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Is Power Over Stone Awful?

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:50 pm
by Balasar
I mean sure, it’s fiiiine. PF bonuses are great ‘n all, but Power Over Stone is so boring!

Compare it to the other “power over element” spells, both in the same book and others. You can create a fire whip with pretty solid damage and degeneration that you can potentially turn into a laser beam. 4 damage and 20’ of knockback with power over wind. Make your attacks shoot little shards of ice that add mental damage to your attacks, with the option to take a sacrifice to deal that mental damage to people standing behind your target, too. Drench people and objects, and then use the echo meta to immediately boil, envelope, or blind them. By comparison, PF +1 P is soooo boring. Not to mention the fact that it’s woefully underpowered by comparison.

On top of all that, even its out of combat is lousy. I think it was move and/or shape a cubic foot of stone per minute, right? I buffed that right off the bat to 125 cubic feet per minute (e.g. 5x5x5 cube) to make it slightly less underwhelming. It’s now able to do in a minute what one of the lousiest and least chosen cantrips in DnD 5e can do in less than 6s. Again, this compares to things like halving or doubling the intensity of a fire, creating gusts of wind, and freezing or creating a pint of water.

So.

1. Is it better than I think it is? Am I too distracted by how flashy all the other power over element spells are to see how good this actually is? Or is it the hot garbage I think it is?

2. If I’m correct about how bad it is compared to both the other power over element spells and the other options available on the same power boards as power Over Stone, and in how boring it is, then what can be done to make it better and/or more exciting? I’m thinking that in addition to my fix of 125 cubic feet, maybe it’s PF +2 (enough to give it some more zing, but not excessive once the Amplify metas start rolling out). And maybe your weight doubles, granting free counters for half the amount of knockback you receive? For instance, an amplified power over wind would only move you 4 hexes instead of 8, making it far more reasonable to counter the rest?

I’d like to hear other people’s take on the power. Whether it needs fixing at all, and whether/how other people have changed it at their own tables. If you made it this far, thanks for sitting through the rant haha.

Re: Is Power Over Stone Awful?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:55 pm
by andrew
LOL I thought this was a troll post!

If anything, I always get the power mentioned by Norns for its out of combat effect. The ability to create hand holds on castle walls, sheer cliffs makes infiltration a breeze (no need for the pesky Athletics skill check). Then you have the ability to bypass a trapped dungeon door by burrowing around it. Also setting traps on bridges etc... so many uses that Norns usually complain that since it doesn't have limitations, players (the Galdr) is always circumventing adventure plot points.

Re: Is Power Over Stone Awful?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:54 pm
by Balasar
Ok so the handholds part is pretty clever. Credit where credit’s due. But in terms of burrowing, it’s a cubic foot per minute. Most people I’ve played with or GMed for would probably rather let the berserker shapeshift and bulldoze the earth. Or have the nanus drake start digging. Or hell, just have the Druid use field of quagmires to dig up over 100 cubic feet in the same amount of time.

However, I can acknowledge that there are a lot of creative uses for the out of combat effect. It’s pretty good. The combat effect though...it doesn’t come anywhere close to comparing, does it? I mean once you’re past the very early levels, is there any real reason to use that rune in combat for anything other than metas or soaking up damage?

Like I said, it’s totally possible that it’s a really good power that I’m not understanding the full ramifications of, or that I’m distracted by how flashy and exciting the other power over element spells are to fully appreciate it.

Re: Is Power Over Stone Awful?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:54 am
by Panjumanju
As a GM, "Power Over Stone" is the bane of my existence. I completely understand your criticism of its combat effect not being as flavourful as the equivalent options, but out of combat I am this close to banning it at my table.

Think about this: most physical challenges in-game that aren't "something is attacking you" are physical barriers. Unless you want to be intentionally obtuse (a wall made of....glass! That's...unbreakable...!) those physical barriers are almost always stone. Here's a big wall, here's a mountain, here's the earth itself.

If you want to make a tunnel through all of your GM's plans, completely bypass whatever "dungeon quality" or "carefully planned puzzle" your GM has (including all variations on "you get thrown in a cell with no weapons or armour", "get around this tricky door" (literally going around it) and "you are lost underground") then just go ahead and use Power Over God Damn Stone. Worse yet - use it again afterwards to put everyone back where it was so nobody knew you were there!

//Panjumanju