I was told that if a player casts a spell, he can use doom/pool momentum to purchase the additional momentum spends. Maybe it doesnt clearly state that in the book, but I cant seem to find the correct answer in the core book.
So tired of looking, figured I ask here.
But my feeling is if the above statement is true, it makes the whole test for consequences pointless.
From this FAQ (Hopefully to be confirmed by the Omnipotent Steve H):
Q. How do you cast spells?
A1. The most common and simplest way to cast a spell is with a simple casting.
· Most sorcerers most of the time will take a Minor Action to focus before casting. If this is not possible, Complications occur on a roll of 19 or 20 instead of only on a roll of 20.
· The character makes a regular skill test using the Sorcery skill against the basic Difficulty of the spell, or the Difficulty prescribed under the Alternative Effects.
· If the test succeeds, the character can use any available source of Momentum to increase the efficacy of the spell.
· The spell will only last for the duration of that action unless Momentum is spent to increase this.
· A spell’s cost must be paid whether the spell is successful or not.
· Any dice that fails to roll a success on a Sorcery test becomes a Complication. This is in addition to any other Complications rolled on the test. A roll of 20 indicates two Complications.
A2. If desired, the gamemaster can call for a test for consequences.
· The caster indicates to the gamemaster the Momentum spends that they wish to achieve.
· If agreeable, the gamemaster adds these Momentum spends to the Difficulty of the spell. This can exceed Epic (D5). The gamemaster may also allow on a case-by-case basis the inclusion of alternative effects.
· The character attempts a Sorcery skill test.
o The gamemaster gains Complications (2 Doom) equal to the total Difficulty of the spell minus any successes rolled or Momentum obtained from the Momentum pool or from bonus Momentum
o The gamemaster may allow other sources of Momentum should they see fit.
o Additional Complications can still be generated from rolled dice.
· The spell succeeds and its effects are determined.
· The character must pay any cost for the casting.
From this deductions can be made:
The initial test requires a regular skill test- so yes- they can pay doom for extra dice or draw from momentum pool
If successful- they can use ‘any available form of momentum’…so yes again to both pool and rolled momentum for effects…
The ‘Test for Consequences’ thing is in no means pointless- and here’s why I think this is true.
No matter how many dice you roll- including doom or momentum- you are rolling a ‘random number generator’ that has the fickle fingers of fate attached- hence- it has just as much chance of rolling fails as successes.
Example : Lets say a PCs sorcerer is pursuing a major bad guy through his castle- The Bad Guy closes and locks a metal door before them. For a dramatic effect the PC decides to use the Dismember: No Door can bar my path spell and upgrades. Knowing he needs to get 3 successes to complete the spell (D3) he spends a momentum from the pool and gives the GM a doom for 4 dice. Fate can be a B(*&H- he rolls only 2 successes and 2 fails including a 20- meaning the spell fails and he has 3 complications to deal with!..
If he wishes- and the GM allows- (and lets be truthful here- what GM doesnt want to have complications to play with)- he can ‘Cast with Consequences’- meaning he grants the GM 2doom for each level of difficulty- then rolls (expending momentum) as if he was trying to cast the spell normally. If he failed to cast the spell with his die roll- it goes off anyway- all of the penalties are added up- and now he must pay the consequences…
If I could make one improvement to this ruleset, it would be to specify more clearly, the differences for use of Momentum (earned from a roll) vs Momentum (from the pool) and when it could be used. Essentially, momentum spends for spells are immediate spends.
But, if they wrote it they way this FAC was written, then there be no confusion at all.
Notice the inconsistency in the FAQ. If no minor action taken, complications occur on a 19 or 20 vs any die which fails results in a complication and a 20 results in 2? I prefer the more dangerous version.
I dug up this old thread because I’m learning the rules and trying to understand casting a spell normally vs. Cast with Consequences a.k.a. Test for Consequences.
So you’re saying that the player gets to choose before he rolls whether to “Cast with Consequences”? And he may choose to do so if he wants to guarantee success, damn the consequences?
I can see how this is similar to Succeed at a Cost, except that one can be chosen after a roll has failed.
Also the rulebook seems to indicate that the GM is the one to decide when to cast with consequences (called Test for Consequences in my edition), as if it the evil entities being called upon are eager for the spell to succeed so they can get out and wreak havoc.
Sorcery always comes at a cost. While the demons and other entities that fuel the sorcerer’s ambitions are more than happy to see a spell reach its conclusion, there is invariably a price. Every time Sorcery is used to cast, control, or counter a spell, the gamemaster has the authority to turn the test from a regular skill test into a test for Consequences. In a test for Consequences the sorcerer is guaranteed to succeed in the casting of their spell, but at a horrible price. The player makes the skill test as normal, adding up successes against the Difficulty and Momentum spends of the spell being cast. For every Success or Momentum the sorcerer fails to achieve, a Complication is leveled against the sorcerer. The player may ask the gamemaster to include Momentum spends in calculating the Difficulty of this test, increasing it by one or more steps. This is a far more hazardous route to sorcery, and is to be used with caution.
Should the gamemaster not wish to use a test for Consequences, any d20 rolls on the spell that are not successes automatically count as if the player had rolled a 20. If a Complication is rolled naturally, it counts for two Consequences.
That causes me to have a couple questions for the GMs out there:
How often do you allow Tests for Consequences for spellcasting: often, rarely, only against Nemises?
How often do players fail regular spell casting tests with all the possible means of Momentum/Doom use?
Rarely, very rarely. Having the guarantee to successfully cast the spell, but cause some consequences in form of Complications, that makes Sorcery too “reliable” for my taste of Conan-like Sword&Sorcery. Sorcery should be a reckless gamble, nothing you will ever be able to rely upon to get a desired effect.
And Complications are just that, they can make things more complicated, but must not devalue, not take away the success of the action the occured on. So the success of a spell casting attempt will not be diminished or turned into a failure on a Cast for Consequence, even if you get a lot of Complications.
That does not fit for my view on Sorcery in a Conan setting.
I do use this method for NPCs, though, as they only exist to make things more interesting and challenging for the players, so they need to succeed in their evil deeds - and the Complications could be paid off with Doom or the NPC visibly corrupts and withers before the very eyes of the PCs, all fitting for the mood I like to create in a Conan game.
Rarely. It is a rare case that any PC sorcerer utterly fails at casting a spell. It might be that the spell casting does not create sufficient Momentum to get the desired effect, but that a spell fails completely is a rare thing. - Sorcerous offerings, high Willpower, Momentum, Doom, Fortune - all that helps making the usually not that frequent spell casting actions successful - to a degree.
And then, most PC sorcerers who actually know one or even a few spells are built for being successful at sorcery - to the detriment of nearly all other skills. So they have high TN and high Resolve, which are essential for a sorcerer character.
“Dabblers” in sorcery might fail more often, but then they are only dabblers - and for most (if not all of my) players dabbling in such a risky thing as Sorcery is not worth it at all.
So, you get rather competent sorcerers who rarely fail at their spell casting using the normal rules for skill tests, but sometimes they don’t get the sufficient amount of Momentum for their spell to get the desired effect or to activate all the options they were looking for - and sometimes (not that often, actually) they roll Complications. Sometimes with bad luck on the dice a lot of complications even on a successful casting of a spell. And that is, how Sorcery in Conan should be from my viewpoint.