Blessing and Cursing

Version 5
A File from Aayko's The Legends Corner

Pieces gathered from The Chronicler's Corner and other sources; with special thanks to Edi Birsan.

Contents:

The basics about Blesses and Curses

A) All Blesses and Curses work off the BASE values of a target character's Personal Combat, Tactics and Influence, the base values as they were at the time of casting.
B) They will result in blessed up values for those statistics only - the values appear between brackets {}. These values can be used in doing Diplomacy (via raised Influence) or in making war (via a raised Tactics for the commander of your army); but they can NOT be used for Training Soldiers (order T1).
C) Any increase in base values caused by spells that are cast before or after the Blessing will not be multiplied by the bless.
D) Modifiers to the base values from statusses are added before the effects of Bless take effect, and are thus multiplied by the bless; whether you had the status before the blessing or got it after the blessing is not important. Compare Rules Book p. 133 (Bless will work on the sum of Base values plus Status values).
E) Modifiers to the base values from items equipped at the time of blessing will not be multiplied by a bless. (However, some players will swear that INF modifiers provided by items IS multiplied by blesses, while PC of items is not.)
F) The OVERALL blesses/curses from ALL sources cannot exceed +100% or get below -85%. See Rules Book p. 133.
G) Blesses counter curses, and curses cancel blesses.
Example: If you had a level 13 Curse and received a level 15 Bless, then a net effect of a level 2 Bless would be the result. And this saldo is what is relevant. Note however, that both the curse and the bless are still operative 'under the surface', until production decline [see point I below] gets rid of both. This means that if someone comes along and slaps a level 20 Bless on you, you will only get a net result of a level 7 Bless - as the Curse is still there and only the maximum Bless spell counts [see below and Rules Books p. 133].
H) The message "you received a level X curse" means that it has the same effect as if someone did cast a Curse spell at you at X points above your Magical Resistance (MAR). Or in plain words: 1 level is 5%.
I) Blesses and Curses fade away by 3 levels (i.e. 15%) per Production.
J) Due to a little oddity in the system, blesses and curses only look at the absolute value of an attribute, and raises or decreases that. So if you had a attribute of -5, a full bless(!) would turn that into -10...
K) Curses do not only have a negative effect on attributes, but also on the outcome of most character actions (see final section below).

Effects of Blesses/Curses on attributes

It's perhaps good to linger a bit longer on points A to E:
Blesses work off of your 'Base' value (whatever the source of blessing: spells cast or items equipped).
1) Does this 'Base' value, over which the blessing is calculated, include the bonusses of the following things if they are equipped/present/cast BEFORE the blessing was done? Answers:
- items (activated or equipped): NO
- status: YES
- spells: NO
- titles: NO
Meaning that only additions by status will be multiplied by a bless (see Rules Book p. 133).
2) And if these were added [equipped, afflicted, cast] after the blessing, are their adds multiplied by a bless? Answers:
- items: NO
- status: YES
- spells: NO
- titles: NO
3) Summery: Blesses will work off of your 'pure' Base + status adds, but will not multiply up bonuses from Items, Titles or Spells. And it doesn't matter when the status is received, before or after the actual moment the bless was put on.

So calculate like this (for Personal Combat):
Take Base PC (the value to be seen by order V5)
Add in Status adds
Get total bless factors (from spells, items, etc)
Figure NEW PC with bless times (BASE+Status adds)
Add in item PC adds
Add in spell adds
Add in title adds
Effective PC results.

Some numerical examples:
[1] A hero with a base Personal Combat (PC) of 10 and two items equipped that give a +3 PC bonus each, will, after a Bless of 100%, have an effective PC of 26, not 32.
[2] A hero starting with: 'pure' Base PC of 12, Status add of +6 PC, Item add of +4 PC, Spell add of +3 PC, will have a total effective PC (reported on your printout) of 12+6+4+3=25. Someone comes along and gives the guy a 100% bless; the new Blessed up value will now be: 2*(12+6)+4+3=43 (reported on your printout between {}). If in this example the spell was not done then the value would be 40. If someone came along and added a spell of +3 after the bless then the new value would be 43. There is thus no 'before or after' difference.
[3] If you had a racial specific bonus to Influence, e.g. because a Turthian nomad racial adventure gives +20 to influencing Turthian nomads, and you do have a 100% bless, then that +20 bonus will be a straight add and will not get doubled by the bless.

Also look at the following Mentor Question from the Strategic Reserve, answered by Edi Birsan:
Q: What is the affect of bless items on increase tactics spells and statuses and bless spells in all combinations and conjunctions?
A: You just got to love these simple questions...where to start? The real question is a player has an item that gives him a bunch of free points towards increasing tactics. He also has an item that gives him a 100% bless. The question is: will the tactics after the spell be doubled by the bless so that in effect the bless affect multiplies up the spell values? (Actually even that question isn't so crystal clear and easy!)
This is what we have: a character has a base value of tactics from the wonderfulness of his set up and from those experiences he has lived to remember. Statuses that add to tactics such as Enchanted or the big time Centurion are values which are added to the Base. When a bless spell or a bless item increases the base + STATUS value by say 100% (or doubled) then only that base + status is increased. If a player comes along and pumps into his tactics the Increase Leadership spell of the Charm of Tactics spell then that increase will be only to 'Effective' or the value after the base and the bless have had their computations. In practical terms: if a player has a base tactics of 10 and a 100% bless item and a 6 point increase in tactics from spell points, then regardless of the sequence of events the ending number will be 26 composed of the Base 10 plus the 100% bless effect of an additional 10 and the final component of 6 from the tactics spell.

Sources of Blessing

There are three ways of getting blessed or cursed:
1) Via Spells that Bless/Curse
2) Via Bard Bless/Curse
3) Via Items that Bless/Curse
And of course you can become cursed by failed Spell Research...

ad.1) Blesses via Spell#214/215 are not additive; they function by the highest value of a single spell cast. They are individually capped at a maximum of 100% and a minimum of -85%. This means, that any spell points above 100% are lost. See p. 133. The effect is: 5%*(current level - MAR).

ad.2) Blesses via Bard Order S10 are not additive; they function by the highest value of a single blessing done. They are individually capped at a maximum of 100% and a minimum of -85%. In this case the MAR of the target plays no role, unlike with spells. The effect is about 3% per Bard level - 'about', for the formula is not linear! A possible approximation is (by Michael A. Keller, figured out before the new Rules Book came about):
below bard level 20 -> about (Bard level + 4)*2.5%
over bard level 25 -> about (Bard level - 4)*2.5%.
Designers hint that for low Bard levels the effect is around 5% per level, and for high Bard levels around 2.5-3%, however with +/- random rounding kicking in. The Rules Books contain a table at p. 216 to give an idea.
Note that a Bard's Bless is not always succesfull: there is approximately a 25% chance at bard level 5, a 50% chance at level 15 and a 75% chance of success at level 20; a chance of failure always remains. See again p. 216, for chances of success.

ad 1+2) A bless via a spell and a bless by a Bard order are, when combined, also not additive - you will get the highest value.

ad.3) Blesses via Items are additive and are individually not capped. What is the use of this, you may ask, if the Overall Bless is always capped at +100% anyhow [see point F]?? Well, if you have an item giving a 200% bless, then having that item in use/activated alone, the overall bless would indeed still be capped at 100% [and as such visible in the LPE], but the ‘excess' bless (in this case: 100%) from the item could be used to compensate a full-out curse by your enemy! This 'excess' is not visible in the LPE. As the maximum curse is 85%, this means that if you walk around with items that give a 185+ % bless, then no matter how your enemies curse you, you will always walk around 100% blessed. Note that several players indicate that also spells etc generate such an invisible 'excess' bless that can be used to compensate curses; so that if you cast a bless of, say, 40 effective mana, the result is capped at 100% bless (= ca 20 mana), but the excess is not lost but remains active on the background to compensate for curses and for the deterioration at production, meaning excess blesses can be useful to keep you 100% blessed for several months. This accepted player wisdom requires official confirmation, but is surely correct; it is unclear whether you can also 'excess' curse a character.
There are also items that give both a blessing and an addition to a base value. In such a case, these bonusses are added after the bless taking effect [cf. point E].
Example: if you started with a Base PC of 10, and you had an item that gave 100% bless and +5 Personal Combat (PC), then your Blessed up Effective PC would be 25, and not 30.

ad 1-3) A bless by an item and bless by a character-action (whether spell or bard order) are additive.

ERGO: item's blesses are an independent thing, both from other item's blesses (point 3) and from character action blesses (point 1-3), and are thus additive, whereas character action blesses (bless spell & Bard bless) are dependent of each other and thus are not additive (you get the highest value, see points 1, 2, and 1+2).

Effects of Blesses and Curses on Actions

Less known is that Curses, like wounds, also have a negative effect on nearly all Character actions (point K). They reduce your chances with:
* all covert actions [C 1-6,9,10,12]
* all diplomatic actons [D1-4]
* all study, practice and research actions [S1-2, S11]
Of course from a visualisation point of view this is perfectly logical! It's hard to concentrate with an arrow in your eye and ringing ears from all that swearing.....
Note that some special rules apply in this case:
1) Curses have a negative effect on most actions, but blesses do NOT have a positive effect in such cases. So there is an asymmetry here.
Example:
If you had a Curse of 13 levels and was given a bless of level 15, then a bless of level 2 is effective, which does not have any effect on your actions. In the reverse case the balance would be a curse of level 2, which would have a negative effect on your actions. So: the balance (net effect) is relevant; the underlying curse and bless are NOT applied seperately, i.e if you are both cursed and blessed, it is not so that the first has a negative effect, whereas the second has no effect - the balance counts for your actions.
2) As said under point G, Blesses counter Curses. However this is primairily valid for Bless spells versus Curse spells. So if someone cursed you, you can bless yourself to prevent getting any negative results on your character actions. The same if you got a Curse from failed Spell Research, then you can negate this by a Bless spell. But there is one major (and illogical) exception: if you got a curse from failed Research, then you can NOT negate that by the Bless from an ITEM!