A follow-up to my previous question:

If I learn the Sunbolt spell and cast it directly, I would then use the Innate Attack (Beam) skill (B. 201) in order to attack with it (though I think what follows applies equally to spells that use the Projectile specialization). The description for Innate Attack (Beam) says it works with:

Any energy blast, magical jet, etc. emitted from the hands.

The item description for the Sunbolt spell (GURPS Magic 114) says:

the bolt is fired from the tip of the item.

which makes sense... but that isn't emitted from the hands, and the attack isn't really "innate" if it comes from an item! So do I still roll against Innate Attack (Beam) to hit with my staff of Sunbolt? Calling it a new specialization of Beam Weapons also seems plausible, though a staff of Sunbolt doesn't really have a TL, which Beam Weapons normally does. Do the rules say anything about what skill to use?


1 Answer 1


Innate Attacks are specialized by type and method, in this case a projectile bolt. However other spells may be breath attacks and require IA Breath and so forth. Some spells/powers may say Any in which you can IA Vision, IA Belly Button, etc.

My GURPS Magic (144) says in the first paragraph, in the spell description of the spell "Shoot a bolt of concentrated sunlight from one fingertip." ... in the "ITEM" section it says "Staff or wand; the bolt is fired from the tip of the item."

So you have a choice ... are you going to use a "Sunbolt Wand" that emits the pewpew laser from the tip or cast the spell yourself. If that isn't clear, imagine your friend is a mage and she doesn't know any light spells, you give her the wand (800e/$1000, merry christmas). Now she fires pew pew lasers from it. Then you can pew pew lasers from your finger tip (because you know the spell)

GURPS Magic (19) details using magic items. (note wands extend spell range by 1y, staff by 2y for purposes of range and can act as touch if you so desire to not get you hands dirty) A lot of "touch" spells, think paralyze, you might want to attack with your staff rather than touch. Note that this isn't a magic staff ... you would be using the Staff spell to make the staff (or rod, wand, etc) to be an extension of your touch. (p13, p70)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, this adds some context, but I don't think it answers the question. Within the narrative of this answer, my question is: when my mage friend who doesn't know any light spells uses the Sunbolt wand to pew pew lasers, what skill does she roll against to hit with the pew pew? Is it still Innate Attack even though the attack isn't "innate" and doesn't come from her hands? \$\endgroup\$
    – mactyr
    Jan 5, 2022 at 14:42

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