Tuesday, May 30, 2017

GURPS101: RPM Spell Loadouts - Mistakes Kal Makes

Guest Post by Kalzazz

Notes based on Mistakes Kal Makes When Designing Spell Loadouts. Ritual Path Magic (RPM) is an awesome system where you can design your own spells and your mage can know any spell they want (and that the DM allows), this is part of what makes RPM great.

Much like the Vancian Days of Yore, you can creatively choose from this what spells your RPMist has prepared as conditionals to form their readily available spells to deploy (since actually casting RPM spells in combat time unless you are a RPM heavyweight is a process somewhere between ‘glacial’ and ‘just forget it’).

This can be part of what makes RPM fun also, but this is also part of what makes RPM an infuriating nightmare that makes you question why you ever got into this silly hobby when you could be doing more fulfilling things like playing in traffic.


Notes On Spell Loadouts 
Having suffered through this spell loadout creation process more times than I care to recall, I have made choices that worked poorly more times than I care to recall as well.


1. Over reliance on one damage type! Do you like Fire? Sometimes Kal likes fire way to much. Oh look, the enemy is immune to fire. Have spells with different damage sources! (as a quick approach, take your create energy fireball, copy the spell, change create energy to destroy energy, hey, now its a freezeball!)

2. Not having enough range. Normally combat occurs at close range, but if you have only 30yd spells you are bound to run into 50yds away enemies.

3. Not having healing. Remember, taking an action when in the negatives requires KO checks. This is not when you want to be taking many consecutive actions effect shaping or gathering energy, so have some healing!

4. Reverse Missiles is not your friend. If all your attacks are direct throw them at the enemy this is really not your friend! One option is to throw explosive attacks at your enemies hex.

5. Diffuse Enemies are also not your friend. Explosive attacks can solve their problem to.

6. Your friends are your friends - if possible have some nifty stuff you can use on your friends! For instance, consider ranged or area effect healing, or buff spells!

7. Selfishness is okay to - Make sure you have spells to throw on yourself, or stuff to do when your friends don't need healing/buffing etc

8. Have a Way to Get Away - You should have some spell designed to help you leave when your welcome has done welcomed out. Portals, smoke bombs, invisibility oh my are all ways to get going when the going gets tough.

9. For Target Rich Environments - It is very awesome to deal super damage and atomize a single target. However, sometimes life deals you oodles of enemies, and in this case you need spells for dealing with those oodles.

10. Big Balls of HP - Some enemies don't just need a little killing, they need a LOT of killing. For foes like these you need to be able to put up some really big numbers.

11. When the Charms Go Away - Sometimes by attrition you are left with a charm bag on empty. For the last charm I suggest a 'buff and go' effect for your handy weapon and skill (hope you have one of those) so you aren't reduced to a spectator.

12. Can never have enough friends - Sometimes you need more friends, whether for distractions, filling in the battle line, or who knows what else. Having a summoning spell handy can prove quite useful.

13. Does Not Have Fast Draw Charm - Seriously, you want this. One session spending half your time just readying your charms will teach you this. That way lies madness.

14. Leaving too many open slots. Conditionals don’t cause encumbrance, so make sure you take along close to your max allotment! An empty slot does not really help much.

15. Having no Non Lethal Options - You really don’t want to fireball those poor mind controlled peasants do you?


Having been playing RPMists since shortly after Monster Hunters Champions came out and introduced RPM, I have had quite an extensive experience making mistakes with the system. While many of these lessons may be quite obvious hopefully there is some takeaways to be had, or at least amusement value.

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