Author Topic: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?  (Read 210 times)

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Offline MisterK

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How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« on: June 23, 2022, 01:00:57 PM »
Spell description : "Caster creates a dome of force around a given point (which may be on a mobile object) to protect an area. This force shield can sustain 10 hits per level of the caster before being destroyed. Otherwise it must be dispelled (or its duration must expire)." AoE 10' radius, duration 5 min/L (C), Range T.

Note from p25 of MentCo : "Seal Breach, Mantlet, Palisade,and Bastion spells are impassable (until destroyed or terminated) from the outside to the inside only. Attacks and exit may still be made from the inside to the outside. All defenses created by these spells must rest on a solid surface. All attacks against these barriers should be made against AT 20 (with a +0 DB)."

The spell is ArmsMaster Fortress Law Lvl 7. Mantlet and Mantlet True are explicitly exempted from the "defend a fortress" general condition of the spell list.

So, the Armsmaster has an impassable field that can absorb 10 hits/level (at least 70) and is considered AT 20. The Armsmaster must concentrate, but allies inside the radius do not need to and may attack from inside the field. Furthermore, the field may be set on a mobile object. If the Armsmaster is high enough level, they can cast Mantlet True - and be able to attack since Mantlet True does not require concentration (in addition to being larger).

How do you handle criticals against the mantlet field ? Do they inflict additional hits merely by virtue of being criticals, or do you apply the strict critical result, meaning that, if the crit inflicts additional hits, it counts against the mantlet buffer, both any other result is voided ?

Offline EltonJ

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 01:18:01 PM »
Oh, something to read up on!

I don't like the Armsmaster Profession, though.  I like the Noble Warrior profession from Rolemaster Companion III.  Although if I allowed the Armsmaster, I would do crits against the Manlet Field as a weakening of the field and cause the Armsmaster to concentrate harder.

Offline jdale

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 01:34:51 PM »
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Offline Hurin

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 03:00:36 PM »
Oh, something to read up on!

I don't like the Armsmaster Profession, though.  I like the Noble Warrior profession from Rolemaster Companion III.  Although if I allowed the Armsmaster, I would do crits against the Manlet Field as a weakening of the field and cause the Armsmaster to concentrate harder.

If you're interested in the relationship/comparison between the Noble Warrior and the Armsmaster, you might also see my blog on the history of the classes: https://www.rolemasterblog.com/the-armsmaster-and-the-warlord-for-rmu/

I've also redone the Armsmaster for RMU, here: https://www.rolemasterblog.com/armsmaster-for-rmu-preview-two-spell-lists/

I didn't include the mantlet spells, as they seemed a little more pure-caster-ish than semi, and were a little outside the class concept that I preferred.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline RandalThor

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 03:16:45 PM »
I don't like the Armsmaster Profession, though.  I like the Noble Warrior profession from Rolemaster Companion III.  Although if I allowed the Armsmaster, I would do crits against the Manlet Field as a weakening of the field and cause the Armsmaster to concentrate harder.
First: I LOVE the Armsmaster, they are my favorite all-time RM profession. So lets fight bro! 😁

Second: What does "concentrate harder" even mean?

Thirdly (back to the OT): If the crit says it does extra hits of damage, you apply them. Otherwise, all other critical effects are ignored, much like if the target was a construct or undead. Though not exactly, as I think those can suffer from the negative mods associated with some crits, while the wall wouldn't - simply because it takes no actions, as it were. That is how it reads to me, and how I would handle it. Basically, it is a fantasy, magical force field, and acts like such.

Fourthly: If you don't like your non-full spellcasters having access to things like magical force fields, a good way to alter them would be to have them bolster existing barriers. Got a wooden door between you and the rampaging ogre? With one of these spells that door now protects as if it was made from iron (or steel, or something better as you get higher level). That is a less flashy/obvious effect for spells on a Fortress Law list for a profession that is a master of battle. It is sort of what I did with my MERP version of the Armsmaster I am currently playing.
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Offline rdanhenry

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 03:22:20 PM »
I wouldn't count criticals at all. When you think about what they represent, rather than just as game mechanics, it doesn't make sense for them to apply to the Mantlet spell. It doesn't have any vital organs to hit. It's a force field that has no reason not to be uniform, so unlike a physical armor, it shouldn't have any weak spots. Even physical armors generally have weak spots only to accommodate what's being armored, and the Mantlet manages that by being one-way.
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Offline Hurin

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 03:52:16 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I love the Armsmaster/Noble Warrior too (the two classes did kind of grow up together). I just preferred to have less flashy spells, which is why I didn't include the Mantlets in my version.
          However, thinking about it now, I do see quite a lot of similarity between the Mantlet-type spells and the Shield spell, the latter of which the Noble Warrior/Armsmaster has always had. You could see a Mantlet as just a group Shield -- mechanically they are different (one adds DB, the other makes an impassable barrier), but they would look similar in 'real life' or at least the theatre of the mind. So I'm not opposed to them in principle... I might even include them in an alternate group of spell lists for a more group-combat oriented Armsmaster, or even for a Warlord-style class.

'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

'Every party needs at least one insane person.'  --Aspen of the Jade Isle

Offline RandalThor

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 09:31:45 PM »
I wouldn't count criticals at all. When you think about what they represent, rather than just as game mechanics, it doesn't make sense for them to apply to the Mantlet spell. It doesn't have any vital organs to hit. It's a force field that has no reason not to be uniform, so unlike a physical armor, it shouldn't have any weak spots. Even physical armors generally have weak spots only to accommodate what's being armored, and the Mantlet manages that by being one-way.
I could see that.
So I'm not opposed to them in principle... I might even include them in an alternate group of spell lists for a more group-combat oriented Armsmaster, or even for a Warlord-style class.
That is exactly what the Armsmaster is, a group-combat focused profession, which is why those spells make sense for them. (I don't know about the Noble Warrior, I don't know it nearly as well as I do the AM.)
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Offline Hurin

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 09:13:09 AM »

So I'm not opposed to them in principle... I might even include them in an alternate group of spell lists for a more group-combat oriented Armsmaster, or even for a Warlord-style class.
That is exactly what the Armsmaster is, a group-combat focused profession, which is why those spells make sense for them. (I don't know about the Noble Warrior, I don't know it nearly as well as I do the AM.)

Yes, the Armsmaster has some group-oriented lists, but the Noble Warrior (which came first, in Companion III) did not. Then, Companion VII offered a very similar class that had a mixture of spells, some that buffed his own skill at arms and others that buffed leadership/military camp skills. Then, in RMSS, the two classes were to some degree brought together (e.g. the RMSS Armsmaster's 'Armor Mastery' lists has a similar theme and some of the same spells as the Companion III's 'Noble Armor' list).

In my blog posts on where to take the Armsmaster in RMU, I suggested there is a lot of material here -- enough really for two classes. One could be a more individualistic knight errant/Ronin-style warrior, and a separate, group-oriented Warlord/Marshall/Commander style class. Or, you could have them share the same skill costs but have different sets of spell lists, one focusing more on personal arms and the other on leadership/group combat.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

'Every party needs at least one insane person.'  --Aspen of the Jade Isle

Offline Hurin

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2022, 10:48:34 AM »
For the record, I can see handling crits vs. a Mantlet either way: RandalThor's way (i.e. applying +hits results from crits) will make Mantlets somewhat less powerful, while Rdanhenry's way will make the Mantlets somewhat more powerful (esp. if you translate the Armsmaster into RMU, since RMU buffs the +hits results from crits).

I personally lean more towards RandalThor's way, just because I feel that making an impenetrable barrier is a very strong spell, and it tends to come relatively early on the spell list for my taste (e.g. in the Mentalism Companion it is only a level 7 spell). I'm not sure if there is any other spell of that level that gives total immunity to certain types of attacks for potentially multiple targets.

But I also think Rdanhenry's way makes sense too, and would be the option of choice for those who want the spell to be very powerful.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

'Every party needs at least one insane person.'  --Aspen of the Jade Isle

Offline MisterK

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2022, 11:09:52 AM »
Thanks to JDale for pointing me towards a fairly old thread and, in that thread, indicating that handling the mantlet as a structure can make sense.

And thanks to everyone who gave their opinion, of course :)

Offline jdale

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2022, 02:21:56 PM »
I wouldn't count criticals at all. When you think about what they represent, rather than just as game mechanics, it doesn't make sense for them to apply to the Mantlet spell. It doesn't have any vital organs to hit. It's a force field that has no reason not to be uniform, so unlike a physical armor, it shouldn't have any weak spots. Even physical armors generally have weak spots only to accommodate what's being armored, and the Mantlet manages that by being one-way.

The counterargument is that when you attack it, you don't have to worry about hitting weak points or even about the mantlet parrying or riposting your attack. You know you just have to hit it as hard as possible. So it would make sense if it was easier to deal plain damage to.
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Offline RandalThor

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2022, 05:06:35 PM »
In my blog posts on where to take the Armsmaster in RMU, I suggested there is a lot of material here -- enough really for two classes. One could be a more individualistic knight errant/Ronin-style warrior, and a separate, group-oriented Warlord/Marshall/Commander style class. Or, you could have them share the same skill costs but have different sets of spell lists, one focusing more on personal arms and the other on leadership/group combat.
Isn't the Warrior Mage the version more aligned with the Noble Warrior? All of their spells deal with making them individually more capable in combat (though, I beg to differ in some cases).
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Offline Hurin

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2022, 06:00:08 PM »
Isn't the Warrior Mage the version more aligned with the Noble Warrior? All of their spells deal with making them individually more capable in combat (though, I beg to differ in some cases).

I wouldn't say they are more aligned, though perhaps I am misunderstanding what you mean by the word. The Noble Warrior was focused on spells that enhanced their personal prowess, as the Warrior Mage was, but I would say the Noble Warrior is closest to the Paladin. The original class description of the Noble Warrior says literally, 'A Noble Warrior is the mirror image of a Paladin without the religious connections.'

However, unlike the Paladin, the Noble Warrior originally had no spells that were group oriented. That really only came in with the Armsmaster in Companion VII, and then the two were kind of combined for the RMSS Mentalism Companion.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

'Every party needs at least one insane person.'  --Aspen of the Jade Isle

Offline RandalThor

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Re: How do you handle the Mantlet spells ?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2022, 08:09:30 PM »
I guess I should have used "similar" or "like" than aligned.
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