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-   -   Should all spells be equally easy to learn? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=158437)

Rick_Smith 07-11-2018 06:19 PM

Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
Hi all,
Some talents are easy to learn, (Horsemanship for example) and others are hard (Artist / Calligrapher).

In the Experience thread, Steve wrote:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2182168)
... Learning New Spells and Talents
Each new spell or talent learned costs 100 XP – or 200 for talents marked (2) in the listing, or 300 for those marked (3). It does not matter how many spells or talents you already know. ...

Thus, spells ALWAYS take 100 XP to learn, but talents can cost up to 3 times that.

WHY?

***

I would think that intellectually, learning a spell that twists reality; which can make the laws of physics sit up, beg, roll over, and play dead, would be harder than learning how to do artistry / calligraphy.

A spell could be written thus:
IQ 13
S Touch of Death (2)
When the wizard touches his or her victim...

(So touch of Death would be a Special spell which is twice as hard as a normal spell to learn.)

The spell would still fit in a single memory slot (or perhaps not, artist / calligraphy takes 3 memory slots after all).

Further there are a few spells that I think are too powerful or problematic in some way. (Discussed in next post.)


This thread is for discussing should some spells be harder to learn, if some spells should take up more than one memory slot, and talking about if some spells are too powerful and or problematic for some reason.

Warm regards, Rick.

Rick_Smith 07-11-2018 06:36 PM

Is the Trance Spell ideal?
 
Hi all,
The IQ 16 spell, Trance costs 10 fatigue ST (fST) to cast and gets to ask a yes / no question to the GM.

There are a few thing about this, I don't like:

-- It is the only real scrying spell in TFT. A few more would be welcome.

-- It is unlike scrying spells in fantasy fiction. I've never seen a fantasy novel where a wizard casts a spell repeatedly in order to play a game of 20 questions. It does not feel magical.

-- It is too powerful. A dictator can spend 10 fST and ask, "Is Joe planning to betray me?" I want magic that detects loyalty to be difficult and unreliable.

-- It is too powerful. With a bunch of apprentices the wizard can cast this spell again and again. "Is my enemy, the wizard Zapper, north of the river Middlewash?" "Is Zapper east of Dwarfton? Is Zapper north of the Ironhills? ...

-- The spell is too powerful. There is ZERO chance that the GM will give incorrect information.

-- The spell is too powerful. There is no way to shield against a Trance with some sort of Scry guard spell.

***

Some suggestions:
-- Remove Trance. Replace it with more limited and interesting scrying spells.
-- Make it so Trance (3) is three times more expensive than normal spells, in order to make it rarer.
-- Make it so that Trance costs the wizard damage rather than fatigue (like the Death Spell).
-- Make it so that Trance can only be cast every so often. (Once per hour or once per day.)

Discussion is welcome.

Warm regards, Rick.

Rick_Smith 07-11-2018 06:44 PM

Insubstantiality - Make harder to learn.
 
Hi all,
I've never been fond of the Insubstantiality spell. Wizard casts it and sticks his head thru doors to see what is on other side. Wizard walks thru walls to avoid high security check points, etc. etc.

It is an IQ 17 spell, cost 4 fatigue ST (fST) to cast and 2 fST per turn to maintain. So I don't feel it is too cheap, or unbalanced. IQ 17 spells should rock and double maintenance cost is significant.

But I find that its use makes easy, a lot of things that I (as a GM) would prefer to stay hard.

So I suggest that this spell, could be made:

IQ 17
T Insubstantiality (2)
... and so, requires double effort to learn. (If it is decided that such spells require two memory IQ slots, that would not hurt my feelings either).

Discussion is welcome.

Rick

Rick_Smith 07-11-2018 06:50 PM

Detect Enemies - Tweak?
 
Hi all,
The simple spell Detect Enemies is IQ 10, and costs only 3 fatigue ST to cover a wide area. It finds life with "general or specific hostile intent".

The way this is worded it could be used by a Dictator to find out if Joe is loyal. There is no chance of getting incorrect information.

***

I prefer that loyalty spells are difficult and unreliable.

I suggest that this spell will only detect imminent violence. So if Joe is not loyal to the Dictator the spell misses him. But if Joe is currently planning immediate violence, (say within the next minute), then the spell would kick in.

With this one tweak, I am happy. I don't feel further adjustments are needed to the spell.

Discussion?

Warm regards, Rick.

Wayne 07-11-2018 08:08 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
I don’t mind some tweaking of effects of spells but I’d be really reluctant to change the point cost of spells.

Keep it simple 1 spell - 1 point.

CarWarsE 07-11-2018 08:51 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
In general, I think higher costs for some spells would be appropriate. In particular, I'd like to see a change to Remove Thrown Spell. It just seems too easy to remove an opponent's +5 armor protection or some similar thing for only 2 ST. I'm inclined to think that removing enchantments should either be a separate spell, or more difficult to throw on more strongly enchanted items.

Rick_Smith 07-11-2018 09:29 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CarWarsE (Post 2191147)
In general, I think higher costs for some spells would be appropriate. In particular, I'd like to see a change to Remove Thrown Spell. It just seems too easy to remove an opponent's +5 armor protection or some similar thing for only 2 ST. I'm inclined to think that removing enchantments should either be a separate spell, or more difficult to throw on more strongly enchanted items.

Hi CarWarsE, Everyone.
The wording of Remove Thrown Spells (RTSpells) could use some tweaking. It says, "...Has no effect on spells other than Thrown type, on magical items, or on the Spell Shield."

By this wording, I take it to mean that RTSpells, can not effect magic items, nor can it effect the Spell Shield spell.

But what about items that replicate Thrown Spell effects? If an item costs 1 fatigue ST per turn to cast a Stone Flesh on me, (a thrown spell), is the spell broken until more fST is spent to power it? I assume that the RTSpells won't destroy the enchantment, but what about the spell the enchantment casts?

EDIT:
Excuse me CarWarsE, I forgot about the rule hidden away on AW page 37, under "De–Enchanting Magical Items", where it says, "Remove Thrown Spells will negate the Weapon/Armor Enchantment (w/ae) bonuses to DX, damage or hits stopped, but will not affect magic items created by other spells." This rule is repeated on page 38 under "Destruction of Magic Items". These two rules in the back, contradict the spell write up in Remove Thrown Spells, which says that that spell does not effect magic items.


The Lesser and Greater Magic Item Creation spells are not really like the other creation spells (they are special spells for one thing), so I changed their names to "Lesser Magic Item Enchantment" (LMIE) and "Greater Magic Item Enchantment" (GMIE) spells. The Enchantment spell, w/ae is a thrown spell, but it made more sense to me as be a special spell like LMIE and GMIE. (For one thing, it has enchantment in its name. For another thing, it is unique in that it is the only Thrown spell that has a permanent effect. Basically it didn't feel very Thrown Spell like, to me.) Once I made it a special spell, it stopped being effected by Remove Thrown Spells.

So in my campaign Remove Thrown Spells does not affect the items made with w/ae.

Anyway, I agree with you. Disenchanting a magic item with an IQ 14 spells for only 2 fST seems weird to me. It is extra confusing because the spell write up contradicts the later rules.

Warm regards, Rick.

tomc 07-11-2018 09:42 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick_Smith (Post 2191162)
Hi CarWarsE, Everyone.
The wording of Remove Thrown Spells (RTSpells) could use some tweaking. It says, "...Has no effect on spells other than Thrown type, on magical items, or on the Spell Shield."

By this wording, I take it to mean that RTSpells, can not effect magic items, nor can it effect the Spell Shield spell.

But what about items that replicate Thrown Spell effects? If an item costs 1 fatigue ST per turn to cast a Stone Flesh on me, (a thrown spell), is the spell broken until more fST is spent to power it? I assume that the RTSpells won't destroy the enchantment, but what about the spell the enchantment casts?

Warm regards, Rick.

I always played it that an item doesn't actually cast a spell, just conveys the benefit, so remove thrown spells has no effect on a stone flesh ring.

John Brinegar 07-11-2018 10:48 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CarWarsE (Post 2191147)
In general, I think higher costs for some spells would be appropriate. In particular, I'd like to see a change to Remove Thrown Spell. It just seems too easy to remove an opponent's +5 armor protection or some similar thing for only 2 ST. I'm inclined to think that removing enchantments should either be a separate spell, or more difficult to throw on more strongly enchanted items.

Removing enchantments is a separate spell: Dissolve Enchantment (IQ 17), which has an immense ST cost (100 to dissolve Greater Magic Item Creation, 50 for Lesser).

John Brinegar 07-11-2018 11:00 PM

Re: Should all spells be equally easy to learn?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick_Smith (Post 2191162)
EDIT:
Excuse me CarWarsE, I forgot about the rule hidden away on AW page 37, under "De–Enchanting Magical Items", where it says, "Remove Thrown Spells will negate the Weapon/Armor Enchantment (w/ae) bonuses to DX, damage or hits stopped, but will not affect magic items created by other spells." This rule is repeated on page 38 under "Destruction of Magic Items". These two rules in the back, contradict the spell write up in Remove Thrown Spells, which says that that spell does not effect magic.

The fact that Remove Thrown Spell will negate Weapon/Armor Enchantment is mentioned at the end of the W/AE description, where it also says that "the bonuses on a multiply-enchanted item must be removed one at a time." So to wipe out a +5 would take 5 successful castings of the spell. That's 10 ST and at least 5 turns.


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