Talk:Earth College

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Detecting Poisons (G-8)

Apart from BC there is no reason to rank this spell, in fact apart from clearing it from your MA there is little reason to rank or use it at all. The times that you want to check for poison you usually can't cast a spell, so everyone uses DA and most GMs allow it.

I'd like to propose the following new version which will work much the same way at Rk 0 but then improve with rank. And allow magical drinking horns/forks/plates that detect poison. -- Stephen 10:04, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)

Interesting. The duration is what gives it a chance of being usable in a social situation. As written, the first thing the target object touches will be tested for poison, I assume that this isn't the intent. --Errol 10:35, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)
No, that's pretty much the intent. At low rank you may need to nip out and recast between courses, at high rank it should last a formal dinner. Though I'll change it to maintain contact for a pulse to avoid silliness like losing a charge when you brush past the curtains or accidentally touch the table. -- Stephen 10:49, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)
It does make the spell useful, although DA would still do the job more easily and less noticably, and my more colleges, and at range. If you take Earth mages to be wilderness folk who test mushrooms by poking them, then this change seems too socialy oriented. Perhaps it is better to explicitly remove detect poison for DA - which makes sense, as it's an effect/interaction with an external being, so can't be intrinsic to the aura (except for magic poison). On a vaguely related topic, alcohol shouldn't be a poison. -- Andreww 13:52, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)
That's a general issue, things that are poison to one race aren't to another. --Errol 14:25, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)
The woodsy Earth Mage is going to pick up his bit of ash, charge it, then poke a few different types of mushrooms to see which ones are dinner and which are post-dinner entertainment. The court Earth Mage is going to charge his lords ivory goblet and fork before dinner with the visiting courtiers from Ranke (no more than twenty bites m'lord then you'll need a new fork). The same spell, just a difference in style when using it.
I don't want to divert this topic too far into discussing the 75 EM Talent of Omniscience (DA) but if there is a viable and valid alternative for testing for poisons then maybe more GMs will rein in the DAers a bit. But if not, then at least there is some point in ranking and casting the spell so the token party member without DA can test their own food. -- Stephen 14:47, 11 Mar 2009 (NZDT)

Range: Touch
Duration: 5 minutes + 5 / Rank
Experience Multiple: 75
Base Chance: 50%
Resist: None
Storage: Investment*
Target: Object
Effects: The spell imbues a piece (usually a wand) of ashwood, ivory, or unicorn horn with the ability to detect poison. When the wand is touched to an object or substance for 5 seconds, the wand will momentarily turn black if poison is present. The wand may be used to check up to 1 (+ 1 / Rank) objects or substances.

By the shading and patterns of the wand, further information may be determined about the poison based on rank:

  • Rank 8+: Type (Alchemical or Natural)
  • Rank 10+: Origin (Mineral, Plant, Animal, Magic)
  • Rank 16+: Effects (Damage, Sleep, Unconsciousness, etc.)
  • Rank 20+: Potency (Effective rank or damage of poison)

* This spell may only be invested in the target object.


I think a target self with the 5 + 5 (possibly longer as feasts could last hours) duration and then the adept use a wand/fork of ash, bone true silver or ivory etc as a tool to aid his identification and a increasing BC per rank to gain more info on any poison would be better. Each piece of food requiring a couple of seconds concentration for a basic "read". Also I think the wand turning black should only be visable to the adept channeling the spell. Michael 02:40, 12 Mar 2009 (NZDT)

Earth Hammer

I think this should either be a save for some damage or reduce the targets chance to resist per rank other wise it is pointless to rank and cast. My Earth mage gave up using it after gaining rk11 and casting it 100 times one adventure and only doing damage 3 - 4 times, the damage vs cost in ft just wasn't worth continuing. A secondary effect like knockdown despite resist or even removing the resist completely and changing to a physical attack like ice bolt would be a better fix than what is currently there IMO. Michael 02:55, 12 Mar 2009 (NZDT)

This spell is much the same as all of the other bolt spells (Energy Bolt, Illusory Bolt, Starfire, Fire Bolt, Putrid Wound), collectively they are the cheapest and weakest of the attack spells. They have some use at low to medium levels where the MR of the opposition is not too high. After that it's time to upgrade to the more expensive damage spells: DTJ (Physical Damage), Smoking Magma (Area, Res for Half), Sinking Doom (Res or Die). If you want the best damage spells in the game then you're in the wrong college. IMO no need to change it. - Stephen 15:29, 12 Mar 2009 (NZDT)
I like the idea of it knocking people prone as an added effect simply so that it can retain some usage even at higher levels. It might be worse than all the other spells but if it has a simple occasional use effect that the others don't then it has a role to play. Similar to Air Blast in that it is sometimes a better spell in the moment that Whirlwind vortex because it throws people a short distance. So no real need to change it but the option is there if people want to. --Mandos 19:47, 12 Mar 2009 (NZDT)