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A trick for reprise applications of effects

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A small one, but a good one.

Let's say you cast a spell on someone and want a message to be shown when you cast it on him again. Or you use an item, e.g. a can of whoopass, and a message should appear when it is opened a second time. How do you that? Well, if you wanted to block the spell or item (more complicated), you could put a text string in the protection effect saying why it doesn't work. But you do want it to work, only the character needs to recognize this isn't the first time. What you can do is make a dud spell with no effects and cast it on the character alongside of and before everything else. You include a protection from this spell, temporary or not, in the main effects. The first time they are applied the dud spell will have already slipped in, but on subsequent tries you will get the message.

It could be "Hedgehog meat tastes better and better" or "Fireman's helmet is now properly positioned, lamp first" or "This time you'll be on top" - if you direct this to Original caster on attacks that hit. Put a dud spell and a protection from it, Original caster, in Magic Missile, above the damage, and the character will say "I think I'm getting the hang of this!" the next time he casts that spell on someone. Actually, he will always say it, which could get annoying. To avoid this include another protection effect, also for Original caster, but without text, and insert it above the texted protection. Give it a Delayed/Permanent timing and duration 0. Then you will only see the message once.

In principle, you could put some effects in these dud spells and have a whole ladder of them. Then the first time the item (for instance) would be used, it would put on the target subspells 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Subspell 1, going first, would apply blocks for subspells 2-7, deliver its effects, block itself for the future and finally remove the blocks for subspells 2-7. On the next use of the item subspell 2 would go through, block the others, deliver the effects, block itself, free 3-7. And so on. Here you obviously could include a different message for every application ("The fifth time the Crown is worn, wisdom shall abandon you"). This is probably not as original as the first trick, though, which is an easy way to display messages that are right for the situation.

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