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I recently got my hands on the Legend System, and I'm trying to digest its inner workings to conduct a game of it.

I'm having trouble understanding how the ability Giants in Iron, from the Mechanist Savant Track, works:

Giants in Iron

As an immediate action, any ally within your Assemblage can choose an active Generator or Hunger spread you created. If that ally does, that ally may create a 45 ft radius Decimation spread originating from target square of that ally’s choice within your [Medium] range of the square from which the chosen spread originates, then you end the chosen spread and gain one automaton.

Whenever an ally creates a Decimation spread, if that spread did not end, that spread deals damage to each opponent within its area equal to your character level. For each opponent in that spread, as a [Dispelling] effect, the ally that created it ends up to one effect of that its choice created by a spell or spell-like ability that has a duration and that originates from that opponent or targeted that opponent. End that spread. (You are your own ally.)

Up to now, the system seemed rather easy to understand, but this ability blew my mind. How is this supposed to work? I can't make heads nor tails of it!

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Oh god, that’s complicated. There are several layers here, and once you understand what’s going on, this should be pretty simple to actually run, but the understanding is hard.

Effectively, to quote one of the Legend devs: “the gist is that an ally blows up a Generator or Hunger spread as an immediate action. Said explosion deals damage and dispels.”

To work through how you come to that...

First, this ability can be invoked by any ally. Note that you are your own ally. I’m going to call whoever activated this ability the “invoking ally.”

So, we have an active Generator or Hunger spread of the invoking ally’s choice. All spreads originate from some square, so whichever Generator or Hunger spread you choose, there is a square that it originates from. I’m going to call that square the “chosen spread’s origin.”

Then, we have “your [Medium] range,” which is to say, the [Medium] range of the Mechanist Savant, not of the invoking ally. That distinction only matters if you have different levels.

Next, note that the chosen spread goes away, and we get an extra automaton. That is to say, this effect is replacing the chosen spread.

Finally, we get to the heart of the matter: Giants in Iron is creating a 45-ft. radius Decimation spread. As a spread, it also has an origin: specifically, it originates from any square within the Mechanist Savant’s [Medium] range of the chosen spread’s origin.

In effect, you replace a Generation or Hunger spread with a 45-ft. radius Decimation spread. The new Decimation spread’s origin must be within your [Medium] range of the replaced Generation or Hunger spread’s origin.

What does a Decimation spread do? Each opponent in the Decimation spread:

  1. takes damage equal to the Mechanist Savant’s level

  2. has one spell or spell-like ability effect of the invoking ally’s choice [Dispelled]

Then the new Decimator spread immediately ends, i.e. it’s more of an explosion than an on-going zone effect.

That said, I have to be honest: I have no idea what the clauses “if that spread did not end” refers to in the second paragraph. Apparently there was some obscure infinite loop that was prevented by that clause?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "if that spread did not end" is noted because it is possible based on this wording to use the Decimation spread to end itself, thereby preventing it from dealing any damage, but still using the [Dispelling] effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Grubermensch Jul 17 '14 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ "end that spread" seems to assert that the Decimation spread is an instantaneous effect, not an ongoing spread like the others in Mechanist Savant. \$\endgroup\$ – Grubermensch Jul 17 '14 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ This... yeah, it seens easy to run but otherwordly to understand. If I got it right, them, your Hunger Spread (Let's say, a swarm of flying nanobots) "enter in sync" with the ally and becomes a bigger, deadlyer "Swarm of Decimating Nanobots" that deals damage and dispells one effect from each oponent? Why the name is "Giants In Iron"? \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Jul 17 '14 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Re-reading again, it seens that you dispells only one effect, no matter how many opponents are in the spread, so your point 2 makes more sense now. God, that's hard to digest >.>" \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Jul 17 '14 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThalesSarczuk No, it's one per opponent. It says "For each opponent..." \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 17 '14 at 16:40

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