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Thread: Did I make a bad DM decision?
Saturday, 19th January, 2002, 11:42 PM #11
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Even when you consider the webs 'magic' or psionics versus magic, it is still a bad call.
You have on the one hand, a web which is clearly described as easily flammable.
On the other hand, you have a power that can easily set things on fire.
It should be a no brainer here that the power can set fire to the web. And just a minor physics note, the thinner something is, the EASIER it is to set it on fire. More oxygen fuel per surface area, you see.
That's why paper burns much more easily than, say, a log.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 12:04 AM #12
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Originally posted by JRRNeiklot
I agree, looks like you made a mistake. No bigee. I screw up all the time. I would, however, neglect to enforce the level loss due to death in this case.
I also want to second what Scorch said as well. Even if the call was a bit off the mark, I'd be glad to have a DM that not only was willing to admit to a mistake, but actually re-considered his own decisions to make sure he was callin' 'em straight.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 12:17 AM #13
Novice (Lvl 1)
maybe it was just an "empowered" webspell . . . ?
anyway, i think the fact that you are even asking for info on this shows you're a good DM, and that your PC's should understand. give the Player his PC back, but have him have some sort of phobia of empowered web spells, due to his near death experience.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 12:17 AM #14
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
The web spell states than any flame will ignite it. Matter agitation states it only works on non-magical objects. The question is whether the strands from a web are non-magical or not. If they are the non-magical result of a magical spell, then clearly they should catch fire. If the strands are magical, then clearly they shouldn't catch on fire.
The web spell description states that the strands are "far larger and tougher" than spider webs. This implies that the webs are magical. The fact that the webs disappear after the duration is up doesn't really indicate that they are magical or not, and is only a result of the magical spell.
However, I would still rule that it would work. The web spell description doesn't state that the strands are magical, leaving that in doubt. My policy is to cut the players a break if I'm in doubt. I can always clarify the correct rules after the session, and challenge them with something else later. So I think you made a mistake.
But even if you did make a mistake (and I'm not sure you did) I wouldn't worry about it. Everyone makes mistakes, and it's better to make a bad decision than to slow the game down by arguing over rules or looking stuff up. You can always make it up to the player somehow later.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 12:39 AM #15
Novice (Lvl 1)
You're the DM. If you say Matter Agitation can affect web spells, it can. If you say Matter Agitation can't affect web spells, it can't. Curse the designers and throw out the book, you're the DM.
'o Skoteinos is where it matters. Did you tell the player it wouldn't work? Did you at least give him a psicraft check to know it wouldn't work? Changing the rules is fine, as long as the players know what you've changed (or at least know it if their characters should know it).
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 05:05 AM #16
Novice (Lvl 1)
Well.....it doesn't say that the web is magical itself, but it does allow spell resistance, which would suggest the strands are magical things.
Reading the Matter Agitation its still not real clear.
Another part is whether you are using the "psionics are different" rule or not. If psionics are NOT different, then the agitiation should have worked
Personally, i say its a bad call because a character who gets webbed, then burns it off with his "mind fire" is too cool to rule against!!
but i've been accused of being to lenient with my players before...
Of course, lets not forget that probably would have damaged himself with the burning web!!!!
I'd say that there is enough gray area, that its really up to DM discretion. Different strokes for different folks and all that!
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 05:18 AM #17
ordinarly I would be on the magical/non-magical side of the debate. But however if ordinary fire can burn through the web, it seems that the web itself is not really magical. If one does Summons Nature's Ally and produces a badger, no one is going to expect the badger itself to be a magical creature. It was summoned and then dispelled back to it's home by magic. Now if the Web had a DR rating or it reacted unaturaly to fire, then maybe so.
Heck, just say the fellow was left for dead, was found nursed to health and put him back in the game. If people have leveled up since then, offer to have the player come up with a story to explain what he did for his xp so he can level up as well.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 05:24 AM #18
No worries! You're Omnipotent
Whether you made a mistake or not is for you to decide, certainally there are valid arguments on both side, but if you decide that in fact you did screw up, then, take heart you are omnipotent, and it's a rare death that can't turn into a plot twist of some sort and end up making the campaign better than it would have been if the character hadn't died.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 06:57 PM #19
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
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Thanks for all the feedback. There are reams of issues that I didn't consider (I *said* I was jetlagged at the time - I'd just completed a flight home from the other side of the world the previous day. Just gotta DM though )
I've pretty much decided that the guy wasn't dead - he will be captured by the opponents but there is a ready-made way for him to escape (which none of the others could manage, but is practical for that character).
Ideally I would have ruled differently, or at least given him a magecraft check to get info on his options. I'll just do what seems right on this occasion.
Sunday, 20th January, 2002, 07:14 PM #20
Novice (Lvl 1)
I was going to suggest that you could justify the characters death by having the death actually be an illusion or even an finely crafted Astral Construct, and have the PC whisked away by some nefarious individual or other...
But you beat me too it
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