The title pretty much says it all. I’ve get a sorcerer in my game that is rolling really well on his TAB rolls and I am trying to get combat to be somewhat challenging for him. Was TAB meant to increase the Obs for any combat move made against him or just strikes and direct attacks? I seem to recall Locks and Pushes got around TAB in the past but the description of the spell doesn’t seem to support that.
Any suggestions are welcome.
I’d say that’s up to your table; the spell is reasonably open to interpretation. The italic flavor text suggests it’s complete protection; the rules say “strike or shoot,” with a little more leeway.
If it’s wrecking your game I’d consider having it only turn aside Strike, Counterstrike, Feint, and other directly damaging assaults. You could also have it hinge on technicalities. Perhaps it turns aside blades but not other weapons. That’s a bit cruel; perhaps each casting must specify weapons to be averted, so that he can ward off steel and then risk fists or wooden clubs. There might be materials that break through the magic. Or you can throw highly skilled warriors and countering sorcerers against this guy and make his magic helpful but not overwhelming.
I’d avoid doing anything to make Turn Aside the Blade too useless, though. If he’s got a signature trick, and that’s being impossible to hit, that’s a cool thing that you don’t want to simply negate without talking it over with the player. You can always kidnap his loved ones, burn his house, and publicly humiliate him instead. Or jump him before he has a chance to cast the spell.
Are they rolling lucky, or do they just have a crazy-good Sorcery? If it’s the former, more power to them. It happens to some characters. If it’s the latter, there’s gotta be some reputation spreading around. Maybe some folk feel threatened by this great and powerful sorcerer. Voila, problems!
Also, I don’t think the solution needs to be “I make combat more challenging for them”. Poke around and find other ways to challenge the character, things they can’t solve with combat.
Why not let him have his moment in the sun?
It can be a spotlight issue of sorts, having seen this in person. To challenge the character in brute force you need something that can one-shot most anyone without TAB.
The solution that worked for me was non-combat challenges, enemy spellcasters, various ways to cause May Nots, etc.
He has had his moment in the sun. He got to stand untouched in the middle of whirling claws of death smiting the enemies mightily while his companions strove to last long enough for the mage to come to their aid. As that kind of thing gets old, I was looking for ways to toss challenges his way in combat without obliterating the rest of the group in the process. Enemy spell casters in the obvious way to go and they will show up in time. Non combat situations will also be liberally used. I just wanted to see if I was missing anything in the straight combat arena that I could use.
Designed for Revised, not Gold, but you get the idea: The Rookery
Note the elements for Turn Aside the Blade. They’re set that way quite deliberately…
Luke sent many a TAB’ed mage against us. Those who survived became very, very skilled at dealing with them. Don’t nerf the spell, just get clever.
-Locks work, especially in combination with a Throw.
-Area-effect powders that trigger May Nots are very effective.
-Poison in the tea will get past TAB every time!
-And, YES, pay very close attention to the elements affected by TAB.
What about sneezing powder? Seduction, Kidnap his familiar, Threaten his mum, drown him. I am just making these up here.
Myths are filled with :“invulnerable” sorcerors. They all have weaknesses, even Koschei the Deathless.
Grendel’s skin could not be bitten by swords. Beowulf wrestled with him and tore his arm from its socket. That was Grendel’s weird.
You’ll find sneezing powder dealt with in the link I posted above.
Ooooh. The group is currently traveling through uncharted jungle. I am thinking mold spores and snakes that spit venom.
Thank you all for the advice.
Oh a related question that just occurred to me. This sorcerer is also dabbling in Spirit Binding and it is only a matter of time before he angers a spirit enough to take a swipe at him. As spirits act through their domains, I would assume our TAB’d mage would be out of luck against anything but spirits of stone and wood throwing bits of itself at him. Does that sound about right?
In addition to spitting snakes, what about giant constrictors? Giant spider webs?
They aren’t in the Giant Spider part of the jungle yet. That comes later.