Song of Unravelling (1013)
Song of Unravelling will dispel a targeted spell or random spell on a target, if available. A penalty to the target's warding attempt is based on the singer's Bard Base ranks. Targeted attempts do not receive the full benefit of this bonus, are more difficult to achieve versus spiritual spells, and are progressively harder against higher level spells. Arcane Decoy (1701) makes targeted attempts even more difficult, and will be targeted first if Song of Unravelling is untargeted. Only Bards may use the targeted version of this spell.
- The spell does not always take 13 mana upon casting at a target wearing Out-of-Sphere spells. It appears that the Out-of-Sphere penalty is applied as though the spell were being renewed--to include the 'base cost' being only the 4 mana cost of a renew--even when starting the Song against a new target. (i.e. If you 'prep Unravel/cast stone troll', a creature that uses Ranger spells, the mana cost to take down the first one may well be only 8 or 9 mana [== 4 renewal cost +4 or +5 for the Out-of-Sphere & level difficulty of the spell affected].) Estild confirmed in December 2016 that while it may be a bug, it had been operating that way for 10+ years and so it was being considered "working as intended".
If no spells are active on the targeted player or creature, the song will try to drain mana from the target. The amount of mana drained per attempt is based on the singer's Bard Base ranks. The amount of mana recovered is based on the singer's Bard Base ranks and Mental Mana Control skill.
Versus a magic item, the song will drain charges from the item and convert to mana. The same factors apply. Mana from non-elemental sources will be less efficient than from elemental sources.
Unlike other mana draining spells, Song of Unravelling allows the singer to exceed their normal maximum mana, and there is no similar recovery period during which mana cannot be drained. Caution is advised, though, as too far over the normal maximum will result in a potentially fatal magical backlash. The 'safe' maximum appears to be +50%, based on one accident and one death-by-research. (The accident was a character with ~100 mana going above 150, and died. The test server being open allowed a test on a character with 249 base mana, and draining to at least 366 left him still alive; the next drain killed him, and +50% would be 373 mana.) So Bards are warned, when draining to over their maximum.
4 mana (MP), adjusted for the target's spell circle and spell level.
- This song does not auto-renew, only manually.
- If the song is dispelling random spells or draining mana from a character/creature/object, it may be manually renewed for the duration of the song and will continue to target the original target.
- Out-of-Sphere (i.e. "Spirit") spells typically require more mana, depending on the level of the spell. 6, 8, or 9 mana renewal costs are not unusual when facing Ranger-, Cleric-, or Paladin-based opponents.
- While targeting specific spells from a target, the spell is not renewable at all (i.e. one cast, one attempt).
- If the Bard's medley renews while Unravel is active, the spell benefit stops, but the spell itself is still considered running; the Bard must 'stop Unravel' (or wait out the remainder of the duration) before being able to cast it again, at the same or a different target.
Against an adventurer
A siren begins singing a sweet song. A siren focuses a soothing melody towards you! CS: +402 - TD: +348 + CvA: +15 + d100: +35 == +104 Warding failed! You hear a strange resonating hum, and you sense one of your spells slipping away! The white light leaves you. The very powerful look leaves you. With great skill, the siren removes one of the chords from her harmony while maintaining the symmetry of those that remain.
Draining a wand
You sing a melody, directing the sound of your voice at a twisted wand. Faintly visible threads of mana begin to unravel themselves from the twisted wand and wind towards you. Mana washes over you like a soaked sponge! You struggle to maintain control over the surge in power! You gain 1 mana! The wand begins to shake violently and disintegrates into a thousand tiny particles of dust! The faint tendrils quickly dissipate.
Item that cannot be Unraveled:
You sing a melody, directing the sound of your voice at a golden scroll. The scroll buzzes and vibrates for a moment then stops.
Behind the Scenes: Tactical Considerations
While certainly it is most commonly thought of as a targeted removal spell, this can be a powerful addition to the toolbox for any Pure spellcasting Bards to make use of... although finding the correct target is key, depending on the area hunted. Some samples:
- On the glacier near the Landing, arctic titans and frost giants have nearly the same mana to be drained--around three dozen each--but one typically wears from 2-4 spells and the other does not. Drain from the target that one need not spend a dozen seconds in front of before getting to the mana core.
- In the Sheruvian Monastery through the runestone, neither the initiates nor the monks wear any spells at all, and they are in robes/no armor; very easy to hit with spells. Each of these has about 40 mana available.
- On the lower slopes of Thanatoph, again: stone trolls wear no spells, and stone giants do. Both have weapons to be targets for Vibration Chant/1002, as well.
- On Wehntoph, the lesser minotaurs have both weapons (VibChant) and mana available. Sadly, the yeti nearby have neither. The slightly more difficult classed minotaurs (warrior & magus) typically have a little more mana, but not enough to be attractive as Unravel targets.
- In the Red Forest, Treekin Warriors can be relied on for about 40 mana, while the Druids have 99 available to be pulled by a Bard. If you see a Druid gen in your room, slap Unravel on him before he gets a chance to layer spells in front, which will cost you time & mana while you renew peeling them off. A warrior will occasionally uproot a tree to use as a weapon, as a VibChant target.
- And again, in the Bowels of Thanatoph: elders and jarls both wear 5-10 spells. However, the earth elementals (both sizes) can be relied on for 40 mana, while the greater krynches can have 90+. Normally all three of those creatures are spell-less, though there will infrequently be one spell on them. Factoring out the costs of casting & renewing, a Bard can easily reap 50-60 mana from the krynch even on low rolls, and when low on mana this is a bargain.
(As an additional bonus, if a casting creature preps a spell and is then drained completely by a Bard, the spell will never get cast but be allowed to time out. And when the prepared spell is then lost, the creature will take nervous damage.)