When adding the Sustained facet to an Instantaneous Destruction spell (like Fire Fan or Shards) it should make the spell effect continue for as long as it is sustained (just as other sustainable spells like Binding and Turn Aside the Blade) the main advatage being that even if you do not have a second or third action to script on a particular volley, your sustainable spell is still in force in Fight!. So if your B4 Reflex wizard can abstract Sustained onto his Fire Fan spell (becomes Ob5^ 3 Actions) anyone who attacks him would suffer the spell effect on any and all actions that they attempted to engage him in (1/2 Will +2 = Mark, +2 VA, DoF to determine I/M/S).
The same would happen if the Destroy facet were to be abstracted onto a Sustained spell such as Choking Hand or Bilious Smoke making these spells into sustainable weapons.
Are there some rules that I’ve missed along the way that contradict the way I am reading them now?
(The wizard player in me cackles with glee, while the g.m. in me shouts “Holey Schnikes!”).
Sustaining a spell doesn’t effectively let you cast it over and over, it just maintains the effect. It depends on how the spell seems to work and what makes sense for extending or making it more destructive. Here’s how I’d rule it:
Bilious Smoke with Destroy does damage to anyone who remains within your Presence, enters your Presence, or who you engage with and bring into your Presence. Smoke you’ve already produced if you move is also sustained and could complicate the battlefield.
Fire Fan: You could rule this as pulsing fire constantly, but it makes more sense to me as sustaining the fire you shoot out. Anyone you hit with the spell stays ablaze as long as you sustain it and continues to take damage, but you cannot hit new targets without a new casting.
Choking Hand: It deals damage to the target as it chokes. Once it’s cast, sustaining it doesn’t allow new targets at all any more than you can suddenly switch who you’re choking with the normal spell.
Shards: I can’t envision what sustaining this means. Maybe being able to conjure more shards with a gesture every turn, but I don’t like it. I’d say you can’t add sustain.
With a lot of spells sustained could also mean leaving a static effect. Fire Fan would leave a billow of flame. Shards would leave a maelstrom of razor-sharp rocks whirling in midair. They last as long as sustained, but that’s not all that useful. Anyone in that area would quickly leave and stop taking damage. It’s not even really any kind of test; unless combat is in cramped quarters, some amount of movement is assumed, and getting the hell out of the pool of damage is an easy choice.
In fact, I’m a little skeptical of Destroy + Sustain in general. Look at Havoc’s Hand, the only such example. It gives sustained damage, but it acts like a weapon and you actually have to repeatedly hit with it (but not re-cast it). That, to me, suggests the limits of what’s supposed to happen. The counterargument is that Abstractions are supposed to offer a lot more power, but I don’t know. I see it more as flexibility than a way to make even better spells.
This is an age-old question, honestly! Adding Sustain to Destroyer spells is definitely first on the list of any Sorcerer using facets. BUT… I don’t think there’s ever been an official ruling. How often do you apply the damage to the target? I kind of want to say every Action in a fight because why not? Sorcery is that badass, after all.
I don’t think you can ban the combo, as it’s perfectly legal per the rulebook. And, it’s also a possible combination from the result of a Failed Casting. So we really ought to nail down the effect once and for all.
The best I can come up with is to put new abstraction effects upto a peer review/group vote as they happen in game (taking into account the intent of the abstraction and guidance form the group). Adding a new facet is creating a new spell on the fly after all, and new spells are subjected to review and vote. The intent of the abstraction can be changed whenever it is used.
My take (fwiw): The other facets don’t change, so it would depend on the area of effect. In Fight/RnC this means the standard AoE targeting would apply - you’d choose your targets based on the spell AoE and would not be able to change them in subsequent actions.
This is true, but if others choose to engage you while you’ve got a presence area of effect destruction spell sustained they subject themselves to its affect simply by engaging you as once cast, the spell could be sustained for quite some time (hours even, umless the caster suffers a may not). Of course, a lot would depend upon the intent of the abstraction and the spell it was applied to. (Fire Fan I could see being abstracted into a gout of flames type of thing or a defensive fire fan that keeps opponents at bay least they engage and suffer the flames).
Another thing to keep in mind is how dangerously overpowered a simple spell can become when we add the Destroy Facet to it as the abstracted spell hasn’t been through distillation there wouldn’t be any sigils attached to it that weren’t already there so spell damage would be as listed on page 180 of the magic burner.
Theoretically you could add Destroy onto Whisper on the Wind to create an attack spell that would do Will+0 VA8 damage to a single target a mile away! No line of sight. No Range and Cover. No Fight! Not even a Bloody Versus Test. You just have to know the recipient as well as his name.
All this for an Ob5^, 10action spell.
If you wanted to up your ante you could also add sustained to the mix making it an Ob7^, 12 Action spell (casting carefully and patiently makes it easier to do) now you’re doing Will as Mark damage a mile or more away and sustaining it not to mention the VA8 is making the recipients armor useless.
I whisper across the distance into your ear. Except by “whisper” I mean focused pressure wave that will blast up your auditory canal and smash your temporal bone into shards that will shred your brain. So less whisper, more sonic boom.
Alternately, extracorporeal shock wave osteotripsy and your head melts.
Now how would I remaster White Fire into some electronconvulsive therapy from on high? Mass Greater Cure Depression!
If you add Destroy to Touch Not Ignoble Flesh or its BWG cousin Turn Aside the Blade would the damage of the spell then be done to the weapon or its wielder? And would it only cause damage when the spell stopped the attack or every time the caster was attacked regardless of the attacker penetrating the spells barrier or missing the caster completely (no successes generated)?
It seems like it would turn the defensive spell into a sustainable counter strike (regardless of stance) that would require someone/something to attack or touch it before it did anything (or the mage would be able to damage anyone or thing he touched).
Start with the intent. What do you want the spell to do? Then see if adding the Destroyer matches that intent.
I like the idea of a punitive defensive spell (works like counter strike) based on Touch Not Sublime Flesh as it gives a set (rather than variable) obstacle to be attacked (+2 Ob) though it may require both Destroy and Single Target to do what I propose it to do. (DoF for damage done to attacker after each attack is attempted).