems reasonable to allow a Momentum spend of X on Summon the mists to add X to the difficulty of magical divination, including Astral wanderings: precision of journey

1 Like

Having the Sorcerer teleport himself alone into unchartered territory far and away from the group isn’t all that disruptive by itself, I see the problem being one of group cohesion and narrative more than anything.
If this event happens more than once or twice the game rules and adventuring playstyle tends to self-correct. Such “tricks” that might have been devastating in other systems are quite trivial when there’s monsters to be slain, cults uprooted, mercenaries that need to be feed and patrons to appease in the typical Sword&Sorcery ways.

Remember that the unspoken social contract of the game ties the group together for their adventures, it would be completely baffling to everyone around the table if the wizard decides to teleport himself to the other side of the world and demand from the DM to provide him a full side-campaign for himself while leaving the rest of the party behind. It’s just isn’t in the scope of the the typical closely-knit Conan campaign.

That’s grounds for the controversial “the player character becomes an NPC in the control of the DM” if I ever saw one.

Having the player sorcerer miracously appear at the top of the prison-tower behind the curtains to save the party, after having spent several resources allocated over plenty adventures? Doesn’t sound like such a trouble or mess to justify.

This is not even considering the horrors and plain cruelty that can come from the complications, overconfidence and unforseen consequences that doesn’t have to warrant doom spends. The all-too-eager Sorcerer can end up teleporting himself into preset traps, foes or destinations based on inaccurate or outdated information.

While Conan’s sorcerous foes in the various expanded mediums don’t tend to overtly teleport themselves across the globe, they do suddenly appear at narrative bottlenecks within unlikely timeframes with more than enough time over to scheme, build up their defenses and eventually face Conan in battle.