How to use Daemonic Stupefaction in a Conflict

It seems like Daemonic Stupefaction would be useful in a conflict - stopping an enemy wizard from casting spells - but can it be used in a conflict? And how?

Swarm, Somnific Trance, Balefire give specific instructions for conflicts in their descriptions - when to cast them etc.

Daemonic Stupefaction lists ‘conflict’ as a Duration factor, but doesn’t have any guidance about when to use it.

Is it a spell ‘like Somnific Trance… cast once a conflict is declared but before you generate disposition’?

Or is it a spell you’re supposed to cast in-between rounds (it has a free casting time) but you can’t use it on the opposing side?

Or do you have to cast it the turn before the conflict is declared? i.e. sneak up on an enemy, cast the spell on them, set the duration for one conflict, then declare the conflict?

And as a side question, if opposing sides both cast a spell like Somnific trance, do the spells go off simultaneously?

Thanks very much

Seems like it ought to be cast like Somnific Trance–after the conflict is declared but before disposition.

I think the relevant pieces are:

Spells in Conflicts (p.95)
Spells like Somnific Trance that knock down a swath of opponents are cast once a conflict is declared but before you generate disposition.

Spells that do not cost a turn to cast (listed as “Casting Time: Free”) may be cast between rounds while selecting weapons. These spells may not directly affect the opposing side. Only one such spell may be cast by a magician each round.

So spells that affect the opposing side cannot be cast between rounds–that is pretty clear. Since you are affecting the opposing side, that leaves the beginning of the conflict, and since the duration of Daemonic Stupefaction lasts the entire conflict, it makes sense to me to cast it at the start to get the full effect.

And as a side question, if opposing sides both cast a spell like Somnific trance, do the spells go off simultaneously?

Yes, if the conflict has already been triggered, I’d say both take effect (if successful). Then both mages would not be able to cast for the rest of the duration.

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Yes, that’s how it seems to me too. I just wonder if it could be made a bit clearer in the text.

Somnific Trace, Swarm, and Balefire give specific instructions for conflicts in their descriptions. Maybe this could be added to the description for Daemonic Stupefaction too?

The beauty of Torchbearer is that it is a flexible, non-prescriptive system. Because it does not tell you exactly what to do for every possibility, it gives groups freedom to come up with solutions that fit a given situation within the rules.

So, your scenario of “sneak up on an enemy, cast the spell on them, set the duration for one conflict, then declare the conflict” could work. And probably would lead to a better outcome.

Thanks, that’s great. I’m just asking for it to be made a bit clearer in the rules.

From a consistency perspective, there are 7 spells that mention conflicts, either as part of factors, or written specifically in the description.

Of these 7 spells, 5 of them explain in their descriptions how and when to use them in conflicts. 2 of them don’t have any guidance in the spell description, but they are clearly intended to be used in conflicts (Daemonic Stupefaction, Destiny of Heroes)

As a reader, the inconsistency confuses me. Putting myself in the shoes of a first-time player of Torchbearer, I’d prefer to have all the info in the spell description, instead of needing to come to a forum for clarification.

I appreciate that I might not be representative of all readers, but if there is an opportunity to prevent confusion or forum questions I think it’s worth considering while the text is still in draft.

Also, it seems like Sign of Abrogation might also apply in a conflict? but there are no rules about that either

thanks again