So – Lone Wolf has become a Kai Grand Master!
Full disclosure – as someone who was a pretty serious chess player in my youth, when I hear the words ‘Grand Master’, I pretty much always first think of the chess title.
Aside : One of my favourite ever movies is Searching for Bobby Fischer, a ‘based on a true story’ film about a young chess prodigy. The below clip, where his stern teacher (a fantastic Ben Kingsley) tells the protagonist how proud he is (right before a game against the top-ranked player) gives me the sniffles every time.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the background (or ‘how Lone Wolf spent five years between adventures but still doesn’t seem to have a social life’) there are some game mechanics that need to be considered, with numerous ‘rules lawyer’ decisions to be made.
For starters, the background section states that new readers can calculate Combat Skill by using the formula of R10+25 and Endurance through R10+30.
This is, remember, in contrast to the formulae of R10+10 (CS) and R10+20 (E) that have prevailed through the adventures up to this point. The book says that you ‘can’ keep your old scores, which implies that you have the option of taking the advantage of the higher possible results available from the new calculations.
My decision : I’ll instead keep the bonuses from the various Lore-Circles (remembering that with the completion of Book 12 I now have all 10 Magnakai Disciplines and all 4 Lore Circles). The four Lore Circles give a total bonus of +5 of Combat Skill and +11 to Endurance. Together with the +8 to Combat Skill conferred by the use of the Sommerswerd, I think that the (starting) skills of 30 (Combat Skill) and 31 (Endurance) will be enough to go on with.
I of course will also get certain bonuses due to my Magnakai skills of Weaponmastery and Psi-Surge / Mindblast. This means that, in combats where I use the Sommerswerd I will get a further bonus of +4 (Weaponmastery) and +3 (Mindblast).
The twelve (!) possible Grand Master Disciplines (of which, at this stage, I get to choose 4) are as follows :
Grand Weaponmastery (improved Weaponmastery)
Basically the same as Weaponmastery, except you choose two weapons to start with and the Combat Skill bonus is +5.
Grand Masters have considerable control over hostile, non-sentient creatures. Also, they have the ability to converse with birds and fishes, and use them as guides.
Animal Mastery (improved Animal Control)
Lone Wolf gets ‘considerable control over hostile, non-sentient creatures’, along with an ability to converse (!) with birds and fishes, and to use them as guides (!)
Deliverance (improved Curing)
Lone Wolf gets the power to, once every 20 days, restore 20 points of Endurance (if his Endurance has fallen to 8 or below).
Assimilance (improved Invisibility)
If I choose the prize behind this window, I can camouflage myself, even in an open landscape, and also change my physical appearance for several days.
Grand Huntmastery (improved Huntmastery, duh)
I’ll be able to see in total darkness, with the added benefit of greatly enhanced senses of touch and taste.
Aside : This brings to mind one of my favourite song quotes lamenting lost love :
“This taste is not quite of you
This scent seems strange to me too
Your touch is so cold, What sacrifice
Made for this to be you…..”
If you’re in the mood, this is the song :
Grand Pathsmanship (improved Pathsmanship)
I can resist entrapment by hostile plants (!!) and have a super-awareness of potential ambushes in woods and forests.
Kai-Surge (improved Psi-Surge)
Basically the same as Psi-Surge, except the bonuses (+8 for Kai-Surge, +4 for Mindblast) are increased.
Kai-Screen (improved Psi-Screen)
Improved ability to construct protective screens during psychic combat.
Grand Nexus (improved Nexus)
Ability to withstand contact with substances such as flames and acids for up to an hour.
Telegnosis (improved Divination)
My ‘spirit-walking’ ability will be greatly improved if I choose this discipline.
We get to the two sexy and completely new options!
Aside : Did I say sexy? ‘Magi-magic’ is about the lamest possible name. Not worthy of you, Mr Dever.
This is the skill to cast rudimentary spells, as are practiced by the battle-mages of Dessi.
Hang on – battle mages of Dessi?? PAIDO???
In a blatant example of false advertising, this has nothing whatsoever to do with either the quasi-scientific attempts to turn base metals into precious ones or the classic Dire Straits live album.
It rather describes the learning, from Banedon, of basic spells as used by the Guild of Toran. This includes “Lightning Hand”, “Levitation” and “Light Hand”.
In choosing Disciplines, this is where my possession of the Magnakai version of 10 of the 12 Disciplines comes into play. The Project Aon version of these books makes it quite clear that I am free to enjoy full benefits of pre-existing Disciplines, even if I don’t have their Grand Master equivalent.
That severely reduces the benefits of choosing Kai-Surge, Deliverance and Grand Weaponmastery.
Just for the novelty value, I pick Magi-magic and Kai-Alchemy. Pretty randomly, I also go with Grand Huntmastery and Grand Pathsmanship.
What could possibly go wrong?
Next post – Equipment and exposition!