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Discussion Main / UselessUsefulSpell

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Jul 1st 2017 at 12:05:51 PM •••

I think the list of nearly 20 possible cases in the main body might be a bit much. About half of them could be simplified down to something like:

"The spell is so inefficient (doesn't do enough damage, takes too long to cast, requires a contrived setup, etc.) that players are better off using other abilities."

Jan 29th 2015 at 8:59:59 AM •••

Are folders broken, or is it just me? Can't understand why only the "tabletop games" one works.

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Jan 29th 2015 at 11:58:27 AM •••

That videogame folder is much too large.

May 2nd 2014 at 1:56:45 PM •••

How much natter about Dungeons & Dragons is officially 'too much'? I don't want to wipe out all that hard work, but it seems like "Played straight in AD&D; subverted in 3rd Edition; rarely found in 4th edition" sums it up.

Aug 22nd 2013 at 9:38:20 AM •••

Reason number six:

The spell is incapable of actually killing an enemy. Percent Damage Attack and HP to 1 attacks, for example, require a follow-up normal attack to deal the killing blow.
makes no sense. As long as none of the other reasons apply, there is nothing useless about an attack that reduces a target's hit points to zero, or even reduces them by some lesser percentage. Just because a certain attack doesn't kill the target outright doesn't mean that it was useless. So I am removing that reason.

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Aug 22nd 2013 at 10:20:34 AM •••

It should definitely stay, but be edited to mention that it only applies "when normal attacks/spells are strong enough to deal similar damage, but with the chance to kill on the first blow."

Also there should be a reference to reason number 1, since they never work against bosses.

Jan 15th 2012 at 9:26:13 PM •••

Is this purely for magic or can useless sci-fi abilities in games be added to the list?

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Apr 10th 2012 at 2:16:27 PM •••

It's a game mechanic. It works for sci-fi stuff too, but only if it's an equivalent sort of weapon.

Feb 7th 2011 at 10:26:08 AM •••

Can someone clarify what this trope is about? I've seen examples of useless spells and useful (without being useless) spells (with no 'aversion' stamp)

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Feb 8th 2011 at 9:10:23 AM •••

If I understand it correctly, it is about spells or other actions or items, whose use is very situative: they're mostly useless, but quite important or powerful for a certain purpose.

Feb 8th 2011 at 9:29:33 AM •••

It's about spells that should be useful, but for various reasons are not. Like status spells in RPG's, for example. All the garden variety mooks are susceptible to them, but those enemies are the ones you don't really need them to beat. The enemies you would really like to blind/silence/slow/poison, like bosses, tend to be immune to them as a matter of course.

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