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Old 06-08-2018, 11:04 PM   #21
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Conan the wizard

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
On a side note, I like the Power Stones from GURPS much more than the ST Batteries from TFT. I would really like if the ST Batteries were quietly swapped out for Power Stones.
What part of the difference do you like, other than the cooler name?
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:20 PM   #22
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Talents to give you more fatigue ST.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I do not think your talents are powerful enough. In basic TFT, the only way to increase your memory (mIQ) is to raise your IQ by a full point. So for Arcane Stamina (2), the wizard is spending 2 attributes to gain 2 fatigue ST (fST). FAR better to just raise the wizard's ST and then you have more hitpoints, can bend bars better, etc.

Same objection to Arcane Outlast (3), only it is worse.
Hmm. Wouldn't a wizard who had less IQ than the highest-IQ spell he wanted, but also wanted more spell power, tend to prefer to raise his IQ and take these talents, rather than raise ST?
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:31 AM   #23
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Talents to give you more fatigue ST.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Zot, everyone.
I do not think your talents are powerful enough. In basic TFT, the only way to increase your memory (mIQ) is to raise your IQ by a full point. So for Arcane Stamina (2), the wizard is spending 2 attributes to gain 2 fatigue ST (fST). FAR better to just raise the wizard's ST and then you have more hitpoints, can bend bars better, etc.
Hi Rick,

Power-wise, rather than thinking of the talents as being worth IQ points, wouldn't it be better to think of them in terms of being worth spells? A wizard player would be thinking, "I'll have to give up two spells to get that, is this talent worth two spells?". To me, getting an extra 2 ST in a combat would definitely be worth two spells to a lot of players (of course I wrote something I thought made sense as a trade-off :)).

Framing it that way: you're almost getting +2 ST at no additional experience cost for the low-low price of two spells.

This is how I think of it but during our 5-years or so of TFT, we stuck with the as-written talent point system. If you pay experience for talents, like in some house rules I've seen, this would be a whole different ball game.

Last edited by zot; 06-09-2018 at 12:34 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:48 AM   #24
JLV
 
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
There is a LOT to like with a staff/wand/etc. Strength Battery. And yes, I've thought about it. This thread is making me think about it again.

Things to dislike, or at least to look at hard:

- 99% of wizards will now take the STAFF spell. Does this matter?
I don't think it does -- quite a high percentage (in my experience) already take it so they can have a melee weapon of some kind, just in case they run out of steam.

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
- It becomes a very big deal, affecting the way the world works, that a wizard does not want to be separated from his staff. A subset of that: a broken staff is a disaster of the first order. Would staves have to be more like a Staff of Power, immune to Break Weapon to keep all wizards from taking that spell too, and all combats reducing to whose BW could hit first?
I think that would be okay since Wizards should have some things to be concerned about, and in a LOT of fantasy fiction, losing your Wizards' Staff is a very big deal indeed; as far as the broken staff goes, I'd say leave it alone -- them's the chances you take, and sometimes things go...badly. However, you might want to make it harder to successfully cast BREAK WEAPON against a Wizard's Staff -- maybe roll 4 dice for success?

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
- Of course, the rule about "staff explodes when someone else picks it up" has to go.
No, please don't change that. In effect, it's a Wizardly booby trap, and yes, it would take the Wizard some time to build a new one (and, if you do it the way I did it, time to charge it too), but the cinematic effect is just too cool to lose!

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
- The ST Battery, as written, is a LOT harder and costlier to make than a staff that could do the same job.
I tried to make it hard for Wizards to charge the staff -- it took a long time and a lot of ST to get a single ST point into the staff; it didn't self-recharge, and it took hours (eight of them, in fact) to get a single ST point into the staff. It was basically a long magical ceremony that "imbued" the staff with a ST point from the caster, who then had to rest up for a day before he could do it again (because of the ST he spent on the ceremony (8 ST; one ST per hour), plus the ST he lost in the actual imbuing -- the total was 9 ST, and since I made folks rest for an hour (instead of 15 minutes) to recover each ST point lost due to fatigue, that meant nine hours of rest). His Staff could never have more than 10 ST (Staff of Power went up to 25 ST max), and effectively it gave him another resource to manage...

The upshot was that Wizards went to all that effort and then only used it in a very dire emergency, because it was going to take them anywhere from a week and a half to almost a full month to do a full-up recharge on that sucker, and only if they did nothing else for that time period other than charge their staff and rest between ceremonies! And that assumes they weren't so badly wounded that they couldn't afford to spend 9 ST to do something; if that were the case, they had to heal up first. Of course, when their Staff ran out of juice, it was still a Wizard's Staff, and usable as a melee weapon... Oh, and the Wizard couldn't use AID Spells to get help -- he had to charge the Staff HIMSELF! (The theoretical explanation I advanced for this was because the Staff had to "attuned" to the user, and someone else's ST screwed that up...sort of based on the "if someone else touches your Staff -- blooie" rule, actually, so everyone bought the reasoning.)

This tied in well with the downtime issues though, and we always had a lot of downtime due to injuries anyway. If you change *that* up some, you might want to make it easier for the Wizard to charge the Staff than I did!

Last edited by JLV; 06-09-2018 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:45 AM   #25
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Conan the wizard

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
It doesn't necessarily need to be a staff. It could be a ring, a pendant, a wand or some other sort of magical storage/focus device.
I do think it's nice that non-staff wizards aren't at a big disadvantage in original Wizard. Staffs are cool and it's nice that they give logical advantages, and charging them seems to fit thematically, but if the Staff spell starts giving a new kind of ST Battery that's better than the existing ST Battery, then:

* it's going to be a huge bonus to those with staffs over wizards without staffs, unless as Chris suggests, you can charge other things. (On the other hand, if you can charge other things, a random thing will tend to have an advantage over a staff in that it's not obvious you have one or what it is (though a staff can be any piece of wood), and so less susceptible to Break Weapon.

* it's going to be a pretty major bonus of wizards over fighters - roughly equivalent in point value to whatever amount a staff can give them in effectively increased ST, moderated by it not soaking wounds, and however inconvenient it is to charge up. It will also tend to lower the barriers of ST to cast on some of the more powerful spells by however much you can get from a staff.

BTW the wizards in our games didn't charge staffs but they did sometimes set powerstones in staffs. Breaking the staff wouldn't necessarily break the powerstone.

Another idea could be to add some offsetting disadvantage to storing power in a staff.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:15 PM   #26
JLV
 
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

Keep in mind that a Staff (or wand, or whatever a Staff is described as in the spell) is ALSO a melee weapon, capable of doing 1D damage to an opponent.

I like the idea of being able to charge other things, but it ought to be at least as hard to do as making and charging a staff.

On Strength Batteries (and yes, I too prefer the "power stones" terminology -- more on that in a second), I always felt they were too hard and too expensive in the game. I would like to see them changed in some way to either justify that expense (maybe they DO "self-recharge"), or their cost lowered.

On the Power Stones terminology -- I really just prefer the cooler name. It seems more evocative of how a pseudo-medieval society would think of them than "Strength Batteries" does. I know that Cidri is actually a post-Apocalyptic society (minus the actual apocalypse; the Mnoren simply left -- they didn't destroy the world), but I figure the term "battery" must have fallen into disuse by a society that reverted to medieval agriculture and trade levels. Sages might know the term, but not too many other people, and "power stones" is probably how they would think of even a conventional battery.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:44 PM   #27
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I figure the term "battery" must have fallen into disuse by a society that reverted to medieval agriculture and trade levels. Sages might know the term, but not too many other people, and "power stones" is probably how they would think of even a conventional battery.
This is a wonderfully insightful piece of thinking by JLV, and demonstrates what I refer to as: Thinking Through The Game To It's Manifest Conclusion. I personally find it most beneficial to think of Cidri as a real place, and when I do, my thinking properly follows suit. Even the term *strength* is awkward, insomuch that the player pays the spell cost charged against the value of the ST Attribute of his figure, but the wizard *character* draws on, manipulates, and expends power when manifesting his magics on Cidri.

It's the same difference in quality of thinking and attitude between a GM who informs the players what is happening with their characters by saying: "A large burly ruffian, who looks like he could beat the whole lot of you with the heavy wooden table you are sitting at, approaches your party at the tavern,..."; and the GM who says: "A large burly ruffian, with a ST of 25, and a DX of 13, approaches your party at the tavern."

It is the difference between playing a fantasy game, and experiencing a fantastical alternate reality.

A most well thought-out and *thought-through* reasoning on that one JLV.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-09-2018 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:34 PM   #28
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Conan the wizard

Just thinking on a different tangent....what if a Wizard was allowed to fuel spells with all 3 Attributes?

This would largely solve the "Conan the Wizard" problem as a spell caster wouldn't get a huge benefit from pumping his ST up just to be able to cast more spells. But he'd have to think carefully about using his DX as fuel as this would reduce his future casting odds. Using IQ to fuel spells could reduce the difficulty of the Spells he could use.

Obviously this idea would need some development, but on the face of it has some promise.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:45 PM   #29
Steve Jackson
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Conan the wizard

I have always thought that it was okay that a high-level wizard was very powerful. Fits the genre. A combat wizard takes a lot of chances, and spends a lot of time as Target Priority 1, in order to get to that stage.

GMs who want their fighters to be more formidable can always let them come upon highly enchanted gear for sale, to soak up that gold they've been hoarding.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:54 AM   #30
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Conan the wizard

Here's another wizard talent to help wizards with their ST:

Catnap Sleeper (1): You can sleep whenever you want and intersperse normal activity in between; as long as you get enough total sleep hours, you're fine. This allows you to recover an extra 34 - ST in fatigue during sleep if you can intersperse activity among your sleep hours. For example just before the group goes to sleep for 8 hours, a ST 10 wizard can cast all the way down to ST 2, sleep for 2 hours to recover 8 ST, wake up, cast more down to 2, etc. every 2 hours. If casting time is negligible, this allows that wizard to recover an extra 24 ST in addition to the 8 ST which would have been recovered. Wizards pay the stated amount for this talent, the cost is not doubled.

Note: 34 - ST assumes the wizard casts down to ST 2 before the initial sleep period.

Last edited by zot; 06-12-2018 at 03:07 AM. Reason: clarification
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