Some rule clarifications, via a questionnaire from Sam Flegal.


One of the problems with being an indie publisher is balancing new projects, revisiting old ones, and normal life stuff (like the day job, or even just taking a day off). Especially when you are the designer, writer, and artist for your system. All that being said, SagaBorn already needs an Errata, and I just haven’t had to time get it out.

But this week, Sam Flegal, who is one of our own SagaBorn artists and a world renowned norse/fantasy artist, is joining my playtest group.  And it turns out he likes to jump right in, figure out how to break a system, and then create a fun character that ignores those problems. So he has sent along a bunch of questions, and I figured i would answer them publicly so it may answer other peoples questions.

Q&A with Mike and Sam

A Ranged Touch Attack can Crit on the roll of a 20. This doubles the dice used in the spell the same as a weapon. At least that’s how it works in pathfinder. Is it the same in Sagaborn?
Yes, but that also means one can have a critical fumble with a spell as well.
Assuming it is, does the talent Expanded Critical effect Ranged Touch Attacks?
Under Legacy Items it talks about weapons gaining a higher crit range could a spell caster have a wand that improved the crit range of their Ranged Touch Attack spells?
I would say that it could expand the crit range of a specific spell. The legacy weapon only gives bonuses to items shot with that legacy item, so I would say that a legacy magic item could do the same for a single spell or spell like ability.
Deflect Arrows, Disperse Magic, and Parry all use a Heroic Action to avoid an attack. But it doesn’t say what the rolls are? Is it a simple d20 no mods? For Deflect Arrows is it the attackers range attack vs your attack? How does it work?
Heroic actions are normally based on physical ability bonuses. So Deflect arrows could be the defenders DEX bonus vs the Attackers DEX bonus on the Heroic Actions d20 roll. Parry I would say would be physical abilities as well. For Disperse Magic, I would say that the defender would get to choose from any ability (since I could see arguments for all those abilities) and the Attacker, since they are using magic, would use their Spellcasting Ability.
Can the talent Stunning Strike be used in conjunction with a Ranged Touch Attack?
Can the talent Weapon Specialty be used for Ranged Touch Attacks gaining +1 to attack and damage/effect?
For my games, I would say no. I could see other GMs seeing this as ok.
Some spells like Expeditious Retreat list a (D) after duration. What does that mean?
In D20 that (D) means that the spell can be dismissed by the caster. I feel like that is pretty evident but the types of spell that they are, but D20 is very thorough in their ruleset, and honestly I missed some of these things as we converted D20 SRD over to SagaBorn.
Xavian’s Warding Armor has a duration of Instant. This makes the armor worthless as it will only last for the characters action, not even last a full round. I assume this is a typo, so what is the duration for this spell?
Yes, the first typo I was aware of. Duration is 1 hour per caster level.
Shield Other allows the caster to take half damage for the target. If the caster has some form of Damage Reduction either from the talent or legacy item, is the damage he takes reduced by his DR?
Yes, DR would come into effect.
When last we talked you mentioned that when a character takes ability damage they get a -1 per point of damage. So -4 to CON would result in -4 HP per level, a -4 to FORT save, etc… We discussed that this might upset game balance. You said this was an understood rule you’ve adopted, but not a rule in your book yet. Does this affect NPCs the same way as players?
My other question is does this work the same when gaining temporary ability bonuses? For example the spell Bull’s Strength gives 1d4+1 STR points. Lets say the result is a +4 to STR, in a normal game that’s a +2 to attack and damage, but using the simplified method that’s a +4 to attack and damage, a significant difference.
One of the spells I plan to take is Ray of Enfeeblement. After reading the full spell rules I understand that the following is possible. Spell costs 1 mana, I can add 2 mana to gain another d6 per the rules under casting a spell, I can also add another d6 with the Empower Spell talent. That results in 3d6+1 STR damage for 4 mana and a ranged touch attack. Assuming a hit the average STR damage is 11. A -11 STR is crippling to most fighters, but it could be a -5 to attack and damage or a -11.
Yeah, this seems a little over the top. I think we need to abide by the D20 rules for Ability Loss. We can discuss this more, and maybe open it up on the facebook group to see how others feel.
After using Charm Person is the target aware they were charmed? Are they aware if they fail the initial save? What if they pass, do they know a spell was attempted on them?
Yes they would be aware of what they did, and would be puzzled as to why they did it. And in my games, if they passed, I would have them do an Awareness check to see if they notice.
How useful is Identify? My understanding is that each character gets but one magic item, their legacy item. Do PCs encounter other items in play? Can you have more than one magic item?
By level 8, you will have 3 Legacy items. There are other items in the game that are magic for sure. In fact I have been adding to a book of magic items as we play (I wish I had more time in the day!). Identify can be very helpful.
In the spell list Alter Self says it works as “Change Self.” There is no spell I can find called Change Self.
Errata will change this to: Alter Self As Disguise, plus more drastic changes.
In the spell list Arcane Guard says “+1 per 3 levels.” In the spell description it says “+1 per 4 levels.” Which is correct?
It is per 4 levels.
I have just exported the current errata as a PDF and it is available below:
Thanks everyone! And keep adventuring!

About Michael Bielaczyc

Artist, Fiction Author, Founder, Game Writer