Monday, November 10, 2014

Save vs. Soul-Stealing?

We've been translating the spells from Swords & Glory over to Fate, using Fate Freeport Companion as a guide.  My eyes are blurry and my mind has begun to drift into the null, grey spaces beyond. Should I leave this "no-save vs. death" spell as-is for its conversion to Fate? Based on its description in S&G, I don't see non-magicians as getting anything resembling a save.

The Silver Halo of Soul-Stealing (Generic/Ritual, Cost, Instant, Per Day, Range: 3 Zones, Belkhanu/Hru'u): A glittering circlet of energy is sent spinning through the air to strike a target. The caster rolls WIS+2 vs. the target's highest skill. If the caster succeeds, the Spirit-Soul of the spell's target is borne away forever into the Unending Grey, leaving them a mindless automaton whose every action must be specifically commanded. Only a spell of Revivification or Re-embodiment can restore the target's Spirit-Soul. Any physical defense or cover is useless, and Disenchantment cannot help someone affected by this spell. But the spell can be deflected with a Warding spell, The Seal Upon the Powers, the Muniments of Excellence, and various temple spells that obstruct ritual magic. The spell affects all living beings, but not androids, automatons, undead, creatures produced by magic, and demons.


The above description contains direct quotations as well as paraphrasing of the original spell from Swords & Glory Vol. 2.


  1. Well I've been thinking about saving throws and what they abstract because of this post: which has interesting ideas if I don't agree with most of them.

    Recently in my PF game a Bard infiltrated a ship single handedly (spilting the party) and got caught by a mage blasting him with Phantasmal Killer. He had a very low Will def, but I thought having the ability to at least try to save versus magic and the roll it caused heightened the moment of his death. I'm pretty sure actually that I like the 1E class based saving stats that go up as you level up independent of Ability scores.

    Those would be too fiddly for FATE, but I'm just saying I like PCs to have saving throws even if they aren't very good ones. I mean there's always a chance right?

    1. Jason, thanks for stopping by and for leaving your thoughtful comments! I agree that the spirit of Fate is that "nobody just dies", which is distinct but not necessarily incompatible with the OSR ethos that "everybody has a chance - but no guarantees." I stopped playing D&D back in the day when the deaths of 1st level characters began to seem meaningless - as opposed to unfortunate, or the consequence of bad decisions. Your example hit on something important: how can the mechanics give characters a chance AND help to accentuate noble action, where that is possible.

      I'm thinking about this one a lot, as well as how to have something akin to spell mishaps, as that is appropriate for Tekumel.