Spell: Favour of the Gods

Hi all. First post on these boards, following my first session GMing Conan.

The Favour of the Gods spell, found in the CRB, is a little confusing. It’s description seems to indicate that the caster can use it to bank ANY spell, including those he hasn’t learned, for use by his god (through the GM) later.

It also says that the caster can use the spell himself as a free action. It would seem to be overpowered if it allowed any spell to be used this way. Wouldn’t it obviate the need to learn any other spell?

I’m interested in any and all comments on this. Thx

Hi, Asimovian!

Your question caused me to read the Spell description, and I never have experienced this Spell during actual gameplay.

Your question seemed to position this Spell as overpowered, so here are my comments:

It’s hard to get a sense of whether this Spell is overpowered or not. Two things to notice are:

  1. The reliance upon GM fiat dictating when—even if—this Spell is allowed to trigger as a Free action, compliant with the GM’s decisions about whatever expectations are being held by the god in question. In fact, this allowance feels counter to the “gamist” nature of this 2d20 system, in which PCs have their trusted resources to marshal against the GM’s. There is a surprising amount of arbitrariness here, and this, to me, vastly minimizes the Spell’s power.

  2. The Spell requires a Fortune Point, which effectually means that any PC using this Spell has this very valuable resource “locked away,” with absolutely no guarantee that its exchange ever will be put to actual use.

Finally, I agree with you that the description doesn’t put any requirements on the type of Spell being put away in this way. I would interpret it this way, myself, especially since I consider the other language in the Spell suitably constraining. Nevertheless, I see no reason why a GM could not specify that the Spell being stored be one that the PC actually know.

Thanks for your insights, Gebir. This helps to clarify things.

I’m still a little unsure of the following passage from the spell’s description, referring to the spell which is held using Fotune of the Gods:

“This second spell can be invoked as a Free Action at any time, though doing so costs an additional Fortune Point.”

Even with the Fortune Point cost, this passage makes the spell seem overpowered to me, because it appears to allow the caster to make use of any spell, whether or not he/she has learned it, whenever he or she wishes, without requiring any GM fiat.

It also seems to contradict the premise of Favour of the God’s - that the caster puts the implementation of the target spell in the hands of hes/her god.

I hope I’m just missing something obvious here. The concept of the spell is very cool, which is why one of my PC’s chose it, but we want to be able to use it properly.

I’m so pleased that I have been of some help. I will try to be so again.

I believe you have exercised a subtle misreading of the Spell description, and I will try to make it “obvious” to you. Of course, my own reading might be erroneous, so please take this provisionally.

To use Favor of the Gods, the sorcerer must cast Favor of the Gods and the Spell that is intended to be “stored.”

For example, let’s say that the sorcerer wants to store (found, for convenience here, on the same page) Form of a Beast. Right here the GM must make a ruling, as we discussed, on the Spell Favor of the Gods, i.e., must the sorcerer already know this Spell or might s/he choose any Spell? As you know, I prefer the latter interpretation.

Now, to actually “store” Form of a Beast, the caster must spend a Fortune Point and cast Favor of the Gods together with Form of a Beast. To make it interesting, let’s say the Form of a Beast effect the PC is going for is Cloak of the Wild, which is D1 and requires 2 Momentum. So, Favor of the Gods (D1) and Form of a Beast (D1) becomes a D2 test, with the PC requiring 2 Momentum (however one gets it, at this time, to gain the intended result).

Moreover, while casting Favor of the Gods, coupled with Form of a Beast, the sorcerer must spend 2 Resolve per the two Spell descriptions.

Finally, in play, the GM rules that the gods “trigger” Form of a Beast as a Free action on the PC’s part. The PC still must pay 1 Resolve per Round or Scene, per the description of Form of a Beast. Moreover, per the description of Favor of the Gods, the PC also effectively loses one “temporary” Fortune Point for as long as the Spell is in effect.

I think your subtle misunderstanding is in your reading( in the description of Favor of the Gods) of “another spell (or spells) that will be the actual spell whose effects will be felt.” In case the misunderstanding is deeper, Free Action in this context refers to the Action Table (Free, Minor, Standard); the caster is not “Free” to choose any spell at any time—the Spell still must be cast, as described here, at the time in which Favor of the Gods is cast, usually well before the intended favor is to be effected.

I don’t think it means you can store any spell, just one you know.

My son and daughter (two of my players) and I have debated this and we agree that the spell allows any other spell to be used subject to the powers, whims and preferences of the caster’s god.

I wasn’t considering this limitation before, though it should be obvious (and, IMHO, included in the spell’s description). Also, it allows for the possibility of angering one’s god by insulting him/her with an inappropriate request.

Those kinds of limitations and consequences make me less concerned about it being overpowered.

It also seems to reflect the scene in Conan the Barbarian, when Conan prays to Crom, who later sends Valeria’s spirit to defend him at a key moment in the Battle of the Mounds.