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Old 07-21-2019, 02:19 AM   #31
Shoug
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about here. When did I say they didn't recharge their staffs? Where did you get the sarcastic dismissal that followed?

Seems like something you could either a) explain better and with a less hostile delivery, or b) delete.
Earlier in the thread you talked about how you used to use Mana based entirely on your IQ to cast spells. All I did was point out that, by current ITL RAW, that's the equivalent of having a fully charged level 2 manastaff. Which is probably why you "...had staffs that could store mana too, and never found it necessary." It's been my confusion this whole thread, that nobody who's tried it seems to think that completely replacing ST with IQ as the casting resource is an unbalancing idea. I didn't mean for there to be any hostility at all, and I don't feel like deleting it because it might get people to discuss the whole "free mana" thing that apparently everybody did back in the day.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:12 AM   #32
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: IQ to power spells

I used to allow Wizards to have "Stones of Power" to help them power spells, I think I got the idea from Runequests power crystals. Most of these were one-use stones, they burned out when their ST was spent. Re-useable stones were rare and very valuable.

Power stones were useful treasure to give, especially the single use ones, as they didn't imbalance the game long term.

For the record, I don't like the idea of IQ powering spells.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:50 AM   #33
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Shoug View Post
Earlier in the thread you talked about how you used to use Mana based entirely on your IQ to cast spells. All I did was point out that, by current ITL RAW, that's the equivalent of having a fully charged level 2 manastaff. Which is probably why you "...had staffs that could store mana too, and never found it necessary."
I think you misunderstood what JLV meant by "it" in that quote - he was talking about not finding the 3-die maximum on missile spells to be necessary, even with (whatever source of) extra mana available.

To which I'd add my own experience about missile spells, which was that we too didn't find powerful missile spells to be something we wanted to change. Yes, it means in some cases a wizard can blast the heck out of something. On the other hand, it also means he can blow a lot of mana on one spell, and since we allowed a target who had not acted yet and who saw it coming to declare a Dodge action at that point (so 4/DX to hit), it was generally not a game-dominating kind of thing. Especially in a campaign roleplaying context, where wizards are 1 in 300, powerful wizards less than that, and they tend to have other interests and want to stay alive, not just be fireball munchkins.

I might also note that while GURPS Magic 1e started with a 3-die limit on all missile spells, in has in later editions evolved to 3 dice for every level of magery, which tends to be available up to level 6, or at least 3, so 18 dice... again, possibly partly because GURPS also has some useful Dodge options.


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Originally Posted by Shoug View Post
It's been my confusion this whole thread, that nobody who's tried it seems to think that completely replacing ST with IQ as the casting resource is an unbalancing idea.
Well I have tried using IQ for mana, and various other modes of play where there's lots of mana. I've also written in past threads about what I see as the various balance issues with using IQ for mana. I just kind of gave up on repeating myself on that point.


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... it might get people to discuss the whole "free mana" thing that apparently everybody did back in the day.
No, not everybody gave out any kind of free mana back in the day. In our non-experimental games, the only sources of extra mana were apprentices casting Aid, Drain ST, and ST Batteries (now called Powerstones). Only the powerful/wealthy wizards had ST batteries, though some of those who did had some evilly powerful ones, which tended to be a focus of attention and adventures and tactics since it enables a lot of stuff to be done.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:31 AM   #34
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoug View Post
It's been my confusion this whole thread, that nobody who's tried it seems to think that completely replacing ST with IQ as the casting resource is an unbalancing idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
For the record, I don't like the idea of IQ powering spells.
Whoever went off on that long Missile Spell tangent is entirely to blame for any confusion in this thread, and he should be... oh wait. That was me. Apologies to all, and I have deducted 25 XP from my record sheet.

Let me try to back up here and address a couple of those on-point comments.

My main purpose in using an IQ based stat to power spells wouldn't be to have more powerful wizards or any more power for spells. It's to separate spell casting from self-inflicted damage. Although the hits against ST for casting a spell do "heal" faster than other wounds, we all know most melees don't last nearly as long as the 180 turns it takes for a wizard to recover even 1 ST point of fatigue, and longer than that if they still have to stop and defend themselves and their party. Every spell cast, even a failed one, is one step closer to death for a wizard. Most would agree wizards, especially starting ones, are anemic, and you can't even offer them more iron to fix it :) So there is already a certain imbalance in the system in this regard, and a house rule that tips the scale the other way could also be construed as stabilizing rather than upsetting. The clear and obvious way is to charge heroes 1 point of fatigue for every sword swing... well no one wants that!

Spell costs still have to be paid, but if not using ST what else? The most underutilized attribute is IQ (starting heroes don't even have an IQ in Melee) so that seems to be a good place to start. I think it's the best, but if you don't like it, there's more than one way to skin this cat.

If you don't want to fund the mana pool from IQ, fund it from ST instead. Let the starting Mana stat (my group called it MV) be set equal to ST instead. Going forward tally wound and mundane fatigue hits in the ST box, and tally power spent on spells against the MV box. The ST attribute and the MV stat simply stay separate from then on (until the ST attribute itself goes up one, then the MV would automatically go up one as well). Now wizards function just like heroes, but their weapons are their spells. Wizards do not presently function that way under the RAW, although that sure seems to have been the intent. And by initializing the MV stat based on ST, the mage has exactly as much power to spend on spells as they did in the RAW, they just aren't killing themselves for doing it any more than the fighters wound themselves with their own weapons.

It wouldn't have to be ST either, or ST alone. You could use the average of the other three attributes. You could average ST and IQ. Or you could just make it a fixed number, say 10. Then though nothing would differentiate bad, good, and better wizards from each other. What really makes a wizard better at being a wizard is still IQ, which is one reason I would rather base my MV stat on IQ. And there are others.

Like I mentioned above, I find IQ to be the least used attribute in the RAW. Sure, talents give IQ a bit more purpose, but ironically talents are less applicable to wizards; under the RAW, they can't afford much in that regard (there's a solution for that too, but that's a whole other topic).

Look at it this way. DX is multi-purpose. It functions as the stat for agility, for accuracy, for speed in combat, and for reactions of all kinds. ST is a four-pronged attribute: it's Health, it's Endurance, it's the Brute Strength that determines the size of the weapons you can use, and it's Magical Power all at the same time. It's really doing the jobs of four attributes. Whereas IQ only does two jobs: it regulates memory capacity (the number of things you can learn), and complexity (the difficulty of the things you can learn). It's so weak heroes don't even need the stat in Melee. Even when they have it, they rarely ever need to use it in combat.

If any function is going to be transferred from one attribute to another, it makes much more sense to me to move something from ST to IQ. IQ is really the logical thing to use for powering what is primarily the mental activity of spell casting. A wizard just can't really be good at wizardry with a ST higher than IQ, but under the RAW they need all the ST they can get to stay alive in combat. I love the idea that the natural attribute they use in their jobs should be the actual attribute they use... in their jobs! All the more in the job of magical combat.

There is now I don't know how many spells for a wizard to choose from. How many of those do we actually see in play? There's a lot of colorful, interesting spells in the tables, going back to Advanced Wizard, and even some from original Wizard, I've never seen used in play, and I played continuously for almost 20 years. I think the reason for that is because wizards are discouraged from increasing their IQ's to begin with, resulting in what we often call the Conan the Wizard syndrome. That puts higher level spells out of reach. Wizard's with higher IQs (and DX) are too anemic to cast many of the spells they do know, and rarely cast the more expensive ones. Isn't the game more fun when wizards don't have to be quite as conservative?

The one real point of imbalance, perhaps the only one, in basing a mana stat on IQ rather than something smaller was the Missile Spells. But SJ already fixed that in the current edition, so it's no longer a problem. But don't let me go off on that tangent again :)
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:47 AM   #35
JLV
 
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Default Re: IQ to power spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoug View Post
Earlier in the thread you talked about how you used to use Mana based entirely on your IQ to cast spells. All I did was point out that, by current ITL RAW, that's the equivalent of having a fully charged level 2 manastaff. Which is probably why you "...had staffs that could store mana too, and never found it necessary." It's been my confusion this whole thread, that nobody who's tried it seems to think that completely replacing ST with IQ as the casting resource is an unbalancing idea. I didn't mean for there to be any hostility at all, and I don't feel like deleting it because it might get people to discuss the whole "free mana" thing that apparently everybody did back in the day.
Okay, my apologies for mistaking your intent there; but I fail to grasp how using ST to cast spells and using a staff to store "ST" (or its equivalent, "fatigue" or, nowadays "Mana") for casting spells is essentially different from using IQ to cast spells and using a staff to store "IQ" (or its equivalent, "Mana") for casting spells -- other than by which attribute you use to power your spells, of course. My "never thought it necessary" comment was directed towards the fact that Missile Spells are now limited. I was simply noting that it wasn't felt to be necessary or desirable to do that under the old rules we were using -- even as modified by our house rules. Is that the part you find confusing?
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:59 AM   #36
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Every spell cast, even a failed one, is one step closer to death for a wizard. Most would agree wizards, especially starting ones, are anemic, and you can't even offer them more iron to fix it :) So there is already a certain imbalance in the system in this regard, and a house rule that tips the scale the other way could also be construed as stabilizing rather than upsetting.
1) Yes, it is true that wizards get particularly fragile as they cast spells.

2) One of the most common house rules I have seen other original-TFT groups adopt is to have wizards only die when they take enough actually injury to do that, not fatigue. Fatigue + injury could make a wizard fall unconscious, but they wouldn't be dead unless the injury itself was enough to kill them.

3) It's not really an imbalance in the system as a whole, though, as spells do many things that can't be done without magic, including take out a hero of almost any description.

4) It gives wizards a serious side-effect to deal with, which can generally be dealt with and worked around.

5) If players still don't like wizard fragility, there are of course many house rule options.


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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
The clear and obvious way is to charge heroes 1 point of fatigue for every sword swing... well no one wants that!
That would clearly be an excessive amount of fatigue to charge, so no that's not really the clear or obvious as a viable solution.

What I would think would be the most clear and obvious would be the idea you mentioned of having ST create the mana pool, but not count its use towards either death or unconsciousness. When you run out, it just means you have no mana left till you rest it back up. Utterly simple, and only slightly different from the very common house rule I mentioned above.


The other issue is attribute balance, and there you and I just seem to have opposite opinions about the value of ST versus IQ to wizards. You wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
The most underutilized attribute is IQ
but you also wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
What really makes a wizard better at being a wizard is still IQ, which is one reason I would rather base my MV stat on IQ.
Which is the the opposite of how I think about balance. I agree IQ is the main measure of how good a wizard is at being a wizard, because the spells get much more powerful with every IQ point a wizard gains. (And, also because ST & DX can both be effectively increased by others casting Aid on a wizard, but Aid won't help them cast more powerful spells, so a wizard can have minimum ST & DX and still be very powerful with apprentices.)

I agree that thematically it would make sense for mana to be based on IQ, which would tend to make me agree with you, but for purposes of balance and variety in wizard design / focus choices, I think IQ is the worst choice, because then the ways in which how good a wizard is can be described loses an independent variable.

That is, I like the aspect of TFT wizards that they have three relevant attributes which all affect different aspects of their wizardly abilities in different complementary ways. Shifting mana to IQ removes one of those (unless you count ability to survive injury and use muscles a wizardly ability), and there would be no way to have wizards who know powerful spells but who don't have a lot of mana to cast them with (e.g. the researcher types and those who depend on apprentices).

And, I think basic Wizard has a pretty exquisite balance in wizard design between the three attributes, but ST was already their least important attribute, which also tends to make me not want to throw that off by making ST such an inferior choice for wizards.

What I have been working on as a house rule is adding a separate stat for mana, which doesn't involve muscle, so I can still have different wizard designs, and have powerful casters who don't also have muscles. It's looking like basing it on ST (so ST isn't as much a dump stat), but being able to buy it up more cheaply than ST.


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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
There is now I don't know how many spells for a wizard to choose from. How many of those do we actually see in play? There's a lot of colorful, interesting spells in the tables, going back to Advanced Wizard, and even some from original Wizard, I've never seen used in play, and I played continuously for almost 20 years. I think the reason for that is because wizards are discouraged from increasing their IQ's to begin with, resulting in what we often call the Conan the Wizard syndrome. That puts higher level spells out of reach. Wizard's with higher IQs (and DX) are too anemic to cast many of the spells they do know, and rarely cast the more expensive ones. Isn't the game more fun when wizards don't have to be quite as conservative?
Wait, what? You really played 20 years and had wizards favoring ST over IQ and so not getting up to higher IQ levels because of that? If so, I'd be interested to hear more about that, as it's not something I recognize, and would be interested to hear how that went in more detail. So what did your typical 36 and 40 point wizards look like in terms of attributes?

Wizards in our games would use fighters to keep them from getting attacked, and others casting Aid on them if they needed more ST for something. The wizards who had more ST than DX or IQ were often seen as best used casting Aid on higher-IQ wizards.

And powerful wizards were more likely to have ST Batteries than particularly high ST. An attribute-bloated wizard might tend to put more points in ST, but they tended to be more interested in IQ (up to 20, anyway) and DX (up to 14-15).
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:10 PM   #37
Senturian
 
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Location: Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Default Re: IQ to power spells

"Whereas IQ only does two jobs: it regulates memory capacity (the number of things you can learn), and complexity (the difficulty of the things you can learn). It's so weak heroes don't even need the stat in Melee. Even when they have it, they rarely ever need to use it in combat."

so what you're saying is that: Intelligence isn't important.
sorry, couldn't resist.

but seriously, how about those non wizard characters that rely on Int, such as thieves? I know I'd like to know what trap I set off while I take my last few breaths.
Even Conan needs to disbelieve the Illusions dragging him down in HTH.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:28 AM   #38
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
1) Wait, what? You really played 20 years and had wizards favoring ST over IQ and so not getting up to higher IQ levels because of that? If so, I'd be interested to hear more about that, as it's not something I recognize, and would be interested to hear how that went in more detail. So what did your typical 36 and 40 point wizards look like in terms of attributes?
Our PC wizards that started with high IQs (and therefore less ST) rarely lived longer than one or two adventures. And they did stick to the rear and let the heroes screen them as much as possible. If you start with ST 8, and after spending just 3 or 4 points powering spells, one arrow can kill you. Mortality was very high among all our players wizards in the early years!

The ones that tended to survive longer were the ones with very conservative IQs, ST at least 10 or 11, DX at least 14, leather armor, and fought with swords as often as not.

I only had one, in all those years, get from starting character to 40+ points. We didn't implement the Mana from IQ option until some years into playing, or there'd surely have been more.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:34 AM   #39
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Our PC wizards that started with high IQs (and therefore less ST) rarely lived longer than one or two adventures. And they did stick to the rear and let the heroes screen them as much as possible. If you start with ST 8, and after spending just 3 or 4 points powering spells, one arrow can kill you. Mortality was very high among all our players wizards in the early years!

The ones that tended to survive longer were the ones with very conservative IQs, ST at least 10 or 11, DX at least 14, leather armor, and fought with swords as often as not.

I only had one, in all those years, get from starting character to 40+ points. We didn't implement the Mana from IQ option until some years into playing, or there'd surely have been more.
The perfect story to explain why a lot of people (most people?) house-ruled that fatigue can't help kill you. Interesting to hear from someone who played RAW tho :)
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:52 AM   #40
warhorse11h
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: IQ to power spells

For what its worth, I switched from RAW some time back and incorporated Mana as a stat, equal to and separate from IQ. Mana is used to power spells and recovered in two ways. 1 ST worth per hour without doing anything or 4 per hour if the wizard stops and rests, meditating, contemplation etc.
Once the wizard expended his mana, he's through casting spells unless he wants to use his ST, the use of which counts as damage that has to heal naturally, not fatigue. For those who worry about such things, it hasn't broken anything in the game so far. If it ultimately doesn't work out I can always adjust and shift fire.
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