Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip > The Fantasy Trip: House Rules

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2018, 02:41 AM   #131
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Skarg - I can't speak for Anthony, but here's my rephrase of what he might have meant:

Let us divide all possible fights into two categories: those where the PCs know they will win without anyone they care about being seriously hurt, and the rest. In the absence of convenient healing the first category is the only kind of fight it's wise to seek, but the second category is the only kind of fight that's interesting. Therefore in the absence of convenient healing it's usually wise to avoid any fight that might be interesting.

I would add that this is undesirable from a role-playing point of view, and therefore convenient healing is, for most campaigns, a good thing.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 03:03 AM   #132
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Here's a thought - at base (IQ14) it is 4:1 - particularly uninspiring. At IQ17, Healing II becomes available - 3:1. At IQ20, Healing III becomes available 2:1. Which makes it useful to forget healing I at IQ 17 and replace it with Healing II, and similar for II → III at IQ 20.
Let's try a concrete example. You could argue with these numbers but I think they're vaguely typical. A party of five has had a tough fight and has suffered 4+6+8=18 points of damage, plus the wizard is down 6 fatigue from casting spells. After Physicker they have 2+4+6 damage. They could keep moving but it's a bit of a risk given that worst damaged character only has ST 12.

If they don't have healing they might rest for 8 days, after which one character would be down 2 hits and everyone else is fine. Or 12 days and then everyone is 100%.

If they have Healing I then they need to recover 6+4*(2+4+6) fatigue which would be 14 hours (7 if someone knew Aid, more if they miss some rolls). If they have Healing II then they need 11 hours. If they have Healing III it's 8 hours.

Now the Healing II and Healing III improvements are useful I guess, but the effect is pretty modest by comparison with that huge jump from none to I. So this rule isn't bad as far as I see, but neither is it terribly significant. It's icing on the cake.

My idea was that Healing I allowed healing between battles, and Healing II allowed healing between battles or during a battle. What Healing III did I don't know.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 11:42 AM   #133
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Levels of HEAL spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Here's a thought - at base (IQ14) it is 4:1 - particularly uninspiring.
At IQ17, Healing II becomes available - 3:1
At IQ20, Healing III becomes available 2:1

Which makes it useful to forget healing I at IQ 17 and replace it with Healing II, and similar for II → III at IQ 20.
Hi everyone, David, ak_aramis.
First, I like having a few levels for a spell. It encourages a wizard to GET that IQ 22, and that makes the wizard more different from other characters, than if he got IQ 15, then dumped his other attributes into DX.

Second, the wizard would not forget the earlier spells. In TFT, spells usually INCLUDE earlier spells in a related series, for no memory (mIQ) cost. Where as talent, usually REQUIRE you to take both, paying mIQ for each. (Which is another reason why experienced heroes are unpowered compared to experienced wizards. So if your spells list worked like most, then the wizard would get all of the healing spells for the same price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Let's try a concrete example. ...

If they have Healing I then they need to recover 6+4*(2+4+6) fatigue which would be 14 hours (7 if someone knew Aid, more if they miss some rolls). If they have Healing II then they need 11 hours. If they have Healing III it's 8 hours.

Now the Healing II and Healing III improvements are useful I guess, but the effect is pretty modest by comparison with that huge jump from none to I. So this rule isn't bad as far as I see, but neither is it terribly significant. It's icing on the cake. ...
Third, a party with a wizard good enough to have Heal 2 or Heal 3, is likely to be an experienced party. An experienced party is more likely to have ST batteries, Power Stones, a character who has picked up Aid spell, To have hired a torch bearer / apprentice, etc. So the more experienced party is more likely to be able to take advantage of the fST cost savings of the better spells.

Fourth, I am not troubled by there being a point of diminishing returns. Is the utility of powerful spells, a bit less than the early ones? Shrug. That is the way it often works. Consider the effort to learn how to swim. It is not hard to learn a basic competency, a small amount of effort gives you a life long skill. But consider the amount of effort it takes to be become and maintain an olympic level of skill.

Warm regards, Rick.
Rick_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 04:22 PM   #134
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Skarg - I can't speak for Anthony, but here's my rephrase of what he might have meant:

Let us divide all possible fights into two categories: those where the PCs know they will win without anyone they care about being seriously hurt, and the rest. In the absence of convenient healing the first category is the only kind of fight it's wise to seek, but the second category is the only kind of fight that's interesting. Therefore in the absence of convenient healing it's usually wise to avoid any fight that might be interesting.

I would add that this is undesirable from a role-playing point of view, and therefore convenient healing is, for most campaigns, a good thing.
Ok... but does that really match other people's experience of what happens during play?

What I'd tend to say about that instead is: if you're confident that no one important will die if you fight some weaker foes, but there's still a chance some of you will take some moderate injury that will take time to heal or else make tougher fights more dangerous in future, then that makes the lesser fights into interesting calculated risks where the way you manage risk is still possibly going to make a big difference. (This, it seems to me, is one of the main elements of play in all of the MicroQuests.) But if healing is fast and trivial, then that consideration is removed, making both the easy fights and the harder fights, as well as the combined experience, less interesting.

Moreover, it seems to me that hopefully players cannot predict danger level too accurately, or they (or I, anyway) will stop being interested in general. For us, after 4 or so years of steady play, TFT did reach a point where we started to be able to predict the danger level of the outcomes as long as we were right about how capable the opponents were. And that was about the point we stopped wanting to play (and started re-designing instead, until we found GURPS).

As far as what's "wise", it may not be "wise" (more accurately, not "safe") from in the sense that it's dangerous, but it seems to me that is the point where a game becomes more interesting - that is, where the situation requires unsafe choices, or at least where there is temptation to do not entirely safe things. And easy healing tends to make everything safer.

It also seems to me that it's not really an accurate summary anyway, because if there's risk of death, there's risk of death regardless of healing (as long as it's not healing during combat and easy revival). The thing easy healing removes from play is lasting injury.

I've mostly played without easy healing for serious wounds, and quite appreciated having lasting wounds as an interesting situation created by what exactly happened in combat, and I didn't notice it blocking interesting play.

I've sometimes played with easy healing, and while it can enable "unstoppable buzzsaw" mode, which can be fun for a bit, I mainly notice that it removes the middle-ground between dead and no effect, from the list of possible consequences to consider. What I've noticed fast/easy healing doing to the gameplay experience, is trivializing major injuries, having players take combat threats/injuries less seriously, removing the meta-level effect on the situation where a specific fight led to wounds that has the party needing to deal with the injuries, a removal of serious lasting injuries to powerful people as a situation, reduction or removal of recovery as an element in struggles between groups, and also a tendency of players to just keep attacking more and more powerful opponents until they get killed.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 04:56 PM   #135
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
What I'd tend to say about that instead is: if you're confident that no one important will die if you fight some weaker foes, but there's still a chance some of you will take some moderate injury that will take time to heal or else make tougher fights more dangerous in future, then that makes the lesser fights into interesting calculated risks where the way you manage risk is still possibly going to make a big difference.
My experience is that fights that amount to "we're going to give them a beat-down, and the only interesting question is how many resources we consume" are things a lot of players find boring and will happily convert to "roll for wandering damage" instead of playing out the fight at all.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #136
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: HEAL spell?

A lot of times the players do not know what the fight will be, or how tough it is.

They are wandering along, and a screaming horde of hasted, giant, rabid whatsits burst out of the undergrowth and charge at the party.

A significant amount of the combat in my game is more like this, than the players knowing in advance what they are fighting and how tough it is.

Warm regards, Rick.
Rick_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 05:19 PM   #137
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
A lot of times the players do not know what the fight will be, or how tough it is.
That sort of doesn't matter. If you're presenting your players with fights, either you balance almost all of them into one-sided beatdowns that can be converted to 'roll for wandering damage', or you just discard those fights completely and only run the fights that the PCs might lose.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 12:02 AM   #138
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
A lot of times the players do not know what the fight will be, or how tough it is.

They are wandering along, and a screaming horde of hasted, giant, rabid whatsits burst out of the undergrowth and charge at the party.
This is actually two concepts: choices the players cannot intelligently make due to lack of information, and choices the players are denied by unilateral decision of the enemy.

Yes, there are fights the players don't choose, but Anthony's statement as I understood it was discussing fights they do choose. Which is an important subject, in most games.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 12:28 AM   #139
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
if you're confident that no one important will die if you fight some weaker foes, but there's still a chance some of you will take some moderate injury that will take time to heal or else make tougher fights more dangerous in future, then that makes the lesser fights into interesting calculated risks where the way you manage risk is still possibly going to make a big difference. (This, it seems to me, is one of the main elements of play in all of the MicroQuests.)
I guess there's more than two scenarios for healing:
  1. When you need healing, you can't have it. The PCs start uninjured, gradually accumulate wounds and hope to make the finish line before they (all) die. Fights are severe enough to make this challenging, which means that no individual fight has much chance to defeat the players, unless they are already badly injured near the end of the quest. Problem with this is that the PCs might do badly early on, take a lot of wounds and be doomed, but not know it. The GM can fudge it by providing healing potions in the treasure, assuming there is a GM and the system includes healing potions. Also the fights are never severe enough there's a risk of losing, which takes a good deal of the tension out of them.
  2. You can get healed by stopping and doing nothing for a long time. The fights might be tough enough to be threatening, in which case there are lots of wounds and the campaign becomes very slow in game time. Or they are easy enough people don't get seriously hurt, in which case there's not much tension.
  3. You can get healed easily, after every fight, with a short pause. The fights are tough enough to be threatening. Injuries become a short-term problem. I don't see a problem here, but some people are offended, maybe by failure of suspension of disbelief?
  4. You can get healed easily, either after a fight or during if the healer can keep up. Fights are even tougher, to be challenging. I don't see a problem here.

TFT as originally published is 2, except some MicroQuests might be 1. TFT with the proposed healing spell would be something between 2 and 3 (lots of resting). D&D is a hybrid of something between 2 and 3 (clerics take a night to get their spells back) and 4.

The key point is that as healing gets better it becomes practical to make the monsters more powerful, so simplistic ideas like "healing makes the players better off" don't apply.

Quote:
But if healing is fast and trivial, then that consideration is removed, making both the easy fights and the harder fights, as well as the combined experience, less interesting.
I don't find bottom line concerns ("Am I kiling things fast enough to keep up with the healing bill?") An interesting way to play. It seems more of a wargaming thing and less a role-playing thing.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 12:36 AM   #140
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
My experience is that fights that amount to "we're going to give them a beat-down, and the only interesting question is how many resources we consume" are things a lot of players find boring and will happily convert to "roll for wandering damage" instead of playing out the fight at all.
The point where fighting competent people is trivial and best ignored, seems to me like more importantly also the point where the combat system has broken down in an important way. To us, that started to happen eventually when the player parties got too strong. The chance that PCs might actually get hurt but not killed was vanishing, and it seems like the opposite of what we'd want would be to make even that event trivial by adding fast cheap magic healing.

Last edited by Skarg; 06-08-2018 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Added the quote I was responding to.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.